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Are the Oregon Ducks enduring one bad season, or is it a downward trend?

Oregon is hitting a big rut.

NCAA Football: Oregon at Washington State James Snook-USA TODAY Sports

Is this a down year for Oregon? Or is this a trend of the years to come? What do you think the Ducks need to do to reverse course this year and in future seasons?

Taylor Henry: Helfrich used to be the offensive coordinator at Colorado. He struggled there, and left. He then rode Chip Kelly's coat tails to win the games he has the last couple of years. You're now seeing how he recruits, and the new look sucks. Oregon is a sleeping giant, they just don't have the right guy at the helm. Look at Scott Frost maybe returning to become the head coach, because Helfrich can't compete on the PAC.

Jeremy Baird: Well he did recruit and develop a Heisman winning QB. So I don't think he's all that bad.

They need to improve on defense. Period. Offensively their fine, but the playmakers on D are what separated them from Cal and Wazzu. November 2017 is when we'll really be able to tell.

So to answer your question, I believe it's just a down year. But the defense is worrying.

Gabey Lucas: I think we're hitting a critical juncture where how the administration and coaching staff adapts determines whether or not it's just a down year or a permanent (relatively) decline. They're still a massive brand name from the last 10 years or so which gives them such a big advantage in recruiting, but if they screw up then there's every chance they will be down for quite a while.

AndyBurnett: I don't think Oregon gets back to the top of the North until Helfrich is fired. They have all the resources to be a top tier program but Helfrich isn't getting the job done. LANE KIFFIN TO EUGENE.

Jeremy: The state of Oregon has had three 4* recruits in the last 3 years. I don’t think they have ALL the resources to be a top tier program, but somehow they have been.

It should also be noted that the University of Oregon hasn’t fired a football coach in 40 years! Firing coaches isn’t what got them to where they are.

Also, firing Helfrich comes at a greater moral price. Coaches Pellum, Greatwood, and Campbell have been with the program since the Rich Brooks days. Neal has been there since 2000-ish. Maybe they have slipped, but I think it is more than just firing some mercenary coaches who were going to leave anyway. It’s firing lifers who don’t have great options at this stage in their careers.

That’s a long way of saying I think Helfrich gets a much longer leash than people may think.

Jack Follman: I think part of it is, what goes up, just come down. The Ducks were either the best or second-best team in the conference for 10 seasons and played for two national titles as a non-traditional power. That's pretty astounding, especially considering how hard it is to play for a NC as a non-traditional power with a major in-state recruiting base. I think they could have blown it up when Kelly left and made a big hire, but figured promoting an assistant would help them win games in the window they had left, even if it meant they might have issues in the long run. Also, other programs made progress on defending and replicating their scheme.

Gabey: I'm gonna agree wholeheartedly with Jack. You can have the facilities and brand and everything to recruit the top players, but if you can't develop those talents further then you'll never be a consistently elite team.

Nico Gervasoni: If you'd like a poster child program for the phenomenon of teams that should do better than they usually do because of bad hires, UCLA un-ironically hired Karl Dorrell and Rick Neuheisel back to back.