Oregon has won the Pac-10 (turned Pac-12) championships each of the past 5 seasons, resulting in only 1 finish in the top 2. They have been an offensive-minded team since the arrival of Chip Kelly as head coach in '09, and still is even after the exit of Kelly in 2013. They have averaged over 500 total yards a game on a consistent basis in these 5 years, and have the most 40+ point games in that span. The normally high-scoring team scored just 19 points in their national title game loss against Auburn in '10, but their defense showed up and they loss 22-19 on a last-second FG. The Ducks reached No. 1 in the AP polls just once in the past 5 years, and that was in 2010. They would enter the title game at No. 2, leapfrogged by Auburn.
With only two teams getting in at the end of the season before this year, Oregon has been forced to other BCS bowls, which they have had plenty of success in. They've been to 4 BCS bowls in the 5 years. The other was the Alamo bowl last year (30-7 win over Texas.) They've gone 1-1 in the Rose Bowl, and add in a Fiesta Bowl victory. Two things have been lacking for the Ducks to get in to the national title picture. No.1 is a convincing victory over a formidable team, and that was due to a fairly easy schedule. No. 2 was a better playoff system for college football. The Ducks have a big win over No. 8 Michigan State, and now a 4-team college football playoff picture, and they plan to take full advantage of both.