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University of Oregon alums Haloti Ngata and Ed Dickson finally called Head Coach John Harbaugh on their friendly bet after Harbaugh’s brother, Jim, and his Stanford Cardinal team were felled by the Ducks two weeks ago.
Harbaugh began his Wednesday press conference donning a bright green T-shirt with yellow letters spelling “I LOVE MY DUCKS” across the front. He also was given a yellow whistle in the shape of a duck’s bill.
With Ngata and Dickson flanking him, Harbaugh graciously accepted Stanford’s 52-31 defeat at Oregon.
“I have to give the Ducks their due,” he told the group of chuckling reporters. “They won the game, fair and square. It’s a heck of a club.
“We’ll probably see them in the National Championship game.”
Both teams are certainly among the nation’s elite programs.
At this point, Oregon (6-0 overall, 3-0 conference) is ranked second-overall in the AP poll and first in the Pac 10. Stanford (5-1 overall, 2-1 conference) is 14th in the AP poll and third in the Pac 10.
Jim Harbaugh, who took over the Cardinal in 2007, has taken Stanford from a 4-8 record in his first season to the 2009 Sun Bowl, the school’s first bowl appearance since 2001.
Still, Stanford could not hold the 21-3 lead it built in the first quarter through Oregon’s prolific offense and two Cardinal turnovers in the second half.
“I was a little disappointed,” said John Harbaugh. “I thought the Cardinal played with a lot of heart. And you’ve got to give Oregon a lot of credit. That offense is something special. So, we’ll see how it goes the rest of the year. We’re not conceding anything for the Cardinal.”