...They did win their bowl game and finished ranked in the top 10. There’s something to be said for that. And we’re in no way calling Mark Helfrich’s first year as coach a bust. He won a bowl game in his first year – which Chip Kelly never did -- and probably learned a few lessons along the way. When you have a title-game-or-bust mentality, every loss is heart-wrenching. But we also understand that injuries can impact a team -- especially injuries to a Heisman-contending quarterback. Grade: B.
■ Ted Miller lists Oregon players on both sides of the ball for the Pac-12 all-bowl team.
■ Rob Moseley notes three newcomers to the football program have registered for the winter quarter, two JC transfers and a true freshman.
■ Dale Newton wonders if 2014 will be a year to reload or rebuild for the football team.
■ Josh White says there are four ways the Ducks have changed after Chip Kelly.
■ Mel Kiper Jr. @ESPN ($Insider) has Kiko Alonso as defensive player of the year on his all-rookie team for the NFL.
Alonso was third in the NFL in tackles and, perhaps just as impressive, was one of the best coverage linebackers in the NFL, a significant bonus. Because of his ability to cover, Alonso never came off the field; he played nearly 1,200 snaps.