There is a new must-see TV channel for diehard Oregon Ducks fans to click this fall.
Fox Sports 1 (FS1), which plans to provide direct competition for ESPN, launched on Saturday. The new network will televise UO's opener on Aug. 31 against Nicholls State and the Civil War on Nov. 29 against Oregon State.
College football analyst Joel Klatt, one of the more than 200 on-air studio personalities and sportscasters hired by FS1, visited UO over the weekend and conducted sit-down interviews with first-year head coach Mark Helfrich and star quarterback Marcus Mariota.
Klatt, an accomplished quarterback at Colorado during the Gary Barnett era, didn't pick the No. 3 Ducks to win the Pac-12 North Division, but that doesn't mean UO can't be one of the last two teams standing at the end of the 2013 season on Jan. 6 at the Rose Bowl.
"You have to do the preseason prediction thing, and I wrestled and wrestled with who I wanted to pick out of the North, whether it was Oregon or Stanford," Klatt said. "Ultimately, for no other reason than they just had such a dominant offensive line and they're basically all back, I chose Stanford. But if Oregon wins the North and wins the Pac-12, I wouldn't be shocked at all to see them down in Pasadena playing for the BCS national title game."
Klatt describes Mariota as a "rare talent" and believes the offense will still be fast and furious without Chip Kelly.
"People forget that (Helfrich) has been here for Chip's entire tenure. (Offensive coordinator) Scott Frost has been here, everybody's been here. So I don't think it will change much," Klatt said. "The only thing that truly remains to be seen is how critical was Chip's game-day play calling, just those little nuances. That remains to be seen, but Mark absolutely had a hand in that. You know Chip was asking him what was going on or had input on some of those calls. I just don't see it being all that different."