"No experiment can be more interesting than that we are now trying, and which we trust will end in establishing the fact, that man may be governed by reason and truth. Our first object should therefore be, to leave open to him all the avenues to truth. The most effectual hitherto found, is the freedom of the press. It is, therefore, the first shut up by those who fear the investigation of their actions." --Thomas Jefferson to John Tyler, 1804.

#6 from 10: Ducks go national

No one will know until into January whether the University of Oregon Ducks can claim the title of top college football team in the country. But the team’s no-loss season has already been somewhat transformative in Oregon: The interest level is much higher than the norm, with even loyal Beavers cheering on the players from Eugene.

It may matter beyond football. 2011 could be a key year for state officials to decide what to do about funding the state’s perenially underfunded higher education institutions. UO has been a leader in coming up with options (one being a massive fund on which it, or others as well, could draw), most of which entail in some way greater independence from legislative control. The Ducks’ adventures may have some peripheral effect on all that.

Maybe from a distance, as well, in Boise. There, the Boise State University Broncos, which have become a near-obsessional subject, had a very good but less than great season. Which was not enough for some people. Could this be a point of some useful deflation in Boise?

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