Nike? sure. You need money to be good in college football. But what was Oregon compared to a lot of these other national brands in the 20th century? Nothing, they were garbage, trash, and irrelevant. Nike isn’t the only reason they developed into a national brand.
They hired a hall of fame coach in Mike Bellotti and built a great foundation out him. They flirted with national brand status until he retired and then they hired a revolutionary offensive mind in Chip Kelly and skyrocketed into one of the biggest national brands in the country.
They’ve run their program well, it isn’t only Nike. USC and us were recruiting at a way better rate before Cristobal arrived over the last 15 years and Oregon has had more success. Meanwhile we were a dumpster fire until Pete and recruited better than Oregon under pete and still couldn’t win a big game. They’re impressive.
They used that national brand to hire a good recruiter during their down years and are a national brand again. Nike built them, but that wasn’t the only thing that built them. They have run very well over the past couple decades.