Wednesday, November 22, 2006


It is once again time for the rekindling of one of the nation's oldest football rivalries, the Civil War between the University of Oregon (MY ALMA MATER) and Oregon State University ("the other school"). This year's game seems like it should be a very good one, in that both schools sport 7-4 win-loss records... but it is a contest between teams that are going in different directions. The U of O Ducks started the year on a roll, ranked in the Top 25 before a few dubious performances, particularly last weekend's loss at home, 37-10 to a mediocre University of Arizona team. The OSU Beavers, on the other hand, started the season poorly, but as they have been inclined to do in recent years, they are hitting their stride in the mid-late part of the season.

The Ducks, representing the more "liberal" school, are better-known nationally than OSU, and they are supported heavily by noted alumni Phil Knight of Nike fame. They are a complete mess at this point. During the past month, they have fumbled too many times, thrown too many interceptions, and given up too many "big plays".

As for the Beavers, they don't seem to be as full of themselves, and they play well as a team. Much-maligned OSU coach Mike Riley's team has breathed life into his coaching career with a 33-31 upset win over the USC Trojans and with its gritty style of play.

Oregon's Ducks, the high and mighty, have been humbled and must now face these tough-minded Beaver boys from the "aggie" school. On paper, Oregon should kick Oregon State's asses... but I fear it will be the other way around this year. I'm thinking it will be about 42-14 in favor of the Beavers. The Ducks won last year, 56-14... and I am sure the Beavers have revenge on their minds. The home team has won this game each of the last seven years, and this year the game is in Corvallis, home of the Beavs. Early in the season, I thought this silly streak would be broken for sure this year, but now I fear it will continue.

Whatever happens in the Civil War game, both of Oregon's major college teams will probably be going to a bowl game. Both teams have the talent to get to a bowl... I'm just not sure that the Ducks really deserve to go to one unless they can beat the Beavers.

Wish me luck this Friday, as my blood pressure will probably be through the roof during every minute of this vitally important event!!


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Go Ducks! Quack!!!

10:29 AM  
Blogger Mandelbrot's Chaos said...

Well, since my beloved Alabama Crimson Tide has only garnered a 6-6 record this year (and losses to all four of our major rivals, Tennessee, Florida, Auburn, and LSU), and had to come from behind to beat two of the worst teams in the nation, I certainly sympathize. People are calling for the head of Coach Mike Shula (son of the legendary Don Shula), and while I think another year might be in order considering the youth of his team, I think that at the very least, he needs to hire a new offensive coordinator. If the University of Alabama decides to sack him, I think Nick Saban would be an excellent choice. While he sucks at the pro level much like Steve Spurrier did, he made an excellent college football coach.

May you not experience the disappointment and humiliation fans of my beloved Tide have this year. Go Ducks!

7:39 PM  
Blogger Snave said...

Thanks, guys! MC, I have thought about you and the Tide. My condolences. They are bowl eligible, I hope... it wouldn't seem like bowl season without Alabama in there somewhere!

10:35 PM  
Blogger Mandelbrot's Chaos said...

Alabama's on the bubble for bowling. If SEC teams end up in two BCS bowls, which I doubt, Alabama's safe, but with Arkansas' loss to LSU today, it doesn't look good. In fact, it looks about as ugly as a newborn panda. I'm beginning to think that Alabama, while we have a talented team, we need a coach who's actually suited to the task. After seeing his performance, I have come to the conclusion that all SEC coaches need experience in one of the lesser conferences, such as the MAC or C-USA (with the latter, at least he'd learn how to run an offense) or even a Division I-AA, Division II, or Division III conference, before coming to the brutally Darwinian SEC. Year in and year out, it's the single toughest conference in all of college football. The Pac-10, ACC, and other BCS conferences aren't even close. In what other conference can one team's conference schedule have the # 2 team in the nation two weeks in a row?

6:29 PM  
Blogger Snave said...

I don't know, MC, but I'm awfully glad my Ducks aren't in the SEC... heh... I think they would be about 4-8 instead of their current 7-5. This year there was quite a bit of parity in the Pac-10. We had a really good team (USC), a decent team (Cal) and then a bunch of average clubs after that.

The loss to Oregon State at the Beavers' home field, 30-28, was traumatic. OSU made three field goals, the Duck kickers were 0-3. UO started their second string QB Brady Leaf (Ryan Leaf's younger brother) because the first stringer Dennis Dixon had only 1 TD and 8 INTs over his last four games... The Ducks only started to rally around Leaf in the second half, and they even took the lead 28-27 with a few minutes left. It came down to OSU having more on-field leadership, and to the kicking game.

The Ducks may still get to go to a bowl, but at best it will be the bottom one for Pac-10 teams, which I believe is the Emerald Bowl in Seattle. More news on that later. I just hope that if they get to a bowl game, they start Leaf again.

11:22 AM  
Blogger Mandelbrot's Chaos said...

Snave, are you sure your kicker doesn't moonlight for the Crimson Tide? Those field goal problems bring back unhappy memories. And only 1 TD and 8 INT in four games? Yeah, he needs to be reassigned to another position, because he's certainly not a QB.

I'm a huge partisan for my SEC, but then again, look at the teams we have. Georgia, who knocked off # 16 Georgia Tech, Florida and Arkansas, who will play each other for the SEC crown and have combined for only three losses this season, LSU, Auburn, the hated Tennessee, and if they finally get their act together, Alabama. The University of South Carolina could also surprise everyone because their coach is Steve Spurrier, and if I were a coach, regardless of his team or mine, I'd always sweat that one.

I feel your pain about bowling. My Alabama certainly doesn't deserve to go this year, though they may.

4:29 PM  
Blogger Snave said...

MC, it looks like our teams may well go to toilet bowls, and could well lose in those games... thereby prolonging our agony. The Crimson Tide has a very good mens' hoops team this year, anyway... nice wins over Iowa and Xavier so far, and a top ten ranking! Oregon is going to get off to a good start, but that's due to playing a bunch of cupcakes. They'll come down to earth when they play Georgetown soon in D.C., and maybe when they play Nebraska in Portland... but they are better than last year's 15-18 squad.

Yes, I think it's time to begin talking about basketball. Heh...

5:58 PM  
Blogger Mandelbrot's Chaos said...

Yep, and in Alabama, a lot of people don't even realize Alabama and Auburn have basketball teams. The biggest sport is football. Shula could be looking for alternate employment, but the decision is made more difficult because of the idiotic way his contract was written. If he leaves, it could cost UA $4 million over the next five years to buy out the contract. BAD IDEA for a first-time, unproven head coach.

11:07 PM  

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