Saturday, November 26, 2016

Good Luck Ducks, Week 13: Civil War for Pride

It all comes down to Ducks vs. Beavers with state bragging rights on the line. 

Something very unexpected happened last week that I'm still having trouble grasping. The Ducks beat then-12th ranked Utah. On the road. It was their first road win. Today they head to Corvallis for their final game of the year, taking on in-state rival Oregon State. The Beavers are also coming off a win, although theirs was a little less surprising as they took out punchless Arizona. Usually, there's quite a bit more at stake for at least one of these teams, but for today it will all come down to pride and the usual rivalry beef.

There are actually more story lines here, but I think they will get temporarily buried in the hoopla of this rivalry game. Oregon could actually still head to a bowl game with a win here, even though they are not technically bowl eligible. College football has become positively lousy in recent years with lousy bowl games, meaning that schools with losing records will inevitably be invited to some games that need filler material. This happened to several programs last season. Oregon could be among those chosen and could conceivably accept an invite, but it has to be tough and not all that rewarding to count on at this point. Oregon's head coach could also get fired after this game. On the whole, to say things have not gone well since last winter is a huge understatement.

I think this will be a fun game to watch, and while both schools have had more downs than ups lately, it will be a chance for all involved to have fun on the football field one last time in 2016. This could also be Royce Freeman's last game, as the junior has had a disappointing season but could jump to the NFL. Unless, of course, that lousy bowl invite happens.

The Beavers made it tough on UO in 2010, with Oregon on their way to a national title game appearance.

Game time is 1:00 PST with national coverage on Pac-12 Network. Go Ducks!

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