Saturday, October 14, 2023

Good Luck Ducks, Week 7: Fuskies

It's number 7 versus number 8 in a game that's received increased national attention. 
The Oregon/Washington rivalry is an interesting one in that it's usually been lopsided. Of course, there were the early days where Washington's national stature and outsized resources made the series more of a David vs. Goliath style matchup, which made the Kenny Wheaton game all the more satisfying for an up and coming Ducks program. Later, there were many, many consecutive years (Huskies fans, tell me how many!) where Washington suffered defeat at the hands of Mighty Oregon. And then, of course, Justin Herbert's first start came at the wrong end of a 70-to-something beatdown. It feels fairly rare when these teams have met on even ground, but that's apparently where we find things this afternoon in Seattle.

Another interesting aspect to this game and the series as a whole is that the two schools enter the B1G next year, hand in hand, as they are locked in to playing each other every year at the end of their respective schedules. Gone are the Civil War game (I still call it that) and the Apple Cup. In place is the big Oregon/Washington showdown, a fairly nasty rivalry without a name or a lengthy list of close games. I don't think it's the worst option going forward in the new, even more money grubbing college football future, but it doesn't really matter what I think anyway.

Bo Nix and Michael Something Jr. are two big time QBs in a conference (for now) stocked well with big time QBs. It's as if the Pac-12 conference ("Conference of Champions!" -- Bill Walton) gods decided to assemble this talented group specifically for its last hurrah. Of course, both sides are well-stocked with talent beyond the guys taking the snaps, as you would expect for teams ranked so high. This could all prove to be a very close, nail-biting affair, but if it holds true to the series as a whole, it could very well be a giant victory for one of these schools.

Notes and other things:
  • I normally put a lot of stock in teams heading into a tough game after a bye week, but it turns out that Washington also had last week off. Another thing to consider: I am not into gambling at all, so I wouldn't take my predictions with any morsel of seriousness.
  • Where Are They Headed? Well, we covered this already, but the B1G awaits Washington, bonded in football life with their webfooted bros. Ew.
  • Ducks Ranking This Week: 8 (AP). They moved up one spot heading into the bye week, and then held their position after Texas and Oklahoma sort of flip-flopped.
  • Bo Nix Heisman Watch: Much as the teams themselves, the winner of this game likely takes a sizeable lead in the Heisman race. There are a bunch of other candidates out there, however, including some other transfer dude in the Pac-12.
  • Game time is 12:30 PDT on ABC in Seattle. Go Ducks!

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