Saturday, September 17, 2011

Good Luck Ducks, Week 3: It Could Happen To You

Loosely speaking, I attended the University of Oregon for several years during the mid-90s. These were fruitful times, as the Ducks were building on the mild success of the Chris Miller and Bill Musgrave years in which they had made the transition from perennial laughing stock to Independence Bowl and Freedom Bowl fodder. My second year in school in Eugene was the surprising Rose Bowl team. Subsequent years saw the Ducks move up a few notches more, and despite the occasional plateau, Oregon football has been trending upward for the better part of two and a half decades now. This is great stuff.

The thing I enjoyed the most about game days back when I lived inside of them was the walk to Autzen Stadium from campus. I will have the rare opportunity to relive that walk this morning to go catch the Ducks take on an FCS opponent in what will ultimately be a working practice and preparation for the conference schedule. Originally, Oregon was scheduled to play Utah this week, but when Utah suddenly became a conference ally, suddenly their scheduled non-conference game vanished and no in conference game with the Utes replaced it. Such is life when you start juggling conferences. It could get even weirder next year.

I don't want to underestimate a team I know nothing about at all. I didn't know there was a Missouri State until a few weeks ago, which is less surprising when you consider that until recently they were known as Southwest Missouri State. I am (somewhat) familiar with the Missouri Valley Conference, but only today learned that this Bears football team plays in the Missouri Valley Football Conference, an FCS offshoot from a D1 conference that otherwise isn't interested in the American version of the sport of Football. This game doesn't scare me, but you only have to look back two weeks to Oregon State's debacle with Sacramento State to realize that an FCS loss isn't exactly as rare as winning the lottery.

Above footage from the last Ducks game vs. an FSC opponent. Sorry about the music!

Game time is 12:30 PDT with local coverage on Comcast SportsNet Northwest. If you're going to the game like I am, apparently you are supposed to wear black.

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