As someone who spent 99.3 percent of his life in the state of Kansas, my first week in the Pacific Northwest falls on the same week as one of my favorite rivalries in all of college football. As the kids would say #Blessed.
On Saturday at Autzen Stadium, the Oregon Ducks and Washington Huskies do battle for the 111th time. Both teams are ranked and there are Pac-12 title and New Year’s Six bowl implications for this showdown in Eugene.
There are plenty of interesting subplots (The Point, revisited) and standout players (Jake Browning and Justin Herbert). And while who is the better football team will be decided on the field, there is another battle that rages: Which school really?
Let’s dive in.
Each school has a fantastic list of iconic quarterbacks.
For Washington, there’s volume. You’ve got Sonny Sixkiller, Warren Moon, the Huards (Brock and Damon), Marques Tuiasosopo, Mark Brunell, Hugh Millen, Chris Chan Billy Joe Hobert and the Jakes (Locker and Browning).
Oregon counters that with Dan Fouts, Chris Miller, Joey Harrington, Kellen Clemens, Akili Smith and Marcus Mariota, who can drag his 2014 Heisman Trophy to the table. And if you want to go old school, there’s Norm Van Brocklin.
Chip Kelly or Don James? Mike Belotti or Jim Owens?
Oregon, even if you count Rich Brooks, is at a disadvantage here. From Jim Owens to Don James and currently Chris Petersen, we’ve seen more Husky coaches have success dating all the way back to the early stages of the game.
Go back to Gil Dobie, who put together a record of 59-0-3 from 1908-16 with the Huskies. You read that right; Dobie never lost a game while on the Huskies sideline. Doesn’t matter if it was 1908. It’s still awesome.
As much as I like Harry The Husky, I don’t have a picture with him but I do have a picture with Puddles.
Marvel: “Infinity War is the most ambitious crossover event in history.”— Andrew Hammond (@ahammsportsgeek) March 20, 2018
Each school has a fantastic set of alums, some of them are treated like Gods because of their generous donations to various things such as athletics or to academic buildings. Then there are the alumni that you aren’t so proud of. You know, the ones your rival school reminds you of whenever there is an opportunity to do so?
Oregon has Phil Knight who has turned Oregon into his own personal Nike showcase. Then you’ve got Ty Burrell and Kaitlin Olson who are both hilarious on their respective shows. Washington also has some funny alums such as Rainn Wilson and Joel McHale who actually played for the Huskies in the 1990s.
However, there are two people that Husky fans would rather not associate with. Hi Ted Bundy and Amanda Knox.
Who has the better all-time roster? Washington or Oregon?
Washington has the edge in All-Americans with a 21-7 advantage. And, according to Pro Football Reference, more Huskies have played in the NFL than Ducks (312-222).
Oregon does lead Washington with a 6-3 advantage in NFL Hall of Famers.
Give me the Huskies.
Seating 54,000 fans clad in green and gold on Saturdays, Autzen Stadium is a tremendous place to watch a game. With the right view, you can take in the fall splendor of the Pacific Northwest. Yet, Washington wins this one easily.
You don’t call your stadium “The Greatest Setting in College Football” and expect to lose, right?
Husky Stadium is the largest stadium (college or pro) in the Pacific Northwest is home to some of the most beautiful views anywhere in the country. You can see beautiful mountains and have a look at picturesque Lake Washington as fans come to the game by boat. It’s far and away the winner here.
Ties to movies
No offense to fine films like “21 & Over” and “The 6th Man”, but there is no more iconic movie shot on a college campus like the 1978 classic, “Animal House.” The Oregon-Animal House relationship was rekindled in this practically shot-for-shot recreation of the toga party in a 2015 Nike commercial.
Advantage: Oregon (it’s not even close either)
The final totals
With a 4-3 edge in the categories, Oregon wins this battle but that’s all they win. On Saturday, give me the Huskies, 27-23.