The Oregon Ducks and Washington Huskies renew their rivalry this Saturday in what has become one of the most heated rivalries among fan bases in the Pac 12 and across the country. It should be a great matchup between top-20 programs that will go a long way in clearing up the Pac 12 North division race. Beyond that, however, there is plenty else at stake when the game kicks off in Seattle this Saturday.
For Oregon, there are streaks to maintain. Coming into the game, the Ducks have won nine straight games against Washington by 17 points or more. UW hasn’t beaten Oregon since 2003 in the old Husky Stadium and it hasn’t even been close. On top of that, Oregon is running a 17-game road winning streak into Seattle this weekend, the longest active streak in college football. Their last loss on the road was way back on November 7, 2009, when Oregon fell to the Stanford Cardinal on The Farm. The Ducks hope to keep both streaks alive against their I-5 rivals to the north.
On the other side, Washington is looking to put an end to their streak of futility, which has also coincided to the downward slide of the program over the last decade. A win for Washington would keep their home-field advantage intact (3-0 so far in the new Husky Stadium), get a major monkey off their back with their losing streak to Oregon and announce to the country that Washington is ready to be considered among the best programs in the Pac 12 and around college football. They missed out on the chance to get that national recognition last week in a heartbreaker against Stanford, but getting it done at home against Oregon might be even sweeter.
Most importantly in the short term, this game will have huge implications for the race for the Pac 12 title. Oregon is trying to stay on track and unbeaten as they ramp up to their showdown with Stanford on November 7 in Palo Alto (four years to the day of their last road loss). The Ducks have aspirations of getting not only back on top of the Pac 12 this season but getting another shot at a BCS National Championship as well.
UW is trying to play catchup in the Pac 12 race already suffering their first loss to Stanford. If they can knock off Oregon, they’ll be right back in the mix of things, especially if Oregon goes on to beat Stanford and create a three-way tie for the Pac 12 North title. Steve Sarkisian is looking to break through with his best team yet at Washington and this game is the perfect opportunity for them to do just that.
So when the Ducks and Dawgs kick off the latest installment of their rivalry this weekend, there will be plenty at stake with streaks, respect and most importantly positioning in the Pac 12 title race on the line. With all that and a nice big helping of vitriol from the home crowd for the visiting Ducks, it should make for some exceptional must-see TV this weekend.