Wade Payne/APStanford pitching coach Rusty Filter

Wade Payne/APStanford pitching coach Rusty Filter

Oregon, Stanford set for Pac-12’s game of the year

The matchup between Oregon and Stanford the past three seasons has been billed as the biggest game of the year on the West Coast, a de facto Pac-12 Conference title game and national semifinal.

What it also has been is a spoiler.

In each of the past three years, the loser was handed its only regular-season defeat and would’ve surely played in the BCS championship game otherwise. The winner went on to claim the Pac-12 title.

The stakes are just as high this season. The stage is even bigger. When No. 2 Oregon (8-0, 5-0) visits sixth-ranked Stanford (7-1, 5-1) in prime time tonight, one team will announce itself as the best in the West and the other will watch its championship dreams wither away again.

Even the so-called smart kids are rearranging their schedules for this one.

“The people that I’ve seen around campus, they’ve all said, ‘I’m not going to class on Thursday at all. I’m getting ready for this tailgate,’” Stanford safety Ed Reynolds said. “The campus is excited. They realize what this game means to this campus and this school, and I’m expecting a nice little rowdy crowd.”</p>

The showdown at sold-out Stanford Stadium sets up similarly to the one in Eugene a year ago.

Last season, the Cardinal outlasted the top-ranked Ducks 17-14 in overtime en route to a conference title and the school’s first Rose Bowl victory in 41 years. In the first 10 games before that contest, Oregon looked unstoppable, leading the nation with 54.8 points per game and never scoring fewer than 42 points.

That remains Oregon quarterback and Heisman Trophy hopeful Marcus Mariota’s only loss in 21 starts.

NOTE: Thirty years after he graduated from Stanford, John Elway’s iconic No. 7 jersey will be retired at halftime of tonight’s game against Oregon. He’ll join Jim Plunkett (No. 16) and Ernie Nevers (No. 1) as the only players whose jerseys have been enshrined by the program.College SportsKevin HoganOregon DucksStanford Cardinal

If you find our journalism valuable and relevant, please consider joining our Examiner membership program.
Find out more at www.sfexaminer.com/join/

Just Posted

A view of Science Hall at the City College of San Francisco Ocean campus on Thursday, Jan. 14, 2021. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
CCSF begins search for next chancellor amid new challenges

‘It’s arguably the biggest single responsibility the board has,’ trustee says

Some people are concerned that University of California, San Francisco’s expansion at its Parnassus campus could cause an undesirable increase in the number of riders on Muni’s N-Judah line.<ins></ins>
Will UCSF’s $20 million pledge to SFMTA offset traffic woes?

An even more crowded N-Judah plus increased congestion ahead cause concern

From left, Natasha Dennerstein, Gar McVey-Russell, Lucy Jane Bledsoe, Jan Steckel and Miah Jeffra appear in Perfectly Queer’s fifth anniversary reading on Jan. 20.<ins> (Courtesy photo)</ins>
Perfectly Queer reading series celebrates fifth anniversary

Online event features five writers, games, prizes

(Robert Greene/Tribune News Service)
As tensions grow over vaccinations and politics, California lawmakers face threats from public

Anti-vaccine speakers hint at gun violence during routine budget hearing at state Capitol

Dr. Martin Luther King in Sam Pollard’s ‘MLK/FBI’. (Courtesy of IFC Films/TNS)
The superb documentary ‘MLK/FBI’ clearly connects the past to our troubling present

Justin Chang Los Angeles Times Among the many archival materials excerpted in… Continue reading

Most Read