The other day the local sports radio station was discussing college sports in the northwest generally, and the subject of the rivalry between my alma mater the University of Oregon Ducks and the hated Oregon State Beavers came up.
One of the on-air personalities said, "no doubt about it, Oregon State has the better football program...nobody other than USC has won more games over the past five seasons."
Well, that's not true. Must be wishful thinking from a sour Husky-lover.
Yes, it is true that USC has dominated in Pac-10 college football. No question there.
But, on the question of UO vs. OSU, the realities are that over the past five football seasons:
- UO has won 41 football games, OSU has won 40...so, who has won more games? The Ducks.
- UO has finished ranked #9 (2008), #23 (2007) and #12 (2004) while OSU has finished #18 (2008), #25 (2007) and #21 (2006)...so, who has finished with higher rankings? The Ducks.
- UO football finished 2nd in the Pac-10 in 2008, fourth in 2007, fifth in 2006, second in 2005 and fifth in 2004. OSU finished third in 2008, third in 2007, third in 2006, seventh in 2005 and fourth in 2004. So, a mixed bag, and clearly not enough to back up the "OSU is a better program" brag. OSU is more consistent as the third best Pac-10 program, but Oregon has more top 2 finishes over the past five seasons.
- It is true that OSU has won 3 of the past 5 "Civil War" games, so give them their due. But it also needs to be noted that those wins were very, very close games (2 were OT wins) while the two Oregon wins were absolute blow outs...including the UO win in the recently concluded season. So again, not a clear indication that "OSU is the better program" by any stretch.
So, there you have it...proof that the statement "Oregon State is clearly a better football program than Oregon over the past five seasons" is false. You can see that in fact, the Oregon Ducks have won more games and finished higher in the season-ending rankings over the past five seasons than the Oregon State. Meanwhile, other typical measures to compare the two are a wash at best.
Sorry for the tangent everybody, but Duck honor needed to be defended...this needed to be set straight.