Stanford and Oregon have been playing one another since 1900. Stanford leads the series 46-32 but Oregon won the previous two. This game has been particularly entertaining because these teams styles have been so different over the last decade.
Stanford has gone the way of ground and pound, in the trenches football. They play time of possession and field position football. The Ducks have gone with the spread, uptempo offense to get defenses off balance and on their heels. The defense has relied on turnovers and forcing field goals instead of touchdowns inside the red zone.
For a face off that at times is on the same excitement level as rivalries like Alabama vs. LSU, it goes relatively under the radar. Despite the fantastic back and forth battles that have swung from close nail biters to blowouts and back again. While this rivalry has gone on for decades, let us just go back to 2001.
In 2001, Stanford topped the Ducks 49-42 on the road to take down Oregon, which also marked the last time that the Ducks would lose over the next seven face offs. From 2002-2007 there was only one game where the Ducks did not win by 20 points or more. Then in 2008, Jim Harbaugh’s second game against the Ducks, Stanford lost in a close 35-28 game in which Stanford seemed to be on the verge of turning things around.
From 2009-2010 Chip Kelly and Harbaugh split the series 1-1 and it took 50 points by one or the other to win the game. Keep in mind, these have been top level programs battling for dominance of the conference. Then in 2011-2012 David Shaw went to battle with Kelly and they split the their series 1-1. The stakes were high because in most cases, this would in all likelihood be the only loss of the season for one program or the other.
Mark Helfrich took over the Ducks in 2013 and has gone 2-1 against the Cardinal. But yet another change came over the programs. While last year the Cardinal was still one of the top level programs, Oregon had already been sliding out of the picture. Now both are having down years, which people will point to as a reason this rivalry does not matter or is not a great game. However, this is one of the better match ups in college football because of the history and these games usually being great to watch. Be sure to watch this game just like you make sure to watch Alabama vs. LSU. This will not disappoint, which has been the standard for these games.