Civil War Musings

— As you know, the Civil War will decide the Pac-10’s Rose Bowl representative. It’s a War for the Roses, and there will be nothing civil about it.

For anybody who grew up in this part of the country, this is a rather stunning turn of events. Oregon once went 25 years (1964-88) without a bowl bid. Not a Rose Bowl bid, any bowl bid. Oregon State once had 28 consecutive losing seasons, and the Beavers haven’t been to the Rose Bowl since the 1964 season.

Why, in 1983, the Civil War resulted in a 0-0 tie — the last 0-0 tie in college football. I’m old enough to remember that game, which means this year’s matchup is like manna.

— John Canzano of The Oregonian had a nice column and a nice anology:

Consider both the Beavers and Ducks find themselves high above the rest of the conference right now, looking down as if they’re sitting on top of the highest tree in the big forest. But their method of getting to the tree top came so dramatically different.

Oregon, with influential boosters and bold thinking, basically bought an aerodynamic jumpsuit and a catapult. The Ducks vaulted themselves to the highest branch with ingenious marketing and recruiting prowess, and seizing opportunity when it presents itself. They had some trials, and setbacks, but overcame, and should be proud they now find themselves on top.

Oregon State meanwhile bought a seed, planted it, and watered it. Then the Beavers sat on the Earth and waited for a decade. The tree grew beneath them, lifting them with it. And they, too, should be proud that they now find themselves looking down at the rest of the conference.

— During the course of a magical season, not every important moment is as memorable as, say, Kenny Wheaton’s interception that triggered the Ducks’ Rose Bowl run in 1994. Thus, we bring you Nate Costa.

Costa is Oregon’s holder on place-kicks. After the Ducks scored with six seconds remaining Saturday at Arizona, he dug a terrible snap out of the dirt on the extra point that tied the game. For that, he was named Pac-10 special teams player of the week.

Kudos to Oregon for nominating him, and kudos to the conference for honoring him. It was an inspired choice.

— If my memory serves me, I believe the Pac-10 announces its all-conference team prior to the final games of the year. This doesn’t make any sense, but that’s a post for another time. Anyway, if they wait until after all the games are played, I wouldn’t be surprised if the Civil War determines the all-league quarterback.

Oregon State’s Sean Canfield leads the league in passing efficiency and passing yards. Oregon’s Jeremiah Masoli is sixth in passing efficiency, but he has rushed for 619 yards and 12 touchdowns, he directs the league’s highest-scoring offense, and he was masterful in the comeback against Arizona.

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