It’s going to be a wet, dreary day, not unlike a number of prior Civil War games in the series, and as has been the case more often than not, it will be the end of the season for Oregon State, and possibly Oregon as well.
Fortunately, the combination of 2 teams that are relatively on the same level, and both coming in off wins (the first time since 2009 that that’s happened) might mean a better Civil War than many of those dreary affairs. It’s a 3-point early line (in favor of Oregon, but at least it’s expected to be competitive to the end), and a sell-out, the first one since the Ducks were last here 2 years ago, making a stop-off on the road to the National Championship game. Even in the rain, this should look and feel like a Pac-12 College Football Rivalry game should.
Unfortunately, it will be the end of the season for us Beavers, no matter what happens. There will be no bowl of any kind for the third year in a row, and 5th time in 7 years. Considering that ~2/3 of all FBS teams make it to a bowl, and about ¾ of Power-5 teams, that means average would be going to 5 bowl games in 7 years. Instead, we will again have to settle for watching others have the fun. When you are coming off an evening as fun as last Saturday night was, the last thing you want to see is the season come to a close.
It will be bittersweet to see Victor Bolden, Gavin Andrews, Sean Harlow, Devin Chappell, Treston Decoud, Caleb Saulo, Kyle Haley, Dustin Stanton, Noke Tago, and Ricky Ortiz take the field for the last time in Beaver colors. It’s really ending too soon for them.
But we knew coming into the season this would be another disappointing year, and we knew there wouldn’t be a bowl. The good news is there have at least been multiple Pac-12 wins, and marked and measurable improvement by numerous players who will not be playing their final game for the Beavers.
Indeed, the best should be yet to come for both Marcus McMaryion and Ryan Nall. Probably Xavier Crawford and Timmy Hernandez as well. I’m looking forward to see if Oregon State can finish with another strong effort, and lay a foundation for, dare we dream?, maybe a Las Vegas Bowl run in 2017. (This is officially the first time it has ever been written that a Las Vegas Bowl run would be a dream season!)
No one expected Oregon to be in their current status, though, and with the Ducks with only 4 wins for the season, its guaranteed before the game is played that both teams will finish with losing records. That hasn’t happened for 25 years.
But as Utah found out, Oregon is still a dangerous team, and at this point, extending their winning streak in the Civil War to an unprecedented 9 games would be something to salvage the season with.
However, it would be great if those seniors leaving too soon can walk out of Reser as winners over Oregon, something no one has done in a decade. Or maybe be carried out. I don’t know how many Beavers it would take to get Harlow or Andrews to shoulder-high levels, but I’d like to give it a good try.