Pac-12 Baseball: Civil War in Oregon Receives Top Billing in Rivalry Week
The Civil War in Oregon is never civil.
The colloquial term that pits the Oregon Ducks and Oregon State Beavers is one of the oldest rivalries in the United States. The football version is tied for the fifth most-played matchup in NCAA Division I FBS history with 116 meetings dating back to 1894, with Oregon dominating the series 60-46-10 and winners of the past five.
However, this is baseball and the Beavers rule the diamond with three college world series appearances in the past eight years and back-to-back national championships in 2006-2007. The Ducks have only fielded a Division I team since the 2009 season following a 26-year lapse.
Oregon has struggled to trot out a quality team since their re-birth, reaching the postseason twice in four seasons and making the super regional round only once. The 2013 Oregon team (40-11, 19-5 Pac-12) is a far cry from teams of the past and looks to return to Omaha for the first time since 1954.
Their 40-win record may be just smoke and mirrors, as they are only 4-8 against ranked teams winning a game apiece over Cal State Fullerton, Vanderbilt, Arizona State and UCLA.
The Beavers (41-8, 20-4 Pac-12) also reached the vaunted 40-win plateau without playing ranked non-conference teams, although they won their series over conference foes Arizona State and UCLA. Oregon State has only lost two series this season, both on the road to unranked teams.
Both teams have been in the Top 10 of the four national polls all season long and will meet this weekend for bragging rights; the Platypus Trophy is only handed out to the winner of the football game.
Here is how the teams rank in this week's polls:
Oregon State Beavers (No. 1 in Pac-12)
NCAA Baseball RPI: No. 6
NCBWA Rank: No. 3
Who Will Win the Pac-12 in 2013?
Baseball America Rank: No. 6
Collegiate Baseball Rank: No. 4
USA Today Coaches Poll: No. 4
Oregon Ducks (No. 2 in Pac-12)
NCAA Baseball RPI: No. 8
NCBWA Rank: No. 6
Baseball America Rank: No. 10
Collegiate Baseball Rank: No. 6
USA Today Coaches Poll: No. 6
This will be a battle for the ages and will most likely decide the Pac-12 regular-season champion, as both teams face the bottom-feeding Utah and Washington State schools to finish off the season. There is a minute mathematical possibility that the UCLA Bruins could win the Pac-12, but I would put my money on the Chicago Cubs winning the World Series before predicting such an inane outcome.
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