Marcus Mariota and the Oregon Ducks are ready for their close-up.
According to its official Twitter account, ESPN's College GameDay is heading to the Pacific Northwest next week for Saturday's showdown between Oregon and UCLA:
Like the last time GameDay saw Oregon—eight whole days ago in Seattle—its opponent just suffered its first defeat of the season, on the road at Stanford.
But even though the Bruins were unable to win in Palo Alto, they still have more than enough talent to stay competitive in Eugene. Quarterback Brett Hundley and linebacker Anthony Barr could both, potentially, be top-five picks in the 2014 NFL draft.
Still, despite letting Washington State hang around longer than expected on Saturday, the Ducks are firing on all cylinders and should be ready for a marquee Pac-12 showdown. This should be a fun one.
GameDay chose Eugene over a relative dearth of options. South Carolina at Missouri seemed like a decent choice, but the Gamecocks' last-second loss to Tennessee put them two games back of Mizzou in the SEC East standings.
Had they won, that game would have been a battle for first place and a serious contender to land Chris Fowler and Co. on Saturday.
Beyond that, Texas Tech at Oklahoma is the only other Week 9 game between ranked teams, and despite its ramifications in the Big 12, that matchup inspires much less excitement than UCLA at Oregon.
Same goes for Tennessee at Alabama and Stanford at Oregon State, which could both be sneaky close games but don't hold a candle to Mariota vs. Hundley on a national stage.
GameDay probably got it right.
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