The annual "Civil War" rivalry between the Oregon State Beavers and Oregon Ducks resumes in college football's Week 13.
This timeless tradition is incredibly popular, but I've uncovered 10 facts that are both intriguing and under-reported.
When the Beavers (3-8, 3-5 in Pac-12) and Ducks (9-2, 7-1) square off in this 2011 matchup, you should understand the rich history that has preceded it.
The Beaver State's two most accomplished programs were established in 1893.
When the University of Oregon fielded its first team in 1894, Oregon Agricultural College was on its schedule.
OAC's one year of actual game experience showed in a 16-0 victory at home. With few exceptions, the schools have met in every season since.
In all, the Beavers—under four separate university names—and Ducks have clashed on 114 occasions. Their upcoming faceoff will tie the "Civil War" with Auburn-Georgia as the seventh-most-played rivalry in college football history.
The "Big Game" between the Stanford Cardinal and California Golden Bears is commonly misconceived as the West Coast's longest-tenured series. However, their 114th meeting was last week, and the next installment won't be until 2012.
Oregon State alum George Edmonston Jr. writes that originally "the Civil War game had no name."
Usage of the nickname can be traced back at least to former Beavers head coach Capt. John W. McEwan in the early 1930s.
Coverage of the 1937 rivalry game, though, has been credited with popularizing "Civil War." More specifically, Oregon State College students recapped their team's win 14-0 in the following spring's yearbook.
Oregon has a 58-46-10 all-time record versus the Beavers, but in the 1937-2010 interval, Oregon State holds a 36-34-3 advantage.
The 1938 student publication added "Civil War" to the vernacular of Oregon-based college football fans. Also, it nearly coincided with the start of a four-decade stretch of Orange and Black dominance.
In 1936, Oregon State Agricultural College (as it was known at the time) interrupted a streak of four consecutive rivalry victories by the Oregon Ducks.
The Beavers went on to blank the Ducks by a combined 48-0 score over three straight matchups and win nine of the next 10 installments, ending in 1946. Looking at it with a broader scope—from 1936 through 1974—Oregon State was a dominant 28-8-2 against OU.
Oregon State and Oregon both have terrific mascots, but it is the latter's duck that first became a tradition and has since achieved more national prominence.
This adorable white duck named "Puddles" was introduced in the 1930s, while the first official reference to "Benny Beaver" came in summary of the 1941 OSU homecoming.
Hijinks surrounding the "Civil War" have turned serious before and after several games.
In previous years, fire has been involved, but one nonviolent prank stands out.
In 1957, members of Oregon's Theta Xi fraternity impersonated reporters and kidnapped the women of Oregon State's homecoming court! They stashed them at a parent's house overnight as news of the incident spread around the state.
The "hostages" were released unharmed the following afternoon at the insistence of OSU.
Featuring both beaver and duck features, it's appropriate that a platypus represents this series.
The carved trophy was designed by a University of Oregon art student in 1959 and claimed by the Civil War winner through 1961. Then it disappeared.
The Platypus Trophy was stolen a number of times in the early 1960s and consequently abandoned as a reward for the series victor.
It changed hands many times in the following years, but remained on university grounds. Following an in-depth search, it was discovered in a closet inside OU's McArthur Court in 2005.
On Saturday, it will be used for its original purpose.
The state of Oregon isn't particularly rich in football talent. These coaching staffs frequently travel south to California and east to Texas for their impact players.
Of the Beavers' 31 commits from the class of 2011, 17 were plucked from California.
Meanwhile, Oregon stars quarterback Darron Thomas and running back LaMichael James are Texas natives.
The majority of these programs' current rosters are comprised of products from these two hotbeds.
Neither Oregon State nor Oregon has been held under 14 points in any "Civil War" game over the past decade.
Moreover, the Beavers and Ducks have combined to score at least 54 points in every meeting since 2002.
Considering this recent history, it may be hard to believe that these teams used to actually play defense against one another.
However, just look to the early 1990s. Between 1990 and 1995, neither program mustered more than two touchdowns in any matchup.
Rivalries like this one are often taken too seriously. Ultimately, the players and coaches for these universities are where they are because they were given an opportunity to benefit themselves.
Rich Brooks spent his college football playing career in Corvallis and spent several stints as a coach there in the 1960s and 1970s.
But when a head coaching position opened up nearby, Brooks left the program. It just so happened that his new job was with the struggling Oregon Ducks.
He ended up staying 18 seasons until the NFL's St. Louis Rams came calling.
By FBS standards, the home stadiums that alternately host the "Civil War" are undersized. Honestly, though, seating capacity means nothing.
In 2011, the series returns to 54,000-seat Autzen Stadium in Eugene. With standing room included, Oregon can squeeze over 60,000 inside, which is still an unimpressive total.
However, the venue's architecture provides an "Autzen bounce" that redirects crowd noise to the field. It has been touted as the toughest place to play for visiting college football teams.
The number of participants is unimportant—it's the emotion that supporters invest on game day that makes a difference.
Oregon State and Oregon fans have made this rivalry one of the nation's best. Week 13's installment will be great as always.