Washington has lost to Oregon 12 times in a row. But that streak is likelier than not to end this week, with the No. 5 Huskies coming off a blowout of Stanford and Oregon 2-3. The Huskies are favored by nine points in Eugene.
The Huskies were great in the 1990s, but that was a long time ago. Oregon didn’t take off until the turn of this decade, so the teams’ runs near the top of the sport have rarely coincided.
While the Ducks have been great, the Huskies haven’t been, so Saturday’s meeting in Eugene (7:30 p.m. ET, FOX) feels like a chance for a UW breakthrough.
Here’s a collection of things that show how long it’s been since the last Washington win over Oregon, which came on Nov. 1, 2003.
We tried to pick Pacific Northwest stuff.
1. Pete Carroll had not yet won a Super Bowl with the Seahawks, let alone won a BCS Championship, let alone had a BCS Championship vacated.
2. Chip Kelly was the offensive coordinator at New Hampshire. He’d previously been a lower-level assistant in Eugene. But this was before Kelly got to Oregon, made beautiful music with QB Dennis Dixon and brought the Ducks to the brink of a national title, and long before he left for the NFL’s Eagles and then 49ers. In 2003, Kelly was four years from even becoming the Ducks’ coordinator.
3. Ichiro had completed the first half of his record-tying 474 hits in consecutive seasons.
4. Chris Petersen was only three years removed from Oregon’s staff. By the time Petersen got to Washington as the head coach, he’d gone an outrageous 92-12 at Boise State. But in 2003, Petersen was Boise’s offensive coordinator, a few years after he’d served as Oregon’s wide receivers coach. (Oregon head coach Mark Helfrich was the QBs coach at Arizona State.)
5. THIS STREAK IS SO OLD, FRASIER WAS STILL AIRING NEW EPISODES WHEN IT STARTED. Frasier is set in Seattle, you see.
7. Macklemore — of Macklemore & Ryan Lewis fame — had not yet met Ryan Lewis.
8. Future Pac-12 member Colorado was truly getting into the swing of its post-’90s collapse. Future Pac-12 member Utah was a year from a Fiesta Bowl run under Urban Meyer and his semi-interim, Kyle Whittingham, who’s still around. (These teams are on a 2-0 streak against Oregon after years of Duck dominance.)
9. The former coaches game is fun:
- UW’s 2003 coach, Keith Gilbertson, would last one more year and later retire as an NFL scout.
- Soon-to-be-fired UW coach Tyrone Willingham was even sooner to be fired at Notre Dame. He’d later join the Playoff committee.
- Future-former UW coach Steve Sarkisian was on the first of his three separate stints at USC. He’s now at Bama.
- Marques Tuiasosopo, former Huskies hero QB and future post-Sark interim, was playing for the Raiders in 2003.
- Oregon’s part of this is boring. They’ve had the same coaching tree since 1976.
10. The Portland Trail Blazers had just begun cleaning up their three-year-long "Jail Blazers" image, with new president Steve Patterson leading the overhaul. He’d later become the Texas Longhorns’ failed athletic director.
11. Mike Riley had just returned as head coach at Oregon State after a stint with the Chargers. He almost lasted in Corvallis through the entirety of the streak to this point, but he left for Nebraska.
12. At Washington State, longtime assistant Bill Doba was leading the Cougars to their third top-10 season in a row! Nothing but sunshine and roses since then, too!
13. Jake Browning was 7. The sophomore Washington quarterback who will take the field this weekend was a small child. (Oregon’s Marcus Mariota, now a second-year pro, was 10.)
14. Stephenie Meyer had just signed a deal for the books that would lead to the Twilight movie series, which would last long enough for Oregon to finally beat a ranked Washington again, in 2012. Oh, it was set in Washington, and parts were filmed in Oregon.
15. Marshawn Lynch was a high school football player, basketball player, track athlete, and wrestler. He would later become a mountain climber. (Russell Wilson was a Virginia high school freshman.)
16. Portlandia was still eight years away from air and about 11 years from drawing a public denouncement by one of its settings.
17. Oregon’s QB was Kellen Clemens. Oregon hadn’t yet moved toward its infatuation with running quarterbacks, and Clemens hadn’t yet been a member of five different NFL rosters.
18. The 2008 "Crapple Cup," pitting 1-10 Washington State against the 0-11 Huskies, had yet to happen. To be fair, the same goes for Oregon giving up a 31-point comeback to TCU.
19. The Zune was three years away from release. Redmond, Washington’s greatest shame was yet to be revealed.
SB Nation went one-on-one with Ed Orgeron, the most changed man in football and the Louisiana native with a shot at his dream job.
The list of Hurricane Matthew adjustments now includes LSU-Florida’s postponement or cancelation or whatever, which is a damn mess, and Georgia-South Carolina cordially moving to Sunday afternoon. Football on a Sunday afternoon! What’ll we think of next?
The three keys to the game of the weekend, in which Bill Connelly finds Texas A&M and Tennessee are more similar than one might think.
Our confidence picks chart for the weekend’s four biggest games. I’m leaning hard on Bama over Arkansas, but so is everybody.
Podcast Ain’t Played Nobody talks Week 6 and Charlie Strong’s predicament.
Gary Barnett, who took Northwestern and Colorado to big bowls and left CU amid scandal, has some pretty stern takes about Strong.
THE END OF DAYS IS HERE. Urban Meyer said Indiana’s defense is better than Oklahoma’s, AND HE’S PROBABLY RIGHT.
Barry Switzer’s case against Houston joining the Big 12 is gentle and diplomatic. LOL, no, it isn’t.
More likable among Ohio voters than Donald Trump, at the moment: the University of Michigan, per a new poll.
Last night: Memphis beat Temple and Louisiana Tech beat Western Kentucky in two games that were far more entertaining than whatever the NFC West trotted out.
Tonight: Clemson at Boston College, a Boise State revenge game at New Mexico, and a couple others.
As always on a Friday, visit your school’s SB Nation blog for Week 6 stuff. There’s too much to link to in here!
PREVIOUS: Your Week 6 Watchability Grid, updating to account for the hurricane.