CORVALLIS, Ore. (AP) — Although it’s no longer called the Civil War, the rivalry between Oregon and Oregon State is still heated even in a short and unusual season.
The two teams will meet Friday for the 124th edition of the rivalry, which dates back to 1894.
This season and going forward, however, the game — or the meetings between the two schools in any sport — will not be known by the Civil War nickname.
Amid racial injustice marches nationwide, the universities came together this summer and decided the name, while unintended, was too closely associated with a war meant to perpetuate slavery.
Former Oregon quarterback Dennis Dixon led the effort to drop the nickname, and former Oregon State players Ken Simonton and Steven Jackson joined in.
This season’s rivalry game is important to the ninth-ranked Ducks, who are undefeated and — potentially — vying for a spot in the College Football Playoff if everything breaks their way. Oregon (3-0) was ranked No. 15 in the first CFP rankings released this week.
Although it’s most likely a longshot, wins are key to keeping any playoff hopes Oregon might have alive.
Oregon holds a 66-47-10 advantage in the series and has won 11 of the last 12 games against the Beavers.
This year is different because usually the meeting between the two teams is played at the end of the regular season.