The No. 9 Oregon Ducks and No. 21 Oregon State Beavers face off Saturday in one of the most-anticipated matchups in the history of this rivalry. Kickoff is 12:30 p.m. Saturday and can be seen in Central Oregon on KOHD/ABC.
While the Beavers don’t have a shot at the Pac-12 title, a win could dramatically improve what bowl game they are invited to.
For the Ducks, a shot at facing USC for the conference title and a potential Rose Bowl berth are on the line.
To get there, the math is simple. If the Ducks win, they are in. They’ll have only one loss in the conference while everyone below them will have at least two. But if Oregon loses, it opens the door to the Washington Huskies — and it could mean several hours of watching, waiting and hoping.
According to the Pac-12, Oregon still gets in if the 7-4 Washington State Cougars beat No. 13 Washington in the Apple Cup. That game doesn’t kickoff until 7:30 p.m. Saturday.
But even a Washington win alone isn’t enough to get the Huskies in, according to the Pac-12. Since UCLA beat Cal Friday afternoon, they also need 1-10 Colorado to beat No. 14 Utah Saturday.
And, yes, even Utah has a chance to make it in despite their 20-17 loss to Oregon last week.
Utah has to beat Colorado (kickoff at 1:00 p.m.), have the Beavers beat the Ducks and have the Huskies beat Washington State. That would create a 3-way tie with a 7-2 conference record between Oregon, Washington and Utah. Because UCLA beat Cal, Utah would then get the edge due to its strength of conference record.
If Cal had won Friday, Utah would have been eliminated.
So even if the Ducks lose, the odds are ever in their favor, as they say in “The Hunger Games.”
If Oregon wins Saturday, they will be the designated home team against USC. The championship game is Friday, Dec. 2, at 5:00 p.m. in Las Vegas.