Oregon–Washington football rivalry
|First meeting||December 1, 1900
|Latest meeting||October 8, 2016
#5 Washington, 70–21
|Next meeting||2017, in Seattle|
|All-time series||Washington leads, 59–45–5 (.564)|
|Largest victory||Washington, 66–0 (1974)|
|Longest win streak||Oregon, 12 (2004–15)|
|Current win streak||Washington, 1 (2016–present)|
The Oregon–Washington football rivalry is an American college football rivalry between the Oregon Ducks and Washington Huskies of the Pac-12 Conference in the National Collegiate Athletic Association. The respective campuses in Eugene and Seattle are roughly 350 miles (560 km) apart, via Interstate 5.
Like many other adjacent state rivalries in college football, it is sometimes referred to as "The Border War". It is also referred to as "The Cascade Clash," but more commonly it is simply a nameless rivalry. The game, one of the most played rivalries in NCAA Division I FBS history, has been played regularly since 1900.
Although the schools began playing each other in 1900, the rivalry became heated from Oregon's perspective in 1948, when Oregon and California both went undefeated in the Pacific Coast Conference. California was undefeated overall, and Oregon's only loss was at undefeated Michigan, that year's national champions, and the Ducks had seven victories in the PCC to Cal's six. The winner of the PCC, as is today with the Pac-12, played in the Rose Bowl. Oregon, led by quarterback Norm Van Brocklin and halfback John McKay, opted for a playoff game, but California declined. The tiebreaker format the PCC elected to use was that the championship team be elected by the schools. The PCC had ten member schools in 1948, six in the Northwest and four in California, so it was assumed that Oregon would be the team playing in the 1949 Rose Bowl, as even a 5-5 tie vote would be in their favor. Instead California was voted champion of the PCC, because Washington had persuaded Montana, then a member of the PCC, to vote for California, something that has not been forgotten by Oregon fans. (The PCC allowed a second bowl team that season and Oregon went to the Cotton Bowl, but lost 21–13 to hometown SMU in Dallas. California lost to twice-beaten Northwestern by six in the Rose.)
Within the last 60 years the rivalry has grown between the two fanbases. In 1962, Larry Hill of Oregon was tackled by Washington fans who had rushed onto the field at Husky Stadium while he was trying to catch the tie-breaking touchdown on the game's final play. In 1995, Washington head coach Jim Lambright unsuccessfully lobbied for the Huskies to be selected to play in the Cotton Bowl instead of the Ducks. Seattle Post Intelligencer columnist Bud Withers wrote that Lambright's actions "invited at least another half-century worth of bile from Oregon fans."
After winning four of six over Washington head coach Jim Lambright, the rivalry was given another boost in Oregon eyes when former Colorado head coach Rick Neuheisel became Washington's head coach in 1999. At the 1996 Cotton Bowl between #12 Oregon and #7 Colorado, Neuheisel called for a fake punt while the Buffaloes led 32–6 with less than five minutes left. Oregon coach Mike Bellotti was also accused of turning Neuheisel in for recruiting during the dead period. The Ducks were 1–2 against the Huskies under Neuheisel, and the rivalry grew even more when Neuheisel celebrated by taking photos and jumping up and down on the "O" in the middle of the field after a win at Autzen Stadium in 2002. Two years earlier, the Ducks' victory in 2000 in Eugene spoiled an otherwise undefeated season for the Huskies, who won the Rose Bowl and finished third in the nation. Due to Pac-10 scheduling, the teams did not meet in 2001, the first break in the rivalry since the hiatus in 1943 and 1944 due to World War II.
Through 2016, Washington leads 60–45–5 (.568). The Huskies went 18–4 from 1972 to 1993 (mostly under Don James, 15–3), but Oregon is 17–5 since 1994. The Ducks won twelve straight from 2004 to 2015, the longest run by either team in the series; the closest margin was six points (26–20) in 2015. It ended in 2016 when the fifth-ranked Huskies won 70–21 in Eugene, a game that set series scoring records for one team (70 points) and both teams (91).
|Oregon victories||Washington victories||Tie games|
- Oregon's home games against Washington were played in Portland from 1911–13 and 1926–65.
- Last tie was in 1962, overtime began in 1996 in Division I-A (none through 2016)
- Two games were played in 1945, none scheduled in 2001
- Raley, Dan (October 29, 2004). "Nothing neighborly about Huskies vs. Ducks". Seattle Post Intelligencer. Retrieved March 23, 2009.
- Linde, Richard. "The border war.". 4malamute.com. Retrieved April 28, 2011.
- "Final Coast Conference standings". Eugene Register-Guard. Oregon. November 21, 1948. p. 1.
- Strite, Dick (October 3, 1948). "Oregon suffers 14-0 loss, but shows real class". Eugene Register-Guard. Oregon. p. 1.
- Bellamy, Ron (September 19, 2003). "Ducks have been shut out of success against the Wolverines". Euegene Register-Guard. Oregon. p. B1.
- Clark, Bob (September 3, 1998). "Top Ducks". Eugene Register-Guard. Oregon. p. 3D.
- "California Bears get Rose Bowl Bid". Eugene Register-Guard. Oregon. United Press. November 22, 1948. p. 1.
- "Unofficially, its Northwestern in the Rose Bowl; Oregon would like bid". Spokesman-Review. Spokane, Washington. Associated Press. November 22, 1948. p. 11.
- "Northwestern, California get nominations to Rose Bowl". Milwaukee Sentinel. Associated Press. November 23, 1948. p. 4, part 2.
- Smith, Shelley (April 20, 2001). "Oregon-Washington: "We know they hate us"". ESPN Classic.
- "Oregon to play in Cotton Bowl". Eugene Register-Guard. Oregon. November 27, 1948. p. 1.
- Strite, Dick (January 2, 1949). "Oregon, Cal both drop bowl games". Eugene Register-Guard. Oregon. p. 1.
- Strite, Dick (October 28, 1962). "Rallying Ducks battle Huskies to tie". Eugene Register-Guard. Oregon. p. 1B.
- Conrad, John (November 14, 1995). "Ducks, Huskies fightin' again". Eugene Register-Guard. Oregon. p. 1D.
- Bellamy, Ron (January 2, 1996). "Fake punt: Ducks think it adds insult to their injury". Eugene Register-Guard. Oregon. p. 5C.
- Hansen, Chris (November 17, 2002). "Huskies party at Ducks' expense". Eugene Register-Guard. Oregon. p. 4D.
- "Ducks flying high". Eugene Register-Guard. Oregon. October 1, 2000. p. 1A.
- Nadel, John (January 2, 2001). "Huskies follow leader to bowl victory". Eugene Register-Guard. Oregon. Associated Press. p. 1E.
- Clark, Bob (November 13, 2002). "Time turns down rivalry's heat". Eugene Register-Guard. (Oregon). p. 1C.
- Clark, Bob (November 16, 2002). "Northwest rivalry resumes, no love lost". Eugene Register-Guard. (Oregon). p. 1D.
- Andrew Greif (October 8, 2016). "Oregon Ducks routed by Washington Huskies: Game at a glance". The Oregonian/OregonLive.
- College Football Data Warehouse – Oregon opponents: vs. Washington