The Civil War, which was first played in 1894, is the seventh-oldest rivalry in the country. It features Oregon’s two largest institutions, Oregon State University and the University of Oregon, separated by just 40 miles of I-5 pavement.
Since the beginning, it’s been a rivalry both on and off the field. Cheer battles, blood and food drives, recycling contests: there are endless ways to compete. Even the mascots get into it sometimes – or a few times.
The Civil War whips fans into a frenzy across the state and beyond. No matter which team you support, it’s a time to come together and enjoy the power of rivalry. It’s for school pride and bragging rights. Some even say it’s bigger than any bowl game or postseason play.
The game hasn’t always been pretty. Since the beginning of the epic annual battle, there have been 10 ties, including a 0-0 final in 1983 dubbed the “Toilet Bowl.” Still, no matter how rough the weather or how good or bad the teams are, fans show up. Because the Civil War is the Civil War, and every Oregonian knows exactly how important it is.
This Saturday, the teams meet again at Reser Stadium in Corvallis, No. 15 against No. 5 in the 116th installment of this great rivalry. Will Oregon capture victory and solidify its place in a BCS bowl game? Or will the Beavers deal the Ducks their second straight loss and climb the rankings one more time?
It’s all up for grabs. Pride, rivalry, senior night.
We’ll be watching.
Some memorable moments:
- In 1998, the Oregon State snapped a four game losing streak to Oregon with a stunning 44-41 overtime win, which vaulted Oregon State into top-10 contention for the following years.
- During one stretch, the Ducks won 12 games in a row.
- In 2000, both teams met in Corvallis, Oregon was ranked No. 5 and Oregon State No. 8. A 23-13 win for the Beavers pushed them into the Fiesta Bowl, where they routed Notre Dame for their first major postseason victory in years.
- From 1936 to 1974, the Beavers captured 28 of 38. Beginning in 1998, each school exchanged wins over nine years of home team dominance. That streak was broken by Oregon State in 2007 with a thrilling 38-31 statement over the Ducks in Eugene. But since then, Oregon has won four in a row.