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What does the future hold for the UO-OSU rivalry?

With the University of Oregon swapping the Pac-12 for the Big Ten, the future of the Ducks’ storied college football matchup with the Oregon State Beavers is in doubt.

Marcus Mariota and the Oregon Ducks line up against the Oregon State Beavers during the 2012 season.

For the first time in decades, the Ducks’ next visit to Corvallis is unknown.

Photo by osubeaver2000

Ducks and Beavers — two fervent fanbases floating down diverging streams.

Last week, the University of Oregon made quite a splash, announcing its intent to leave the Pac-12 athletics conference to join the Big Ten for quite a lot of cash. Oregon State University remains in the Pac-12 (which will have just four members when the dust settles).

Timeout... what does this mean for their rivalry?

Starting in the 2024/25 academic year, the state’s flagship public universities will not play each other in any sport without a concerted effort to make it happen from those in charge. There will be no high-profile women’s basketball battles. Green-vs-orange on the gridiron could be a distant memory.

However, in a press release, UO said it “will prioritize the long-held traditions, including competition across all sports with Oregon State University.”

So you’re saying there’s a chance it continues?

While arranging games in smaller revenue sports like softball or soccer should be more straightforward, some feel football could be stickier. Teams tend to schedule nonconference opponents they feel they’re more likely to beat — but we all know it’s a toss-up whenever the Ducks and Beavers take the field.

Autzen Stadium during the 2003 game between the Ducks and Beavers.

The Ducks and Beavers first played in 1894 and have met 126 times since.

Photo by PDXblazers

But what about the fans?

There are bound to be a few ruffled feathers and gnawing teeth, which will certainly add to the spiciness when the two football teams meet in Eugene on Friday, Nov. 24. Beyond that, nothing is certain.

If the schools’ athletic departments do decide to schedule the “Oregon Classic,” it could take place in early September instead of falling around Thanksgiving. Perhaps the Platypus Trophy will come to Portland for a neutral site game? It has happened seven times before — but not since 1952.

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