We’re taking a look at the can’t-miss games of the 2013 Pac-12 season. The Ultimate Road Trip continues.
Welcome to Week 11.
Thursday, Nov. 7
Oregon at Stanford
Sat. Nov. 9
UCLA at Arizona
Arizona State at Utah
USC at California
Colorado at Washington
My choice: Oregon at Stanford
Why: These two teams met on The Farm in 2011 with similar hype. The Ducks were explosive and the Cardinal choked, hard. Oregon left Palo Alto with a 53-30 win, wondering what all the fuss was about.
Last year, there was some buildup, but nowhere near what it was in 2011 or what it will be in 2013. Most people expected a good game, but ultimately, an Oregon victory. Especially with Kevin Hogan making his first career road start at Autzen Stadium. Sorry, Cardinal, rooks just don't win there.
But Hogan, Shayne Skov, Derek Mason et. al had other plans. Last season's showdown was a game-changer for the series. After three high-scoring affairs where the winner scored at least 50 points and the loser scored at least 30, the 2012 edition, a 17-14 overtime win for Stanford, was more smash and less spectacle. Just as Oregon dictated the game in 2011, Stanford dictated the game in 2012. There are certainly plenty of "what if" moments to take away from last year's meeting. A controversial call. A missed field goal (or two). A missed block. A shoestring tackle.
Whatever. It's over, and it was a heck of a football game. And in the process, Stanford didn't just earn a measure of national respect. The Cardinal simply took it.
Oregon wants it back.
So what's on tap for 2013? Probably more of the same. Oregon is going to do what it does best -- run as many plays as possible and dare opponents to keep up with its ridiculous pace. The Cardinal will do what they do best -- dare people to try to dictate to them.
Both teams will start the season ranked in the top 10 -- possibly the top 5 -- and there are few out there who don't believe the road to the North Division runs through either Oregon or Stanford. So more than likely your winner here will be the North's representative in the Pac-12 title game.
As of today, this looks like the marquee game in the Pac-12 in 2013 -- and one of the most highly-anticipated games of the 2013 college football season. There are plenty of sidebars that will likely carry into November as well; BCS implications, Heisman hopes for Marcus Mariota/De'Anthony Thomas.
With these teams splitting their past four matchups, each taking one at home and one on the road, the stage is set for another fantastic showdown that the country will be watching.