Chances are, you’ve heard of this little network of college athletics known as the NCAA. If you’ve heard of it, you know they play football and you may know the Pacific Northwest – that American sector only a couple hundreds miles south of our border – is the hottest spot in the sport’s universe.
On Saturday, mecca hosts the most important collegiate game in America, as the Oregon Ducks visit the Washington Huskies in Seattle.
For the No. 2 Ducks, it’s the first game in the toughest schedule facing any national contender, and Oregon needs to escape the PAC-12 unscathed, something the’ve been unable to do since 2010.
For the No. 17 Huskies, a win against Oregon would confirm their relevance to the national discussion, and would prove the strength of this conference, which also stars the Stanford Cardinal, another undefeated, top-of-the-world western power.
A loss would leave Washington with a 3-2 record. Nothing embarrassing, but nothing special either.
Good news is, ESPN’s First Take finally acknowledged Oregon’s existence last week, although Skip Bayless’s rant against Ducks pivot Marcus Mariota shows just how little TV he watches when it doesn’t involve Johnny Manziel, Robert Griffin III, or his own highlights from the 1980’s.
(Just read his columns. The dude actually quotes himself as a source.)