Saturday will be Criag Robinson's first Civil War as head coach of Oregon State's men's basketball team, meaning he will emerge from the bowels of Gill Colliseum after the game batting either 1.000 or .000.
The Oregon State program, on the other hand, has a 180-149 advantage over the Ducks in the most frequently contested rivalry in NCAA history. The Beavers hold a 97-59 advantage in Corvallis, but you have go go back to the 2004-2005 season to find the last time the Beavers won a Civil War at Gill. After that, you have to go all the way back to 1998-1999 to find the last Oregon State Civil War home victory.
You see, the Beavers are 4-25 in Civil Wars since 1995, and those are the only four wins in the last ten years of the rivalry (see excerpt from OSU media guide on the right). You have to go back to the 70's and the 80's to find a time when the Beavers were winning these games on a regular basis.
The good thing for Oregon State is that first year head coach Craig Robinson has the bus headed in the right direction, and this team has already exceeded expectations in the minds of most fans. But the fans, players, and coaches aren't letting up yet-- there's still ten more regular-season Pac-10 games to play.
The confidence level is as high as it's been in a long time:
"That's what playing well does for you," Coach Robinson said after defeating Cal State Bakersfield. "When you play well, win or lose you feel better about yourself and you feel better about your chances. If you noticed, we never got out of sorts, even when [CSUB] tied it up. Half the time I wasn't even calling the plays, it was Rickey (Claitt) and Calvin (Haynes) that were deciding what we were playing, that's confidence. Shoot, I'm going to be out of a job with those guys out there."
Please stick around, Coach.
Remember, the Civil War will be played Saturday at 4:30. It will be televised on FSN, but you're encouraged to make an effort to get to Gill..... tickets are going fast, I'm told, and a sellout crowd is expected. Four-hundred tickets were sold yesterday alone.