BtD: Given the stakes of the Civil War the past 8 years, has it become one of the premier rivalries in the country?
AtQ: I'm gonna go ahead and say no. I just don't think there's enough hate in the rivalry to send it to that level. Look at Michigan/OSU, Texas/Oklahoma, or Auburn/Alabama. Now there's some hate. Us laid back northwesterners just don't know how it's done.
Where do you think Oregon has the biggest advantage in this game? What is Oregon State's biggest advantage?
For Oregon, it's really the entire offense. Oregon's offense has been exceptional at home, and I think that will continue. Jeremiah Masoli has excelled this year at distributing the ball to the open man. While his accuracy isn't always there passing-wise, his decision making has been exceptional. The Ducks will make Oregon State cover every Duck on the field, and I just don't think they'll be able to do that consistently.
On the opposite side, OSU's biggest advantage is Jacquizz Rodgers. His power is incredible, and OSU could be very successful pounding the ball up the middle, which has been Oregon's biggest weakness this season. This should open up the play action game, and if Canfield has hit any deep throws, the Oregon defense could be in trouble.
We've seen both Washington and Washington State go from top 10 programs to abysmal in less than 10 years. Give us a reason this won't happen to Oregon.
We have a real coach who is continuing to bring talent into the program.
Is Oregon going to take that next step into elite football status? Why or why not? And when?
I think it's too soon to say. It depends on what happens with recruiting over the next few years. Oregon is making serious inroads in national recruiting, and are taking chances with some top plays. They are getting closer every year. It feels like it's only a matter of time until they pull a few of these young talents in, but you just never know.
The coaching staff is in place to bring up the talent. I don't think that Oregon will ever reach "elite" status (like USC, Florida, etc.), but I think that they can get the talent in place to make serious national runs every few years.
With the rest of the Pac10 improving, what do Oregon and Oregon St need to do to stay in the top 3 of the conference?
I think that the Ducks are set up very well to continue to stay near the top of the conference. The Ducks right now are as talented and deep as they have ever been. With a young, energetic coach that knows the X's and O's of football, I'm very excited for the future.
For the Beavers, I'm not quite sure. Every time I doubt Mike Riley, he goes and proves me wrong. But the way the Beavers play, they're in every single game they play. I personally think that Mike Riley needs to bring in a bit more talent to continue to stay near the top of the conference, but that's not how he's been successful over the past few years. I'm very interested to see how the Beavers do over the next few years, as the plan for success is so different than any other program.