So, a few articles came out today that provoked the jealousy of Beaver fans.
First, the details of Mike Bellotti's new contract have been finalized, and he could end up making over $3 million a year after all incentives are included. This brought forth some ridiculous statement from Paul Buker, an Oregonian employee, over at the Beavers Beat Blog at the Oregonian, including the comment that possibly Riley should swap salaries with Bellotti if he wins the Civil War this year.
There was also an incredibly ridiculous article over at The Daily Barometer, The OSU student paper, about how Oregon football only receives national attention for their uniforms, and are only voted into the Top 25 due to this, not because of actual on the field performance or the talent of the football team, going so far as to state,
The University of Oregon takes a year-in and year-out mediocre football program and brings it to the forefront of the national sports media because of its out-of-control antics and oddball uniforms. At no point has Oregon ever been good enough to compete for a national title, yet the Ducks have gotten to the point where their school gets kicked around among the nation's top 15 every now and then.
Now, I could easily dismiss this lunacy, and ignorance of basic facts, but it brings up a great question? Why the hell do OSU fans act like this? Why do they compare OSU to Oregon every 5 minutes. Oregon State has gotten the better of us in recent years in the Civil War, sure, but the two programs have had similar on the field results.
If we want to set the arbitrary cutoff as the 2002 season, when Oregon had a rough stretch (there is no comparison of 2001 and before, even including the 2000 season), lets look at the results
OSU - 47-29 (Pac 10: 28-22)
UO - 46- 29 (Pac 10: 28-22)
So, Oregon State has one more win, courtesy of an extra game in 2006. Basically, the records of these teams are exactly the same. And props to Oregon State, as what they have accomplished in an overachievement.
And much of this jealousy/resentment of Oregon from Beaver fans probably come from the feeling that Oregon gets much more exposure despite similar records.
But, despite the jersey's, etc. Oregon has been an exciting program since 2001. They have been within spitting distance of 2 national title games (2001 and 2007), competed for Pac-10 titles in 2005 and 2007, had great victories (Michigan twice and Oklahoma in controversial fashion), and had an incredibly exciting offense after we were able to get Ludwig out of town. We have had College Gameday visit Autzen twice in one season. There is excitement around the program, regardless of consistent on the field results.
Meanwhile, we can count on Oregon State to get blown out in September in a game they shouldn't and not be taken very seriously the rest of the year. They have failed to reach a bowl better than the Sun Bowl in since 2000. You haven't been able to say the words "Oregon State" and "competing for Pac-10 title" since 2000. This is not denigrating what Oregon State has accomplished. It is just acknowleding the obvious. They have not attracted excitement or national exposure because of how they have reached their end result.
Oregon has reached national attention because they have done what they have done in incredible fashion. We have seen incredible victories and losses. And like it or not, this is how attention is gained. Oregon could learn a thing or two from Oregon State, but the opposite is true.
And in the meantime, OSU fans should quit comparing themselves to Oregon every five minutes and worry about their own program.