On January 10, 2011, the Oregon Ducks faced the Auburn Tigers in their first national championship game appearance in school history. We all know how that story ends.
The Ducks march down the field. LaMichael James runs into the end zone for a touchdown, setting up an extraordinary leaping grab by Jeff Maehl to tie the game and likely send it into overtime. Auburn takes over with 2:33 to play. On the second play of the drive, Michael Dyer is seemingly wrapped up for a tackle and everyone, even Dyer himself, stops running. After realizing the play wasn't over, Dyer took off down the field into Oregon territory, and the rest was history.
Warning: Disturbing content below may trigger horrific memories.
It was announced on Tuesday morning that Oregon and Auburn would finally get their long awaited rematch when the two schools open the 2019 season against each other at the AdvoCare Classic at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas. The matchup will come 3,155 days after the epic 2011 BCS National Championship Game between the two schools. Those who will be on the field for the 2019 game were about 10-12 years old when the Ducks and Tigers last faced each other.
Oregon had to find new opponents for the 2018 and 2019 season after Texas A&M cancelled the home-and-home series between the two schools. This fills the 2019 void. An opponent for the 2018 slot has yet to be confirmed.
AT&T Stadium hasn't been kind to the Ducks, however. In 2011, the Ducks dropped their season opener 40-27 to LSU in the Cowboys Classic. And of course, Oregon also lost the College Football Playoff National Championship game to Ohio State this past January on the same field.
The game will be a big payday for Oregon as the Ducks will receive $3.5 million for participating. As part of the financial agreement, Oregon's athletic department much purchase and resell 6,520 tickets. At the time of the announcement, Auburn had not announced their end of the specifics when it came to the payout and ticket allotment.
For comparison purposes, when the Ducks faced LSU in the 2011 Cowboys Classic in AT&T Stadium, Oregon had a ticket allotment of 15,000 while LSU had a ticket allotment of 37,000. It is certain that due to the proximity, Auburn's ticket allotment will be significantly larger than Oregon's. Ducks fans will need to travel about 2,000 miles to Arlington while Auburn fans will travel just over 700 miles.
The matchup comes in the midst of what will be an exciting stretch of non-conference games over seven seasons that include Michigan State (2015), Nebraska (2016 and 2017) and Ohio State (2020 and 2021). One thing is certain, and that is Oregon clearly isn't afraid to test themselves early against the nation's elite programs, and 2019 will be no different.