(1) Florida State - Rose Bowl 2015 [Oregon 59 - Florida State 20]
Why It Should Win - In retrospect, it's pretty fitting this game was the pinnacle of the Duck's ascent on the college football landscape. The first ever playoff game in the Rose Bowl; a place that had eluded a Duck victory for almost a century until about 3 years earlier. Playing an undefeated defending National Championship power from the state of Florida. Everyone was expecting this to be the slug-fest of the playoffs, and it was until the third quarter and a rash of Seminole turnovers finally led to this.
Sometimes when you're experiencing greatness you just know it. With 12:28 remaining in the game and Oregon had just scored its fourth straight touchdown after FSU had committed its fourth straight turnover, you just knew you had seen it. In hind sight, that greatness was amplified because of #8 on the Oregon sideline, but that didn't take anything away from what everyone on the team had contributed on that day. Tyner rushing for 124 yards on 13 carries. Carrington hauling in 7 catches for 165 yards (23.6 yds/catch... wow) and two touchdowns. The defense creating 5 turnovers and consistently giving Oregon's offense the ball with short fields to work with.
Greatness, all of them.
So when you're ever watching games and think to yourself, what would this team look like if everyone played great on the same day, you just have to think back to this game, and that's why it should be considered the greatest game in Oregon history.
(1) UW 1994 - The Pick [Oregon 31 - Washington 20]
Why It Should Win - Iconic. If you're going to sum this game up in one word, that word is iconic. There have been some that have tried, but there is no possible way of imagining the Oregon Ducks football program without this game.
It changed everything.
Before this game, Washington had won 17 of the previous 21 match ups. After this game, Oregon won 17 of the next 21 match ups. Oregon went to 4 Rose Bowls, 2 National Championship games, and won 7 conference titles. Washington went to 1 Rose Bowl, made it to a playoff game, and won 3 conference championships.
Oregon saw an influx in national attention, booster support, fan attendance, and the trajectory of the program followed suit. The Ducks used all of that to expand Autzen Stadium, build state of the art education, practice, and workout facilities for its athletes. They focused that national attention on recruiting and eventually brought in their first Heisman trophy winner. They built a reputation for fun, fast, and innovative football that turned eyeballs and opened up wallets to grow the program into a national power.
Many joke about Oregon football not existing before 1994, if you compare the 23 years since to the 100 that came before, it didn't. There have been 1,175 games in Oregon's history, but there is only one game, and one play that Oregon replays on that massive scoreboard, bought with everything the program created after it, before each home game. That's why it should be considered the greatest game in Oregon history.
There you have it. The arguments are laid out for why each game should be considered Oregon's greatest game. So vote below for the one you think should win, and leave a comment about why.