After Oregon took its plummet off the cliff of 2016, it was easy for all of us to forget how beautiful is was at the top of that cliff. We tumbled head over foot through rock, tree, and moose droppings, broke every bone in our bodies, and landed in a heap at the bottom of the crevasse a shell of our former selves. But the top of that cliff is still breathtaking. Let’s go back to when we were up there, beating the holy hell out of teams without remorse.
- Margin of victory isn’t everything - yeah, a particularly lopsided score looks good in print, but there’s more to a good ass-beating than just “a lot to a little”. Historical significance, rivalry, the players involved, and even the intangibles and legends to the game play a big role here.
- There is some recency bias here, but Oregon’s entire football history is recency bias. We only started being good at this sport like twenty years ago, and we really only started crushing teams in the 21st century.
- If I was at the game, it’s going to rank higher than I would if I wasn’t at the game. So if a game seems ranked a little too high, it’s probably because I was sloppy drunk in the student section screaming at Joey Harrington to take me to bed or lose me forever.
Honorable Mention: 1997 Las Vegas Bowl - Oregon 41, Air Force 13
Oregon scored on its first two offensive touches, an Akili Smith to Pat Johnson pass and a Saladin McCullough run. They had two other scoring drives that took less than a minute; this game was 20 years ahead of its time.
Honorable Mention: 1996 - Oregon 49, Oregon State 13
Tony Graziani and company honor the 100th Civil War by beating the hell out of the Beavers in Corvallis. IT’S A CELEBRATION!
#10: 2005 - Oregon 56, Oregon State 14
Jonathan Stewart runs all over the Beavers in a fog so thick that the Autzen fans in the endzone couldn’t see the 50 yard line. This game was weird and silly and it was my first Civil War in Autzen so it makes the list.
#9: 2010 - Oregon 72, New Mexico 0
Cupcake opponent, but significant because Kenjon Barner rushed for five touchdowns, and Cliff Harris took two punts back for touchdowns, in the first half. Silliness, just silliness.
#8: 2007 - Oregon 55, Washington 34
This game is known for two things: the debut of the “Stormtrooper” uniforms, and the then-school-record 465 rushing yards where Washington seemingly picked the wrong guy on the zone read every single time. Both Jonathan Stewart and Andre Crenshaw rushed for over 100 yards, and Dennis Dixon had 99. The Huskies hung around on the scoreboard, but this one didn’t feel as close as it looks.
#7: 2012 - Oregon 62, USC
Kenjon Barner was breathtaking in this game. It was the greatest individual performance in Oregon football history, IMO: a school-record 321 yards and five touchdowns, and he ran with an intensity that USC just couldn’t match. Now, this doesn’t look like a “blowout”; after all, USC cut the lead to three points late in the third quarter. But I was there. This game was a blowout, over when Oregon went up 21-3 in the second quarter. USC was never gonna get the stop the needed to take the lead; Kenjon Barner wasn’t going to allow it. And yeah Lane, I’m taking that last touchdown off the board.
#6: 1916 - Oregon 97, Willamette 0
The 1916 Rose Bowl champions gave up 17 points the entire season. One hundred years later, Oregon would honor this team by giving up 70 to their rivals in some special uniforms. So...
#5: 2009 - Oregon 42, California 3
Reports of Oregon’s death were greatly exaggerated. Coming into this game, Oregon’s season to date looked as follows:
- Loss @ Boise State where the biggest offensive showing came from LeGarrette Blount falcon-punching some idiot into oblivion.
- An two-point home win over Purdue
- A seven-point win over Utah where Jeremiah Masoli was 4-20 passing
Cal, on the other hand, entered this game ranked sixth in the country after beating the hell out of Minnesota, Maryland, and Eastern Washington.
Then, Ed Dickson decided he’d score a gazillion touchdowns.
#4: 2010 - Oregon 52, Stanford 31
The Ducks stake Andrew Luck to a 21-3 lead, and then score 49 of the last 59 points. Chip Kelly’s ballsy onside kick call sparks the rally, Darron Thomas had 345 total yards and four touchdowns, and LaMichael James ran for 257 and three TDs as he officially announced his Heisman candidacy to a national audience.
#3: 2007 - Oregon 39, Michigan 7
This game has achieved legendary status at this point: Chip Kelly announced himself to the country as an offensive mad genius, Dennis Dixon threw a couple absolutely gorgeous deep balls to Brian Paysinger and Derrick Jones that made you wonder why he ever split QB1 duties with Brady Leaf, and there were 100,000 surrender cobras inside Michigan Stadium midway through the second quarter. The fake Statue of Liberty was just the cherry on top. Oregon would go on to capture its first national championship, with a Heisman-winning Dixon at the helm.
#2: 2008 - Oregon 65, Oregon State 38
Perhaps the greatest game in Addicted to Quack history because it caused a pathetic, sad, ugly child to quit the Internet forever, the 2008 game is unquestionably Oregon’s greatest win in the Civil War. With the Beavers needing a win to clinch the Pac-12 title and a Rose Bowl berth, Oregon came into Reser Stadium and burned the place to the ground. I’ve told this story many times before, but the 2nd quarter of this game, culminating with Jeremiah Johnson’s TD scamper and Walter Thurmond III’s pick-six, is the most unforgettable quarter of football I have or will ever watch. Oregon nearly hung 700 yards of offense on a team that thought it deserved a conference championship. Big Brother always gets to win.
#1: 2015 Rose Bowl- Oregon 59, Florida State 20
This game had everything the ‘08 Civil War had - high expectations, obnoxious Internet fan interactions, a trip to an even more prestigious game on the line - and so much more. Florida State was the defending national champions; the “Jameis WInston or Marcus Mariota?” debate was finally going to be settled on the field; and the overwhelming majority of ‘Nole fans had exactly zero respect for Oregon, and expected to win the game handily.
Florida State scored first, a field goal to make it 3-0. That would be their only lead of the game.
Scott Frost called a masterful offensive game in this one, and it all came together in the second half when Oregon, aided by a slew of Seminoles turnovers, outscored Florida State 41-7.
Marcus Mariota did this:
Jameis Winston did this:
By the fourth quarter, the stands at the Rose Bowl were 90% Oregon fans, giggling like idiots because a comprehensive beatdown like that just wasn’t supposed to happen. But it did. And it was magical.