You guys! The Rose Bowl is this week!! It feels like forever since the B1G Championship game that was fun for a half and then, well, you know for the second half. It is time for some more football!
The No. 8 Wisconsin Badgers (10-3 overall, 7-2 B1G) are set to take on the No. 6 Oregon Ducks (11-2 overall, 8-1 PAC-12) in Pasadena for the Rose Bowl title and it is time for us to get down to some serious previewing.
Here is Part 1 of our three-part Q&A series with Addicted to Quack leading up to the Rose Bowl. Part 2 will be entirely focused on the Ducks’ offense and Part 3 will look at the Ducks’ defense. There will be corresponding posts on ATQ from our writers here that you may want to check out as well.
Without further ado, here is Adam Chimeo of ATQ to give us a broad overview of the Ducks and their fan base!
1) If you were to go back to August and tell yourself “Oregon is going to make the Rose Bowl,” would that be happy news or disappointing news? What were Ducks fans expecting this season?
That would be awesome news, and I believe most of the fan base would agree with me. This is only year two of the Mario Cristobal era, and only the most unreasonable Duck fans are unhappy with a PAC-12 Championship and Rose Bowl appearance considering we are only four seasons removed from a 4-8 season.
Not only that, but wins over Washington, USC and Oregon State will always keep the fans happy. I saw a lot of 9-3, 10-2 preseason predictions, but to actually earn those wins and then dismantle an impressive Utah team earns Cristobal and crew a lot of credit in Eugene.
2) Are Oregon fans happy with Mario Cristobal? How are things looking on the recruiting trail? Are players being developed well?
Overall, I’d say the large majority of fans are very happy with Cristobal, especially on the recruiting front. All three of his recruiting classes were top ten in program history, and even in his first season when he was forced to split his time prepping for the Las Vegas Bowl against Boise State and saving the recruiting class put together by Slick Willie Taggart, Cristobal managed to bring in the No. 13 ranked recruiting class.
A handful of those recruits have developed into some of Oregon’s most valuable players (Penei Sewell, Jevon Holland, Travis Dye...) and Ducks like CJ Verdell, Bryson Young, Johnny Johnson III and Brady Breeze have developed due to Cristobal’s impressive staff that seem to be able to recruit and develop at an elite level.
And after Cristobal put together Oregon’s best class in program history (No. 7 nationally) Duck fans are starting to witness what highly rated players like Kayvon Thibodeaux, Mykael Wright and Mase Funa can do against a down PAC-12. The players threw their support behind him and got Cristobal the job, and at this moment he has the University, Phil Knight and the fans behind him. That being said, his next hire at offensive coordinator will be a crucial one for the program’s future.
3) After Washington (a fake UW if ever I saw one), who do Ducks fans relish beating the most? Is it still Oregon State even though they haven’t put up much of a fight against Oregon recently?
Good question. Much of the hatred towards Oregon State has disappeared since the program tanked a couple years ago, though it’s still there under the surface. Even when they beat us in 2016 it was the last domino needed to get rid of Mark Helfrich, so Duck fans don’t consider that the worst loss in the world. Beating Washington State was very cathartic, and even though USC is down winning against the Trojans is great for morale and recruiting.
Two teams that Oregon has never beaten are Auburn (0-2) and Ohio State (0-9). We failed to avenge our 2011 national championship loss to the Tigers when Bo Nix scored that miracle touchdown at the beginning of the season, but next year’s non-conference match up with Ohio State presents an opportunity for one of the biggest victories in program history.
4) What are Oregon’s best game day traditions?
The walk from campus to Autzen Stadium is scenic and a pretty fantastic part of being a Duck. The Duck riding out on a motorcycle is a great way to kick things off and “Shout” being played after the third quarter always gets the crowd going.
5) If one were to approach an Oregon tailgate in Pasadena, what would one expect to find in the spread? In the cooler? What could a Badgers fan bring to ingratiate themselves?
I think you’re seeing your typical BBQ foods (hot dogs, hamburgers, sausages, pulled pork), but since many fans come from Portland you can also expect some gourmet, foodie ingredients and condiments, also a good amount of vegetarian options including hummus.
I think the beer selection would have plenty of the cheap-os you’d see everywhere, but would also have a ton of local selections. Ninkasi, Oakshire, and Hop Valley are a few Eugene breweries, but there are countless others in the state of Oregon. Alongside IPAs, you may get a waft of Bill Walton’s stash, if you catch my drift.