What is the most important game in Oregon in 2023?

It seems ironic that in the final year of the Pac-12 as we know it, we’re expecting possibly the most compelling and competitive season we’ve seen in a while, doesn’t it? Before both USC and UCLA head into the Big Ten, it’s expected that the Pac-12 winner should have a berth in the College Football Playoffs if things go according to plan.

You have teams like USC, Oregon, Washington and Utah all ranked in the top 15 at the start of the year, while schools like UCLA and Oregon State deserve to be mentioned in the conversation as well.


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With so much talent in the conference, it’s hard to find many weeks in the regular season that don’t have tremendous significance. If you go into a single game, you could face an opponent who has the potential to blow you away, ultimately hurting your chances of getting to the conference championship game when all is said and done.


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The Oregon Ducks don’t have the heaviest schedule in the conference, but that doesn’t mean they get a no-brainer, either. ESPN recently went through and attempted to identify the biggest games of the year for each team in the preseason top 25. For the Ducks, they picked the Week 7 matchup against the Washington Huskies.

It was a home loss to Washington in 2022 that ended Oregon’s eight-game winning streak and gave the Ducks their first loss in conference play. It ended in one of only two losses in the Pac-12, which proved crucial in keeping the Ducks out of the conference title game and sending them to a disappointing Holiday Bowl spot. This year, in coach Dan Lanning’s second season, expectations are higher and with this game being earlier on the schedule, it’s a key milestone in the season. With a manageable schedule ahead of this one, the Ducks should have a chance to go 6-0 here in four of six home games (including against USC). That would probably be good enough for a top five finish and so on.

This will be a massive game for Oregon and Washington, and both are lucky enough to get their bye week before the Seattle matchup. I’d bet both teams will go into this game undefeated, which would also make it an easy pick for Washington’s biggest game of the year.

The Huskies will be hoping their Oct. 14 game against Oregon at Husky Stadium won’t be season-defining because it’s so early (Game #6), but it’s being framed as a game that could set the trajectory for that, as well that’s year can be. This is a team — considering they returned to offense after success in 2022 — with valid offseason playoff ambitions, and a loss here would more or less take that off the table. And even if the playoffs disappear from the picture, this is a key early-season Pac-12 game that will likely be pivotal in the standings.

There’s a deep-rooted history between Washington and Oregon, and it’s arguably the best rivalry in the Pacific Northwest. With both teams expected to be among the nation’s best in 2023, it’s no surprise that all eyes will be on this clash again.

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Story originally appeared on Ducks Wire

Source : sports.yahoo.com

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