My picks for 10 best Civil Wars


On Saturday comes the 115th renewal of the Civil War, a rivalry that began with a 16-0 Oregon Agricultural College victory over the University of Oregon at Corvallis in 1894.

Oregon-Oregon State is the fourth-oldest rivalry in the West behind only Stanford-California and Utah-Utah State (both 1892) and Colorado-Colorado State (1893).

There have been duds (i.e., the 1983 0-0 'Toilet Bowl' tie), post-game donnybrooks between players and riots among fans, suspension of play between the schools and totally irrational behavior by coaches (i.e., OSU's Jerry Pettibone having his underclassmen practice carrying the seniors off the field after a victory at Autzen Stadium. The 0-10 Beavers won 14-3 in 1991.).

There have also some suitable-for-framing displays of gridiron greatness, too.

I'm offering what I feel are the 10 best Civil War games of the past 50 years. I've probably seen 35 of them, so my frame of reference is reasonably good.

Those of you with a little more life experience - fans of Hugo Bedzik and Mike Mikulak and the 1933 OSC Iron Men, for instance - have every right to start an Occupy Portland Tribune movement in protest.

Criteria includes relevance in terms of record and bowl and conference championship contention as well as competitiveness and how well the game was played.

In chronological order:

1962: Oregon State 20, Oregon 17

Behind soon-to-be Heisman Trophy winner Terry Baker, Oregon State rallied from a 17-6 halftime deficit to win at Parker Stadium.

OSU was 7-2 while Oregon entered with a 6-2-1 record, losing only to Ohio State in Columbus and undefeated Texas in Austin. The Beavers, with Baker and All-America receiver Vern Burke leading the way, came into the game ranked second in the nation in total offense; Oregon, with Bob Berry and Mel Renfro, was fourth. The Ducks had allowed only two TD passes all year.

Oregon scored 17 points in the second quarter, including a 50-yard TD pass from Berry to Renfro. Baker hit Danny Espalin on a TD pass on fourth-and-9 from the Oregon 13 with 11:24 left for the winning TD. Baker got a ride off the field by his teammates.

1964: Oregon State 7, Oregon 6

In the first year of both schools' membership in the Pacific Athletic Conference (then known then as the 'PAC'), the Beavers came into the game 7-2 while the 17th-ranked Ducks were 7-1-1. OSU, though, was the team with a chance to earn a Rose Bowl berth at Parker.

Oregon led 6-0 until Booker M. Washington scored a TD from two yards with 54 seconds left. Steve Clark's extra point made it 7-6. Then the Beavers watched as Doug Post's 43-yard field-goal attempt missed for the Ducks as time expired.

The Beavers (8-2) had to wait until the following Saturday's USC-Notre Dame game, after which the league's eight faculty reps would vote for the conference's Rose Bowl berth. The Trojans (7-3) beat the top-ranked Fighting Irish, but the vote was 4-4. In the case of a tie vote, the school which most recently played was eliminated. SC had gone two years earlier.

The decision didn't play well in southern California.

'It is one of the rankest injustices ever perpetrated in the field of intercollegiate athletics,' fumed SC athletic director Jess Hill. LA Times sports writer Sid Ziff suggested the Trojans withdraw from the PAC.

It didn't help when Oregon State got buried 34-7 by Michigan in the Rose Bowl game.

1971: Oregon State 30, Oregon 29

Both teams were mediocre (OSU came in 4-6, UO 5-5) but it was a well-played, see-saw contest that featured six lead changes. In front of 43,000 at Autzen Stadium, Oregon State won its eighth straight Civil War.

UO junior QB Dan Fouts threw for two touchdowns and OSU senior fullback Dave Schilling ran for three scores, but it was Bill Carlquist's TD on an option pitch from six yards out that clinched it with 1:40 left.

It turned out to be the final game for Oregon coach Jerry Frei, in no small part due to his 0-5 Civil War record.

1994: Oregon 17, Oregon State 13

In the last of Rich Brooks' 18 seasons at Oregon coach, the Ducks entered the game 8-3 and on a five-game win streak, with a chance to sew up the school's first Rose Bowl bid in 37 years.

Oregon State (4-6) was playing for the chance to win five games for the first time in 23 years.

It was a great defensive battle at Parker Stadium, and the Beavers led 13-10 in the fourth quarter. But Danny O'Neil led a 70-yard scoring drive that culminated with a 19-yard TD on a screen pass to Dino Philyaw, and the Ducks were on their way to Pasadena.

1998: Oregon State 44, Oregon 41 (2 OT)

For my money, the greatest game in the history of the series.

Oregon State won at Parker despite an incredible performance by UO QB Akili Smith, who completed 35 of 53 passes for 430 yards and four TDs. OSU's Jonathan Smith (303 yards passing) and Ken Simonton (four TD rushes) had big days, too.

The Beavers thought they had won after the first overtime when a fourth-down UO pass fell incomplete, and students rushed the field to celebrate. But a pass-interference penalty had been called, giving the Ducks new life. It took at least 10 minutes to clear the field.

After play resumed, Oregon scored and it was on to the second extra session. Then Simonton scored on an 18-yard run to give the Beavers victory over the 15th-ranked Ducks, Mike Riley's first in the rivalry.

2000: Oregon State 23, Oregon 13

Fifth-ranked Oregon and eighth-ranked OSU went head to head at Reser Stadium, with the Pac-10 title, BCS bowl considerations at stake and a national television audience watching on ABC.

Smith threw TD passes of 31 and 49 yards to Robert Prescott in the first quarter as OSU set the stage for the school's first 11-win season including its Fiesta Bowl rout of Notre Dame. UO QB Joey Harrington had six turnovers - five interceptions and a fumble - with three of the picks by Beaver safety Jake Cookus.

2001: Oregon 17, Oregon State 14

Oregon came in with a 9-1 record and a No. 4 national ranking, needing to win to claim the Pac-10 title. It was a great defensive battle on a nasty weather day at Autzen, and through three quarters, the Ducks had only 143 yards in total offense.

Keenan Howry's electrifying 70-yard punt return in the fourth quarter brought Oregon back from a 14-10 deficit. OSU had a chance to tie or go ahead when Harrington fumbled and the Beavers recovered at the UO 33 with 1:49 left. But Rashad Bauman intercepted a Smith pass to ice the win, and the Ducks were headed to the Fiesta Bowl and a 38-16 blowout win over Colorado.

Harrington was only 11-for-22 for 104 yards passing and was sacked three times for 34 yards in losses, but Maurice Morris rushed for 102 yards and a TD on only 15 carries to spearhead the Oregon offense.

2007: Oregon State 38, Oregon 31 (2 OT)

The home team had won 10 in a row in the series until the Beavers broke through with the upset of the 18th-ranked Ducks at Autzen. It wasn't over until UO's Jonathan Stewart - who had a huge game with 163 yards rushing on 39 carries - was stopped on fourth-and-1 in the second overtime.

With Yvenson Bernard missing due to injury, little-used senior Matt Sieversen rushed for 142 yards for the Beavers.

Oregon State was ahead 21-7 in the second quarter and threatening to blow the game open when John Reese caught an apparent touchdown pass that inexplicably was ruled incomplete by the officials. Then Alexis Serna missed a 34-yard field goal attempt to open the door for the Ducks, who stormed from behind to tie the game at halftime.

Oregon had a great chance to win in regulation, but mismanaged whether or not to spike the ball or rush the field-goal team onto the field. Matt Evensen's hurried 38-yard attempt failed, and it was on to overtime.

James Rodgers scored the game-winner on a 25-yard run off the fly sweep in the second extra session.

2008: Oregon 65, Oregon State 38

The 19th-ranked Ducks piled up 694 yards total offense to knock the 17th-ranked Beavers out of the Rose Bowl with the highest-scoring performance in Civil War history.

Oregon earned a co-Pac-10 championship with Southern Cal as Jeremiah Johnson rambled for 219 yards, including an 83-yard run, and Jeremiah Masoli passed for 274 yards and three TDs, including a 76-yarder to Terence Scott.

OSU's Lyle Moevao passed for 374 yards and tied a school record with five TD passes and Sammie Stroughter caught seven passes for 145 yards. The Beavers went without injured tailback Jacquizz Rodgers, and his replacements, Ryan McCants and Jeremy Francis, combined for only 36 yards rushing.

2009: Oregon 37, Oregon State 33

This time, the Rose Bowl was on the line for both schools for the first time in history. Oregon's LaMichael James rushed for 166 yards and three TDs. OSU's Sean Canfield also had a big day, throwing for 306 yards and two TDs at Autzen, but the seventh-ranked Ducks held Jacquizz Rodgers to 64 yards on 16 carries.

The 13th-ranked Beavers led 30-21 and 33-28 in the third quarter, but James went 52 yards for the go-ahead touchdown and Morgan Flint tacked on a 34-yard field goal in the closing minutes.