Go teams, go! All of Oregon will win

Our Opinion

For the first time, the Rose Bowl is on the line for whichever team wins today's annual Civil War game between the University of Oregon and Oregon State University.

With that large of a prize at stake, the game deservedly has been amped up into something approaching Oregon's version of the Super Bowl. The national attention these two schools are receiving is gratifying, and we hope the fans and players represent the state of Oregon well by keeping it all quite civil.

But this game is important to Oregon's two most prominent universities for reasons other than an appearance in the Rose Bowl. The quality of a university's athletic program reflects, in part, the ambitions of that institution.

We sometimes regret the amount of money and attention that is placed on sports, and we wonder if it comes at the expense of academics. But having two Oregon teams in exclusive contention for the Rose Bowl sends a message that the players, coaches, students and administrators at these universities strive for excellence.

Such excellence - whether it's in sports or in classrooms or laboratories - should be the ultimate goal of any institution of higher learning.