Game day: What to expect.

No two game days are alike. From the "Trees" to the "Dog's" and now to the…"Wagons?" I'll tell you what I want, expect, and hope not to see.

While the coaches, the players, and many of the fans have been repeatedly speaking of the past two games as simply equal pieces to a twelve game pie, I think we all truly know better. Don't get me wrong, every game is a big game and Stanford, Fresno State, and the Bull Dog faithful were all quality opponents, but Oklahoma is a different animal. It brings with it a swagger, an unrivaled tradition, and a big brother attitude formed over two years, two games, and a sense of entitlement breed from decades of winning.

The Sooners will arrive in Eugene expecting rain…they'll get it. A loud and raucous crowd…they'll get it. And marketing genius in the form of bright gaudy uniforms…they may very well get that. But what they won't be expecting is what may lead to their undoing…a better football team.

I know what you're thinking, how could they (being Oklahoma) possibly lack respect for the Ducks and the football program Mike Bellotti has built? After-all, Oregon has had three 10-plus-win-seasons since the year 2000, finished second in the National Polls, played admirably in defeat to the Sooners in recent years, and is currently ranked 18th in both the Associated Press and USA Today polls.


This team, these fans, and I believe their coach all feel they're better.

You can see it in their eyes, while they're spewing cliché's regarding the levels of respect they can't help but have for their Pac-10 opponent.

You can hear it in their voice between sips of beer, during robotic odes to the locals concerning hospitality and festivity.

And you can certainly decipher it from the body language of the players, coaches, and even their faithful, strutting confidently as if certain victory lies ahead.

Maybe it does, but "maybe" is an indecisive word.

You see, I'm not convinced of the Oklahoma superiority. Sure they've got phenomenal athletes, but so does Oregon. Sure they've got a quality coaching staff, proven over time and substantiated by victories in big games, but so does Oregon. Sure they have a Heisman caliber running back worthy of national hype, but so does Oregon.

Where's the glaring difference?

Where's the show of dominance which allegedly exists?

I honestly don't know. What I do know is what I'll see on game day.

I'll see green and lots of it.

I'll see and without question hear Sooner faithful singing the praises of their "All Day" running back and how he'll certainly trample Oregon defenders on his way to the podium to accept his Heisman Trophy.

I'll see inebriated patrons displaying unearthly forms of multitasking, including throwing a wobbly spiral twenty yards across a gravel parking lot while simultaneously telling a Rhett Bomar joke to an equally intoxicated Sooner clad alum.

I'll see Oklahoma players mockingly waving their hands to the nearly 60,000 fans in Autzen, as if to say, "louder, we can't hear you."

I'll see Bob Stoops in an OU visor, a la our previously beloved "Skippy."

All of the aforementioned I expect to see, now what I'd like to see;

I'd like to see Johnathan Stewart at 100%.

I'd like to see Dennis Dixon looking ever-closer to Vince Young, while throwing the ball better.

I'd like to see eight men in the box defensively, for that would only mean the Duck corners were performing admirably.

I'd like to see Bob Stoops refusing a halftime interview by an attractive sideline reporter. One, because she's hot. Two, because he's irate over his teams abnormally large halftime deficit.

I'd like to see the Oregon coaching staff making the necessary adjustments which will almost certainly be needed to combat an early dominancy by Oklahoma's defense.

Now what I'd rather not see;

I'd rather not see Oklahoma Quarterback Paul Thompson getting outside the pocket and running amok.

I'd rather not see Brady Leaf in the game. Sorry Brady, but Dixon needs to be the man and if you're in the game it probably means something unmentionable has occurred.

I'd rather not see Adrian Peterson's rushing total exceed the amount of change in my pocket. (it will barely buy a candy bar)

I'd rather not see 20,000 fans filing into their seats at the five minute mark of the third quarter.

And I'd rather not see a single smiling Sooner on their way out of the stadium after the game.

All reasonable requests…I think.

Sure it's unlikely that all will come true, but while some may be stretches, others are quite feasible. I like Oregon's chances in this game. Their offense can be unstoppable at times, their defense, while young and inexperienced in areas, has performed better than expected to this point, and they have that twelfth man who has a history of excellence during big games…Autzen.

So while outsiders may not look kindly on the Duck's chances, I'm confident in Oregon's program, weary of elitist attitudes, and certain of what I'd like to see.

There's no "maybe" in there.

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