The company line coming out of Butts-Mehre Heritage Hall is that "no contract has yet been signed," although the possibility of "home-and-home games with the Pac-10 school" essentially has been acknowledged, while the Ducks' head football coach, Mike Bellotti, apparently was more straightforward about mentioning this prospect at Oregon's spring game.
Coach Bellotti, 1983 is on the phone . . . it wants its hair back.
I will admit to finding the idea intriguing. Since no regular-season rivalries or postseason tie-ins exist between the S.E.C. and the Pac-10 the way they do with the S.E.C. and the A.C.C. or the Big Ten, Southeastern Conference squads see Pacific Coast competitors only intermittently.
Nevertheless, other S.E.C. schools have found a way to schedule teams from the West Coast in recent years: Alabama faced U.C.L.A. in 2000 and 2001, Arkansas took on Southern California in 2005 and will meet the Trojans again in 2006, Auburn likewise had U.S.C. on its schedule in 2002 and 2003, L.S.U. has faced Arizona, Oregon State, and Arizona State in succession over the course of the last three seasons, Mississippi State exchanged games with Oregon in 2002 and 2003, and Tennessee's athletic director seemingly has U.C.L.A.'s athletic director on his speed-dial.
Tennessee's penchant for making West Coast road trips led directly to the Volunteers' successful recruitment of Casey Clausen. Nevertheless, I think it would be a good idea for Georgia to play out there, anyway.
Of course, Georgia is getting in on the act, what with Arizona State on the schedule for 2008 and 2009, but the Ducks represent an upgrade over the Sun Devils, as A.S.U. has lost at least five games in seven of the last eight seasons, whereas Oregon has tallied a double-digit win total three times in the last six years.
Georgia also has some history with the Ducks, however brief. In the 1977 season opener between the hedges, the Bulldogs hosted Oregon in the first game of the Rich Brooks era in Eugene.
The Red and Black won by a 27-16 final margin, handing the Green and Yellow the first loss of what was to be Oregon's seventh straight losing season and its 14th consecutive year without a bowl game. Needless to say, the Ducks would pose quite a bit more of a challenge in the 21st century.
You're Oregon and your mama dresses you funny.
While Oregon wouldn't have been at the top of my wish list, if that's the direction the Georgia schedule makers have decided to go, I'm all for it. However, I must make one request; if we're going to let the Ducks wear those garish yellow road uniforms in Sanford Stadium, can't we at least return the favor by breaking out the red pants for the game in Eugene?