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The Pac-12 hasn’t been to the College Football Playoff since Washington got thrashed by Alabama 24-7 back in 2016. I’m sure Oregon athletic director Rob Mullens knows that, but he still wants the Ducks to show Ohio State “what Pac-12 football is like” when they welcome the Buckeyes to Autzen Stadium in Eugene on Sept. 11.
That matchup was supposed to take place in Eugene last year, but due to the COVID pandemic, neither the Big Ten nor the Pac-12 played out-of-conference games. That means that this will be our chance to see the two face off for the first time since the national title game in 2015.
Mullens recently appeared on Sirius XM with Ryan Leaf and Guy Haberman. Considering the Oregon-Ohio State game is expected to be one of the best non-conference matchups of the season, it was an obvious talking point during the interview.
“This league has won more national championships, when you combine all sports, than anybody,” Mullens said. “But at the end of the day, because of the visibility of football, that carries a disproportionate share of all of these college conferences. We have to take advantage of our opportunities. A lot of those come in the postseason, but we’re going to have some great opportunities in the non-conference segment this fall.
“We’ll have one, even though it’s Game 2 and we’re focused on Game 1 … but the chance to take a trip to Ohio State — we would’ve loved to have them last year — but the chance to go out and compete against what many believe will be a top three, top five team on the road, will give us a chance to show what Pac-12 football is like.”
Hopefully it’s not the same Pac-12 we’ve seen in the previous matchups between these two teams. The Ducks have never beaten the Buckeyes in nine attempts, including the 22-point blowout loss in 2015.
At some point, something’s got to give.
Follow Clint Lamb on Twitter @ClintRLamb.