Some quick notes to get you through the hours until Saturday. Many thanks to ESPN Stats & Information.
Warning, Oregon! Warning, Oregon! A team ranked in the BCS top two has lost its final game of the regular season 13 times in the previous 12 years. The last time neither of the top two teams lost on the first weekend of December was 2005.
That said: Oregon State definitely doesn’t have history on its side in the Civil War. In the history of the AP poll, AP's No. 1 is 95-3-1 when playing a game in November or December against a team which entered the game with a losing record. The last time the AP No. 1 failed to win a game in November or December against a team with a losing record was Nov. 8, 1980, when 7-0 Notre Dame went to 1-7 Georgia Tech and tied the Yellow Jackets 3-3. Since that tie, AP No. 1 is 36-0 in this situation with only five games decided by a TD or less. The average score in those games: 44.3 to 9.9.
Oregon was the first top-ranked team in the BCS standings to drop in the final four weeks of the season without losing.
Oregon leads the nation with 50.5 points per game. The Ducks have scored a school-record 555 points and are on pace to score 656 points this season in 13 games, including their bowl game. The record for most points scored by a team in a 13-game season is 652 (2005 Texas Longhorns). The Horns averaged 50.2 PPG that season. In order to break that record, Oregon would need to score 98 points the rest of the way (49.0 PPG).
Oregon’s 42 touchdown drives in under two minutes is more than 74 FBS teams have in total offensive touchdowns. The Ducks have 11 more drives that lasted less than two minutes than Oklahoma State, which ranks second in the nation.
The Ducks also have 23 TD "drives" that took three or fewer plays. Auburn is No. 2 in that category at 19.
Oregon also leads the nation with 30 TDs of 20-plus yards. Auburn in second with 26.
Oregon State QB Ryan Katz's downfield passing might be a key to the Beavers' success. In their five wins, Katz has completed 48.7 percent of his passes of 15-plus yards with four TDs and no interceptions. In the Beavers' six losses, he completed 34 percent of his downfield throws with five TDs and five INTs.
Oregon actually has a better winning percentage against the Beavers in Corvallis (.573) than at home (.519).
Oregon is trying to beat Oregon State for the third straight time. No team has won more than two straight in this series since Oregon won four in a row from 1994-97.
Oregon State has won five of the last six Civil Wars in Corvallis.
Beavers junior running back Jacquizz Rodgers has 3,793 career rushing yards. If he rushes for 129 yards against the Ducks, he will move past Arizona's Trung Canidate and former Beaver Yvenson Bernard into sixth place on the Pac-10's all-time list.
If the Ducks beat the Beavers, they will become the first Pac-10 team to go undefeated in a nine-game conference schedule.
Oregon State, which is trying to avoid its first losing season since going 5-6 in 2005, will be wearing Nike Pro Combat Uniforms. It will be a tribute to the Beavers “Giant Killers” team of 1967 that beat top-ranked USC, second-ranked Purdue and tied second-ranked UCLA. That team went 7-2-1 and finished seventh in the AP poll.
This is the 103rd edition of the Apple Cup. Washington leads the rivalry 65-31-6, including a 33-15 record since the Apple Cup trophy began being awarded in 1962. The series dates back to 1900.
Washington becomes bowl eligible with a win. The Huskies haven’t been to a bowl game since the ’02 Sun Bowl.
Washington State ranks 117th in rushing offense (89.3 YPG), 109th in scoring offense (18.8 PPG), 115th in both rushing (211.6 YPG) and total defense (457.6 YPG) and 111th in scoring defense (35.9 PPG).
The Cougars won their last game, three weeks ago against Oregon State and have not won two straight since the 2007 season (vs. San Diego State and Idaho). The Cougars have not won consecutive Pac-10 games since 2006 (vs Oregon and UCLA).
A win would be the Cougars' third this season. Over the 2008-09 seasons, Washington State went 3-22.
This is the 80th meeting between USC and UCLA, but the first since 2000 that neither is ranked for the game. USC has won 10 of the last 11 games (although they vacated the 2004 and 2005 wins). The Trojans’ only “on-field” loss came in 2006, when they entered the game as No. 2 in the AP poll and were upset 13-9 by unranked UCLA.
Both teams will wear their home jerseys. These teams play for the Victory Bell and the winning school paints the bell with their school colors. The bell is painted cardinal red right now thanks to USC’s 28-7 win last year.
Lane Kiffin is looking to win his eighth game in his first year as USC head coach. The last coach to win more in his first year with USC was John Robinson, who went 11-1 in 1976. Pete Carroll won six games his first year.
USC would be bowl-eligible this season were it not for the NCAA sanctions that prevent it from going to a bowl, so the Trojans will miss out on a bowl this season for the first time since 2000. That was the last year with Paul Hackett as head coach and the year before Pete Carroll arrived.
UCLA will miss out on a bowl for the second time in three years under Rick Neuheisel. UCLA went to a bowl every year in Karl Dorrell’s five seasons.