Oregon State, Washington State presented showcase opportunity in historic matchup amid uncertain future

When No. 14 Oregon State walks into Martin Stadium in Pullman, Washington, to face No. 21 Washington State on Saturday, history will be made. Never before have the Beavers and Cougars met as ranked opponents in 97 previous matchups. WSU officials expect a sellout in front of a national broadcast television audience. This has all the elements for a college football prize fight.

“It should create the question,” Washington State athletic director Pat Chun told CBS Sports, “How are two ranked football programs with the history both programs have in the circumstances that they’re in?” 

In one corner, Oregon State comes in with its highest AP Top 25 ranking in more than a decade. In the other, Washington State gets back to business, returning to the rankings for the first time since the late Mike Leach left the program in 2019. 

While these two schools will be on opposite sides come Saturday, off the field and in the boardroom, they are fighting an uncertain future together. 

The Pac-12 was ravaged over the summer, one year after USC and UCLA stunned the collegiate sports universe by announcing their intentions to join the Big Ten in 2024. Oregon and Washington will be joining the Trojans and Bruins out East; Colorado, Arizona, Arizona State and Utah have found a new home in the Big 12; Stanford and Cal will be departing for the ACC. Oregon State and Washington State, meanwhile, have been left adrift as the last two teams remaining in the Pac-12.

DJ Uiagalelei has provided a spark to Oregon’s State’s offense.

The 10 defectors have attempted to control conference assets and utilize the funds to help with their…


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