Cross your fingers and hope there's no cover jinx, Oregon Ducks fans, because quarterback Marcus Mariota is on the cover of this week's Sports Illustrated.
The cover story is about how and why the Pac-12 is changing, as No. 2 Oregon (8-0) and fifth-ranked Stanford (7-1) prepare to face off in the Pac 12's game of the year in Palo Alto on Thursday, Nov. 7.
The Oregon-Stanford rivalry never warranted any cool nicknames like The Iron Bowl (Alabama-Auburn) or The Red River Rivalry (Texas-Oklahoma) or The Game (Michigan-Ohio State). And the Ducks and the Cardinal never had the national spotlight on their intense coaching matchups the way Bo Schembechler versus Woody Paige or Bobby Bowden versus Steve Spurrier did.
It was only over the last few years that the Ducks versus the Cardinal took on any type of significance outside the Pacific time zone, Sports Illustrated says. The two schools have been forging a rivalry that has shifted the Pac-12's power nexus and had an annual impact on the national title hunt.
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