Oregon Oregon State Nov 24, 2023; Eugene, Oregon, USA; Oregon State Beavers quarterback DJ Uiagalelei (5) picks up a first down during the first half as he is tackled by Oregon Ducks defensive back Evan Williams (33) at Autzen Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Troy Wayrynen-USA TODAY Sports

Conference realignment has done a number on college sports since the early 2010s. The next wave of realignment that’s teed up for 2024 will shake things up even further. The Pac-12 Conference will basically be no more with four schools bound for the Big Ten, four schools that are Big 12-bound, and two going to the ACC. One of the leading issues of this mess was the fact that Oregon and Oregon State, forever rivals, appeared to be on the cusp of not playing each other again.

Realignment and expansion in the sport have led to a lot of silliness, but common sense prevailed on Thursday when the Ducks announced that the series will continue.

Oregon announced it rearranged its deck for 2024. The Ducks will now host Boise State on September 7 before traveling to Corvallis for the renewed annual meeting with the Beavers. Oregon State will then turn around and come back to Eugene in 2025.

One repercussion that conference expansion and realignment have led to is stalled rivalries. We’re not even talking about the main ones, either. You know by now that, up until recently, Oklahoma and Nebraska stopped playing each other. Texas and Texas A&M went over a decade without playing each other. Pettiness over how the Aggies left the Big 12 for the SEC stalled that out. Mizzou made a similar move, which has since stalled their annual rivalry with Kansas on the gridiron (They’ve recently returned to playing on the basketball court, at the very least).

Michigan and Minnesota have played for the Little Brown Jug 105 times. However, they have only competed against each other in football four times since 2015. They haven’t played in Ann Arbor since 2017.

Whether it’s pettiness, sour grapes, logistics or otherwise, it’s not fun when these things happen. What sets college sports apart from all other sports are the rivalries. They’ve been imprinted into the spectrum for decades and, in some cases, centuries—also, sports rivalries rule. There’s nothing quite like sports hate (so long as you drive safely while hating). There’s so much passion involved and it’s always evident when rivals collide.

So, in preserving the Oregon-Oregon State rivalry, the Ducks and Beavers made a level-headed decision. It would have been really easy and understandable for both sides to part ways. The writing was on the wall when Southern Cal and UCLA left for the Big Ten. Time was running out. Oregon, like Washington, had to do what they had to do. Oregon State will have to do what they have to do, also.

Tensions may not be eased by the time next September arrives. But when the Beavers and Ducks meet again, those high tensions might make the scene, the feel, and the game even better. And that, at the end of the day, is what it’s all about.

About Chris Novak

Chris Novak has been talking and writing about sports ever since he can remember. Previously, Novak wrote for and managed sites in the SB Nation network for nearly a decade from 2013-2022