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Which Big Ten teams will be the biggest rivals for Oregon going forward?

For the past several decades in the world of the Pac-10, and then the Pac-12, the Oregon Ducks have been comfortable in the fact that they knew who their biggest rivals were. You had Oregon State, you had Washington, you had Stanford, you had USC, and you even had Utah to an extent later in the lifespan of the conference.

Things are going to change in the future, though.

With Oregon’s jump to the Big Ten Conference, we are losing a lot of rivalries that became commonplace over the years. The Ducks will still play the likes of Washington, USC, and Oregon State going forward, but now they have a new pool of teams that will be on the yearly schedule, and a whole pool of potential rivalries to jump into.

This past week on the Sco-ing Long Podcast co-hosts Jonathan Stewart and Zachary Neel discussed which teams in the Big Ten would end up being the biggest rivals for the Ducks going forward.

To decide who the best candidates were, both Stewart and Neel assigned a number value to each team in the conference from 1-10 (10 being the strongest) for how fierce the upcoming rivalry would be.

Here’s what they came up with, and some of their reasoning.

Purdue Boilermakers

Steve Dykes-USA TODAY Sports

All-Time Series Record: Oregon Leads 2-1

Jonathan Stewart’s Rivalry Score: 2/10

Zachary Neel’s Rivalry Score: 1/10

Rutgers Scarlet Knights

Matthew OHaren-USA TODAY Sports

All-Time Series Record: Never Played

Jonathan Stewart’s Rivalry Score: 2/10

Zachary Neel’s Rivalry Score: 2/10

Illinois Fighting Illini

Vasha Hunt-USA TODAY Sports

All-Time Series Record: Oregon Leads 2-1

Jonathan Stewart’s Rivalry Score: 3/10

Zachary Neel’s Rivalry Score: 1/10

Northwestern Wildcats

Jamie Sabau-USA TODAY Sports

All-Time Series Record: Northwestern Leads 1-0

Jonathan Stewart’s Rivalry Score: 3/10

Zachary Neel’s Rivalry Score: 2/10

Maryland Terrapins

Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

All-Time Series Record: Never Played

Jonathan Stewart’s Rivalry Score: 3/10

Zachary Neel’s Rivalry Score: 4/10

Reasoning

“I had them bumped up a little because it kind of feels like they are trying to step on Oregon’s turf with the whole uniform thing. If they ever get good, there could be a little bit of a rivalry there, but I don’t see much of that happening.” — Neel

Indiana Hoosiers

Mike Carter-USA TODAY Sports

All-Time Series Record: Oregon Leads 2-1

Jonathan Stewart’s Rivalry Score: 4/10

Zachary Neel’s Rivalry Score: 1/10

Minnesota Golden Gophers

(Photo by Tom Hauck/Getty Images)

All-Time Series Record: Minnesota Leads 3-1

Jonathan Stewart’s Rivalry Score: 4/10

Zachary Neel’s Rivalry Score: 2/10

Reasoning

“Basically because of the name for me, it stands out. I’m not going to lie, I don’t really know anything about you guys yet, so as the offseason goes we will learn about you guys.” — Stewart

UCLA Bruins

Troy Wayrynen-USA TODAY Sports

All-Time Series Record: UCLA Leads 39-32

Jonathan Stewart’s Rivalry Score: 6/10

Zachary Neel’s Rivalry Score: 5/10

Reasoning

“I just don’t really see a rivalry coming between Oregon and UCLA. There wasn’t really much of one when they were in the Pac-12, and I think that they’re just on two different trajectories right now. (UCLA) could be really good in a few years and maybe we will revisit this, but right now I just don’t see a big rivalry.” — Neel

“There’s history. I don’t think you can ever wipe away that history, especially going into the same conference on a national scale.” — Stewart

Iowa Hawkeyes

Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports

All-Time Series Record: Oregon Leads 2-1

Jonathan Stewart’s Rivalry Score: 6/10

Zachary Neel’s Rivalry Score: 6/10

Reasoning

“I think the thing with Iowa that will be interesting is how different the two teams are. Oregon’s going to come out and score 40-plus points a game, while Iowa tries to keep you under 10 while they score 13 points per game. It will just be an interesting clash.” — Neel

“It’s one of those games where I think you’re going to see a lot of physicality. Who’s going to be the more physical team at the end of the day? That’s a good measuring stick for Oregon every year that they have to play Iowa.” — Stewart

Penn State Nittany Lions

Mike Powell /Allsport

All-Time Series Record: Penn State Leads 3-1

Jonathan Stewart’s Rivalry Score: 8/10

Zachary Neel’s Rivalry Score: 7/10

Reasoning

“Penn State seems like a program that has a niche in the recruiting world, so you can never count them out as far as being good and being prepared to play football. I think as far as the representation for the Big Ten, they stand out for sure.” — Stewart

“I think they’re one of those upper-echelon teams in the conference. There may not be a ton of history — yes, you’ve got that Rose Bowl from 1995 — but with the competition on both sides of the ball, I think this could turn into a really nice rivalry.” — Neel

Michigan State Spartans

(Photo by Steve Dykes/Getty Images)

All-Time Series Record: Oregon Leads 4-3

Jonathan Stewart’s Rivalry Score: 7/10

Zachary Neel’s Rivalry Score: 8/10

Reasoning

“The battle of the green jerseys. Who wears it the best? Obviously, it’s Oregon.” — Stewart

“There is that recent history. They’ve just had some really good games against each other. That game in 2014, Mariota’s Heisman year, was an instant classic in Eugene. And with the addition of Jonathan Smith there, who obviously has ties to Oregon State, it could be really interesting to see what these two teams do against each other, especially if Michigan State is getting better over the next few years.” — Neel

Wisconsin Badgers

Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

All-Time Series Record: Tied 3-3

Jonathan Stewart’s Rivalry Score: 8/10

Zachary Neel’s Rivalry Score: 9/10

Reasoning

“Wisconsin just seems to have it. If you think about the Big Ten, I think Wisconsin’s logo just jumps out at me. I feel like for Oregon this is just going to be one of those games where it’s a measuring stick. A rivalry needs to be a competitive matchup, and going into the Big Ten, the teams that you have to bring out your measuring stick on and figure out if we belong, and Wisconsin is one of those teams for me.” — Stewart

“Those last two Oregon wins have come in the Rose Bowl, the first of which was the 2012 De’Anthony Thomas game, and then you had 2020 with Justin Herbert. I really like where Wisconsin is headed as well, with Luke Fickell as their new coach. There is that history where I could see these two teams really going after each other and having a lot of instant classic games over the next few years.” — Neel

Nebraska Cornhuskers

Jaime Valdez-USA TODAY Sports

All-Time Series Record: Nebraska Leads 6-2

Jonathan Stewart’s Rivalry Score: 9/10

Zachary Neel’s Rivalry Score: 7/10

Reasoning

“There’s just a long history. As far as Oregon fans, you’ve got to be pissed off about (being 2-6 all-time). We’ve got to switch it up. It’s time to get that off our chests.” — Stewart

“This goes along the lines of what I was saying earlier where I think you need to have two very competitive teams on either side of the ball. Nebraska may be getting there, but I don’t know that Nebraska is going to be on ‘Oregon’s level’ for another five years.” — Neel

USC Trojans

All-Time Series Record: USC Leads 38-23-2

Jonathan Stewart’s Rivalry Score: 9/10

Zachary Neel’s Rivalry Score: 8/10

Reasoning

“I think that the national presence that they have is just an opportunity to play on a national level, and basically bring your best football. That should be your mindset. I don’t necessarily think that they’re going to be great next year, but I still feel like their offense can keep them in games and make them dangerous. It should be a good measuring stick.” — Stewart

“The one thing that kept me from bumping this rivalry up is that for whatever reason, it feels like Oregon just doesn’t play USC very much. They’ve only played 3 times since 2017. It would be so much more of a rivalry for me if they did have that continual matchup, and if you could count on facing USC in late October or early November each year, this would be an outstanding rivalry, but for whatever reason we just don’t seem to get that many games with them.” — Neel

Washington Huskies

(Photo by Ian Maule/Getty Images)

All-Time Series Record: Washington Leads 63-48-5

Jonathan Stewart’s Rivalry Score: 10/10

Zachary Neel’s Rivalry Score: 9/10

Reasoning

Michigan Wolverines

(Photo By Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)

All-Time Series Record: Michigan Leads 3-2

Jonathan Stewart’s Rivalry Score: 9/10

Zachary Neel’s Rivalry Score: 10/10

Reasoning

“Obviously, there’s history there. And I think it’s one of those games in history that kind of represents what Oregon is all about.” — Stewart

“I think because of all of that history, because of the fact that they’re the defending national champions, with Oregon competing for conference championships and national championships, they’re going to butt heads with Michigan a lot. We have this past history with them, I think they’re absolutely one of the biggest rivals for Oregon going into the 2024 season.” — Neel

Ohio State Buckeyes

All-Time Series Record: Ohio State Leads 9-1

Jonathan Stewart’s Rivalry Score: 10/10

Zachary Neel’s Rivalry Score: 10/10

Reasoning

“Ohio State is the measuring stick of them all. They’re coming into this year projected at the top of the conference. For Oregon, you’ve got to be on top of your game and hopefully stay healthy so that you can make a statement.” — Stewart.

“I think you’re right to call this a measuring stick. Oregon fans view themselves as a team that should be able to win national championships and be the No. 1 team in the nation, and they’ve gotten to that level several times before, but they’ve lost and at times it’s been to Ohio State. There was the 2014 National Championship, there was the 2010 Rose Bowl. Time and time again, Oregon has come up short to Ohio State, that’s why the Oregon win in 2021 in Columbus was so big. Now we get to see what it’s going to be like playing them on a regular basis. I think they are absolutely going to be the new measuring stick for Oregon going forward.” — Neel

Story originally appeared on Ducks Wire