West’s Best Bets – Clash in the Cascades

Welcome back to the West’s Best Bets. We are moving into the second round of competition and re-visit the schools in the Pacific Northwest. Once again, we begin in the Emerald City of Seattle, Washington and the University of Washington then travel to Eugene, Oregon to visit the University of Oregon.

The University of Washington or UDub, as it more commonly known is a Public Ivy institution and has been annually ranked in the Top 20 worldwide schools for the past decade. They currently rank at No. 16 by the American Ranking of World Universities and No. 42 by U.S. News and World Report.

Spread out over three campuses in downtown Seattle, Tacoma and Bothell, the University of Washington occupies more than 500 buildings and 20 million gross square footage of space. The main campus in Seattle has an enrollment of just over 42,000, accepting 59% of all freshman applicants with an average grade point average of 3.63.

Let’s revisit the rankings and see if they can advance to the next round:


Athletics Teams

  • Football – 4 National Championships, Bowl Record of 16-14-1 with seven Rose Bowl victories and 15 Conference Championships.
  • Men’s Basketball – 16 tournament appearances, five Sweet Sixteens and one Final Four. 20 regular season championships and three Conference Tournament Championships.
  • Softball – 3 Conference Championships, 19 Tournament appearances, 10 WCWS appearances and a National Championship in 2009.
  • Baseball – 8 Tournament appearances
  • 67 National Championships in other sports with Swimming & Diving, Rowing & Track & Field all in double digits.

The sheer number of titles and championships date back to the 1920’s and as recent as this year in Rowing is outstanding and a true testament to their Championship mentality. I award the University of Washington 25 out of a possible 30 points.


With the exception of US Women’s soccer gold medal winning goalie, Hope Solo and actress Anna Faris; the women at the University of Washington didn’t really stand out too much. They seemed a little too wrapped up in their galoshes and umbrellas but there was an underlying hotness that if they were on a beach, all that would change, take Playboy’s Ophelia Shallot (pictured below) as an example. – 19 out of 25 possible points.

Local Bars & Pubs

Since the University of Washington is in the heart of downtown Seattle and the city basically grew around the University, there are plenty of bars nearby, but they are not all necessarily college bars. In the downtown area alone, your typical college student looking to watch the game or just throw back a beer has numerous options. There are also several breweries in the city including the world famous Pyramid Breweries – 18 out of 20 possible points.


Everybody knows about the constant rain in Seattle, but when it is not raining, it is absolutely beautiful. Located in between Portage and Union Bays, the temperature doesn’t fluctuate too much, with highs in the 80’s during the summer and rarely dropping below freezing in the winter –10 out of 15 possible points.


The University currently has 136 Fulbright Scholars and 35 Rhodes Scholars and awarded over 14,000 degrees last year including 723 Doctoral and 528 Professional degrees –8 out of 10 possible points.




Once again, we jump on Interstate 5 in the shadow of the great Cascades Mountain Range and head 280 miles due south to the city of Eugene, Oregon. Much like the University of Washington, the University of Oregon has four campuses statewide with the largest contingent being in Eugene. The main campus is spread over 295 acres and holds over 60 buildings as well as a forest of over 500 varieties of trees.

A much smaller enrollment with over 24,000 students, the University of Oregon accepts over 75% of applicants with an average GPA of 3.5. This past fall, the honors program received 1,570 applicants and enrolled only 205.

The University hovers around the Top 100 rankings by U.S. News and World Report and the American Ranking of Worldwide Universities. Perhaps the most auspicious recognition is that the University of Oregon was the setting for fictional Faber College in the movie Animal House.

After a narrow victory of in-state rival Oregon State University in the first round, let’s see if they can beat their Pacific Northwest rival:


Athletics Teams

  • Football – 1 National Championship appearance, Bowl Record of 10-15 with six Rose Bowl appearances, winning two and 10 Conference Championships.
  • Men’s Basketball – 10 tournament appearances, four Sweet Sixteens, one Final Four and one National Championship in 1939 as well as a CBI Championship in 2011. They have four regular season Championships and two Conference Tournament Championships.
  • Baseball – 4 Tournament appearances and one College World Series appearance.
  • 19 total National Championships including Cross Country and Track & Field for the Men & Women.

The University of Oregon football team is currently ranked the #2 team in the country and has been a force to be reckoned with since 2000. Prior to that, the only thing that UO was famous for was their track teams. Rose Bowl appearances and a National Championship in Basketball in the 30’s and 40’s but a long 60 year stretch where nothing happened of note- for this I award the  University of Oregon 20 out of a possible 30 points.


I have been in love with the University of Oregon cheerleaders for quite some time now. How would I hear of UO cheerleaders in the desert you may ask? Arizona State football player Aaron Pflugrad has a twin sister, Amanda who was a UO cheerleader and current Fox Sports mega-babe. I could go on for days about the lovely ladies in Eugene but I have to stop myself– 24 out of 25 possible points.

Local Bars & Pubs

The Eugene-Springfield metro area has over 300,000 residents and a student population of approximately 25,000 students. UO students will not have a problem finding a great place to sit back and watch the game with a bunch of friends and brews or even fancy it up a bit with a higher class of restaurants and brewpubs. As mentioned before there are several breweries statewide yet Eugene has many of their very own including Ninkasi, Steelhead & Oakshire Breweries – 18 out of 20 possible points.


Surrounded by forest land to the south, east & west you would expect Eugene to be a winter haven. Yet, at an elevation of only 426 feet above sea level, the temperature rarely gets into the 90’s in the summer and has less rain and snow than Corvallis to the north which is basically in flat, farming land. The city center of Eugene has an urban heat island due to the asphalt which rises the temps a little as well – 8 out of 15 possible points.


The University of Oregon offers nearly 300 academic programs with more than 25 research centers and institutes statewide including locations in Portland, on the coast in Charleston and atop Pine Mountain. The incoming GPA in 2012 was 3.59 and a median class size of only 19 students for the hands on personal experience. Former students include Nike founders Phil Knight and Bill Bowerman, the CEO’s of Columbia Sportswear, Palm, Inc. and Gucci as well as the Principal Owner of the Golden State Warriors and the General Manager of the New Orleans Saints   – 7 out of 10 possible points.


In a close, hard-fought battle, the University of Washington prevails over the University of Oregon. I will always hold the Oregon cheerleaders near and dear to my heart, but man cannot live on hot cheerleaders alone. The University of Washington simply has a lot more to offer a student if he was dead set on attending college in the Pacific Northwest.


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