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Eugene vs. Tempe? We know the score.

Byline: Bob Welch The Register-Guard

CORRECTION(Ran Nov.6, 2007):The mean high temperature for Eugene in July is 82.3 degrees. Bob Welch's column on Page D1 Saturday incorrectly listed the figure as the city's mean temperature.

Time to get beyond piddling things like Xs and Os and decide who's going to win today's Oregon-Arizona State football game at Autzen Stadium, a game that many say is the biggest Duck football game since last week.

Let's see who has the edge when it comes to:

Retirement living.Arizona, of course, is the nation's snowbird haven. But football is a game of numbers and numbers don't lie. "Retirement Places Rated" ranks Tucson as the sixth-best retirement community and Scottsdale as second. But first is Florence. Field goal, Ducks. (UO 3-0)

Golf courses.Number of Arizona courses on Golf Magazine's 2007 Top 100 Courses list: one. Number of Oregon courses on the same list: three. Touchdown, Ducks. (UO 10-0)

Deep gorges.Arizona's magnificent Grand Canyon, at its deepest, plummets more than a mile down - 6,000 feet. Hell's Canyon, separating Oregon from Idaho, goes 7,900 feet, making it North America's deepest. TD, Ducks. (UO 17-0)

Cactuses.OK, by now you might be thinking this is some sort of rigged, pro-Oregon column. Nope. We call 'em like we see 'em, even when it comes to prickly categories such as cactuses. Touchdown, Sun Devils. (UO 17-7)

Rivers.There's only one slight difference between Oregon's and Arizona's. Ours have water in them. Field goal, Ducks. But don't get cocky; remember, ASU is a second-half team. (UO 20-7)

Movies filmed on campus.UO's "Animal House" (1978) vs. ASU's Sparky-come-lately "Campus Man" (1987). Oh, come on, that's Michelangelo's Sistine Chapel vs. your kid's scrawling on the kitchen wall with cake frosting. TD, Ducks. (UO 27-7)

Pro athletes shame.ASU's Barry (The Unnatural) Bonds vs. UO's Onterrio (The Whizzinator) Smith. Off-setting penalties. (27-7)

Mascots.True, the Oregon Duck got off to a rocky start this year, but he's back, behaving and cool. Sparky is yesterday's Halloween costume. TD, Ducks. (34-7)

College towns.Anyone who went to the Fiesta Bowl knows how fun Tempe can be, but apparently not as fun as Eugene. No mention of Tempe in the Top 10 list Sports Illustrated on Campus compiled in 2003. But Eugene - "very organic, very cool" - was seventh. Field goal, Ducks. (UO 37-7)

Campus architecture.Let's see: The EMU fish bowl vs. Frank Lloyd Wright's Gammage Auditorium. TD, Sun Devils. (UO 37-14)

Official state neckwear.Arizona's is the bola tie. No way we can compete with that; we're so backward as a state we don't even have state neckwear. TD, Sun Devils. (UO 37-21)

Summer heat.Seven of the 10 hottest cities in America in July are from Arizona, their average temperatures ranging from 105.7 to 107.6. Eugene's July mean temperature is 82.3. Personally, we prefer temperatures that allow certain physical activities such as, say, walking from your front door to your newspaper box without bursting into flames, but some like it hot, so, TD, Sun Devils. (UO 37-28)

Night life.ASU earns an A+, the "College Prowler" guide says. UO B-. TD, Sun Devils. (UO 37-35)

Long-term commitments from head football coaches.Number of head coaches at Oregon since 1977: two. At Arizona State: eight. New coach Dennis Erickson has Mayflower Van Lines on his speed-dial, having had nine head-coaching jobs since 1982, two of them one-year affairs. Remember the run-and-shoot offense? Erickson runs the come-and-go. TD, Ducks. (UO 44-35)

Home-field advantage.Oregon's winning percentage at home from 1997 through 2006: .833. ASU's: .667. Last year, Oregon outdrew ASU at home, 58,378 to 54,562 despite Lane County having 1.2 million fewer people than Phoenix-Tempe. Field goal, Ducks. (UO 47-35)

Road-testedness.The UO has played three games on the road in front of 211,232 fans this season, ASU two in front of 67,242. As the Staff Jennings Boating Center sign says: "Welcome home, Sun Devils. Autzen is hell." TD, Ducks.

Final:Ducks 54, Sun Devils 35.
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Title Annotation:City/Region Columnist
Publication:The Register-Guard (Eugene, OR)
Date:Nov 3, 2007
Words:676
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