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Oregon, Oklahoma Familiar Foes for Bowl

December 8, 2005

SAN DIEGO (AP) _ By early next season, Oregon and Oklahoma will have played often enough to feel like league rivals.

``I think we’ll offer them admission to the Pac-10, we play them so much,″ Oregon coach Mike Bellotti joked Wednesday evening at a news conference previewing the Holiday Bowl matchup with Oklahoma.

The No. 6 Ducks and the Sooners will play Dec. 29 at Qualcomm Stadium.

The Sooners beat Oregon 31-7 last season in Norman, and the teams will play in Eugene in September.

Oregon (10-1) was spurned by the BCS for a spot in a marquee bowl despite finishing No. 5 in the final standings.

``We could dwell on it by telling the kids we’re not getting respect, but the biggest thing is, it happened and there are some easy reasons to understand,″ Bellotti said. ``We do think we deserve to be in that group of teams, but we can’t do anything about that. The best thing we can do is prepare and beat Oklahoma in the Holiday Bowl.

``A victory over Oklahoma, a storied program, would be a feather in our cap.″

Likewise, it would be a big deal if Oklahoma (7-4), which played in the last two BCS national title games _ losing both _ defeated the Ducks.

``Playing a team that’s 10-1 gets your attention big-time,″ Sooners coach Bob Stoops said.

``Our players recognize it as a major challenge,″ Stoops said. ``It does excite them. You can tell just in looking at their faces and the way they practice. They understand it’s a big challenge.″

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