Wow, this is pretty cool. My first year here, and Oregon and Oregon State are playing their annual rival match for the right to go to the Rose Bowl (and trash Ohio State)!
Since I'm new to the area, though, now I'm at a loss about which team to root for. When I moved from Los Angeles to Iowa City, it was easy, since my employer was the University of Iowa, and I had no preconceived reasons to root against it (as I would have against a number of "bully" schools). Here, however, it's entirely different. I'm not teaching at the University of Oregon, so there's no employment-related reason to favor the Oregon Ducks. Indeed, Oregon has a law school, so in a very indirect sense, it's a competitor! Oregon State, on the other hand, does not have a law school. So that favors the Oregon State Beavers.
When we turn to the mascots, the duck is not a particularly fearsome mascot, though neither is the beaver. The beaver, at least, is a mammal that engages in engineering feats (dams), which is appropriate given Oregon State's engineering focus. On the other hand, the beaver is also Caltech's mascot, and therefore brings up the negative memories that I have of that place. I suppose this points in favor of the Ducks.
In the end, I'm drawn to the underdog. Although both teams have been strong in the 2000s, I remember how much of a doormat Oregon State was during my time at Berkeley, and it's been almost 45 years since the Beavers have gone to the Rose Bowl (compared to 15 for the Ducks).
So . . . go Beavers!