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Oregon coach Mark Helfrich, Stanford's David Shaw keeping their programs atop Pac-12

  • FILE - In this Oct. 12, 2013 file photo, Oregon coach Mark Helfrich looks for a holding call in the first half of an NCAA college football game against Washington, in Seattle. Helfrich and Stanford's David Shaw shared some laughs in the offseason about questions concerning their promotions to head coach. Nobody is doubting them this week. No. 2 Oregon is undefeated heading into Thursday night's, Nov. 7, 2013, matchup at No. 6 Stanford. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson, File)The Associated Press

  • FILe - In this Sept. 7, 2013 file photo, Stanford head coach David Shaw argues a call with an official during the second half of an NCAA college football game against San Jose State in Stanford, Calif. Oregon's Mark Helfrich and Stanford's David Shaw shared some laughs in the offseason about questions concerning their promotions to head coach. Nobody is doubting them this week. No. 2 Oregon is undefeated heading into Thursday night's, Nov. 7, 2013, matchup at No. 6 Stanford. (AP Photo/Tony Avelar, File)The Associated Press

Oregon coach Mark Helfrich and Stanford's David Shaw shared some laughs when they met for the first time this offseason during an annual Pac-12 Conference meeting.

Although they had never talked before, the circumstances that brought them together made them feel like they had known each other for years. Both had been promoted from offensive coordinator to replace popular predecessors, Chip Kelly and Jim Harbaugh, after each moved on to NFL jobs.

Helfrich has No. 2 Oregon (8-0, 5-0) undefeated heading into Thursday night's matchup at sixth-ranked Stanford (7-1, 5-1) in what has once again shaped up as the Pac-12's game of the year. Shaw is 30-5 since taking over for Harbaugh in 2011, including leading the Cardinal to the program's first Rose Bowl victory in 41 years last season.