I can see where the OP is coming from. The similarities between Durham and Oxbridge (though a noticable academic differnce) are overwhelming. The rahs, the rowing, the colleges, even the subjects appear to replicate Oxford.
But then isn't that what Durham was created for? An place for rejects of Oxbridge to go to? (along with the Scottish/UCL/Bristol universities).
I do not know where i am going with this post.