Posted on: December 22, 2010 6:08 pm

As much as I normally hate the Oregon Ducks...

To those of you who reegularly read my blog (HAHAHAHA HE'S ARROGANT ENOUGH TO BELIEVE PEOPLE LIKE THAT EXIST), you might be confused by the title of this article. I posted a blog earlier this year talking about my desire for the Ducks to play in the National Title game. That desire still holds. However, normally I hate all things Oregon. I've had to turn to the Blazers for my NBA fix, but I barely pay attention to them anymore. I hate the Oregon teams (Ducks, Beavers, and especially the Timbers) more than I hate the AL East (but significantly less than I hate the Yankees).

However, when your rivals go up against outsiders, you have to root for them. Who else is going to prove how good you yourself are?

My Cougs are still struggling at the bottom of the Pac-10. The Huskies got bowl-eligible this year, but also were shafted by being matched up with a team that already beat them, badly, duing the regular season. Am I disappointed? Not really. I've always been a soccer/basketball sports fan, so I wasn't crushed to see another year of mediocrity from my three favorite football teams (the Hawks might limp into the playoffs if they can beat St Louis @home, which they should do, but then what? Lose in the most one-sided playoff game ever?).

However, I'm really annoyed by my Southeastern friends. I know there's a lot of classy SEC fans, but the LSU guys and the rest are starting to get on my nerves. "This will be the most lopsided NC game for years to come." "I can't believe they're still taking those left coast guys seriously." These are not direct quotes, but similar to what I've heard.

I want the Ducks to win. I want the Ducks to score 21 points in the fourth quarter and pick off Cam Newton six times. I want Auburn to go home thinking "Our conference schedule did not prepare us for this." I want the SEC fans to shut up.

This will be the only year I will root for an Oregon victory. After this year, Nick Montana will put 49 points on the board against the Ducks. But for now, I want the Pac-10 to take a title to the West.

Category: NCAAF
Tags: oregon, Pac-10
Posted on: October 17, 2010 3:57 am

I'm feeling lucky this year...

I was born in Seattle. I root for both the Huskies and the Cougars equally. When the Apple Cup rolls around, I root for whoever has the better shot at a bowl game.

This year, I want both to lose to the Oregon Ducks, and I want it badly.

Now, before my local readers stop reading and/or send hateful private messages, let me explain myself.

The #1 Ohio State Buckeyes have just lost to Wisconsin. The Ducks, at #2, are the logical choice to take their place at the top of the polls. As we all know, as a result of the BCS system, the polls have a great influence on who plays for the National Title.

If the Oregon Ducks win out, they could be in that national title game. In fact, I believe that if they win out, they deserve to be in the title game. The Pac-10 is the hardest division to go undefeated in. Before the SEC fans dismiss me as crazy, I'm not saying the teams in the Pac-10 are better (although you might want to look at the Sagarin ratings...), but I am saying that as a result of the round-robin style of scheduling the Pac-10 currently employs, every team has to play every other team. That's something the SEC simply cannot compete with.

But there's more to my excitement than just the Ducks.

Sure, having a Pac-10 team play for the national title is always a treat. With the East coast teams so often dominating in the polls, it's nice to see the teams I love to watch get a chance at the top prize. And that's exactly why I want the Boise State Broncos to win out, as well.

Imagine that, two West coast teams playing for a national championship. On top of that, two Pacific North west teams. Wouldn't that be something?

Since two-thirds of the BCS ratings are decided by computers, if both teams win out, there will be no East coast bias to save the rest of the nation from a national title game dominated by us Pacific Northwest folks. I would be tickled pink. I probably wouldn't even care who scored during the game, or who won, because the game in and of itself would be a major victory. For mid-majors, for the West Coast, for the Pacific Northwest, and for the Pac-10. All the things I love in college football.

So please, Huskies, lose to Oregon. Cougars, thanks for your cooperation earlier. Think of it as not a loss to Oregon, but a victory for the conference.

Category: NCAAF
Tags: oregon, Pac-10
Posted on: December 3, 2009 11:11 pm
Edited on: December 8, 2009 12:13 am

The Pac-10: An Evaluation

The Pac-10 is having a bad start to the season.

A really, really bad start to the season.

On top of last week's commodities, wherein Oregon, Arizona State, Stanford, Arizona, and UCLA all took at least one loss, Washington State, USC, and California all lost at least one game this week, as well. To top this all off, the Pac-10's best hope, #12 Washington, lost in overtime to Texas Tech, a team predicted to finish near the bottom of the Big 12.

So, in the span of November 22-December 3, Oregon State is the only team who did not lose in the Pac-10, and they already had a 1-3 record. Currently, four Pac-10 teams are at or below .500. No teams are undefeated, and seven teams have multiple losses. Worst of all, December is only beginning.

One of the things I've noticed this November is that if it weren't for early-season tournaments, there wouldn't be any marquee matchups. The Pac-10 teams were no exceptions to the "let's all schedule cupcakes" rule. Save for UCLA and Washington State, none of the Pac-10 teams entered into an early-season tournament. The conference has accumulated fifteen losses to schools outside of BCS conferences. Given that some of those losses are to the likes of Butler, Gonzaga, UNLV, Portland, and San Diego (HA! San Diego won't be a "bad loss" on a team's resumé this year! GO WCC!), it's not like that's too horrible. But a few of those losses are to teams like Cal State-Fullerton, Long Beach State, and some other teams I could name. That's not good.

What does this mean for the conference as a whole? For those who do wind up with chances for at-large bids, strength-of-schedule will be down. The end-of-year tournament won't get much media coverage, which could deter recruiting opportunities. Worst of all, Arizona could miss its first NCAA tournament in 25 years.

Wait, really? Well, yeah, they've lost three games in one month. They're climbing uphill from now on, and I wouldn't be surprised if I'm not writing them on my ballot come Selection Sunday.

While it looks bad for seven of the teams in the Pac-10, for the two Washington schools and Arizona State, things look pretty good. Talk about a reversal of the football season.

Despite the loss to Texas Tech, Washington still has one of the best freshmen classes in the nation. They have what is definitely one of the most talented backcourts ever assembled by a Washington head coach, and while they could definitely use some help in the post, I think come March they'll be comfortably in the tournament.

Washington State, while it did lose to a non-BCS team, is looking absolutely fantastic. Not a thing was lost because of Ken Bone's arrival, only gained. They're still playing tough D, and their offense got a good kick start as well. While they wound up losing the game, they made the 17-ranked Zags look like just another mid-major in the first half, forcing more than 10 turnovers and leaving the floor with an 11-point lead. They have the skill and the discipline to go far in the tournament, nevermind making it.

Arizona State lost a game that no one can honestly say they ever were expected to win, against top-10 Duke. they've been playing good defense, and their offense, while not putting up too many points on the scoreboard, has been efficient enough to get them ahead in ballgames. With more underclassmen than upperclassmen, they have got a future to look forward to. I think next year they could challenge for a title, and this year they could make a case for an NCAA tournament bid.

The Pac-10 as a whole has a long way to go before its basketball prowess can even come close to matching its football prowess. It has to start sometime, and it better start with next year's recruiting class, 'cause it's not happening this year.

Category: NCAAB
Tags: Pac-10
Posted on: March 10, 2009 10:39 pm

Pac-10 Tournament Predictions

Based on PAST RESULTS AND HOME PROXIMITY ONLY, not player-to-player matchups, here are my predictions for the Pac-10 tournament, in slight detail:

Oregon State will beat Stanford. The Cardinal have had a sub-par year, just like Arizona, and I doubt they'll do anything in the tournament beyond the first round. This being in part due to the fact that they are matched up with the feel-good story of the Pac-10, Oregon State. They pulled out an 8th-place finish in the Pac-10 due in part to Oregon bombing, but also due to their surprising burst following Inauguration Day. They'll beat Stanford easily, 73-62.

Washington State will beat Oregon. Not much to explain here. Washington State is an extremely hot team right now, and Oregon is a team that couldn't do anything right this season in the Pac-10 except beat rival Oregon State. They'll join Stanford in the list of one-and-dones after the first night of play, after losing 49-60.

Washington will beat Oregon State. Once again, since this is based on past results, not much to explain here. Oregon State lost to Washington by double-digits both times they met. Washington won't do anything unexpected and pound the Beavers 83-61

Arizona State will beat Arizona. Say what you will about Arizona being pumped for the tournament due to their bubble status, they will not be able to beat rival Arizona State. It was close the last time they met in Tempe, but Arizona State is as pumped for the tournament as Arizona is, so I doubt there will be the expected upset here. Arizona State wins, 89-86 OT

USC will beat California. California got whomped on the road by USC and snuck a win out by 3 points at home. Sure, the tournament's in LA, but unlike the Arizona/Arizona St game, heart is going to have a lot to do with this one, and right now USC is going to have more of it. They win in a thriller, 76-75.

Washington State will beat UCLA. This is probably a homer pick, but keep in mind, UCLA has only a +1 point differential in games with Washington State, as well as holding only a five-point victory over Stanford, who probably shouldn't have been that close to the Golden Bears. This is the one pick I'm not confident in at all, especially due to the Staples Center factor, and I'm actually contradicting a previous blog comment saying I think Arizona State will beat UCLA in the final, but after investigating a bit more, I discovered the mentioned +1 point differential. Washington State will be playing hard-nosed D, as always, and Taylor Rochestie will carry his Cougs into the semifinals with a 64-62 win.

Washington will beat Arizona State in a double-overtime horse race. Once again, this is where the pick makes perfect sense if you look at previous results only. Arizona State has a -16 point differential in two games against the Huskies, and 13 of that is from the game played in Tempe. Washington wil have a challenge in the Sun Devils, but ultimately, they pull it out. The odds are also on their side, since the #1 seed hasn't missed a final in X years (It's at least 7, too lazy to look it up. I know, I'm a bad journalist, but just look above and see why I'm a worse homer.). Huskies take the win 92-89.

USC will beat Washington State. The Trojans have a +12 point differential over the Cougs, and that plus the home proximity factor will put USC in the final. USC wins, 69-59.

Washington will beat USC. Huskies have a +14 point differential, and although they will be farther from home than the Trojans, the lack of a timezone change will make the impact significantly less. I could see USC taking it if they are able to out-heart the Huskies, but like I said earlier, these predictions are based on past results (which, FYI, included past 5 games if you're still looking for why Washington State was picked to beat UCLA) and home proximity only. Huskies win, 83-74.

Feel free to call out my homerism in the comments if you feel the need, but just so you know, my take-everything-into-account prediction is the one I posted on Beer's blog, UCLA over Arizona State in the finals.


Category: NCAAB
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