% of Yards Returning

Phil Steele has released his newest chart for our viewing pleasure.  This time he breaks down the percentage of offensive yards returning.  Here’s how he figured out the numbers: “I took all of the yards each QB threw for as well as all of the individual rushing yards and receiving yards for each team.”

How does the Pac-10 stack up? Well,

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Would you watch a Pac-10 Network?

Due to the current economy and huge disparity between itself and other major conferences, the Pac-10 is considering starting its’ own network.  It would be modeled after the Big 10 network, which already has a deal with Fox Sports Net, the same company the Pac-10 currently has most of its’ TV rights through.

As part of our “sports package” we get the Big 10 Network.  Have watched it occasionally, usually on Saturday’s during football season.  They show some interesting pieces, especially one about the rivalry between Bo Schembechler and Woody Hayes.  It’s also cool to see some of the old game film from the ’70’s and ’80’s.

With the Pac-10 falling $88.62 million behind the Big 10 in revenue for the 2007 fiscal year, anything to bridge that gap seems reasonable.  We would watch, provided it made sure every football game was on TV and most basketball games.  Oh, and they can’t hire Jason Gesser as an analyst.

% of Tackles Back

Phil Steele, the football-nerd that he is, has created a new chart  detailing how many defensive tackles every FBS team is returning this year.  In other words, how players who were making tackles in 2008 are back to do it again in 2009.

A quick look at the numbers reveals a few things:

1.) Stanford returns the most in the conference, 77.8%. 

2.) Oregon State returns the least at 43.6%.  That also ranks 115 out of 120 FBS teams.

3.) USC only returns 46.0% of its’ tackles.  That could mean a loss or two for USC this season.

We love this stat because it really gives you a clearer picture of what experience brings you.  Saying a team returns 7 starters on defense doesn’t mean much, but when you can break it down and see how many contributors are coming back, then accurate predictions can be made.

After the jump, a complete listing of Pac-10 teams with their ranking out of 120 FBS teams.

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No More Penalty Talk: Time To Play Football

The talk of the nation this week has been the over-celebration penalty that was called on Washington QB Jake Locker.  We never gave our thoughts, so after everyone has, we will.  Bad Rule. Correct Call.  According to the rules, you can’t throw the ball high in the air.  The ball Locker threw was in the air for 2.36 seconds.  That qualifies as high.  Should that rule be in the book?  No.  But it is and the official made the correct call.  Besides, UW has to make the PAT, no matter how far it is.  If you are truly a team trying to turn it around, you make that kick.

The Washington State game against Baylor has been moved to tomorrow night at 5:30.  We were mildly excited because we were looking forward to relaxing after work and watching the game.  Then it hit us, the game now won’t be on TV.  Understandably, this is what’s best for the people of the Texas coast but, selfishly, we wish we could watch it.

We’ll find out this week if UCLA is the real deal.  BYU sneanked out of Seattle with a win so they should be on high alert this week.  The game is in Provo so it is going to be very important that the good Kevin Craft shows up for the Bruins.

USC-Ohio State is the game of the weekend.  Everyone is focusing on Beanie Wells’ injured foot but we’re more interested in seeing how Mark Sanchez plays.  OSU returns most of their defense, a defense that is considerably better that Virginia’s.  Sanchez is going to need to play well, it doesn’t matter how many 5-star RBs the Trojans have.

Stanford has another tough game this week visiting TCU.  The Horn Frogs are another one of those teams that it seems every year are looking to burst the BCS bubble.  This game time has also been changed to an earlier start time on Saturday to avoid the hurricane.  Stanford showed last week that they still have many holes to fill.

Nonconference Slate: How’d The Pac Do?

The first week of the season is over.  The ACC got smacked around, the SEC looked dominant once again, and the Big 10 was, well, the Big 10.

How did the Pac-10 fair in its’ first go-around in the nonconference schedule?

vs. SEC,   1-0 UCLA beat Tennessee 27-24 in OT

vs. Big 10,   1-0 California beat Michigan State 38-31

vs. Big 12,   0-1 Washington State lost to Oklahoma State 39-13

vs. ACC   1-0, USC beat USC 52-7

vs. WAC   1-0, Arizona beat Idaho 70-0

vs. Football Championship Division   1-0, Arizona State beat Northern Arizona

Overall, the conference did great.  5-1, with the only loss coming from the team predicted to finish last in the conferece. 

The Pac-10 proved it is one of the Top Two conferences in the land.  A UCLA team predicted to finish in the middle of the Pac-10 just beat a top SEC team.  We don’t care what SEC fans say, one of your teams just got beat for the second straight season to open the year.

Week One was a week for Pac-10 Football.

Roaming With The Pac: September 1, Fall Is Here!!!

A look at what the newspapers are saying a day after they’ve had time to digest Saturday’s action.

Beat a team 70-0, so what.  That’s no reason to relax, especially with the mighty Rockets from Toledo coming to town Saturday. Coaches don’t let Wildcats relax [Tucson Citizen]

Sun Devil freshman had an opportunity to play against Northern Arizona, exposing them to their first college football action.  Coach Dennis Erickson was more focused on getting them some experience than the results on the field.  ASU’s late dip vs. NAU doesn’t worry Erickson [East Valley Tribune]

California Head Coach Jeff Tedford chose Kevin Riley as his QB right out of fall camp.  After Saturday’s win over Michigan State, the gap between Riley and last year’s starter Nate Longshore seems even greater.  Riley was telling the Cal students to stop booing Longshore after he threw his second pick of the day in his new, limited role. Cal’s Tedford gets QB decision right…twice [Contra Costa Times]

Oregon QB Justin Roper is feeling better after suffering a concussion on Saturday.  Also, starting LT Fenuki Tupou will be back this week after being suspended for accepting a lunch and $100 from an agent.  Tupou has since donated $110 to charity. Ducks’ stock ticks up [The Register-Guard]

USC is preparing for its’ showdown with Ohio State in two weeks like RB Beanie Wells will be playing for the Buckeyes.  Coach Pete Carroll cites his own QB’s recovery for injury as a reason to believe Wells will be in uniform and on the field September 13. Trojans Coach Pete Carroll anticipates quick recovery for Beanie Wells [LA Times]

Tyrone Willingham keeps all his practices closed expect the first 25 minutes.  It looked like Oregon had been practicing with the Huskies all season, maybe even had a copy of their playbook.  With BYU coming to town this week, UW doesn’t have a lot of time to get this fixed. Washington’s game plan was an open book to Oregon [Seattle Times]

After watching film of the Oklahoma State game, Coach Paul Wulff still sees a team that made too many mistakes.  Wulff was impressed with the offense in the 3rd quarter, stresses the fact that it should run that smooth all game long. Looking back at Saturday’s game [Spokesman-Review]

What We Know: Week One

***A look at one thing we learned about each team after the first Saturday of the season.  These are things that pertain right now and, of course, can change in Week Two.***

Arizona: They can and will score a lot of points.  Idaho isn’t the best team to measure yourself against, but the Wildcat’s Tuitama set the school record for touchdown passes.  Arizona’s defense was unable to get a sack, but when your winning 49-0 at half, pressuring the QB isn’t the top priority.  

Arizona State: Rudy Carpenter had a hell of a day, second in the conference to only Mark Sanchez.  He had to have a good game because the running game was non-existent.  Overall, just like Arizona, you can’t really measure ASU against anybody because of the competition.

California: The Golden Bears don’t have nearly the same caliber WR corp as they did last season.  This could be a factor when they have to put more points on the board than 38, which they probably will.  Jahvid Best is going to be a multi-purpose stud.  He has incredible quickness, more than we even thought.  Seeing him last night really cemented the fact that you can’t let that guy get to the outside. 

Oregon:  Apparently it doesn’t matter who is playing QB for the Ducks, they are going to score points.  Both Jeremiah Masoli and Chris Harper were able to have their way with the Husky defense, not sure if that is a positive for them or a negative for how bad Washington’s defense is.  The Oregon defense was awesome, with the pass interference penalties being Washington’s best offense of the day.  They contained Jake Locker well and delivered a few nasty hits to the big QB.

Oregon State: Lyle Moevao has the ability to lead Oregon State.  He made some good throws and, yes, some bad throws.  The Stanford picks were more a product of Moevao’s inexperience than his ability to play the QB position.  The Beavers have to do something about their running game.  They didn’t have one against Stanford.

Stanford:  Jim Harbaugh is coach and he’s 40!!!! Well, he’s 44 but he really can coach.  Stanford is about to have a Top 25 recruiting class coming in 2009 and opening the season with a Pac-10 victory is huge for the confidence of the current team.  The Cardinal need to not start the game as flat this week when they play Arizona State or they may be in big trouble.

UCLA: Nothing yet.  We’ll know more Monday night.

USC: Mark Sanchez’s knee seems to alright.  He was 26-for-35 for 338 yards and 3 TD.  If they gave out the Heisman after Week One it would go to Sanchez.  You can’t really complain out anything USC did.  Now they have two weeks to prepare for Ohio State.

Washington: They aren’t very good.  Jake Locker seemed to have made little progress from last season.  His running ability still tremendously out-preforms his passing ability.  Their coaching was horrible Saturday night and nothing from the past suggests that it will change.  Even though they played a lot of freshman, it was their experienced offensive line that let them down most of the game.

Washington State:  They might possibly have the worst Special Teams in the country.  A missed PAT, two huge punt returns, and a 90-yd. kickoff return for a TD helped bury them against OK State.  The defense played good, they limited the damage the ST caused.  The no-huddle offense was neither efficient nor quick.  The most important thing the Cougars can take away from this game is the fact that they now know where they stand.

Week One $1 Predictions

Time for making those awful predictions that get us no where every season.  The games will be picked against the spread so you gamblers know which way to bet. (Hint: Bet the opposite.)  We bet one dollar on each game, so hopefully at the end of the season we’re no more than $20 in the hole.

***Lines are of Friday’s USA Today.***

Oregon State at Stanford (+3)  – Wait, they played this game last night.  We told you our pick earlier.  But to remind everybody we took, Stanford +3 for $1

Washington at Oregon (-13.5) – This is a hard game to predict.  Oregon has their backup QB going, but they have an experienced o-line going against the Huskies youthful d-line.  UW QB Jake Locker could be a stud this year, but he hasn’t proven his accuracy yet.  We guess we’ll take the experienced Oregon defense over the young UW offense.  Oregon -13.5 for $1.

Oklahoma State vs. Washington State (+7) – This game is being played at Qwest Field in Seattle, so expect 50,000+ Coug fans to take over Seattle while UW is in Eugene.  With the recent injuries to the WSU o-line, coupled with their loss of receivers this looks like a 17-24 point Cowboy victory.  Oklahoma State -7 for $1.

Michigan State at California (-5) – Another intriguing matchup.  We’re all for watching great college football, but here’s to hoping we get this game instead of the Clemson-Alabama game Saturday night.  Not a huge Big 10 believer.  California -5 for $1.

USC at Virginia (+19.5) – USC plays Ohio State in two weeks, with a bye week next Saturday.  That means this is their only warmup for the Buckeyes.  Bad News for the Cavaliers. USC -19.5 for $1.

Idaho at Arizona (-27) – Was listening to Greg Robinson, a betting expert, on the Mitch in the Morning show this morning.  He said to take Idaho and the points.  We don’t have any idea on this game, so when all else fails, go with the expert. Idaho +27 for $1.

Northern Arizona at Arizona State – USA Today doesn’t list lines for FBS vs. FCS games.  We don’t even know if there is a line for this game and we’re not about to look.  So in this case (it only happens twice this season that a Pac-10 school plays a FCS team, unlike other conferences, *cough* SEC *cough*) we’ll bet the game straight up. Arizona State for $1.

Tennessee at UCLA (+7) – A Labor Day special.  The SEC travels to that “other” coast to play a team.  Slick Rick is making his UCLA debut.  Everybody knows Pac-10 football trumps SEC football. UCLA +7 for $1.

Thoughts On Oregon State-Stanford

Hope everybody got a chance to watch the game last night.  It was weird to watch a Pac-10 opener to start the season, on a Thursday night. 

About the game, it was pretty damn evident that it was the first game of the season.  Both teams were sloppy and unimpressive.  We think it’s very important that we remember that it was the opening game for both teams.  You can’t expect them to play like that the rest of the season.  We think you’ll see significant improvement from both teams, especially Oregon State.

How werid was it that the two of the most prominent plays involved balls rolling out of the side of the endzone?  The safety to put Stanford ahead for good, 22-20, and the fumble from Oregon State WR Darrell Catchings to seal the victory for the Cardinal.  Catchings had no business trying to turn that into a TD.  He had the first down and should have just got out of bounds.  The Beavers still had a timeout remaining, would have been at the 3 yard line, and had Stanford on their heels.

We didn’t have time yesterday to post our pick for the game last night, but if you trust us, we won $1 from a buddy by taking Stanford +3. 

We’ll post the rest of our picks sometime today.

Blogging Update

It’s almost college football season.  This is the time the blog should be ramping up.

Unfortunately, we have had a recent job change.  That is making blogging hard.  We hope to continue to blog frequently.

Let’s hope this doesn’t get in the way of writing about Pac-10 football.