Archive for the ‘Pac-10 Conference’ Category

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.

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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.

Pac-10 Projections

Isn’t it the staple of ever blog to predict the upcoming season?  While we don’t fancy ourselves experts, therefore making these predictions meaningless, we do think it’s best to put them out there. 

This way, when were way off, you can ridicule us.  But, if we are even close to right then bragging rights for all of 2009.

So, without any more ramblings, here’s how RWTP believes the 2008 Pac-10 season will shakeout:

1.) USC – Can’t really say anything that hasn’t all ready been said.  The defense will be great, the offense may falter some, but overall they are still the best team in the conference.

2.) Arizona – No, that isn’t a typo.  We didn’t forget the State at the end.  The Wildcats will finish #2 in the conference.  The value of a experienced QB is undervalued sometimes.  This is one of those cases.  Willie Tuitama will lead Arizona to their highest finish in years and give Mike Stoops a contract extension in the desert.

3.)Arizona State – A tough schedule, facing USC, Cal, and Oregon in three straight weeks will leave the Sun Devils in 3rd place.  The game that decides 2nd and3rd will be for the Territorial Cup.  QB Rudy Carpenter will get hurt behind that weak O-line and ASU won’t be able to challenge USC for the conference title.

4.) Oregon – The Ducks have playmakers: WR Jaison Williams, RB Jeremiah Johnson, and RB LeGarrette Blount.  Even though they are breaking in a new QB, an easy nonconference slate gives the Ducks another top tier finish in the Pac.

5.) California – Last year California went from #2 in the nation and National Championship Game hopes to the Armed Forces Bowl and a 7-6 season.  Jahvid Best may be the best running back no ones talking about, but the uncertainty at QB, will it be Kevin Riley or Nate Longshore?, will cause Cal to once again finish near the middle of the conference. 

6.) Oregon State – You can’t lose 8 defensive starters and your 1,000 yard RB and expect to not lose anything in the standings.  The Beavers, who the last two seasons have finished with the best record in conference not named the Trojans, can expect their run defense to suffer.  

7.) UCLA – You don’t want to be a QB at UCLA right now.  They’re dropping faster than USA Basketball opponents.  They have a master coaching staff (Neuheisel, Chow, Walker) but it’s going to take more than one year to make a difference in Westwood.

8.) Washington State – New coach, new offense, new mindset.  The Cougars will be a different team this season.  They will have the mental toughness to finish games, something they severely lacked under Bill Doba.  Will a quick tempo offense and an improved defense, the Cougs will manage to win 4 conference games and finish ahead of the Dawgs and Cardinal.

9.) Washington – People are giving Jake Locker and his young offense to much credit.  With only one receiver on the roster who has caught a pass in a college game, the Husky offense will have a hard time moving the ball against some good defenses in the Pac-10.  The Husky defense is questionable, with 3 new defensive linemen up front.

10.) Stanford – The Cardinal just don’t have the talent to compete right now.  Tavita Pritchard beat USC last year, but will be lucky to win 3 Pac-10 games this season.  They lose both their top WR, but return a decent defense including S Bo McNally.

Roaming With The Pac: August 21, Seven Days ‘Till OSU-Stanford

***Can you believe real, live college football is only one week away?  It feels like Christmas Eve around here.  This means that Michael Phelps has more gold medals in 2008 than we do days until the gridiron.***

Eugene, OR – Who’s gonna be Oregon’s starting QB against Washington? Who knows, but an announcement is expected Friday.

Los Angeles, CA – USC starting QB Mark Sanchez participated in 7-on-7 drills Wednesday. Causing further speculation that he may be able to play August 30 when the Trojans travel to Virginia.  Also ESPN’s Ted Miller sat down with Pete Carroll.  Here is  Part One and Part Two. It’s a good read, so take the time.

Bristol, CT – Former Pac-10 football analyst-turned-play-by-play man Dan Fouts has been signed by CBS to bolster their football coverage team. Fouts was let go by ABC/ESPN last year.

Roaming With The Pac: August 11, Who’s Gonna Play QB?

*Back, fresh, and ready to roll, Pac-10 style.

Pullman, WA – New head coach Paul Wulff gave the Cougars a grade of C+ for their first week of efforts.  While the players may not be picking up the new playbook as fast as the coaches would like, they are definitely getting the hitting part down pat.  A little fire after the play is over, showing that a 10th-place prediction doesn’t mean much in the land of wheat.

Seattle, WA – The University of Washington may soon hire a new Athletic Director.  All we can say is, it’s about damn time.  Having been without a permanent hire since January, the Huskies need to find some stability in their athletic programs.  They currently have a head football coach who knows less about his starting QB’s injury than the kid’s father. Or at least Scott Locker is willing to share the information with the media, while the tight-lipped Willingham prefers to play dumb.  Also, moving over to the Sports Blogging Network in the next week or two is the UW Football Blog.

Corvallis, OR – Oregon State QB Lyle Moevao hooked up with WR Sammie Stroughter for a 70 yd. score in the Beavers scrimmage on Saturday.  With Sean Canfield sitting out, it’s looking more and more like Moevao will be the starter for the opener against Stanford.  Over at Building The Dam, they too, belive that Moevao is looking like a real Pac-10 Quarterback.

Eugene, OR – Big love for Oregon DB (what position does he really play? Safety? Rover? We don’t know, but want to.) Patrick Chung who Sporting News says might be the best defensive player in the country! It seems everybody in the conference is having QB problems, but Oregon’s QBs looked decent in their scrimmage Saturday.  It’s only 19 more days until the hated Huskies arrive in Eugene.

Los Angeles, CAHuge turnout for USC’s practice last night. 1,000 people came to watch the QB battle because Mark Sanchez went and hurt his knee.  USC is also having some trouble getting all their recruits into school because of that damn NCAA Clearing House.

Los Angeles, CA – With UCLA starter Ben Olson getting hurt and subsequently being out eight weeks, the QB race is suddenly wide open again.  The coaches want to have a starter in place in exactly two weeks, so we’ll see who decides to take the reigns. 

Tuscon, AZ – No problems at QB for Arizona, where backup Matt Scott is getting all the work with the #2 offense. While they may be set at QB, their starting RB got ejected from practice for taking a swing at a teammate.  There’s good violence after the whistle, then there’s this.

Tempe, AZ – The nomadic Ryan McFoy may have finally found his place on the field, as a linebacker.  It has to be tough getting moved around like that, although forgetting your thigh pads will get you noticed.

Berekley, CA – After a week of practice and three days in pads, injuries at California are starting to add up.  It’s good to hear that RB Jahvid Best is finally returning to full health, something that Cal will need if it wants to finish near the top of the conference.

Palo Alto, CA – With a new defensive coordinator, the Cardinal defense returns 11 players who made starts last season and hope to improve on last year’s ninth-worst Pac-10 defense.  In recruiting news, Stanford has offered a scholarship to Joe Montana’s son.  Nick Montana is currently a junior who is competing for the starting QB job at Oaks Christian High.

Snoop Dogg Leaving The Pac

That’s according to Wizards of Odds, who have footage of Snoop sporting a LSU jersey.  Like mentioned in the Wizards of Odds post Snoop has always been on the USC bandwagon, so why jump off now?

Apparently the Southern cooking led Snoop Dogg away from the promise land.  Now, when USC is winning another National Championship we better not see Snoop roaming the endzone looking for a little snizzle from his USC nizzle.

Best Game. Week 5

*We are going to be breaking down the Pac-10 schedule week-by-week to find out which game is the best every Saturday.  By “best,” we mean which game you should stop what your doing, make a sandwich, grab a beer, and sit on your ass and watch for 3+ hours.

The Week 5 Slate:
Colorado State at California
Oregon at Washington State
USC at Oregon State (Thur.)
Stanford at Washington
Fresno State at UCLA

Week Five gives us two non-conference games and three hard-hittin’, pass-flyin’ Pac-10 battles.  Colorado State goes to California and Fresno State to UCLA.  Cal should win easily, possibly starting the season 4-0.  Fresno State and Pat Hill continue their mantra “Anybody, Anywhere” as they take on another Pac-1o opponent.  UCLA will have its’ hands full with the Bulldogs and don’t be surprised to see Rick Neuheisel lose this one.

Oregon tavels to Pullman to face the Cougs.  Washington State doesn’t hate Oregon near as much as Washington does, but they still don’t really like each other.  Last year the Ducks destroyed the Cougars in Eugene, but two years ago the Cougars had an oppurtunity to pull out the win at Martin Stadium.

Stanford at Washington.  Possibly the Battle for the Basement.  Both teams probably won’t be any good and with the game being on Sept. 27 chances are that it rains in Seattle.  A wet, boring game for 9th place?  It’s not the game of the week, but being football-crazy idiots we will be watching.

Who can forget the last time USC visited Oregon State?  The upset of the mighty Trojans sent the Beaver fans and all of the Pac-10 into a tizzy.  This time USC is looking for a little revenge and get an opportunity on a national televised game on Thursday night. 

This game is the Best Game for Week Five.

Best Game Week Five: USC at Oregon State
Best Game Week Four: Georgia at Arizona State
Best Game Week Three: Ohio State at USC
Best Game Week Two: Oregon State at Penn State
Best Game Week One: Tennessee at UCLA

Roaming With The Pac: July 29

*A daily look at what’s happening in the world of college football, west coast-style.

Sorry about the lack of posting.  It’s a hell of a week for us. 

Wizards of Odds spoke to the blog Ducks Attack. [Ducks Attack]

People are not impressed with the Arizona State schedule poster. [Pitchfork Nation]

What kind of offense does WSU run? [WSU Football Blog]

Interesting quote from Tennessee head coach Phil Fullmer on the front page of Bruin Nation. [Bruin Nation]

Ted Miller tackles the Pac-10 non-conference schedule. [Ted Miller’s Blog]

Roaming With The Pac: July 26 – Saturday Edition

*A daily look at what’s happening in the world of college football, west coast-style.

This is a few days old, but former Puyallup High School and University of Washington QB Brock Huard will be working Pac-10 games for ABC/ESPN this season.  [Bob Condotta]

Third and final piece to a series by Molly Yanity following the UW football program.  This article focuses on the road to a scholarship. [Seattle PI]

Former Oregon RB Jonathan Stewart signed a 5-year deal with Carolina. [ESPN]

Mike Stoops gets wise, decided to throw the ball. [AZ Star]