Posted on: October 21, 2009 3:47 pm
Edited on: October 21, 2009 3:48 pm
Oregon @ Washington
The dawgs have already picked off 2 favored opponents at home, but this matchup doesn't seem to favor them. They'll will be hard pressed to slow down the spread-option with Jeremiah Masoli returning from injury, and UO's strength on defense (the pass) matches UW's. Barring some fluky plays, the Ducks shouldn't have much trouble.
Washington State @ Cal
The Bears bounced back at UCLA last week and will continue on the right path here.
UCLA @ Arizona
Right now, Nick Foles is the best quarterback in the conference, and the Wildcats look like they could make some noise. UCLA still doesn't have an identity under Neuheisel.
Oregon State @ USC
Jacquizz Rodgers is playing great and could give the Trojans trouble again, and Sean Canfield has quietly had a very efficient season. But Matt Barkley is progressing well, and has too much at home.
Arizona State @ Stanford
The Cardinal D has been exposed on the road the last 2 weeks, but aside from last-second Hail Marry's, ASU doesn't have enough firepower to test them. At home, Toby Gerhart leads them to a win.
Posted on: October 15, 2009 5:25 pm
2009-2010 Pac 10 Hoops Preview
The Pacific Ten has been arguably one of the top basketball leagues in the nation the past few years, but on the eve of another winter campaign, it does appear that the conference will take a step back this year. Most of the star players have either graduated or left for the fame and fortune of the NBA, and 3 programs will try their luck with new head coaches. Nevertheless, there are some great storylines ready to written as new players make names for themselves and teams look to surprise.
Projected Standings (with Postseason Predictions)
Year 1 under Mike Montgomery was very successful, and Year 2 should be even better. The Bears return nearly every important player from last year, including underrated PG Jerome Randle. They’re prolific from beyond the arc and have good size. The one issue for them may be depth.
The Huskies boast a very deep and versatile backcourt, led by highly touted freshman Abdul Gaddy and last year’s conference freshman of the year Isaiah Thomas. The productivity of Jon Brockman must be replaced, but they have a deep bench that should be able to contribute. Don’t be surprised if the dawgs switch to a more up-tempo pace and look to wear out their opponents.
Nearly all of the players from the 3 Final Fours are gone now as Ben Howland tries to assemble a new cast of winners in Westwood. Nikola Dragovic is the only regular back, so he’ll have to rely on a lot of talented but inexperienced youngster such as Malcolm Lee and Tyler Honeycutt.
Things weren’t looking good in Tucson last spring, until Sean Miller arrived. He quickly put together a strong recruiting class and convinced guard Nic Wise to stick around another year. It may be rough at first, but once they figure out what they’re doing, expect the Wildcats to be solid as always.
5. Oregon State
The first brother-in-law, Craig Robinson, had excellent success with his 1-3-1 zone and Princeton offense last year, and parlayed that into a solid recruiting class. Calvin Haynes and Roeland Schaftenaar both had break-though seasons and look to continue that this year. The Beavers limitation is their athleticism; they were exposed by teams that could simply out-run them.
6. Washington State
After Tony Bennett left for Virginia, the Cougs turned to Portland State’s Ken Bone. This surely means a transition from the plodding, defensive style wazzu fans are used to to a fast-paced temp like their cross-state rivals. Sophomore Klay Thompson should thrive in this new system, but he’ll need some of his young teammates to step up as well.
Ernie Kent, the conferences’ longest-tenured coach, is firmly on the hot-seat after finishing 2-16 last year. The Ducks certainly have talent and plenty of scoring options led by Tajuan Porter and raw but talented big man Michael Dunigan. They’ll have to get tough and play better on defense though to really improve.
No one had a worse off-season than the Trojans (well, maybe Memphis, and Rick Pitino). Tim Floyd resigned, and nearly all the players worth mentioning left with him. At least they found an experienced replacement in Kevin O’Neill as they try to make their mark at the defensive end of the floor.
9. Arizona State
No team in the league relied so much on one player last year, and now that James Harden (as well as Jeff Pendergraph) is gone, role players such as Derek Glasser, Rihards Kuksiks and Ty Abbott will have to step up into leadership roles for the Sun Devils.
You have to feel for Johnny Dawkins, not a lot has gone right for him since he left Duke for the farm. The Cardinal will face another drop-off this year after losing most of their scoring form last year. Talented youngster Jeremy Green is worth mentioning, though.
Jerome Randle (Cal)
Isaiah Thomas (Washington)
Klay Thompson (Washington State)
Quincy Pondexter (Washington)
Michael Dunigan (Oregon)
Nic Wise (Arizona)
Tajuan Porter (Oregon)
Patrick Christopher (Cal)
Theo Robertson (Cal)
Nikola Dragovic (UCLA)
Player of the Year: Jerome Randle
Freshman of the Year: Solomon Hill (Arizona)
Coach of the Year: Sean Miller (Arizona)<!--EndFragment-->
Posted on: September 30, 2009 4:47 pm
UCLA @ STANFORD
Two teams who are heading in the right direction. The Bruins are coming off a bye, but I'm impressed by Stanford after they physically dominated my dawgs. They look like an 8 or 9 win team to me, and UCLA still has questions to answer on offense.
WASHINGTON @ NOTRE DAME
The Huskies hit their first pothole on the road back to winning, and there will be more to follow. Jake Locker should rebound against a lackluster Irish defense, but USC aside, the defense hasn't really done much this year and will get torched by air or ground, whichever Charlie Weis prefers.
NOTRE DAME, 35-28.
OREGON STATE @ ARIZONA STATE
Well, the Beavers are off to their patented slow start. No one besides the Rodgers brothers has done much of anything. Now that the calendar has turned to October, will they pick it up again? We still don't know much about the Sun Devils, but at home, I think they take a close one.
SOUTHERN CAL @ CALIFORNIA
This game no longer resonates nationally after each teams Pac 10 opening loss, but it's still of vital importance in the Pac 10 race, where you'd think 2 losses would put a team out of reach of the Rose Bowl. The injuries are starting to pile up for the Trojans after Stafon Johnson's horrifying weight-room accident, and Cal has been just as good at home as they are bad on the road, but I have a hunch the Trojans rise to the occasion (again).
WASHINGTON STATE @ OREGON
The quarterback carousel keeps spinning in Pullman, this week it's Jeff Tuel. The Ducks are flying high once again, and they'll make it 4 in a row at Autzen.
Posted on: September 23, 2009 3:55 pm
The in-conference slate is almost in full gear, with one notable cross-country matchup on the final Saturday in September...
CALIFORNIA @ OREGON
While the Ducks haven't been as sharp as they'd like to be, they have won 2 straight now at home. The Golden Bears look like the conference's best team right now, but just aren't a very strong road team. The Boise debacle is completely forgotten as the Ducks announce their intentions to contend for Pasadena.
ARIZONA STATE @ GEORGIA
While this is a big game for the Sun Devils, it might be even bigger for the Pac 10, who can claim a winning record over the SEC if the Sun Devils can win between the hedges. But Joe Cox and the Bulldog offense is soaring right now, and ASU will be hard pressed to keep up.
ARIZONA @ OREGON STATE
Both teams look to rebound after deflating performances last week. While AZ has a solid defense, quarterback has been a struggle so far without their tight end Gronkowski, which spells doom on the road.
WASHINGTON @ STANFORD
The winner can claim first place in the conference, for now at least. The Huskies will look to avoid falling in the same trap as the Trojans did last week. While Toby Gerhart is a horse for the Cardinal, Andrew Luck has also been quite efficient as a passer, and that balance should lead them to victory.
WASHINGTON STATE @ SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA
Luckily, the Cougars won last week, because it may be awhile until they do so again. The Trojans will take out their frustrations in full on Paul Wulff and co.
Posted on: August 31, 2009 8:37 pm
After an offseason that seemed to last an eternity, we now stand only 3 days away from what promises to be another exciting year in the "Conference of Champions." We have a full slate of 1 conference game and 8 out-of-conference games here on the first weekend of September, with several intriguing match-ups. You'll notice a common theme: most of the 10 clubs will be have some manner of uncertainty surrounding the quarterback position, which is rare in these parts. Here we go...
OREGON @ BOISE STATE (Thursday)
A very big game as both sides harbor BCS aspirations. This battle of eccentrically clad squads will likely be decided by which 2nd year quarterback shines the brightest; the Ducks' rambling Jeremiah Masoli or the Broncos' efficient pocket passer Kellen Moore. Moore tore up the Ducks for 386 yards in last year's heated encounter. BOISE STATE, 38-35.
PORTLAND STATE @ OREGON STATE
The Vikings also played a Pac 10 foe last year.... the lost to Washington State by 39. OREGON STATE, 55-6.
SAN JOSE STATE @ USC
The only thing of note here is that the Trojans will try to break in freshman phenom Matt Barkley before the trip to Columbus next week. USC, 45-3.
SAN DIEGO STATE @ UCLA
After a dissappointing Year 1, Rick Neuheisel hands the reigns of the offense to redshirt freshman Keith Price. This could be another rocky year in Westwood, but don't expect the Aztecs to put up much of a fight here. UCLA, 27-10.
STANFORD @ WASHINGTON STATE
The Cardinal are being mentioned by many as a sleeper pick this year, and they're also going with the young hotshot route at qb, with Andrew Luck. The Cougars apparently still don't know who will start between Kevin Lopina and Marshall Lobbestael (I don't think it's going to matter). STANFORD, 35-10.
MARYLAND @ CALIFORNIA
Another revenge game: last year the Golden Bears were stunned big time in College Park. Here's thinking Heisman darkhorse Jahvid Best won't allow a repeat performance of that. CAL, 34-14.
IDAHO STATE @ ARIZONA STATE
The Sun Devils have a new QB as well (Danny Sullivan) and an easy FCS team to get him and his boys started on. ASU, 44-10.
CENTRAL MICHIGAN @ ARIZONA
The Chippewas have one of the most dynamic quarterbacks in college football, Dan LeFevour. Mike Stoops did enough to keep his job last year, but this year may be a bit of a rebuilding year with (guess what?) a new qb, Matt Scott. CMU, 31-27.
LSU @ WASHINGTON
The new-look Huskies (led by a healthy Jake Locker) hope for a much improved campaign in '09. Facing the hungry Tigers (and all-SEC halfback Charles Scott) is not the best place to start. LSU, 31-17.
Feel free to share your picks as well. I'll keep track of the standings, and at season end, the winner gets a prize!
Posted on: December 8, 2008 7:50 pm
I love me some Bowl games!
Las Vegas Bowl: Arizona vs. Brigham Young
A early showdown between quarterbacks who had excellent seasons: Willie Tuitama and Max Hall. The Cougars already have 2 wins over Pac 10 foes, can they make it 3? After Arizona snaps its lengthly bowl drought, will the Wildcats just "be happy to be there?" BYU, 38-28.
Emerald Bowl: Miami (FL) vs. Cal
Jeff Tedford-coached teams are 4-1 in Bowls, and gets this one in their own backyard against a Miami team that has been mired in mediocrity for most of several years now. Cal, 24-13.
Holiday Bowl: Oklahoma State vs. Oregon
woo-ee! The Holdiay Bowl has been pretty high scoring lately, and these 2 teams don't need any help to light up the scoreboard (7th and 8th ranked scoring offenses). OSU, 52-48.
Sun Bowl: Oregon State vs. Pittsburgh
This one should be good too. Assuming Jacquizz Rodgers is healthy, this will be a matchup of 2 excellent backs against 2 solid defenses (Rodgers' counterpart is LeSean McCoy). Mike Riley is a good bowl coach too, at 4-0. OSU, 23-20.
Rose Bowl: USC vs. Penn State
Pete Carroll's crew is making a remarkable 7th straight appearance in a BCS Bowl. Joe Pa is 23-10 in Bowls, so maybe the Nittany Lions will give USC a better game than most Big 10 teams. But alas, no Vince Young, no Trojan loss. USC, 31-17.
Other BCS Bowls:
Fiesta Bowl: Texas vs. Ohio State
The Buckeyes have liked Arizona lately, but Colt McCoy is too much for them. Texas, 38-24.
Orange Bowl: Virginia Tech vs. Cincinnati
Brian Kelly has done a heckuva job with the Bearcats. Cincy, 27-23.
Sugar Bowl: Alabama vs. Utah
The Tide better not overlook Utah, they are a solid club and have a BCS bowl win from the Urban Meyer days. But Bama's got some beef on the lines and should have enough to take this one. Alabama, 24-14.
BCS Championship: Florida vs. Oklahoma
A compelling matchup between 2 Heisman candidates, Misters Bradford and Tebow, and their potent offenses. But the Gators have edge because of defense. Florida, 35-28.
Heisman pick: Sam Bradford, Oklahoma.
Posted on: December 3, 2008 3:13 pm
All right, I still feel bad for being late last week, but Iím making sure the picks are in on time for the final weekend of the regular season! Washington @ Cal I really donít care about this game. More important is the heating up of the head coaching search. Pat Hill, Mike Leach? Maybe Brian Kelly? Cal, 45-7.
USC @ UCLA
Pete Carrollís boys still have an outside chance at the BCS title, and it sounds like they will be wearing the home reds at the Rose Bowl. No slip-up here, but I think they will be back in Pasadena next month. USC, 27-13.
Arizona State @ Arizona
Hard to believe based on the Sun Devilsí season, but an upset here and they are bowl eligible. The pressure could be high in Tucson, if Mike Stoopsís squad ends the year on a 3 game slide and gets passed over for a bowl, it could cost him his job. Arizona, 27-20.
Posted on: November 19, 2008 3:15 pm
Light slate this week. Usually I go in chronological order, but this week I'll save the best for last............. STANFORD @ CAL: Jeff Tedford is 5-1 in his career against the Cardinal. Cal has also been strong at home, and has generally won the ground game this year. If they can hold Toby Gerhart in check, they'll take this one. Cal, 27-17.................... OREGON STATE @ ARIZONA: Just 2 games left now before OSU could break it's 43 year Rose Bowl drought, and they have been on fire lately with the Rodgers brothers. But Arizona has the firepower to match them, and last November, the Wildcats spoiled the season of another team from the Beaver State. Arizona, 31-27................. WASHINGTON @ WASHINGTON STATE: It's Apple Cup time! I don't care what the records are, it's an exciting time of year here in Washington. Both teams have been almost equally inept, so it's hard to say who has the advantage. Vegas says the dawgs by about a touchdown. But the underdog is 5-2 this century. WSU, 21-17.