Monday, August 20, 2007

Conference Pre-View

Not into a whole lot of blather given the current state of affairs on Neo-poop Island.

So, here's my two-second run down. For more info, check out Sedi-Hawks AOL stuff.

Or pick up the latest issue of Lindys and sit (or smoke) on the pot for a while.

Whatever you choose, this is how Brinkhater sees it:

1. USC (9-0, 12-0)

Lights Out Til They Lose The Championship

2. Oregon State (7-2, 10-2)

Should be no surprise to anyone paying attention to what they did last year. BearCat road game could be sneaker given the Beavs tendency to get punked in pre-conference road games.

3. UCLA (6-3, 9-3).

FSU Game last year showed that Bruins aren't ready for contention

4. Arizona (6-3, 8-4)

Good but don't know how to win consistently. They'll wish they had a few close ones back.

5. Cal (5-4, 7-5)

Tough to rebound after loss at home to the Volunteers when they realize they have have no defense.

6. Arizona State (4-5, 7-5).

Denny rides soft September to Bowl

7. Oregon (3-6, 5-7).

Stewart runs wild in the Big House as Ducks lose 35-31 heartbreaker. They fold thereafter...Just like Belotti's babies.

8. UW (2-7, 4-9)

They should be 9th but they beat us, so they get the tiebreaker. I'm giving them both the Cuse and Boise State. Merry Christmas Dawg lovers. You're still gonna suck.

9. WSU (2-7, 4-8).

A close finish in Madison could make a lot of difference. But close losses to Arizona and Arizona State make an 0-3 conference start too much to bear.

10. Stanford (1-8, 2-10)

Doubled win total from the previous year leaves something in the Cards for next year.


Anonymous said...

Here's the way I see the standings going into the 07 season:

10. Stanford (0-9, 1-10)

The obvious choice for last place in the PAC-10 Conference. I'm not as optimistic about their chances as Brinkhater.

9. UW (2-7, 2-11)

Alright, i'm being a bit rough on Washington but this team does suck. (Before saying i'm a regular UW hater, though, keep in mind that once upon a time my parents met as Huskie grads).

8. Arizona (2-7, 4-8)

Maybe the toughest team to predict. They're somewhat talented but do they know how to win? Historically, not a great school. An early loss to BYU could hurt big-time.

7. Arizona State (3-6, 5-7)

ASU has a good chance of going to a bowl if they manage to win all their non-conference games. With three semi-tough games, it's not going to happen.

6. Oregon (4-5, 6-6)

A bowl game is possible with solid play from Dennis Dixon. Of course J. Stewart will be great (sniff, he was almost ours).

5. Washington State (5-4, 8-4)

As Scout put it, if there is one year we might shock the nation this is the one (and it wasn't even Cougfan). We're going to shock some people this year (including everyone on this site). Alex will be great. Count on it.

4. Oregon State (6-3, 9-3)

Alright, the Beavs will be good this year. Yvenson, Bernard and Sammie Stroughter will lead the O and 15 starters are returning. Uh-oh.

3. California (6-3, 9-3)

Justin Forsett is good. Really good. With Longshore and Jackson, the Bears have a great three-way threat. The question is more on D which is why they can't compete with the likes of 'SC and UCLA. And I have the Cougs shocking 'em. Fingers are crossed.

2. UCLA (8-1, 11-1)

Oregon State, Notre Dame, and Cal will reveal a lot as to how good the Bruins are. Oregon State is not as talented, Notre Dame isn't very good, and they draw Cal at home. 3-0. Non-conference isn't bad. We might be seeing a battle of the undefeateds come December 1st.

1. USC (9-0, 12-0)

The class of the PAC-10 will once again be dominant and despite controversy, how can you argue with their number 1 ranking? This team has it all (on D and O) and will likely play in the BCS Championship even if they lose once (depending on who it's against). They'll win it,too.

By the way, you guys should check out the ESPN article by Mark Schlabach. They mathematically figured out that we are the most underrated team of the past 10 years (despite recent struggles). The PAC-10 is also the most underrated conference by far.

Once again, have faith Coug fans. it's lonely being the only optimistic Cougar football fan in the world.

Ben Million said...

I agree with the previous commenter that this feels like one of those "The Cougs should be bad but somehow they're good" years. I think a win in Madison is too much to hope for, but I foresee taking one from the Arizona schools, wins over Stanford, at least one Oregon school (probably OU), maybe a shocker at Cal, and we have to beat UW, right? Please, God.

And come on. Alex isn't that bad. He's not fit to launder the jocks of Bledsoe/Leaf/Gesser, but he's better than Chad Davis...

Brinkhater said...

Anony: For us to finish 5th, Alex will have to be great. But no, I won't count on it. Been there and done that with that kid...

Ben Million: KILLER blog, man....very, very funny.

Brinkhater wishes he had enough tools upstairs to have crafted that Bledsoe-Brink scenario. Hilarious.

And again, for any newbees, yes Alex is better than Chad Davis, Degrenier, Shawn Deeds, blah, blah, blah....Bottom line: Doba and Rosey made their bed with little Alex and they are content to lie in it. That's their choice, and while I think that they are wrong they aren't IDIOTS.

But also please remember that NO WSU quarterback in the last twenty years went into their third season of starting and won fewer than 9 games. Alex won 6. Will he do better this year? Sure as hell hope so. Brinkhater would love nothing more than to be wrong about him and this team.

Also remember that two years ago, statistically we had one of the best offenses that I've ever seen from WSU. On most days, Jerome had 130 by the half. Tack on J. Hill, a pack of solid wide-outs, two great TEs and a GOOD O-line.

And you know what? That team won ONE FLIPPING GAME IN THE CONFERENCE that year and nipped a HORRIBLE UW team to do it...

So, while I'd LIKE to think that we'll do well or better than expected (I have us beating Oregon and Stanford), I just don't see it.

(also remember that we have 5 roadies this year, with only four games. Also remember that we've been largely HORRIBLE at home in terms of Ws the past few years).

That said, you both are right that EVERYTHING has gone wrong for us the last three years, so maybe its time for us to get lucky and stay healthy. Sure hope so..

Also remember that I am on the record for saying that the Defense will improve GREATLY over the course of the season. Clearly, the talent is there. But will they grow up quick enough? And will they stay healthy?

In a nutshell, this year is the EXACT opposite of two years ago. In 2005 it was creampuff city until the second week of Roctober. Now, its all about trying to survive September so we're not buried before we get a chance to hit our stride.

IF this team survives September with a winning record, then this season will become special, indeed.

But don't hold your breath.

Logan said...

it's interesting that while you state that the offense two years was one of the best statistically we've ever had, you don't give brink any credit. we've always had a good offense with him in there. the defense is what has let us down these past three years. we'd score and the opponent would come right back and score on us.

while i agree that brink could have been better late in the games, he shouldnt have been put in that position by a defense giving up 35 points a game. bottom line, wins are the most important stat, and it's a team effort, not just brink. he deserves more credit than he gets.

Brinkhater said...


The bottom line from this blogger is wins and losses. Period.

But honestly, do you think that our defense has been THAT MUCH worse than other Cougar teams in the last 30 years? Cuz, again, we're looking at the worst run of Cougar football in 30+ years. AND we're approaching that mark having THE SAME starting QB basically for 4 fricking years.

And sure, there is a LOT of blame that can be handed around from coaching (the fake punt @Cal etc), the defense (which I think we will link toward Akey by season's end), key mistakes (Bumpus' fumble against the Beavs two years ago)and so forth.

But personally, I judge a quarterback based on five criteria:

1) How they perform in last 5 minutes of a game
2) How they respond to quick or major shifts in momentum during a game.
3) Their ability to throw over the middle.
4) Their ability to throw outside--with particular attention to yards after catch (which is a key statistic related to arm strength).
5) In our offense, the ability to make proper reads.

In my view, Alex has been marginal in 1-4, and pretty stellar in #5. And, if you read back to previous posts, you will note that I consistently give the kid credit for having a lot of moxy and guttiness. I just don't think he's very talented.

But neither was Gesser. But, like Gesser, really good to great quarterbacks CONSISTENTLY are able to put together big drives at the end of games AND/OR are able to respond to a 10-14 point run by the opposition by leading a sustained, counter drive when it is needed.

Outside of the Baylor game and the end of the Apple Cup two years ago (which for better or for worse were against BAD teams), I haven't seen that from Brink. I've seen a lot of efficiency and a lot of good stats without a lot of mistakes. But I have NOT seen a lot of big, game changing plays..

But beyond that, let Brinkhater make one additional point, which was primary to my previous comment:

The team two years ago was an absolute juggernaut and we almost (we were 43 seconds away) went WINLESS in the conference!

Now, what this year's team has going for it is more talent on the defensive side of the ball. But are they more talented offensively? Will the line be nearly as good as the last one which blew holes so wide that I could get 10 yards on a the sweep play to the right? Will they pass protect enough for Alex to roll out the way he needs to in order to be effective? Will Ivory be the next Jerome Harrison? Will Gipson show that he is the equal to Hill as people indicate ? Are we as deep at TE? Will Brink throw over the middle effectively without Bumpus lined up in his usual slot?

Again, this is not a knock on Alex per se, but the last three years, we have been as talented at the skill positions as we ever have been.

So, in order for us to make a run at the upper division, Alex is going to have to be really, really spectacular. Certainly, the pundits and staff are billing him as being capable of just that.

But I don't see it.

But I greatly look forward to the opportunity of being proved dead wrong by Alex and others...

September 1 would be a wonderful start of a season of crow dinners.

Bib up.

Ben Million said...

Brinkhater: You make excellent points and your knowledge of Cougar football clearly borders on limitless. I just hate to be too hard on a college kid. I'm a softie, I know.

Thanks for the remark about my blog, too, much appreciated.

Logan said...

Points well taken, Brinkhater. I just think that he's been an above-average college QB who has had the disadvantage of being the product of many negative impacts, such as a bad defense, over-reaching expectations stemming from three 10 win seasons, and having very physically gifted backups.

He's done nearly everything he's been asked to do, and with a few more defensive stops along the way, you very well could be aliased "brinklover" the most platonic of ways, of course.

keep providing the coug news, you know we can't get enough of it!