Did Chip Kelly just start a chain reaction that will destroy the football universe?
This was originally a post about the state of Pac-12 basketball, but then of course, this happened, and then this happened. And then, just to keep us all on our toes... this happened! The passing of Joe Paterno is a difficult thing for me to wrap my head around. His legacy, to say the least, is much more complicated than it was just a few months ago. But today is the day to focus on the all the good, lots and lots of good, that Joe Pa did. As far as Chip Kelly is concerned, wow, that was nearly a game changer in the Pac-12. In the coaching world, every departure leaves a vacancy that will usually be filled by yet another departure, like an endless line of tumbling dominoes. So who would have been the next to fall? Looks like people in Boise were getting kinda nervous. It turns out Chip really isn't pulling a "Pete Carroll" after all. Either way, I still can't see Petersen leaving a good thing in Boise. Also you gotta wonder, do the Ducks believe all their talk about not expecting to face any NCAA sanctions? Chip Kelly's actions would seem to indicate they do. Now, where was I... oh yeah, Pac-12 hoops...
Another week, another massacre.
This week brought more carnage and chaos in Pac-12 Basketball. Of course, this time we got to play the role of the firing squad in this proverbial massacre as we dispatched both Stanford and Cal who came into the Palouse leading the conference. Meanwhile UCLA got swept on the Oregon Trail, Colorado was last seen Razing Arizona and Sparky suffered frostbite as Tempe froze over after the Utes beat ASU by… 21 points. Now that I’ve exceeded my quota of puns for the year, lets try and sort it all out. You know what you gotta do...
When I look at the standings what occurs to me is that while many of the individual game results do not make sense, the overall conference standings do seem to make sense. I am so thoroughly stunned every time I see Pac-12 scores scroll along the bottom of the screen that this really surprised me. Nobody has separated themselves yet, which you can expect from a conference full of mediocre teams, but the bottom three teams are starting to fall away (they should be the bottom three as evidenced by their non-conference records). Then you have the other 9 teams that can fairly clearly be categorized as a top four who are vying for the regular season title, and a middle five who are still battling for some kind of post season tourney. Though I worry the Pac-12 may be barred from participation in the NCAA tournament this year, I can see how there are 7 or so more wins possible to net an NIT bid. Its a reach, but its out there at least. Last week I was ready to just bag the season and go with a full on Youth Movement, but the wise Sutra came along and pointed out that the PAc-12 was in such a state even the team who lost to Utah and was unable to secure a single rebound against the Caple's, still had somethig to play for. After the improbable sweep of the schools by the Bay, it appears the Sutra is right. In my defense, you must understand that Amieable and I were AT the game where we lost to Utah. Witnessing something like that is bound to put a dent in one's optimism. So are we back to Puppies and Rainbows again?
Sorry, no. What I saw this week was a team that is completely dependent on ludicrous shooting from Faisel Aden, something I don't expect to see more than a handful of times for the remainder of the year. I am impressed that we were able to improve in some other areas, namely out-rebounding Cal, but the fact remains that Faisel was our offense and we all know that it will vanish as fast as it appeared. This weekend we go on the road to the Zona's who are reelling after going a combined 1-3 against Utah and Colorado last week. If these Cougs can keep up their winning ways on the road and accomplish something rarely seen in the Bone era, a conference win streak longer than 2 games, I may indeed reclaim my title as Senior Associate Blogoptimist. In the meantime I am very happy to be back in "wait and see" mode which is quite a few notches above the "awwww f-ck it Im done with basketball" place I was before last week. Well done Cougs, you got me trending in the right direction.
Have a great Monday everyone!
P.S. - And another thing! Have we ever seen BOTH Super Bowl teams fall bass ackwards into the big game on choke jobs by their opponents in the conference championships? Discuss.