Published the week before we blew out Oregon in Eugene in 2003. Please tell me the Ducks are on the Cover of SI again this week!
Hello Coug fans and welcome to Oregon week! This week has been much anticipated since Spring practices and probably even before that as Coug fans looked at our schedule and saw the potential for a matchup of 4-0 teams. Ha, remember that? I, myself, had the audacity to predict that our long campaign to host College Game Day may finally be fulfilled in the most tragic and ironic fashion possible... a “home game” in Seattle. Guess we dodged that bullet. There was a time, a mere half decade ago, when our two schools shared .500 lifetime records against each other and just about every game was competitive. There is probably no greater testament to how quickly and dramatically things can change in the world of College Football. So do we have to wait for the NCAA hammer to drop on Oregon and for Mike Leach to get 3 or 4 full recruiting classes on campus before we can try to flip the tables on our feathered friends once again? We now have the primary architect of all that Oregon has become on our campus, and Bill Moos is determined to build a similar juggernaut on the Palouse (for those who think Phil Knight did it all, check out Oregon’s donor totals. They are #1 in the conference and Phil is only one of those.). After a week in which we suffered a humiliating homecoming loss and kicked our senior starting point guard of the basketball team, we sure could use something to get excited about. Are the Cougs ready to shock the world and heal all our pain with a stunning victory this weekend? Click the jump the find out...
Ummm, no. Sorry.
I don’t have a single thing I can even make up to help you feel better about this weekend’s matchup. If our defense was confused by Colorado’s offense, Oregon can easily put us away in the first quarter. If our offense cannot score points in the 2nd half against the murderers row lineup of Eastern, UNLV and Colorado... then you can pretty much write off anything resembling a comeback, even against the Ducks 2nd and 3rd string. Furthermore, if our coaches think the problem is that our players are “afraid of success” or whatever nonsensical mumbo jumbo they have been coming up with... Chip Kelly probably doesn’t even need to plug his head set in this week. This will be confusion, bewilderment and stubbornness vs. ruthless speed, efficiency and decisiveness.
Ducks 55, Cougs 17
Stanford 33, UW 28 - This could be the game where UW finally emerges, but until they show otherwise I am going to say that Stanfords win over USC was legit and they are the only competition Oregon has in the North.
Cal 24, ASU 21 - This may be a surprise to some folks, but after watching Cal play at Ohio State I think this is a team that has the potential to surge back into the conversation. It starts this weekend in Tempe.
UCLA 38, Colorado 10 - No Cougs, we did not witness the rebirth of Colorado football last weekend. Probably just the death of Cougar football. Just kidding! sort of.
Arizona 28, Oregon St. 24 - Zona really struggled in the red zone last week (weren’t they 0-6?). They get those issues sorted out and take a little wind out of the Beavs sails just in time to insure they aren’t caught napping in a pile of their own press clippings when the Cougs visit Corvallis next week.
Enjoy the games, folks and Go Cougs!
Hey gang, Happy Football Friday on a Thursday to you all. First, a couple of housekeeping items for all of you.
If you happen to be in the greater Seattle area tonight, there is a Cougar Athletic Fund hosted Happy Hour at Woodsky's in Fremont, from 5-7 pm. Bill Moos will be making an appearance and you will have a chance to watch the Cardinal massacre the Huskies. Seriously, how the f**k is that line only at -7 for Stanford? Speaking of Huskies, a Happy Belated Yom Kippur to our favorite Husky, JasonUW, give em hell tonight at CLink.
Lastly, there isn't much shake-up as we head into Week 5 of our Yahoo Pick Em Pool. At the top, we still have our own SeanHawk, destorying the competition with 149 confidence points, followed closely by IAMWINNERS and DawgKiller1 tied for second with 141 points. Brother Longball is coming in 4th with 140 points. Keep up the good works gents!
Stanford 35 - UW 14: The Huskies hope in this one is that the beatdown they served Portland State a couple of weeks ago will continue through the Bye Week and the Huskies can get 21-28 on the board. Stanford has struggled to put tons of points on the board and have done well at limiting the offensive output from their opposition. If they can hold the Huskies under 21, they should win this thing.
ASU 38 - Cal 31: I just don't see it for Cal, I really don't. They played Ohio State fairly well two weeks ago, but then looked pretty lost in only scoring 9 points against USC last weekend. ASU continues to surprise me, but they have been a team who has struggled on the road. Cal hasn't looked good at home or on the road, so I am gonna take the One Year Wonder over the Less Than One Year Remaining at Cal Wonder in this one.
UCLA 56 - Colorado 14: It will be interesting to see which s****y defense yields the most points in the conference this week. Will it be Colorado or Wazzu? My money is on our Cougs. I really didn't think Jimbo More-uh was gonna do any better than the past two coaches down in Westwood, but he appears to be taking a page out of Pete Carroll's book. Well, since Carroll actually has a book, I guess Mora is ripping a literal page out of it.
Oregon State 21 - Arizona 17: And here I was doubting the bejesus out of Oregon State just a few months back. Now, Lifetime Contract has the Beavs 2-0 with upset wins over ranked UCLA and then ranked Wisconsin squads. I thought I had a pretty solid case for myself, but if I were to doubt any coach in this league, I was foolish to pick Riley. This week, the Beavs head down to the desert to tune up for next weekend's tilt with Wazzu. I am riding the hot hand here!
Oregon 63 - WSU 21: Honestly, in the more than ten seasons of Cougar football since I enrolled as a student, I have witnessed my share of Crimson Heartache. The 2002 & 2003 Apple Cups, and 2003 game in South Bend are the first couple that come to mind. Neither was more disappointing than last weekend's clusterf**k in Pullman. I saw Moos' quote about "Oz not being built overnight." and to that I call BS Bill! That's an acceptable answer when we blow a game that we were heavy underdogs in or get drubbed by Stanford. To allow those 17 points in less than 8 minutes, to the WORST TEAM IN COLLEGE FOOTBALL, at home, as a 20 point favorite, is just pathetic.
The only question here is how many garbage time points do we hang against their second team defense in the Turd/4th Quarter? Honestly, I think the only reason I am going is because a friend is flying in for the game and our 10 Year HS Reunion the night before. So happy we splurged and dropped $300 on 4 tickets around midfield.
Anyways, as always, Go Cougs!
Happy Football Friday on Thursday Cougs. While I'm looking forward to watching the Cougs try to wash out that taste of the CU loss from Saturday - and the odds are awfully long - I think after last Saturday I'd rather be fishing. With the fantastic fall weather we've had around here, and a 7:30 kickoff on Saturday night, I think we'll try and get a line in the water at some point during the day!
Fishing is great, almost like running to me. I throw on my headphones and just get lost in the moment for a while, think about everything that's going on in your own little world. After Saturday's loss I tell you, I was distraught. I think I vented pretty well on Sunday, as we are always most emotional around the "moment", aren't we? But then I've come back to reality this week as work has been crazy-busy and everything in the real world continues to roll forward. And of course we had excellent posts from Sutra, Longball and Huddy over the last three days, and really helped put everything in perspective (at least for me!). So going forward, I here and now pledge to not take it so seriously. In fact, I'd much rather ask the question WHY SO SERIOUS!??
Not that I'm going to be some nut case, ala Heath Ledger in the Dark Knight. But you get the idea - less SO SERIOUS, more keeping it light!
On to this week's games:
Stanford 30, UW 23: As great as Stanford looked vs. USC, the offense is suspect and well, they haven't played on the road yet. While it's not the creaky old Husky Stadium, still, 60,000 fans can get pretty loud in Century Link field. Interesting too how the betting line has been creeping down a bit, now just 6.5 points? I have a feeling UW plays well coming off the bye and gives the Cardinal all they can handle but a more physical Stanford team gets it done.
CAL 27, ASU 24: Cal bounces back after last week's disappointment vs SC. But if Tedford kicks this one, is he on the hottest seat in the conference??
UCLA 43, CU 17: The Bruins trounce CU, a team that still looks like it won't win another game this year (I have a hard time seeing another team on their schedule "gifting" them a win after last Saturday's FREE WIN GIVEAWAY at Martin Stadium!).
AZ 28, OSU 20: A little bit of a reality check for the Beavs as they suffer their first L of the year. AZ is angry after last week, and reports have Sean Mannion a little banged up? It will be a grind but the Mildcats bounce back.
Oregon 58, WSU 28: Hangover or not from last week, this is all about two teams at completely different levels right now. Speed, talent, depth, scheme, I mean if you made a check list between WSU and Oregon, is there any position on the field where you would pick WSU? MAYBE WR's, just because Marquess Wilson's first-round hype and the depth is pretty impressive from top to bottom at that position. But everywhere else, you have to go green.
That said, I do think the Cougs will be a pleasant surprise with how they play early. I believe they will come out super jacked-n-pumped, and the neutral crowd will give it a bowl game type atmosphere (and don't kid yourself on this "home" game - there will be 25,000 Oregon fans there, and they will be loud!).
I think Connor Halliday plays well early as they focus on cleaning up the reads and taking what they are given on offense this week. But it will all fall apart in the second half, as the Cougs get overwhelmed by the depth, talent and speed of Oregon while Halliday starts to force the issue after Oregon adjusts on D after halftime.
All for now. GO COUGS!
Stanford 31 - Washington 21: The Dogs do have some things working in their favor this week: they had extra time off to prepare and get a couple injured players back, they are playing at home and everyone will be wearing black, including some snazzy beanies. Nothing says menace like color-coordinated hipsters, so look out Stanford. What is not working in UW's favor is that Stanford is better at football than them. That will prove problematic when it comes to trying to win a football game.
Arizona State 35 - Cal 24: OK, Sun Devils. I'm buying in. Can you believe that of the new coaches to the conference this year that Todd Freaking Graham might be the best one? At least in the short term, he's doing a heckuva job. It looked like a real post-Erickson mess in Tempe, but suddenly those Forking Sun Devils are an exceddingly competent bunch. It's weird. As for Cal, their schedule has done them exactly zero favors, so they may be a little better than their record shows, but probably not much. Jeff Tedford has to be putting his swim trunks on, right Sutra?
UCLA 38 - Colorado 14: Don't be be fooled, Coug fans. Colorado still stinks.
Oregon State 27 - Arizona 24: Mike Riley is a wizard. Whenever it seems like the Beavs should be counted out and maybe the program is ready for a downturn, they start thumping teams they "shouldn't beat". It's annoying, but good for them I guess.
Oregon 56 - Washington State 13: Even though I outlined yesterday exactly what it would take for the Cougs to win on Saturday, I expect somewhere in the neighborhood of zero of those things to happen. Oh well. With the bar set low, my expectations can only be exceeded.