Monday, October 08, 2007

An Ugly Weekend in LA

Man, I don't think it's possible to have two worse losses on the same day in the same city. First USC blows its season to the lowly Cardinal, then the Bruins go and give the Irish their first win, thanks in no small part to seven(!) turnovers. To make matters worse, both starting quarterbacks got hurt. Ben Olson tore a knee ligament and John David Booty broke the middle finger on his throwing hand. The backup situation is much brighter at USC however, where wunderkind Mark Sanchez lies in wait. The Bruins have McLeod (no, not Connor) Bethel-Thompson, who just like you, no one else has ever heard of either. At least they hadn't heard of him until he gifted a two-touchdown win to a pathetic 0-5 team that only racked up 140 yards of total offense. UCLA gets a week off to prepare Bethel-Thompson for the Cal game on the 20th, but the Trojans already have Sanchez practicing with the first team for Saturday's game.

At least Arizona State still has some life in them. They're now 6-0 after escaping the Palouse with a last minute 23-20 victory, despite Alex Brink's best efforts. Rudy Carpenter is playing a lot closer to his 2005 form than 2006 and Ryan Torain continues to be a weapon out of the backfield. Oh yeah, that Dennis Erickson fellow probably has something to do with it too.

Things are a little less rosy down south, where Willie Tuitama is putting up big numbers, but not getting results. Willie is second in the conference in passing yards and TDs, but the Wildcats are dead last in rushing yards and 109th in the country. In their 31-16 loss to Oregon State, Arizona averaged .3 yards per carry. .3! Everyone is still waiting for Mike Stoops to turn this team around. Things don't get any easier, as they have to travel to LA and face an angry USC team.

Sunday, October 07, 2007

Did that just happen?

Really?? It did? USC just lost to this guy?

Guess I picked a bad day to debut the new look. Just in case you haven't heard, the last two weeks of the college football season have pretty much been the craziest ever. From the week four AP poll, #1 USC, #3 Oklahoma, #4 Florida, #5 West Virginia, #7 Texas, #9 Wisconsin and #10 Rutgers have all seen their bids for undefeated seasons come to an end. Week six was supposed to be "Gut Check Saturday," and USC, Wisconsin, Kentucky and Florida evidently all need to visit their gastroenterologist. Kudos to you, College Football, for another great Saturday. We'll be back later with a recap of the Pac-10's weekend. Also, leave your comments on the new design.

Monday, August 13, 2007

We're coming back soon

I promise...

Monday, March 12, 2007

And Stanford Weasels Their Way In

Boy, are the Cardinal lucky. Syracuse, Drexel and Air Force all missed making the cut, but Stanford's 18 wins were enough to get them in. Granted, it's only an 11 seed and they have to play Louisville in Kentucky (How did that happen?), but they still have a chance. Bruins have to be bummed they are only a 2 seed, but if you lose two in a row to end the season, you can't be too upset you missed that #1 seed. Oregon and WSU are both 3 seeds, while Arizona somehow managed to fanagle an 8 seed out of the selection committee. The Wildcats are talented, but only went 8-9 down the stretch and were only winning close games. Thought they would get lower, now if they make it past Purdue, they have to play Florida. Good luck. The biggest shocker to me though, was USC getting a 5 seed, despite getting destroyed by Oregon in the Pac-10 Tourney finale. Thought they were going to be a 7 or 8, so the 5 is a nice surprise. Until you realize that 12s beat 5s all the time, and that is the seed USC got. Yay. But, as long as they can beat Arkansas, they have a shot at playing Texas and getting revenge on the Longhorns for having Vince Young a year ago.

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Pac-10 Tourney

We're a little late to the party on covering this, though we have been watching the tournament. Still can't believe UCLA lost to Cal(!) on Thursday, but evidently they needed a wakeup call. Ayinde Ubaka led the charge at the end of the fourth quarter and in overtime with 29 points for the Bears. UCLA could have avoided the loss if they had made their free throws. They had 29 attempts, but only made 15, which is a terrible performance for anyone, let alone a national championship contender. The loss also means they probably lost their shot at a 1 seed, since Ohio State, Kansas, Wisconsin, Memphis and Florida are all still alive in their conference tournaments. Being a 2 seed is a nice consolation prize though.

As for some of the other games, Arizona probably shouldn't have lost by 19 to the Ducks, but they allowed Oregon to make 11 threes and couldn't make their own shots. I will be shocked if the Wildcats are higher than a 10 seed and wouldn't be surprised to see them bow out in the first round.

Oregon though, has been a pleasant surprise lately. After losing five of their first six games in February, they rebounded to beat the Cougars roll off another four straight wins. They manhandled Arizona and Cal, and have a chance to win the Pac-10 for the first time since riding the Lukes to the 2003 championship.

Speaking of 2003, the 2007 championship will be a rematch of the 2003 final, as Oregon will again play USC. The Trojans, who upset the Cougars last night, appear to have regained their early season form, at least for the time being. After going to OT against Stanford to start the tournament, USC had a much more impressive game against WSU. Gabe Pruitt was unstoppable for the Trojans, as he scored 26 points and made six of his seven three-point attempts. The defense was also there, as they held WSU to 36% from the floor.

This afternoon's game will be exciting. Oregon and USC both need wins to move up their seeding in the tournament. USC will either become the first team to lose the Pac-10 Tournament three times, or the sixth team in as many years to win it. A win could also move USC up to a 5 seed, which means they would probably lose to some lowly 12 in the first round. So for their sake, let's hope they only get a 6 and watch someone else flame out in the tournament's traditional upset spot. Oregon could also get a bump in seed if they win decisively.

So my seeding predictions if Oregon wins:

2 - UCLA
3 - Oregon
4 - WSU
8 - USC
11 - Arizona

And when USC actually does win:

2 - UCLA
4 - WSU
4 - Oregon
6 - USC
11 - Arizona

Enjoy the finale!

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Trojans Down, Wildcats Up

Not a good week for the Trojans. With a chance to move up to a 4 or 5 seed, USC tanked both its games in the Apple State. The Huskies downed them easily on Thursday in Seattle, thanks to the long range bombing of Ryan Appleby. They kept it close in Pullman on Saturday, going to a pair of overtimes before losing by two points to the Cougars. If USC had managed to keep Aron Baynes from making a shot just once, they could have won. But, he made all 10 of his shots and USC drops from the rankings yet again this season.

Washington had a great week. They destroyed USC and followed that surprise with an even bigger upset of #2 UCLA. And they looked good doing it. The Bruins shot only 31% from the field and the Huskies outrebounded them by 14. That was enough of a showing to even get a vote or two in the AP poll this week.

Even with the loss to UW, UCLA more or less locked up a #1 seed this weekend with the win over WSU. As long as they don't get embarrassed in the Pac-10 tourney, the Bruins will have themselves a favorable draw in the NCAA tourney.

Arizona probably locked up a spot in the tourney with their two victories this weekend, and much like UCLA, need to keep up the pace in the conference tourney to get the seed they want.

Monday, February 26, 2007

Oregon's Not Done Yet

I was surprised to see them win after allowing the Cougs to shoot a mere 53% from the field while getting outrebounded. But, when you force twice as many turnovers as you commit and hit twice as many threes, its not as surprising. Aaron Brooks wasn't very sharp, but Tajuan Porter came up big yet again with 21 points and four three-pointers. Oregon needed the win to show their season wasn't over yet, while WSU needed it to show the selection committee they are a 2 seed. And now we know WSU isn't a 2 seed. In less important but still interesting games, Wazzu eventually beat the Beavers and Oregon outlasted the Huskies. Both SoCal teams swept the NorCal teams and the Wildcats barely topped the Sun Devils.

WSU gets a chance to redeem themselves this week with games against USC and UCLA, easily the best games of the week in the Pac-10.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Big games in Eugene and Los Angeles tonight. The Trojans and Cardinal fight for third place in the Pac-10, while the Cougs come to McArthur to see if the Ducks can shake out of their slump. You know, now that I think about it, Oregon's basketball struggles this season seem eerily parallel to their football problems too. Win a few games early (one of which is a close game against one of the best teams in the country), get ranked pretty high and look like a great team, then watch it all crumble as their supposed "leaders" (Dixon and Brooks) play terribly and lose lots of conference games down the stretch. What is in Eugene's water???

Ohio St and Florida both won yesterday, which means the Bruins probably won't get a chance to break into the top 3 this week.

Monday, February 19, 2007

Sad But True

Still smarting over the USC loss to Arizona State. I only caught the last few minutes of the game, but wow what an embarrassing loss for the Trojans. ASU had lost 15 in a row and were 0-14 in conference play and USC was coming off a big win in Tucson. Then USC goes and loses to a team that barely breaks the top-200 in the Sagarin Ratings. Bravo, USC. Bravo. But, since Florida lost on Saturday and Wisconsin followed that up with a loss on Tuesday, it almost doesn't hurt as much. Then again, the Gators and Badgers didn't lose to one of the worst teams in the country. So it looks like USC still has something to prove in the conference tourney.

In other Pac-10 news, the Cougs went cradle robbing and got a verbal commitment from a 14 year old. Now they only have to wait four or five years for that investment to pay off. You would think a top-ten team would be able to at least recruit upperclassmen.

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Weekly Recap

Rough week for Arizona, losing to both USC and UCLA at home, after already losing both games they played in LA in January. Hell, it has been a rough 2007 for the Wildcats, who are only 6-8 since the calendar turned. This is a team that was as high as #7 before they began their tumble in the standings. But since beating then #20 Washington to start the new year, Arizona has gone 1-6 against ranked teams with their other two losses coming against the now ranked Cougar and Trojan squads. They have three games left and a chance to hit 20 regular season wins, but they'll have to knock off the suddenly impressive Cardinal on the road in their season finale to do it.

Speaking of Stanford, they are now fourth in the conference, ahead of both Oregon and Arizona, after a nice win against the Ducks. Brook Lopez had another nice game for the Cardinal with 26 points and 9 boards as Oregon continued their collapse. Aaron Brooks finally returned to form with 25 points on 10 of 19 shooting, after making less than 30% of his shots in the last five games. But he didn't get much help as Tajuan Porter was the only other Duck in double figures and the bench didn't contribute a single point. Just like Arizona, Oregon got as high as #7 in the polls, only to go 2-6 in their last eight games and may even fall out of the top 25 in this week's polls.

And finally, congratulations to Vandy for knocking off Florida. Gotta love it when an unranked team takes out the #1 team in all the land, especially when it's an SEC team. Congrats also to the Washington Huskies, who managed to lose to two top-ten teams by exactly the same score this week, 65-61. I am impressed by that consistency, but I would be more impressed if you actually ended this disappointing season with 20 wins. Of course, that means running the table and beating Oregon, USC and UCLA in the next two weeks. Impress me, I dare you.