Friday, November 03, 2006

Fearless Friday Predictions

Well it is Thursday night and I am watching Louisville, and West Virginia on ESPN. Looks like two pretty evenly matched teams, but Louisville was able to pull away in the second half to build a commanding lead. WVU was too one dimensional on offense, and once they fell behind a couple of scores it was all over. I don't really have any preference between the two, but I like Petrino since he is a Carroll College graduate from Helena. 7:10 left in the game and Louisville is up by 17. They ended up winning by 10. What I would really like is for Rutgers to knock Louisville next Thursday to further muddle the BCS. Louisville should move up to #3 and jump Florida. So it looks like the winner of Ohio State/Michigan will play either Louisville, Florida, or Auburn at this point. Texas, USC, Notre Dame, and Cal still have a remote chance to get in.

Boise State keeps winning they had no problem handling Fresno this week. Not a lot of talk about the Bronco's even though they will go undefeated, and demolished the team that beat USC. That victory over OSU becomes more important if the Beavers can win out. I still don't see Boise in the BCS even with the extra game. Fresno by the way is now! If it came down to Cal, USC and Boise St for a BCS bid who do you think they would pick?

John L. Smith has been fired at Michigan St. While names like Ty Willingham are floating around, the job is Steve Mariucci's if he wants it. Mariucci is a local guy who went to school at Northern Michigan with a guy named Howard Schultz who just sold the Sonic's. He has lot of ties to the area, no chance of getting an NFL job so he is a natural.

Bobby Bowden is in real peril down at Florida State since the big money guys want him to step down. Bowden who is 77 insists he won't go quietly into the night since he doesn't know what he would be doing if he wasn't coaching. The question is which direction will they go in finding a succesor? Bowden could have gone graciously a few years ago, and set one of his sons up with the job, that won't likely happen now. Florida State was a big nothing before Bowden arrived on the scene, and while the boosters want change, they may find that life without Bobby may not be the answer.

Nationally it isn't that big of a week, Washington vs Oregon looks to be one of the better games of the weekend no matter where you are from, or who you root for.

The Pac Ten

Washington at Oregon

The Huskies once again invade Autzen for the umpteenth time this decade due to the lack of intelligence of Barbara Hedges for allowing the Pac Ten to do such a thing. First of all we are doing the duck's a favor by playing them every year under the old scheduling format. So how exactly did Bill Moos outfox Bab's by getting the majority of the series scheduled in Eugene?

Anyway this is going to be your typical rainy, cold, November football game in the Northwest. The team that makes the least mistakes will win the game. Oregon has better talent, but is more banged up than Washington which is an equalizer. Washington has also shown a propensity of playing up to the level of it's opponent on the road. UW has it's back to the wall in this one and will leave it all on the field. I predict the game goes down to the last play with Washington pulling the upset on a Johnny Durocher touchdown pass as time runs out. I just think Washington is due, and no better place to do it than Eugene. ...Washington 31-30

USC at Stanford

USC will have no problem getting by Stanford after stumbling into a steaming pile of Potato Salad last week in Corvallis. The only concern the Trojans have is leaving Palo Alto without a Staph infection. ...USC 52-3

UCLA at California

The Bruins will give these guys a game just like they do every week against every opponent. The Bears are coming off a bye week which has allowed them to heal up. I think it will be closer than most think, but Cal will pul away in the 4th. ...Cal 35-24

Arizona at Washington St

This is going to be a cakewalk for the Cougars who will lock up at least the Sun Bowl while still dreaming of the Holiday if the BCS takes two Pac Ten teams. The Cougars were predicted to go nowhere this season but the folks in Pullman refused to believe it. The Cougars are good, but they did fatten the record by playing poorly but winning against weak out of conference opposition. ...WSU 38-12

Arizona St at Oregon St

The Beavers were given up for dead when they entered Husky Stadium last month but have been on a tear headed to a possible bowl berth. ASU has been up and down but salvaged the possibility of a bowl by edging UW in overtime last week. If you beat USC you should be able to handle ASU the following week at home....OSU 31 ASU 24


Oklahoma St at Texas

The Cowboys knocked off Nebraska last week but Texas will be a taller order in their home stadium. Nothing would please me more than seeing the Horns knocked off, but it won't happen till they meet Texas A&M. ...Texas 45 Oklahoma St 31

LSU at Tennessee

The Volunteers are another team that has been living dangerously each week. This one will be close and tightly fought. I give the nod to the Vol's do to the home field advantage. ...Tennessee 17-16.

Boston College at Wake Forest

Wake Forest has defied the odd's staying in the race this long. Boston College has quitely moved into the catbird seat of the ACC and should be headed to a BCS Bowl. Have to go with Kate's Alma Mater to keep the peace. ...BC 27-23

Oklahoma at Texas A&M

I love it when Oklahoma loses, and it would have been great if Washington, and Oregon* had beaten them this year. The Sooner's burst Gary Pinkel's bubble last week, but they won't have the same result against the Aggies. ...Texas A&M 31-19

Virginia Tech at Miami

I am enjoying the fall of Miami, and would love to see them eliminated from bowl consideration. Losing to VT at home is a good start. ...VT 34-17

Missouri at Nebraska

If Gary Pinkel is going to cement his job at Missouri this is a good week to get it done after falling flat last week with Oklahoma. I would love to pick Mizzou because I am not a Nebraska fan but winning in Lincoln isn't in the cards even though the Huskers aren't that good. ...Nebraska 27-24


Michael Wines said...

Nice job on the predictions (as usual) John. I agree with your analysis of the UW-O game although the outcome will be Oregon by 3 :-)


Oregon by 2 TD's.


Health Insurance Expert said...

The oddsmakers have Oregon by around 19.5 points today figuring the weather will impact the game and favor Oregon.

What I say is now we have them where we want them. We were 20 plus dogs to Cal, and USC on the road and you saw what happened.

I think the Duck's are very good, but I don't think they are better than Cal as we saw earlier this year, and we took Cal to OT with out backup QB.

Two things...we can pass on Oregon, and we can run up the middle on Oregon.

Well anyway it will be fun to watch.

hairofthedawg said...

I agree with what both of you said about turnovers and the OL, from reading Mike's site earlier. I've been trying to figure out which team gains an advantage due to the weather and I think it's the Huskies.

Has either team played in the rain so far this year? Stewart and/or Johnson will be tough, but James should be able, and that's a good sign for an inside running game. I also think this limits the escapability of the QB's. Bonnell's good at it too, but I feel that a slippery field hampers Dixon even more. LOL...what do I know? I just enjoy watching the games. Trying to analyze makes my brain hurt. Spare me the "we've noticed", guys. :)

Your last sentence says it all John!

Health Insurance Expert said...

Oregon is talented, but they are beat up. Rankin on the other hand is terrible between the tackles, so unless Kenny is healthy, or he stops dancing this week the advantage is most likely Oregon's.

I actually like Johnson better than Snoop. Snoop seems to be fragile and has problems playing at a high level when he is hurt.

Dixon is a great threat to run the ball well just like Stanback, but as we all saw against Cal Carl isn't a slouch either. Since Carl's shoulder is banged up I doubt we put him in much peril running the ball....the hook slide will be the norm.

hairofthedawg said...

Why so on Johnson over Stewart?

Obviously Johnson can play, but based on my limited ability to see the guys play, I picture Stewart being more likely to be effective inside. I think his potential inside wins out and he gets the carries until or if your observation about fragility becomes true.

I understand what you mean about Rankin but I'm still holding out hope that he finally gets it.

I also hope Carl remembers to slide. Adrenaline can do wonders on a brain. Durocher doesn't worry me as a backup but I don't want to see a transition period or momentum change due to a change. Part of me thinks Durocher might be better at a short passing game that may be necessary.

Fun week on both sites...thanks Ducks!

prrbrr said...

HIE and Hair, an interesting thing came up last night as my wife and I were watching the highlight replay on FSN here in SoCal between USC and OSU. They just show the highlight plays and intersperse that with sideline clips of the players and coaches. USC had just scored and gone for two successfully, so score was 33-25. They then show clip of Steve Sarkisian and another coach talking to the kids on the bench saying, "when we score again, we are going for two, does everybody understand that" or something very close to those words and receiving acknowledgement from the players. My wife and I immediately thought of the mass confusion in Cal both against defending Cal's 2 pt attempt with 10 players and the decision to go for the tie with the ensuing last sec confusion caused by M Wood's TD catch. Anyway, we thought it was an interesting enough vignette to blog it here. Go Dawgs

hairofthedawg said...

Damn, how did you get so lucky to find a wife that will watch replays with you? I understand that John's got something like that in the prenup and Kate's a fan anyway, but wow!

I almost wish you hadn't posted that prrbrr, mainly because of the lack of confidence and forethought it sort of implies. But where do you pin the blame for that...not really blame, just lack of awareness? It, to me, kind of goes to both the coaches and the players and I'm not sure how to partition whatever you choose to call it. I think we definitely need to be on the ball and prepared for everything this weekend.

Health Insurance Expert said...

Why Johnson more than Stewart?

I think Johnson is more consistent and can hang on to the ball better. Nothing wrong with snoop when he is healthy, have to give him the nod then, but when Snoop is dinged he doesn't play well.

Watching replays together?

I haven't got her convinced on that one, but we do have 4 TV's so everyone is happy. Whe I was growing up we used to eat dinner in the living room during the Jim Owens was an event!

Going for two?

I have to say that while I did not publically say it I have been very dissapointed in the way Ty manages the last minute of the game. DJ always knew before the season even started which way he was going to go in that kind of a situation. Ty needs to sit down with DJ so he can get that one handled. you don't make that decison during the game.

Let's face it, we lost three out of the last four because we weren't as prepared as the opposing squad in the last seconds.

We should have gone for two against Cal. Overtime at ASU was the right call, but blown coverage resulted in the loss. the last ASU drive in the first half was the result of bad coaching by Baer. No excuse for not getting the last snap off against USC either, and Ty did take the blame saying he had never planned for the scenario since up until this season it was something that wasn't relevant. I cut him asome slack on that one vecause the officials were just as confused, plus they mismanged the clock.

Anyway it is all hindsight, as we know hindsight is 20/20.

Health Insurance Expert said...

The King County Journal is confirming the Brandon Yakaboski has committed to UW after passing his SAT's.

The question is where will he play? To me he is more of a safety or LB since his speed is the only thing in question. The kid is tough, plays hard nose football, and runs with good instincts, he is obviously an athlete.

Oregon, and Oregon State recruited him as a DB.

Willie Griffin from Oakland is another RB the Huskies are in on who is described as more of a power back. His times are similar, can't imagine they would load up on 4.6 RB's.


Permit me to offer a few responses...

To the observation, "Two things...we can pass on Oregon, and we can run up the middle on Oregon.". Well, after the laughter dies down, if I were Ty, I'd run between the tackles and skip passing. If UW relies on the pass, they'll get chewed up.

To the observation: "Obviously Johnson can play, but based on my limited ability to see the guys play, I picture Stewart being more likely to be effective inside." Very astute! Johnson is very quick and often gets the corner and Stewart can ounish inside. They make a great tandem.

To the observation: "Damn, how did you get so lucky to find a wife that will watch replays with you?" I'm indeed jealous!!

Final score: Oregon 32 Washington 17


OK, I'm on my way home for the weekend and this will be my final pre game post. Husky fans, good luck. I hope it's a clean, hard hitting contest that both sides feel good about.

That said, GO DUCKS!!


prrbrr said...

As for finding the wife who watches replays, its simple. She controls the remote bopping between HGTV designer challenge and other home improvement crap, and occasionally stumbles into the game. Last night we wandered between USC/OSU replay and Lou/WVU. THe USC game was actually pretty ugly with more turnovers than I thought USC would ever commit. My input during the time she controls the remote is limited to "lets watch them score or miss the 2 point ocnversion since we already knew the final score"

prrbrr said...

HIE, sorry for the second thoughts. but that clip of the sideline chatter on USC did bother me. I didn't play D1 like you, but football to me is like the military; precision, toughness and out thinking/maneuvering your opponent with feints, speed and planning. I have never understood why the game plans shouldn't be more scripted in situations of possible mass confusion. The decision should already be made in the off season of what a team does in certain situations, (essentially a business decision). At the same time one doesn't want to get too predictable that the enemy also scripts your plans out. To me that is why RN was a great game day coach. He would occasionally let the flow of the game and emotions make the decision. However, RN also lacked the integrity required of a military leader. I don't know if TW is covering for his staff when he says "I made that decision at the time due to the confusion existing" so I give him the benefit of the doubt. It was nice to hear from you that DJ had already planned for those contingencies. I do give props to TW for preparation week long and bringing back Husky toughness. Think how good we will be if we can qualify for a bowl and get the extra time in. Go DAWGS

Health Insurance Expert said...

In answer to BP...

WSU's Brink was 20-23 passing against the Ducks. So the Duck pass defense doesn't really frighten me.

Stewart is more effective inside when he is healthy and the ball isn't wet. The ball will be wet on Saturday, and he isn't healthy.

I think it will be a great game as usual, and seriously the Duck's are favored for a reason. I just think UW is due.

I have to agree on your statements need to know before the season what you are going to do in any situation. That was what made DJ great, he covered every single minute detail.