Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Pac Ten Alley

Usually I would have a lot to write about on a Wednesday morning about the Huskies after two consecutive victories but there isn't alot of news coming out of Montlake this week that hasn't been reported in the newspapers.

I will be doing my previews on Thursday and Friday so I will save what I have for then.

No question about it, Ohio State is a very big game, and Washington has a very good chance to pull off the perceived upset and start the season 3-0. Most of us are pretty optimistic, but out here in the Midwest most writers who have seen Ohio State play this season are predicting a UW victory.

The Pac Ten is making a serious run at the SEC this year as the nations predominate football conference. From top to bottom this is a real tough league, and USC can no longer be considered a shoe in to win the national, or Pac Ten title. Whoever does win the Pac Ten may be the best football team in the country, but because of the brutal schedule I doubt anyone finishes the season undefeated which could prevent the eventual champ from playing for all the marbles.

As for the best team in the country right now it is probably LSU. they just demolished a decent Virginia Tech team last Saturday, and I don't see anyone, including USC, or Cal who is at the same level at this time.

My Top Ten

1. LSU.....Without a doubt the best team in the country right now.
2. USC.....I want to see what these guys can do against Nebraska
3. West Virginia.....This is UW in a year or two.
4. Florida....The Gators are always in there at the end of the year.
5. California....One of the top three offenses in the country.
6. Oklahoma....Solid win over rebuilding Miami.
7. Wisconsin....A team of huge road graders.
8. Texas....They showed who they were against TCU.
9. Penn State....This is Joe's best team this decade.
10. UCLA....Just loaded with talent and led by a coach who doesn't know what to do with it.

Where is Washington in all this? Well we will find out after the Ohio State game. Between you, me, and the fence post, I think they can beat tOSU, and have a very good chance against UCLA, and USC. If we start 4-1, or 5-0 they will make my top ten.

Pac Ten Alley

Once again it is time to take a walk down the coast and our out of conference opponents blogs to see what the neighbors are up to.

Boise State is licking it's wounds after playing the Huskies.

On an otherwise beautiful day in Seattle, the Boise State Broncos tasted disappointment for the first time since the end of the 2005 season. Washington looked sharp in its 24-10 win over the Broncos, especially in the first half. Boise State’s defense did clamp down in the second half, but it was a case of too little, too late. The Huskies had 342 total yards, 119 in the final two quarters.

Ohio State gets a key component of ther passing offense back for the Washington game.

In preparation for the trip to Washington, coach Jim Tressel said at his media luncheon today in the Jack Nicklaus Museum that elusive wide receiver Ray Small, sidelined the first two weeks because of a high-ankle sprain, looked close to 100 percent healthy in practice yesterday.
"Ray will play," Tressel said.

Not a lot of love coming from Nestor for UCLA's play calling in the win over BYU.

How in the world did we all missed this? I went over some of my notes this am and ran into this gem from the Thinker on our offense line’s play against BYU (emphasis mine): "A couple misreads by the backs. (BYU) had a good game plan against us. They must have caught some tendencies on what we were doing, and gambled on making some of those plays. "Uh … so the Thinker is surprised by the fact that the Cougars caught on to what his offense doing? Are you kidding me?Does Dorrell really have that much contempt for the intelligence of UCLA beat writers and alums, students, and fans who read them? Dorrell is surprised that his opponent can predict his sh!tty offense? Geez Karl. Yeah, I am sure those running plays in the second half were not telegraphed. I am sure no one, no one in the stadium, or watching game on television, saw runs coming when you put in your jumbo package in short yardage situations.

At USC they are realizing that the road to the Pac Ten Championship is going to just as challenging as last season.

USC also was reminded that its Pacific 10 Conference schedule will be arduous. Unbeaten Oregon trounced Michigan with a wide-open attack, unbeaten Washington impressed against Boise State, DeSean Jackson kept unbeaten California humming along, Arizona State remained perfect under Dennis Erickson, Washington State quarterback Alex Brink torched San Diego State and UCLA held on against Brigham Young. Even Arizona won.

Arizona State has opened the season with a couple wins doing what they do best, and that is running the ball.

For the second year in a row Arizona State stays undefeated in OOC play by defeating a hapless Colorado team in lackluster fashion. Rudy Carpenter threw a pick-6 in the opening series and the defensive secondary created a pile of those oh shit moments but were underexposed by a Colorado receiving corps that couldn't catch crabs from a 10-peso Tucson hooker.** Freshman QB Cody Hawkins looked stunning for a kid making his second career start, but perfect passes in stride were literally going through his WR's hands. The score could have easily been 28-0 before the ASU offense came to life in the second quarter.

Michael Wines has a lot to feel good about this week over at the Oregon blog and he has loaded up with a lot of video of the Michigan game.

A week after being upset by Appalachian State, the Wolverines were handed their most-lopsided loss in 39 years as Dennis Dixon and the Ducks cruised 39-7 on Saturday. Dixon accounted for 368 yards and a career-high four touchdowns.

The Arizona blog celebrates the victory over Northern Arizona Community College.

University of Arizona’s cornerback Antoine Cason’s biggest obstacle this year might be boredom. The senior Playboy All-American is not tested often, and when he is they are short pass routes with little chance for success. NAU receiver Alex Watson caught 10 balls, part of the time in his direction, but for only 47 total yards.

The Oregon State Blog is taking the week off with little or no mention of the butt kicking the Beavers received last Thursday on national TV. There is a nice blip about September 11th which was as big a disaster as the Beavers third quarter.

On this sixth anniversary of September 11th, we take a moment to honor the victims and the heroes of that fateful day.

Stanford took last week off because as Nathan Ware says "Football just isn't that important". Jon Wilner on the other hand is still working and was very impressed by the Pac Ten last weekend. I mean you have to take a guy seriously who thinks Mike Belotti is a better coach than Don James.

My familiarity with Pac-10 football goes back to the late 80s, and I can’t remember a better weekend for the conference. (And by “better weekend,” I mean “better Saturday,” which allows me to exclude Oregon State’s dreadful performance at Cincinnati. But you know what? That narrow definition of “weekend” helps make my case, so to heck with reality!) The Pac-10 went 7-0 Saturday, the first time I can remember the league going undefeated in an early-season, inter-conference “weekend.”

The Cal Blog quotes Wilner again as he touts DeSean Jackson for the Heisman. One thing though, probably not a lot of defensive awards coming this off season for the Bears.

Welcome to a new weekly Hotline feature examining the Heisman chances of Cal receiver/returner DeSean Jackson. I’ll have something posted each Sunday/Monday as long as Jackson remains a viable candidate. And two weeks into the season — preposterously early, I know, but that’s what blogs are all about — Jackson is more than a viable candidate: He’s one of the frontrunners.

Brinkhater is still not Brinklover at the WSU blog, I mean what will it take to please this guy?

Like I've said consistently in this short season, for us to taste the fruits of mediocrity, Alex Brink is not only going to have to be GREAT against San Diego State, he is going to HAVE TO put up the same type of numbers against Belotti's Babes, the Beavs, Conquest, and so forth... And, as the Cougar nation knows, Alex has seldom played poorly against weak competition, its how he plays against the upper division teams that matters.

Hawaii officially doesn't scare me any more after sneaking by LA. Tech in overtime.

Adding fuel to what is becoming a heated rivalry, Hawai'i football players said slotback Davone Bess was the target of curse-peppered remarks made by Louisiana Tech coach Derek Dooley during the Warriors' 45-44 overtime victory Saturday night.

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