Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Pac Ten Alley

It is that time of the week again when we take a stroll down the coast to see what the neighbors are up to.

Arizona State has been on a roll and has its highest ranking in a decade.

The 7-0 start that fans imagined for Arizona State before the season now is achievable.ASU (6-0, 3-0 Pac-10), with its highest national ranking in a decade, returns home after winning consecutive road games to face Washington (2-3, 0-2) on Saturday. If the Sun Devils don't slip up they would go unbeaten into an off week before returning to Sun Devil Stadium against No. 2 California (5-0, 2-0) on Oct. 27. Dennis Erickson wants to make certain that no one takes for granted what his first ASU team has accomplished. "It's hard to win six games and be undefeated. I don't care who you're playing," he said Sunday. "Those guys have done that. Does that make us real good? Probably not. We've played hard in tough situations.

The Ducks had the week off.

For the second week in a row upsets in the top 25 will play in the Ducks favor.Number 2 USC lost to unranked Stanford at home (how far will the Trojans fall?) Fifth ranked Wisconsin fell to unranked Illinois. #8 Kentucky lost to #11 South Carolina. #12 Georgia lost to Tennessee and Kansas beat #24 Kansas St. How this plays out for #14 Oregon remains to be seen but you have to believe that for having a bye this week it couldn't have been much better.

Arizona faces an angry USC this week.

Arizona opens as a 21-point underdog to USC, which lost last week as a 40-point favorite to Stanford. Based solely on the point spread, that is the biggest upset ever in major college football. Will the Trojans be extra-motivated this week because of the loss? Or is USC more flawed than originally thought?

Bowl possibilities for Stanford? If Harbaugh gets to a bowl before Willingham.....

That’s right. I’m here to type about Stanford’s not-as-remote-as-they-were-Saturday-morning chances of becoming bowl eligible. Yep, the guy who last week wrote that Pete Carroll would name his score against the Cardinal is talking about the postseason. Yep, I’m all over the map — GUILTY!!!– and there are two explanations for that:

Oregon State decided to mothball Stroughter till next season.

Coach Mike Riley met this press this morning, and his responses to various questions are listed below. The most interesting is the issue of the medical redshirt for Sammie Stroughter. He will obviously be missed for the rest of this season, but having him 100% for a whole season is a better option than a mediocre 5 or 6 games. Plus, he had the issues before the season that kept him out of the Utah game.

California is enjoying the rare air up there, but are they really the best team in the Pac Ten?

Sam Parker knows what it's like to race out onto the pitch at Memorial Stadium under a rocking chorus of "Go Bears!" chants. He lived that life -- first as a player in the late 1960s and then as an assistant coach during the turbulent '80s. So imagine his excitement last Saturday when the Bowl Championship Series was nearly thrown off its axis with Stanford's upset of USC. "I was watching the Florida-LSU game, thinking 'My God, we might be No. 1,' " said Parker, now an assistant coach at Buhach Colony. "LSU pulled it out, obviously, but the big thing was holding off Ohio State." Cal did. The idle Bears -- still spinning after Stanford's miracle win -- jumped to No. 2 in the polls on Sunday morning without playing a single down. How big was the leap for those in Strawberry Canyon? Cal hasn't been ranked this high since 1951, when it held the top spot for one week.

The WSU Blog is beside themselves this week after another loss.

We at the WSU Football Blog staff are first and foremost die-hard Coug fans. You know this when you read this stuff. So the following comes at you with the idea that this isn't to rip on WSU, but to simply help further explain an angle as to why we are where WE are right now.

UCLA is in deep trouble at the QB position with Olson out for three to four weeks, and backup Pat Cowan unsure if he can go this week.

Let’s start with some good news on the football front (I am not joking). Per Foster in the LA Times Ben Olson’s arthorscropic surgery revealed “no cartilage damage in his injured knee.” It will take Ben three or four weeks to fully heal. If I were a member of his family, I’d urge him to hold out for rest of the season, and wait on a brand new head football coach, who would be able to figure out how to utilize his talent. Asked whether he'd have the opportunity to play, Cowan responded, "Good question. Will I be given the opportunity to play? I feel that if I'm able to play, I feel I will be given the opportunity to play." Such is the chaotic state of the Bruins' quarterback situation -- now reduced to waiting on a player with a partially torn medial collateral ligament while trying to bring other less experienced backups up to speed. McLeod Bethel-Thompson, the non-scholarship player who was sent in when Olson sustained an injury to his left knee Saturday against Notre Dame, is still in the mix. Osaar Rasshan has made a boomerang journey, from quarterback to wide receiver and back. And freshman Chris Forcier was promoted from a leading role on the scout team to auditioning for time in the spotlight.

The Reggie Bush Scandal has new life at USC.

First, they most likely lose their chance at a national championship a few days ago, and now it looks more likely they'll lose their one national championship from their recent "dynasty". If this sticks - and everyone knows it should, because everyone knows that many rules were unquestionably violated - the NCAA has to throw the book at Reggie Bush, and the program, because otherwise they will know they've made a mockery of their own system. I had started to think that they would get away with this because nobody would step forward with evidence, so I'm extremely encouraged by this new development.

USC is going with a new QB against Arizona.

Mark Sanchez threw an interception and fumbled a snap in practice but said overall he felt relaxed and ready to start his first college game.``I feel pretty comfortable,’’ he said. ``It’s just a different feeling. I don’t like it or not like it. But every kid dreams of being a starting quarterback.’’

Hawaii has six more games to show people who they really are. Despite the rash of upsets out there the Warriors aren't really climbing in the polls.

"We're definitely excited to get out there and really show people what we are," Brennan said. "We haven't proven anything yet. The next six games will define us as a team and how we'll leave our mark."


prrbrr said...

HIE, is it just me or do i detect a malaise forming for ASU. There doesn't seem to be any excitement from the usual types. I get the feeling like many that the bye week was wasted, and the interviews from the coaches are more of the same: 2 backs, more TE involvement, we'll look at possibly blitzing, our problems are from poor tackling, gap assignment failures yadda yadda. I have a bad feeling building.
I like Nathan wares assessment on what needs to be done on D.
I get the feeling that time is running out faster on TW due in large part to DE, and Harbaughs epic win. Look out if Furd beats us again this year, the 5 year excuse wont work and we will require the quick fix. TW needs to win both ASU and Ore to show that we are making progress.
The moral victories are long past, buffooned out of existence by losing 3 games which all could have been won with a break here or there.
Start winning now with the next 5 games our best chance to win.

Health Insurance Expert said...

I think Stanford's win last weekend turned our moral victory into just another loss for the fans.

I don't think you can say the bye week is wasted if everyone is healthy for the ASU game. Getting a full week to heal can never be underestimated.

Do I have a bad feeling? Tough to say on this one, but we will be flying down to AZ on Saturday morning watch the game, and hopefully catch the first Pac Ten win of the year.

It is funny how everyone's thoughts have progressed....we were going to lose to SC by 4 TD's, we end up losing by 3 and have a chance to people think we are going to be killed on the road against ASU.

I saw ASU last week, and they are not even close to USC in me this is a game we have to win, and can win.

It all comes down to how well Jake Locker runs the offense. If he is over his bumps and bruises, if he throws the ball well...we will win this game.

As far as info from the coaches, not much, and I hear you on that one....pretty boring.

Ty will likely be here five years no matter what happens this season.

This team isn't losing right now because of coaching. they are losing because they have a RS Frosh running the team who is still learning.