Tuesday, September 01, 2009
PAC-10 FOOBALL PREVIEW
I think the Pac-10 is one of the most overrated football conferences, with one of the most overrated programs (USC), which also has the most overrated coach in all of sports (Pete Carroll). But it also has the best looking females, so it's not all bad.
#1 CALIFORNIA GOLDEN BEARS
If Cal is going to make some noise, this will be the year to do it. USC is slightly weaker than usual, and Cal returns a lot of talent at key positions. RB Jahvid Best rushed for 1,580 yards last year on 194 carries. Yes, that's 8.1 yards per carry. They have an experienced group of receivers, and their defense has some nice pass rushing ability on the outside. Their non-conference schedule provides decent tune up games against Maryland and Minnesota. They also host USC in one of the biggest games of the season.
9/26 @ #14 Oregon
10/3 vs. #4 USC
11/7 vs. #25 Oregon State
10-3, Pac-10 Champs, Rose Bowl losers
#2 SOUTHERN CAL TROJANS
After they beat Penn State in last year's Rose Bowl, some morons argued that they had just as much of a BCS beef as Texas did. Fuck that shit. USC has a habit of losing random games to teams they should beat. In '08, it was Oregon State. In '07, it was Stanford. In '09, it will be Notre Dame.
The Trojans have a lot of holes to fill, but they always reload. Recruiting kids to play at USC is like beating a deaf guy in a hearing competition. They also have to play 5 games against ranked opponents, with 4 of those on the road. That could be their undoing.
9/12 @ #6 Ohio State
10/3 @ #12 California
10/17 @ #23 Notre Dame
10/24 vs. #25 Oregon State
10/31 @ #14 Oregon
Prediction: 10-3, Holiday Bowl winner.
#3 OREGON DUCKS
The Ducks only lost 3 games last year. QB Jeremiah Masoli threw for 1,744 yards, and ran for 718 more. Inside the conference, they have a big advantage because they host both USC and Cal. But their non-conference schedule might chew them up a bit. They had the balls to schedule Boise State (on the road, no less) AND Utah. Utah, by the way, hasn't lost a game since November of '07. Unfortunately, Oregon's bravery will be punished and not rewarded. They'll make some noise in the conference, but they're too thin to stay with the likes of the big boys from Cali.
9/3 @ #16 Boise State
9/19 vs. #18 Utah
9/26 vs. #12 California
10/31 vs. #4 USC
12/3 vs. #25 Oregon State
Prediction: 10-3, Sun Bowl win
The rest in alphabetical order...
No clear choice at QB, big gaps in the offensive line, a bland defense, and they have to play USC in Pasadena, and Cal in Berkeley. It will be hard for Zona to improve on their 7-5 record from last season.
ARIZONA STATE SUN DEVILS
ASU had the 113th best rushing offense in the country last year. That doesn't look to improve, and neither does the O-line, or the QB situation. They have a decent defense that might give some teams a headache, and potentially lead to an upset. But it's hard to believe they'll do anything except compete with rival Arizona in the chewy center of the Pac-10. But they have the hottest girls in college football.
OREGON STATE BEAVERS
OSU find themselves ranked 25th by default. The bottom third of the Top 25 is a revolving door of teams coming and going, winning and losing. The beavers have Pac-10 Offensive Player of the Year Jacquizz Rodgers, who rushed for 1,253 yards, 11 TDs, and 0 fumbles. But they have an awful defense with an abysmal secondary. They'll finish a very distant 4th in the Pac-10, and could perhaps be in that Arizona/Arizona State mess around the 5th spot.
Stanford is a bit of a throwback team. In the pass-happy Pac-10, the Cardinal are very good at running the ball, and adept at stopping the run. But actually passing the ball (a must when you're behind), and stopping the pass (a must when you're ahead) are Stanford's biggest roadblocks to bowl eligibility. But considering they have academic standards (high ones at that), it's safe to say that Jim Harbaugh's done a good job there. Except at scheduling. They play Wake Forest (on the road) and Notre Dame instead of going after more cupcake wins to help them reach that bowl game.
17.7. That's how many points the Bruins averaged in 2008. And that's predominately against middling Pac-10 defenses. 5 times last year, they were held to 10 points or fewer. And it doesn't look like much will change for Norm Chow's offensive unit. But they do have a good defense, which might provide an upset win, but will generally go to waste.
The good news is, you can't get much worse if you're Washington. 0-12 last year, they carry a 14 game losing streak which will surely reach 15 as they open their season against LSU. There's nowhere to go but up, but it will be a slow, nearly sideways move up. They're relying on QB Jake Locker, who can run, but who's only completed 48.7% of his career passes.
WASHINGTON STATE COUGARS
The state of Washington might just have the worst college football in the country. The Huskies were 0-12, while the Cougars were 2-11. Wazzou was outscored by over 400 points last season, and half their wins came against lowly Washington. Their other win came against Portland State, who went 4-7 in D-IAA.
So think about it. Last year, the state of Washington produced 1 victory against a I-A opponent, and that was one Washington team beating another Washington team 16-13. Pathetic.