Tuesday, January 31, 2012

On Oregon's Odd Uniforms

   I always think it's interesting when an outsider (non Duck fan) has a take on the Oregon program.  Kleph, from Stride Nation, has a nice piece on the history of Oregon's uniform innovation, starting under former track coach Bill Bowerman.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Thoughts On Recruiting: Oregon is Now A Player

   With National signing day coming up on February 5th, the anticipation continues to grow larger and larger each day.  You can just feel the excitement.  It's almost like waking up on Christmas Day, and seeing all the new presents under the tree.

   But it wasn't always this exciting on national signing day.

   There was a time when Oregon was an afterthought.  Why would any blue chipper wanna go there?  Oregon wasn't a football school at the time, and location wise, it isn't very appealing either, to those who favor an area with better climate, and a better city life.

   For a variety of reasons - Oregon's relationship with NIKE, coaching, success on the field - that all changed.

   Oregon is now a player.  They are a destination.  That first started happening right around the time I got into recruiting, in 2004.

   I don't know what led me to getting into recruiting that year?  I guess I just needed my quack fix during the off-season.  And 2004, happened to be a very special year for Oregon (recruiting wise).

   That was the year Oregon landed the big four from De La Salle: Terrance Kelly (RIP), Willie Glasper, Jackie Bates, and Cameron Colvin.  All of them were a four star or above, and Colvin - who was a five star - announced his decision to go to Oregon on national television, over Michigan and USC.

   The Ducks had one of their best recruiting classes that year.

   A class that included: Jaison Williams, who also chose Oregon over Michigan and SC, future NFL starters on defense in Jerome Boyd and Patrick Chung, and two other four stars as well.  Since that time, Oregon's recruiting continues to get better and better.

   Oregon is an attractive place for recruits all over the country because, they see the flashy uniforms and offense on t.v., and they see Oregon is also having success on the field.  They know they can go there and win.  Since 2004, Oregon is 75-21.  They've had five 10-win seasons, and have played in three straight BCS bowl games.

   This year Oregon is once again having another solid recruiting class.  According to Scout.com, they currently have the nations #12 class.  Rivals has them at 15.

   There are just a few days left in this recruiting season, but Oregon is not done yet.  They have six spots open, and are in on a few more big name recruits.  

   Guys like five star safety Shaq Thompson.  Will he follow his friend Arik Armstead to Oregon, or stay at Cal?

   Stay tuned!

Oregon Gets A Big One In Arik Armstead

   If you're an Oregon Duck fan, the last seven days has been quite an emotional roller coaster ride.  A week ago  it seemed as if Chip Kelly would be heading to the NFL, and Oregon's recruiting class would take a hit.

   A week later and not only is Chip Kelly still at Oregon, but they just landed probably their biggest recruit of the season - Arik Armstead - adding to an already impressive class.

   The 6-8, 275 pound Armstead plays both sides of the ball as an offensive and defensive lineman.  He's the number one rated prospect in the country by Scout.com, and regarded as the best lineman in the country by most other scouting services.

   This is a huge get for Oregon:  probably their biggest on defense since landing former five star defensive tackle Haloti Ngata.

   Many people have said, if Oregon just had a dominate defense, to match their offense, they would've won a national championship by now.

   I haven't heard anything official yet as to what side of the ball he will play, but it sounds like he wants to play defense. 

   That would give the Ducks one of the dominate players they need on defense, and hopefully inspire other elite defensive recruits to pick Oregon as well.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Incoming Recruit Dwayne "Too Tall" Stanford On Why He Chose Oregon

   Because of the unique relationship Oregon has with NIKE, and NIKE founder Phil Knight, an Oregon alum, the Ducks are able to promote their brand in innovative ways.  Whether it be through billboards, or taking out ads, or most notably with their uniforms, they do it to gain a footing in the Midwest and along the eastcoast, in an attempt to attract some of these high profile recruits that wouldn't otherwise consider Oregon.

   It appears to be working.  Oregon's recruiting classes have been getting better each year.  Now there are other reasons for it, such as having success on the field.  You can't just have a hundred different uniforms, and put a crappy product out on the field (see Maryland), it just becomes a gimmick.

   A week after trotting out with their new uniforms this year, Maryland got PASTED by Temple.  Not a good look.

   But the Ducks back it up, and that's one reason why they're gaining national recognition, as Dwayne Stanford - from Cincinnati, OH - told Aaron Fentress of the Oregonian:

   “The innovation, the facilities are great,” he said. “There’s a reason behind everything that they do.” 

   As a former receiver myself, I'm always excited when Oregon lands a high profile receiver such as this one.  I can't wait to see him play!

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Who Would Replace Chip Kelly If He Left?

   It's an interesting thought, and one Duck fans (including myself) almost had to ponder this week.  Oregon has built their program up to being one of the best in the country, which is why ultimately, I don't fear Chip Kelly leaving.  I think Oregon is in a place now that they can go out and get a top name coach, and keep the ball rollin.

   One paper in Reno, NV (don't have the link) agrees with me.  
   Regarding who Oregon would hire if (and when) Kelly leaves for the NFL. They speculate it would be Chris Peterson, and he would be wise to take the job:

"If someone from the NFL again calls on Kelly in the next year or two, Peterson would have to take that job if it were offered.

"Oregon is one of maybe six jobs that no coach could turn down. Others include Alabama, Texas, Oklahoma, USC and Florida."
   Here's another site I do have a link for that speculates who the top candidates would be: http://www.athlonsports.com/college-football/oregons-coaching-candidatesif-chip-kelly-had-gone-nfl

Tampa Bay Buccaneers Hire New Head Coach

   After trying to set back the Oregon program by taking Chip Kelly away, Tampa has decided to go after the Rutgers program in hiring Rutgers coach Greg Schiano.  The hiring really does nothing for me, just glad it's not Chip!  Here's the link: http://espn.go.com/chicago/nfl/story/_/id/7505668/tampa-bay-buccaneers-hire-rutgers-scarlet-knights-greg-schiano-coach

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Ray Lewis Post Game Speech

Love this guy. This is why he's one of my favorite players. This gives me chills, I'd run through a brick wall for him right now! I hope he wins one more ring before he retires.  Really puts things in perspective.

Tigers Sign Prince Fielder

Now that he joins Miguel Cabrera, the Tigers have become one of the fatest teams in baseball. That'll be one hell of a post game spread in the clubhouse I bet!  

Crasnick: Tigers come to the rescue for Fielder

NIKE - osu Is Not Oregon, Stop Trying To Make Them Your Project.

   All the time, I hear it from Beaver fans...I get grief for our connection with NIKE, and being "Uncle Phil's" school.  Which is pretty hypocritical because last time I checked, they are a NIKE school as well.  And NOW, one of "Uncle Phil's" closest men - Tinker Hatfield - the man behind the Air Jordans, and the design of the Oregon uniforms, is going to make osu his little project, by trying to copy Oregon's success at Oregon state.

   Thing is, Oregon state IS NOT Oregon.  Much different culture, much different atmosphere, much different fan base.  And it shows in the way they bash Oregon and NIKE, mostly out of jealousy.  But that's why they don't deserve it, that and the fact their football program is third rate, and deserves a third rate brand to match.  A brand like Russel, or Champion would fit in more with their blue collar, lunch pale attitude, don't you think?

   Here's the link: Nike Takes On Oregon State Project To Emulate Success At Oregon - SportsBusiness D

Indianappolis Colts Hire New HC

Colts have a new HC. Chuck Pagano joins Rex Ryan, Mike Nolan, and Marvin Lewis as former Ravens Def Cord. to land head coaching jobs. Interesting move by the Colts. Shows they wanna go in a more defensive/run first direction...too bad Pagano can't bring Haloti Ngata, Ray Lewis, and T Sizzle with him though!

Monday, January 23, 2012

Chip Kelly Proves Why Oregon Fans Shouldn't Get Attached To Him

   The news came earlier in the day for me.  It came from a pretty reliable source close to the program.  Just a week ealier, he told me a player was leaving the Duck program.  He knew who it was but couldn't reveal it on a condition of anonymity.

   That player turned out to be Darron Thomas.

   So when he texted me sometime around noon on Sunday that Chip Kelly was taking the Tampa job, I got a little nervous.

   I decided to sit back and wait for an official word before I reacted.  Before you knew it, the internet was blowing up - facebook and twitter, blogs, and message boards were buzzin with the latest rumors and gossip.

   I still wasn't panicking yet, and I set my phone down and watched this great NFC championship game taking place between the Giants and 49ers.

   By the time the official was done explaining the overt time rules, it was being confirmed that Chip accepted the Tampa Bay coaching job.

   Now I was mad!

   Losing LaMichael James and Darron Thomas were one thing, but to lose your coach - nine days before signing day - felt bad.  I was a sucker for believing the things Kelly would say in the past, when his name would surface with an NFL job: things like his heart was with Oregon, he could never leave, he was building his dream house in Eugene.  All the right things.

   Funny how money changes that.

   Kelly proved he's no different than anyone else in that position.  Business is business.  And that's fine, I get that.  But it left me with a bad feeling regardless.

   Former Duck great Cristin McLemore said it best when (paraphrasing) 'that's what you get for putting everything into one person.'  Essentially - you're going to get burned.

   By the time I was done watching Victor Cruz doing the salsa in a post game interview in the locker room, it was being reported that Chip had a change of heart.  He couldn't leave Oregon after all.

   That's swell.  But it didn't make me feel better.  He only came back to Oregon, because they (Oregon) reportedly matched Tampa's offer.

   You know the guy who gets dumped for the better looking guy, only to have her come back to you because things didn't work out with the better looking guy?  Yeah well that's how I felt - like a back up option, or a second choice.

   Oregon fans need to be prepared, because Chip won't be around for long.  His loyalties aren't with Oregon, they're to himself.  Business is business, and when money talks, he'll listen.

Chip Kelly Says His Heart is With Oregon, Won't Coach the Bucs.

   This isn't a 'rant' on the situation - I'll save that for later - rather, it's just a report on the latest surrounding the situation at hand.

   After being on the verge of losing one of the greatest head coaches in Oregon football history, Chip Kelly decided to stay in Eugene to coach the Ducks.  For how much longer is probably anyone's guess.

   He turned down the Tampa Bay Buccaneers offer, reportedly worth seven million.  You can read more about that here:


Saturday, January 21, 2012

Oregon Football Rose Bowl Vid

NFL Playoffs Week 3

   In last weeks action the red-hot Giants, who entered the playoffs as the NFC's #4 seed, soundly dispatched the team with the leagues best record - the Packers - in Lambeau, 37-20.  And the Broncos got Tebowed by the Patriots 45-10, as Tom Brady put up ridiculous video game like numbers, completing 26 passes for 363 yards, and an NFL record tying 6 touchdown passes.

   That brings us to this weeks games, starting with my game of the week:  the New York Giants at the San Fransisco 49ers.

   The 49ers have come a long way since their former head coach was chasing players off the field and mooning them in the locker room.  A year later, same team - new head coach -  and the niners are a game away from playing for their sixth super bowl ring.  But their time isn't now.  The Giants are a veteran group, led by a red-hot quarterback in Eli Manning, who've been here before.  

   The Giants were the fifth seed coming out of the NFC in 2007, and were written off before going on an impressive post season run culminating in a super bowl win over the New England Patriots.  This year, they were written off again following a mid season slide, that left them with a 7-7 record.  They finished the season on a roll though, which continued into the playoffs.  

   If the players sound a little confident, it's for good reason.  Dominating wins have shown what this team is capable of:

   “We wouldn’t say we’re unstoppable, but our mindset is extreme at this point. We’re not going to be denied. … I might be a little biased, but in our minds, we can’t be beat,” Antrel Rolle said on Monday according to the New York Daily News. “We’re extremely confident and we’ve given ourselves the reasons to feel that way. We have to continue to give ourselves those reasons, and we will. We have no doubts. It’s right there at the tip of our tongues.

   I expect the red-hot Giants, led by Manning, to continue playing at this level and move on past the 49ers.  I think the pressure from the Giants front will get to the niners Alex Smith in ways the Saints weren't able to.  And if the weather does become a factor, like some people are saying, that will only play into the hands of the Giants physical ground game.  

   In the AFC championship game, the Patriots host the Ravens, in a rematch of their 2009 playoff meeting in which the Ravens won going away, 33-14.  The difference being, the Patriots were without their stud TE's and go to slot receiver Wes Welker.  This is a big game though for the Ravens.

   Much has been made this week in the media about the controversial comments made by Ed Reed on his quarterback, Joe Flacco.  Reed said on his own radio show, among other things, that Flacco looked "rattled" at times against Houston.  

   You can debate whether or not he was right, or whether or not he should - or shouldn't have - come out with those comments in the week leading up to this game, but he has a point.  Flacco has been up and down during his career in Baltimore.  He's not a bad quarterback, but he's not great either...kind of stuck in the middle.  Has he reached his ceiling?  Will he get better?  Here's his chance to prove his doubters wrong.

   Joe Theisman seems to agree, as he told Jim Rome: http://www.jimrome.com/junglehighlights?uri=channels%2F465575%2F1585286  in the interview he said the game "is set up perfectlfy for [Joe Flacco] to put a lot of the criticism behind him."

   Will he?  The answer is no.

   The Patriots will play a no huddle offense, attacking the Ravens linebackers with their tight ends, forcing Ray Lewis and Terrell Suggs to cover.  Advantage Patriots.  This game could be close, but I also could see the Patriots piling it on late, and making the score looking something like 34-17.

  The result:  a rematch of Super Bowl XLI between the Patriots and Giants.


Thursday, January 19, 2012

Quick Takes on What Makes The NFL Playoffs Great

   It's like an actual reality show - real emotion - not fabricated crap like six strangers living in a house together, with the type of different backgrounds that's inevitably going to lead to drama.

   This weekend, you got the niners wanting the Giants, the Giants wanting the niners.  The Ravens have drama on their own team.  Ed Reed isn't supporting his qb, while Suggs is.  To that point, which Flacco shows up?  This is a chance for him to silence his critics.  To say this is a big game for him would probably be an understatement.  

   It's all going down this weekend:  real situations, with real emotions.  In the words of Bart Scott, can't wait!  I'll have my pics up Friday.

More on Marcus Mariota

From Rob Moseley of the Register Guard:

Today's Rants: Kobe V. LeBron, more...

I'm fired up today (must be the weather) lets go!
Lakers V. Heat tonight. Stephen A. Smith reported on The Herd LeBron James got sent home from practice today with the flu. More like pussyitis. Kobe would play through it. Another example of why LeBron doesn't deserve to be compared to MJ. Even MJ will tell you that. He told Roland Lazenby, who's writing an upcoming book on MJ, that "Kobe's the only one to have done work to deserve comparison."
Blazers lost again. Still think it's their year?
Andy Roddick also lost again. Who cares it's tennis!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Marcus Mariota Highlights

For Duck fans: future starter Marcus Mariota, whom some believe is ready to beat out Bennett NOW for starter. 

Monday, January 16, 2012

Huskies Hire Tosh Lupoi

   There's a lot of noise going on up in Seattle right now, and I'm not talking about the construction going on at Husky Stadium.  Turns out Husky stadium isn't the only thing getting a make over in Montlake, so is the team's defense.  

   After an embarrassing performance by the defense in the Alamo Bowl, in which Baylor lit them up for 67 points, and 770 yards, Washington fired their defensive coordinator Nick Holt.  They brought in two former Ducks to coach defense in Justin Wilcox, whom many consider a rising star, and Peter Sirmon.  The Huskies also brought in Keith Heyward as defensive backs coach, from Oregon State.  The latest hire has caused quite the ruckus, not only in the northwest, but in the Pac 12 as well, as Tosh Lupoi joins the Husky staff to coach defense.

   He leaves behind a similar position he held at Cal, his alma mater.  

   This is a pretty significant move, and if you head over to the Cal boards, you'll see why.  Tosh Lupoi is an excellent recruiter.  One of the nations best, in 2010 he was named recruiter of the year.  His  defensive lines were regularly some of the best in the conference, as Duck fans can attest to.  Cal was one of a couple teams that had the talent up front to disrupt Oregon's offense.

   What this means is that Washington is on the rise.  Which isn't such a bad thing if you're a Duck fan.  A strong Oregon-Washington rivalry is a good thing.  This is also another indication that the conference as a whole, is on the rise.  With the recent coaching hires by Arizona, Washington State, UCLA, and maybe even Arizona State, those teams should see improvement.  Combined that with the moves Washington is making, USC becoming hot again just as their bowl ban is over, and Oregon continuing the run they're on, the conference should start seeing more respect nationally.

   It's about damn time!


Thanks For The Memories Darron Thomas

   Life is all about taking risks.  You're never going to get anywhere if you don't.  You have to have faith that things will work out.

   The great Martin Luther King Jr. once said about faith "it's taking the first step even when you don't see the whole staircase."

   Darron Thomas took a giant leap in faith over the weekend by announcing his decision to go pro.  You ask many of the draft experts, and they'll tell you they were baffled by this decision.  Most of them have him going in the late rounds at best.

   Thomas told ESPN on Saturday that he can "offer leadership, (a) winning attitude, hard work and I can make big plays. I saw what Cam Newton did this year. He took his raw talent and made a spark. I can do those things, too."

   I have to respect him for this.  Chase your dreams and don't be afraid of failure.

   Instead of being negative, now it's time to celebrate his career, and look back on some of my most memorable moments of him.

   They say the backup quarterback is always the most popular player on the team.  Which is why I wanted to see him play right away, even in front of Jeremiah Masoli, who was doing pretty good in his own right.  I was excited when Oregon landed the four star recruit from Houston, Texas, for the potential of what he could do.  I envisioned another Dennis Dixon.

   We got our first taste of Thomas on a sunny, but chilly, September afternoon at Autzen stadium against Boise State.  The Ducks were inexplicably losing bad.  The Ducks were just flat and fell behind early.  Things went from bad to worse when, starting QB Jeremiah Masoli got knocked out for the rest of the game on some cheap shot hit.  Chris Harper came in to play quarterback, but was ineffective.

   With the Ducks down big in the fourth quarter, they needed a change at quarterback to provide them with a spark.    In came Darron Thomas, and did just that.  He nearly brought the Ducks back from a 24 point fourth quarter deficit, and went 13 of 25 for 210 yards and 3 touchdowns - in just one quarter - in a 37-32 loss.

   It was a sign of things to come.

   Thomas became a starter in 2010, and was successful in his debut by going 13 of 23 for 220 yards and 2 touchdowns - IN ONE HALF - in a 72-0 win over New Mexico.

   He made the most of his first start on the road, in legendary Neyland stadium  - in front of nearly 110,000 fans - by leading the Ducks to a 48-13 win over Tennessee.  The weather delay from the lightning storm did little to affect him.  In fact, it provided  a 'spark' (pun intended) as the Ducks were trailing at the time, 13-3.

   He played a huge roll in his first game as starter against rival Washington.  He threw for a then career high 24 completions, for 243 yards and a touchdown; carried 12 times for 89 yards and 2 rushing touchdowns.  He totaled 330 yards and a career high 4 touchdowns on the road against USC.  A game in which the trojans labeled it "their superbowl."  

   Ducks won that game 53-32.

   Thomas led Oregon to a 12-0 regular season record that year, and an appearance in the national championship.  Despite the fact the Ducks lost (Dyer was down) he played well.  He set individual game highs of 363 yards, 27 completions, and 40 attempts.  He also threw for 2 touchdowns, and BCS championship game record for longest pass play, on an 81 yard strike to Jeff Maehl.

   In 2011, Thomas led Oregon to another conference championship and a 12-2 record.  He was brilliant in Oregon's 45-38 win over Wisconsin in the Rose Bowl, going 17 of 23 for 268 yards, with 3 touchdowns and 1 interception.

   All in all Thomas threw for 5,910 yards, 66 touchdowns, and 17 interceptions, while leading Oregon to a 24-3 record over his two years as a starter.  Arguably the most successful quarterback at Oregon - even more so than Joey Harrington.

   Thomas has a  confidence about him...that certain swagger you need to be successful.  Which is why I think he's leaving now, despite what the "experts" are saying.  He has that confidence in himself - the faith if you will - that he can be successful NOW.  The same confidence he had to step in for the first time, and nearly lead the Ducks back against Boise.  The confidence to go on the road for the first time, in front of 110,000 hostile fans.  The confidence to throw for 330 yards on national tv, in what was your biggest game at that point.  I think Thomas will be fine, and I wish him the best.

   And "experts" have been wrong before.  Kurt Warner, Tom Brady anyone?  How about Victor Cruz?  Nobody saw him comin.

   Thomas leaves the program in good hands.  Whomever takes over - most likely Brian Bennett - is in position to have a successful first year.  The Ducks have a pretty light non-conference schedule, which will give the new starter a chance to get some experience, and develop a rhythm with the team.  And there is plenty of talent on offense coming back as well.  This will give the starter and the young talent a chance to develop a nucleus.

   Countdown to spring ball has already begun!  May 5th we will get to see these guys, and what the future holds.  Well, at least get a better idea. 



Saturday, January 14, 2012

Baseball players: Start takin better pride in your looks

   Do you realize there's only 35 days left till pitchers and catchers report?  Probably a good time for them to start thinking about getting in shape, if they already haven't.  

   Now what got me to thinking about this was the fact that, today (Saturday Jan. 14th) my cousin is getting married here in Salem, Oregon.  His best man is none other than Jed Lowerie of the Boston Red Sox.  They both grew up together, and played baseball at North Salem High School, and have remained close friends through the years.  

   The Red Sox, if you remember, were criticized for the fact that it came out that players would eat fried chicken, and drink beer in the clubhouse in between innings, or for certain pitchers like Josh Beckett, in between starts.  Now if you look at Beckett, this doesn't come as a surpise.  He is looking a little thicker compared to his days with the Marlins.

   And I got to thinking, baseball players need to start taking better care of themselves.  Have some pride.  You're a professional athlete, you should not look like the average joe.  This is why baseball players get a bad rap:  too many of them LOOK like the average Joe playing for some beer league softball team.  Lance Berkman anyone?  CC Sabathia?  The C.C. stands for Captain Crunch...literally.  Maybe he'd get more love from me if he stopped bragging about crushing two bowls of crunch berry per day!

   Maybe the players should just go back to roiding up and being demons in the weight room?  At least then they'll look like the type of athletes we all picture what a professional athlete should look like. 

Friday, January 13, 2012

Chris Bosh Tells GQ Wade Should Be Closer, Not Lebron

   This is why I can't stand LeBron:  you wanna be the "chosen one," you call yourself the king, you gotta act like one.  You have to be 'the man' in clutch situations...the guy everybody looks to.  When asked who would be that guy on the Heat, Chris Bosh didn't hesitate to answer.  http://www.gq.com/sports/profiles/201201/chris-bosh-miami-heat-interview-style  His response:

GQ: Quick hypothetical, toes aside: Let's say the game was tied. 10 seconds left. You had 30 points, LeBron's got 30, and Wade's got 30. You got the same amount of rebounds, same amount of assists—having the same great game. Who takes the shot at the end to either win or lose the game.
Chris Bosh:
[immediately] Dwyane.
GQ: Why?
Chris Bosh:
Because of his success in the past, given what he's done. He's a champ. He's an MVP, and he's hit a bunch of last-second shots. That's the time you have to put pride aside a little bit, and do what's best for the team. He's quickest, and he's gonna get a shot off. He relishes those moments.

   I like how his response was immediate by the way.  Bosh knows what most of us know, except for the LeBron James fanboys out there, he's not the closer and never will be.  A great player, yes.  But not a killer like Kobe, or MJ.

NFL Playoffs Week 2

   Last week I went 3-1 with my only loss being the Steelers/Broncos game, which I'm sure a lot of people missed on.  Even so, I said it would be a close game, and was my game most likely to result in an upset.  This week, like last week, I'm going pretty chalk:  I have Baltimore over Houston, Green Bay over New York, New Orleans over San Fransisco, and New England over Denver.

   Houston has had good run this year, their pinnacle was probably last week.  Baltimore is veteran team, playing at home, with that defense?  I'll take Ravens all day.  I don't expect a high scoring game though.  Again going with the home team here in the Giants/Packers game.  The defense, with Charles Woodson, still is a ball hawking secondary.  And as if Aaron Rodgers needed any more motivation, he's probably seen this posted in his locker room: http://www.sportsgrid.com/nfl/new-york-post-eli-manning-rambo/

   Tebow time comes to an end this week, but I'm getting tired of him proving me wrong.  Not that I think the patriots defense is a bunch of world beaters, but I still don't think the Broncos offense is gonna put up the points/yards they need to be in the game for four quarters.  And I'm not picking against Brady and Belichick.

   The game I'm looking forward to the most, and the game I think is most likely to result in an upset is New Orleans at San Fransisco.  I wanna pick the 49ers.  You know Harbaugh will be pulling out all the stops to create a home field advantage - growing the grass, watering the grass - and the 49ers have a sick defense, I just can't do it.  For as nasty as the 49ers defense is, the Saints offense is even scarier.  They are first in the NFL passing yards per game, and sixth in rushing.  I don't see them putting up the usual video game like numbers against the 49ers, they do other teams, but they'll still get theirs.  Probably in the 24-31 range, and I don't believe that Alex Smith can match Drew Brees.  Saints will get enough to win.


Bryce Brown Going Pro

   Remember this guy? One of the nations hottest recruits coming out of high school in 2009, the #2 RB behind only Alabama's Trent Richardson, and was almost surely gonna be a Duck. Thank goodness he wasn't. 
   Trouble has fallowed him everywhere he goes, and has questionable decision making. Case in point, choosing Tennessee over Oregon at the last minute. Imagine what he could've done in this offense? He was a flame out at Tennessee, and also got into trouble, transferred to Kansas State where he still didn't live up to the initial hype, and his name has been tied to Nevin Shapiro...former Miami booster and convicted felon who told Yahoo! Sports he provided cash and cars - among other things - to 72 athletes and recruits. 
   All of this and he wants to go pro now? Hmmm. Like I said, questionable decision maker.

My Top 5 In College Football For Next Year

   I know it's ridiculously early but everybody else is already coming out with their top teams for next year, so here are my top 5:  
  1. Alabama
  2. LSU
  3. Oregon
  4. OU
  5. USC
   The thing these teams all have in common is that, while they're losing a few pieces from this year, they're also replacing them.  These teams don't rebuild, they reload.  All of them have talent waiting to step up and I don't expect them to miss a beat.  All of them are expected by most of the experts to be as good, or in Oregon's case, better than this year.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Quick Takes on Mark Sanchez, Kobe v LeBron, Wisconsins' new OC

If Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez really is the first one in the teams' training facility, and the last one out - and he's still this bad - the jets are in trouble. Lakers coach Mike Brown says there is a difference between LeBron and Kobe, he just doesn't know what it is: "There's just a different feel to the two guys," he told the O.C. Register. I'll tell you what it is: one's a killer, the other is not. While Kobe continues to go off for 40 on back to back nights with a busted wrist, LeBron continues to disappear in the 4th quarter, when his team needs him most. Don't look for Wisconsin to be making the Rose Bowl anytime soon now that they hired Andy Ludwig as offensive coordinator. Known to Duck fans as Andy 'dudwig' known everywhere else as a program killer (Oregon, Cal, Utah) for his boring and predictable offenses, it's only a matter of time before Wisconsin fans will be running him out of town as well. I give him about three years. Wisconsin fans, get ready for run, run, screen, every time.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Final top 25 Released

   The top 5 in both the coaches and AP are identical and looks like this: 1. Alabama, 2. LSU, 3. Oklahoma State, 4. Oregon, 5. Arkansas.  In the AP poll, for some reason LSU received one first place vote, and Oklahoma State received four first place votes.  How Alabama isn't the unanimous number one team in the AP poll proves once again why we need a playoff system.  Some of these people are clueless when it comes to voting, and some have political reasoning behind it.  Time to blow the system up!  For the entire top 25 here's the link:


LSU players' Dad calls out coach

   First of all, only in the South do you find guys with names like T Bob Hebert, but his father had a question, well more like a rant, for coach Miles.  Here's how he responded:


Raiders Fire Hugh Jackson

   The Raiders have a commitment to excellence, and it shows because they go through coaches faster than Kim Kardashien does boyfriends/husbands.  Like Kim, they just can't get it right.  The latest victim is Hugh Jackson, fired after just one year, and leading the team to an 8-8 record.  Not great by any stretch, but still better than what they were just a few years ago, which is why the move was a little surprising to me.

   But it was a move they had to make.  He lost his players down the stretch, and the team lacked discipline...they were most penalized team in the NFL, and may have even set a record for most penalties in a year.

   Whoever comes in is gonna have to change the culture.  I hope he can.  The league is much better when the silver and black are relevant. 


Thoughts on National Title Game

   Did you enjoy that kicking fest in last nights "title" game?  I didn't, and judging by the numbers (http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/sports_blog/2012/01/bcs-championship-game-draws-lowest-ratings-ever.html) many of you didn't as well.  The only thing worse then this game was the SEC love fest displayed by ESPN in the days leading up to the "big game," and the tweets coming out from certain commentators (Erin Andrews) like "the smell of SEC tailgatin is the air in Nola."  That's rich.  When will these people realize, and again the numbers back it up, outside of your own little world...nobody cares about the SEC.

   This was a game in which Les Miles thoroughly got out coached and outclassed.  Why was Jefferson still in there in the 4th, or the 3rd, or the 2nd for that matter.  Couldn't he see that what he was doing WASN'T working, and maybe bringing in the quarterback that was a major part of why they even got to the title game, could've sparked the team?  Wouldn't have hurt to try.  And why did Alabama quarterback AJ McCarron win MVP?  Give that thing to the kicker.  I mean after all, he produced most of the points.

   If it's not clear to BCS officials to make a change now, I don't know when it ever will be?  The game was bad, the ratings were the lowest they've ever been, and judging by peoples tweets and facebook updates...not only where they not happy with the teams playing going into the game, but they were even more upset with the way the game turned out.

   I mean how nice would've it been to see a final four, or a plus one this year?  It's not hard to figure out.  Wouldn't you have liked to see a bracket in which, the winners of the BCS bowl games played each other to determine that national championship?  I know it's wishful thinking, but maybe something like that will get discussed when the members of the BCS meet Tuesday.


Sunday, January 8, 2012

It's recruiting season

There is no off-season for me as a fan of the Ducks.  Now that the actual football is over, it's time to follow recruiting.  The main site I've always used for the last 10 years or so is scout.  According to Scout, Oregon currently has the nations #15 class.  For a complete list, here's the link: http://oregon.scout.com/a.z?s=128&p=9&c=14&yr=2012

Friday, January 6, 2012

NFL playoffs start Saturday

I LOOOVE the NFL playoffs, which start tomorrow and continue through Sunday. I'm going pretty chalk in my picks here, but I got the Texans, Saints, Giants, and Steelers. I love watching the Saints play, I think Detroit could give them a game, but I see them getting past the lions. A possible showdown between the Saints and Packers would be sweet. A rematch from that great week 1 game. I think the Steelers are most likely to get upset, but I think they'll win in an ugly one. I think the Falcons are capable of beating the Giants, but it seems as if the Giants are getting hot just in time to make another playoff run.
NOW AS A BONUS FOR YOU, I'll give you my pick in the National championship game on Monday between LSU and Alabama. I got LSU winning, and I have them winning big actually. They are the best team in the country, and I kind of wanna see them finish the deal. Wouldn't feel so bad losing to the national champions as a Duck. They're playing at home basically, the first meeting really shouldn't have been that close, and I think they're getting tired of hearing about Alabama getting revenge. OH AND CHECK THIS: LSU wins 85% of their games under Les Miles with more than a week to prepare, and are 3-0 against 'Bama with more than a week to prepare...so again Tigers roll in this game.

LaMichael James going pro

OTL just reported it, and I found this link http://espn.go.com/nfl/draft2012/story/_/id/7432723/oregon-ducks-lamichael-james-readies-draft-sources-say. I'm gonna write an article on him, featuring his greatest moments soon, but in the mean time, I wanna say thank you for everything you've done at Oregon, and providing us with such great memories.  You will make us proud in the NFL.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Pretty cool word from Collin Cowherd On the Ducks


Oregon releases 2012 football schedule

The Pac 12 released their football schedules today, and after looking at Oregon's, I like it.  First four games of the season are at home, a bunch of patsies to crack on to pad the record (like SEC teams do), and no Thursday night games at home (for those that have to work like me).  It sets up pretty well for another run at the conference championship, and a bcs bowl game.  Obviously the game every Duck fan will have circled on their calendar is the SC game, which will be in L.A.  That game could very well have national championship implications.  That's really the only game on their schedule that they could lose, the rest they should all win.  Here's the schedule and link:

2012 Oregon Football Schedule
Sept. 1 -- Arkansas State
Sept. 8 -- Fresno State
Sept. 15 -- Tennessee Tech
Sept. 22 -- Arizona
Sept. 29 -- at Washington State
Oct. 6 -- Washington
Oct. 18 -- at Arizona State
Oct. 27 -- Colorado
Nov. 3 -- at USC
Nov. 10 -- at California
Nov. 17 -- Stanford
Nov. 24 -- at Oregon State


Monday, January 2, 2012

Happy Rose Bowl Day!

Is it just me, or does Todd McShay sound like he's still a little boy? Corso is funny, he gets it...just heard him say (when talking about that bowl game between ohio state and flordia) "the winner gets 7-6, whoopeee." That's exactly right...many of these bowl games are meaningless and nothing but glorified non conference games, that serve as only a game to pad your record and stats. I'm gonna miss those guys for another year. One bowl game that's not meaningless is the Rose Bowl. I love how the Rose Bowl is always referred to as the "grandaddy" of them all. The pinnacle. The grandest stage. But I thought that's what the national title game was? Anyway...the Rose bowl is special. I realized that in 2010 when I went...you walk in and see the field, and the setting, and it's pretty cool. Big game for the Ducks. Do they have to have it? Maybe not in the long run, but it would sure be one of the greatest moments in Duck history if they could. After all, their last Rose Bowl win came before most of us, if not all of us, were born.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Shout will be making its way to Pasadena.

If Wisconsin can bring their traditional song "Jump Around" by House of Pain, Oregon should be able to bring their equivalent, shout, right? This should make for a cool setting with both songs being played.  Hopefully Oregon fans have plenty to shout about (in a good way), and Badger fans won't be jumping around.