Best Pac-10 Non-Conference Games

19 08 2010

Week 1  – September 4th

UCLA @ Kansas State

Kansas State is the first of three Midwest teams that UCLA faces this year and the weakest team before they begin Pac-10 play. Will Kevin Prince be healthy by the time the season starts or will junior college transfer Darius Bell take the pistol offense to desert eagle status? Can the UCLA defense contain Daniel Thomas without Brian Price and Reggie Carter?

Oregon St vs TCU

This should be one of the top non-conference games of the year, and TCU returns 16 starters from a team that posted a 12-1 record in 2009, but they’ll be without their two best defensive  players who were drafted into the NFL- Daryl Washington and Jerry Hughes. Oregon State’s two best players (JacQuizz & James Rodgers) hail from Texas, but they bring with them a contrarian version of  “everything is bigger in Texas” by packing huge punches in small packages.   Mike Riley needs to break his streak of slow starts and a victory against TCU in Cowboy Stadium would likely bump them into the top 15 rankings.

Washington @ BYU

Jake Heaps was the top prep quarterback last year and hailed from Sammamish, WA, but he spurned the local team for an opportunity have polygamist relationships while he’s in college. The Dawgs didn’t win a road game last year and Jake Locker needs a victory to keep his name among the Heisman candidates.


Week 2 – September 11th

Colorado @ Cal

Cal would like to welcome Colorado to the conference with some rookie hazing, and I think the loser’s coach should have his head shaved by the victor. Hawkins probably won’t agree to it, because Tedford is already balding, but maybe he could agree to a tattoo bet in its stead.

Oregon @ Tennessee

Kudos to the Volunteers for scheduling their third Pac-10 team in the last four years, but Oregon is bringing a high powered offense against a young Vols defense. Chip Kelly lost his big non-conference game last year against Boise State and the defensive coordinator for the Broncos was none other than the current Tennessee Volunteers DC Justin Wilcox.

Week 3 – September 18th

Houston @ UCLA

Case Keenum is likely a Heisman candidate and the Houston Cougars were the number one offense in the country last year averaging 42.2 points per game. They’ll be facing arguably the top secondary in the Pac-10 led by UCLA’s All-American Rahim Moore.

Iowa @ Arizona

Nick Foles took over midway through the Iowa game last year and nearly stole the game from the Hawkeyes. This year he’ll be playing from the start and will be looking for payback. Their girls look like they will fit in just fine in the desert.

ASU @ Wisconsin

Wisconsin is probably the most overrated team that starts off the season in the top 10, but they are tough at home because they make their opponents eat a half dozen bratwursts for breakfast the day of the game. John Clay ran for 1,517 yards and 18TD’s last year, but Vontaze Burfict is the most dangerous defensive player in the conference and will be chasing him all over the field. Wisconsin also boasts an efficient passing game with Scott Tolzien throwing for 2,705 yards and an impressive 64% completion percentage last year. His 11TD’s to 16INT’s ratio proves that he’s still vulnerable if you can apply some pressure on him.

Nebraska @ Washington

The Cornhuskers welcome back 16 starters and a couple defensive players that will be playing in the NFL next year, most notably Prince Amukamara who’s rated #3 on the ESPN draft board . Washington also sports one of their own on the draft board with the number one overall player in Jake Locker. Nebraska will start the season in the top 10, but at times last year their offense was about as exciting as watching paint dry so look for the Huskies to try to get into a shootout.

Week 4 – September 25th

UCLA @ Texas

The Texas Longhorns were scared of the competition they would face in the Pac-16 so they backed out at the last minute, but the Bruins are just the team make them regret that decision. Rick Neuheisel will be taking a page out of Rocky Balboa’s strategy by taking punches & points on the chin with hopes that it will wear Texas down. Side bets will be taken for which team wins the battle of the coeds? Longhorns bring more blondes, but UCLA has blondes, brunettes, and some of the hottest Asian women you’ll ever see.

Oregon State @ Boise State

This game should feature some of the worst jerseys in the NCAA and it will be played on the ugliest turf in the country. If Oregon State comes out of their non-conference undefeated, they’ll be in the top five in the country.

Stanford @ Notre Dame

Notre Dame’s only chance will be Touchdown Jesus strapping up his cleats and playing for the Fighting Irish secondary, because Andrew Luck is going to spank them harder than their catholic priests ever have.

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2010 Preseason All-Pac-10 Team

21 07 2010

The first annual Leader of the Pac All-Pac-10 team is completed, a second team will probably appear in the next couple weeks.

First team offense

QB- Jake Locker – Washington

RB- Jacquizz Rodgers – Oregon St

RB- LaMichael James – Oregon

WR- Jermaine Kearse – Washington

WR- Juron Criner – Arizona

TE- Anthony Miller – Cal

OL – Adam Grant – Arizona

OL – Bo Thran – Oregon

OL- Kristopher O’Dowd – USC

OL- Butch Lewis – USC

OL- Mitchell Schwartz – Cal

K- Kai Forbath – UCLA

KR- Chris Owusu – Stanford

PR- James Rodgers – Oregon St

I had a tough time picking a quarterback for the first team, because I think Andrew Luck, Matt Barkley, and Nick Foles actually have better mechanics and accuracy than Locker and two of their teams (USC and Arizona) I have projected to have a better season than Washington. The deciding factor for me was Steve Sarkisian’s ability to put Locker in the right situation and the improvement that comes along with having the same person calling the plays in consecutive years.

Wide receiver was also a tough position to pick and leaving James Rodgers off the list was the hardest part of the team, but I think his numbers will drop significantly this year. If I make a second team list, that’s where I would put him along with Ronald Johnson.

The offensive line was tough for me, because as badly as I wanted to put some Stanford guys on the list I think they’re going to have a much tougher time protecting the QB this year. They would have multiple second team guys on my list.

First Team Defense

DL- Kenny Rowe – Oregon

DL- Stephen Paea – Oregon St

DL- Jurrell Casey – USC

DL- Cameron Jordan – Cal

LB- Vontaze Burfict – Arizona St

LB- Mike Mohamed – Cal

LB- Mason Foster – Washington

CB- Trevin Wade – Arizona

CB- Omar Bolden – Arizona St

S- Rahim Moore – UCLA

S- John Boyett – Oregon

P- Bryan Anger – Cal

For the defensive line I almost went with Arizona’s Ricky Elmore, but I think he’ll have a tougher time with Arizona losing their defensive tackles from last season.

At linebacker I wanted to put Akeem Ayers on the team, but with the loss of Brian Price and Reggie Carter I’m expecting him to be the guy that offenses plan around. I think Mason Foster and the Husky defense will have a hard time getting off the field, so look for his tackles to increase this year.

This is a rather weak year for secondary players in the Pac-10, at least when it comes to name recognition, but Rahim Moore is on every All-American list and leads the pac. There are better cover guys than John Boyett, but he’s a tackling machine and ended up with 90 last year.

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