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.

[tweetmeme source=”Pac12Conference” only_single=false]

Advertisements




Pac-10 Blue Chip Team Scores

11 08 2010

I had a lot of trouble with the formatting of this article, so I just had to put the information into excel and made some jpeg files out of the information which look blurry on the blog, but will be clear if you click on them. Mike Lombardi came up with this blue-chip formula to determine how much talent is on each team in the NFL, but I only follow former Pac-10 players and wanted to see how our conference would look applying the same scoring system. The outside linebackers account for 2.5 more points than the middle linebackers, which makes sense for the NFL where most teams are using a 3-4 defense, but the majority of teams in college are still using a four man front and the middle linebacker can impact the game more than an outside linebacker – think Casey Matthews of Oregon and Vontaze Burfict of ASU. I was also concerned that the red chip secondary players received the same 7.5 points as the blue chip players. There are many talented players in the NFL secondaries, but in college there aren’t that many cornerbacks and safeties that would make as big of an impact as many of the blue chip players at other positions.

Arizona has a total of 80 points with a good mix of offensive and defensive players, with points coming from both the skill positions and in the trenches. Arizona State only has 30 points with 22.5 of those coming from the defensive side of the ball, so don’t expect them to be lighting up the scoreboard any time soon. Cal surprised me with 82 points, but Tedford has recruited as well as any coach in the conference not named Pete Carroll.
Arizona Points Arizona St Points Cal Points
Nick Foles 12.5 Lawrence Guy 7.5 Mitchell Schwartz 10
Adam Grant 10 Vontaze Burfict 7.5 Cameron Jordan 10
Ricky Elmore 10 Omar Bolden 7.5 Anthony Miller 7.5
Juron Criner 7.5 Thomas Weber 7.5 Matt Summers-Gavin 7.5
Colin Baxter 7.5 Mike Mohamed 7.5
Trevin Wade 7.5 Bryan Anger 7.5
Robert Golden 7.5 Mychal Kendricks 7.5
James Brooks 7.5 Sean Cattouse 7.5
Nic Grigsby 5 Kevin Riley 7
Shane Vereen 5
Marvin Jones 5
Chris Guarnero 5
Derrick Hill 5
Oregon brings 82.5 points with strength in the trenches. I think Casey Matthews is more valuable to their defense than the 7.5 points he’s allotted, but Paysinger received a higher rating in the formula and evened out the same number of points I would have given them combined. Oregon State has a lot of skill players, but without much depth in the trenches their team only accounts for 55 points so this tells me that they should be relying on the big plays this season. Stanford brings almost all of their 67.5 points on the offensive side of the ball. Chris Owusu probably would have made the list as the next red-chip wide receiver, but he gets 7.5 points for his kick return abilities.

Oregon Points Oregon St Points Stanford Points
Bo Thran 10 JacQuizz Rodgers 7.5 Andrew Luck 12.5
Kenny Rowe 10 James Rodgers 7.5 David DeCastro 7.5
Spencer Paysinger 10 Joe Halahuni 7.5 Chris Owusu 7.5
LaMichael James 7.5 Stephen Paea 7.5 Chase Beeler 7.5
Carson York 7.5 Lance Mitchell 7.5 Delondo Howell 7.5
Casey Matthews 7.5 Justin Kahut 7.5 Ryan Whalen 5
John Boyett 7.5 Michael Philipp 5 Jonathan Martin 5
Talmadge Jackson 7.5 Alex Linnekohl 5 Owen Maracic 5
Jeff Maehl 5 Andrew Phillips 5
Mark Asper 5 Shane Skov 5
Brandon Bair 5

UCLA will be carried by their defense and special teams this year, but that’s two thirds of the game so maybe they’ll do better than the 8th place finish the media projected them for. Still, they are only bringing 45 points to the table and having a kicker be the most dangerous weapon on your offense is never a good sign. USC is stocked with talent throughout the roster so it’s no surprise that they are the Leader of the Pac with 84 points in the blue chip scoring. The Washington Huskies totaled 42.5 points and will be relying on a strong passing game to win some games for them, but there’s not much talent on the offensive or defensive lines.

UCLA Points USC Points Washington Points
Akeem Ayers 10 Tyron Smith 10 Jake Locker 12.5
Kai Forbath 7.5 Butch Lewis 7.5 Mason Foster 10
Rahim Moore 7.5 Kris O’Dowd 7.5 Desmond Trufant 7.5
Jeff Locke 7.5 Jurrell Casey 7.5 Jermaine Kearse 7.5
Sheldon Price 7.5 Shareece Wright 7.5 Chris Polk 5
Nelson Rosario 5 Malcolm Smith 7.5
Michael Morgan 7.5
Matt Barkley 7
Nick Perry 7
Ronald Johnson 5
Stanley Havili 5
Chris Galippo 5

Here’s all of the team points in alphabetical order and these are pretty consistent with my conference predictions which were posted a month ago.

Points
Arizona 80
ASU 30
Cal 82
Oregon 82.5
Oregon State 55
Stanford 67.5
UCLA 45
USC 84
Washington 42.5

[tweetmeme source=”Pac12Conference” only_single=false]






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.

[tweetmeme source=”Pac12Conference” only_single=false]





The Decisions

15 07 2010

The Decision by Lebron James to leave one of the worst cities in the country (Cleveland) for beaches and babes seemed like a no-brainer, but the coaches of the best conference in the nation will be making more of an impact for guys that like tailgating, coeds, and football. We had some monumental decision in the Pac-12 that we’ve outlined for the casual fan to see what’s going on in preparation of the 2010 season.

Stanford – Jim Harbaugh

Coach keeps himself thin in the off-season by avoiding the Dairy Queen diet, but he’s already planning his post Rose Bowl victory meal.

USC – Lane Kiffin

Lane Kiffin’s biggest decision this off-season was whether or not he would start running for governor of California in the 2011 election. For a guy who played at Fresno St and brings an 11-18 career record as a head coach, some people are wondering what his next job that he doesn’t deserve will be?

Cal – Jeff Tedford

Coach has had been working exclusively with Dr. Phil in the off-season to see if he can build up quarterback Kevin Riley’s confidence. His only recommendation was shock therapy.

Arizona St – Dennis Erickson

Erickson has been mulling retirement since he turned 85 years old twenty years ago, but it is gaining serious traction now that he lives in Arizona. Coach recently said that if the Sun Devils don’t show significant improvement he’ll be in a retirement home playing Bingo, Canasta, and Pinochle with Ray Finkle.

Oregon – Chip Kelly

Chip Kelly has been spending a lot of time in the court room this off-season and he has decided to make criminal justice the new sociology major for his team. All of his incoming freshman are required to take Introductory Morals and How to Avoid Getting Arrested 101.

Arizona – Mike Stoops

The loudest man in the Pac-10 has decided to enroll in Dr. Drew’s Celebrity Anger Management. Drew saw progress in 2009 after working with Stoops, but thinks he has room for improvement if he surrounds himself with other people like Lindsay Lohan after she gets out of jail.

UCLA – Rick Neuheisel

As soon as Rick Neuheisel heard about world cup this year he immediately decided to join a pool. He picked Brazil to win, but lost $10,000 for coming in 6th place in his group of shady friends. Following the loss of the Brazilians, Neuheisel decided to switch bookies.

Washington – Steve Sarkisian

The biggest decision in Seattle was whether or not Coach should start plugging Jake Locker as the next Heisman candidate. He didn’t know whether he should wait until Locker gets another road win since his last one came in November of 2007. He’s been trying to keep it under wraps as Locker tours all of the east coast media outlets.

Oregon St – Mike Riley

The slow starts in Corvallis have been killing Oregon St for years and Mike Riley finally discovered that his book of How to Start Fasting actually has to do with not eating. He recently decided to switch over to the Twilight series.

Washington St – Paul Wulff 

After Wulff decided to give up on west coast recruiting and hit Florida, he started to think outside the box and start recruiting in the church.  Coach has been looking for priests and pastors with eligibility remaining, because he realizes his only chance of a win is to pray for it. My sources have also told me that they are brining in a team of nuns to join the cheerleaders and if they have moves like this one I’m all for it.

[tweetmeme source=”Pac12Conference” only_single=false]