They may have lost the BCS National Championship, but they’ve got plenty to look forward to in Eugene. Always a trendsetter, or original at the very least, the Oregon Ducks are garnering attention for another fashion statement by one of their athletic teams. Usually it’s a crazy new jersey, but now the Ducks have taken it to the floor. The floor of “The Matt”, their new digs, full name Matthew Knight Arena. I think it’s cool to look at once, but playing on it must be a nightmare. It’s hard enough when the basketball court has volleyball lines on it, but now these guys gotta watch out for trees? Word is the halfcourt line is hard to see, if at all existent. I’ve got a feeling they’re going to have to darken that middle portion eventually to please the naysayers.
Tag Archives: oregon
Since I don’t work in professional sports anymore, I find it harder to keep espn.com open on my browser at work. Therefore, I’ve had to find alternate means of keeping up with my sports news. Recently, I’ve channeled my inner-old guy and have started tuning into sports talk radio on my way to and from work. This morning it was Colin Cowherd of ESPN Radio griping about the bowl schedule. In the afternoon it was local sports clown Grant Napear ranting (what else is new?) about the horrible matchups. Now I’m not usually a glass-half-full guy, but I don’t see what the problem is. Yes, there are plenty of boring games and terrible matchups, but I wouldn’t call this one of the worst lineups in recent memory. Nevermind that none of my BCS predictions panned out, there’s still plenty of intrigue as far as I’m concerned. Here’s my Top Three and my Bottom Three for the upcoming bowl season….
#1 – BCS National Championship – Oregon vs. Auburn: It’s the national championship game, what else needs to be said? It’s tough to argue the only two major unbeaten teams – with apologies to TCU – being in the big game. It features two of the four Heisman finalists in Cam Newton and LaMichael James and two historically great programs. The only downside is we have to wait until January 10 to see it.
#2 – Rose Bowl – Wisconsin vs. TCU: Sure, a Pac-10-Big Ten matchup of Stanford-Wisconsin would have been the logical choice here, but Wisconsin is widely considered to be the next best team outside of the two unbeatens. Either they’ll solidify that spot, or TCU will make a good case for a share of the national championship – though they won’t get it.
#3 – Las Vegas Bowl – Utah vs. Boise State: I know, the Las Vegas Bowl isn’t exactly the pinnacle of postseason college football, but that doesn’t take away from the fact that this will be a great game. I picked both of these teams to earn BCS berths, but a couple of late season losses killed those hopes. Nonetheless, it will feature two teams that have both put together undefeated seasons recently.
Without bashing the BCS, or fully knowing the rules these days (are the ACC and Big East still guaranteed a BCS berth? I hope not), here goes my predictions for this year’s BCS Bowl matchups. It’s tough because there’s so many teams from the West up high in the rankings, but we all know the BCS likes SEC schools, and even Big Ten and ACC teams. By factoring that in with projecting the rest of the season, here’s what I’ve come up with.
ROSE BOWL – STANFORD VS. OKLAHOMA
Stanford wins out and finishes 11-1, enough to let the Rose Bowl have a coveted Pac-10 team, and one who hasn’t been there very often, but has a huge following. Expect a sea of red on hand to cheer on the Cardinal against Oklahoma…. or maybe some other team. I’ve got Oklahoma finishing 10-3, but there’s going to be a logjam atop the Big-12, so this could easily be Missouri, Oklahoma State, or Baylor, or even a team from another conference altogether.
FIESTA BOWL – NEBRASKA VS. TCU
Nebraska will get the obligatory Big-12 berth in this game, thanks to a 11-2 finish with a conference championship over Oklahoma. TCU will be unhappy, but I see them losing to Utah. Having that one loss relieves some of the pressure on the BCS to include smaller schools that go undefeated.
ORANGE BOWL – ALABAMA VS. BOISE STATE
Also taking the heat off the BCS will be Boise State’s regular season loss to either Fresno State or Nevada on the horizon. Alabama will end up in Florida despite beating Auburn, because they’ll come up short in the conference.
SUGAR BOWL – AUBURN VS. UTAH
Utah will go undefeated, but once again get snubbed out of fear of a Utah-Oregon television ratings disaster. Like clockwork, they’ll opt for a one-loss goliath and Utah will be left to face another SEC team.
BCS CHAMPIONSHIP – OREGON VS. OHIO STATE
Ah, a BCS dream matchup. Despite being a West Coast team, the Ducks have a huge following, so ratings shouldn’t be a problem for the committee here. And Ohio State is always a slam dunk on a national stage. This should be one of the best National Championship games in a long time.
I’m far from a college football expert, or could really even tell you much about many of the teams, but I am pretty pumped to see the obvious Bama and Gators match up, and one of my all time favorite rivalries the Civil War Oregon vs. Oregon State! MCeezy wrote about how rivalry week is somewhat deceiving, but these two games are about as heated as rivalries can get! Hopefully they will play out that way! Same with my NFL picks the home teams are in bold.
Oregon State (+9.5) Over Oregon
I don’t think the Beavers will win this game, but Moevao has said that they are looking for revenge from last years upset. I didn’t feel it was a big upset last year, but what do I know! I feel they will pull out all the tricks they have in the playbook to keep this one close, and hopefully it ends up like 2007’s double OT battle. I understand that the Ducks are the more talented team, but in a rivalry anything can happen. Also besides the Beavers having to contain Lamichael James and Jeremiah Masoli they should see a small dose of Legarrette Blount in his first game back from the suspension. He should give them that big back to pound the football on the ground, which they haven’t had most of this season. MCeezy predicted he’d be back for their most important game, and it looks like he was right! I can’t figure out why this line is so high since the Beavers ARE at home, and ARE a good team!
Alabama (+6) Over Florida
I guess I’m writing about this game because I was in Florida last week, and it seems like it was all I really heard about for most of the week! After hearing the hype over there I’ve decided to pick my second straight underdog! I think that in college football the home field makes much more of a difference than it does in the pros. I’m not confident that Bama can actually pull this one out, but since they are the #2 team in the country they deserve to be at least within a FG on the spread at home! Florida and their 22 straight wins will probably win this game, but I like many others love to see an upset. I don’t dislike Tebow especially since he has proven that he is an amazing leader, but i don’t have quite the same type of love as Sportsguyby has for him! Losing Dunlap to the DUI, should make it a little easier for Bama to move the ball, and should give them a little more time to throw. I see this one ending closer than last years SEC title game!
The college football season got off to a lackluster start last night – with the exception of LeGarrette Blount’s performance during the extra period. What’s sad is Blount was in the shadow of Jeremiah Johnson last year, and this was to be his year in the spotlight. Unfortunately, he wanted all of his spotlight on the first night, and because of that, he will be all but forgotten in our memories after the weekend is over. That game, paired with the earlier game, South Carolina vs. NC State, left a lot of us wanting more. Tulsa and Tulane didn’t exactly deliver Friday night either. So, Saturday marks our best chance to see some real college football barn-burners. Week 1 is typically reserved for the powerhouses beating up on some lowly D-1, and sometimes, D-2 schools, but there are a few games that stand out this weekend. Here, we’ll list the three types of Season Opening games and how they might play out.
These are the games that are so lopsided Vegas doesn’t even bother with spreads. They’re the games that are built solely to ensure a team gets off to a 1-0 start and get them off on the right foot in they’re national or conference championship campaign. You know the type, big school at home versus a small school with little to no national following. Need some examples?
Akron @ #9 Penn State, Navy @ #6 Ohio State, Jacksonville St. @ #15 Georgia Tech, Montana St. @ Michigan St., The Citadel @ #21 North Carolina, Louisian-Monroe @ #2 Texas, Florida Atlantic @ #24 Nebraska, Charleston Southern @ #1 Florida, and as much as I hate to include them since they don’t typically schedule easy games, #4 USC hosting San Jose State.
The Blowouts Gone Wrong
These games have the same intention as those previously mentioned, however, they can backfire, much as Michigan’s upset loss to Appalachian State. There aren’t many of them, but at least one is sure to end in heartbreak for a hopeful team. Here’s our pool of potential upset games.
#22 Iowa vs. Northern Iowa, Auburn vs. Lousiana Tech, #25 Kansas vs. Northern Colorado, #12 California vs. Maryland, UCLA vs. San Diego State, and my pick for the most likely upset, #23 Notre Dame vs. Nevada.
The Legit Matchups
These games are the exception. They don’t always end in a competitive game, but you have to give the schools credit for diving right into the fray and not scheduling a pushover to kick their season off. Much like the Boise State – Oregon matchup Thursday night, they can make or break your season.
#13 Georgia @ #9 Oklahoma State, #20 BYU @ #3 Oklahoma, and Week 1’s main event, #5 Alabama vs. #7 Virgina Tech at the Georgia Dome.
Sep 3, Oregon @ Boise State
The college football season kicks off with a colorful combination of Oregon’s always intense jerseys and Boise State’s blue field. This should be one wildly entertaining game, provided the High-Def broadcast isn’t too much on the retinas.
Sep 5, Maryland @ Cal
This is a pretty interesting season opening matchup for both programs, and I must say I’m surprised Maryland would make the trek to Berkeley so soon out of the gates. On the flipside, I guess when your yearly goal is to be bowl eligible at seasons end, taking a tough road game early on makes sense as barometer of where you stand. Neither team talent wise looks to have any serious influence on a conference title challenge this year (or any year for that matter). Gut feeling, Cal feeds off the home crowd, and its slightly better athleticism runs out to a two TD win.
Sep 5, Nevada @ Notre Dame
This game has upset written all over it. Notre Dame always likes to schedule a lightweight before they get into the Michigan – Michigan State thing, but this year they might’ve picked the wrong opponent. The game has shades of last year’s matchup with San Diego State, but I think the Wolfpack can execute at the right time and make the plays they need to take this game. There’s also a strong likelihood that Jimmy Claussen could pick apart this defense in a blowout, but until then, I’ll be keeping a close eye on this score.
Sep 5, Georgia @ Oklahoma State
Georgia was great last year….Oklahoma St. was decent. Georgia’s coach is not quite as crazy as Oklahoma St. Coach. SEC Teams always destroy in these matchups. It’s the first big non-conference game of the year, but I still have Georgia by 21.
Sept. 5, Brigham Young vs. Oklahoma.*
It’s pretty tough to pick against the Sooners. With a seasoned duo of Bradford and Gresham passing up millions in the NFL to come back and play, they must be out to prove something. I think this will be close for a half at most. I hope we see a battle, but to be honest with you I think this one’s going to be a blowout on neutral ground.
Sep 5, Alabama vs. Virginia Tech.*
A great early season match-up of two highly talented and ranked teams with realistic goals of winning their respective conferences. Alabama is coming off a banner conference season that ended with a terrible stumble to the finish line. They lost their conference championship game to eventual National Champions Florida, then lost the Sugar Bowl to a serious underdog in Utah. The underclassmen left over from last year will be aiming to correct their painful losing streak after starting the season 12-0. The Hokies are by far the overwhelming favorites to win the ACC-Coastal over Georgia Tech as well as the overall Conference title this year. The Hokies will begin as a preseason top-10 team due to a perennially strong defense and the emergence of QB Tyrod Taylor. Should be interesting to see where these teams start the season in the polls, as each has been ranked as high as #6 in preseason polls.
Sep 6, Colorado State @ Colorado
These in-state rivals will again kick-off the season for bragging rights, and Colorado will be looking to extend their series win streak to three. The Buffs will be looking to get off to a strong start to their season, after a disappointing 2-6 finish in conference capped by a 58-0 loss at Mizzu and a seat at home during bowl season. For the Rams it was an up and down season as they showed great fortitude to win their final three games and finish above .500. They won the New Mexico Bowl by scoring 3 times in the 4th quarter to win a shootout by 5 over Fresno St., mainly behind Gartrell Johnson’s record setting 285 rushing yards, 375 combined yards, and two TDs… both of which came in the fourth quarter.
Sept. 7, Miami @ Florida State
The Seminoles look to win their third consecutive against their ACC rivals. The Canes have a very rough first month, and they don’t start things off easy for them as they face a rowdy labor day crowd. Florida State should be able to continue their win streak capping off the three day weekend.
(* No Home Team)