Oregon Ducks quarterback Jeremiah Masoli was arrested for 2nd degree burglary. He stole a couple laptops and a guitar from a fraternity house. Chip Kelly, Oregon’s football coach, said that Masoli would be suspended for the entire 2010 season. The once Heisman hopeful, can redshirt for a season while he is on suspension and won’t lose his scholarship or waste a year of eligibility. It will be up to him if he wants to return in the 2011 season. It’s a big blow for a team that had high hopes for the Pac-10 title, with no clear front runner in the conference. Without any extra investigation on my part whatsoever. I like it, it shows that Oregon isn’t slipping him a bunch of money under the table to their players as he would be an obvious beneficiary. He definitely wouldn’t have had to rip a laptop off. He’d already have one, and some other “gifts” to swap for some cash. I guess there’s a slight possibility that he may have done it for “fun” because he didn’t like that frat, but I’ll assume he committed the crime for financial reasons. I wonder if Masoli is wishing he went to USC, and at least got paid!
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Big news out of Los Angeles as USC announced that Tennessee Head Coach, Lane Kiffin (and his dad of course) will be replacing Pete Carroll. Just when I thought Kiffin was out of my life for good, here he comes back through the Rose Garden to patrol the LA Coliseum sidelines once again – this time as the Head Coach. His father, Monty, will be running the defense for the Trojans. While my first reaction was relief that the coaching vacancy has been filled already, I must admit I was hopeful that someone else, like Jeff Fisher would get the job. The upside is that the Trojans will get an established coach, although the jury is still out on his abilities as the man in charge. Kiffin, of course, didn’t have the most glamorous run at the helm of the Oakland Raiders, but looking back, his record was no worse than anyone else to come through Oakland in the last 6 years. In his only season in Knoxville, Kiffin led the Volunteers to a 7-6 record (4-4 SEC). What will be most interesting to see is how the recruiting season pans out. Will players be as excited to play for Kiffin as they were for Carroll? Will Lane be bringing any of his Tennessee players with him? While many questions will remain open for the months to come, one thing has been cleared up – that being the coaching position – so at the very least, USC can move on and look to rebound from their most disappointing season in the now-defunct Pete Carroll era.
Oregon capped off a crappy bowl season for the Pac-10. The Ducks were smothered 26-17 by team sweater-vest tonight in the Rose Bowl. It wasn’t all that great of a game, just like many of the other games that Pac-10 teams decided to NOT show up for. As a whole they went 2-5, and the only teams that seemed to actually want to play were USC and UCLA. I guess there’s something in the water in Socal, like salt, but something went wrong for everybody else. Arizona, Oregon State, Oregon, Cal, and Stanford all seemed to forget how to play. I was especially disappointed in the Arizona performance, and was glad I only caught a quarter of the game. They must have been thinking about their New Years Eve plans more than the game. Personally I thought we’d do a lot better, but I guess it proves that the Pac-10 isn’t as strong as I thought. I truly thought Stanford, Oregon, and Oregon State would pull out wins. I guess if there was a playoff setup we wouldn’t have made it anywhere… Anyways, now we can move to a new decade. One that will hopefully be a stronger one for the Pac-10!
The question is….
Was any of this really a surprise? Of course not. But this week we will get to see what the Trojans are really made of after losing several first and second rounder’s to the NFL including, including 3 talented veteran players at the Linebacker position. The real story will be how the USC Defense reacts to stiff competition against the best team year after year in Big10 this decade.
College football season is here, and not a day too soon! Nine games are on the docket, but one is clearly the main attraction. #16 Oregon will visit the blue turf to take on the #14 Boise State Broncos in a west coast showdown. Both teams are known for their electric offense, not to mention their vibrant color schemes. It will be a test of wills on the field, and a test of retinas on the TV screen. Oregon is coming off a 9-3 season and looks to challenge USC and Cal for the Pac-10 title this year. Boise State, a perennial WAC favorite, is coming off what seemed like another ho-hum undefeated season. Fans can expect fireworks as these two teams duke it out in front of a national audience. Thursday night’s matchup should have a bowl game feel to it.
On the Ducks’ side, the main story is the departure of 14 year head coach, Mike Belotti. Belotti made the jump to the Athletic Director’s office, leaving former offensive coordinator Chip Kelly at the helm. The player to watch will be RB LeGarrette Blount, who gained 1,000+ yards last season splitting carries with Jeremiah Johnson. With Johnson gone, Blount figures to be the feature back for Oregon.
For the Broncos, the key to their attack will likely be the passing game. Kellen Moore returns at QB and has two weapons at the wideout spots in Austin Pettis and Titus Young, who was suspended for the majority of last season, but figures to be a deep threat for the Boise State offense. It will be on the defensive side of the ball where Boise’s fate will lie. If the Broncos can stifle the Oregon offensive attack, they should find a way to put enough points on the board to outlast the Ducks.
This is a huge season opener for both teams, as one loss typically will take a team out of the national championship picture. The winner, on the other hand, will likely vault into the top twelve, on the strength of the season’s biggest victory of Week 1. Grab your popcorn, as T.O. would say, because these two teams from the Northwest are sure to put on a show!
MCeezy’s Prediction: Boise State 30 – Oregon 21