Oregon Ducks Debut at No. 11 in First Coaches’ Poll

The first USA Today coaches poll of the season was released this morning, and it left the Oregon Ducks out of the top 10.

The fact that the two players vying for the Ducks’ vacancy at quarterback only have one start plus garbage time in total combined experience, makes Oregon at No. 11 less of an outrage.

Or as Rob Moseley so eloquently put it:

Given the departure of potential Heisman Trophy candidate Jeremiah Masoli, Oregon will turn to either a senior with more career knee injuries in college (two) than starts (one), or a sophomore whose most encouraging performance was in mop-up duty of a loss — two years ago. Pretty bleak, when viewed objectively.

With that said, I won’t argue with No. 11 and I just hope either Costa or Thomas can turn into 2008 Masoli (or better — fingers crossed!).

Some other notes:

  • Only two Pac-10 teams made the list: both Oregon schools, with OSU slotting in at No. 22. Although five other teams were in the “also receiving votes” category.
  • USA Today already has Costa as the guy to step in for Masoli.
  • The only time Oregon has ever been higher to start the season was 2001, when the Ducks were No. 8 in the preseason coaches’ poll.

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Quench Your Quack: Oregon Ducks News Roundup

A few thoughts on all the recent Oregon Duck rumblings:

  • Chip Kelly went on Dan Patrick’s radio show yesterday, and was his usual smart, succinct, unintentionally funny, no-nonsense self. Kelly didn’t break any news, but it was definitely an interesting listen if you’ve got 10 minutes to spare. There was a uniform update (hint: Kelly’s time visiting the troops is rubbing off on him), he likened the Pac-10 coaches to a boy band (with Dennis Erickson as their Justin Timberlake), admitted to spending an entire week with Lane Kiffin (one step ahead of torture!), and when asked about Jeremiah Masoli, Kelly replied “He’s made some bad decisions, but he’s not a bad kid.” On that last note, and I’m not trying to single out Masoli, but has any coach or media member ever just come out and said that a troubled player really is just a bad egg? Maybe I’m just a cynic, but I’m tired of euphemisms.
  • It's funny how excited Chip Kelly got when Dan Patrick changed the subject from Masoli.

    Just a couple weeks after KVAL’s initial report that point guard Malcolm Armstead would be the fifth Duck to leave the pond this off-season, the junior changed his mind. While this helps ensure that Oregon might actually be able to fill out their roster, it won’t do much in the way of changing our place in the Pac-10 standings.

  • The bad news, however, is that with how many injuries coach Dana Altman’s team is facing, Oregon might be forced to cancel their NCAA-allowed once every four year overseas trip to Italy next month (link to RG article not working).
  • Some recent former-Ducks are off to a great start in the NFL. Apparently Walter Thurmond III has his coaches salivating during his rehab, while T.J. Ward is getting rave reviews from teammates. (Note: stay tuned for more Ducks in the NFL updates. UOSD contributor Lucas McAdams will be all over it.)
  • Matthew Knight Arena is nearing completion. It looked awesome a few months ago with half of the building missing — I can only imagine how sweet it is now.
  • The always popular John Canzano opens his “Nate Costa is the guy” column with a lead that inspires nightmares for Oregon fans. No question, the dude likes to mess with us. Nonetheless, Canzano goes on to write that Costa should start because “we can trust him”, and that he’s such a good guy who’s easy to root for. Which is exactly what I warned of and argued against yesterday.
  • And finally, though it may seem with all the local media coverage that Oregon’s vacancy at quarterback is the most pressing in the nation, Chris Dufresne over at the L.A. Times reminds us, that it in fact, is not all about us.

Despite Dufresne, I still like to think it is all about us (or at least me). We’re 31 days until Oregon football.

As always, leave your thoughts in the comments (pssst: comments make my day).

Go Ducks!

No Guts, No Glory: Oregon Must Go With Darron Thomas at Quarterback

Ed’s Note: On Friday, Jeff Spiegel wrote a column championing Nate Costa for the starting quarterback job. Today, I strike back. As always, leave your thoughts in the comments.

“I really want to have one quarterback. I don’t believe in playing two quarterbacks. I believe if you’ve got a two-quarterback system that means you don’t really have a quarterback.”

Those are the words of Oregon coach Chip Kelly.

When it comes to upside, it isn’t even close. Thomas could be Dennis Dixon, Costa could be… Kellen Clemens.

Nate Costa. Darron Thomas.

Come the New Mexico opener on September 4th, Kelly will have picked his man. And it should be Thomas — by a long shot.

Costa would be a great story: The little engine who could. But that’s all it would be, a great story. More importantly, it would be a huge mistake.

He came to Eugene as a three star recruit. There was no big press conference, no parade, no jaw-dropping high school highlight reels. In fact, this was the top result from a quick Google video search of “Nate Costa high school” — it couldn’t be further from a football field.

Once at Oregon, Costa proved a hard worker, a smart kid — gobbling up the play book and holding a clip board like nobody’s business. Finally it came Costa’s turn. In 2006, Costa was viewed as the future quarterback for the Ducks after completing all five of his passes in two games as a true freshman. But then came the knee injuries. Four years and three ACL tears later, Costa is still waiting for his turn.

Costa is proof that nice guys finish last.

While Costa brings experience, accuracy and a game-manager-like quality, Thomas couldn’t be any more the opposite. Flash, speed, potential and play-making ability define the highly touted redshirt sophomore. And to the delight of Duck fans, he strikes a stunning resemblance to our beloved Dennis Dixon — who not-so-coincidentally came into his own his first year under the tutelage of Kelly.

With 17 starters coming back from last years’ Pac-10 championship-winning team, and an injection of fresh talent with its top-15 recruiting class, Oregon is a quarterback away from being a national title contender. Sure, you could play it safe with Costa and have a decent shot at returning to the Rose Bowl, but that’s the ceiling — at least two losses, guaranteed. If Thomas pans out, the Rose Bowl becomes an afterthought. If Thomas becomes even Dixon-lite, name one team on Oregon’s schedule who you can’t see the Ducks beating.

Everything else is set up for Oregon to make a BCS title run. It’s a risk worth taking. It’s a risk Oregon must take.

Thomas may be raw, with just one quarter of experience under his belt, but oh what a beautiful quarter is was: passing for 210 yards and three touchdowns, while earning the label “next”. He even came off the bench in the Civil War for one of the greatest trick plays I’ve ever seen.

It’s no surprise that Dixon broke out in Kelly’s first year. Or that Justin Roper stepped right in to lead Oregon to 56 points in the Sun Bowl. Or that a once-5th string quarterback could become the best player in the conference. Kelly system gets the most out his quarterback.

But if that’s the case, then why not Costa?

Although one year sooner than I would have liked, it’s time for Darron Thomas to take over.

People like to use the “Costa experience” argument quite often, but I’m not buying. He’s been in Kelly’s system just a year longer than Thomas, and only has three quarters more playing time. Not necessarily a resume draped with experience. Also, with Costa, the threat of the QB tucking the ball and running 40 yards isn’t there. On any given play, the defense would have to put a spy on Thomas, making sure he actually gets rid of the ball before turning their heads and running with the receivers — something we’ve taken for granted the past few years with Dixon and Masoli.

I know it’s a small sample size, but DT’s quarter against Boise State was far more inspiring than Costa’s seven-point offensive production in a 14-point win over middling UCLA last season.

One more big reason for choosing Thomas over Costa is age. Even the biggest Costa supporters will say the gap between the two isn’t all that big. If that’s the case, why waste another year of Thomas’ eligibility for a lower-ceiling — albeit safer — choice. Imagine how good DT will be when he suits up as a third-year starter in 2012. Dixon may become an afterthought.

Oregon is a flashy program. The newest uniforms, the coolest facilities, the most innovative offense. Why go completely against their grain and pick the “safe” choice as quarterback? It doesn’t make sense.

No guts, no glory. For Oregon to reach its highest potential this year — a legitimate shot at the BCS title game — Kelly must pick Thomas. And don’t even get me started about the future.

Jake Locker: the Next Jevan Snead (just cut) or Tim Tebow (rich)?

There are few things that peeve Oregon fans more than Jake Locker hype.

Tim Tebow became the first sophomore ever to win the Heisman trophy, led the Gators to a national championship, finished his career with 10 times as many touchdowns as interceptions, and he was still considered a massive reach for the Broncos in the first round.

Snead never lived up to his Heisman hype. We're still waiting for Locker to live up to his.

Locker, on the other hand, only has two more career wins than Tebow had losses, yet the St. Louis Rams were champing at the bit to draft him first overall and hand him $50 million guaranteed. All because scouts think his abilities translate better to the NFL. Or something like that.

Why do I bring this up?

Earlier this afternoon, former Ole Miss quarterback Jevan Snead was cut from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

A reader brought up Snead as a comparison to Locker — and it makes sense.

Snead was a media darling entering the 2009 season. Nearly every publication in the country — including ESPN and Sports Illustrated — projected him as a Heisman favorite.

He was a top recruit and Texas Longhorns transfer. He had a rare combination of speed, arm strength and accuracy. And his team seemed to have enough supporting pieces to enable him a special season. But just a year earlier, Snead posted a 56% completion rate, 13 INTs and 20 sacks. Not exactly Heisman-hype worthy numbers.

In what shouldn’t have come as much of a shock, Snead crumbled up the pressure and never lived up to the expectations. Then Snead decided to cut his losses, enter the NFL draft, and hope teams would think more about his pre-2009 hype than his on-field production. He didn’t get drafted.

Does this sound like a possible scenario for our rival to the north?

Locker hasn’t proven he can do anything — except induce the salivary glands of NFL scouts with his athleticism. But then again, scouts salivated over JaMarcus Russell, Tony Mandarich and even our very own Akili Smith.

All I’m saying is, while Locker would need an impressively bad season of epic proportions to not get drafted, no one deserves to be a guaranteed No. 1 pick without proving productive on the field.

Locker should have entered the draft last April (his stock will never be higher), Snead probably should have stayed another year to revamp his draft stock– and in a weird twist of fate, Snead’s decision allowed Ole Miss to make room for Jeremiah Masoli.

Washington fans are hoping that Snead’s misfortune isn’t a sign of things to come. I couldn’t be hoping the opposite any harder.

Quarterback Face-off: The Argument for Nate Costa

With fall just about upon us, the debate turns to the biggest question in every Duck fan’s mind – who will be standing under center come September 4th?  In what might be the biggest quarterback debate of the decade in Eugene (since this is the first year of the decade, that’s a fair assumption), there stand two candidates: senior Nate Costa and sophomore Darron Thomas.  To ensure that each guy is given a fair shot and reasonable argument, Keith and I have each picked one of the candidates, described their credentials and explained why they deserve the starting job.  That said, here’s the case for Nate Costa…

With so much offensive fire power surrounding him, Costa's clutch performances and in depth knowledge of Chip Kelly's intricate playbook make him the best fit to be Oregon's new quarterback.

Nate Costa enrolled at the University of Oregon in the Fall of 2006 as a 3-star recruit and the 19th best dual-threat high school quarterback in the nation. As a freshman, Costa impressed in garbage time going 5-5 for 73 yards passing and 39 yards on the ground. Duck fans everywhere were excited by Costa’s potential, dubbing him the white Dennis Dixon, if you will. And then he had knee surgery. And then he had another knee surgery. And suddenly, there was a new hotshot on campus fulfilling the same hope that Costa had presented just two years prior.  His name was Darron Thomas.So where does all this leave Costa today? While his mobility and stability can both easily be called into question, I’d go as far as to say neither one of these are his biggest concern. The biggest obstacle standing between Costa and the love and affection of most Duck fans is the performance he had against UCLA last fall, a game in which the quarterback who can no longer be mentioned was unable to play. Costa inherited an offense which appeared unstoppable, and yet he gave the Ducks an uninspiring performance. He completing nine of his 17 passes for just 82 yards, with one touchdown and one interception. While many will argue that he did enough for the Ducks to win that game, those same people may remember that the Ducks tallied more points from their defense and special teams than from the offense, to squeak by the Bruins 24-10. Even so, I think come fall, the Ducks are best off with Nate Costa calling plays.

The biggest reason is Costa’s performance this spring. The competition between Thomas and Costa might seem relatively even after spring practices, but I think Costa did his best to answer to his critics. All reports out of spring practices are that Costa’s mobility has improved significantly, and while he isn’t on par with the more athletic Thomas, he appears plenty capable of running the Oregon offense.

The second reason that Costa deserves the job is because of all the weapons the Ducks supply around him. With a stable of running backs more stocked than the Kentucky Derby, it’s almost as if the Ducks don’t need a playmaker at quarterback, but more of a game-manager (Trent Dilfer, FTW!). Look at defending champion Alabama: they had Heisman Trophy winner Mark Ingram in the backfield alongside a quarterback that half of America had — and maybe still — never heard of.   The point is, that with LaMichael James, Kenjon Barner, the Texas trio of freshman, and all the starting wide receivers back, Costa appears to be the better fit. Sure, he’s had more than his share of knee problems, but he appears mobile enough to sell the option read, and given his superior passing ability, Costa makes the Ducks a more well-rounded team. If Costa’s knee is healed to the point where he can be a threat on the ground (as reports say), his passing ability far outweighs the gap in athleticism when compared with Thomas. Imagine if Oregon forced defenses to defend the pass as well as the run. The holes would open right up for the speedy Duck backs to burst through. While the “Ole Miss transfer” was nothing more than tolerable as a passer, Costa offers an arm that Eugene hasn’t seen since Dennis Dixon, and we all remember how dangerous that was. For comparisons sake, think about Chris Harper in 2008, or even the younger version of Dennis Dixon. While both of these players were remarkable athletes, it took even Dixon a couple years to settle in to a comfort zone, and Harper’s notorious 0/3 with 2 interceptions against Boise State shows that he failed to ever settle in.

Most importantly, Costa brings intangibles to the table that Thomas doesn’t have. When looking back at the best moments in Duck football last season, almost all of them took place out of improvisation rather than design. Organized chaos, if you will. When the Ducks need a big play, they look to someone they can trust and someone they know will always make the right decision, and last season that player was He Who Must Not Be Named. This season, the Ducks will be looking for that player again, and those qualifications describe Costa better than any player on the Duck roster. As a guy who’s been around the system as long as anybody (Costa probably knows the playbook better than a few coaches), and someone who the Ducks relied on for clutch two-point conversion decisions last season, Nate knows the pressure of being in games that matter, and having the ball when the game’s on the line. Think of the most important play last season. It wasn’t the Guy We Can’t Name’s demolition of the Beaver defensive back, or even his performance in overtime of the Arizona game. No, neither of those plays even matter if not for the miraculous PAT hold that Costa had to extend the Arizona game. While that was just one point, and just one play, Costa’s proven that he’s the guy I want with the ball at the end of a football game. The reason isn’t because he’s the most talented player in the world, but because he’s cool under pressure and he’s clutch, and those are two things you just can’t teach (And unlike Thomas, he’s proven able unite over 500 people on Facebook to worship his hands — you can’t teach that either).

As the Ducks enter this new season full of high expectations, the decision of who takes snaps is a critical one. While Thomas definitely offers Chip Kelly more upside and playmaking ability, my pick would be the well-groomed, reliable Nate Costa. A more adept passer, and having a better understanding of the offense, Costa has everything the Ducks are looking for in the man who will be orchestrating the beautiful symphonies that Chip Kelly draws up. His mistakes will be fewer, and his leadership will be greater, and because of all this, I’m taking Nate Costa.

Note: On Monday, Keith will make the case for Darron Thomas.

More Like Zinedine Zidane than Ted Williams, Jeremiah Masoli’s Abrupt Goodbye Leaves Us Aching and Him Public Enemy One

Editor’s Note: As some of you might know, UOSportsDude.com is expanding from beyond just me in order to bring to you deeper, more extensive and definitely better coverage of the Oregon Ducks this coming season. Please welcome our newest writer, Jonathan Adams, and Resident Old Man, to the blog. Although he is 33-years-old, not quite “Dude” territory anymore, Jonathan is a former Oregon student who is married to an OSU grad and lives in Washington surrounded by Husky fans. Needless to say, he misses Eugene. You can follow him on Twitter here.

Zidane's abrupt head-but left the French heartbroken and trophy-less. Although maybe not of equal grandiosity, Masoli might have done the same to Oregon.

One of my favorite pieces of sports journalism is “Hub Fans Bid Kid Adieu” by John Updike. It was written in 1960, published in The New Yorker, and tells the tale of Ted Williams’ last appearance at Fenway Park. In it Updike writes: “The affair between Boston and Ted Williams has been no mere summer romance; it has been a marriage, composed of spats, mutual disappointments, and, toward the end, a mellowing hoard of shared memories.” While that quote is specifically about Teddy Ballgame and his up-and-down relationship with the Boston fans and media, I’ve always thought it more generally described how we all feel about our favorite athletes, regardless of what team they play for or what city they play in. And even though Williams wasn’t the easiest guy to root for, at least Red Sox fans got to say a proper goodbye when Williams hit a home run in his final at-bat. But what happens when the “marriage” ends abruptly and we don’t get to revel in the “mellowing hoard of shared memories”?

Jeremiah Masoli is back in the news. He is going to enroll at Ole Miss. He’ll probably see significant playing time because he is instantly be the best quarterback on the roster. He is officially no longer a student at the University of Oregon, no longer a Duck. For a majority of Duck fans he’s Public Enemy Number Two (just behind Lane Kiffin). Most Duck fans have moved on. Me? I’m the guy still pining for the girl who left me at the altar and went on “our” honeymoon with the best man. While everyone else is debating Thomas vs. Costa, I’m still thinking about Masoli.

I keep imagining November 26, 2010 at Autzen Stadium. Senior Day. The Ducks are 10-0, 9-1, whatever. Masoli is the last of the seniors to be introduced. The ovation is amazingly loud, amazingly long. If Joey Harrington is number one in the annals of Oregon quarterbacks, Masoli is at least 1A. He’s about to cap the greatest 3-year run ever by an Oregon QB. Some of the same fans who booed him in 2008 are cheering the loudest in 2010. His last game at Autzen is Ted Williams-esque. He still sails his first couple of pass attempts, just like always, and just like always he – and we – shrug it off. He picks apart the Arizona defense with his arm and his feet and moves the Ducks one game closer to the National Championship, or at the very least a second straight Rose Bowl berth. If I close my eyes I can see it. But the harsh reality is that it’s all what-might-have-been.

Through it all, the accusations, the arrest, the hearing, it’s been difficult to separate fact and rumor. Jeremiah Masoli is no doubt a bright young man and a hard worker. He has earned enough credits to graduate from the University of Oregon. He mastered Chip Kelly’s intricate offense, worked his up the depth chart to be the engineer of the most prolific offense in the nation. He was tireless in games, getting better in the second half, taking on bigger defenders. Is this really the same knucklehead who lied to the police, lied to his coach and couldn’t keep himself out of trouble after Kelly didn’t throw him off the team for his initial transgression? I don’t understand it, probably never will, and I’m tired of thinking about it. I need to move on.

It would have been easier to move on, for me at least, if there would have been a proper goodbye. Senior days, retirement tours, heck, even a final game at an old stadium, I’m a sucker for all of that stuff. But when the end comes out-of-the-blue and during the offseason no less, it’s like a Zinedine Zidane-style headbutt to the chest

Look, this isn’t a knock on Thomas or Costa. Every time Thomas breaks off a long run, or Costa makes a great throw, Masoli will become smaller and smaller in the rearview mirror. But highlights of the 2008 Holiday Bowl or thinking about The Drive 1 against Arizona and The Drive 2 against Oregon State will still make me wistful, like seeing pictures of an ex and thinking about all the good times. Yeah, you’ve moved on and your current girlfriend is great, but that doesn’t change the fact that you have a lot of great memories of your ex. Even if she did break your heart.

Forget About Masoli for a Second, We’re 37 Days Away From Oregon Football

While everyone is busy digesting the absurdity of all things Jeremiah Masoli this morning — my favorite being the “Media Mistakes” page on his new PR site (I don’t know if I should be happy or disappointed that my initial report didn’t make the cut, yet Wikipedia did) — I’m here to get you excited about the thing that actually matters, you know, that things that starts in 37 days.

It’s time to bring out the firepower: probably the most important win in Oregon’s recent history. The one that shut up Beaver fans, led to a giddy month of December and then massive heartbreak on New Years Day.

Ensuing massive heartbreak aside, the 37-33 victory over Oregon State in the 113th Civil War is one of the greatest moments in the history of our program.

And it’s the best I can offer to get your minds off Masoli and onto the new season, in which the Pac-10 media just rated us tops in the conference.

I smell roses…

Go Ducks!!

Question for Readers: What Content Do You Want?

I started this blog 10 months ago for my own personal amusement. In the beginning I had less regular visitors than Jeremiah Masoli has laptops, and thus, didn’t have to give a damn about what you were interested in reading. I could post whatever I wanted – like this extremely useless entry, a collection of my favorite YouTube videos so I could continue procrastinating for my Psychology 202 final – and not have to worry that you wouldn’t come back, because, well, no one was here.

Fortunately those days are gone, and I have a stable of semi-regular readers who actually (kinda sorta maybe?) care about the things I write. The site has transformed from my random meaningless musings to what I hope becomes a leading source of Oregon Ducks news, opinion and analysis.

To do this, I want to make sure I provide the content you’ll read and hey, maybe even enjoy.

As you’ve probably seen me blabbing all over Twitter and Facebook recently, I’m in the process of adding several new writers to the site – with one officially added to the mix this morning.

With that said, I’d love to ALL hear your feedback in the sort of content (or anything else) you’d like to see on UOSportsDude.com.

  • Duck football is obviously the biggest topic and there are an infinite amount of things to cover. Game previews/reviews, player analysis, recruiting, etc. Maybe even a gambling column. Open to all suggestions.
  • As for variety of sports, are you interested in only football, basketball and baseball or do you want coverage of the non-money sports as well?
  • Billing myself the “UO” Sports Dude, I’ve put a heavy emphasis on covering the Oregon Ducks. Are you interested in the NFL, fantasy, the Blazers, South Eugene High, whatever… or just Ducks?
  • I haven’t strayed away from writing yet, but I’m interested in starting a podcast and adding other types of multi-media to the site. Maybe something like Dan Rubenstein’s The Postgame Tailgate?

I’m open to ALL suggestions so please leave as many of your thoughts as possible in the comments. If you’re interested in contributing in the blog’s expansion please read this and email me at kbecker@uoregon.edu. I really appreciate all you guys helping me get the blog to where it is today – I couldn’t do it without you.

Thank you and GOOO DUCKS!!!!!!

(Also, please share this on facebook and RT, thanks!)

Masoli’s Guilty Plea: Less an Acknowledgement of Crime Than Desire for a Potential Future

Editor’s Note: As some of you might know, UOSportsDude.com is expanding the site to be able to bring to you deeper, more expansive and hopefully better coverage of the Oregon Ducks this coming season and beyond. Please welcome our newest writer, UO student Jonathan Marx, to the mix. He has written for the Oregon Daily Emerald as well as Santa Barbara CC’s The Channel Online. You can follow him on Twitter here.

Guilty.

That was the plea Jeremiah Masoli’s lawyer gave on behalf of the disgraced quarterback on Wednesday morning to a judge in the Springfield Municipal Court.

Jonathan Marx.

Guilty.

Guilty of possession of less than an ounce of marijuana. Guilty of failing to stop at a driveway or sidewalk. Guilty of letting down the Duck Nation, one last time.

In reality, Masoli’s guilty plea was less of an acknowledgment that he committed a crime, and more about his desire for a potential future. By pleading guilty and coughing up a palty $937 in fines and fees, the case is now closed, and his September 3rd court date is cancelled. A court date on September 3rd would’ve been inconvenient, as it may very well have interrupted his plans to play football in the fall.

Where might that be, though? That’s a question he wished he had an answer to.

Every day, several reports come out saying he’s interested in yet another school: Louisiana Tech, Texas Tech, Hawaii, Ole Miss, the latest being UNLV. The problem is, it takes two to tango, and the interest he shows in these schools is rightfully unreturned. Well-established athletic programs don’t want someone with his criminal past. Just ask, say, us.

But even if these schools could look beyond that, and just see an outstanding athlete with a love for the game and an unfortunate criminal record, would they still be willing to take the risk? No. He had his chance, they will say. He had his first, second, and third chance. And he blew all of them. What’s to stop him from blowing another?

If Masoli continues his career at UNLV, he might find he fits in well with the Sin City culture. But that seems like a situation almost too good to be true for him. He’ll probably end up at some low tier D-2 or D-3 school. Somewhere where he will sell lots of tickets, and outperform any competition put in his path. Somewhere he doesn’t want to be but has to. If it’s any consolation to him, he’ll be regarded as a hero at his new institution. One where he can take the reigns, trudge forward and never look back.

As Masoli relaxes and enjoys his summer vacation down in the Bay Area, having just finished his final two classes at the University of Oregon, a few other questions still linger in the back of the quarterback’s head. What the hell was I doing in that fraternity house on that cold January night? Where would I be right now if I had used the brake, instead of the gas, while pulling out of that driveway in Springfield?

Or, more appropriately, why don’t the Oakland Raiders just get it over with and sign me already? I’d fit in perfect over there!

The reality is these questions will never be answered. As Jeremiah walked off the field after a hard fought and unfortunate loss to Ohio State in the Rose Bowl, he began a journey into the unknown. Seven months later, that journey has taken him even deeper into the unknown. And stability remains nowhere in sight.