Why Leave The Civil War Up to Chance When I Can Jinx Oregon State?

Look how pretty the Quizz Show is!

Look how pretty the Quizz Show is!

The biggest game of my life as a sports fan is Thursday. And as the clock creeps closer to kickoff with each minute ticking by, I am only getting more and more nervous.

Obviously, I can’t do anything to directly help Oregon increase their chances of winning, so I will resort to doing what I what do best: using my sharp, snarky, witty (I could go on forever…) humor to jinx Oregon State into losing a game that will only make those blockhead students from Corvallis just that more ashamed to call themselves Beavers.

It’s the least I could do. Seriously.

  • Jacquizz Rodgers has never fumbled once in his 498 career carries.
  • Because of that, his extra year of experience, and exceptionally sturdy knee ligaments, Rodgers is obviously better than LaMichael James.
  • The fly sweep is the best play in college football, much better than Oregon’s pitiful spread option attack.
  • Oregon State is first in the Pac-10 in passing yards while the Ducks sit in last place. There is no doubt that Sean Canfield is a better quarterback than Jeremiah Masoli.
  • The Beavers have allowed the fewest rushing yards in the conference and tenth fewest in the country. It doesn’t matter that teams just decide it’s easier to throw the ball. Numbers don’t lie!!!
  • Crucial statistic: OSU has a better net punting average than the Ducks. Knowing that, why even bother playing the game? The Beavs have it locked up.
  • Jacquizz Rodgers has a 547.6 quarterback rating. Talk about Heisman!
  • If the Civil War was decided by picking two players from each team and adding up the points from their first name Scrabble-style on a per-letter ratio, the Beavers would win in a landslide. Jacquizz and Zeke? Are you kidding me? Can you even imagine how many points that would be on a triple word score?
  • Oregon State had more four-star recruits than Oregon in 2006. Talk about veteran leadership!
  • After last season, ESPN’s Ted Miller ranked Quizz as the fourth best player in the Pac-10. The Ducks didn’t get a single player in the top eight.
  • OSU cheerleaders are way hotter than Oregon cheerleaders, and look, they even took buddy pics! How cute!
  • Oregon State has two more alumni than Oregon who have been in space. Look, they’re even smarter than us too!
  • In a state known for being green, Chip Kelly drives a Land Rover while Mark Riley drives a Prius. Everyone is always talking about how being environmentally friendly pays off in the long run. The environmental karma Gods are watching!
  • And lastly, the Beavers have a player with 12 fingers. Talk about an advantage; imagine what you can do with all those fingers! He could enjoy 12 ring pops at the same time! Delicious!

I sure hope the Gods of reverse jinxing are Oregon alums. Go Ducks!

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Oregon Hoops: A Return to Respectability Is on the Horizon

Porter is gonna have to do a lot more than hold a towell over his head if Oregon still wants to be playing come March.

Porter is gonna have to do a lot more than hold a towell over his head if Oregon still wants to be playing come March.

It’s basketball season already? Seriously? I’m not ready to move on to a losing sport; it’s still football season, gosh darn it!

At least for now, Oregon Ducks basketball is the University of Oregon’s proverbial red-headed stepchild.

Why anyone would spend time following a team coming off of an 8-23 season, including losses to San Diego, Oakland, and Washington State by 29 points, instead of a Rose Bowl contending football team, is beyond me.

But I guess anytime you have the chance to watch Oregon play a non-conference basketball game against Colorado State in a half-empty 83-year-old stadium in early November, you can’t pass it up.

Ok, you get. We were bad last year. Worse than that actually. Terrible. Putrid. Atrocious. Words don’t do it justice.

It was so bad that we actually rushed the court after our first Pac-10 win in our 15th try, over a less-than-mediocre Stanford team. And as someone who was a part of it, I felt absolutely ashamed and humiliated the second I left my seat and headed toward the sweat-soaked jersey of Joevan Catron.

Well this year, things should be better.

Are we going to be as bad as last year? No. Are we going to be good? Not even close. But will we be good enough where we don’t have to lose our dignity storming the court on our first win of conference play with less than one month left in the season? I can almost guarantee it.

Oh, how I love low expectations.

In all actuality, the Ducks should be much improved this season.

What was an extremely young team last year now has one more full year of experience under their belt, without losing any keys players (although in Catron’s case, it might not have been such a bad thing).

Lekendric Longmire, the energetic 6’5″ junior guard, who finished as the Ducks’ second-leading scorer (9.9 points per game) looks to have taken up a leadership role on the team, a position that was severely lacking last year.

“I think about last season’s record every morning when I wake up,” Longmire said. “Truly, it’s the first thing on my mind. I’m going to do everything I can to not let that happen again.”

Longmire, along with the emergent Teondre Williams, the steady play of seniors Tajuan Porter and (dare I say it) Catron, and gifted youngsters Michael Dunigan, Michael Humphrey and Jamil Wilson, actually form a talented rotation.

The only question is: Will Ernie Kent screw it up?

Entering his 13th season at Oregon, Kent made possibly the smartest move of his career by hiring Arizona assistant Mike Dunlap to take over as de facto head coach.

Kent, who is much better at recruiting, scowling at referees, and looking extremely awkward while crossing his legs on the bench than actually coaching a basketball team, finally realized that in order to save his job, he would have to demote himself to mere figure head of the basketball program.

Hopefully, Dunlap, a former Arizona Wildcat head coach and Denver Nuggets assistant, can get this team to cut down on turnovers, run an actual offense, and play something that moderately resembles defense.

If he can do that, a middle-of-the-pack conference finish and an out-of-nowhere NCAA tournament bid could be in the mix come February.

Kent believes that, just like he said last year, the pieces are in place for the Ducks to play their preferred up-tempo style of play.

Kent hopes to use a 10-man rotation that will create havoc for opposing teams. He expects that added depth will let the Ducks employ a more effective full-court press than it showed last season.

“Even though we had numbers last year, those guys just weren’t physically and mentally strong enough to put that kind of pressure on you,” Kent said. “We are this year.”

Tim Wilson, the newly hired basketball strength and condition coach, put the team through an extensive training program this offseason, and it looks to be paying off already.

Dunigan lost 25 pounds, Williams and Porter packed on muscle, and Catron, well, isn’t as fat.

Kent made a second smart decision this season by loading up the non-conference slate with a list of patsies only Urban Meyer would appreciate. Oregon won’t play a single ranked team this preseason, and it might just be the confidence boost the team needs to get rolling come Pac-10 play.

The only downside? With Montana, Montana St., Mississippi Valley St., Idaho St., and Arkansas Pine Bluff headlining the schedule, the Ducks will have a hard time convincing the selection committee for an at-large bid come March.

Nonetheless, the program certainly looks headed in the right direction, and even though you shouldn’t expect the Ducks to return to the Elite Eight this season, the plan is in place for this team to be competitive.

And that’s something you couldn’t say about them last year.

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The Miracle Run Comes to an End as Oregon Lets Down at Stanford

No matter how many Ducks tried, there was just no stopping Toby Gerhart.

No matter how many Ducks tried, there was just no stopping Toby Gerhart.

After the last four weeks, and especially after last week’s blowout of USC, I thought we were invincible. I thought Chip Kelly would never let his team show up unprepared, I thought the defense was for real, and I thought going on the road wouldn’t matter.

But boy, oh, boy was I wrong. And Toby Gerhart was there to remind me; it felt like he personally punched me in the gut on every single one of his 38 dominating carries.

I got too caught up in the winning streak. I didn’t take Stanford seriously. Even if we had played Florida I thought the Ducks would have won going away. I was overconfident. I was naïve. I was cocky.

Not even for one second did the thought of losing cross my mind. I honestly wasn’t even worried until the end of the third quarter, when Gerhart ran in his third touchdown to put the Cardinal up by 17.

At that moment, to quote Kanye West, “It all falls down.”

I could feel the game, and more importantly the national championship slipping away. The Heisman hopes of Jeremiah Masoli and LaMichael James eroded, just like the defense on those 38 Gerhart carries.

On Bill Simmons’ Levels of Losing this game ranked as a combination of The Alpha Dog and The “This Can’t Be Happening”.

Simmons definition of The Alpha Dog perfectly depicts what happened: “It might have been a devastating loss, but at least you could take solace that a superior player made the difference in the end. Unfortunately, he wasn’t playing for your team… You feel more helpless here than anything.”

On Saturday, Toby Gerhart was the alpha dog. Nothing Oregon did could stop him. His longest run was for 31 yards, yet he compiled over 220. Every carry, the Maxwell Award semi-finalist would break two tackles and then fall forward for six yards. It was heart-wrenching. Every play I knew it was coming, and every play I felt more and more helpless.

And if that weren’t enough, there was definitely a “This Can’t Be Happening” feeling as well. “You’re supposed to win, you expect to win, the game is a mere formality. … Suddenly your team falls behind, your opponents are fired up, the clock is ticking and it dawns on you for the first time, “Oh, my God, this can’t be happening.”

Here are my thoughts on the game:

·    Stanford was far  and away the better team today. I still feel Oregon is better overall, but there is no question they played harder and wanted this game more than the Ducks.

·    All the injuries Oregon has suffered finally started to add up and take effect. Without WT3 and Willie Glasper, the defense was helpless against the pass.

·    Talmadge Jackson alone made Andrew Luck look like John Elway.

·    For the first time in over a month, the defensive line had no push. The Stanford O-Line did a tremendous job of opening holes and giving Luck time in the pocket to find the open receiver.

·    The Ducks had given up 58 points in their previous five games. Then in one game, give up 51 to the Cardinal.

·    Oregon had been giving up 4.6 yards per attempt to Pac-10 quarterbacks; Luck averaged 12.6 yards.

·    Just as important as Gerhart for Stanford, was Chris Owusu. The speed demon put up 197 yards on five returns, giving the Cardinal a short field and recapturing the momentum after every Oregon touchdown.

·    Oregon, meanwhile, had the third best average yards per kickoff return in the country coming into this game, but on nine returns, the Ducks averaged just 19 yards a piece.

·    On the bright side, Oregon still controls their own destiny to the Rose Bowl. If they can get past Arizona in Tuscon, which is no small feat for the Ducks, only a total collapse would keep Oregon out of Pasadena on New Year’s Day.

·    The San Jose Mercury’s Jon Wilner couldn’t have predicted Saturday’s outcome any better. As part of his reasoning for picking Stanford in a “close, entertaining, high-scoring victory”, Wilner said that the atmosphere at Stanford Stadium was a huge edge for the home team.

·    Wilner wrote: “Sure, Autzen Stadium’s a tough place to play with the non-stop, jet-engine noise. But just watch as the laid-back, Riesling-drinking, tailgating-among-the-eucalyptus-tree Stanford crowd lulls the Ducks to sleep.”

·    Wilner couldn’t have been more right. Stanford Stadium has one of the shittiest atmospheres in college football. If it weren’t for us Duck fans, you could have heard a pin drop.

·    This game felt exactly like the Purdue games the past two years, except for the comeback part.

·    I can’t remember the last time Oregon put up 570 yards and lost.

·    At least Nick Allioti took full responsibility for the loss.

·    Allioti looks exactly like John Abruzzi from Prison Break.

·    I hate Stanford’s band. They had no sync, no togetherness. It looked like 50 people wearing red jackets and trumpets wandered on the field and started running around and playing off-key music.

·    And what was with the two guys with fake horns pulling the wagon around the field? I’m still trying to figure that one out.

·    Stanford’s halftime show was even worse than our color guard. I feel like I should have brought pen and paper for notes. Total buzz kill.

·    If losing to Stanford wasn’t enough by itself, the Stanford alum sitting behind me was on his phone giving a play-by-play to his friend. If I weren’t in shock from the loss, I would have turned around and done something politically incorrect.

·    You know those Nike sport specific t-shirts? Well I saw one that said Stanford Studying. I wasn’t even surprised. Only at Stanford.

The Definitive Oregon Green Dude Interview

He is a man of simple taste. He enjoys safety blitzes, the Oregon spread-option attack, and the colors green and yellow. He prides himself on being the most fanatic, intimidating, and downright terrifying force in Autzen stadium. He makes visiting players, well, to be honest, piss themselves.

The Green Dude. That is all.

The Green Dude. That is all.

No, I am not talking about the Most Interesting Man in the World from those ever so popular Dos Equis commercials. Instead, I am describing a man who wears nothing but a skin-tight neon green spandex suit no matter the weather, the man who helps make the Autzen Zoo the Autzen Zoo, and the man who is the Duck football fan equivalent of Superman and Clark Kent.

Indeed, I am speaking of the one, the only, Oregon Green Dude.

You’ve all seen him by now. It would be hard not to. I mean, he is wearing a neon green spandex green suit. And I’m sure you have all wondered, “who is he”? Who this unmistakably stunning man hiding behind such a mysterious and attractive persona?

Unfortunately, I am not here to reveal the name of the man beneath the suit. Instead, I am here to tell his story. A story of how one modest episode of It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia changed the course of one University of Oregon student’s life, and possibly the entire football season. Settle in, sports fans. Read close, for this is a story you may very well end up re-telling to your grandchildren (OK, maybe not…unless you’re the Green Dude).

It is no coincidence that the first time the Oregon Green Dude donned his new suit, the Ducks “upset” the California Golden Bears 42-3. In fact, you could even say it was fate.

Although the students who reside in Autzen stadium are collectively the craziest in the country, there was something missing during the first three games of the season. I wouldn’t say noise, or passion, or even good old fashion heckling. They were missing an identity.

And on Sept. 25, thanks to a seldom great idea from a Beaver fan, the suit was born.

By the time the Oregon Green Dude came within eyesight of Autzen stadium that sunny Saturday afternoon, he had already become a huge hit with the other fans.

“Right away people were asking for pictures and everything,” the nameless one said. “I definitely didn’t expect people to find it so cool and ask for pictures, hugs, and high fives and all that right.”

How can you blame them?

“Thus the green dude was born.”

So what is life like as the Oregon Green Dude? Well, it would be a lot easier if there were more phone booth’s on campus, that’s for sure.

“The suit really reveals nothing but my physique,” the mystery man says with a wry smile.

Fortunately, he hasn’t yet come across any clever, conniving, and cunning students who have tried to divulge his true identity.

“Haha, no, not yet. That would be interesting,” ponders the Green Dude. “I live away from campus, so normally it’s a car ride home. I would say if anybody goes through the work to follow me home, and are nice about, then they deserve to know.”

That isn’t an invitation to stalk the man–although it’s been hard for many to restrain their curiosity, especially middle-aged women (read: cougars).

“Up in Seattle a couple of hot Husky moms asked for a picture, but they ended up wanting more than just a snapshot. They were intrigued by my downstairs region.”
And for good reason.

What does the Green Dude wear under his suit?

“Nothing. It would look weird. Clothes would get all crumpled up and stuff.”

I guess women really do love a man in uniform, because the suit has proven to be a real aphrodisiac.

“I was fooling around with a certain lady friend and she wanted the green suit on, so I had to oblige, just for a minute or two. It was weird, it just didn’t really work.”

So what is the lesson behind the Oregon Green Dude? No, it isn’t, “don’t be afraid to take advice from a Beaver fan”.

The truth is, it’s all about being the best fan you can be—no matter how bad it smells under that suit.

“A good antiperspirant is a must.”

Autzen Stadium is home to several other super fans, but could there ever be a bigger fanatic than the Oregon Green Dude?

“I would say I’m a pretty hard character to copy. I’m a little bit of Spider Man, mixed with a little bit of Puddles, add some Brad Pitt, and some Jim carry… and you (the UO Sports Dude) might be close.”

I could not imagine a higher compliment.

Week Nine NFL Power Rankings: Saints Brees Their Way to the Top

Read on to see who won the Simple Jack Award this week.

Read on to see who won the Simple Jack Award this week.

So, basically, what I learned this weekend is that the NFL cannot compare to college football. Not a great hook to keep you NFL fans reading, right?

Well the two would be a lot closer if I didn’t wake up Sunday to the biggest horror story in the history of our planet Earth.

No, I didn’t have a skull-rattling hangover. No, my legs weren’t sore from jumping over the 20-foot fence onto the field Saturday night. And no, no douche-bag teenagers smashed our pumpkins or egged my house.

Why was Sunday so bad? The last several weeks, the NFL Red Zone channel, God’s greatest creation, had been mysteriously been working. In HD.  At first, I thought it was just a one week trial.

But come the next Sunday it was still there. And then the next one. And then another. Seven straight Sundays! I thought my Guardian Angel was watching over me.

So when I woke up, albeit at 1:30 PM, I expected to walk to my living room, check my fantasy team, and turn on the Red Zone Channel. In HD. But that did not happen. Instead, a simple “channel not authorized” messaged displayed on the screen.

You know in movies, when a character screams and they zoom out attempting to show that the entire world can hear his cries (eg: Eurotrip , when Scotty wakes up after the party)? Well, that was me, except not as loud, or silent. I don’t remember. I was too angry.

On to the rankings.
32 (31) – Buccaneers

It was a bad week for Tampa—and they didn’t even play. First they get called out by Tatum Bell of the UFL’s Florida Tuskers, who said they would beat the Bucs “handily,” and then they see the only other remaining winless teams pick up their first victories.

I wonder it Bell knows that his quarterback, Craig Nall, is most famous for being Brett Favre’s backup. The only time he ever played was in Madden . But they probably still could beat Tampa.

31 (30) – Browns

Cleveland once again got demolished. And to rub salt in the wound, has-been running back Jamal Lewis said he plans to retire after the season. What will Browns ever do to replace their overweight, slow, injured, and flat out not good running back?

30 (32) – Rams

Isn’t it kind of sad that the Rams poured the Gatorade cooler on Steve Spagnuolo after getting their first win in Week Eight? They must have really thought they weren’t going to win again the rest of the way. And by the way, shouldn’t there be some sort of rule that you can’t pour Gatorade on your coach unless you win something of importance? Beating the Lions in November doesn’t really qualify.

29 (29) – Chiefs

I can only imagine what Larry Johnson’s apology would sound like: “I apologize for using the term ‘f-g.’ I intended to use ‘f-ggot’, but Twitter has a character limit.”

28 (26) – Lions

Back to our good friend, ESPN’s Jeffri Chadiha, for an update on what the loss to the Rams means for Detroit: “A loss to St. Louis is a step in the wrong direction.”  And now here’s Ollie Williams with the black-u-weather forecast…

27 (28) – Raiders

The only thing sadder than JaMarcus Russell’s performance (109 yards, no TDs, an INT, and five sacks) is that after the game he told reporters he thought he “played pretty good.” If that’s good, then what was he expecting?

26 (24) – Redskins

No point preparing for what will surely be a loss in Atlanta, so Sherm Lewis rounded up his Hogs and headed out to the old folk’s home for a scintillating week of Bingo. I’ve heard there are quite a few prestigious Bingo tournaments in the DC area.

25 (27) – Titans

This Sunday will be a highly anticipated matchup of two former top-three overall picks who sucked for years before getting benched but then got the starting job handed back to them become the replacement sucked even worse: Alex Smith vs. Vince Young. Now here’s a story to tell your grandchildren.

24 (25) – Panthers

I could have sworn that I saw Kurt Warner and Jake Delhomme switch uniforms before kickoff.

23 (23) – Seahawks

I’m still debating with clip is funnier, the Coor’s light version of Jim Mora’s “playoffs” rant of the real press conference . I wonder if the junior Jim Mora ever shows either to his team for comic relief.

22 (22) – Bills

There goes Ryan Fitzpatrick’s five-game winning streak as a starter.

21 (21) – Jaguars

The only thing tougher than getting the Jaguars to play good football will be for Jacksonville to avoid a blackout against the Chiefs. This could be a long week for the marketing department.

20 (20) – Dolphins

Here’s ESPN’s Michael Clayton trying to be funny: “After a week in which Ted Ginn was grim, his two kickoff returns for touchdowns have Dolphins fans wearing grins.” Cute, Michael, very cute.

19 (17) – Jets

Hey Rex Ryan, never go full retard.

18 (18) – 49ers

Finally the 49ers are showing signs of being a good football team. The bad news? They still lost and are now 3-4. The good news? They are in the NFC West, and are only one game back because the Cardinals lost to Jake Delhomme’s Panthers.

17 (13) – Cardinals

The only thing more embarrassing than Kurt Warner’s five interceptions is that they didn’t even pick off Jake Delhomme once. I mean, how hard can it be? Even Tampa Bay picked him off twice.

16 (19) – Bears

Three of their four wins have come against Seattle, Detroit and Cleveland. Not a good sign when they still have to play contenders in seven of their next nine games.

15 (15) – Chargers

Fox Sports’ Adrian Hasenmayer actually writes good team summaries. Read and learn, ESPN: “It was kind of like “Old Timers’ Day” for the Chargers last week, with LT scoring twice (just TDs No. 2 and 3 for him this season) and Shawne Merriman notching his first two sacks of 2009.”


14 (16) – Texans

This is the first time in the history of the Texans that they are two games over .500. It really is too bad they have to play at Indy next week.

13 (7) – Giants

Eli, don’t try to be a tough guy and play through the injury. Be the pussycat you are, sit out a few weeks, and then go back to be the same old overpaid, overrated, mediocre quarterback you usually are.

12 (12) – Falcons

If only Michael Turner and Matt Ryan could show up at the same time. Just as Turner has finally started to get hot, Ryan is now ice cold. And Ryan’s stat line would have looked much worse if it weren’t for Roddy White’s manhandling of Jabari Greer for a 68-yard touchdown.

11 (11) – Packers

Aaron Rodgers is like a Bugatti Veyron on the Pacific Coast Highway at 4:30 on a Friday afternoon: absolutely worthless.

10 (14) – Cowboys

Don’t look now but Tony Romo is on pace for 4,400 yards and a 26:8 touchdown to interception ratio.

9 (10) – Eagles

I guess Philadelphia was a little angry about losing to the Raiders last week. I couldn’t be happier that they took it out on Eli and the Giants.

8 (8) – Bengals

Best athlete tweet of the week goes to (who else?) Chad Ochocinco: “@BritneySpears Britney are you still looking for a back up dancer, there might be a lockout in 2011, my number is the same, call me.”

7 (6) – Steelers

Huge game at Denver this Sunday. This contest will go a long way in deciding the AFC hierarchy for the rest of the season.


6 (9) – Ravens

And Jeffri Chadiha is back, this time with the “stating the obvious” quote of the week: “They’re celebrating a big victory over Denver, breaking a three-game losing streak.” Oh my god, I had no idea!


5 (4) – Broncos

That was Kyle Orton’s first game all season under 10 fantasy points. Seriously. Kyle Orton.

4 (5) – Patriots

Bill Belichick’s eyes must have lit up like Christmas lights when he found this out: The Patriots are the only team in the league with each of the NFL’s remaining two undefeated teams left on its schedule. I think they take down at least one.

3 (3) – Vikings

John Madden must have had a three-hour long boner from watching Brett Favre play on Sunday. Who needs Viagra when you have Brett Favre? John Madden, that’s for sure.

2 (2) – Colts

The more I think about it the more this Colts team reminds me of the 2007 Patriots. And I don’t like it. The only that comforts me is that Indy’s competition is right up there with the Big Ten’s non-conference schedule. I can’t wait for Colts-Patriots in two weeks.

1 (1) – Saints

New Orleans doesn’t play another team with a winning record until a monster Monday Night showdown against the Patriots in Week 12. Why do I relate everything back to the Patriots? That Tom Brady sure is a good-looking guy. And he’s from San Mateo.

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Week Eight NFL Power Rankings: The Saints Go Marching On

Another week down and another crazy shake-up in the rankings. The Bears and 49ers faced reality checks, and I finally gave the Bengals the ounce of credibility they deserve. Due to midterms, I’m keeping the intro short and sweet this week.

Raiders Draft Football

Get used to that seat, JaMarcus. You'll be keeping it warm for a while.

On to the rankings.

32 (32) – Rams:
Poor, poor Steven Jackson. 143 rushing attempts on the season and still no touchdowns. Somebody give this man a hug.

31 (31) – Buccaneers:
Tampa Bay can now say they suck in two countries, which is probably more exciting than watching Josh Johnson try to throw a football.

30 (29) – Browns:
In his five games since taking over for the disgraced Brady Quinn, Derek Anderson has posted QB ratings of 30.9, 68.8, 15.1, 51.0, and 36.4. With a completion percentage of 44. Did Quinn beat up the GM? What does he have to do to get back on the field?

29 (27) – Chiefs:
On the bright side, that was an amazing touchdown catch by Dwayne Bowe. Unfortunately, it was their only one.

28 (25) – Raiders:
Andre Ware, Akili Smith, Ryan Leaf, Rick Mirer, Cade McNown, Jim Drunkenmiller, Todd Marinovich, Joey Harrington, David Carr, JaMarcus Russell. Not a good list to be on.

27 (29) – Titans:
Best PR move of the week goes to Jeff Fischer wearing a Peyton Manning jersey to a charity event: “I just want to feel like a winner.” Classic.

26 (28) – Lions:
Cancel your plans and clear your schedules for this Sunday. You don’t want to pick up the in-laws from the airport anyway. Why? St. Louis comes to town. I can barely wait.

25 (22) – Panthers:
Jake Delhomme’s three interception performance on Sunday actually raised his QB rating for the year. Sad. Hey John Fox, Delhomme sucks, your backups are worse, and you have two of the best running backs in the NFL, don’t you think it’s time to try the wildcat? There couldn’t be a better situation.

24 (26) – Redskins:
“I had to go to the senior center and cancel my bingo calling,” said the 67-year-old Sherm Lewis, who last worked in the NFL with the Detroit Lions during the 2004 season. “And I had to cancel my Meals on Wheels today.” This team is a joke. Need I say more?

23 (23) – Seahawks:
Has there been a team more decimated by injuries in any sports the last two years? Other than the New York Mets this year, I can’t think of any. Brutal. I actually kind of feel bad for them, except for when they play the Niners.

22 (24) – Bills:
Did you know Ryan Fitzpatrick has won his last five starts? Me either. Unfortunately, I don’t think that stat alone is going to make Terrell Owens feel any better. Oh well, T.O. is probably working on his next reality show anyway.

21 (21) – Jaguars:
Jacksonville plays the Titans and Chiefs in the next two weeks, teams with a combined 1-12 record. Can you imagine the Jaguars as a 5-3 team? Even if it happened, it would just be a façade because four of their five wins would be against teams with a combined one win (Rams, Chiefs, Titans twice).

20 (20) – Dolphins:
If you’re going to blow a 24-3 lead at home, it might as well be to the Saints. In fantasy news, is it time to take Ricky Williams seriously as a legitimate starting running back? I think it might be.

19 (11) – Bears:
ESPN seriously can’t find somebody better than Jeffri Chadiha to do their NFL Power Rankings. Here’s his weekly gem: “The Bears are 1-3 on the road this season. That doesn’t bode well for their future.” I appreciate all the hard work and analysis you put into that one, buddy.

18 (10) – 49ers:
You know things are bad in San Francisco when Mike Singletary turns to Alex Smith to be the savior. At least Vernon Davis and Michael Crabtree are fun to watch.

17 (19) – Jets:
ESPN’s Michael Clayton: “Mark Sanchez showed great hot-dog security in not fumbling the dog he ate in the second half of the win over the Raiders on Sunday.” Take it down a notch, cowboy, you’re trying too hard.

16 (18) – Texans:
Gun to your head, who has the most passing yards and TDs in the NFL? 99% of people would guess Peyton Manning. And 99% of people would be wrong. The answer? Matt Schaub.

15 (13) – Chargers:
San Diego’s wins are against Oakland, Miami and Kansas City. Their losses are against Baltimore, Pittsburgh and Denver. Just beat one good team and I’ll believe in you, that’s not too much to ask for, right?

14 (17) – Cowboys:
Miles Austin, the undrafted wide received out of Monmouth, is the sole reason the Cowboys have a winning record. He already has almost double the entire yardage from the first three years of his career. Not too shabby.

13 (16) – Cardinals:
Arizona plays Carolina, Chicago, Seattle, St. Louis and Tennessee in the next five weeks. There’s a legitimate chance the Cards could be 9-2 heading into a crucial week 13 matchup against Minnesota.

12 (9) – Falcons:
Hey Matthew Berry, Michael Turner’s looking pretty good, huh? He’s currently ranked 11th behind Ricky Williams, and even Fred Jackson has over 150 more total yards.

11 (14) – Packers:
Green Bay went an entire game without giving up a sack. Definitely good news, but it would be a little more convincing if they weren’t playing the Lions.

10 (12) – Eagles:
Philadelphia actually got outgained by the Redskins. Good thing Andy Reid bought the Costco pack of Butterfingers so he could afford to give one to Antwaan Randle El.

9 (9) – Ravens:
In contrast with recent history, Baltimore has the third highest scoring offense in the AFC and sixth in the NFL, thanks to the emergences of Joe Flacco and Ray Rice. But Denver will provide a huge test this week. A loss would put them at 3-4, with two games still looming against Pittsburgh.

8 (15) – Bengals:
Ok, a 35-point blowout of a playoff-caliber team does a little bit to convince me that Cincinnati is for real.  I still can’t believe Cedric Benson is the NFL’s leading rusher.

7 (6) – Giants:
I’ve been waiting all season to say this: Hey Eli Manning, never go full retard.

I have unhealthy man love for Drew Brees. 6 (7) – Steelers:
That Lamar Woodley fumble recovery was eerily reminiscent to the one a few years ago against the Colts in the playoffs.

5 (5) – Patriots:

I really want to believe the 2007 Patriots are back, but until they do it to a team with a win, I can’t believe it. At Indy in two weeks will be a telling game.
4 (5) – Broncos:
If Denver beats Baltimore this Sunday, you can just go ahead and give him the Coach of the Year Award on the field after the game.

3 (1) – Vikings:
Brett Favre looked a lot more like the Brett Favre of recent memory than the one from the first six games this season. Maybe he forgot he has the best running back in the NFL in his backfield. Speaking of Adrian Peterson, that was one of the best hits I have seen this season.

2 (3) – Colts:
I’m scared that the Colts are going to absolutely destroy my Niners this weekend. Please NFL Gods, have mercy.

1 (2) – Saints:
The Saints are winning games they never would have won before. And how cool was it to see Reggie Bush make one of his signature plays from his USC heyday by jumping a legitimate five yards for a touchdown?

Shameless plug:  If you made it this far, please share this blog with friends, family, or even people you don’t know or don’t like. Thanks!

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Week Seven NFL Power Rankings: The Saints Go Marching On

Another week down and another crazy shake-up in the rankings. The Bears and 49ers faced reality checks, and I finally gave the Bengals the ounce of credibility they deserve. Due to midterms, I’m keeping the intro short and sweet this week.

Raiders Draft Football

Get used to that seat, JaMarcus. You'll be keeping it warm for a while.

On to the rankings.

32 (32) – Rams:
Poor, poor Steven Jackson. 143 rushing attempts on the season and still no touchdowns. Somebody give this man a hug.

31 (31) – Buccaneers:
Tampa Bay can now say they suck in two countries, which is probably more exciting than watching Josh Johnson try to throw a football.

30 (29) – Browns:
In his five games since taking over for the disgraced Brady Quinn, Derek Anderson has posted QB ratings of 30.9, 68.8, 15.1, 51.0, and 36.4. With a completion percentage of 44. Did Quinn beat up the GM? What does he have to do to get back on the field?

29 (27) – Chiefs:
On the bright side, that was an amazing touchdown catch by Dwayne Bowe. Unfortunately, it was their only one.

28 (25) – Raiders:
Andre Ware, Akili Smith, Ryan Leaf, Rick Mirer, Cade McNown, Jim Drunkenmiller, Todd Marinovich, Joey Harrington, David Carr, JaMarcus Russell. Not a good list to be on.

27 (29) – Titans:
Best PR move of the week goes to Jeff Fischer wearing a Peyton Manning jersey to a charity event: “I just want to feel like a winner.” Classic.

26 (28) – Lions:
Cancel your plans and clear your schedules for this Sunday. You don’t want to pick up the in-laws from the airport anyway. Why? St. Louis comes to town. I can barely wait.

25 (22) – Panthers:
Jake Delhomme’s three interception performance on Sunday actually raised his QB rating for the year. Sad. Hey John Fox, Delhomme sucks, your backups are worse, and you have two of the best running backs in the NFL, don’t you think it’s time to try the wildcat? There couldn’t be a better situation.

24 (26) – Redskins:
“I had to go to the senior center and cancel my bingo calling,” said the 67-year-old Sherm Lewis, who last worked in the NFL with the Detroit Lions during the 2004 season. “And I had to cancel my Meals on Wheels today.” This team is a joke. Need I say more?

23 (23) – Seahawks:
Has there been a team more decimated by injuries in any sports the last two years? Other than the New York Mets this year, I can’t think of any. Brutal. I actually kind of feel bad for them, except for when they play the Niners.

22 (24) – Bills:
Did you know Ryan Fitzpatrick has won his last five starts? Me either. Unfortunately, I don’t think that stat alone is going to make Terrell Owens feel any better. Oh well, T.O. is probably working on his next reality show anyway.

21 (21) – Jaguars:
Jacksonville plays the Titans and Chiefs in the next two weeks, teams with a combined 1-12 record. Can you imagine the Jaguars as a 5-3 team? Even if it happened, it would just be a façade because four of their five wins would be against teams with a combined one win (Rams, Chiefs, Titans twice).

20 (20) – Dolphins:
If you’re going to blow a 24-3 lead at home, it might as well be to the Saints. In fantasy news, is it time to take Ricky Williams seriously as a legitimate starting running back? I think it might be.

19 (11) – Bears:
ESPN seriously can’t find somebody better than Jeffri Chadiha to do their NFL Power Rankings. Here’s his weekly gem: “The Bears are 1-3 on the road this season. That doesn’t bode well for their future.” I appreciate all the hard work and analysis you put into that one, buddy.

18 (10) – 49ers:
You know things are bad in San Francisco when Mike Singletary turns to Alex Smith to be the savior. At least Vernon Davis and Michael Crabtree are fun to watch.

17 (19) – Jets:
ESPN’s Michael Clayton: “Mark Sanchez showed great hot-dog security in not fumbling the dog he ate in the second half of the win over the Raiders on Sunday.” Take it down a notch, cowboy, you’re trying too hard.

16 (18) – Texans:
Gun to your head, who has the most passing yards and TDs in the NFL? 99% of people would guess Peyton Manning. And 99% of people would be wrong. The answer? Matt Schaub.

15 (13) – Chargers:
San Diego’s wins are against Oakland, Miami and Kansas City. Their losses are against Baltimore, Pittsburgh and Denver. Just beat one good team and I’ll believe in you, that’s not too much to ask for, right?

14 (17) – Cowboys:
Miles Austin, the undrafted wide received out of Monmouth, is the sole reason the Cowboys have a winning record. He already has almost double the entire yardage from the first three years of his career. Not too shabby.

13 (16) – Cardinals:
Arizona plays Carolina, Chicago, Seattle, St. Louis and Tennessee in the next five weeks. There’s a legitimate chance the Cards could be 9-2 heading into a crucial week 13 matchup against Minnesota.

12 (9) – Falcons:
Hey Matthew Berry, Michael Turner’s looking pretty good, huh? He’s currently ranked 11th behind Ricky Williams, and even Fred Jackson has over 150 more total yards.

11 (14) – Packers:
Green Bay went an entire game without giving up a sack. Definitely good news, but it would be a little more convincing if they weren’t playing the Lions.

10 (12) – Eagles:
Philadelphia actually got outgained by the Redskins. Good thing Andy Reid bought the Costco pack of Butterfingers so he could afford to give one to Antwaan Randle El.

9 (9) – Ravens:
In contrast with recent history, Baltimore has the third highest scoring offense in the AFC and sixth in the NFL, thanks to the emergences of Joe Flacco and Ray Rice. But Denver will provide a huge test this week. A loss would put them at 3-4, with two games still looming against Pittsburgh.

8 (15) – Bengals:
Ok, a 35-point blowout of a playoff-caliber team does a little bit to convince me that Cincinnati is for real.  I still can’t believe Cedric Benson is the NFL’s leading rusher.

7 (6) – Giants:
I’ve been waiting all season to say this: Hey Eli Manning, never go full retard.

I have unhealthy man love for Drew Brees. 6 (7) – Steelers:
That Lamar Woodley fumble recovery was eerily reminiscent to the one a few years ago against the Colts in the playoffs.

5 (5) – Patriots:

I really want to believe the 2007 Patriots are back, but until they do it to a team with a win, I can’t believe it. At Indy in two weeks will be a telling game.
4 (5) – Broncos:
If Denver beats Baltimore this Sunday, you can just go ahead and give him the Coach of the Year Award on the field after the game.

3 (1) – Vikings:
Brett Favre looked a lot more like the Brett Favre of recent memory than the one from the first six games this season. Maybe he forgot he has the best running back in the NFL in his backfield. Speaking of Adrian Peterson, that was one of the best hits I have seen this season.

2 (3) – Colts:
I’m scared that the Colts are going to absolutely destroy my Niners this weekend. Please NFL Gods, have mercy.

1 (2) – Saints:
The Saints are winning games they never would have won before. And how cool was it to see Reggie Bush make one of his signature plays from his USC heyday by jumping a legitimate five yards for a touchdown?

Shameless plug:  If you made it this far, please share this blog with friends, family, or even people you don’t know or don’t like. Thanks!

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Rivalry Renewed: Oregon Ducks Look for Sixth Straight over Huskies

I remember going to my first Oregon Duck football game last fall as a freshman. Because of weird scheduling circumstances, the Washington Huskies came to Autzen in just the second week of the season.

If Masoli is healthy, the Ducks will roll over the Huskies.

If Masoli is healthy, the Ducks will roll over the Huskies.

And being a fan of the Ducks for several years before I stepped on campus, I was well aware of the rivalry and was excited to witness it firsthand.

Soon after entering the stadium, I was quickly thrown into the competitive trash-talking that those clever collegians in the student section like so much. Well, this time we weren’t so clever.

From the very second the first purple-clad player appeared in the tunnel, there was a telekinetic-like power that united the entire stadium; students, alumni, and even children to stand up and chant: “Fuck the Huskies!”

Over and over again. I didn’t even know we were allowed to do that. Looking back, we probably weren’t, but it was too much fun it didn’t matter. The loathing between the two teams was palpable.

Unfortunately, or fortunately, depending on the way you look at it, the dislike quickly turned to sympathy, as the Ducks went all Michael Vick on the Huskies, 44-10. To make matters worse, Washington didn’t win a single game the rest of the season, including a heartbreaker to the lowly Washington State Cougars.

For some reason, the rivalry didn’t feel so much like a rivalry to me anymore after that game. It was more of a business as usual, fifth straight win in a row type of thing.
But the Huskies are no longer a joke. No more Tyrone Willingham or Rick Neuheisel and his March Madness office pools.  Washington now has a legitimate head coach: Steve Sarkisian, who learned from the best of the best in Pete Carroll at USC. Coach Sark finally has the Huskies playing up to their full potential.

Despite going winless last season, Washington had plenty of talent, although most of it was inexperienced. Willingham brought in several solid recruiting classes, including QB Jake Locker in 2006 and receivers Jermaine Kearse and Kavario Middleton last season. He just couldn’t get anything out them. I mean, Locker is good enough that he should be able to win a handful of games by himself.

But now Locker has developed into the player many expected him to become, the West Coast’s version of Tim Tebow, Chris Polk emerged as a talented running back and Kearse has excelled in his first season.

However, the one thing that has kept the Huskies from a 2008 Miami Dolphin-like turnaround is their defense. Although better than last season, the Huskies still rank ninth in the Pac-10 in total defense, allowing 424 yards per game.

And that’s why the Huskies are at least a year away from putting a stop to Oregon’s five game winning streak. Jeremiah Masoli (who should play) and LaMichael James, two of the hottest players in the country, should be able to feast on the porous Washington defense.

With two weeks for the Ducks to rest up, and two weeks for offensive mastermind Chip Kelly to game plan, Oregon should be focused and ready to march into Husky Stadium for their sixth straight win.

Kelly has instilled his mantra of “one game at a time” into his players, as offensive tackle Bo Thran can attest: “They’re just the next team on our schedule.”

The only worry for the Ducks, is adjusting to the unfriendly confines of Husky Stadium. Only one game in their current five game winning streak over Washington came in Seattle.

But Chip Kelly has done a tremendous job preparing this team week in and week out. Going into the Rose Bowl before the bye, many fans were frightened because it was the first road game since the Boise State debacle, but Oregon overcame a lackadaisical first half to win handily.

“We don’t put any more stock in this game than another,” Kelly said. “By that, I don’t mean to diminish it, but we put everything we have into every game. We haven’t done anything different in terms of our approach. It’s a league game. It’s on the road. And that’s enough to get our players up and excited for practice.”

In Big Balls Chip I trust.

Prediction: Oregon 34, Washington 24

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