First, hats off to the Ducks; especially, the coaching staff. With the punch to the solar plexus that was the Cardinal game, I think all of us Ducks fans had to be concerned about how the team would come out against a very good Cal team in Berkeley? It wasn’t a perfect game but as FishDuck himself (moment of silence please) has noted, this team and the coaching staff are still taking baby steps while learning how to put the pieces of the puzzle together.
The bye week could not come at a more fortuitous time. UW, unless looking ahead, should make quick work of the hapless Chippers in LA. However, traveling two weeks in a row with the second stop requiring a team to play in the sonic boom that is Autzen, would test even the Huskies that pulled the winning sled in the Iditarod. These UW Dawgs have pay back coming for a finger wag amidst what was a historic and embarrassing plucking of the Ducks. The winner of this game has a realistic shot at the Final 4; the loser could end up shooting craps in Las Vegas.
Jake Browning had his way with the Polygamists’ in Seattle. But no player was missed more by a Pac 12 team this season than was Husky LT Trey Adams in the game ‘at’ Auburn. In my opinion Adams is the best O lineman in the conference; an opinion I expect to be validated when the NFL draft comes around. Jake was awesome last Saturday but the BYU pass rush must have decided to stay in Madison, Wisconsin? Not to drink beer, of course, but to gobble down brats. I don’t think Browning has been the same since John Ross took the UW deep threat to the League. Put a pass rush on Browning and you will see Michael Jackson-like happy feet. I’m certain that pointing this out to Coaches Mario Cristobal + Jim Leavitt is akin to telling Noah about The Flood.
More than anything, what I would like to see on October the 13th, is this Ducks team play two halves of football. Oregon will not win this game if the offense disappears after halftime. We own the better QB. Our collection of RB’s is equal to or better than Washington’s Myles Gaskin; our O line (when it is in tune) is at least the equal of Washington’s. It will be fascinating to see how Coach Cristobal & company match up against one of the best coaches in CFB; a coach in Chris Petersen who has a decided winning edge against the Ducks.
Yes, I know I am looking ahead. But if there is one weekend when a CFB fan could take a nap and really not miss anything it is this upcoming Saturday. So many games and so much garbage. (Although, watching Willie melt down in Miami should be delicious) And, yours truly will be at what could be a very good and significant Red River Rivalry Game. (Say that three times in a row without spitting out your dentures)
Which brings me to this week’s AP Poll and its Top 10 of: Alabama; Georgia; Ohio State; Clemson; LSU; Notre Dame; Oklahoma; Auburn; West Virginia and UW.
Will someone please tell me if this latest AP Poll is based on what happened in 2017, what has happened to date in 2018 and/or The Eye Test?
No. 2 Georgia’s best win? I see none in 2018 except for New Year’s Day in the Rose Bowl against a Sooners squad that put up half a hundred on a vaunted, rock solid SEC defense?
No. 4 Clemson’s best win? By two points at No. 31 Texas A&M, last seen coming away with a razor thin win against the woeful Razorbacks.
No. 7 Oklahoma’s best win? A home beat down of The Chippers or a home OT win over Army? (Army!)
Of course, the NFL’s 33rd team, No. 1 Alabama, (spoken in Gary Danielson‘s most stentorian voice) “will continue to run a CFB gauntlet like no other when it visits its brutal SEC West Division foe Arkansas this Saturday in Fayetteville!” Excuse me Gary, but didn’t the Razorbacks lose at home to No. 19 Texas?
One thing I can assure you of, the Notre Dame, Oklahoma/West Virginia + Oregon/UW schedules will be dinged by the CFB ‘Experts’ the rest of the way with Alabama, Georgia and Clemson being given a hall pass by CBS and ESPN.
Based on games played to date, for what it’s worth, here’s my top 10: LSU; Ohio State; Notre Dame; Penn State; Kentucky; West Virginia; Alabama; Auburn; Washington and Texas. Group of 5 – UCF, a team that easily could be ranked in the Top 10 while apparently not missing Frosty who, but for home sickness, could have had the Florida or FSU gig. (But then Willie could still be here? Thank you Scottie!)
I have no real beef with the Ducks ranked No. 18 but oh, what could have been?
Wiping off the Cardinal stains bled out in South Bend from the crystal ball, here’s what I see the Wizards of Grapevine giving us at the end of the day.
Cotton Bowl – Alabama vs. Notre Dame
Orange Bowl – Ohio State vs. Clemson
Rose Bowl – Oregon vs. Penn State (this week, the crystal ball is a believer in Cristobal!)
Sugar Bowl – Georgia vs. Oklahoma
Fiesta Bowl – UW vs. UCF
Peach Bowl – LSU vs. West Virginia
May you be as lucky as the folks that had USC at -3.5, and as blessed as was Urban Meyer by the ultimate play call in un-Happy Valley.
Jon Joseph grew up in Boston, Massachusetts but has been blessed to have lived long enough in the west to have exorcised all east coast bias. He played football in college and has passionately followed the game for seven decades. A retired corporate attorney Jon has lectured across the country and published numerous articles on banking and gaming law. Now a resident of Aiken South Carolina, Jon follows college football across the nation with a focus on the Conference of Champions and the Ducks.
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