Support Our Advertisers


Entries in PAC 10 (11)


OGS Spotlight Game Of The Week: Stanford At Oregon

Picture Of Oregon Fans

One Great Season

For those who might not follow PAC-10 football all too closely, it's important to note that Stanford can follow a very simple formula to win at Oregon Saturday night.

The Cardinal can neutralize the Ducks' defensive speed by, not running around them or away from them, but running right at them. Maintaining possession and keeping the ball away from Oregon's big-play, quick-strike offense will be critical, especially at hostile Autzen Stadium in Eugene.

Stanford's offense hasn't only avoided a drop-off since the departure of 2009 Heisman Trophy finalist Toby Gerhart. It's gotten better. Much better.

Click to read more ...


College Football Notebook: PAC 10 Playing Some Defense?

PAC 10 Logo

One Great Season

The PAC 10 has long been an offensive league with video-game scores every Saturday.

Through three weeks, three teams are among the top seven nationally in scoring offense, and four are ranked in the top 13.

But in addition to leading the country with 63 points per game, Oregon also leads the nation in fewest points allowed — 4.33 per outing. Arizona is seventh and Stanford is ranked 15th.

Surely none of these teams will maintain this type of defensive dominance once league play heats up, but it's worth mentioning that a pinball league can get some stops for a change. The PAC 10 race could be the most interesting one to watch this season.

Click to read more ...


PAC 10 Preview: Oregon Wins Wild Race

Picture Of Chip Kelly

One Great Season

Of all the tight races expected in college football this year, and there will be many, the PAC 10 looks to be the most wide open.

Depending on injuries, luck and a bounce or two here or there, any one of seven teams could conceivably win the conference in 2010. Oregon, Oregon State, Washington, Arizona, California, Stanford and even a depleted USC team will contend for the league's BCS bowl bid.

Four of these teams will be led by star quarterbacks. Washington's Jake Locker has been touted as a potential No. 1 NFL draft pick for two years now. Stanford's Andrew Luck, only a sophomore, is a legitimate Heisman candidate and many think he'll continue to flourish under popular coach Jim Harbaugh despite the loss of Toby Gerhart.

Click to read more ...


Tournament Takeaways: What Day 2 Taught Us

Evan Turner

One Great Season

For fans of Cinderella, underdogs and buzzer-beaters, the second day of the NCAA Tournament didn't deliver the dramatics that day one did, but we still saw some quality basketball on Friday.

Saturday brings us the first day of the second round, and there are some good matchups on deck this weekend. But let's review the highs and lows from the second-best day in American sports:

+ Ohio State's Evan Turner is the best player in the country, but he's far from perfect. His poor night from the field isn't what should concern OSU fans, but his sometimes lazy and sloppy ballhandling should. I've actually thought this for a few weeks, particularly in the Big Ten Tournament semifinal against Illinois. Turner is dangerous on the bounce during transition or when he has a path to the basket, but sometimes when he tries to attack the lane in the half-court, he forgets to protect the basketball. Being 6-foot-7 and not a natural point guard, I'm sure he's used to being vertical, but as the Buckeyes advance, he'll need to protect the rock against smaller guards who've lately been able to knock the ball from him with regularity.

+ Nice to see the Big East bounce back with three wins in four tries Friday, after Thursday's disastrous 1-3 effort. West Virginia, Pittsburgh and Syracuse coasted to fairly easy wins. But Louisville got embarrassed by Cal, giving what was supposed to be a weak PAC 10 two wins in two games against the alleged top league in the country.

+ I'd read a bunch about Cornell the last three months but never once saw the Big Red on television until Friday. If the way they played is how they always play, then that was no upset. An excellent team beat Temple, and handily. It was pretty impressive when, after a few trips, CBS would show tight shots of Cornell players getting back on defense after a make. Sorry for the cliche, but you really could see a good, positive, laser-focus in the eyes of those players. They'll give Wisconsin a tough game Sunday. Or will Wisconsin give Cornell a tough game?

+ Glad to see Purdue get a gritty win over a game Siena team. The Saints might be a Gonzaga East in the making, as they've pulled off upsets the last two years and were subsequently a fashionable first-round upset pick for many. But even without Robbie Hummel, the Boilermakers showed they can win some games when their star is down. Chris Kramer was hardly the hero of the game for the winners, but if you're teaching your son how to play good, solid, fundamental basketball with a high motor, Kramer is Exhibit A.

+ And speaking of the Big Ten, a 4-1 start isn't too shabby. In addition to OSU and Purdue, Wisconsin and Michigan State hung tough to avoid upsets. Minnesota couldn't complete the skunking, however, as the Gophers fell to a very well-prepared Xavier team. XU coaches turn over every few years, but whomever is at the helm, the Muskies never disappoint come tournament time.

+ No. 10-seed Georgia Tech and No. 7 Oklahoma State squared off to settle an ACC-Big 12 dispute. Wake Forest beat Texas on Thursday, and early Friday, Missouri bounced Clemson. The Yellow Jackets won the rubber match, advancing to a very winnable game against Ohio State in Milwaukee on Sunday.

+ Friday's best Tweet came from KySportsRadio, who said after Louisville's horrendous start against California, "If this keeps up, Rick Pitino is only going to be able to get women in an Olive Garden."

+ And kudos to CBS' Seth Davis for breaking down the end of the New Mexico State-Michigan State game. Davis said on Twitter he'd spoken to the NCAA coordinator of officials by telephone and that both of them dissected the replay of what was thought by many to be a questionable lane-violation call. But Davis showed viewers at about 12:45 a.m. ET that it was the right call. However, Davis also showed the officials did screw up moments later when a ball was batted out of bounds with 0.7 seconds left in the game. By the time the operator stopped the clock, it read 0.3, but the officials didn't add the extra time, which could have been significant to New Mexico State.

+ For those who love Gus Johnson, here's an excellent soundboard of some of his great calls.


Tournament Takeaways: What Day 1 Taught Us

Georgetown Loses to Ohio

One Great Season

The first day of the first round of the NCAA Tournament brought great excitement into living rooms, sports bars and office cubicles everywhere.

We probably say it more than we remember, but I can't recall the opening day of America's greatest sporting event being as excellent as Thursday was. Here's what we'll take away from it:


+ BRACKET BREAKDOWN: Scouting Each Region
+ WHY TOP SEEDS WILL WIN: Kentucky | Kansas | Syracuse | Duke
+ RECIPE: 7 Ingredients For A National Championship
+ MYTH MADNESS: 3 Tournament Trends To Ignore This Year
+ FREE ADVICE: Here's How To Win Your NCAA Office Pool
+ QUOTEBOOK: Selection Chairman Dan Guerrero Explains Himself
+ NCAA TOURNAMENT: First-Round Pairings Announced
+ MARCH MADNESS: Tourney No Longer Leads To April Sadness
+ COUNTDOWN: The Top 10 Title Games Since 1979
+ LIST: The Top 10 Analysts In College Basketball
+ LIST: The Top 10 Play-By-Play Men In College Basketball

+ Georgetown, a popular No. 3 seed in the Midwest, didn't deserve the pre-tournament hype it got. I had a funny feeling about the Hoyas all year, remember? Sure they put together a nice run in New York last week, but let's remember, they took 10 losses into the tournament. A 14th-seeded Ohio University team from the Mid-American Conference hangs nearly a hundy on a rough and rowdy Big East side? Ouch. Gary Trent and Chad Estis are high-fiving somewhere.

>+ Mid-majors are back in style this spring. In addition to those OU Bobcats, Murray State (a 13 seed from the Ohio Valley Conference) beat No. 4 Vanderbilt (nice effort, SEC East) at the buzzer, and Old Dominion (11, Colonial) sent No. 6 Notre Dame packing. BYU (7, Mountain West) needed double overtime to oust Florida and Robert Morris (14, Northeast) should have beaten an abysmal Villanova team before falling in overtime.

>+ Just last week, I got some heat for offering up a not-so-fast reaction to Sean McDonough's claim during the broadcast of the Big East Tournament that the league is "clearly the best in the country." My take was that there might be some Big 12 folks who'd be happy to share a contrarian view. Thursday gave us three wins in four tries for the Big 12 and only one win in four tries for the Big East. And those three Big 12 wins were by an average of 15 points.

+ That one guy from BYU is as good as those two writers said he was back in mid-season. Good to see one of the nation's finest scorers get some national attention.

+ Good for Washington giving the PAC 10 -- pretty much a mid-major this year -- some much-needed street cred by beating a solid Marquette squad. I can't remember if it was CBS analyst Seth Davis or ESPN's Doug Gottlieb, but somebody said yesterday the winner of this game would advance to the Elite Eight. I'm a big fan of Lorenzo Romar, and I hope he and his Huskies do make a nice run.

One Great Season on Sports Nation

+ One other thing we learned Thursday was that ESPN's "Sports Nation" program has heard of One Great Season. The popular show tipped its hat to OGS in its "Site We Like" segment yesterday. The darling Michelle Beadle described OGS by referencing a story I wrote this week, saying, "They give us a great rundown of the seven key ingredients every national champion needs to have." Her co-host, Colin Cowherd, followed up with nothing short of authentic sincerity by calling the site "a must read." Thanks, gang! I'm still waiting to find out of this quailfies me for drinks with Beadle. I'll keep you posted.


USC at Oregon: The Day In Pictures

Oregon fan in costume

One Great Season

EUGENE, Oregon -- Last week was a pretty interesting one for me. I had credential requests in at both Oregon and Oklahoma State, but hadn't heard back from either, so I just rolled the dice and booked a surprisingly cheap one-way flight last Sunday for Eugene on Monday.

And just as I pulled my rental car up to the fine folks at Enterprise, hustling into the airport to make my cross-country trek, the Blackberry beeped and it was Oregon University telling me they had no room on the sideline for me for Saturday's game at Autzen Stadium against USC.

And then a day or two later, I checked my Junk e-mail folder and found that my credential request for Texas-Oklahoma State had been approved.

But I stayed in Eugene and hit a practice one day, and took in the town for a few more, and was invited by a nice bartender to buy his extra ticket at face value. So my dude Tim and I hit the game yesterday, and I was lucky to learn first-hand what all the fuss is about at Autzen Stadium. It really was the zoo I heard it was going to be, and add to that the fact that many were rockin' some unusual Halloween looks.

So if you want some USC-Oregon visuals, here are some pictures from the game -- most from 38 rows up -- and more images of UO fans sporting their holiday finest. And of course, check back Monday for an updated Hot Girls of College Football gallery.


Ducks Embarrass Trojans, 47-20

Jeremiah Masoli

One Great Season

EUGENE, Oregon -- Jeremiah Masoli is no doctor, but he seemed to dress up as one on national TV in Oregon's Halloween blowout of visiting USC at Autzen Stadium last night.

With surgical precision, the Ducks quarterback (pictured, right, scoring a first-quarter touchdown) carved up the Trojans defense for 386 total yards and a pair of touchdowns as the home team took control of the PAC 10 race and handed USC its biggest loss of the Pete Carroll era, 47-20.

Masoli passed for 222 yards and a score and ran for 164 more yards and another touchdown as Oregon outscored Southern Cal 23-3 in the second half and improved to 7-1 overall and 5-0 in the conference. The Ducks piled up 613 yards of total offense, including 391 rushing yards.

Redshirt freshman LaMichael James, who took over at running back for LeGarrette Blount after the Boise debacle, picked up 183 yards and a touchdown against a USC defense that was ranked fifth best against the run, allowing only 80 yards a game.

Masoli and James have been leading an offense that's probably playing better than anyone in the country, and Oregon's defense has been no slouch either. The Ducks Saturday night played aggressively and held the high-flying USC offense to 327 total yards.

"It was a real mess for us tonight," Pete Carroll told reporters after the game. "Oregon did everything that they wanted to do."

The Trojans fell to 6-2 overall and 3-2 in the PAC 10, beginning the month of November in fourth place in the conference they've ruled for so long.

On Wednesday, the Ducks concluded practice by running their two-minute offense. On just their second play during the drill, Masoli hit one of his receivers on a 60-yard catch-and-run play that resulted in a go-ahead touchdown. A few minutes later when Masoli spoke to reporters, he seemed more calm and confident than any player I've seen this year, answering questions thoroughly and sincerely and even sprinkled in a smile or two. It showed on Saturday night during a nationally televised game at Oregon's notoriously raucous stadium, on Halloween, against the seven-time defending PAC 10 champions.

"I was as relaxed as I've ever been in my career," Masoli told the Associated Press after the game. "Even me and LaMike (broke) a couple jokes every so often. It feels great."

The Ducks did seem to benefit from that two-minute workout, not because they they were at any point in a hurry and in desperate need of a late-game score, but because coach Chip Kelly and his offensive assistants dialed up a perfect quick-strike game plan that produced six scoring drives requiring no more than 3:02 for each.

Many felt prior to the game that a USC win would have given the one-loss Trojans much-needed BCS cred in a year when an unbeaten Texas appears headed to a championship-game clash with the winner of the SEC.

Those same observers probably weren't thinking the Ducks, ranked 10th in last week's BCS standings, were capable of dominating one of the sport's elite teams this decade. Oregon has won its share of big games in recent years, but hasn't been able to keep its foot on the gas and finish the season with sustained success. Or in the case of 2007, when quarterback and Heisman Trophy candidate Dennis Dixon led the Ducks to a defeat of USC but later went down with a season-ending injury.

But now that Oregon seems to be playing lights-out and is focused, healthy, well-coached and recovered from the season-opening fiasco at Boise State, the Ducks should without question be in that title-game conversation. If I had a vote, I'd have no problem at all ranking them ahead of the Broncos, and I'd say confidently that if the teams met again today Oregon would handle Boise State.


Do You Believe Chip Kelly?

One Great Season

EUGENE, Oregon -- Chip Kelly says what all coaches say, except unlike most, you actually believe some of the words that come out of his mouth.

Heading into this weekend's heavyweight Halloween tilt with No. 4 USC, Kelly says his 10th-ranked Oregon Ducks are preparing for just another Saturday at the office. But in this case, the office is raucous Autzen Stadium, on Halloween, with ESPN GameDay starting the day and a national television audience concluding it, where the winner will have the inside track to a PAC 10 crown and some serious BCS cred.

"We don't put any more stock into this game as we did the Washington game," said Kelly.

Just once I'd love to hear a coach give reporters what they want, something like, "Oh yeah, this game is huge. We better win this m*****f*****." They never reveal their hands, but we pencilnecks still ask the questions, knowing exactly what the responses will be.


Chip Kelly Welcomes Matt Barkley To Oregon

Columbia River

One Great Season

EUGENE, Oregon -- College football observers outside of Southern California grew sick of Matt Barkley before he took his first collegiate snap.

There was so much preseason talk about whether he'd steal away the starting quarterback job after Aaron Corp went down with a knee injury in August. Pete Carroll fell ga-ga and ESPN followed suit, giving USC's next Golden Boy plenty of air time that irked many.

Barkley then gave Trojan haters even more reason to leave anonymous comments in the blogosphere by demonstrating more than confidence after USC thrashed San Jose State in the season opener.

Follow | Subscribe | Donate

When asked by a Los Angeles Times reporter if there was anything difficult about his first college game, a 56-3 cakewalk, he smiled and said, "The run up the tunnel at halftime. That was brutal."

The training wheels came off between that game and USC's next one seven days later, a visit to Columbus to play perennial power Ohio State in front of its 105,000 scarlet-sweatered loyals.


+ GALLERY: The Hot Girls Of College Football
+ DISCUSSION: Who Cares More, Pro Or College Athletes?
+ ARTICLE: Kelly's Early Cincy Years Similar To Huggins'
+ VIDEO: FOX19 Morning Show Appearance
+ VIDEO: VaTech Fan Gets Belligerent On GaTech Fan
+ ARTICLE: Is My Boy Jeff An A-Hole?
+ VIDEO: Tailgate Recipes -- My Mom's Chili
+ QUIZ: Who Are The 30 Thousand Helpers?

Sports By Brooks wrote prior to that game that "the atmosphere will be nuts. I probably don't even know how it will be. But that won't faze him."

Barkley also once said his team could win "in Alaska in the snow. That's how confident I am in this offense. There can be 500,000 rooting against me."

And this week he's already wondered about the crowd at notoriously raucous Autzen Stadium, where No. 10 Oregon will entertain USC in a heavyweight Halloween showdown that will give the winner the inside track to the PAC 10 championship and a bowlful of BCS cred.

"The energy is going to be awesome and it's going to be a cool atmosphere, especially on Halloween night," Barkley said. "Who knows what their uniforms will be? Probably something crazy as usual."

Barkley then shoved his youthful curiosity aside, and got back to being, well, Barkley.

"I feed off that energy, I feed off that noise," he said. "I love it."

And of course, that's what I asked Oregon coach Chip Kelly about today, and here was his brief reply:


BCS Tweak Still Doesn't Get It Right

One Great Season

NEW YORK -- After driving down the field toward what would hopefully be a much-needed score, NCAA suits fumbled away an opportunity to take a key first step to fixing the postseason mess.

The BCS people have turned the Rose Bowl into the Stepdaddy Of 'Em All by announcing it will take a team from a non-BCS conference under certain scenarios from the 2010 season through the 2013 season.

Since 1947 until the late 1990s, the game was contracted to pair up the Big Ten and PAC 10 champions. And with the emergence of the BCS in 1998, the leagues have still sent their champions to that game unless one earns a spot in the national championship game.

Now, in such a case where the league champ plays for the BCS crown and misses the Rose Bowl, a team from a non-BCS league will fill that vacancy, according to The Associated Press.

I fully appreciate the move to include a team from a non-BCS school. I really do. I just don't get why the Rose Bowl is the guinea pig for the experiment. Non-BCS outfits from Hawaii and Utah earned spots in the Sugar Bowl each of the last two years, and Boise State won an exciting Fiesta Bowl over Oklahoma after the 2006 season.

The Rose Bowl is called the Grandaddy Of 'Em All for a reason. Sure the Fiesta Bowl offers the biggest payouts, but there is far more history and tradition in Pasadena than Miami, New Orleans or Glendale. Do we really want to tinker with it just so the TCU Horned Frogs can feel good about themselves one of these years?

Why not use the Sugar, Orange or Fiesta bowls for this project, or at the very least use a rotating system for the four years then re-evaluate after the contract expires?

Or, better yet, just add in the plus-one playoff already.


PAC 10 Preview

By John P. Wise
One Great Season

NEW YORK -- What do you call a USC team that loses its quarterback and a host of stars on defense?


Until someone else wins the PAC 10, the league belongs to the Trojans, winners of seven straight conference crowns. And while USC is certainly down this year, it still will win seven or eight games in blowout fashion, and let its colors, its name, its Yankees-like mystique get it over the hump in a couple of others.

But the problem for the men of Troy, even with its stacked teams of recent years, has been a tendency to just not show up for one or two games each season under Pete Carroll, otherwise known as the best coach in the sport the last decade.

Southern Cal will get a large boost of confidence with an early season win at Ohio State, and will march through its conference foes -- not unblemished -- successfully enough to claim another league championship and earn a spot in yet another BCS bowl game.

Another full stable of backs, led by Stafon Johnson and Joe McKnight, will take the pressure off whoever wins the quarterback job at USC. They'll need to score bunches of points to overcome the loss of eight defensive starters, but when was scoring a problem for the Trojans?

As has been the case in many recent seasons, California and Oregon will be Southern Cal's toughest competition, and the Trojans pay each a visit this season. USC won't stumble at Cal on Oct. 3, though, because the Bears don't win big games, and then when the Trojans visit Autzen Stadium on Oct. 31, it will be too late in the season for USC not to appreciate what's at stake.

Cal returns 15 starters and features Jahvid Best, one of the nation's top running backs, as well as a defense that will likely be the league's top unit. Meanwhile, the skill-position parts and a generous schedule are firmly in place for Oregon, but the offensive line could be problematic.

Arizona and Oregon State also will be playing for bowl games. It would be nice if Washington could be Washington again, but that's far from happening this year.


Oregon State
Arizona State
Washington State