Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Race And Sports

What do people in the south think of Tim Brando? I've been listening to him for a while now, and sometimes (even though he's from the south) he kind of pokes at you guys...calls you out. He kind of comes off like he's superior than the average southerner, like he's more sophisticated. Today he called you out by saying the reason college basketball isn't as popular as college football in the south is because of race. In football, fans are rooting for the "armor" of the school: the helmets, colors, uniforms, etc. In baseketball, players aren't wearing all that "armor" and you can see the color of their skin. Some people, he said, can't get past that still.

The Latest On Oregon's Situation With The NCAA

Dennis Dodd had this the other day and from what I've heard, it means a punishment will be headed Oregon's way maybe sooner, rather than later, but it won't be as severe as what some originally thought because, Oregon is essentially conceding they did something wrong here.  Because of that, rather than allege the NCAA is lying and going against them in court, Oregon will "get off."  I put quotes on that because Oregon isn't necessarily "getting off," they will still probably get a bowl ban, and loss of scholarships, which isn't good, but it may not be as severe as originally thought.

Ryan Braun Follow Up (Freestyle Rant)

I am not happy right now...I should've come down harder on this guy. The VERY person who had Ryan Brauns's sample for those 24-48 hours has said he never touched it, and the agency he handed it over to said there were no signs of it being tampered with as well, proving that Mr. Braun is a liar and a cheat. I mean what a pompous ass. For him to stand up there at his press conference and “bet on ...his life” that he didn’t used any PED’s is a joke. For the record, I’ve never liked the guy for some reason. He just bothered me. Looks like a grease ball. This just solidifies it. NOW I have a reason to hate him, for cheating, then talking to down to us, and questioning our intelligence in his denial. Punk. I hope he gets booed everywhere he goes!

Monday, February 27, 2012

LMJ At The Combine, Other Duck Links

Saw on twitter last night that LaMichael James ran a 4.37 twice at the combine, however, ESPN reported a slower number.  Whomever you choose to believe is fine with me, fact remains, LMJ had a good showing at the combine.

Thoughts On College Basketball

I've always had a passing interest in college basketball (more of a pro guy), aside from the occasional Duck run in the tournament, I just don't care as much about college basketball, as I do college football.  So it comes with a great deal of surprise and pleasure when I say this but, I find myself really compelled with the current college basketball season.

Maybe it's because the Ducks are relevant again, I don't know?  But I've watched some great games this year, including three over the weekend:  KU's comeback win over rival Mizzou in the border war, Wisconsin's upset win over Ohio State in Columbus, and Oregon's one point win in the civil war at Gill.

I've also watched enough games this season to get a pretty good feel for who the best teams are, which will help when it comes time to filling out my brackets.  The last time I followed college basketball this closely was the first time Oregon went to the elite 8 under Ernie Kent (back in the early 00's).  That was also the first time I filled out my brackets with money on the line (not that I'm a hardcore gambler).  I ended up winning the whole thing, and was the most accurate!  Talk about beginners luck.

Keep that in mind as I post my own version of the top 5, and be on the lookout for my picks in a couple of weeks:
  1. Kentucky
  2. Syracuse
  3. North Carolina
  4. Duke
  5. Ohio State
Some thoughts:  I think it's Kentucky and Syracuse, then everybody else.  A Kentucky vs. Syracuse match in the final would be great, but it's not gonna happen.  In fact, I wouldn't be surprised if BOTH teams didn't make it.  That's what the tournament is all about:  you don't have to be better than a team in a five or seven game series, you just have to be perfect for 40 minutes on one night.  

That's what makes March madness so fun to watch, even for the casual fan like me.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Ducks Look For Revenge In Civil War

The Ducks and the Beavers renew acquaintances this weekend, as they get ready for round two of one of the nations most played rivalry games: the Civil War.  This is a big game for Oregon (19-8, 10-5) with a lot at stake.

First for the Ducks is revenge.   The last time these two teams played, Oregon State went into Matthew Knight Arena, and stole a victory from the Ducks, so winning on the Beavers home court has to be a significant motivator for the team.  

"It means a lot," said EJ Singler, of the Ducks, who - like his fellow teammates - were confused by the Beavers 1-3-1 zone defense, and admitted that may have been part of the reason why they lost.  But now they have experience, having seen that defense before, they know what to prepare for.

"The players who haven't played against a zone like that have gotten the experience, so I think we're more prepared this time around," Singler noted.

Also at stake for the Ducks is a chance for them to keep pace in the NCAA tourney race.  If the Ducks want to make the NCAA tournament for the first time since 2008, they have to win these final three games.  

Coach Dana Altman has brought excitement back to Oregon basketball for me.  I'm starting to get that tense feeling I get for football before each game.  Not quite on that level, but getting there.  With so much at stake, I'll be watching from the edge of my couch, hoping for a victory.

Oregon Ducks and Possible NCAA Sanctions

Some recent developments I just came across here:

I'll have my thoughts later

Jeremy Lin Let Me Down

I gave you a chance and what did you do?  You threw it back in my face so forget you!  In case you're wondering, I'm talking about his less than stellar performance in last nights spotlight game against the Heat.  

I'm a little disappointed with Lin BECAUSE of that performance.  You see, I was slow to come around to the hype known as "Linsanity."  I thought it was just another case of the New York hype machine sensationalizing another story.

Lin wasn't overlooked by over 300 colleges, as many will tell you.  He turned down a lot of colleges himself because he wanted to get playing time.  It just turns out that Harvard was that school, and he was really smart too!

And he's certainly not the first player to "slip through the cracks," only to make it in the league as a starter.

But there is an underdog story to him that we can all get behind, including myself, which I finally did recently.

So I was all excited yesterday to watch a complete game of Lin's, as they played the NBA's best team, the Miami Heat, in a rivalry game on national television.  Lin played terrible:  8 points and 8 turnovers, in what many people are saying was his worst game.

To be fair, it's not his fault for all the hype and attention thrown upon him.  But part of what comes with the territory of being a big time player, comes the pressure of being in the spotlight.  This was his chance to step up and prove the hype was warranted, and he didn't do it.

Now he's in the doghouse with me.  He's gonna have to earn that trust back. 

Thoughts On Ryan Braun

In other sports news, Milwaukee Brewers slugger Ryan Braun recently won his appeal to overturn a 50-game suspension for a positive drug test, becoming the first major-leaguer to win such a test.

I'll ask you this:  is he not guilty because there truly was a mistake with the sample, or is he not guilty because he beat the system?

For more reading on how Braun won his appeal, you can go here.   I remain skeptical however.

Again, I'll ask you this:  how does one's testosterone level go up without the help of some sort of performance enhancing drug?  Doesn't seem logical, does it?

However, his career stats don't suggest he was a steroid/HGH user.  As you can see from the numbers, there isn't that typical spike from one year to the next.  Still though, it doesn't pas the smell test for me. Too many of these guys have lied in the past for me to give Braun the benefit of the doubt.  You be the judge. 

Player Spotlight: John Boyett

Oregon is a program known for its offense, but they also have an underrated defense, that's fast and athletic.  Much like the offense, the defense - fair or not - gets labeled as being soft and finesse.  Tell that to Oregon free safety John Boyett, and he'll probably knock you out, cause that's what he's doing on the field:  jackin players up and leaving them snot bubbled.

Noted for his hard hitting, I decided to do this spotlight on John Boyett because he's my favorite player on defense.  As a three year starter on defense, he'll definitely be one of the leaders and captains, on the field and in the locker room.  

What makes hims so good is that he's active and instinctive.  He plays the game fast, and is always around the ball.  His high level of energy rubs off on the other players, further solidifying his role as a leader.  

A four star recruit coming out of high school in Napa, California, in 2007, he redshirted his first year in 2008.  He got his break in 2009 when filling in for an injured TJ Ward.  He became the schools' first freshman to the lead the team in tackles (90) since 1969, when defensive stats were first accumulated.  He was also 12th in the conference in interceptions, and was a freshman first team All-America.

He set the bar pretty high for himself in his first year, however, his level of productivity has only increased with time.  He was a second team All-America in 2010, and was 22nd in the nation in interceptions per game.  In 2012 he was an All Pac 12 second team selection, and an honorable mention All-America, and led the team in tackles for the second time in three years. 

The 2012-2013 season will be his last at Oregon, and will surely be missed.  Its been a pleasure watching him, from the time he took over as starter, till now.  I look forward to more of the punishing hits this year, and for years to come, as I'm sure he'll get picked up in the NFL.  He's scrappy enough to outwork a player to make a roster.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Odds of Oregon Winning the BCS NC, and More Links

Phil Steele, who's pretty accurate with his predictions published his list of teams' odds of winning the national championship next year.  The Ducks made the list at 12-1.  Topping the list is LSU.  In another betting line published by ESPN, Oregon is 10-1 favorites.

College Football Playoffs On The Way?

Richard Langford, of the Bleacher Report has this interesting read.  Pretty exciting if true.  It's something many college football fans (including myself) have been waiting for, for years.  Now if you read the original statement, you'll see that the commissioners that run the thing concede they still wanna protect their precious regular season, which means we won't get a full playoff system.  But even a system involving four teams, which what they're talking about, is a step in the right direction.

Player Spotlight: Josh Huff

As a former receiver myself, I always get excited when Oregon has a good one.  Now grant it, only in my dreams could I be as good as the receivers at the college level, but still, us receivers must stick together.  I'm always on the lookout.

In a program with a long line of excellent receivers:  Ahmad Rashad (then Bobby Moore), Cristin McLemore, Damon Griffin, Keenan Howry, Sammie Parker, Demetrius Williams - just to name a few - Josh Huff could potentially be the next one added to that list.

The coaching staff is also excited about his future, and for good reason.  Huff is the very definition of a all-purpose/dual threat athlete. 

Coming out of high school, the 5'11" - 207 pound speedster played QB, receiver, RB, and corner at Nimitz high school in Houston Texas.  In addition, he also ran track.  He put up ridiculous numbers and garnered attention from several top programs.  He was a four star recruit and ranked the number seven all-purpose RB in the nation.  Noted for his speed and the thickness to bounce of tacklers, he's also a versatile weapon, given his ability to play multiple positions (which fits in well in Chip Kelly's offense).

He enjoyed an auspicious debut in Eugene in 2010.  He played in all 13 games, was second on the team with 1,086 all-purpose yards, and tied for fifth in scoring with five total touchdowns.  He also returned kicks, ranking sixth in the Pac 10 with 24.7 yards per return.

In his sophomore season in 2011, he started 10 out of 12 games and was third on the team in receptions, and fourth in yards, despite playing through injuries that caused him to miss two games.  However, he had many memorable moments in 2011.  Among those included his role in the win over rival Washington (8th in a row dog fans), with 4 receptions for 60 yards and 38 yards on 2 kick returns - again displaying his multi-threat  capabilities - and led the team in receiving yards in a HUGE win at top 5 Stanford, including a career-best 59 yard touchdown catch.

Josh Huff symbolizes the workman like mentality of the Oregon offense.  Not ONE player is bigger than the other.  Each has their own role.  He could've gone elsewhere coming out of high school, putting up big numbers as a number one receiver.  But he chose to take his talents to Eugene (a reference to the self anointed one in South Beach), even though it might have meant taking a lesser role.  Some games he might not get as many catches as he would like.  He might only get two, or three, and asked to do more blocking.  But he does it, and he does it well.  The talent and potential is there for him to be a special player.  That's why I hope he does have his best year yet in 2012, and I think he can - no matter the role.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

The Moment Oregon Arrived

Brian Libby's article on Fishduck about one of the most transcendent plays in Oregon history, got me to thinking of what MY pick would be?

The choice is simple:  it would have to be the fake statue of liberty play, in the Big House against Michigan, on September 8th, 2007.

It was the second game of the season, second game for Oregon's new offensive coordinator Chip Kelly.  Chip Kelly brought a new, and exciting offense to Eugene.  A change that was much needed, after years of low-scoring, boring football, that was unimaginative, and would leave the home crowd at Autzen growing restless at times.

In came Chip, who had made quite a name for himself while at New Hampshire.  Kelly's offense, which is based on getting a numbers advantage, creating favorable match-ups, and speed, regularly led the nation in offense while at New Hampshire.

But that was at a lower level.  Would he be able to put up similar numbers at Oregon?  After one game - against Houston - his offense did look impressive, but now the real test came.

In a program defining game, Oregon went on the road to face Michigan, at the famed Big House, playing in front of the largest crowd ever to witness a Duck game.  Torching Houston for 48 points is one thing, but could they do it on the road, against the caliber of athletes Michigan typically gets?

The answer to that was yes.

Michigan looked lost and confused as Oregon toyed with them all day, to the tune of 39-7.  Not one play demonstrated the beauty of Chip Kelly's offense more than this one:

A fake statue of liberty as Dennis Dixon faked the handoff to Johnathan Stewart, fooling the Michigan defenders - announcers too - and ran it in for the touchdown.

Big programs go on the road and win games like this, and Oregon did it.  This play announced to the college football world that Oregon had arrived.

Good article on De'Anthony Thomas' 91 Yard Rose Bowl Run

Very nice work by Brian Libby at Fishduck, who says the run, was one of the most "transcendent" touchdowns in Oregon history.

Today's Rants: Blazers/Lakers, Kobe, Nets/Knicks...more

Embarrassing performance by the Blazers last night. Told you all Kobe would go off. See that's what a killer does - greats like MJ - they use little things like Kobe did the other night after that loss to the Suns, to wake the team up, bring 'em out of a funk, and motivate themselves...only to take it out on their next opponent. Unfortunately for the Blazers, they were in Kobe's cross-hair. Lakers got out to a 37-7 lead and never trailed. You all mock Kobe, but if Portland had a leader like him in their locker room, maybe things would be different?

Speaking of the Blazers, they look to rebound tonight in the RG as they host the red-hot Spurs, who come in having won 12 in a row.

Last night in the battle of the Hudson River rivalry, D. Will was clearly motivated and went off on the Knicks. Tired of hearing all this Jeremy Lin talk (where the phenomenon known as Linsanity started a month ago) showed that he's still the best PG in Gotham, by putting in 38 points. Thing is, what does this say about him and the Nets (who have one of the worst records in the league)? Why can't they play like this every night?

Just a reminder - today is day 3,309 of the fraud of a system in college football known as the BCS. It'll continue to be a fraud until the neanderthals that run college football do something about it.

Now I'm just gettin' warmed up! I could's startin, NFL draft is around the corner, you got the civil war this weekend...but I think I'll save my ammo for now. Time to do some Duck writing!

Friday, February 17, 2012

Thoughts On Jeremy Lin

I'll be honest, at first I couldn't stand the guy.  Thought this was just another case of a story being shoved down our throats, and hyped up by the New York media.  Like Tebow, it's not his fault he gets so much coverage now.  What I like about Jeremy Lin, is he's a great example of what hard work, not giving up, and perseverance can do for you.  It's something to get behind, and I hope it continues for him, and he doesn't get too cocky.

It's also an example of why I love sports so much.  There are so many storylines in sports, so many real life soap operas from week to week.  What makes this situation intriguing is, what does it say about Mike D'Antoni as a coach for not putting Lin in ealier?  Or does it show how good his system REALLY is with the right players?  What does it say about Carmelo Anthony, and the fact that they Knicks have won seven straight without him, and Lin in?  Time will answer all these questions as Anthony comes back to the line up over the weekend.  Should be interesting.

Back to Lin, George Schroeder of the Register Guard wrote a good piece on him here that you can read:

Oregon Loses A Tough One To Cal, 86-83.

Did they play better like some of the players promised they would?  Yes.  They played much better, and really could/should have won this game.  The Ducks led by as much as eight points in the second half, but committing a season high in turnovers (22), including three while trying to protect the lead in the final minutes of the game, is a recipe for a loss.

You can say that about a few of Oregon's losses this year, such as the loss at Colorado, and at home to Oregon State.  

To answer a couple of my emails I got last night, no it does not "burst my bubble," and I'll tell you why:  the fact that they're losing these close games, shows that they're getting close to becoming a real threat both in the conference, and nationally.  I've heard NBA scouts on local radio shows say just as much.  It also doesn't burst my bubble because I didn't have huge expectations for this team going into the year to begin with.  They've already exceeding my expectations, so I'm still happy.

The Ducks however, fall to 18-8 overall, 9-5 in conference.  They need to have a short memory because up next, is a tough game at Maples Pavilion against Stanford...a place where they traditional have struggled.

Oregon Self Reports NCAA Violation

I was so caught up yesterday in dealing with other sports topics (even the Jeremy Lin hype has reached me) this went completely unnoticed until late last night.  It's being reported that Oregon has violated NCAA Bylaw 13.10.2, which states in part that, before receiving a signed letter of intent, “the institution may not comment generally about the prospective student-athlete’s ability or the contribution that the prospective student-athlete might make to the institution’s team.”

Before you get excited, read the article.  You'll see that this is a minor violation, and happens quite frequently.   In fact, it happened to Oregon State this year as well.  Except in their case, the potential athlete ended up going somewhere else.  The timing is bad (given the ongoing investigation with the Willie Lyles case) but given the fact that Oregon was on top of it, shows they're being accountable.

I'm still more concerned about the potential fallout from the Lyles case.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

De'Anthony Thomas on Heisman Watchlist

Just picked this up from Ted Miller's blog: De'Anthony Thomas is at 25-1 odds of winning the Heisman next year, according to Danny Sheridan.  That's a nice bit of recognition and exposure, but obviously we know the Heisman winner, will likely be a quarterback (again), and will come from the SEC.  Still though, expect Thomas to be a bigger part of the offense this year, and put up bigger numbers.  It's great to have him in the discussion.

Ducks Looking To Come Up Golden Tonight

The Bay area, which hasn't always been so nice to Oregon, is where they will be playing their next two games, starting tonight with a game against Cal.  This is a big game for Oregon, who is only a game behind the first place Bears in the Pac 12, and are also out for revenge, after losing to Cal earlier this year...77-60.

The players are sounding confident and riding some momentum, after clobbering rival Washington last week, in probably their most impressive win of the season.  They feel like this time around, things could be different, as Oregon guard Johnathan Loyd told Lindsay Schnell of the Oregonian:

"We got destroyed (last time)," Loyd said. "They just flat out played better than us. We've gotten a lot better since then though, so it's not going to be the same thing."

Lets hope that he's right.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Oregon's Odds of Winning The NC Next Year

Just thought this was cool and worth a mention.  This is Phil Steel's favorites to win the national championship next year, check out where Oregon is.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Autzen's Magic

Its been said that Autzen stadium is a place of mystical proportions.  A place where good teams go to die.  It is the magic of Autzen stadium.  You hear about it, you read about it, opposing teams feel it before even setting foot on the field – almost like the gladiators must’ve felt before setting out in the Roman Coliseum, to be served up as sacrificial lambs for the entertainment of its spectators.

With a capacity officially listed at 54,000, it’s not even close to being the biggest stadium in the country.  And yet it is one of the loudest.  Duck fans are a proud bunch, whom are very passionate about their team.  They go to games; many of them – 81 straight sellouts to be exact – overflow the place: despite its listed capacity, Autzen averages around 57,000, and even reached the 60,000 mark on October 15th, 2011, against Arizona State.

They show up to make noise, and uphold its tradition of being one of the loudest stadiums in the country.  Its led people like ESPN’s Lee Corso to say “per person Autzen stadium is the loudest stadium I have ever been in my entire life.”  A Michigan columnist once wrote, after his Wolverines lost at Oregon, 31-27, on September 20th, 2003, “Autzen's 59,000 strong make the Big House collectively sound like a pathetic whimper. It’s louder than any place I’ve ever been, and that includes The Swamp at Florida, The Shoe in Columbus, and Death Valley at Louisiana State. Autzen Stadium is where great teams go to die.”

Numerous college football polls in magazines and other publications have Autzen as one of the loudest and toughest places to play in college football.  The Sporting News listed Autzen as the most intimidating place to play in the nation, in 2006.

Other stadiums have their fans and traditions: Oklahoma has boomer sooner, Texas has ‘hook em’, there’s the shoe in Columbus, the swamp in Florida.  Autzen has its traditions too.  Its fans – known as the Autzen zoo – set a record for the highest recorded decibel produced by human noise of 127.2 decibels, in a game against USC, on October 27th, 2007.  The Ducks won that game 24-17. 

The Autzen zoo is a tough bunch.  Many people describe Oregon as being college football’s version of “the black hole,” a reference to passionate fan base of the Oakland Raiders.  Maybe it’s the six months of constant rainfall that gives Oregon fan such a hostile edge to visiting teams?  Whatever it is, it works. 
Autzen Stadium – like its fans – are also kind of quirky bunch.  Maybe that whole “keep Portland weird” thing extends to Eugene?  You see part of the tradition of Autzen has been its quirkiness.  Although recent renovations and upgrades have changed it, it used to be known for its multicolored turf, which was so hard, opposing players described it as playing on concrete.  For Oregon players this was an advantage because, they were already used to it.  For visiting teams, it was already in their head before the game even started. 

There’s legendary PA Don Essig, who proclaims, “it never rains at Autzen” before every kickoff, despite the fact that it has rained several times at Autzen!  Duckvision gets the crowds whipped up into a frenzy just before the team takes the field, with a motivational video.  The videos change every year, and sometimes, from game to game, but one thing has remained the same since its inception: the showing of “the pick,” which is a different story for another time.  Just before the fourth quarter, the song “shout” is played in a similar way Wisconsin plays Jump Around.  But there’s history here: Autzen stadium served as Faber college football stadium, in the 1978 movie, National Lampoon’s Animal House.

The stadium’s field is named after Rich Brooks, the winningest coach in Oregon history, despite having an overall record at Oregon below .500, and other coaches have come along since, achieving greater heights than Brooks ever did.  However, when you guide a program to its first Rose bowl before man even landed on the moon, you deserve to have your name anywhere on the field!

I’ve been to so many games (went to my first in ’93 vs. Cal), and there’ve been so many memorable moments, there’s too much to list.  I can’t just narrow it down.  Some of the ones that stick out the most to me are: 
In 1995, nationally ranked Illinois came in, with Simeon Rice and company, and lost to the Ducks, 34-31.  Till this day, that was one of the loudest games I’ve ever been to at Autzen, and that was before the expansion.  The beat down of Michigan State in 1998 (48-14) on a perfect day for a football game in September.  That game marked the debut of Duckvision.  ESPN’s College Football Gameday made their first ever visit to Autzen Stadium in 2000, in a game against #6 UCLA.  The Ducks won 29-10.  A week later, they beat the new number six team in the nation, bitter rival, Washington, 23-16.  As noted earlier, there was the win over #4 Michigan in September of 2003, also in 2003, the game in which the lights went out in the fourth quarter, delaying the game for 20 minutes, allowing Oregon to rest up.  They came out of the break, and rallied from a 17-7 deficit, to win 21-17.
The dramatic win over historic power Oklahoma in 2006, 34-33, and many, many more.

With the success of the Oregon football program, the stadium has undergone many upgrades.  No longer just a hole in the pit, the stadium is one of the nicer facilities in the country.  But the old school charm is still there.  The tradition of being loud gets passed down from generation of Duck to generation of Duck fan.  The demand for Oregon football has already brought about one expansion, and there are talks of further expanding it in the future, which would give it its original bowl shape.  Another expansion would also make one of the loudest stadiums in the country, even louder!  More fans also means more people creating that “Autzen magic.”  It will continue to be a place, where good teams come to die.

Player Spotlight: Dion Jordan

A new thing I think I'll start doing is writing a feature on a random player, at any given time, starting with the man the call the preying mantis - Dion Jordan.  Oregon could potentially have a strong defensive front next year, with Jordan being one of the leaders of that front.  The 6-7, 240 pound DE from Chandler, AZ, is athletic -  originally a TE - tall, quick, and an explosive pass rusher that can get to the QB, and wreck havoc in the backfield.  Known for lowering the boom (just ask UCLA QB Kevin Prince) and will be a factor in the Pac 12 next year.

Another Claim For Oregon's Status As An Elite Program

My mailbag has been getting full with letters from SEC fan, questioning Oregon's status as an elite football program?  I'll explain it to you like this:  from 1994-2000 Oregon was the player trying to sneak into the club, from 2000-2007 Oregon was invited to sit at the kiddie table, from 2007 (when Chip Kelly arrived) till present day, Oregon is eatin' at the big boy table.

But people like stats and numbers.  They gotta see it in order to believe it.  That prompted me to do some research.  And what I found doesn't surprise me, the numbers back me up.

First lets take a look at the top programs, by winning percentage, from 2000-2007:

Oklahoma 82.0%
Texas 79.9%
USC 78.3%
Ohio St 78.3%
VTech 76.1%
Florida 73.7%
Georgia 73.1%
OREGON 73.0%
Auburn 71.4%
The U 70.0%
Wisconsin 69.5%
Florida State 66.7%
Nebraska 66.5%
Alabama 66.0%
Mich. 66.0%
OSewe 59.1%
Texas A&M 53.4%
UDumb 43.2%
What's impressive about this is, this was Oregon still as a program coming up.  They were doing it built off the momentum started by the 1994 Rose Bowl team, but it was still kind of a blue collar movement.  There were no flashy uniforms or offense, and no Chip Kelly.  And it was at a time when USC dominated the conference, and national landscape, and yet here Oregon was with a 73 winning percentage.

Now lets take a look from 2007 through this past year:
Alabama 82.1%
OREGON 80.3%
LSU 79.1%
USC 78.1%
Oklahoma 77.9%
VTech 76.8%
Ohio St 76.6%
Florida 74.6%
Texas 73.8%
Wisconsin 72.3%
Georgia 68.2%
Auburn 67.7%
Nebraska 65.2%
Florida State 63.6%
Mich. 55.6%
OSewe 54.0%
The U 54.0%
Texas A&M 51.6%
UDumb 36.5%
What this shows is that Oregon isn't going anywhere, AND, have only gotten better.   This is how college football programs become established powerhouses over the years...programs like Nebraska, Michigan, and more recently, Florida State or Miami:  they do it by building on the momentum of a good season or two, and are able to keep it going through good recruiting, and smart coaching hires.

Oregon made a smart coaching hire in 2007, by adding Chip Kelly to the staff as offensive coordinator, and future head coach in waiting.  

Now lets look at some impressive Oregon numbers since 2000, that will further back my argument up:
  • 7 seasons with 10 or more wins 
  • Back to back 12 win seasons
  • 5 conference championships
  • 3-2 vs. the SEC (thought I'd throw that in there for you SEC fans) 
     Another interesting thing I came across was that Oregon could potentially reach the 600 win mark with another 10 win season.  That also correlates with the numbers above:  it took Oregon less time to go from 500 wins to 600 wins, then it did from 400-500.


Saturday, February 11, 2012

Ducks Beat The Cougs, Sweep The Washington Schools

I would have something to say about the game, but it wasn't on t.v., so I wasn't able to watch.  Regardless, the Ducks got the win, despite not playing their best game, according to Lindsey Schnell of the Oregonian.  

A win's a win, I'll take it.  The Ducks improve to 18-7 overall now, and have a tough bay area road trip coming up next, starting with a game Thursday against first place Cal.  This road trip will definitely be a test of where Oregon is.  I'd be satisfied with a split, ecstatic with a sweep!

Gameday: WSU (13-11, 5-7) vs Oregon (17-7, 8-4)

Big game today for the Ducks. The uw win was great, time to put it past us. Can the boys not have a letdown game against the cooogs? This is a game they should win to improve their record to 18-7...that would be pretty cool! Think about where they've come from! Tip at 3.
Btw - Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Oregon 80, Washington State 73

Friday, February 10, 2012

Westbrooks Dunk

Now this is a dunk.  This is better than Blake Griffin's.

Oregon Dominates Washington

Just to wrap things up on my rants about Washington being overrated in everything, in came the overrated Huskies last night, to take on the the Ducks at Matthew Knight Arena.  Grant it, they did come in having won five in a row, and beat the Ducks in Seattle on New Years Eve, but perhaps they came in a little full of themselves, being atop a weak conference this year?  

As it turns out, the Ducks dominated.  They jumped out to an 8-0 lead and never looked back.  Oregon beat Washington in every way.  They forced turnovers, fast break points, were hot from the field - shot 56.4 percent - and dazzled the crowds with a few high flying dunks.

It was nice to see the fans chanting "just like football" in a game that does mean a lot to Oregon fans.  The Oregon/Washington rivalry doesn't end on the football field, and even the announcers noticed that.  Marcus Johnson, one of the guys doing the game, noted on the atmosphere, "I didn't realize this was more intense than the civil war."

To some Duck fans it is.  Was it the biggest win in Matthew Knight Arena (so far)?  

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Future Duck Recruits

Here's a good read from Addicted To Quack on some future hot prospects for the Ducks, including one that many of us are excited about:  Thomas Tyner. 

The Portland Tribune has this as well, including a piece on a player I'm excited about:  Kyle Long (the son of Howie Long).

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Ducks Take On Dawgs in Round 2 Of Border War

Speaking of my hatred for Seattle, and the Washington Huskies, comes this: Washington (16-7, 9-2) takes on Oregon (16-7, 7-4) from Matthew Knight Arena.  

The Huskies come in having won five in a row, and eight of their past nine.  The Ducks, while coming off a heartbreaking loss over the weekend in Boulder, are 11-3 at home this year.  Washington won the earlier meeting this year, but lost to these Ducks in Eugene last year.  Should be a fun game, one that I'm looking forward too...something I haven't said in a while about Duck basketball.

Oregon and Tradition

I've had a lot of messages today from people on Facebook questioning Oregon's status as an elite football program.  Seems to me like there's a lot of jealousy and envy going on.  Oregon is a new player in the tradition game.  They're not Notre Dame, Michigan, Nebraska, or Alabama, but they have nationally relevant for most of the kids entering college today.  Here's ESPN's Collin Cowherd's take on Oregon and their tradition.

Kobe Vs. Gronk

Much has been made recently about Patriots TE Rob Gronkowski being video taped, celebrating, after his team had just lost the Super Bowl.  Some have a problem with it, others don't.  Some say (mainly Patriot fan probably) he should know better.  He should feel more disappointed after losing the biggest game of his career, and if he doesn't feel that...maybe he shouldn't be out partying where it might give off the wrong impression.  

Others say that those people that are getting all worked up over this, should have more perspective, it's just a game, he deserves to have fun, etc.  Like I said, I can see it from both angles.  Personally, I tend to side more with the first argument.  But that's not what this piece is about.

There's a bigger picture here, and it has to do with killer instinct.  Competitiveness. 

I make the comparison to Kobe, because he's my favorite basketball player, and a perfect example of someone WITH that competitiveness and killer instinct.  Maybe an even better comparison would be Gronk's own teammate, Tom Brady, who reportedly took the loss bad.  He was seen sitting alone at his locker, with towel over his head, for nearly 20 minutes.  

See guys like Kobe, and Brady, aren't out partying on stage after a loss, or a poor performance, or both.  They're right back in the gym, or practice facility, working on their craft, trying to get better so that it doesn't happen again.  Brady told Patriots owner Robert Kraft after the game, "I'll do better in two weeks," adding, "you can count on that."

Don't know why that hasn't rubbed off on Gronk yet, but maybe if the Patriots had a little more of Brady's killer instinct in them, they'd be hoisting the Lombardi trophy today, and not the Giants.

Why I Hate Seattle

Collin Cowherd and Dave "Softy" Mahler were all fired up today because of the recent news that Seattle is interesting in bringing back an NBA franchise, as well as maybe even an NHL franchise.  After spending some time listening to both shows, regretfully (although Colin's not that bad), it reminds me once again of why I hate Seattle - it's their sense of entitlement.  

 Colin, who's such a frontrunner - he claims to be a Trojan fan and SoCal resident now, but turns into a Husky honk and brings up the glory days of his youth as a Seattle (or was it Greys Harbor/Port Washington/whatever town you grew up in) resident, every time a Seattle team does something - was talking about how sophisticated Seattle is, how it's a major market, and they deserve an NBA team.

Softy, who's a local hack and doesn't matter much on a national landscape, and takes pride in his own gluttony, essentially was saying the same thing

Here's the thing:  Seattle is kind of like a Lexus, a nice car no doubt, but you're not a Bimer, you're not a Mercedes, stop trying to be one.  Stop thinking you are one.  You're an expensive Toyota.  Maybe it's something in the water up there?  Husky fans are notorious for thinking their program is better than what it is.  Old Sonic fans, who hang on to the past as much as Husky fans, like to talk about their history, and the playgrounds of inner-city is the true mecca of basketball, and would put Rucker Park to shame.   The so-called "12th man" at quest field (or whatever they're calling it now) is the greatest environment in the NFL.  Forget about Eagle fan, the black hole, and Lambeau field.  They got nothin on Seahawk fan.

And it doesn't just end at sports.

Seattle will tell you they have the best coffee, as if they invited coffee.  Well you didn't, but I will give you credit for inventing the most successful coffee chain in America, which like the city, is overrated.  And you can't go to Seattle without buying some fresh fish from Pike Place Market, because after all, the fish taste best there right?  Well, not really.  I think I've made my point though...nobody cares about you outside the Northwest, so shut-up.

If Seattle does get an NBA team, good.  That way the Blazers can go back to beating them (another Oregon team beating a Washington team) and local hacks like Softy can piss and moan about it.  As long as it gives him something to cry about, I'm all for it!

Monday, February 6, 2012

Top Oregon Plays of the Decade


Post Super Bowl Thoughts

   There was so much hype leading up to SB XLVI, the question was, would the game live up to it?
    I can't remember if it was Michaels or Collinsworth who said it during the telecast when they said (paraphrasing here) 'why can't these two teams play every year for the super bowl?'
    That may be taking it a little too far, but the game definitely delivered.
    Throughout the game I made several observations, and the two biggest ones probably could've changed the course of the game.
    The first one I jotted down came in the first quarter, with the Giants driving deep into Patriots territory.  Victor Cruz catches a short pass over the middle, taking it to the New England seven yard line...where the Patriots' Moore strips him of the ball.
    Turnover Giants, right?
    The Patriots had 12 men on the field.  Result?
    Giants get the ball back and ultimately score.  Take that touchdown away, and Patriot players are the ones making out with the Lombardi trophy post game.
    The second most crucial observation I made came in the fourth quarter:  the catch Wes Welker should've made.  You can say he 'dropped the ball' on that one because that's a catch he shoulda had.  He was wide open, and was able to get both hands on the ball.  They say if you're a receiver, and can get ONE hand on the ball, you should catch it.  He had TWO!
    The Patriots already had the lead at that point.  The catch would've put them in field goal range to extend the lead, and put the Giants in a world of trouble with only one timeout left, and under four minutes remaining.
    He makes that catch, patriots probably win, and Welker is still out partying right now, and hasn't slepped.  But those are the breaks, as my 49er fans have reminded me.
    Take away a couple costly mistakes in their game versus the Giants a couple weeks ago, and the niners are probably playing for the super bowl.  Football can be a cruel game like that.
    Which is why I kind of like the NBA/MLB playoff format better.  In order to truly determine who the best team is, they need to play more than one time, that way you won't get arguments like this.  If a team gets lucky one game, now they have a chance to prove they're better, by winning the next game, or in a three, five game series.  But I understand - due to the physicality of football - playing a multiple game series would not be possible.  I mean you saw how many injuries took place in that game alone.  They wouldn't be able to rebound, a play another game, a couple days later...let alone a 3-5 game set.
    But I digress.
    For somebody with no real rooting interest (although I was rooting for former Duck/current Patriot safety Patrick Chung to get a ring) I was not disappointed with the game.  Already looking forward to the off-season storylines, the draft, and the start of next season!

Manningham's Catch Vs. Tyree's

   Getting tired of hearing this...the David Tyree catch was BETTER. Great catch by Manningham, no doubt, but the one Tyree did was BETTER! He had to stretch out for that ball, trap it against his helmet, with a defender draped on him!!! Manningham's catch was just an over the shoulder catch. I give Manning more credit for his accuracy on that throw.

    Oh one other thing, many former players/coaches are saying that Manningham catch was a result of poor technique in cover 2. So in other words, better technique by the Patiots, and maybe that catch doesn't even happen.

   You be the judge: Manningham's vs. Tyree's

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Pre Super Bowl Thoughts

I LOVE the Super Bowl, but I've realized its become too commercialized. I'm tired of these parties where celebs from other areas (music/movies), and ESPECIALLY celebs famous for nothing (Kim Kardashian) are there just to be there...they couldn't care less about the game. And can we actually get a halftime act that's good someday?
The SB probably will never have a decent show. When was the last time they did btw? Why do they always get old acts? I like Springstein, and U2, but Springstein and U2 doesn't appeal to today's youth. They gotta be more modern. More trendy. Now it's all about being safe, and appealing to the older crowd (thanks Justin Timberlake)
 My other problem is, it's too corporate. Let the regular fan have a chance to go to the game. Like the cheapest ticket is probably anywhere from $500-$800.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Duck Hoops Tonight: Oregon vs. Colorado

Big game for the Ducks today in Boulder. Was that loss to the barkrats last week a fluke? I think this is their chance to prove it was (or wasn't). I think Colorado is unbeaten at home in conference play, and just crushed the rats earlier this week, so we'll see.

Friday, February 3, 2012

Big Night In The NBA Tonight

BIG night in the NBA tonight. Also big news: Clippers signed Kenyon Martin to a one year deal. As a Blazer fan, doesn't it make you mad that one of the losing-est franchises in NBA history, turns into a good one over night, and one of the best (Blazers) continues to be hampered with bad luck?

Speaking of the Clippers, Blake Griffin is skipping this years dunk contest. SO? Only thing you're missing is a really good throw in. Has there ever been a more overrated dunker? I wasn't even impressed with the dunk he did that won him last year's contest. He jumped over the front of the car, not even the widest part. Um I can do that, just not on a 10 foot hoop. Dude's got hops, I'll give him that. So does everybody else in the league.

Super Bowl Thoughts

So excited for SB week, so excited, I'm stayin in this weekend so I can enjoy watching the game hangover free, also so I can be there for some of my friends who actually have a vested interest in this game (pats fans).

So many storylines: the rematch, peyton being there, Eli having to hear questions about big bro all week (still in his shadow), the Pats (and Brady - better than Peyton?) playing in their rivals' house (the colts) trying to win ANOTHER SB, Giants talking trash all week, and on and on. Who do I pick?

Well a couple weeks ago, I picked the Giants. Easiest pick I made. I hate them, but they're the team I've been riding going into the playoffs, so I should stay with them right? WRONG. I'm kind of waffling. I have a funny feeling about this game.

The patriots have been awful quiet compared to the giants. None of their recent meetings have been blowouts. In fact, I read somewhere that none of them have been by more than 3 or 4 points. That's why Vegas has the spread at 2.5. In a close game like that, don't you feel more comfortable with the ball in the hands of the most clutch QB in recent history (Brady), being coached by one of the best coaches in the history of the league (Bellichick)? I would.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Recaping Oregon's Day In Recruiting

   Pretty good day for the Ducks.  They ended up with 21 commits.  According to, Oregon had the 15th ranked class, with two players in the top 100, 1 five star, and nine four stars.  Rivals also ranked Oregon's class at #15, espn had them at 18.  Average star ranking for Duck commits were 3.48.  And they finished third in the Pac 12, just behind UCLA and Stanford.  

   Here are their players (from

School, Hometown
Video HT/ WT/ 40 Commit DateSigned LOI? Commit School
WR 115 Chance Allen
(Lawrence E Elkins HS)
Missouri City, TX
6-2/188 02/01/2012 Oregon
WR 14 Bralon Addison
(Hightower HS)
Sugar Land, TX
5-10/180/4.49 02/01/2012 Oregon
P JC Dylan Ausherman
(College of the Sequoias)
Visalia, CA
6-3.5/180 01/30/2012 Oregon
OT 1 Arik Armstead
(Pleasant Grove HS)
Elk Grove, CA
6-8/275 01/29/2012 Oregon
DE 17 DeForest Buckner
(Punahou School)
Honolulu, HI
6-7/250 01/03/2012 Oregon
TE 12 Pharaoh Brown
(Brush HS)
Lyndhurst, OH
6-6/220 12/29/2011 Oregon
OT JC Kyle Long
Mission Viejo, CA
6-7/290 12/18/2011 Oregon
DE JC Stetzon Bair
(Iowa Western)
Council Bluffs, IA
6-7/265 12/12/2011 Oregon
S 16 Reggie Daniels
(Hamilton HS)
Chandler, AZ
6-2/185 11/29/2011 Oregon
WR 51 Dwayne Stanford
(Taft HS)
Cincinnati, OH
6-4/195/4.50 11/22/2011 Oregon
RB 18 Byron Marshall
(Valley Christian Schools)
San Jose, CA
5-10/195 11/15/2011 Oregon
OLB 62 Brett Bafaro
(Liberty HS)
Hillsboro, OR
6-2/220/4.50 10/28/2011 Oregon
DE 114 Terrance Daniel
(Bishop O Dowd HS)
Oakland, CA
6-5/220 10/01/2011 Oregon
QB 49 Jeff Lockie
(Monte Vista HS)
Danville, CA
6-2/185/4.68 07/13/2011 Oregon
DE 90 Cody Carriger
(Butte HS)
Butte, MT
6-6/230 06/15/2011 Oregon
DE 33 Alex Balducci
(Central Catholic HS)
Portland, OR
6-3.5/245 06/12/2011 Oregon
QB 17 Jake Rodrigues
(Whitney HS)
Rocklin, CA
6-3/215 05/27/2011 Oregon
CB 82 Stephen Amoako
(Martin HS)
Arlington, TX
5-11/195 05/10/2011 Oregon
S 25 Eric Amoako
(Martin HS)
Arlington, TX
5-11/195/4.49 05/10/2011 Oregon
TE 9 Evan Baylis
(Grandview HS)
Aurora, CO
6-6/220 05/06/2011 Oregon
S 60 Oshay Dunmore
(Newport HS)
Newport, OR
6-2/200 04/02/2011 Oregon