Friday, September 3, 2010

Homers Preview the Pac Ten (for the last time. Ever)

Fear not, it's not the last time we'll ever talk about sports on the West Coast. Quite the contrary. Today starts the end of the Pacific 10 Conference as a pack of 10. Next year we'll grow to twelve or eleven which has to be extra bad news for WSU.

This season hinges on the arms of a lot of guys who no one seems to know anything about. From Barkley to Luck, Foles to Thomas the boys under center will dictate who wins this wide open conference season.

Here's the Homer take.

Arizona Wildcats
The most salient memory from Arizona's 2009 campaign: a 33-0 destruction at the hands of Ndamukong Nebraska. Ironically, Arizona capped it's best offensive season in school history with the worst offensive performance in Holiday Bowl history. So who knows where that leaves the Wildcats. Fortunately, Arizona brings back starting quarterback Nick Foles. He will also be complimented in the back field by returning backs Keola Antolin and Nicholas Grigsby. That said, pass minded offesnive coordinator Sonny Dykes left after 2009 to pursue a head coaching gig, and left OC duties to Bill Bedenbaugh and Seth Littrell. But have no fear, Bednbaugh and Littrell are a combined 25-11 coaching together at both Texas Tech and Arizona and are very familiar with their predecessor's playbook. The defense will have to step up, but head coach Mike Stoops has been defense oriented since his days at Oklahoma, and he has a pre-season Jim Thorpe Award candidate in Trevin Wade to shape another defense around. Arizona has been picked to finish anywhere from last to first in the Pac-10, so shut your yapper Harbaugh, the Wildcats are smelling Roses this year (or at least this Homer is).

arizona state Scum devils
Dennis Erickson came onto the scene at ASU in 2007 and went 10-3. Since then his teams have gotten progressively worse. Three years, countless team felonies, and a floundering football program: sounds like the timing is right for Erickson to bolt--unless he's fired first--and leave ASU baking like a maroon raisin in LA wanna be Phoenix. On the other hand ASU brings in QB Steve Threet from Michigan, who challenged for the starting job at Big Blue not too long ago. That said, a new QB and a new offensive coordinator spell trouble after the scummies plod through their opening two games against Div. I-AA foes Portland State and Northern Arizona. Look for the sun to set on Erickson's tenure in the valley of mediocrity. AS-Who?

California Golden Bears
Da' Bears. Whoops, wrong perennially overrated forest creature. The fact is, Tedford has made Cal a legitimate football program, deservedly respected across the nation. They're arguably Tailback-U since he took over a 1-10 team in 2002. So, while all of the Pac rests on the shoulders of a bunch of semi-proven quarterbacks, the Golden Bears will look to replace the likes of Jahvid Best with Shane Vereen. The shifty but physical back quietly ran for 952 yards a year ago and torched Arizona as a fill-in for 159 yards. What will he do as the centerpiece? Toss in that Cal is finally not uber-hyped this September and things might be less foggy in the Bay come November/December.

Oregon Ducks
Holy-Moly-MacBook-Masoli! Despite a puzzling loss to Ohio State in the Rose Bowl last year, Oregon seemed poise to compete for a Pac-10 and National Championship this year. Then the off season brought reports of dual threat QB Jeremiah Masoli stealing a lap top from a frat house in Eugene. Now the season is starting and Masoli has been excused from the Ducks and is suiting up down in Mississippi. However, last year's champs bring back 17 starters including sophomore sensation LaMichael James--who rushed for over 1500 yards as a freshman. The Ducks will start sophomore Darron Thomas under center. Thomas has drawn comparisons to former duck star Dennis Dixon due to his mobility and had to beat 5th year senior Nate Costa for the position. The Ducks have been the best team in the Pac-10 for several years and may emerge as national title contenders from the west--they'll just have to watch out for those upstart Wildcats.

Oregon State Beavers
When will the Rodgers family leave Corvallis? Shifty does not describe what these children can do. 'Quizz is like that motorcycle we all hate that zips its way through traffic but deep down, regardless of how loud we drop an eff bomb in our stagnant sedan, we want to be that guy. Dammit. The Beavers are always solid but lost their very stable QB in Lefty Canfield. They already fired one possible candidate, Peter Lalich, for drunk boating. No one ever said Corvallis wasn't fun. Anyhow, let's see what Ryan Katz (tribe member?) can do under center. OSU plays a great schedule with TCU, Boise State, and Louisville filling out their non-conference slate before opening Pac-10 play against - chuckles - ASU. Look for the Mike Riley Beavers to be solid as always and don't be surprised if the Civil War in Corvallis has Rose Bowl implications again.

Stanford Cardinal
While the Rodgers family is indeed a nuisance, I think the entire Pac-10 is glad to see Toby Gerhart (the reigning should-have-been Heisman Trophy Winner) gone. That said, with his departure, the Cardinal are in Luck. Andrew Luck. Arguably the best QB in the league - some have said country - the athlete can flat out play. And speaking of flat out being able to do things, Jim Harbough can clearly coach. I love the brash booze hound and like the attitude he brings to the league. He's one of those figures you hate until he's on your team. Then you're all, "Fuck yeah I hate Pete Carrol, too. Besides, I already hated Lane Kiffin." And how fun is it going to be watching Kiffin and Harbough go at it. At least until Kiffin gets a new job. Experts have the Cardinal as a Pac-10 favorite, but without Gerhart we'll have to see it to believe it.

Southern California Trojans
My prediction is that USC does not play in a bowl game this year. What is that based on? Fact. Why is that a fact? Because USC players accepted more money than Don King over the past several years. Moreover, the silver fox of the University of Spoiled Children (Steve Carrol), jumped out of the burning building faster than Wall Street execs and put himself in the witness protection program in Seattle where he can work on jumping out of his California tan. What did USC do to address the problem? Hire Lane Kiffin. Why? (That was a rhetorical question). The only upside here is the national media will have to figure out another team to follow on the West Coast besides USC--maybe they wont. Either way, the boys from Troy still return a highly touted quarterback in Barkley and enter the season ranked behind only Oregon amongst Pac-10 teams. We'll see, but I don't like what Lane Kiffin's cookin'.

UCLA Bruins
QB extraordinaire and awkward looking football coach Rick Neuheisel has been a disappointment in Pasadena. I'm going to do it: is there a correlation between the basketball team not making the NCAA Tournament and Neuheisel's presence? I'm just saying. What I also need to say is that if UCLA can't keep a QB healthy, what's anything matter? Don't look now, but projected QB Kevin Prince has a small muscle tear in his back... Whoop-de-doo you kept Norm Chow, dude's been irrelevant since Matt Leinart. On that note, are those two just inseparable? Neither has been successful since Vince Young ripped their hearts out. Poor 'SC alum. Not really. In a league that's wide open, the Bruins' door is more closed than open.

Washington Huskies
Okay, so we all know about Jake Locker. America needs a good ol' white boy to get behind every college football season, and Locker fits the bill: a clean cut Heisman candidate, foregoing riches to return for his senior season to pursue college glory for the good of the team--sounds strangely familiar, just mix in a bible. Besides, who would have wanted to be in a draft with Sam Bradford, Colt McCoy, Tim Tebow, and Jimmy Clausen? Hint: Not Jimmy Clausen. Anyway, before you get on the Dawg bandwagon pinch yourself because U-Dubb is still just a year removed from a winless season. With that in mind, Steve Sarkisiann did have some success last year. Not only did he topple his former employer and third ranked Trojans at home last year, his team went 5-2 in Seattle. However, his team collected a whopping zero wins when playing away from the Dawg Palace on the Lake. That said, the team as a whole has reportedly dropped a lot of weight to compete in the speedy top ten. Moreover, they bring back Chris Polk: the first Washington freshman to rush for more than 1,000 yards in a season. But don't hold your breath Washington fans, the scenery doesn't change unless you're the lead dog. Your post season looks like Las Vegas or San Francisco at best.

Washington State Cougars
The only thing more certain than USC not playing in the post season is Washington State finishing last in the Pac. However, they do win the award for most walk-ons starting for one team, and they're going to be on College Game Day. Jokes aside, let me give a shout out to my friends who are Cougar fans: I ask why, and you ask why not--Go Cougs!(?)


  1. incredibly entertaining. great work :)

  2. Flattered. Truly flattered that you found this entertaining. I'd liken it to metabolics or dissection.