In "DEFENSE" of the Pac-10
Throwing the hook into Oregon
3 January 2010
mafia will be all over the Pac-10's case for its 2-5 record in the
2009/10 bowl season. However, over the last two years, the conference
has gone 7-5 in bowl games, winning all five of them last year.
conference's only bowl victories this season, both USC and UCLA beat
their opponents -- Boston College and Temple, respectively -- by
fielding the better defense. USC held BC to 312 total yards, and UCLA
held Temple to 282 yards, stifling its passing game in the second half
while scoring off a pick 6. The Bruins held Temple to 41 yards in the
players in those victories were DE Everson Griffen of USC and DT Brian
Price of UCLA. I expect both of them, juniors, to be first-round
selections in this year's NFL draft.
a huge role -- which was overlooked by the media -- in USC's 18-15
victory over Ohio State at Columbus. His sack of Terrelle Prior was key
to victory; it occurred on the Buckeyes' drive preceding USC's
game-winning, 86-yard drive that drained 6:10 off the clock in the
fourth quarter. With a
15-11 lead, all Ohio State needed was a field goal to ensure, most
likely, an overtime game in its penultimate drive that started on the
USC 45-yard line; a touchdown would have won it. From the 45, OSU
managed just one first down, which took the ball to the 'SC 35. On a
third and seven on the 32, Griffen sacked Prior for four yards, forcing
Ohio State to punt the ball away and eschew a 53-yard field goal
On OSU's last
drive of the game, with 1:05 left on the clock and ahead 18-15, USC sacked Prior for an 18-yard loss which took the
ball back to the Buckeyes' 18, effectively ending the game.
The UCLA defense kept it
competitive in close games with Tennessee and Washington, both of them
wins for the Bruins.
To go to a
bowl game in the 2010/11 season, Washington will need to plug up its
porous defense even more. Is there no rest for Nick Holt? No.
The Eastern Mafia?
following is for you easterners; before reading it, imagine that black
helicopters are flying overhead with the theme-song from "Twilight
Zone" playing in the background, for here we go again.
examples of this bias include:
the BCS title game a "national-championship" game in the absence of
a playoff system;
voting down of USC in the polls after it lost an early game to
Oregon State in 2008 because of an alleged weakness in the Pac-10;
voting in the 2009 Heisman Trophy race;
to give the Pac-10 credit for its round-robin scheduling (strength
uneven handling of NCAA bylaw infractions, a double standard. Why is a
tainted Alabama program fielding a team in the BCS title game?
the Pac-10 to just one BCS bowl game over the last seven years,
which is an artifact of what could be poorly-thought-out computer
algorithms that, as I understand, are mostly precluded from outside
assumption, A priori, that the SEC is college football's strongest
conference. And the beat goes on.
2010 basketball season, no Pac-10 team was ranked in the top 25.
Yet, Washington made the Sweet Sixteen during March Madness.
Oregon's Rose Bowl Record
It's been 93
years since Oregon won a Rose Bowl game, the Ducks beating Pennsylvania
14-0 in 1917. In 1916, both Oregon and Washington tied for the
championship of the old Pacific Coast Conference (PCC), but Oregon went
to the Rose Bowl
because of traveling cost considerations; reportedly, it was $215
cheaper to get to Los Angeles from Eugene by train than it was from
Washington and Oregon
battled to a 0-0 tie in their 1916 encounter, both of them finishing
3-0-1 in the PCC.
Describing that game, a
reporter in the Oakland Tribune wrote, "Eight years without a rival
worthy of his metal Gil Dobie, pessimistic czar of Washington's football
forces, found his match today when the team of the University of Oregon
held his charges to a scoreless tie on a field (in Eugene) that
resembled a lake. Oregon covered herself with glory and mud, and her
students tonight are celebrating a victory in Portland and lauding the
heroes who held Dobie's eight-year champions to an even break and
foretold his fall as undisputed czar of football in the Northwest...the
field was so slippery that open attacks were useless, and both sides got
down to a working basis of old-fashioned line plunging."
From the history book
Dobie's 72-0 rout of California in 1915, the Oakland Tribune ran this
headline in its November 7th edition, "Golden Bear crushed beyond recognition by
Dobie's Washington Indians." A photo of Washington QB Allan Young
scoring the second touchdown of the game sat under the headline. The
paper noted that "Lockhart, the Bears left tackle, was the heaviest man
on the field. He weighed 198. His 6-foot-3 inches also made him the
tallest...The lightest Washington man was (Elmer) Leader, the left
tackle, who weighed 165."
noted that Dobie brought 22 men with him and that each regular had a
substitute; it went on to say that Dobie was noted for his eleventh hour
changes in his lineup and that fans expected a change any minute. Also,
according to the Tribune, the numbering of players was distributed
before the game, with the number 13 being avoided. The two captains,
Canfield and Mike Hunt, UW's left end, were each given number one.
has seen so many heroes fail and unheard of players rise to great
heights, that he considers the 'good boy pat on the back stuff'
useless," the paper continued.
"Overconfidence has lost
more battles than superior opposition," Dobie used to say. In each game, Dobie kept his team
worrying about its Mojo, even though he knew he had the superior force.
halftime a Washington stunt group produced a halftime burlesque
pantomime in which the California Bear and the "Washington Indian" were
the principle actors, the paper went on to say.
Washington "Hook," a 10-foot by 3-foot wooden replica of a hook, made
its appearance in the Washington rooting section. It seems the hook was
captured by Washington rooters -- a few years back -- in a game played
between UW and Oregon in Eugene, the Oregon fans saying they would throw
the "hook" into Washington. After UW beat Oregon, UW fans paraded the
hook in downtown Eugene.