Sunday, December 5, 2010

What We Learned - Final Week of Pac-10 Football 2010

Well, the Pac-10 regular season is now over. For one last time, lets see what we learned...

Oregon (12-0 overall, 9-0 in Pac-10 play) defeated Oregon State (5-7, 4-5) by the score of 38-20 in the Civil War game played this year in Corvallis. Boy oh boy, did we learn some things here.
  • We learned that the Ducks finish their season undefeated in league play - beating every single other team in the conference. What a season! A very entertaining, very impressive, very talented, very well coached, very well rounded team. The best I've seen as a Duck fan. Congratulations Ducks!
  • We learned that the Ducks for the third year in a row have vanquished their in-state and biter rival, the Oregon State fans, students and athletes associated with the Ducks have 12 more months to NOT hear crap from the bark rats.
  • And most importantly, we learned that this victory catapults the Oregon Ducks into the National Championship game on Jan. 10, 2011 in Glendale, AZ.
  • We also learned that they will be facing Auburn in the big game. I will go right ahead and say here and now that Auburn scares me. More accurately, their unbelievable QB Cam Newton scares me. More on that in future posts as we count down to the game, but suffice it to say that Newton is not something the Ducks have seen at any time during this season yet...and his is a massive talent running and throwing.
  • In the Civil War game itself, we once again learned that Oregon's offense is potent and its defense under-rated. We learned that Kenyon Barner is as good as LaMichael James. We learned that Oregon QB Darron Thomas is a cool customer, and we learned that - as always - the Ducks keep fumbling the ball away to other teams. So far, they've obviously overcome those mistakes, but Auburn will punish Oregon in ways not seen yet if they do it against them. For Oregon State, we learned they are not bowl eligible and have some work to do on their run defense. Oh, and we learned that those Oregon State throwback uniforms look really good.
Washington (6-6, 5-4) defeated Washington State (2-10, 1-8) by the score of 35-28 in the Apple Cup played in Pullman this year. We learned that Washington is now bowl-eligible. This is an odd one because most teams that finish 6-6 go to "lower tier" bowl games befitting their non-winning season. However, because USC is ineligible this season for a bowl and because the rest of the Pac-10 outside of Oregon, Stanford, Arizona and now Washington are not bowl-eligible, the Huskies will essentially move up on bowl quality to fill in spots normally taken by better teams. So, through that we learned that the Huskies will be going to a pretty decent bowl. Who will they play? How big a miss-match will it be? We'll see.

In the Apple Cup, we learned that UW had the spirit and tenacity to win this game. We learned that UW running back Polk is the real deal with a huge game running the ball. Of course, the team Washington plays in their bowl will have a much better D than WSU, but from what I saw Polk is a legit weapon more so that I previously thought. 

For the Cougs, we learned that they are still improving. Despite the loss, this was one of their best games of the season. We learned that their QB is a pretty dang good passer and leader. But, we learned that their defense has a lot to be desired. And lastly, today we learned that WSU will keep its coach despite several losing seasons in a row.

USC (8-5, 5-4) defeated UCLA (4-8, 2-7) by the score of 28-14 in Los Angeles. We learned that USC is only two touchdowns better that a dreadful UCLA team. We learned again, that, well, UCLA is dreadful. No bowls for either of these teams - USC is ineligible and UCLA does not have enough wins.

Arizona State (6-6, 4-5) defeated Arizona (7-5, 4-5) by the score of 30-29 in the second overtime period in the Territorial Cup played in Tucson this year. We learned that ASU has some guts. We learned specifically that their #34 can seriously jump high as he blocked two critical kicks - including the potential game tying extra point in the second overtime.  We learned that Arizona has some serious issues with its kicking game. And we learned that despite losing its last three games, Arizona is still going to a bowl because of its overall record. 

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