Friday, November 26, 2010


The NCAA football season is winding down, and who would have guessed anyone would beat the Boise State Broncos? Not me. I knew Nevada would at least give them a good game, and the Wolfpack did just that, and more. Nevada won the game 34-31, and as one of the ESPN announcers said, Boise State is now "off the radar" for the national championship.

I don't know if you saw any of that game or not, but it was a thing of beauty. While I don't count myself as a Boise State fan, I did think it would have been kind of cool for a national title to happen within shouting distance of where I live... but pride goeth before a fall. The game was tied 31-31 with something like nine seconds left, and Boise State had the ball. BSU quarterback Kellen Moore heaved a "hail Mary" pass downfield to receiver Titus Young, who made a spectacular catch. It put BSU in range for an easy field goal to win the game with two seconds left!

But after that miracle play, the Bronco players were celebrating like the game was over! I saw that, and my thought was "Hey... guys... your kicker has to make the field goal first..." And their kicker pushed his kick to the left and the game went into OT.

Boise State got the first possession, and when they had a fourth down and what should have been another easy field goal, their kicker missed AGAIN. On Nevada's possession, their kicker was true and it ended up 34-31.

It looks like the Broncos finally ran out of miracles. I feel somewhat sad about it, but I am also a bit relieved. I do admit some shame in knocking the Western Athletic Conference, as it looks like there is actually another tough team in that league besides Boise State. By knocking the WAC, I was knocking all the other teams besides Boise State, and in college football, anything can happen on any given day.

Which brings us to next Saturday, of course!

While it seems like there should be no way on earth the Oregon State Beavers should be able to beat the Oregon Ducks, it would not surprise me at all to see it happen.

Should it happen, it won't be the end of the world for me as a Duck fan. I have been a Duck fan for enough years to know that Oregon getting wins is nothing to be taken for granted. There have been a few Civil War games in the past when the Ducks appeared to be the better team by far, but did not come out on top.

The big key for Oregon State, of course, is for their defense to show up. Even if the Ducks have an off night on offense, their offense is probably better than average. Oregon has shown a weakness for giving up big plays here and there, and the Beavers will have to hope their quarterback Ryan Katz is at the top of his game, that running back Jacquizz Rodgers can bust a few big runs, and that the Ducks relax on the pass coverage.

The key for Oregon is to not deviate from the attitude they have adhered to all season. Love him or hate him, their coach Chip Kelly has done a magnificent job keeping the team sky high all the time, all season long. He and his coaching staff have also done a wonderful job making adjustments at halftime on both offense and defense, so even if the Beavers get out to an early lead next Saturday, I wouldn't write too much into it. Kelly keeps them focused, and if they get behind, it seems only a matter of time before they catch up and move ahead.

Before tonight's 48-29 win over Arizona, Oregon wasn't commenting much about the Civil War. I am not sure who it was that said if Oregon wins game number 11 (tonight's game against Arizona), they won't lose game number 12 (against OSU next week). Whoever said it, I agree.

The opportunity to play for a national title is something that doesn't come around every year. If the Beavers take that away from the Ducks, I have to say it won't be the end of the world for me as a Duck fan. Seriously, for me the worst part of it would be losing in-state superiority and also having to listen to certain OSU fans I know lord it over me for the next few years! LOL! The reason it wouldn't be so devastating is that with their win tonight, the Ducks clinched a BCS bowl game. That is also something that doesn't come along every year.

Beaver players and fans need to be thinking about their game at Stanford tomorrow, because they have to get that one out of the way before the Civil War. On one hand I'd like to see the Beavers win that one, naturally because they are an Oregon team. On the other hand, should they find some way to upset Stanford in Palo Alto, it would make them tougher to play next weekend as they would be on a really nasty high.

As it is, I'm not sure OSU's coach Mike Riley has figured out how to motivate his team from one week to the next. The Beavers are so up and down this year... you never know which team is going to show up next. Will it be the pushovers (losses to UCLA, Washington and Washington State), or will it be the giant-killers (wins over Arizona and USC)?

My guess is it will be something in between. But in college football... you never know what will happen!


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