Ahhhh! College football time again!
My Oregon Ducks are off to a great start. They beat an outmanned University of New Mexico Lobos team in Eugene at Autzen Stadium 72-0 for starters, then went to a hostile environment in Knoxville, TN to play the University of Tennessee Volunteers and beat them 48-13 in front of 102,000 at the stadium and in front of a national TV audience. It looks like new quarterback Darron Thomas is doing just fine so far, and the Ducks are fine on both sides of the ball. Their problem players from last year are mostly gone (burglar/stoner Jeremiah Masoli and puncher LaGarrett Blount) and it looks like neither will be missed. UO has what should be another patsy on the schedule next week as they host Portland State at Autzen. Then they will start Pac-10 play with a couple of games against Arizona State and Stanford... we will know how good they really are after their first couple of conference games.
Oregon State looks like it will be good this year as well. New QB Ryan Katz appears to be going through some growing pains, but once he gets a few things figured out the Beavers will be fine. OSU began its season with a tough road game against TCU, where they hung in there but ultimately lost 30-21. That was just goofy scheduling, having them start their season like that. Even goofier was the "bye" on week two, and then a road trip to Boise State a couple weeks from now. Whereas the Ducks will probably start Pac-10 play with a 3-0 overall record, the Beavs could well begin their conference schedule at 1-2. OSU features the Rodgers brothers, Jacquizz and James. As long as those guys don't get hurt and as long as Katz comes along, the Beavers will make some noise in the Pac-10 this year!
As for Boise State, well... they passed their road test in the season opener against Virginia Tech by coming from behind for a 33-30 win. While Virginia Tech began the season ranked, they may not be ranked for a while due to their 21-16 loss to FCS-level opponent James Madison yesterday... So if Boise State just got past a team that was beaten by a lower-level opponent, that begs the question: How good are the Broncos, really? In the long run, it doesn't matter. As long as BSU can beat Oregon State in Boise on September 25, the Broncos should win all of their games in the generally-weak Western Athletic Conference. As their win over Oregon in last year's opener did, this year's likely win over OSU will give Boise State an undefeated regular season. They will have plenty of time to prepare for their bowl game, which given their likely undefeated record, will be high-profile. But despite their weak schedule, they are a very good program and I believe they deserve whatever they accomplish this season! I'm looking forward to the chance for the region in which I live to have a national champ!
Then again, the Broncos are not the only good and still-undefeated college football team in the region... ! 8-)