Friday, August 8, 2008

Have a six Pac on me

It’s the end of the week, so what’s buzzing around the Pac 10 Conference? Fall camps are underway, the media is making their assessments, and programs are strengthening and weakening. So after a long week of work, it’s time to relax and have a six Pac, on me.

USC defeats USC

Southern California is now officially, and without dispute “USC” and the rightful owner of the interlocking “SC” logo. The battle that had been waging between Southern Cal and South Carolina finally came to an end, with the administrative tribunal of the U.S Trademark and Patent Department ruling in favor of the California school.

Rey Maualuga explained his wearing of a pink thong over his practice shorts last week, and I had been waiting for it. According to Rey, he just wanted to liven up the place and keep the guys loose, and never thought photos would surface on the Internet. Rey? Get real! This is 2008. Chances are, if you miss the toilet in a public restroom, TMZ or some other Internet source will post it. When asked where he got the pink thong, Maualuga jokingly said he took it out of teammate Brian Cushings’ locker. The whole thing was amusing, and I still dare an opponent to mention that thong on gameday.

The media loves Dennis Erickson

Arizona State was an “okay” team or even less than that, before Dennis Erickson arrived last year. Change the coach, and the media changes your identity. Suddenly the Sun Devils were an excellent program and national contender; though they lost to every good opponent they played. There’s still no let up, as analysts are still projecting greatness for the desert rats, despite little change from 2007.

Though the national media feels ASU will push USC for the Pac 10 title, the Western media didn’t give the Sun Devils a single first place vote, but did choose them to finish second. Without Dennis Erickson, and having that same roster, I wonder where the Sun Devils would rate. Probably in the middle of the Pac, as they were before his arrival.

Clock is ticking on Big Ben

The UCLA Bruins are working quarterback Ben Olsen back into the rotation, after sitting out with a foot injury. Norm Chow’s “second choice” must now shoulder the unit, while trying to maintain his health. Pass protection becomes top priority, with Junior college transfer, Kevin Kraft, sitting as the top available back up on the UCLA depth chart.

Indecision in Berkeley

There’s still no clear cut winner in the Cal QB battle. Both Nate Longshore and Kevin Riley are capable, and many programs could only wish to have this type of position battle. Give the edge to Riley, but don’t count Longshore out.

Running back Jahvid Best is the heir apparent to DeSean Jackson and the Golden Bears’ special teams. A hip injury suffered in last year’s meeting with USC that caused him to miss the remainder of the season is no longer a concern. The sophomore doesn’t appear to have any lingering effects, and Tedford is prepared to utilize his talent is several offensive areas.

Nike has vision for Ducks

It’s no surprise that Phil Knight would use his corporate empire to improve the performance of Oregon athletes. Knight, the co-founder of Nike and Oregon alum, has given the program the best shoes, uniforms, helmets, etc to bring about the best athletic performances. Now Nike has taken it a step further, as they use 4 ducks in an experiment to improve vision. No, it has nothing to do with eating carrots or popping pills. Experiments included player response in drills where they touched a series of colored lights, along with recording brain reaction when goggles are worn to block vision.

The scene of the crime

USC travels to Palo Alto this year to play Stanford. For the second year in a row, the game will be aired on Versus, which for SC fans is a return to the scene of the crime. But have no fear, because with the exception of Cal in 2004, the Trojans have embarrassed each opponent in revenge matches taking place the following year.

No comments: