Monday, August 20, 2007

USC and everyone else...

That has been the preseason story in the Pac 10 this year. USC will cruise to a league title. Cal, UCLA and Oregon are seen as the potential threats but not really. I have yet to see a pundit picking USC to lose a game in conference. Here is SI's latest ranking for the Pac-10.

How They'll Finish
Conference Overall
9-0 1.000 12-0 1.000
6-3 .667 9-3 .750
6-3 .667 9-3 .750
5-4 .555 7-5 .583
4-5 .444 7-5 .583
4-5 .444 7-5 .583
4-5 .444 6-6 .500
3-6 .333 5-7 .417
3-6 .333 5-8 .385
1-8 .111 2-10 .167

RBBID Response:

1) 3 conference losses by Cal??? On the bright side, they do pick us to beat Tennessee. I can understand 7-2 (loss to USC and an surprise loss) but 3 losses? Ridiculous.

2) Who do they expect Stanford to beat in the conference?

3) Not sure why people are so high on Oregon (the QB situation is probably worse, not better).

4) Not sure why people are so low on Oregon St. (The loss of Matt Moore could be a plus rather than a minus.)

5) Coach Tedford and Zack Follett were also individually mentioned in the article.


Trumanhugh said...

I really hated this breakdown as well. It does much to further the notion of USC and the nine dwarves, of which I am thoroughly sick. I figured they figured Cal to lose to USC, UCLA and Oregon. UCLA to lose to USC, Oregon and Cal. And Oregon to the same three.

I, too, think three conference losses for Cal is pushing it, especially when I read the preseason camp reports coming out of UO and ASU and when I rely on the typical inconsistencies at UCLA. Why Pat Forde thinks UCLA will be 11-0 going into its Dec. 2 game at USC has me wondering if I'll ever give him credibility again.

While I realize the camp reports I read from Cal are all about the upside (mainly), I can't help but recognize a common thread in just about anything I've read: it seems just about anyone on the Cal roster has carried throughout the offseason and into today a positive and forward-thinking attitude. It appears that just about everybody (not including the guy who is so out of condition that he's been waylaid by back spasms) has kept their eye on the prize over the last year and haven't let their level of preparation and dedication slide.

I know USC showed a rare vulnerabilty last year and that, most likely, it won't be as apparent this season, but I do believe that our players want the championship more than ever and they beleieve they can beat USC to get it.

Sunday Mornng Quarterback gave a pretty interesting breakdown on how they thought the Pac-10 would finish and, with the exception of Oregon placing above us, I think it is worth your time.

I've argued before that Cal must start winning the tough games on the road and this is the season to do it. Oregon and UCLA are--by far--the two biggest tests, but I think we have the talent, athleticism and the confidence to get it done.

Danny said...

@trumanhugh - it is a bit humbling when a readers comment is twice as long as the post. Great insights.

I read SMQ's Pac 10 breakdown, great stuff. I have no doubt that Cal can finish atop the Pac 10. I think our defense is highly underrated and once the season starts, people will see how good they are.

Ken Crawford said...

Here's a funny note for you: Add up the conference wins and losses. You'll find that despite giving Stanford a conference win, they still manage to come up with 6 more losses than wins... a mathematical impossibility

Trumanhugh said...

Hey Ken--

(First, a caveat: I majored in history and English and stayed as far away as possible from the math and sciences.)

I'm confused by your comment. I asssume you're referring to the SI breakdown in Danny's original post...

Each team plays nine conference games and it appears all are accounted for. There are 45 wins and 45 losses, 90. Ten teams each playing nine games, 90. What am I missing?

I'd love to know what you were getting at...I noticed discrepancies between information in a Mark Schlabach report on the preseason polls and the criteria making up the results (one that must have been pointed out to him as the column has since been, in his words, "clarified"), and I'd be interested in seeing what else is blatanly off in ESPN and SI reporting.

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