For reference, here is a link back to my bowl picks. I predicted a 6-1 bowl season for the league; instead the Pac-10 was only 2-5. Lucky me, the one loss I picked happened, so after going 52-14 during the season my bowl picks were a pathetic 3-4.
However, in retrospect, what the hell was I thinking?
Las Vegas Bowl
Oregon State looked horrible in this game. They really seemed to act like they didn't care, which is surprising from a Mike Riley team. Perhaps they just couldn't muster enough anger to take out the Civil War loss on BYU - not sure. What I will say is BYU looked pretty dang good.
Cal played lackluster as well, but I also think it was the best they could play. I'm not surprised in the least they lost - Utah was also good, so apparently the Mountain West deserves props for having them, BYU, and TCU - but they competed better than Oregon State, that's for sure. Not having Jahvid Best probably didn't make a difference. Good to hear he's going pro after missing half the season with multiple concussions - that should work out well.
Who knew at the time what was going to go down at USC? They also played a little lazy, I think, but Boston College simply wasn't good enough to be on the same field. You have to think Matt Barkley is going to be a lot better next season. Right? Right? Of course, that all depends on if they ever get a coach...
I thought UCLA would win and they did, but they sure took their time. UCLA had the better talent, but they were inconsistent (as they were all season). Temple put up a fight, but their collapse in the fourth quarter really told the story - they weren't good enough.
I picked Arizona to beat Nebraska and they got blanked 33-0. This is the one I look back on and wonder why did I make that pick?! Nebraska's defense is amazing - led by probable number one pick and Portland product Ndamkuong Suh at defensive end (if he's not #1 someone should be fired) - and Arizona's offense never really was moving consistently this year despite some good weapons. I should have seen Nebraska dominating this game - I apologize to all Cornhusker fans.
Stanford should have won this game. They are better than Oklahoma - better than they showed in this game to be sure. Perhaps not having freshman quarterback Andrew Luck made that big of a difference - Oklahoma's D focused on Toby Gerhart and Tavita Pritchard couldn't make them pay. Of course, that's probably how Luck got the job in the first place.
This one hurt. Credit must be given where due - Terrelle Pryor made that win for the Buckeyes. He completed passes the Oregon secondary should have knocked down or picked, he broke numerous tackles behind the line of scrimmage, and he had his best overall game as best I can tell. Add to that a poor performance by Jeremiah Masoli - and a Duck team that couldn't catch a pass - and there you go. I still think Oregon wins this game 75% of the time. What's the most maddening is some of those passes Pryor completed - watching from the couch you wonder how the secondary doesn't knock those dead bird lob passes down. Of course, they didn't - not that it should be a surprise to those who watched the Ducks all season - and the Buckeyes converted when it counted. Oh, and apparently Pryor is really, really good.
That 3-4 record makes me 55-18 on the season, which is nothing to sneeze at to be sure. That's my benchmark - next year I'll do better.
Some thoughts on things happening since the end of the season:
- Jake Locker stays for his senior year at Washington. This is not good news for the rest of the Pac-10. I expect this team to win at least eight games in 2010.
- Pete Carroll leaves USC for the Seattle Seahawks. Ouch, Trojan fans. You have to believe sanctions are coming for SC - and they could get hit with a lack of institutional control when you couple the football and men's hoops issues. A lot of people have already turned down the job...it will be interesting to see who they come up with.
- Mike Riley staying at Oregon State. As soon as Carroll's leaving came up Riley's name became tops on SC's wish list according to reports. Riley was never interested - he wanted to stay in Corvallis until retirement. Be that as it may OSU was on top of things with a three-year contract extension and presumably a decent raise. However, the raise probably wasn't on par with what he would make at SC; he is the lowest-paid coach in the league, while Carroll, I believe, was the highest.
- Cal's Jahvid Best declares for the 2010 NFL Draft. Good luck with that after all those concussions.
- SC's Joe McKnight declares for the 2010 NFL Draft. Anyone who drafts him should be fired. Did they learn nothing from how "well" Reggie Bush has done? And believe me, McKnight can't hold a candle to Bush.
- Oregon running back LaMichael James is going to run track for the Ducks. No idea how this translates to NCAA, but he ran a 10.5 in high school in the 100. Presumably he's faster now, but he might also be heavier. I think more football players should do track.
- Oregon and Oregon State should be considered the class of the Pac-10 going into the 2010 season. Both teams fought a winner-take-all Civil War for the league championship, and both teams lose very little with regards to seniors. If Ryan Katz can replace Sean Canfield at OSU (and I do believe he will), there is little reason to believe Civil War won't be for the Rose Bowl for the third straight year.
- Oregon State's schedule sucks. Just for fun the Beavers added a road game at TCU to start off the 2010 season (another team ranked very high this year and losing very few players) to go with a road game at Boise State. Add in a home game with Louisville and that has to be the toughest non-conference schedule in the nation. At least they get Oregon at home. In case you are curious, Boise State is 4, TCU 6, and Oregon 11 in the final AP poll this year. Ouch.
That pretty much wraps up the Pac-10 season...I'm not much for recruiting reports and spring football, so the football posts will be very sporadic between now and August. More room for food posts!