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Friday, November 16, 2007

An Ode to Oregon

Complete Week 12 Predictions

The #2 curse. I'm becoming a believer. I pity the Big 12 team that moves into Oregon's now empty poll slot - or more specifically, I pity the quarterback of the team that fills the #2 slot.

Oregon lost this football game because Dixon stepped funny. That doesn't mean they should have lost the game without their quarterback - Arizona is not a good football team. Oregon outplayed the Wildcats, but they turned the ball over 4 times, once for a touchdown, gave up a punt return and two long touchdown passes. With Dixon in the game, Arizona would have scored one less touchdown (the interception return was a Leaf classic) and Oregon would have scored at least one more - thus, Ducks win 31-27.

But the #2 curse reared its ugly head once more.

It started with USC. Booty threw 4 interceptions into the hands of the might Cardinal secondary and then missed the next three games. While he was out, USC struggled against Arizona and lost to Oregon.

Cal. A heroic collapse. Cal loses to Oregon State because an inexperienced backup decides to tuck it and run. They've lost three of the last four, only beating Washington State by 3 in that stretch.

Next, USF. Grothe came into the Rutgers game completing 60% of his passes and had thrown only three interceptions all season. He throws 7 interceptions in the next three games and completes 53% of his passes. USF loses three in a row and is essentially forgotten.

Arizona State moves in to fill the vacant #2. Arizona State at least had the presence to lose to a better team. But the next week, Carpenter has his worst game of the season and they barely sneak out a win against UCLA. This weekend, they play USC and I wish Carpenter the best.

BC. to Ryan's credit, the curse hit him against VT and he still pulled out a victory. But then an interception, following a second sub-par performance, in the closing minutes sealed their fate against FSU. The next week they lose to the Terps with style. Ryan had completed at least 60% of his passes in every game leading up to Virginia Tech; he has not done so since. And the smart money is on Clemson this weekend.

Now Oregon. Dixon's leg is attacked by an invisible turf monster and the team hands the game away to a bad team. If you have Dixon on your fantasy football team, don't play him next weekend against UCLA.

Next up on the butcher's block is Kansas' Reesing, a solid quarterback, unless OU and Bradford, who lead's the nation in quarterback rating, can jump the undefeated Jayhawks. If the Sooners are smart, and Bradford isn't masochistic, they'll hope they stay at #3 until the Big 12 championship game.

Ivan Maisel, as usual, has a good take on this.

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