Season's Windup Centers
Upon Corvallis Competition
By Fred Delkin
Instate rivalries are the subject of the 2010 Pac10 regular season conclusion. It starts with
Thusday's battle in Arizona, then transfers Saturday to stages set in Washington, Oregon and
California. The battle in Corvallis determines whether the Oregon Ducks rise to their highest
level in program history.
ARIZONA STATE at ARIZONA this could get interesting, with a revived Sun Devil crew
trying to reach a 6-win bowl eligible status while their already bowl-bound hosts have
dominated this rivalry the past two years. We think ASU coach Dennis Erickson is
battling to retain his job and that could be the difference. ARIZONA STATE by 1.
OREGON at OREGON STATE never has the Civil War gotten the national media attention
now surrounding this dustup. Were it not a very traditional rivalry, Oregon should be an
overwhelming favorite. The Ducks are a far more talented, experienced and deeper squad
than their hosts. Oregon State is desperately trying to revive the ol' "Giant Killer" image of old,
but the Beavers' hurdle is simply too high to clear. Every team that has played against the
Webfoots this season will testify that superior conditioning, first half analysis of the foes' game
plan and perhaps the best veteran offensive line in America combined with a coach-created
"win the day" mindset is an unbeatable combination....and to top the Ducks' show is a forecast
of dry weather in Corvallis Saturday to augment the speed and agility of Chip Kelly's crew.
Only unforeseen factor here is what uniform combo will Nike provide for this one. OREGON
SOUTHERN CAL at UCLA the Trojans are facing their poorest season in the memory of man,
but fortunately for the legions of Troy, their opponent is even more inept and we expect the
Rose Bowl to echo with calls for dumping lil' Ricky Neuheisel as Bruin mentor. Having found
ways to destroy his previous two Division I head coaching stops, Neuheisel is about to make it
a trio of disasters. USC by 7.
WASHINGTON at WASHINGTON STATE the Cougars resembled a competent Division I
team for the first time this season as they cuffed host Oregon State about for theCougs'1st
conference win this season . However, Jake Locker and his Husky team-mates are well aware
that a victory would propel the Dawgs into a bowl appearance. Even the typical wintry weather
in Pullman can daunt the Pups. WASHINGTON by 7.
CALIFORNIA and STANFORD have concluded conference play. The Cardinal haws finally
gotten the national pollsters' attentionf, with their season only marred by Oregon's come-from-
behind victory. The Cardinal will play in a major bowl, and the only question bedeviling the
Stanford fans is whether coach Jim Harbaugh will succumb to a lucrative coaching opportunity
in the NFL. We think not at this point.
ROSES & RASPBERRIES a bouquet to Mike Riley, whose only handicap is that he's just too
nice a guy to create a dynasty...nothing but boos for those who doubt that the University of
Oregon has assembled all the tools to continue to dominate football on the Left Coast, and
thanks, Phil Knight!
© 2010 Oregon Magazine