Friday, December 30, 2011

Beginning To Smell Roses, by Casey Mitchell

This is Casey Mitchell guest blogging for ST today. We are three days away from the long anticipated Rose Bowl Game between the Ducks and the Badgers. It's been about three weeks since either team has played, and both are very hungry for a Rose Bowl title. The game lacks nothing in the running game, having Montee Ball with 38 touchdowns on the year (hopefully it stays that way) and LaMichael James leading the nation with 149.6 rush yards per game. A lot is being made of the size of the Wisconsin o-line compared to Oregon's d-line. Not only are they big, they are very strong, but they don't block the same as the Ducks offense does. They don't have to pull and block next level like our guys do, but with a punishing back like Montee Ball, they don't have to. I think if our guys can bring the speed, the size differential will be a non-factor. One aspect of the game I think a lot of people are overlooking is the quarterback play from both teams. Darron Thomas and Russell Wilson have both had exceptional years under center, but whoever can limit the mistakes the most on January 2nd will take home the roses. Not to any one's surprise, the Ducks have unveiled their new uniforms for the Rose Bowl, and if they play as good as they will look, it will be a very enjoyable game in for Duck fans in my opinion. The keys to the game are to neutralize Montee Ball and Russell Wilson in the redzone, and ware the Badger defense down with both our tempo, and physicality. If we can do that, it should be enough to get the Ducks their first Rose Bowl title since 1917. Prediction -- Ducks 42 Badgers 34
Heisman winner RG3 showed us all why he took home the hardware, last night in the Alamo Bowl. if you missed it, it was quite the shootout to say the least. The game set the bowl record for most points scored in regulation with 123. Baylor won 67-56 and Griffen went 24 for 33 with nearly 300 yards. The Bears were trailing Washington 42 - 24 early in the third quarter, but once the offense started to click... Boy did it click. It seemed like either the Huskies or the Bears would be scoring every 30 seconds, but when it was all said and done, Baylor ran away with it. It was arguably the best game this bowl season and both teams played fantastic. RG3 is set to announce his decision to either enter the draft or stay in school sometime within the next week.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Various Thoughts, by Casey Mitchell

This is Casey Mitchell guest blogging for ST today. Yesterday Trojan quarterback Matt Barkley made his decision to stay in Southern California for his senior season. It didn't come as much a surprise seeing that the USC band was at the Press Conference. This is a guy who was a Trojan fan growing up and always wanted to play quarterback for USC. Even though Christmas came early in Southern Cal, the news isn't so fine and dandy for Duck fans. Now that the sanctions have been lifted, the Trojans are now eligible for the Pac-12 Championship Game and a bowl birth starting next season. I think from a personal standpoint, he made a good choice by coming back. Next season he should be the golden boy in the draft and he's only going to get better. You have to figure that he will certainly be in the Heisman discussion in the upcoming year.
A lot has been made of the decision to play Ben Roethlisberger last Monday against the 49ers. They were playing for a #2 seed and a first round bye, and Roethlisberger gave them their best shot at it. Also, it didn't help that he was playing against San Francisco's best defense in the NFL. Through 14 games this season, the Niners haven't given up a rushing touchdown for the first time in history. Big Ben is still questionable for tomorrow against the Rams, but I believe they can beat St. Louis with Charlie Batch or Dennis Dixon, and they don't need Roethlisberger under center.
With the Colts winning two straight games, the campaign for Luck is now wide open. The Colts, Rams, and Vikings all are sitting at two wins apiece. If Indianapolis loses next week in Jacksonville, they get the first pick in the draft. It's obvious that Andrew Luck is going to be the first quarterback taken and RG3 still hasn't decided whether or not to enter the draft. Kellen Moore isn't getting talked about to much but I think he could be very effective at the next level. i wasn't a big fan of Moore in college, but after watching the Maaco Bowl last night, I realized he looks fairly equipped for the NFL.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011


So Ohio State gets clipped with a 1 year bowl ban and loses 3 scholarships per year for 3 years. USC's penalty was much harsher. The lesson? Don't go toe to toe with the NCAA like former Trojan A.D Mike Garrett. His comment that the only reason the Boys from Troy were being pursued was "jealousy". Apparently did not sit well. I think what was doled out to SC was a total joke. We still don't have any idea what the coaches or administration knew about Reggie Bush, an agent and free housing. We know exactly what Jim Tressell was aware of when he deliberately used ineligible players. What the Buckeyes got hit with seems okay. Held up against the Trojans it seems light. But the NCAA blew it with Southern Cal.
A lot is being made about the Steelers playing a dinged up Ben Roethlisberger last night in that really bad loss at Frisco. Really? With Baltimore losing Sunday night the division lead and a shot at a first round bye was at stake. If you're franchise horse can go he goes, period! Should they have started Mark Malone or maybe Bubby Brister? This is one of those made for 24/7 talk radio debates that is beyond stupid. Cue Herm Edwards "you play to win the game" sound file. No brainer. And by the way, since when does that franchise not do the 100% right thing? Idiots!

Friday, December 16, 2011

Tebow Time, by Casey Mitchell

This is Casey Mitchell guest blogging for ST today. After starting 1-4 and seemingly out of the playoff picture, the Denver Broncos decided to give Tim Tebow the starting nod. For the first couple of weeks, you could just tell that John Elway and John Fox weren't very fond of Tebow. Since getting the nod, Tebow has gone 7-1 and six of his seven wins have been decided by 7 or less. The only game that the Broncos won by more than seven, they were tied with the Raiders going into the fourth and Tebow led them to score 14 in the final fifteen minutes. Appropriately, the fourth quarter has now been coined "Tebow Time," but as far as the other three quarters it is an entirely different story. Tebow has the worst QBR in the league in the first three quarters, but the best in the final fifteen... Some things just can't be explained. For all those people who still don't believe, get this stat. Since becoming a starter, nobody has thrown for more yards in the fourth except for Eli Manning. It doesn't get any easier for Tebow and the Broncos this week, taking on the New England Patriots on Sunday. Not sure if they can continue their magic, but one thing is for sure... It's Tebow Time!
The College Football bowl season begins tomorrow, and it is just the beginning of what is sure to be a great year for bowl games. Great non-BCS games like the Cotton Bowl with Kansas State vs. Arkansas, and the Alamo Bowl with Heisman Trophy winner Robert Griffin and Baylor take on the Washington Huskies. But we are all looking ahead to the match up on January 2nd in what will be LaMichael James' final game in a Duck uniform. The Ducks are favorites by six as the losers of the last two Rose Bowls square off. Arguably, the two best running backs in the nation go head to head in Montee Ball and LaMichael James, and it's going to be a heck of a game in Pasadena.

Thursday, December 15, 2011


Just read the Blazers landed free agent 2 guard Jamal Crawford. You always like your team dipping into the talent pool to upgrade the quality of the franchise, but I wonder. Has Portland taken up residence in NBA purgatory? No way this team wins 30 or less games to land in the lottery but do you seriously consider them a viable threat to even make the West Finals or win a round in the playoffs? FYI...that hasn't happened since they sent Utah packing in 5 games prior to losing the Western Conference Finals in 7 to LA in 2000. It's tough to tell a passionate fan base we're throwing in the towel and rebuilding, but is the goal to win an NBA title or not?
I'm hearing a ton of polls and analysis over the Chris Paul to the Clippers move and does it shift the power in the city of LA? It's possible the Clips could finish high
er in the standings, but you truly throwing down your cash on one of the most laughable franchises in the history of professional American sports? Blake Griffin looks terrific but has won nothing, and I realize his opportunity has been one year. I like Paul's game but after 6 full seasons in the league, he's advanced past the first round of the playoffs once. Great that the "other" LA team is generating excitement and tickets are getting sold by the bushel, but I'm taking a wait and see if that's okay?
I did not watch, but saw the preview of Barbara Walters interviews with the 10 most intriguing people of 2011. I love DJ, but how did Derek Jeter land on that list?? 1st Yankee to 3-thousand hits? Then of course "The Kardashians" to prove the nature of this farce and put the fast plummeting IQ and taste of America on display.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011


You hear owners, GM's and others in a position of authority use the phrase "back to square one". Believe me, it never follows a run to the finals or a championship. It's always on the heels of a major disaster related to taking a step back. If in fact the Trailblazers are trading Gerald Wallace they land at the proverbial square one. It's staggering to think a couple weeks back when the lockout was settled we talked Blazers on the show. The consensus was if a few pieces fell into place with no true power in the West, there existed many reasons for optimism. Then Brandon Roy retired, Greg Oden suffered his annual setback, LeMarcus Aldridge was diagnosed with a heart problem and now this. A three team deal that would force the departure of Wallace brings 2 first round draft picks and frees up much cap room for a pretty solid free agent crop following this season. The harsh reality is Portland is now locked in NBA hell. They have no chance of contending for a title and look too strong to be a lottery team. I really like GW but it's time to accept facts and try to build the ultimate winner.
Reports have surfaced that Arizona State has hired Todd Graham of Pitt to be their new football coach. Matt Hinton who blogs for Yahoo! says he informed the Panthers of his decision to leave via text message. Can't wait to share his history and credibility on the big programs later today. What a bozo!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011


I love that that Steelers James Harrison has come out in support of...himself. Lays a monster cheap shot on Colt McCoy, gets a game suspension and cries about it. This would be like Billy the Kid arrested robbing a bank and not getting why law enforcement is throwing the book at him. Like with Ryan Braun and the guys who fail drug tests in baseball, the benefit of the doubt no longer exists. The punk patrol like Rasheed Wallace, Harrison and the others never see themselves in an honest light. It's always the refs, the media, some other element at work out to screw them. Here's an idea from the late King of Pop. Start with the man in the mirror!
I forgot to mention how pleased I was the Heisman voters gave the award to Robert Griffin III. 4-thousand yards, hit 72% of his throws, top rated QB in the land, 36 TD's versus just 6 picks and Baylor beat both Texas and Oklahoma. Oh by the way, he also ran for 8 touchdowns.
The MLB Players union is telling us not to rush to judgement on Ryan Braun. Too late! Speaking of a stunner, John Rocker, one of the great bigot scumbags of our time, says he did roids during his time with the Braves. Nah! Never would have guessed such an insightful, under control fellow would partake in such an activity. The hysterical catch? He's trying to sell a book. He did say one thing I agree with. He'd like to have the current Rocker(37 yrs old), go back and punch the 23 year old Rocker. Better idea. Let's hold a raffle and all the winners get to punch Rocker in the face! Sounds fun.

Monday, December 12, 2011


The focus of the nation has been another Tim Tebow comeback leading the Broncos to victory. If you did not watch most of that game, do me a personal favor and shut up. Tebow lands maybe 3rd on the list of important stories from Sunday's win. Bear defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli leads off as a gutless moron. They ate Tim Terrific up all day then decided to back off and let him throw to open receivers. Next we have a total yutz like Marion Barber. He takes a handoff, on the lead, versus a team with no timeouts left and after things bog down, runs out of bounds. No way to tell if a veteran will place head firmly up butt, but I'll also call out the combo of offensive coordinator Mike Martz & head coach Lovie Smith. Who ever is responsible for decided whether to take a knee or run basic plays. With 2 minutes left it's 2nd down. Taking that knee twice then punting when you incorporate the time it takes to set the ball and the play clock means this. Denver gets the ball at their own 20 at best with maybe 20 seconds left. Because Barber has a football IQ the equal of Ryan Leaf they get triple that amount of time. In a way, this game had nothing to do with the Broncos.
Save that, it was the best Sunday of the season by far. Tune in today and find out why I'm willing to make this statement.
Lot made of the end of the Xavier/Cincy game. What a disgrace. Blind haymakers. Punks. All the stuff that turns people off about college basketball. Tu Holloway, Muskateer senior, said it was because the Bearcats had 'disrespected' them mostly via twitter. WHAT? But causing a black eye for your sport, university and community, that's respectful? Cincinnati's Yancy Gates got a 6 game suspension for cold cocking Xavier's Kenny Frease. Way, way, way too lenient. He misses half the Big East season and the post season if I'm calling the shots. Gutless lowlife!
As far as Ryan Braun, the at least temporarily disgraced NL MVP who popped for performance enhancing drugs, I hope his adamant claim of innocence is accurrate. I don't believe him for one millisecond. The benefit of the doubt ship has long sailed for Major League Baseball players in this situation. Very disappointing.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Big Deals, by Casey Mitchell

This is Casey Mitchell, guest blogging for Steve today. When I woke up Thursday morning and turned on the TV, I was shocked to see that Albert Pujols is an Angel, but when I saw the price they got him for, I was left speechless. 254 million over 10 years for someone who is 32 years old (as far as we know). The Cardinals offered him 220 million but once they heard about the Angels offer, they decided that he wasn't worth it. One thing I thought of was how the Giants did the same thing with Bonds a while back, and how they didn't have much money to spend on other guys. Then it comes out that they signed pitcher CJ Wilson from the Rangers, and now it looks like they will be the new favorites in the AL West... When I heard that Chris Paul was going to the Lakers with Gasol to Houston and Lamar Odem along with some other players to the Hornets, it seemed as if this was the biggest trade day in sports. David Stern stopped the deal right in its tracks and rejected the offer. I didn't really get it because it looks like the deal would benefit each team in the deal. The Lakers, Rockets, and Hornets are appealing the decision by Stern. My gut feeling is that the trade will go through and Chris Paul will be a Laker.
Tomorrow, the Heisman Trophy winner will be announced and there is no clear cut winner like there was last season with Cam Newton. Coming into the season, Andrew Luck was the golden boy for the Heisman, but people like Robert Griffen III and Monte Ball have made there case. I think Luck should still come away with it but RG3 and Trent Richardson has definitely made it tough on voters. Griffen won the Davey O' Brian Award for the best quarterback in college football and the Doak Walker went to Alabamas Trent Richardson... One thing is for sure, it will be a close race for college footballs most prestigious honor.

Thursday, December 8, 2011


Was watching Monday Night Football exactly 31 years ago this evening at our family home in Wayne, New Jersey. Was sitting on my parents bed with my dad catching the action between the Dolphins and Patriots. As rivals of the Jets, this was a pretty big game in the AFC East race even though New York stunk. Remember, on the East Coast the game began at 9pm so this was now getting into the late night hours. My sister, 15 years old at the time, used to sleep with her clock/radio on and our favorite music station, WPLJ on low. She came into where we were kind of bleary eyed and said something that made no sense. John Lennon had been shot. What? Why? In 1980 we'd seen the assassination of Kennedy, one of Manson's crackpots, Squeaky Fromme had taken a shot at President Ford but those horrors seemed a part of the political scene. Lennon was the man who preached peace. Then coming out of a break, Howard Cosell informed America of the horror that took place outside Lennon's residence, The Dakota in Manhattan's Upper West Side. Some lowlife wanna be loser with the traditional 3 name moniker took his life. Gotta admit 31 years later, my anger remains. RIP John!

Monday, December 5, 2011


First let me say I have no issue with LSU & Bama vying for the natty. I don't want to hear from Oklahoma State or Stanford in particular. They had their chances, like the Ducks back in 2001 to remove doubt from the debate. Cowboys beat Iowa State or the Cardinal handle Oregon and they're in. Period. Boise State & Houston are the only other 1 loss teams. Under the assumption LSU is the best team in the land, then the Crimson Tide have the most forgivable loss. The system stinks, but it's all we have and under these rules, this is the no brainer battle for the BCS championship.
I'm pleased the Golden Era committee has elected the late Ron Santo to the Hall of Fame. It's a beautiful thing. It also doesn't undo the disgraceful performance of the Baseball Writers who snubbed the Cub 3B for more than 3 decades while inviting less deserving candidates like Jim Rice, Andre Dawson, Bill Mazeroski and a few others. Evaluating Santo takes time and brains which eliminates most self righteous writers. It's similar to evaluating the Oregon defense. When he was hitting 31 or 32 homers he was among the league leaders. The NL in those days had Hall of Fame arms on every staff like Koufax, Marichal, Gibson, Seaver, Steve Carlton or Warren Spahn and they pitched every 4th day. He made 9 all star games and was a 5 time gold glove winner. Led the league in walks 4 times, was 2nd in ribby's 3 times and even led the NL in triples in 1964. You want durable? From 1962 thru and including 1969 he played at least 160 games. Then you throw in his contribution to the game as a Cubbie broadcaster and it's a disgrace it took this long and he won't be around to revel in his deserved adoration!

Friday, December 2, 2011

Game Day, by Casey Mitchell

Today is the day of the first Pac-12 Championship Game, and it will be played at none other than Autzen Stadium. It will most likely be a one sided affair, but there is a litlle sense of urgency playing for the Rose Bowl. As you all know, this will be Rick Nuheisel's final game as a Bruin. If I was a UCLA fan, I wouldn't think this was a good decision. I think that the players and team should be focusing on playing for the Rose Bowl, but now this is just a big distraction. Unless a huge upset happens, we will be going to Pasadena, and either playing Wisconsin or Michigan State. A big question coming into the game is how LaMichael James' elbow will be feeling after he hurt his other elbow against the Beavers last week. So far this season, James has 1427 yards on the ground, but keep in mind that he missed two games due to injury. Darron Thomas has been playing better as of late, and Kenjon Barner is really stepping it up. I think this game will be ours from the get go, and we will be playing on January 2nd in Pasadena. Prediction -- Ducks 59 Bruins 17.