Oregon Sports Weekend Run-down (a couple days early)

A new feature! Every weekend, I’ll run down the big news in Oregon sports. Since I’m out of town this weekend, I thought I’d get an early jump on it. This week:

– Will the U of O curse infect the basketball squad?
– OSU, prepping for a drubbing…
– Blazers settling in to mediocrity in convincing fashion.

Stories after the jump.

They’re undefeated. They just took down a highly-ranked school from back east somewhere. They’re poised for their best season in years. Sound familiar? That’s because U of O is becoming a constant heart-breaker to their faithful fans. Just a few months ago the Ducks knocked out Oklahoma (with a little help from fate and a bad replay call) and were looking unstoppable. And they’ve managed, at this point, to become a train-wreck who’ll lose their bowl game and thankfully put a pathetic season behind them. Their major star, Jonathan Stewart, underachieved all season. And, in the end, we were left to wonder what happened.

Now the hoop squad is setting us up for another round of Duck-fan tragedy, as they are showing signs of having a darn good season, until you consider what’s ahead. I mean, sure, they’re 6-0 (8-0 if you count lame blow-out exhibitions), but Georgetown has been the only test in what has been an otherwise lame schedule. Portland State? Lehigh? UC Irvine? Coming up, they have Nebraska on December 9, and then a light schedule until Pac-10 season hits on December 30. At that point, expect them to start slipping quickly. And I’m calling my shot now, with the full expectation that Makil Hairston will implode and under-impress again, which (if memory serves) would be consistent with last season. In fact, I’m calling my shot now. When the regular season is over, I predict the Ducks record will be 18-12 (and I’m giving them the benefit of the doubt on two games here) and they’ll maybe get to the NIT. I think OSU will have a better season.

OSU about to get trounced
The Beavers are riding high, fresh off a Civil War victory over a worse-than-advertised Oregon team and thinking ahead to their 2nd 10-win season of all-time. The only sticking point is that they’re going to face a Hawaii squad that is 24th-ranked in the country and ready to kick in OSU’s teeth.

It’s a mystery to me how OSU got to 8-4 for the season. The fact that only 3 Pac-10 teams only beat them is also a surprise. Certainly they got lucky to face a Washington team that had just lost their key player when their quarterback went down for the season. USC was schocked by them, and in 100 games between the teams, the Beavers would win maybe 5. And, really, UCLA and Arizona should’ve beaten them as well. They were on pace to be a 5-7 team at this point of the season when it started.

Their record is a testimony to the strange talents of Mike Reilly, who appears to be under-achieving but is actually doing quite the opposite. And, just as much, it is a testimony to how poorly the rest of the Pac-10 has fared for various reasons. Oregon can’t seem to get any consistency out of its offense, USC is merely human after all, Washington’s been stunted by one player’s loss, and OSU has just managed to capitalize in moments of weakness by being consistently mediocre while other teams have imploded.

Anyway, don’t expect Hawaii to implode this weekend. And don’t expect OSU to be ready to play. They’re in Hawaii, looking past a top 25 team, and they’re going to get punched in the face early by an aggressive offense that won’t allow them to recover. I expect OSU to lose by at least two touchdowns, and the headache may follow them into their bowl game…

Blazers Losing, But Looking Good While Doing So
As everyone’s told you so far, it’s going to be a looooong NBA season here in Stumptown. The Trailblazers are on a three-game losing streak (and have lost 8 of their last 10), and I’d expect we’ll see more where this one came from.

But chin up, Portland Fan. So far, the home team is scoring 93.6 games per game, where last season they were scoring only 88.8 points a game. Z-Bo, despite his off-court shenanigans, is a 25/10 guy instead of an 18/8 guy. DMiles is nearly a memory. And we have a couple of exciting rooks and a couple of good sophomores to follow instead of the NannyStopper, Sebastian “Gun-in-a-pillow-case” Telfair, and the uninspiring likes of Khryapa, Ratliff (likeable, but a stiff) and Skinner. Things are looking up. Just not in the next few days, with games coming up against Detroit, Indiana, Toronto and Phillie.

Anyway, it’s a big weekend. Call your shots here and let us know how you see the sports scene shaping up…

6 Comments so far

  1. hilsy (unregistered) on November 30th, 2006 @ 10:48 am

    We’ve also got a big weekend in High School Football in Oregon. On Saturday in Eugene at Autzen Stadium there is a triple-header of the championship games for the 1A, 2A and 3A schools. 1A is the really tiny town classification and they play fun, wide-open 8-man football. I saw Nyssa play last weekend in the 3A semis. They looked good enough to repeat as state champs.

    The 4A, 5A and 6A semis are being played this weekend, too. IMHO, the 6A is a foregone conclusion with University of Jesuit steamrolling through this and next weekend’s games. The 6A semis are at Civic Stadium…er PGE Park on Friday night. The 5A semis are being played in Salem at Willamette University on Saturday with three of the four teams coming from the old 4A Valley league. The 4A semis are on Saturday out at Hillsboro Stadium with three of the four teams coming from east of the Cascades (Sisters, Ontario and Baker).

  2. extramsg (unregistered) on November 30th, 2006 @ 12:04 pm

    You must have some deep disdain for OSU or something to not give them any credit for their season. Don’t you think that after several times getting “lucky” that you ought to ask if they actually can play? Enough seemingly good teams that play bad against them and you ought to perhaps consider that their play causes that.

  3. butch (unregistered) on November 30th, 2006 @ 12:31 pm

    OSU “got lucky to face a Washington team that had just lost their key player when their quarterback went down for the season.”? Uh..genius…Washington lost their starting QB late in the third quarter of the OSU game.

  4. TKrueg (unregistered) on November 30th, 2006 @ 12:55 pm

    God, you’d think being an in-state sports fan is a depressing chore. Rusty, for crying out loud, just roll with it. Something short of a championship trophy doesn’t necessarily mean a failed, collapsed, embarrassment of an effort for the state. You don’t have to be unnaturally sunny, nor should you fall back on easy armchair cynicism. But I have to wonder if it’s time to flip on the ‘happy light’ at home or something.

    Also… OSU will be better than the Ducks in B-ball this season? Was it their 28 pt loss to Nevada that gave you promise? The 44 pt loss to Hawaii? Their close wins against Montana State and Northern Colorado? You have one hell of a crystal ball… please share its mysteries.

    For being the resident ‘sports’ guy on this blog, you sure rely on rehashing old Blazer maladies as if you don’t have anything fresh to talk about. Darius Miles and Telfair are the furthest things from any Blazer fan’s mind right now, but you insist on kicking the can around every time you write about them. Everyone had low expectations of the team before the season, and I think a 6-10 start while missing several key players is pretty damned good. Exciting wins and disappointing losses? Gee, THAT doesn’t happen to 99% of other teams…

  5. atlas (unregistered) on November 30th, 2006 @ 4:28 pm

    Rusty, I enjoy your frankness regarding the Blazers, far from being a Blazer apologist you call the shots accurately… I just hope those shots called can eventually be winning ones for our poor beleaguered Blazers

  6. Rusty (unregistered) on December 1st, 2006 @ 10:59 pm

    Butch: My bad. Slight glitch in my recall of that particular fact. But, now that you mention it, Washington was winning 17-10 at halftime, and scored nothing for the rest of the game. Which may, in fact, support my point.

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