The Smack-10…who's gonna win, with a twist!

Ah, Rivalry Week. The glorious time of year when your team is elevated to god-like status, your rival is the Anti-Christ and the trash talk flows in biblical proportions. Regardless of how many games your alma mater has won or lost, the records go right out the window. It's for the right to live in your state and gives you 365 days of nectar-sweet bragging rights.

To top it off, there’s only one Pac-10 rivalry game, UA @ ASU, that doesn’t have bowl implications or a winning season on the line. Thankfully, we don’t have to examine that impending disaster until next week.

As far as my picks from last week, I finally broke free from the 3-win rut and pulled a 4-1 out of my John Brown hind parts. It also pushed me up a tick to 68% for the year…but who’s counting. While it’s going to be my worst season ever, I’m still fighting to the bitter end. But enough of that…

So here we go with The Smack-10 Rivalry Week 2003 prognostications!


Saturday, November 22nd

“The Big Game” aka Cal @ Stanford – Boy, oh boy, did Birkenstock State lay a butt whippin’ on the Fuskies or what? Absolutely epic! Meanwhile, in the soggy Salsa Bowl, The Tree was being dismantled by the Mighty Beavs…think Coach Deadford was watching that game film this week? Cal State Liberal stands at 6-6 and barely bowl eligible. If they win, they lock up at least Las Vegas and no worse than tied for third in the Pac-10. The Tree needs to win out just to qualify for a bowl. Oooooo, lots of high drama down on The Farm. The Cubbies are clearly the better team and should be able to pull away late. No blowout, but a solid victory for the Boyz of Sssssssssssstrawberry Canyon, although I’m giving the edge to The Tree in the Battle of the Band Geeks…those kids get downright mean! Cal 35 – Stanford 24.

“The Crosstown Rivalry” aka UCLA @ USC – If the Ruins want to pull out of their late season tailspin, they’re going to have to do it on the road at the Mausoleum against the flat out awesome Toejams of USuC. How likely is that? About as likely that it will snow in South Central tomorrow for the annual Crossdress Rivalry. FUCLA has absolutely ZERO offense (something I’ve been preaching for weeks) and their defense, while solid, is just spending too much time on the field. U$C will hit them on the ground and in the air, up one side and down the other. FUCLA completes their auger-in and finishes 6-6 overall. Hello, Silicon Valley! Toejams in a walk. USC 48 – UCLA 14.

“The Apple Cup” aka WSU @ UW – The Fuskies come limping home to Mountleg after one of their most humiliating losses ever to face the growing Wazzugly juggernaut, fresh off the destruction of the Scum Devils. Cakewalk for the Bougers in the Crapple Cup, right? Nope. Somehow, someway, the Fuskies always rally for this game and The Kennel by the Pond has been a house of horrors for Wasted State. I’m looking for an ugly game, loaded with turnovers and costly mistakes, which will help keep the puppies close. In the end, the Palousy Pipsqueaks hold off a late Fusky rally, keep their BSCS hopes alive and slaps the first losing season on UFlub in decades. WSU 31 – UW 24.

And, now, the one you’ve all been waiting for…

“The Civil War” aka Da Beavs @ UO – It seems like only yesterday that the Beavs were laying a spanking on Banana Republic at the Salsa Bowl, 45-24. Gee, that was fun. This year, however, Beaver Nation must head to the land of the unclean heathen for their annual clash with Hole. And as much as Beaver Nation would like a repeat of 2002, I just don’t see it happening, regardless of how it looks on paper. This is the Civil friggin’ War and neither team will simply lie down! In fact, I think this will be a bloody bar fight, in spite of the stats.

The Quacks are on a nice roll, after a mighty comeback against Birkenstock State and followed by a full-fledged throttle of FUCLA. Coach Dirk Diggler finally killed the two-headed monster, let Clarence Clemmons play his game, and it paid dividends. A confident CC could prove tough for the vaunted Beaver D. Their defense, led by mentally and physically tough Kevin Mitchell (too much respect for this guy to rip his name), has come on late as well, bending but not breaking like they have most of the year, and their kick return teams are fantastic…a BIG concern for the Beavs special teams (two years in a row, the Ucks have taken one to the house on a return). Then there’s the 12th Man…The Landfill will be rocking early and often if the Beavers come out flat and flounder.

As for the good guys, they have all the tools necessary to slam down the Toilet Seats. All across the board, the Beavers are the better team. This is especially true at running back (Mr. Jackson, if you please), receiver (the tandem of Big Game James and Mike “Hands” Hass) and overall team defense. The key for the Beavs in this game comes down to one spot…OSU’s offensive line. If they play tomorrow like they have the last several weeks, Derek Anderson will get all the time he needs to pick apart the Quack’s smurfy secondary and Big Steve should be able to power himself over the century mark. But if they allow the strong Bananarama D-line to get penetration, then watch out. It could be a long day for DA and Company.

Bottom line, this game will come down to who wants it more. I see a ton of ebb and flow, multiple lead changes throughout the first half and a record number of yellow hankies. But it’s the second half that should have the Toilet Seat loonies concerned. With the exception of the last 6 minutes of the Cal game, the Ucks have been inept after halftime. If OSU enters the 4th quarter with a lead of more than 4 points, I don’t see the Ucks being able to come back against a brutal and stingy Beaver defense. Mr. Seigler backs up the smack and, ultimately, the Beavers come away with a tough and well earned win. OSU 31 – UO 23.

Here’s to rivalries…LONG MAY THEY REIGN!


See you in the Landfill!


Tony Soprano can be read every Friday.  He can be reached

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