Clardy's Corner: Lightning Round

You know them. You love them. And sometimes, when I can't think of anything else to write, you get an entire Corner chocked full of them. They're the always-imitated and never-duplicated… random Pac-10 thoughts.

RANDOM PAC-10 THOUGHTS

Can't say I was too surprised with how things unfolded in Corvallis, unfortunately. This game boils down to matchups, and whether your strength matches up with an opponent's weakness. Historically, Stanford's defensive weakness has been defending speedy guys on the perimeter. All you need is one or two guys who are fast enough to get outside quickly. Oregon State has those guys, and their last names are Rodgers. And their coaches did a great job of putting those guys in the best position to do their best work. I think Stanford is the better overall team, but, especially on defense, they don't match up well against Oregon State…

I hate to boil that game to the first series for each team, but I think the tone was set early for both teams. Stanford missed its chance for a big play on its first series. Oregon State didn't. Cardinal were in catch-up mode from that point on…

As brutal as that first half was, the second half was a bit more encouraging. Stanford didn't punk out when they got far behind, unlike some other teams I can think of. They played hard. They kept pounding the rock with Toby. They unveiled some rarely-used wrinkles on offense. And it resulted in a final score that was closer than it probably should have been…

Sometime in the fourth quarter, I checked the stats. Jacquizz Rodgers had rolled up 181 yards rushing to that point. My response was: "That's all?"

Between the phantom roughing-the-punter call in Corvallis and the ill-timed defensive flags in Baltimore, I'm pretty sure that both Harbaughs are very unhappy with referees right now…

That said, that roughing-the-punter penalty was completely bogus. Not completely sold on the roughing-the-passer penalty that led to OSU's first touchdown, either…

Arizona called a lot of bubble screens last week. They don't have the speedy guys that Oregon State does, but it still wouldn't surprise me if they serve up another healthy dose of bubble screens against the Cardinal this week…

When Arizona took a 30-21 lead early in the fourth quarter against Washington, I turned off the TV and went to bed. Oops…

Arizona's offense has been productive at times without TE Rob Gronkowski. But make no mistake, they miss him dearly, especially in the red zone. They had to settle for four chip shot field goals against the Huskies. Think Gronkowski would have made a difference in that department? …

Was talking to one of ESPN's NFL insiders the other day, and he said that when it comes to quarterbacks in the upcoming draft, many teams have Jake Locker atop their QB draft board…and those that don't have him number one generally have him a very close number two. I don't know. To me, Locker looks better and more comfortable overall as a passer, but I still question his accuracy, especially on any pass longer than 15 yards downfield…

Kudos to Chip Kelly and the Oregon Ducks. Every team faces a crossroads moment at some point the season. The Ducks faced theirs after the very first game of the year. On national TV, no less. Since then, after wobbling to a win over Purdue, they've responded very, very well…

Does this mean I can reinstate my prediction of Oregon winning the Pac-10 this year?

Devastating sequence for UCLA to start the second half against Oregon. Wow. That got out of hand quickly…

Is there a big-play threat anywhere on that UCLA offense? Anywhere? Until they find one (and until they can find a QB who doesn't like throwing the ball to the other team), they're going to be hard to pick as a breakout team…

As it stands right now, I think Oregon and U$C are in the Pac-10's top tier. Stanford fell out of that tier thanks to the results in Corvallis, but they could still be lurking. At this rate, the three games that should decide the Pac-10 will go down in back-to-back-to-back weeks: U$C at Oregon on October 31, Oregon at Stanford on November 7, and Stanford at U$C on November 14…

If you commit six turnovers and give up a 99-yard touchdown pass, you'll lose that game 99 times out of 100. The other time, you're playing against Washington State

Arizona State QB Brock Osweiler fumbled once against the Cougs by mishandling a high shotgun snap. Osweiler is 6-foot-9. Good grief…how high must that snap have been?...

What do you know…another weekend where cal doesn't score a touchdown. Wait, what? They had a bye week? Oh…

Not a Pac-10 thought, but… Alabama at number two? Yeah. Yeah, I can see that…

Not a Pac-10 thought, but… we can probably add Ron Zook to the list of coaches who should probably start renting instead of owning…

Not a Pac-10 thought, but… Dre Bly. What the hell were you thinking?

Not a Pac-10 thought, but… Saints, Colts, Vikings, Giants. That, in order, is my top four in the NFL…

Not a Pac-10 thought, but… I'm sure it's been a while since anyone has said this and actually meant it, but watch the Cincinnati Bengals play. Long snapping issues aside, that is a good team. I like a lot of their offseason moves, and I thought they'd be a better team. But in that division with Pittsburgh and Baltimore, I wasn't sure it would translate to more wins. So far, they've proven me wrong…

Not a Pac-10 thought, but… Cleveland Browns QB Derek Anderson's numbers from that trainwreck of a game with the Buffalo Bills: 2-of-17 for 23 yards. And his team won…

Not a Pac-10 thought, but… I really feel badly for Raiders fans, Browns fans, and Bills fans. They spend a lot of money to watch a lot of craptastic football. Those fan bases, as loyal as they are, deserve much, much better…

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CLARDY'S CORNER INBOX

Agree with this Corner? Disagree? Got something else on your mind? Drop me a line at my Scout.com inbox (username: troyc) or e-mail me at troyc@thebootleg.com. The best e-mails will be answered in next week's Clardy's Corner Inbox!

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PAC-10 PICKS

cal @ UCLA. Jahvid Best is the only Bear that can beat you. Kevin Riley can't beat you. The receivers can't beat you. Their special teams can't beat you. But Jahvid Best should be enough to beat UCLA. If it's not, then look out below in Berkeley. I like cal by 15.

Washington @ Arizona State. The Sun Devils racked up 12 sacks last week, but that was against the Cougs' offensive line. A-State will have to work much harder this week against Jake Locker, which is why I like Washington by 10.

Last week: 2-1 (straight-up), 2-1 (ATS).
This year: 5-5 (straight-up), 5-5 (ATS).
Last year: 30-6 (straight-up), 24-12 (ATS).

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Troy Clardy hosts the Stanford Daily Update, airing every weekday at 7:30 p.m. on Cardinal Sports Network flagship radio station XTRA Sports 860 in San Francisco, and available in podcast form at GoStanford.com.

Clardy's Corner appears Wednesdays on TheBootleg.com. You can also check him out online at TroyClardy.com.


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