Ramble On! Pac-10 Picks, Week Eight

IT'S WEEKS LIKE these that are what being a Cougar fan is all about. Now, don't get me wrong, as much as I love three bowl games in a row, not to mention all the 10-win/top 10 ranking stuff, it's weeks like these that feel, well...strangely familiar.

Last weekend just about killed me. Not only did I have to spend three hours in the most cramped stadium in the country (seriously, if we packed people as tight as the Beavs do, we'd have 45K in Martin, easily), but after that shellacking I couldn't come out of the stadium thinking about anything positive, except that there were still about 30 beers left in the cooler. While listening to BobRob's post-game and waiting at the tailgate for traffic to lighten up, my buddy Mike turns to me and says "wait, we play SC next week, don't we?"

Ladies and gentlemen, at that moment, a beer shotgun record was broken, set by the entire Coug Nation.

A week after a big loss is like a smaller twelve-step program for me by now; I went home, I yelled, I cried, I fell down the stairs….I forgot about the game. By Tuesday, I'm listing things I hope will be weaknesses for their team, among them hoping Reggie Bush gets a cough….and I build myself up and get prepared for the possibility we could keep it close. It keeps building…Now in a few more hours, I will be absolutely POSITIVE we will shock the world on Saturday and pray that I don't have to run the emotion gauntlet again next week.

Now onto the picks:

I've been able to put together scientific data that proves that the Bruins begin their post-season swoon the very weekend my neighbor puts up his Christmas lights. Up until about the mid 90s, people were normal about when they would start their decorating, and the Baby Bears were pretty good, they even had an eight-game winning streak over the Trojans. Then those day-after-Thanksgiving sales began to take up the entire day, so people had to push the annual "watch Dad fall from the roof and bring the gutter with him" weekend earlier and earlier into November, and UCLA, DeShaun Foster, Corey Paus and Tyler Ebell fell with him. This year, my neighbor is seriously planning on dressing up as Santa and giving out candy canes to trick-or-treaters. I only wish I were kidding. I pray for UCLA fans the day we start putting out the plastic reindeer on Labor Day. Trees

I haven't been doing this columnist gig for the longest time, but I've been told there comes a time when I have to find the line between loyalty and credibility. The loyal part of me thinks that we make history and I'm damn happy I own a Tivo. The credible part of me thinks I should pack two flasks. The loyal part of me knows who his readers are. The credible part of me saw that article Cougfan put out yesterday about all the great things going on with this website and left yours truly out of the mix. Seeing as I'm likely already fired, we're sticking with "loyal". Cougs

Back to Corvallis, did you know some Beav called me a hick last Saturday? Nobody's ever mistaken the Salsas for being big fans of irony, I suppose…. Mike Stoops admitted to underestimating how tough the Pac-10 was this week. I guess, you could say the Pac's tougher because we don't really have a "Baylor" or an "Iowa St." Oh wait…sorry Mike, we do have one: you're coaching them. Karma's a bitch. Beavs

When I took this gig last summer, one of the job requirements was that I HAD to pick a winner in this game. MUCH tougher than I thought it would be. Strangely, sportsbook.com has actually added an option to this game where in addition to betting on either team, you can actually bet on a Hellmouth opening up under Eugene and swallowing everything unholy inside the stadium; taking all the duck buzzer things with it…. There's also a line in there that Oregon's dance team will be spit out and land on my back porch to grill hot dogs for WSU's victory celebration upon my return. Surprisingly, it's only at 3-1. Ducks
Wow, this game is giving me some ridiculous writer's block. I'm out of Dirkles jokes and the guy with the pink cast is benched for this game. And Cal's too good to make fun of their football team, but they don't have the idiot fans the Trojans do. You know, it'll be a lot easier making fun of Godford next year when he's coaching the Huskies. Pssst: take the over. Bears


Hey! A 4-0 week! Michigan, the Floaters, and the Mormons all beat the moneyline and I'm undefeated in the afternoon. We go home to watch the UW/USC game and there's about 4 minutes left, with USC needing 3 more points to cover. Just as I turned to my buddy and said "No way is Southern Cal going to keep running it up on the Huskies. They're not going to kick a field goal," about fifteen (yes, I know that's more than eleven) Husky defenders missed Desmond Reed, allowing him to scamper for a meaningless 22 yard touchdown…. I think Gilby, realizing he's going to need new employment soon, had money on this game, too. What's going to happen this week? Well, NEVER underestimate a team whose coach gets fired. Doesn't matter WHAT sport it is, the players will play their damnedest to prove it wasn't their fault he was ousted. I'm too much of a chicken to take the moneyline, but in my opinion, it isn't the worst pick. Here we go: Toshiba Fund III Week 5: ($200)
Florida (+7) over Georgia: $50
NC State (-1) over Clemson: $50
Texas Tech (moneyline) over Kansas St: $50
Wyoming (-4) over Air Force: $50

Have a question or comment? Need a stock tip? Can't find a date for your High School Reunion (or better yet, your prom?) Hit up the mailbag at ramble_on@comcast.net

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