DUCKFIGHTER ILLUSTRATED

<b>IN THIS ISSUE:</b><ul> <li>Keith Gilbertson Era Begins at Huskyville</li> <li>Priceless Cougs Begin Doba Decade</li> <li>Life of Reilly Returns To Oregon State</li> <li>Ducks Still Stuck With Bellotti</li> <li>Ohio State is our pick for #1</li></ul>

THE NATIONAL SCENE: Our Top Ten

1. Ohio State – the greatest team in the history of sports at any level
2. Alabama – Stripped of their coach, Tide has something to prove
3. Washington – Now that Rick is gone, all problems left with him.
4. Florida State – A gamble to pick them here
5. Miami – they don't rebuild, they just reload the bong
6. USC – Trojans talking loud, walking proud
7. Indiana – surprise pick makes Washington schedule even tougher
8. Idaho – Wow, Huskies get no breathers this year
9. Nevada – Tormey brings yet another Top 10 team to Husky Stadium
10. Washington State – no drop off from Guesser to Kegel

If Ohio State has any players still eligible by the opening kick, they are our consensus choice as the number one team in all the land. The latest rumor of trouble from Buckeyeland is that the last person to dot the "I" had received special help in their English class so they would know which letter to dot. The players' parking lot is full and the kids are really ready to defend their national championship. The Buckeyes have an easy non-conference schedule with a traditional opening match up against a cup cake from out west. Maurice Clarett passed on a pay cut and decided to stay at THE OSU instead of going pro. Lebron James is the Bucks new quarterback.

Bobby Bowden has been removed from his annual winter nap at the Ted Williams Cryogenic Center and is ready to lead the Seminoles back to glory, if he can remember where that is.

Miami coach Larry Coker is feeling the heat after losing a game. Alabama hopes that this is the year that all that expensive talent that got them on 5-year probation pays off. New coach David Shula hopes to restore some class to the head coach position. It is his destiny.

USC hopes to parlay the best recruiting class since Alexander conquered the earth into their first national championship since Moses freed the people of Israel.

Chris Tormey turned down the lure of coaching at Washington and signed a new 2 million dollar per year deal to stay at Nevada and beat WSU in Seattle for the opener. His next trip to Seattle will be for a top 10 match up with Washington.

Lee Corso has Indiana back on top, and the Hoosiers are thinking Sugar Bowl. Idaho will show the nation this year how they became the premiere team in the Palouse. Martin Vandal Stadium should be rocking for once.

Our sleeper team this year is Missouri, where the heat is on Gary Pinkel to fulfill the promise the Tigers showed early last year.

Math majors may note that we have 5 teams from the east and 5 teams from the west. Buckeye players may have their tutor explain this to them.
The Pacific Ten

The much maligned Pac 10 took a beating last year as only one team could win their bowl game against a team comprised entirely of men. Several humiliating losses rounded out the bowl schedule, topped off by Oregon's face plant in the Seattle bowl in front of a friendly crowd.

It was just one year ago that the Big 10 was on the hot seat and they ended up with the national champion. Can the Pac rebound? Does anybody care? Will anybody watch? Stay tuned, and if you are on the east coast, stay awake late to watch the league's late night TV package. As always, the New York drunks will have Duck football to watch after closing time.

1. Washington - special report by Jayson Blair

Our sources on campus have told us that Rick Neuheisel was responsible for every bad thing that happened to the Husky Football team the last 4 years. So, using some elementary logic, with Rick no longer the coach, or even the undead coach, all things should be rosy for the Huskies.

The Huskies are loaded on offense with Heisman candidate Kerry Paus at quarterback throwing to All American wide out Justin Robbins. Reggie Williams anchors the defensive line and Nate the Great Robinson will be patrolling his point guard position.

Several new coaches join the staff and my in depth interviews in Seattle have led me to believe that new defensive coordinator Walter Camp and new line coach Vince Lombardi will key the resurgence of Husky Football. New head coach Don James (yes, those rumors were true) hopes to bring purple pride back to the program. With a break, this team will be in New Orleans for the Sugar Bowl.

Editors Note: We hired Mr. Blair upon the sterling recommendation of the New York Times. He is noted for his accuracy and on site reporting skills.

2. USC – Troy "Cubby" Wadsworth III I almost refused to write this for Mr. Bannon and his shameful rag of a world wide magazine, because there is simply no way the Trojans will finish anywhere but first. However, the markets effect on my trust fund has motivated me to write this for the obscene money I get paid for doing so.

Heisman winner Carson Palmer is gone now, but plenty of eager All Americans wait to fill his surprisingly small shoes. Defense is back in LA, and the Trojans have one of the best in the country.

Look for the Trojans to rely on rushing and defense to take the soft Pac 10 in a walk.

3. UCLA – Jimmy The Greek

Karl Dorrell and Steve Axman, a couple of high rollers from the Rick Neuheisel Casino at Washington have been hired to restore the roar to the Bruins of UCLA. Both have already been cleared by the NCAA for their part in the multitude of betting pools in the UW athletic office. NCAA staffers said that it was important to clear almost everyone so they could focus on their hypothetical suspension of Neuheisel, who is so far the only one to be punished for the Montlake March Madness.

The Bruins were able to beat the Co Ed New Mexico team for he Pac 10's second bowl win last season. As usual, the Cubbies are loaded with high school All Americans. They will be a factor. I have them at 8-1 to win it all.

4. Arizona State – Race Bannon

Dirk Koetter, Bellotti spawn extraordinaire, has the weight of high expectations for the first time in his coaching career. Can he handle the heat off the field?

The Devils lost some great defensive players, and their defense wasn't that great last year – except against Washington. They hope to rely on Andrew Walter at quarterback, but defense wins championships, and ASU won't. Koetter learned well from Bellotti, as his porous pass defense will show.

5. Oregon State

There have been many, many, many, many, many, many years where the Beaver faithful would be thrilled to finish 5th, or even be picked to finish 5th. Not now, as the Beavers have taken over the state and have their sights set higher than the middle of the pack. Stephen Jackson is all world at running back, but quarterback remains a big question mark.

Did Erickson take the defense with him? Holes in the secondary have to be filled, but a strong linebacking corps may help stem the tide. Mike Reilly returns to his hometown to continue the recent mastery over the Ducks.

6. California

Jeff Tedford may soon have us calling Bellotti "the Tedford spawn" but this year looks to be a tough one for the brains behind the Eugene 15 minutes of fame. Tedford burst on the scene last year and led Cal to a shocking winning record, although Cal being on probation for academic fraud tainted it.

The Bears did manage to beat Washington for the first time in three decades and did it in Seattle. Payback is coming. Hell is coming to breakfast, and other ominous threats.

Most of last year's team graduated, legally or not, so this is a rebuilding year.

7. Stanford

Buddy Ball has been trying to clean up the mess left by Ty Willingham, and it has not been pretty. That is one more line than Stanford usually gets in this issue.

8. Washington State

The Cougars arms are back in shape after the bottle-tossing event at last years Apple Cup crusher. The Cougs spirits are back in shape after another humiliating Rose Bowl loss for a northwest lesser light.

Bill Doba, the brains behind the Cougar defense that only allowed 51 points in a recent Apple cup takes over for Mike Price who vowed to retire at WSU, only to take the money and run to Bama where it ended nicely for him. See our archive for the full shocking story.

The Cougs will re load behind lateral specialist Matt Kegel and a bunch of receivers and stuff. Who cares?

9. Arizona

Paging Rick Neuheisel.

10. Oregon

Mike Bellotti returns for his 9th season at Oregon, somewhat of a surprise after last years shocking free fall to the pits of the college football world. The Ducks are working on a long losing string and haven't stopped anybody since the Johnson Administration.

The only reason the Ducks rush defense wasn't last in the nation is because their pass defense was. The Duck secondary spent the off season in the burn ward.

Bellotti continues to struggle with conference play, racking up his third 3-5 league season in 8 years. In what can only be called slick marketing, the Ducks attempt to hide this with a misleading billboard. If only Portland State was in the Pac 10.

0 Smith is gone, but I don't think we can say graduated. Jason Fife is back. Hard to say which news is worse for the Ducks.

It's the classic good news bad news scenario for UO – most of the players are returning. The same players that mailed it in after a 6-1 start became a 7-6 finish. And this year the Ducks actually have real D1 schools in non conference play.

Another school that might be singing – "Ricky don't lose that number" at the end of the year.

We can't wait for football! Less than one month to go sports fans. Look for our giant week one preview issue before the trip to the Shoe. To our troops we say thank you and God Bless and to our readers we say thanks for reading as always. – Race

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