Mallard N. Moore, Tempe
The Fighting Ducks of Oregon showed up for 10 minutes or so on Saturday, more than enough time to dispose of the Oregon State Beavers, in the 378th addition of the Civil War.
The whole country, including numerous recruits, got to see the Ducks and Beavers go at it in absolutely miserable weather, sideways rain, wind, and cold not found at Husky Stadium. The Beavers dominated the early action through three quarters, but could only put 6 points on the board, thanks to some uninspired red zone offense.
All-American Keenan Howry, the latest Heisman candidate from Eugene, saved the day yet again with a scintillating punt return right up the gut for the go ahead TD. Several Beaver players, interviewed at their chiropractors, said the blocks were legal. Howry then sparked another TD drive, which insured that Captain Turnover couldn't blow this year's game.
It was the last game at the quaint Autzen Arena, as the remodel plans now precede full speed ahead. The 90 million dollar renovation will change the one-holer to two-holers, bring in fresh dirt for the parking lot, and pay for any lingering lawsuits from Fight For Your Seat Night. Some sources say there will now be 53,000 seats, a number quickly inflated by the Duck faithful to over 60,00 seats, in an attempt to match the 75,000 seats at Legendary Husky Stadium. It will still pale in comparison to the ‘Big Autzen' theme park at the Orange Bowl.
The Ducks are now proud solo champions of the Pac 10 for the 2nd time in school history. With such a long record of success, is it any wonder that most Ducks fans think they have passed Washington by? They are back-to-back champs for the first time in school history, something Washington first accomplished 40 years ago. Not that the Ducks measure themselves by the Huskies, mind you.
The Rest Of The Pac
Race Bannon, Kandahar, Afghanistan
The UCLA Bruins finished their dream season with a rout of the ASU Sun Devils, 52-42. The Bruins then turned down an invitation to the Rose Bowl, citing financial reasons, and the fact that their fans don't like to travel that far for a bowl game.
The Stanford Cardinal pulled off a shocking upset over the San Jose Spartans by some meaningless score. The first win in three years by the Card over the Trojans was greeted with great glee and celebration by the throng of 17,000 fans in attendance at the game. Stanford will head to Seattle to face Georgia Tech in the Seattle Bowl. And everyone knows that the Card can't win in Seattle.
Tom Holmoe, the lame duck coach of the California Bears, led his squad east to face Big East power, Rutgers. The winless Bears shocked the State University of New Jersey, and avoided a winless season. Upon his return to Berkeley, the Campus Women's Group, suing him for the lack of opportunity for women on the football team, greeted Holmoe with both a summons and a lawsuit.
Bear Spokesperson Tal I. Ban scoffed at the notion that women couldn't compete with men at football. "I think they could certainly go 1-10. Give me a break"
ARIZONA: John Mackovic rode into Tucson with a snappy wardrobe and a silver tongue, and proceeded to lead the Wildcats to their worst ever finish in the Pac 10. It only took four games for UA fans to miss Dick Tomey, who was aggressively average and mediocre, but was rarely as pathetic as this year's Mildcats. A school once known for defense became known for giving up over 50 points in three consecutive conference games.
ARIZONA STATE: Sun Devil fans grew tired of 6-5 records under the departed Bruce Snyder, so they had to be thrilled with the 4-7 job done by Dirk "Diggler" Koetter. Koetter's Devils got blown out by rival UA, and started an embarrassing brawl at the end of that game. It's good to see that the standards of discipline are as rigorous as ever in the desert, and that they are still giving credit at ASU for fighting. Shaun McDonald was a lone bright spot for the perennial under achievers in Tempe.
CALIFORNIA: Cal claims they will double the salary of the new coach, leading one to wonder if perhaps Holmoe could have succeeded with an extra 500 grand in his pocket each season. This pocket of despair in the Pac 10 continues to flounder year after year, and now have the Gilby Jinx to contend with as well as a decades long losing streak to Washington. Kyle Boller, also known as ‘Baby Jesus In Cleats', is about to ascend to the higher league, without even a hint of deliverance for the long suffering Bears.
STANFORD: Ty Willingham will spend the off-season making other schools look progressive by interviewing him for coach openings. Don't worry Card fans; they won't actually hire him away. Ty will continue to guide the Card to solid middle of the Pac finishes, although the Stanford squad did almost take their second title in three years, falling short yet again on a trip to Husky Stadium. Look for the Cards to score a lot and give up a lot of points next year.
SOUTHERN CAL: Pete Carroll is our early choice for coach of the year, with his inspired job of keeping the team from hitting the beach after a string of early, tough losses. The Trojans were 5 points away from their first title since the 1995 season. They showed a tough defense, an improved offense, and the squad really seems to be settling in under the new staff. Happy Trojan boosters have increased the recruiting slush fund, and as a result, UCLA has lost almost all of their verbals back to USC. Will the Bruins match? Stay tuned.
UCLA: From the Penthouse to the Outhouse in 4 short weeks would sum up the year that wasn't for the Bruins. After a crushing victory over the league standard bearer, Washington, the Bruins mysteriously went into the tank they know so well. If it wasn't drugs or cars, it was booze or broads. Bob Toledo's end of the season press conference was short and not so sweet, "Send lawyers, guns, and money, I'm in a little jam", the rotund one pleaded. It was not known at the time we went to press, whether Bob would be invited back to Temptation Island in Westwood, or if he would receive the parting gifts.
In our next issue, we will examine the years of the Northwest teams.
Texas Accepts Holiday Bowl Bid
- Mack Brown Mouths Insincere Praise Of UW
Texas coach Mack Brown, now 17 years into his career without so much as a league title, (hey, we can't say it about Bellotti anymore) will bring his disappointed, demoralized, and dissension racked Longhorns to San Diego to face the thoroughly beaten and battered Washington Huskies in what looks to be the marquee match up of the bowl season. We'll have more on this top game, and all the bowl match ups, in our next issue....
Letters To the Publisher: For the two or three of you who have written to my email address, thank you. I haven't replied because the computers here at work have such strong security that the outgoing messages can't get sent. But be assured that I do receive your mail, and read every miss spelled curse word from you Duck fans. If I ever get any that are printable on a family website, I'll share them with you, my gentle readers. All names will be deleted to protect the guilty. Here is a sample from a Bobby Moron in Eugene: ":KJOIUI oiypwpr erpo[doi 65-7" Thanks for reading Bobby, and to all of you, we'll see you next week.
Race Bannon can be reached at email@example.com