Monday, January 21, 2008

Willamette Valley Is Easy

After polling the founder, writer and chief editor of this blog it is official: The easiest trip in the Pac-10 is the trip to play the Oregon schools. With all of the talent in the southern portion of the conference, the two Northwest trips were in contention for the honor. After Oregon and Oregon State had a brilliant 0-4 weekend in Washington there really is no argument. I could care less how scary Mac Court is, the Willamette Valley is the friendliest place in the Pac-10 for visiting teams. Let’s rundown the two teams to see why that is.

First up is the squad that guarantees every team at least one win on the Oregon trip. The Beavers are by far the worst BCS Conference school. I don’t have the exact number but I believe OSU is in the low 200s in RPI. There are just over 300 teams that make up Division I. (If you do visit the RPI sites you’ll recognize that a fair number of Oregon’s non-conference opponents from the last couple of years are the only ones below OSU.) With a team that is so bad it’s no wonder that head coach Jay John was fired yesterday. He didn’t even make it halfway through the conference season. In addition, the ESPN scroll is telling me that they have dismissed the walking foul, C.J. Giles. Giles was kicked out of Kansas for a myriad of reasons but John needed something so he brought on Giles. It obviously didn’t work for either guy. Without a conference win it’s not too far-fetched to think they could go winless in the conference and be one of the worst Pac-10 teams ever.

Then there is the UO basketball squad. For whatever reason they are 3-3 in conference play though they have 3 senior starters. NBA teams wish they had that kind of continuity in their rosters. You’d think the Ducks would be able to use their vast advantage in experience to jump to the top of the conference rankings but it seems as though they are heading in the opposite direction. If you read about a Ducks’ win you’ll read that their freshman point guard is following in the footsteps of Luke Ridnour and Aaron Brooks. Then when the Ducks lose, it’s all of a sudden the fault of the young point guard making bad decisions (see loss to Washington). I guess the coach can have it both ways but I think it would be more productive to blame the seniors that can’t seem to come through in the clutch. Bottom line, three starting seniors is not four? Another problem could be that the Ducks don’t seem to care. They let a chance slip away against WSU last night and the coach chalks it up to fate and a few unlucky bounces. (That’s funny, I don’t remember that being the explanation last year when 3-pointers off the backboard in the same gym were a credit to an excellent game plan.)

There you have it. If one had to pick the easiest trip in the Pac-10 you would have to say visiting the Oregon schools is the easiest one. Having the worst team in the conference by a mile makes it so. Then you add in the enigma that is Oregon (one night a contender for the Sweet 16 due to good coaching and senior leadership then the next night a NIT team due to one player’s inexperience) and you might leave with two wins. That is something that cannot be said about any other trip in the conference.

3 comments:

RobbieG said...

First off, yes Oregon is the easiest trip, but its based solely on Oregon St. and not Oregon. In case you hadn't noticed, Oregon is undefeated at home this year and the Pit is one of the toughest places to play in America. There are 0 automatic wins in the Pac-10, except your beloved beavers. Until someone gets a win at Mac Court, they will continue to be undefeated there (after reading this blog, I figured you didn't realize that). I certainly hope you are not paid for this ridiculous crap.

J Smith said...

First off, I mentioned the fact that playing Oregon State is a guaranteed win so that alone makes it the easiest trip. Secondly, after 2 Pac-10 home games I am not ready to declare that every road team will lose when entering Mac Court. I'll write a big retraction if the Ducks even make it through this next weekend undefeated at home. It is hilarious that by saying I don't think the Ducks will win every game I am apparently a huge Beaver fan. There's something about reality that is difficult for a lot of Ducks fans to comprehend. Just not this one. Lastly, I am not paid. Surprising I know since I post all of 2 or 3 times a week.

elmazz said...

Ya JM this is just "ridiculous crap". I can't even begin to think what else - robbieg - finds time to argue about. He the guy that stops at the red light and gets pissed because it is not green, or because he has nothing better to do...