Raider Opines: Concerning the offensive disaster that was Sunday’s Raider game, to cause many Ute fans to think twice about what NFL team they choose to bandwagon, I present my own tweet from the aftermath of that game:
After Kevin Hogan’s pass on 4th down and 2 sailed past the entire playing field (and much to my wife’s embarrassment, I jumped up and down like I just got the keys to a Lexus you often see with a large bow on it in various TV commercials during the holidays) I stopped and thought that the happiest man outside of Salt Lake and Davis Counties is probably Larry Scott. Let me explain.
Hearken yourself for a brief moment to the summer of 2010, around the time that the Utes were formally invited to the PAC. Other than maybe the fans of the Arizona schools being happy they didn’t have to deal with any of the Texas schools, what fan base hasn’t whined about the Utes being in this conference? UCLA fans thought that the basketball team’s run in the PAC-12 tournament last year somehow destroyed the sanctified holiness that is the original membership of PAC. Stanford fans weren’t pleased because Scott brought in Colorado and Utah into the conference and not Princeton and Yale. USC fans brought forth some polygamy jokes, which would be akin to me making fun of Father Junipero Serra. Glenn Dickey, who at the time was writing for the San Francisco Chronicle, openly advocated for the university presidents of the previous ten members to stop the expansion of the conference. Boise State fans thought our acceptance of the PAC invite was indicative of the fact the Utes were scared to play them, and BYU tried to join the WAC.
Most of them are now complaining about the Pac-12 Network’s skirmish with DirecTV and what a rotten horrible person Scott is for convincing people to drop DirecTV as a result, but it still doesn’t really change the fact that if Tom Hanson is still the conference commish, we are still in the Mountain West and this signature win doesn’t happen. Frankly, that isn’t a world I would have wanted to live in. I will give some credence to the fact that a) Stanford might not be as good as everyone seems to think, b) meaning of course that they may also lose a few more games this year before its all said and done and c) if Ty Montgomery isn’t on that roster of theirs, the Utes win this game going away. But perhaps those who didn’t think bringing the Utes into a BCS conference like this one might be eating at least a side dish of crow right now and Larry Scott is probably sitting in his office saying to the brass “have a little faith in me, guys!” I know I do.
Let’s get to the games and thank Larry for the invitation to have the opportunity to beat teams like this year in and year out.
MAC RETORTS: What you wrote there was so very beautiful I hesitate to put down my own words. I do want to add something about Tom Hanson. Not only are we still in the Mountain West, but the Pac-10 would still have the worst TV of all major conferences. I kind of go Louis C.K. on this, instead of bitching about Direct TV, the Pac-12 schools fans and media should thank GOD everyday that Larry Scott’s parents drank that bottle of Merlot and decided to make sweet love and create little Larry. Because even without Direct TV, so many more people are watching Pac-12 football, it’s insane, (in the membrane to go all Cypress Hill on you).
So GOD BLESS YOU LARRY SCOTT, may you reign forever.
Charleston Southern v. Colorado
Raider: The Pac-12 Network promo for this game mentioned the fact that Buccaneers are undefeated going into this contest, which almost strikes me as trolling. It’s as if the producer of that promo is trying to say “hey, this could be a potentially embarrassing loss for the Buffs, tune in live at Noon on the Pac-12 Network”. A simple voiceover saying “remember that one time when Dan Hawkins was your head coach and he lost his first game at home to Montana State” would have been about as subtle.
MAC: I once drove by the campus of Charleston Southern. Across the street is a Zaxbys. As I understand it, there will soon be a Zaxbys in Utah, make sure you eat there. Also I had no idea that Charleston Southern was the Buccaneers.
UCLA v. Stanford
Raider: I’m choosing to focus this portion of the email on UCLA because I looked ahead at what remains for them on their schedule. If they get past this game as well as next week’s potential Pac-12 Title Game preview against Oregon, they’re probably going undefeated aren’t they? So with that theory proposed, I’m certain you know where I’m going with this. Are they good enough to leapfrog at least 7 or 8 teams in front of them to play for a national championship? Or am I going to spend an entire offseason mad at them the way I was at Stanford for allowing Notre Dame to serve as the sacrificial lamb to Alabama last year?
MAC: UCLA is going to be hard pressed not to win the Pac-12 south unless they crap the bed and ASU rises up. I wonder if there is a way, for us to get back into the Pac-12 South Race if those two crap the bed. Could someone who knows math get on that? BTW at the end of that Stanford Notre Dame game last year, a Stanford RB appears to score but it didn’t count and no one ever said why, I never understood that.
Washington v. Arizona State
Raider: I think that the Huskies strike me as a team that is “good but not great”. At some point, UW would like to be “great” and according to you, they seem entitled to be the Huskies of yore until the end of time. However, ASU seems like they have enough offense to gum up the works in the South division, but with one caveat: they play UCLA in the Rose Bowl on November 23, which is typically well past the expiration date for most Sun Devil football teams. I know you’ll have something special planned for the Utes tilt in a few weeks against the school you’re probably willing to describe as “Boise State on PEDs”. But as for this game, I think ASU’s offense might overwhelm the Dawgs.
MAC: UW fans are weirdly prideful. I’ve known more than a few who think of UW as one would think of Cal-Berkley or Michigan or Harvard or Yale or you get the drift. They believe they are the king of the Pac-12 and their destruction was due to a Southern California conspiracy. Yeah my time in the Pacific Northwest kind of led me to dislike the Huskies. Not Arizona St., dislike but still…
USC v. Notre Dame
Raider: A while ago, when I asked someone–might have been you–why these two schools have a rivalry with each other aside from being name brand college football programs and I think the most pithy answer I got was “Knute Rockne’s wife wanted to vacation in Southern California”. I often wish I had this kind of pull with my spouse, especially when I say “honey, I really want to move to St. George, I’m tired of having to wear five layers of clothing anytime the temperature dips below 70″. Typically she responds by saying “if you move there, you will move there alone, so don’t forget to email!” So perhaps I need to learn the difference between “vacation” and “live”
That having been said, where can I sign the petition to Keep Ed Orgeron as USC Head Coach as I fully endorse this idea? Is that on change.org or can I just create one and see how many UCLA fans I can get to sign one and just go from there?
MAC: I’ve always heard that Knute Rocke story as true as well. I’m going to believe it. Also having moved to a place where it just isn’t below 70 all that often, I have to say, you get used to it pretty easily. My senior year of high school, in Evanston, it snowed two feet in 24 hours and then didn’t get above -10 for a week. Seriously how does anyone live like that.
As for this game, if Orgeron wins this game he has to be seriously considered for the job right? And if he gets it the timetable for more USC sanctions would be about 4 years.
Washington State v. Oregon
Raider: I didn’t do the game previews last week because I had to move everything we dearly possess into a bigger apartment. Since Wazzu will probably get sent to market for the Ducks to eat, I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the fact that the true emergence of Oregon football really didn’t begin with Phil Knight pouring billions of dollars into their athletic department, though it’s certainly helped them stay there. It all turned around for the Ducks on a single play against Washington back in 1994. Ladies and gentlemen…Kenny Wheaton:
Stop and think about it for a moment. In the 20 years previous, Oregon had beaten the Huskies a grand total of three times. And neither Oregon school back then was anything to write home about. The Civil War in those days was often described as a glorified pillow fight. But I got to thinking about that Oregon/Washington game in ’94. It was their “we’re mad as hell and we’re not gonna take this anymore” moment. Similar to mentioning the name of Chris Yergersen to any long time Ute fan, mention the name of Kenny Wheaton to an Oregon fan and see what their reaction is. If you point to a single moment where the rising of Duck Football really began, I will point to that.
MAC: Ok sometimes you scare me, in the span of a couple of weeks you’ve come up with references to Ortege Jenkins and Kenny Wheaton. It’s like you’ve been preparing for the Pac-12 all your life. As for this game, Wazzu is a 38.5 dog in this one. With a gun to my head I have no idea what to do with that spread. Aren’t 70-10 and 45-21 equally likely in this one?
Oregon State v. Cal
Raider: Cal is now Tom Holmoe era terrible. (I like to mention that era to the Cal fans that follow me on Twitter because things like that seem to happen to Cal and it also still boggles my mind that he ended up as BYU’s athletic director). Consider how good the Beavers passing attack is though: Brandin Cooks has 944 yards of receiving yards at the halfway point of the season. Granted, OSU hasn’t bitten into the bark of their remaining schedule yet (they host Stanford next week, then host USC, travel to ASU, host Washington and then play Oregon), but they have to be a little too one-dimensional for their own good, don’t they? I mean, we couldn’t stop that one dimension but still.
MAC: We will find out about OSU soon enough. After Cal their schedule is, Stanford, USC, Arizona St., Washington and Oregon. If they win three of those games, that would be really good right. As for Tom Holmoe, essentially with Anae having total control over the offense at BYU including hiring of coaches and Bronco running the defense, isn’t Holmoe really the head coach there, in the same way LaVell was head coach? Just a thought.
Utah v. Arizona
Raider: Winning last Saturday really doesn’t change the fact that this game is a must-win if bowl eligibility is to occur for the Utes this year. Oh, sure, it may mean that the Utes play in the Alamo Bowl instead of the New Mexico Bowl, but extra practices are well worth it regardless. I’m not sure what it would mean exactly if this team beat a highly ranked team in Stanford but lost to a team like Arizona. You are a much bigger expert on all things U of A since you live there and what not, so is it really as simple as “as goes Kadeem Carey, so go the Wildcats”?
MAC: I think Rich Rod is going to do a lot of good things at Arizona. But Stoops left him with a pile of crap minus Carey and Matt Scott. Scott has moved on and BJ Denker is their version of Jon Hays. Carey took care of us last year. But that was because they had a threat of passing. With Arizona being one dimensional we should be able to contain Carey enough to win this by 10 or so. And emotionally I can’t handle a loss here