Hello, and welcome to the Good Guys Sports Blog. I’ll be your host this evening.
Here’s tonight’s question: Who is your favorite Pac-12 player to watch that is not on your favorite team? That means no Chris Polk for Husky fans, no Marquess Wilson for Cougars, etc.
For me, LaMichael James is probably the guy. He’s a Duck, and you can argue he’s a product of their system, but consider me skeptical that any of their other backs will be nearly as good as he is. He’s out for at least this week though, so I’ll try for someone less obvious, if possibly just as talented.
Every year, the Good Guys plus a few others have a Pac-10/12 only fantasy draft. It’s slightly ridiculous but a lot of fun, and we know as much about Utah’s fourth string running back as anyone outside of Kyle Whittingham, which, I guess that’s a good thing? Anyway, last year, I was looking for late depth at wide receiver and grabbed California’s Keenan Allen, then a probable starter as a true freshman. The first few weeks, I think he gave me more points on end-arounds than on receptions, but by the end of the year, he was a solid starter for my team. This year, I think I grabbed him in the fourth round or so, which raised a few heckles from fellow drafters. It was the best pick I made.
Allen and Cal QB Zach Maynard are half-brothers, and the hope for Bear fans was that the two would develop into a dynamic duo that would provide the passing attack Cal has mostly been missing the last couple of years. That’s been the case at times, but Maynard has been extremely inconsistent, and just plain bad the last couple of weeks. Allen has had no such issues. He’s been solid to spectacular, with the Huskies getting most of the spectacular. He went for 10 catches and 197 yards with a touchdown in Husky Stadium. Last night against USC, he seemed like Cal’s only offensive weapon, ending with 13 catches for 160 yards. He’s gone over 100 yards receiving in every game but one this year.
Allen’s a joy to watch, big and smooth. He’s one of those guys who doesn’t seem like he’s that fast until he’s running away from you, like he did in the first series against the Huskies. The Pac-12 has a bunch of great receivers. Robert Woods is just ridiculous in all aspects. Juron Criner is excellent when he can stay on the field, and Marquess Wilson is lightning, scary as can be. If I were picking guys for a team though, my pick might be Keenan Allen.
So who do you like to watch? Put it in the comments. Onto the predictions:
Even though the line on this game says it will be a blow out and not noteworthy, I believe this game is intriguing and could be another defining moment for this program (Sark has had a few defining moments, both wins over USC, the Holiday Bowl and last week vs Utah…). If the Huskies want to be elite and return to conference dominance like so many long time fans want, they must, I repeat, must destroy Colorado. The Buffs are simply not good. They lost home to Wazzu and haven’t won a road game in four years. If UW claims to be good, and 4-1 says they are, they gotta play like it and come out and crush CU. No sloppiness like they showed against lesser opponents earlier this year. I want to see crisp, aggressive play right from the start. The Huskies tend to play well in the underdog role, it gets them jacked up since a hallmark of Sark’s coaching is playing with emotion and a chip. Against Utah they had all of this. How do they handle the biggest in conference spread since the Neuheisal days? I am very curious to see. I like swagger, in fact I love it, but if you want to be hardcore you better go out and back things up. Bury them from the start. No detailed player or scheme breakdowns in this prediction, just the plain truth: Dawgs in a blowout, POW!
UW 41 – CU 17
The last 2 games I’ve picked against the Huskies and what have the results yielded? The Huskies have beaten teams by more than 7 points 2 weeks in a row! You may think that’s not a big deal, but it hasn’t happened since (I’m looking back through the records now, wait for it) the last two games in 2009. That’s pretty amazing seeing how the Huskies record is 13-7 in that span. By the way, the Huskies have won 8 of their last 9 games. That’s better than most teams in the country, pretty cool huh? It’s because of those records that the Huskies should blow out Colorado. The Buffaloes haven’t won a road game since 2007 (double check that for me), they are completely depleted in the secondary, and they are missing one of their top offensive weapons. I know Colorado has been going through down years but these road woes are pretty ridiculous. Why don’t they bring the buffalo on the road with them? You can’t convince me that they wouldn’t win at least a couple of road games in that span if they brought their buffalo along. I know picking the Huskies to lose has worked out for us the last few games, but now is the time to start believing that the Huskies will win. Our Dawgs have a tendency to keep things close but, on Saturday, I think we’ll see domination. The Dawgs will run away with this one. The fans will party out in the rain and our team will show up in the top-25 on Monday. That will set up a showdown for the Pac-12 North that has early Rose Bowl implications. Yes, I’m getting way too ahead of myself but it sure does feel good to write that. Go Dawgs!
Huskies – 42 Buffs – 17
Like many Husky fans, I’m still trying to get used to a good UW team. I keep looking for reasons that they’re not very good. Their opponents haven’t exactly gone on to great success. It’s just going to take a bit before I’ll be able to expect continued excellence from them. A blowout win over a bad and beaten-up Colorado team would be a huge step in the right direction. I think they’ll do it. There’s not a whole lot else to say. Colorado isn’t terrible offensively, but they’re missing Paul Richardson, who accounts for something like 25% of their offense so far, which seems extremely high for a wide receiver not named Robert Woods. Their defense isn’t anything special, especially if you pick up their blitzes. The only thing really scary about them is the buffalo, and as Andrew said, he’s not making the trip. The mascot making every trip should have been a requirement of Colorado joining the Pac-12. Have to say though, I saw them run the buffalo out recently, and I was disappointed that they didn’t just turn him loose. They have 4 people running along beside him. Let that guy run! Andrew pointed out that that would be dangerous and crazy. I pointed out that I didn’t care!
UW 45, Colorado 20