Morning Quack Fix: defense, conference rankings and Jamil Wilson

Oregon has made it to the halfway point of the season at 5-1 and sits alone atop the conference standings.  Here's your bye week fix.

  • Nick Daschel thinks the Oregon defense is the biggest (pleasant) surprise of the season thusfar.  Rounding out his top three are UW's turnaround and the league's non-conference performance. 
  • Bob Clark has his conference rankings up, and wonders if Chip Kelly is the best bet for the Pac-10's coach of the year.  At the midway point, I'd say Steve Sarkisian and the (early) turnaround at UW is probably his biggest challenger.  Ted Miller also has his own conference rankings posted.  The biggest difference between the two lists?  Clark has Cal 3rd while Miller has them at 9th.
  • Jason Vondersmith has an article up about Nate Costa's performance this past weekend.  Nate avoided any talk about a QB controversey -- which is a good thing because I don't think there is much of one if Jeremiah Masoli is healthy. 
  • In basketball news, Bob Clark has a feature piece on freshman Jamil Wilson, who was the top recruit signed by Ernie Kent last year.  And, it sounds like he was impressive in early workouts, with Ernie Kent calling him, "probably the best athlete we’ve had here since Fred Jones."  Though, Kent appears to have learned from past mistakes and repeatedly tried to dampen unreal expectations by reminding us that he is only a freshman.   
  • This was posted yesterday, but it in case you missed it, Kenjon Barner was named the Pac-10 special teams player of the week for his game-changing kickoff return to start the second half.  As a side note, I keep reading about about how it's the second-longest in UO history because the NCAA no longer recognizes yards accrued in the endzone.  I know it is probably not possible to update all the records this accounting change affected, but it seems silly to me to have a record that not only is impossible to break, but impossible to tie when, by many accounts, Barner should have at least tied the mark.  I mean, in the current era of baseball, no one is going to break Cy Young's 511 wins, but it is not because MLB decided to stop counting victories after 400. 
  • The Register-Guard has a story on the injury to South Eugene's Gabe King. Even if surgery is scheduled for this week, it sounds like they are optimistic that King could still play again this season. 
  • Ted Miller claims this will be a weekend of desperation and separation in the Pac-10.  I think Miller's classification is right on and I am definitely interested in how the Stanford-Arizona and UCLA-Cal games play out.  I wish there was some sort of forum where we could all put our predictions on record...
  • In other conference news, Miller also posts a brief injury report for each team.  Because of the bye week schedule with practices only on Wednesday and Friday, I assume we won't have any further updates on Jeremiah Masoli and T.J. Ward until then. 

Go Ducks! 

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