Good morning all. Every day we inch closer to football season, and are now in July, just weeks away from the start of fall camp, and two months from kickoff. Let's get to today's quack:
- George Schroeder continues his excellent coverage of the changes in the athletic department. His article on Kilkenny can be summed up his line, "He leaves behind big shoes to fill. Or a big mess." But no matter your opinion on Kilkenny's job, I appreciate that he understood what he was doing. He brought changes to the department, the true impact of which we won't be able to evaluate for some time. But he was a visionary and got some very big things started. Through his deals, he helped secure the financial future of the athletic department. With all that he accomplished, it's amazing that he was only around for 2 years. Schroeder does an excellent job capturing all of the complexity of Kilkenny and what he did at Oregon, so make sure to give it a read when you have some time.
- Moseley is giving us a look at some of the new Ducks, specifically Tyrece Gaines (WR) and Jackson Rice (P). There is a lot of pressure on both players. Rice is expected to start at punter, which is desperately needed after a poor showing of the special teams this spring. Rice is also looking forward to the season opener, as he grew up in Idaho and a Broncos fan. I'm sure that will end shortly. Gaines will have much more trouble catching up with the system, saying, "learning Oregon’s terminology and hand signals has been "like moving to a different country, learning a completely different language." But despite that level of difficulty, Gaines is doing what is needed, working hard. It took Jamere Holland a year to take the work seriously, but Gaines seems to have come in knowing that nothing would be handed to him. And what Duck fans will like to hear most of all, he loves to block, something that is vital for all of our receivers. For more on Gaines, check out this video put together by the Register Guard, it will definitely get you psyched.
- Buster Sports has a couple things today. Former Oregon player and assistant coach John McKay comes in #2 in their list of the top 30 Pac-10 coaches. They also run down some of the prop bets in the Pac-10. Notably, USC is 2-5 favorites to win the Pac-10 title, with California and Oregon both around 4-1. But where I think things get interesting is in the Heisman race. Jahvid Best is a 10-1 favorite to win it, while Jacquizz Rodgers is 33-1 and LeGarrette Blount is 40-1. Daschel like Blount, and I can't say I disagree. He could see the ball a lot, and with those odds, might as well put some money on him, if you're in Vegas.
Any other links? Leave 'em below. GO DUCKS!