So close, and yet so far away. That knot in my stomach appears to be kicking in a couple days early. I suspect that has something to do with our ATQ pre-season predictions. This was the week I picked the Ducks to suffer their lone conference loss. Boo on me. But you know what rocks? I suck at picking games - a fact proven in the jersey contest standings.
This week it's all about who plays fast and who can keep up. Still, time seems to be moving very slowly. Here's your quack:
- Gary Horowitz of the Statesman Journal (Salem) looks at what I believe is Oregon's biggest strength on defense - its depth.
- Ron Bellamy of the R-G caught up with USC defensive coordinator Monte Kiffin, who says his Tampa 2 defense won't work against Oregon and he wishes he had a couple more weeks to prepare. If Kiffin's defense is able to slow Oregon Saturday, then he'll have earned a large portion of the credit. If not, well, he's in good company.
- Rob Moseley's Oregon football notebook: Outside perspectives on Oregon v. USC, expanded TV coverage equals big money, and a marquee quarterback matchup.
- You're probably aware that Chip Kelly has trademarked his mantra, "Win The Day" (you gotta sense a book deal coming down the pipe, maybe even a colab with "Robby" over at the R-G). Did you realize that winning the day starts with making your bed? Evidently, according the Jason Vondersmith of the the Portland Trib.
- More interesting Chip Kelly perspective from the staff at William & Mary, which faced Kelly's offensive tactics repeatedly as a rival of New Hampshire's in the Atlantic 10.
- An L.A. Times article quotes several Trojans - a confident bunch these days - as they prepare for the Ducks. Also interesting is the possibility of a couple key injuries. Both defensive end Nick Perry and starting right tackle Tyron Smith have both missed significant practice time this week.
- SB Nation Pac-10 contributor Avinash Kunnath breaks down conference title possibilities for Oregon, OSU, Stanford, Arizona, Cal, and yes, even Washington.
- Switching gears to hoops... R-G columnist George Schroeder focuses on expectations for the coming season. Everyone has picked the Ducks to finish tenth. Dana Altman considers it his responsibility to prove everyone wrong.
- Ron Bellamy updates the scheduled transition from McArthur Court to shiny new $227 million Matthew Knight Arena. The first scheduled game will be on Jan. 13th when the men take on USC in a game to be televised on FSN. That feels like a must-attend.
There's bound to be more good quality quack floating about the interwebs throughout the day. If you find some, please pass it around in the comments. Go Ducks.