This is my first quack fix after the Rose Bowl, and there's not a whole lot of diversity in links out there this morning. Here's what I could find -- enjoy.
- There is a lot being made of the sad state of the men's basketball conference this year. In fact, no Pac-10 teams cracked either top 25 poll this week. The only team to even garner a vote was UW who is on a three-game losing streak. Apparently, this ends a 431-week streak of having at least one top-25 team. Bob Clark also joins in with his thoughts on the state of conference, John Wilner offers his thoughts on what some of us are slowly coming to fear: that the Pac-10 may only get a single NCAA tournament invite this season. Finally, SI.com's Seth Davis puts a whole lot of spin on the state of play in the Pac-10 by claiming it will offer the "most fascinating" conference race.
- In the wake of the team's first conference loss, Bob Clark writes that the Ducks need to regain focus quickly if they want to remain atop the conference standings. The Ducks host Arizona State on Thursday and Arizona on Saturday. According to Clark, ASU may not be the ideal opponent for a team to regain its offensive touch, as the Sun Devils are leading the nation in average points allowed (54.4) and in their last three conference games, ASU has held oppoents to a combined 33.6 shooting percentage. Ouch.
- In today's Register-Guard, Adam Jude has a piece that looks at how Oregon might benefit with the USC coaching change occuring near the end of the recruiting season. There's a lot of foucs on Owamagbe Odighizuwa, but also some quotes and mention of other recruits (both those we are all familiar with and those I either had never heard of or had forgotten). In a similar vein, George Schroeder writes about how the Ducks may capitalize on the field with Pete Carroll's departure.
- As noted by CaDuck in his fanshot post, LaMichael James has joined the UO track team. Joining him are Andre Crenshaw (jumper) and offensive lineman Josh Sanford (discus and shot put). Moseley also notes that additional football players may join the track squad later.
- John Hunt notes that Ed Dickson, T.J. Ward, Walter Thurmond, III. and LeGarrette Blount were all invited to the NFL Combine that will begin at the end of February. Here's hoping that all four make a good a showing to improve their draft stock.
- Infielder Andrew Schmidt has a short writeup on how the team is beginning to prepare for the start of practices on February 1. Also included are pictures and a video tour of the new John E. Jaqua Academic Center.
- Finally, Nick Daschel offers his opinion on why the potential demise of USC is bad for the Pac-10. Without USC serving as the marquee team (and no legitimately immediate replacement), Daschel argues that the Pac-10 will fall into the irrelevance shared by the ACC and Big East.
P.S. Yes, I am aware that I included "The Impact" in my story title. No, it is not a blatant attempt to earn a keg sticker. Most likely.