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Oregon | The Sports Report Girl

Preseason College Football Top 25: #16 Oregon

Why They’re Here: Like everyone else, I originally had the Ducks in my top 10 coming into the year. Then QB Jeremiah Massoli got suspended for the season and things changed a bit. Then I heard about the quarterback situation, with Nate Costa and Darron Thomas, and things changed some more. This team is the ultimate unknown coming into this season and just like last year (admittedly a poor decision) I’ve decided to sleep on them.

The Good: There is a ton of good coming into this season for the Ducks. They return their entire offensive line, which is always a big, big bonus, plus a total of nine starters from last year on offense. RB LaMichael James is another (superlative beginning with ‘s’) sophomore, and his running ability – along with the emergence of fellow sophomore speedster Kenjon Barner – will make the Oregon running attack one of the best in the nation. This is a very well coached team and head coach Chip Kelly may even be the best in the Pac-10. If these guys can live up to their potential, the Pac-10 could easily reemerge as one of the top conferences in all of college football. There’s also freshman CB Terrance Mitchell, who put on a show, returning an interception 46 yards for a touchdown in the spring game, and the number 13-rated recruiting class in the nation.

The Bad: Replacing Massoli is a lot like replacing Tim Tebow for Florida. So much of the Ducks offensive identity was based on the way Massoli played. He wasn’t an imposing physical presence or a tremendously talented passer, but he made big plays in big situations and his leadership and poise at the quarterback position will be impossible to replace. The Ducks also play at Tennessee, at Arizona State, at Cal, at Oregon State and at USC this season. Last year, all of Oregon’s tough games were played in the Autzen Zoo. The Ducks have one of the best home crowds in the nation and in that environment playing your toughest games at home gives you quite an advantage. Having to go on the road for all of the big games, with a new starting quarterback who wasn’t expected to play this year…not easy.

The Last Word: The Ducks biggest opponent this year is themselves. They have every excuse to let this season slip away and start worrying about next year early. If this team proves not to have what it takes, it won’t take long to show. Don’t be surprised to see a loss at Tennessee on September 11 and even a loss to Arizona State. However, if they can make it to the USC game undefeated, they may just be battle tested enough to pull out the win. Nothing from a 6-6 to 12-0 record would really surprise me for this Oregon team. But if I were a betting man, my money would be on the former.

Final Record: 8-5

Proving You Can’t Make a Hoe a Housewife

October 3, 2009 by Dion Rabouin  
Filed under College Football, Football, SRG's Blog

There’s a song by Kurupt, a West-coast rapper from Compton, with a chorus that goes something like: “This here is one of them occasions/Where the homie’s not doin it right/So what you found you a hoe that you like/But you can’t make a hoe a housewife.” It’s quite a catchy little diddy and whether you’re comfortable with the terminology involved, Kurupt has a good point: You can’t make someone into something that they are not.

In this particular case, the “homie” is Oregon coach Chip Kelly and the “hoe” is LaGerrette Blount. You may have heard on Friday that Kelly said he would consider reinstating Blount onto the team as early as November 7th, easing the season-long suspension that the university imposed on him. Kelly is effectively trying to turn Blount into a housewife and it just ain’t happening. While the incident where Blount cold cocked Boise State’s Byron Hout on national television was the most egregious of Blount’s offenses, it’s certainly not his first.

In his first season at Oregon, Blount – who transferred to Oregon from East Mississippi Community College because he didn’t have the grades to get into a single school in the SEC – reportedly clashed with former head coach Mike Bellotti a number of times. The most widely acknowledged was the time Blount was suspended for the first quarter of the team’s 2008 game against Cal for “not following team rules.” He was suspended again by Kelly before the 2009 season started for the exact same unspecified offense (not following the rules). Then, prior to the game, Blount mouthed off to reporters about how the Ducks owed Boise State an “ass whoopin.”

Reports coming out of Eugene were that Blount was skating on thin ice before the team even took the field in Boise, and we all saw how that ended. Kelly is an old-fashioned good guy. Clearly he wants to give the kid, who comes from a rough place and has worked hard, another shot. But Kelly needs to learn that what’s best for a troubled youngster might not be what’s best for his football team, his program, or even himself.

Blount is a hard-head and a thug who hasn’t learned his lesson and probably never will. Had he just thrown the punch, it would have been forgivable. But what (should have) sealed his fate was the fact he was so out of control that he actually tried to go into the stands and fight the opposing team’s fans. That’s not the mark of someone who needs to be on the football field anytime soon… it’s the mark of someone who needs years – literally years – of emotional and psychiatric counseling.

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