Sunday, October 02, 2005

The "Couged It" Edition of Primetime Coming Monday

Yes Beaver fans, you have bragging rights over me for the next 12 months, and yes I WAS WRONG in my prediction. So was Suke, the ESPN College Gameday crew and a lot of other people. I am still trying to figure out how come there is an expecation from many that every prediction is supposed to be exactly correct, and if we miss a game we should never be allowed to express an opinion or do a radio show again. We give our thoughts on what could happen, or in the case of one game in Corvallis what I HOPED would happen. Sometimes we are right, sometimes we are wrong. The message here is relax people. If it was an exact science, then we would all be quitting our day jobs and making big bank every weekend betting football. And....if it was an exact science and everything was cut and dry why would we even play the games?

But..... here is how Suke and I fared in our Pac-10 picks this weekend:

Ian 4-1, 29-4 overall
Suke 4-1, 30-3 overall
Guess which game we missed?

Scroll down for more college football..... but it is time to talk hoops!

Blazers Media Day Monday/Nate McMillan interview recap
The Blazers hold their annual media day Monday afternoon. Guys we hope to have on the air include Darius Miles, Zach Randolph, and of course Ruben Patterson. Remember last year's media day is when Ruben went off on tirade when he spoke of "headquarters" and management, so tune in tomorrow afternoon.
In addition, we had Nate McMillan in studio on Friday and, not to sound like Jim Rome, but the hour we had him in there he was spectacular. He has a presence, an aura, that exudes leadership and the abilty to make you believe. I have to think those intangible elements will mean a lot to this young team. Some highlights of the interview include:

  • Nobody has a guranteed starting position, although he did say that he understands who the "core" of the team is which includes Z-Bo, Miles and Telfair.
  • Nate also said he wants J. Jack to come in and compete with Telfair, but Sebastian has the inside edge in terms of the starting position.
  • This team will be in great shape in terms of conditioning, and he expects the work ethic to be among the best in the league.
  • He has spoken to Darius Miles, and is hoping Miles will give him the chance "to work with him and let me coach him" this season.

We will replay some of that interview durng the show on Monday, so tune in at 3:00.

CBA 101 A handful of us in the local media had a chance to sit down on Friday with John Nash and Steve Patterson for what the team called CBA 101, a chance to learn more about the new collective bargaining agreement and what it means to the Blazers and the rest of the NBA. I must say it was a great idea and very educational. While many of us in the media THINK we know a lot about these things, even the guys in the league, as Kevin Pritchard pointed out to me, need some help every now and then and are always able to make the call to the league office. But there were some things that some of you may know, and some you may not that are of interest.

  • Trades now must be within 25% plus $100,000 of matching salaries. The rule in the old CBA was 10% which resulted in a lot of the so-called throw in players like Wesley Person, Dan Dickau, etc.
  • Random drug testing can be conducted, without notice or cause, up to four different times a season. Steroids, cocaine, and that green leafy substance are all things they will be testing for. Steroids by the way are new. If the league feels there is cause (arrest for DUI for example) to test more often, that can be done as well. The tests will be from an independent third party, and the team will not be notified in advance that a test will be coming.
  • The Blazers WILL NOT be free agent players with major salary cap room for many years to come. That was directly from John Nash. The way the new CBA sets up, your free agents will still count against the cap until they go elsewhere, so you can't create cap room plus re-sign your free agents. In addition to the salaries already on the books, the team will have a young free agents coming up on an annual basis in the next few years with Outlaw, Telfair, Khryapa, Monia, Jack, Webster etc. But the bottom line is this team and it's core are what you can expect to see here in Portland. The Blazers will not be bringing in big money big name free agents (not that they would be flocking to this small market anyway) unless they choose to purge the roster at some point by trading young guys for an expiring contract.
  • The Blazers are at just under $60 million in salaries, down big from two years ago. They were able to avoid the luxury tax last year thanks to a complicated system based on the Lakers' television revenue, and will avoid it again this year too.

Cougs vs. Beavs-Cougin' it in Corvallis-WHAT HAPPENED?
Up 14 points, a running back who had over 100 yards in the first half, and you have a chance to put the game away but instead turn the ball over time and time again. There is a lot of finger pointing but to me, the sole responsibility goes to the coaching staff. First and goal from the six yard line (after a penalty) and Jerome Harrison in the backfield, yet you choose to throw three straight times. Unacceptable. 59 pass attempts were far too many, especially when Alex Brink is throwing the football. Brink's great decision making (big play to Hill on slant when he picked up the right read on who was blitzing) in the first half was overshadowed by his poor decision making in the second half, but as a coaching staff, you have to put the players in a position to have success, and the Cougar offensive coaches did not do that in the second half.
Oregon State meanwhile, deserves some credit, but come on---when your opponent turns the ball over four times inside your 30 yard line, even with little Strawberry Shortcake Junior Loren Langley as your kicker, that is a minium of 9-12 points, barring a touchdown, that you don't get. But Mike Riley has had the ability to get his team to get back off the mat, and they did it again Saturday.

Thank you and goodbye.