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Kurt Rambis

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Everything posted by Kurt Rambis

  1. I see this same thing happening in LOTS of areas. We used to live in a world where certain people or institutions were simply trusted and looked up to - sports stars, film stars, clergy, the military, successful businesspeople, journalists, etc. Now we know that some sports stars were awful role models (e.g. Ty Cobb and Babe Ruth), many film stars were awful people in general, some clergy were using their power to destroy children's lives, the military was troubled with racism and sexism, many successful businesspeople were bending or simply breaking the law to enrich themselves, many journalists were happily reporting slanted news, etc. Innocence destroyed - but at the same time, light began to shine on some practices that simply shouldn't be. College sports is no different. Yes, we've lost our innocence, and the benefits of the current model for all parties are questionable. But how many kids in the "old days" got out of school with no real education, because someone else was taking their tests and doing their homework? How many were getting money under the table, with "bag men" and "hundred dollar handshakes"? How many couldn't even afford to eat decently because they had no money and no way to earn it due to asinine NCAA rules? How many were used up and spit out by universities that had no use for them once their knee was balky or a new coaching staff came in and told them to beat it? How many were recruited by a certain coach to fit a certain scheme, then that coach left for a bigger contract and they don't fit the scheme of the new staff and have little recourse? I'm not sure whether we were better off in a world of innocence where we simply didn't know all the problems that were going on, or in a world of lost innocence where we now know some ugly details and some of those problems have been curtailed, but other problems are popping up. It would help a lot if there were some rules or standards, and I have to assume those will be coming eventually. When you've got even guys like Saban and Swinney saying this is unsustainable, I'm guessing Congress will get involved sooner or later. Of course, if there's one institution even less competent than the NCAA...
  2. I feel sorry for them the same way I feel sorry for a teenage girl with an unplanned pregnancy...or a kid who tries drugs...or 21-year-old who quits a good job because he's mad at his boss. Yes, all made stupid decisions. Yes, all have no one to blame but themselves. And yes, I made some really stupid decisions at 18 - 22 years old. Decisions which, had things gone too far, could have had life-long consequences for me. I'm guessing most of us can say the same thing. So I feel sorry that life is teaching them some hard lessons and their decisions, for the most part, don't look so good now. Hopefully part of the lesson is that if you make a mistake, man up, don't put the blame on others, accept the consequences, learn from it, and move on.
  3. All the draft "experts" were full of it, and not just on Oregon players who were expected to be drafted. All I heard was how the Steelers were in love with Malik Willis but he wouldn't be available for them at #20, how all these QBs were going to go in the first round, etc. etc. The Steelers drafted a different QB, and guys like Willis lasted until the third round. One Penn State O-lineman I saw mocked in the first round by multiple people finally got drafted toward the end of the seventh round. I consistently saw McKinley mocked into the 3rd or 4th rounds, and look what happened. The draft is just like recruiting and the transfer portal - lots of kids who think they're better than they really are or constantly get told they're better than they really are - and find out the hard way. And lots of "experts" who rate guys with 4 or 5 stars...and then those guys end up entering the transfer portal because they're third on the depth chart. It's all such an inexact science (more guesswork than science, really). When I saw the 40 times and other measurables for guys like Verdell and McKinley, I figured they faced long odds of getting drafted.
  4. I lived on a golf course for years in Phoenix. I got balls in the yard. It's part of what you get. You don't want balls in the yard, don't live on a golf course. It's not like they built it there while I wasn't looking...
  5. I know it's not exactly a representative sample, but it always is fun to kind of get a feel for fans of various teams through interaction on these boards. Years ago I was very active on the Pepperdine basketball chat boards (when we were consistently one of the top teams in the country). We faced Indiana in the first round of March Madness, and IU fans just flooded our board with all kinds of garbage - how we were going to get beaten by 50, how we didn't even belong on the same floor with Indiana, how our sad little team was just an embarrassment, etc. Almost every one of them behaved like an arrogant jerk. So it felt fantastic when Pepperdine routed the fabled Hoosiers by 20, sending Bobby Knight out a loser in his last game at the school. Next game, we faced Oklahoma State. Totally different experience. The vast majority of their fans were pleasant, informed, and ready for discussion. Sucked that we lost to them, but still, what a contrast from what we faced with Hoosier fans. Glad to see that so far, UGA fans seem to be like OK State and not IU.
  6. I've never figured out how in some people this is considered "confidence" and in others it's considered "cockiness" or "arrogance."
  7. One of the things sports folks do that bugs the heck out of me is make irrelevant comparisons. KT is like Jordan because both went to the same school. Texas Tech will beat Wisconsin because TT is 4 - 0 all-time against the Badgers (when they last played in 1987). Love Dan Patrick, but the only person KT is like is...KT. Might as well say he won't succeed because there's never been an All-Pro named Kayvon. KT also (at least to anyone's knowledge) does not have a substance problem, and we all know what sadly derailed Jordan's career.
  8. Not sure what the school CAN do, but there have been numerous kids who have entered the portal and then gone back to their current school, so I don't think the portal is necessarily a one-way ticket out of town.
  9. I'll top both those options with mudbugs from down Loosiana way - I'm a west coaster (now west coast of Europe, but still...), but you can't beat good Cajun cooking.
  10. That probably has to be the most difficult balancing act in college football. If you've got a Mariota or a Manziel as a freshman, he's going to be there likely until junior year, and possibly longer - why would any other top QB come on board to sit guaranteed for two years? Years ago, guys would sit behind the starter and wait for their one or two years in the limelight. Good programs would have a constant pipeline - the junior star and the freshman top recruit who'll wait his two years. Today, guys bolt for greener pastures if they're not starting, so if your starter goes down, there's nothing of quality and/or experience behind him. At other positions like DL and WR, backups rotate in to give starters a break or with different packages, so they're playing. At QB, the backups are usually playing only due to injury or to hand off when you're up by 35 against Washington. Would NOT want to be a college coach today.
  11. I think that right there is the difference between whether we should want Nix to grab the job or one of the younger guys to emerge. If you truly think the Ducks are in contention for the playoffs, then Nix may be the right guy. Higher floor, more experienced, but probably a lower ceiling. If you think '22 is going to be more of a development year with a young team, a new system, new coaches, and guys who may not be right for this system (e.g. the comments here about the O-line), and we need to build for '23 or '24, then you have to hope one of the young guys will grab the reins. Make your mistakes now, learn, get that experience, and when the rest of the team is ready, we have a mature QB with experience in this system who'll likely be here 2 - 3 years. Lower floor, higher ceiling. If we have a good-not-great QB in Nix for two years, we're back to where we were with Brown, and in two years when he leaves we have a mature, ready-to-win team with an unknown entity at QB. That assumes that either of the young guys has the capability to grow into a star and actually has a higher ceiling than Nix.
  12. Valid point, and it makes criticism of any player (not just a QB) difficult, because these are kids. At the same time, other kids at other schools are in similar positions. Caleb Williams, Johnny Manziel, Harrington as a freshman, heck, going back far enough Danny O'Neil as a freshman - all young kids, and sometimes kids going through academic struggles, family problems, coaching changes, etc. It's not terribly fair to them in a lot of ways, but it's the system we have. I'm sure LSU, USC, Notre Dame, WSU, UW, and other schools have kids struggling due to coaching changes. Some of those kids will figure it out and become solid contributors and even stars; some of them won't. I'm just hoping we have a lot of them who'll figure it out.
  13. You mean aside from Lincoln Riley?
  14. I won't say we need to pump the brakes on anything, but I do think certain situations are hard to judge in a scrimmage game like this. For instance, the QB sacks and possible QB runs. Some of the "sacks" I saw, I doubt would have actually been a sack in a live game situation, and the QB could have rolled out or taken off. They were erring on the side of safety for the QB. At the same time, I'm sure the QBs were told absolutely no running, so we couldn't evaluate that part of it either. Also hard to judge given what I'm sure is vanilla game planning and calls, including O-line blocking schemes at this point, plus each team being a mix of starters and subs, with a bunch of guys shuttling in and out. In these games, I look more for individual performances. QBs shouldn't make boneheaded decisions, particularly knowing they have no chance of getting hit. QBs should be reasonably accurate on passes. Skill position players shouldn't fumble. Guys making the tough, contested catch (including DBs). Tight coverage. Stuff like that. From what I was able to see (unfortunately just in extended highlights), I was most impressed with Cota. Given his numbers at UCLA, I wasn't terribly excited about getting him from the portal, but I may have been flat wrong on that one. Nix's decision making and Thompson's accuracy concern me. Still think '22 is a transition year - new staff, new schemes, some guys probably won't fully buy in, some are wrong for what these coaches want to run, etc. It'll take a while for this to shake out.
  15. I see that Tom Snee is not currently with the team. Any scoop from anyone on what's happening there?
  16. From CBS Sports: USC set a spring game attendance record: There were 33,427 people who braved the Los Angeles traffic and made their way to the Coliseum for a glimpse of Lincoln Riley and Caleb Williams in USC paraphernalia. Of course, Oklahoma had over 75,000 for theirs...
  17. The "average" is how each team is ranked, not just the "star" rating. Recruiting services usually give a numeric rating; in this case it seems to be on a 100-point scale. Anything above a certain number is 5 stars. Oregon and Texas might have the same number of five star players, but Oregon's players average 90.6, while Texas' players average 90.13. So when rated based on stars, TX actually looks slightly better. When they use the exact numeric ratings for each player, Oregon looks slightly better.
  18. Unfortunately, so does every other team, with the popularity of the transfer portal. Guys who don't get selected as the starter may just up and leave, because it's so easy and seems so promising. About the only way it's probable to have a true succession without much risk of the backup leaving is either to have a guy who CLEARLY is not as good as #1 - and he knows it - so he's happy to be #2 in a big-time program, or to have a senior starter with a freshman backup who is willing to be patient as the heir apparent. I think the days where you recruit and keep a big-time QB every year or every other year are gone. Who wants to ride the pine for two years when you can just transfer to someplace and have a much greater chance of immediate PT? Who's going to wait for three years for one year as a starter?
  19. Oregon Ducks defensive lineman Jonah Miller enters transfer portal WWW.OREGONLIVE.COM Jonah Miller, a redshirt-freshman who moved to defensive tackle from offensive line this spring, entered the transfer portal on...
  20. Which really points out just how well Wazzu, Cal, Utah, and Oregon State are coached - competitive teams without the same level of talent. And how poorly USC and Washington have been coached - #2 and #3 in the conference in talent and both had awful results. New coaches now, so who knows for the future, but both Lake and Helton took chicken salad and turned it into...you know the rest. Unfortunately, it also says something about the coaching for OBD - clearly #1 in talent but not in results. With the Ducks, you can at least point to how extraordinarily young all that talent was over the last year or two, but even so...
  21. I love how everyone "knows" why Conerly made his decision (just like there are many experts on why every kid made his decision). This article claims it was negative recruiting against Riley as not being tough enough for the SEC. Other articles claimed he was given more NIL money. And I'm sure others out there think they have secret knowledge of other reasons. Unless we hear it from someone truly in the know, like Conerly or his family, I tend to discount all of these claims. Maybe they're entirely true. Maybe they're half true. Or maybe someone is simply trying to read tea leaves, make assumptions, or jump to conclusions. Maybe Oregon coaches made some of those claims and Conerly didn't agree with them or didn't take them into account but chose the Ducks for other reasons. Maybe he prefers staying closer to home...didn't feel entirely comfortable in LA...felt Oregon would give him a better shot at being a high draft pick...felt SC and UW would spend his first season or two of college ball with losing records...really likes a girl in Eugene...thinks Oregon offers a major that really interests him...was given a big bag of cash by a booster. I mean, do we really think anyone but Conerly and a few people close to him fully understand why he made the decision he did? Do we really think some writer for Trojans Wire or WashingtonUsedToBeAGoodTeam.com or whatever it is has some inside scoop on why Conerly made his decision? Heck, I'll bet in many cases even the kid himself doesn't fully understand why he chose Oregon or Stanford or whatever--he went with a gut feeling. Yet writers will claim all sorts of things or cite "unnamed sources." I miss actual journalism.
  22. I definitely see "honeymoon." That's when it still doesn't bother you that cauliflower gives her gas or that she clips her toenails in bed. Big rose colored glasses. And I definitely see rose colored glasses a variety of times on this board. Comments about how Lanning is going to eat USC's lunch in recruiting, how his D will stifle Riley's O, looking forward to lots of 5-star recruits, best coaching staff ever, etc. All before the staff has coached one game. Maybe all the optimism will prove to be fully warranted - we'll get top 5 recruiting classes, compete on a level playing field with SEC teams, go to the playoffs even before they're expanded to 12 teams, etc. I hope so. I've backed the Ducks since the days of Reggie Ogburn and Vince Goldsmith, and dearly want to buy some absurdly overpriced national championship gear. But it's also quite possible that the coaches will prove to be great recruiters who aren't great in-game coaches. Or that Lanning will be one of many who are awesome coordinators and not terribly good head coaches (Charlie Weiss, Buddy Ryan, Mark Helfrich, etc.). Or that SC will re-establish dominance under Riley and we'll consistently play 2nd fiddle in the Pac-12. Or that Lanning will jump ship in two years for an SEC job. Or that Dillingham will be lacking as an OC. Or that we'll end up relying on the transfer portal for seasoned mediocrity over promising inexperience and have trouble keeping recruits. At this point, I see a lot of honeymoon optimism from fans. Not to piddle on anyone's parade, but I'm very much in a wait-and-see mode. Not because I believe any of the negative things will happen, but because it's not yet proven that they won't. A lot of us were pretty excited about Willy Taggert and Mario Cristobal when they started, too. Let's just give it a realistic chance and see where it goes...
  23. Trying to predict what any kid will do based on our adult logic is a losing battle (says the father of a 15-year-old). Heck, predicting what half the adults will do based on logic is nearly impossible (says the guy who has studied consumer behavior for 3+ decades). It's absurd to have a dream school based on cool uniforms or a favorite player from your childhood, but what do we consistently hear about kids regarding the Ducks? "I grew up watching DAT and the uniforms were totally cool." I figure a ton of these kids make decisions to transfer to or from a particular school, or sign an NLI, partly based on such logic as: that one cheerleader was SO hot...I look great in the road unis...the DB coach is really demanding...that party was so dope...it's close to the beach (says the guy who went to Pepperdine - but never went to the beach)...someone made me a promise about playing time...they want me to pimp a Ford dealership for my NIL but I like Camaros...they didn't chant my name at the basketball game...
  24. One problem is: who would work on it? The NCAA is completely toothless and they have largely given up. Power 5 commissioners are looking out for their own conferences and can't even agree on an expanded playoff. Individual schools aren't going to limit themselves when other schools remain free to pay whatever they want. A huge problem right now is that we have no one in charge of the playground, and I'm not sure when (if) that's likely to change. And no, this isn't another "here's what's wrong with college football" rant. I don't think we're complaining or predicting the death of the Ducks or college football in general. Speaking for myself, this was more a reaction to the recent threads with SC and UW fans throwing shade at Oregon's recruiting. I like all of your ideas, but I'm just not sure who could get any of them implemented...?
  25. Canzano: Oregon's biggest win of Dan Lanning era sparks collective cheer WWW.JOHNCANZANO.COM Josh Conerly Jr. spurns USC for Ducks. I think this article really says it all. Yes, apparently NIL was a significant factor in getting Conerly to Oregon. Like it or not, it's the reality of major college athletics today. My takeaways: For any Oregon fans to claim NIL isn't a big factor and the Ducks just out-recruited other schools for any player they got likely isn't accurate. Kids aren't turning down fifty grand from Alabama or Oklahoma just because Eugene is a nice place to live for four years. For Oregon fans (or any fans) to claim their hoped-for player chose another school because he got paid more is little more than sour grapes. Maybe he did get paid more - but it's not like he wouldn't have gotten paid at your school, so let's not pretend the winning school did something wrong or that your favorite school doesn't offer financial incentives through NIL. For the USC and Washington fans whining that Oregon just outbid their schools or else it's inconceivable that Conerly would have gone to Eugene - get a clue. Obviously your schools were "bidding" on him, too. You lost out. Grow up. Deal with it. Smart kids are going to take full advantage of this, but NIL won't be the only factor. Yeah, if Georgia is offering $50k through the NIL and Arkansas is offering $1k, Arkansas probably isn't in the running. But if a kid chooses Georgia, that doesn't automatically mean Georgia just outbid everyone else. There might have been ten schools all with reasonable offers, and the kid liked the degree program, liked the coaches, felt he would have a better chance to play for a title, felt he would have a better shot at getting drafted, or thought the co-eds are hotter there. I HATE that NIL is part of recruiting now, and that things are largely unregulated. But for the moment, that's how it is. So let's not pretend otherwise, whether it plays into Oregon's favor or against the Ducks for any given player. Sorry, Husky and Trojan fans - try harder next time.
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