I am going to go ahead and call my shot. Like Babe Ruth, Jimmy Johnson and Nostradamus before me, I am going to call my shot and say that what you are about to read will be the most arrogant Arrogant Game Recap since this blog began. We’re off to a good start. I used “arrogant” right next to “Arrogant” in a sentence. That’s right. Double Arrogant and I haven’t even started.
Let me begin by reminding you, Arrogant Nation, what our goal was this year. It was to win the Pac-12 South and make Larry Scott look like a fool for lumping the conference title game in with the NCAA instead of doing what the rest of the world does, protect it’s own, especially the only relevant football team you have. Keep hanging that hat on Stanford and Oregon, Larry. I hear they are huge in big games. I also hear you know a lot about hats because you are bald. So really, there’s no excuse for where you have been hanging your hat. Unless you like being bald, which might be true as you don’t seem like the kind of guy who gives a shit.
Enter Oregon-Utah championship.
Back to the task at hand.
I spent this weekend in bear country. New Jersey. The place this young bearfighter spent his first 9 years of life in a dark, forest of a county where bears were a reality. It was a reminder of my manifest destiny. This destiny, to escape New Jersey, where I had learned to kill bears and head west to the state with a bear on its flag and two douchey schools with bears for mascots.
Being back in New Jersey was surreal. I had to wear cold people clothes and didn’t even have anywhere to snowboard (I don’t get it?). I was there for my brother’s surprise 40th birthday party, which deserved my attention as he taught me a lot about fighting bears.
What was amazing about this was it put me at a bar deep in New Jersey where the game was not on. The first bartender told me the channel couldn’t be changed, so I just tipped her an undisclosed amount of money and told her that would keep happening the more televisions were on the SC game and that all people from California do this as a way to help the economy.
Needless to say, by the end of the night, most of the televisions had the game, a Marine brought my father a chair and there were several hug-fests going on because I had the crowd freaking out.
Despite Dan Patrick teasing Kiffin for his white out beanie and snow gear combo, it was the truth. People can knock it, but suddenly all we are hearing is Kiffin as Coach of the Year. Colin Cowherd said he was a “great” coach.
Everything I have stood for from day one is coming true and it is because of this special group of athletes and Arrogant Nation acting as the wind in their sails.
The reason Kiffin wore a beanie was because his visor went Delta Force, camouflaged as Oregon gear (which is easy to do because there are 1,324,343 combinations of it) and sat on Fat E Chip Kelly’s head for four hours controlling his mind, which was evident from his awesome time management in the second half. You see, the thing is, Oregon isn’t built to manage the clock because they are built to defy the clock. The visor perved Chip’s mind, able to penetrate the layers of duck fat and art lessons responsible for their goofy zone offense play calling sheets.
Are you kidding with this garbage?! Kiffin’s
The visor and the beanie became our greatest one-two punch.
So let’s get into it.
Oregon is San Diego without the weather, attractive people or quality Mexican food (especially the California burrito where you get your french fries and your rice and beans, it’s like a North American peace treaty inside a tortilla). I say Oregon is San Diego because Oregon cannot, will not and frankly can’t imagine winning a big game. Understand my meaning. Oregon has beaten us. Oregon has won a lot of games against big teams. But when it comes to winning the big game, I mean the BIG one, they are hopeless.
They can’t win a Rose Bowl. They can’t win a neutral field with LSU. They can’t win a National Title. It’s just scientific fact. Period. Some teams are destined for greatness even when they are not great. Some teams are destined to fail even when they are great. USC is the former, the Ducks are the latter. Oregon, until you win one of these games, you are what I said you are, a fashion show with a football habit that doesn’t prepare players for the NFL and has a losing bowl record, no national titles, Heismans or Rose Bowls. (Ironically, since most football players come to school for a chance to make the NFL, having them run a BS scheme is actually giving them a bad education).
To add insult to injury, after this game, we moved up 8 spots to JUST BEHIND Oregon. Many think this is a bad thing. I think it’s arrogant. The only thing worse than being ranked below someone is flat out knowing you deserve to be lower than them. Kiss the ring, Puddles.
Phil Knight trots out LeBron, Carmelo and Kobe and crew out to this game to try and sway recruits for Oregon. Only Kobe wears SC gear and USC takes a dump on Oregon on the road. That’s because Kobe has won the big game five times now. Kobe, even when on trial for rape (he was innocent for those living under a rock), was destined for greatness. I’ll let you guess what team LeBron was rooting for:
Shocker. LeBron knows a thing about winning the big game. He knows he hasn’t done it. Also, LeBron. If you can wear NY Yankee hats to Cleveland Indians games, you can read the NY Times and know that hand signal you are making is sign language for “vagina”.
Robert Woods said later that when he scored a touchdown and threw baby powder in the air, it was a tribute to LeBron, or like, LeBron was in on it. Whatever. Phil Knight trotted his stallions out to shed light on the fact that LaMichael James is good for under 75 yards rushing against a team of freshmen and sophomores and Robert Woods knows more about throwing baby powder in big games than LBJ does.
Also, the NBA is gone.
Look, USC came out of the gate and kicked the Ducks in the face so many times, PETA showed up. We ran on them, we passed all over them, our defense made their tackles. A team of freshmen and sophomores flew around the field so much and set such a definitive tone for the next few years that every restaurant in Eugene was on Epicurious searching for duck a l’orange recipes because there was so much dead mallard on the field it’d be a shame to let it go to waste. Frankly, they should take the silver bedazzled wings off those jerseys (all 200 versions of it) because homies got clipped.
ESPN took a minute to figure out what was happening. Most of the articles were about Oregon almost coming back or USC surviving. Correct me if I am wrong or was just not getting it through the bourbon and New Jerseyness of the situation I was in, but OREGON NEVER HAD A LEAD.
I get that they choked on a field goal to TIE the game. But if you want to play that game, how many times do you get a RB miss a hand off because he was heading too far out to the right side of the field? I mean, you were about to get the definitive throat stomp. Frankly, I ENJOYED the missed field goal because it was like taking a prisoner out of jail, into a Bentley, driving him to the edge of Mexico… and then turning the car around.
Oregon, you knew this was going to happen. Between LSU, Ohio State (ew, who loses to Big Ten teams?) and Auburn (ew, who loses to Auburn?), you had to know that when it rained, it would pour. And it did. So much so that it rained in LA also and the next day, they are saying Matt Barkley deserves an invite to the Heisman presentation.
So enough talking about Oregon, who will end up in the Rose Bowl losing to a Big Ten team knowing, like ESPN now knows via their power rankings, that they are not the best team in the Pac 12. Let’s talk about what this does to the Pac 12.
I am going to assume we can handle UCLA and will cover why I believe so on Weds (no writing on Turkey Day). When we win out and go 10-2 and win the Pac 12 South only to not get to play in the title game (most likely so we don’t devalue the team going to the Rose Bowl, who will be Oregon, who we just spent Saturday devaluing all over their face for most of the night), the Pac 12 will miss out on a rematch of USC Oregon and instead, get Oregon and probably Utah.
Speaking as someone in advertising, well-versed in ratings and media spends, this difference is going to cost the networks tens of millions of dollars. That’s a fact. And guess what, it’s on Larry Scott. There is no reason USC should not be able to play in that game, it is not the postseason, it is not a bowl. It’s just bullshit.
A win this week and we’ve done what we set out to do: Render the Pac 12, the NCAA and all who believe their gospel as total, unabashed bullshit. That is how you fight a bear. You reap what you sow, Larry. Enjoy Utes v Oregon for a chance to lose to a Big Ten school that SC would have beaten.
A win this week and here’s what having nothing to play for equals. It equals a Pac 12 South division title. It equals the first Pac 12 Championship being played with damaged goods and zero credibility. It equals 18 wins and 7 losses in the face of the harshest and most pointless sanctions in the history of the sport. Dudes ate horse steroids in baseball and got off easier than USC got off for having a player take money in San Diego from someone unrelated to their program. Meanwhile, Miami waits until they are 6-5 to “self-sanction” a bowl season. Meanwhile, Cam Newton is in People Magazine and Auburn is off with no penalty. Meanwhile, Ohio State decides to sanction themselves after what feels like a decade of getting caught for things leading back to Maurice Clarett.
Bottom line? You punch like a girl, NCAA.
No offense to my Trojan Women, who punch like men and look like supermodels, but it basically had to be said. NCAA, you are softer than brie cheese. You are weaker than a drink at a night club with a one-word name. You are more pointless than the talent contest at a beauty pageant.
Basically, you lost the war with us. We made your punishment look good and we did it on national television.
Hey Emmert, if you are reading this, collect yourself for a moment. I got a feeling this is the face you are making, Captain Clownshoes.
I know man. That’s how we feel every time you or any of your cronies talk or try to make sense of what you are doing, which is taking a dump on something people really love. College football, dude. Colleges playing football against each other. Remember? That’s what this is about.
We won, Emmert. We had a blast for two years and we just grew stars. Our linebackers. Lee and Woods. McNeal. Matt Barkley, who I called the minute that game ended and just said “thank you”.
Lane Fucking Kiffin, Bro. The best coach in the Pac 12. It’s unfathomable for you out there to hear it, but it’s true. He’s arrogant. He wears clothes so white they glow in the fucking day. His wife seems as nice as she is hot. His dad has crazy hair and for all the shit he took, he stopped Oregon and Chip Kelly’s score-before-I-have-a-heart-attack-from-eating offense.
This is OUR guy, Arrogant Nation. This is our guy and I fucking can’t get enough of him from his nuclear winter clothing to his way of talking shit without talking shit to the way he smirks on the sidelines no matter what is going on. This is Uncle Pete’s younger, cooler, evil brother and let’s just say it since I know ESPN won’t.
Lane cleaned up Pete’s mess and protected his memory for all of us. If you ask me, that’s why he sat out on the field at Autzen after the game for so long taking it in. He brought us back from a death sentence and no matter what happens, we didn’t fall off. He proved to the sporting media that it doesn’t matter what you write if you keep winning games.
Now onto Barkley. I made a promise to myself I wouldn’t say anything about why he should stay until after the season, and I really won’t. It will be a compelling article and I’ll make sure he reads it.
What I want to say right now to him is just thank you. One more win next week, and then thank you. You could have left, dude. We’d have probably even understood. You didn’t though and you are just starting to reap the benefits. Go kill another set of bears this week and I will explain to you the larger point and the finer points to help in your December ruminations.
For now, one more set of bears to kill. That’s if you can finish picking duck feathers out of your cleats.
In other news, Puddles tried to drown himself in a fountain on campus, but forgot ducks are basically tasty pool floaties, so it didn’t work. He was quoted later as being proud though in upholding the Duck tradition of failing at critical times.
I am glad we got to be the sword that skewered the Ducks this year. Effectively, we just put the bellbottoms of college football into the thrift store bin.
And Stanford, we just inserted our guy into the Heisman mix. If you were curious if the bullshit calls messed with the outcome, ask ESPN who the best team is in the Pac. We’re better now than when I started writing this post. Frankly, you won’t exist next year so I just wasted pixels on you. Damnit. PS, your signs at GameDay were so corny I was embarrassed my mom made me learn to read.
Ted Miller said it best, which is rare because it’s my job to say it best. “…the team that can’t win the conference now sits atop it”.
I hope the rest of the Pac 12 likes history. This season feels so much like Pete Carroll’s second season, I honestly can’t tell the difference (except for the lighthouse-like glow of the visor). We were sloppy early, but really, a few turnovers and bad calls from an undefeated season and getting better every week.
I want so badly to see next year happen with Barkley so my tag-team heroes Woods and Lee can eat and my new Twitter bud Kyle Negrete doesn’t have to punt at all (and can teach me to punt as he has promised). That said, if Matt leaves (and I’ll try to talk him out of it for good reasons, not selfish ones), yes, if Matt leaves, a Leinart will step up.
We could do the unthinkable and lose to UCLA, it doesn’t matter. USC is back. We’re going to keep mocking out scholarship restrictions and rolling joyfully downhill. It’s just a matter of time.
Take it from the Bearfighter who never lied to you. Lane Fucking Kiffin, Bro. Bowls are for Salad. And most of all… You can’t sanction the endzone.
Now, here’s Emeril Lagasse’s recipe for duck a l’orange because if you did what I did in New Jersey after this game, you have a lot of hand-murdered tasty birds in your garage. Hopefully you did it locally. It’s not really illegal to go through TSA at JFK with a duffel bag filled with dead animals, it just kind of makes the process take longer. Especially when you have to take off your shoes.