Cliff Pfenning's blog

Vikings sail under radar toward Burton’s first game.

Thu, 09/02/2010 - 7:59am
Cliff Pfenning
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With all buzz going across the state about Oregon and Oregon State and Quizz and LaMichael, TCU and BSU, the PSU Vikings have just disappeared from the media radar.

But, they’ve got problems/drama, too, maybe even more that both the Ducks and Beavers because the Viks are inaugurating a new coach Saturday at Arizona State.

Payday game for their new coach, Nigel Burton. Payday game against a program in need of whomping on a smaller program to make a statement it’s a big-time program.

And the Viks get another one of those games two weeks later when they visit Autzen Stadium, the loudest stadium on the planet, to take on the No. 11 Ducks. Currently, I’ve got that game pegged at 70 for the Ducks, 0 for the Vikings. That’s because the state know’s nothing about how the PSU program is going to perform under Burton, who’s never been the head coach for a college game.

So, banter all you want about the Oregon and OSU games on Saturday – and I’ll be watching the Beavs’ game intently, but the Vikings are the real drama on Saturday. Can they actually win against the Sun Devils? Can they actually score against the Sun Devils. It’s the game with the most drama among all the programs in Oregon.

These Beavers can become Giants for Oregon

Wed, 09/01/2010 - 11:55am
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If you believe in miracles, then you might believe this is a year of destiny for the Oregon State football team, starting with a shot at becoming “Giant Killers II.”

The Beavers open their 2010 schedule Saturday against No. 6 Texas Christian, play host to Louisville two weeks later, then travel to No. 3 Boise State the following week.

In the span of 21 days, the Beavers will play the No. 3 and No. 6 teams in the nation on the road, not exactly Giant Killers, but close enough to merit a comparison. And, as it’s the beginning of the season, it’s a chance to brand the team for a run at the Rose Bowl – which the team has been just a win away from the past two seasons.

In 1965, the Beavers beat No. 2 Purdue, No. 2 UCLA and No. 1 USC in the span of 21 days, which has forever labeled the team “Giant Killers,” even though they didn’t reach the Rose Bowl.

There’s a lot of the nation that wants OSU to go 3-0, too, and put some reality back into TCU and BSU, who play relatively weak conference schedules.

TCU plays in the Mountain West, while BSU plays in the Western Athletic Conference, conferences they can dominate and end the season with unbeaten records if they can just win their non-conference games. Recently, they have.

Boise State even beat Oregon last year in that infamous game that started the Ducks’ run to the Rose Bowl.

OSU can earn some revenge for the Beaver State with a win in Boise.

Playing those highly-ranked teams, and with a new quarterback, virtually no one outside Corvallis thinks the Beavers can go 3-0, which is where the ’67 team was heading into their 21-day stretch.

“Giant Killers II.” It’s the 2010 team’s team to forever earn that nickname.

Forget the big guns, Parkrose is your team to watch

Wed, 08/11/2010 - 10:38am
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It’s very likely that the Parkrose Broncos won’t reach the Class 5A state playoffs this fall, but they’re going to be one of the more fun teams to follow during the season.

Parkrose, you see, hasn’t won a league game in 17 years – 1992. The Broncos have lost 87 consecutive conference games, and have regularly played an independent schedule to avoid making that streak longer.

This year, after playing an independent schedule that last two seasons, the Broncos are back - back to the Northwest Oregon Conference.

Parkrose plays its season opener Sept. 3 at Dallas, then opens conference play at Liberty, Sept. 10.

After that, they’ve got six more shots at winning that monumental, streak-ending game.

They’re going to be fun to follow because they’ve been building their program the past two seasons and should have a legitimate shot at winning several games.

It’s not going to be easy, even after many of the best programs in the conference moved up to Class 6A, including defending state champion Hillsboro.

The conference lost Hillsboro, Century and Glencoe – a state quarterfinalist, to 6A, but picked up Milwaukie, Putnam and Sandy from 6A. Combined with Liberty, Sherwood – a perennial state title contender, St. Helens, and Wilsonville, the NOC is something of a stacked conference.

Winning, just one game, is not going to be easy, so when it does happen it’s going to set off some kind of celebration.

Parkrose won three games last year, including an overtime win against Benson, which reached the 6A state playoffs. The Broncos lost just 24-10 against Liberty in Week 8.

But, they also narrowly beat Roosevelt, which might have been the worst team in the state at any level, and beat Madras, another 5A independent team, 17-14 in Week 7.

They’re going to be fun to watch, kind of like the stock market.

Dallas outscored only Roosevelt and Summit, both winless teams, last year, so the Dragons figure to be a good team to play before the NOC opener.

Sept. 10 at Liberty of Hillsboro. Parkrose might have a few fans their just waiting to rush the field. They only have to win.

 

 

 

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