#6 Cal @ #11 Oregon: Is the Pac-10 an Elite Conference?

Ryan BlanchfieldAnalyst ISeptember 27, 2007

Both Cal and Oregon have really hit the ground running this year, but it was near the same scenario when these teams met last year.  Oregon was 4-0 and ranked 11th when the traveled to Cal, but they lost 45-24 and it only got worse.  "This group of kids is a year older and a year wiser," Oregon coach Mike Belotti said.  "I think there is a more concerted effort to understand that there are times things aren't going to go right and we've got to change it."

What to look for when Cal has the ball:
Some great talent.  There are 4 guys that can really lead this team down the field on this offense: QB Nate Longshore, RB Justin Forsett, WR and PR Desean Jackson and WR Lavelle Hawkins.  Is that enough starpower for you? 

Longshore has certainly thrown his share of jaw-dropping frozen ropes, but he is more of a signal-caller and leader for the Bears.  

Justin Forsett has gone for over 100 yards in all but one game, over 150 in 2.  

LaVelle Hawkins has already been in the endzone twice catching the ball and WR/PR Desean Jackson always threatens to score when he fields a punt or kickoff.  

This Oregon D just came off a 31 point performance against Stanford.  Not too impressive.

What to look for when Oregon has the ball:
More starpower.  

QB Dennis Dixon has been nearly flawless this year as he has almost reached 1000 yards with 11 TDs and 0 INTs.  

RB Jonathan Stewart is also one of the best around.  He's also gone for over 100 in all games but one as Dixon also is very nimble with his feet.

Their leading reciever, Jaison Williams, has caught 4 Dixon TD passes.  

The Cal defense has been nothing exceptional.  Then again, that's the problem with this entire conference: NO DEFENSE.  Like the saying says, defense wins championships.  I guess the Pac-10 doesn't win championships.
Cal wins in shootout 42-39.