Talking Points: Lousy first Pac-12 title game
Tuesday, November 29, 2011
What’s the buzz from the world of sports? Here are some items that will have people talking:
It is just the Pacific-12 Conference’s lousy luck.
The first edition of the shiny new conference’s shiny new football championship game — and we get a team playing in it that fired its coach because the team is so bad.
This is one of the risks run by splitting up only 12 teams in two divisions. When the only good football team in half the conference is on probation, well, this happens.
UCLA could be either a 7-6 team playing in a BCS bowl — or a team that was one win away from a conference championship and not bowling at all at 6-7.
One plus of UCLA’s matchup with Oregon — a 31½-point favorite (not that Talking Points condones whatever that’s about) — is that the two teams haven’t played each other already.
Two Oregon-USC games in Eugene in three weeks would have seemed like a bit much. Then again, it would be a more interesting matchup than this one.
Of course, the games aren’t played on paper. They’re played inside your TV set. (Thank you, ESPN’s Kenny Mayne.)
It could get worse, writes Danny O’Neil of The Seattle Times:
That’s a definite possibility for the Seattle Seahawks and quarterback Tarvaris Jackson, who isn’t getting better as he continues to play through an injured pectoral muscle.
His passing yardage has declined in each of the past four games, and his health will be a central issue when the Seahawks play the Philadelphia Eagles on Thursday.
That’s the day Jackson has just begun throwing in practice the past couple of weeks.
Forget all the questions concerning Seattle’s quarterback of the future, because there’s a question of how long Jackson can stay in the pocket in the present. The impact of the injury is apparent.
There’s not as much velocity on Jackson’s throws downfield. This is especially true when he moves from the pocket. Jackson has been able to throw competitively on back-to-back days once since suffering the injury a month and a half ago, and it remains possible that he’ll need surgery to help the muscle heal after the season.
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