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SI.com college football writer Stewart Mandel shares his commentary, analysis and random tidbits on the latest developments around the country.
11/03/2007 06:30:00 PM

Saturday Observations, Part II

EUGENE, Ore. -- One of the things I’ve always loved about college football is the way it bridges generations. Wander around any stadium parking lot on a Saturday and you’ll see fans from toddlers through twilight years, all brought together by the common bond of a favorite team.

My new Oregon buddies A.J. and Goss tailgate at the RV of their fraternity’s “alumni advisor,” Kelly, who, along with one of the other fraternity members’ father, Pete, regaled me with stories from Oregon yesteryear. Pete was in attendance at McArthur Court when the Ducks stunned Lew Alcindor’s UCLA teams two years in a row in the early ‘70s. Kelly was at the Steve Prefontaine race where the famous “Stop Pre” T-shirts were born.

It was a cool tailgate, but I could tell I was in a Pac-10 town. Of all the games for the Pike guys to be watching on their big-screen TV at the time, they had on … UCLA-Arizona.

• Speaking of which, is it any surprise that Karl Dorrell’s Bruins are getting smoked by 3-6 Arizona? Of course not … just as it will be equally unsurprising when UCLA turns around and knocks off Oregon or Arizona State in the next couple of weeks.

• Back in the press box, I watched with the same befuddlement as the rest of you at Charlie Weis passing up a potential game-winning 41-yard field goal in the final minute to go for it on fourth and 8. Navy LB Ram Vela promptly pulled a LaVar Arrington, jumping over ND’s offensive line to sack Evan Sharpley.

As of this writing, Navy had just kicked a field goal to send the game to triple-overtime. I know it’s a 4-4 team playing a 1-7 team … but with a 43-game winning streak on the line, this is unbelievably suspenseful.

• Forty-five minutes before kickoff, the Oregon student section was already pulling out the “Over-rated” chant as Arizona State warmed up. C’mon guys --- that’s a little presumptuous.

• Best sign spotted in the parking lot: “Ted Bundy was a Husky.”

• Finally, this may be the only stadium in the country where, for $7, you can order a freshly grilled Pacific Salmon sandwich. It was … delicious.
posted by Stewart Mandel | View comments |


Posted: 6:48 PM   by Knox
God bless the midshipmen! GO NAVY!
Posted: 6:51 PM   by Gobbles96818
Charlie is going to be second-guessed big time for not trying the field goal. Wow, a 43 game losing streak gone. Good job, Navy!
Posted: 9:31 PM   by phork
Charlie Weis should be fired. This is an outright travesty. NOT kicking the game winning field goal? Running for the 2 point conversion in clearly a running formation.
I am truly at a loss for words right now. I have been a staunch Weis supporter from Day1, and today that has changed.
Someone needs to answer this regarding ND and Navy and the potential GW FG: what is the kicker's percentage from 41 yards? What were the wind conditions?

Also, the team is 1-7 so losing to go to 1-8 is not really that big of a deal to me (not a ND fan BTW). Why not go for it?
Posted: 3:08 AM   by Lyle Q
What great MAC Court memories Pete had, of course Lew Alcindor played in the 60's not the 70's and only lost to Houston and USC, never to the Ducks.
I think once Penn's coach Dick Harter moved out to Eugene he took down UCLA in the mid 70's. Speaking of Penn, the Palestra has more history than Cameron Indoor and should be the standard by which all old basketball landmarks are judged. I will admit Duke has had better teams than Penn since Gene Banks left West Philly.
Big 5 Fan from Oregon.
Posted: 8:01 AM   by phork
Why not go for what? The business is plain and simple, you get the W, any way you can, and especially against a team that you have beat for 43 consecutive years.
I knew the game was lost when it went to OT.
As far as the kicker, the TV crew was commenting that it would be well within his range, and either way you get the same result if you miss.
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