Pac-12: Spencery Paysinger

Oregon the new USC?

January, 6, 2011
1/06/11
2:55
PM ET
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Not too long ago, USC was the big show in college football, not just the Pac-10.

That, at present, is no longer the case nationally or in the conference. But USC is still part of the conversation, even if it's folks talking about the Trojans absence.

Oregon players got plenty of "Are you the new USC?" questions this week.

"We’re not the new USC. We’re just Oregon," Ducks linebacker Spencer Paysinger said. "We’re not saying that we’re taking anything away from 'SC or that the power shift has happened. It’s just that we feel that Oregon is the premier team in the Pac-10 now. We’re not taking anything away from them. We’re just building up who we are."

The Ducks are two-time defending Pac-10 champions after the Trojans' run ended at seven years atop the conference. If the NCAA doesn't reduce sanctions against the Trojans, USC won't be in the picture again next fall, when the Ducks -- again -- will be overwhelming favorites, though the return of quarterback Andrew Luck to Stanford thickens the plot in the Pac-12 North.

The family of Oregon LB Casey Matthews has longterm ties to USC, but the Trojans didn't offer him a scholarship. He didn't seem too bothered by that this week.

"If you look at it now, I definitely chose the right school," Casey Matthews said. "But back then, if 'SC had offered me, I would have gone. That’s just how it was. I can’t complain with how things have turned out. They’re going through issues right now, and we’re playing for the BCS title. I can’t ask for a better ending to it all."

A questionable Barkley leads Pac-10 injury watch

September, 16, 2009
9/16/09
11:03
AM ET

Posted by ESPN.com's Ted Miller


There are some high-profile injuries in the conference right now. Here's an update.
  • Arizona TE Rob Gronkowski (back): He's trying to practice this week in order to play at Iowa but the guess here is the best-case scenario is Gronkowski seeing only a handful of snaps. Coach Mike Stoops might opt to rest him hoping he'll be ready when the Pac-10 games start on Sept. 26. And, if Gronk plays, keep in mind he missed almost all of preseason camp. As good as he is, there should be some rust.
  • Arizona State DT Lawrence Guy (biceps): It appears Guy will play against Louisiana-Monroe. Dennis Erickson told the Arizona Republic on Tuesday: "I don't think he's 100 percent, but he's pretty close."
  • Oregon FS T.J. Ward (ankle) & LB Spencer Paysinger (elbow): While Oregon coach Chip Kelly calls all his injured players "day-to-day" -- thereby forcing all haggard sportswriters to reply, "Aren't we all, coach?" -- Ward seems far closer to doubtful than questionable for the Utah visit. Paysinger practiced Tuesday, so he sounds probable.
  • Oregon State WR Darrell Catchings (wrist): Catchings was catching Tuesday, so let's upgrade his status to questionable. If he's ready to go that should elevate the Beavers passing game with a tough Cincinnati squad coming to Corvallis. Some other injury info here.
  • Stanford DT Matt Masifilo: Masifilo suffered a knee injury at Wake Forest and will be out six weeks. The good news is backup Sione Fua has experience.
  • UCLA RB Christian Ramirez (ankle), DE Reginald Stokes (knee), OL Nick Ekbatani (knee) & WR Gavin Ketchum (hamstring): Though it's unlikely any of these four will be available for Saturday's game with Kansas State, all four are at least doing light running, meaning they could be ready after the bye week for the Pac-10 opener vs. Stanford on Oct. 3.
  • USC QB Matt Barkley (shoulder) & FS Taylor Mays (knee): Barkley didn't throw during Tuesday's practice, so it's becoming increasingly possible that sophomore Aaron Corp will start at Washington. That might make things interesting if Corp is lights out. Mays is a senior and a two-time All-American who came off the bench in his first game as a true freshman and has started every game since. He's from Seattle. Odds are that Mays will play, even if he sits out all week.
  • Washington DT De'Shon Matthews (knee) & DE Darrion Jones (knee): Both are decidedly questionable and closer to doubtful. The reason that this is big is because USC has a dominating offensive line -- one that is surely unhappy with how it performed at Ohio State. The Huskies aren't deep on the D-line in any event.
  • Washington State LB Andy Mattingly (concussion, thigh): The Cougars are banged up -- it was too complicated to list here. With another run-and-shoot offense -- SMU -- coming to town, the defense can't afford to be missing many starters, such as Mattingly, who is questionable.

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