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THE NEXT MICHAEL VICK?
October 7, 2005

SCS.comFor as long as I'd known, WMV was a file format that somehow became the default for my PC. Thanks to Bill Gates, Windows Media Player is the player of choice for my crazy internet video files. Today though, WMV can no longer simply be known as a file format. It is much more than that. WMV, from this day henceforth, shall mean "White Michael Vick."

What? Now who in their right mind would call anyone a white Michael Vick? There's no white Shaquille O'Neal out there. As far as I know, there's no black Wayne Gretzky. Should Sammy Sosa be considered the Dominican Babe Ruth? Better yet, should I be concerned that culture has evolved to such a point in which there is just no problem with referring to someone as an ethnic version of someone else? Please people. There have to be better ways to describe our beloved athletes.

No matter, the California Golden Bears, who boast a perfect 5-0 record, also boast a pretty good quarterback named Joseph Ayoob. If you didn't know, some also refer to him as Joe Boo-Ya (Ayoob spelled backwards) and by now, you've probably put it all together and realize that Joe Boo-Ya is also known to some as the "White Michael Vick."

Now before you get your panties in a bunch, let these numbers marinate a little bit. Ayoob is bigger than Vick. The Cal QB stands at 6'3" and 225 pounds while Vick is a mere 6' flat and weighs 200 pounds according to NFL.com. Keep in mind that Ayoob was known as WMV before he made his first NCAA Division I collegiate appearance, so he must have earned that moniker back when he was leading San Francisco City College to a national championship. In just two seasons at SFCC, Ayoob threw 55 touchdown passes with a better than 60% completion rating and rushed for an additional 9 touchdowns while leading his team to a 23-1 record and winning the JC national championship in 2004.

What is it that makes Ayoob a White Michael Vick though? The Bear QB played basketball and baseball in high school while starring as a football team leader as well. But it was his elusive moves and never-give-up attitude when football plays would break down that earned him the fated nickname of "White Michael Vick."

Really though, that's not all that's going to be needed in order to defeat the UCLA Bruins Saturday at the Rose Bowl. It doesn't matter that the home teams in this series have won the last five meetings or that each team is undefeated, riding high on early season success. Of the five teams from the Pac-10 that call the AP top 25 their home this week, three are undefeated. Count 'em. Three! USC, of course, holds the number one ranking in the country after coming away from Tempe with a narrow win over the Sun Devils. But the other two undefeated teams are UCLA and Cal. Those two teams, of course, meet on Saturday in an epic battle at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena.

Not to be left off the importance radar, Oregon and ASU play as well. Those two teams currently look to also factor into the running for a Pac-10 crown, or at least for a fancy trip to the Holiday Bowl should USC continue its torrid winning ways.

The last time the road team in the Cal-UCLA matchup won the game, it was back in 1999 when Cal took home a 17-0 shutout victory. Of course, some of us are too young to even remember that. Since then, both teams have undergone a myriad of changes from coaching to records and such. UCLA still has not won a Rose Bowl in over a decade, and Cal has yet to win the Pac-10 in well over two decades. But does any of that matter? I'm going to have to say no. The White Michael Vick will take this game into his own hands and run wild all over the UCLA defense.

What's that you say? UCLA is also undefeated? Yes, I'm well aware of that fact. But in arriving at their undefeated state, who has UCLA defeated? The Bruins have had an incredibly tough road towards their 4-0 record and best start in the Dorrell era. They beat the Aztecs of San Diego State. Then they put their foot down against Rice and slapped around the Owls for a 63-21 win. Next, of course, the Bruins beat the Oklahoma Sooners at home by three touchdowns. Pardon me, but the Sooners are awful. The Sooner faithful are rumored to be calling for a Stoops trade. Apparently, they want ol' brother Mike back. Then what happened to UCLA after a bye week? They come out flat and still managed to win against Pac-10 perennial power Washington. Please note the sarcasm.

What's more, UCLA has been playing at home all year. The SDSU game was in San Diego, but has that team had fans since Marshall Faulk left? Please! After Cal comes to visit today, UCLA has the luxury of playing only two more home games. Then we'll find out what this Dorrell team is really made of.

Now, Cal comes down to SoCal with a 5-0 record. I'm sure you're asking who Cal has beat to earn such an auspicious record. Well, Sacramento State, Illinois, New Mexico State, and Arizona. They also had to deal with Washington, like UCLA. However, they went to Washington and stomped the Huskies hopes out early, unlike the home-cooking stuffed Bruins.

Now, simply judging from their common opponent, Cal should win this game in their sleep. The Washington Huskies came to the Rose Bowl, a hostile environment and only a week after losing to their coaches' former team at home, yet still they put up a big fight and took UCLA to the last minute of the game only to lose by four points. Four points! On the road. That same Husky team started out strong against a Cal team that went to Seattle to play and lost by a 56-17 margin. You make the call.

I don't care if UCLA is at home for this contest, and I don't care that the home team has won most of the last couple meetings between these teams. UCLA has no run game and can't stop the run game. I don't care that their colors are quite similar but I do wonder if the players get confused as to whose band is playing the fight song sometimes since they are almost identical.

Cal has a magnificent run game so the Bruins better watch out. Worse yet, Ayoob is comfortably taking on his role as the leader of the Cal Bears team and is poised to become the first white whatever he wants to be very soon. The Bruins have to come out early and establish the tempo of the game and be physical with a Bear team that has a few injury problems to overcome. No less, the Bears, with superior coaching and a white Michael Vick on their side, will win this game by a touchdown on the road.

White, black, yellow, Cuban and Asian. Michael Vick. Bears, Bruins. Perfect records, top 25 AP rankings and all. Don't miss this game. The Pac-10 race is heating up, and these two teams know what's on the line. Get your virus scan ready all you video file downloaders. Look out all you Windows users. WMV is coming to a TV near you, and you can't stop it. Neither can the Bruins.

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