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Tag:UCLA
Posted on: October 21, 2011 3:57 pm
Edited on: October 21, 2011 3:58 pm
 

PODCAST: Talking CFB with Tom Fornelli

Posted by Tom Fornelli

I joined Adam Aizer on the CBSSports.com College Football Podcast on Friday afternoon and we talked about all sorts of things going on across the country today. We took a look at the Big 12 at the midseason point, talked about UCLA and Rick Neuheisel, and also went over suspensions at Michigan State and LSU. We even talked some Conference USA action while discussing how embarrassing UCF's loss to UAB on Thursday night was.

So give it a listen below.
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Posted on: October 21, 2011 11:22 am
 

VIDEO: Streaker helps incite Arizona-UCLA brawl

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

Not much about Arizona's 48-12 demolition of UCLA Thursday night made for must-see viewing, save for one incident with two seconds remaining in the first half ... but that one incident made up for a lot.

If you missed it (and given the 42-7 scoreline at the time, we don't blame you if you did): a fan dressed as a referee successfully stopped play by running onto the field blowing a whistle and waving his hands. He then made a halfhearted attempt to grab the game ball before dashing off towards one end zone and stripping down to his "tighty-whities" (to use the technical term). While security attempted to restore order, the two teams decided they didn't actually want order, starting a benches-clearing brawl that eventually saw two players ejected.

Watch here:



If you're wondering exactly what happened to the streaker, you can view a fan video of his on-the-run clothes-removal and eventual takedown here (be advised: R-rated language warning.)

If there's any positive spin to the incident from a UCLA perspective, it's that the incident might have woken up some of the Bruin recruits who their staff apparently e-mailed and told to watch the game. Then again ...



... maybe they'd have preferred said recruits just kept right on ignoring the game anyway.

Posted on: October 21, 2011 11:16 am
Edited on: October 21, 2011 11:42 am
 

UCLA AD gives Neuheisel vote of confidence

Posted by Chip Patterson

UCLA head coach Rick Neuheisel has dealt with questions about the "hot seat" all season. They started at Pac-12 media days when the long-time coach brought the topic up himself, and it definitely came up after the Bruins' 48-12 beatdown at the hands of Arizona on Thursday night. But despite the rough start in Westwood, athletic director Dan Guerrero made it clear he's not ready to follow Arizona's lead and make a coaching change in the immediate future.

"No. No, not at all," Guerrero told the LA Daily News in response to questions about firing Neuheisel. "I don't know why anyone would think that we would pull the trigger like that. My philosophy on early terminations may be different than some. That's not to say I disrespect anyone else that makes a decision they have to make. Every situation is a little bit different."

The loss drops the Bruins to 3-4 overall, with five conference games left on the schedule before Guerrero will have to make a definite vote of confidence or decision on Neuheisel's future at UCLA. The athletic director told the media he wants consistency out of the team, and there is plenty of football left for the Bruins to show that consistency. But there is also plenty of football left to help the argument from UCLA fans for a coaching change. The three wins have come against San Jose State, Oregon State, and Washington State; with none of them being more than a 10-point victory. Quarterback Kevin Prince needs to get comfortable back in the starting lineup, and the defense can't let games get out of hand the way they did on Thursday.

While Guerrero says Neuheisel's job is safe for now, the Bruins have some ground to make up if he's going to be around for 2012.

Keep up with the latest college football news from around the country. From the regular season all the way through the bowl games, CBSSports.com has you covered with this daily newsletter. | Preview
Posted on: October 18, 2011 11:11 am
 

Eye on College Football Midseason Report: Pac-12



Posted by Bryan Fischer

Everybody is still trying to get used to calling it the Pac-12 but the football being played out West hasn't changed much at all from last year. Stanford still has the best player in college football and a punishing style of football that has them on the fringe of the national title race. Oregon continues to put up points faster than anybody and even if a few players are hurt, they just plug another player in to break big plays. There's been surprises too, like Washington doing just fine with new starter Keith Price under center. It's not as strong top-to-bottom as it was last year but there's plenty of quality football (and plenty of money) that Larry Scott couldn't be happier to watch.

With that, let's get onto the superlatives for the year thus far. There was plenty of competition every step of the way, and truth be told we could have handed out some ties on a lot of these categories, but if college football fans wanted ties we wouldn't have overtime, so here we go.

Offensive Player of the Year: Andrew Luck, Stanford. The object of many NFL general managers affection, Luck has gone out and played nearly flawless despite a rebuilt offensive line and a brand new cast of wide receivers. He's tossed 18 touchdowns against just three interceptions and positioned the Cardinal for a Rose Bowl for the first time since 2000. Watch him pick apart any secondary on a nice Saturday afternoon and it's a thing of beauty. Without Luck, one wonders if Stanford even makes a decent bowl game so it's easy to see why he's the Pac-12 offensive player of the year at the halfway point. Also considered: LaMichael James, Oregon; Keith Price, Washington; Robert Woods, USC.

Defensive Player of the Year: Vontaze Burfict, Arizona State. Burfict has built of a reputation for playing beyond the whistle and that sometimes overshadows how good he is between the lines. Despite losing several starters to the Sun Devils defense, the unit has still performed very well. He's much more dangerous on blitzes this season and is sixth in the conference in sacks. Burfict doesn't fill the stat sheet like others might but his impact on the field can be felt on every snap. Also considered: Chase Thomas, Stanford; Mychal Kendricks, Cal

Coach of the Year: Steve Sarkisian, Washington. Need to replace one of the most productive quarterbacks in school history? No problem for this former signal-caller, who has the Huskies offense humming and off to a 5-1 start and an appearance in the top 25. They've got a tough stretch of games coming up but they're almost assured of going to a bowl game for the second consecutive year. Also considered: Dennis Erickson, Arizona State; David Shaw, Stanford.

Surprise: Washington State. The conference bottom-dweller for so many years, the Cougars are much, much more competitive in 2011. They've won three games already and should be 4-2 but let a late lead slip at UCLA. There's still an outside shot of a bowl game but considering they're even this good despite quarterback Jeff Tuel has missed most of the season, returning just last week against Stanford. Also considered: Washington

Disappointment:  Utah. Everybody knew it would be a difficult transition for the Utes to a BCS league and the week-in and week-out grid. But not everyone expected the injuries, such as a season-ending one to quarterback Jordan Wynn, and trailing off in the second half of just about every game. They went on the road and beat Pitt so maybe they'll have a little momentum headed into the back half of their schedule (which is much easier than the front half). Still, for a team some touted as the possible Pac-12 South winner, the .500 record isn't what was expected. Also considered: Oregon State; Arizona; Cal

Game of the Year (so far): Utah at USC. We wouldn't exactly call this a scintillating game but it had drama and was hard-fought until the end. The first ever Pac-12 conference game, it pitted the league's most storied member against the league's newest. There was plenty of drama, as the Utes drove down the field in a last-minute to set up a game-tying field goal. But the kick was blocked and, in a unsual series of events, run back by USC for a touchdown while officials signaled that the points would be taken off the board due to unsportsmanlike conduct. Only hours later was their mistake corrected and the points added to the final score, sending Las Vegas sports books into a frenzy. Also considered: Oregon vs. LSU, Arizona State at Oregon.

Game of the Year (to come): Oregon at Stanford. The defacto Pac-12 championship game, this is a top 10 match up with the winner likely headed to the Rose Bowl at the end of the year. The Cardinal led last year before the Ducks stormed back on their way to the national championship game. This year Stanford will likely be favored to win the game at home and they're better equipped to stop Oregon's high-powered offense with the Pac-12's best defense this year. Running back LaMichael James should be back in the starting lineup by then so this is a battle of Heisman trophy runners-up from last year in Luck and James.  Also considered: Stanford at USC, Oregon at Washington.

North Division Champion: Stanford. See above, the division champion will be decided in Palo Alto in early November. Technically Washington still has an outside shot and they do host Oregon but they're not an elite team like the Ducks and Cardinal are. With Andrew Luck under center and an improved defense, the road to the first Pac-12 North title, and league championship, runs through Stanford. Also considered: Oregon.

South Division Champion: Arizona State. Thanks to a head-to-head win and USC being ineligible, the Sun Devils have locked up the South well before the end of the season. They don't have to play Stanford this season but in their first big test against elite team, they fell short against Oregon. Still, the schedule is easy the rest of the way and they will be favored to win out before playing at the North winner in the Pac-12 Championship game at 10-2.

Pac-12 Champion: Stanford. Having the best player in the league, the best defense in the league and the biggest game of the year sets up nicely for first year head coach David Shaw. Winning the inaugural Pac-12 title and a trip to Pasadena for Stanford's first Rose Bowl in over a decade would have been unexpected just two years ago but here the Cardinal are, in the driver's seat. They also have a chance to move into the top five and on the cusp of a national title appearance if still undefeated at the end of the year. Also considered: Oregon.

Keep up with the latest college football news from around the country. From the regular season all the way through the bowl games, CBSSports.com has you covered with this daily newsletter. | Preview

Posted on: October 18, 2011 10:08 am
 

Report: Bob Toledo out at Tulane

Posted by Chip Patterson

Just days after Tulane's 44-7 home loss at the hands of UTEP the school will announce the firing of head coach Bob Toledo, according to SportsNola.com.

The Green Wave were off to a 2-5 start in Toledo's fifth season at the helm, with wins only against winless UAB and Southeastern Louisiana. Offensive line coach Mark Hutson is expected to be named the interim head coach for the remainder of the season. The school has called a press conference for 10:30 a.m. locally in New Orleans to make the news official. Toledo holds his weekly meeting with the media on Tuesday, but an hour later.

In five season with the Green Wave Toledo failed to win more than four games, finishing with a 15-40 overall record. Toledo, 65, is best known in the head coaching ranks for his seven season stint at UCLA where he led the Bruins to two Pac-10 championships in 1997 and 1998.

Keep up with the latest college football news from around the country. From the regular season all the way through the bowl games, CBSSports.com has you covered with this daily newsletter. | Preview
Posted on: October 16, 2011 3:19 am
 

Pac-12 Winners and Losers: Week 7



Posted by Bryan Fischer


A handy recap of who really won and who really lost that you won't find in the box score.

WINNER: Oregon's ground game

When you look at the great programs in college football, whenever they had a string of great seasons, everybody would often say they just kept reloading year after year. In Chip Kelly's offense, it's safe to say that is just what the Ducks are doing right now. Nation's leading rusher out with an injury? That would be crippling to other schools but not for Oregon, who just gave Kenjon Barner the football and all he did was rush for 171 yards and a touchdown against one of the conference's best defenses. Freshman De'Anthony Thomas ran for 73 yards and two scores to give the Ducks their 15th straight win over a Pac-12 team.

LOSER: The Arizona State defense

The vaunted Sun Devils defense, despite losing several starters to injury, came into their primetime game against Oregon ranked second in the conference in several defensive categories and were 11th in the country in turnover margin. Of course, those stats were built up against opponents that don't run an offense anything close to what the Ducks run. They gashed ASU for 530 total yards, including 318 on the ground. ASU never seemed to create a stop in the second half and penalties (16 for 190 yards total) kept giving the Ducks extra chances. The schedule eases up going forward and they should be fine, but Dennis Erickson has to fix a few things if they end up running into Oregon in the Pac-12 championship game down the road.

WINNER: Keith Price

Jake Locker who? The Huskies' signal-caller continued to impress with his grasp of the offense, throwing touchdown passes to four different receivers while routing Colorado 52-24. With Price making plays with his arm, Washington has now scored 30 or more points in their first six games - a new school record. He was fifth in the country in points responsible for and should move up on that list, just like he is on the single-season touchdowns thrown list at UW (he's fourth). Price could have padded his stats too had Steve Sarkisian not taken him out of the game before the end of the 3rd quarter. Many expected Washington to take a step back with Price under center but it looks like nothing could be further from the truth.

LOSER: Oregon State's rushing attack

While their in-state rival is running wild, the Beavers can't get anything going on the ground. Quarterback Sean Mannion had to pass the ball 43 times, rarity under Mike Riley before this season, in order to move the ball at all against BYU and was picked twice to give him nine on the year. Freshman tailback Malcolm Agnew returned to the lineup - he rushed for 223 yards in the opener - but that didn't matter at all as Oregon State managed just 59 yards total. Surpisingly, all-purpose threat James Rodgers had only one attempt and wasn't much of a factor at all. A road trip to Washington State for a revenge game might be the only chance the Beavers have at getting another win this year.

WINNER: John White

Another big performer on the ground in the Pac-12? I am sensing a theme among the winners. After taking a tough home loss to Arizona State, Utah went on the road for one of the rare mid-season non-conference games at Pitt. White rushed for 171 yards on 35 carries, one of the key reasons why the Utes held onto the ball for nearly 38 minutes against the Panthers defense that became worn out by the end of the game. Feeding White the ball was partly out of necessity, as the team was without leading receiver DeVonte Christopher and quarterback Jordan Wynn. Jon Hays was making only his second start ever at quarterback and first on the road as well. Considering the offensive line gave up seven sacks, it's clear they wanted to run block for White much more on a chilly day in Pittsburgh.

LOSER: Washington State's moral victories

Last week at UCLA, the Cougars gave up a late lead and saw a victory snatched from their grasp. This week against the conference's top team, Stanford, they were within three at halftime and were creating turnovers and playing Andrew Luck and company very tough. To cap it all off, the Cardinal returned a kick return for a touchdown on the final play of the game to make the score look even worse and push the Cougars' attitude even further down in the dumps. There was a thought that quarterback Jeff Tuel's return would provide a boost but he was mediocre most of the game and never could get the offense going against the stiff Stanford defense. Saturday was the second straight game where Washington State couldn't finish despite being in the game. Even though they were overmatched this week against a superior foe, the way the wheels came off late means there was no moral victory from hanging around early.

Posted on: October 14, 2011 12:42 am
Edited on: October 14, 2011 1:21 am
 

QUICK HITS: USC 30, Cal 9

Posted by Bryan Fischer

USC WON: As the great Charles Barkley would say, "that was turrible." The Trojans were held to a season-low 310 yards of offense but got a win gift wrapped for them after Cal turned the ball over five times. It's not like USC had to work for the turnovers either, quarterback Zach Maynard just seemed to throw it right to cardinal and gold defenders at the most inopportune moments. While the Trojans' defense looked much improved following a bye week, the offense struggled in the second half and dealt with several injuries.

WHY USC WON: The Trojans came into the game with five turnovers on the season and doubled that number on their annual trip to the Bay Area. Linebacker Dion Bailey had two interceptions and eight tackles to pace the defense and the front seven was active all night getting pressure on Maynard. The offense wasn't sharp but was much more balanced than they have been, with running back Curtis McNeal rushing for 86 yards and a touchdown after replacing an injured Marc Tyler.

WHEN USC WON: Lane Kiffin's squad pretty much took control in the 2nd quarter and never let the Bears back in the game. They started four times in Cal territory in the first half thanks to turnovers and nearly had a pick-six from Nickell Robey to really blow it open. They still had a nice drive early in the third before Matt Barkley hit freshman Marqise Lee on a beautiful fade route with the freshman tip-toeing along the sideline and in for a touchdown. Maynard threw an interception and the defense stuffed a fake punt on the next two possessions before Brandon Carswell scored a seven yard touchdown to put USC in control 20-0.

WHAT USC WON: A game they needed to win before the long trip to South Bend. The Trojans haven't proven they're a good team but they can be an above average one if they can beat rival Notre Dame next week and move to 6-1 on the year. 

WHAT CALIFORNIA LOST: The Bears dropped their third straight this season after running into a tough stretch in their schedule. It eases up a bit with Utah, a trip to UCLA, Washington State and Oregon State but they'll need to go 3-1 or better if they want to make a bowl game and keep Jeff Tedford's seat from being burning hot. There just hasn't been any execution in previous games against USC and that continued Thursday night.

THAT WAS CRAZY: USC has outscored Cal 92-3 in the first half the past four years. The Trojans were up 20-0 heading into the locker room in this game.

Posted on: October 13, 2011 2:44 pm
Edited on: October 13, 2011 2:44 pm
 

UCLA AD says Neuheisel is 'day-to-day'

Posted by Tom Fornelli

Rick Neuheisel is on shaky ground at UCLA. In his first three seasons at the school, the Bruins have only managed to appear in one bowl game under Neuheisel, and have never won more than three conference games in his tenure. Including this season, Neuheisel is 18-25 and 10-20 in Pac-12 play at UCLA.

Coming off a 4-8 record in 2010, Neuheisel came into the season already on the hot seat, and if you heard the words of UCLA athletic director Dan Guerrero on the Mason and Ireland Show on Tuesday, that seat isn't getting much cooler.

“In intercollegiate athletics, we’re pretty much all day-to-day," Guerrero told the show. "That’s the reality of our situation. But I said from the very beginning, the key for our program this year was to move the needle, was to obviously improve upon a four-win season (from) last year. We’re certainly not where we want to be as a program, there’s no question about that. We’re certainly not a top-25 team. We’re not there yet.

“But I was certainly optimistic about certain parts of our game the other night against Washington State. We’ve been real good at times throughout the course of the year but we haven’t been as consistent as we want to be. But we have six games left to play. The fact that we can talk halfway through the season that we’re still in the hunt to maybe play in the Pac-12 championship game is a positive. We’re going to look optimistically until there isn’t anything to be optimistic about.” 

If that message from Guerrero wasn't clear enough for Neuheisel, there was also this response to a question about whether or not UCLA had to go to a bowl game this year for Neuheisel to keep his job.

“I’m not going to be definitive about anything,” Guerrero said, “but I would say that if we didn’t get into a bowl this year, everyone would be very disappointed.”

And when everyone is disappointed, that usually leads to change.

UCLA needs three more wins to qualify for a bowl game this season, and with games remaining against Cal, Arizona State and a couple of road trips to Utah and USC still on the docket, those three wins won't be very easy to come by.
 
 
 
 
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