Posted on: November 18, 2011 12:07 pm
Posted by Chip Patterson
After a rocky start to his collegiate career, USC running back Dillon Baxter has reportedly been released from his scholarship and will seek a transfer after this semester.
"After speaking with Coach [Lane] Kiffin, we decided it was better to part ways," Baxter's stepfather, Anthony Mooney, told The Orange County Register on Thursday. "It was an amicable situation that was better for Dillon and for USC. We want to thank everyone at the university for the opportunity and support they gave to Dillon while he was there. Unfortunately it just didn't work out. It just wasn't a match at this point."
Baxter, a touted five-star recruit out of San Diego, saw limited action in the first four games of the season. His most productive performance being a seven carry, 29 yard outing in the 38-17 victory over Syracuse on Sept. 17. When Baxter did not make the trip to Notre Dame in October, Kiffin cited academics as the reason the sophomore running back would not be a part of the program.
Baxter's stepfather told The Register that the talented tailback is "looking for a new start." The schools currently under consideration for transfer reportedly include San Diego State, Florida, and Portland State.
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Posted on: September 24, 2011 1:29 pm
Edited on: September 24, 2011 1:31 pm
Posted by Jerry Hinnen
One of the nation's best linebackers will miss the remainder of the year with an ankle injury--and a TCU defense that was already struggling with its rebuilding job will have things that much tougher.
The Fort Worth Star-Telegram reported Saturday morning that junior Tanner Brock's injured ankle has not recovered from a reaggravation suffered in the Frogs' openeing-week loss to Baylor, and after missing TCU's previous two games he will go on to sit out the rest of the 2011 season. Brock underwent ankle surgery early in the summer but practiced throughout fall camp was deemed healthy enough to start the opener.
Brock's absence won't make any difference today as the Frogs take on FCS Portland State. But it make a very big difference down the road, as Brock was TCU's leading tackler a year ago with 106 stops and came into the season on the Butkus Award Watch List alongside more celebrated teammate Tank Carder. Junior Kenny Cain is expected to start in Brock's place.
In a typical TCU season, even the loss of a potential All-American like Brock wouldn't be the end of the world. But after the 50 points given up in week 1 to Baylor and the surprising first-half success of ULM's spread attack last week, the Frogs would seem to need all hands on deck to handle opponents like Boise State or maybe SMU. In short, it's just one more reason TCU's 2011 looks like it just won't be there 2009 or 2010.
Posted on: September 24, 2011 12:28 pm
Edited on: September 24, 2011 12:44 pm
Posted by Adam Jacobi
Up north, fans at their tailgates are shivering, seeing their breath, and calling it "football weather." Down south, the fans are chanting "SEC! SEC! SEC!" Can't blame 'em. We have a loaded slate of afternoon games this week, which means it's right in the sweet spot for weather this time of year. Don't forget, though -- in a month or so, all these 3:30 games are going to be ending under the lights. Onward!
As always, all times listed are Eastern.
North Carolina at No. 25 Georgia Tech, 12:00, Atlanta, GA: Low 70s, clear
San Diego State at No. 22 Michigan, 12:00, Ann Arbor, MI: Low 60s, cloudy, showers
Portland State at No. 20 TCU, 2:00, Fort Worth, TX: Low 90s, clear
No. 11 Florida State at No. 21 Clemson, 3:30, Clemson, SC: Low 80s, partly cloudy
No. 13 Virginia Tech at Marshall, 3:30, Huntington, WV: Low 70s, partly cloudy
No. 14 Arkansas at No. 3 Alabama, 3:30, Tuscaloosa, AL: Upper 70s, clear
Western Michigan at No. 24 Illinois, 3:30, Champaign, IL: Mid 60s, cloudy, storms
South Dakota at No. 6 Wisconsin, 3:30, Madison, WI: Upper 50s, cloudy, showers
No. 7 Oklahoma State at No. 8 Texas A&M, 3:30, College Station, TX: Low 90s, clear
No. 15 Florida at Kentucky, 7:00, Lexington, KY: Mid 60s, partly cloudy
UTEP at No. 18 South Florida, 7:00, Tampa, FL: Upper 70s, mostly cloudy, storms
Rice at No. 17 Baylor, 7:00, Waco, TX: Low 90s, clear
Vanderbilt at No. 12 South Carolina, 7:00, Columbia, SC: Upper 70s, mostly cloudy, storms
No. 9 Nebraska at Wyoming, 7:30, Laramie, WY: Low 70s, clear
No. 2 LSU at No. 16 West Virginia, 8:00, Morgantown, WV: Low 60s, mostly cloudy
Missouri at No. 1 Oklahoma, 8:00, Norman, OK: Low 70s, partly cloudy
Tulsa at No. 4 Boise State, 8:00, Boise, ID: Mid 80s, clear
Late night kickoffs
No. 23 Southern California at Arizona State, 10:15, Tempe, AZ: Upper 90s, partly cloudy, storms
No. 10 Oregon at Arizona, 10:15, Tucson, AZ: Low 90s, partly cloudy, storms
Tags: ACC, Adam Jacobi, Alabama, Arizona, Arizona State, Arkansas, Baylor, Big 12, Big East, Big Ten, Boise State, Clemson, Florida, Florida State, Football Weather, Gameday Weather, Georgia Tech, Illinois, Kentucky, Kickoff Weather, LSU, Marshall, Michigan, Missouri, Nebraska, Non-BCS, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Oregon, Pac-12, Portland State, Rice, San Diego State, SEC, South Carolina, South Dakota, South Florida, Southern California, Tailgate Weather, TCU, Texas A&M, Tulsa, USC, UTEP, Vanderbilt, Virginia Tech, Weather Updates, West Virginia, Western Michigan, Wisconsin, Wyoming
Posted on: May 12, 2011 4:11 pm
By Eye on College Football Bloggers
Each week, the Eye on CFB team convenes Voltron- style to answer a pressing question regarding the wild, wide world of college football. This week's topic:
We've already talked about No. 1, but the end of spring has also meant a revision of the rest of the preseason top 25, like our colleague Dennis Dodd's. What teams do you feel like might deserve a better ranking at this stage (or one at all)? What teams do you feel like might be ranked too highly?
Jerry Hinnen: There always seems to be one team from the SEC that comes from outside the preseason polls and surprises--think Mississippi State last year, Ole Miss in 2008, etc. But Dennis's 25 already includes every SEC team but Ole Miss, Tennessee, Kentucky and Vanderbilt, and I'm not sold on any of those teams as poll material. (There's a case to be made for the Vols, but only if Tyler Bray takes a major step forward, and his 5-for-30 spring game suggests that step may not be imminent.)
So I'll look elsewhere for a sleeper and mention how much I like San Diego State. The Aztecs have absorbed some heavy losses in their pair of NFL-bound wideouts and, of course, the head coach-offensive coordinator pairing of Brady Hoke and Al Borges. But Ronnie Hillman is an All-American running back waiting to happen, and senior Ryan Lindley is easily the best MWC quarterback this side of Kellen Moore. Together, they're one of the nation's best RB-QB combos, and new OC Andy Ludwig (the man behind Utah's undefeated 2008 attack) should know how to get the most out of them.
Defensively, the Aztecs should be much more comfortable in the second year of Rocky Long's unorthodox 3-3-5 scheme, and the schedule also offers the opportunity for two huge statement wins since TCU and Boise State travel to San Diego. Put it all together, and I don't think the departures of Hoke and Borges will be nearly enough to stop the program's momentum towards the polls.
Bryan Fischer: One team I think is a bit under the radar is Georgia. The Dawgs get the other division favorite, South Carolina, early in the schedule--that could be key if the Gamecocks are breaking in Connor Shaw, who has all of 33 passes to his name. I'm concerned about Georgia's running game but they have a good quarterback and the defense should be markedly improved in year two under Todd Grantham.
West Virginia is another team that can really make a move. They lose a lot from last year on defense but should be solid nevertheless. They might have one of the best offenses in the country with Geno Smith running the show and get their big non-conference game against LSU at home.
Chip Patterson: I agree with Bryan that West Virginia is a team that could cause some problems this fall. Dana Holgorsen might have done the coaching job of the year in 2010 with Oklahoma State's offense; the Cowboys did not return a single offensive lineman and his scheme resulted in the third-most productive offense in the nation anyway. Now he gets a stable full of athletes that, in many people's opinions, have been underperforming under Bill Stewart. Smith is the type of quarterback who can be a threat in Holgorsen's spread, especially once he gets familiar with the reads and changing plays at the line of scrimmage. The toughest challenge on the Mountaineers' slate is an early-season battle with LSU in Morgantown (as Bryan mentioned). I think that game is winnable, and could give them confidence headed into the back-loaded conference schedule.
Virginia Tech, though, is a huge question mark in my opinion. While I'm not sure whether they will end up higher or lower than 17, there's as much of a chance of them finishing the season unranked as getting to 10 wins. Their schedule does set up extremely well, with Clemson, Miami and North Carolina coming to Blacksburg and Florida State, Maryland and N.C. State avoided completely. But Logan Thomas needs to prove himself in a game situation, and running back David Wilson will have to work without Darren Evans or Ryan Williams to compliment him. Even if the Hokies finish the season strong, the eye test does not have them as "Top 20 good" just yet.
Adam Jacobi: After the first, oh, eight teams, I've got some major concerns about nearly every team on the list. Spring is the season for questions, of course, but it's like, "Michigan State at 11? Really? Wisconsin at 12? Really? Arkansas at 13? Really?" But you look at that list, and yeah, that's about right.
The one team that stands out to me is Notre Dame, who sort of creeps in under the radar at 19. I don't expect that sterling recruiting class to make much of an impact in Year 1, but there's a lot of talent coming back for Brian Kelly to build on. They have options at quarterback with Dayne Crist and Tommy Rees, the passing game basically only lost tight end Kyle Rudolph (who was injured for the second half of the season anyway), and four of five starting linemen return. The defense, meanwhile, is still led by Manti Te'o and returns its top eight tacklers. There's some retooling to do up the middle of the front seven, but the leadership and experience are there for the D to take a big step forward this year.
Lastly, I really like the Irish's schedule. The only truly worrisome game is the season finale at Stanford; the rest of the games are winnable. That's not to say the Irish are definitely going 11-1 in the regular season -- that's not happening without a ton of luck -- but it's a nice very-best-case scenario.
BF: I think the top 10 is pretty much standard for everyone. Sure, you can change the order and move teams around, but you can't argue with those 10 teams much.
After that, I have an issue with Auburn at 15. I know they're the defending champions, but they lost a lot of talent on both sides of the ball, and the Tigers have a very tough schedule where they could take some losses. I'm also not sold on Utah after watching them collapse down the stretch last year, and they've had a ton of guys sit out this spring with injuries. I'd swap them in the rankings with USC -- who has depth issues but also has Matt Barkley and Robert Woods throwing the ball around -- or UCF.
AJ: Here's something I want to know -- what do you do about Ohio State if you're a voter? Do you ding them since the Buckeye Five are suspended for five games? Do you un-ding them when they come back? How many spots does Jim Tressel's situation cost them? What's the protocol here?
Tom Fornelli: I would have them lower on my rankings, personally. Losing some of your best players and your head coach for five games is a big deal, even if those games are against MACifices that shouldn't prove much of a test to the Buckeyes. Either way, those players and Tressel aren't there to start the season, so we should treat Ohio State as if they're not there. And do you see Ohio State being a top-25 team with Joe Bauserman?
JH: Disagree. I don't think there's a "protocol" on how to deal with the Buckeyes' current (unprecedented) situation as it relates to preseason polls; your guess is as good as mine is as good as anyone else's. But I don't think dropping them out of the top 25 all together is fair. Until we hear otherwise from the NCAA, the Buckeye Five and Tressel won't miss any more than the first (mostly winnable) five games. Dropping them entirely -- under the mere assumption Tressel, Pryor, et al are a dead team walking -- seems to put the cart before the horse.
TF: Seriously, though, I need somebody to explain to me why Arizona State is suddenly the cool team to vote for. Do people just really like their new uniforms? Is Vontaze Burfict sitting over their shoulders as they fill out their brackets? This is a team that won six games last year, with those six wins coming against Portland State, Northern Arizona, Washington, Washington State, UCLA and Arizona. Arizona is the only impressive win on that list, and it was a one-point victory in double overtime. This is a team that may have a lot of returning starters this year, but they're returning starters from a team that wasn't exactly a world-beater last season. Also, after losing quarterback Steven Threet to injury, the guy who has to lead that returning-starter-filled offense is still new.
JH: You didn't even mention their plague of torn ACLs this spring. I wish I could disagree -- the Sun Devils have had a ton of bad luck the last couple of seasons -- but they strike me, too, as a prime candidate to disappoint.
Tags: Al Borges, Andy Ludwig, Arizona, Arizona State, Arkansas, Auburn, Bill Stewart, Boise State, Brady Hoke, Brian Kelly, Buckeye Five, Clemson, Connor Shaw, Dana Holgorsen, Darren Evans, David Wilson, Dayne Crist, Eye on CFB Roundtable, Florida State, Geno Smith, Georgia, Jim Tressel, Joe Bauserman, Kellen Moore, Kentucky, Kyle Rudolph, Logan Thomas, Manti Te'o, Maryland, Miami, Michigan State, Mississippi State, N.C. State, NCAA, North Carolina, Northern Arizona, Ohio State, Oklahoma State, Ole Miss, Portland State, Ronnie Hillman, Ryan Lindley, Ryan Williams, San Diego State, SEC, South Carolina, Stanford, Steven Threet, TCU, Tennessee, Todd Grantham, Tommy Rees, Tyler Bray, UCF, UCLA, USC, Utah, Vanderbilt, Virginia Tech, Vontaze Burfict, Washington, Washington State, Wisconsin
Posted on: September 18, 2010 9:04 pm
Posted by Adam Jacobi
After three quarters, the Oregon game is 69-0 Oregon. This game is over. It was over at halftime (45-0). It was over at the five-minute mark of the first quarter (21-0). Ohhhh-ver.
And yet there's still 15 minutes to play, and Oregon's still got an offense that's just shredding Portland State, no matter who's in the game. Case in point: even with LaMichael James and Darron Thomas not playing a snap in the second half, Oregon put up 24 points in the third quarter, and they're amassing truly remarkable numbers.
Oregon has 594 yards of total offense through three quarters. That's over a third of a mile. They've rushed for 435 yards--or just a hair short of a quarter-mile. They have 25 first downs... and Portland State has 3.
Now, the only thing left to see is how badly Oregon runs up the score--without even trying to.
Posted on: September 18, 2010 7:53 pm
Edited on: September 18, 2010 11:38 pm
Posted by Adam Jacobi
The Portland State Vikings are so overmatched. (How overmatched are they?) They're so overmatched that they deserve credit for holding Oregon to a field goal late in the second quarter. OK, that's not a very funny punchline, but considering how woeful the Vikings' efforts have been in keeping Oregon out of the end zone up to this point, they actually do deserve credit. So kudos, Portland State!
Other than that one moment of stout defense, this game has been all about LaMichael James and the Oregon Ducks. James has rushed for 226 yards and two touchdowns on only 14 carries. Quarterback Darron Thomas' stats are equally gaudy: 9-18, 149 yards, and four touchdowns. Oh, and Thomas has 7 rushes for 53 yards of his own.
All in all, the Ducks are taking a 45-0 lead to the locker room, and it would practically be an act of criminal malice to let Oregon's stars take any snaps in the second half.
Posted on: September 18, 2010 7:20 pm
Posted by Adam Jacobi
Having seen the havoc wrought by the Oregon offense on opposing defenses--outscoring opponents 120-13 in two games so far--one would expect the Ducks to have no trouble putting up points on lowly-even-by-FCS-standards Portland State. And one would be correct.
After one quarter, Oregon has taken a 21-0 lead on the hapless Vikings, and all three of Oregon's touchdowns came in the first five minutes of the game. The man of the match thus far has been LaMichael James, who has rushed for 91 yards (including a 66-yard score) in the first frame. James has also lost a fumble, but that lone miscue probably won't factor meaningfully into the game. Darron Thomas has also added two touchdown strikes from the air. This one's got "laugher" written all over it.