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Category:NCAAF
Posted on: February 6, 2012 5:04 pm
 

Stanford's Tarver hired as Raiders' D-coordinator

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

Hiring Jim Harbaugh from Stanford worked out fairly well for the San Francisco 49ers, we'd say. So it's no surprise the Niners' Bay Area counterparts have gone to the same well to fill their defensive coordinator vacancy.

The Oakland Raiders announced Monday that they have hired Cardinal co-defensive coordinator Jason Tarver as their own new DC. Tarver spent only one season in Palo Alto, having spent the previous six as the 49ers' outside linebackers coach.

The Raiders will no doubt be expecting that experience with the Niners to count for more than his time with the Cardinal. Despite his title, Tarver yielded defensive play-calling duties under David Shaw to fellow co-coordinator Derek Mason, making the 2012 season with the Raiders Tarver's first in full charge of the defense. And though the Cardinal's total defense numbers were impressive -- 2nd in the Pac-12, 28th nationally -- Stanford's hyperefficient, clock-draining offense had a lot to do with that; the Cardinal finished 59th in the FBS and 5th in the Pac-12 in yards allowed on a per-play basis.

All the same, nearly every coach to receive some kind of recent promotion on or from the Stanford staff has proven himself worthy and able, whether it's Harbaugh at San Francisco, his offensive coordinator Greg Roman, or Shaw with the Cardinal. So Tarver's promotion may be a win for both sides--the Raiders and new head coach Dennis Allen get some of that Stanford magic coaching dust and Tarver's NFL experience, and Shaw gets to keep plenty of defensive continuity with the retention of Mason.

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Posted on: February 6, 2012 3:58 pm
 

NIU gains, loses new coordinator in 24 hours

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

Rutgers assistant P.J. Fleck appeared to have had the softest of landings after Greg Schiano took the Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coaching job--only to spurn his alma mater after less than 24 hours for what he may feel is an even softer landing.

A former star receiver for Northern Illinois, Fleck was announced as NIU's offensive coordinator Thursday after former OC Matt Canada took the same job with Wisconsin. The job would have been his first as a coordinator, and would have put him in charge one of the nation's most productive offenses in a program and city with which Fleck is highly familiar. 

But Fleck was nonetheless in the post for less than a day, as according to the Chicago Tribune, he called NIU head coach Dave Doeren Friday morning to tell him he was resigning the position. A source told the Tribune that Fleck's reasoning in the call with Doeren was that he "wasn’t comfortable with the coordinator’s role." 

But while we don't doubt that discomfort may have played a role, Fleck's reasoning may have also been influenced by the presence of a second job opportunity, one alongside his old boss in the NFL. According to reports, Fleck will instead sign on as the new Tampa Bay wide receivers coach, the same position he enjoyed in Piscataway with the Scarlet Knights. Fleck worked with Schiano for the past two seasons.

Despite putting his program back at square one, Doeren (pictured) was philosophical about Fleck's decision, at least in print.

“Everything happens for a reason and the result of this will make NIU Football even better,” he said.

We don't blame Doeren for taking that approach. But finding a candidate with Fleck's resume who's as likely to say yes at this late date will be a challenge for a program like NIU, no doubt making this kind of decision from one of their own doubly hard to take. 

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Posted on: February 6, 2012 3:22 pm
Edited on: February 6, 2012 4:06 pm
 

Report: Charges against Dre Kirkpatrick dropped

Posted by Chip Patterson

Former Alabama cornerback and 2012 NFL Draft prospect Dre Kirkpatrick did himself no favors with potential employers by getting charged with possession of marijuana less than a week after declaring for the draft. But according to the Sports Business Journal's Liz Mullen, the charges against Kirkpatrick have been dropped.

The details of the arrest indicate that Kirkpatrick claimed to be unaware of the drugs' presence when he was a passenger in a truck driven by former Alabama player Chris Rogers. The vehicle was pulled over in Bradenton, Fla. after being spotted driving on the wrong side of the road.

Kirkpatrick is listed as the No. 10 overall prospect in the 2012 NFL Draft, and Rob Rang has the Tide cornerback drafted by Dallas at No. 14 in his most recent NFL Mock Draft. Pro Football Talk's Evan Silva suggested that the arrest likely would not affect Kirkpatrick's draft stock, but the dropped charges should assist in putting this matter away and moving forward.

For all the latest player rankings and mock drafts, head over to our NFL Draft Home.

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Posted on: February 6, 2012 1:54 pm
Edited on: February 6, 2012 2:07 pm
 

Pac-12 makes changes to neutral site scheduling

Posted by Bryan Fischer

The Pac-12's continuing push into the media business with an upcoming conference network and digital platform will have a lasting effect on member schools' football schedules. According to the league's updated executive regulations, non-conference neutral site football games will no longer be permitted unless the conference gets their cut of the media rights:
No member institution shall enter into an agreement to play a neutral-site football game (except in circumstances where such neutral-site game is the away leg of a home-and-home series) unless such agreement provides the Conference with the exclusive broadcast rights and digital rights in all media, and copyright to such neutral-site game.
The move would essentially prohibit schools from scheduling games like last season's LSU-Oregon matchup at Cowboy Stadium in Dallas. Cases such as the upcoming USC-Syracuse game on September 8, 2012 at Met Life Stadium would be permissible because they are the Pac-12 team's away game in a home-and-home series while matchups like the UCLA-Texas game in 2014 would no longer be allowed unless the Longhorns agreed to come to Los Angeles.

Commissioner Larry Scott, whose contract was recently extended, has strived to keep a significant and meaningful portion of inventory for the Pac-12 Network in order to drive distribution with cable and satellite operators. The Pac-12 recently announced a scheduling agreement with the Big Ten that would strengthen the bond between the two leagues but would take away one non-conference game away from members. The combination of moves over the past two years appear to give the conference office a greater element of control over schools' schedules going forward.

USC-Alabama? Oklahoma-Oregon? With the Pac-12's new restrictions, it appears any chance such games happening as big neutral site games are no longer an option unless teams agree to come West.

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Posted on: February 6, 2012 1:44 pm
Edited on: February 6, 2012 2:00 pm
 

Neinas: Big 12 might help WVU pay exit fee

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

West Virginia and the Big 12 have been adamant for weeks that neither the Big East's legal actions nor the inevitable snafus of last-minute scheduling will keep the Mountaineers out of their new conference digs for the 2012 season. And if the comments of Big 12 commissioner Chuck Neinas to the West Virginia MetroNews are any indication, the league is willing to put its money where its mouth is.

Specifically, Neinas said that if West Virginia needs some financial assistance from the Big 12 in order to pay its exit fee, the league "would talk with WVU about it."

"It would be an internal matter for our Board of Directors to determine," Neinas said. "If West Virginia makes a request, we'll take it to the board."

The exit fee is set at $5 million, but the Big East could likely demand far more to let the Mountaineers wriggle out of the league's pending lawsuit. The sum could be difficult for the Mountaineers to come up with, particularly if the program is also forced to pay damages from a potential scheduling lawsuit from Florida State. It won't help relations between the two sides that Boise State will force the league to proceed with just seven teams in 2012, either.

All the same, the cancellation of the Mountaineers' scheduled meeting with the Seminoles -- along with the private release of a 10-team schedule to the Big 12's TV partners -- is just the latest evidence that Neinas and WVU fully intend to clear whatever hurdles might stand between the Mountaineers and playing a 2012 Big 12 schedule. Neinas brushed off the threat of a legal injunction, saying that the spelling-out of the injunction's enforcement details would arrive too late to prevent WVU making the jump.

"They will be with us come July 1, 2012," Neinas said of the Mountaineers, "and we'll play the football schedule in the Big 12 Conference."

For all parties involved, that would be the cleanest, easiest resolution to the issue. But don't expect the arrival at that resolution to be remotely clean or easy.

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Posted on: February 6, 2012 12:35 pm
Edited on: February 6, 2012 12:37 pm
 

Pac-12 extends Larry Scott's contract through '16

Posted by Chip Patterson

In a unanimous decision of all 12 university presidents, the Pac-12 has decided to extend the contract of Commissioner Larry Scott through 2016, with options to add two more years in the future.

“My fellow board members and I are delighted to have reached a long-term agreement with the commissioner to continue his excellent work on behalf of the Pac-12,” said Ed Ray, President of Oregon State University and Chairman of the Pac-12 Board in an official release. “We are on the brink of a period of extraordinary accomplishment and excellence throughout the Pac-12 and Larry’s continued leadership and vision for the Conference are critical elements in realizing that potential.”

Scott became commissioner of the Pac-12 in July 2009, after serving six years as Chairman and CEO of the Sony Erricsson WTA Tour. In his first two years with the conference, Scott has rebranded and reshaped the Pac-12's standing among the major NCAA conferences. He led the league through the first expansion since 1978, negotiated a record-setting media rights agreement with FOX and ESPN, is responsible for the creation of the Pac-12 Network, Pac-12 Digital Network, and helped delver equal revenue sharing for the first time in conference history.

Larry Scott, 47, has been praised for his innovation and leadership during arguably one of the most volatile periods for major conferences in college athletics. The media rights deal and creation of the Pac-12 Network has changed the landscape for negotiations in the future, and recently developed a globalization initiative "that will allow the conference to pursue new frontiers for member institutions."

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Posted on: February 6, 2012 12:30 pm
Edited on: February 6, 2012 1:48 pm
 

USC offers "Unfinished Business" T-shirts

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

When Matt Barkley declared he would return for his senior season at USC to complete his career's "unfinished business," the Trojans got more than another year of All-American-caliber quarterbacking and a likely preseason No. 2 ranking--they got the inspiration for a snazzy gift to season ticket buyers.

That gift (via the Twitter feed of Scott Enyeart) is this T-shirt, featuring Barkley and star safety T.J. McDonald:

 

Like we said: snazzy. But we can't help but note that the Trojans are using Barkley's image and Barkley's slogan to sell tickets to see Barkley play, all without giving Barkley a single extra thing in return. So it goes in the NCAA. With any luck, Barkley will at least be able to score one of the T-shirts for himself.

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Posted on: February 6, 2012 11:34 am
Edited on: February 6, 2012 11:39 am
 

Charlie Strong promotes Shawn Watson to OC

Posted by Chip Patterson

Louisville head coach Charlie Strong has officially promoted quarterbacks coach Shawn Watson to offensive coordinator, according to a release from the school on Monday.

Watson's promotion comes after assuming the offensive play-calling duties from offensive coordinator Mike Sanford four games into the 2011 season. After the change the Cardinals' offense improved from 18.8 points per game to 23.3, and with freshman quarterback Teddy Bridgewater as the starter Louisville won five of their last six regular season games to earn a share of the Big East title.

“I’m very grateful for the opportunity that Charlie has given me at the University of Louisville,” Watson said in a release. “I’m looking forward to working with this outstanding staff and a good nucleus of young and talented players.”

Watson's promotion was just one of several staff changes announced by Charlie Strong on Monday. It was announced that offensive line coach Dave Borberly will take on the duties as running game coordinator, and graduate assistant Sherrone Moore has been named tight ends coach. Moore, an offensive guard at Oklahoma from 2006-08, has spent the last three seasons with the Louisville program.

“This is a great opportunity for me and I’m very excited for this challenge,” Moore said in a release. “I’m excited about working with coach Watson and trying to win another Big East championship. I had a great chance to work with the tight ends toward the end of last year, and I’m excited about the challenges ahead with this young group.”

Strong recently welcomed 24 new signees to the Cardinals' team on National Signing Day. You can get a full recap on Louisville and the rest of the conference by checking out Bryan Fischer's Big East Signing Day Grades at the Eye On Recruiting.

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The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com