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Tag:Pac-12
Posted on: March 22, 2011 6:17 pm
 

VIDEO: Alex Trebek calls Stanford-Oregon game

Posted by Adam Jacobi

We're five months and change away from the start of the 2011 football season, and the clever fellows at Solid Verbal are bored. Bored stiff, bored silly. Bored so silly that someone got the notion to produce an Oregon-Stanford highlight reel narrated entirely by out-of-context Alex Trebek quotes from Jeopardy!. Seriously.

The professorial, dispassionate approach Trebek takes to hosting his show either carries over beautifully or horribly to college football, depending almost entirely on one's appreciation for novelty. Some fans may enjoy a simple "very good." in the middle of a long touchdown run instead of an announcer bellowing out the runner's progress ten yards at a time. Others, craving familiarity as part of the Saturday viewing experience, would call this idea the single worst decision in televised college football history. And they would probably have a point. I would like to watch one game -- or at least one half -- of Trebek'd football, personally. But I also like weird things, like putting Sriracha in my coffee. JUST TRY IT.

Speaking of Solid Verbal, by the way, I appeared on their show last week and talked long-windedly about Big Ten football. Check it out here.

Posted on: March 22, 2011 9:21 am
 

Spring Practice Primer: Arizona

Posted by Bryan Fischer

College Football has no offseason. Every coach knows that the preparation for September begins now, in Spring Practice. So we here at the Eye on College Football will get you ready as teams open spring ball with our Spring Practice Primers. Today, we look at Arizona, who started spring practice Monday.

Spring Practice Question: Who will emerge and help restock the offensive and defensive lines?

If starting quarterback Nick Foles takes his lineman out for dinner this spring, he might be doing so more to get to know them than he is to get some dinner after practice. That's the state of the Arizona offensive line, which loses all five starters to graduation and needs to be sorted out if Foles is going to have any time to throw to one of the most talented group of wide outs in the Pac-12.

A rebuilding job is nothing new for head coach Mike Stoops. Entering his eighth spring practice with the Wildcats, Stoops has taken the once downtrodden program and turned it into a consistent winner, with the team coming off their third straight winning season for the first time in over a decade. The colorful (usually a bright shade of red) Stoops will use spring practices to help forget last year's disastrous ending however, when the team lost their last five games of the year after a promising start.

Attention is primarily on the offensive line and learning to mesh with new offensive coordinator/line coach Robert Anae. The former offensive coordinator at BYU for the last five years, Anae won't have to change too much of the terminology of the offense and can instead focus on who meshes well along the line. Vaughn Dotsy figures to be the front runner at guard having previously been a starter but injury issues have held back his playing time. Kyle Quinn had a solid audition for the center spot after playing well in the bowl game last year and as the primary backup for the past two seasons. Outside of those two however, the rest of the line will be quite green. Redshirt freshman Mickey Baucus and Fabbians Ebbele figure to be in the mix for the other spots and are talented enough to play early in their careers.

If the line can gel during the spring and protect Foles, the Wildcats' offense could be one to watch. Foles' primary backup Matt Scott is expected to redshirt during the season so the spring will be a time for senior Bryson Beirne to get significant playing time to prepare for the fall. Early enrollee Daxx Garman will get a few looks but he didn't play his senior year in high school due to transfer issues.

Any of the quarterbacks on the roster will certainly like what the weapons they see around them. Running back Keola Antolin is back as the starter and Greg Nwoko should see his fair share of carries at the position this spring as well. Juron Criner headlines a talented group of wide receivers that may be the best returning group in the Pac-12. Eligible for the fall is Texas transfer Dan Buckner, who provides a big target for Foles in the red zone and caught 45 passes with the Longhorns as a true freshman. Freshmen Austin Hill and Tyler Slavin will also try and push for playing time this spring.

Though the defensive line won't have to replace the entire front four, they do need to find two new starters at defensive end to replace the terrific and underrated Ricky Elmore and Brooks Reed. Dominique Austin, Mohammed Usman and Dan Pettinato will all get a shot but it will be hard to match the productivity Elmore and Reed had during their time in Tucson. Luckily, they'll have several quality defensive tackles rotating in next to them, led by redshirt sophomores Justin Washington and Sione Tuihalamaka. Washington racked up six sacks last season and will be key in getting a strong pass rush going. Keep an eye out for Aiulua Fanene and Saneilla Fuimaono at defensive tackle to provide the big bodies the Wildcats need in the trenches.

However the defensive line shapes up, the linebacker unit playing behind them returns all three starters and figure to mix in several younger players this spring to provide depth. The secondary will need to replace both safeties but has impressive, young talent at corner looking to hone their skills this spring. You can probably pencil in Adam Hall as one of the safeties this spring and Robert Golden, Trevin Wade, Shaquille Richardson and Jonathan McKnight figure to make the battle for the corner spots interesting.

There's a lot of talent on Arizona's roster for this spring and it's up to Stoops and several of his new staff members to figure out what to do with it and correct some of the issues that plagued them down the stretch last season. Things are always made easier when most of your skill position talent returns but that won't mean anything if the offensive line doesn't get sorted out this spring. 

Luckily (or unluckily depending on your point of view) for Stoops, he'll be able to conduct business under the radar as almost all the attention in Tucson is on the basketball team's run in the NCAA tournament.

Click here for more Spring Practice Primers
Posted on: March 21, 2011 11:57 am
 

Eye on CFB Recruiting Review, 3/21

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

Every Monday, our weekly Recruiting Review recaps the past week's top headlines from our sister blog, Bryan Fischer's Eye on Recruiting . Enjoy:
  • Weekend before last, a BadgerSports 7-on-7 event on the campus of USF brought out of some of the top athletes in Florida; Eye on Recruiting has your rundown of the standouts . Shifty, explosive running back Alton "Pig" Brown was the headliner, and looks poised to continue the recent run of highly-ranked all-purpose backs out of central Florida. Highlights of the event are available here .
  • Not even the pull of in-state Texas could keep Denton defensive end Mario Edwards Jr. from following in his father's footsteps by committing to Florida State. Edwards' father, Mario Sr., starred at cornerback for Bobby Bowden's Seminoles in the 1990s.
  • Is the class of 2011 finally, officially put to bed now? Maybe, after Palmdale (Calif.) defensive end Steve Dillon at long last signed his letter-of-intent with USC. Dillon became the 31st member of Lane Kiffin's supersized '11 class.
  • Part of this morning's roundup of recruiting news included the news that Jadeveon Clowney is "on track" to qualify ... but that his academics are shaky enough that it's far from a done deal just yet. South Carolina fans shouldn't get off of their pins and needles just yet.
One more reminder: if you don't want to wait for these Monday recaps, simply read Eye on Recruiting . You'll be glad you did.
Posted on: March 19, 2011 11:41 am
 

Washington dismisses Jordan Polk from team

Posted by Tom Fornelli

Washington announced on Friday that wide receiver Jordan Polk had been dismissed from the football team. While the Seattle Times reported on Friday that Steve Sarkisian told the paper Polk would not be participating in spring practice due to some "team issues we are dealing with," a little while later it became apparent that Sarkisian meant Polk was gone for good.

While Sarkisian said that the decision was made weeks ago, one can only wonder if this decision had something to do with Polk being charged in a domestic-violence incident, or whether it was just the final straw.
Former Washington football player Jordan Polk was charged Friday with a domestic-violence crime stemming from property damage he allegedly committed at the home of his ex-girlfriend in February.
The misdemeanor charge, punishable by up to a year in jail, was filed in Seattle Municipal Court by the City Attorney's Office.
Apparently Polk was jealous that his ex-girlfriend was celebrating her 21st birthday with her new boyfriend and not him. After failing to reach her by phone, Polk did the only logical thing he could do. He went to her place, forced his way inside, and then tried to break down the door to the room she was sleeping in.

Polk ends his Washington career with 16 catches for 191 yards in three seasons, and was expected to contend for a backup position this season.
Posted on: March 16, 2011 2:05 pm
 

Pac-12 reveals new logo in video form

Posted by Tom Fornelli

While I'm not exactly a conference logo connoisseur, I do enjoy a logo from time to time. Without question, my favorite conference logo in college football is that of the Pac-10, which is now the Pac-12. In fact, when the conference expanded, one of my main concerns was that the league might make drastic changes to the logo.

Thankfully, that's not the case. The Pac-12 knows it has a good thing going, and it unveiled the new logo officially on Tuesday. Though, unfortunately, they decided that a lame video would be the best vehicle to get it out there. I'll forgive them for it since they did nothing more than change the 10 to a 12.



Yes, it is a slow news day. Why do you ask?
Posted on: March 15, 2011 1:08 pm
 

NCAA looking at LSU's connection to Lyles

Posted by Tom Fornelli

Oregon has recently come under fire for their connection to Will Lyles, who runs Complete Scouting Services. The NCAA sees Lyles as a "street agent" who steer players to certain schools, and began looking at Oregon after the school paid Lyles $24,000. The NCAA wants to know if LaMichael James and Lache Seastrunk chose Oregon on their own, or whether Lyles helped push them there, which would make him a booster.

And we all know that you can't pay boosters.

Still, as we've gone over on the blog before, Oregon is not the only school who has paid Lyles for his services. Another school that has used Lyles recently is LSU, paying him $6,000 this past December, and now it seems that the NCAA is looking at the Tigers as well.
Last week, two NCAA investigators interviewed Trevon Randle, who signed with LSU last month, about his contact with Lyles, according to a source familiar with the situation. In addition to Randle, an outside linebacker at Clear Springs High School in League City, Texas, investigators interviewed his coach, Clint Hartman, and Randle’s father, Raymond Edwards.
Hartman declined comment last week about his meeting with the NCAA investigators. But in January he told FOXSports.com that LSU defensive line coach Brick Haley accompanied Lyles to Clear Springs High last spring in a visit about Randle.
If Lyles assisted in or was involved in the recruitment of any player to LSU, the NCAA would consider him a booster and any payment to him would be considered a violation of Bylaw 13. The rule prohibits boosters from directing a recruit to a school.
NCAA spokeswoman Stacey Osburn declined comment Monday about investigators conducting interviews about Lyles. She cited the NCAA’s policy of not commenting on current, pending or potential investigations.
According to Hartman, when he saw Lyles and Haley show up to one of his practices last spring, he told Lyles to go to the parking lot away from his players. He then would call Haley and tell him he didn't want Lyles anywhere near his team. Which didn't do much to keep LSU from landing Trevon Randle, as he'd announce his commitment to LSU in February 2010 after visiting the school for a junior day.

Randle says he consulted his parents before making the decision, and that Lyles is close to his father Raymond Edwards, and Haley who helped recruit him to the school.
Posted on: March 11, 2011 5:54 pm
 

Spring Practice Primer: Colorado

Posted by Bryan Fischer

College Football has no offseason. Every coach knows that the preparation for September begins now, in Spring Practice. So we here at the Eye on College Football will get you ready as teams open spring ball with our Spring Practice Primers. Today, we look at Colorado, who opens spring camp today.

Spring practice question: How will the Buffs look under new coach Jon Embree?

The short answer is they won't look anything like the team that went 19-39 under Dan Hawkins. The long answer depends on how quickly the team can adapt to a new head coach and a new conference, neither of which should be an easy transition.

Embree, a former Colorado player and assistant, has already started to leave his mark on the program. One of the first things he did after wrapping up his first recruiting class was announce that several traditions would be returning to a school with a rich history full of them.

"There's been a lot of great traditions around here that have been swept under the rug and they're coming back," he said in a rousing speech at Colorado's recruiting luncheon after signing day. "And it starts with Hawaii."

While the first game is a few months away, the goal is clear for a program that was known mostly for failing to live up to the high expectations of Hawkins. There's several on-field adjustments Embree has already started to implement, starting with installing a west coast offense. Offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy will have a few tools to work with, including returning starter Tyler Hansen and transfer Brent Burnett at quarterback. Also returning is senior tailback Rodney Stewart, who is coming off his best season in three years as a starter, and several promising young backups.

The offensive line will also look different this spring but not too much. Stud left tackle Nate Solder departs to the NFL (though maybe not to the Denver Broncos based on this video). Center Mike Iltis will also miss the spring while he recovers from a torn ACL but there will be three other returning starters to help show the new guys how things are done.

Defensively is where Embree faces the most challenges. The Buffs gave up 30 points per game and were 110th in the nation in pass defense despite having possible first round draft pick Jimmy Smith starting at corner. Also gone is senior corner Jalil Brown and two players in the mix to start in the secondary are out for spring ball with injuries with the rest of the players in contention having little or no playing experience. Defensive tackles Curtis Cunningham and Will Pericak will return once again but the trick will be figuring who plays linebacker behind them with the departure of leading tackler Mike Sipili. Luckily the team won't have to learn too much scheme-wise this spring with the return of former secondary coach Greg Brown as defensive coordinator.

"We`re evolving right now," Brown told the Boulder Daily Camera. "There is no way of knowing where the thing is going to end up. Our focus right now is on spring ball and just trying to line up and play it straight and see if we can win some one-on-one battles let alone trying to out-scheme somebody."

Either way you slice though, change is in the thin atmosphere of Boulder. A new conference, a new staff and several new players are going to get their first glimpse of Colorado this spring. 

Most hope the new look is a lot better on the field than before. If anything, it sure is different.

Posted on: March 11, 2011 3:10 pm
 

No, Chris Martin did not get kicked off Florida

Posted by Adam Jacobi

Earlier today, Florida fans were jarred by an announcement on the Facebook page of Gator LB Chris Martin that he had been booted from the football team. That would indeed be an unexpected and unwelcome development for Martin, since he was one of the top-rated OLB recruits in the nation and had transferred to the Gators from California just last summer.

But alas, the joke is on people who took Martin at his word, because he posted shortly thereafter that he was only making an early April Fool's joke (a fact later confirmed by sources in the football team), so we're all the fools here, and certainly not Martin for wasting everybody's time and attention.

Unfortunately, this is just the latest iteration in a pattern of unacceptable behavior from people named Chris Martin. Here's a brief list of recent transgressions against humanity, ranked in order of intolerability:

  1. Made a baby with Gwyneth Paltrow and named it "Apple"
  2. Disbanded Kid 'n Play
  3. Probably was the one who convinced Paltrow to inflict her singing career on unsuspecting American populace
  4. Sold prescription drugs out of a motel room
  5. Lied to fans about leaving Florida
  6. Started popular falsetto enthusiast band Coldplay
  7. Actually transferred from California

Shameful, Chrises Martins of the world. Simply shameful.

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