Tag:Utah
Posted on: August 25, 2011 12:19 pm
 

Josh Gordon transfers to Utah

Posted by Tom Fornelli

Last week it was reported that Baylor wide receiver Josh Gordon had left the program after being suspended indefinitely in July for violating team rules. This after an arrest last October in which police found Gordon in his car outside a Taco Bell with marijuana. At the time it was also reported that Gordon could be headed to Utah.

Well, it seems Gordon is no longer headed toward Utah, as he is already there and was practicing with his new teammates on Wednesday.

"We did our homework. We did our research. We talked to many, many coaches and people associated with Josh," Utah coach Kyle Whittingham told the Deseret News. "We felt that he deserves a second chance and we're going to give him that.

"He's here. He's a very, very talented kid, that's obvious." 

Of course, since Gordon is a transfer, he'll have to sit out the 2011 season. He is still able to practice with the team and Whittingham said he'll compete for a starting job next spring. 

Gordon caught 42 passes for 714 yards and 7 touchdowns for Baylor in 2010. 
Posted on: August 18, 2011 4:36 pm
Edited on: August 22, 2011 4:00 pm
 

Preseason poll study shows Boise most underrated

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

For all the critics out there that enjoy claiming Boise State receives too much attention, a study of the last five years' worth of preseason AP polls has a little surprise in store.

According to Pollspeak.com and their review of the AP's initial ballots from 2006 through 2010, no team in the nation has been more underrated in the preseason than the Broncos, who have outperformed their initial ranking by a collective 38 spots in the final poll. 2010 aside (when BSU slipped six spots thanks to Kyle Brotzman's infamous shank job against Nevada), the Broncos haven't received enough preseason attention--particularly in 2006, when Boise entered the season unranked and finished it fifth after their legendary win over Oklahoma.*

If there's a common thread among the study's most underrated teams, it's that they come from outside the sport's traditional power programs. Cincinnati came in second behind the Broncos thanks to three straight years of Brian Kelly's overachieving, followed by TCU, Utah, Stanford and Oregon.

The most underrated team in the SEC? Alabama, despite last year's plunge from No. 1 to 10, thanks to massive underrating three of the four previous years.

On the flip side, the most overrated team also comes as something of a stunner: the Cal Golden Bears, who failed to outperform their preseason ranking all five years and finished well short of it three times. That's a lot of preseason mileage Jeff Tedford appears to have gotten out of those classic USC battles from the mid-Aughts, but it hasn't helped him much once the season starts.

Coming in behind the Bears on the overrated list? Texas, USC, Georgia, Oklahoma, West Virginia and Florida State. Of course, it's not really so much of a disgrace to appear in this space; when you're ranked as high as USC has been, for instance (6th, 1st, 3rd, and 4th in the first four years of the study) there's almost nowhere to go but down.

Still, it doesn't seem wise to bet on the Bears or Trojans (or top-ranked Sooners) to wind up maintaining their preseason expectation this year. And as for Boise? The preseason AP ballot isn't released until this Saturday, but if the media follows the coaches' lead in placing the Broncos seventh, one win over Georgia would have BSU well on its way to proving the pollsters wrong ... again.

*Would you like to watch the highlights of that game right now? Of course you would. Here you go:



HT: Idaho Statesman.


Posted on: August 16, 2011 12:25 pm
Edited on: August 16, 2011 12:26 pm
 

Baylor's Josh Gordon leaves the program

Posted by Tom Fornelli

On Tuesday Baylor head coach Art Briles announced that wide receiver Josh Gordon has left the Baylor program.

"Circumstances have unfolded for Josh that require him to pursue his collegiate degree and athletic career at a different university," Briles said in a statement. "I'm appreciative of the efforts he has made the past two seasons for this football program." 

Gordon had been arrested last October for marijuana possession after being found with it inside a car at a Taco Bell near the Baylor campus. He had been suspended indefinitely since July for violating team rules.

Gordon finished the 2010 season as Baylor's second leading receiver, finishing the year with 42 receptions for 714 yards and 7 touchdowns. He also led the Big 12 in yards per reception at 17.0 yards. Which leaves Baylor with one less big-play threat on offense this season.

He's reportedly considering a transfer to Utah.
Posted on: August 11, 2011 12:39 pm
Edited on: September 2, 2011 1:53 pm
 

PODCAST: Pac-12 Preview

Posted by Bryan Fischer

On Wednesday afternoon, I joined cohorts Adam Aizer and J. Darin Darst to talk about the 2011 Pac-12 season, and how the conference's first year is shaping up to be a good one. From Andrew Luck to Washington's offense to USC on probation, we discuss it all.

For more from the CBS Sports College Football Podcast make sure to subscribe on iTunes













Posted on: August 11, 2011 9:10 am
 

CBSSports.com Preseason All-Pac-12 team

Posted by Bryan Fischer

As part of the CBSSports.com season preview, here is one writer's choices for the preseason All-Pac-12 team.

Offense

QUARTERBACK

Andrew Luck, RsJunior, Stanford

For those that know him, Luck's decision to return to Palo Alto and pass up millions as the sure-fire first pick in the NFL Draft wasn't surprising. Following a season in which he passed for 3,338 yards and tossed 32 touchdowns against just eight interceptions, the native Texan just wanted to complete his degree - in architectural design. The Heisman runner-up does a pretty good job on the field of designing plays that end in a completion (71% of the time last year). He's not bad at running the ball either but earns his spot on the first team as the top signal-caller in the Pac-12.

Also watch for: The conference of quarterbacks is a pretty appropriate for the Pac-12 considering there are a number of players who can give Luck a run for his money. USC's Matt Barkley is a possible first round pick as well and has a talented receiving corps at his disposal. Oregon's Darron Thomas will put up big numbers through the air and on the ground and could take the top spot by beating Stanford. Arizona's Nick Foles and Utah's Jordan Wynn are also in the conversation.

RUNNING BACK

LaMichael James, RsJunior, Oregon

The Doak Walker Award Winner as the nation's best running back last season, James is a threat to score anytime he touches the ball. He was the NCAA's leading rusher last season with 1,731 yards and is in position to break just about every Oregon record left in the books. He's not the biggest back but he does deliver the most production on the field.

Chris Polk, Junior, Washington

Polk burst on to the scene with a 1,000 yard season his freshman year and ever since then has been in the conversation for all-conference honors. He can catch the ball out of the backfield (4th leading receiver last year) and it will be tough to stop him from having another big season with the Huskies' offense revolving around him.

Also watch for: Stanford's Stepfan Taylor was Toby Gerhart's replacement last year and should be able to build on a very good breakout season. Newcomer Rodney Stewart from Colorado is a bright spot for the Buffaloes and UCLA's Johnathan Franklin should put up some good numbers in the school's Pistol offense.

WIDE RECEIVER

Robert Woods, Sophomore, USC

Woods wasn't even supposed to be the best receiver at his high school but he nevertheless turned into a Freshman All-American and was the Trojans' most consistent pass catcher. He should surpass his total of 792 receiving yards easily this year as Barkley's favorite target.

Jermaine Kearse, Senior, Washington

The speedy Kearse averaged 16 yards a catch last year in route to a 1,000 yard season as the Huskies most consistent receiver. He doesn't get the attention nationally that he deserves but with a talented receiver group around him in 2011, he could be freed up to torch a few secondaries even with a new quarterback.

Also watch for: Arizona's Juron Criner is 1c as far as Pac-12 receivers go. Marquess Wilson out of Washington State is the best receiver no one has heard of and sophomore Kennan Allen is a dynamic playmaker for Cal. If healthy, Stanford's Chris Owusu is in the mix, as is Oregon State's James Rodgers.

TIGHT END

David Paulson, Senior, Oregon

Expected to take on a bigger role in the offense, Paulson has a great pair of hands and managed to sneak behind linebackers fairly often last year to average 17.4 yards a catch.

Also watch for: This position is surprisingly deep and even newcomer Ryan Deehan from Colorado could emerge as the top guy in his new conference. Oregon State's Joe Halahuni has to stay healthy but is a big target and Stanford's Coby Fleener will put up good numbers with Luck throwing to him all season.

OFFENSIVE LINE

Center Garth Gerhart, RsSenior, Arizona State

Named to the Remington Trophy Watch List, Gerhart is one of only three returning centers in the conference and is looking to step out of his older brother's (Heisman finalist Toby) shadow.

Guard David DeCastro, RsJunior, Stanford

The anchor for a line that only gave up 13 sacks all season, the Lombardi Award candidate is excellent in space while pass blocking.

Guard Ryan Miller, Senior, Colorado

Miller can play either guard or tackle and the mammoth 6-foot-8, 295-pounder is excellent in space and one of the top guards in the country.

Tackle Matt Kalil, RsJunior, USC

A possible first round draft pick if he chooses to leave early, Kalil has the size and the pedigree (older brother Ryan is a starter for the Carolina Panthers) to be the next great Trojan left tackle.

Tackle Tony Bergstrom, Senior, Utah

Bergstrom has started every game the past two seasons and did not allow a sack during the regular season.

Also watch for: Oregon guard Carson York is a key player for the Ducks and Bay Area tackles Jonathan Martin (Stanford) and Mitchell Schwartz (Cal) give defensive ends fits all game long.

Defense

DEFENSIVE LINE

End Junior Onyeali, Sophomore, Arizona State

Not the biggest end on the field but he's a terror off the edge. With the quickness and speed of a linebacker, he's not someone the offensive tackle enjoys blocking.

End Datone Jones, RsJunior, UCLA

He missed all of last year with a broken foot but seems back and better than ever. He can play the run just as well as the pass and is the anchor for the Bruins' line.

Tackle Alameda Ta'amu, Senior Washington

The rock of the Huskies defense, he closed out the year strong. He ends up commanding double teams due to his size (6-foot-3, 337 pounds) and ability.

Tackle Justin Washington, Sophomore, Arizona

Washington has the quickness of an end but he's inside and makes his presence known. He had six sacks and 11.5 tackles for a loss as a true freshman last season.

Also watch for: Colorado's Will Pericak and Josh Hartigan are a great tandem from Boulder and Washington State's Travis Long is under the radar but excellent as well. USC's Nick Perry and George Uko are both primed for a break out year.

Linebackers

Vontaze Burfict, Junior, Arizona State

There's talk of him being more mature and a better leader which is actually a bit scary for opponents considering he is one of the quickest, most instinctive linebackers in the game and someone you don't want to get hit by.

Shayne Skov, Junior, Stanford

Turned in a great sophomore campaign and is relentless with his pursuit of the play. He's an intense tackling machine who always seems to find himself around the football.

Mychal Kendricks, Senior, Cal

An experienced outside linebacker, he's sliding inside in the Bears' scheme this year. Athletic enough to be a disruption when dropping into coverage, Kendricks can also be found in the backfield. Often.

Also watch for: Patrick Larimore is the Bruins middle backer and their defensive stopper. Chaz Walker out of Utah and a healthy Chris Galippo from USC are both solid playmakers at times.

DEFENSIVE BACKS

Corner Cliff Harris, Junior, Oregon

Though he's suspended for the opener, the ball-hawking corner will immediately give a boost to the Ducks secondary with his ability to cover receivers.

Corner Trevin Wade, Senior, Arizona

He had an off year last year but is the anchor of the secondary for the Wildcats and has good size and a knack for knocking away the ball.

Safety Delano Howell, Senior, Stanford

Howell has seen just about everything you can possibly throw at him and reads and reacts like the best of them. He's not just a cover guy either as he's a very good tackler.

Safety, T.J. McDonald, Junior, USC

One of the bigger players roaming the secondary, McDonald is following in his All-American father Tim's shoes. He's more comfortable in year two of Monte Kiffin's system and should see his level of play rise as a result.

Also watch for: Oregon's John Boyett is tough to face playing with Harris and Tony Dye at UCLA is a bright spot for the Bruins' defense last year.

Specialists

Kicker Erik Folk, Senior, Washington

The strong legged Folk is perfect on his PATs for his career and is seems to always come through despite any pressure in late game situations.

Punter Bryan Anger, Senior, Cal

Annually in the running for the Ray Guy Award for best punter, Anger has a big leg and usually can pin opponents deep in their own territory.
Posted on: August 4, 2011 2:28 pm
 

Preseason Coaches Poll Reactions: Pac-12

Posted by Bryan Fischer

Ahh, a true tradition unlike any other and the surest sign the season is nearby: the preseason USA Today Coaches Poll has been released. Fresh off of sending two teams to BCS bowl games, including the national championship, it's no surprise to see a few Pac-12 teams right at the top. And only the top. Here are the conference teams the coaches ranked:

3. Oregon

6. Stanford

Yep, that's it. Just two teams from the Pac-12 made it into the poll, which, let's be honest, is mostly done by sports information directors and the occasional football operations guy, not the coaches themselves. It's hard to argue against either the Cardinal or the Ducks being in the top ten when you consider each returns a Heisman finalist this year. Oregon plays 4th-ranked LSU in the opener so they'll move up or down pretty quickly from the three spot.

ALSO RECEIVING VOTES

26. Arizona State

28. Utah

32. Arizona

46. Oregon State

48. Washington

Let's face it, the Pac-12 is pretty heavy at the top this year and there's a bunch of solid but maybe not spectacular teams behind them. Arizona State probably has the biggest gripe about being left out of the top 25. The Sun Devils return 20 starters and are the favorites to represent the South in the first league title game. USC is ineligible for the poll but had they been, they probably would have snuck in the bottom five given the talent they have on the roster.

The other teams receiving votes all have a few questions that need to be answered before they're ready to move up in the college football world. Utah in particular, if Jordan Wynn is truly healthy and the offense is humming under new coordinator Norm Chow, could be a dangerous team and they also have a favorable schedule because they miss the two ranked teams.

At the end of the day, this is a preseason poll so it's bound to change once that little old thing called the season actually arrives. It's something to talk about and interesting to debate but unless you are a Stanford or Oregon fan, don't be too worried about where your team falls on the list.
Posted on: August 4, 2011 11:41 am
 

Oklahoma tops preseason Coaches Poll

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

Just as predicted by numbers guru Phil Steele back in February, Oklahoma will begin the 2011 season ranked No. 1 in the USA Today Coaches Poll.

The Sooners grabbed 42 of a possible 59 first-place votes in the coaches' preseason ballot, released Thursday morning, but still hold just a 40-point lead over second-place Alabama. The Tide took 13 first-place votes, with the remaining four split evenly between No. 3 Oregon and No. 4 LSU (who just so happen to be playing in Dallas on the season's opening Saturday). Florida State rounds out the top five, further cementing Jimbo Fisher's program as the new ACC favorites. (Virginia Tech is the next-highest ACC team at No. 13.)

Conference-by-conference, the poll features eight teams from the SEC, five from the Big Ten, five from the Big 12, two each from the Pac-12, ACC and Mountain West, and one independent in Notre Dame. The Big East went unrepresented in the top 25, with West Virginia finishing "No. 27" as part of the "Also Receiving Votes" category.

Some immediate reaction:
  • When it comes to getting the benefit of the doubt, it still pays to be the biggest-name program possible. Georgia, Florida, Texas and Penn State combined for a whopping 25 losses last year, but all four still find their way into the preseason ballot as teams Nos. 21-25.
  • Despite the SEC's lofty reputation, it's the Big 12 with the top billing in the top 10. In addition to Oklahoma edging the Tide for top spot, both Oklahoma State and Texas A&M squeeze into the top 10 while only LSU joins Alabama from the SEC. The Cowboys and Aggies will have a lot to prove, as recent Big 12 dark horses like Nebraska last season and the '09 Cowboys have failed to live up to their preseason ranking.
  • Ohio State's off-season turmoil has left Wisconsin and those same Cornhuskers as the only Big Ten teams in the top 15 of the poll. Given the league's apparent parity -- the Huskers were recently named the league favorite despite coaching turnover and major losses on defense -- even that may be generous.
  • The top two teams in the final poll of 2010 slid a combined 31 spots, with national champion Auburn coming in No. 19 and No. 2 TCU checking in at No. 15. Auburn may be ranked entirely too low if you subscribe to the "champions until they lose" doctrine, and entirely too high if you believe the combination of a brutal schedule and extremely young roster will result in a struggle to even make the top 25. Which means they're probably ranked about right for a poll like this.
  • With USC ineligible and Arizona State and Utah each finishing in the "Also Receiving Votes" category, no team from the new Pac-12 South was included. Guess the "Sun Devils = divisional favorite" offseason chatter didn't mean a whole lot to the voters, just as West Virginia's status as the presumptive Big East favorite didn't. But should it really have meant less than Penn State's expected running-in-place season after a 7-6 season a year ago?
  • For that reason, this blogger will go with the Nittany Lions as the poll's most overrated team, and a tie between Nos. 13 and 14 -- Virginia Tech and loaded Arkansas -- as the poll's most underrated.

Posted on: August 3, 2011 12:39 pm
Edited on: August 3, 2011 12:39 pm
 

Boise AD talks about abandoning blue uniforms

Posted by Tom Fornelli

Earlier this week it was announced that Boise State would not be allowed to wear all blue uniforms during home games on the school's blue turf now that it was a member of the Mountain West. As you'd expect, this decision didn't go over very well with a lot of Boise State fans, as they've felt that wearing all blue on a blue turf helps the team because it works as a sort of camouflage.

A theory I've never understood all that much because last I checked, you play football on a field at the same eye-level as your opponent, not from a blimp flying above the field. Sure, maybe the blue on blue made watching game film a bit annoying at times for opposing coaches, but on the field I don't see how it could have an impact.

Still, the Mountain West asked Boise State to abandon the practice, and being the new kid on the block, Boise State agreed. Though if you were to listen to Boise AD Bob Kustra talk about it, the school might not have made the same decision if it were joining the Mountain West now.

"One thing I think people have to understand is the Mountain West we were going to had TCU, BYU and the University of Utah sitting at the table," Kustra told the Idaho Statesman. "And when I first met with TCU’s, BYU’s and Utah’s presidents, it was a pretty inspiring moment. I knew I was sitting with the top dogs of that conference.

“When they come to you and give you a bottom line, a year ago, we didn’t have a lot of elbow room. There really wasn’t much give. If that same conversation were to take place this year, I’ll guarantee you we wouldn’t be talking about no blue uniforms on the blue turf unless somebody decides how to keep green uniforms off the turf in Fort Collins and any place else where there is such.

“People tend to forget it was a different context in which this decision had to be made and we had literally minutes in which to make it in. They were clearly doing their vote.”

In other words, Boise State didn't feel as if it were the big dog at the table last year when Utah, TCU and BYU were still around. Now that those schools are gone or on the way out, Boise State would have had a bit more of that "we'll do what we want because you really need us at the moment" leverage.

Either way, no matter the timing, this is a bit too much fuss over the color of a uniform to ever have.
 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com