Posted on: April 13, 2011 11:27 am
Posted by Jerry Hinnen
Last Friday we mentioned that Arizona State was prepping for the unveiling of a new set of uniforms. As it turns out, what Nike cooked up for the Sun Devils wasn't only a new look but an entire "re-branding" of the entire athletic department. Behold:
Our first question: has Nike found a way to make the uniforms smoke like that even when they're on the field? Some sort of tiny dry ice machine hidden in the shoulder pads? Because, dude, that would be intimidating.
And isn't that intimidation sort of the point of this overhaul? You'll notice that when it comes to the helmet logo, "Sparky" -- the mischievous devil who's adorned ASU helmets since 1980 -- has been exiled to a sticker on the rear of the helmet, with only a souped-up version of his pitchfork remaining. It's a bit of a shame, really; charming cartoons and decades of tradition are out, Jerry Glanville- esque monoblack alternates are in. (And about the logo, guys, Maserati called ... )
Then again, those new road whites do look pretty sweet, and the home look isn't bad if the Sun Devils keep the gold pants and stay away from the corporate-looking mono-red.
But nonetheless, our choice for the best new uniform of the week belongs to Washington State, who also picked this week to unveil a set of new Nike-designed looks. Check out the new gray alternates, complete with all-gray helmet:
It's the little tocuhes -- the crimson Pac-12 logo, the gray Wazzu helmet logo -- that make this intriguing. (You can see the standard home-and-away uniforms here, which have both been more tweaked than overhauled.) Now if Phil Knight and Co. would get rid of the Oregon number font that looks like 2004's idea of numbers from the year 2034, we'll really be in business.
Posted on: March 8, 2011 4:49 pm
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 Washington State, who began spring practice on Monday.
Spring practice question: Do the Cougars have enough to get out of the cellar?
Spring is always the time of the year where hope springs eternal; everyone's undefeated, everyone's building for the future. Such is the case on the Palouse, where - for the first time in awhile - there's a bit of hope.
Although Paul Wulff's first three years (5-32 overall) were nothing to write home about, a strong finish at the end of last season and a few underrated recruiting classes have the Cougars' head coach feeling very optimistic.
"We want to start where we left off in the fall," Wulff told reporters after Monday's practice. "I think we came out pretty sharp in a lot of ways, there was some rust but there was more familiarity with the coaches and the system."
A key cog (or Coug, I guess) that is returning is quarterback Jeff Tuel. A two year starter already, he threw for over 2,700 yards and 18 touchdowns last season as a sophomore. Tuel tossed four touchdowns in a ten point loss to Stanford and finished the season on a high note with 3 touchdown passes and nearly 300 yards in the Apple Cup. In case he gets injured (which has been known to happen at Washington State), senior and former starter Marshall Lobbestael is a capable replacement.
Catching Tuel's spirals is one of the more talented receiving groups in the Pac-12. Freshman All-American Marquess Wilson and honorable mention All-Pac-10 wide out Jared Karstetter lead the way. Also in the mix are Gino Simone and Isiah Barton, as well as freshmen Kristoff Williams and Bobby Ratliff. It's no stretch to say that the Cougars have more returning at wide out than many of the teams in the country, let alone the Pac-12.
"Playmaking ability, speed, quickness," Tuel told Cougfan.com about Galvin. "He just makes things happen, really a playmaker."
There are areas of concern that Wazzu hopes to work out before the end of spring. The offensive line only has to replace only one starter but the four returnees were part of a group that gave up 51 sacks last year. Allowing time for Tuel to throw the ball will be a key factor on if the Cougars can exceed their win total from the past three seasons and - dare we say it - consider going to a bowl game in 2011.
Defensively, two starters at defensive end are out for the spring while the defensive tackle spots are wide open thanks to departures and injuries. Four starters return in the secondary which will comfort Wulff, who's main focus will be on straightening out the line.
Bottom line though? The Cougars have some talent and are aiming much higher than just getting out of the conference cellar they've resided in the past the past two seasons. There's still a few areas of concern but things are looking up on the Palouse in 2011. With Jeff Tuel and company leading the way this spring, there's more than just hope though.
There's some talent.
Posted on: March 3, 2011 12:46 pm
Posted by Tom Fornelli
The offseason arrest train keeps on rolling, this time deciding to make a stop in Pullman, Washington where Washington State linebacker Louis Bland was arrested early Saturday morning. According to Pullman police, officers first showed up at Bland's apartment around 3 AM on Saturday morning, where they were told that Bland and his girlfriend were in an argument about a cell phone. At the time, police saw no reason to arrest anybody, and warned both Bland and his girlfriend before leaving.
Thirty minutes later, police were called back when a woman could be heard screaming.
Upon their return, Bland's girlfriend told police that he'd thrown her to the ground, elbowed her in the back, hit her in the head and choked her. The police said that there was enough physical evidence to indicate "at least some of that did happen." Bland said he was assaulted as well, and there was also evidence to support his claim, but nothing on the same level as to what he'd allegedly done to his girlfriend.
So police arrested Bland and booked him into Whitman County Jail on a class B felony, that could put Bland in prison for 10 years.
Washington State has not made a statement on the arrest yet, but with spring practice scheduled to begin Monday, I'd say the odds are good that Bland will not be there.
Posted on: February 23, 2011 8:42 pm
Posted by Adam Jacobi
The last time we heard from Arizona State quarterback Steven Threet, he was being removed from last season's UCLA game after a concussion. It was his second in five games, having suffered one earlier against California. While the first concussion evidently wasn't serious -- Threet returned to action the very next week against Washington State and had his best game of the season, going 26-32 for 300 yards and three TDs -- the cumulative effects of the two concussions appear to be much more severe.
The Arizona Republic reported today that Threet is still suffering post-concussion symptoms after that UCLA injury, and summarily has decided to leave the sport of football for good. Threet's symptoms include headaches and trouble sleeping; that the symptoms persist nearly three full months after the concussion means football must be off the table for Threet going forward.
"It's extremely hard," Threet told the Arizona Republic. "Obviously, this is a game I love. I love the guys that I've played with. Throughout my career I've had to make a lot of tough decisions, but this has been the toughest I've made so far."
Brock Osweiler, who stepped in for the injured Threet at the end of last season, is the prohibitive favorite to start for ASU in 2011; the only other QB with significant experience on the team was Samson Szakacsy, and he left the team as well last month (though under healthier circumstances).
But going back to Threet, it's obviously terrible to hear that his brain is still injured and we wish him all the best as he tries to recover. Leaving football, difficult as it may have been, was clearly the right decision. What's more, while we don't doubt that Arizona State doctors acted in good faith when they evaluated Threet after his first concussion, it is a fact that ASU is not beholden to Threet's long term well-being. This isn't the NFL, so Threet's not going to collect a pension to help with lingering medical issues (should they occur, and let's hope they don't) once he's gone from the school, or otherwise be helped out by the school. This isn't to suggest ASU is in any way liable for Threet's injuries, of course -- football is brutal and everybody knows that long before their first two-a-day ever begins -- but just a reminder of who's sacrificing for whom in the player-school relationship.
Posted on: February 18, 2011 3:48 pm
Posted by Jerry Hinnen
Every Friday we catch up on four stories you might have missed during the week ... and add a few extra links to help take you into the weekend.
FOUR LINKS ...
1. This week saw several under-the-radar position coaching moves made. Arizona State filled their defensive line coaching position with Colorado State's Scott Brown; Wisconsin defensive assistant Greg Jackson has taken a position with the San Francisco 49ers; and TCU has hired former Frog graduate assistant Trey Haverty as their safeties coach.
2. The big story this week in the law enforcement crackdown on rogue agents was the arrest in Alabama of a Virginia-based agent who'd sent a runner to meet with the Tide's Tyrone Prothro five years ago. But that wasn't the only one: in Oregon, the state's attorney general was forced to drop a case against an agent who'd tampered with a Duck football player in 2008, thanks in part to the player refusing to cooperate with investigators. The Oregon legislature is considering a bill that would broaden the definition of agents and allow law enforcement to pursue such cases against a wider net of perpetrators.
3. Remember Washington State running back Kevin McCall? Unless you're a Cougar diehard, probably not; he ran for fewer than 450 yards his entire career. But the Carson (Ca.) product is putting together quite the post-football career, having being nominated for a Grammy as a songwriter in the "Best Rap/Sung Collaboration" category.
4. New Minnesota coach Jerry Kill sat down for a Q&A this week with Big Ten blog Off-Tackle Empire. Among other topics (including the Twin Cities' "five tremendous hospitals" making Kill's list of what he'll sell to recruits), Kill reveals that he feels "the biggest play on offense is the punt." Clearly, this is a man who was born to coach in the Big Ten.
AND THE CLOUD ...
The athletic director who hired Ron Zook may not stay in the office past July 1 , putting Zook in a potentially awkward position ... Skip Holtz has oversigned at USF, but says he's been up front with some members of the incoming class about possible grayshirts ... The Orange County Register profiles new NCAA vice president of enforcement Julie Roe Lach, who our own Bryan Fischer caught up with in this space not too long ago ... Being the first-ever Arizona State Sun Devil mascot sounds like it's about the least interesting thing Phoenix's Dick Jacobs has done ... a new film will chronicle the 1934 incident in which Michigan's agreeing not to field their lone African-American player against visiting Georgia Tech nearly led Gerald Ford to quit the team ... A study of which of college football's winningest teams have earned the highest percentage of their wins against other winningest teams puts Auburn on top.
Tags: Arizona State, Auburn, Big Ten, Colorado State, Dick Jacobs, Georgia Tech, Gerald Ford, Grammy Awards, Greg Jackson, Jerry Kill, Juile Roe Lach, Kevin McCall, Michigan, Minnesota, Oregon, Ron Zook, San Francisco 49ers, Skip Holtz, TCU, Trey Haverty, Tyrone Prothro, USF, Washington State, Wisconsin
Posted on: February 17, 2011 5:32 pm
Posted by Tom Fornelli
Make no mistake about it, college football fans in the SEC own the lion's share of the market on crazy. We don't have to look past the events of the past few days in which an Alabama fan poisoned the trees at Auburn's Toomer's Corner to realize that. Even without such shenanigans, listen to 20 minutes of Paul Finebaum's show any weekday and the insanity will make it's presence known.
That being said, the SEC doesn't hold a monopoly in crazy. There are crazy college football fans all over the country. From the Washington State season-ticket holder, to the guy who pays over $10,000 for a tie that Joe Paterno once wore.
The necktie worn by Penn State coach Joe Paterno the night he won his 400th game has turned into one expensive article of clothing.
The brownish-red tie with paisley prints was auctioned off for $10,200 at a charity event last week for Penn State Public Broadcasting. JoePa wore the tie with a light blue dress shirt under a black Nittany Lions jacket on Nov. 6, when his team rallied from three touchdowns down to beat Northwestern 35-21 at Beaver Stadium.See? People in the Big Ten are insane too. Even if they're only insane for charity.
Of course, had this been Nick Saban's tie, then an Auburn fan would have paid $40,000 for it, soaked it in gasoline and then lit Bryant-Denny Stadium on fire with it.
Posted on: February 15, 2011 10:18 am
Edited on: February 15, 2011 10:29 am
Posted by Chip Patterson
Washington State made their way into the race for the coveted Fulmer Cup over the weekend. James Montgomery, the Cougars' leading rusher in 2010, was cited for misdemeanor marijuana possession in Pullman, according to the Spokane Spokesman-Review.
Montgomery was the featured back in one of the less impressive rushing attacks in the Pac-10, totaling up 483 yards and 5 touchdowns in 11 games of action. The fifth-year senior is currently petitioning the NCAA for medical hardship waiver that would grant Montgomery a sixth year of eligibility. He suffered a brutal leg-injury in 2009 that made him miss most of the season, and almost ended his football career.
If Montgomery is trying to win over anyone in the NCAA, he is not doing himself any favors by ending up in the newspapers for the wrong reasons. However, his decision making could be doubted just for wanting a sixth year running behind the Cougars offensive line. That's the football equivalent of doing a cannonball into quicksand.
Posted on: February 13, 2011 2:21 pm
Posted by Tom Fornelli
I suppose college football players have received some mixed messages about stealing laptops over the last couple of years. In one case you had Jeremiah Masoli, who was then kicked out of Oregon and missed out on a national title shot while toiling at Ole Miss last season. Then there was Cam Newton, who had to leave Florida, but wound up winning a title at Auburn.
So I can see why there would be some confusion. Still, at the end of the day, stealing is wrong and the only thing we know for sure about pilfering somebody else's laptop is that it's going to get you booted from your team. The latest to possibly suffer such a fate is Washington State cornerback Tracy Clark.
A freshman Washington State University football player has been arrested and suspended from the Cougar football team for allegedly stealing a laptop on campus.
19-year-old Tracy Clark, originally of Pittsburg, California was arrested by WSU police this week. Officers say Clark stole an $1,100 laptop from an open dorm room in Streit Hall on January 29.
They were able to identify Clark as the suspect by tracking his internet use on the computer.Clark redshirted in 2010, and depending on how this legal matter goes, he may not play a down of football for Washington State in 2011 either.