Posted on: September 9, 2011 9:53 pm
Edited on: September 9, 2011 10:03 pm
This is all the stuff that spilled over from Weekend Watch List ...
There will be plenty of opportunity for Jimbo Fisher to massage the roster in preparation for Oklahoma next week. Florida State hosts Charleston Southern which lost last week to Central Florida, 62-0...For the first time in 18 years Illinois is coming off a game in which it did not commit a penalty. It is one of three teams to go into Week 2 without a penalty. Navy and Eastern Michigan are the others ... TCU (at Air Force) hasn't started 0-2 since 1999 ... Can this be right? Virginia Tech (at East Carolina) hasn't started 2-0 since 2001...Hawaii (at Washington) is looking to start 2-0 against the Pac-12 after beating Colorado in the opener...Utah goes into the USC game with heavy hearts. The wife of Utes' defensive lineman Ron Tongaoneai was killed in a car accident following last week's season-opening win over Montana State ... With Colorado having shifted conferences, that means receiver Toney Clemons, a Michigan transfer, has played in three conferences...Iowa State has scored one touchdown against Iowa in the last 18 quarters going back to 2007...
One more thing about the new taunting rule: Taunt your opponent on the way to the end zone and the points are taken off the board. We know that. What a lot of folks don't know is that the penalty counts as a personal foul. Two PFs and you're out of the game.
Players will be reminded of this, no doubt, but they're reminded of a lot of things: Like, how not to associate with prostitutes and greasy jock-sniffers who pop for $500 lunches. In the spirit of everything personal and foul, here are the five teams most likely to first get points taken off the board this season.
1. Arizona State: Linebacker Vontaze Burfict's nickname is not Choir Boy.
2. Baylor: Achieved a rare quadruple-quadruple -- 1,000-yard rusher (Jay Finley) and 1,007 yards in penalties to lead the country.
3. Troy: No team caused more laundry to be dropped on the field (110 penalties).
4. Ohio State: Off-field conduct carries over.
5. Miami: Do you even have to ask?
Noble pursuits: With Jim Tressel having taken a colossal fall from grace at Ohio State, WWL thought it would be interesting to compare other recent major-college coaches who are out of the game. Compare Tressel's quality control position with the Colts (after a suspension that followed him from college) to these other accomplished coaches.
Urban Meyer (resigned December 2010), last coaching job: Florida. Currently, ollege football analyst, ESPN. NCAA reformer.
Mike Bellotti (resigned to become Oregon AD 2008. Left that position 2010), last coaching job, Oregon. Currently: ESPN analyst.
Mark Mangino (resigned under pressure, December 2009), last coaching job, Kansas. Currently, residing Naples, Fla.
Mike Leach (fired December 2009) last coaching job, Texas Tech. Currently, author of best-selling book Swing Your Sword, daily satellite radio show on SiriusXM
Jim Leavitt (fired January 2010) last coaching job, South Florida. Currently, linebackers coach, San Francisco 49ers
Dan Hawkins (fired after 2010 season) last coaching job, Colorado. Currently, ESPN analyst
Butch Davis (fired, July 27, 2010) last coaching job, North Carolina. Currently, unknown.
Tags: Air Force, Arizona State, Baylor, Central Florida, Colorado, East Carolina, Eastern Michigan Charleston Southern, Florida, Florida State, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Iowa State, Kansas, Miami, Michigan, Montana State, Navy, North Carolina, Ohio State, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pac-12, San Francisco 49ers, South Florida, TCU, Texas Tech, Troy, USC, Utah, Virginia Tech, Washington
Posted on: September 6, 2011 11:46 am
Edited on: September 6, 2011 11:49 am
Since I didn't get around to predicting the BCS bowls before the season actually started, let's just call this a BCS bowl preview (after one week).
BCS championship in New Orleans: Alabama* vs. Oklahoma*
Did nothing in Week 1 to change my opinion of the two best teams in the country.
Rose Bowl: Oregon* vs. Wisconsin*
Oregon suddenly not a prohibitive favorite in the Pac-12.
Fiesta: Texas A&M vs. Stanford
Fiesta gets supposed Heisman winner (Andrew Luck) against Big 12 runner-up.
Sugar: LSU vs. Florida State
Tigers make it back to Sugar, but not the big one.
Orange: West Virginia* vs. Virginia Tech*
Tech makes a return trip to South. Mountaineers giddy over return to BCS bowl.
--One reason why we saw all those games delayed or postponed by weather:
Lawyers, or the threat of them if even one person was injured, never mind or killed. Our society is so litigious that even one person slipping on a staircase could cost a school millions. That's why you saw 80,000 people evacuated from stadiums in a short period of time. It's obvious by the speed at which these teams were cleared that schools have prepared for this occurrence.
I can remember seasons when we didn't see this many weather-related delays. Now schools are erring on the side of safety. Who can blame Notre Dame for clearing the stadium twice after it lost a student videographer last season?
--Give Miami's Al Golden credit for not whining about his predicament at Miami.
"Eight of the 110 kids on our team had a significant issue for something they did three years ago?" Golden said. "We're moving on right now. I've been to the deepest depths in the NCAA."
Those depths would have been inheriting a roster with 54 scholarship players at Temple as well as NCAA and APR problems. The difference, as Golden has pointed out, Temple was shooting for a winning record. Miami wants to win championships.
--Yes, it's early and it probably means nothing but here's where you'll find last year's returning Heisman finalists in the current NCAA stats after one week.
Andrew Luck, Stanford: The Heisman runner-up threw for a modest 171 yards against San Jose State in a 57-3 blowout. He is 39th overall in pass efficiency.
LaMichael James, Oregon: Not listed in the top 100 after rushing for 54 yards in 18 carries against LSU. In his last two games, both against SEC superpowers, James has rushed for 103 yards on 31 carries.
Kellen Moore, Boise State: 21st in passing efficiency after completing 28 of 34 against Georgia. How does that get him to 21st after one of the biggest wins in Boise State history? Think of it this way: Moore is first on that list among quarterbacks who played a BCS-conference opponent in the first week.
--Weird stat of the week: Of Oregon's 83 scoring drives last season, it was forced to go more than 11 plays only five times. Oregon had to go 79 yards in 19 plays to score its first touchdown of the season against LSU. What looked at the time like a turning of the tide against the Tigers, turns out to be another reason to like LSU's defense.
--Baylor isn't likely to lose in the month of September. After this week's bye, the Bears have Stephen F. Austin and Rice at home. The conference opener is Oct. 1 at Kansas State and that's looking easier by the moment.
Look for more deserved Baylor hype. The Bears could be 5-0 heading into Texas A&M on Oct. 15.
--Way too early Heisman ballot:
1. Robert Griffin III, QB, Baylor: Best quarterback in the Big 12 after beating TCU. Felt like Friday Night Lights in Waco.
2. Tyrann Mathieu, CB, LSU: It's good to have a playmaker. It's great to have a playmaker on defense. It's almost impossible to have a game changer in the secondary.
3. Kellen Moore, QB, Boise State: Now, only the NFL has to take notice.
Posted on: August 29, 2011 4:55 pm
1. Andrew Luck, QB, Stanford -- The ghosts of Jim Plunkett and Herschel Walker will haunt the season.
2. Landry Jones, QB, Oklahoma -- OU has become Quarterback U.
3. Justin Blackmon, WR, Oklahoma State -- Hasn't been one like him at OSU since Hart Lee Dykes (including Dez Bryant). I mean that in a good way.
4. LaMichael James, RB, Oregon -- With Lache Seastrunk no longer a threat to get in the rotation, is it possible the nation's leading rusher will get even more work?
5. Kellen Moore, QB, Boise State -- New set of receivers, same old arm.
6. Denard Robinson, QB, Michigan -- Would be a front runner but Michigan needs to win more and Brady Hoke is going to make him a pocket passer.
7. Marcus Lattimore, RB, South Carolina -- Just call him "Hoss" and give him the ball.
8. Trent Richardson, RB, Alabama -- Longshot because Nick Saban spreads the carries around.
Posted on: August 26, 2011 1:42 pm
Edited on: August 26, 2011 2:54 pm
A promo banner across the top of LSU's website Friday could have passed as a taunt considering the current state of the program.
At the moment -- and check back frequently for updates -- LSU goes into its mega-match with Oregon in eight days diminished and disgraced. Once again, updating from two seconds ago, LSU ...
--is currently under NCAA investigation because of its dealings with Will Lyles.
--will be missing its fastest player and best big-play threat Russell Shepard against Oregon due to suspension.
--has no idea whether starting quarterback Jordan Jefferson and backup linebacker Josh Johns will ever play again. Both were suspended indefinitely Friday within an hour of warrants being issued for their arrest. The two were expected to be charged with second-degree felony assault stemming from the infamous Shady's bar fight.
--in the middle of all this, awarded coach Les Miles with a contract extension on Friday. Before the outrage boils up, be advised this just happened to be a serendipitous convergence of events. School officials were already scheduled to meet Friday to rubber stamp the deal.
Get your heads up, Tiger Nation. This is what passes for closure. This is what many of you wanted. Your team went 11-2 last year and you blamed Jefferson. At best, he was the most experienced quarterback on the roster. At worst, he had become a huge distraction. Law enforcement decided the issue.
Who's next? Senior Jarrett Lee. He's not a difference maker. Don't worry, it's not like LSU has been churning out top draft choices at the position, but fans being fans they're always looking toward the next best thing. Some of the more uncaring had tagged Lee "Pick Six." Can't imagine why. This is the same guy who in an eight-game stretch in 2008 threw 10 interceptions. Five of them were returned for touchdowns. That includes a four-pick performance in an overtime loss to Alabama.
Lee is now perceived as somewhat of a savior. First, because he's the only guy on the roster with any notable experience. Second, he's not Jordan Jefferson. It's easier now to remember Lee's heroics last season against Alabama (key third-down pass) and Florida (game-clinching touchdown pass to Terrence Tolliver).
Closure might not be the right word. LSU might actually be better without Jefferson. But that's not the point either. Whether LSU beats Oregon or wins the SEC probably wasn't going to hinge on the quarterback. The Tigers have won national championships with a former minor league catcher (Matt Mauck) and with a savvy guy who shows up nowhere among the school's top 10 career passers (Matt Flynn).
Lee is serviceable, which is all LSU needs right now. There isn't that much of a drop off between him and Jefferson. The difference is Lee is committed having lost 30 pounds and, well, eligible to play. Transfer Zach Mettenberger is the guy on the come but still third-string.
As mentioned, it's not like the program has been producing top NFL quarterbacks lately. But it has been winning -- big.
Miles didn't earn that extension because of his grass-eating ability. He won 62 games in six seasons in the toughest conference in the country. His name continues to pop up for big-time jobs, especially at Michigan. LSU has won under Miles (and Nick Saban before him) with two time-worn SEC strategies -- running the ball and playing defense.
And talk about clock management, Les is a changed man. Barely 30 minutes passed before Miles suspended the two players after word came down about the arrest warrants.
So in a strange way it is a more stable LSU program heading into the season opener. We know for certain that Jordan Jefferson is an accused felon right now. That doesn't mean he's responsible for what is reported to be the battery of a bar patron. It doesn't mean he's guilty or will serve jail time.
It means that we know his situation going forward. LSU and Les can move on. The coach knows he has been betrayed. Miles went to wall in defending his inconsistent senior. It looks like Jefferson has repaid him with a slap in the face.
It's not like Oregon has its Ducks in a row heading to Arlington. The program has had its own unfortunate dealings with Lyles. Defensive back Cliff Harris is suspended himself having successfully proven it's possible to get a rental car up to 118 mph on I-5 while driving with a suspended license.
Who's next? Maybe a lawyer and an NCAA investigator at the 50 for the coin toss.
Posted on: August 4, 2011 1:16 pm
Edited on: August 5, 2011 9:59 am
A drive-by reaction to the preseason coaches poll released Thursday. If nothing else, it is another sign that we are closer to actual football.
• Oklahoma is No. 1 in a preseason poll for only the second time in the BCS era (2003 was the other). The Sooners got 42 first-place votes. Alabama is a distant second with 13 first-place votes but is only 40 points away from No. 1 (1,454-1,414). That 1-2 slotting probably will last at least to Game 2. In Week 1, Alabama hosts Kent State. Tulsa goes to Oklahoma.
That also means the winner of No. 3 Oregon and No. 4 LSU in the Jerry Dome isn't likely to jump into the top two.
• Speaking of which, still researching the last time two top five teams met on a neutral field in a season opener. Your input is welcome.
• At least seven of the 25 teams are on probation or are being investigated by the NCAA for major violations: Ohio State, Florida State, Alabama, Oregon, LSU, Boise State, Auburn.
• Of the 11 teams to win championships in the BCS era, eight are in the preseason poll: Auburn, Alabama, Florida, LSU, Texas, Ohio State, Oklahoma, Florida State. Missing: Tennessee, Miami, USC (not eligible).
• You want an early opinion on the season? Ask Tulsa's rookie head coach. Bill Blankenship. His Hurricane play three teams in the top eight in the first month -- No. 1 Oklahoma, No. 7 Boise State and No. 8 Oklahoma State.
• Four of the top five teams play each other in the first three weeks. (LSU-Oregon, FSU-Oklahoma).
• Boise State is the only school in the top eight not playing another school in that group. If the Broncos get into championship contention again, you can already hear the haters.
• The SEC has eight teams in the top 25. That's up from six to end last season. What are the odds that the Strength Everywhere Conference will claim a sixth consecutive national championship? Answer: Good. Very good.
• The SEC (eight), Big 12 and Big Ten (five each) account for 18 of the 25 teams.
• To the surprise of no one, 20 of the 25 teams who ended ranked in 2010 are ranked to begin 2011. Missing: Maryland, Utah, North Carolina State, Central Florida, Nevada.
• The dividing line comes at Arizona State. Penn State is No. 25, three points ahead of the Sun Devils, the first of "others receiving votes."
• The Big East was shut out of the top 25. The highest-ranked BE school is West Virginia at No. 27.
• Defending champion Auburn (No. 19) is by far the lowest-ranked defending champion in the preseason coaches poll in at least nine years. LSU was previously the lowest at No. 6 in 2008 during that period. Others: Alabama, 2010 (No. 1), Florida, 2009 (1), Florida, 2007 (3), Texas, 2006 (2), USC, 2004-2005 (1), Ohio State, 2003 (2), Miami, 2002 (1).
• Fifty teams, 42 percent of FBS, received votes.
Posted on: July 1, 2011 3:10 pm
Edited on: July 4, 2011 11:33 am
It turns out Oregon was that dumb.
It did get in bed with a talent scout to lure tailback Lache Seastrunk to Oregon if you draw the thinnest of conclusions from Friday's Yahoo! Sports story. It turns out that talent scout/mentor/third party/opportunist Will Lyles did essentially Photoshop a national recruiting package together follow Yahoo! Sports' initial report.
I didn't think Oregon could be so dumb. I was wrong.
The report details what is clearly a close relationship between Oregon and Lyles. The story says relationship with Chip Kelly goes back to 2007. The NCAA won't even have to try hard to classify Lyles as a representative of the university's athletic interests. In other words, a booster.
The tragedy of it is, Oregon and Kelly didn't have to do any of this. The program had the support of Nike behind it. Kelly himself is a heck of a coach and a tireless recruiter, although even that label must now be in question.
This isn't a case of the media fireflies being drawn to an upstart championship contender. The likes of Kelly, Jim Tressel and Bruce Pearl are making it too easy for us. They're sloppy and arrogant in their alleged wrongdoing. Think about how simpler life would be for Tressel if he had merely walked down the hall to his athletic director with those emails. Pearl would still be coaching if he told the truth. Kelly didn't need Seastrunk that badly. So far, the kid hasn't panned out.
Instead, he allegedly funneled tens of thousands of dollars to a shady character with a relationship to a recruit. My God, it's Texas football. There's plenty to go around for everyone. Was Seastrunk worth it? We know now the answer is no.
Fallout? According to the story, the NCAA has already been in to talk to Lyles. But Lyles said they didn't ask specific questions that Yahoo! Sports did (go figure). You can bet they'll be back in wanting to see Lyles' emails and phone records too. Why wouldn't he cooperate? Lyles has the morals of a slug anyway. It looks to me that the only reason he rolled on Oregon was that they weren't going to pay him again.
Be very concerned Duck Nation. Oregon is in line for major penalties, the kind that burn a program to the ground. USC-like. Kelly's job could be in jeopardy. This is not USC looking the other way while Reggie Bush took money, this is a willful attempt to gain a recruiting and competitive advantage.
Can anyone win big without cheating? The question remains unanswered.
Posted on: June 24, 2011 3:02 pm
Oregon has hired noted NCAA troubleshooter Mike Glazier to assist in the processing of the Will Lyles' case, CBSSports.com has learned.
Glazier was one of the pioneering members of the cottage industry that sprung up in the 1980s after a rash of wrongdoing around the country. For a fee, and it's usually significant, schools hire troubleshooters to walk them through the process of an NCAA investigation -- how to "plead", organization of facts, etc.
In essence, Glazier is a defense lawyer for those accused by the NCAA. It should be noted that Oregon is merely under investigation. It has not received its letter of inquiry or notice of allegations from the NCAA. There is plenty of concern, though, in Eugene. The release of public documents Monday makes it appear that Oregon overpaid ($25,000) for a rather shoddy "national recruiting package" from mentor/trainer Will Lyles of Houston.
Glazier works for Bond, Schoeneck and King, an Overland Park, Kan.-based firm that specializes in cleaning up high-profile NCAA cases. He is listed as the founder of the firm's Collegiate Sports Practice Group. Most recently, the firm helped both Tennessee and Boise State during its infractions committee hearings earlier this month in Indianapolis.
Glazier is a former NCAA investigator (seven years) who established a small practice with Mike Slive more than 20 years ago in Chicago to assist schools with NCAA cases. The Slive/Glazier Sports Group was the first sports law practice to concentrate exclusively on representation of schools in NCAA matters. Both have done OK for themselves. Slive is now the SEC commissioner trying to keep his schools out of trouble. His old partner is there to help him if they do.
Posted on: April 19, 2011 10:44 am
Edited on: April 19, 2011 10:44 am
AUBURN, Ala. -- As the detailed NFL draft evisceration of Cam Newton continues, Gene Chizik wants to get a few things straight.
Yes, the Heisman winner ignored a play call to take a knee late in the championship game against Oregon. Instead, Newton tried to sneak the ball from inside the Oregon 1 with 10 seconds left in Auburn's 22-19 victory.
The Tigers' victory formation on the play confirms Newton was supposed to take a knee. So what? Chizik says that's not an indicator that his Heisman-winning quarterback can't take orders or is some kind of renegade.
"Cam is one of those competitive guys," the coach said recently. "He wanted to score. NFL stuff, I'll make this really clear: Somebody's going to take him really high and have a great player. Don't let that other stuff in between fool you."
The latest analysis deals with the same tired, old contention that a spread quarterback doesn't translate to the NFL because he hasn't played under center. First, that's hypocritical. If that's the case, then why are NFL draft experts rating Newton and Missouri's Blaine Gabbert 1-2 (in some order) among quarterbacks? One or the other could be the first player taken.
"I've heard different people talk about the quarterback in this spread system," Chizik said. "I would just like somebody to define to me what they consider to be a spread. What I hear are a lot people talking out of both sides of their mouths that aren't really sure what a spread is.
"Is a spread based on five wideouts, four wideouts? Is it a spread based on tempo of the offense? Our offense, it's a power, counter, inside zone, two-back, play-action team. If that's what we're considering a spread, more power to them. He [Newton] had the exact same reads in our offense that he will in the NFL."