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Tag:South Carolina
Posted on: October 4, 2010 12:46 pm
 

National notes

Before we begin, here is your daily dose of Les Miles. Actually, it's the only dose of Les Miles you need for this week. If you learn anything more from this postgame video about Saturday's Unlucky 13 vs. Tennessee, let me know.


**A warning going into Week 6 ...

There is a real chance almost halfway through the season of an unprecedented logjam at the top of the BCS -- six undefeated conference champions, four of them in BCS leagues.

It's early but there is some separation and definition to the season after five weeks. Alabama is clearly the class of the SEC. Nebraska and Oklahoma are undefeated in the Big 12, and can't meet until the conference championship game. Ohio State's trip to Wisconsin in a couple of weeks suddenly looks less daunting. Boise State is going to rush through the WAC. TCU and Utah are likely to decide the Mountain West head-to-head. Oregon looks like it is going to run away with the Pac-10.

If all that happens, here is one projection of how the final BCS standings might look. Is too early? Never. The first BCS standings will be released in two weeks.

1. Alabama: With all the talk about the Pac-10's strength this season, the SEC still rules. The Tide are all but assured of playing three more ranked teams -- South Carolina, LSU and Auburn.

2. Oregon: Pollsters are already falling in love with the Ducks despite a dicey strength of schedule to this point.

3. Ohio State: Like Alabama, likely to play three more ranked teams (Wisconsin, Iowa, Michigan). If you think the Big Ten's strength will carry the Buckeyes into the top two, think again. Oregon's offense is stronger and will make a stronger case, especially on the road where Jim Tressel seems to play conservatively.

4. Big 12: I am well aware that Kansas, Oklahoma State and Missouri are also undefeated making it five in this league. I'm also projecting that, regardless, this is where an undefeated Big 12 champion would end up if everyone else wins out. Among the five Big 12 undefeateds: Kansas State plays Nebraska, Oklahoma State and Missouri. Missouri plays Kansas State, Oklahoma and Nebraska. Nebraska plays  Kansas State, Oklahoma State and Missouri. Oklahoma plays only Missouri and Okie State. The Cowboys still have Kansas State, Nebraska and Oklahoma.

5. TCU/Utah: The Mountain West race will come down to the teams' Nov. 6 meeting in Salt Lake City. If either finishes undefeated it will most likely finish ahead of an undefeated Boise.

6. Boise State: There was bad, bad news for the Broncos on Sunday. They were jumped in both polls by Oregon for No. 3 in the rankings despite having superior accomplishments and super schedule strength to this point. Oregon has played a I-AA (Portland State) and a team that might as well be I-AA (New Mexico). Boise has played two ranked teams, one in the top 10 on the "road" (Virginia Tech at FedEx Field).

For the previous two weeks Boise, at No. 3, had gained on No. 2 Ohio State and pulled away from the No. 4 team. After one week of WAC play -- against admittedly horrible New Mexico State -- the voters have fallen in love with Oregon and are already damning the Broncos for their schedule.

There are 18 remaining undefeated teams. Five of those (28 percent) are in the Big 12. By the end of this week there will be 16 because of head-to-head meetings (Michigan State-Michigan, Nebraska-Kansas State). Also, by the end of the week a maximum of 11 teams will have the possibility of finishing undefeated because of assured head-to-head games. After this week only four undefeated teams will be alive in the Big 12; three in the Big Ten. Only one undefeated team (at most) will be able to come out of the Mountain West, Pac-10, SEC and WAC.

**Texas is out of the AP poll for the first time in 162 weeks (2000). The streak in the coaches' poll had lasted 192 weeks. Texas, 3-2, still has games left against Nebraska, Oklahoma State and Texas A&M meaning it could be headed for its worst season since before Mack Brown arrived in 1997.

**TCU posted its first road shutout of an opponent in Gary Patterson's 10 years as head coach, 27-0 at Colorado State. That's significant because Patterson is a defensive wizard whose teams have finished tops in total defense each of the last two seasons.

**Speaking of the Horned Frogs, the interest in the Big East is apparently real and reciprocal. TCU could join the league as soon as next season. One reason: There is no financial penalty to leave the Mountain West.

**Poor Jaime Hill. The BYU defensive coordinator was fired after Friday's loss at Utah State. You expect that in the SEC, but at BYU? Hill joined the staff from the CFL in 2006 and was promoted to defensive coordinator in 2008. BYU, 1-4, is off to its worst start in almost four decades.

Some other d-coordinators who might want to watch their backs:

Tyrone Nix, Mississippi. The Rebs got upset by Jacksonville State giving up 49 points and got beat by Vandy, 28-14. Had to hold off Kentucky 42-35 on Saturday. Rebels allowing almost 33 points per game.

Doug Mallory, New Mexico. Not really fair because his future is tied to embattled head coach Mike Locksley. The Lobos have allowed a I-A-most 35 touchdowns and 52.6 points per game.

Co-coordinators Keith Patterson/Paul Randolph, Tulsa. The Hurricane gave up 51 points at East Carolina, losing on the last play of the game. Oklahoma State put up 65 on Tulsa which is 106th in pass efficiency defense.

Ray McCartney, Wake Forest. His defense has given up 68 points to Stanford, 24 touchdowns in five games and 36.8 points per game.

**Team Schizo: Washington has lost to the worst BYU team in years, got run off its home field by Nebraska and now has beaten USC in consecutive seasons.

**Team Schizo II: Kansas lost to Baylor by almost seven touchdowns, 55-7, in Waco. Not even the locals care about Baylor, a Big 12 doormat. There were an estimated 15,000 empty seats at Floyd Casey Stadium. It's bad when your team is intimidated by the Bears.

"When I went out there, they were bigger than I thought,” KU linebacker Steven Johnson told the Kansas City Star. “I’m just like, ‘What in the world are they eating?’ ”

Posted on: September 23, 2010 4:36 pm
 

Son of Weekend Watch List

The closest Alabama has come to the schedule it will face the next three weeks came in 1952. Bama faced No. 5 Georgia, No. 2 Maryland and No. 16 Auburn. The Tide could face three consecutive top 10 teams considering it plays No. 10 Arkansas, No. 9 Florida and No. 12 South Carolina in the next three weeks ... Oregon State is basically admitting that Boise's blue turf is in its head. You might have read -- how could you not? -- that Oregon State painted its practice field blue to get ready for Saturday's showdown in Boise. There is some thought that the blue turf blends in with Boise's blue home jerseys.  Maybe, but that still makes it hard to explain Boise's success at home -- 63-2 since 2000, which leads the nation. The Broncos haven't lost in blue (jerseys) on the blue (turf) since 2001 ...

Houston true freshman Terrance Broadway starts this week against Tulane. UCLA knocked out the top two quarterbacks on the depth chart, Case Keenum (knee) and Cotton Turner (collarbone), for the season ... While Florida's offense still needs to get it together, its defense has been impressive -- a nation-leading 10 interceptions and plus-7 in turnover margin ... Is there any more cursed program when it comes to running back injuries than Iowa? For the second consecutive year, Jewel Hampton will miss the season with a knee injury ... New Oklahoma State quarterback Brandon Wheeler leads the country with 11 touchdown passes. Veteran Zac Robinson, since departed, threw 15 td passes all of last season. New offensive coordinator Dana Holgorsen is making his mark ...

For what it's worth here are SWWL top four defenses (in random order) -- Texas, TCU, Nebraska, Alabama. Combined they have allowed 3.97 yards per play and a total of 19 touchdowns (1.18 per game) ... There's a reason Kansas may have had problem signaling in plays last Friday at Southern Miss. The Lawrence Journal-World reported that Joe Dailey, KU's on-campus recruiting coordinator, was taken off play-signaling duty prior to the game  because his role had been against NCAA rules. The NCAA states that "field level" duties are for those "who are performing a service associated with action on the field of play ..." In other words, a coach. Dailey is a former Nebraska quarterback who coached with Turner Gill at Buffalo. KU hosts New Mexico State trying to come out of the non-con 2-2 ...

Former Kansas coach Mark Mangino has not been hired by Minnesota as a consultant according to the Gophers AD. Joel Maturi denied a broadcast report that Mangino had been hired. Several outlets reported that Mangino was on the sideline during Saturday's loss to USC. Mangino resigned under pressure in December and has been residing in Naples, Fla. ... Guarantee-game fallout: Louisiana-Lafayette and Florida Atlantic are tied for the best overall record in the Sun Belt, 1-1 ... The SEC has as many teams ranked in the top 15, six, as every other BCS conference combined ... Boise is 7-17 all-time against teams from BCS conferences. Five of those wins have come since 2006 ... My picks this week. I'm really good.

Posted on: September 23, 2010 10:43 am
 

Latest Scripps Howard News Service Heisman poll

1. Denard Robinson, QB, Michigan, 17 carries, 104 yards rushing, 1 TD, 10-of-14, 241 yards passing, 2 TD passes, int., 43 (7).

2. Ryan Mallett, QB, Arkansas, 21-of-33 passing, 380 yards, 3 TDs, 30 (2).

3. Kellen Moore, QB, Boise State, 20-of-30 passing, 370 yards, 2 TDs, int., 26 (1).

4. Terrelle Pryor, QB, Ohio State, 8 carries, 35 yards, TD, 22-of-29, 235 yards passing, 2 TD passes, 2 ints., 21.

5. Andrew Luck, QB, Stanford, 17-of-23, 207 yards passing, 4 TDs, 3 carries, 69 yards rushing, TD run. 5.

Other receiving votes: Kendall Hunter, RB, Oklahoma State, (4), South Carolina RB Marcus Lattimore (3), Oklahoma QB Landry Jones (3), Alabama QB Greg McElroy (2), Nebraska QB Taylor Martinez (2), Alabama RB Mark Ingram (1), Kentucky WR Randall Cobb (1), Nevada QB Colin Kaepernick (1), Oregon RB LaMichael James (1).

(Scripps Howard News Service Heisman Trophy poll voters: Kirk Bohls, Austin (Texas) American-Statesman; Jimmy Burch, Fort Worth Star-Telegram; Dennis Dodd, CBSSports.com; Vahe Gregorian, St. Louis Post-Dispatch; Mike Griffith, The Knoxville (Tenn.) News-Sentinel; Michael Lewis, Salt Lake Tribune; Bob Condotta, Seattle Times; John Lindsay, Scripps Howard News Service; Tom Luicci, The (Newark) Star-Ledger; John Rohde, The Oklahoman.)
Posted on: September 15, 2010 2:58 pm
 

Saunders out at South Carolina

Tight end Weslye Saunders has been dismissed from South Carolina, the school announced Wednesday afternoon.

Saunders had been suspended for indefinitely for a violation of team rules. Saunders had been under investigation for allegedly attending the infamous South Beach party this summer.

At the time Saunders was suspended in August, coach Steve Spurrier said the violation of team rules "have nothing to do with the NCAA."

Saunders, a senior, was projected as one of the nation's best tight ends coming into the season.
Category: NCAAF
Posted on: September 3, 2010 1:06 am
Edited on: September 3, 2010 9:27 am
 

Finally, football

At least we're playing football. Not well, at times, but it beats the hell out of suspensions and conference realignment.

Two coaches with national championships on their resumes were at either end of the heartbreak spectrum on opening night. Steve Spurrier and South Carolina posted a decisive victory over Southern Miss while Pittsburgh's Dave Wannstedt lost his third consecutive regular-season game over two seasons, this time to Utah.

 "Put it on me."

That's what Pittsburgh quarterback Tino Sunseri told the sideline as the Panthers drove for the tying field goal against Utah late in the fourth quarter.

Panther fans wanted to put something else on him after Pittsburgh's redshirt sophomore quarterback threw a crippling interception in overtime.  Utah's 27-24 victory over No. 15 Pittsburgh was the biggest "upset" of opening night. (Utah was favored by three but was ranked only in the coaches', tied for 24th.) Wannstedt, who won his title as an assistant with Miami in 1987, is trying to break through with his first Big East title.

The Panthers had rallied from a 24-13 deficit in the fourth quarter to tie on Frank Hutchins' 30-yard field goal. On the first play of overtime, Sunseri spotted receiver Mike Shanahan near the sideline but threw behind him. Utah freshman Brian Blechen intercepted setting up an easy win on Utah's first possession. Coach Kyle Whittingham merely centered the ball for kicker Joe Phillips to kick the game winner.

Utah has now won 18 consecutive home games.

Meanwhile, Spurrier won his 18th straight college opener, 41-13 over Southern Miss. The only disappointment for the Spur Dog was that all there was only one passing touchdown.

Spurrier basically said so. That was the South Carolina's coach of masking his glee. Otherwise it might have been the most significant season opener of Spurrier's six seasons with the Gamecocks. The win showed South Carolina had skill, style and brawn -- characteristics they've often lacked under Spur Dog.

Beating a quality Conference USA opponent doesn't exactly announce that Spurrier is back. But it does mean that he hasn't chucked it in, something a lot of us thought we was near at the SEC media days.  It was one of the most complete games of the Spurrier era. The Ol' Ball Coach found  a quarterback and a tailback.

Much-criticized Stephen Garcia threw for 193 yards. True freshman tailback Marcus Lattimore had 54 yards rushing and two touchdowns in his debut.

No Weslye Saunders, no problem. South Carolina's tight end, suspended for the opener, was not needed. Alshon Jeffrey caught seven passes for 106 yards.

 

Posted on: August 31, 2010 11:32 am
 

Miami about to be taken down by a rat. Fair?

Isn't it odd how it's not an NCAA investigation until somebody gets screwed?

The old adage goes: It's not cheating unless you get caught. And sometimes the NCAA doesn't catch you, it seems, until the cheaters get cheated. Nevin Shapiro is serving time in federal prison for allegedly running a $900 million Ponzi scheme. He was once a Miami booster who apparently was more than good friends with more than a few Hurricane players. Shapiro told the Miami Herald this week that he'll write a tell-all book detailing Miami wrongdoing since 2001.

His motivation? Paying back some of the victims, reportedly around 60 who lost upwards of $80 million. Shapiro won't earn a dime from the book. His other motivation, he says, is payback for former players who ignored him.  

"Once the players become pros, they turned their back on me," Shapiro told the Herald. "It made me feel like a used friend."

As long as everyone was kissing Shapiro's ass, then, everything was OK. The point is, these cases don't develop sometimes until low-life reprobates blow the whistle. Lloyd Lake, who had served time for a probation violation, rolled over on Reggie Bush after Bush failed to repay $300,000 that Lake had spent on him. All Bush had to do was repay Lake, who essentially wanted to become Bush's agent, and everything was cool.

The same thing seems to be going on at North Carolina, Alabama and South Carolina. The rumor going around is that a reputable agent (or agents) alerted the NCAA and/or media about low-life agents and marketers who blatantly staged that ostentatious player party in South Beach. Had the rogue agents kept things on the down low, maybe those three 
schools aren't wondering who is going to be able to play on Saturday.

You might wonder why the NCAA listens to these guys. The association isn't held to a legal standard. It doesn't have to use due process. It cannot issue subpoenas compelling witnesses to testify. You have to wonder, though, what credibility a source like Shapiro has. Consider this recent headline: "Felon Who Stole $900 Million To Rat Out "The U".

Because of those investigative restrictions, the NCAA also has to meet a lower standard (its own) for a conviction. Remember, this is technically a non-profit organization that has been given these powers by its members. Police use "rats" like Shapiro all the time. Prisoners testify in open court. But it's up to a jury to decide on the evidence. The NCAA infractions committee is judge and jury. USC thought it was going to skate on the Bush case because it was unaware 
of the wrongdoing.

The NCAA decided that USC was guilty because it was unaware of the wrongdoing.

But it remains amazing how none of it would have happened if someone had gotten paid off or, in Shapiro's case, someone's feelings weren't hurt.

Posted on: August 26, 2010 6:19 pm
Edited on: August 26, 2010 6:41 pm
 

Scope of UNC's investigation has widened

North Carolina will announce a widening of an NCAA investigation in include "academic issues" at a Thursday night press conference, a school spokesman told CBSSports.com

The spokesman said no players' names would be revealed. However, the NCAA had been looking into possible improper agent dealings regarding defensive tackle Marvin Austin and receiver Greg Little. Their names came up when it was learned about a South Beach party earlier this summer that may have included several college players. The NCAA could rule that the players received extra benefits if they attended the party.

Also reportedly at the party were Alabama defensive tackle Marcell Dareus and South Carolina tight end Weslye Saunders.

Carolina self-reported "academic infractions" to the NCAA according to insidecarolina.com. The school said an "update" would be provided at a press conference scheduled for 7:30 pm ET. Chancellor Holden Tharp, AD Dick Baddour and coach Butch Davis are expected to be in attendance.

The NCAA has been to Chapel Hill for rounds of interviews with players. Typically what happens in these extra benefit situations, players will be declared ineligible by the school which then petitions the NCAA to reinstate them. The players are allowed to practice, though, during the preseason.

The news has impacted Las Vegas betting, apparently. A spokesman for Las Vegas Sports Consultants, which sets point spreads for the major sportsbooks, said only "two or three" sportsbooks had taken the UNC-LSU off the board. However, in the space of Thursday afternoon the line moved at least 2 1/2 points. Carolina had been favored by one earlier in the day. By dinnertime LSU was favored by 1 1/2-2 points. 

North Carolina opens the season on Sept. 4 against LSU.




Posted on: August 7, 2010 4:03 pm
 

Riffing on the preseason coaches' poll...

Nick Saban really is questioning whether Alabama is No. 1. He apparently gave his No. 1 vote to Ohio State.

Boise State is way too low at No. 5. I expected the Broncos to start at No. 3, at least. Nevertheless, Boise carries the banner for all non-BCS schools. Its ranking gives it a realistic chance at playing in the championship game if it goes undefeated. Only three conferences are represented among the four teams above it in the poll. Either Alabama or Florida will be "eliminated" when they meet Oct. 2. Boise should be concerned if Texas and/or Ohio State go undefeated. If two BCS conference teams go undefeated that could possibly block Boise. Of course, the Broncos should be used to that by now. The point is, Boise has the best shot of any team in the 13-year history of the BCS to become a non-BCS national champion.

Was it only two years ago that Georgia was the unanimous preseason No. 1? It starts this season at No. 21.

This is the third year in a row the SEC has been the coaches' preseason No. 1.

Looking ahead to 2011: There are five teams in the top 14 (including Nebraska) that will be Big Ten members next season.

No. 14 Penn State is the first team to play three teams that won BCS bowls the previous year. All three start the season in the top 10 -- No. 1 Alabama, No. 2 Ohio State and No. 10 Iowa.

Oklahoma finished 2009 unranked. It debuts at No. 8.

No. 20 Florida State (7-6) has the worst 2009 record of any team in the top 25.

Surprise! Six SEC teams are in the poll.

Per urging from American Football Coaches Association director Grant Teaff, South Carolina's Steve Spurrier did not cast his traditional No. 25 vote for Duke, the school that gave him his first head coaching job.

No team has won back-to-back coaches' poll titles in the BCS era. USC won the AP title in 2003 and was unanimous champion in 2004. Of course, that might not last if the BCS rips the '04 title because of Reggie Bush.

It will be interesting to see where USC debuts in the AP poll. Remember, the Trojans can win a national championship in AP but cannot be considered in the coaches' poll. The Trojans could win the AP title but technically can't win its own conference. The program has been hit with a two-year bowl ban.

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