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Tag:Pac-12
Posted on: January 6, 2011 3:32 pm
Edited on: January 6, 2011 5:25 pm
 

Andrew Luck to stay at Stanford

This is a win for ...

Stanford, which now should be a consensus top five team with the return of the Heisman runner-up at quarterback.

This is a win for ...

The Pac-12, the Pac-12 North in particular, which now returns two Heisman finalists. Oregon's LaMichael James being the other.

This is a win for ...

Bob Bowlsby, the Stanford AD, who now may have a realistic chance of keeping his coach Jim Harbaugh as well.

But this is a win, mostly, for ...

College football. After a season of sleaze and slime, we can all feel good about ourselves today. It's OK to stop squinting. The car crashes are over. A sometimes R-rated season has some purity left. This is the way it is supposed to be. This is the way it used to be until the money and runners and the advisors got involved.

This is the way I kind of predicted it would be.

When Andrew Luck announced Thursday he was staying at Stanford for his redshirt junior season, we all exhaled. Admit it. It was the breathless sigh of relief. Something that had finally gone right. Auburn may win a championship with a quarterback that half the nation is looking at sideways. Ohio State just won a bowl game with key contributions from five players who should have been sitting out. USC is appealing an NCAA case this month that was decided in June and started six years ago.

Instead, Luck's on our side. He loves college. He wants to get his architectural degree. He wants to spend time with his sister Mary Ellen, a Stanford freshman. He loves college football. If you've ever been on the Stanford campus, you love Stanford too. Great kid. Great decision.

The NFL knee jerks will tell you that Luck is leaving $50 million on the table. Who cares? It's going to be there next year when Luck might be even more valuable. If he isn't, well, how much money do you need? By staying Luck is telling us that's not really the point anyway. The college experience is once in a lifetime. The Stanford experience is, well, you Stanford grads know how special it is.

"As good as he is, he'll only get better by staying in school," said Gil Brandt, a noted NFL player personnel guru. "I just think that he realizes that the fourth year in school is like his senior year and it will be a great year for him. It might not as be as good football-wise but whatever he was going to get this year, he'll get next year."

Maybe Harbaugh will realize that the NFL will be there next year too. Luck's return may be just enough for the quirky coach to stay in Palo Alto. With or without him, the Cardinal are going to be absolutely loaded. Seventeen starters return including 10 on the defense that pummeled Virginia Tech. Roll this around in your mind: Stanford is going to compete for a national championship. Mark your calendars for Nov. 12 -- Oregon at Stanford.

The biggest loser in all this? Clearly the Carolina Panthers who have the No. 1 pick in the draft. The Panthers' Luck just becamebad luck.

"I'm sure," Brandt said, "area code 704 just had a heart attack."

So what? College football won this round. No more waiting to exhale.

Category: NCAAF
Posted on: October 31, 2010 5:01 pm
 

The Day After In College Football

Brian Kelly never could have foreseen his first few months on the job at Notre Dame.

The scope of the rebuilding job is obviously bigger than anyone imagined. His quarterback Dayne Crist, the triggerman for his offense, is out for the year. The defense was a chronic problem before he arrived. The results had been spotty even before Saturday's embarrassing 28-27 loss to Tulsa.

All that pales in significance to the fact that media are openly speculating about his job security in the wake of death of videographer Declan Sullivan. After Saturday's game, Kelly surprisingly admitted it was his decision to go on with practice with Sullivan in the air.

"You have to be able to look at the weather conditions and find out whether you believe it's going to be a productive day, first," Kelly said. "We believed it to be productive, it was productive, obviously up until the tragedy."

 No blaming, no scapegoating. For now, it's all on Kelly. That's almost an admission that Notre Dame is going to have to pay some kind of settlement after the tragic accident. Liability, in a sense has been decided.

While Sullivan's family released a touching statement over the weekend, can we safely assume that there is going to be some kind of lawsuit against the school at some point?

"Quiz is very adamant in our meetings about, 'Are we going in or out [for practice]?', Ohio State coach Jim Tressel said of football video coordinator Mark Quisenberry, 'and I'm only putting my tower up 20 feet if we go out.' "

Upon seeing that, a lawyer e-mailed me saying: "I would make Tressel my star witness."


It's impossible that Kelly could have predicted all that he was getting into. There have been two deaths. Recruit Matt James died in the spring when he fell off a hotel balcony during spring break. Kelly faces the task of digging out of the losing while the school deals with a lawsuit. Can any amount of winning overcome that?

* As USC took a third quarter lead over No. 1 Oregon Saturday night, an interesting possibility emerged. Had USC won, that would have whittled the last of unbeatens to four -- Auburn, Boise State, TCU and Utah. That also would have all but guaranteed one of those non-BCS schools playing for the national championship. A USC win would have meant the possibility of only one undefeated major-conference champion (Auburn). Assuming that at least one of the three non-BCSes went undefeated (TCU and Utah meet this week), one of them would probably move up enough in the BCS to play for the title.

For its champion, the SEC right now is mostly likely able to produce 1) an unbeaten Auburn, 2) a once-beaten Alabama  or 3) the SEC East champion where each team in the division already has at least two losses. In scenarios 1) and 2) (assuming a USC win), the SEC would have a team in the BCS title game. In scenario 3) it wouldn't. In fact, it's possible that two non-BCS schools could play for the title.

* The motto in the Big Ten: Now we wait. We wait for the latest BCS standings each week to see how bad Michigan State's chances were damaged by the blowout loss to Iowa. The Spartans are now tied in the Big Ten standings with Ohio State (both are 4-1). The two don't meet this season which means if they tie, the next tiebreaker for the Rose Bowl -- or possibly the BCS title game -- is highest ranked team in the BCS. Prior to Sunday night's BCS release, Jerry Palm had Ohio State significantly ahead of the Spartans.

Wisconsin, 3-1 in the Big Ten, did not play this week. It has lost to Michigan State, and beaten Ohio State. Iowa, also at 3-1, hosts Ohio State on Nov. 20.

* Nebraska pulled into a tie in the Big 12 North with Missouri and now only has to win out to get to its second straight (and last) Big 12 title game. Nebraska's remaining schedule: at Iowa State, Kansas, at Texas A&M and Colorado. Missouri's remaining schedule: at Texas Tech, Kansas State, at Iowa State, Kansas.  Anybody else notice that the road to the Big 12 North goes through Ames, Iowa? The plucky Cyclones host both Missouri and Nebraska.

Whatever happens this year at Nebraska, the Huskers are getting back to their roots. Taylor Martinez set the single-game quarterback rushing record against Kansas State. Roy Helu Jr. set the overall single-game rushing record (307 yards Saturday vs. Missouri).  According to figures supplied by Big12sports.com, Nebraska's 860 yards on its 24 touchdown runs is more than 17 I-A teams have rushed for the entire season.

* The Pac-10's exclusive 90-day negotiating window with Fox Sports begins Jan. 15 according to Pac-10 commissioner Larry Scott. The Pac-10 and Big 12 are the next conferences to get big paydays from their rightsholders. The ACC was the last to cash in getting a $1.86-billion deal from ESPN. That pales in comparison to the SEC's $3 billion deal finalized in July 2009 but is another indicator that college football has been undervalued in the market. That's one of the reasons Jim Delany created the Big Ten Network. It's also a reason the new Pac-12 is expected to significantly increase its media rights.

* For the first time since 1979, Florida and Georgia came into the Cocktail Party unranked. The Gators beat the Dogs for the 18th time in the last 21 meetings, 34-31 in overtime. If there was ever a time for Mark Richt and Georgia to get Florida, this was it. The Gators won't stay down like this for long. Urban Meyer called it one of his biggest wins. Florida remains in control of its own destiny in the SEC East.

* Joe Paterno needs one more win for his 400th after beating Michigan.

* Quote of the day from Virginia's John-Kevin Dolce after knocking Miami quarterback Jacory Harris out of the game: "When you chop the head of a giant, the rest of the body goes with it."

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