Posted on: July 29, 2010 11:16 pm

Five things about the Pac-10

The latest from my preseason media day tour...

USC’s long road back. How long will it take? How painful will it be? USC is just beginning what promises to be one of the darkest periods in its history. It might get through the crippling NCAA penalties in as few as five years. We’re talking 2015 being the first year to be able to have enough talent to compete for a Pac-10 title again. But it won’t be easy. Oklahoma suffered similar penalties and was dead for 10 years. It took Alabama eight years to win a national championship after similar penalties in 2002. Watching Lane and the boys negotiate the loss of 30 scholarships and two postseasons will be the key thing. I’m sure Kiffin has a plan – he always does – but the program has to bottom out first. The embarrassment isn’t over in regards to Bush’s Heisman and the 2004 title. Both might still be taken away. After that, the 2010 Trojans could win the league have to watch the Rose Bowl on TV. It was one of the best dynasties in the history of college football and now it’s gone. For how long, we don’t know.

The winner. Oregon might have been the favorite to defend its title until Jeremiah Masoli got stupid. USC might have been the favorite until Reggie Bush was stupid. What about Arizona, a program that has never been to the Rose Bowl? It has five of the nine conference games at home, including USC, Washington and Cal. Mike Stoops has to break through at some point. After consecutive eight-win seasons, it might be time for the Wildcats to break through.

East Coast bias. Don’t blame the media this time. There was an East Coast bias on the part of the players. This is back to being the year of the quarterback in the league. The Pac-10 took its top four quarterbacks to New York for an unprecedented media day on the East Coast – Andrew Luck, Jake Locker, Matt Barkley and Nic Foles. However, only Barkley and Foles made it to L.A. for the traditional Pac-10 media day. I don’t want to hear any griping from Stanford and Washington about national honors for their quarterbacks at the end of the season. Guys, you’ve got to take care of your local media first.

Divisional alignment. It seems to be a conversation piece around here as the league decides how to divide into two six-team divisions in 2011. There is the “zipper” alignment. Example: travel partners Oregon-Oregon State, Cal-Stanford ,USC-UCLA, Arizona-Arizona State and Washington-Washington State are split into separate divisions. There is my North-South alignment: Washington, Washington State, Oregon, Oregon State, Cal, Stanford vs. Colorado, Utah, USC, UCLA, Arizona, Arizona State. Whatever the plan, everyone wants to play in L.A. because of recruiting. And with USC on probation, there are going to be plenty of players available in Southern California.

Hot seat. Paul Wulff at Washington State and Dennis Erickson at Arizona State. It's almost a hopeless case at Wazoo. Erickson has to win seven just to go to a bowl. ASU is playing two I-AAs. The wolves will be out if there is not significant improvement at each school.

Posted on: July 29, 2010 10:59 pm

A strange, fun look at Pac-10 media day

PASADENA, Calif. -- It was probably the first media day with complimentary sun screen, misting tents and towels. Don't forget the towels. They kept the sweat off the bald domes in the Pac-10 media crowd.

"You look like Al Davis carrying around those towels," Washington coach Steve Sarkisian said.

That hurt. Bad. I may be balding but I'm not that pathetic and wrinkled.

Am I?

If so, please don't let me near Lane Kiffin. He might freak.

Thursday was the West Coast version of the Pac-10 East Coast media swing. Coaches and players spent a few days this week making the rounds in New York, then rode G4s back to their ancestral homeland here in Cali.

"People knew who we were," Arizona State's Dennis Erickson said of New York.

That's startling considering the conference is generally ignored in the East. Some Pac-10 games start at 10 p.m. ET.  It's also another backhand winner down the line for commissioner Larry Scott. There was a lot of angst this summer over whether the Big Ten could get into the New York market  with expansion. Scott chartered a couple of planes and cabbed it into Times Square from the airport.

Bingo, Pac-10 on Park Avenue, ringing the ball on Wall Street, going through the "carwash" at ESPN and generally introducing itself to the biggest media market.

"We've been that Left Coast conference, kind of perceived as the finesse conference," UCLA's Rick Neuheisel said. "If I got into a conversation with somebody east of the Mississippi, they'd say, 'You play that throw-it-around ball.' It was a bold move. I'm not sure how it will work out but I think it is brilliant.

"We have a perception hill to climb. That's why I applaud commissioner Scott for taking the ball step to do that. I don't think any of us should rest until we're considered the top conference in the country."


Well, minus two of the biggest names in Pac-10 football on Thursday. Stanford's Andrew Luck and Washington's Jake Locker didn't show. Apparently they were good enough for ESPN but not for the media who actually cover them here out West.

There's my rant. It beat sitting in conference rooms with the thermostat set at 55 degrees listening to pimp references. I was impressed. No stunned. The media day was on the floor of the Rose Bowl. The San Gabriels were shining in the background. There wasn't a cloud in the sky. Think of it, this is the field where Reggie Bush played. He was well compensated but he did play here.


There was a short promotional film to kick things off. The narrator, with one of those Captain Big Boy voices, said, "Here, on the western edge of the New World ..." I expected a ship full of Spanish conquistadors to pull up in San Pedro and start pillaging cruise passengers.

Best line of the day came from Washington coach Steve Sarkisian. As a former USC coach, he was hurt by the NCAA penalties. I asked him if Reggie Bush can ever come back to campus.

"In this day and age he can," Sark said. "Our president [Bill Clinton] faced the country. Guys face the music. Look at Andy Pettitte and look at Roger Clemens. One guy owned up, he's still getting standing ovations. The other guy is social outcast. It's how he embraces it."

California sun, veggie subs and a Slick Willie reference. It was not a bad day.

Category: NCAAF
Posted on: July 7, 2010 4:50 pm
Edited on: July 11, 2010 5:51 pm

Preseason mags' top 25

We love the polls. College football polls to be specific. Preseason college football polls to be exact.

There is the annual cry to get rid of them. Hogwash. First, the Associated Press isn't going to disappoint its subscribers by scrapping one of its most popular offerings of the year. Second, there would be no preseason magazines without preseason top 25s.

And last time I checked, the magazines aren't going away either. We need them. We want them. The likes of Athlon and Lindy's are selling better than ever. There are regional editions. Sure, some of them outdated by the time they hit the stands. (USC No. 3, Athlon? Really?) That's OK. The sport is year-round now. It's not going to stop for a printing press.

The mags' arrival officially stirs the juices. Suddenly, it's OK to break down the Sun Belt, predict the WAC. Argue about the SEC East. That's why this blog is devoted to one of my annual obsessions -- a combined poll from all the preseason magazines.

I combined five polls, from The Sporting News, Phil Steele, Lindy's, Athlon. Yahoo Sports and CBSSports.com. Our official preseason poll won't come out until late August. For this purpose, then, I'm using my post-spring top 25.

A few notes, rules and notifications:

*Each school was assigned a number in descending order. Twenty-five points for a No. 1 ranking, 24 for No. 2, etc.

*Schools are then ranked from highest-point total to lowest.

*I also included an average poll rank, mostly because not all the schools were named in all five polls. Example: Oregon State finished No. 25 because it got 11 points from being ranked No. 15 in The Sporting News.  The likes of Cincinnati (eight points) and Utah (five) were ranked in two polls but finished with fewer total points than Oregon State.

*Thirty seven schools received votes.

*Alabama was not a consensus No. 1. Phil Steele made some waves by picking Oklahoma No. 1.

The annual compilation:

1. Alabama: Duh. Haven't lost an SEC regular-season game since 2007. Highest rank, No. 1. Lowest, No. 3 (148 points, Avg. rank between No. 1 and No. 2)

2. Ohio State: The Big Ten is back. Ohio State never left. Highest rank, No. 2. Lowest rank, No. 3. (142 points. Avg. rank between No. 2 and No. 3)

3. Boise State: Should be a consensus top five pick with major polls debut next month. Highest rank, No. 2. Lowest rank, No. No. 6. (136 points. Average rank between No. 3 and No. 4)

4. Florida: Fastest team in the country, again. Highest rank, No. 4. Lowest rank, No. 7. (123 points. Avg. rank between No. 5 and No. 6)

5. TCU: Nation's best defense the past two seasons. Highest rank, No. 4. Lowest rank, No. 11. (113 points. Avg. rank between No. 7 and No. 8)

6. Nebraska: Fitting that these two are tied. They hate each other. Highest rank, No. 5. Lowest rank, No. 11 (112 points. Average rank between No. 7 and No. 8)

7. Oregon: Most talent in the Pac-10. Highest rank, No. 6. Lowest rank, No. 15 (111 points. Avg. rank between No. 7 and No. 8)

8. Texas: Adding physicality to offense. Highest rank, No. 4. Lowest rank, No. No. 11 (110 points. Avg. rank between No. 7 and No. 8)

9. Oklahoma: Rebuilding into Big 12 and national power again. Highest rank, No. 1. Lowest rank, No. 12. (106 points. Avg. rank between No. 8 and No. 9)

10. Virginia Tech: Class of the ACC until further notice. Highest rank, No. 8. Lowest rank, No. 13. (94 points. Avg. rank between No. 10 and No. 11)

11. (tie) USC: Two-year bowl ban begins. Does the dynasty continue? Highest rank, No. 3. Lowest rank, No. 16. (90 points. Avg. rank No. 11)

Iowa: Sexy dark horse pick in the Big Ten. Highest rank, No. 8. Lowest rank, No. 14. (90 points. Avg. rank No. 11)

13. Wisconsin: Fresh from pounding Miami. Factor in Big Ten. Highest rank, No. 6. Lowest rank, No. 23. (82 points. Avg. rank between No. 12 and No. 13)

14. Miami: Starting to look like Canes of old. Highest rank, No. 4. Lowest rank, No. 14. (79 points. Avg. rank between No. 12 and No. 13)

15. Florida State: New coach, healthy quarterback. Great prospects. Highest rank, No. 14. Lowest rank, No. 20. (60 points, Avg. rank No. 16)

16. Arkansas: Petrino starting to work his magic with Ryan Mallett. Highest rank, No. 16. Lowest rank, No. 21. (50 points, Avg. rank between No. 17 and No. 18)

17. North Carolina: Nation's best defense? Highest rank, No. 12. Lowest rank, No. 24. (48 points. Avg. rank No. 18)

18. Pittsburgh: Coming first 10 win season since 1981. Highest rank, No. 14. Not ranked by Steele. (45 points. Avg. rank No. 17)

19. LSU: Les Miles on the hot seat? Highest rank, No. 18. Not ranked by Steele. (35 points. Avg. rank No. 19)

20. Georgia Tech:
Defending ACC champs seem to have gotten better. Highest rank, No. 13. Not ranked by Steele, Yahoo and Athlon. (30 points. Avg. rank No. 16)

21. Auburn: Chizik not ready to cede state to Alabama. Highest rank, No. 15. Not ranked by Lindy's and Yahoo. (29 points. Avg. rank between No. 18 and No. 19)

22. Penn State: JoePa going for No. 400. Highest rank, No. 18. Not ranked by Sporting News. (27 points. Avg. rank No.  20 and No. 21)

23. Georgia: New AD could be the least of Dawgs' problems. Highest rank, No. 15. Not ranked by CBSSports.com and Sporting News. (24 points. Avg. rank No. 20)

24. West Virginia: Noel Devine could carry 'Neers to a BCS bowl. Highest rank, No. 19. Not ranked by Athlon and Yahoo. (16 points. Avg. rank No. 22)

25. Oregon State: Mike Riley always has Beavers in contention. Highest rank, No. 15. Not ranked by CBSSports.com, Steele, Lindy's and Athlon. (15 points. Avg. rank between No. 18 and No. 19)

Other teams receiving votes: Notre Dame, Connecticut, Missouri, South Carolina, Cincinnati, Utah, Houston, Clemson, Arizona, Stanford, Washington, Navy.

Notes: To no one's surprise the SEC led all conferences with six teams in the top 25 (Alabama, Florida, Arkansas, Auburn, LSU, Georgia) ... To everyone's surprise, the ACC was second with five teams (Virginia Tech, Miami, Florida State, North Carolina, Georgia Tech) ... The Big 12 had three of the top 10 (Oklahoma, Texas, Nebraska) ... The ACC, Big Ten and Big 12 each had three teams in the top 15 ... Every national champion since 1999 is represented in the top 25 ... Six states had multiple teams in the poll. Florida led all states with three (Miami, Florida, Florida State).


Posted on: April 20, 2010 4:47 pm

Pac-10 schedule breakdown

The best thing about the Pac-10 is that it plays a true round-robin with only three, usually strong, non-conference games.

The worst thing about the Pac-10 is that is plays a true round-robin with only three, usually strong, non-conference games.

Ask the coaches.

While the Pac-10 produces a "true" champion, there are plenty of reasons to question the scheduling philosophy. The unbalanced schedule means nine conference games. Half of the league is playing four conference home games and five away games. That puts more pressure on getting just the right mix of three non-conference games. Six Pac-10 teams will be playing I-AA teams this season. Arizona State is playing two. USC gets a 13th game this season by playing in Hawaii and is still playing seven road games.

That means there are plenty of land mines out there for the contenders and a chance for the Pac-10 to drop off the national title radar this season. Even with the loss of Jeremiah Masoli, Oregon will be favored. The Ducks, though, still have to travel to USC and Oregon State as well as Tennessee in the non-conference.

If the Pac-10 expands -- a decision is coming soon -- it probably will have to abandon the round-robin scheduling format.  It might not be such a bad thing to add a winnable non-conference game and drop a conference game that could ruin your season.

Game of the year:  (non-conference) Notre Dame at USC, Nov. 27. There are other tasty games (UCLA at Texas, Oregon State at Boise, Oregon State vs. TCU in Arlington, Texas), but it's never bad to go with tradition.

Neither the Irish nor the Trojans will likely be favored to win any championships this season. That's hardly the point. There's a new coach on each side in this game for the first time since 1941 (Sam Barry and Frank Leahy). USC's current winning streak over Notre Dame (eight) is a game more than Lane Kiffin has won (seven as a college coach).  Brian Kelly tries to  bring the zone read option to a program that is searching for an identity.

Heismans are won and souls are crushed in this game. You have to watch.


Game of the year: (conference)  Oregon at Oregon State, Dec. 4. The Civil War reached new heights last season when the Ducks were featured on a Thursday night in their road to the Rose Bowl. It's hard to describe the intensity in this game but when it makes an impression on the Big Ten commissioner who know it's special.

"The games that were regional became national," said Delany speaking about the BCS has been able to highlight certain games. "Once they got me to watch Oregon-Oregon State, they got me to watch other games."

Team on the spot:  Arizona State. Three years ago the Sun Devils actually won a share of the Pac-10. Since then, they are 9-15. Only six of those victories have come against BCS conference schools. Dennis Erickson's star has faded fast. No one is expecting the Sun Devils to do much this season. With two I-AAs on the schedule (Portland State and Northern Arizona), a bowl is a must isn't it?

Toughest non-conference schedule:
UCLA. It's all about momentum. In his third season, Rick Neuheisel has to have it. By the first week of October he could lose it.

An 0-4 start is a definite possibility. There are no breathers in the non-non which is broken up by an early conference opener in the second week against Stanford at the Rose Bowl.

I dare any team to try this September schedule in consecutive weeks:

Sept. 4 -- at Kansas State. The improving Wildcats came within a game of winning the Big 12 North last season. Under Bill Snyder at this point they are capable of beating anyone outside the top 10. UCLA needs to mature in a hurry on offense. If it doesn't in this game, it could be another lost season.

Sept. 11 -- Stanford.  This was supposed to be an off field before it got switched for television. (Stanford was originally scheduled for Oct. 16) At least the Bruins get the Cardinal at home before (perhaps) the Pac-10's best quarterback, Andrew Luck, can get on a roll.

Sept. 18 -- Houston. This is the real WTF? Houston beat Oklahoma State, Texas Tech and Mississippi State on its way to a 10-win season last year. Case Keenum sure as heck isn't going to be intimidated by the Rose Bowl. This is a pick-'em at best, a Houston victory if Keenum heats up. This is the beginning of a two for one and gives the Bruins some face time in Texas, but wedged in where it is ... tough, tough, tough.

Sept. 25 -- at Texas. More face time in Texas but this is not the game you need at this time. Mack Brown has promised that the offense will become more physical this season. The Bruins better muscle up on D coming off meetings with Luck and Keenum.

Easiest non-conference schedule: Arizona State. As mentioned, Portland State and Northern Arizona kick off the season. That means the Sun Devils will have to win seven this season to go to a bowl game. It can count only one I-AA against bowl eligibility.

Reality sets in the next week at Wisconsin.




Posted on: March 4, 2010 4:49 pm

Texas tidbits from visit this week

Here are some leftovers from my visit this week to Texas. Subject matter included the ascension of sophomore Garrett Gilbert to starting quarterback, replacing Colt McCoy.


On the spring quarterback race:

"The real question mark is we've done a good job here of running an offense here with Major Applewhite and Chris Simms and then changing it to Vince [Young] and then tweaking it for Colt.  Our two question marks this spring are how do we tweak the offense toward the upcoming quarterbacks for the future? Where does [fifth-year senior] Sherrod Harris fit?"

On halftime at the national championship game:

"We thought Colt might come back. We were conservative in the second quarter. Colt wanted to play. That's great, that's valiant but you can't play. You're the spirit of this team, get your jersey, get your pads on and you get out there and get Garrett right in the middle of that team and pick them all up."

On the bad luck of losing Colt McCoy to injury:

"Where everything happened right in '05 against a great USC team, not much happened right in the first half [against Alabama]. We thought the teams were at least equal."

On expectations at Texas:

"The expectations of these kids and our current fans and therefore our current coaches is we need to get to that [championship] game every year. We're out of the win nine, win 10, out of win the South [Division]. We're out of just winning the conference, we'd like to do it all every year."

On developing a more diverse offense while transitioning from Colt:

"We've gotten pretty simple with our formations and therefore outexecuted people. We will not change our philosophy. We are going to be more stubborn because we have to get back to that [more balanced offense]."

On chasing the dream:

"Bobby Bowden and Joe Paterno said, 'After you win a national championship, your goals change. You expect and want to win it every year. The second one is harder than the first one.'

"That's why I was so disappointed. We missed by hundredths of a point last year [2008]. Then we miss this year with some [injury] circumstances.

"Texas has won 3 championships in 112 years. We've been in the mix three of the last five years."

On early commitments (Texas has 17 commits for 2011):

"By and large it's not like everybody else. We're recruiting four states but we're at a point now that a lot of them want to have their kids come here. They're not going to tell them to come, they're going to tell them to come look.

"When we were at North Carolina; Michigan, Ohio State, Notre Dame and Penn State started the [early] camp deal in the summer to lock up all the in-state players and then recruit out of state. When we got here, Texas was new to [junior] camps. What we were trying to do is have juniors come to camp. Then we would offer them before their senior years ... Now they're starting off in their sophomore year. That part is out of control.

"Most of the kids that come to our junior day have 15 offers. If we don't offer then, by the time they walk out the door they have 15 e-mails from coaches: "Did Texas offer you? If you don't you have 15 offers. If they didn't, they're fools.' If we don't offer him while he's on camps we probably lose him." 

"We're lucky we know a lot about the kids because we've been around them. You've still got three semesters left in their academics. Very few have taken the SAT or ACT. You have to look at core and class rank."

GALE GILBERT, father of Garrett

On Colt McCoy's injury:

"That's got to be the earliest in the national championship or the Super Bowl that the starting quarterback had gone out. You know there's a lot of football to play but you can't give up too many opportunities."

On what it was like afterward with Garrett:

"Really more disappointment of being in that situation and not getting it done."

On Garrett's recruitment:

"He was always with Texas. When offers started coming in, he said we'll go look. I took him out to Cal and Stanford after his sophomore year. It's shut down, nobody's around and he said, 'What are we doing this for?' "


On what he was told after the national championship game:

"Coach Brown he was proud of the way our team came out and fought in the second half. I used it as a learning experience. My dad told me he was proud of me.  Obviously, it was such an unfortunate deal with Colt going down. You never ask for something like that to happen.

"At halftime Colt was telling me to keep my head up and keep plugging away. The guys around me did a great job of making plays, stepping up and being leaders."

On taking snaps under center for the first time in years:

"I don't know how much of an issue it is. I'm sure Tim Tebow is working on all that. It's a big enough adjustment to go from college to the NFL."

On things slowing down in the second half of the Alabama game:

"Eventually. Hearing those guys say stay positive and stay with me that was a really comforting feeling. That first touchdown pass to Jordan [Shipley] was a big relief. Being a competitor I had all the confidence in the world in our team."


Category: NCAAF
Posted on: February 10, 2010 10:30 pm
Edited on: February 11, 2010 2:02 pm

More expansion: A proposed new look

The Mountain West is on notice.

The Big East too.

Don’t forget the Big 12 which could be ripped asunder.

One or all of those conferences are going to be impacted if, as expected, the Pac-10 and Big Ten expand in the near future.

After writing about the big picture on Wednesday, we’re here to speculate freely about how other conferences might be impacted.

Mountain West: After leading his league to the brink of BCS automatic qualifying status, commissioner Craig Thompson has to be concerned.

A BYU-Utah defection to the Pac-10 makes a lot of sense. In basketball, the league has travel partners (Washington-Washington State, Arizona-Arizona State). The Utes and Cougars are bitter rivals but would be make ideal additions due to the far-flung nature of the league.

I still don’t know how the Pac-10 views the academic aspect of expansion, so I’m not sure how it views the combination of a state school (Utah) and what amounts to a private school (BYU). If there is a fallback, it could be San Diego State.

If the Big Ten were to take Missouri, that’s a potential three teams ripped from the Mountain West and could mean the end of the league.  The three most likely replacements would be Boise State, Fresno State and Texas-El Paso.

The best non-BCS league could find itself teetering on the edge of existence, or at least relevance.

Big 12: The biggest hit comes if both Colorado (Pac-10) and Missouri (Big Ten) leave.

If Missouri or Colorado leave, the Big 12 would go get TCU from the Mountain West. While that would wound the MWC, the league would most likely then invite Boise State.

If both Colorado and Missouri left, the Big 12 would get TCU and, maybe, Houston? Either way, the Big 12’s TV stature would shrink.

Big East: The league was almost wiped out when the ACC expanded five years ago. What happens if Pittsburgh, Syracuse or Rutgers is taken by the Big Ten?

Most likely the Big East would raid Conference USA for Central Florida. That would get the league further into Florida. UCF is third-largest school in the country (53,000) behind Ohio State and Arizona State. There's got to be some football players in there somewhere. Plus, the school has made a huge commitment to facilities.

Sooner or later doesn’t Big East football and basketball have to split? The unwieldy existence between the two sides (16 teams in basketball, only eight of which play football).

After the wounds caused by the ACC, another hit could cause the end of the Big East in football.

My latest look on how the Big Ten, Pac-10, Big 12 and MWC might look in the future.

Schembechler Division

Michigan State

Grange Division
Ohio State
Penn State

BIG 12
North Division
Kansas State
Iowa State

South Division
Texas Tech
Texas A&M
Oklahoma State


North Division
Oregon State
Washington State

South Division
Arizona State

Fresno State
Boise State
Texas-El Paso
Air Force
San Diego State
New Mexico
Colorado State



Posted on: December 11, 2009 6:03 pm

Erroneous news about Harbaugh at Kansas

Jim Harbaugh has not been offered the Kansas job athletic director Lew Perkins said Friday.

A report from Kansas City television station KMBC apparently posted an erroneous report to the contrary Friday afternoon. That doesn't mean Kansas officials haven't spoken to Harbaugh or are targeting him at the moment but the match doesn't make sense. Harbaugh's only tie to the area is his wife who is from the Kansas City area.

Taking the Kansas job would be perceived as a lateral move, at best. With Brian Kelly off the market, Harbaugh assumes the postiion of The Nation's Hottest Coach. It wouldn't be likely that he would take a job at a mid-level Big 12 program. The way Stanford is trending upward, he'd be much closer to a BCS bowl game at The Farm than in Lawrence, Kan. whree there is a rebuilding job to be done.

Last week Harbaugh was close to signing an extension that would pay him $1.25 million, making him the highest paid coach in Stanford history.

If the coach is going anywhere it would be to the NFL or his alma mater Michgian, as soon as after next season. If he goes Kansas, fans would have to worry about how long he would stay.

Harbaugh is 46-25 in six seasons at both San Diego and Stanford. The Cardinal will play Oklahoma in the Sun Bowl on Dec. 31.
Category: NCAAF
Posted on: December 9, 2009 5:39 pm

Scripps-Howard Heisman poll

Another major Heisman indicator. Mark Ingram is the winner of the final Scripps-Howard News Service Heisman poll, by a point over Ndamukong Suh. Yours truly voted in this poll all season.

This is shaping up to be the closest Heisman vote in history. Scripps-Howard is a further indicator with Ingram getting 33 points to Suh's 32. Third-place Toby Gerhart actually had the most first-place votes, four. There were 10 voters nationwide. Here is the breakdown:

1. Mark Ingram, RB, Alabama, 33 points (two first-place votes).

2. Ndamukong Suh, DT, Nebraska, 32 (2).

3. Toby Gerhart, RB, Stanford, 29 (4).

4. Colt McCoy, QB, Texas, 16 (1).

5 (tie). Tim Tebow, QB, Florida, 7 (1); C.J. Spiller, RB, Clemson, 7.

Others receiving votes: Houston QB Case Keenum 5, TCU DE Jerry Hughes, 1.


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