Tag:Oregon
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.

BIG TEN 
Schembechler Division

Iowa
Missouri
Michigan
Michigan State
Minnesota
Northwestern

Grange Division
Illinois
Indiana
Ohio State
Penn State
Purdue
Wisconsin

BIG 12
North Division
Nebraska
Colorado
Kansas
Kansas State
Iowa State
TCU

South Division
Texas
Texas Tech
Texas A&M
Oklahoma
Baylor
Oklahoma State

 

PAC-10
North Division
Oregon
Oregon State
Washington State
Cal
Stanford
Washington

South Division
BYU
Utah
Arizona
Arizona State
USC
UCLA

MOUNTAIN WEST
Fresno State
Boise State
Texas-El Paso
Air Force
Wyoming
UNLV
San Diego State
New Mexico
Colorado State

 

 

Posted on: January 27, 2010 10:12 am
Edited on: January 27, 2010 12:24 pm
 

Say it ain't so J---eremiah

There are conflicting reports about Oregon quarterback Jeremiah Masoli's role in the theft of laptops from an Oregon frat.

Coach Chip Kelly says he won't comment until there is more "substantiation". A frat boy says he is absolutely sure it was Masoli and teammate Garrett Embry who stole items from the frat. The most troubling thing to me is a passage in the linked story:

Masoli is from Daly City (Calif.). After playing two seasons for the Serra High School football team, he spent his senior year at a high school in Hawaii and served jail time for armed robberies, the Eugene Register-Guard reported. He was one of several Serra players arrested in June 2005 and expelled for targeting individuals at San Mateo's Hillsdale Mall and bus stops, muscling them for money, the paper reported.

"Armed robberies"? Be careful how this thing plays out and how things are worded. I was able to find a story from November 2009 that stated Masoli had served time in a San Mateo, Calif. juvenile detention center for "his role in several strong-armed robberies." Masoli was kicked out of Serra for what the story described as targeting victims at a nearby mall and bus stops and "muscling" them for money. 

If expelled from a California high school, students are banned from competing in a sport for a year, the paper reported. Masoli's senior year was spent at St. Louis High School in Hawaii.

In the story, Masoli told the Register-Guard, "There’s temptation everywhere. I’m just like any other person on the street."

Still, "strong-armed" seems to be a long way from armed robbery. There's definitely a long way to go overall on this story, and there's definitely a gray area considering the conflicting reports. The police, in fact, have said that Masoli and Embry are not suspects at this time. 

But until this point, Masoli mostly had been an inspirational story coming from fifth string to starter in 2008. His 2009 season put him in position to contend for the Heisman in 2010. 

For Oregon's sake, let's hope it remains that way.

 

Category: NCAAF
Tags: Oregon
 
Posted on: January 15, 2010 6:53 pm
Edited on: January 17, 2010 12:33 pm
 

Breaking down the Tennessee search

Tennessee fancies itself a top 10 program in the best of times. In the worst of times, it just landed the coach of the team that tied for fifth in the WAC.

That’s one way to look at the hiring of Derek Dooley on Friday at Tennessee.

Rocky Flop? 

Here’s another, a formal list of names that I’m told were on the Tennessee list:

Will Muschamp, Texas defensive coordinator – Apparently turned down a $3 million-a-year offer.

Jon Gruden, Monday Night Football – What job doesn’t he apply for?

Troy Calhoun, Air Force – Happy at Air Force. Can do better if he aspires to return to the NFL.

Randy Edsall, UConn – A great coach who would be out of his element in Knoxville.

Lovie Smith, Chicago Bears – May be fired by the Bears. Apparently was a Tennessee assistant way back.

Kyle Whittingham, Utah – Turned down an offer Thursday night.

Doug Marrone, Syracuse – One year for the still-rebuilding Orange.

Gary Patterson, TCU – No way.

Kippy Brown, Tennessee assistant -- Interviewed on Friday. Apparently didn't do well.

Al Temple, Temple – A late well-respected addition.

Phil Fulmer, former Tennessee coach – Might have been AD and coach by Monday if the search dragged on.


A list of names that should have been considered

Mike Stoops, Arizona – Tennessee is into famous surnames lately. There is no more respected name in the sport right now than Stoops. Arizona is beginning to turn around.

Bobby Petrino, Arkansas – Hey, he lasted as many games with the Falcons as Kiffin did with the Vols, 13.

Tommy Bowden, former Clemson coach – Duh. Why wouldn’t you call this guy?

Rich Rodriguez, Michigan – Please tell me he wouldn’t take Mike Hamilton’s call. Then please tell me he wouldn’t take the job, if offered.

Chip Kelly, Oregon  – If you’re a top 10 program don’t you have to at least see if he’s interested?

Posted on: December 26, 2009 10:46 pm
Edited on: December 26, 2009 10:52 pm
 

Dan Mullen leading candidate at Florida

Mississippi State coach Dan Mullen may emerge as the leading candidate at Florida in the aftermath of Urban Meyer stepping down Saturday night.

The key to the new hire is the state of the Florida staff. The move must be made quickly and in the heart of recruiting season. In most cases, that means hiring a coach who would want to bring in an entirely new staff or, at least, forcing the new coach to keep the core of Meyer's staff.

That staff is in the process of landing what looks like another top 10 class. Transitioning in the middle of the recruiting season could be messy. That's why Mullen seems like the ideal answer. Florida's former offensive coordinator would be able to keep the staff and recruiting together. Mississippi State finished 5-7 in its first season under Mullen.

Mullen has been with Meyer since 2001 when he was hired as Bowling Green's quarterbacks coach. A member of the "New Hampshire Mafia", Mullen shares offensive philosophies with LSU's Gary Crowton and Oregon's Chip Kelly. All three are from New Hampshire. It was Mullen's offense that made Tim Tebow a star and made his successor John Brantely want to stick around for three years to get the starting job. The key for Florida is continuity.

Mullen is in the process of hiring a defensive coordinator after losing Carl Torbush to Kansas. One player who won't be coming with him is quarterback Cam Newton, one of top junior college prospects. Newton was being recruited heavily by Mullen. Both were at Florida a couple of years ago when Newton was thrown off the team for allegedly stealing a laptop. He has emerged from his juco experience as a five-star prospect.

Mullen just completed the first of a four-year contract that is paying him $1.2 million per season.

Other names attached to the opening include Jon Gruden, Bobby Petrino, Bob Stoops, Steve Spurrier, Kyle Whittingham and Mike Shanahan
Posted on: December 6, 2009 8:35 am
 

BCS bowl lineup and my top five

If form holds – and that means Texas finishing No. 2 in the BCS – this is how the BCS bowls will shake out tonight …

BCS title game – Texas vs. Alabama
Comment:  Got to think Bama will be almost a prohibitive favorite but Texas wasn’t supposed to beat USC in the 2006 Rose Bowl either.

Fiesta Bowl – TCU vs. Boise State
Comment: Fiesta is always thinking out of the box. It becomes the first BCS bowl to match two undefeated non-BCS schools. Should be a ratings winner.

Orange Bowl – Iowa vs. Georgia Tech
Comment:  Pasty Iowans will overrun South Florida and come away schooled in the ways of the option offense.

Sugar – Florida vs. Cincinnati
Comment: Alabama didn’t want to be here last year. Will Florida coming off an SEC title game loss? Also, who coaches the Bearcats with Brian Kelly headed to Notre Dame?

Rose – Oregon vs. Ohio State*
Comment:  Might be the best game of the bunch. Chip Kelly’s wide open Quack Attack against Ohio State’s old-style defense.

*--locked in

Here is my final regular-season top five. You can see the entire top 25 later Sunday:
1.Alabama
2. TCU
3. Texas
4. Cincinnati 
5. Florida

Posted on: December 4, 2009 1:07 am
 

A Blount finish to the Civil War

That wasn’t LeGarrette Blount on the field for the first time in three months.

Couldn’t be.

That wasn’t the scourge of a nation playing in crunch time with the Rose Bowl on the line.

In the Civil War of all things.

No way. No, it couldn’t have been.

But it was, as that same nation watched Blount go from The Punch to Pasadena Thursday in the War of the Roses. Remember how the 240-pound tailback’s season started? How could anyone forget?

It’s hard to believe which power was higher after Oregon’s 37-33 victory over Oregon State Thursday night. The power of redemption or the power of the Ducks’ offensive line.

Blount was inserted in the second half with coach Chip Kelly looking for a change of pace. The move worked when Blount scored a touchdown after the Ducks had fallen behind 30-21. Later, Blount’s 30-yard run also helped Oregon bleed off the final 6:09 of the clock.

Blount arrived just in time (nine rushes, 51 yards) to give his team the punch it lacked since, well, his punch in Boise exactly three months to the day on Sept. 3. LaMichael James (166 yards) had done fine as Blount’s replacement becoming the Pac-10’s second-leading rusher, but Kelly didn’t establish himself as a national coach of the year candidate by being an empty visor.

After Blount was knocked back for a one-yard loss, Oregon faced a fourth-and-3 from the Oregon State 33 with 3:29 left. Kelly called timeout, then called a pass where everything broke down. No matter, quarterback Jeremiah Masoli threw his frame six yards downfield for the first of two fourth-down conversions on the drive that ended with students mobbing the field.

The War of the Roses morphed into the return of the Blount. Suspended for the season after that night in Boise, he got a second chance with Kelly reconsidered. Blount was eligible to return in early November but didn’t see the field until Thursday.

Not bad for a third-string tailback.

Not bad for a rookie head coach.

Great for the Ducks.

They’re going to Pasadena for the first time in 15 years.

 

Category: NCAAF
Posted on: November 19, 2009 6:00 pm
Edited on: November 20, 2009 10:48 am
 

Son of Weekend Watch List

It's that insane time of year when we have been asked to pick the best players in the country -- before all the games are played.

Some awards are narrowing their lists of semifinalists to finalists after Saturday's games. That would be with two weeks left in the regular season. Those kinds of deadlines are particularly unfair especially at  quarterback and running back where there are multiple candidates.

(I never understood the whole semifinalist-finalist thing anyway. It’s just a way to string out and hype the award.)

The Heisman has always been a pet peeve for me. So much can happen in bowls that sometimes the winner is diminished (see Oklahoma’s Jason White in the 2004 Sugar Bowl) or the person who should be the real winner emerges (see Vince Young in the 2006 Rose Bowl).

But at least the Heisman gives voters enough time to wait until after all the regular-season games are played. Not so for most of the other awards, of which there are way too many.

A couple of pieces of information came across SOWWL's desk this week. The list of three finalists for the Davey O'Brien Award (best quarterback) are expected by 1 p.m. ET on Sunday. How, on Sunday, are we supposed to pick between Colt McCoy, Tim Tebow, Case Keenum, Kellen Moore, Jimmy Clausen, Andy Dalton and Bill Stull? Those are seven names that come to mind at the moment . There might be more.

Consider that McCoy and Tebow still have to play conference championship games. Moore is the nation’s most efficient passer working on an undefeated season. Dalton and Stull are among the most improved quarterbacks in the country.

I'm considering waiting at least another week to vote. If the O'Brien folks don't approve, tough spit.

The  Doak Walker Award’s list of the 10 semifinalists was released this week. The list did not include the nation’s fourth-leading rusher Bernard Pierce (Temple), the SEC's second-leading rusher Anthony Dixon (of Mississippi State, eighth in the country) or the Pac-10’s second-leading rusher (LaMichael James of Oregon).

It did include the nation’s No. 46 rusher, C.J. Spiller of Clemson who should be considered the best all-purpose runner in the country, not the best running back. 

Missouri’s Danario Alexader is fifth in catches per game and third in receiving yards per game after catching 10 balls for 200 yards against Kansas State. You won’t find him on the list of the 10 semifinalists for the Biletnikoff Award (best receiver). Three of the 10 players have been injured or left their team.

There is a safety net. Candidates can be written in, however voters are a group are traditionally lazy. They tend to vote for what is in front of them. One exception was 2007 when the Biletnikoff process was so off the mark in 2007 that Texas Tech’s Michael Crabtree won as a write-in candidate.

The main reason for these incredibly early lists is college football’s awards show. It airs the Thursday after the end of the regular season. If the awards committees want to be seen on national TV, then they have to cow tow to ESPN deadlines.

Here’s another idea: How about setting yourself apart and waiting until after the bowl season? Somehow I think some network or another would still televise the Heisman ceremony.

Etc: Cincinnati is one of the few teams that could afford having a quarterback in jail. No biggie, there’s always Tony Pike …  A loss to Ohio State would doom Michigan to its worst Big Ten finish since 1962 … Iowa (vs. Minnesota) and Penn State (at Michigan State) both need to win to stay in BCS consideration … Connecticut’s Zach Frazer has a chance this week to become one of the few players in history to play both for and against Notre Dame. Frazer transferred from ND in 2007 … Receiver Jordan Shipley will replace the suspended D.J. Monroe for Texas on kick returns this week against Kansas … Texas has scored 10 non-offensive touchdowns this season (defense and special teams). That leads the nation and is a school record … Miami’s Jacory Harris (at home vs. Duke) has thrown 16 interceptions, the most of the top 100 passers rated by the NCAA.

Posted on: November 8, 2009 4:07 pm
Edited on: November 9, 2009 12:14 pm
 

Thoughts on a football Saturday

After watching that replay again from Alabama, how can a reasonable person rule that wasn’t an interception? I’m expecting something out of the SEC office in the next couple of days.

Why I like Alabama on game day … “Sweet Home Alabama” comes on and immediately everyone on University Ave. starts jukin’ and yellin’. Ever see 10,000 folks do the Bama version of the River Dance?

Why I like Alabama on game day II … The houndstooth 1) skirts and 2) beer coozies.

Why I like Alabama on game day III … Yes, they were taking pictures of me as I was in makeup prior to my appearance on CBS College Sports’ SEC Tailgate. You people must find some meaning in your lives.

Get ready for a noisy Boise: The way things are sorting out, an undefeated Boise State is going to be beaten out for a BCS bowl by a two-loss team from one of the power conferences, p.r. firm or not.

The BCS bowl matchups began to get into sharper focus when Iowa lost and Alabama won. Here’s out it works:

The automatic qualifiers are down these teams …

Big Ten: Iowa/Ohio State. The teams plays this week in Columbus so that will sort itself out. Both teams have lost once. Saturday's winner most likely goes to the Rose Bowl.

Big 12: Texas will play either Kansas State or Nebraska from the North Division. K-State controls its own destiny after beating Kansas. Texas might be cruising but could get some blowback at Texas A&M on Thanksgiving or from Nebraska or K-State in the Big 12 title game.

SEC: Alabama vs. Florida in the SEC title game. If they teams stay undefeated before Dec. 5, the winner plays for the national championship. The loser most likely goes to the Sugar Bowl.

ACC: Still a mess but Georgia Tech is the conference’s only one loss team and leads the Coastal Division. Clemson controls its fate in the Atlantic Division. The ACC winner most likely goes to the Orange Bowl.

Big East: Cincinnati is undefeated but still has tough games left against West Virginia and Pittsburgh. With no conference championship game to hinder it, the Bearcats could be headed to the Sugar Bowl to face the Alabama-Florida loser.

Pac-10: It looks as if Oregon, Arizona or Stanford will go to the Rose. The Wildcats and Ducks meet Nov. 21 in Tucson. Despite the letdown loss at Stanford, Oregon still seems to have the advantage. Arizona still has its toughest games to play (Cal, USC, Arizona State). Stanford has to get past USC and Cal before meeting Notre Dame in the regular-season finale,

That leaves four at-large berths. Notre Dame is out after losing to Navy. If TCU stays undefeated and ahead of Boise State in the BCS, it will go, most likely, to the Fiesta Bowl. As mentioned, the Florida-Alabama loser should gobble up a Sugar Bowl spot.  If USC wins out it could get the other Fiesta Berth at 10-2.

That leaves an undefeated Boise having to fight off a two-loss team from a major conference in order to get to the BCS. Things being what they are, which is the same for the past 50 years in this situation, the Orange Bowl most likely would pick a 10-2 Penn State to play the ACC champion.

Sorry Broncos.

Name this team: Its last conference championship came in 2003. Since then it has been a mixed bag. This program has changed coaches twice, beaten Texas twice and produced a quarterback drafted in the first round. This year alone it has given up 66 points to Texas Tech, lost to Louisiana-Lafayette and, amazingly,  is in first place in its division.

Ladies and gentlemen, let us introduce you to Kansas State, 6-4 overall and 4-2 in the Big 12 North after beating Kansas 17-10. In Bill Snyder’s second term as coach, the Wildcats need only beat Nebraska in its final two games to clinch a spot in the Big 12 title game.

Snyder is getting some run for Big 12 coach of the year. We’re fairly sure no COY has lost to Texas Tech by 54 and lost to a fourth-place Sun Belt team in the same season.


USC decline: Before Saturday’s 14-9 victory over Arizona State, USC had allowed 110 points in its last three games. That’s the most in a three-game stretch ever. The Trojans had allowed 113 points combined in the previous 14 games.


Breaking down the big boys: Now that a Florida-Alabama rematch is assured, here’s the three-minute eval of the SEC title game slightly less than a month away.

Advantage Alabama: A better running game (I think) and the revenge motive for last year’s classic loss in Atlanta.

Advantage Florida: Tebow, Tebow, Tebow. As long as he’s taking snaps, Florida has a chance.

Advantage Florida: Defense. By a hair. This is going to be another matchup of the ages. Charlie Strong vs. Nick Saban/Kirby Smart. At this point Florida’s unit seems a bit more active.

Advantage Alabama: Special teams. With Javier Arenas returning kicks and Terrence Cody blocking them, give the Crimson Tide the edge. Kicker Leigh Tiffin is more than reliable. If you’re looking for an edge, this is it. Games like this tend to turn on special teams.

Stuff: SMU needed three blocked kicks to beat Rice and move to within one win of bowl eligibility. The Ponies last went bowling pre-death penalty in 1984 … Alabama hasn’t been 9-0 in consecutive seasons since 1973-74 … In its last 39 home games, Cal is 0-7 against Oregon State and USC, 32-0 against everyone else … My God, did you see Cal’s Jahvid Best suffer that concussion while diving into the end zone? Coach Jeff Tedford actually said his guy was “OK.” No, coach, he’s not OK. In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if Best’s season is over … Who knew UCLA had lost seven conference games in a row before beating  Washington?

The right now, no B.S., up to the moment Heisman Watch

1. Case Keenum, Houston. Another last-second win, this time over Tulsa. In his last two games Keenum has thrown for 1,081 yards and eight touchdowns. Any questions? My goal in life is to get this kid a trip to New York. He’s earned it. In a perfect world, he’d win the Stiff Arm but because he plays at a Conference USA school it probably isn’t going to happen.

2. Mark Ingram, Alabama. It’s the KIIS system – Keep It Ingram, Stupid. After throwing 25 passes in the first half, Nick Saban changed tactics and had Ingram carry it 16 games in the second half against LSU. The result was 144 yards.

3. Colt McCoy, Texas. It was only Central Florida but McCoy continued a recent uptick with 469 passing yards. McCoy was removed from the game with nine minutes left four yards shy of the school passing record (Major Applewhite, 473 yards in the 2001 Holiday Bowl).

Funny thing, Applewhite might have the school record but because the NCAA didn’t recognize bowl stats back then it officially doesn’t exist. What makes things more annoying is that a few years ago the NCAA started counting bowl stats. I still contend that an intern at each school in the country could go back and add in all the bowl numbers.

The NCAA explains that current record holders would have their names expunged if records were updated. Tough! You count all the numbers, not just some of them.

4. Toby Gerhart, Stanford. Coach Jim Harbaugh is preaching physicality. Gerhart pounded Oregon for a school-record 223 yards and three touchdowns in a 51-42 win.

5. C.J. Spiller, Clemson. If the Tigers are going to win their first ACC title in 18 years, Spiller is going to be the reason. He went for a school-record 312 all-purpose yards against Florida State.

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