August 31st

UCLA, Utah win big in their openers; Washington State, Sacramento State lose big in theirs

Washington State … The most interesting game of the night, at least as far as the Pac-12 was concerned, was the matchup between BYU and Washington State. Sure, the game was in Provo, and the BYU Cougars were coming off of a 10-3 season; the Washington State Cougars coming off of a 4-8 campaign.

Still, Washington State had its new head coach, Mike Leach. The offensive genius inherited a team which was already prolific – 9th in the nation in passing offense in 2011; 33rd in total offense.

So, what happened?

Splat. BYU won, 30-6, with a game not as close as the score indicated. A Mike Leach coached team failed to score a touchdown for only the third time ever, and for the first time since 2006.

Leach’s reaction?

From ESPN … New Washington State coach Mike Leach says his team is closer to playing well than his players might think. He says it’s just a matter of eliminating the bad, being a bit more consistent with the good and remaining confident.

“We’ve got to be a mentally tougher team,” Leach said following a 30-6 loss Thursday to Brigham Young. “When something negative happens, we can’t have all these basset hound-looking faces on the sidelines.”

Washington State crossed midfield only six times and got inside the red zone only once. “Any time we were about to ignite or catch fire, something negative would happen,” Leach said.

“We squandered too many plays. We’d get a play or two going and look pretty good, and then we’d squander two more and never really got into a rhythm,” he said.

Couch Potato Analysis … After Washington State’s first drive of the game – which made it to the BYU 25 before quarterback Jeff Tuel threw an interception – the Cougars from Pullman were inept on offense. Their two scoring drives were aided, each time, by over 30 yards in penalties by the Cougars from Provo. Washington State did have two long passes called back, including a touchdown catch by All-American candidate Marquess Wilson, but from the second quarter on, the game outcome was never really much in doubt.

Two other notes … BYU made a living off of short passes over the middle to their tight ends. Here’s hoping Nick Kasa was watching, and dreaming of what he could do when CU plays Washington State on September 22nd … Marquess Wilson is a talent, but he is also a prima donna. ESPN’s cameras caught him, on several occasions, being very demonstrative in his frustration. What impact his behavior has had, or will have, will be worthy of attention as the season progresses.

Sacramento State… From ESPN … Andrew Manley threw for 367 yards and three touchdowns to lead New Mexico State to a 49-19 win over Sacramento State.

Two of Manley’s scoring strikes went to Austin Franklin, who finished with eight catches and 236 yards for the Aggies. The touchdowns covered 54 and 83 yards. Manley, who was 14 for 22, also connected with Jerrel Brown for a 50-yard score.

Garrett Safron threw two touchdown passes for the Hornets, who trailed 28-3 but closed within 28-19 before New Mexico State scored three touchdowns in the fourth quarter. Safron finished with 308 yards passing for Sacramento State.

Couch Potato Analysis … True, the Hornets gave up 49 points to a New Mexico State team which went 4-9 in 2011, a team which lost six of its last seven games (with the lone victory, surprisingly enough, coming over Fresno State, but I digress). Still, it would be folly for Buff fans to completely ignore Sacramento State’s chances against the Buffs next weekend. The Hornets did rack up almost 400 yards of total offense, posted as many first downs (18) as did the Aggies, and did rally from a 28-3 deficit. The score was 28-19 heading into the fourth quarter, and the Hornets had the ball when Garrett Safron had the ball slip from his hand in a scramble. The fumble resulted in a touchdown drive for New Mexico State. Then, on Sac State’s next offensive play, a ball was tipped on a short pass, and intercepted near the Hornets’ 20-yard line, resulting in another score. New Mexico State’s final touchdown came in the last minute of play.

The final score was 49-19, but Buff fans shouldn’t walk into Folsom Field next Saturday expecting CU to be spotted a 30-point lead. As we are (painfully) aware, CU has struggled in its first two efforts (loss to Montana State; come-from-behind win over Eastern Washington). Still, Colorado is at least as good as New Mexico State, so the Buffs should – should – win quite comfortably.

UCLA … From ESPN … Johnathan Franklin rushed for 214 yards and three touchdowns as UCLA racked up 348 yards on the ground en route to a 49-24 win over Rice on Thursday night.

Brett Hundley, a redshirt freshman, was 21-of-28 for 202 yards and two touchdowns and rushed for 68 yards and a touchdown. Joseph Fauria caught three passes for 53 yards and a touchdown.

Franklin just missed his career high of 216 yards rushing set in 2010 against Washington State. He became the first player in UCLA history to have two rushes of at least 72 yards in a game after scoring on touchdown runs of 74 and 78 yards in the first half.

Rice’s Taylor McHargue threw for 172 yards and two touchdowns on 17 of 28 passing and rushed for 95 yards and a touchdown on 22 carries. Sam McGuffie caught eight passes for 63 yards and a touchdown.

UCLA finished with 651 total yards in Jim Mora Jr.’s first game as coach, compared to 347 for Rice.

Couch Potato Analysis … This was a game of four quarters, and not just on the scoreboard. UCLA came out like world-beaters, with Hundley taking the first snap of his career, and toting the ball 68 yards for a touchdown. Before the game was seven minutes old, the Bruins were up, 19-0, and looked ready to take on USC. Then, the second “quarter” of the game belonged to Rice, with the Owls scratching back into the game, pulling to within five points, at 29-24, before a back-breaking 44-yard fumble return for a touchdown by UCLA gave the Bruins some breathing room. The third quarter was a break from the action, with the two teams, which had posted 59 points by halftime, failing to score. Then, in the fourth quarter, the Bruins slowly wore down the out-matched Owls (4-8 in 2011).

One last point … Rice’s Cameron Nwosu set an FBS record with three blocked PATs in one game. How messed up is that?

Arizona State … From ESPN … Marion Grice ran for three touchdowns, Taylor Kellywas efficient in his desert debut and Arizona State opened the Todd Graham era with a 63-6 rout over Northern Arizona Thursday night. The Sun Devils overwhelmed Northern Arizona from the opening kickoff, forcing three turnovers and running for five touchdowns while building a 42-0 halftime lead.

Kelly, Arizona State’s fourth quarterback in as many years, looked as he’d been under center all along, throwing for 247 yards and a touchdown. Cameron Marshall had two of Arizona State’s seven rushing touchdowns, both in the first quarter, and the Sun Devils rolled up 554 yards of offense while scoring their most points since 2005.

Arizona State was just as dominant defensively, knocking out Northern Arizona’s quarterback and leading rusher in the first half.

Couch Potato Analysis … I didn’t get to watch this game, as I do not (ahem!) have the Pac-12 Networks available to me by any local carrier … but, it doesn’t look like I missed much. Northern Arizona is not a great Big Sky team (4-7 last season, including, FWIW, a 27-26 victory over Sacramento State). Still, I expected more from the Lumberjacks than they showed Thursday night. Northern Arizona lost 41-10 to Arizona last season, and 41-20 to Arizona State the year before. Still, 63 points against a scout team is impressive, to Sun Devil fans are happy this morning. We’ll see how they are doing after games against Illinois, Missouri, Utah and Cal … the lineup before the Thursday night game in Boulder on October 11th.

Utah …  While not on CU’s calendar until Thanksgiving weekend, the Utes did play Thursday night, the only other Pac-12 team to see action.

Well, some action … if you can count taking on Northern Colorado a “game”.

From ESPN … John White rushed for 119 yards, quarterack Jordan Wynn threw for two touchdowns and backup quarterback Travis Wilson ran for two more scores to power Utah over Northern Colorado 41-0 on Thursday night in both teams’ season opener.

Wynn took some time to regain his form after missing the final nine games of the 2011 season due to a left shoulder injury. The Utes’ first drive ended in an interception by Courtney Hall on Wynn’s underthrown pass, but he recovered to complete 19-of-27 passes for 200 yards, including both touchdown passes to tight end Jake Murphy.

Northern Colorado, which has lost 19 of its past 20 games and was 0-11 last season, never crossed midfield and managed only 114 total yards on 50 plays.

The offenses struggled before Wynn lofted a 10-yard touchdown pass to Murphy — his third reception of the drive — to get the Utes on the scoreboard early in the second quarter.

Wilson, a highly touted freshman, relieved Wynn for two plays on the Utes’ second scoring drive. The 6-foot-6 QB hurdled a defender on his first run and on his next opportunity ran for a touchdown from 3 yards out. For the game, he completed both of his passes and ran for 15 yards on seven carries.

Just before halftime, White scored from 5 yards on fourth down to make it 21-0.

Before Wynn and the rest of the starters exited for good, the Utes set a Rice-Eccles Stadium record with a 21-play, 91-yard drive that consumed 10:42 and culminated with a Wynn-to-Murphy 8-yard touchdown connection.

Bears quarterback Seth Lobato (a former walk-on at CU) completed 10-of-24 passes for 74 yards and was sacked twice and hurried several times. Northern Colorado rushed 24 times for just 35 yards.

Couch Potato Analysis … Another game which I could not watch (great opening day double-header, Pac-12 Networks – 41-0 and 63-6 routs over Big Sky schools – make sure to show DirecTV the overnight ratings sheet!), but did not need to. Northern Colorado is not only a Big Sky school, it is a very bad Big Sky school. Over the last six seasons, the Bears have posted a cumulative record of 9-58 … against 1-AA competition. So, the fact that Utah won going away was not a real surprise. That the Utah defense, which was one of the best in the nation last season, posted a shutout, was not a real surprise.

Still, it was 0-0 after the first quarter, something of a moral victory for Northern Colorado (and a cautionary tale for Buff fans who might be expecting CU to be ahead of CSU by two touchdowns three minutes into the Rocky Mountain Showdown on Saturday!).

August 30th

Four Pac-12 teams open season Thursday; Oregon State opener post-poned

Four Pac-12 teams will kickoff the conference’s second season Thursday night. Three are double-digit favorites, while one is a double digit underdog.

Arizona State will play in-state rival Northern Arizona (7:30 MT, Pac-12 Networks). While the Sun Devils possess only a 20-14-4 all-time edge in the series, the Lumberjacks will head down to Tempe as a four-touchdown underdog. The last meeting between the two schools was in 2010, with Arizona State prevailing, 41-20. Look for a similar score Thursday night.

UCLA will open the season on the road, taking on Rice (7:30 MT, CBSSN). UCLA is a two-touchdown favorite, despite having to start the season in Houston. Last season Rice was 4-8, with the Owls’ best win coming over a mediocre Purdue team.

Utah has the equivalent of a bye to open the season, taking on Northern Colorado at home (5:15 MT, Pac-12 Networks). The Utes are 42-point favorites over the Bears, who last won a game in 2010.

Washington State, meanwhile, has perhaps the most difficult opener of any of the Pac-12 teams, traveling to Provo to take on BYU (8:15 MT, ESPN). The Cougars of Washington State are 12-point underdogs to the Cougars of BYU. That may seem very high, with all of the enthusiasm which has greeted the dawn of the Mike Leach era at Washington State. BYU, however, is coming off of a 10-3 season, and, as an independant, needs all of the high-profile victories it can secure.

Oregon State opener will have to wait

From ESPN … Hurricane Isaac has forced Oregon State and Nicholls State to postpone their season opener set for Saturday at Reser Stadium in Corvallis.

Oregon State officials said Wednesday night the game will be rescheduled.

The Nicholls State campus in Thibodaux, La., is closed because of Isaac, and classes Friday already have been canceled. The team was scheduled to take a charter flight to Oregon on Friday morning.

“It’s extremely unfortunate that we will not be able to make this trip,” Nicholls State athletic director Rob Bernardi said in a statement. “With the lingering effects of Hurricane Isaac, we do not want to put any of our student-athletes or staff in danger, so at this point, we feel like it is best to focus on the safety of everyone, and we’ll look into rescheduling the game at a later time.”

Lafourche and Terrebonne parishes in Southern Louisiana were hit hard by heavy wind and rain from Isaac on Wednesday, leaving some 60,000 homes and business in the area without power. The slow-moving storm that caused widespread coastal flooding was later downgraded.

Officials for the two schools will now consider options for rescheduling the game. Because the teams have different off dates, the game could be scheduled for the weekend of Dec. 1, but there could be a conflict if the Colonels reach the FCS playoffs or the Beavers go to the Pac-12 championship.

Pac-12 officials also will be involved in rescheduling the game.

The two schools originally planned to decide whether to postpone the game Thursday night. Options included playing on Sunday or Monday.

Pac-12 & DirecTV engaged in a war of words … and wills

Sounds like a bitter divorce … and the parties have never been married …

The 2012 kicks off tonight, with four Pac-12 teams amongst those taking the field for the first time. Tonight also marks the first live telecasts of football for the new Pac-12 Networks. Over 30 distributors are in place to bring coverage to millions of fans …

… but not to those fans who own a satellite dish.

Two weeks after the Pac-12 Networks opened for business, there remains no contract between the league and a satellite provider. It has been assumed for most of the month of August that DirecTV was the front-runner, and that it was just a matter of time before a deal was struck. But nothing has been signed (see August 29th story, below).

And now the parties are taking to the media to make their case.

“We’ve been in discussions with the Pac-12 Conference commissioner and Pac-12 Networks representatives for several months and will continue to work toward an agreement that will be fair for both those customers who want to receive Pac-12 programming and those who don’t,” DirecTV spokesman Robert Mercer said in a statement.

Mercer also said, “The vast majority of Pac-12 football games featuring the most popular teams with national-title implications remain available to all DirecTV customers through the ESPN family of networks and ABC Sports, Fox Sports and FSN, FX, CBS Sports and CBS Sports Network, NBC Sports and NBC Sports Network and several other regional services.”

That’s not good enough, at least not for the Cal athletic director, Sandy Barbour. Barbour is leading a campaign on Twitter to encourage DirecTV to add the Pac-12 Networks to its lineup.

She’s threatening to cancel her DTV subscription and is encouraging her fellow Cal fans with the service to do the same by Thursday, when Pac-12 games begin airing on the conference’s networks.

“I’ve been a DirecTV customer since 1996. I’d hate to lose it, but I want to get the Pac-12 Networks,” Barbour told the San Francisco Chronicle.

“DirecTV has been phenomenal in their customer service up until now. This is a nonstarter for me. If DirecTV can’t figure out how to carry the Pac-12 Networks by the first football game (on Thursday), I’m done.”

Pac-12 weighs in with an open letter to fans

The Pac-12 itself is not keeping the matter behind closed doors, either.

In an open letter, posted on the league’s website, the Pac-12 stated:

Dear Pac-12 fan:

We’ve heard from thousands of DirecTV subscribers who don’t receive Pac-12 Networks and wonder whether they’ll miss out on their teams’ most important games of the football season. We have worked around the clock to make sure that doesn’t happen, but with only a few hours remaining before the kickoff of the season, we’re writing to inform our fans that we do not have a distribution agreement with DirecTV.

This means Pac-12 fans who subscribe to DirecTV are in jeopardy of missing all 35 football games scheduled for broadcast on Pac-12 Networks, beginning Thursday night.

As you may have read, DirecTV believes that all Pac-12 fans will be satisfied by the games they can watch through other networks. We know this is not true, based on the thousands of calls and emails we’ve received from you, particularly from fans of teams that other broadcasters don’t typically feature. We also know that the other networks offered by DirecTV won’t broadcast 20 of the Pac-12’s conference games, starting with the Cal/USC matchup on September 22.

If you’re one of the fans who won’t be satisfied without Pac-12 football, or our more than 135 men’s basketball games and hundreds of other live events, we recommend finding Pac-12 Networks with another television provider.

The good news is that most Pac-12 fans have options. These fans can switch their television service to one of the more than 30 distributors that offer Pac-12 Networks, including Comcast, Time Warner Cable and Cox. These providers offer Pac-12 Networks’ full season lineup, including some of the most thrilling games of the season and TV Everywhere viewing online, on the iPad and on smartphones later in the season.

In just the first four weeks, Pac-12 Networks will feature all 12 schools, including appearances by #1 USC and two appearances by both #5 Oregon and #21 Stanford. Every weekend thereafter we will have at least two premiere conference matchups, all of which will have postseason implications.

To ensure you don’t miss out, please contact one of the providers below to get Pac-12 Networks in time for the kickoff of football season.

Thank you for your continued support.

Stay tuned. Kickoff of the 2012 season is just hours away …

August 29th

Satellite deal still not done

Will someone sit these people down and make them get this done …. ?

From Jon Wilner at the San Jose Mercury News … There will be no carriage deal this week between the Pac-12 and DirecTV.

The same goes for Charter and Verizon — no deals this week — but there’s still a chance that Dish Network and AT&T will jump on board before kickoff Thursday.

What happened with the Pac-12 and DirecTV?

According to an industry source, talks were progressing until this week, when DTV apparently decided that there wasn’t enough interest in the Pac-12 games, at least those scheduled for Week One. (Telling comment here from a DTV spokesman.)

So if you have DirecTV, Charter or Verizon and want to watch the Pac-12 Networks this weekend, then your best option is to switch providers.

And if that’s not an option because your provider won’t carry the Pac12Nets — examples: Comcast in Chicago and Washington, D.C./Northern Virginia, where the league has a huge pocket of fans — then, well, I’m not sure what to tell you. Complain, I guess.

Keep in mind that the conference anticipated obstacles on the carriage front.

That’s why commissioner Larry Scott insisted on retaining the rights to 35 football games during his negotiations with Fox and ESPN on the $3 billion Tier 1 deal …

And that’s why Scott insisted on the Pac12Nets having two No. 1 picks in the broadcast schedule “draft” with partners ESPN and Fox …

And that’s why the Pac12Nets used one of the top picks to select the USC-Cal game on Sept. 22.

That’s the biggest early-season game on the Pac12Nets — the biggest game-within-the-leverage-game the Pac-12 is playing with DirecTV and other potential carriers:

The nation’s No. 1 team and two of its top TV markets.

Scott and Gary Stevenson, president of Pac-12 Enterprises, have said numerous times over the past few months that they believe content on the Pac12Nets will ultimately carry the day with cable and satellite  providers.

USC vs. Cal is their content ace.

It’s also worth noting that the Big Ten Network had 22 million subs the day it launched and 30 million by the end of its first month, an increase of 36 percent percent.

There is precedent for quick carriage deals, if the demand exists.

David Bakhtiari makes ESPN All-Pac-12 team

The ESPN preseason All-Pac-12 team is 25 players strong, with 14 of those players coming from USC and Oregon.

Colorado does have a representative on the list, junior left tackle David Bakhtiari.

Of the 11 players not wearing the uniforms of USC or Oregon, five are from Stanford, leaving the remaining nine teams in the league six spots. Washington, Oregon State, Cal, Washington State, Utah and Colorado all had one player named, while Arizona State, UCLA, and Arizona were shut out.

The Pac-12 – if this pre-season list proves accurate – is not a very well balanced league. USC and Oregon are both in the top five nationally, while Stanford rates a top 20 ranking in the polls.

The rest of the league? It’s up for grabs …

Cecil Whiteside will not play for Cal this fall

For those who follow CU recruiting, the name Cecil Whiteside will sound familiar.  Whiteside was a 6’3″, 220-pound linebacker who was a four-star member of the recruiting Class of 2010. Whiteside took an official visit to Boulder in October, 2009, for the Buffs’ 34-30 upset win over No. 17 Kansas. “I got to see the campus, see the dorms, see Ralphie their mascot, got to hang out in the locker room and see the pre-game speech,” Whiteside told at the time. “I also talked to basically the whole entire staff,” Whiteside recapped. “I really liked how into the game their fans were. They rushed the field after the game. It was really cool.”

Well, Whiteside signed with Cal the following February, but he is no longer a Bear.

According to the San Francisco Examiner … Sophomore outside linebacker Cecil Whiteside was declared academically ineligible for the 2012 season Tuesday, ending what had been a troubled period for him. Whiteside had been suspended indefinitely in the spring but was reinstated by Tedford for camp. Whiteside showed flashes of ability as a freshman but as a sophomore, he was not on the two-deep roster.

August 28th

Jeff Tuel may not be the starter for Mike Leach

Washington State lost starting quarterback Jeff Tuel to injury the first game of last season. Tuel later returned to duty, only to be injured once again.

It had been anticipated for much the spring, and well into Fall Camp, that Tuel would be the starter in 2012 … but not so fast.

From ESPN … New Washington State coach Mike Leach declined to reveal Tuesday whether veteran Jeff Tuel or sophomore Connor Halliday will start Thursday night’s season opener at BYU.

The depth chart for the game lists either Tuel or Halliday starting.

Leach said last Saturday that if the game were to be played that day, Tuel would start. Tuel also took the majority of reps with the first team during training camp.

Tuel threw for 2,780 yards and 18 touchdowns as a sophomore, the one season he stayed healthy. He missed most of last season with a shoulder injury. Halliday did well as his replacement until a lacerated liver ended his season.

Leach did say that he won’t be rotating both quarterbacks.

August 26th

Coloradoan – “There’s really no reason for CSU to lose”

From Matt Stephens, writer for the Coloradoan, in predicting CSU’s record for 2012 …


That’s what we all thought after taking an initial glance at last year’s CSU football schedule. No reason the Rams shouldn’t win six games, we thought.

Then the opener rolled around. Beating lowly New Mexico became a struggle and the rest of the season fell by the spillway. And after losing a third consecutive year to Wyoming, a 3-9 season almost seemed inevitable in retrospect.

Well, another season starts Saturday and just like a year ago, the schedule looks easy. Predicting seven wins is absolutely reasonable, but no one would think you’re crazy projecting nine losses, either.

Nothing with Colorado State University football seems to come easy anymore, but I want to cover a winning team for a change. With that in mind, I bring you my official predictions for the 2012.

This is on the record.

• CU-Boulder (W, 1-0): The Buffs are a six-point favorite in Las Vegas. I still think CSU wins this, even though the Rams haven’t won in Denver since 2006.

There’s really no reason for CSU to lose, aside from the fact it’s the Rocky Mountain Showdown. CU quarterback Jordan Webb did nothing but throw interceptions at Kansas and without Paul Richardson at receiver — ouch.

… Stephens goes on to predict a 7-5 record for the Rams in 2012.

Clip and save …

Arkansas State dismisses two wide receivers

And it’s not like Oregon needed anymore help in its opener …

From ESPN … Arkansas State coach Gus Malzahn says wide receiver Earl Lucas has been dismissed from the football team for violating team rules.

Lucas, a sophomore from Prattville, Ala., had 20 catches for 225 yards last season for the Red Wolves on their way to a 10-3 season and Sun Belt Conference championship.

The announcement follows Friday’s suspension of another wide receiver, Tres Houston, for the entire season, also for violating team rules. Also, former Auburn running back Michael Dyer was dismissed from the team last month.

August 26th

Direct TV deal with Pac-12 Networks imminent … again

Tell me if you’ve heard this one before …

From Pacific Takes… While there are many conflicting reports as to how far the Pac-12 Network and DirecTV are progressingin negotiations, both sides do seem to be amenable toward trying to make a deal of some sort. That is a definite good sign that the situation could be resolved sooner rather than later.

DirecTV has made it extra clear that sports are their main lifeblood, particularly with their valuable NFL Sunday Ticket property. Clearly they do not want to lose significant stakes in their West Coast markets to the cable providers that are picking up the Pac-12 Network, especially in the Los Angeles region (and Bay Area, Seattle, Portland, Denver and Salt Lake City aren’t exactly small potatoes either). The big sticking point figures to be whether the conference will be able to get the regional channels national carriage, which is probably unlikely compared to getting only the national channel distribution. Whatever happens, TV Anywhere will almost certainly follow, so DirecTV making some sort of deal should ensure subscribers get to watch whatever they want regarding the conference.

One opinion on how this will play out … the Pac-12 National Network would become available on the regular DirectV Sports Pack, and then there would be an option to add the remaining Pac-12 regional networks in a separate plan that would cost somewhere $14.99 a month to access the six regional networks.

I cannot imagine the Pac-12 agreeing to terms that would not have the national network (and potentially the regional channels in the regional areas) available on the regular Sports Pack. Agreeing to have all the networks on a separate plan would be a lose-lose for just about everyone. The best possible solution is to have the national network on the Sports Pack and the This way the diehards can be appeased with the premium package and everyone who just wants the basic distribution to the big football and basketball matchups will also get what they want.

Another view … The best case scenario would be for those who live within the regional foot print to have the Pac-12 National network as well as the assigned regional channel to be placed on the regional sports channel along side the various Fox Sports regional networks. Then if a person wants all of the regional networks they should have the option to buy the sports package.

If one lives outside of the conference footprint then the National channel should be on DirecTV Sports Package that costs $12.99 per month, as should the six regional networks.

A deal as early as Monday … we’ll see …

August 24th

CSU paying local television station to air football games

One of the two large state schools in Colorado is entering its first year of a television contract which will net the school $17-20 million in its first season, and likely$25-30 million per year a few years down the road. The other large state school in Colorado is entering the 2012 season with no television contract with a national provider, and no guarantees of future television revenue.

So which one is building a new stadium, and which one is crying poverty?

Welcome to the brave new world of Colorado and Colorado State.

Colorado State, as a member of the Mountain West Conference, lost its television provider when the mtn network folded. This left the Rams to fend for themselves in looking for television coverage.

And they found it …

From the Coloradoan… Eleven of CSU’s 12 football games this season will be televised, with the 12th available online at, athletic director Jack Graham said Friday.

Colorado State University and Denver’s KUSA-TV reached an agreement to broadcast seven games on its sister station, KTVD (Channel 20), that otherwise would not have been available on TV this fall, Graham said. The agreement also calls for KTVD to broadcast a weekly Coach’s Show throughout the season with new Rams coach Jim McElwain.

Five of the Rams’ six home games, beginning with the Sept. 8 home opener against North Dakota State, will be televised by KTVD, as will road games Oct. 13 at San Diego State and Nov. 3 at Wyoming. Graham said the Rams’ Sept. 29 game at Air Force will be televised regionally by Altitude, and a Nov. 24 home game against New Mexico will air regionally on Root Sports

The Rams, who have had the majority of their games since 2006 televised by The mtn., would only have appeared on TV twice this season without the additional agreements. The mtn., operated jointly by Comcast and the CBS Sports Network, went off the air May 31.

CSU’s Sept. 1 season opener against the University of Colorado will be televised nationally on fX as part of the Pacific-12 Conference’s TV deal with Fox Sports Net, while the Rams’ Nov. 17 game at Boise State will be carried by NBC Sports Network as part of that network’s agreement to broadcast Mountain West Conference games.

Graham said CSU is picking up the production costs, which he estimated at $60,000 to $70,000 a game, for the local TV broadcasts. The school can sell its own advertising and sponsorships during those games to help offset those costs, he said. There’s also a chance, he said, that the production costs for some of those contests will be covered by TV stations or cable systems in the opposing team’s market who might choose to pay CSU for the right to broadcast those games locally.

Note … In case you were wondering, the last time Colorado had only two of its games televised nationally came in 1988, when only the Oklahoma game and the Freedom Bowl game against BYU were seen by a national audience …

August 23rd

Some answers on Pac-12 Networks

Frustrated with the first week of the Pac-12 Networks?

Get in line.

Apparently, we are not alone, as the Pac-12 Networks have posted some Q&A’s on the Network website

Pac-12 fans,

We read every Facebook comment and tweet from you guys. Really, every single one. We know some of your names by heart at this point, and we worry about your well-being when we don’t hear from you. Here are some questions we’ve been seeing a lot lately, and here’s what we can answer definitively:

Why isn’t my TV provider distributing in my area? Isn’t this a national network?

Pac-12 Networks is indeed national. Our carriers are offering our Networks in many of the largest TV markets across the country, both inside and outside of our conference footprint. But there still are select markets outside of Pac-12 territory where our distributors have not yet rolled out Pac-12 Networks. All Pac-12 Networks distributors have the right to offer all seven of our Networks to all of their subscribers across the country.  We repeat: all of our distribution partners have the option to offer our Networks on their systems.

Here’s the thing: our distributors decide how to package the Networks in the outer markets like Chicago, Washington D.C. and Houston. That’s where you guys come in. You have to push your carriers to distribute Pac-12 Networks. Tell them you want the Networks, you need the Networks, you might die if you don’t get the Networks. Our staff is relaying your sense of urgency in the negotiations, but the carriers need to hear it from you, the fans, because that’s ultimately where their money is coming from. You can do that by emailing your provider through our Channel Finder at

I’m a Comcast subscriber, but I still can’t watch the Pac-12 Networks’ live stream on What’s the deal?

Comcast is working to provide you with the content you want. They’ll be offering Pac-12 Networks content on Xfinity TV’s online platform by the second week of September, and we’re working with them to enable Pac-12 Networks on Pac-12 Now, our live stream app. Follow @pac12 and @comcastcares on Twitter and you’ll get the information as soon as it’s available.

Can’t I just pay to watch online even if I don’t have the Pac-12 Networks on my TV?

You need to have the Pac-12 Networks as part of your paid TV package in order to watch online. That’s the structure under which our Networks were set up.

You still haven’t answered my question. Where should I go?

We have a pretty nifty support page on that addresses a wide range of topics. Maybe the answer to your question is there.

Believe us when we say we’re working around the clock to secure distribution with carriers nationwide—we want you to have access to our Networks as badly as you want to watch them. Thank you for your patience, and keep pushing your providers.

August 17th

Oregon’s 12-year sell-out streak may come to an end in 2012 season opener

From the Oregon Register-Guard … Oregon’s streak of 82 straight sellouts in Autzen Stadium for home football games, fourth-longest in the nation, is in peril.

With two weeks left before the Ducks open the season, the UO athletic department has about 5,000 tickets available for fifth-ranked Oregon’s Sept. 1 home game against Arkansas State. Should those go unsold, it would be the first time Autzen wasn’t at or above capacity since Sept. 18, 1999.

“To lose that would be tough,” UO senior associate athletic director Craig Pintens said. “… We’re hopeful that fans are going to rally, and hopefully we’ll see some sales in the next couple weeks.”

A convergence of both supply and demand issues led to the shortfall, which also exists — though at a less significant level — for the Ducks’ other two nonconference home games, Sept. 8 vs. Fresno State and Sept. 15 vs. Tennessee Tech.

Arkansas State is using fewer than 500 tickets in Autzen’s 2,000-seat visiting section, and an additional 3,000 seats are up for grabs for the first three games because students have yet to arrive on campus. The oversupply is compounded by soft demand, presumably the result of a fifth straight year of price increases as Oregon attempts to balance an ever-expanding budget, and a nonconference schedule that lacks a marquee opponent.

The athletic department raised the base price for most reserved season tickets to $486, up 13 percent, and saw season-ticket holders renew at a rate of just over 90 percent, well off the 96 percent renewal rate for 2011. The Ducks have sold more than 40,000 season tickets for the 11th straight year, but a streak of six straight years with 42,000 season tickets sold is in jeopardy.

Washington dismisses two players; two starters injured

From the Seattle Times … The University of Washington released a statement that read simply:

Joshua Perkins and Willis Wilson have been dismissed from the University of Washington football team due to a violation of team rules, Coach Steve Sarkisian announced. Neither Coach Sarkisian, nor the University, will have any further comment on this matter.”

Perkins was a redshirt freshman from Gahr High in Cerritos, Calif., who had been moved from receiver to H-back prior to the start of fall camp. He participated in UW’s practice Wednesday night and had seemed to be coming on in recent days. Wilson was a sophomore walk-on from Lakes High who had recently appeared to be the No. 4 tailback and was being counted on to provide some depth this season with Deontae Cooper again out for the year with a knee injury.

Meanwhile … Another day, another couple of injuries for the Huskies.

Thursday, reporters showed up to see senior receiver James Johnson — a projected starter — and sophomore linebacker Jamaal Kearse, working on the second team — sidelined with injuries that will keep each out indefinitely.

Johnson had his right arm wrapped due to what UW coach Steve Sarkisian said was a dislocated wrist. Kearse was on crutches with his right foot in a boot due to what Sarkisian saaid was a “stress fracture in his tibia, his shin.”

Sarkisian did not give a timetable for either but said they hope to get each back “sooner rather than later.”

August 16th

From ESPN … In a Wednesday interview with 710-ESPN’s “Mason and Ireland Show,” Pac-12 commissioner Larry Scott said he believes coaches should not be voting in a poll that helps determine the national champion.

“I think it’s an unfair position to put the coaches in, to supposedly vote objectively when they’ve got a very natural conflict of interest, No. 1, and, No. 2, I think most coaches are focused on their own games — let alone breaking down tape afterwards and all that,” Scott said. “So to expect that coaches could have a good, balanced, well-researched perspective on who the best teams are in any given week is a fallacy.”

Scott was responding to Kiffin’s announcement that he’d no longer be voting in the poll after USA Today decided to reveal his preseason No. 1 team.

“I’m not surprised Lane didn’t want to be part of it anymore,” Scott said. “I don’t think any coaches should be in that position, and they won’t be, starting in 2014.”

The NCAA is implementing a playoff system beginning in 2014.

August 14th

Pac-12 Network scheduling includes 1991 Colorado/Notre Dame Orange Bowl

For those of you with the Pac-12 Networks, there are a few CU games which will be rebroadcast (all times MT) over the next few days, including:

Saturday, August 18th …  4:00 p.m.: California v. Colorado (9/10/11)

6:00 p.m.: 1991 Orange Bowl (Notre Dame v. Colorado)

8:00 p.m.: Colorado Football Season Preview

Monday, August  20th: 12:30 p.m.: Washington St. @ Colorado (10/1/11)

Other scheduling programs of note, from

Pac-12 Football Encore

Air date: Premieres Wednesday, August 15 at 8:30 PM PT with encore of 2011 Pac-12 Championship game. Countdown of the top 10 games of 2011 airs August 17-27 with one game per day; Regular schedule of two games per week begins Monday, September 3.

Description: Catch some of the best the Pac-12 has to offer as the network replays some of the top games from the 2011 and 2012 seasons. We’ll start by counting down the top 10 games from the 2011 season, leading up to this year’s kickoff. Then, as action gets under way for the 2012 season, we’ll replay two of the best games each week.

Pac-12 Classics

Air date: Premieres Thursday, August 16 at 9:30 PM MT with regular installments featuring each Pac-12 school airing throughout the week.

Description: Sporting events live on long after the clock clicks to zero. Some games remain in the psyche. They become the thing of legend, the source of bragging rights, or the big lingering “what if…”. Pac-12 Classics relives those legendary contests – some of the most memorable games in the Pac-12 illustrious history, broadcast with their original play-by-play and enhanced with new interviews and sound bites from the players, coaches and historians who lived it.

Pac-12 Football Pregame Show

Air date: Premieres Thursday, August 30 with a regular airtime one hour before every Pac-12 football game day.

Talent: Hosted by Mike Yam and Ashley Adamson with analysis from Rick Neuheisel and Curtis Conway

Description: There’s nothing better than a football Saturday in the West and every game day, Pac-12 Networks will get you fired up for the action with our comprehensive pre-game show. Get the low down on all the Pac-12 news leading up to the slate of Saturday games.  Hosted by Mike Yam and Ashley Adamson with in-studio analysis from Rick Neuheisel and Curtis Conway, the Pac-12 Football Pregame Show checks in with our reporters at each Pac-12 game site, providing scores and highlights from the week’s earlier matchups, plus the latest injury updates, weather reports and features and previews of the day’s conference matchups to set the stage for an action-packed day of Pac-12 football.

Pac-12 Football Postgame Report

Air date: Premieres Thursday, August 30 with a regular airtime immediately following each Pac-12 Networks football game telecast.

Talent: Hosted by Mike Yam and Ashley Adamson with analysis from Rick Neuheisel and Curtis Conway

Description: Immediately following the game, Rick Neuheisel and Curtis Conway join Mike Yam and Ashley Adamson on the Pac-12 Postgame Report to deliver viewers all the best highlights, news, interviews and analysis of the day from across the Pac-12 conference.

Pac-12 Football Rewind

Air date: Premieres Sunday, September 2nd at 10:00 PM MT with a regular airtime of Sundays at 10:00 PM MT thereafter.

Talent: Hosted by Ashley Adamson with analysis from Rick Neuheisel and Glenn Parker

Description: We’ve done the math—it’s physically impossible to watch every game on football weekends. But you can still be the king of Monday morning latte-line conversation by catching Pac-12 Football Rewind. Each Sunday night during the 13-week football season, we’ll recap all of the weekend’s action, as well as some of the highlights from those other conferences around the country. The one hour show brings you the top plays, standout players, hot off the press BCS standings, Heisman-watch and much more.

Football in 60

Air date: Premieres Sunday, September 2nd at 12:00 PM MT; Total of 79 episodes airing throughout the week.

Description: It’s a football-fix for the busy fan. Have an hour? Watch a game! You can catch all the action of your favorite 2012 Pac-12 contests in a 60-minute cut-down version. It’s a no time out, no huddle offense – just the game in condensed form. Each week we’ll broadcast the previous week’s games cut-down to an action-packed hour.


Pac-12 Playbook

Air date: Tuesdays at 8:00 PM MT beginning September 4th.

Talent: Hosted by Mike Yam with analysis from Ronnie Lott and Rick Neuheisel

Description: Some will be ecstatic, some less-than-thrilled, and some will be covered in Gatorade – but all will have a strong opinion about their team’s performance. Each Tuesday night during the 13-week football season, we’ll hear what the Pac-12 coaches have to say about their team’s performance. This fast-paced, one hour program will air it all out – featuring highlights, talkbacks, vignettes and sound bites from all 12 coaches – win or lose.

August 11th

USC head coach Lane Kiffin gives up vote in USA Today poll

Lane Kiffin, a voting member for this season’s USA Today college football coaches’ poll for the first time, says he has pulled out — after one vote for the preseason standings — and won’t continue to submit selections.

“It is an opportunity and responsibility that I do not take lightly,” he said in a letter to USA Today and Grant Teaff, the executive director of the American Football Coaches Association. “However, I find it necessary to relinquish my voting status.”

Kiffin, who according to the newspaper did not elaborate on his decision, told reporters last week he wouldn’t select his USC Trojans as the No. 1 team, when, in fact, he did.

Kiffin now says he has given up his poll role in the aftermath of the controversy, unfurled when USA Today publicized Kiffin’s vote Thursday to “set the record straight to protect the poll’s integrity,” two days after the coach made his proclamation.

Kiffin defended his vote to the newspaper by saying his players would have found out one way or another if he hadn’t put the Trojans No. 1. Votes are normally kept confidential until the final poll of each year.

Pac-12 fifth-best “nation” at Olympic Games

From the Pac-12 … On the final day of Olympic competition, Pac-12 athletes contributed to two more medals – a gold and a bronze – increasing the Conference’s final medal count to 45. If the league were a nation, it would have ranked fifth in total medals, just ahead of Germany (44). The Pac-12’s 19 gold medals would have ranked fifth among all countries.

Saturday it was about the women, and on Sunday, Pac-12 male athletes came through for medals. The U.S. men’s basketball team followed through with expectations, claiming gold with a win over Spain, 107-100. The American men, with NBA All-Stars James Harden (ASU), Andre Iguodala (ARIZ), Kevin Love (UCLA) and Russell Westbrook (UCLA), were undefeated throughout the tournament, with just two close games.

Aleksa Saponjic (CAL) and Serbia came from behind and defeated Montenegro, 12-11, to claim the bronze medal in men’s water polo on the final day of the Olympic Games.

Over the course of the London Olympic Games, Pac-12-affiliated athletes claimed medals in a variety of sports, both indoors (swimming, water polo, volleyball, cycling and diving) and outdoors (swimming, track & field, soccer, tennis, rowing and beach volleyball).

In addition, contributions to the official medal count came almost equally in men’s and women’s sports. Pac-12 women contributed to 23 medals, while the men helped to win 22.

Individually, 89 total medals are going home with Pac-12 athletes, including 51 golds. While in London, Pac-12 athletes also set five world records, two Olympic records, an American record and a collegiate track record. A couple of ‘firsts’ were accomplished by Pac-12 athletes, including Haley Anderson (USC) becoming the first American woman to medal in the open water swimming event, and Tunisia’s Ous Mellouli (USC) becoming the first swimmer to medal in an indoor and the open water events in the same Games.

Additionally, the “World’s Greatest Athlete” was bestowed upon American and former Oregon Duck Ashton Eaton after winning the decathlon. An “All-American final” in women’s beach volleyball featured three Pac-12 athletes of the four competing, and, with seven of the eight women’s water polo teams featuring at least one athlete with Pac-12 ties, the Conference was virtually guaranteed three medals. Indeed, a Pac-12 athlete stood on every level of the medal podium at the end of the tournament.

With Conference-affiliated athletes representing 46 countries, Pac-12 competitors won medals for nine different countries. Eight of the 12 Pac-12 schools were also represented on the medal podium. USC led all universities across the nation with 25 total medals, California was third with 17 and Stanford had 16. The top-three gold medal-winning institutions across the country are from the Pac-12, with Stanford and USC each claiming 12. Cal had 11 to rank third, and UCLA’s six medals tied for fifth.

In 16 days of competition, Pac-12 athletes claimed medals on all but one day of the London Games.

August 10th

Pac-12 Networks launching next week

Wednesday, the Pac-12 will launch seven networks – a national network and six regional networks.

Got Pac-12?

For some of us, the wait continues …

From Jon Wilner at the San Jose Mercury News … In a teleconference with Gary Stevenson, President of the Pac-12 Enterprises:

* In regard to the TV Everywhere situation …

The Pac12Nets will available at launch on PCs, soon after launch on iPads, and within 90 days of launch on iPhones and Androids.

* Stevenson on Cox, a founding partner, not showing the Pac-12 Networks (on any tier) in most states outside the league’s footprint:

“We find it a little curious. I’m not sure why they made that decision.”

* The Pac12Nets currently have agreements with distributors that reach 48 million homes.

To be clear, that’s different than the Pac12Nets being in 48 million homes.

(But by comparison, the Big Ten Network had agreements with distributors reaching approx 30 million homes when it launched in 2007.)

* The Pac-12 won’t make public the number of subscriptions to its networks.

* Regarding potential distribution deals with DirecTV, Dish, AT&T and Verizon, Stevenson said:

“There’s nothing I’ve heard that’s discouraging from any of them. I don’t expect them all on at launch, but we believe … over time our fans will get what they want.”

* For those scoring at home: Last year, five Pac-12 football games and 90 men’s basketball games were not televised.

This year, every game will be televised live.

* The league’s website is changing to on Aug. 15 and will include what should be a very useful master programming schedule.

UCLA coach apologizes for remarks

From ESPN … Mora was talking about recruiting with Roger Lodge on KLAA 830-AM when Lodge asked how he sold UCLA to recruits, and Mora responded with an answer perceived to be a shot at USC.

“When you’re talking about UCLA, it’s one of the great schools in the world — not just America, but in the world,” Mora said. “It’s a safe, beautiful campus in a great area of town. I mean, we don’t have murders one block off our campus.”

In April, two USC students were killed near the USC campus.

Mora explained his comments before practice Thursday but did not take questions. “After learning the details of the shootings downtown earlier this year, I can understand how my comments on the radio yesterday could be interpreted as insensitive to the victims and their families,” Mora said. “The interviewer and myself were talking about UCLA football and the tremendous attributes of the UCLA campus and I truly regret and I’m sorry if my words caused any pain. That was not my intention.”

Earlier, Mora told the Los Angeles Times on Thursday that his comment had nothing to do with USC nor any other school.

“I just said our campus is safe,” Mora told The Times. “I didn’t say anything about anyone else’s campus. I just said it about our campus. I didn’t mention another campus. We don’t have anybody getting murdered a block off of our campus.

“If anybody, whether USC or Cal State San Bernardino, is offended by the statement, then that’s their insecurity, not mine.”

USC coach Lane Kiffin, however, seemed to believe Mora targeted the Trojans with his comments.

“I don’t really think that’s something to joke about,” Kiffin said Thursday, when asked how he felt about what Mora said. “That’s all I got to say about that.”

Asked if campus safety is a common topic of conversation with the families of recruits, Kiffin said it only comes up “when opposing coaches bring it up.”

Kiffin not exactly pure himself … caught in a lie about his vote in the coaches’ poll

Lane Kiffin said Tuesday that he “would not vote USC No. 1” in the coaches’ poll, but he actually did, USA Today revealed Thursday night.

Citing Kiffin’s providing of “false or misleading information” to the public and a desire to “set the record straight to protect the poll’s integrity,” the newspaper released Kiffin’s top-voted team in the USA Today Coaches’ Poll.

Votes are normally kept confidential until the final poll of each year.

Asked after his Trojans’ Tuesday practice to reveal the team he voted to be No. 1 in the country, Kiffin said he could not disclose that information. But when told of Arizona coach Rich Rodriguez’s comment that he voted the Trojans first, Kiffin laughed.

“I would not vote USC No. 1, I can tell you that much,” Kiffin said.

“I don’t know how you vote a team No. 1 that has less players than everybody else, so I don’t but I’m sure I think I know our issues more than other people do, especially at running back,” Kiffin said.

Grant Teaff, executive director of the American Football Coaches Association which co-directs the poll with the newspaper, told USA Today he sent Kiffin a letter about his issue with the comments.

August 9th

Larry Scott named Sports Executive of the Year

Hard to argue with the choice. Congratulations, and keep up the good work, Mr. Scott!

From the Pac-12 … The inaugural Cynopsis Sports Media Awards today recognized Pac-12 Conference Commissioner Larry Scott with its Vision Award at a ceremony in New York City.  The Vision Award, which recognizes the League Executive of the Year, was one of three awards given to distinguished sports executives who changed the way their organizations connect with fans across the country. David Hill, Chairman and CEO of FOX Sports Media Group, and Golf Channel President Mike McCarley were also honored.

Cynopsis cited Commissioner Scott’s leadership during the past two years, including welcoming the Universities of Colorado and Utah into the conference, creating a football conference championship, and landing new broadcast deals with FOX and ESPN.

“Since taking over the Pac-12, Commissioner Scott is quickly turning the conference into a leading media and sports brand through the creation of the Pac-12 Networks, as well as online and through outside media and sponsorship partners,” said Cynopsis Sports Managing Editor Chris Pursell. “We are honored to present him with our Vision Award recognizing our league executive of the year.”

In his acceptance speech, Commissioner Scott highlighted how the excitement around collegiate athletics has created new opportunities for the Pac-12 Conference, including the launch of the Pac-12 Networks, which will broadcast 850 live sporting events this year, on August 15.

“Given the dynamic nature of today’s sports landscape and the great leaders we have in our industry, I am extremely humbled by this recognition,” said Scott. “In my three years as commissioner of the Pac-12, we have begun an amazing transformation and I share this honor with those who have helped make it happen – the Board of Directors of the Pac-12, our Presidents and Chancellors, as well as our Athletics Directors, our great coaches and 7,000 student-athletes.

“In the Pac-12, we are harnessing this dynamic time in collegiate athletics to take advantage of extraordinary new opportunities for our Conference and deliver on our fans’ desire for even more content. In six days, we launch the Pac-12 Networks: one national network, six regional networks and one robust digital network devoted solely to Pac-12 sports and our universities.”

August 8th

Pac-12 medal count at 27; CU’s Jenny Simpson runs today

UPDATE: Simpson fails to make finals in the 1500m.

Colorado’s Jenny Simpson, the last of five athletes at the London Olympic games with ties to the University of Colorado, failed in her attempt to make the finals for the women’s 1500m race.

Simpson ran a 4:06.89, some seven seconds better than her first round effort, but it was not enough to make the field of 12 for the finals on Friday.

Simpson finished 12th in her semi-final run, as none of the three Americans in the race were able to qualify for the finals.

Simpson, who has switched gears from the steeplechase to the 1,500, ran in the prelims of the 1,500 during the morning session Monday and just barely advanced to the semifinals, taking the sixth and final automatic qualifying spot in the second section (4:13.81).

She found herself in the back of the pack and fought her way up from a 10th -place position heading into the bell lap.  Simpson started to surge as the lead pack went around the final turn but it wasn’t until the final 100 meters when she started to pick off some runners in front of her. In the final meters, she was able to just nip Russia’s Yekaterina Martynova for the final qualifying spot. Martynova finished 25th overall (seventh in the heat) and missed advancing to the next round with a time of 4:13.86, .05 seconds behind Simpson.

“If people want to see my miracle kick that was definitely a miracle today,” Simpson said. “I ran the slowest race to make it in.  At this point, what’s done is done, I have to move on.  It was really physical up front.  With about 200 meters to go I realized I needed to do something so I put my head down and didn’t look up until 5 meters to the line.  I think it’s the first time in my life I’ve leaned at the line.”

From the Pac-12 … Caught in a close race from start to finish, USA’s Dawn Harper was just short of Olympic gold, claiming a silver in the women’s 100-meter hurdles on Tuesday. The medal brought the Conference’s total to 27 for the London Games.

The difference between gold and silver in the women’s 100-meter race was .02 seconds. Harper (UCLA), the gold medalist in the event in Beijing, ran a personal-best 12.37, but was edged by Australia’s Sally Pearson for gold.

Highlighting Wednesday’s events will be an all-American final in women’s beach volleyball, guaranteeing the Pac-12 will add both gold and silver to its count. The USA duo of Kerri Walsh (STAN) and Misty May-Treanor take on former Trojans April Ross and Jennifer Kessy. Walsh and May-Treanor have been dominant in London and are looking for a third-straight gold medal while riding a 20-match winning streak over three Olympics. Making their Olympic debut, Ross and Kessy have not lost a match in London, either, upsetting the favored Brazilian team in the semifinals.

After 11 days of Olympic competition, the Pac-12’s medal count stands at 27 – 10 gold, eight silver and nine bronze. If the Conference were a nation, it would tie for seventh with Germany in total medals. China leads all nations in the medal count with 73, followed by the U.S. with 70.

August 6th

Emma Coburn runs personal best in finals; finishes 9th

Colorado senior track star Emma Coburn ran a personal best in the 3000m steeplechase in London on Monday, completing the course in 9:23:54.

The effort was rewarded, as Coburn finished 9th in the event, the top American in the finals.

The gold was one by a Russian, with an a Tunisian and an Ethiopian taking the silver and bronze.

Meanwhile … Former University of Colorado standout Jenny (Barringer) Simpson advanced to the semifinals of the 1,500-meter run at the Olympic Summer Games on Monday morning.

Simpson took the sixth and final automatic qualifying spot in the second section, clocking a time of 4 minutes, 13.81 seconds. She fought her way back from a ninth-place position heading into the bell lap.  Simpson started to surge as the lead pack went around the final turn but it wasn’t until the final 100 meters when she started to pick off some runners in front of her. In the final meters, she was able to just nip Russia’s Yekaterina Martynova for the final qualifying spot. Martynova finished 25th overall (seventh in the heat) and missed advancing to the next round with a time of 4:13.86, .05 seconds behind Simpson.

Pac-12 medal count at 24 after Sunday

A day after winning his first-career Olympic gold medal, USA’s Mike Bryan (STAN) picks up a bronze medal in London, taking third place in the mixed doubles tennis competition.

Bryan and partner Lisa Raymond defeated Germany’s Sabine Lisicki and Christopher Kas to claim the bronze medal. Bryan, with twin brother Bob (STAN), won the men’s doubles gold medal on Saturday.

After nine days of Olympic competition, the Pac-12’s medal count stands at 24 – nine gold, seven silver and eight bronze. If the Conference were a nation, it would rank seventh behind France (25) in total medals. China leads all nations in the medal count with 61, followed by the U.S. with 60

August 4th

Pac-12 picks up seven medals on Saturday

From the Pac-12 … It was one of the most successful days for Pac-12 athletes at the London Olympic Games to date. The Conference added seven medals to its count on Saturday, including three golds. Pac-12 athletes also contributed to another swimming world record on the final day of the indoor competition.

USA’s Rebecca Soni (USC) and Dana Vollmer (CAL) helped the U.S. 4×100 medley relay team set a world record and finish their Olympic Games with another gold medal. The American quartet swam in a time of 3:52.05, nearly two seconds ahead of second-place Australia. It is the second gold for Soni in London, and Vollmer’s third. Jessica Hardy (CAL) and Rachel Bootsma (CAL) also earn gold after swimming in the qualifying heat.

Also at the Aquatics Centre, in the final race of the swim competition at the venue, Nathan Adrian (CAL) swam the anchor leg of the 4×100 medley relay, leading the U.S. to another gold medal. The U.S. won the race in a time of 3:29.35. Nick Thoman (ARIZ) also earns gold in the race for swimming in the qualifying round.

Twin brothers Bob and Mike Bryan (STAN) improved on their Olympic bronze at the Beijing Games, claiming their first-career gold medals, defeating France’s Michael Llodra and Jo-Willifried Tsonga in straight sets, 6-6, 7-6 (7-2), on Saturday at Wimbledon.

Scott Gault (WASH) helped the USA to a bronze medal in the men’s four in the final race on the final day of the rowing competition. The Americans crossed the finish line with a time of 6:07.20. It was the first time the U.S. medaled in the event since the Barcelona Games in 1992.

Galen Rupp (ORE) claimed the Conference’s first track medal of the Games. He sprinted down the stretch to a silver medal in the 10,000-meter race at Olympic Stadium becoming the first American to medal in the event since 1964. He is also the first American to earn a podium spot in any distance evenyt since 1968.

Jennie Reed (WASH) helped her American teammates to a silver medal in the women’s team pursuit in cycling at the Velodrome track. The U.S. could not overtake the hosts Great Britain, who set a world record in the gold-medal final with a time of 3:14.051. The U.S. posted a time of 3:19.727.

Tunisia’s Ous Mellouli (USC) claimed a bronze medal in the 1,500-meter freestyle, an event he won gold at the Beijing Olympics. He posted a time of 14:40.31. His medal is the first for his country at the London Games.

With the indoor swimming competition over, Pac-12 athletes take home seven golds, four silver and four bronze. In rowing, Conference-affiliated athletes helped their respective countries claim four medals – a gold, a silver and two bronze.

After eight days of Olympic competition, the Pac-12’s medal count stands at 23 – 9 gold, 7 silver and 7 bronze. If the Conference was a nation, it would rank sixth behind Japan (24) in total medals. The United States leads all nations in the medal count with 54.

August 2nd

Pac-12 picks up two more gold medals

From the Pac-12 … USA’s Rebecca Soni did it again. For the second-straight night, she broke a world record, this time, to claim a gold medal. The USA women’s eight, with three former Pac-12 rowers, also claimed a medal, its second-straight Olympic gold.

Rebecca Soni (USC) set a world record in the semifinal of the 200-meter breaststroke, then did it again in the final, claiming her first gold medal of the London Games. She beat her time in the semifinal by .01 seconds, clocking in at 2:19.59 to claim her second Olympic medal. She won silver earlier this week in the 100-meter breaststroke.

Mary Whipple (WASH), Elle Logan (STAN) and Erin Cafaro (CAL) helped the USA women’s eight to a second-straight Olympic gold, finishing the race in a time of 6:10.59, beating second-place Canada by just over a second.

In six days of competition, the Pac-12’s medal count stands at 16 – 6 gold, 5 silver and 5 bronze. If the Conference was a nation, it would rank tied for sixth with France Japan (17) in total medals. The United States leads all nations in the medal count with 37.

Pac-12 adds Arizona cable networks

In addition to Pacific Northwest networks (see August 1st story, below), the Pac-12 Enterprises now has agreements in Arizona.

Pac-12 Enterprises has reached an agreement with Western Broadband and Orbitel Communications to carry the Pac-12 Arizona regional network, providing their customers with 24/7 access to their favorite teams in the Pac-12 Conference, it was announced Thursday.

“The Pac-12 should be very exciting this season and we are pleased to provide our customers content that features our local Pac-12 collegiate sports,” said Keith Kirkman, President/GM of Western Broadband and Orbitel Communications.  “Adding the Pac-12 Arizona network to our channel lineup seemed to be a natural extension of what we can do to add more entertainment and value for our customers.”

August 1st

Pac-12 medal total up to 14 … and counting

It was an exciting day for Pac-12 athletes in London on Wednesday. Five medals were added to the Conference’s total count, including a pair of golds. In addition, two world records and an Olympic record were set in the pool.

The United States’ Nathan Adrian (CAL) swam a world-record 47.52, .01 seconds ahead of the favorite, Australia’s James Magnussen. The world record was more than a half-second off the previous mark set three years ago. It is Adrian’s second medal of the 2012 Games, but his first in an individual event. He helped Team USA win silver in the 4×100 meter freestyle relay.

Dana Vollmer, also for Team USA and another Cal product, helped the 4×200-meter freestyle team set an Olympic record with a time of 7:42.92 en route to a second gold. On Tuesday, she set a world record in the 100-meter butterfly to win her her first gold medal in London.

Six Pac-12 athletes contributed to a pair of medals at Dorney Lake, site of the Eton Dorney Rowing Centre. Three quarters of the bronze-winning U.S. women’s quadruple sculls are Pac-12 products, including Megan Kalmoe (WASH), Kara Kohler (CAL) and Adrienne Martelli (WASH). They finished the course in a time of 6:40.63 to claim the U.S.’s first Olympic medal in the event since 1984.

In the men’s eight competition, three former Huskies led Canada to a silver medal at Eton Dorney – Rob Gibson, Conlin McCabe and Will Crothers. The team posted a time of 5:49.98, just 1.23 seconds behind gold medalist Germany.

Back at the Aquatics Centre, the U.S. synchronized three-meter springboard team, with Kristian Ipsen (STAN) and teammate Troy Dumais, earned a bronze medal, posting 446.70 points.

Also Wednesday, Rebecca Soni (USC) swam a world-record 2:20.00 in the semifinals of the 200-meter breaststroke to qualify for the finals on Thursday. She has already won a silver in the 100-meter breaststroke.

In five days of competition, the Pac-12’s medal count stands at 14 – 4 gold, 5 silver and 5 bronze. If the Conference was a nation, it would rank fourth behind Japan (17) in total medals. The China leads all nations in the medal count with 30.

Likely medal addtions for Thursday

Rowing (M/W)
• The medal favorites, the U.S. goes for gold on Thursday in the women’s eight final. Of the eight women in the boat, three are from the three different Pac-12 institutions: Erin Cafaro (CAL), Elle Logan (STAN) and Mary Wipple (WASH).

Swimming (M/W)
• There are heats and semifinal races scheduled in the men’s 50 meter free, women’s 800 meter free, men’s 100 meter fly and women’s 200 meter backstroke, where several Pac-12 swimmers will  be competing for spots in the finals on Friday.
• Two of the four finals slated for Thursday have a couple of USA Pac-12 swimmers in the hunt for a podium spot. Rebecca Soni (USC), who set the world record in the 200-meter breaststroke in the semifinals on Wednesday, goes for her second individual medal.
• Jessica Hardy (CAL) will also be going for her second medal, but her first in an individual event. She is swimming in the finals of the 100-meter freestyle. She helped the USA to a bronze medal in the 4×100-meter free relay.

Pac-12 reaches agreement with Frontier Communications

For Buff fans in the Pacific Northwest, there is one more option to view the Pac-12 Networks.

From the Pac-12 … Pac-12 Enterprises has reached an agreement with Frontier Communications to carry the Pac-12 Networks, providing FiOS TV customers in the Pacific Northwest with 24/7 access to their favorite teams in the Pac-12 Conference, it was announced Wednesday.

The new agreement allows FiOS TV from Frontier subscribers to enjoy the hundreds of live sporting events, including 35 football games, more than 130 men’s basketball games and other specialty content that will be featured on the Pac-12 Networks. The new networks launch August 15.

“Frontier values our customers and their desire for exciting programming that will be provided by Pac-12 Networks to our FiOS TV customers in Washington and Oregon,” said Denise Baumbach, President, Western Region, Frontier Communications. “From the start of football season through baseball and everything in between, this programming will offer sports enthusiast’s coverage of their Pacific Northwest collegiate favorites.”

Pac-12 medal count up to nine

From the Pac-12 …  Led by Clement Lefert’s silver on Tuesday, the Pac-12 claimed two medals in swimming, bringing the Conferences’ medal count to-date to nine.

France nabbed a silver medal in the men’s 4×200 meter relay, giving Lefert (USC) his second medal of the London Games. Lefert swam the third leg, helping his countrymen finish in a time of 7:02.77. Lefert also helped the 4×100 meter relay team win gold.

Individually, Caitlin Leverenz clinched a bronze medal in the 200 meter individual medley, touching the wall in a time of 2:08.95.

In four days of competition, the Pac-12’s medal count stands at nine – 2 gold, 4 silver and 3 bronze. If the Conference was a nation, it would rank fifth behind France (11) in total medals. The United State and China are tied for first in the medal count with 23 each.

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