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Pac-12 Notes

January 24th

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UCLA Athletics reporting a “whopping” $18.9 million deficit

From the San Jose Mercury News … After decades of balancing the books, UCLA’s athletic department finds itself in a hole. And not just any hole — a hole so deep, it resembles the worst of times at the Bruins’ sister school 400 miles to the North.

UCLA athletics reported a whopping $18.9 million deficit for the 2019 fiscal year, according to a statement of revenues and expenses submitted to the NCAA and obtained by the Hotline.

The Bruins generated $108.4 million in revenue against $127.3 million in expenses for the 12-month period that included Chip Kelly’s first season as the football coach and the tumultuous basketball stretch in which Steve Alford was dismissed.

The shortfall will be covered by an interest-bearing loan from central campus, according to a spokesperson.

… Digging out could take years.

“We have been actively working with campus to find long-term solutions,” he said, “and to address the financial challenges impacting college athletic programs across the country.”

What might those solutions entail?

According to a spokesperson, the athletic department is evaluating efficiencies in operations (with help from campus), and there have been “no discussions of cutting any sports programs or staffing.”

But at the same time, the resource commitment to football and the Olympic sports cannot be reversed.

The Bruins have to grow their way out, but how?

… The Bruins, it seems, have to win their way out of debt.

That starts Aug. 29, against New Mexico State.

Read full story here

NCAA President: A “clear consensus” emerging on name, image, and likeness debate

From ESPN … NCAA president Mark Emmert said a consensus is growing among college sports leaders that college athletes will soon be allowed to make money from business ventures that aren’t directly related to their athletic ability.

Emmert focused his comments at his annual “state of college sports” address at the NCAA convention Thursday evening around the ongoing debate over the ability of college athletes to profit from their name, image or likeness. He said he sees the issue as the “symptom of a bigger debate about the inherent fairness of college sports.” He believes the organization’s members are getting closer to changing their rules to try to make them more fair for athletes.

The committee (NoteCU athletic director Mike Bohn is a part of that 18-member committee) weighing the NCAA’s options on the future of name, image and likeness rules this week broke their discussion into three main areas: individual licensing, group licensing and “work product.” The third category — which includes things like athletes teaching lessons, running their own businesses or monetizing a social media following — is the most likely area to change in the near future.

“I think there’s a clear consensus that we need to get those rules changed,” Emmert said Thursday. “That, again, is making things look more like and feel more like you’re a regular student.”

“How do you determine what the real marketplace is?” Emmert said. “How do you manage that? How do you police that? I think the [groups working on the issue are] making some really good strides in that direction.”

Emmert said he did not know if the NCAA would regulate that market or if it would ask a third party to be in charge of that process. The National College Players Association, a non-profit aimed at advocating for college athletes and an outspoken critic of the NCAA, published a paper last week saying that it is in a better position to make sure it is representing the interest of athletes in future discussions about money-making opportunities. Emmert urged NCAA delegates at this year’s convention to make sure they were keeping the well-being of athletes at the forefront of all their decisions and acknowledged that many critics believe the organization has conflicts of interest that keep it from acting in the best interest of athletes.

The group working through the details of name, image and likeness issues is expected to present a report and potential proposals to the NCAA’s board of governors in April. Under the normal NCAA timeline for creating rules, those new rules would not be in place until January 2021, but Emmert said the board may move faster on some items if there is a reason to do so.

Continue reading story here

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January 23rd

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All of Washington State’s new assistants from G-5 schools: “Should we be concerned?” 

From cougcenter.com … Nick Rolovich continues to bring more of his former Hawaii staff to the Washington State Cougars as more assistant coach hires are being reported over the last few days.

Rolovich had brought 3 of his on-field assistants with him to his introductory press conference, and news broke on Sunday that he had raided Wyoming’s staff for 3 defensive coaches including new coordinator Jake Dickert. Since then news has broke about another 3 assistants coming from the Islands.

Analysis

Should we be concerned that every assistant so far is coming from a non-Power 5 school? Maybe. It should be noted that a lot of these coaches do have previous Power 5 experience and that the same could have been said when Chris Petersen brought most of his staff from Boise State to Washington. That worked out pretty well. On the other hand, we all remember Paul Wulff bringing his Eastern staff to the Pac-12 and the disaster that was. I would have like to have to seen a couple of Power 5 coaches poached, but l’m going to give Coach Rolo the benefit of the doubt for this first season.

Read full story here

USC choice for defensive coordinator: “USC fanbase is not sold”

From the Daily Trojan … Weeks after parting ways with Clancy Pendergast following a 49-24 drubbing at the hands of a mediocre Iowa Hawkeyes offense in the Holiday Bowl, the Trojans are now expected to hire Todd Orlando as their next defensive coordinator.

Dismissed earlier in the offseason by Tom Herman in an attempt to rebuild the Longhorn coaching staff in Texas, Orlando landed a spot as the linebackers coach/assistant head coach at Texas Tech before reports arose of his interest in USC.

After publicly failing to lure Los Angeles Rams linebackers coach and former USC assistant Joe Barry to the coordinator job, USC quickly pivoted to Orlando with the hopes of injecting new life into the defense and bringing a new face to a battered Trojan recruiting effort.

Though he’s certainly not the first choice of many armchair athletic directors — former Seahawks defensive coordinator and Trojan alum Kris Richard was nothing if not the fan favorite — Orlando ultimately appears as another suspect coaching decision for a staff rife with mediocrity and second guessing.

Working as a defensive coordinator at five schools over the past 15 years, Orlando has overseen a fairly boom-or-bust slate of defensive units. According to Bill Connelly’s SP+ rankings, a system by which all FBS units are equally rated based on opponents and game flow to judge defensive efficiency, Orlando has had seven teams finish in the top 27 while six units clocked in at 53rd or worse.

Despite gaining a reputation for strong initial coaching performances during year one, his defenses have seen a great deal of regression. At Texas, Todd watched as a unit that dominated the Trojans last September and finished that season as the 14th best defense in the nation crumbled due to injury and inflexibility and fell to 68th at the time of his firing in 2019.

Continue reading story here

Boise State suing Mountain West Conference over new TV deal 

From NBC Sports … Boise State’s biggest fight in Mountain West play may not come on the blue turf this year but in the courtroom.

The Broncos have surprisingly filed a lawsuit for breach of contract against their own conference in local district court over the league’s new TV deal with Fox Sports and CBS.

At the heart of the matter? MWC commissioner Craig Thompson told reporters in early January announcing the deal that Boise State’s sweetheart agreement to take an extra cut of broadcast revenue — originally part of a deal to remain the conference after briefly going to the Big East during realignment’s heyday — was ending. That was news to the Broncos, who were not too happy with such a change that they apparently never agreed to.

“Boise State’s decision to join the conference was predicated on a number of negotiated provisions, including the right to separately negotiate material terms of media rights relating to our home games,” the university said last week in a statement to the media. “This is stated in our conference agreement and cannot be changed by any vote of the membership or conflicting agreement. We will not support any change to this provision and are in the process of weighing our options to move forward.”

Those options naturally included a lawsuit and that’s just what we have now. Interestingly, based on the timing of things, that suit was filed just a few hours after the school issued their statement on Jan. 17. The university is demanding a jury trial on the matter and is seeking that the re-entry agreement signed in late 2012 with the conference be honored (worth over $1.8 million a year).

Continue reading story

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January 22nd 

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Hawai’i’s new coach a familiar name – Todd Graham

Note … Hawai’i plays three Pac-12 teams this fall: at Arizona (8/29); UCLA (9/5); and at Oregon (9/19) … 

Press release from hawai’iathletics.com … Todd Graham has been named as the University of Hawai’i’s new head football coach, Athletics Director David Matlin announced Tuesday. Graham will be introduced as the program’s 24th head coach at a press conference Wednesday, Jan. 22 at 2:00 p.m., at the UH Athletics Department Lecture Hall.

Graham comes to Mānoa with 12 years of head coaching experience at the FBS level, most recently with Arizona State, where he led the Sun Devils to five bowl appearances in six years. He has an overall head coaching record of 95-61 (.609) with stops at Rice (2006), Tulsa (2007-10), Pittsburgh (2011), and ASU (2012-17).

In 12 years as a head coach, 10 of his teams appeared in bowl games; four won conference divisional titles; and three finished the season nationally ranked. He earned two conference coach of the year awards with Rice (2006) and ASU (2013). His Tulsa teams led the nation in total offense in consecutive years in 2007 (543.9 ypg) and 2008 (569.9).

Twelve of Graham’s former assistant coaches went on to head coaching positions including eight current head coaches – Gus Malzahn (Auburn), Mike Norvell (Florida State), Jay Norvell (Nevada), Billy Napier (Louisiana), Chris Ball (Northern Arizona), Chip Lindsey (Troy), Jake Spavital (Texas State), and Ryan Silverfield (Memphis). Several others moved on to coordinator positions at Power 5 schools.

At ASU, Graham compiled a 46-32 mark. The 46 wins were the most in a six-year span in program history and put him third all-time in wins. He was the only head coach to lead ASU to bowl eligibility in each of his first four seasons and his five bowl appearances is second most in program history. ASU’s Sun Bowl victory in 2014 capped a second straight 10-win season under Graham while the Sun Devils finished with a No. 12 national ranking.

It may be time to pump the brakes on (CU opponent) Texas A&M being a top ten team

From ESPN … It’s a long wait between Joe Burrow hoisting the trophy Jan. 13 and kickoff of Notre Dame and Navy in Ireland in August, and that time inevitably will be filled with talk of big bowl wins and momentum for 2020 and, almost assuredly, a pronouncement that, for real this time, Texas is back! It’s in the sports writers’ union contract. Someone has to say it.

But here’s the rub: USC’s Rose Bowl win three years ago meant nothing for the 2017 season, Wisconsin’s Orange Bowl win two years ago set the stage for a disastrous 2018 season, and Texas — of course — gained nothing in 2019 from having scored a big Sugar Bowl win to cap the prior year.

Inevitably, we’ll talk about bowl momentum (bowl-mentum?) for a few months before we realize those were massive bowl overreactions (bowl-vereactions?) and wonder why we made such a big deal of these games in the first place. Rinse, repeat. So, let’s cut to the chase and take a look at the bowl hot takes we’ll be most likely to regret in 2020.

Texas A&M will be a top-10 team

The early, way-too-early and ludicrously early top-25 lists are already out, and more than a few have the Aggies in the top-10 mix after a 24-21 Texas Bowl win over Oklahoma State helped Jimbo Fisher finish the season on a high note. There’s reason for optimism: A&M is recruiting well, gets an easier schedule in 2020 (goodbye Clemson and Georgia, hello Colorado and Vandy), and Kellen Mond is back for his senior season.

But here’s the counterpoint: A&M failed to top 400 yards of offense nine times in 2019 (including four of its last five games); had just two first-half TDs combined against LSU, Georgia, Alabama, Auburn, Clemson and Oklahoma State; and trailed entering the fourth quarter in six of 10 games versus Power 5 opponents. Plus, against Power 5 competition, Mond, a three-year starter, finished 59th in passer rating among 77 QBs with at least 100 attempts. In an era when Burrow is putting up a 60-TD season, Fisher’s offense looks increasingly archaic.

Read full story here

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January 21st 

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Pac-12 announces distribution partnership with streaming service Vidgo; extension of title game sponsorship with 76

From the Pac-12 … Pac-12 Networks announced a distribution partnership with Vidgo, an Internet-based, over-the-top (OTT) television streaming service. As part of the agreement, Pac-12 Network, the Networks’ primary national channel, is now available to all subscribers of the Vidgo “Core” package, which includes more than 60 channels and comprehensive sports coverage for just $39.99 per month. In addition, all seven Pac-12 Networks channels, including six regional channels, are also now available to Vidgo subscribers as part of its “Plus” package, which includes more than 80 channels and is available for an additional $10 per month.

The launch of Pac-12 Networks on Vidgo during the heat of basketball conference play gives subscribers access to nearly 120 Pac-12 men’s and women’s basketball games through the end of the season, including coverage of the 2020 Pac-12 Men’s and Women’s Basketball Tournaments in Las Vegas. Pac-12 Networks is the home for the most extensive basketball coverage for the Conference of Champions, televising more than 270 matchups across Pac-12 men’s and women’s basketball for the 2019-20 season.

“As an emerging player in the OTT space, we are very excited to partner with Vidgo and make Pac-12 Networks available to all of their subscribers,” said Henry Watson, Pac-12 Networks Vice President of Distribution and Partner Marketing. “Given their strong sports portfolio, Pac-12 Networks is an excellent complement to Vidgo’s comprehensive professional and collegiate sports offerings.”

Vidgo highlights:

A diverse content and channel offering

  • The ability to stream on three simultaneous devices at home or on the go
  • Social TV platform powered by Kiswe Mobile
  • Live local channels in select initial markets from ABC, Fox, and My Network TV
  • National content providers – ESPN, Disney, Freeform, FX, National Geographic, Fox, Discovery, A&E, and ViacomCBS
  • Sports – ESPN, Fox Sports, NFL Network, Pac-12 Network, Stadium, and beIN Sports
  • News – Fox News, Fox Business, Cheddar, participating ABC and Fox local station news
  • Access to full programming lineup at home or on the go
“As a Pac-12 alum and an avid fan of the Conference of Champions, I am proud to add Pac-12 Networks to our ever-growing sports portfolio,” said Shane Cannon, Vidgo CEO. “With the addition of Pac-12 Networks, Vidgo now offers subscribers access to almost every major collegiate sports network at one of the most affordable rates in the market.”
More information on Vidgo, including a channel line-up and pricing options, is available at Vidgo.com.  More information on Pac-12 Networks’ schedule of live events is available at Pac-12.com.
Vidgo joins the Pac-12 Networks list of OTT and cable providers, which includes Comcast / Xfinity, Charter / Spectrum, Cox, Dish, fuboTV, TVision, Frontier, Sling TV and many others.
Extension of title game presenting sponsorship with 76

From the Pac-12 … Today the Pac-12 and 76® announced a multi-year extension of the Conference’s football title game presenting sponsorship. With the announcement, the leading retail gas brand will continue as presenting sponsor of the Pac-12 Football Championship Game through the 2023 event. Originally announced as the first-ever presenting sponsor of the Pac-12 title game in 2016, today’s announcement continues a multi-year agreement between 76® and the Pac-12 that has helped propel the success of the event. In addition to the football championship, 76® will also become an official sponsor of the annual men’s basketball tournament beginning with the 2021 Pac-12 Men’s Basketball Tournament and continuing through the 2024 tournament.

“We are excited to extend and expand our longstanding collaboration with 76 across the Pac-12’s premier football and men’s basketball events,” said Pac-12 Commissioner Larry Scott.  “Through their innovative marketing and fan engagement activities, 76 has played an important role in driving the success of our Pac-12 Football Championship Game, and we look forward to their continued and expanded support of the Pac-12.”

Over the past several years, the Pac-12 and 76® have collaborated on numerous “fan-fueled” promotions and sweepstakes throughout the San Francisco Bay Area, where the football championship game has been held, as well as across the West Coast, leading up to the event. The sponsorship will continue to see cross promotions with Pac-12 Networks, including presenting sponsorship of postgame coverage for football, special editions of football media days coverage and other football programming on the networks.

“76 is proud to continue our support of the Pac-12 Football Championship Game and extend our sponsorship to include the Pac-12 Men’s Basketball Tournament,” said Rod Palmer, general manager, branded marketing for Phillips 66. “76 and the Pac-12 share a commitment to high-quality performance on the road, field and court. We’re pleased to help bring these exciting Pac-12 championship matchups to the fans.”

Included as part of the sponsorship extension, 76® will continue to have a significant presence via on-field signage at the Pac-12 Football Championship Game and now in-arena for the men’s basketball tournament, in addition to a number of hospitality benefits across both events. The extension will also provide 76® with a presence and hospitality benefits during the regular season of Pac-12 football as well as a number of digital and linear media assets across Pac-12 Networks.

With today’s announcement, the continued sponsorship from 76® joins a number of other leading brands and current partners of the Pac-12, including Dr Pepper, Gatorade, GEICO, New York Life, Nike, Opus Bank and Unifi, among others.

For the Pac-12, the sponsorship extension with 76® was led by longtime sales executive Yaron Shlomi working with the Pac-12 sales and partnership team.

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January 20th

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Pac-12 early NFL entrants – Only 14 this year

From the San Jose Mercury News … The list of Pac-12 players who declared for the NFL Draft would form the backbone of an impressive lineup.

So would the list of Pac-12 players who passed on the draft.

All things considered, the conference emerged from the early-entry process with its core reasonably intact.

According to preliminary report on NFL.com, the Pac-12 lost 14 draft-eligible non-seniors.

That’s only five more than LSU.

Oregon State lost more players to the pros than Oregon, the conference champion and Rose Bowl winner.

Stanford and USC both kept more top talents than they lost.

Three teams didn’t lose anybody.

Only four lost more than one player.

All in all, it could have been significantly worse.

— The known departures.

The deadline to withdraw is today, and the NFL will reveal the official list in the next 24 hours.

There are often a few surprises, but here’s what we know:

Arizona
TB J.J. Taylor

Arizona State
TB Eno Benjamin
P Michael Turk

Cal
none

Colorado
WR Laviska Shenault

Oregon
none

Oregon State
WR Isaiah Hodgins

Stanford
TE Colby Parkinson

UCLA
TE Devin Asiasi
CB Darnay Holmes

USC
OT Austin Jackson

Utah
CB Javelin Guidry
CB Jaylon Johnson

Washington
TB Savon Ahmed
TE Hunter Bryant
QB Jacob Eason

Washington State 
none

— How does the total compare to previous years?

We have that for you, too:

2012: 11 early-entry departures
2013: 10
2014: 26
2015: 17
2016: 15
2017: 12
2018: 20
2019: 10
2020: 14

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USC’s choice for defensive coordinator “raises some eyebrows”

From CBS Sports … USC coach Clay Helton will get another year on the job in 2020, but it will be the second year in a row he’s made a major change at the coordinator position. According to multiple outlets and first reported by Pete Thamel of Yahoo Sports, the Trojans are working towards an agreement to make Todd Orlando the next defensive coordinator. Orlando would replace Clancy Pendergast, who, along with special teams coordinator/tight ends coach John Baxter, was relieved of his duties following USC’s Holiday Bowl loss to Iowa last month.

Orlando himself was also not retained by Texas coach Tom Herman following the 2019 season. The Longhorns allowed nearly 29 points per game and 446 yards per game in 2019. Both of those numbers were worse than the previous two seasons under Herman. Following Orlando’s firing, he was set to join Matt Wells’ staff at Texas Tech. Orlando served as Wells’ defensive coordinator at Utah State from 2013-14.

USC’s defense has been notably pedestrian, at best, over the past several years and Pendergast had been on the perpetual hot seat for some time before Helton finally made a move. That Helton then followed that up by hiring Orlando is a move that will raise a few eyebrows, to say the least.

However, the Trojans did receive some good news regarding its coaching staff with offensive coordinator Graham Harrell. The in-demand OC has received overtures from Texas and the Philadelphia Eagles alike but has elected to return to Los Angeles for another season, per Bruce Feldman of The Athletic. Despite numerous injuries at quarterback and practically no running game, USC finished third in the Pac-12 in points per game and quarterback Kedon Slovis looks like he could be the next great signal caller to come out of the program.

Larry Scott: “Some of our schools have expressed an interest (in 10:00 a.m., MT kickoffs)” 

From The Athletic … The draw introducing early-morning kickoffs out west would be the opportunity to fit showcase games into FOX’s new and successful Big Noon Kickoff window.

“There’s no decision to play any games at 9 a.m.,” Scott said. “Yes, FOX is keenly interested. We met with them as recently as early December in New York about it. I don’t know if there’ll be any that make sense for this upcoming season or 2021. But I’d like to see one of our teams try it. Some of our schools — not the majority of them — some of our schools have expressed an interest.”

When asked if that meant Pac-12 schools like Colorado, Utah and (for most of the season) the Arizona schools in the Mountain Time zone, who would be dealing with a slightly later morning kickoff and perhaps a lighter strain on players’ body clocks, Scott paused.

“The whole body clock issue is an interesting one,” he said. “You can go back and track, but most of our schools do play at 9 a.m. Pacific Time when they play on the East Coast, when they travel for those games. I could give you half a dozen examples over the last five years where our teams played at 9 a.m. So the idea that we can’t play at 9 a.m., well, we obviously can.

“Now, the fan issue is a different issue and a serious issue. I completely respect that ADs and their schools have to think that through. That’s why no one would ever be under an obligation (to do a 9 a.m. PT kickoff). It would only be if they saw an opportunity.”

Continue reading story here (subscription required) …

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January 19th

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Composite (eight sites) Preseason Top 25 rankings includes four CU 2020 opponents

From the Sporting News … Way-too-early top 25 lists are the only way to start the upcoming college football season.

Sporting News has already released its top 25 for 2020, but we weren’t the only one. AthlonBleacher ReportCBS SportsESPNSports IllustratedStadium and USA Today have submitted way-too-early entries as well.

Those lists revealed that the only team everyone could agree on for 2020 is Clemson, a unanimous No. 1 selection across all eight sets of rankings. The Tigers return junior quarterback Trevor Lawrence and should be in the mix for another Playoff berth next season. Ohio State, which lost to the Tigers in the Fiesta Bowl semifinal, is the consensus No. 2, garnering six second-place votes.

The rest of the rankings reflect a few surprises. So SN wanted to determine a consensus top 25, using all eight publications’ rankings in that endeavor. We used an inverse scoring method (awarding 25 points to a No. 1 selection, 24 for a No. 2 selection, all the way down to one point for a No. 25 selection) to determine the highest possible score for each school. Clemson garnered the maximum 200 points.

With that in mind, here’s a look at the composite way-too-early top 25 for 2020:

Composite top 25 preseason college football rankings

RankTeamTotalHighLow
1Clemson20011
2Ohio State19023
3Alabama18324
4LSU171310
5Oklahoma15958
6Florida148610
7Oregon148511
8Georgia145213
9Penn State142512
10Notre Dame130815
11Auburn107516
12Wisconsin1011018
13Texas A&M906N/R
14Michigan881220
15Minnesota7511N/R
16Texas691324
17Cincinnati5612N/R
18Oklahoma State5013N/R
19Boise State4217N/R
20USC4114N/R
21Iowa State3410N/R
22Memphis3415N/R
23North Carolina3019N/R
24Iowa2910N/R
25Arizona State2118N/R

Others receiving votes: Baylor 19; Louisville 17; UCF 16; Utah 14.5; Virginia Tech 10.5; TCU 9; Washington 8; Virginia 3; Florida State 3; Cal 3; Purdue 2; Tennessee 1; Ole Miss 1

USA Today mock draft: Laviska Shenault one of three Pac-12 players on the list

From the USA Today … College football’s bowl season ended with quite the crescendo — particularly for fans of talent-starved NFL teams.

LSU’s win over Clemson for the national championship marked the end of illustrious collegiate careers for several players, but the game also reinforced that many of the participants will play prominent roles in the upcoming draft process. And while several of the stars (including Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence, wide receiver Justyn Ross and LSU cornerback Derek Stingley Jr.) aren’t yet eligible to make the jump, many are poised to create a significant buzz in the coming months as they prepare for their pro careers.

Here’s USA TODAY Sports’ latest first-round mock draft after the title game:

6. Chargers — Justin Herbert, QB, Oregon: As arguably the top prospect at the Senior Bowl this week, Herbert could amplify the buzz surrounding him by showing off his considerable physical tools. The Chargers have to be thinking about their future at quarterback — be it in the near or long term — as they move into their new digs, and the 6-6, 237-pound signal-caller has the downfield throwing aptitude to take advantage of Keenan Allen and Mike Williams.

22. Bills — Laviska Shenault Jr., WR, Colorado: If Josh Allen’s devil-may-care approach is to be harnessed into a more tenable style of play, the quarterback needs a well-built receiver on the outside. Enter Shenault, a dynamic threat who’s tough to bring down in the open field and would be an intriguing piece for offensive coordinator Brian Daboll.

25. Vikings — Austin Jackson, OT, USC: Minnesota’s meltdown against the 49ers reinforced that the offensive line has to be addressed in some form. The biggest shortcomings are on the interior, but drafting Jackson could still allow for a reshuffling, particularly if Riley Reiff moves to guard.

Read full story here

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January 17th

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USC may lose OC Graham Harrell to the NFL

From USCTrojans.com … USC head coach Clay Helton might have another coordinator hire on his plate.

USC offensive coordinator Graham Harrell is reportedly interviewing with the Philadelphia Eagles about their vacant offensive coordinator position. Jeff McLane of the Philadelphia Inquirer was the first to report the interview.

The former Texas Tech QB was a hot comidty for other teams back in December, linked to the open OC position at the University of Texas and the head coaching jobs at UNLV and UTSA. But USC managed to sign Harrell to a three-year contract extension back on Dec. 16, which bumped his salary to $1.2 million per season.

“Excited to be apart of this great university, apart of the Trojan Family. It’s a really special place. We’ve built something special here,” said Harrell in a video released by USC at the time. “Excited to compete one more time with the team that we have coming back at the Holiday Bowl, hope to see you there. And moving forward we’ve laid the foundation to compete for championships, not only at the Pac-12 level but at the national level….can’t wait to continue what we’ve started. Fight On!”

Helton is still in the midst of trying to fill the defensive coordinator position after letting go Clancy Pendergast following the team’s 49-24 loss in the Holiday Bowl. Helton lost his last offensive coordinator, Kliff Kingsbury, to the NFL head coaching ranks just weeks after he signed with the Trojans. Kingsbury led the Arizona Cardinals to an 5-10-1 in Year 1 with his Air Raid concepts.

Continue reading story here

Pac-12 2020 scheduling – Pac-12 press release 

From the Pac-12 … The Pac-12 Conference announced today its 2020 football schedule that pairs a competitive nine-game Conference schedule with a non-conference slate that includes eight contests against five different FBS teams that won 10 or more games during the 2019 season, plus FCS champion North Dakota State and its perfect 16-0 record.

In addition, the 2020 schedule includes 15 games against teams who won eight or more games last season, with five games against teams that finished the 2019 season ranked among the Top 20 – CFP semifinalist No. 3 Ohio State, No. 8 Alabama, No. 12 Notre Dame (twice) and No. 18 Michigan.

A total of 17 games will be against teams who participated in the 2019 bowl season, while the 2020 docket features four games against the Big 12, two more against the Big Ten, Notre Dame and BYU, and one against the SEC.

The 2020 football season is set to open on Saturday, August 29, as ARIZONA hosts Hawai’i, UCLA entertains New Mexico State and CALIFORNIA travels to UNLV for the first college game to be played in Las Vegas’ new Allegiant Stadium, site of the 2020 Pac-12 Football Championship Game.

Week one will feature seven Power 5 opponents who combined to go 61-43 (.586) last season (BYU at UTAH, OREGON STATE at Oklahoma State, USC vs. Alabama, Michigan at WASHINGTON, UCLA at Hawai’i, COLORADO at Colorado State, TCU at CALIFORNIA, WASHINGTON STATE at Utah State), plus FCS Champion North Dakota State at OREGON.

Pac-12 play gets started in week two as STANFORD visits ARIZONA, while defending Pac-12 Champion OREGON hosts defending Big Ten Champion Ohio State in what could be a matchup between a pair of Top 10 ranked teams.

In keeping with tradition, Conference rivalry games will be played over the last two weeks of the season, followed by the Pac-12 Football Championship Game at Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas, Nev., on Friday, December 4.

The schedule includes seven Friday Conference games and one Thursday Conference game. The road team for the Friday game is assured of a home game the preceding Saturday, while both teams playing on Thursday will have a bye the preceding Saturday. All 12 Conference teams will make an appearance on either Thursday or Friday during the 2020 Conference season.

A combination of the ESPN channels, ABC, FOX and FOX Sports 1 will broadcast 45 games nationally, including the Pac-12 Championship Game, and Pac-12 Networks will offer 35 games to a national audience. Exact broadcast schedules will be determined at a later date.

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January 16th

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Quirks and qualms concerning the Pac-12 conference scheduling

From Jon Wilner at the San Jose Mercury News … The Pac-12 waited until the 16th day of 2020 to release the football schedule for 2020.

The extra time gave the conference a chance to inject as much competitive balance as possible into the master grid.

Scheduling is like officiating: No crew gets every call right, and no schedule will meet the same degree of difficulty for every team.

The key in both endeavors is avoiding egregious mistakes.

Pac-12 officials did that in the national championship, and the conference did it again with the 2020 master schedule.

Several teams face more challenging stretches than others, but it’s all within a reasonable range.

*** Early obstacles: Stanford (of course)

The conference opener is Sept. 12. For a change, it’s not Stanford-USC. Instead, the Cardinal visits Tucson.

It returns home the following week to host USC — meaning Stanford will have played two conference games before most teams will have played any.

*** Road B2Bs: Eight teams

Stanford, Washington, Arizona and USC avoid playing conference road games on consecutive weeks.

Everyone else faces the challenge once.

*** Dastardly double: Arizona State

There is only once instance of a team playing back-to-back conference road games, with second against a home team that will have had two weeks to prepare.

Arizona State visits Boulder on Oct. 24, then heads to Pullman for a date on Halloween. The Cougars will have been off for two weeks.

Utah faces a similar predicament, except the first of the back-to-back road games is at Wyoming. The following week, the Utes play in Berkeley.

*** Toughest September: USC

The Trojans open against Alabama in Arlington, host New Mexico, then head to Stanford and close the month against Arizona State — three high-level games.

Stanford plays three conference games in September, which is a challenge — but nothing like facing Alabama.

Continue reading story here

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January 15th

… Foe Pause … 

Jon Wilner’s “Way-Too-Early” Top 25 includes four CU 2020 opponents

From the San Jose Mercury NewsNote: Teams slotted for the top third are expected to finish with zero, one or two losses; teams in the middle third are likely to lose two or three games; teams in the bottom third are headed for three or four (perhaps even five) losses. Because that’s generally how the math works, every year.

9. Oregon: The Ducks will be loaded on defense with nine returnees and several elite freshmen. But there are questions across the offense, which loses four starters on the line, must replace quarterback Justin Herbert and again looks wobbly at receiver. And the a schedule, with Ohio State visiting in Week Two, doesn’t lend itself to 11 or 12 wins.

14. Texas A&M: With three Jimbo Fisher recruiting classes fortifying the roster and quarterback Kellen Bond back for another season, the Aggies are set up for success. Their chief obstacle is the division in which they play.

18. USC: The attrition (i.e., transfers) could be significant. But for now, the Trojans have the best roster in the Pac-12 South with 18 returning starters and the returnees from the days Clay Helton could recruit effectively. The defensive coordinator hire is key — in the right hands, the unit could be top-notch.

21. Cal: The defense should be stout despite the departure of Evan Weaver, and the offense should be productive enough under new coordinator Bill Musgrave — so long as oft-injured quarterback Chase Garbers is not oft-injured. (Note … CU doesn’t play Cal next fall).

24. Arizona State: The team we saw in the Sun Bowl must find playmakers to replace Eno Benjamin and Brandon Aiyuk, but the combination of a veteran defense and quarterback Jayden Daniels should enable ASU to contend in the wide open Pac-12 South.

Read full list here

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January 14th

… Foe Pause … 

Mike Bohn cleaning house: USC fires senior associates

From reignoftroy.com … It has been months since new USC athletic director Mike Bohn was brought in, and almost a year since the Varsity Blues scandal rocked the Trojans. Now things are starting to really move.

USC has fired COO/CFO Steve Lopes, Trojan Athletic Fund senior associate athletic director Ron Orr and associate athletic director Scott Jacobson, according to a report from the LA Times’ Ryan Kartje.

“The [LA Times] has learned their firings involve concerns over past scandals, including the Varsity Blues admissions scandal,” Kartje revealed in an additional tweet.

This news is a long time coming. Athletic director Lynn Swann stepped down from his post this past fall, but the arrival of a new AD came along with the underlying expectation of massive staff changes in the athletic department.

Cleaning house has certainly been needed. The Varsity Blues scandal was more or less the final straw. A USC athletics department official was accused of falsifying athletics profiles to get the children of wealthy parents admitted into the university through back channels, a scam involving numerous other coaches and officials.

Even if the firings were linked solely to the Varsity Blues scandal, it makes sense for Bohn and company to start fresh without the old guard who had been so tainted by perceived incompetence.

New WSU Coach Nick Rolovich: Meetings with Leach and Dan Hawkins helped to pave his road to Pullman

From CougFan.com … Nick Rolovich, the new head coach of Washington State’s pass-happy Cougars, once ran a balanced, 50/50 offense at Hawaii but after a disappointing 2017 season in which his Hawaii Rainbow Warriors went 3-9, he decided it was time for a change. “We just weren’t excited. It wasn’t exciting to play in, it wasn’t exciting to watch,” he told Chantel Jennings of The Athletic in a fabulous December 2018 story you can read here ($).

So Rolovich, who once quarterbacked the Warriors when June Jones was the air-it-out run-and-shoot-coach, decided it was time to go aerial early and often.

The results have been impressive over the last two seasons, but from a WSU perspective, the story takes on greater intrigue. Wrote Jennings:

To gain insight into the offensive mindset, Rolovich decided he would meet with Washington State coach Mike Leach, lover of the Air Raid and someone who easily dismisses any critics or noise around his play calling or offensive decisions. And for the culture shift — on the referral of his former QB coach, Dan Morrison — Rolovich decided he would sit down with UC Davis head coach Dan Hawkins, who was at Boise State in its early days as an FBS program, helping build the foundation for what the Broncos’ program has become.

Today, he credits the turnaround of this program — sitting on an 8-5 record, its best since 2010 — with the changes that came as a result of those two very different meetings.

Continue reading story here

CBS “Way-Too-Early” Top 25 includes three CU 2020 opponents

From CBS Sports … Win or lose Monday, Clemson was going to win as the Tigers have enough returning talent from a 14-1 runner-up national title team to start 2020 where they started 2019: No. 1. Don’t act like you’re surprised. Clemson is still a budding dynasty with 29 wins in the last seasons and 69 and in the last five.

Welcome to the Way-Too-Early Power Rankings for the 151st season of college football.

We choose to remember that, prior to Monday, Clemson had outscored its opponents by more points (473) than 109 teams had scored, period. The NFL mandates quarterback Trevor Lawrence has another year of eligibility remaining, which automatically means the Tigers will be a factor.

There have been six College Football Playoffs. Clemson has been a part of five of them. Get ready for another orange, paw-printed playoff run.

As far as how the rest will fall in line, let’s take a look at the early preseason top 25.

CU 2020 opponents … 

No. 7 – Oregon … The Ducks are back where they were under Chip Kelly after a Rose Bowl win. That’s right — at the top of the Pac-12 and competing for a national championship or, in this case, a College Football Playoff spot. Mario Cristobal has to find a replacement for Justin Herbert, but the philosophy is clear: beat up the opposition. These Ducks could compete favorably in the SEC. Cristobal has landed another top-10 recruiting class.

No. 13 – Texas A&M … At some point, Aggies everywhere will demand a return on their $75 million investment. That’s how much Jimbo Fisher is earning in his guaranteed 10-year contract. Two years into it, Fisher is 17-9. Texas A&M dropped from a second-place tie in the SEC West to fourth place in 2019. After a brutal schedule, the Aggies have loads of veteran talent returning and Kellen Mond has improved as a passer.

No. 24 – Arizona State … The Sun Devils should be a challenger for the Pac-12 South. Herm Edwards has done what Todd Graham could not: recruit California. Fourteen starters return, including budding quarterback Jaylen Daniels. Edwards must find a new defensive coordinator for the departed Danny Gonzales. Not to gush, but Edwards’ emphasis on physicality reminds me of the early USC days of Pete Carroll.

Read full list here

Report: Washington State to hire Hawai’i coach Nick Rolovich 

From ESPN … Washington State is set to name Hawai’i’s Nick Rolovich as its next coach, a source told ESPN.

He is expected to sign a five-year deal worth approximately $3 million annually, a source told ESPN’s Adam Rittenberg.

Rolovich guided the Rainbow Warriors to a 10-win season in 2019 and compiled a 28-27 record during his four-year stint as the program’s coach. Hawai’i lost to Boise State in the Mountain West title game this season and beat BYU in the Sofi Hawai’i Bowl.

The deal, which was first reported by The Athletic, was not finalized as of Monday night.

Rolovich, 40, will replace Mike Leach, who was named coach at Mississippi State on Thursday. Leach went 55-47 in his eight seasons in Pullman and took the Cougars to a school-record five consecutive bowl games over the past five seasons. After a school-record 11-win season and a No. 10 national ranking in 2018, the Cougars went 6-7 in 2019, capped by a 31-21 loss to Air Force in the Cheez-It Bowl.

Prior to taking over at Hawai’i, Rolovich spent four seasons as offensive coordinator at Nevada, and operates an offense that has a lot of similarities to the Air Raid scheme Leach is famous for. The Rainbow Warriors averaged 471 yards of offense per game in 2019, and had the country’s No. 5-ranked passing attack (337.1). Over the past two seasons, Washington State was the only team in the country that attempted more passes than Hawai’i.

Rolovich grew up in Northern California and played quarterback at City College of San Francisco before finishing his collegiate career at Hawai’i.

Continue reading story here

Final AP poll – Only two Pac-12 teams make the list

… Only two Pac-12 teams in final poll, but four others in the “others receiving votes” category … 

From ESPN …  LSU finished No. 1 in the AP Top 25 for the third time in school history, with Clemson No. 2 and Ohio State No. 3.

The Tigers (15-0) beat Clemson 42-25 in the national championship game Monday night and then received all 62 first-place votes from the media panel in the season’s final Top 25 presented by Regions Bank.

LSU was No. 1 for the final eight weeks of the season and set a record by beating seven teams ranked in the top 10 at the time of the game. Miami in 1987 and Alabama in 2015 each beat five teams ranked in the top 10 at the time of their games.

Georgia, LSU’s Southeastern Conference rival, was fourth and Pac-12 champion Oregon was fifth. Florida was sixth and Oklahoma, which made the playoff, was seventh.

Alabama finished eighth, its lowest final ranking since 2010, giving the SEC four of the top 10. It’s the fifth time one conference has had four teams in the final top 10, and fourth for the SEC.

No. 9 Penn State and No. 10 Minnesota gave the Big Ten three teams in the top 10.

Navy finished No. 20 and Air Force was ranked No. 22, marking the first time two service academies were in the final AP poll of the season since 1958.

1. LSU (62) 15-0
2. Clemson 14-1

3. Ohio State 13-1
4. Georgia 12-2
5. Oregon 12-2
6. Florida 11-2
7. Oklahoma 12-2
8. Alabama 11-2
9. Penn State 11-2
10. Minnesota 11-2
11. Wisconsin 10-4
12. Notre Dame 11-2
13. Baylor 11-3
14. Auburn 9-4
15. Iowa 10-3
16. Utah 11-3
17. Memphis 12-2
18. Michigan 9-4
19. Appalachian State 13-1
20. Navy 11-2
21. Cincinnati 11-3
22. Air Force 11-2
23. Boise State 12-2
24. UCF 10-3
25. Texas 8-5

Others receiving votes: Texas A&M 54 (2020 CU opponent), Florida Atlantic 46, Washington 39, Virginia 28, USC 16, San Diego State 13, Arizona State 12, SMU 10, Tennessee 8, California 6, Kentucky 2, Louisiana 2, Kansas State 2, Louisiana Tech 2, North Dakota State 2

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January 13th

… Foe Pause … 

USC mega-booster on state of Trojan program: “Dogsh*t”

From USC Football.com … On Monday night former USC assistant and interim head coach Ed Orgeron will be playing for the college football national championship. Orgeron’s LSU Tigers will be taking on the Clemson Tigers in New Orleans with a chance to bring the first football title to Baton Rouge since 2007.

Saturday night in New Orleans Ed Orgeron was accepting the 2019 Eddie Robinson Coach of the Year Award presented by the Football Writers Association of America. During his acceptance speech Orgeron thanked his assistant coaches and his Heisman winning quarterback Joe Burrow. Orgeron also thanked his family before turning his attention to USC mega-booster Brian Kennedy.

Kennedy is the CEO of Regency Outdoor Advertising and his name is on one of the USC football practice fields (Howard Jones Field/Brian Kennedy Field).

… Kennedy was one of the USC supporters that wanted to see Orgeron promoted from interim head coach to permanent head coach back in 2013.

“It was heartbreaking, especially for the players,” Kennedy recalled. “I don’t know if you know this or not, but the players went out there before the UCLA game because they knew he wouldn’t get a job and they went out there and formed a great big ‘O’ in the middle of the field.

“The kids did not want to play. I heard from the locker room that they threatened the revoke of scholarships if they didn’t go out on the field. They loved him that much. That tells you something about him.”

When Kennedy was asked about the state of the USC program right now, he did not mince words.

“Dogshit,” he said. “That’s the best way I can say it. Listen, they had the best guy in the world for it.”

Continue reading story here

 

247 Sports “Way-Too-Early” Top 25 includes three Pac-12 South teams

From 247 Sports … Don’t tell Clemson coach Dabo Swinney rankings don’t matter.

He vouched for respect all season for his defending national champion football team, except in the preseason.

“Unless they bring us a trophy and tear the concrete out over there and put the preseason champs up there, I don’t think we’re going to do that,” Swinney said last August when Clemson was the preseason No. 1 for the first time in program history. “So it just doesn’t matter. That’s probably the only con is it just creates conversation that’s unnecessary because it’s not worth the paper it’s printed on.

“All you’ve gotta do is take the last 10 years the preseason polls and a lot of those teams in the top five don’t even finish ranked.”

With the 2019 college football season set to finish up Monday night in New Orleans, it’s never too early too look ahead to which teams will be the nation’s best next fall, a somewhat predictable glance at contenders followed by a handful of programs with a shot if all falls into place.

From the Pac-12 … 

No. 5 – Oregon … Oregon is hoping to use its banner 2019 season as a jetpack to even more next season during Mario Cristobal’s third campaign. A fast-rising coach, Cristobal put together the best recruiting haul in program history last cycle and is welcoming a Top 15 class in 2020 per the 247Sports Composite. That means the Ducks are reloading, not rebuilding, as defending Pac-12 and Rose Bowl champions. Five-star insider linebackers Justin Flowe and Noah Sewell are instant impact players on a defensive unit that looks to be one of the nation’s best. How much will Justin Herbert’s departure affect the Ducks on offense?

No. 16 Utah … Will Utah build on 2019’s success? The Utes must replace their offensive battery in the backfield, but their defense should be elite.

No. 18 USC

No. 21 Arizona State … Herm Edwards and Arizona State is a confident bunch and expect big things from Jayden Daniels as a sophomore.

Read full story here

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January 11th 

… Foe Pause …

ESPN: Pac-12 has three hot seat coaches for 2020 (all in the South division)

From ESPN … The 2019 coaching cycle went pretty much as expected: quiet overall with a few surprises, but no major domino effect in the Power 5.

The highest-profile coach on the hottest seat before the season, USC’s Clay Helton, surprisingly kept his job. Only nine Power 5 schools made changes (seven firings and Washington’s Chris Petersen chose to step down, while Baylor’s Matt Rhule left for the Carolina Panthers job), and no coaches have made moves from one power conference to another. The market trend right now is internal promotions — all four College Football Playoff coaches this year were promoted to their jobs. Washington’s Jimmy Lake, Memphis’ Ryan Silverfield and Appalachian State’s Shawn Clark all moved up.

There should be substantially more action this coming year. Helton once again occupies the nation’s hottest seat, but he’s not alone, as other coaches from the SEC, ACC and Pac-12 also enter win-or-else seasons.

The Pac-12 … 

Hot seat: Clay Helton, USC; Kevin Sumlin, Arizona

Keep an eye on: Chip Kelly, UCLA

Helton’s job status will be the dominant storyline around USC football until either he gets fired or wins the Pac-12 and gets the Trojans to the CFP for the first time. It’s that cut and dried after new athletic director Mike Bohn chose to retain Helton, who had a massive guarantee on his contract, and provide long-overdue infrastructure upgrades to the program. Sumlin is just 9-15 at Arizona and reshaped his defensive coaching staff after the season. Things seem very unsettled around the UA program, and Sumlin likely must deliver a bowl appearance in Year 3 to stick around.

UCLA’s Kelly denied rumors that he might step away after struggling mightily in his return to the Pac-12. His $9 million buyout through 2021 works very much in his favor to stick around in Westwood — he also would owe the school $9 million if he leaves — but UCLA could get antsy if the results from its historic investment in football don’t arrive in Year 3. Kelly is 7-17 at UCLA, which soon will be hiring a new athletic director.

Read full story here

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63 Replies to “Pac-12 Notes”

  1. Pity the poor pundits pushing to rationalize their paycheck with these pefunctory prognostications in this dead period of college football. You would think Wilner would have his hands full simply with the drama at USC.
    I went to SI and of course Pat Forde has his own rank rankings. Pat says: “But we as human beings cannot resist the lure of foolhardy predictions based on incomplete information, so here we go.”
    Wasn’t that sweet for him to include the rest of us?
    btw
    Wilner has Georgia at 10 and Forde has em at 2. ….hmmmm….ok.
    Anyone out there willing to pay me for my list?

  2. Darn it Stuart
    I tried to read the rest of the Kennedy article but I wont put any money into USC’s pocket, or just like you, none into the DP either as long as they are paying Pizzla.
    Not real excited about the WSU hire either. I have watched a couple of Hawaii games and their air raid looks better than Leach’s….albeit against slightly lesser competition. Rolovich has to have the QB to plug in, of course, but he has several to choose from.

    1. That’s going to be interesting to watch. Would have been regardless of who they got, but the Run n Shoot is a close cousin to the Air Raid. So in that regard, it makes sense. They have the personnel that theoretically fits the system. I think it relies on a lot more QB runs though. I did see that their QB recruit/incoming freshman from HI is stoked on the hire. We’ll see how it all shakes down.

      But, in my eyes, that’s the type of guy they would be able to get. Grinch wasn’t going there. They’d get either someone stepping up, or like Mike was, someone looking to rebuild their standing in the coaching world. I wonder if Leavitt had any interest, or they in him. Doubt it. But, he’s another interesting case study in the coaching carousel.

      Go Buffs

  3. Curious as to how much money it took to pull Leach out of Pullman. Looking back Leach has traveled from Lubbock to Pullman and now to Starkville. I would have to think hard about how much money it would take for me to live that long in those places. Probably not enough. I went to school in Boulder and love where I live in the San Juan Mountains. Call me spoiled rotten.
    And then there is Mickey who “cant wait to get to Memphis” Mickey is now like that boll weevil looking for a home. As long as it is below the Mason Dixon line….right Mickey? I wan to go to Memphis one of these days to eat at the Rendezvous and cruise Beale Street. That will take a few days and then be enough of that.

    1. I think in addition to a raise and being closer to his grandkids, the challenge intrigued mike.

      The San Juan mountains are certainly one of the prime places on the planet. Good for you for finding your niche there.

      As to Pullman? It is an interesting place. A lot of people hate it. But, it is sort of idyllic to raise kids there. You can let them roam and be kids. And not really worry. But you still have some exposure to the broader world.

      The Palouse, although i never appreciated it while I was there, is beautiful. And if you like being outdoors, there’s tons to do right there.

      It’s funny because it’s only an hour to Spokane. You might see six cars on the drive. I live an hour from Sacramento. I might see six thousand on that drive.

      But, compared to other pac 12 schools, or most d1 spots, it is considered a backwater, so a tough draw.

      It’ll be really interesting to see who they can get in there next.

      Whoever it is, Buffs better beat them.

      Go Buffs

  4. Ok, so Leach to the SEC. That’ll be a fun challenge for him. Who’s up next in Pullman? I can’t imagine they’ll find a better fit, honestly, than Leach (at least fit on the field). We’ll see.

    Go Buffs

  5. Dennis Dodd reporting that the Pirate has sailed from Pullman into the SEC: Mike Leach has taken job at Mississippi State.

  6. Had Seattle’s Tedric Thompson not torn his labrum resulting in surgery and being placed on IR, it would have been 56 Pac players and 5 Buffs participating this weekend.

  7. Thanks for the Tuscon link re. Harris…that’s the type of story/opinion that unfortunately is getting harder, harder to find.

  8. I have to disagree with the “wide margin” between Wisconsin and Ohio State, that did not play out in the Big 10 championship game. Not like the LSU and Oklahoma game where one team was significantly better then the other.

    1. “By the light of the moon” baby.

      Badgers lost 4 games. Bucks lost 1 game.
      Bucky was pretty good all year
      Buckeye was damn good all year.
      As I love the Badgers like my very own, they are a perfect fit with the Mighty Buffs..

      “Just don’t often get ‘Nice things’

      “Go Buffs” Badgers too

      Note: I just wish that ol…………………Even a blind squirrel finds an acorn…………… did not apply continually to the Mighty Buffs and Real Big Red…………………And it ain’t the portapotty corncobs..

      1. The problem is the cobs ruined red for everyone. You remember the ole…….”seeing red”….saying? Even different shades of red (crimson, maroon etc.) initiate some form of sub conscious annoyance.
        Besides I can’t go with the badgers because they are hockey rivals of Colorado College.

  9. WSU and the Zooms was the most intriguing matchup of the bowl season IMO. 2 programs, both one dimensional, with totally opposite offensive schemes. I am always curious how each D would prepare for the other without any one on the roster who could imitate the opposition on the scout team. The over rated Borghi was the only rushing option WSU has . In the end it was the time of possession by AF that didnt give Gordon enough time to even warm up. 350 yards passing is nice but it was a bad day for him. He was off target many times too.
    Will Leach finally get a dual QB and adjust his O? and make a frantic attempt to convince some real RBs of that? Naaah. His ego wont allow it.
    Speaking of off target the AF QB was 4 for 12 but it didnt matter last night. Somehow the football gods made him deadly against the Buffs,

    On to USC. My my….I was thinking USC would show better than that. It was almost as if MM was coaching them. No tears for them except I feel a little pity for Helton….notice the key word “little.”
    No tears for Bohn either, who has accepted a job with extreme pressure unless Helton’s firing was preplanned from the beginning and they thought they had a better chance of winning the bowl with Helton than anyone else they could plug in a the last moment.
    So tune in next week for the latest episode of “As the USC Stomach (and the rest of the PAC’s) Turns.” Will Meyer come in and will Helton receive A 20 MILLION BUYOUT? or will the USC pres stand by his proclamation Meyer wont be coming?
    If Meyer does get the gig it will be that much more satisfying when the Buffs finally take em down next year

    1. Actually ep I just voted in Stuart’s latest poll as “Depends” when rooting for the PAC 12 as I have to truthfully say I was rooting for Iowa last night. Heck when CU was in the Big 8 & 12 I never rooted for OU or NU in their bowl games to hell with those rival teams. Besides USC I’m still in the process of what PAC 12 teams I will root against in future bowl games, but I guarantee there will be more on my list. I guess I’m just a hater when it comes to the Buffs opponents.

  10. Clearly:

    AF is a good team and and the Buffs shoulda beat em.
    WSU is a bad team and how did the Buffs lose 41-10?
    Washington whips boise and the Buffs Whipped Washington
    SC killed by Iowa. Buffs shoulda whipped USC. Really.
    Pac 12 is weak 1 and 2 in bowls
    Can they even win one more game? Sheesh
    Buffs coulda shoulda been 8 and 4 There I said it.

    Buffs.

    Note: And a freshman shall lead them.

    1. Hard to argue with your comments VK. I hope that as these young players and new coaches become even more comfortable and used to each other those kind of games you just mentioned become very rare and we see the Buffs as one of the contending PAC 12 teams in the conference and nationally.

  11. Funny how that ‘Furd article conveniently ignored the HUUUGE change in their S&C program! Their former FB S&C guy was renowned for his innovative and creative ways of developing good athletes into great specimens; he had a long string of OL and TE All-Americans, as well as Christian McCaffery and Andrew Luck under his belt!.

    A year ago, he was made head of the entire Ath. Dept. S&C program, then got cross-wise with someone (#METoo-ed?) He was definitely a recruiting draw for both interior lines and TE types.
    Funny how ‘Furd never had this grad school blockage before…….

  12. “The money has never been better. The security? Well, that’s another thing.”
    (this from the CBS article on coaching hires)
    What a ridiculous statement
    The fact that the article was on Addazio who was just fired and hired at CSU proves that wrong. Speaking of CSU didnt Bobo get hired 5 minutes later after he was fired as an overpaid coordinator somewhere? Same with our ol buddy Mickey….his buddy Lindgren and on and on and on and on
    and the money is always good. Getting a 9 million payout for falling on your butt cheeks isnt security?

  13. ep, any truth to the rumor that you are going to attend and eulogize the late Jon Wilner at his memorial regarding the USC recruiting debacle and what a shame he had to leave us so suddenly on the just past LOI day?

    1. I thought you were “funnin” me but I googled Wilner anyway to make sure. Dang maybe if I dont say something nice to him before he does pass away I might feel guilty from that point on.
      (rapidly changing the subject)
      You must have some Stanford connections. See if you can get a line into Costello.

      1. I did have a Stanford connection, back in the day but he was a WW II vet so I guess you can guess that my connection is no longer with us. I can’t imagine that Costello would transfer to a PAC 12 school would he?

        1. I think I read where a dozen players were leaving the school. Be interesting to see how many stay in the PAC 12. Be more interesting to get the inside story over that mass defection.

          1. Yes I have been made aware of the many players leaving. I thought that David Shaw is supposed to be the perfect coach for Stanford, I also will be interested in what the heck is going on out there. I’m sure it will eventually come out.

          2. Jon Wilner posted an article that only four of the 12 were starters. Plus, Stanford just signed the No. 24 Recruiting Class.
            If CU lost a dozen players to the Transfer Portal, the Buff Nation would be in a panic. We’ll see if Shaw heads off to the NFL (if he was, why sign such a highly rated Class just to leave them). Otherwise, it will be hard to predict great things in 2020 for Stanford … though they will still be ranked above CU …

  14. Re: USC’s ranking, yes they are low, but with only 11 signing so far that will change; Leinart and other “spoiled children” are making a lot of noise about Helton and this class. They will still get good players from Cal that want to stay home and play in front of their family… AND get a free degree from a very expensive private school with a history of sending players to the NFL.

    With Graham Harrell getting a 3 year extension, maybe USC is going the same route as UW did, having Graham in waiting in case Helton doesn’t preform.

    The comment of Oregon becoming the west coast’s USC in recruiting is only because of Knight and his money, go back before that and they have no history; he’ll probably will leave them a very large endowment when he’s gone. But schools like USC will always have the money too, hell their alumni was willing to come up with 20 mill to get rid of Helton, maybe MB did us a favor by not being willing to write that check yet, if he fails this year they can just buy a new coach.

    Just think if CU had that kind of cash, some are already wondering if Tucker has big success if CU could afford to keep him, big difference from alumni willing to cough up 20 mill to get rid of a coach that won big games with a 3rd string freshman QB and other injuries.

    P.S. If CU had won that game I’m betting Helton would have been fired for losing their first game to the Buffs and falling lower in wins & losses.

  15. As to an eight team playoff, I have always thought that made the most sense. Not sure who or what drove the bus on just four.

    You have conference champs, best record from group of five and two at large. It could be done while honoring the old school marquee bowl games too.

    The other options to level that field are the pac 12 going to 8 conference and four non con, or the sec stepping up to nine.

    “Being better” isn’t necessarily going to help the pac 12 from canniabilizing itself every year.

    Hopefully the Buffs will be better though.

    Go Buffs

    1. Agree and an 8 team series would add another round of really interesting matchups. As it stands now, outside of the playoff games most of the bowl matchups are boring (see Utes, Univ of Utah).

  16. Addazio seems like a pretty bad hire. Everyone seems to hate him. Including every former player and coach, apparently? Or so the silly posters on Allbuffs say. Hell if I know. None of my coworkers that went to CSU seem happy. Poor little brother rammies =(

    Wilner says CU was much better than expected! So I’m sure that in the next article when grading coaches he’ll give Tucker a C-. Though, honestly, with the losses to Arizona and (especially) USC feeling like coaching mistakes I’m not sure myself what grade I would give Tucker for the year.

  17. Wow Butch Jones perhaps getting the CSU gig. I’ll never forget his antics in late 2012 when he interviewed here for the CU job, only to slink out the backdoor like a thief in the night for the job in Knoxville.

  18. Sheesh. Based on these comments it’s gonna be a long off season. Now I know why the DC dropped comments. GoBuffs beat the Jaysuckers!

  19. Time to put on the armchair coaching selector hat. Did Dr. Seuss have something like this in mind when he wrote “The Cat in the Hat?”
    I’m talking about to the CSU situation speculation of course. The only outside info on candidates I have is what was given above.
    The AD says he wants someone who has had successful experience at a high level. “Has” is the key word there which means this will be someone in the carousel club that has ridden it so long they have callouses on their butt. …and that sounds like it might not include Alford.
    The lambs would probably make Sarkisian fall of the wagon again.
    Don’t know all that much about Mora but every time I heard him speak he sounded like a downer.
    Tedford may really have some health problems that stress wouldnt help.
    Don’t know Graham’s situation at all.
    Jim Leavitt maybe the one. Indications are he still really really wants an HC job. Even after Taggart was fired he was promoted to DC at Florida State albeit probably on an interim and he resigned anyway and is applying for HC jobs in other places in Florida. I cant remember if he was ever considered as garden hat’s replacement. If he was turned down would a revenge tour motivate him?
    Last but certainly not least Urban is still out there. As you know, Fort Fun has been designated by someone as one of the top 5 cities to live in. OK…that was meant as sarcasm/satire but stranger things have happened. Kareem Abdul Jabbar was an ASSISTANT basket ball coach on one of the Indian reservations in my neighborhood for a while. (apples and oranges?)

  20. Ok so gotta love the Pac12 right? CU beats ASU. OU beats CU. ASU beats OU. UU beats CU. OU beats UU. You never now what’s going to happen week to week. Even though Pac12 doesn’t get into the CFP it’s a fun conference to watch.

    I have to admit I enjoyed watching the Ducks pound on the Utes. I thought CU had their way physically vs. the Utes in the first half last week. Mostly shut down Moss. Huntley is just OK. If it wasn’t for a kick return and two runs by a TE, then a blowout turns into a game? And when the Utes TE Kuithe scored his second TD and did the little yawn gesture, that is when I decided the Utes were a little too cocky and needed to a beat down this week. Boom.

    What will the Pac12 look like next year? I think Utah has peaked. Oregon loses all their seniors. It’s going to be interesting for sure.

  21. The Thelma and Louise shot on the Helton twitter replies was priceless. Thanks Stu for letting me start the day with a guffaw.
    It also got me to thinking it might provide earache with a little perspective. If all those POed USC fans were Buff fans it might trigger him into a going on a serial killing spree.
    It also provided me with a little perspective. Maybe Corn fans aren’t the worst ones in the world.
    Frost has 2 losing seasons and losses to the Buffs in a row. Helton got the condoms playing pretty dang well by the end of the season. I havent checked yet but I believe they are ranked.

  22. VK, I agree quite often with much of what you say. But you lose credibility when you make comments like “FHCMM was a total failure at CU.” Really? I am totally in agreement with the decision to let him go and hire a new head coach. He was not taking the program where it needed to go. But a total failure? I don’t think so. He did win the Pac12 South one year. And he was named national head coach of the year. Hard for me to understand how that was a “total failure.”

    1. Okay yur opinion. Maybe “total” was a bit strong. He did make a lot of money for basically no results over 6 years and while making all that money got his son’s education paid for………….not by him. And then to prove the point snuck out of town without even saying goodbye or thanks for the cash or nothing. Sorry, he has not credibility……………..

      .”He did win the Pac12 South one year. And he was named national head coach of the year.”..
      ..Best joke I have heard all year.

      Go Buffs
      Credibility is important eh?

  23. Here’s another funny thought. I’m full of ’em today… Maybe our pal Jim will look to get the CSU gig? Not too bad a commute from his place in Boulder, right?

    I’m sure he’s lobbying for one of the FL open spots. Or would think he is, if he really wants to be the head guy again.

    Anyway, landing him at CSU would really put the coaching vs. talent debate to the test, yeah? I think it’d be hilarious.

    Go Buffs

  24. As to USC keeping Helton? Only USC would consider firing a guy who’s won a conference championship, won their division a couple times, and went 8-4 with a new OC and their 2nd and 3rd string QBs.

    Now, as always, it’s a new year next year. And, Wilner’s right. Hell, he’s probably late. Helton Watch has already started.

    Yeah, who wants to be a D1 head football coach? Nutty.

    Go Buffs.

  25. Interesting how some would give the gardner 7 years and yet only give HCMT 2 years.

    Interesting how some would expect at a minimum 5 and 7 from a team that averaged 5 wins a year over the last 6 years of the gardner

    Interesting how some would expect more than the 3 wins in conference from a team that averaged a little of 2 for the last 6 years.

    The depth of the team is as it was the last 6 years. Not much.

    Next year will be the next step in the growth year of the Mighty Buffs under HCMT.
    If it’s another 5 and 7 year? He gets a couple of more years for sure.
    The previous coach who got 6 years went 6 and 18 in his first 2 and won 1 conference game in that time frame.

    I expect a much better overall performance next year from the HCMT coaching staff and the players. The talent that is leaving (Except Viska ….thanks Chev) is mediocre to midland. No offense to the players. Just how it is. No real development from the previous staff.

    So next big thing is the signing day in December
    Then the signing day in Feb. (The 4 star rb is not going to sign to February… I don’t like that.

    Then off we go to the next season and the spring camp and the summer camp and the fall camp.
    The days and weeks will drag by but the months will fly by and then here we go again.

    Can’t wait.

    Buffs.

    1. Good morning. You’re being passive aggressive again.

      I just have one question this morning. For ten years you said the talent was there to win. For ten years you said it was a matter of coaching. Now, suddenly, despite the best roster CU has had since rick to Gary, you lament about a bare cupboard. How is that?

      Go Buffs

      1. How is it that you would still have gardner coaching but already putting the pressure on HCMT…ie next year.

        It is not the best roster since rick to Gary…..You need to prove that…………….Fake news.

        For ten years it has been a matter of coaching. And it was. The proof is the DC in 2016. Other than that there was nothing.

        Anyway

        Buffs

        1. Now that’s funny. I’m putting pressure on Mel? Nobody here puts pressure on anyone in that building. But, I do apply a little to you, particularly when your logic flips b/c you like a guy or you don’t.

          Now, I know you know these facts, you just choose to ignore them b/c they don’t serve your latest narrative, but since you want me to show you, here you go (hopefully Stu doesn’t blow me out for too long a post).

          Rick to Gary, 8-4 in 1998 to 7-5 in 1999. 1999 roster included Mike Moschetti, and Bobby Pesavento, two decent CU QBs.

          O Line: Brad Bedell and Andre Gurode, those two guys did ok, yeah? Gurode played what, a decade in the NFL? Bedell made it too, right?

          TE: Daniel Graham. Dude did ok, yeah?

          WR: Marcus Stiggers, Javon Green

          RBs were OK, but not stellar – at least I don’t remember them beyond maybe Cortlen Johnson.

          But still that’s a decent offense, yeah? I mean you got a few NFL linemen, TE and serviceable D1 QBs there.

          On D they had guys like DBs: Michael Lewis, he only played what, a decade in the NFL? Rashidi Barnes was ok; Medford Moorer, Ben Kelley, Damen Wheeler, etc.

          Linebackers: Jashon Sykes, Ty Gregorak, Drew Wahlroos, pretty stout group there.

          D line, they only had guys like Justin Bannan.

          That 1999 team put four guys into the NFL in the 2000 draft, up from three in the 1999 draft.

          Now, from Gary to Dan, 2005 to 2006, we went from 7-6 (which I would argue was a bit of a farce, thanks to a weak Big 12 north, and as exhibit #1, 70-3) to 2-10 in 2006. Ugh. The horror. Nevertheless, the roster had:

          QB: Bernard Jackson, James Cox and Cody Hawkins. Super stellar lineup there. For sure.

          O line: Tyler Polumbus was a stud of sorts, but took a while to get there. Other “big names” included Daniel Sanders, Brian Daniels, and some others. Not quite Andre Gurode caliber, right?

          WR: Patrick Williams was the marquee guy, if I recall; Dusty Sprague did ok (for a smaller guy). But, seems like Gary inherited a better bunch, yeah? Weren’t most of the rest of the WRs in 2006 walk ons?

          RB: Hugh was a stud. Not an NFL stud, but certainly a solid D1 guy.

          TE: Riar Greer. Solid, but…

          On D you had guys like George Hypolite on the DL. He was a stud. I am not sure Justin Bannan stud, but maybe close?

          LBs: Thaddeus Washington and Jordan Dizon were the guys there, I think. Still I don’t think they were the caliber of Wahlroos, Sykes and Gregorak, do you?

          DB’s: Terrence Wheatley and Ryan Walters were the guys. Solid. Not sure they were Michael Lewis or Rashidi Barnes solid though.

          On to 2010 to 2011 from Dan to Jon, 5-7 to 3-10. Jon’s roster wasn’t great, and he certainly wasn’t loaded w/ guys to fit the style they wanted to implement on offense, nor probably defense.

          Jon had as QB – Tyler Hansen. Stevie Joe Dorman. Brent Burnette. Connor Wood (I believe you anointed him the savior when he transferred?) Impressive. With no slight to Tyler. He was actually an OK D1 QB. Not Moschetti or Pesavento OK, but… OK. Kinda Hawkins OK.

          O line: Daniel Munyer and Bahktiari were probably the guys there.

          WR: Paul Richardson. Tony Clemons. Spruuuuuuuce (as a freshman). Not bad.

          TE: nobody terrific

          RB: Speedy! Stud. D1 stud. Not NFL stud.

          On D? Had some decent DB’s; Jared Bell, Ray Polk, Anthony Perkins, etc. Solid, but not great.

          LB’s, Doug Rippy and Derek Webb were probably the guys, right? Meh.

          DLine: Will Pericek, Nate Bonsu, Chidera, they were the guys?

          Wow, this is long! Good thing I have a fair amount of free time (and answer my phone, email, and get a little work in between).

          2012 to 2013, Jon to Mike. From 1-11 to 4-8. Hey, there was hope. Mike inherited:

          QB – your boy Connor Wood, that highly touted guy from TX you probably thought would be a hero, who just never quite got there. Sefo Liufau as a freshman. With Jordan Gerhke and Jordan Webb. That’s a solid QB room right there.

          WR: DD, Paul, and some up and coming freshman (Ross, Bobo) and a developing Spruce. Not bad, considering.

          RB: Christian Powell and Tony Jones and Michael Adkins were the guys, I think. Phil was there, but didn’t he redshirt to rehab his knee still?

          OL: Weren’t Jeremy Irwin, Jack Harris and Stephone Nembot the guys? Serviceable.

          So there’s nobody at QB, an OK Oline, maybe (freshmen that year ended up being better though). Stud at WR, but? That’s that.

          And lastly, friggin whew, from Mike to Mel, 2018 to 2019, 5-7 to 5-7. Mel inherited:

          QB: 3rd yr starter and “possible” NFL draft pick QB, backed up by 4-star, 3yr guy, and 3-star guy whose dad was a stud college and serviceable NFL QB. I call that an improvement for every transition since Rick to Gary.

          RB: Fontenot and Mangham. I think we’re seeing Fontenot can be the guy. He has NFL potential, if he can realize it. Mangham? Certainly has the physical tools. Does he get the mental side of it?

          Oline: Purcell, likely an NFL guy. Lynott, may get a shot at the league. He brought in Hambright, good get; maybe underperformed a bit. Sherman, likely an NFL guy. Plus some serviceable guards, and rotational guys. I’d call that an upgrade, but it is admittedly hard to tell b/c projecting some of the youth. He’s certainly got some good dudes that he’s recruiting, but most of those guys were here.

          WR: Um, do I need to list these guys relative to other transitions? I will if you aren’t familiar. Let me know.

          TE: Brady likely gets a shot at the league. He works too damn hard, and is too damn smart. The rest of the guys? We’ll see. Very glad he’ll be back next year.

          Defense, on the Line: Mustafa – will be in the league. Terrence Lang? Could get a shot at the NFL. Too bad they couldn’t keep Izzy, b/c he may be an NFL guy. Again, Mel did a nice job bolstering that group, no doubt. Here’s to hoping they will develop as expected.

          LBs: Landman – could be. They may not like his speed, but maybe he’ll get a shot as special teams guy, or situational lb? Akil Jones is coming on. By his own admission, injuries and focus hindered him previously. Change of voice in his head may have helped, but… it’s really still Els, who is a solid coach.

          DBs, we know the story there. Definitely a weak area that Mel has built up nicely, it seems. But, he did lose 4 experienced guys from that group who “might” have made a difference. None were NFL guys though.

          So yeah, all in all, I say Mel inherited a whole lot more talent and depth, across the board, than any other coaching transition since Rick to Gary.

          Were there outliers in each position group over the last 20yrs? Sure. But, overall, the talent and depth is way better from Mike to Mel than any other transition.

          Just the facts, bub. And, the fact is, the cupboard was not bare. Does it need better stocking? Absolutely. It has for 20yrs. That is my point. Here’s to hoping Mel continues the improvement.

          I’m sure you’ll either go crickets, or quibble with some minor oversights or discrepancies in this review, but… the point is the same. Mel inherited a better roster than any other coach since Rick to Gary.

          And, as to my thoughts on Mel? Basically the same as with every other first year coach. Guardedly optimistic. A bit disappointed in the record, given the talent on offense he inherited. But? I chalk that up to a learning curve all around for first year staff, players, etc. And, as I’ve said, this 5-7 season definitely “felt” better than last year’s 5-7 season.

          They’re still in the win close/lose close phase though. Mel has to break through that.

          I really hope we’re not having this same conversation again in three or five more years.

          Go Buffs.

          1. Eric, Congrats! You now have the current record for longest post in CUATTHE GAME history. I think Stuart’s server just crashed.

          2. Totally, 96. I almost patted myself on the back for that. However, I cringed as I wrote it, and posted it, but I knew since LaVar would never, ever go into detailed roster comparisons, and would continue harping on my doing so to prove my point? Well, there we go.

            Another arrow in that argument’s quiver that I opted to gloss over – if anyone wants to take it on – is looking at the NFL draft guys (and un-drafted free agents) in year 1 of every new coach. Presumably that would indicate they inherited some talent.

            My guess is Mel’s 2020 draft class will have more guys than any since, well? Gary’s 2000 class (following his first year in 1999). Now, LaVar will credit Mel for developing them in that one-year’s span, but then… what about the backup QB’s he says didn’t develop at all? Other positions? Man, his pretzel logic is Hi Larious.

            I’m out. At least for long posts.

            Go Buffs.

          3. Now that was an earache.
            So what’s yur point Your praise of the team that HCMT inherited from FHCMM and there future is total speculation and hope. Similar to your hope for FHCMM to retire here even though after 3 years the truth was evident. HIs coaching staff was abysmally down level. 2016 was an anomaly and without the DC it would have been like all the other years under FHCMM. I mean look who he replaced him with for the bowl game. And then hired. Chev could coach WR and as recruiter help turn the Mighty Buffs around. But he wasn’t an OC…………at least not yet. FHCMM was a total failure at CU.

            He couldn’t recruit a lick.

            I was hoping woods would be the guy. So where you. I was hoping Montez would be the guy. So were you. He wasn’t. NFL?? Free agent contract?
            And did the qb before him make it? Asking for a friend. Drafted? All talk no personal improvement………….Same bad habits……….But I wish him well. Don’t forget the 2nd stringer qb was so good he was moved to DB

            TE. Weak and you know it. Nice little attitude. But nfl ST. Bisharat was a tight end. There is some heavy depth. Another one went on the transfer portal. I had high hopes for him too.

            RB? Ya okay but only one. No Depth. So you think the new RB is dumb and can’t handle it mentally? Nice. Running game was so much better this year. Coaching? Nah.

            Receivers? You can thank Chev. FHCMM was useless in recruiting. He was good at accepting awards though.

            The Oline. Hmmmmm The Oline was much better this year than the last two years. Same personnel from a depth standpoint but the coaching was so much better than what FHCMM provided from an assistant coaching standpoint. Much better and the rise here is showing eh? But even with that the QB just couldn’t make it happen. Old habits for such a young guy too. But maybe the football future is bright for him
            The offense under FHCMM has been middling or worse since he showed up. HCMT got a weak offensive present from FHCMM

            The defense was ok then bad then pretty damn good.
            DLine…………..Some nfl players there? Maybe Sami one year….Some good freshman too………oh wait they don’t count in what FHCMM passed on to HCMT.

            Now landman and that crew was a nice small gift to HCMT. Actually a very nice gift with Wells etc.

            DB’s…………….a joke ……………half left when they realized this was now bigboy football……………FHCMM did go after any of em…………Decommit DB’s too. No FHMM chasing any of them. How funny.

            Receivers turned to DB’s. No depth….No experience. Anyone to the nfl in this group? What was your favorite word above? Serviceable?

            Fact is HCMT inherited a bare cupboard. Some talent with no depth. Now that talent except for Viska was as you say………………all serviceable.

            Serviceable equals mediocrity. No depth equals a losing record. Hence FHCMM legacy……………………..

            You can ache your ear all you want about how this is the best transfer blah blah blahblah………….. since…………..blah blah blah…………………..It may be……………don’t care………….cause it is not relevant……………….what is relevant is that it was a midland team with no depth………………….. that was handed to HCMT.

            And you are disappointed cause they didn’t make a bowl.

            Every game every year for the last seven you stated. I know the coaches will get it figure out. They are professionals. They will do it. Just so close now. Blah blah blah………………..You could’t see the gardner for the weeds.

            Anyway yur a good speculator but your picture is broken.

            Go Buffs.

            And a freshman shall lead them…………………….be here in the spring.

          4. Oh LaVar, good effort. The future is always speculation and hope. Always.

            My point? Mel inherited the best roster compared to any other coaching transition since Rick to Gary. That’s quite clear.

            2016 team produced four draft picks from the defense, and four others who got UDFA deals. None were brought in by your pal Jim. Yeah. His year with them was yuge, and created their success. Oh. Ok.

            Receivers? I definitely give Chev credit for bringing them in. I still wonder why they don’t seem to perform to their expectations though. Had to have been the last HC, right?

            O Line. There you go. Dudes who coached them for a year made them better, but they cannot coach the QBs and make them better? Other position groups? What? Try again?

            Freshmen Mel brought in? I give him full credit for that. No qualms there. Doesn’t take away from the existing guys he inherited though.

            You still say Mel inherited a bare cupboard. That’s just false. It fits your new narrative though, that fits the guy you like.

            Mel got a better cupboard than any other coaching transition since Rick to Gary. Fully stocked? Nope. That’s the problem. If it were fully stocked, we’d be winning.

            Hopefully Mel will get us there.

            And yes, I’m disappointed every year they don’t make a bowl. That’s a lot of disappointment over the last 20yrs, my man. I believe that’s one thing we agree upon.

            And, I’m always guardedly optimistic, and filled with hope for the future instead of sour grapes about the past.

            Good luck twisting your logic this off season.

            I’ll keep it real.

            Go Buffs.

        2. Ear of the Ache,

          Yur point is what? He got a better transfer of a team than the 3 previous coaches? So what? They were all incompetent anyway.

          That transfer team to HCMT was less than mediocre That senior class was 24 and 26 and if not for the DC it would have been much worse.

          So Go look at 2018 and 2019 roster and the depth chart.

          You might learn something.

          Buffs.

          Fact: FHCMM took the money and ran. Didn’t even say good bye.

          The cupboard was bare………………and you can change the discussion to who got the best transfer class………………makes no difference…………..

          Anyway done……………

  26. Yo az,

    Ep liked him a lot. But mostly cause he hated HWSRN so much and wants us all to know that it was Peterson not the flimflam man #1

    The Buff cupboard is going from bare to kinda full. Even with the “loss” of those 17 seniors.

    Go Buffs.

    Note: Did you here that garden hats (Alias flimflam man #2) boss was fired today?

    1. This year may have been Peterson’s worst W/L record ever. If not its close. He probably shamed himself with that letdown.
      Yup…heard Mickey was fired as well being collateral damage to the peeing dog posture…among other things I’m sure. Do Ole (Not Ol) Miss assistants get a buyout? Even if they dont Mickey has enough money to retire nicely….and being a stand up Christian guy, materialism shouldnt matter that much. He should follow Jimmy Carter into his form of retirement doing good deeds for the less fortunate instead of making football players less fortunate.

  27. AZ, head football coaches get zero time off. Zero.

    Heck, I always say to my wife – to her chagrin – I never get a day off, but I have a lot of free time. And, I am not a football coach. Talk about a friggin’ 24/7 grind. And, really, only about 20% -30% of their “job” is football related. They’ve got 105 kids, countless staff, etc. donors, speaking engagements, and all the things that go into that, battering them about. Daily. Not to mention the pressure to win, etc. It’s never ending. Petey also has a special needs kid. It’s one reason he went to Boise and stayed there so long. Their support system was solid there. Seattle and UW were also well set up to help on that front.

    Do head coaches make a crap-ton? Yeah. But, in most cases, move their families every 3-5 years. More frequently as they work to get to that point. Would I want that gig? No. Would you? Would any of us?

    You have to be a little bit masochistic to choose that as your profession. There really are many easier ways to make a lot of money. And, you have to really love the “developing kids into adults” aka teaching piece too. Crazy. I think we fans forget that.

    Ultimately, they’re just dudes doing what they do, giving it all they got. Even when some of us think they may not be (and yes, just like anything, there are dirtbags in that profession too, just like any/every walk of life, but… that’s a whole other story, and like in life the % of dirtbags is relatively low). But I digress.

    It’ll be really interesting to see how Lake does up there. He was my preferred choice to come to CU after Mac got canned. Rumor has it, he was offered the job and declined it. Maybe now we know why.

    So far, Mel’s doing OK. I’m a bit disappointed in the W/Ls of the year, but like most of us, 5-7 “feels” better this year than the last two. Hopefully that’s not just another illusion. I think that’s the best first year record of any new CU coach since Rick to Gary (and the roster was also the best since that transition) so maybe that should have been the lowest expectation, but? There were some marquee events/wins, that somehow make it feel better than just another 5-7 bowl-less season just like every other year of the last 15 (2016 excepted).

    2020 is when the rubber meets the road. We need a friggin’ QB, that’s for sure. Not much margin for error there. Hopefully someone can step up whether the dudes that are there now, the freshman or a grad transfer. Without a QB, it could get really ugly before it gets better.

    Go Buffs.

  28. ep’s favorite coach suffers burnout. I assume he will maybe surface again as Urban Meyer did but who knows. With the new early signing date I understand that college football coaches get very little time off and once the fall practice begins in Aug. it is a 16/hrs/day for those that are consumed by the job.

    Hope this doesn’t happen to HCMT before he gets this CU thing turned around. Of course Peterson has been at it once he took over for that Coach of all Coaches, the “Great Hawk.”

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