POSTED: February 21, 2020

Pac-12 Notes


Pac-12 Notes

February 23rd

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Jon Wilner weighs in: “What Colorado constituents need most, is faith”

From the San Jose Mercury News … The Hotline will have plenty to say about Colorado’s football hire just as soon as Colorado makes a football hire.

(We’ve already said quite a bit.)

For now, we’re left to digest the reports (from Yahoo and USA Today) that Karl Dorrell is the frontrunner for the job.

Yes, that Karl Dorrell:

The former UCLA head coach who had one quality season in five for the Bruins and who hasn’t been a head coach in more than a decade.

Given that the search has taken and few twists and that hires aren’t done until they’re done, we’ll refrain from a deep dive on Dorrell — for now — and instead offer one reaction to the state of the search.

At this point, what Colorado constituents need most, is faith.

Faith in athletic director Rick George.

The timing is bad, the candidate pool is less-than-inspiring, and CU fans have to hope George gets it right.

George is deeply respected in the industry.

He seemed to make a shrewd hire with Mel Tucker a year ago.

He knows Colorado, and Colorado football, as well as anyone.

Read full story here

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February 21st

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Colorado State faculty ask university leaders to cut athletic spending in historic vote

From the Coloradoan … Colorado State University’s on-campus football stadium opened 2½ years ago.

While the debate over the real and perceived impacts of the $220 million stadium have since quieted, unease over the university’s increased athletic spending is still roiling in the stadium’s shadow.

Citing annual NCAA reports that show the university’s “subsidy” to athletics — funding from CSU’s general fund and a mandatory student athletic fee — had increased to $25.4 million in 2018-19, CSU’s Faculty Council passed a resolution Nov. 5 urging the “administration to significantly reduce athletic program subsidies, and to use the savings to support the university’s primary academic mission.”

The resolution, faculty council’s first in 11 years and one of only a handful in the past 35 years to be approved and forwarded to the administration, passed by a 46-24 vote with one of the council’s voting members abstaining. The 128-member Faculty Council has 103 eligible voters representing the university’s thousands of academic faculty.

Faculty Council members Steven Shulman and Mary Meyer said the resolution’s goal is to redirect some university support for athletics to reduce what students are paying in tuition and fees.

“You look back over the past decade, and the subsidy has essentially doubled,” Shulman, an economics professor, said. “So, even though athletics gets bigger and bigger and does generate more and more revenue, it is generating even more and more costs. So, it keeps relying more and more on support from the university. The program is becoming less and less self-sufficient over time.”

Continue reading story here

USC canceling game against FCS UC-Davis (and Dan Hawkins)

From ESPN … USC athletic director Mike Bohn said his school has informed UC Davis officials of its plan to cancel a scheduled game between the programs on Sept. 4, 2021.

Speaking on the 24/7 Sports podcast, Bohn said USC will replace UC Davis with an FBS opponent. USC is one of three FBS programs, along with rivals UCLA and Notre Dame, that hasn’t played an FCS program since the Division I split in 1978.

The USC-UC Davis matchup, which was to be at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, was first announced last July.

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February 19th

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NCAA to study idea of one transfer with no penalty

From ESPN … The NCAA Division I transfer waiver working group is considering a concept that would allow athletes in all sports to transfer once without sitting out a year of competition.

If adopted by the Division I council, the new waiver criteria would allow athletes in all sports to compete immediately if they are in good academic standing, not facing suspension at their original school, and receive a release to transfer. The NCAA’s announcement comes a day after the ACC voiced its support for a one-time transfer exemption for athletes in all sports.

The waiver transfer working group will gather feedback about the new concept in advance of the Division I Council’s April meeting, and targets approval for those transferring during the 2020-21 academic year.

“The current system is unsustainable,” said Mid-American Conference commissioner Jon Steinbrecher, chair of the transfer waiver working group. “Working group members believe it’s time to bring our transfer rules more in line with today’s college landscape.”

NCAA rules currently allow a one-time transfer exemption for athletes in all but five sports: football, men’s basketball, women’s basketball, baseball and men’s ice hockey. Athletes transferring in those sports must sit out a year of competition unless they graduate from their original institution or obtain an immediate-eligibility waiver from the NCAA.

Continue reading story here

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February 18th

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Mel Kiper Mock Draft 2.0 – Laviska Shenault falls out of the first round

From ESPN … The Kansas City Chiefs are Super Bowl LIV champs, and now it’s time to turn the page to 2020 NFL draft season, which is my time to shine. With the combine a few days away — we have some fun stuff in store for you on ESPN next week — let’s project every first-round pick in my Mock Draft 2.0.

Last month, I had four Round 1 quarterbacks in my Mock Draft 1.0. This time I have … four quarterbacks going in Round 1, but three of them are matched to different teams. You’ll also find a slew of receivers and offensive tackles, plus impact defenders across the board. There might also be a few prospects you haven’t heard much about.

Team needs will change, obviously, as free agency sorts itself out, but these are my 1-32 predictions for every team as it stands right now, using a combination of my Big Board rankings, how I see each team’s needs and which positions could be upgraded.

From the Pac-12 … 

  • No. 5 – Justin Herbert, Oregon … Miami Dolphins
  • No. 23 – Jacob Eason, Washington … New England Patriots

But … in Mel Kipers’ Big Board rankings

21. Laviska Shenault Jr., WR, Colorado

HT: 6-foot-2 | WT: 220 | Previously: 12

Shenault is such a fun prospect; just check out this tremendous touchdown catch to see some of his athleticism. He plays wide receiver like a running back and is stellar after the catch. The Colorado staff was smart about moving him all over the field to get the ball in his hands, even playing him as a Wildcat quarterback at times. Shenault had 86 catches for 1,011 yards and 11 total touchdowns (five rushing) in 2018, and he had four receiving TDs and two rushing scores this past season while dealing with inconsistent quarterback play. Although he isn’t as developed of a route runner as the other receivers in my top 25, that should come with mo

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February 17th

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ESPN First Preseason Football Power Index has three Pac-12 teams in Top 25 (CU in at No. 56)

From ESPN … Clemson fell short in the national championship game, but for the second straight year, the Tigers enter the season as the top team, according to the first Football Power Index rankings of 2020. Clemson returns six starters on each side of the ball, including all four defensive linemen and one of the favorites to win the Heisman in quarterback Trevor Lawrence.

Just behind Clemson is the team the Tigers beat in the PlayStation Fiesta Bowl: Ohio State. The Buckeyes return only nine starters (five on offense, four on defense), but that group includes Heisman favorite Justin Fields at quarterback.

The SEC had three of the top four teams in last season’s preseason FPI, including eventual national champion LSU. This year, Alabama is the only SEC team in the preseason top five. LSU is outside the top 10 after losing 14 starters from its championship-winning squad.

The Pac-12 hasn’t sent a team to the College Football Playoff in the past three seasons and based on preseason FPI, that trend will continue this year. It’s the only Power 5 conference without a team in the top 10; USC is 13th and Oregon is 14th.

The SEC (seven) and Big Ten (six) combine to occupy more than half of the top 25. Every Power 5 conference has at least three schools in this year’s top 25.

From the Pac-12 (and CU’s 2020 opponents) … 

  • No. 8 … Texas A&M 
  • No. 13 … USC
  • No. 14 … Oregon
  • No. 24 … Utah
  • No. 28 … Stanford
  • No. 29 … Washington
  • No. 30 … Cal
  • No. 41 … Arizona State
  • No. 49 … UCLA
  • No. 54 … Washington State
  • No. 56 … Colorado
  • No. 63 … Arizona
  • No. 67 … Oregon State
  • No. 93 … Fresno State
  • No. 96 … Colorado State

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February 16th

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Stewart Mandel: Tucker exodus further evidence of Pac-12’s decline

From Stewart Mandel at The Athletic … Folks, I’m here today to officially recant my previous position on a certain topic.

Last year, as Pac-12 fans increasingly made known their collective angst over the conference’s football struggles, I tried to assure them that the league will eventually rebound. “Call me crazy, but my guess is sometime in the next five years, a roster of coaches that includes (Chris) Petersen, (David) Shaw, (Chip) Kelly, Mike Leach and … maybe Urban Meyer? … will figure this thing out at some point,” I wrote last May.

As you may have noticed, Petersen and Leach are no longer in the conference. Kelly has thus far been a dud at UCLA, Shaw is coming off the worst season of his Stanford tenure and Clay Helton, not Urban Meyer, remains the coach of USC.

More regrettably: “I don’t share the same degree of panic about the impact of (the Pac-12’s) revenue gap. … Money is not near the top of the list of reasons why Pac-12 teams are struggling in football.”

Guess what? I was wrong about all of it.

I’m no longer confident the Conference of Champions is going to rise back up into a regular CFP participant in short order. The coaching lineup is underwhelming. The recruiting is alarming. And now, I finally share their fans’ panic over the mounting revenue gap between the Pac-12 and the Big Ten/SEC.

How could I not be after what just happened with Mel Tucker?

Michigan State on Tuesday stunningly whisked away Colorado’s head coach after just one season on the job. It’s not so much that Tucker chose to leave, but that a second-tier Big Ten school — clearly desperate to save face after a rejection from its top choice, Cincinnati’s Luke Fickell — has such deeper pockets than a rank-and-file Pac-12 member that it could more than double Tucker’s $2.75 million salary and double his assistants’ salary pool of $3.15 million.

We can rightfully question the wisdom of Michigan State paying more than $5 million a year to a guy with a lone 5-7 season as a head coach, but Michigan State essentially big-timed Colorado like it was a Group of 5 school rather than a fellow Power 5 program.

“Leaving Colorado was probably the toughest thing that I have ever done in my career, in my life, actually,” Tucker said Wednesday. “But this is the right time for me to be here. … The commitment is here. The resources are here, the want-to; the leadership is here.”

It was much the same thing last month when Leach left Washington State for middling SEC team Mississippi State. Some might view that as a lateral move at best, but Leach, who led the Cougars to the best four-year run in their history from 2015-18, is upping his salary from $3.75 million to $5 million a year. His assistant salary pool went from $3.2 million to $4.7 million.

“I’ve always wanted a quality place where people are committed to winning,” Leach said at his introductory press conference. “The recruiting base here is hard to resist.”

Pac-12 commissioner Larry Scott said recently that the conference’s three consecutive seasons without a College Football Playoff berth has been “harmful to our brand.” So, too, is losing three sitting head coaches in three years to other Power 5 jobs. (Oregon’s Willie Taggart bolted to Florida State in 2017.) It’s only one less than the Group of 5’s AAC has lost over the same span.

Conference officials across the sport insist football is a priority, yet they’re often either unwilling or unable to play by the sport’s admittedly out-of-whack economics. There’s a philosophical aversion to wildly overpaying for a coach like Michigan State just did.

Continue reading story here (subscription required) …

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February 14th

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Mel Tucker the 19th Pac-12 coach since 1975 to leave for “greener” pastures

From Tucson.com  … Every precinct in the Pac-12 recoils with contempt when their football coach takes somebody else’s money and runs. It’s the we-were-betrayed syndrome.

Betrayal is more common in college football than a quarterback sack.

This time, Colorado’s Mel Tucker jumped to Michigan State, doubling his salary. There is no mystery to that. The real issue should be that the transaction makes no financial sense, which is the No. 1 problem in college sports.

Last month, the Spartans paid former coach Mark Dantonio a $4.3 million bonus. Now they will pay Tucker’s $3 million buyout at Colorado. Why? Because they can. It’s straight out of Moneyball 101.

Tucker’s decision to bolt from Colorado after one year — a 5-7 season at that — is Chapter 1 in the “Career Advancement” handbook of coaching. He is the second one-and-done Pac-12 football coach in the last three years, following Oregon’s Willie Taggart, who bounced from the Ducks to Florida State before anyone could be sure if he spelled Taggart with an “a” or an “e.”

Taggart is now living off an $18 million buyout from FSU, which fired him before he could finish Year 2 in Tallahassee.

The origin of this move toward fiscal insanity in college football is unknown, but Arizona was at or near the start of it. The Tuckers and Taggarts have nothing on the Wildcats.

… By my count, Tucker is the 19th football coach from a Pac-12 school to pursue a follow-the-money career path since USC’s John McKay left for the NFL’s Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 1975. No school in the league has been untouched. There is always a bigger and better job, with more zeros on the paycheck.

It’s the Tex Oliver syndrome.

USC not only lost McKay to the NFL, it lost John Robinson and Pete Carroll. All won national championships at ’SC and were quick to give photographers the “Fight On” pose. That’s as phony as Mel Tucker punching up a tweet last week declaring he was “committed” to the Buffs.

Continue reading story here

Arizona State AD Michael Crow: Pac-12 “well positioned” (despite evidence to the contrary)

From the San Jose Mercury News … When Pac-12 presidents and chancellors talk, the Hotline listens.

They are the bosses, after all.

One of them talked earlier this week. And it wasn’t just any president. It was a president who occupies a special place in the Pac-12 leadership dynamic.

Arizona State’s Michael Crow was chair of the CEO Group that hired commissioner Larry Scott.

He negotiated Scott’s contract.

He has been Scott’s staunchest supporter over the decade.

Crow sat down with Doug and Wolf from 98.7 FM in Phoenix to discuss a variety of issues. True to form, he painted a rosy picture.

“I think we’re well positioned,” Crow said, “and I am a supporter of Larry’s.”

Crow was asked about the hottest topic of the week: Michigan State plucking Mel Tucker from Colorado for twice the salary.

Tucker, who has a 5-7 career record, will make $5.5 million in East Lansing next season — more than any coach in the Pac-12 is expected to earn.

The development was the latest and most glaring example of the resource advantage possessed by the Big Ten and SEC, which distribute $22 million and $12 million more per school per year in media rights, respectively, than the Pac-12.

“We’ve got some runaway things going on in some of the conferences relative to salaries for coaches, so we have a completely different model,’’ Crow said.

“We need football and men’s basketball to be very competitive because they generate the revenue by which we make our programs work.

“But we’re not going to buy into this endless model of whatever it takes, whatever happens, this sport is more important than all these other sports.”

In the other Power Five conference, football is considered more important than “all these other sports.”

Continue reading story here

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February 12th

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CBS: Laviska Shenault one of top five receivers: “A horse in the open field”

From CBS Sports … This is the draft you want your team to pick a wide receiver. Actually, selecting two wouldn’t be a bad idea.

The likes of CeeDee Lamb, Jerry Jeudy, and Tee Higgins will be off the board rather quickly, and for good reason. But the depth at the position is downright insane and indicative of how important receivers are to the college game today.

Just last year, Day 2 picks at receiver like D.K. Metcalf, A.J. Brown, Terry McLaurin, and Deebo Samuel had the best rookie pass-catcher seasons , and their successes serve as a reminder that it’s very possible to find instant-impact wideouts outside of Round 1.

The prospect rankings below are based on the CBS Sports composite rankings. Each prospect is listed with his overall rating, which roughly translates as follows: 90s are for players considered Round 1 locks, 80s should go in the first three rounds, 70s are expected to be drafted and 60s are on the draft bubble.

5. Laviska Shenault, Colorado, 88

I’ve repeatedly referred to Shenault as a horse in the open field, and at 6-2 and 220 pounds with twitchy movements and tremendous acceleration, I’m sticking with that human-to-animal comparison. Imagine trying to tackle a horse in an open field. Not happening.

With average quarterbacking, Shenault racked up 142 catches for 1,775 yards (12.5 per) and scored 10 total receiving touchdowns in his last two years at Colorado. He also reached the end zone seven times on the ground. Because of his running back like juking skills and plus contact balance, his coaching staff utilized him as a wildcat quarterback and on more end arounds and straight handoffs than any of the other top receivers in this class. Shenault accumulated 276 yards on his last 40 carries for the Buffaloes (6.9 yards per), so the team that drafts him will be adding that element its offense.

Red flags? Well, Shenault did have two quasi-mysterious injures in 2018 and 2019 and was held under 50 yards receiving in six of his 11 outings as a junior.

Read full story here

Sports Illustrated: College Football turning into Power 2 + Clemson

From Pat Forde at Sports Illustrated … The state of college athletics, as viewed through the events of Tuesday, Feb. 11, 2020:

Congress brings NCAA president Mark Emmert to Capitol Hill and tells him and the rest of the association to get its act together. A Senate subcommittee wants a tangible plan for compensating athletes, and Emmert offers none. Later, a Michigan State football coaching search in total disarray finds the only way out—throwing a king’s ransom in salary at a coach with a career 5–7 record to lure him away after one season at Colorado, where he will leave a fresh signing class and everyone else in the lurch.

Is this a great system or what?

Leader of college sports: We are working (at gunpoint) on a means of squeezing out a few eyedrops of money to our most marketable and popular athletes, but it is very complicated, and if this gets out of hand it could ruin everything.

Prominent athletic department, later that same day: We are building a golden throne for a guy who hasn’t proven anything as a head coach—because we can, and because we’re desperate.

College revenue sports have never been as stupid as they are right now—as riddled with hypocrisy and inconsistency, as rife with fiscal irresponsibility, as drunk on revenue, as lacking in strong leadership. Men’s basketball is a diminished product that elite players view as a necessary evil, while administrators remain in denial about the underground economy that ran the sport for decades. Football is an increasing caste system that rewards outrageous and irresponsible spending as the Power 5 conferences stratify into the Power 2 Plus Clemson.

Which brings us back to Michigan State, fortunate member of the Power 2, and Mel Tucker, fortunate drinker from the revenue spigot. This became the latest and greatest example of how dysfunctional coaching searches end these days: just wallpaper over your mistakes with stacks and stacks of cash and hope it works out.

From his yacht in the afterlife, George Steinbrenner approves of this strategy. He would have made a great 21st century athletic director.

… How did they get Tucker to change his mind? With what The Athletic reported will be an annual salary of double the $2.7 million he made at Colorado in 2019.

Yes, they’re paying at least $5.5 million to a guy who had a losing record in his only year as a head coach, despite inheriting a four-year starting quarterback (Steven Montez) who leaves Colorado as the school’s all-time leader in total offense, and potential first-round NFL draft pick Laviska Shenault at wide receiver. The Buffaloes were outscored by more than eight points per game, with losses to Oregon by 42, Washington State by 31, Utah by 30 and a very bad UCLA team by 17.

This gets a guy more than $5 million a year? Sure it does, when the paying institution has more money than sense.

Continue reading story here

USA Today: Competitive imbalance on display in Tucker money grab

From USA Today … Mere hours after a media tour to explain why he had rejected overtures from Michigan State to remain as Colorado’s football coach, Mel Tucker reversed course Tuesday night and reached an agreement to leave Boulder after just one season and head to East Lansing.

The machinations of the move aren’t terribly difficult to figure out. According to a report in The Athletic, Michigan State will “more than double” Tucker’s guaranteed salary of $2.4 million and will give him significantly more resources to build his staff than he had at Colorado. For anyone in coaching, that’s a significant bump in pay. For someone who went 5-7 in his only season as a head coach, it’s an opportunity you can’t turn down.

Though the optics of Tucker’s sudden change of heart are awkward at best, it would be silly to criticize him for being disloyal. As one coach who recently got a mind-blowing contract told me, you might only have real leverage in these situations a few times in your life so you better take advantage. As Michigan State’s search for Mark Dantonio’s replacement became increasingly desperate, Tucker had it and used it. Good for him.

But it would be impossible to let this particular money grab pass without noting that it came on the same day several college athletics leaders — including NCAA president Mark Emmert and Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby — went in front of a Senate subcommittee to argue that more money for athletes through name, image and likeness rights could create a competitive imbalance.

Earth to Mark and Bob: Your sport is already there.

Because even within the ecosystem of the Power Five, where the powerbrokers like to believe in a level playing field, it is now obvious that there are haves and have nots based on nothing more than the ability to pay coaches. When a Big Ten school can pile up the money so high in front of a Pac 12 coach with a 5-7 career record that he would be dumb not to take the job, it’s time to admit that more money for the players is a potential solution to the imbalance rather than the extinction event of the college model.

Continue reading story here

Jon Wilner: Tucker’s departure can be laid at the feet of Larry Scott

From the San Jose Mercury News … Tucker’s departure is painful for the Pac-12 in a practical sense and devastating symbolically.

A non-blue blood from the Big Ten with greater resources than Colorado swoops in and plucks Tucker away, and there’s nothing the Buffaloes can do to stop it.

We write often about the Pac-12’s revenue and resources here on the Hotline …

About the long-haul challenges facing the Pac-12 in its attempts to keep pace with the Big Ten and the SEC …

And Tucker’s departure is a glaring, if somewhat unexpected, example of our reasoning.

The Spartans are doubling Tucker’s salary, according to The Athletic’s Bruce Feldman, who broke the story, and they’re providing him with a vastly larger salary pool for assistant coaches.

Tucker earned $2.4 at Colorado last year, according to the USA Today salary database.

He will double that at MSU, per Feldman.

The salary pool for Tucker’s assistants was $3.16 in Boulder (USAT).

It is expected to double in East Lansing (Feldman).

… So yes, Tucker’s departure can be traced — not completely, perhaps, but partly — to conference strategy.

Who’s the next coach to leave voluntarily, lured away by richest in other regions?

Who’s the next coordinator to make a lateral move?

How long can the conference endure?

And: Should the schools put their full faith in Scott to lead the negotiations, to make the right move strategically when media rights deals are on the table?

(Colorado chancellor Phil DiStefano is head of the CEO Group, by the way.)

Buffaloes fans have every right to be frustrated — frustrated with Tucker, frustrated with the Pac-12, frustrated generally and universally.

And Pac-12 fans have every reason to wonder what the ultimate fallout will be from the resource gap.

Continue reading story here

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February 11th

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NCAA President asks for Congressional intervention in NIL debate

Related … “Four takeaways from the name, image, likeness debate as NCAA prez Mark Emmert appears before Congress” … from CBS Sports

From ESPN … NCAA president Mark Emmert urged Congress to step in and put restrictions on college athletes’ ability to earn money from endorsements, telling a Senate committee Tuesday that federal action was needed to “maintain uniform standards in college sports” amid player-friendly laws approved in California and under consideration in other states.

The NCAA last fall said it would allow players to “benefit” from the use of their name, image and likeness and is working on new rules that it plans to reveal in April. Under the NCAA’s timeline, athletes would be able to take advantage of endorsement opportunities beginning next January.

Meanwhile, more than half of U.S. states are considering legislation that would force the NCAA to allow players to earn money off their personal brand in a bid to address the inequities in the multi-billion-dollar college sports industry. California passed a law last year that gives broad endorsement rights to players and is set to take effect in 2023. Florida and other states could grant players those rights as soon as this year.

The NCAA’s concern, echoed by Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby, who also testified Tuesday, is that endorsement deals for athletes would have a negative effect on recruiting, with schools and boosters in states with athlete-friendly laws using money to entice players to sign with certain schools.

“If implemented, these laws would give some schools an unfair recruiting advantage and open the door to sponsorship arrangements being used as a recruiting inducement. This would create a huge imbalance among schools and could lead to corruption in the recruiting process,” Emmert said. “We may need Congress’ support in helping maintain uniform standards in college sports.”

Continue reading story here

Michigan State search may turn to Cal coach; former CSU coach

From CBS Sports … Mark Dantonio stepped down as Michigan State’s head coach on Feb. 4 after 13 seasons and three Big Ten titles with the Spartans, and the coaching search that’s ensued has run into as many dead ends as a 3-year-old encounters inside a 2-acre corn maze. Several high-profile coaches, as well as some not-so-high profile names, have advised the Spartans to move on, leaving them in a precarious spot as spring practice nears.

… Needless to say, this is a bad look for Michigan State. Typically a medium-to-high profile program in the Big Ten with plenty of money to spend should not be scrambling to find a coach, even during an odd time on the calendar. Yet, here the Spartans are — left out in the cold in the dead of winter.

Who’s left …

Central Michigan coach Jim McElwain is one of the top names out there, and for good reason. McElwain orchestrated one of the most remarkable turnarounds in recent memory last season, when he took a team that went 1-11 in 2018, posted an 8-6 record and won the MAC West title in his first season in 2019. He’s 52-33 overall at stops at Colorado State (2012-14), Florida (2015-17) and Central Michigan (2019), has five bowl appearances and won the SEC East in 2015 and 2016 while with the Gators.

Yahoo! Sports reported Monday that California’s Justin Wilcox and Kentucky’s Mark Stoops could be included on the new list of candidates. Alabama offensive analyst Butch Jones might be another option considering he has significant head coaching experience at Central Michigan, Cincinnati and Tennessee.

Former Wisconsin and Arkansas coach Bret Bielema is another high-profile name to keep an eye on. Sources have told CBS Sports that he is interested in the job after spending the last two seasons on the New England Patriots staff. He was named the outside linebackers coach for the New York Giants last month, but would likely sprint to East Lansing to get another shot at a Big Ten job.

Read full story here

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February 10th

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USC steals top recruiter (and cornerbacks coach) from Oregon

From 247Sports.com … An Oregon coaching staff member has been hired away by another Pac-12 school. On Monday, Bruce Feldman reported that the USC Trojans are expected Oregon cornerbacks coach Donte Williams away from the Ducks.

“Oregon CB coach Donte Williams is expected to become the new corners coach & Pass Game Coordinator at USC,” tweeted Feldman. “Big move by the Trojans staff and their new brass.”

247Sports’ USC reporter Gerard Martinez confirmed the hire as well saying that Williams has signed his deal with USC.The hire by USC comes after Williams finished as the No. 1 recruiter in the Pac-12 according to 247Sports and had a very successful season with the cornerbacks at Oregon.

Throughout his career, Donte Williams has been known as a sharp recruiter following his stint as a graduate assistant at Washington from 2011-2012. Williams then became the recruiting coordinator in addition to secondaries coach at San Jose State from 2014-15, before moving to Arizona in 2016 and Nebraska in 2017. Across all of his stops, Williams has been recognized as a top recruiter, picking up 247Sports Mountain West Recruiter of the Year in 2014 and named by Sports Illustrated as one of the 10 best recruiters in College Football in 2015.

247Sports National Recruiting Editor Brandon Huffman spoke about Donte Williams being ranked as the top recruiter in the Pac-12.

“We’ve known Williams has had the recruiting chops ever since he was an assistant DB coach at Washington,” said Huffman. “Then he was turned loose on the trail at San Jose State, Arizona and Nebraska, and it culminated with his finest work this past year at Oregon.”

Continue reading story here

50 Best College Towns include five cities from the Pac-12 (CU-Boulder No. 1)

From BestCollegeReviews.com … There are a lot of things that have to click to make a truly great college town. Whether it’s feeling the palpable vibe of an alma mater, having tons to do, or the fact that your college town is a great place to stay after you’ve graduated, we’ve worked to provide you with a quality list of the best college towns in the nation.

What we considered:

  • Livability
  • Student-to-resident ratio
  • Cultural Offerings
  • School Presence
  • Large Employers

The towns at the top of our list have all of the above, while towns featuring only a handful of our criteria are ranked lower. As an example, 50th ranked Tacoma has high livability and large employer scores, it lacks somewhat in the other three, particularly in student-to-resident ratio and school presence. We recognize that everyone values different things in their college towns, but in an effort to establish diversity of views in the ranking of college towns, we have decided on the above criteria as a valuable way to highlight the towns that truly are a great part of our college experience, before, during, and after school.

From the Pac-12 … 

  • No. 45 – Tempe, Arizona – Arizona State
  • No. 42 – Eugene, Oregon – Oregon
  • No. 10 – Corvallis, Oregon – Oregon State
  • No. 6 – Berkeley, California – Cal

1.BOULDER, CO

Boulder is known as a hip and healthy town with a hippy past and great views of the Flatirons. Boulder is one of the nation’s most celebrated towns – in rankings it regularly gets voted the best outdoor town, the brainiest city, one of the top cities for artists, and America’s Foodiest Town. Though it’s relatively small, the entire city is walkable, there are hundreds of miles of bicycle paths, and an outstanding public transit system. Nature abounds in Boulder with many central roads heading through downtown and ending at trail heads leading into the Rockies. A ring of Green Space surrounds the city, and buildings must remain below a certain height to preserve mountain views. Pearl Street Mall, an outdoor shopping area filled with fine food, book stores, art galleries, and coffee shops, is a central Boulder street.

The University of Colorado, and Naropa University (the nation’s first Buddhist University) provide the central student base for Boulder. For those out of school, numerous science institutes, local artisanal movements, and tech companies call Boulder home. The most notable employers include the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administrations, the Geological Society of America, and the Space Science Institute.

Boulder has the perfect mix of student life and post graduate livability, making it an easy selection as our best college town in America.
Additional Information:

  • Population: 97,385
  • Student Population: 47,000

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February 9th

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Jon Wilner’s take on Tucker/MSU: “From a PR standpoint, it couldn’t have worked out any better for CU”

From the San Jose Mercury News … The Buffaloes swept the Bay Area schools and took over sole possession of first place, but this item is about CU’s football success.

On Friday evening, the Detroit Free Press reported that Colorado coach Mel Tucker had been targeted by Michigan State as a possible replacement for Mark Dantonio.

(That wasn’t a reality stretch by any means: Tucker, who’s from Cleveland, was a grad assistant for the Spartans in the 1990s under a head coach of some renown, a Nicholas Lou Saban Jr.)

On Saturday morning, the Buffaloes released a statement from Tucker saying he was staying in Boulder:

“While I am flattered to be considered for the head coaching job at Michigan State, I am committed to CU Buffs Football for the build of our program, its great athletes, coaches as supporters.” 

The Buffs doubled down on the moment, adding a statement from athletic director Rick George:

“Mel has turned heads here with the culture he’s quickly building and recruiting success he’s had, so it’s only natural that programs looking for a coach are going to be taking note. I know he’s committed to the Buffs all the way and we’re committed to supporting the vision he has for our program and winning championships. I’ve said plenty of times that we couldn’t be more excited that Mel is our head coach.”

From a PR standpoint, it couldn’t have worked out any better for CU.

Whether Tucker was a serious candidate or not, the perception across the Power Five recruiting trails is that Colorado’s head coach was a candidate for a top-half Big Ten job.

That’s invaluable publicity for Tucker and CU.

And when Tucker went public with his commitment to Boulder … when he said thanks-but-no-thanks to that top-half Big Ten job … even better for CU.

The profile of Colorado’s football coach is higher at the end of the weekend than it was at the start of the weekend, thanks to a published report and the school’s rapid, decisive and very public response.

It pays to be proactive.

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February 7th

Foe Pause … 

Rivals names CU’s Darrin Chiaverini as one of the Top 25 recruiters in the nation

From Rivals.com … On Thursday, Clemson’s Todd Bates was announced as Rivals’ Recruiter of the Year for the 2020 class. Today, we release the rest of the top 25 recruiters for 2020. Much like the top of the Rivals team rankings, this list has a strong presence from the Southeastern Conference.

From the Pac-12 …

DARRIN CHIAVERINI – COLORADO

When Mel Tucker was announced as Colorado’s head coach, he retained three coaches from Mike MacIntyre‘s old administration. One of those retained was wide receivers coach Darrin Chiaverini, who has added the Assistant Head Coach title and become one of the Buffaloes’ top recruiting assistants.

In the 2020 class, Chiaverini was responsible for two of Colorado’s three four-star commitments. Cornerback Christian Gonzalez had been committed to Purdue for several months when Chiaverini flipped him to Colorado in November, and he also nabbed Rivals250 receiver Brenden Rice out of Arizona. Chiaverini also was able to flip three-star receiver Keith Miller III from Kansas in June.

WILL HARRIS – WASHINGTON

ANTONIO PIERCE – ARIZONA STATE

LEWIS POWELL – UTAH

KEN WILSON – OREGON

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February 6th

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USC signs “most disappointing” Recruiting Class in the nation

From The Athletic … Gauging a recruiting class’ success or failure obviously goes far beyond how the class ranks. There is nuance to it — what the competition is doing, what the program has achieved in the past, what the reasonable expectations are for the present. And a terrible recruiting class for one program could be a transcendent class for another.

National Signing Day is usually about hope. But it also can be about failure, which is what we’ll look at now: The five most disappointing classes for the 2020 cycle. All recruiting figures from the 247Sports Composite rankings list.

1. USC

Ranking in 2020: No. 55 overall, No. 10 in Pac-12, .8749 average player rating
Previous 5 classes:
• 2019: No. 20 overall, No. 3 Pac-12, .8821 average player rating
• 2018: No. 4 overall, No. 1 Pac-12, .9423
• 2017: No. 4 overall, No. 1 Pac-12, .9193
• 2016: No. 10 overall, No. 1 Pac-12, .9100
 2015: No. 2 overall, No. 1 Pac-12, .9228
Average national ranking from previous 5 years: No. 8
Realistic expectation: Top 10 classes every year

The reasoning: An offer from USC used to make the ground shake, the way one from Alabama or Clemson does in today’s world of recruiting. And that’s not even going back to the Reggie Bush/Matt Leinart era. That’s going back just three years, when USC signed the No. 4 overall class in the nation. Yes, the power dynamic in the sport is in the East, but if the Pac-12 is going to have any chance of disrupting the status quo in the sport, it has to start with USC, Oregon and Washington. But USC is trending down. Fast.

USC just got done signing its worst class in the 20-year era of modern-day recruiting. You have to get to the “load more” tab on the 247Sports Composite team rankings to find USC’s class, which consists of only 13 signees. Want a crazy stat? Of the 31 four- and five-star players in the state of California, Arizona State signed seven, which is more than USC (two), UCLA (two) and Cal (zero) combined.

This was a small class for USC because of the lack of seniors in 2019, and the administration didn’t do Clay Helton any favors by making his job security a year-long issue, which made it exponentially harder to recruit. But USC, despite being down for the better part of the past decade, still has had some of the most talented rosters in the nation. This class, though, doesn’t appear as if it will help much in that regard.

Regardless of the circumstances, USC can’t have a class in the mid-50s, one that ranks behind nine Pac-12 schools. It can’t sign just two four-star prospects. And it certainly can’t get smoked in its home state by Arizona State.

Three other classes that underwhelmed

Arizona: While Arizona State signed the No. 24 overall class, which includes seven four-star prospects from California, Arizona signed the No. 64 class nationally, which was the worst in the Pac-12. The state of Arizona had three top-100 players, including one from Tucson, but Arizona seemingly didn’t put in much effort to try to keep talent home. The Wildcats signed just one of the state’s top 20 prospects — and that was No. 20. The Wildcats also failed outside the state; the highest-rated player ranks 625th nationally, and just six of the 18 signees are in the top 1,000 nationally.

Read full story here (subscription required) …

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February 5th

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The Pac-12 can limp along fine without a dominant USC

From BannerSociety.com … When some college football people say things like The Pac-12 Needs A Great USC, that feels like an updated version of The ACC Needs A Great Florida State And Great Miami.

The ACC’s divisions were literally structured around the idea that both would be great forever … and then three-loss Virginia Tech kept winning the conference. Things were never going to turn around until the Canes and Noles became the Canes and Noles for good. This was universally accepted knowledge.

Next thing you know, Clemson is amid one of football’s most impressive runs ever. The ACC did not need Miami (or Florida State, outside of one year) to be great. It needed a great team, no matter that team’s uniform colors. Even new-guy Louisville had a shot!

USC is far from the only Pac-12 team to blame for the conference’s struggles. It also needed more nationally competitive 2010s product from other members with historical success — so don’t forget to side-eye UCLA, Arizona State, Colorado, and Cal.

In the Trojans’ vacuum, some Pac-12 teams found new modern-era ceilings. In this decade, USC’s supposed little brothers twice made it closer to national titles than the Big 12 ever did, despite the Big 12 having a competent version of a USC-style flagship in Oklahoma (here’s where we remember USC still won 15 more games this decade than Texas did). If one ball and/or body part bounced differently in 2010, Oregon could’ve given the Pac-12 a title this decade, equaling the Big Ten. If Chip Kelly had stayed, perhaps Oregon could’ve won two. 2015 Stanford was a play or two from a Playoff. Washington made a trip and didn’t embarrass itself.

In recruiting, USC missing on top California talent is a much more recent trend than it might seem — the Trojans signed five of Cali’s top six as recently as 2018 — and partly due to trends bigger than any one program. In lots of hotbed states, top kids are leaving (look at Florida). Within the Pac-12, that can be great for other members — the Pac-12 as a whole is still signing the clear majority of California’s top 50. Oregon signed California’s top player in both 2019 and 2020. In those classes, Utah, Washington, and Arizona State signed top-15 Cali blue-chips who might otherwise have become Trojans.

If I’m Larry Scott and would like to keep having lots of money to spend, sure, I’d love an elite USC. I’d also accept an elite Oregon State, though now I’m getting greedy.

But if I’m a coach at any other school in the Pac-12, I’m delighted if USC has as many down years as possible. That’s the only feasible path to me becoming any sort of Dabo.

The point I’d grant is that USC’s ceiling is higher than anyone else’s. If everyone is recruiting at historical levels, the Trojans have by far the Pac-12’s most realistic chance to beat any given year’s Alabama-equivalent in a title game.

I don’t think the Pac-12 needs USC to be great. But it does need somebody to be great. If no one is great, then USC should take more blame than anyone else.

CU finishes with more four-star recruits than five other Pac-12 schools (combined!)

From the San Jose Mercury News

Colorado’s finish. The Buffaloes have done quality work in the first full recruiting cycle under Mel Tucker, and they stand to add one more jewel.

CU has a commitment from running back Ashaad Clayton, a four-star prospect from New Orleans who has drawn interest from SEC schools.

If the Buffs hold on — (and we know that that he die) — they could finish with as many four-star recruits (three) as Cal, Oregon State, USC, Washington State and Arizona combined.

USC’s clean-up process. As has been reported by every sports-media outlet in the solar system, the Trojans stunk it up in the early-signing window.

And by that, we mean their recruiting class ranks below those of noted powerhouses Indiana and Kansas State.

But Clay Helton and Co. recently received a commitment from Jack Yary, the son of USC all-timer Ron Yary, and they’re in hot pursuit of other prospects.

That list includes Houston and Michael Drennen, a running back from Ohio.

But this is a salvage operation all the way, and USC’s efforts to sign a quarterback have apparently crumbled.

Read full story here

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February 4th

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Pac-12 media revenues: SEC and Big Ten teams could make $100 million more per school over the next five years

From Jon Wilner at the San Jose Mercury News … The Pac-12 is expected to distribute approximately $33 million per schools in media rights for the 2019 fiscal year when its federal tax filings are made public in May, according to Hotline estimates.

The figure, which would represent a 5.4 percent year-over-year increase, is based on NCAA financial reports and statements of revenue that have been published by a cross-section of the conference’s public schools for FY19.

Not all payouts are equal to the dollar, and the method of calculation can vary by university. But the line-item figures examined by the Hotline from Washington State, Oregon, Colorado, UCLA and Cal indicate the average media rights distribution from the conference will fall in the $33 million range, up from the $31.3 million payout in FY18.

The Pac-12 media rights include revenue from the Tier 1 contracts with ESPN and Fox, the Pac-12 Networks, the NCAA Tournament (CBS/Turner) and the college football postseason (ESPN).

The conference’s estimated distributions stand in contrast to the $44.6 million in media rights that the SEC delivered to its schools in FY19 and the $55 million the Big Ten is expected to report when its figures are released this spring.

… The Hotline attempted to assign a dollar figure to the revenue gap by determining how much more each SEC and Big Ten school will receive in conference distributions if the Pac-12 sticks to its hunker-down strategy for four-and-a-half years.

Big Ten School X
Baseline figure: $55 million in FY19 payouts (from USA Today review of Big Ten financial data).
Annual distributions:
FY20: $57.8 million
FY21: $60.7 million
FY22: $63.7 million
FY23: $66.9 million
FY24: $80.7 million (new Tier 1 deal)
Five-year total: $329.8 per school

SEC School Y
Baseline figure: $44.6 million in FY19 payouts (reported by the SEC).
Annual distributions:
FY20: $46.8 million
FY21: $49.1 million
FY22: $70.9 million (new ESPN deal)
FY23: $74.4 million
FY24: $78.1 million
Five-year total: $319.3 million per school

Pac-12 School Z
Baseline figure: $33 million in FY19 payouts (estimate from published data).
Annual distributions:
FY20: $34.6 million
FY21: $36.3 million
FY22: $38.1 million
FY23: $40.0 million
FY24: $42.0 million
Five-year total: $191 million per school

Five-year disparity between Pac-12 and Big Ten: $138.8 million per school.

Five-year disparity between Pac-12 and SEC: $128.3 million per school.

That revenue gap is comparable to the entire annual athletic department budget for the richest schools in the Pac-12, and it’s approximately twice the size of the budget for the smallest departments.

That gap is comparable to the annual revenue generated by the Pac-12 Networks.

That gap is enough to pay Nick Saban and his entire Alabama coaching staff their current salaries for eight years.

And it begs the questions:

Can the Pac-12 afford to stick to its strategy?

Continue reading story here

Former Stanford quarterback K.J. Costello to play for Mike Leach at Mississippi State

From NBC Sports … K.J Costello is going from trying to beat Mike Leach to playing for him at Mississippi State.

The highly anticipated Stanford graduate transfer finally picked his 2020 destination in an Instagram post on Monday afternoon, confirming he was also trading in the Pac-12 for the SEC next season

Costello heads to Starkville as a graduate transfer with one year of eligibility left. He entered the portal back in December in a rather surprise move but wound up being one of the more intriguing options on the market given his experience.

In 28 appearances for the Cardinal, Costello threw for 49 touchdowns over 6,000 yards. Injuries hampered his 2019 campaign on the Farm, limiting him to just five games as the program missed out on a bowl game. He was one of the better West Coast QB’s in 2018 however, helping the team to nine wins while throwing for 29 touchdowns.

Costello had been heavily linked with another Pac-12 North team — Washington — in recent weeks. Instead he is ticketed to play for another friendly face from the division.

Continue reading story here

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February 3rd

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Jeremy Bloom remains an advocate for player rights

From Forbes magazine … In late January, I had the chance to visit with Jeremy Bloom. You may remember Jeremy as one of the top skiers in the 2002 Winter Olympics. He was a moguls world champion, and earning money from a ton of companies who wanted to engage his brand. After the ’02 Games, he needed to keep earning endorsements to pay for his continued training for the 2006 Olympics. As he actively sought sponsors, he sued, and subsequently was denied by the NCAA to play his last two years of football at the University of Colorado-Boulder. The reason? He received sponsorship and endorsement monies from his success as a skier.

Almost overnight, that changed. Over six days in mid-January 2020, both the NCAA and the USOPC announced anticipated changes to the power athletes should be allowed to exercise in governance and in marketing themselves. In addition, the USOPC is examining grouping athlete licensing in time for the 2020 Games in Tokyo.

We discussed the recent changes for athletes in both colleges and the United States Olympic and Paralympic Committee (USOPC) structures. He is still very involved today, advocating for athlete’s rights.

Here is a condensed version of our conversation:

KW:     Glad you could take a few minutes to talk with me. You recently tweeted about the NCAA’s decision to examine this issue of names, images and likenesses really hit home for you.

JB:       “Just being able to pay for my training would have been, that was the basis of my case. I mean, talk about the cherry on top if I could have done anything with my name, image and likeness, that would have been me getting everything I wanted, because that goes over and above and just paying for expenses you can actually make money, which I think is fair and right. Right? That was my skiing ability. It wasn’t the NCAA’s ability. I worked hard to have those opportunities. I was a world champion before I ever went to college.

I was an Olympian before I ever went to college. (The) NCAA did nothing to give me or even a platform for me to have those opportunities. The University of Colorado did nothing to give me those offers. So yeah, that would’ve been what I think it’s fair, what I ideally would have liked. I was just trying to compromise as much as I could so that I could pay for it. I mean, I wanted to go to a second… I wanted to go to the Turin Olympics. I just wanted to continue skiing. My skiing coaches were good with it. My football coach was good with it. And the only one that wasn’t was the NCAA. College presidents are really the only people that can institute fundamental change at the NCAA.”

Continue reading story here

USC fires three defensive coaches

From the Los Angeles Daily News … Now that USC has its new defensive coordinator, Todd Orlando, in place, he appears to be remaking his assistant staff in his own image.

USC will not be retaining linebackers coach Johnny Nansen, defensive backs coach Greg Burns and defensive line coach Chad Kauha’aha’a for 2020, The Athletic‘s Bruce Feldman reported on Sunday.

The news comes just over a week after USC announced Orlando’s hiring as defensive coordinator, following three years in the same position at Texas, and two days after former Texas assistant Craig Naivar announced on Twitter that he would be coaching safeties at USC.

Nansen had been a coach at USC for six seasons, predating Clay Helton’s tenure as head coach. He was the assistant head coach from 2014 to 2018 while handling a variety of other duties, like running backs, linebackers, recruiting coordinator and, most recently, inside linebackers and run coordinator in 2019.

Burns returned to USC in 2019, but previously coached the Trojans from 2002-2005 and was a member of the coaching staff for USC’s national championships in 2003 and 2004.

Like Burns, Kauha’aha’a joined Helton’s staff at USC prior to the 2019 season. He’d previously coached at Boise State and Oregon State.

USC’s defense ranked 78th in yards allowed per game and in scoring defense in 2019. Coordinator Clancy Pendergast was fired following the Trojans’ season-ending loss to Iowa in the Holiday Bowl, as was special teams coordinator John Baxter as outside linebackers coach Joe DeForest left for North Carolina State.

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February 1st

… Foe Pause … 

Big Ten proposal: Allow players one transfer without penalty 

From CBS Sports … The Big Ten quietly proposed legislation last year that would allow players in every sport to transfer once in their careers without sitting out a year in residence at their new institution. If adopted, the legislation would mark one of the biggest competitive changes in the history of college sports.

Football and basketball coaches who have been critical of recent changes in the transfer process would have their worst fears realized — essentially, one-time free agency would be available for all college athletes.

“I think it’s the right thing to do,” Michigan athletic director Warde Manuel told CBS Sports. “I don’t know who’s going to freak out and who’s not going to freak out. That doesn’t come into my thinking about it.”

The Big Ten’s proposal was largely unknown in NCAA circles. It went unpublished by the NCAA as it wound its way through the legislative cycle in October 2019. On Nov. 1, the NCAA Board of Directors put a moratorium on “transfer-related” proposals for the 2019-20 legislative calendar.

The board said it would gather additional data over the next year, including evaluation of a transfer model similar to the one suggested by the Big Ten. The conference proposed the transfers take place within a five-year eligibility window. The soonest the Big Ten’s legislation could be adopted is now 2021.

Continue reading story here

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72 Replies to “Pac-12 Notes”

  1. Csu athletics is in a bad situation… But honestly CU is only a few years removed from being in a similar one. Amd we still gave morons like Kroll that vote against head coach contracts.

    That article is a good reminder of how much Rick George has turned things around at CU.

    And possibly a reminder of “wtf was usc thinking hiring bohn”

  2. Well if Kiper said so …its so
    The only thing I will give that guy credit for is how he somehow wormed his way into the mainstream sports media as some kind of expert.
    Still he could make a lot more money being a bad guy in a Tarantino movie

  3. We need a new conference to be in where we can make more $$$. Evidently few have ANY integrity beyond how much money they can make. Thanks assistant and head coach losers. Sad…

  4. Thanks for posting the SI article Stuart. It takes the sting off a some even if it is a little sour grapes and also echos my feelings on the insane state of college football.

  5. As much as I would love to see more PAC-12 representation in the SB, I enjoy the fact that not one is from USC. I also did not see any players from Nebraska.

  6. Just in case you needed something to share with an annoyIng Cornhole fan during the Super Bowl. “With the Tennessee Titans’ 35-24 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday, Nebraska’s Super Bowl streak ended at 26 years. The Husker streak, which dated to 1993 and remains the longest of any program, includes players on the active roster, practice squad or injured reserve”.

  7. 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?

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. 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

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

  12. 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.

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

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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…….

  18. “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?

  19. 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 …

  20. 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.

  21. 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).

  22. 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.

  23. 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.

  24. 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!

  25. 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?)

  26. 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.

  27. 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.

  28. 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?

  29. 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

  30. 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.

  31. 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……………

  32. 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.

  33. 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.

  34. 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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ARCHIVED GAME OF THE WEEK
1985 No. 13 Ohio State takes care of business against upstart Buffs CU falls 36-13 at home against Buckeyes READ