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Pac-12 Notes

Discussion in 'CU Buffs Newsroom' started by RSSBot, Jul 12, 2011.

  1. RSSBot

    RSSBot News Junkie

    Jul 8, 2005
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    By Stuart

    July 11th
    Pac-12 Prospectus released!!
    Okay, for some of you that might not be exciting news.
    For stat geeks, it means that the season is really upon us. With the Pac-12 media day set for July 26th, the*inaugural Pac-12 football prospectus has been released (link to prospectus here).
    Time to get ready for some good Pac-12 trivia, including:
    Other than Arizona State, which has 19 returning starters, Colorado has more returning starters (18) than any other school in the Pac-12. At the* bottom of the chart is Stanford and Oregon State, each with only 12 returning starters (makes you wonder how far out of the top ten Stanford would be projected if Andrew Luck was not returning at quarterback);
    - Counting kickers and punters, there are a possible 288 returning starters, and the league has 180 returning, or an average of 15 per team;
    - Of the 180 returning starters, ten were first-team and 12 were second-team All-Pac-10 in 2010. Two returning stars, Stanford quarterback Andrew Luck and Oregon running back LaMichael James, were Heisman trophy finalists last season;
    - Only three teams – Washington; Cal; and Arizona State – have to start the season with a new quarterback;
    - We know that Utah has it the easiest in terms of scheduling, missing both Oregon and Stanford. In the north, the team arguably with the easiest conference schedule (in terms of missed conference opponents) is Washington State, which misses USC and Arizona;
    - Of the returning running backs, Rodney Stewart ranks third in terms of 2010 yardage. Only LaMichael James (with 1,731 yards) and Washington’s Chris Polk (1,415 yards) had more than Stewart’s 1,318;
    - In the 33 years of the Pac-10, only seven teams finished the conference season undefeated. Last season, Oregon became the first team to finish to post a 9-0 mark (the league went to a nine-game conference schedule in 2006);
    Team trivia …
    - Arizona, under Mike Stoops, has a 40-45 overall record, and only twice in eight seasons have finished with a winning record in conference play (and only once have the Wildcats finished in the top*four of Pac-10);
    - Arizona’s only non-conference road game is at Oklahoma State. The teams met in the Alamo Bowl at the end of the 2010 season, with the Cowboys winning 36-10;
    - After posting a 10-3 record in Dennis Erickson’s first season at Arizona State, the Sun Devils have gone 5-7, 4-8, and 6-6 the past three seasons (and this is your Pac-12 South favorite, fans);
    - When Arizona State hosts Colorado on October 29th, it will be in the middle of a stretch where the Sun Devils play four games out of five on the road;
    *- Cal claims five national championships in football, including four straight between 1920-23 (the fifth title coming in 1937, two years before the start of the NCAA);
    - With the Bears’ stadium under renovation, Cal will play its 2011 home games at AT&T Park in San Francisco. Cal will open the seasson, though, at a “neutral site” game against Fresno State – at Candlestick Park;
    - Oregon opened its doors the same year as Colorado – 1876. The Buffs started playing football four years before the Ducks (1890 to 1894). Overall, though, Colorado has almost 100 more all-time victories (671-578);
    - In what has to be a typo, the Pac-12 prospectus lists Oregons’ all-time record against 2011 opponent Missouri State as*56-46-10. That’s a lot of game against a team from Springfield, Missouri;
    - Oregon State’s 5-7 record in 2010 was the first losing season for the Beavers since 2005. Oregon State averaged nine wins per season*between 2006 and 2009;
    - Oregon State should be happy to see Colorado and Utah join the Pac-12. The Beavers trail in every series against teams from the Pac-10, but hold a 9-5-1 all-time record against Utah and a 3-2 all-time record against Colorado;
    - Stanford finishes with three games at home in 2011, but all three will be tough – Oregon; rival Cal; and Notre Dame;
    - Stanford boasts two national championships, in 1926 and 1940 (that would give Cal and Stanford seven national titles between 1920 and 1940);
    - In 11 years as a collegiate head coach, UCLA head coach Rick Neuheisel has three ten win seasons – with two of those in Neuheisel’s first two years in Boulder (the other was with Washington in 2000);
    - UCLA leads the all-time series against every team in the Pac-12 … except USC (the Trojans lead 45-28-7);
    - In 1999, USC head coach Lane Kiffin was the offensive line coach at Colorado State;
    - USC only leaves Los Angeles for one game before October 13th – a September 24th road trip to Arizona State;
    - Utah head coach Kyle Whittingham grew up in Provo, Utah, and received his undergraduate degree from BYU;
    - Utah, like Colorado has never defeated USC (both teams are 0-5 all-time against the Trojans) (Correction: Utah has defeated USC, beating the Trojans 10-6 in the 2001 Las Vegas Bowl – good catch, Neil!!).
    and there is always at least one typo … Under the Utah “Quick Look”, the Pac-12 Prospectus lists that Utah leads the series with Colorado, 30-24-3. We all know that the numbers are correct, but reversed.
    Do you want to tell the league offices, or shall I?
    July 10th
    Willie Lyles also paid by Cal and LSU for recruiting services
    According to an article in the Oregonian, Houston-based talent scout Willie Lyles also sold scouting packages to LSU and California.
    From the Cal Bears, Lyles received $5,000 for what was arguably the same package of information sold to Oregon for $25,000. The “2010 National Package” described in the Cal invoice from Complete Scouting Services appears identical to what Oregon received as its “2011 National Package”.
    From LSU, Lyles received $6,000 for what was described as game film from Kansas and California junior colleges.
    Do these revelations help or harm Oregon’s case?
    The argument to exonerate the Ducks would be that other schools also took advantage of the services Willie Lyles provided – “There’s nothing to see here. Move along …”.
    The argument against the Ducks’ case is that, if the above is true, why did Oregon pay Lyles five times what Cal paid for the same material?
    July 8th
    Harris pays fine, remains on suspension
    Oregon star cornerback Cliff Harris, projected as a top ten pick for the 2012 NFL draft, paid his court fines on Thursday. Harris paid $1,620 in fines associated with his being clocked at 118 mph while driving with a suspended drivers license in June.
    Head coach Chip Kelly suspended Harris indefinitely on June 15th, with the suspension to carry through “at least” through the Ducks’ September 3rd season opener against LSU. “It could be the LSU game only… It could be longer, it could be much longer,” Oregon Sports Information Director Dave Williford said at the time.
    “Cliff’s future clearly is in Cliff’s hands,” Kelly said in a prepared statement. “Earning an opportunity to represent the University of Oregon and this football program certainly rests far beyond a player’s ability on the field of play. Our behavior out of the spotlight often is more important and will be held to a higher standard. Until Cliff is able to conform to the same standards all of us must comply with, his status will remain unchanged.”
    Oregon officials had no additional comments after Harris paid his Court fines on Thursday.
    A consensus all-American last season, Harris led the nation with 23 passes broken up and was second in punt returns with an 18.8-yard average. He led the Pac-10 Conference with six interceptions.
    July 6th
    Pac-12 Network – Leverage = Quality Content
    I wouldn’t want*to ever steer*you away from CU at the Game, but … if you have a keen interest in keeping up with the evolving Pac-12 Network, Jon Wilner of the San Jose Mercury News seems to have a better handle on it than anyone else in media.
    In his latest article, Wilner brings us*up-to-date on the latest on the Pac-12 Network, the details for which should be forthcoming in the next few weeks. Some highlights:
    - On average, the Pac-12 Network will have either the first or second pick for games in seven of 13 weeks of a given football season. If you have a preseason magazine, go ahead and pick a conference weekend in October or November, and its easy to see why the Pac-12 Network will be popular with distributors: there are a number of quality games every weekend once conference play begins.
    - Each January, the Pac-12 will consult with its television partners, ESPN and Fox, to formulate a plan for “drafting” games throughout the season. There will not be a pure*rotation (e.g., Weekend one: ESPN 1st choice; Fox 2nd choice; Pac-12 Network third choice;*Weekend two: Fox 1st choice; Pac-12 Network 2nd choice; ESPN third choice, etc.), but rather a prescribed rotation agreed to by the parties.
    - Here’s the real kicker … The league will then come up with a schedule within 60 days of the “draft”. In other words, the Pac-12 will know where it is drafting each weekend before it makes up the schedule! As Wilner points out in his article, stacking the deck in the Network’s favor (e.g., putting USC v. Oregon on a weekend it picks first every year) would not be met with a favorable response from the league’s partners. However, the Pac-12 could also make sure that on weekends when the Pac-12 picks third, that there are at least three “quality” games to choose from (with “quality” being a relative term, as the schedule will be made out in the spring – teams could rise or fall between the date the schedule is announced and the games are played).
    - The Pac-12 will utilize a three-window model for game times: 1:30; 5:00; and 8:30 MT.
    - When there are “overflow” games (five games scheduled for 1:30, and three networks to show them), the league will utilize an “overflow” channel to show the additional games (the same will hold true for men’s basketball games).
    I don’t know about you – but this seems to just get better and better the more I hear about it …
    July 5th
    Rodney Stewart on watch list for the Maxwell Award
    Senior running back Rodney Stewart, who led the Buffs with 1,318 yards rushing in 2010, is on the preseason Maxwell Award Watch List. Stewart is one of 57 players named overall, and one of 11 players from the Pac-12 (only the SEC, with 12 candidates, had more than the Pac-12).
    The watch list candidates have been chosen by the Maxwell Football Club’s selection committee, evaluating past performance and future potential. The Club reserves the right to make additions and deletions to these lists as the 2011 season unfolds. All members of the Maxwell Football Club, NCAA sports information directors, head coaches, and selected national media are eligible to vote for the awards.
    The watch list will be pared down to semifinalists in October, with three finalists named on November 20th. The winner (last season’s winner was Cam Newton from Auburn) will be announced at the ESPN HomeDepot Awards show on December 8th.
    Here is the complete list of candidates.
    July 4th
    What Oregon is saying about Lyles
    Well, the University of Oregon has very little to say about the latest revelations by Willie Lyles (story below). The official statement from the school:
    The University of Oregon athletic department has and will continue to fully cooperate with the NCAA inquiry,” Oregon Director of Athletics Rob Mullens said. “Our department is committed to helping the NCAA in any way possible and until their work is complete, we are unable to comment further. Oregon athletics remains committed to operating a program of integrity.”
    However, the same cannot be said about the writers in Oregon.
    George Schroeder of the Register-Guard had this to say:
    “I like Kelly. Sure, he coaches circles around other guys. Away from the field, he’s brash and quotable, and if he’s East Coast abrasive, he seems good-hearted. He preaches doing things the right way, even as we know coaches exploit those gray areas, and you want to believe him.*But the evidence keeps coming, destroying the Ducks’ defiant narrative: We’ve done nothing wrong.
    *”A brush fire has become an inferno. And it’s possible this debate is about to become what’s more important to Oregon: salvaging the dynamic coach or protecting the emerging football program?”
    Concluding …*
    “Lyles’ bombshell exploded their case.*Although Lyles hasn’t yet discussed with the NCAA the things he told Yahoo, the investigators had already reached out by Friday afternoon, wanting a follow-up interview.*They’ll probably be calling on Oregon again soon, too. And maybe you’ve heard, the cover-up is sometimes worse than the crime.
    “Maybe Oregon has crafted the perfect explanation. Perhaps it’s true. And I suspect the administrators are still backing their coach, even as the temperature keeps rising.*Among the documents Lyles provided to Yahoo was a handwritten note from Kelly from a couple of years ago, thanking Lyles for “orchestrating everything” during a visit by several recruits.
    “The debate now is what Kelly orchestrated. And whether he’ll be conducting this show much longer.”
    Even the ultra-pro Oregon “Addicted to Quack” website was unsure about the future of the program under Chip Kelly.
    “What is important is did Oregon abide by the letter of the law and what was their intention in their dealing with Lyles? These are the things that Oregon will be judged on by the NCAA. You can decide by reading the rules whether you think Oregon followed the bylaws. Intention is going to be more difficult to determine as bias from fear or greed will cloud that judgment, but do not mistake the two. Letter of the law and intention are two separate variables. One is not more important than the other, but they both deal with how the NCAA will review this investigation. Even if Oregon followed every rule but their intentions were wrong, they may still face punishment. Just like if they had the right intentions but didn’t follow the rules, the NCAA will still hand down penalties, and rightfully so.”
    July 2nd
    Oregon coach called out after Lyles interview released
    Willie Lyles may have fired what Oregonian columnist John Canzano called “a kill shot”.
    Lyles*gave Yahoo Sports what was described as a multi-day, wide-ranging interview concerning his $25,000 payment for providing recruiting services to the University*of*Oreon.
    Lyles still*insists Oregon did not make a direct request or payment to steer recruits to Eugene. However, he now says Oregon did not pay him for his work as a traditional scout, but for his influence with top recruits and their families and his ability to usher prospects through the signing and eligibility process. That dual role as mentor to prospects and paid contractor to Oregon is believed to be a focus of the NCAA probe.
    “I look back at it now and they paid for what they saw as my access and influence with recruits,” Lyles told Yahoo Sports. “The service I provided went beyond what a scouting service should … I made a mistake and I’m big enough of a man to admit I was wrong.”
    Lyles went on to describe his assistance in recruiting running back*Lache Seastrunk. Lyles said Oregon’s assistant director of football operations, Josh Gibson, had direct knowledge – and played an ancillary role – in Lyles helping

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