Saturday, November 19, 2011

USC does itself proud, but almost stumbles badly - LA Times
Matt Barkley has four touchdown passes in a 38-35 victory over No. 4 Oregon but also has a critical fumble late in the game...
Trojans get first win in state since '05
The 38-35 win over No. 4 Oregon on Saturday night was the Trojans' first win at Autzen Stadium and in the state of Oregon since 2005. It was also USC's first win against a top-10 team in two seasons under coach Lane Kiffin.
Career night for Lee - CBS Sportsline
Freshman WR Marqise Lee had eight catches for a career-best 187 receiving yards in the Trojans' 38-35 upset of No. 4 Oregon on Saturday night, including a 59-yard TD catch in the first quarter...
Kiffin elated with team's performance - CBS Sportsline
Coach Lane Kiffin had high praise for his team after its 38-35 upset of No. 4 Oregon on Saturday. “[In all phases] we played lights out,” he said. “We came in expecting to win, and we are happy we can celebrate like this.
Kelly thought it was going to happen for Ducks - CBS Sportsline
Coach Chip Kelly said he thought the Ducks had all the momentum after recovering a fumble by USC RBMarc Tyler at the Oregon 11 with 2:31 to play. “You just felt at that time we were going to be able to go down and score, but we didn't,” Kelly said...
Video: Oregon's David Paulson - ESPN
Oregon tight end David Paulson talks about the emotions in the locker room after the Ducks’ 38-35 loss to USC.
Kiffin's Greatest Victory - LA Daily News
Even the normally reserved Lane Kiffin could not deny this was his greatest victory as a head coach. ``That's easy, it is the biggest (victory),'' Kiffin said. ``It broke the longest home winning streak in the country.
Kiffin On Fumble - LA Daily News
``Just a missed handoff between a fifth-year senior and a Heisman Trophy candidate.'' -- Lane Kiffin on Marc Tyler's fumble in fourth quarter
USC pulls off the upset over No. 4-ranked Oregon - LA Times
The Trojans build a 24-point lead before the Ducks miss a chance at a game-tying field goal for a 38-35 victory.
Urban Meyer a classless quitter - Football Rumor Mill
Urban Meyer a classless quitter who left Florida much worse than he found it? You decide.

Urban Meyer will be new Ohio State Coach - Football Rumor Mill
Urban Meyer will be new Ohio State coach. Write it down
ESPN’s Lee Corso drops expletive on air, apologizes | Video - Orlando Sentinel
We all know that Lee Corso can get a bit excited when it comes to talking about college football. However, this morning during ESPN’s College GameDay, his excitement got the better of him when he let an [expletive] slip out on-air.
While making his pick for the SMU-Houston game, Corso grabbed an SMU megaphone before throwing it aside and putting on the head of the Cougars’ mascot. It was during that exchange that he let it slip out:
“How can you pick against SMU? Look at that one there — red, white and blue. U-S-A! … Ah, [expletive]
Chris Fowler, Kirk Herbstreit and guest picker Carl Lewis all reacted to the outburst with Fowler telling Corso, who was still wearing the mascot head, “Shasta, shame on you.”...
Phil Steele’s Week 12 Marquee Matchups - Orlando Sentinel
#4 OREGON vs #18 USC
The Ducks are off a convincing trip to Stanford in which they dominated the Cardinal scoring 53 points on 63 offensive plays led by RB James who looked like a Heisman candidate with 146 rush yards (7.3) and 3 TD’s. UO has the Civil War on deck while the Trojans come in after an impressive showing vs Washington as they outgained the Huskies 426-244 (season low in yards for UW). Both teams have been ranked in the last seven meetings and the higher ranked tm has won five of the last six (UO pulled the upset in ‘09). Last year the situation clearly favored the Trojans who were hosting the #1 team at home looking for revenge but after taking a 32-29 lead, gave up 24 unanswered and lost 53-32. The last time here, the game was tied 17-17 late 2Q but USC was outscored 30-3 and outgained 416-134 (59 yds on their final drive) in a 47-20 loss. While a blowout isn’t expected, another Duck victory is.
Video: USC takes on the Ducks - ESPN
The "College GameDay" crew breaks down the USC-Oregon game.

Friday, November 18, 2011

3 keys to a Trojans win: No. 3 -- Tackle in space - CBS Sportsline
Oregon is second nationally with 22 plays of 40 yards or more. The Ducks feature a bunch of playmakers who can take it the distance once they get into the open field. USC's DBs and LBs must wrap up in open space to prevent big, explosive plays...
3 keys to a Trojans win: No. 2 -- TDs not FGs - CBS Sportsline
The offense needs to take advantage of every scoring opportunity in the red zone. With WR Robert Woods questionable, that means WRs Brice Butler and Kyle Prater need to step up and give QB Matt Barkley more options near the goal line...
3 keys to a Trojans win: No. 1 -- Don't wear down - CBS Sportsline
The Ducks play at a breakneck tempo, often going no-huddle in an attempt to wear down opponents physically and mentally. This strategy has resulted in 100 total points by Oregon against USC the last two seasons. Rotating players on defense will be key to slowing down the Ducks...
WR Woods game-time decision - CBS Sportsline
WR Robert Woods, the Trojan's leading receiver with 92 catches, remains a game-time decision against Oregon due to shoulder and ankle injuries. "I don't know either way," coach Lane Kiffin said. "I'm going to have to see speed, to see him get in and out of breaks, to see that he can play at a high level for us."...
Kiffin says youngsters have to stay focused - CBS Sportsline
Coach Lane Kiffin on his young players heading to Autzen Stadium to play Oregon: "They've got to be ready to play and stay focused, and not worry about what they can't control. It's going to be an exciting environment. It's the loudest place I've ever been to...
Bailey On Woods - LA Daily News
USC linebacker Dion Bailey on wide receiver Robert Woods: "He's good. He's a little banged up."
Speed Chess - [Klosterman]
...When LSU hammered Oregon on the first Saturday of the 2011 season, it did so by making the Ducks play in a manner they despise: They made them play slow. This is pretty much the only way Oregon loses anymore — if a physical team can consistently contain the Ducks on first down, they need time to think about what they want to run on second and third down, and that deliberation makes them no different from any other team in the country. But Oregon absolutely kills people when it plays fast. The Ducks' Chip Kelly is the architect of the "Blur Offense," which is not so much a play-calling scheme as a design for life. The concept of using a nonstop, no-huddle offense is not new (Sam Wyche did it in the 1980s with the Cincinnati Bengals), but that tactic was originally employed to stop the defense from making situational substitutions. It was pragmatic. The Blur is more like a psychological weapon. Its premise is that a simple offense snapping the ball every 15 seconds is more effective than a complicated offense running at regular speed, because an accelerated tempo manufactures its own momentum. It's the reason so many of the Ducks' opponents seem to tire and collapse (in 2010, they outscored opponents by an average of three touchdowns in the second half)...
USC vs. Oregon: Trojans will try to keep up with the Ducks - LA Times
The Trojans find themselves in the unfamiliar position of being a sizable underdog for the second time in one season...
Game at Oregon is as close as USC will get to a bowl game - LA Times
The No. 18 Trojans, barred from playing in the postseason because of NCAA sanctions, take on the No. 4 Ducks in what might be the most important game of Coach Lane Kiffin's short tenure.
Mike Bellotti rising at Arizona - Football Rumor Mill
Mike Bellotti rising at Arizona. Lots of chatter tonight.
USC vs. Oregon: It's the real Pac-12 championship game - LA Times
Saturday's matchup between USC — which is the best team in Pac-12 South but can't go to the official title game — and Oregon should settle who gets the bragging rights as the conference's best team...
Arrogant Game Preview: Oregon Ducks - Lost Angeles
I am deep in an undisclosed forest right now enjoying a meal strange enough for an Indiana Jones film (by the way, Indiana Jones is fifth on a list of 37 people both fictional and real I have been basing my training on).  This meal is part of a society of chefs too wild for normal chef duties, so they come to the wild and hunt and cook their own prey.  I got an evite, so I rolled.
I had totally forgotten about today’s post until one chef (Olek) brought out a croque en bouche of pickled duck face mousse puffs.  An impressive feat, but it made one ugly image pop into my head.  Donald Duck’s rapist brother Puddles.
Look at his crotch-shot pose.  Look at his dilated eyes from drinking back-country moonshine and sniffing glue.  Look at his outfit, clearly designed to lure in drunken sailors and boarding school children.  His furry fingers devoid of fingerprints.  This is a story of love-lost, drug addiction, northwestern ambivalence and possibly tied to years living in the Portland underground (which is a real thing where they’d trap drunks and press them into servitude).
How did Puddles turn into this wide-eyed coke fiend?  Look at his roots...
He started as Donald Duck re-purposed by Disney, which kind of shows you that before Nike, Oregon wasn’t getting much respect.  At least Sparky the Pedodevil was an original creation Disney made for ASU, even if it is embarrassing.  I just want to know why Puddles has gone so far down the wrong path.
I think it’s because he hangs out with the wrong crowd.
The visored impostor!

This is who has been drugging and teaching Puddles with an almost Sith-like mind-warp.  Once a Disney character, now a drug trafficking deviant who is so jacked up on pain-killers and moonshine, he feels no pain doing thousands of pushups a game (Oregon does score a lot, ironically, not so much people from Oregon).  Frankly, I’m not sure Puddles even knows he is at a game at this point.  Duck a l’orange would be a better end than the one he has coming...
USC's Matt Barkley could quack the Heisman leader board Saturday - LA Times [Dwyre]
A big day by Matt Barkley against the Oregon Ducks at Autzen Stadium might sway Heisman voters who have fallen under the spell of Stanford's Andrew Luck. It's happened before; Carson Palmer's performance at Autzen in 2002 helped him earn the trophy...
Pre-Game Analysis - LA Daily News
Once again, it comes courtesy of the venerable Gold Sheet: ``Trusted Pac-12 observers suggest Monte Kiffin's stop unit not properly prepared and constructed to deal with "Wildcat" looks and mobile QBs such as Oregon's Thomas.''
Steve Sarkisian to UCLA? - Football Rumor Mill
Considering the heat on Rick Neuheisel, Dan Guerrero may have a list of possible replacements that includes Boise State’s Chris Petersen. Guerrero is obligated to take a run at him, just in case he is willing to listen, and at the same time be prepared to move on quickly. It’s pretty much the same with Urban Meyer, the former Florida coach. If he returns to coaching, the thought is he is likely to pop up at Ohio State. Next up, Washington coach Steve Sarkisian. Didn’t he just get hammered in the Coliseum by USC? Correct. But he still has a 2-1 record against the Trojans, which has to resonate in Westwood. Sarkisian has the Huskies on the right track after taking over a program that was in worse shape than UCLA.

When Oregon Fans Make The "O" Symbol, They're Screaming "Vagina" - Deadspin
The New York Times shared an important revelation out of Eugene, Ore. yesterday, and we wanted to pass it on because we are immature: the spade-shaped Oregon "O" that Ducks fans so enthusiastically make to show support for the team means "vagina" in American Sign Language...
Pac-12 football: Picks of the Week (the impact of a USC victory) SJ Mercury News [Wilner]
The Trojans have been the most disliked (hated? reviled?) team in the conference for years — decades, really — largely because of their success. But this week may represent a new low (high?) for them: I’d imagine that every fan, school administrator and conference official is rooting against Kiffin and Co. A victory at Oregon...
Oregon's Thomas is better than you think - ESPN [Miller]
Quick: Name the second-rated passer in the Pac-12 behind Stanford's Andrew Luck.

It's not USC's Matt Barkley. It's not Washington's Keith Price or Arizona's Nick Foles.

It's Oregon's Darron Thomas, the guy that some -- let's call it a vocal minority -- speculated just a few weeks ago should be benched in favor of backup Bryan Bennett...
USC to provide challenge for Oregon's push for title - USA Today
It's looking like Oregon might need some help to get into the Bowl Championship Series title game, and it could come Saturday night...

Thursday, November 17, 2011

What to watch in the Pac-12: Week 12 - ESPN [Miller]
Barkley's big moment? While much was made of USC quarterback Matt Barkley saying that Oregon didn't seem to be as good this season as the previous two years, a minor tweak won't decide this game. What it did do, however, is brighten the spotlight on Barkley just that much more. He's been the face of the Trojans for three years. This is likely his last college game that will attract national interest...
Oregon's De'Anthony Thomas in his comfort zone - LA Times
The former Crenshaw High star was bound for USC, but changed course and chose the Ducks, for whom he's had a productive freshman season. 'I just felt comfortable' in Eugene, Ore., he says...
Oregon presents a moving target for USC's defense - LA Times
Trojans say they're ready for Ducks' speed; now all they have to do is tackle...
The NCAA Accidentally Leaked Five Years Of Financial Statements Online - DeadSpin:
...a resourceful tipster alerted us to a thread on the message boards of Cats Illustrated...The NCAA had left its internal SharePoint site unprotected (for some time, apparently, as Google had already crawled and indexed its files), meaning any outsider could comb through its data, which included years of accounting statements... By the time the NCAA realized its mistake late Tuesday, and made all the files inaccessible, they had all been downloaded and passed along to us. More »
Arizona should consider reunion with Dykes - Football Rumor Mill
Credit Arizona athletic director Greg Byrne for taking a swing at Urban Meyer, and he’ll now likely turn his attention to the usual suspects. But if Byrne is unable to land one of those strong candidates, a familiar name to Arizona fans should get a phone call: Sonny Dykes. Dykes is currently the head coach at Louisiana Tech, where he’s led the Bulldogs to five straight victories, including a 27-7 win at Ole Miss last week. … Dykes knows the Arizona program well, having served as offensive coordinator from 2007-09 under Stoops. He introduced the program to the spread offense, helped develop former signal-caller Willie Tuitama and brought star quarterback Nick Foles to Tucson.

Gary Pinkel arrested for DWI - Football Rumor Mill
Boone County sheriff deputies arrested MU football coach Gary Pinkel Wednesday night for DWI. Pinkel posted a $500 bond and was released from the Boone County Jail.
Time has come for UCLA - Football Rumor Mill
Time has come for UCLA to fire Neuheisel and move on [Waldner - The Daily Breeze]

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

A look at Pac-12 coaching salaries - Seattle Times
USA Today is releasing its annual package on college football salaries for tomorrow's print edition.
But the on-line version is already available, and here it is.
The general theme of the story is that coaching salaries simply continue to rise, the average major college coach making $1.47 million per year, up 55 percent since 2006.
The list, however, does not include those of coaches from private schools, who are not bound to release such information. That includes two Pac-12 schools --- USC and Stanford.

Here's the list of the other Pac-12 coaches in order of what the newspaper lists as "total pay."
1, Chip Kelly, Oregon, $2.8 million
2, Jeff Tedford, Cal, $2.3 million
3, Steve Sarkisian, Washington, $2.25 million
4, Kyle Whittingham, Utah, $1.7 million
5, Dennis Erickson, Arizona State, $1.5 million
6, Mike Stoops, Arizona, $1.465 million
7, Mike Riley, Oregon State, $1.31 million
8, Rick Neuheisel, UCLA, $1.285 million
9, Jon Embree, Colorado, $725,000
10, Paul Wulff, Washington State, $600,050
USC's Lane Kiffin is probably the highest-paid coach, one report last year saying he makes as much as $4 million a year...
Defending Oregon - LA Times
USC assistant coach Ed Orgeron said the key to playing Oregon is making sure the first player near the ball makes the tackle. ``You can't get spread out,'' Orgeron said. ``Otherwise LaMichael James will take off. You've got to make the first tackle.''
USC football: Dillon Baxter considering San Diego State and UNLV, report says - LA TimesUsc1
Dillon Baxter, who last month was removed from USC’s football program by Coach Lane Kiffin, is considering transferring to San Diego State or Nevada Las Vegas, according to this report.
Baxter told the Las Vegas Review-Journal’s Mark Anderson that he was intrigued by the possibility of playing for UNLV and was "looking at it pretty seriously.” Baxter also said he would prefer to play wide receiver...
USC football: Lane Kiffin OK with Marc Tyler appearing on - LA Times
Last summer, USC tailback Marc Tyler made remarks on camera to TMZ that were deemed inappropriate by the school and triggered a suspension by Coach Lane Kiffin.

This week, Tyler appeared again on in a video, saying the website helped him change, become sober and made him more conscious of what he says and does.

"I want to thank TMZ for helping me out," Tyler said in the video.

Kiffin said he had watched Tyler's latest appearance and had no problem with it.
"I thought he handled himself in a first-class manner," Kiffin said. "He's still a kid and those situations are hard...
USC's Matt Barkley says Oregon is deserving of its ranking - LA Times
The junior quarterback had said that the Ducks teams he played against in the past were better, but he said Tuesday that No. 4 Oregon might have one of the top defenses the Trojans will play.
Farmer Not An Option - LA Daily News
Lane Kiffin said George Farmer is not an option to replace Robert Woods at wide receiver and will remain at tailback. ``It's too hard to move him back,'' Kiffin said.
Will Arizona State join Arizona? - Football Rumor Mill
Will Arizona State join Arizona in looking for a football coach?
Bob Davie to coach New Mexico - Football Rumor Mill
Bob Davie to coach New Mexico...He replaces Mike Locksley.
Matt Barkley’s N.F.L. Draft Decision - Pre-Snap Read
The temptation of a major payday has led far lesser N.F.L. prospects to make the jump a year — even two years — early, so you can see why U.S.C.’s Matt Barkley will have a difficult career decision to make once the Trojans’ season ends against U.C.L.A. on Nov. 26. Should he stay or should he go?...
...You can see the pros: money, first and foremost, but it’s far from the deciding factor. Leaving as a junior grants Barkley a head start on an N.F.L. career with a decidedly short shelf life; injuries happen, cross your fingers, and the graveyard of should-have-been-stars is littered with quarterbacks who, either through injuries or ineffectiveness, never lived up to expectations...

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

USC's Matt Barkley says Oregon is deserving of its ranking - LA Times
The junior quarterback had said that the Ducks teams he played against in the past were better, but he said Tuesday that No. 4 Oregon might have one of the top defenses the Trojans will play...
Recruiting: Visitors for USC include Arik Armstead, Faith Ekakite, Jakes Rodrigues, Kevin Seymour, and Dwayne Stanford - The Oregonian
The visitors for Oregon's game this weekend against USC all have tiny little numbers by their names. Arik Armstead has a 1 by his name. He's the nation's number one offensive lineman and he''s reportedly down to Oregon and USC...
Sonny Dykes to Arizona? - Football Rumor Mill
Bellotti, Arizona a perfect fit - Football Rumor Mill
USC's Hayes Pullard eager to face Oregon's De'Anthony Thomas - LA Times
Pullard, a redshirt freshman linebacker who has started every game, was teammates with Thomas at Crenshaw High. They are best of friends, but Pullard says he won't hold back...
With Matt Schaub injured, Matt Leinart is a starting QB again - LA Times Leinart_640
Just when the Houston Texans were looking like one of the teams to beat in the AFC, quarterback Matt Schaub suffers a foot injury that will keep him out indefinitely. Now is the time for Matt Leinart to prove, once and for all, that he can be a successful starting quarterback in the NFL.

“It’s a huge opportunity for me,” said Leinart, a former Heisman trophy winner at USC who has served as Schaub's backup the last two seasons...
Arrogant Game Recap: Washington Huskies - Lost Angeles
It’s starting to hit me this season is almost over and I admit, I haven’t been this pumped up since early in the Pete Carroll days.  This team is young, fast and literally getting better every game.  If you haven’t been watching the games, you aren’t realizing that it is literally happening again.  ESPN does not show our highlights, the media downplays USC’s accomplishments and the only time they mention us is to try and pump Barkley up to leave by making grandiose statements about him (not to say he doesn’t deserve them).

The truth is, we have a chance for a 10 win season while sanctioned.  We have a chance to win the Pac 12 South.  Oregon is going to be a beast this week, but there’s a palpable sense that our “penance” has been paid  and the rest of the world is going to have to reap what they sowed...
Do or die for ASU, Erickson? - ESPN
On Oct. 30, a day after whipping Colorado 48-14, Arizona State was 6-2 and ranked 19th in the BCS standings. Looking at its four remaining games -- UCLA, Washington State, Arizona and California -- a 10-win season and all the rewards that brings seemed possible. There was talk of coach Dennis Erickson signing a contract extension. A South Division championship seemed a near-certainty, which meant the team could feel free to dream about the Rose Bowl.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Oregon just won't go away - ESPN [Miller]
When Oregon trudged off the Cowboys Stadium field after a 40-27 loss to LSU on Sept. 3, just about everyone counted them out. That was made real when they were poleaxed by pollsters, dropping from No. 3 to No. 13 and No. 14 in the AP and coaches' polls, respectively. That will teach Oregon -- and anyone else -- to agree to a marquee non-conference matchup against an elite team that everyone wants to see! Most turned away from the team with loud uniforms...
USC turns its focus to preparing for Oregon - LA Times
Trojans Coach Lane Kiffin has called Oregon 'the hottest team in the country right now.' USC faces the Ducks, who moved up to No. 4 in the Associated Press poll, in Eugene this week.
Dennis Erickson likely done at Arizona State - Football Rumor Mill
Erickson is 64 years old and has one year left on his contract. With one year left it is almost impossible to recruit so he is either getting a contract extension, getting fired or retiring with a year left on his deal. With a record at Arizona State of 31-28, it is obvious that the Sun Devils under Erickson are very mediocre and with new Pac-12 television money coming in and lots of empty seats at Sun Devils home games, it is time to find a coach that can do more than be average. Arizona State as a university has to decide just how bad they want to win in football. Do they want to make the commitment necessary to be relevant or are they content just being mediocre? Right now it’s hard to believe that they want to be great. It’s hard to believe that they care enough about football. Firing Erickson will be a start in telling its fans that they no longer want to settle for mediocrity.’s-time-for-change-at-ASU/

Pac-12 debuts new championship trophy - Football Rumor Mill

USC football: Marqise Lee selected Pac-12 player of week - LA Times
FabforumUSC freshman receiver Marqise Lee on Monday was selected as the Pac-12 Conference special teams player of the week.

Lee returned the second-half kickoff 88 yards for a touchdown in the Trojans' 40-17 victory over Washington. He also caught nine passes for 74 yards and a touchdown. It was the second consecutive game that Lee scored two touchdowns. Lee has caught 52 passes and scored eight touchdowns...

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Post-game links - Seattle Times
Time to pass along some of the more pertinent links covering Saturday's game.

--- Here's the game story with the nuts and bolts of what happened.

--- Times columnist Steve Kelley says the Huskies seem to be regressing.

--- Here's the notebook with items on Keith Price, the special teams, the sequence that turned the game for good, and the offensive line.

--- Also if you want them, the stats and the 2-Minute Drill.

--- The LA Times says USC seems to be hitting its stride at the right time.

--- The punter who ran 35 yards for USC is a walk-on.

--- Here's one handy link to everything that the Orange County Register wrote about the game. Included is this game story in which USC players said they noticed UW's body language change after the fake punt and that they thought they had the Huskies flustered from the start.

--- says this was a game USC would have lost the last two years.

--- also has a story quoting CB Nickell Robey as saying the Trojans finally got their revenge.

And I'm figuring that may be about all most of you want to read about that.
Neuheisel running out of chances - Football Rumor Mill
The facts are as cold as the night here. Rick Neuheisel has been unable to make the case he has what it takes to rally support for the UCLA football program and buy himself more time as coach. But what a belly flop, a 31-6 spanking coming from a second-rate opponent, and a reminder that nothing really has changed with UCLA football since Neuheisel’s arrival. Like so many other disappointing conference Saturdays the last four years, this one fell flat of soaring expectations. And not many more UCLA Saturdays are going to be available to Neuheisel...