Tag:Washington
Posted on: March 9, 2011 6:07 pm
 

Oregon not only school paying recruiting services

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

Offseasons and Oregon just don't seem to go well together. Last year a spate of arrests and the dismissal of Jeremiah Masoli took some of the shine off of the Ducks' Rose Bowl berth, and now the news that the NCAA is looking into Oregon's $25,000 payment to the recruiting service of a man named Will Lyles no doubt has upped the nervousness level in Eugene.

But for clarity's sake regarding the Oregon case, it's worth noting that the (potential) issue isn't Chip Kelly's use of recruiting services; it's the surprisingly large sum paid to Lyles and Lyles' connection to Duckrunning backs LaMichael James and Lache Seatrunk that seems to be in question.

That point was driven home by stories on either side of the country this week, illustrating that plenty of major college football programs are also putting recruiting services to use. One of those is Georgia, who Seth Emerson of the Columbus Ledger-Enquirer reports spent just under $40,000 on such services in 2009 and 2010:
The biggest expenditures were to LRS Sports, Inc., a service based in Springfield Ill. LRS states on its web site that it “delivers detailed, up-to-date, state-by-state databases of available high school and junior college athletes in the Southeast" ...

- In August of 2010, Georgia gave $11,000 to Bluechip Athletic Solutions, an Atlanta-based company.

- And also in August of 2010, Georgia paid $4,500 to Elite Scouting Services, which is based in Hollywood, Fla. According to its web site, Elite Scouting Services provides a database of high school players, game film of players and access to scouts.

There’s nothing secret about the associations.

Bluechip touts its association with a couple dozen schools, including Georgia.
The second? Washington, who the Seattle Times reported distributed a little less than $40,000 itself this past year to nine different services. As with Georgia, those services are making no secret of their association with the Huskies. And neither school reportedly has drawn any interest from the Ncaa. (Not for that reason, anyway, where the Bulldogs are concerned .)

So maybe the Ducks are, in fact, in trouble. But if so, it'll be because they worked with the wrong service for the wrong reasons, not for simply employing a recruiting service to begin with.

Posted on: March 8, 2011 4:58 pm
 

Oklahoma fans set eyes on Mark Ingram

Posted by Tom Fornelli

Yesterday on the blog, I wrote about a couple of attack ads that the guys at Land Thieves - an Oklahoma Sooners website - had created for Auburn's Nick Fairley and Washington's Jake Locker. You see, there's an ongoing campaign being run by EA Sports to help determine the cover athlete on this year's version of their NCAA Football game. The finalists are Fairley, Locker, Oklahoma's DeMarco Murray and Alabama's Mark Ingram. You can vote for your choice here.

I noted in the post that the site had failed to put together an ad about Mark Ingram, and that they might have a hard time doing so. Well, they didn't have nearly as hard a time as I thought, as they sent in their Ingram ad on Tuesday.



Mark Ingram fumbled once!

Honestly, and I'm not trying to sway your votes here, but if I were to vote mine would go to Ingram. Attack ad be damned. Ingram just has the better career resume than any of the other three candidates. Jake Locker spent most of his time on bad Washington teams, Nick Fairley won a national title and anchored Auburn's defense, but how many of you had heard of him before last season? As for DeMarco Murray, he had a solid career at Oklahoma, but he wasn't even the best running back during that time period.

He certainly wasn't better than Mark Ingram, who not only won a national title with Alabama, but has one of those Heisman Trophy things. You need to be halfway decent to pick up one of those.
Posted on: March 7, 2011 11:50 am
Edited on: March 7, 2011 12:14 pm
 

Oklahoma fans fight for NCAA 12 cover

Posted by Tom Fornelli

The college football season doesn't begin until September, but for millions of college football fans across the country, the season technically begins in July. That's when EA Sports releases the newest version of its NCAA Football video game every year. Well, this year EA Sports is running an election of sorts. An election being held to see who the cover athlete will be on this year's game.

The finalists are Alabama's Mark Ingram, Auburn's Nick Fairley, Washington's Jake Locker and Oklahoma's DeMarco Murray. You can vote here if you want to feel like a part of the democratic method. Of course, you should probably do some research before you chose whom to vote for, as this is an important election after all.

And no election would be complete without some attack ads. Luckily for us, some Oklahoma fans came through with a couple of ads campaigning for Murray and against Locker and Fairley.





Of course, you'll notice there is no attack ad against Mark Ingram. Mistake or intentional? I'd lean intentional as a shrewd political move. Seriously, what are they going to do?  Compare Ingam and Murray's history? All Mark Ingram has done the last few years is win a Heisman Trophy and a national championship. DeMarco Murray has done neither.

So the Murray campaigners best shot is to just pretend Mark Ingram doesn't even exist.

UPDATE: The guys at Land Thieves, who produced the videos, have contacted me to let me know that a Mark Ingram ad is currently in production. It's going to be hard to make him look bad, so I wish them luck.
Posted on: March 3, 2011 1:34 pm
Edited on: March 3, 2011 1:38 pm
 

Washington RB runs from police, gets caught

Posted by Tom Fornelli

Well, I guess since the Offseason Arrest Train was already in Pullman, it decided to make a quick journey over to Seattle to catch its latest college football player.

According to KIRO TV in Seattle, Washington running back Johri Fogerson was arrested overnight and is currently in Snohomish County Jail.
Huskies tailback Johri Fogerson is jailed on suspicion of resisting arrest and possession of marijuana after a pursuit that ended overnight in Mill Creek.
The details of the pursuit aren't known yet, but according to police radio traffic, a driver fleeing police jumped out of a car near 164th Street in Mill Creek just before midnight and ran. Police found the man and arrested him.
Fogerson is being held at the Snohomish County Jail, according to the jail roster. The roster lists "resisting arrest from the WSP" and "drug charge (less than 40 grams of marijuana)" as the alleged offenses.
Seriously, if I'm Steve Sarkisian, I'm not sure what upsets me more. The fact that my running back was arrested, or the fact that my running back couldn't outrun the police. I mean, if you can't get away from a police officer, then you've got no chance of outrunning an Oregon linebacker.

The school has not yet commented on Fogerson's arrest, or what kind of punishment he'll receive. Still, I can't help but think that getting arrested for marijuana possession and trying to evade police could do anything but help his rap career.


Posted on: February 11, 2011 1:00 pm
 

Pac-12's hands-on Scott leads officiating changes

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

When Larry Scott was named commissioner of the then-Pac-10 in summer 2009, more than one observer wondered how involved in football an East Coast-bred administrator whose only previous sports experience came in women's tennis would really be.

It didn't take long for him to give us an answer, aggressively reshaping the league into the Pac-12 and by many accounts nearly convincing Texas to become the tentpole for a 16-team superconference. Scott has already taken one step to extricate the league from its less-than-optimal television contracts, signing a lucrative deal with Fox for the new conference title game. And now two stories out of the West Coast show that Scott's not slowing down his proactive ways anytime soon.

The first: under the direction of former NFL official (and Fox replay-challenge expert) Mike Pereira, the Pac-12 is overhauling its football officiating programs , starting with the departure of longtime Coordinator of Football Officiating Dave Cutaia and continuing with ... well, we're not sure, but it sounds great:
"Like in other high priority areas, we have taken a fresh look at our program, and will be implementing a series of changes that are forward-looking, innovative and take our program to the next level," Scott said. "The game and level of play is always improving, so it's essential that in the critical area of officiating, the program continue to evolve and improve as well."

The adjustments to the Pac-12 football officiating program came after a season-long review of the entire program by Mike Pereira ... The implementation of the officiating program coincides with the beginning of the new Pac-12 Conference, which features the addition of the University of
Colorado and the University of Utah .
Again, what this "series of changes" entails specifically -- what "adjustments" will be "implemented" when the season begins -- are still a question mark. But given the occasionally laughable errors made by Pac-12 officials the past few years and certain ethically dubious officiating policies , it's clear there's plenty of areas that need the improvement.

But it's the other story that really illustrates how involved with his conference's member schools Scott wants to be. Remember when Washington's athletic director called Oregon's academics "an embarrassment"? Per the Seattle Times, Scott tried to arrange for U-Dub to issue an apology by writing their apology for them :
On the Monday following the Nov. 6 game, Scott sent to UW interim president Phyllis Wise what was referred to as "our suggestion" of a one-paragraph statement UW could release, apologizing for the incident ...

Wise, on Tuesday afternoon following the game, released a letter she had sent to Woodward admonishing him for an "uncharacteristic lack of judgment" and asking that he personally apologize to Oregon President Richard Lariviere . Scott's letter to Wise had not sought a personal Woodward apology.

One sentence in Scott's letter is almost identical to what Wise released, stating that Wise had called Lariviere and "reinforced that these comments do not reflect the views of our administration."

When discussing the most powerful commissioners in college football, the first two names that come to mind are Mike Slive and Jim Delany. But if Scott remains this insistent on managing his league's affairs in this kind of detail as well as leading the charge on issues like TV contracts and expansion, he might find himself in Slive's and Delany's company before too much longer.


Posted on: February 5, 2011 1:40 pm
 

Tate Forcier plans to visit five schools

Posted by Tom Fornelli

Now that the recruiting carousel has stopped spinning for the most part in 2011, former Michigan quarterback Tate Forcier has a better idea of what schools will be interested in his services, and it seems he begins to plan visiting schools on Monday. According to a tweet from Joe Schad on Saturday morning, those schools are Kansas State, Washington, Arizona, Miami and Montana.




Schad tweeted later that the visits will start with Kansas State or Miami first.

Interestingly enough, two of the schools on Forcier's list are Washington and Miami. The same two schools who just lost out on Jacoby Brissett to Florida. Though it should be pointed out that Washington may have an edge on the other schools. Forcier comes from San Diego and has worked with quarterback guru Steve Clarkson in the past. Clarkson has ties to current Washington head coach Steve Sarkisian, which you would think works to the Huskies benefit.

Though what will matter the most to Forcier, who will likely have to sit out a year before playing again anywhere, is the chance to play on Saturdays.
Posted on: January 14, 2011 2:11 pm
 

What I learned from the Big 12: Bowl Edition

Posted by Tom Fornelli

1. Oklahoma can crush Cinderella in a BCS bowl.  Just as long as Cinderella makes her way to the ball through a BCS conference.  After years of being woken up in the middle of the night due to nightmares about the Statue of Liberty, Ian Johnson and blue grass, Bob Stoops can finally get a good night's sleep.  Sure, beating UConn isn't exactly going to make the country stand up and notice Oklahoma, but at least the Sooners finally get to head into an offseason with some positive momentum behind them.  With Landry Jones and Ryan Broyles both coming back next season, the Sooners are the easy pick to be favored in the Slightly Smaller 12 and should contend for another national championship.

2. Though Oklahoma State may have a different opinion about that.  The Cowboys put the finishing touches on a season that saw the team fall six points shy of toppling their in-state rivals and playing for their own conference championship.  It seems like every season we say that "this could be the year" for Oklahoma State, and the Cowboys inevitably fall short of expectations.  This year, they surpassed them. With an easy win over Arizona in the Alamo Bowl, and the prospect of having Brandon Weeden and Justin Blackmon back next year, the Cowboys should make some more noise in 2011.

3. Kansas State may not celebrate anything ever again.  It wasn't the most important bowl game of the season by any means, but the end of the Pinstripe Bowl is a memory that is likely to stick with me for a while.  I know the Wildcats will remember it.  What was a great game was marred by a bad call at the end when Adrian Hilburn was called for unsportsmanlike conduct following a touchdown when saluting the crowd.  This decision cost Kansas State a chance to win the game as the Wildcats were forced to attempt a game-tying two-point conversion from the 18-yard line.

4. While we're on the subject of the Big Ten taking things from the Big 12.  Farewell to the Nebraska Cornhuskers, who now move on to the Big Ten for the 2011 season.  Judging by Nebraska's performance against Washington in the Holiday Bowl, it's a move that couldn't have come quick enough for the Huskers.  After losing to Oklahoma in the final Big 12 Championship, Nebraska didn't look like a team with anything much to play for against Washington.  As odd as it will feel to see Nebraska playing in the Big Ten next season, it'll be stranger still to not see them playing in the Big 12.
Posted on: January 12, 2011 3:17 pm
 

What I Learned in the Pac-10: Bowl Edition

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

The Pac-10 goes 2-2 in its four -- yes, just four -- bowl games. Wrapping up:

1. Oregon still has to prove it can outfox teams outside the conference. For all of Chip Kelly's undeniable brilliance at the Oregon helm, the last three times the Ducks have stepped out of conference to face quality defensive opposition -- and frankly, we're being generous by even including Auburn in that discussion -- they've scored 8, 17, and 19 points (against Boise State, Ohio State, and the Tigers, respectively). Those totals are a far, far cry from the Ginsu job the Ducks have performed on the Pac-10 the past two seasons, and they beg the question: what kind of kryptonite do defensive coordinators outside the league have that those inside it don't?

To be fair, it may be a simple matter of preparation; all three of the above teams had far longer than the typical work week to watch film and prep for the Duck tempo. And the torrent of TV-dictated stoppages in bowl games didn't do anything to help Oregon's attempts to wear down the Buckeyes or Tigers from a stamina standpoint. But the root of Oregon's problems in these games doesn't have anything to do with either of those issues; it's that they've simply been destroyed at the line of scrimmage. Whether it's Boise's Ryan Winterswyk, OSU's Cameron Heyward, or now Nick Fairley, the Ducks have had no answer for the elite linemen on the other side of the ball.

No one will argue that the Duck offensive linemen aren't well-coached, athletic, quality players. They've been good enough to win two Pac-10 titles and 22 games in two years. But to take the next step and win Oregon's first national title, Kelly may have to find a way to upgrade his offensive front all the same.

2. If they can keep the staff intact, Stanford's not going anywhere. Or at least, not far. No one will argue that Jim Harbaugh wasn't the driving force behind the Cardinal's unfathomable rise to 12-1 and beyond-impressive 40-12 demolition of Virginia Tech (remember that despite their short-week loss to James Madison, the Hokies had ripped through an improved ACC without even being seriously challenged), but that doesn't mean he was the only force. Andrew Luck will return in 2011 as the hands-down, no-debate best quarterback in the nation. Offensive coordinator Greg Roman has already drawn head coaching interest and has learned directly under Harbaugh the past three seasons. Defensive coordinator Vic Fangio just finished overseeing the biggest single-season defensive improvement in the conference, if not the countr. And Harbaugh's recruiting prowess means the cupboard should remain well-stocked for the next few years.

2010 may be the high-water mark for the program all the same. But if both Roman and Fangio are retained -- and it seems likely they will be, if one or the other is named head coach -- don't expect much of a drop-off in the near future, even with Harbaugh in San Francisco. The team on display at the Orange Bowl was clearly constructed well enough to withstand the loss of a single pillar, even if it happened to be the biggest one.

3. Arizona doesn't really "do" that whole bowl game scene, man. The Wildcats' appeared to have taken an important step forward during the 2009 regular season, coming within one overtime loss against the Ducks of a Rose Bowl berth. But then they took a big one back with a 33-0 shellacking at the hands of Nebraska in the Holiday Bowl. This year, Mike Stoops needed a solid performance in the Alamo Bowl to wash out the taste of the 'Cats' season-ending four-game losing streak, and instead his team laid another colossal egg, meekly succumbing to Oklahoma State 36-10.

With victories or even respectable performances in those two bowls, Stoops would still have his team firmly established as one of the "up-and-comers" in the Pac-10. As is, 2011 isn't a make-or-break year for Stoops just yet ... but another iffy regular season followed by a third bowl faceplent would mean 2012 certainly would be.

4. Washington had a winning season. OK, that's not really something we "learned" as much as something that simply happened, but it's as close as we'll get since we're not sure there really was anything to learn from the Huskies' 19-7 win over Nebraska in this year's edition of the Holiday Bowl. Certainly it was a thrill for Jake Locker and the other Husky seniors to go out with a win, and after a disappointing year for coordinator Nick Holt's defense, holding the Huskers to a measly 7 points -- after giving up 56 to them in Seattle during the regular season -- will provide some optimism for next year. But with the Huskers visibly unfocused and unmotivated for a bowl game they'd played the year before against a team they'd already flattened during the regular season (and Taylor Martinez still not 100 percent), it's questionable how much an accomplishment the win really is. And with the face-of-the-program Locker departed, it's equally questionable how similar next year's Huskies will look to this year's.

So: it's a nice story for Washington. But it doesn't tells us much, if anything, about the Huskies going forward.

 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com