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Author Topic:   College Football 2010
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From:Redmond, WA
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posted April 02, 2010 09:03 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for fred   Click Here to Email fred     Edit/Delete Message
otre Dame recruit dies in spring break accident
Standout lineman James reportedly fell from a third-floor hotel balcony news services
updated 8:04 p.m. PT, Fri., April 2, 2010

Offensive lineman Matt James, one of the top prospects in new Notre Dame coach Brain Kelly's first recruiting class, died Friday in Panama City, Fla., after falling from a third-floor hotel balcony, according to WKRC-TV in Cincinnati and the South Bend (Ind.) Tribune.

James, who was won one week shy of his 18th birthday, was vacationing in Florida for spring break.

The 6-foot-6, 291-pound offensive tackle from Cincinnati's St. Xavier High School had chosen Notre Dame over home-state power Ohio State.

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posted June 10, 2010 09:11 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for indiedan   Click Here to Email indiedan     Edit/Delete Message
USC sanctions could allow for player exodus
Posted by John Taylor on June 10, 2010 11:03 AM ET
The NCAA is scheduled to hold a teleconference at 3 p.m. ET Thursday afternoon, at which point they will release their findings into the USC football program and any sanctions levied on the university.

As was reported late last night by multiple outlets, those sanctions are expected to include, among other penalties, a two-year bowl ban and the loss of at least 20 scholarships spread out over an undetermined amount of years.

Additionally, the language of the report written by the NCAA could allow for certain players to bolt the program without penalty. According to Scott Wolf of the Los Angeles Daily News, "[i]f the NCAA committee on infractions recommends it, any USC football [player] with two years of eligibility or less could transfer without sitting out a year because of the two-year bowl ban."

Scholarship reductions? Players receiving a free hall pass out of Heritage Hall permanently? It's no wonder head coach Lane Kiffin was reportedly "livid" at the sanctions about to be handed down on what is now his football program.

All of this, and we haven't even mentioned the possibility of the Trojans being stripped of the BcS title they earned for their performance on the field in 2004.

The severity of the apparent sanctions has some involved with the program already thinking appeal.

"We got killed," an unnamed source who saw the report told the Daily News. "There's no way we won't appeal this decision. One year would be hard to take, but two years?"

As noted by the Daily News, this would be the stiffest penalty for a Pac-10 school since Washington in the mid-nineties.

It would also be a similar fate suffered by Alabama back in the early 2000's, and it only took them six years, three "head coaches" and one Nick Saban to get out from under the fog of sanctions.

The USC faithful had better hope Kiffin is their Saban, not their Mike Shula, though.

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posted June 10, 2010 01:00 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for fred   Click Here to Email fred     Edit/Delete Message
NCAA delivers postseason football ban news services

The University of Southern California has received a two-year bowl ban and a sharp loss of football scholarships in a report on the NCAA's four-year investigation of the school.

The NCAA cited USC for a lack of institutional control Thursday in its long-awaited report, which detailed numerous violations primarily involving Heisman Trophy-winning tailback Reggie Bush and men's basketball player O.J. Mayo.

NCAA report

USC The NCAA released a 67-page report detailing its findings in an investigation of the USC athletic program. Read it here. Report.

The violations, which span almost four years, primarily involved "agent and amateurism issues for a former football student-athlete and a former men's basketball student-athlete," the NCAA wrote in its report.

The NCAA found that Bush was ineligible beginning at least by December 2004, a ruling that could open discussion on the revocation of his Heisman Trophy. Members of the Heisman Trophy Trust have said they might review Bush's award if he was ruled ineligible by the NCAA.

"The Heisman Trophy Trust will have a comment at the appropriate time," the group said in a statement. "Until that time, it will have no comment."

The NCAA also ordered USC to vacate every victory in which Bush participated while ineligible. USC beat Oklahoma in the BCS championship game on Jan. 4, 2005, and won 12 games during Bush's Heisman-winning 2005 season, which ended with a loss to Texas in the Rose Bowl.

"I have a great love for the University of Southern California and I very much regret the turn that this matter has taken, not only for USC, but for the fans and players," Bush said in a statement.

"I am disappointed by [Thursday's] decision and disagree with the NCAA's findings. If the University decides to appeal, I will continue to cooperate with the NCAA and USC, as I did during the investigation. In the meantime, I will continue to focus on making a positive impact for the University and for the community where I live," Bush said.

The ruling is a sharp repudiation of the Trojans' decade of success under former coach Pete Carroll, when USC won seven straight Pac-10 titles and two national championships. Carroll left the school for the NFL's Seattle Seahawks in January.

While the bowl ban is the most damaging to new coach Lane Kiffin, USC also will lose 30 scholarships over a three-year period, 10 annually from 2011-13. The Trojans received four years of probation.

The Trojans have been under a growing cloud of suspicion since Bush's apparently shady dealings with aspiring sports marketers and sketchy businessmen were first revealed. The NCAA, the Pac-10 and even the FBI conducted investigations into the Bush family's business relationships and USC's responsibility for the culture around its marquee football team.

USC reaction

Luginbill While the postseason ban will hurt, it's the loss of scholarships that will impact USC the most and Lane Kiffin & Co. will have their work cut out for him on the recruiting trail, as Tom Luginbill notes. Blog

USC is the first Football Bowl Subdivision school to be banned from postseason play since Alabama served a two-year ban ending in 2003. The NCAA issued no bowl bans during the tenure of late president Myles Brand, but the NCAA reportedly regained interest in the punishment over the past year.

USC has long been known for its lenient admission policy at football practice, which during Carroll's tenure was open to almost anybody who wanted to watch. No longer: The NCAA also prohibited all non-university personnel, except media and a few others, from attending practices and camps or even standing on the sidelines during games.

While coming down hard on the football team, the NCAA largely accepted the terms of USC's self-imposed punishment on its men's basketball team.

USC banned itself from postseason play last season, stripped one scholarship for last season and the upcoming season, and reduced its recruiting abilities over the next year. The Trojans also vacated their 21 victories during the 2007-08 season under former coach Tim Floyd, who was accused of giving cash to a middleman who helped steer Mayo to USC.

"Elite athletes in high profile sports with obvious great future earnings potential may see themselves as something apart from other student-athletes and the general student population," the NCAA report said. "Institutions need to assure that their treatment on campus does not feed into such a perception."

USC already admitted wrongdoing with the basketball program and sanctioned itself, including a ban on postseason participation, a reduction of scholarships and vacating all of its wins from 2007-08.

USC chose to contest the allegation against the football program.

The school was fined $5,000 and forfeits its $206,200 it earned from the 2008 men's basketball tournament.

Information from The Associated Press is included in this report.

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posted August 31, 2010 11:36 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for fred   Click Here to Email fred     Edit/Delete Message

Boise goes from darlings to damned
Dan Wetzel

By Dan Wetzel, Yahoo! Sports 14 hours, 38 minutes ago
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Follow Dan Wetzel on Twitter at @DanWetzel

On New Year’s Day, 2007, upstart Boise State used a series of trick-plays (capped by a Statue of Liberty two-point conversion and ensuing marriage proposal) to upset Oklahoma in the Fiesta Bowl.

That night the Broncos were college football darlings – if not loved then at least appreciated by nearly everyone outside of Norman.

Fast forward five seasons and Boise State is bigger, better and suddenly no longer so popular. In some circles, they’ve become the most hated – or at least rooted against – team in America. Move over Notre Dame.
More From Dan Wetzel

* Big Ten selling out tradition Aug 23, 2010
* BYU's bold move: Independence? Aug 18, 2010

Boise still has plenty of fans, many of whom would love to see the third-ranked Broncos put together another unbeaten season and crash not just any BCS bowl, but the title game. It would serve as the ultimate comeuppance to the despised way college football crowns its champion.
Chris Petersen's Broncos may have an easy road to the BCS title game, but they are not to blame for the situation.
Joe Robbins/Getty Images

As the 2010 season kicks off this week however, fans of teams from major conferences, especially ones with realistic championship chances, increasingly see Boise as something other than a plucky underdog. The Broncos are a team that, based on a favorable schedule, may have found an inside, and potentially unworthy, route to win a national title.

The Boise backlash is more pragmatic than deep-seated, yet it is real.

It’s made Boise’s Labor Day matchup against No. 10 Virginia Tech in Landover, Md., one of the most divisive games of the season because the Hokies may be the only team capable of stopping the Boise Express.

If the Broncos beat Va. Tech only one significant hurdle remains on the season – a Sept. 25 home game against No. 24 Oregon State. Boise should be heavily favored in its other 10 games. While a perfect season is never easy, the Broncos have won 64 of their last 66 games in the Western Athletic Conference.

Because Boise is so highly ranked in the preseason poll – an advantage that should carry over to the opinion-heavy BCS formula – its championship hopes essentially boil down to a two-game season.

Critics are howling – and for good reason. The road Boise has isn’t nearly as competitive, grueling or dangerous as a team from say the SEC or Big Ten, even ones with cupcake laden non-conference slates. It may not even be as tough as Mountain West favorite Texas Christian – which at No. 6 is primed to follow the same path as Boise. If the season is particularly chaotic, those two teams could even play each other for the BCS title.

Yet if you want to complain about the fortuitous spot the Broncos have put themselves in, don’t direct the venom at coach Chris Petersen’s program.

Try shouting at the major conference commissioners who run the BCS and continue to cling to a system that may blow up in their face.

In particular the Big Ten, Big 12, Big East and Pac-10, who in 2008 refused to even discuss the so-called “Plus One” plan that would’ve served as a four-team playoff and lessened the angst about Boise. (The SEC and ACC backed the proposal.) Those big leagues created the path for this small program.

Boise State has always been a great story. Now it’s a tale rich in Shakespearean-level irony.

The problem isn’t Boise State per se; it’s the system it has to work under.

Rather than settle the issue on the field, the BCS uses a combination of shaky opinion polls and unsound computer formulas (legitimate mathematicians and quantitative analysts have called for a boycott of the system) to determine the title game matchup.

If you finish in the top two of the standings you play for the championship. Unless at least two major conference teams finish the season unbeaten (which has happened just once in the last four years) a 12-0 Boise club is probably in the game.

The mistake is for fans to view the BCS as a small school vs. big school issue. That’s simplistic and inaccurate. The BCS has proven adept at screwing over teams of all sizes.

Boise is just playing by the rules that were designed to keep teams like them down. This is a system that deemed Boise’s three perfect years since 2006 unworthy of a title game appearance. If it now claims 2010, which would be the team’s third consecutive 12-0 regular season, is good enough, why should they apologize? There’s no doubting this is an excellent football program. From 2000-09 they went 112-17.

Besides, not only did Boise not create the system, they’ve fought relentlessly to change it to something more equitable for everyone. They’ve complained publicly and worked privately. They’ve gone so far as to hire a powerful Washington D.C. law firm, Arent Fox, to push the United States Justice Department to investigate the BCS.

They will move next year to the Mountain West, a more competitive (albeit not BCS-level) league. They’d gladly accept a bid to any of the six power conferences.

They’ve backed NCAA legislation to make the regular season more competitive – including a plan to demand home-and-home series for all non-conference games. They’ve begged powerhouse teams to schedule them – throwing down the gauntlet of any time, anywhere.

And while few major teams are willing to come to Boise’s famous blue turf, the Broncos say they are willing to play without a return game in Idaho. While they demand a high appearance fee (Ole Miss will pay Boise a reported $900,000 to play in Oxford in 2011) that’s far less than the $1.4 million less prestigious and less successful (at least recently) Colorado will get from Ohio State for a single game next season.

Boise has never asked for anything more than the chance to test itself against the nation’s best.

Petersen, the Broncos coach, even takes the high-road approach. He does very little BCS bashing. He steadfastly refuses to politic for poll position – “it’s never enough.” He usually just shrugs his shoulders at the situation and coaches his team.

No one wants the BCS gone and a playoff installed that requires a team to prove its worth on the field more than Boise State.

And no one wants the BCS to stay so perception, scheduling quirks and opinion polls determine the champion more than major conference commissioners – although their motivation is mostly on protecting their cronies who operate bowl games.

So yes, Boise State has found itself facing a dream scenario. With 21 of 22 starters returning from a 13-0 team, it has a schedule the other national contenders would kill to face.

They won’t have to deal with the mental and physical grind of a big conference schedule. They won’t have to play week after week in hostile, 80,000-seat stadiums. They won’t have to dodge as many bullets.

That’s the BCS though. It isn’t smart, sensible or fair.

Just like Boise State has been saying all along.

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posted August 31, 2010 02:48 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for AuthorAuthor   Click Here to Email AuthorAuthor     Edit/Delete Message
New coach Kelly’s debut nears at Notre Dame

By RICK GANO, AP Sports Writer

SOUTH BEND, Ind. (AP)—Brian Kelly’s wait is nearly over. Call it 20 years in the making.

Those other head coaching stops at Grand Valley State, Central Michigan and Cincinnati? They helped prepare him. Now, it’s really time to step up.

He’ll be greeted by 80,000 boisterous fans Saturday when he takes his Notre Dame team onto the field for the first time for the season-opener against Purdue. Most eyes will be on him. He’s already pledged that his mission is to win immediately and put the Irish back on the national radar.

“I’ll be excited, obviously, running out and being on the field for the first time but that will go all away just like it goes away, the excitement or the jitters, on that first hit,” Kelly said.

“It goes away as a coach on that first play call. Especially if they boo you. It gets your attention right away … I think once you get into that game and that ball is kicked, you focus like any other game. You focus like you’re at Grand Valley State.”

But it won’t be.

And if Kelly’s nervous with game day approaching, it doesn’t show. He’s trying to immerse himself in preparations for the Boilermakers, a game important for more than just being the opener. It’s an early opportunity to show his team and those watching that what he’s been preaching and installing really works for them—like it did at Cincinnati, where the Bearcats went 12-0 in the regular season a year ago.

As you would imagine, Kelly has gotten a read on his team since taking over in December and going through both spring and prison practices. It’s a sense you get when you’re around young players for so many hours in close quarters, sometimes patting them on the back, sometimes loudly criticizing them.

Kelly took his team to Notre Dame Stadium last Friday and could tell that his players were tight. So he gave them an example to loosen them up: himself.

“So it was pretty clear to me that our football team needed to stop thinking about being Notre Dame football players and just play the game,” Kelly said.

“And I used my own circumstances to try to bring it on a more understandable plain for them,” he said. “That is, I can’t come to work every day thinking I’m the head coach at Notre Dame. There are just too many things out there that you would succumb to all the pressure. I come thinking about the process every day.”

As far as his players go, Kelly said that even though freshman Tommy Rees is listed behind Dayne Crist on a two-deep depth chart that he is not necessarily the No. 2 quarterback ahead of Nate Montana, the former walk-on and son of Joe Montana who is now on scholarship.

Kelly said Rees and Montana could have been listed as 2A and 2B but he only filled out two slots.

“There is no No. 2 or No. 3,” Kelly said, adding that spot will continue to be evaluated all season. “I don’t think it’s accurate to say that he’s nailed that position down.”

And Crist, who replaces Jimmy Clausen under center for the Irish? He’s getting his first start and his teammates have were barred from hitting him during spring and preseason practice. After knee surgery last November, Crist’s first contact will come on his first hit in the Purdue game.

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posted October 07, 2010 11:49 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for kcchief   Click Here to Email kcchief     Edit/Delete Message

Michigan State and Michigan set to add new chapter

By LARRY LAGE, AP Sports Writer 7 hours, 27 minutes ago
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ANN ARBOR, Mich. (AP)—Desmond Howard sighed, then answered the question.

How often is Howard asked about the end of the 1990 Michigan State-Michigan game in which he was tripped or defended and then caught or dropped—depending on your perspective—a 2-point conversion attempt, allowing the Spartans to stun the top-ranked Wolverines 28-27?

“It doesn’t come up until Michigan plays Michigan State,” Howard said Thursday in an interview with The Associated Press. “I don’t think people care about that game outside the state of Michigan.”

Within the borders of the mitten-shaped state, though, a ton of alums and thousands of fans of both schools still talk about that stirring finish and many of the other memorable meetings on the football field over the past two decades.

The 17th-ranked Spartans (5-0, 1-0 Big Ten) will travel to play the 18th-ranked Wolverines (5-0, 1-0) Saturday in the Big House, matching up as undefeated for the first time since 1999 and as ranked teams for the first time in seven years.

The bitter rivals have had combined for some unforgettable moments the past two decades, from Howard getting tangled up in the end zone to the Wolverines losing a second straight game to the Spartans last year for the first time since the 1960s.

In between, Michigan’s Charles Woodson made a jaw-dropping, leaping one-handed interception on a pass intended for the front row in 1997 and two years later Plaxico Burress was so dominant even Tom Brady couldn’t lead the Wolverines to a comeback victory.

T.J. Duckett’s touchdown catch in 2001 with a disputed second left, though, gave Michigan State a win that is perhaps the most famous, or infamous, snapshot that most people in Michigan can still see with their mind’s eye.

Michigan State, with one time out left, started the winning drive at the Michigan 43 with 2:09 left.

On a fourth-and-16 from the 50, an incomplete pass turned into a first down for Michigan State when cornerback Jeremy LeSueur was called for a personal foul for flagrantly making contact with receiver Charles Rogers’ face mask.

Later, Smoker spiked the ball with 17 seconds left, scrambled for 2 yards to the 1 and spiked the ball again with a second left. Michigan’s coaches, players and fans still believe that tick was only on the clock because a man known as “Spartan Bob” was helping out the home team.

“I’ve talked to Spartan Bob about it and he said if college football clocks had tenths of a second back then, there would’ve been three-tenths left,” Duckett said. “Technically, there was time left.”

Former Michigan linebacker Larry Foote still doesn’t buy it.

“Those refs cheated us out of that game,” Foote said. “Even before that clock guy cheated us, the ref did by tossing the ball to the center before that last spike instead of spotting the ball himself. I was so mad after that game, I threw my helmet about 30 yards down the field trying to hit those jokers when they were running off the field.”

Michigan’s last win was memorable because after Mike Hart helped the Wolverines to a comeback win in East Lansing in 2007 he stung them with a jab during the postgame news conference.

“Sometimes, you get your little brother excited when you’re playing basketball—let them get the lead,” Hart said after Michigan overcame a 10-point deficit midway through the fourth quarter to win on Chad Henne’s TD pass to Mario Manningham. “And then you come back.”

Since then, more than 1,000 days have passed without a Michigan win against Michigan State in football or men’s basketball.

Michigan State made quite a comeback in the 1995 game, going on an 11-play, 88-yard drive capped by Tony Banks’ 25-yard pass to Nigea Carter with 1:24 left for a 28-25 win under then-coach Nick Saban.

“Even Nick got excited that night,” Carter said. “When I got to the sideline, he gave me a big bear hug. I’ll never forget it because that was the first and only time Nick Saban ever hugged me.”

The Spartans needed a consoling hug when Braylon Edwards was done with them in 2005, making a third TD catch in triple overtime to lift Michigan to a 45-37 win after trailing by 17 in the fourth quarter.

“That one hurt and not just because I still have a scar from the surgery I needed after separating my shoulder in that game,” ex-Michigan State quarterback Drew Stanton said. “But the game is what’s great about college football, playing with and against guys that you’ve known your whole life.”

Many Michigan men might be bitter for the rest of their life about how Eddie Brown made Howard stumble in the end zone before the receiver caught Elvis Grbac’s pass and couldn’t hold onto the football after hitting the turf.

But Michigan State’s coach at the time, George Perles, is not ready to make any apologies for the victory.

“They went for 2 and the win and it didn’t work out,” Perles said. “Desmond Howard got hit right in the chest with the pass and he dropped it.”

Famed broadcaster Keith Jackson closed the ABC broadcast that day, saying it was “one of the great college football games of my lifetime,” and everyone rooting for the green and white or against the maize and blue probably agreed.

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