Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Louisville Cardinals 2012 Preview

The Cardinals, statistically, don't look like a football team that should be all that great this season, and I doubt that they will be great, but they will be very good in 2012, as so many young players got in exceptional playing time in 2011. Bridgewater could very well turn a major corner, and a defense that was young and inexperienced last season, is now seasoned up. Charlie Strong will have a very good team on the field this season, and there is no reason right now to think that they will not be able to compete for the Big East title. If injuries occur, however, that could derail the effort. READ MORE

Monday, July 30, 2012

New Mexico Lobos 2012 Preview

The disastrous Mike Locksley era has gone, and it may have been one of the worst coaching hires ever made in major college football. Locksley was a mess from day one, and had more baggage than anyone the Mountain West has likely ever seen. The Lobos made a nice and safe hire in Bob Davie, and it certainly was a hire that nobody saw coming, but Davie is a risk himself, and he could be the undoing of the athletic department staff as a whole if this does not work out. Davie is bringing back some likability to the program from the front man perspective, something that Locksley lacked in buckets. Davie has very little to work with here, so expect some very rough moments this season as he tries to rebuild an image, a team, and a culture around this program. READ MORE

Hawaii Warriors 2012 Preview

Hawaii will have many questions heading into the 2012 season, not the least of which is their choice for their new head coach in Norm Chow. Chow is at a bit of an advanced age to be a first time head coach, and has been on the decline for years in his duties as OC and QB coach at Tennessee in the NFL and at UCLA. As that all stands, he has issues on offense that may not be able to be fixed early on in the season, and it is going to probably be a very bumpy road heading through their first season in the Mountain West. The talent level is not all there, and there are many new starters to worry about, and the schedule is a bit brutal to think that they can overcome all of that. Best case scenario I see is 5 wins this season. READ MORE

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Jeff Hurd Video: WAC Media Days

I have been having a great deal of trouble getting our own copy of this video posted, so I will direct you to the WAC site itself for this video, as it is a large file, too large to process on our YouTube channel. Here is the link...enjoy!

San Diego State Aztecs 2012 Preview

The Atecs have enjoyed a few good seasons in a row now, but they may be a real mess in 2012. The defense is a mess with 8 new starters in the fold, while the offense loses a major amount of firepower in Lindley and Hillman. Rocky Long will have his hands full this season, and winning 5 games would be considered a solid effort in my book. The schedule is easy out of conference, but demanding in it, and the Aztecs don't seem to have the bodies to take too many hits. If injuries mount early, winning 5 would be a miracle. READ MORE

Nevada Wolfpack 2012 Preview

Nevada was picked by the MWC coaches to be the favorite this season to win the conference title. I won't go that far just yet with this club, but they certainly have as much a chance as anyone at this point in what should be a wide open battle for the top spot Chris Ault has brought in Nick Rolovich as his new OC from Hawaii to add some passing wrinkles to the Pistol offense, and that should help Fajardo tremendously. If the D line can gel early, Nevada could be a team to watch out west, and could ruin Boise State's conference exit party. READ MORE

Thursday, July 26, 2012

On the Radio

Please join me tonight as I appear on "Tha Sports Krib" radio show tonight at 9PM EST:


Please join me again at 10PM EST, as I join the "Tailgate Party" Radio show:


WAC Media Day Recap Part 1

What could be the final WAC Media Day for football is now in the books. We have spent most of the last two days at the Orleans Arena in the Orleans Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas working this event. with everything now finished, we will recap what we learned as the day progressed.

Texas State
Dennis Franchione is in his second season with the Bobcats, who are transitioning into FBS football. He will see his program spend one season in the WAC before moving on to the Sun Belt next fall. Franchione acknowledged some issues at QB last fall, but stated that to be fair, Tyler Arndt was never fully healthy last season, and he has basically lost the starting job. He still expects him to play at times this season.
Franchione also talked about his kicking game, and while touting the talents of Will Johnson, who will Punt and PK this season, he also talked of the need for consistency. He stated that he believes in Johnson's leg, but if he cannot get more accurate, they could have a problem.
This will be the first season in the history of Texas State football that they will field 85 scholarship players, as is allowed under FBS membership, and he believes that his group of players all think that they belong on this level, and used their loss at Texas Tech last season (when TSU led Tech 10-9 at the half) as an indication.
One major point of conversation was the Thanksgiving weekend I-35 Bowl between Texas State and UT-San Antonio. That game is expected to sell out this season in San Antonio, but there is no agreement after 2012 for the game to continue between two schools who are 40 miles apart. There is no indication that the series will continue, as UTSA wants to play the game every season at the Alamo Dome. They have agreed to hand over the home share of the game every other season, but with the Bobcats having paid $70 million to renovate their stadium, they have no interest in giving up a home contest in their stadium every other season.

The Vandals are one of the two remaining teams left in the WAC after 2012, meaning that they have no conference home at all, and will likely be an independent. Rob Akey was extremely talkative, but may be just a tad bit overly positive about the future of the program, and is not thinking ahead of 2012. He believes that Idaho can survive as an independent for an indefinite period of time.
Overall the Vandals are not in great shape, and have been picked to finish 5th in the conference. There is still an ongoing QB battle, and it may not be solved until late in fall camp.
Idaho has been invited to the Big Sky, but they are holding out for a WAC rebirth in 2014.

Louisiana Tech
The Bulldogs are in prime shape to win the WAC, but realistically, if you talk to Sonny Sykes, you would have to believe that they will be much more than that. Dykes and his players are not intimidated by anyone on their schedule, including TexasA&M, which is their opener in Shreveport. We asked Coach Dykes about their schedule, and what the challenges are regarding playing 4 of 6 on the road to start the season. He stated that there really are fewer challenges with that than one would think, as he stated there are fewer distractions on the road on many levels.
Overall, Tech looks like they could make some major waves nationally this season, and it may be their best team ever.

UT-San Antonio
Larry Coker is probably one of the nicest people you will ever meet. He is extremely happy to be at UTSA, and enjoys the challenges of starting up a program from scratch. I asked him whether or not he was surprised by the community support of the program in his first season, and he stated that he was not surprised, he was shocked. His big focus is in graduating players first, and winning second.
Coker was really excited about his team's spring practice sessions, and he expects that the Roadrunners will see major improvements in 2012, despite the jump in competition, and he will expect his team to compete to win every single game.
There are 36 sophomores on this football team, and only 6 seniors are on the roster. This is a very young football team, and they are only in year two of competition. Maturity was a major problem on the field last fall, and they feel that they are beyond that now.
Scheduling is improving as UTSA puts together their future slates, and they hav several big teams coming to the Alamo Dome over the next several years.

Paret two of our recap comes tonight. Stay tuned!

WAC Media Days: Utah State

Coach Gary Anderson has the podium, joined by Bojay Filimoeatu and Matt Austin:

  • USU will be on national TV this season 4 or 5 times this season.
  • Wisconsin is a highlite game for TV.
  • Conference is evenly matched.
  • All games will be highly contested.
  • Credits his players in raising expectations by media, coaches.
  • Happy to be respected.
  • Respect gets you no rings, bowl games.
  • Can go with 4 TEs on the field at any given time.
  • Have talent at WR.
  • Matt Austin is the leader on offense.
  • Kerwynn Williams needs some help at RB.
  • Nobody came out of spring ball as a solid backup option behind Williams at RB.
  • Feels great about QB siutation, has two that will play in Keeton and Adam Kennedy.
  • Want to run the ball with power, but want to consistently throw the ball.
  • Feels there was not enough balance on offense last fall.
  • Feels zero pressure to name a QB. Has no agenda about it. May name one, may not.
  • Scheduling BYU and Utah is a priority, but they want home and home, not 2 for 1 deals. Program is too established for 2for 1 deals with in-state rivals.
  • BYU, Utah not on schedule past 2015.
  • Have to find a way to play well for 4 quarters. Won't get off of the edge unless they can find consistency.
  • Defensive line will be a focus, as Al Wilson told us last night.
  • 16 seniors this season, and will be at 84 scholarships this season, so team will be young.
  • Depending on seniors to lead by example.
Wrap up for WAC Media Days coming up!

WAC Media Days: San Jose State

Mike MacIntyre and David Quessenberry are on the podium.

  • Team is stronger now than when MacIntyre got there.
  • Excited about 6th home game this season.
  • Team is better now than this time last season.
  • Utah State, La. Tech are two of the best teams on the schedule this season.
  • Talking about Travis Johnson and what he means to the team overall.
  • Everything gets better, or gets worse, but nothing stays the same.
  • Cornerstone of the program to always get better.
  • Creating culture of an every day work attitude.
  • Trying to build a foundation that lasts, rather than being a one hit wonder.
  • Believes that he has 4 capable guys at QB.
  • Does not feel a drop off if hit by injuries at QB.
  • Will work as many QBs in fall camp as he has time for.
  • Lost 3 seniors on the line after last season.
  • SJSU has been able to redshirt many linemen. Looks at that as a strength.
  • Physical conditioning has been a major focus.
  • Last season, team was stronger, and caused more fumbles. That was an indication of strength.
  • Signing athletes as recruits. All 3 starting LBs were HS tailbacks.
  • Looks for two way players when recruiting high school kids.
  • NOt moving guys around as much now from position to position as they had early on.
  • Better situation scholarship wise that makes them a better team.
  • Tyler Irvin could be a two way player as a sophomore. Could play RB/CB, and could return kicks.
  • Irvin could play CB, start there.
  • First major scrimmage is the timeline for naming a starter at QB.
Spoke with coach MacIntyre about the QB situation further. He said that they will work 4 QBs the first 5 practices, and then in week two will narrow it down to 2 QBs. He said that all 4 QBs do different things well, and have different skill sets, such as some are better option oriented QBs, some are better passers.
We also spoke briefly about Tate Forcier, who had transferred to SJSU from Michigan. He said that Forcier was making plays while he was there, and was solidly the starter while he was there. Unfortunately, said Macintyre, the situation did not work out for Tate, and he feels badly for him. That being said, he is more than happy with those that he has on campus, and believes that he has a very good problem with 4 very talented players at that position.

Next up, Utah State closes the day, and closes what will likely be the final WAC Media Day.

WAC Media Days: New Mexico State

  • DeWayne Walker is joined by Donte Savage and Andrew Manley:
  • No answer as to how long NMSU can sustain as an independent.
  • Just want to play football.
  • Walker was always looking forward to 2012.
  • Walker ran the defense in year one, but will back off this season and run the team.
  • Better on defense early during his tenure, but offense has run ahead now.
  • Still trying to find balance.
  • California, Texas, Arizona is the main recruiting base.
  • Has connections in Florida, Hawaii, and is now setting up a pipeline in Florida and Mississippi.
  • Andrew Manley had some pressure to stay in Hawaii, but was happy to leave.
  • Walker: Believe and compete. past that now.
  • sites improved chemistry.
  • First 6 games will be critical for success.
Spoke personally to coach Walker after their presser. We spoke about the challenges of working in a program like NMSU as compared to UCLA. He siad that at a BCS program, everything is pretty well established with systems in place as far as facilities, recruiting bases, and resources. In Las Crucas, that is not the case, and they struggle to maintain their systems.
I spoke to him about the large number of JC transfers in the WAC, and his explanation was that at NMSU, they are not in a position to rely on freshmen, as they cannot always sign an entire class. If they have positions of need, they go JC, because the freshmen that they do get are not usually ready to play right away. If NMSU has an immediate need, they recruit JC players who can step in right away, and their preference is mid-year transfers who can be involved in Spring ball. If they have a position of strength, they will recruit a freshman to be able to develop said player.

One fun fact note, Coach Walker is an alumnus of the old USFL. I spoke to him about a potential relaunch this fall, and he was enthusiastic about the proposal of a new USFL on the horizon. He said that having another pro league in the states, playing by american rules, would be beneficial to college kids in the US that just want to play ball beyond college, without regards to money. He stated that the Arena League is a different game, as is the CFL, so he fully supports the USFL making a comeback run, and had fond memories of his days in the USFL with Arizona and Oakland.

Next up, San Jose State

WAC Media Day: Jeff hurd, WAC Commissioner

Notes from Jeff Hurd:

  • WAC is 50 tomorrow.
  • No formal presentation from the commissioner.
  • Cannot get into detail about several issues as far as membership.
  • Exploring different avenues for WAC future.
  • Has been doing so since early March
  • No scenario that has not been explored.
  • Is it feasible to sustain conference without football, or as FBS member?
  • Gone east coast to west coast looking at options.
  • Football is not there for 2013. Could be back for 2014 or 2015.
  • Looking to buy time and look for options.
  • Focus is really on sustaining the conference as Non-football entity now.
  • Need to act sooner than later, but later has come.
  • Need to be in a decision making mode now.
  • There is not a drop dead date for decisions.
  • Answers will come soon.
  • Need 6 more feasible FBS programs for football, and decision would need to be made before June 1st
  • 13/14 Academic year is not far off for planning standpoint.
  • Scheduling and recruiting go into play, and it's getting late in the game for that.
  • Definately a sense of urgency.
  • Needed to be done by June 30th, and that date has gone. They had no way to make decisions by that time, as info was not nearly available enough about options.
  • Holding off because options that they think are there may not be in position to make a move now.
  • Boise State will be looking for Big West membership for non-football sports, not WAC.
  • Will still seek out Boise State as a member in non-football moving forward, but their intent is Big West.
  • Will not speak about specific schools in any form.
  • No invitations have been issued to any schools at this time.
  • No answer on how long New Mexico State and Idaho could survive as independents.
  • Schools would need to be able to at least schedule 6 home games per year to survive as an independent.
  • WAC and Big Sky have had several conversations about a WAC/Big Sky merger, but it has lost steam in recent weeks.
  • Discussion was not about a merger, but a concept of sharing for auto qualification expansion in NCAA Tournament in basketball.
  • Priotirty is to make it to tomorrow. Football is still a priority, but not realistic in 2013.
  • Priority is now to save the WAC as a non-football entity.
  • FBS, 8 teams is a requirement, but the WAC is in a 2 year waiver period for that rule.
  • 2013 is also a waiver period year.
  • Travel cost is an issue for expansion.
  • Have to sustain yourself as a league before worrying about cost as far as travel expenses involved.
  • Got a call from a commish of another league about taking on an entire conference for football only.
More later on Jeff Hurd, with complete video posted of his presser this evening!

WAC Media Days: UT-San Antonio

Here are the notes for UTSA, Larry Coker, Eric Soza, Steven Kurfehs attending:

  • Graduating players is critical
  • Expectations for the team is high. Coker never goes into a season not expecting to win.
  • Going to prepare and compete to win every football team.
  • Outstanding spring.
  • Winning is hard to do, but expectations are high.
  • Only 3 recruiting classes at this point. 36 Sophomores on team. only 6 seniors on roster.
  • Coker knows how tough the talent will be as he moves into WAC.
  • Young men from Texas expect to compete at a high level.
  • Players were happy to play football last season after not being on the field for a year.
  • Maturity was an issue last season according to Kurfehs.
  • Allowed games to slip out of their hands last fall.
More later as I post my interview with Larry Coker

WAC Media Days: Louisiana Tech

Up on the podium now will be Louisiana Tech. Head Coach Sonny Dykes will be joined by QB Colby Cameron and Chad Boyd.

  • Last season started to learn how to win.
  • Gained confidence as a team in tough games early.
  • Hunted instead of the hunters
  • Expectations are different with award candidates, favorite.
  • Stresses execution.
  • Won't play conference games until week 8.
  • Depth at QB is strong.
  • Adversity a QB last season made for more depth this season.
  • Cameron was disappointed not to have won the job last season, and worked hard towards taking it back
  • Taking care of the football is a Cameron strong suit
  • Dykes feels that he has as much talent as anyone on the schedule.
  • Believes that they match up well with Texas A&M (season Opener)
  • Believes in 1 QB system. 2 QB system gives you two average QBs.
  • Cameron will get about 80% of snaps in fall camp.
  • Has sevral JC transfers, as well as High School kids at QB. Must get settled.
  • Road is easier because of no distractions.
  • DOn't have to accomodate as many people on the road.
  • Won 7 games at the end of the year in 2011 with 5 road trips.
  • Play 4 of first 6 on the road.
  • Will practice a couple of times in Shreveport to get used to satdium.
  • Playing on the road is a mindset.
  • Cameron: teams can get complacent at home. Backs against the wall on the road.
  • Team is not scared to play anyone.
  • Not afraid of Texas A&M, or anyone else. Confidence is high.
  • Have to guard against thinking that they are better than they are.
  • Huge familiarity with first two opponents (TexasA&M, Houston).
  • Led Houston 34-7 last season and lost.
  • Holley and Lee both great receivers out of the backfield. Both solid guys at RB.
  • Holley coming off of an injury. Both Lee and Holley are versatile, similar.
  • Ken Dixon is coming in as a 220 lbs FR this fall at RB as a freshman. Power back.
  • Have 5 different styled RBs this fall.
  • Cameron: Comforted having great receivers out of the backfield, and be able to have a runner that can offset defense.
  • Quinton Patton is loud on and off field. Will get chippy with defenses.
  • Patton works at doing the extra things. Works on routes after practice. Film room regular.
  • Patton is huge leader, not just a talker.

WAC Media Days: Idaho

  • Idaho is next up for WAC Media Days:
  • Vandals looking for positives this fall.
  • When going to a bowl game, they found ways to make plays, last season, it didn't happen
  • Coach Akey talking about intensity increase moving forward. Incredibly positive.
  • Feels every game will come down to about 5 plays.
  • Unwanted red-headed step child acording to Akey.
  • Feels that this will be the last season that WAC football will be played.
  • Playing with a chip in their shoulder due to being unwanted by other conferences.
  • Start conference play with New Mexico State at the Kibble Dome.
  • Want to get off to a great start at camp.
  • Excited about opening with Eastern Washington.
  • Anything is possible about conference afiliation or surviving as an independent.
  • There is no financial yet as to what they have to do.
  • Did not see the roster seperation at the end of spring as he expected.
  • QB battle not yet decided.
  • Refers to Texas State, UTSA as one year wonders, as they are leaving after this fall.
  • Strengths of the team, we're anxious to find out.
  • Pride and family is considered a strength.
  • Team is tighter since spring ball.
  • More experience on defense, defense grew during spring ball.
  • Couple of pages added to the defensive playbook.
  • Refers to Mike Scott as a guy who can make plays.
  • Veltung is hopefully healthy at WR and returns.
  • 2 RBs that can do some good things
  • QB job needs to be determined.
  • Best Punter in the country in Bobby Cowan.
  • Hopes that their defensive MVP is Cowan because he set up the defense so well.
Louisiana Tech is next !

WAC Media Day Under Way: Texas State

We are live with Texas State Coach Dennis Franchione, and Marcus Curry and Darryl Morris are on the podium. Here are some notes:

  • Tyler Arndt was never 100% at QB last season
  • Will Johnson can kick a 60 yard FG, but needs consistency.
  • Buzz on campus is huge about the move to FBS, WAC.
  • First season to reach 85 scholarships.
  • Franchione very confident in his players. They believe they belong.
  • Not concerned about Sun Belt, more focused on Houston.
  • Live day to day, not week to week.
  • Seniors not interested in the Sun Belt, for obvious reasons.
  • Players prepping for Houston as they would any other game
  • Players very excited about playing in Alamo Dome on Thanksgiving Weekend
  • Marcus Curry (Sr. RB) would love to grind it out on the ground against Houston
  • Defense is conditioned amd ready for fall camp and up tempo Houston offense.
Twitter is currently down, but we will be live blogging all day!

Next up is Idaho, and we will update as we progress.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Fresno State Bulldogs 2012 Preview

The Bulldogs are facing major change this season, as long time coach Pat Hill was fired and replaced with Tim DeRuyter, who was a guy brought in to fix a slumping defense. Offense has never been a problem for Fresno State, and with Carr and Rouse in the fold, will not be again this fall. However, the defense was a wreck last season, and change had to come. The Bulldogs could possibly win as many as 8 games in their first season in the Mountain West, which is another major change, as the Bulldogs have departed the WAC. Look for major improvement, and a bowl bid should follow. READ MORE

WAC Media Days Evening Recap Video

Here is our evening recap from Day one of WAC Media Days at the Orleans Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas. More to come tomorrow, as we meet with coaches and players all morning and into the afternoon. http://www.youtube.com/channel/UCwwE0UKeGf4G4Jn-eK6W1Lw?feature=mhee

WAC Media Day 2

We have just returned to the Media Room at the Orleans Hotel and Casino. Here are some highlights of the Hospitality session of WAC Media Day one. Things have certainly taken an upswing in the tempo there are still very few members of the media here, which was all good for us.

I met first with Al Wilson, who works for the Utah State radio team. We discussed the upcoming season for the Aggies, and where the team was headed in his opinion entering the 2012 season. He had some concerns about the QB position and the D line specifically. He was really down about the great loss of talent at RB and on defense specifically, but said that Gary Anderson is working hard on developing more intensity along his defensive front, but losing Bobby Wagner is going to be huge on defense in his opinion.

I then met with Kyle Stephens, SID at UT-San Antonio, which was followed by a quick meet with Larry Coker. We will follow up with Coach Coker tomorrow morning during the Media sessions. I have to say that Coach was great to talk to, and seems like a terrific guy to talk to. We are certainly looking forward to our interview tomorrow.

That was followed by a meeting with WAC Commissioner Jeff Hurd, who probably has one of the most difficult jobs in the FBS ranks this season. He is losing 5 members, leaving just 2, but he was as upbeat as ever heading into the season, and we were able to discover that he will be making an announcement in the next 2 to 3 weeks about possible new members joining the WAC for football. He could not give me any other details, as he is sworn to secrecy and is trying to prevent leaks. The news that there could be some new members on the horizon, and it seems like a lock now, was enough to peak our interest.

I followed that up with a short meeting with Idaho Coach Rob Akey, who is very excited to get his guys into camp next week. Players will be on the field on the 6th of August. I was able to speak shortly with WR Mike Scott, and was able to personally inform him that we had placed him on our All-WAC team for 2012.

That is it for this evening, as we are heading out. It will be an early day tomorrow, as we will be returning to the Orleans at about 7:30 AM PST for the bulk of media day. Look for another video posting on our Youtube channel this evening as we head out. Once again, please follow us on Twitter all day tomorrow, as we will be live updating all day long.

WAC Media Day

What may very well be the last WAC Media Day for football in the modern era has somewhat gotten undserway here at the Orleans Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas. Keith HArding and I arrived at just before 3PM local time, as the media room was supposed to be available at 2PM. We were the first to arrive, and as of 5:51PM, we are still the only members of the media in the media room. This has not exactly been an amazing start to the gathering here.
Dave Chaffin, Media Director for the WAC has been in and out of the room, but seems very busy trying to get crews caught up with setup. With our wi-fi now connected, we are able to publish and work, as it took over an hour for that to occur.
We are scheduled to meet with SIDs from both Idaho and UT-San Antonio this evening at the reception, which is scheduled to begin in less than 10 minutes.
Throughout the meetings, you can view uploaded videos at our youtube channel, and follow us on Twitter as well as we will be tweeting live throughout tonight and tomorrow.
Tomorrow night, I will be on both "Tha Sports Krib" and "Global CFFL" Radio shows at 6 and 7PM respectively.
Tomorrow should be a loaded day, as we plan on interviews with Dennis Franchione, Larry Coker, Gary Anderson, and others, so join us as we get through what may be the last media gathering around what could be a dying conference.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Mountain West, WAC Media Days, and Radio Appearances

Don't forget to follow us all day Wednesday, starting at 2PM PST, and all day Thursday, from 8AM on, as we will be attending WAC Media Days at the orleans Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas. We will be bringing you live info as it happens, and will be posting video interviews to powerratedsports.com as they happen. Our list of secured interviews includes Larry Coker, Dennis Franchione, and Gary Anderson, and we will be adding more as the days progress. Please join us for what ought to be an interesting two day event.
We will also be covering the Mountain West Conference Media event at the Cosmopolitan Hotel in Las Vegas, and will be tweeting live from Craig Thompson's state of the MWC speech on Wednesday morning.
After all of that is done, join us live on Blogtalk Radio's "Tha Sports Krib" show at 6PM PST Thursday night, followed by an apperance on the "Global CFFL" show at 7PM PST. We will be talking Mountain West, WAC, and Penn State football, amongst many other items that will be brought up.
Please join us as we get ready to amp up our college football coverage to an all-time high!

PAC-12 Pre-Season Team

Pre-Season All-PAC-12 Team
QB Matt Barkley, USC
QB Keith Price, Washington
RB John White IV, Utah
RB Stepfan Taylor, Stanford
RB Kenjon Barner, Oregon
WR Marquess Wilson, Washington State
WR Robert Woods, USC
WR Keenan Allen, California
WR Marqise Lee, USC
TE Austin Seferian-Jenkins, Washington
TE Joseph Fauria, UCLA

DL Scott Chrichton, Oregon State
DL Dion Jordan, Oregon
DL Josh Shirley, Washington
DL Travis Long, Washington State
LB Chase Thomas, Stanford
LB Trent Murphy, Stanford
LB Michael Clay, Oregon
LB Sean Parker, Washington
DB Jordan Poyer, Oregon State
DB Desmond Trufant, Washington
DB Marc Anthony, California
DB Steve Williams, California

PK Andre Heidari, USC
P Sean Sellwood, Utah
KR De'Anthony Thomas, Oregon
PR Jamal Miles, Arizona State

Stanford Cardinal 2012 Preview

I am looking for the Cardinal to come back down to Earth a bit in 2012. Despite the talent that they have coming back, there are some depth issues at various positions that could cripple Stanford if injuries set in at any point. Add that to a new QB, and some depth issues in the secondary, I think that Stanford could have some problems this fall. That being said, I still think that they have enough left in the tank to finish 2nd in the North division, unless injuries decimate the numbers. READ MORE

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Oregon State Beavers 2012 Preview

The Beavers really have taken a massive dive over the last two seasons. Defensively, they should show major improvements after they could not stop the run a year ago. The problem is getting an offense to gel that never seemed to be on the same page last season. Mike Riley will really have to step up his game as coach this fall, as a third consecutive losing season could spell certain doom for him. Look for the Beavers to make some strides, but I see another long road ahead. Things could be getting ugly in Corvallis. READ MORE

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Oregon Ducks 2012 Preview

The Ducks have talent at every position. They have depth, they have speed, they have coaching, they have talent, they have everything they need to make a run at the PAC-12 title, and they have everything that they need to make a run at a national title. Everything should come down to Novemeber 3rd. The battle with USC will be for the title, and could be repeated at the end of the season in the conference title game. Oregon has what they need, and they will be one of the best teams in the country all season. READ MORE

Navy Midshipmen 2012 Preview

Navy has enough talent coming back, that I can see them winning 7 games with their schedule. There are question marks, however, that make that all come tumbling down and force Navy to miss another bowl game. The QB spot must figure into the talents of Miller, rather than forcing him to mold himself to the position. Replacing Alexander Teich will also be key, as will getting the largely rebuilt line together early on. On defense, the line has to be figured out, while the OLBs also need to gel in their new roles. If all of this comes together, and only if it does, the Navy Midshipmen will return to a bowl. It is all possible. READ MORE

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Texas-San Antonio Roadrunners 2012 Preview

UTSA is taking a big leap here, as they only have one season on the field to their entire history. The one thing that they do have in their back pocket is a legend at head coach in Larry Coker. Coker will mold this team quickly, as he has always been a winner on a very high level. The offense has some real promise as they move into year two, and the defense has some really nice building blocks in every area. I don't think that the Roadrunners will be big winners this season, but I look for a very nice building process to ensue. Remember, it gets harder moving forward, as UTSA enters Conference USA next season. READ MORE

Texas State Bobcats 2012 Preview

The Bobcats are in transition to FBS football, and will be ineligible for the WAC title. It's kind of a shame, as they will only be here for one season, as they move on to the Sun Belt in 2013. The Bobcats actually could win a few games this season, as the schedule sets them up decently, but take this with a grain of salt, because what I mean is 5 wins in year one of FBS football. Still, that's a good start when you bump up a level. Dennis Franchione has his hands full here. This program has never been a big winner, and has lived life in the middle at the FCS level. Living in the middle is not what FBS football is all about, so this program will have to step up big starting this fall. READ MORE

Idaho Vandals 2012 Preview

The Vandals are at a crossroads with head coach Rob Ackey. He has a 19-43 record heading into season 6 of his tenure, and he has to win now in order to remain there next season. The offense seems to be in shambles unless some big time play makers can be found, and that is not evident right now. The defense suffered somewhat against the run last season, but they were abysmal against the pass, ranking just 111th in that area last fall. Again, play makers must be found, and only Gary Walker looks like a front line star right now. The other question is an off-field issue. Idaho and New Mexico State are the only known entities involved with the WAC after 2012, and they have received no rock solid invite anywhere else. The only conference talking to Idaho right now would be the Big Sky, and that would mean stepping back to FCS football. This is actually something that Idaho is seriously considering at this time. All in all, I don't see things getting much better, with only 3 locks for wins on this schedule. READ MORE

New Mexico State Aggies 2012 Preview

The Aggies have a huge challenge ahead, and DeWayne Walker is in a spot to be considered for the hot seat, as he heads into season number 4. He has won just 9 games in 3 seasons, and people are looking for an upswing in 2012. The offense could have a few weapons that could help him get there, but the defense is still a shifting landscape of trying to find right fits. The pre-fall depth chart is nothing like the pre-spring look, and it looks like several battles will rage into the fall. September is very manageable, schedule wise, with as many as 4 wins on the slate, but a week two trip to Ohio will be telling. Three of the last five games will be brutal with home games against Louisiana Tech and BYU, and a road trip to Auburn on the slate. The schedule, overall, does give the Aggies every opportunity to reach 7 wins, but it's up to them now. READ MORE

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

San Jose State Spartans 2012 Preview

The offense looked as if it would be in great shape this fall with the arrival of Tate Forcier at QB. The team was coming off of what I thought was an impressive 5 win season last fall, and the program looked on the rise. Forcier quit school, the QB position looked, at times, like a wreck in spring ball, and there are more unanswered questions than ever heading into fall camp. If MacIntyre can even match the 5 wins from last season with this unit, than I have to give it to him. That being said, I do see the potential for those 5 wins, but SJSU will have to be perfect on those opportunities to get there. So many things could go wrong here, and if the injury bug takes hold, the Spartans lack the depth to survive it. Looks like rocky times ahead in the Spartans last run in the WAC before joining the Mountain West in 2013. READ MORE

Louisiana Tech Bulldogs 2012 Preview

The Bulldogs are in good enough shape to win the WAC this season, and should more than do so. Look for Tech to move quickly early, as there are some potentials for upset wins early. On defense, if the pass defense can show major improvements, and the run defense can maintain anything close to the standards of last season, they could be a major force that will not only take the WAC, but could also surprise nationally. Sonny Dykes likely has his best Tech club this season, so a second consecutive ( and final, as Tech moves to Conference USA in 2013) conference title should be a lock. READ MORE

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Troy Trojans 2012 Preview

The Trojans had their worst single season since 1982 last year, and so they have a lot of climbing to do to get back into the upper echelon of the Sun Belt. Larry Blakeney is an old pro as a head coach, so I am guessing that he has a few tricks up his sleeve to improve the team, but he has got to work fast, because the rest of the league is getting better around him. The defense is a solid mess, and we still have to answer the question as to whether Corey Robinson was a one year wonder, or is he turning into a turnover machine. There are many questions with this edition of Trojan football, so my only take this early is to not expect much. READ MORE

Friday, July 13, 2012

Tulane Green Wave 2012 Preview

The Green Wave took a huge chance when they hired New Orleans local Curtis Johnson. He has a great record as a receivers coach, but he has never been a head coach before, and has not been a coordinator either. That could be his undoing. Johnson is going to have to get his organizational skills cranking early, because he has taken on one of the worst jobs in college football. The good news is that the administration is finally getting on board with this program, and a new on campus stadium is finally in the works, getting Tulane out of the old, musty, dilapidated Super Dome. It will take some time, so expect no miracles soon. READ MORE

Tulsa Golden Hurricane 2012 Preview

Despite the loss of Kinne, Tulsa is in fairly good shape heading into 2012. They found an established QB to take the reins of the offense, and the offense as a whole looks to be in solid shape, if issues on the line can be cleared up. On defense, Tulsa returns enough talent for me to believe that they can improve a great deal on their 87th overall unit ranking from 2011. There is great talent on all fronts, even if the line needs to step up in a big way. The schedule is fairly tame, and the C-USA West is wide open enough for the Golden Hurricane to steal a title this season. The end of the season is a bit difficult, but the Hurricane can get there with a full head of steam if they realize consistency. READ MORE

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Duke Blue Devils 2012 Preview

David Cutliffe will be a primary swimmer when our first Dead Pool list of the season is released next month. He is coming off of two consecutive 3 win seasons, and has won just 15 games in 4 seasons in Durham. This is year number 5. If the Devils don't win 6, Cutliffe should be headed out the door. Here's the thing. I see just two wins on this schedule, and none of them come in ACC play. I foresee another long fall in Durham with the Devils. READ MORE

UAB Blazers 2012 Preview

UAB had several other choices and made several other offers before settling on Garrick McGee to run this program. The truth is that this is a bad job, and it will be next to impossible to compete in this area against the likes of Alabama and Auburn for fans or attention, much less recruits. Campus officials voted against building an on campus stadium for the Blazers, so that bodes badly too. McGee could get buried here, and fast. The schedule is fairly brutal, and the talent is not very good. Winning in Birmingham will take a miracle. READ MORE

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

UCF Knights 2012 Preview

George O'Leary is on the hot seat. He has never been able to reach consistency at UCF, and he always wins one season, and loses the next. Last season was the loser, so you know what should be coming next. There is enough talent here to move the Knights back into a bowl game, but if they fall flat, O'Leary has to be held against the ropes to answer for it. I see enough wins to get back to a bowl game. This is a make or break year in Orlando. READ MORE

UNLV Rebels 2012 Preview

The Rebels are in bad shape, and the program is bleeding money. While local politicians fight over a new stadium in Las Vegas, the program is sliding fast. The team needs some wins and they need them soon. The Rebels are in bad shape across the board on the roster, and talent is not great, and I can only see 2 actual wins on the schedule, which is quite difficult. If UNLV is in shape to start making strides, it will be hard to see it this season. READ MORE

Monday, July 9, 2012

USC Trojans 2012 Preview

There is not much we can say other than the Trojans are built to make a run this season. The window is open right now, but it likely will not be as open next season, with Barkley and many others likely leaving after this season. The team is loaded in many spots right now, and it would be a major letdown if the Trojans are not cruising throught the South standings this season. A trip to the conference title game should be a lock, and a BCS or title birth should be as well. USC is ready for one major year this season. READ MORE

Texas-El Paso Miners 2012 Preview

The Miners could be in for a tough run in 2012. There are far too many issues on offense, such as a lacking passing game and a rebuilt offense overall. The defense was extremely weak last season, and with the pieces available, I don't see anything getting much better. It will be asking too much to see UTEP rise from the bottom of the conference to take anything of any meaning. Mike Price should be on the chopping block, and all we have to decide is whether he starts on the hot seat, or he gets an automatic splash down in the Dead Pool. READ MORE

Utah Utes 2012 Preview

There are big questions for the Utes in 2012, but also big potential rewards if those questions are answered. It all starts with the health of Jordan Wynn at QB, and then moves onto the new faces on the line. On defense, the Utes must find answers at LB. If those issues are taken care of early, Utah has an easy schedule for the most part, and could make a move for second in the PAC-12 South. They do not, however, have the weapons to contend with USC or Oregon for conference supremacy. If Wynn is not healthy, the Utes may have trouble matching their 8 win total from a year ago. That being said, I never count out Kyle Whittingham, as he is one of the most underrated coaches in America today. READ MORE