Cogito ergo sum.
As we hit the one-week countdown for the start of the Pac-12 season, it never hurts to go back and see where things stand with your head coach.
As the Pac-12 blog wrote a few months back, it’s possible that we might make it through 2014 without a coaching change. Maybe. Since 10 of the 12 teams have changed coaches since the start of the 2011 season, nothing is for certain.
A key determining factor is always how coaches stack up against top competition. And the Wall Street Journal Online released an interesting chart of every coach in the Power 5 (plus Notre Dame) and their record against AP Top 25 teams.
— WSJ Sports (@WSJSports) August 20, 2014
They also had some flattering things to say about Stanford coach David Shaw:
The best winning percentage (.778). Granted, it is a relatively small sample size—Shaw has been a head coach for only three seasons, and he took over a strong program — but 18 ranked opponents in three years is a ton. Urban Meyer has faced seven in two years at Ohio State. (Also, two of Shaw's four losses were in overtime.)
Here’s how the Pac-12 coaches shake out (career/at current school), plus I tossed in what I think was the biggest win. Feel free to tell me where I’m wrong:
Rich Rodriguez 16-26 and 3-7 (beating No. 5 Oregon in 2013)
Todd Graham 6-12 and 3-5 (beating No. 14 UCLA in 2013)
Sonny Dykes 0-9 and 0-5 (N/A)
Mike MacIntyre 0-10 and 0-3 (N/A)
Mark Helfrich 2-1 and 2-1 (Beating No. 16 Washington in 2013)
Mike Riley 13-39 and 13-39 (Beating USC in 2006)
David Shaw 14-4 and 14-4 (Beating Oregon in 2012)
Jim Mora 5-5 and 5-5 (Beating USC in 2012)
Steve Sarkisian 8-18 and 0-0 (Beating USC in 2009)
Kyle Whittingham 9-13 and 9-13 (Beating No. 4 Alabama in the 2008 season/2009 Sugar Bowl).
Chris Petersen 8-4 and 0-0 (Beating No. 11 Oklahoma in the 2006 season/2007 Fiesta Bowl).
Mike Leach 13-38 and 1-7 (Beating No. 1 Texas in 2008).
In digging up some of these old games, I had to go back through and watch some highlights of the 2007 Fiesta Bowl. So, so awesome.
ESPN.com will be releasing its preseason All-America team later today. CBS Sports released its Wednesday. I’m not going to give out any spoilers on ours, but we have more Pac-12 players. And thus, ours is superior, said the Pac-12 writer.
Oregon center Hroniss Grasu is the only Pac-12 player on offense, while the defense has a trio of Pac-12 players in USC defensive end Leonard Williams, UCLA linebacker Myles Jack and Oregon cornerback Ifo Ekpre-Olomu. Stanford’s Ty Montgomery is the selection at kick return.
Keep an eye out
The Senior Bowl Watch list is out, and of the 350 players, 40 are from the Pac-12. All of the names you’d expect are on it. You can see the complete list (sortable by school, conference and position) here.
More must-see TV (Take 2)
On Wednesday, we brought you a couple of links with must-see games in the league. Jon Wilner of the San Jose Mercury News also popped up his can’t-miss games in the league this year. They are what you’d expect. Stanford, Oregon, Oregon, Stanford, UCLA, a dash of USC. However, Wilner opted to list his chronologically, rather than ranking them. Shrewd, Mr. Wilner. Very shrewd indeed.
An Arizona tight end is happy to have a third chance.
Interesting story from Doug Haller on why Todd Graham makes his players keep pictures of loved ones in their lockers.
Sonny Dykes holds his post-practice gaggle.
A young Colorado running back is hoping to make an impact.
Some news and notes from Oregon State’s practice.
32 minutes of Stanford D-line talk.
UCLA linebacker Aaron Wallace has worked his way back on to the team.
The USC coaching staff has been impressed with the play of linebacker Scott Felix.
Washington and Michigan agreed to a home-and-home starting in 2020.
A look at some Washington State freshmen who may or may not redshirt.
Just for fun
A fun little story from Chris Foster of the LA Times on a trio of teams experiencing Rose Bowl droughts. The premise is that UCLA has a good shot at the Rose Bowl this year. But they haven’t been there since ’99. But that’s not as long as Cal, Oregon State or Arizona State. Any post that can weave in Frankie Avalon, The Beatles and Bill Clinton is worth five minutes of your time.
Always cool to see walk-on players getting signing their scholarships. Five Sun Devils got theirs yesterday.
And finally, the Bruins had a guest speaker at practice yesterday ... Den-freaking-zel. King Kong ain’t got (horse pucky) on him.