Pac-12: CFL

Mustain heads to the Great White North

June, 2, 2011
The next turn in the weaving road of Mitch Mustain's football career points north.

Mustain, the touted prep All-American who transferred from Arkansas to USC but never broke through, has signed with the Hamilton Tiger-Cats of the CFL.

Mustain will be back on the field for the Ticats first rookie camp practice Thursday morning.

Mustain, a 6-2, 221-pound native of Springdale, Ark., spent the last two seasons at USC after transferring, but he couldn't beat out Mark Sanchez and then Matt Barkley. He threw for 505 yards and three touchdowns as the Trojans' backup quarterback, losing his only start against Notre Dame.

There was a school of thought that Mustain might get drafted this spring by an NFL team desperate for help at quarterback, one that subscribed to the "Matt Cassel Path to a Lucrative NFL Career," which espouses that a USC backup is better than most team's starter.

A February arrest on suspicion of selling prescription drugs probably ended that possibility.

By the way, Mustain joins a team that features two former UCLA standouts: DE Justin Hickman and K Justin Medlock.

Don't be surprised if ... Oregon State

August, 3, 2010
Seventh in a series of Pac-10 thoughts that might come from unusual angles (You can see Oregon State's 2009 prediction here).

Don't be surprised if ... Beavers offensive coordinator Danny Langsdorf becomes a hot head-coaching candidate when new starting quarterback Ryan Katz posts surprisingly strong numbers this fall.

If the above line is giving you a sense of deja vu, it should. We wrote the same thing about Sonny Dykes last year, and Arizona's offensive coordinator was hired this past offseason as Louisiana Tech's head coach.

Langsdorf, who doubles as the Beavers' quarterbacks coach, will be a head coach within the next two years -- at least he should be -- and if Katz puts up impressive numbers as a first-year starter, a sharp AD somewhere will snatch him away from what many feel is the Pac-10's best collection of assistant coaches before the 2011 season.

Why? In his six seasons as offensive coordinator, the Beavers have posted five of their top-nine all-time seasons of total offense.

Remember the early careers of quarterbacks Matt Moore, Sean Canfield and Lyle Moevao? One word: Yucky. Remember their late careers? Two words: Dramatic transformation. Canfield earned first-team All-Pac-10 honors in 2009 and joined Moore in the NFL.

The fly sweep with James Rodgers and the "Wild Beaver" formation with Jacquizz Rodgers lining up at quarterback? Those innovations were executed by Langsdorf, who took over play-calling duties from head coach Mike Riley midway through the 2008 season.

Langsdorf is young enough -- 38 -- to be young and old enough to be experienced (14 years coaching, with three years in the NFL and CFL). Character? In 2007, he donated a kidney to Laurie Cavanaugh, the wife of Beavers offensive line coach Mike Cavanaugh.

And, really, isn't it time that Riley developed a coaching tree? Is there any college coach who is a better role model for the best way to be?

Langsdorf learned to evaluate talent from Riley, who's built a top-25 program and NFL pipeline without ever ranking in the top 25 in recruiting. He's learned how to gather and cultivate a loyal, accomplished staff from Riley. He's learned how to win under less-than-ideal circumstances from Riley. He's learned how to conduct himself with class from Riley.

He also probably learned a bit from his father, Ed Langsdorf, who coached at Linfield College in McMinnville, Ore., Danny Langsdorf's alma mater, for 20 years before becoming a scout for the San Diego Chargers.

No assistant coach is a sure thing when he makes the leap to head coach. But Langsdorf feels pretty close to it, particularly in the right circumstances.

If Oregon State surges this year on offense, and Katz stands out as another Langsdorf pupil, it's hard to imagine Langsdorf won't raise more than a few eyebrows among ADs looking for a go-getter to jump-start their program.

Pac-10 lunch links: Debating USC vs. UCLA recruiting

July, 2, 2010
Happy Friday.

Pac-10 lunch links: Can Washington State start fast?

June, 8, 2010
TIGER, tiger, burning bright
In the forests of the night,
What immortal hand or eye
Could frame thy fearful symmetry?