Pac-12: John White IV

Pac-12's top 25 is coming!

January, 21, 2013
1/21/13
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On Tuesday, the Pac-12 blog will begin its countdown of the conference's top 25 players.

As we go on, send your complaints here. Kevin is in charge of those.

He made making this list much more difficult than previous years. From 2008 through this preseason, the list was always perfect because I made it alone. Now, the process has been injected with more intelligence, insight and discernment than past years. And, really, who the heck wants any of that?

It did lead to some amusing disagreements. I suspect many of you would be interested in our give and take, which was substantial, even at the very top of the list. That likely will be presented when the list is complete.

Both of us started with a list of about 35 players. It was mostly the same 35 players, but our pecking orders, from top to bottom, were very different. The compromise process was painful. Our "Michael Clay!" "Kiko Alonso!" back and forth was like an old Miller Lite commercial: "Great taste!" "Less filling." (Everyone knows "Great taste!" should prevail, but Kevin "Less filling!" Gemmell is a tenacious debater).

What is most interesting is that, more than any previous year, the postseason list is WAY different that the preseason list.

You can review the preseason top 25 here. And you can review the entire list of bios and notes here.

And here's the preseason list.

No. 1. Matt Barkley, QB, USC
No. 2: Star Lotulelei, DT, Utah
No. 3: De'Anthony Thomas, RB/WR, Oregon
No. 4: Robert Woods, WR, USC
No. 5: Keith Price, QB, Washington
No. 6: Chase Thomas, LB, Stanford
No. 7: Marquess Wilson, WR, Washington State
No. 8: Keenan Allen, WR, California
No. 9: Marqise Lee, WR, USC
No. 10: T.J. McDonald, S, USC
No. 11: Dion Jordan, OLB/DE, Oregon
No. 12: Stepfan Taylor, RB, Stanford
No. 13: Kenjon Barner, RB, Oregon
No. 14: Nickell Robey, CB, USC
No. 15: John White IV, RB, Utah
No. 16: John Boyett, S, Oregon
No. 17: Jordan Poyer, CB, Oregon State
No. 18: Khaled Holmes, C, USC
No. 19: Cameron Marshall, RB, Arizona State
No. 20: Dion Bailey, LB, USC
No. 21: Shayne Skov, LB, Stanford
No. 22: Curtis McNeal, RB, USC
No. 23: Austin Seferian-Jenkins, TE, Washington
No. 24: Isi Sofele, RB, California
No. 25: Jeff Tuel, QB, Washington State

I see little wrong with that list if I re-enter my August self. But from today's perspective, our expectations were way off.

You can imagine the USC presence goes down a bit this go-around.

Pac-12 2012 awards announced

November, 26, 2012
11/26/12
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The Pac-12 conference has announced its 2012 individual honors and all-conference first and second teams as voted on by the coaches.

Offensive Player of the Year: Marqise Lee, WR, USC.
Pat Tillman Defensive Player of the Year: Will Sutton, DE, Arizona State.
Freshman Offensive Player of the Year: Marcus Mariota, QB, Oregon.
Freshman Defensive Player of the Year: Leonard Williams, DE, USC.
Coach of the Year: David Shaw, Stanford.

FIRST-TEAM OFFENSE

QB Marcus Mariota, Fr., Oregon
RB Kenjon Barner, Sr., Oregon
RB Ka’Deem Carey, So., Arizona
WR Marqise Lee, So., USC
WR Markus Wheaton, Sr., Oregon State
TE Zach Ertz, Sr., Stanford
OL Hroniss Grasu, So., Oregon
OL Khaled Holmes, Sr., USC
OL Brian Schwenke, Sr., California
OL Xavier Su’a-Filo, So., UCLA
OL David Yankey, Jr., Stanford

SECOND-TEAM OFFENSE

QB Matt Scott, Sr., Arizona
RB Johnathan Franklin, Sr., UCLA
RB Stepfan Taylor, Sr., Stanford
WR Austin Hill, So., Arizona
WR Robert Woods, Jr., USC
TE Austin Seferian-Jenkins, So., Washington
OL Jeff Baca, Sr., UCLA
OL David Bakhtiari, Jr., Colorado
OL Sam Brenner, Sr., Utah
OL Kevin Danser, Sr., Stanford
OL Sam Schwartzstein, Sr., Stanford

FIRST-TEAM DEFENSE

DL Scott Crichton, So., Oregon State
DL Dion Jordan, Sr., Oregon
DL Star Lotulelei, Sr., Utah (2)
DL Will Sutton, Jr., Arizona State
LB Anthony Barr, Jr., UCLA
LB Trent Murphy, Sr., Stanford
LB Chase Thomas, Sr., Stanford (2)
DB Ifo Ekpre-Olomu, So., Oregon
DB Jordan Poyer, Sr., Oregon State
DB Ed Reynolds, Jr., Stanford
DB Desmond Trufant, Sr., Washington

SECOND-TEAM DEFENSE

DL Henry Anderson, Jr., Stanford
DL Morgan Breslin, Jr., USC
DL Ben Gardner, Sr., Stanford
DL Datone Jones, Sr., UCLA
LB Kiko Alonso, Sr., Oregon
LB Michael Clay, Sr., Oregon
LB Brandon Magee, Sr., Arizona State
DB Deone Bucannon, Jr., Washington State
DB Alden Darby, Jr., Arizona State
DB T.J. McDonald, Sr., USC
DB Nickell Robey, Jr., USC

FIRST-TEAM SPECIALISTS

PK Vince D'Amato, Jr., California
P Jeff Locke, Sr., UCLA
RS Reggie Dunn, Sr., Utah
ST Jordan Jenkins, Sr., Oregon State

SECOND-TEAM SPECIALISTS

PK Andrew Furney, Jr., Washington State
P Josh Hubner, Sr., Arizona State
RS Marqise Lee, So., USC
ST David Allen, Sr., UCLA

ALL-PAC-12 HONORABLE MENTION
NOTES
  • By School: OREGON and STANFORD placed the most players on the first team with five selections each, followed by OREGON STATE with four.
  • By Class: Of the 26 first-team selections, 14 are seniors, five are juniors, six are sophomores and one freshman.
  • Unanimous: Only one player was named on the first-team ballot of all 12 head coaches--WR Marqise Lee of USC.
  • Two-time selections: Two players are repeat first-team selections from last year--DT Star Lotulelei of Utah, LB Chase Thomas of Stanford.
  • All-Academic: Two players were named to the first team on both the All-Pac-12 Team and the Pac-12 All-Academic Football Team--P Jeff Locke of UCLA, OL Khaled Holmes, USC. In addition, OL Kevin Danser of Stanford, DL Ben Gardner of Stanford and Michael Clay of Oregon were named second-team All-Academic and second-team All-Pac-12.
Tags:

Datone Jones, USC Trojans, Washington State Cougars, Oregon State Beavers, Washington Huskies, UCLA Bruins, Alex Debniak, Johnathan Franklin, Jeff Locke, Arizona State Sun Devils, Joseph Fauria, Matt Barkley, California Bears, Kenjon Barner, Usua Amanam, Markus Wheaton, Keelan Johnson, Stanford Cardinal, Jordan Poyer, Damien Thigpen, Will Sutton, Stepfan Taylor, Colorado Buffaloes, Wes Horton, Dion Jordan, Matt Scott, Arizona Wildcats, Brandon Magee, Oregon Ducks, Xavier Su\'a-Filo, Travis Long, Justin Glenn, Desmond Trufant, Vince D'Amato, Daniel Simmons, Chase Thomas, Deveron Carr, Shayne Skov, Evan Finkenberg, Isaac Remington, Dan Buckner, Sean Parker, Cassius Marsh, Robert Woods, Xavier Grimble, George Uko, Nickell Robey, Hayes Pullard, Keenan Allen, Taylor Kelly, Chris McCain, Hroniss Grasu, Eric Kendricks, Xavier Cooper, T.J. McDonald, Jake Fischer, Anthony Barr, Taylor Hart, Kiko Alonso, Osahon Irabor, Brian Schwenke, Steve Williams, Terrance Mitchell, Drew Schaefer, Michael Clay, Ryan Hewitt, Jordan Jenkins, Levine Toilolo, Chris Coyle, DeAnthony Thomas, Andrew Abbott, Kyle Quinn, Brett Hundley, Jake Fisher, Terrence Stephens, Terrence Brown, Austin Seferian-Jenkins, Kasen Williams, Jordan Richards, Shaq Evans, Deone Bucannon, Tony Burnett, David Shaw, Bishop Sankey, Danny Shelton, Marqise Lee, Kevin Danser, Rashad Ross, Sam Schwartzstein, David Yankey, Drew Terrell, John White IV, Dion Bailey, Austin Hill, Star Lotulelei, Brian Blechen, Jake Murphy, Alex Carter, Alden Darby, Joe Kruger, Reggie Dunn, Trevor Romaine, Colt Lyerla, Isaac Seumalo, Tevita Stevens, Andrew Furney, Andre Heidari, Sean Sellwood, Josh Hubner, Kyle Negrete, Henry Anderson, Scott Crichton, Rashaad Reynolds, Ka'Deem Carey, Shaq Thompson, D.J. Foster, Brendan Bigelow, Ben Gardner, Trevor Reilly, Darragh O'Neill, Andrew Hudson, Ty Montgomery, Cameron Fleming, Trent Murphy, Sam Brenner, Kevin Hogan, David Bakhtiari, Marcus Mariota, Yuri Wright, Kenneth Crawley, Leonard Williams, Grant Enger, Brandin Cooks, Jared Tevis, Travis Feeney, Avery Sebastian, John Martinez, Ed Reynolds, Daniel Munyer, Elliott Bosch, Morgan Breslin, Darryl Monroe, Marion Grice, Carl Bradford, Nate Fakahafua, Silas Redd, Jeremiah Poutasi, Jake Brendel, Christian Powell, Ifo Ekpre-Olomu, Brett Bartolone, Teondray Caldwell, Andrew Seumalo, Daniel Zychlinski, David Allen, Jaxon Hood, Alex Lewis, Marques Moseley, Will Perciak, Wade Keliikippi, Cyrus Coen

What to watch in the Pac-12

October, 18, 2012
10/18/12
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A few storylines to keep an eye on this week in the Pac-12:

1. Judgment night: ASU fans have been clamoring for respect. Thursday night is as good of a chance as any to get some. The Sun Devils have the No. 3 team in the country coming to their backyard for one of the biggest games in the conference this year. On paper, this looks like a vintage Pac-12 matchup of two high-scoring offenses. But wasn't that the case the last time Oregon played a team from the state of Arizona? Time to see if Arizona State is as good as their record suggests. Worth noting, also, that this is likely Oregon's biggest test to date as well. Let's give some credit to the 5-1 team from Tempe.

2. Efficiency experts: The game within the game features the two most efficient quarterbacks in the Pac-12. ASU's Taylor Kelly checks in as the conference's No. 1-rated quarterback in passing efficiency and Oregon's Marcus Mariota isn't too far behind at No. 2. Mariota hasn't been as protective of the ball over the past three games throwing seven touchdowns, but also four interceptions. Conversely, Kelly has 11 touchdowns and zero interceptions during that span. You have to think ball security was a huge point of emphasis for Oregon during improvement week.

[+] EnlargeTaylor Kelly
Ron Chenoy/US PresswireArizona State's Taylor Kelly is the most efficient quarterback in the Pac-12 with a rating of 175.98.
3. Big Game for Cal: With a victory over their most bitter rival, the Bears can get back to .500 and have a shot at the postseason. Their remaining four games are at Utah, home to Washington, home to Oregon and at Oregon State to close out the season. The odds of them winning three of those four are awfully tiny. But a win over the Cardinal gives them a fighting chance. Which Zach Maynard is going to show up? Seems to be the Cal question of the week, every week.

4. Big Game for Stanford: Make no mistake about it -- this is a road game for Stanford even though it's just a hop and a skip over the Bay Bridge (actually, probably easier to take the Dumbarton Bridge to the 880). Either way, it's less than 50 miles, but it's a road game. And we all know Stanford has been a different team on the road. No need to rehash all of the ugly offensive stats. The only one that matters is the Cardinal are 0-2 away from home. That has to change considering four of their final six games are on the road.

5. The Vaz effect: Cody Vaz wasn't just a pleasant surprise -- he was sensational making his first start on the road for the injured Sean Mannion. It helps when you have a pair of outstanding receivers to throw to, and Markus Wheaton and Brandin Cooks certainly didn't let him down. With the way the defense is playing, there is little reason to expect a drop off.

6. More White: Utah ranks 116th in the nation in rushing yards, averaging exactly 100 per game. Not what you'd expect with a back like John White IV -- once touted as a possible preseason Heisman contender. Head coach Kyle Whittingham went out of his way to state this week that they need to get White the ball more often. He had 14 carries against ASU, 13 against USC and a season-low 11 at UCLA.

7. Back to basics: Will be interesting to see if Matt Barkley gets USC's passing game back on track this week. Nothing wrong with winning via defense and the running game, but the inconsistencies from Barkley and his receivers has been one of the biggest surprises in the season to date.

8. Swing game: Don't underestimate how important of a game Washington at Arizona is. The Wildcats should be daisy fresh after the bye week. You have to wonder if the Huskies (1) have enough defense to prevent it from becoming a shootout-- as Arizona games tend to become -- and (2) if Washington can keep up if it does turn into a high-scoring affair. This is a crucial game for Arizona, which would have to win two more games to be bowl eligible. And the schedule looks like USC, UCLA, Colorado and Utah the rest of the way. A loss means the Wildcats have to win three of those four.

Instant Analysis: USC 38, Utah 28

October, 5, 2012
10/05/12
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Instant analysis from USC's 38-28 win over the Utes in Salt Lake City, Utah:

Player of the game: Matt Barkley
This was the best overall performance of the year for the Trojans quarterback. It started with a rough beginning -- he got stripped of the ball on first series which Utah returned for a touchdown -- but he regrouped and was very consistent the rest of the way. Barkley completed 23 of 30 passes for 303 yards and three touchdowns, but more importantly to USC fans, he looked like the old Barkley again.

Game ball: USC defense
It was still very much a ballgame at halftime, with USC only up 24-21, but the Trojans defense did a terrific job of shutting down the Utes’ offense in the second half. The Utes did not have a second-half score until a meaningless late touchdown and only gained 111 yards in the final two quarters. The win was sealed for the Trojans when Nickell Robey intercepted a pass and returned it for a 38-yard score in the fourth quarter.

Star in the making: Star Lotulelei
Lotulelei is considered as one of the elite defensive players in the country and tonight was the biggest stage for him to live up to that ranking. Well, consider it mission accomplished. He made several big plays early against a pretty good center in Khaled Holmes and showed an impressive combination of size and agility. The Trojans eventually made some adjustments which slowed his impact, but there’s no doubt that Lotulelei is a big-time guy.

Turning point: Third-down conversion for Trojans from Barkley to Marqise Lee
USC was down 14-0 early in the game thanks to a pair of turnovers that were turned into points by Utah. USC got stopped on two early plays and was facing a third-and-7 when Barkley hit Lee for 18 yards. The drive continued and eventually ended up with a Silas Redd touchdown run to make it 14-7. If the Trojans hadn’t converted on third down, Utah likely would have had good field position after a punt and all of the momentum.

What it means for USC: The Trojans showed resiliency
The signs were all there for potential trouble, as Thursday night conference road games had been trouble for highly-ranked USC teams in the past and the Utah crowd was fired up to see it happen again. The Trojans had some hiccups -- two early turnovers and 14 penalties -- but they righted the ship and outscored the Utes 38-14 after spotting the Utes two early touchdowns.

What it means for Utah: John White IV is back
It wasn’t the result the Utes were hoping for, especially after getting spotted 14 points at the beginning of the game, but the good news was the solid running from White (13 carries for 68 yards). The star running back has been limited lately due to injury, but he ran hard in this game and was productive when the game was still in doubt in the first half. USC made some adjustments in the second half that slowed him down, but the Utes will need White for the remainder of the season, as he is the prime contributor for their offense.

ASU blasts Utah in rebound win

September, 23, 2012
9/23/12
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If Saturday’s Arizona State-Utah matchup was supposed to be a “separation” game in the Pac-12 South, then you have to consider the Sun Devils and Utes miles apart after what happened in Tempe.

The Sun Devils unloaded on the Utes early and often, scoring on their first five possessions (four touchdowns, one field goal) to take a 31-7 lead into the locker room at halftime before closing out a 37-7 victory.

ASU (3-1, 1-0) jumped out to a 21-0 lead in the first quarter behind a pair of touchdown passes from Taylor Kelly and a 1-yard rushing touchdown from Cameron Marshall.

The shell-shocked Utes had few answers -- especially in the first half -- for ASU’s offense, which totaled 512 yards for the game and converted 7 of 16 third-down attempts.

It was the ninth consecutive win for ASU over Utah and the kind of bounce back performance head coach Todd Graham was hoping for following ASU’s first loss of the season last week at Missouri.

“They did a good job responding after a tough setback last week,” Graham told the Pac-12 Network after the game.

Kelly finished the game 19 of 26 for a career-high 326 yards with touchdown passes to Rashad Ross, Marshall and Marion Grice.

Defensively, the Sun Devils stifled the Utes (2-2, 0-1), who managed just 209 total yards -- 92 of them coming on the ground. Running back John White fumbled twice and had just 18 yards on 14 carries. Kelvin York led the Utes on the ground with 86 yards on 13 carries. Utah’s lone score came early in the second quarter -- a 2-yard pass from Jon Hays to Karl Williams.

“We want to be known for defense and our guys have taken on that challenge and I thought we dominated tonight so I was proud of them,” Graham said.
The fun part about polls is going back to revisit some of the thoughts folks had before the season.

Case in point: On Aug. 2, we asked which player would lead the Pac-12 in rushing? Kenjon Barner won the poll with a robust 46 percent of the 7,277 votes. And this wasn't a case of Oregon fans just dominating a poll. I think that was the likely preseason consensus (at least, that's how I voted). John White IV was second, the "other" option was third, Isi Sofele fourth, and Stepfan Taylor fifth.

SportsNation

Who will win the Pac-12 rushing title?

  •  
    29%
  •  
    11%
  •  
    48%
  •  
    9%
  •  
    3%

Discuss (Total votes: 7,422)

As it turns out, the "others" might have been right. So let's put the question out there again, now that we have a little more data at our disposal, and see if we get different results.

Your choices (in order of where they currently rank in rushing):

Johnathan Franklin, UCLA: He has shot up the Heisman ballots through the first two weeks by posting back-to-back 200-plus yard games. He leads the nation in rushing, and has totaled 431 yards for a whopping 10.5 yards per carry -- best among all backs with at least 21 carries. (Yes, we're aware that De'Anthony Thomas is averaging a ridiculous 16.6 yards per).

Ka'Deem Carey, Arizona: He seems to be flourishing in Rich Rodriguez's offense. So far he's rushed for 273 yards (136.5 yards per game) and has scored four times. Big test for him next week when the Wildcats roll into Autzen.

Kenjon Barner, Oregon: The preseason front-runner still has a great shot at winning the rushing crown. He has 267 yards and a league best five rushing touchdowns. Right now, Thomas is getting about one carry for every four Barner takes. That shouldn't prevent Barner from putting up serious yards.

John White IV, Utah: He's had more carries than any other running back in the conference (again), and it looks like the Utes will be leaning on him to carry the offense (again). Through the first two games, he has 215 yards.

Stepfan Taylor, Stanford: The Cardinal are still adjusting to some new offensive linemen, which could account for Taylor's decline in yards per carry (5.5 average last season, 4.6 this season). But he's a grinder and a fantastic all-around back. He has 185 yards on 40 carries through two games.
In a way, all of us has an El Guapo to face. For some, shyness might be their El Guapo. For others, a lack of education might be their El Guapo. For us, El Guapo is a big, dangerous man who wants to kill us. But as sure as my name is Lucky Day, the people of Santa Poco can conquer their own personal El Guapo, who also happens to be the actual El Guapo!

Pac-12 predictions: Week 3

September, 13, 2012
9/13/12
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Welcome to Week 3. Ted and Kevin both went 7-5 in Week 2. Double yuck. The problem was all picks were identical, and neither picked an upset. Silly Pac-12 bloggers.

For the season, Ted is 16-7 and Kevin is 15-8.

Friday

Kevin: Washington State 35, UNLV 17: Time for the Cougars to get a win over an FBS team. Should happen this week against a UNLV squad that is 0-2 and fell to FCS school Northern Arizona. (Remember them, Arizona State?) If all goes according to plan, the starting offensive linemen should be crushing the buffet at the Rio by the third quarter.

Ted: Washington State 40, UNLV 20: While quarterback Jeff Tuel is decidedly questionable; backup Connor Halliday is experienced and capable. The guess here is things go a little more smoothly on both sides of the ball as new systems start to sink in.

Saturday

Kevin: Ohio State 28, Cal 10: The defense, which was supposed to be the strength of this team, hasn't shown up yet. Nevada quarterback Cody Fajardo rushed for 97 yards -- most of it on zone reads the Bears couldn't stop. What's Braxton Miller going to do?

Ted: Ohio State 30, California 17: During the summer, I believed this was prime upset material. Then Cal played twice.

Kevin: Oregon 49, Tennessee Tech 14: It was De'Anthony Thomas in Week 1 and Kenjon Barner in Week 2. Who is the Duck du jour in what should be the latest Oregon pasting? Fortunately, Oregon's schedule allows for growth with younger players, and it needs that because of all the injuries of late.

Ted: Oregon 50, Tennessee Tech 10: Yawn. The good news is Oregon might have an interesting game the next week when Arizona comes to town. I bet Ducks fans are hungry for a game that at least raises an eyebrow.

Kevin: Washington 31, Portland State 7: Not a lot of time for the Huskies to get right after their ill-fated journey to Baton Rouge, La., with Stanford, USC and Oregon looming in the next three weeks. This might be their last opportunity for a win until late October/early November. They'd better take advantage of it.

Ted: Washington 30, Portland State 20: Will the Huskies be flat after falling flat at LSU? I suspect so. Not flat enough to lose but perhaps flat enough to further frustrate Huskies fans.

Kevin: USC 38, Stanford 24: David Shaw knows how to plan a scheme against USC's defense, so I'd expect the Cardinal to put up some points. But when push comes to shove, Stanford's defense won't get the number of stops needed to slow down the Trojans' passing attack.

Ted: USC 35, Stanford 20: I think it will be close at halftime, but the Trojans will pull away early in the fourth quarter. Eventually, Matt Barkley & Co. will gash the Cardinal secondary, and then Stanford won't be able to answer.

Kevin: Fresno State 31, Colorado 17: The Bulldogs showed a little bite against the Ducks -- enough to suggest they can certainly hang with, and beat, a lower-tier Pac-12 team.

Ted: Colorado 28, Fresno State 27: Why? Because I suspect we're going to see some pride from the Buffs.

Kevin: BYU 35, Utah 27: I think Utah will play inspired football given this week's turn of events. But last week we saw that the offensive line concerns are graver than we all initially thought. Bronco Mendenhall saw it too.

Ted: BYU 28, Utah 24: There's a lot going on at Utah, most notably injury issues. And it's not just quarterback Jordan Wynn. Running back John White and safety Eric Rowe are questionable. But the biggest issue, as Kevin noted, is the disappointing play of the offensive line.

Kevin: Arizona 49, South Carolina State 10: The offense has come together quickly. I'd expect Arizona to use this game to clean some things up before heading to Autzen for a game that suddenly looks very interesting.

Ted: Arizona 42, South Carolina State 20: I suspect that some fumes from the post-Oklahoma State victory celebration will cause the Wildcats to be a bit flat. They are fortunate the opponent will be forgiving.

Kevin: UCLA 48, Houston 21: Houston can't stop the run. UCLA isn't going to abandon the run. Another huge game for Johnathan Franklin and another win for the Bruins.

Ted: UCLA 44, Houston 24: Another possible flat performance, but the Bruins should recall the loss at Houston from 2011 to provide some motivation. Agree with Kevin: Franklin gets another 200, and his Heisman candidacy inches up another notch.

Kevin: Arizona State 38, Missouri 31: OK, ASU. I'll bite. The Sun Devils are second in the nation with six interceptions, and Missouri likes to throw a lot. Vegas likes the Tigers by a touchdown, but I'll throw my confidence behind Todd Graham & Co.

Ted: Missouri 35, Arizona State 27: The Sun Devils have whipped two inferior foes at home. The Tigers are pretty good and are playing at home. The Sun Devils have been impressive, but they are still young. And Missouri quarterback James Franklin is a load.
video
The career of Utah quarterback Jordan Wynn, which started off so brilliantly but fizzled after a string of shoulder injuries, has come to an abrupt and disappointing end.

Utah head coach Kyle Whittingham announced Monday that Wynn will retire from football following another significant shoulder injury suffered Friday night in the Utes' loss to Utah State.

The specifics of the injury to Wynn's left shoulder were not revealed, though Whittingham said he thought it would require surgery. That would be the fourth operation on Wynn's shoulders since arriving from Oceanside, Calif., in 2009. He's already had two surgeries on his left shoulder and one on his right.

Wynn's career started off with a bang. He capped his true freshman campaign by earning MVP of the Poinsettia Bowl, throwing for 338 yards and three touchdowns on 26-of-36 passing in a win over Cal. Earlier in 2009, he had the best debut for a starting Utah quarterback ever when he threw for 297 yards and two touchdowns in a win over New Mexico. In five starts and six appearances his freshman year, he threw for 1,329 yards and eight touchdowns with four interceptions.

But then the injuries started to pile up. He started 10 games in 2010 and was 8-2 as a starter, but missed three games with a thumb injury. He started the first four games of 2011, but suffered a season-ending injury to his left (non-throwing) shoulder. The previous surgeries took place in 2010 (right shoulder, Dec. 2010; left shoulder, spring 2010).

Wynn's retirement leaves either senior Jon Hays -- who went 6-3 as a starter last year filling in for Wynn -- or freshman Travis Wilson as Utah's starter. Whittingham said they will determine a starter in practice this week.

Hays was adequate in his replacement role last year, throwing for 1,459 yards on 120-of-214 passing (56.1 percent) with 12 touchdowns to eight interceptions. But the Utes got by mostly on the running of John White IV, who rushed for a school-record 1,519 yards on 316 carries with 15 touchdowns.

The Utes (1-1) play rival No. 25 BYU (2-0) this week in the Holy War.

In the overtime loss to Utah State, Hays was 12-of-26 for 154 yards with a touchdown. Wilson, a highly-touted, 6-foot-6, 220-pounder from San Clemente, Calif., has appeared in both of Utah's games this season and has completed 3-of-3 passes for 49 yards and a touchdown. He's also rushed 10 times for 18 yards and two touchdowns.

Utes stumble in OT to Utah State

September, 8, 2012
9/08/12
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video

As far as losses go, this one is going to sting Utah for a while.

In an electric atmosphere in Logan, Utah, the visiting Utes fell 27-20 to Utah State when they failed to score a touchdown in the first overtime session.

After Kerwynn Williams' 1-yard touchdown run put the Aggies ahead 27-20 in the extra period, it appeared the Utes had knotted the score on a touchdown pass to tight end Jake Murphy. But he was called for offensive pass interference after pushing off his defender, negating the score. The penalty backed Utah up 15 yards on third down, and the Utes failed to reach the end zone in the next two plays.

Adding salt to the wound, Utah lost quarterback Jordan Wynn to a shoulder injury toward the end of the first half. He spent the second half on the sidelines with his left arm in a sling. ESPN’s Jemele Hill, who was working on the sidelines for the ESPN2 telecast, reported late in the third quarter that X-rays on Wynn had come back negative.

[+] EnlargeJordan Wynn
AP Photo/Rick BowmerUtah quarterback Jordan Wynn left Friday's game in the first half with a shoulder injury and spent the second half with his left arm in a sling.
Wynn’s injury history is well-known to Utah fans. He’s had three shoulder surgeries since he started his Utah career -- two on his right shoulder (December 2010 and October 2011) and one on his left shoulder following the 2010 spring game. Although he is in his fourth year, he’s started only 21 games (including Friday). Prior to the injury, Wynn was 6-of-11 for 47 yards. Utah's pass protection was extremely shaky throughout the game, but especially in the first half. Wynn was sacked three times and hit eight times before being knocked out of the game.

He was replaced by Jon Hays, who finished 12-of-26 for 154 yards and a touchdown. Travis Wilson also saw some spot duty, throwing one pass, a 28-yard touchdown.

What this means for Utah moving forward is unclear. The Utes host BYU next week in the Holy War before opening Pac-12 South Division play with a trip to Arizona State. They then have a bye before the much-anticipated showdown with USC on Thursday, Oct. 4.

Friday's victory was Utah State’s first over Utah since 1997.

Utah fell behind 7-0 when Utah State blocked Sean Sellwood’s punt and Clayton Christensen recovered in the end zone. At the end of the first quarter, USU quarterback Chuckie Keeton connected with Joe Hill on a 15-yard touchdown pass. Keeton finished 22-of-32 for 216 yards and two touchdowns.

Coleman Petersen got the Utes on the board with a 42-yard field goal at the end of the first half, sending Utah into the locker room trailing 13-3.

Utah tied the game at 13 in the third on another Petersen field goal and Wilson’s touchdown pass -- a flea-flicker to Kenneth Scott. Scott also caught a fourth-quarter touchdown that tied the game at 20, this one a 24-yard jump ball from Hays. Scott was the standout offensive player for Utah, catching three balls for 82 yards and two scores. Running back John White IV was mostly ineffective, carrying 27 times for 96 yards (3.6 yards per carry).

Neither team was particularly efficient on third downs. Utah converted just two of 17, and Utah State converted two of 13 -- although Utah State outgained the Utes 371-325 in total yards.

Petersen had an opportunity to win the game at the end of regulation but failed to connect on a 52-yard field goal.

Notes on the preseason Pac-12 top 25

September, 3, 2012
9/03/12
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Our listing of the Pac-12's top 25 players concluded on Friday, just in time for the season.

You can review the entire list here.

And here are some notes you might find interesting.

By unit
Offense
: 16
Defense: 9

The 2011 postseason list broke down with 19 offensive players and six defensive players. The league does feel like it will be better on defense this year.

By team
USC ... 8
Oregon ... 4
Stanford ... 3
California, Utah, Washington, Washington State ... 2
Arizona State, Oregon State ... 1
Arizona, Colorado, & UCLA ... 0

USC dominates the list, and really there's no one you could make a decent argument doesn't belong on the list. On the 2011 postseason list, Stanford had six and Oregon five. If I were a gambling man, I'd wager Oregon might add two or three players to the 2012 postseason list.

As for the teams with no players: Who would you make a case for? Kevin and I discussed Colorado offensive lineman David Bakhtiari, who was second-team All-Pac-12 in 2011, and UCLA RB Johnathan Franklin. Arizona has QB Matt Scott and a couple of nice guys in the secondary.

By position
QB ... 3
WR ... 4
RB ... 7
OL ... 1
TE ... 1
LB ... 3
DE ... 1
DT... 1
CB ... 2
S ... 2

There were five QBs and four running backs on the 2011 postseason list, so maybe the league will be more run-based this fall. There were three offensive linemen on the postseason list -- I bet you can name them. Every position group -- other than special teams -- got at least one player. That happens in large part because while making the list you think, "Who's the best guy in the conference at this position?"

Fourteen guys from the 2011 list are back, and five of them are from USC. Here they are with their old ranking.

2. Matt Barkley, QB, USC
5. Chase Thomas, LB, Stanford
7. Star Lotulelei, DT, Utah
8. Robert Woods, WR, USC
11. Keith Price, QB, Washington
12 De'Anthony Thomas, WR-RB, Oregon
13. Marquess Wilson, WR, Washington State
15. Keenan Allen, WR, California
16. Marqise Lee, WR, USC
19. T.J. McDonald, S, USC
20. Dion Jordan, DE, Oregon
21. John White, RB, Utah
23. Nickell Robey, CB, USC
24. Stepfan Taylor, RB, Stanford

New guys on the list include:

No. 13: Kenjon Barner, RB, Oregon
No. 16: John Boyett, S, Oregon
No. 17: Jordan Poyer, CB, Oregon State
No. 18: Khaled Holmes, C, USC
No. 19: Cameron Marshall, RB, Arizona State
No. 20: Dion Bailey, LB, USC
No. 21: Shayne Skov, LB, Stanford
No. 22: Curtis McNeal, RB, USC
No. 23: Austin Seferian-Jenkins, TE, Washington
No. 24: Isi Sofele, RB, California
No. 25: Jeff Tuel, QB, Washington State

So who moves up the list? Or gets knocked off? You can expect the postseason list to be very different.

And, by the way, far more meaningful. It will reflect actual performance rather than projection.

Pac-12 top 25 for 2012: No. 1

August, 31, 2012
8/31/12
11:00
AM ET
Our countdown of the Pac-12's top 25 players in 2012 concludes today.

Most of this looks back, but, of course, there also is a good dose of projecting forward. A lot of good players, as it happens every year, won't make the preseason list. It is in their hands to make the postseason list.

You can review our 2011 postseason top 25 here.

1. Matt Barkley, QB, USC

2011 numbers: Completed 69.1 percent of his throws (308 of 446) for 3,528 yards with 39 touchdowns to just seven interceptions.

2011 postseason ranking: No. 2

Making the case for Barkley: Drum roll please. ... No? No drum roll? We don't have that sound file? OK, so this isn't exactly a "who shot J.R. moment" for the Pac-12 blog. I think it's safe to say we all saw this coming. And why not? Matt Barkley is by far the most complete quarterback in the country. With A-list wide receivers flanking him on either side, a phenomenal ground attack that includes two 1,000-yard rushers, fantastic tight ends, a solid offensive line and a stellar defense to get him the ball back, Barkley should produce credentials worthy of Heisman consideration and a high first-round NFL draft pick. He put the spotlight on himself when he made his declaration of "unfinished business," but if you know Barkley, you know he's not one to shrivel in the spotlight. And there is a bright one on him and his team this year as they enter the season ranked No. 1 in the AP poll. He earned second-team all-conference last year and is on every major preseason All-America team this year. Assuming all goes to plan, Barkley will be in New York for the Heisman presentation. He can go a long way toward making his case if he can produce similar numbers to last year and keep his team atop the rankings all season.

No. 2: Star Lotulelei, DT, Utah
No. 3: De'Anthony Thomas, RB/WR, Oregon
No. 4: Robert Woods, WR, USC
No. 5: Keith Price, QB, Washington
No. 6: Chase Thomas, LB, Stanford
No. 7: Marquess Wilson, WR, Washington State
No. 8: Keenan Allen, WR, California
No. 9: Marqise Lee, WR, USC
No. 10: T.J. McDonald, S, USC
No. 11: Dion Jordan, OLB/DE, Oregon
No. 12: Stepfan Taylor, RB, Stanford
No. 13: Kenjon Barner, RB, Oregon
No. 14: Nickell Robey, CB, USC
No. 15: John White IV, RB, Utah
No. 16: John Boyett, S, Oregon
No. 17: Jordan Poyer, CB, Oregon State
No. 18: Khaled Holmes, C, USC
No. 19: Cameron Marshall, RB, Arizona State
No. 20: Dion Bailey, LB, USC
No. 21: Shayne Skov, LB, Stanford
No. 22: Curtis McNeal, RB, USC
No. 23: Austin Seferian-Jenkins, TE, Washington
No. 24: Isi Sofele, RB, California
No. 25: Jeff Tuel, QB, Washington State

Pac-12 top 25 for 2012: No. 2

August, 30, 2012
8/30/12
5:30
PM ET
Our countdown of the Pac-12's top 25 players in 2012 continues.

Most of this looks back, but, of course, there also is a good dose of projecting forward. A lot of good players, as it happens every year, won't make the preseason list. It is in their hands to make the postseason list.

You can review our 2011 postseason top 25 here.

2. Star Lotulelei, DT, Utah

2011 numbers: Recorded 44 total tackles, with nine coming for a loss. He had 1.5 sacks, a pass break-up, forced fumble and a fumble recovery.

2011 postseason ranking: No. 7

Making the case for Lotulelei: Lotulelei, 6-foot-3, 320 pounds, is not only the best defensive lineman in the Pac-12, he might be the best defensive lineman in the nation. The consensus preseason All-American won the Pac-12's Morris Trophy last year, an award voted on by opposing offensive linemen. He also, of course, was first-team All-Pac-12. But, I know, Pac-12 fans like numbers, and the above numbers -- or numbers for any interior defensive lineman -- won't blow anyone away. So we have to go with what folks think of Lotulelei's chances at the next level. Here's what ESPN draft guru Mel Kiper writes about Lotulelei after ranking him the No. 9 overall NFL draft prospect: "Safest DT in class right now based on consistency. Demands double-teams, clogs up the middle of the field. A great sense for disrupting the run game, with power to bull rush. Explodes off the ball, with great upper-body strength."

Scouts Inc. ranks him sixth overall, giving him a grade of 94, which is the same grade they give the No. 1 prospect, a certain USC QB. In its evaluation, it praises Lotulelei's skills as a run stopper and his "motor." A popular comparison? Former Oregon defensive tackle Haloti Ngata. He has been named to the Bronko Nagurski, Outland Trophy, Lott Trophy and Maxwell Award watch lists.

No. 3: De'Anthony Thomas, RB/WR, Oregon
No. 4: Robert Woods, WR, USC
No. 5: Keith Price, QB, Washington
No. 6: Chase Thomas, LB, Stanford
No. 7: Marquess Wilson, WR, Washington State
No. 8: Keenan Allen, WR, California
No. 9: Marqise Lee, WR, USC
No. 10: T.J. McDonald, S, USC
No. 11: Dion Jordan, OLB/DE, Oregon
No. 12: Stepfan Taylor, RB, Stanford
No. 13: Kenjon Barner, RB, Oregon
No. 14: Nickell Robey, CB, USC
No. 15: John White IV, RB, Utah
No. 16: John Boyett, S, Oregon
No. 17: Jordan Poyer, CB, Oregon State
No. 18: Khaled Holmes, C, USC
No. 19: Cameron Marshall, RB, Arizona State
No. 20: Dion Bailey, LB, USC
No. 21: Shayne Skov, LB, Stanford
No. 22: Curtis McNeal, RB, USC
No. 23: Austin Seferian-Jenkins, TE, Washington
No. 24: Isi Sofele, RB, California
No. 25: Jeff Tuel, QB, Washington State

Pac-12 top 25 for 2012: No. 3

August, 29, 2012
8/29/12
6:00
PM ET
Our countdown of the Pac-12's top 25 players in 2012 continues.

Most of this looks back, but, of course, there also is a good dose of projecting forward. A lot of good players, as it happens every year, won't make the preseason list. It is in their hands to make the postseason list.

You can review our 2011 postseason top 25 here.

3. De'Anthony Thomas, RB/WR, Oregon

2011 numbers: Rushed for 595 yards and seven TDs, averaging 10.8 yards per carry. He caught 46 passes for 605 yards and nine TDs. He averaged 27.3 yards per kick return with two TDs.

2011 postseason ranking: 12th (tied with Oregon QB Darron Thomas!)

Making the case for Thomas: Thomas was very good last year as a true freshman -- you saw the Rose Bowl, right? -- but this high ranking here is more a projection forward. If Thomas doesn't get invited to New York for the Heisman Trophy ceremony this winter, he should in 2013. Simply, Thomas is the most explosive player in the conference, perhaps the nation. If you asked a defensive coordinator who you'd least like to see in open space, it would be Thomas. In that Rose Bowl win over Wisconsin, he probably previewed things to come with a team-high 314 all-purpose yards, carrying the ball twice for 155 yards and two TDs, including an are-you-kidding-me? 91 yard bolt. He was the Pac-12 co-offensive freshman of the year and earned first team All-Conference honors as a kick returner. He was the only player in the nation with at least 400 yards rushing, receiving and kick returning. He ranked 11th nationally in all-purpose yards with 147.8 ypg. He earned numerous freshman All-American honors. The expectation here is he will take a big step forward in 2012. Heck, he might even move up this list.

No. 4: Robert Woods, WR, USC
No. 5: Keith Price, QB, Washington
No. 6: Chase Thomas, LB, Stanford
No. 7: Marquess Wilson, WR, Washington State
No. 8: Keenan Allen, WR, California
No. 9: Marqise Lee, WR, USC
No. 10: T.J. McDonald, S, USC
No. 11: Dion Jordan, OLB/DE, Oregon
No. 12: Stepfan Taylor, RB, Stanford
No. 13: Kenjon Barner, RB, Oregon
No. 14: Nickell Robey, CB, USC
No. 15: John White IV, RB, Utah
No. 16: John Boyett, S, Oregon
No. 17: Jordan Poyer, CB, Oregon State
No. 18: Khaled Holmes, C, USC
No. 19: Cameron Marshall, RB, Arizona State
No. 20: Dion Bailey, LB, USC
No. 21: Shayne Skov, LB, Stanford
No. 22: Curtis McNeal, RB, USC
No. 23: Austin Seferian-Jenkins, TE, Washington
No. 24: Isi Sofele, RB, California
No. 25: Jeff Tuel, QB, Washington State

Lunch links: Depth chart chatter

August, 28, 2012
8/28/12
2:30
PM ET
They took my saddle in Houston, broke my leg in Santa Fe;
Lost my wife and a girlfriend somewhere along the way.

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