Pac-12: Nick Crissman

Quarterbacks come and go for a variety of reasons. Some simply aren't happy in a new state or in another part of the country. Others decide football isn't the sport for them. Many feel their talents are being wasted on the bench. It always seems like the grass is greener. Sometimes the move works out. Sometimes it doesn't.

Inspired by the move of Wes Lunt to leave Oklahoma State, the Pac-12 blog thought it would be fun to look back fondly at some of the quarterbacks who have left the conference following the 2008 season (a full four-year cycle). A special thanks to the league's sports information directors for helping compile this list and whatever information is available (which isn't the case with some players).

Here's the team-by-team breakdown of some of the recently departed signal callers no longer calling signals in the Pac-12.

  • Tom Savage: Transferred to Pitt after the 2011 season. Eligible to play in 2013.
  • Cam Allerheiligen: Left after the 2011 season. Went on to play baseball at Weatherford College.
Arizona State
  • No QB transfers since 2008.
  • Beau Sweeney: Transferred after the 2010 season to Cornell. Appeared as a quarterback and TE/H-Back.
  • Allan Bridgford: Transferred after the 2012 season to Southern Miss.
  • Matt Ballenger: Transferred after the 2008 season to College of Idaho and went on to be an all-conference basketball player.
  • Nick Hirschman: Transferred to Akron following the 2012 season.
  • Chris Harper: Transferred to Kansas State after the 2008 season and became a wide receiver, leading the Wildcats in receptions, receiving yards and touchdowns in 2011.
  • Justin Roper: Transferred to Montana after the 2008 season, completed 61.5 percent of his throws with 19 touchdowns and 11 interceptions in 2010.
  • Jeremiah Masoli: Transferred to Mississippi after the 2009 season. Is now with the Hamilton Tiger-Cats of the Canadian Football League.
  • Brennan Doty: (Walk-on) transferred to Lamar to play basketball.
  • Bryan Bennett: Transferred to Southeastern Louisiana after the 2012 season.
Oregon State
  • Justin Engstrom: Transferred to Portland State after the 2008 season. Was a backup.
  • Brennan Sim: Transferred to South Alabama after the 2008 season.
  • Peter Lalich: Transferred to California University of Pennsylvania after the 2009 season.
  • Ryan Katz: Transferred to San Diego State before the 2012 season and was the starter until an injury knocked him out for the year.
  • Jack Lomax: Left the team prior to the 2012 season.
  • L.D. Crow: Transferred to UCF after the 2008 season.
  • Nick Ruhl: (Walk-on) transferred to Menlo College after the 2008 season. Returned to Stanford and graduated with two degrees.
  • Adam Brzeczek: (Walk-on) transferred to Montana after the 2011 season. Did not attempt a pass in 2012, but appeared in two games and rushed for 33 yards on three carries with a touchdown.
  • Brett Nottingham: Transferred to Columbia after the 2012 season.
  • Chris Forcier: Transferred to Furman after the 2008 season.
  • Nick Crissman: Graduated in 2012, but intended to transfer to play one more year
  • Aaron Corp: Transferred to Richmond after the 2009 season.
  • Jesse Scroggins: Trasnferred to El Camino Junior College after the 2011 season and has since joined Arizona.
  • Corbin Louks: Transferred to Nevada after the 2008 season.
  • Griff Robles: Transferred after the 2011 season to Dixie State College. Utah had converted Robles to a linebacker, but he wanted to play quarterback. Appeared in 11 games last year, completing 50.9 percent of his throws with 16 touchdowns and 12 interceptions.
  • Tyler Shreve: Transferred to Riverside Community College after the 2011 season to play football and baseball.
  • Ronnie Fouch: Transferred to Indiana State after the 2009 season. Went on to start 22 games and posted 38 touchdowns to 15 interceptions with more than 4,300 passing yards in his career.
  • Nick Montana: Transferred to to Mt. San Antonio College after the 2011 season and is now at Tulane.
Washington State
  • J.T. Levenseller: Transferred to Eastern Washington after the 2008 season.
  • Cody Clements: Transferred to Cerritos College following the 2012 season.

Pac-12 links: USC, Colorado find RB help

March, 26, 2012
My reminiscence. I always thought that for such a lovely river the name is mystifying: "Cape Fear." When the only thing to fear on those enchanted summer nights was that the magic would end and real life would come crashing in.

UCLA will be down four in bowl game

December, 21, 2011
Two things happened at UCLA today.

One thing was about the dreary present: Backup quarterback Richard Brehaut has been suspended for the Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl, and three Bruins have been ruled academically ineligible.

The other is about a potentially better future: The Bruins acting Tuesday on their "tradition" of "going over the wall" made new coach Jim Mora want to claw his eyes out, just like it did many Bruins fans.

Said Mora: "It's completely unacceptable and it will not be part of the program going forward."

Good. End of "tradition." Mora immediately sends a message that should resonate in a locker room that needs some resonance.

Now on to the bad stuff. Joining Brehaut in time out are, are safety Tony Dye, starting offensive lineman Albert Cid and backup linebacker Isaiah Bowens, who are the academically ineligible for the Dec. 31 bowl game.

Without Brehaut, starter Kevin Price will be backed up by either Nick Crissman or Darius Bell. There is zero chance that talented true freshman Brett Hundley will play after redshirting this season.

“All four of these student-athletes are disappointed that they will miss the Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl, but they all understand that they have let their teammates and the program down and that there are consequences for their actions,” interim coach Mike Johnson said in a statement.

Question: Do you think Johnson, who was only with UCLA during this one miserable season, is eager to get this bowl game over and get on with his life?

Brehaut played in seven games, starting four, and completed 67 of 121 passes for 948 yards and six touchdowns. Dye played in five games, starting all of them during an injury-plagued season, tallying 23 tackles. Cid participated in nine games, starting five of them. Bowens played in 12 games coming off the bench, making nine tackles and recovering two fumbles.

Opening the mailbag: Are recruiting rankings meaningful?

December, 18, 2009
Everybody get my Christmas list?

To the notes.

JT from New York writes: Do you think the success of Utah, Cincinnati, Boise, and Oregon, and the fall of USC, Georgia, and Notre Dame, will put a damper on the star system for recruits and the overall ranking of recruiting classes? Seems that the emphasis placed on the incoming guys becomes less and less relevant (or relates less to success) every year given the season ending outcomes.

Ted Miller: Short answer: No.

Folks love reading about recruiting. They love ratings. They love the whole thing, even when they are complaining about it.

Any responsible recruiting guru will tell you that the "star system" is an inexact science, but measuring things in shades of gray is part of college football -- see the national polls and BCS system as a whole.

I also don't know if the recruiting rankings look that much different than the final polls. If you go here, you see a lot of Alabama, Texas, Florida, USC and other national powers.

If you're asking why schools that typically don't rank highly in recruiting seem to end up scattered throughout the national polls annually, there are a handful of explanations.

Evaluation: Some staffs are particularly good at projecting how a high school senior might develop physically over the next few years. They also seem to see the inner football player. Oregon State's Mike Riley would be a good example, as would Arizona's Mike Stoops.

Development: A good strength and conditioning program is critical, and nutritional guidance is often underrated. On the field, it's about assistant coaches who are superior teachers of fundamentals and technique. Often less highly rated guys take coaching better, too.

Coaching: A well-coached team can make up for talent deficiencies by outsmarting its opponent. I'd throw Brian Kelly and Chris Petersen into that pool and I suspect you could add Chip Kelly, though he's been a head coach for just one year. Those guys strike me as schematic savants. But coaching isn't just a big brain. It's also motivating and unifying a locker room. Again, that's Riley and also Jim Harbaugh and, though he's also a newbie, Washington's Steve Sarkisian.

Kai from Castro Valley, Calif., writes: The new thing in college football is to leave high school early and join college spring camp. What are your thoughts? Good or Bad decision?

Ted Miller: It's not really a new thing. I recall back in 1991 being among the throng who couldn't wait for super-recruit Eric Zeier, the pride of Marietta (Ga.) High School, to win the starting quarterback job of Georgia. But it seems like early-entry -- some call it "greenshirting" -- really became more popular over the past five or six years.

The reason players opt for early-entry is simple: They want to get their career started and showing up early might help them play sooner.

Quarterbacks, particularly, seem to want to get a head start with the playbook and coaching -- see Philip Rivers, John David Booty (who skipped his entire senior year of high school), Tim Tebow, Matthew Stafford, Matt Barkley, Richard Brehaut, etc.

The oft-cited downside: What about enjoying your senior year of high school? Why skip a step growing up?

That's not invalid, though it might be a tad sentimental.

To me it comes down to this: What's right for the young man and his family?

If a player is that focused on football and getting his career started, then there's no reason for him to spend his final months of high school trying to figure out when everybody's parents are going out of town so they can throw a righteous house party.

Also, there are a number of advantages for the student-athlete: He gets more bang for his buck on scholarship -- it's a free semester. And it also gives a young man a chance test drive the school and program before he gets lost in a crowd of 25 or so incoming players.

This is a nice story on the topic by the LA Times' David Wharton.

Mike from Seattle writes: After reading your post on the pac-10 quarterbacks returning next year I found myself wondering who is the deepest?

Ted Miller: That's tough to evaluate, but here are the backup situations (class standing is for 2010).

Arizona: Junior Matt Scott. He started three games last year, so he's not completely green.

Arizona State: Both junior Samson Szakacsy and sophomore Brock Osweiler saw significant playing time in 2009. Michigan transfer Steven Threat, a junior, started eight games in 2008. One of those three will start.

California: Neither sophomore Beau Sweeney nor junior Brock Mansion have seen significant action.

Oregon: Senior Nate Costa and sophomore Darron Thomas are a solid tandem with some game experience.

Oregon State: Sophomore Ryan Katz and junior Peter Lalich will compete to replace Sean Canfield this spring.

Stanford: Redshirt freshmen Josh Nunes and Robbie Picazo will be very green behind Andrew Luck.

UCLA: Sophomores Richard Brehaut and Nick Crissman will start spring behind sophomore Kevin Prince on the depth chart. Brehaut threw 17 passes in 2009, Crissman two.

USC: Junior Aaron Corp and senior Mitch Mustain will backup sophomore Matt Barkley, unless one opts to transfer.

Washington: Junior Ronnie Fouch stepped in for an injured Jake Locker in 2008, though things didn't go well. Redshirt freshman Keith Price and incoming freshman Nick Montana also are in the mix.

Washington State: Junior Marshall Lobbestael figures to be sophomore Jeff Tuel's primary backup.

Kevin from Fullerton, Calif., writes: What do you think about the Beavs playing TCU next year along with Louisville and at BSU? Yikes! Not a great schedule for starting fast. I'm excited because those are all great games, but I'm just not confident the Beavs can win big, early OOC games.

Ted Miller: It's great that Oregon State is giving college football fans games that they can get excited about. Both Boise State and TCU probably will start out next year ranked in the top-10, and Oregon State also figures to be ranked in the preseason, perhaps even in the top-15.

Now, we all know that Oregon State has started slowly in recent years, but the 2010 squad will be veteran at just about every position other than quarterback. So the Beavers may be more in sync early.

Win these games, and the Beavers could launch a special season. And, even if they lose, they will have plenty of ranked teams in the Pac-10 they can crawl over as they make their typical late-season run back into the national polls.

Still, it's a brutal slate, particularly playing TCU in Texas and Boise on the blue turf. And some folks still will sniff over TCU and Boise State not being BCS conference teams, no matter where they are ranked. Losing to, say, a 15th-ranked Penn State squad still doesn't carry as much downside as losing to a No. 6 Boise State team.

Please, that's not my idea. Just the way it is.

If I were the Oregon State athletic director, I wouldn't have scheduled these games. If I were an AD, I'd always go with an A, B, C scheduling philosophy, with "A" being a marquee game with a BCS conference foe, a "B" game vs. a solid team -- not a Boise State or TCU -- and always at home and a "C" game with a patsy.

Still, it's hard to raise too much hell about matching up against two ranked programs during the early-season. I can't wait to watch both those games.

Aaron from "SEC country" writes: Maybe the Pac-10 is generally the #1 conference. When you look at the map, they should be! Where the SEC, Big East, Big 10, Big 12 and ACC - 55 of the 65 AQ schools - are all either contiguous or co-located and must compete with each other for players and exposure, other than outlier Colorado the Pac-10 is the only game in town west of Texas.Example: the SEC. 4 of 9 SEC states are shared with ACC and Big East schools (i.e. Florida, which has 2 ACC schools and a Big East school). The SEC East borders ACC and Big East country to the north and east and Big 10 country to the north. The SEC West borders the Big 12 and Big 10 to the north and west. So, programs like Miami, FSU, Clemson, Georgia Tech, Virginia Tech, Texas, Oklahoma, North Carolina, Louisville, Missouri and Cincinnati compete directly with the SEC for players, coaches and media attention. Whatever obstacles the Pac-10 has, that sort of direct competition is not among them!Meanwhile, the Pac-10 has a whole 1/4 of the country to itself! So, the question must be asked: isn't the Pac-10 doing a better job of exploiting this clear advantage?

Ted Miller: Maybe.

First, I would direct you to this map of U.S. population density.

Second, I think some of the Pac-10 blog readers would say, "You had me at your first sentence."

Friday mailbag: Mistakes, worries and dreams for the Pac-10

February, 27, 2009

Posted by's Ted Miller

A couple of things first.

USC fans: Yes, I forgot about Josh Pinkard getting his sixth year of eligibility in my look at Pac-10 cornerbacks.

Actually, it was worse than that. I'm looking at my notepad where I wrote, "Pinkard back/sixth year granted." So despite my best efforts I was a big pile of stupid on that one.

Second, the position reviews and other stories we're doing right now -- "Out of the Shadows" "Newcomers to watch" -- are specifically focused on spring football. So guys who are hurt or incoming freshmen who aren't already enrolled aren't part of the discussion.

On to the mail.

RS from Parts Unknown writes: At the very least I hope the new commish will improve the Pac 10 bowl tie-ins. The Big 10 gets 3 New Year's Day bowls and 2 in Florida? We need at least one more quality bowl against the SEC, not the MWC or WAC.

Ted Miller: I don't think there's a single Pac-10 fan who wouldn't want: 1. Another New Year's Day bowl; 2. A bowl vs. the SEC.

But how do you do it? Particularly in the short term, in this economy?

The sad truth is the Florida bowls don't want the Pac-10 because the Pac-10 won't travel across the country en masse for a bowl game.

So that means either creating a new bowl, which will require a sugar daddy (or business or municipality) with millions to spare. Or an existing bowl -- like say the Holiday Bowl -- could move to New Year's Day.

But the likelihood of that happening is remote.

As far as the SEC: Its bowl arrangements couldn't be much better. Why would it want to change?

Skaner from Los Angeles writes: I already know how bad it could get in football for my beloved Bruins. However, what is the best case scenario for the Bruins in the upcoming season? I am predicting 8 wins, am I asking for too much?

Ted Miller: Are you saying eight wins is your best-case scenario? Because I can spread fairy dust on the 2009 slate and even imagine a magical nine-win season.

Eight wins sounds like the high end but also not inconceivable. The range seems to be five to eight wins, with the likelihood that the Bruins will be pressing late to get that sixth win and earn bowl eligibility.

Still, I've got a hunch that UCLA will significantly improve.

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