Stanford Football: California Golden Bears

Last week at Pac-12 media days, the media poll was announced and the resounding response was that the media believes the Ducks will win this year’s Pac-12 championship game.

When it came to the breakdown of where teams would finish, again it was a pretty clear agreement: most media had Oregon and Stanford as No. 1 and No. 2, respectively, in the North Division and UCLA and USC as their counterparts in the South Division.

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Which will be the matchup in the 2014 Pac-12 Championship game?

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    40%
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    23%
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    10%
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    6%
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    21%

Discuss (Total votes: 10,609)

We didn’t need a media poll to start thinking about the Pac-12 championship game, but this just gave us even more reason to explore it. Yes, these four teams seem to be a step ahead in personnel and game plan for the season, and have some favorable matchups here and there. But, it’s college football and craziness happens, so there is certainly a chance that a team not in this group jumps into the lead in the North or South and ends up playing in Levi’s Stadium at the end of the season.

So, we wanted to ask you: which matchup do you think you will be watching when it all comes down to it on Dec. 5?

Will it be:

Oregon-UCLA: This would be a rematch of an Oct. 11 game that would match up (what could be) an explosive and dynamic Oregon run game against some of the best linebackers in the country -- Myles Jack, Eric Kendrick, we’re looking at you, can you handle Marcus Mariota, Byron Marshall and Thomas Tyner? It would be great to be able to see Mariota and Brett Hundley on the same field twice this season as they battle it out for NFL draft status, top quarterback in the Pac-12/nation, etc. etc.

Oregon-USC: These teams don’t play during the regular season, and if you can say that you don’t want to see USC defensive end Leonard Williams get after Mariota and the Oregon offensive line, then you are probably the kind of person who doesn’t like puppies, apple pie or happiness. This could be one of the best battles-within-a-battle to watch all season, regardless of conference. No doubt football fans all over the country would tune in to see what could be the best defensive lineman and the best quarterback battle for 60 minutes.

Stanford-UCLA: Could we see two teams play in back-to-back weekends? If Stanford wins the North and UCLA wins the South, that would be the case. They would close out the regular season on Friday, Nov. 28 in Los Angeles and then meet again a bit further north at Levi’s Stadium the following weekend. If you are not completely trusting of Oregon and its ability to close out a season, maybe this is the pick to make. Stanford has been the underdog before and has done pretty well.

Stanford-USC: This would be a great rematch. These teams play in Week 2, but can you imagine how different they would be by the championship game? The growth that happens between Sept. 6 and Dec. 5 would just be ridiculous, and it would be fun to compare these two games side-by-side and say, “Yes, this is where this team has grown the most over a season.” A Steve Sarkisian-David Shaw dual-duel is completely conceivable and would be fun to watch.

Other: Those are the front-runners in the conference, but could we see some surprises? Trap games exist for all four of those teams, and with coachs like Chris Petersen or Todd Graham, you can't completely count out their teams. Could Washington sneak into a matchup with UCLA or USC or someone else? Could Arizona State appear in the championship game for the second season in a row? It’s all possible. But is it probable? You decide.

Pac-12 lunch links

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So hold on to the ones who really care. In the end they'll be the only ones there. When you get old and start losing hair, can you tell me who will still care? Can you tell me who will still care? Mmmmmmmmm bop.

Pac-12 lunch links

June, 19, 2014
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Ain't no party like an S Club party.
Recruiting the right quarterback means a tremendous amount to every college football program.

In the Class of 2015, the race has been on for months for programs in need of signal-callers.

With the calendar having turned to June, there are more than 55 quarterbacks who have given verbal commitments to FBS programs.

Most recently, Florida snagged West Coast prospect Sheriron Jones over the weekend. In all, 39 of 62 programs in the Power Five conferences have QB commitments, and more are on the way.

Pac-12 lunch links

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I'd rather laugh with the sinners than cry with the saints.

Pac-12 lunch links

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Happy Friday!
College football is not only about being good. It's about scheduling.

Who you don't play is often as important as who you do. Just look at the SEC, where retaining an eight-game conference schedule in a 14-team league is Machiavellian genius. It's cowardly and fraudulent, of course, but it might help the conference get more teams in the College Football Playoff.

Anyway... back to the Pac-12, a 12-team league that plays a nine-game conference schedule.

So let's look at how the Pac-12 schedules stack up, starting with the North Division (*-denotes FCS team; toughest nonconference game bolded):

CALIFORNIA

Nonconference slate: Aug. 30, at Northwestern (5-7); Sept. 16, Sacramento State (5-7)*; Nov. 29, BYU (8-5)

Pac-12 misses: Arizona State, Utah

Road games (5): at Northwestern, at Arizona, at Washington State, at Oregon State, at USC

Bye weeks: Sept. 13 (before Pac-12 schedule begins), Nov. 8 (before Thursday game at USC)

Skinny: Last year, California had the third-toughest schedule in the country with Ohio State and Northwestern on the slate. This year, things are more manageable, though the Bears will almost always be hurt by playing UCLA and USC every year, per agreement with the Pac-12 office. This schedule is far from easy, as a trip to Chicago is no cakewalk, and BYU is pretty much the equivalent of a B-list Big Five foe. The home conference schedule is much tougher than the road trips, but that can operate against a team struggling to climb from the bottom of the standings. The byes are reasonably spread throughout the year -- recall the useless "bye" last year the final weekend of the season -- though USC is also off before the Thursday game. The Bears also get a couple of extra days to prepare for the Big Game against Stanford due to the Thursday kickoff.

OREGON

Nonconference slate: Aug. 30, South Dakota (4-8)*; Sept. 6, Michigan State (13-1); Sept. 13, Wyoming (5-7)

Pac-12 misses: Arizona State, USC

Road games (5): at Washington State, at UCLA, at California, at Utah, at Oregon State

Bye weeks: Sept. 27 (before Thursday game with Arizona); Nov. 15 (before Colorado)

Skinny: This schedule sets up for a national championship run, including the Pac-12's nonconference game of the year against Michigan State, a likely top-5 team. The Ducks miss two South teams that are almost certain to be ranked in the preseason, so those are good misses. They don't play consecutive road games all season. By playing at Cal on a Friday, they get an extra day to prepare for Stanford at home. The Oct. 11 trip to UCLA could loom large in the national title race, and we might get a rematch in the Pac-12 championship game. So, because the Ducks play Arizona on a Thursday night, it's notable they will get a couple of extra days to prepare for the Bruins.

OREGON STATE

Nonconference slate: Aug. 30, Portland State (6-6)*; Sept. 6, Hawaii (1-11); Sept. 20, San Diego State (8-5)

Pac-12 misses: Arizona, UCLA

Road games (5): at Hawaii, at USC, at Colorado, at Stanford, at Washington

Bye weeks: Sept. 13 (before San Diego State); Oct. 11 (before Thursday game with Utah)

Skinny: The Beavers have the weakest nonconference schedule in the conference. They also have a bye before playing host to San Diego State, which might be good coming after a long trip to Hawaii. The conference misses are good, as UCLA is a top-10 team and Arizona is at least solid. The road schedule is tough, though the Beavers have recently had some success in the Coliseum versus USC. The Thursday game with Utah provides extra time to prepare for the trip to Stanford. They play four of their first seven games on the road, but the upside is playing four of the final five at home. The trip to Washington looms large as a North Division separation game. And will the Beavers play spoilers for Oregon at home in the season finale?

STANFORD

Nonconference slate: Aug. 30, UC Davis (5-7)*; Sept. 13, Army (3-9); Oct. 4, at Notre Dame (9-4)

Pac-12 misses: Arizona, Colorado

Road games (6): at Washington, at Notre Dame, at Arizona State, at Oregon, at California, at UCLA

Bye weeks: Sept. 20 (before Washington); Nov. 8 (before Utah)

Skinny: A brutal schedule. Just like last year. The trip to Notre Dame is never easy. From a preseason perspective, the misses are the least advantageous in the Pac-12. There are six road games, five of which should be against teams ranked in the preseason top 25. The Cardinal plays Washington and Notre Dame on the road on back-to-back weekends, and three of their final four games are on the road. The bye before playing the Huskies is well-timed, and you might recall that Stanford lost to Utah last year, so that bye isn't bad either. Of course, if the Cardinal emerge from this schedule at 11-1 and then win the Pac-12 championship, they not only will make the College Football Playoff, they might be seeded No. 1.

WASHINGTON

Nonconference slate: Aug. 30, at Hawaii (1-11); Sept. 6, Eastern Washington (12-3)*; Sept. 13, Illinois (4-8); Sept. 20, Georgia State (0-12)

Pac-12 misses: Utah, USC

Road games (6): at Hawaii, at California, at Oregon, at Colorado, at Arizona, at Washington State

Bye week: Oct. 4 (before game at Cal)

Skinny: The Huskies play 13 games due to an NCAA rule that allows them to after taking a trip to Hawaii, and they have given themselves a pretty darn soft nonconference slate. Anything less than 4-0 would be a massive disappointment. The bad news about 13 regular season games is just one off weekend, and a break before visiting Cal doesn't seem ideal, though it does come after what should be a physically taxing matchup with Stanford. The misses are not unhelpful, particularly no game with USC. The final four games figure to define the season, with UCLA and Oregon State coming to Husky Stadium and trips to Arizona and Washington State. Hard to believe a 3-1 finish wouldn't make Chris Petersen's first season feel successful.

WASHINGTON STATE

Nonconference slate: Aug. 28 in Seattle, Rutgers (6-7); Sept. 6 at Nevada (4-8); Sept. 13 Portland State (6-6)*

Pac-12 misses: UCLA, Colorado

Road games (5, with the Rutgers game played in Seattle): at Nevada, at Utah, at Stanford, at Oregon State, at Arizona State

Bye week: Oct. 17 (before Arizona); Nov. 15 (before game at Arizona State)

Skinny: The nonconference slate is manageable, if not completely soft. Cougars fans have a right to believe 3-0 is the most likely scenario in Year 3 under Mike Leach. Playing Rutgers in Seattle rates as a 50-percent road game, as it breaks from routine, if not fan support. A road trip to Nevada could be tricky. Missing UCLA is good; missing Colorado probably isn't. Can the Cougs go 2-2 in conference play on the road? That might be the key to the season. That and beating the hated Huskies at home to conclude the campaign. It's not too much of a stretch to see eight wins on this schedule.
Turnovers are great … when you can get them. They stop drives, swing momentum and, more often than not, are the difference in the outcome of a game.

The only thing coaches love more than getting turnovers is getting points off of turnovers. Some teams were great at that in 2013. Other teams could use a little improvement.

Last month, we looked at ball security in the league for the past three seasons. During the next couple of days we’ll break down each team and how they did when it came to turning turnovers into points. We’ll also look at how mentally strong defenses were when they had to buckle down and prevent points after a turnover.

On Tuesday, we took a look at the Pac-12 South. Today we move our attention to the North to see how efficient those teams were at producing points after takeaways. There are going to be a few anomalies when it comes to tabulating how many times a team scores following a turnover. For example, a game-ending interception won’t yield points, nor will a fumble recovered at the end of the half or when a team runs out the clock.

But the following stats from last season should give you snapshot of how teams fared when trying to take advantage of a gift from the opposition.

California

Turnovers created: 13
Scores vs. opportunities: 6 of 13 (46 percent)
Total points after turnovers: 38
Games without forcing at least one turnover: 3
Games without points after turnovers: 3

Oregon

Turnovers created: 29
Scores vs. opportunities: 18 of 29 (62 percent)
Total points after turnovers: 122
Games without forcing at least one turnover: 2
Games without points after turnovers: 1

Oregon State

Turnovers created: 29
Scores vs. opportunities: 16 of 29 (55 percent)
Total points after turnovers: 108
Games without forcing at least one turnover: 1
Games without points after turnovers: 2

Stanford

Turnovers created: 19
Scores vs. opportunities: 12 of 19 (63 percent)
Total points after turnovers: 76
Games without forcing at least one turnover: 1
Games without points after turnovers: 4

Washington

Turnovers created: 23
Scores vs. opportunities: 15 of 23 (65 percent)
Total points after turnovers: 99
Games without forcing at least one turnover: 1
Games without points after turnovers: 5

Washington State

Turnovers created: 30
Scores vs. opportunities: 17 of 30 (56 percent)
Total points after turnovers: 111
Games without forcing at least one turnover: 0
Games without points after turnovers: 4
HAYWARD, Calif. -- After one Elite 11 coach referred to Friday’s Northern California event as the most talented regional of the past four years, participants in Sunday's Nike Football Training Camp at Chabot College faced plenty of pressure to keep the region’s momentum rolling.

While it would prove impossible to live up to Friday’s showing -- or even last year’s remarkable output of nine invitations to The Opening -- this year’s edition of the Northern California NFTC did result in six Opening invitations, as well as a dominant performance from several ESPN 300 defensive tackles, an ESPN 300 wide receiver who found a connection with a future Notre Dame quarterback, and a tight end who could help shape the Pac-12 recruiting race -- all during an event that had a decidedly island vibe.


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You’ve got questions and Ted Miller usually has your answers. But he’s on vacation, so I’m in to pinch hit before the weekend.

Follow the Pac-12 blog (and me) on Twitter.

From Ted’s mailbag, forwarded to me:

Bob from North of Oregon writes: So, I find the decision to play the Pac-12 championship game at Levi's Stadium irritating. I really preferred the winner-hosts scenario. The concept that the team that has the best overall record hosts the game is a pretty common theme in sports (yeah, the Super Bowl is neutral). I guess San Francisco-area merchants will enjoy the additional income, as opposed to a place like say Eugene, for example. I look forward to the day that Oregon State and Arizona play at Levi's for the championship; that one would pack the house. I guess I can vote with dollars when I don't spend them to go.

Bonagura: I’ve been wavering on this issue since it was first broached a couple years ago. There are a lot of moving parts here, and the reality is that there are clear winners and losers going away from the on-campus model.

Realistically, everything can really be explained with one question: Would the Pac-12 have made this move if it felt it would be making less money as a result? You know the answer.

[+] EnlargeLevis Stadium
AP Photo/Eric RisbergLevi's Stadium will host the Pac-12 championship game for the next three years, at least. Will the Pac-12 make money on the neutral-site deal?
The most common gripes that seem to have come up on Twitter are: 1) There are potential attendance problems; 2) It amounts to a home game for Stanford and Cal; 3) Friday games?

Let’s take a closer look at those three issues:

1) On Thursday at the announcement, 49ers president Paraag Marathe said, based on research the team has done with its season-ticket holders, he fully expects the game to sell out. If USC or UCLA is playing Stanford, Oregon or Washington, I could see that happening. Especially this being the Field of Jeans’ first year. People are going to want to check out the new shiny object regardless who is playing. But like you said, Bob, Oregon State vs. Arizona? I’d be shocked if that filled up.

Once the novelty of the game wears off -- probably after this season -- I don’t see casual Bay Area sports fans going to check out a college football game without a rooting interest. To think otherwise is contradictory to the market's past behavior.

You also have to factor in the likelihood of travel for fans of teams with the highest of expectations, meaning playoff games. Say Oregon goes undefeated in the regular season. At that point fans are clearly expecting to play for a national title. Do they spring for the travel to what essentially amounts to a quarterfinal game? Some will, but others will wait and spend their money to get to a playoff game.

2) There is no doubt Stanford and California will have some inherent advantages having the game played locally. How big an issue is that? After doing some research, I’m not convinced it’s significant enough to factor heavily into the decision. I went back and looked at every season since 1978 (when the conference became 10 teams) to see how often Cal and Stanford would have played in a hypothetical Pac-12 title game. Including the last three years, that number is five. In three of those cases (Cal in 2004 and 2006; Stanford in 2013), either Cal or Stanford would have been on the road in the home-site model. Those are the only three times the new model would have given what can be described as an unearned advantage. (In real-life 2013, Stanford didn't have that advantage and won at ASU.)

That’s not to say that cycle will continue to play out 1-in-every-12-years the way it has for the last 36; just providing a perspective. There's a good chance Stanford will be the beneficiary of the new site at some point in the next few years. Let's also not forget Stanford is often the butt of attendance jokes among Pac-12 fans. Seems illogical to argue that Stanford has terrible fans, then turn around and argue Stanford will have a huge advantage playing at Levi's.

3) The contract for the game to be played at Levi’s is for three years. This year and 2016 will be on a Friday and 2015 will be on a Saturday.


Adam from Los Angeles writes: So it seems like the Pac-12 Network will never reach a deal with DirecTV. What about a deal with Apple TV, which has an HBO and ESPN app (or channel, not sure what they are called). What are the chances of the Pac-12 Network reaching a deal with Apple TV, and what would prevent it?

Bonagura: Adam, I reached out to the Pac-12 on your behalf. The response I got from a conference spokesman was that they are “considering support for Pac-12 Now on additional devices such as Apple TV, Xbox, PlayStation, Roku, etc.” They just don’t have a specific time frame to release publicly.

As for DirecTV and the Pac-12 Networks getting a deal done, there is actually some reason to believe that it could eventually happen. As noted here in greater detail by the San Jose Mercury News’ Jon Wilner, AT&T’s recent discussions into buying DirecTV could be a good thing for the Pac-12 Networks' prospects of being offered by the satellite TV company. AT&T currently offers the Pac-12 Networks to its subscribers.


Jeff from Carlsbad, California, writes: With BYU already in series contracts with half the Pac-12, what is your stance on them being included as a [power-five] opponent?

Bonagura: Obviously, BYU will never technically be considered a power-five opponent unless it joins one of those five conferences (ACC, Big 12, Big Ten, Pac-12, SEC), but if it wants to be considered on that plane as an independent school, like Notre Dame, its scheduling isn’t helping. In the last three years, BYU has scheduled an average of five power-five teams a season. This season it will play three (Texas, Virginia and Cal), and there are two tentatively lined up in 2015 (Nebraska, Michigan) out of 11 games. BYU can have a really good team, one capable of competing well in conferences such as the Pac-12, but until it plays a comparable schedule, there will also be questions about relative legitimacy.


Matt from Portland, Oregon, writes: Any post-draft items that jump out at you? Like Bishop Sankey going in the second round (as the first RB taken), while [Ka'Deem] Carey goes late in the fourth? Barr going so high? Shayne Skov not getting drafted?

Bonagura: Based on their college careers, Skov going undrafted was the biggest surprise of the draft -- although that possibility had been reported in the days leading up to it. Skov's fall is 100 percent injury-related. After missing most of the 2011 season with a torn ACL, he really never was back to his pre-injury form in 2012. That hurt his tape. He was back to being a dominant linebacker again in 2013, but then missed the combine with a calf injury. Then he had to reschedule his pro day because of a hamstring injury and when he finally worked out for NFL scouts -- still not fully recovered -- he ran a 5.11 40. In hindsight, he was probably better off not running.


Ben from Wildcat Universe writes: Why did Ka'Deem [Carey] drop? Don't they watch film? No hate for Bishop Sankey; he is a stud ... but the Joke Walker award winner ahead of Ka'Deem is silly! Can he do at RB what [Nick] Foles is doing at QB?

Bonagura: That baffled me, too. I won't even attempt to justify Andre Williams ahead of Carey. It makes no sense.

Pac-12 recruiting roundup

May, 15, 2014
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With spring football done and the Pac-12 coaches hitting the recruiting trail, we figured it was time to check in on how each team is faring with its recruits.

Here's a look at where each school stands:


Arizona

2015 commits: 6
Players: Keenan Walker, OT, Scottsdale, Ariz.; Taren Morrison, RB, Mesa, Ariz.; Darick Holmes Jr., RB, Westlake Village, Calif.; Finton Connolly, DT, Gilbert, Ariz.; Alex Kosinski, OG, Larkspur, Calif.; Ricky McCoy, TE, Fresno, Calif.

2016 commits: 2
Players: Trevor Speights, RB, McAllen, Texas; Shea Patterson, QB, Shreveport, La.



Arizona State

2015 commits: 6
Players: Brady White, QB, Newhall, Calif.; Morie Evans, ATH, Huntsville, Texas; Bryce Perkins, QB, Chandler, Ariz.; Nick Ralston, RB, Argyle, Texas; Tony Nicholson, ATH, Grand Prairie, Texas; Raymond Epps, TE (JC), Yuma, Ariz.

2017 commit: 1
Player: Loren Mondy, DE, Mansfield, Texas


Cal

2015 commits: 4
Players: Austin Aaron, WR, Napa, Calif.; Greyson Bankhead, WR, Corona, Calif.; Malik Psalms, CB, Chino Hills, Calif.; Lonny Powell, RB, Sacramento, Calif.


Colorado


2015 commits: 3
Players: T.J. Fehoko, DE, Salt Lake City; N.J. Falo, OLB, Sacramento; Dillon Middlemiss, OG, Arvada, Colo.


Oregon

2015 commits: 4
Players: Taj Griffin, RB, Powder Springs, Ga.; Zach Okun, OG, Newbury Park, Calif.; Jake Breeland, WR, Mission Viejo, Calif.; Shane Lemieux, OT, Yakima, Wash.


Oregon State

2015 commits: 3
Players: Tyrin Ferguson, OLB, New Orleans; Kyle Haley, OLB, Anaheim, Calif.; Treshon Broughton, CB (JC), Tustin, Calif.


Stanford

2015 commits: 3
Players: Arrington Farrar, S, College Park, Ga.; Christian Folau, ILB, Salt Lake City; Rex Manu, DT, Mililani, Hawaii


UCLA

2015 commits: 7
Players: Josh Rosen, QB, Bellflower, Calif.; Alize Jones, TE, Las Vegas; Tevita Halalilo, OG, Moreno Valley, Calif.; L.J. Reed, WR, Elk Grove, Calif.; Jaason Lewis, ATH, Virginia Beach, Va.; Bolu Olorunfunmi, RB, Clovis, Calif.; Victor Alexander, ILB, Jacksonville, Fla.


USC

2015 commits: 5
Players: Chuma Edoga, OT, Powder Springs, Ga.; Ricky Town, QB, Ventura, Calif.; David Sills, QB, Elkton, Md.; Taeon Mason, CB, Pasadena, Calif.; Roy Hemsley, OT, Los Angeles


Utah

2015 commits: 7
Players: Jake Grant, OT, Scottsdale, Ariz.; Tuli Wily-Matagi, ATH, Kahuku, Hawaii; Donzale Roddie, WR, Paramount, Calif.; Chayden Johnson, K, South Jordan, Utah; Brandon Snell, WR (JC), Miami; Corey Butler, WR (JC), Wilmington, Calif.; Zach Lindsay, OT (JC), Kaysville, Utah


Washington

2015 commits: 3
Players: Jake Browning, QB, Folsom, Calif.; Trey Adams, OT, Wenatchee, Wash.; Myles Gaskin, RB, Seattle

2017 commit: 1
Player: Tathan Martell, QB, Poway, Calif.


Washington State

2015 commits: 5
Players: Thomas Toki, DT, Mountain View, Calif.; Austin Joyner, RB, Marysville, Wash.; Tyler Hilinski, QB, Upland, Calif.; Kameron Powell, S, Upland, Calif.; James Williams, RB, Burbank, Calif.

The 2015 quarterback class in California not only has a chance to shape the recruiting rankings in February, but also has an opportunity to shift college football's national landscape for the next few years. While the Golden State has produced more than its share of quarterbacks over the years, not in recent memory has there been a group as deep and talented as the 2015 crop. The Pac-12 is looking to capitalize on the array of talent at the position, but programs from across the country are looking to pry a few of the signal-callers out of the area.

Here are the ESPN 300 quarterbacks from the state:

Josh Rosen -- No. 1 pocket passer -- 6-4, 200 -- committed to UCLA

Rosen was an early lean to Stanford and gave significant looks to Cal and Michigan before selecting the Bruins in late March. Rosen led his high school to an undefeated season and state championship as a junior, one year after breaking onto the national recruiting scene as a sophomore. As the top-ranked quarterback in the nation, Rosen's commitment to UCLA was huge for the Bruins as he has quickly become one of the top recruiters in this class.


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Now, Watergate does not bother me. Does your conscience bother you? Tell the truth.
The Pac-12 has a pretty good stock of some of the best quarterbacks in the nation in 2013. Thanks to Marcus Mariota, Sean Mannion, Kevin Hogan, Brett Hundley, Taylor Kelly and Keith Price, the Pac-12 had several guys who were known nationwide for their arms.

That got the Pac-12 blog thinking about where exactly all of those passes were going. Mannion had a terrific receiver in Brandin Cooks, but he also had a pretty great tight end in Connor Hamlett. Mariota had great receivers, but also had De’Anthony Thomas involved in the pass game. USC and Arizona State seemed to get their running backs and tight ends more involved, but how much more involved?

Well, the Pac-12 blog found answers to those questions and more.

As a whole, the conference's running backs were more involved in the pass game than its tight ends. Running backs accounted for an average of 21.8 percent of the receptions conference-wide. The low end of the conference was Colorado, whose backs made just 32 of its 235 receptions (13.6 percent). The high end was Arizona State, whose running backs accounted for 124 of its 309 receptions (40.1 percent).

But the running backs didn’t always turn those catches into yards. Though the position group accounted for 21.8 percent of the receptions, it only accounted for 16 percent of the total receiving yardage. With the Sun Devils throwing so often to their running backs, it seems pretty natural that they would have the highest percentage of their team’s yardage, which they did (32.3 percent). However, they weren’t the most efficient running backs in the conference -- that award goes to the USC running backs, who accounted for 27.2 percent of their team’s catches and 31 percent of their team’s receiving yardage.

The teams that were the closest to the Pac-12 average were Oregon State, UCLA and Washington State. Of these running backs, UCLA’s were the most efficient, accounting for 18 percent of the teams receiving yardage. Washington State’s running backs tallied 13.5 percent of the receiving yardage while Stanford’s backs picked up just 9.2 percent of their receiving yardage despite accounting for 21.1 percent of the team catches.

Conference-wide, tight ends were targeted about half as much as the running backs. On average, they picked up 9.5 percent of the catches, but were efficient as a group, tallying 10.5 percent of the Pac-12’s yardage.

Oregon State and Washington targeted tight ends the most. Beavers tight ends had 22.0 percent of the team's catches and Huskies TEs had 15.2 percent. The tight ends from those teams also gained the most yardage, though they flipped spots. Washington’s tight ends accounted for 20.2 percent of its team’s receiving yardage and Oregon State’s accounted for 19.1 percent of its team’s receiving yardage.

The least-involved tight ends can be found on the Arizona, UCLA and Washington State rosters. Those tight ends were either rarely or never involved in the passing game, which makes sense considering the offenses and how deep their respective receiver groups were in 2013.

So where exactly does that leave the wide receivers in this conference? If it’s good to be a running back at Arizona State, does that mean it’s not great to be a receiver there? Or if it’s great to be a tight end at Oregon State, does that mean it’s not great if you’re a receiver? (Answer to that last question: If you’re a receiver not named Brandin Cooks, then yes.)

On average, receivers accounted for 68.5 percent of the receptions in the league. The low end in this statistic would be Arizona State (47 percent), Oregon State (55.2 percent) and USC (59.6 percent). The high end is Arizona (84.1 percent), and then a few schools in the high 70s -- Washington State, UCLA and Colorado.

It comes as no surprise that this is where the biggest jump is in yardage. It’s a lot easier to pick up major yards on a post than a pitch. Because of that, the wide receivers accounted for 75.2 percent of the receiving yardage. Again, Arizona holds the high spot here with 90.2 percent of its team’s receiving yardage from the receivers. And again, Arizona State is on the low end, with just 51.6 percent of its receiving yardage coming from the receivers.

It’s good to be a quarterback in the Pac-12, which means it’s good to be a receiver here, too. But, if you look deeper at the numbers, how good it is really depends on who you are and where you go.
Let's get rich and buy our parents homes in the south of France. Let's get rich and give everybody nice sweaters and teach them how to dance. Let's get rich and build a house on a mountain making everybody look like ants.

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