|ESPN.com: College Football||[Print without images]|
|USC's Matt Barkley emerged from spring practice in better shape.|
Elsewhere in the SEC, Tennessee and Georgia competed to see which team could run off more players. Dawgs coach Mark Richt booted quarterback Zach Mettenberger off the team. Last year's backup, Logan Gray, is thinking about leaving. That means redshirt freshman Aaron Murray may have the most experience on the team, which is to say, none. In the Big Ten, Penn State finished spring ball with no more answers at quarterback than when it began. Ohio State, however, seems to have one answer -- "yes" -- that it can't repeat enough. The question: Has Terrelle Pryor matured into the star quarterback everyone predicted him to be? No. 2 Boise State signed coach Chris Petersen to a contract extension that will pay him $1.8 million a year. If you look at salary per fan, Petersen is very well paid. Bronco Stadium seats about 34,000, about one-third of Bryant-Denny Stadium, yet Petersen makes nearly half of Saban's $4.1 million. No. 5 Virginia Tech of the ACC made next to no progress in trying to determine how to keep four tailbacks happy with one football. Once Darren Evans arrived in the spring with a knee healthy enough to sustain contact, Ryan Williams bruised a knee and didn't play in the spring game. The Hokies must find a quarterback and some defensive depth, but there's no question that they will make defenses stop the run. Nebraska remains in the top 10 on the strength of its defense, which is a bit of disappointing news from an offense that barely cracked the top 100 in the nation last fall. The hope remains that quarterback Zac Lee will someday become a go-to guy. At least the Huskers found $2.6 million this spring. That's how much Outland Trophy winner Ndamukong Suh pledged to his alma mater the week of the NFL draft. In the Big East, new Cincinnati coach Butch Jones looks as if he will make an easy transition from Central Michigan. Quarterback Zach Collaros, the best backup quarterback in the nation last year, appeared primed to take over for Tony Pike. Bearcats fans should remain optimistic that Cincinnati will win its third consecutive Big East championship. Spring practice may not produce stars. It doesn't always produce answers. But the one thing it produces on every campus and in every fan's heart is optimism. No news this spring? That's very good news. Ivan Maisel is a senior writer for ESPN.com and hosts the ESPNU College Football podcast. Send your questions and comments to him at firstname.lastname@example.org.