Good morning all. Happy day after Christmas. Hope you all got what you wanted. What's on your mind?
Looked like UW Huskies got a 4th down stop against Boise St. late in the Las Vegas Bowl to possibly end the game. Why no measurement? Officials just called it a first down with the game on the line...unbelieveable! Boise St. thought they were above this game but were extremely lucky to win even with 3 Husky turnovers. Wish they would have manned up and joined the Pac 12 then a 10-2 record would have got them a big boy bowl. They were lucky to beat a mid level Pac 12 team.
I was a little surprised also that there wasn't at least a measurement. Should have been one in my humble opinion. Yes, Boise was lucky to win -- but Washington also played poorly for long stretches. Not sure the Pac-12 wants them -- so I don't know if it's a matter of them "manning up." But yes, Washington should have won that game.
Do you the the ducks would get more respect if they were in a tougher conference
How much tougher do you want? Pac-12 is pretty darn tough.
Now being a Fresno State Fan, I kind of was disappointed in the game Monday Night in Hawaii. How do you think they would have done, or would they have been in a bowl game if hill was still coaching? Your thoughts of how DeRuter, spelling may be off, did with the Fresno State Bulldogs this year? Oh hope you enjoyed your X-mass
Thanks Terri. Hope you enjoyed yours too. I was pretty disappointed with Fresno's performance. With that said, I think you've got a great coach in DeRuyter. Nine wins, a cut of the conference title and the highest scoring offense in the MWC. Disappointing end to the season, but a good season nonetheless.
Rain being predicted for Saturday in San Francisco. Do you see the wet weather hurting the Devils enough for Navy to make it a game?
Probably not. They are balanced enough that they can play the air and ground game. A couple of years ago when I watched Navy in the Poinsettia Bowl, it was pouring rain the whole week and everyone said Navy had the edge. They didn't. I think ASU will be just fine.
With the RB and WR coaches leaving, and 2 dissapointing losses to end the season, what hope can you offer fans of the University of Washington, else we all end up sounding like a purple version of GooooooooooBEARS?
Whooaaa.... don't say things you don't mean. I think the biggest issue is getting the offensive line working together again (an off-season to heal would help) and that should help Keith Price bounce back from a rough season. You've got an outstanding back in Bishop Sankey. I'm not sure they are ready to challenge for the North yet, but there are some good pieces coming back. Tough way to end the year, though.
Read any good poems lately?
I did read a nice little piece that involved the Pac-12, Texas and some fudge. Well done, sir.
Why didn't the refs measure on the 4th and 1 for the UW vs. BSU game? It looked way short on TV with the field lines, but must have at least been close on the field.
Agreed. It was close enough that I felt it deserved a measurement. But I wouldn't hang everything on that one play. Soooo many more places that game could have been turned.
Any extra info on the Chip Kelly/Philadelphia Eagles situation?
At this point, everything is rumor until proven otherwise. Just like Riley to Wisconsin -- rumors blow up and suddenly they become fact. We won't know anything remotely solid until after the Fiesta.
What bowl games will you be attending from here on out?
Getting on the road this afternoon for a whole week in LA for the Rose Bowl festivities. Should be fun.
How may guys from Oregon get drafted this year?
Hmmm... not sure what the total number will be. Obviously: Jordan, Boyett, Barner, York, probably Rice. Could see Cody, Hart and Clay. I'd say anywhere from 4-8.
How come you type so much faster than Ted?
I drink coffee. He drinks martinis.
Kinda tired of hearing about Marquis Lee. I don't even think he was the best receiver in the Pac-12 this year. What kind of a shot do you think Markus Wheaton has in the NFL?
Sorry to hear that. Not only was he the best in the conference, but he was the best in the country. And I'm a huge Markus Wheaton fan. But Lee is head-and-shoulders above everyone else in the country. I think Wheaton has the tools to be a great NFL WR. Great hands, great speed and he's gotten a lot better at running cleaner routes. In the right system, he'll be a solid player.
Just when we thought the Pac had turned the corner, and was going to win every game, udub layed a goose egg against Boise St. Who else seems most likely to choke?
Unless someone really plays poorly, I don't think anyone will "choke." Remember, Washington wasn't even favored (though they still should have won). UCLA-Baylor is going to be an interesting game. But the Bruins need to get some pressure on Florence and make a few stops. That's probably the "closest" of all the upcoming games. But the conference should win out.
WHere does dykes rank in the pac-12 coaches pantheon?
Not sure yet. Have to see him coach a few games before making that call. But as David Shaw showed us, you can pop right in and be a two-time coach of the year.
Of the departed Pac-12 coaches (and we can include Neuheisal in there), who gets back to a coaching gig first?
Head coaching? Or coordinator? I think Embree lands somewhere as a position coach and I think Tedford will probably be a coordinator before a head coach again. Neuheisal is happy in the studio (and good at it) so I think he's locked in there for a while.
Kevin Hogan has continued to improve on his understanding of the offense playbook since fall. How much does this extra month benefit him in preparation for Wisconsin?
Huge. That's the main reason he didn't start until later in the year. Shaw has repeatedly said he had the tools, but not the concepts and they wouldn't have beaten USC or Arizona if he was the QB at that time. This time off probably benefited him more than any other player in the conference.
Hate to burst your bubble, but the Rose Bowl is in Pasadena! Give the smaller CA cities their due credit!
Yes. The Rose Bowl is in Pasadena -- but the week long of media stuff is in LA. But your point is taken.
So you don't see Alonso getting drafted?
I was just spouting off names. Yes, he's in the maybe mix.
How can you recommend Old Town for the best Mexican food in San Diego? There are a million better, more authentic and less-touristy burrito stands. Old Town is the margarine of Mexican food. Its the diet coke of Mexican food, just one calorie, not Mexican enough.
First, I appreciate and love the Austin Powers reference. Second, different strokes for different folks. I love Old Town Mex and Cafe Coyote. Just me.
Any thoughts on if MacIntyre brings in some coaches from places other than San Jose State or Colorado for his staff?
Pretty sure he's bringing in a few folks from San Jose State. And I know they are going to run the pistol. I'm sure he'll fill out some position coaches from other places. But since SJSU hired Ron Caragher (who I used to cover at USD after he replaced Harbaugh) I think most of the guys will follow MacIntyre.
What was the best gift you got for Christmas? Did you and Ted exchange gifts as well?
We didn't. Our gift to each other was that we went a whole day without talking. I did get a nice Christmas card from the Miller family, though. It's prominently displayed on our fridge.
How long before the PAC-16 comes to fruition?
Depends on the rest of the country. Pac is happy where its at right now. But if the rest of the conferences move, the Pac will have to react.
Looks like the PAC-12 for the most part got tougher this year. Do you see this as a continued trend for several years to come or just a random year of inspired coaching and solid play?
Top to middle, the Pac was very, very tough. The bottom was bad, though. Hopefully it keeps trending up. I know it hurts the national perception when the league guts itself, but it makes for really fun football.
Who will be usc's dc?
I keep hearing Banker, but I'm not sure that's going to happen. Word is Kiffin is waiting until after the bowl game before he really gets into the interview process. Though I'm sure some phone calls have been made.
Will 2013 bring us 9 wins?
Probably not 9. But 6-8 is very possible.
Not sure if you have looked it over or not, but Arizona has 10 new defensive recruits coming (including I think 3 JC recruits) who are all 3 star recruits or above, 4 QBs to battle it out for starter, and Kadeem and other offensive and defensive players coming back. Do you really think we won't progress in the wins column (we have an easier schedule too)
I think Arizona could certainly progress in the wins column. Lots of guys coming back too. Have to get the QB situation sorted out -- which is obviously key. But with Ka'Deem, Hill, a decent OLine ... Arizona could certainly get to 8 or 9 wins.
Every conference has a punching bag, some more than others (nodding at big 10) but how long will colorado and WSU remain an embarrassment to the pac 12?
I think if MacIntyre can have Colorado to a bowl game in three years, that would be a huge step forward. Same for WSU (though it's down to two years, now). I think we'll see progress from both programs next year.
Do you see Chip Kelly bolting if the situation and money is right?
Wouldn't you if the money and the situation is right?
How long would you guess Shaw's new contract is?
I honestly have no clue. Five years? 10? Would really know how much they value him if they would have given a general time and dollar amount.
Much has been discussed this season about the 4 new head coaches. Who takes the biggest step forward in year 2 after a full season of coaching and recruiting their own players?
I think three of the four made significant progress in their first years. UCLA has something really special in the works with Mora and that coaching staff -- but I think Rich Rodriguez and Todd Graham clearly have their programs headed in the right direction. Jury is still out on Mike Leach, but as I said before, I think we'll see progress.
Think the Pac-12 commish has buyer's remorse over Colorado?
No. They'll be better.
My Sun Devils lobbied hard to not play in the New Mexico bowl because it is a "lower" bowl game. I can't help but thinking, and hating, though, that a win over Nevada looks better than a win over Navy
A bowl win is a bowl win. Just enjoy it and don't read too much into it.
Assuming Kelly jumps, how much do the ducks really drop off with the culture he's brought to the program? It's not like they are going to tear down the win the day mantra off autzen walls.
Agreed. I think they continue to roll with the same precision as they have before. As you said, it's a culture -- and that's been firmly established.
Do you think more usc recruits will decommit after season we had?
Not sure. If they haven't jumped already, not sure they will now. But then again, a lot happens in January. USC is such a national brand that people want to play there regardless.
Do any schools make a concerted effort to recruit kickers? Seems like many fans throughout the conference go into a cold sweat when the kicker lines up...
Boy, I hope they all take a good look at the kicker situation in the offseason. It was a bad, bad year for kickers and that should never be the case in the Pac-12 considering how hard this league recruits California. All 12 should have 12 outstanding kickers.
AZ has a QB friendly offense, do you see Jesse Scroggins coming in and keeping that offense moving?
That's a possibility. There will be a good competition. But it's way too early to predict how it actually goes. Remember with ASU, Taylor Kelly came out of nowhere after starting as the No. 3 guy in the competition.
Always wondered, realistically how many hours per week are put into a college football head coaching job, as compared to an NFL job?
It's pretty comparable -- the college coaches just get less time with their players.
Should we cut lane kiffin some slack for having to deal with sanctions?
Sanctions didn't force him to make the snafu in the coaches poll -- or walk out of a press conference when asked about an injury -- or the deflated ball scandal -- or the play-calling at the end of Notre Dame. There are some things you can blame on sanctions. These aren't them.
Do you think that the PAC-12 Championship game should be played at a neutral site?
I actually kind of like the fact that if you have the best record you earn the right to play at home. Good incentive.
How long before we play in a bowl game?
Glad you're coming off the ledge. Slowly... one hand at a time... I think Cal could be in a bowl game as early as next year.
You, Kevin Gemmell are an AD at Gemmell University, who has just been added to the Pac 12 (now 14). You can pick any staff you want from anywhere. Who are your Head Coach and O and D coordinators?
Wow... this is a tough one. I love the pro-style offense. But I love the way Noel Mazzone works with quarterbacks so he's probably my O-coord. I'd play a 3-4, which means Derek Mason or Lou Spanos would be my D-coord. To run the whole darn thing ... I think I'd appoint myself a la Barry Alvarez.
How was Christmas for the Gemmells?
It was wonderful. Nothing greater than watching a 19-month-old open presents. Nothing but smiles.
I agree the Pac should win out, but do you think they will? Zona needed a furious comeback and washington... well washington sucks. You think UCLA can win a shootout with Baylor? That's the only other one i'm worried about
As I said, I think that's the closest of the bunch. Need a big game out of Anthony Barr, Datone Jones etc. to create havoc/turnovers.
Can Arizona compete for the Pac-12 South next year?
Sure. They competed quite well this year.
Anything on sanctions for Oregon?
Won't know until they start holding hearings. Earliest is Feb., latest could be by May/June. Or longer...
I hit enter before I read my question last week. What I meant was should the WAC + MWC create a new aq Big West conference?
Gotcha. AQ won't matter anymore after next year, but for travel purposes, it wouldn't be terrible. But there are really only a couple of teams that are worthy of AQ status and then there is a huge dropoff.
Cal has better talent than arizona and arguably similar talent to UCLA. Why wouldn't they make a bowl game under dykes?
I just said they could go to a bowl game next year.
Chip Kelly's 3 conference losses (think about that) along with the 2010 squeaker at Cal all came in the 2nd or 3rd week of November. Is it time to start emulating the SEC and schedule a cupcake or two before Thanksgiving?
As long as there is a nine-game schedule, it won't happen. So the real question is where you come down on the 8-game vs. 9-game.
Which non bowling team this year gets to the Rose Bowl first?
How long do you have to wait? None of them are ready to make a run at the Rose for at least 5-6 years.
Isn't it a travesty that "Macho Man" Randy Savage is NOT in the WWE Hall of Fame?
Really? It's like Don Coryell not being in the NFL Hall of Fame. Tragic.
Can life get any better than this? Could a National Championship ever be in the cards?
Three straight BCS games -- a two-time coach of the year. Things are awfully good on the The Farm. With a good win in the Rose Bowl -- and possibly a Top 10 ranking to start the season, I could see them in the conversation.
Who do you think is pulling in the most impressive recruiting class so far? I mean sure USC is gonna probably have the best class but that is usual. Which coach is pulling off the biggest upset/surprise/etc in recruiting so far this year?
Tough to say. There is such variance in the league in how recruiting is handled. I will say that I think Washington and UCLA are putting together very nice classes. And with what Stanford has to work with, it seems like they are continuing to add some quality. But every class looks great until you re-evaluate it three years later.
I love what Spanos got out of the front 7, but UCLA's secondary was awful (a decent play in the Pac-12 Championship Game and we could be playing on Jan. 1st instead) and two corners and a safety are seniors. Should we be scared for next year or optimistic about an infusion of fresh talent?
I think the young talent will help. The more you are able to play man-to-man on the corners, the more effective you can be in the front seven because it allows for more blitzing/pressure options. If they can get better at manning up, the defense will keep getting better.
If the Beavs drop Texas like a bad habit and get their 3rd 10 win season, do you think they'll be able to match this great season next year?
I think this year taught us that expectations the following year mean nothing. I'm really interested to see what Brandin Cooks looks like without Wheaton lining up opposite him. You obviously lose Poyer on defense, but the QB is back (whoever that maybe), good running backs, improving offensive line. Lots of pieces in place for another big season.
Where would Kadeem Carey be drafted if he would/could enter the draft this year.
I think probably early third round or mid-to-late second round. A lot of really good defensive players coming out this year. We might not see a "skill" player taken in the top 10.
Hey Kevin, who is the greatest Santa Clara football player? Brent Jones?
Probably the most famous. We had Barker still in the league up until a few years ago. But I would go with Jones. Went to his football camp as a kid. He was a big dude.
Kevin, I miss our regular lunches at The Oasis on El Camino. Do you REALLY like covering the entire Pac 12?
Thanks buddy. I miss our lunches too. I do like covering the entire conference. It's different than being a beat writer for one team. Different challenges, but very, very rewarding.
Kevin, hope you saw my Cats basketball team take down your former SDSU Aztecs last night. Also, is it a good or bad thing that we return all 11 defensive starters?
I didn't see that ... covered a few SDSU-Arizona games back in the day. And it's a good thing. As I've said in the past, the 3-3-5 takes a few seasons to really get the hang of everything it's capable of. The more experience you get, the better.
Ummm... crap... I'm sure you've seen what Baylor did to us and they're not even half as good as Oregon!?!?! Do we even stand a chance? Oh and will that Chip Kelly boy be leaving the college ranks? Such a nice young man.
Haha. This made me laugh. On the flip side, there aren't many offenses in the Pac-12 as explosive as Kansas State's. But I think Oregon wins.
Does Kenjon Barner have a future in broadcasting?
Hope he goes to the NFL first. But yes, down the line, I would love to see a pre-game show with him and Brandon Magee. Two of the most charismatic players in the country.
Notre Dame or Alabama? Alabama or Oregon? Oregon or Notre Dame?
Alabama. Oregon. Oregon.
Mondo Burrito or Hungry Hound? When will the Broncos return to Buck Shaw for football?
Wow... Mondo Burrito. There's a blast from the past. I miss Cluck U. Don't think it's coming back anytime soon.
Will the JC guys coming to ASU give them the upgrade they need at WR to take the next step?
I haven't studied the JC guys extensively. But I know in general JC guys are hit and miss. They are usually stop-gaps until the younger guys develop. I wouldn't put all of my faith in them, but they can certainly be solid additions.
"None of them are ready to make a run at the Rose for at least 5-6 years."UCLA, UW, and UA are ready, but Cal isn't? What?
Wasn't the question about teams not playing in bowl games this year?
Did Stanford beat Oregon via gameplan or did Oregon lose due to lack of changing gameplan.... or because our kicker lacks a certain required directional skillset with his leg?
There were obviously little intricacies throughout the game. But Stanford's gameplan and execution of said gameplan was fantastic.
Mac or PC? Remember before you answer, I have eyes and ears everywhere!
Got the first 2 seasons of dexter, gonna start them today..............Am I in for a mind blowing show or will I be dissapointed
Prepare for the mind to be blown.
The Huskies cleaned out their defensive staff last year (to marked improvement). This year, already two offensive coaches are gone. Is this too much change to get Sark beyond 2013?
I don't think so. There is turnover on every staff almost every year -- so this isn't anything too crazy. I think another seven win season, more than anything, would be what puts Sark on the hot seat.
On the Fahrenheit temperature scale in the range 32 to 78, how hot is Lane Kiffin's seat?
55 and rising.
Are u surprised more teams haven't sought after oregon oc mark helfrich for head coaching vacancies?
A little, but I think he's waiting to see what's going to happen at his school first.
Hi Kevin,Love the blog. So glad you're working with Ted. I read it everyday! I just wrote the Bill Snyder question. Glad you liked it. Just wanted to say thanks for all you do. Much appreciated. If you have time, can you give some insight on the Natty? I know it seems like everyone thinks this, but I just ND getting destroyed! Your thoughts?
Robert. Thanks for the kind words. Glad you like the blog. And because you were so kind, let me say that we abhor the word "natty" on the Pac-12 blog. Just for future reference. With that said, Notre Dame tiptoed through a lot of raindrops this year. They earned their spot in the title game, but Alabama handles them.
That's it for me today. Have to get on the road up to LA. Thanks again for coming out. See you next year.