Duck and cover-up


Oregon might be running away from the NCAA in addition to opponents this season.

Oh, what a tangled web when we practice to deceive…
This has not exactly been the summer of glory for college football.
First it was Ohio State that came crashing down, and now the same appears ready to happen to its 2010 Rose Bowl Game opponent Oregon, who if you believe Yahoo Sports, which took down USC and Ohio State with investigative pieces, has Oregon on the hook with sorted tales of illegal recruitment of top recruits.
It centers on Will Lyles, who admitted to Yahoo Sports that he swayed two recruits toward Oregon after paid $25,000 by Oregon under the disguise of a scouting service.
The scandal comes on the heals of Ohio Stategate, which appears to have drowned Buckeye Nation in a sea of stuff for cash scandal that took down coach Jim Tressel and will most likely put the the Buckeyes in college football jail, getting a penalty similar to what USC received prior to the 2010 season.
Now comes word over the weekend that Oregon  could suffer similar fate, if not worse, after Lyles told  Yahoo Sports that he used his undue influence to sway top recruits to Gang Green, and a cover-up allegedly orchestrated by Oregon coach Chip Kelly. 
It doesn’t look good for the Ducks, and Kelly, who some pundits could suffer the same fate as Tressel, perhaps before the season kickoffs in September.
It could get very interesting at the Pac-12 Media Day in Los Angeles at the end of the month.
Stay tuned.

Purple Rose of Texas: TCU denies late bid by Wisconsin to win Rose Bowl

By Steve Ramirez
Pasadena Star-News

PASADENA – Texas Christian University has been winning a lot of games the past two years.
Still, the national perception was the Horned Frogs, with a mid-major schedule and as a member of a non-Bowl Championship Series conference, didn’t quite match up with college football’s elite, especially those from Bowl Championship Series conferences like the Southeastern, Pac-10 and Big Ten.
TCU showed otherwise Saturday.
Quarterback Andy Dalton accounted for 247 yards and two touchdowns, linebacker Tank Carder knocked down a pass on a two-conversion attempt with two minutes to play and the No. 3 Horned Frogs silenced the naysayers with a 21-19 victory over No. 4 and Big Ten tri-champion Wisconsin in front of 94,118 at the 97th Rose Bowl Game.
TCU, which has won 26 of its past 27 games and 44 games in the past four seasons, improved to 13-0 and made a strong argument for a mythical national title. Wisconsin, getting 132 yards rushing and a touchdown form Montee Ball, finished 11-2 after advancing to the school’s fourth Rose Bowl Game since 1994.
“As a program for 13 years, as I’ve said, we’ve been trying to climb the mountain,” TCU coach Gary Patterson said. “Today was a climax of the last 10 years of what we tried to get done.
“TCU is 13-0 and has 44 wins with this senior class. And they know that at any point in time anybody can beat anybody. I’ve been telling people for the last eight years that there is parity in college football, and on any given day anybody can beat anybody.”
The Horned Frogs, getting 219 yards passing from Dalton, proved the point Saturday, and the key may have come in the first quarter when they withstood two Badgers scoring drives and responded with two touchdown drives of their own to take a 14-10 lead.
Dalton, who passed for 109 yards in the first half, threw 23 yards to Bart Johnson for a 7-3 lead with 6:15 left in the quarter before running 4 yards for a score and 14-10 lead with 36 seconds left in the quarter.
“You always want to start fast,” Dalton said. “I think we only got the ball three times in the first half and it felt like we hadn’t played going into halftime. We scored twice and we were watching the rest of the time.
“We knew we had to take advantage of our opportunities because Wisconsin’s got such a great run offense and they can run the clock.”
The Badgers, who got a 40-yard run from Ball on the game’s first play, did that. But they also had two scoring drives stall. TCU forced a Philip Welch 30-yard field goal for a 3-0 Badgers lead at 10:39 of the opening quarter and then stopped Wisconsin at its 22, resulting in a miss by Welch from 39 yards with 8:34 left in the first half.
The Badgers also got a 1-yard touchdown run by John Clay for a 10-7 lead, which was erased by Dalton’s 4-yard run.
“What got us here was clean execution and clean disciplined football,” said Wisconsin quarter Scott Tolzien, who threw for 152 yards. “We didn’t do that today, myself included. That’s why this is the greatest game, because if you don’t execute the other team’s going to find a way to beat you.
“I think you have to give credit to TCU for a good game plan, and (they) just played their tails off.”
Wisconsin, which rushed for 226 yards, made it 14-13 after driving to the TCU 22 and settling for Welch’s 37-yard field goal on the final play of the half.
“I feel like that was the key to the game,” Carder said. “On the first drive, we held them to a field goal. Those two (first-half) field goals we held them to obviously won the game for us.
“When we made them kick field goals, I think that helped us out a lot throughout the long stretch of the game. And coach Patterson said that early in the week. He told us they were going to drive the ball down the field, and as long as we hold them we felt we could win the game.”
The Horned Frogs then got some breathing room early in the second half.
Dalton, tossing 33 yards to Ed Wesley and 12 yards to Jimmy Young, pushed the advantage to 21-13 when Luke Shivers concluded the opening drive of the third quarter with a 1-yard run at 11:56.
Wisconsin was bogged down for much of the second half inside its only 20 before using Clay late for a chance to tie the score during thefinal seven minutes. The junior, who had been bothered by injuries during the final month of the regular season, broke off runs of 14 and 32 yards to advance the Badgers from the shadow of their own goal
line to the TCU 33.
Tolzien then tossed 10 yards to Lance Kendricks for a first down at the Horned Frogs’ 19 before runs of 5, 4, 2, and 3 yards by Clay gave the Badgers a second and goal at the 4. Ball took it in from there to cut the deficit to 21-19 with two minutes left.
“John Clay loves to compete and win,” Wisconsin coach Bret Bielema said. “You could see that come out in the last drive and the energy he had.”
But it was the next play that clinched it for TCU. Carder, the Mountain West Conference defensive player of the year, got enough pressure coming off the edge on the conversion to knock down a Tolzien pass that looked headed to an open Jason Hengel a foot inside the end zone.
“Coach Patterson called a blitz,” Carder said. “I got blocked and couldn’t get through the hole. I just stopped, backed up, saw (Tolzien) cock his arm back and I jumped and that was the end of it.
“I was like, after I knocked it down, it didn’t seem like that big of a play until it sunk in. It was definitely — they needed two points, and I swatted it and stopped them from getting two points. It didn’t sink in right away, then I thought, ‘yeah all right.’”
Wisconsin’s Alec Lerner then popped up the onside kick attempt, which was grabbed by TCU’s Johnson. The Horned Frogs then ran out the clock for their second bowl win in the past three seasons.
“I think of my time here at TCU,” Dalton said. “I never thought we’d have a chance to play in the Rose Bowl. We got the opportunity today and (got) a big win.”
steve.ramirez@sgvn.com
626-962-8811, ext. 2296

This week’s column: Boise State or TCU?

Boise State or Texas Christian?
That seems to be the question every week in the Bowl Championship Series.
In one corner, you have TCU, which has won its first 11 games, 22 of its past 23 and is ranked No. 4 in all three human polls and No. 3 in this week’s BCS rankings.
Then there’s the Smurfs, who are 9-0, ranked No. 3 in all three human polls and No. 4 in the BCS.
So which is better? Which is the king of the BCS busters?
I think you just have to go blue and go with Boise State, which at this point of the season appears to have the better resume and is in better position to break the stranglehold of the power conferences.
The Smurfs have arguably been college football’s most consistent program the past three seasons, winning 23 consecutive games and 33 of their past 34. They also showed what they can do against some of the best teams in the country. Remember their victory over Oklahoma in the Fiesta Bowl?

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UCLA defense steps up in 17-14 win over Oregon State


Above: UCLA’s Jordan Zumwalt sacks Oregon State’s Ryan Katz during Saturday’s Pac-10 game at the Rose Bowl. The Bruins won, 17-14.

Here’s my sidebar from UCLA’s 17-14 victory over Oregon State Saturday at the Rose Bowl:

PASADENA – A week ago, UCLA’s defense was maligned, embarrassed and just mad at itself.
Saturday, the Bruins did something about it.
UCLA, a mere seven days after giving up nearly 600 yards to Arizona, responded with one its better efforts of the season to end a three-game losing streak with a 17-14 victory over Oregon State in front of 64,330 at the Rose Bowl.
“I take my hat off to our defense,” UCLA coach Rick Neuheisel said. “After that first drive of the second half, they were exceptional. It was as good as we played since the Texas game.
“We’re growing up. We were finishing plays (Saturday). Last week we didn’t. But I know there’s going to be a bunch of things we have to fix. It’s just imperative that we all have that urgency to do it, like we did for this game.”
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This weeks column

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Is the meek ready to inherit the college football world?
At first glance, it appears so.
There they are, like three peas in a pod sitting near the top of the latest Bowl Championship Series rankings, which were released Sunday night.
Yes, as expected Oregon, fresh off a victory at USC, moved to the top of the mountain, with previous No. 1 Auburn dropping to No. 2, followed by BCS busters Texas Christian, Boise State and Utah.
All are a combined 24-0 and, at least on paper, in perfect position to play for the national title if either the Ducks or Tigers stub their toes.
But it’s a paper ranking, and most know it.
Because sitting behind them, lurking like a cat ready to leap at its prey, is once-beaten Alabama, which about a month ago was given up for dead after losing to South Carolina.
But the dominoes have fallen in perfect order for the defending champion. Nebraska, Oklahoma, Missouri and Michigan State, all once undefeated, now are among the beaten. And this sets up the Crimson
Time for a run to the championship.
What about TCU, Boise State and Utah, who are ranked nos. 3, 4 and 5, respectively, in the BCS?
That’s the argument in college football this week. Does the undefeated trio have a better case than once-beaten Alabama?
Most say no and I can agree, especially when you examine the formula.
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Can USC do it? Here’s a speech that might inspire them

Where just over four hours until Oregon’s high-flying Ducks invade the Coliseum.
Oregon is averaging nearly 60 points a game, which its lowest output of the season being a 42-point effort. But USC can play offense too, hanging 48 points with relative ease two weeks ago against Cal.
But can the Trojans play defense? They’ll have to to beat the Ducks.
I wonder though, if Lane Kiffin will use this speech to inspire his Trojans today. I know, it’s a clip from Rudy, and centers on USC’s arch rival Notre Dame. But I wonder if Kiffin will use the words, ‘our house and pushing us around?”

Pac 10: USC, UCLA to be in Pac-12 South, but will still play Cal, Stanford every season

The Pac-10 released its divisional alignment for when it becomes the Pac-12 next year. As expected, it went with a North/South division and USC and UCLA, which were placed in the South, will split from its Northern Cal partners Cal and Stanford, which were put in the North, along with Washington, Washington State, Oregon and Oregon State.
USC and UCLA will be joined with newbies Utah and Colorado, along with Arizona and Arizona State.
Each school will play five games within its division and four conference non-division games. But Pac-10 commissioner Larry Scott said USC’s and UCLA’s rivalries with Cal and Stanford will be maintained as the California schools will still face each other every year, meaning, though, that the Northwest schools will only visit the Los Angeles market once every two years.
Commissioner Larry Scott said the divisional alignment is for football only, and that the Pac-12 title game will be played at the conference team with the best overall conference record. The conference will have a formula in place to break ties for both to determine the host and divisional champions, if necessary.

Bedsole to speak at Pasadena QBs Club on Friday

NOTE: Just to clarify, former USC All-American Hal Bedsole will speak at the Pasadena QBs club on Friday. I originally wrote to make it seemed like it was today. I hope this didn’t inconvenience anyone.

PASADENA – Hal Bedsole was an All-American receiver at USC and played three seasons in the NFL with the Minnesota Vikings.

He’ll forever be linked, though, to the 1963 Rose Bowl Game, which
might be the most storied encounter in the history of “The Granddaddy
of Them All.”

Bedsole, now retired and living in Palm Desert, will relay his
memories of USC’s 42-37 victory Friday when he speaks at the Pasadena
Quarterbacks Club at Brookside Golf Club.

The weekly luncheon, which begins at 11:45 a.m., also will
feature Rosemead High School football coach Matt Koffler. Cost for lunch
is $25 for members and $30 for nonmembers.

“It was an honor to play in that game,” Bedsole said of the 1963 Rose Bowl.

“But

I thought we were vastly the superior team. It’s a
little frustrating after, because the way the game turned out we were
treated like we lost.”

Bedsole, who was inducted into the USC Hall of Fame in 2001,
was a two-time all-conference receiver for the Trojans, earning
All-America honors in 1962. He keyed USC’s run to the 1962 national
title, which was the first of four for legendary Trojans coach John
McKay, with 33 receptions for 827 yards and 11 touchdowns. He also was
the first Trojan to eclipse 200 yards receiving in a game; he
accomplished the feat against Cal in 1962.

All memories, however, collide with the 1963 Rose Bowl, which featured No. 1 USC against No. 2 Wisconsin.

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This week’s column….

The Bowl Championship Series was created 13 years ago to end the dispute of what truly is the best team in college football.
But rather than solve the puzzle, the answers seem more complex.
They didn’t get any clearer when the season’s first BCS standings were released Sunday.
Oklahoma, which has been in the BCS top 10 more than any other school, came in at No. 1 after starting 6-0. Oregon, which is ranked No. 1 by the human polls for the first time in its history, is No. 2 with BCS buster Boise State, which hasn’t lost since the 2008 season, at No. 3.
Therein lies the argument, which seems to always be divided into two camps – the haves (BCS conference teams) and have-nots (non-BCS conference teams).
No matter how many games Boise State continues to win, there’s going to be an element that never will cast a vote for the Smurfs as the top team.

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