Play It Forward Sept. 14-20: Time for USC, UCLA to supersize

The BYU fan’s eye view of Tanner Mangum’s latest prayer answered, versus Boise State on Saturday.

Details/TV: At the Coliseum, 5 p.m., Channel 7
NO. 10 UCLA vs. NO. 19 BYU
Details/TV: At the Rose Bowl, 7:30 p.m., FS1:
You’d think USC and UCLA might do a better job coordinating their home-game kickoffs, so college football fans in L.A. could attempt to coordinate  schedules and take in both of these intriguing matchups – if not in person, at least in their living rooms without having to keep hitting the “last” button on the remote.
But here is what we have:
Start with a tweet from the fellow who professes to be ThePlayoffGuru:

Son of a gun. The first reference is to BYU’s latest quarterback, true freshman Tanner Mangum, who has thrown a couple of prayers up and had them competed to give the Cougars a 2-0 start. (Some may refer to those as a “Hail Mary.” We’ve heard it referred to better as a “Hook and Latter-Day Saint” play). The phrase #MangumStyle is more a Twitter thing than the Guru’s labeling of it. The 6-foot-3, 210 pounder from Idaho bailed on Boise State and decided to back up the oft-injured Taysom Hill, and it’s already paid off. His 167.1 passer efficiency rating is 24th in the nation. The other truer 13th grader in this scenario, Josh Rosen, ranks 55th with a 142.1 rating, but he’s also navigated a couple of victories. Albeit without the same dramatic flair. UCLA may have won seven of the 10 previous meetings against BYU, but with a 59-0 loss at Provo, Utah in 2008, their last meeting, these two kid QBs may not have even been born yet.

Stanford QB Kevin Hogan fumbles when hit by USC's  J.R. Tavai on the Cardinal's last offensive possession in 2014.

Stanford QB Kevin Hogan fumbles when hit by USC’s J.R. Tavai on the Cardinal’s last offensive possession in 2014.

Since we’re on this QB rating thing, USC senior Cody Kessler is second in the nation with a 215.3 – seven TDs, no picks, 79 percent completion rate. Sure, against Arkansas State and Idaho, but …  Stanford senior Kevin Hogan is 68th (135.3), and the currently unranked Cardinal is a questionable 1-1 after a season opening loss to Northwestern followed by a presentable 31-7 win over Central Florida. Hogan’s first TD pass of the year was a 53-yard flea flicker to Michael Rector in Week 2, and he finished with a career-high 341 yards. Kessler comes off a career-best 410 yards throwing. We know this USC-Stanford rivalry has also been dramatic in recent years. Unranked USC edged No. 5 Stanford, 20-17, in 2013 under then-coach Ed Orgeron. Last season, in the Pac-12 opener at Stanford, Andre Heidari’s 53-yard field goal with 2:30 left allowed No. 14 USC to pull off the win against No. 13 Stanford for new coach Steve Sarkisian (with an assist on the sidelines from AD Pat Haden). Kessler completed 15 of 22 passes for 135 yards and Hogan was 22 of 30 passing for 285 yards. But neither one threw a TD pass.
Other top games this week in college football:
Georgia Tech at Notre Dame (Saturday, 12:30 p.m., Channel 4)
Auburn at LSU (Saturday, 12:30 p.m., Channel 2)
Cal at Texas (Saturday, 4:30 p.m., Channel 11)
Ole Miss at Alabama (Saturday, 6:15 p.m., ESPN)


After Corey Seager makes his Dodger Stadium debut when the Dodgers face Colorado (Monday-Wednesday), there’s a dicey three-game set with Pittsburgh at Chavez Ravine (Friday-Sunday) … The Sparks start the WNBA playoffs against Western Conference leader Minnesota (Friday, 6 p.m.), then host Game 2 at Staples Center (Sunday, noon) … The NFL finishes off Week 1 with a doubleheader on ESPN (Philadelphia-Atlanta and Minnesota-San Francisco) …  More at this link.

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No more Jay Mohr? A Saturday LA show arrives

062513soloWe mentioned recently how lineup changes in the Dodgers’ new co-ownership of  KLAC-AM (570) resulted in hanging onto local programming, which meant somehow that Jay Mohr, hired two years ago as the morning drive replacement for Jim Rome, is now unceremoniously the odd-comic out of the L.A. airwaves. This is because Colin Cowherd joined the IHeartRadio team this week and started in the 9 a.m.-to-noon spot.
Hiring Mohr in the first place was a logical move for KLAC. But after moving him once already to noon-to-3 p.m., he’s expendable?
The Dodgers stipulation there be seven hours of local programming to promote their brand is why this musical chairs scenario has happened, and why Mohr, a national show, is moved out in L.A.
And, sure, it’s still on the stream. But Mohr has more to offer.
“Mohr Sports Los Angeles,” part of the Podcast One Network, is an hour-long L.A.-centric podcast launching on Saturday afternoons, also available on
It’s just him. No guests.
“And I’m not pulling any punches — it’s a super-deluxe R-rated show, as if I was doing stand-up,” Mohr said this week. “Stand-up is a service industry and I’m here to serve. I’m really excited to do this without a corporate clock, without restrictions, without a censor, just my ranting and raving lunatic love for Los Angeles sports. I’m fired up about this.”
Mohr said he understands how L.A. listeners must feel when an intimate friend on the radio somehow goes away without much explanation.
“These people did nothing wrong,” said Mohr. “What do you do? Go away? Or think of a way to service those people. L.A., I’ve got you covered.”

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What’s new with Rick Neuheisel? Not the same old tune at CBS with the SEC


On the first episode of CBS’ new “College Football Today” studio show, Rick Neuheisel was apparently expected to grip it and rip it. With his analysis as well as with his guitar.
So he did. And very acutely acoustically with both tasks, we should add.
Ripped away from the Pac-12 Network as its featured studio analyst, the former UCLA quarterback and head coach has already set the bar high for those who expect a song-and-dance man to summarize the SEC coverage that CBS is locked into these days.
(See the clip above: He also managed to find a way to get “CBS” in as the last rhyme. His next appearance is on Saturday’s pregame before Georgia-Vanderbilt at noon on Channel 2).
“I like goofing around with the guitar, but on a much smaller scale,” Neuheisel said this morning. “Give me a verse and I’ll sound clever and half-way entertaining. These ensemble pieces are going to out me as a clear amateur in the ways of music. Hopefully we can reduce it so it still catches the listener by surprise and they don’t realize I’m really tone deaf.
“I’m just a guy who can play 30 percent of every song, but it’s really much better if you’ve had a lot to drink.”
Having decided that he’s so committed to this new CBS gig that he actually relocated to New York and is putting his Manhattan Beach place up for rent, Neuheisel explained some of the transition involved in this latest media-related career move, which includes doing a daily show called “Full Ride” from 7-to-10 a.m. PT on Sirius XM College Sports Nation Channel 84 with partner Chris Childers:

engineer_dorm_room1Q: This isn’t just a weekend gig for CBS that involves flying up to San Francisco, doing a few studio shows and then relaxing at the beach? You’ve really had to do a lifestyle change for this?

A: I feel like I’ve gone away to college again and I’m staying in my dorm room. Swear to goodness. Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches all over again. I’m in constant contact with college football, whether it’s TV or talking on the radio or doing interviews. I do feel like a coach again. I look forward to having my wife finally able to join me here in the Big Apple. This really is a leap of faith, taking a swing at network TV. I loved working for the Pac-12 Network and especially with the people there.

Q: But now you have to become an expert in the SEC, because that’s CBS’ baby, and that must be something of a culture shock as well?

A: I gotta tell you, I went on my own private tour to all 14 SEC schools. Took my wife and got in the car and did the whole Grizwolds thing. I even stopped at the Mississippi River as we were going to Memphis and Knoxville and I did the whole Clark Grizwold line about the ‘Old Miss …’ It was my own ‘Vacation’ movie.
I had been to Georgia before, because we played there when I was UCLA. Tennessee, I had coached there. Texas A&M and Missouri I had seen. But never had I been to the other places, and to go to these little college towns like Auburn and Fayetteville … I get it now. I don’t mean to any abandonment of the Pac-12, but I get the media attention to this conference. They have this beacon on the hill as a stadium and the towns revolve around it. It’s really charming. It’s just a completely different take on the game than anywhere else.

Q: So all the way back in New York, were they talking about Josh Rosen’s first game at UCLA? Were some there calling it the best performance by a true freshman — ever — as many in the media were going off? Continue reading

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Weekly media notes version 09.11.15: Funny you should ask, Rob Riggle …

Rob Riggle co-stars in a “Key & Peele” piece for Comedy Central. Remember who gets a bagel, and who doesn’t, OK?

What’s likely coming up Sunday:

Did the NFL provide comedian Rob Riggle with enough material this off season so that going to work on his first “Fox NFL Sunday” show was merely just picking and choosing what to satirize now and what to save for later?
Yeah, pretty much.
This morning, we caught up with “The Daily Show” and “Saturday Night Live” veteran as he was in the make-up chair, and he made up some nifty answers to questions we had about what’s going this season.
We couldn’t get a good read on exactly what he intends to do for Sunday’s first show, but only wish he was given more than just two minutes.
Remember how in Week 2 of last season he was already in “Fantasy Owner Rehab?”

A sample of our Q-and-A with Riggle:

Q: Did you learn much from “The Daily Show” and “Saturday Night Live” that you can apply to sports comedy, taking real events and finding the not-so-subtle satire in them?
I think there are elements to that. But I don’t focus on trying to present news or educating anybody. I’ve only got two minutes each week to write a sketch and entertain people. And do this and that. I’m not really trying to present any news stories. I got from ‘SNL and The Upright Citizens Brigade Theater in doing improv and sketch comedy, because that’s really what this is. That’s me. Frank Caliendo did crazy impersonations in a monologue, and that was great. Jimmy Kimmel did things his way.

Q: Where does Tim Tebow land in the comedy spectrum of what you might tackle?

A: (Laughing). I like Tim personally. He’s a really nice guy. I got to meet him when I hosted the ESPYs and he played along with some of the bits we did, so I appreciated that. Yeah, he’s on the receiving end on this show. It comes down to, I guess, what the lead is. Right now, his not making the Eagles isn’t necessarily the lead.

What we think is worth dropping in today: Continue reading

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Your L.A.-based NFL Week 1 TV lineup: 7 games, but that includes Chargers baggage

watching-football-on-tv-625x300There are a lot of lines to read between as we assess how the L.A. market gets assigned NFL games going forward on CBS and Fox.
Aside from tonight’s NBC coverage of New England hosting Pittsburgh (5:30 p.m., Channel 4, with Al Michaels and Cris Collinsworth), the other six games in the L.A.-based NFL Week 1 lineup for those without access to DirecTV’s “Sunday Ticket:”
= Of the five Fox games to pick from during the entire day, we get sucked into San Diego hosting Detroit (1 p.m., with Thom Brennaman, Charles Davis and Tony Siragusa, instead of New Orleans-Arizona at the same time, and none of the early window selections Green Bay-Chicago with Joe Buck and Troy Aikman, Seattle-St. Louis or Carolina-Jacksonville).
= The CBS doubleheader — because there’s no more conflicts from U.S. Open tennis coverage — sends us Kansas City-Houston in the 10 a.m. window (with Kevin Harlan and Rich Gannon, instead of Miami-Washington, Cleveland-N.Y. Jets and Indianapolis-Buffalo). |
In the 1:25 p.m. window, it’s the Chargers’ alternative of Baltimore-Denver (with Jim Nantz and Phil Simms, instead of Cincinnati-Oakland and Tennessee-Tampa Bay).
FYI: San Diego market now does not get to see Baltimore-Denver because it competes with SD-Detroit.
= The NBC Sunday night game: N.Y. Giants-Dallas at 5:30 p.m. (with Michaels and  Colinsworth).
= The two ESPN Monday night games: Philadelphia-Atlanta at 3:55 p.m. (with Mike Tirico and Jon Gruden) and Minnesota-San Francisco at 7:15 p.m. (with Chris Berman and Trent Dilfer).

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