UCLA ranked No. 21 in preseason AP poll

For the first time since 2007, UCLA will open the season ranked in the AP top 25.

The Bruins slotted in at No. 21 in the country in the Associated Press preseason poll, the same spot they held in the previously released USA Today Coaches Poll. UCLA last made the preseason rankings in 2007, when they clocked in at No. 14.

It is also the first time since 2001 that AP voters put UCLA above USC, 24th, in a preseason poll. Ranked No. 14 in the country, the Bruins opened the season with a 20-17 win at Alabama. For perspective, Alicia Keys’ “Fallin’” was No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 that weekend, Jeepers Creepers opened No. 1 at the box office, and Will Ferrell was still on SNL.

Oregon and Stanford unsurprisingly led the Pac-12 ranked third and fourth, respectively. Oregon State is No. 25.

The full AP poll: Continue reading

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Pac-12 links: Oregon’s new football facility is as shiny as you’d expect



» On one hand, it’s not surprising that Oregon’s new football facility is nicer than that of most NFL teams. On the other, a barbershop!

» Oregon State’s already mediocre basketball program suspended forwards Eric Moreland and Devon Collier indefinitely for an undisclosed violation of team rules. The pair averaged a combined 22 points per game last season.

» Juventus’ Andrea Pirlo and Leonardo Bonucci “tried out” for the Stanford football team. Continue reading

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UCLA picked to win Pac-12 South

Here are the full results of the Pac-12 preseason media poll, with first-place votes in parentheses. Few surprises down the line, as Oregon was named both the North Division and conference favorite. UCLA was named the South Division favorite, and also receive three votes as the Pac-12 champion.

South Division
1. UCLA (12) … 130
2. Arizona State (9) … 124
3. USC (4) … 113
4. Arizona … 73
5. Utah … 58
6. Colorado … 27

North Division
1. Oregon (14) … 139
2. Stanford (11) … 134
3. Oregon State … 91
4. Washington … 81
5. Cal … 45
6. Washington State … 32

Pac-12 Champion: Oregon (13 votes)
Others: Stanford (8), UCLA (3)

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Pac-12 links: Isaac Hamilton denies only targeting USC

» For what it’s worth, Isaac Hamilton said he isn’t only targeting USC as he tries to back out of his NLI to UTEP: “It’s a school close so she (grandman) can see me play.” Tim Floyd has his doubts.

» Two Arizona players joined Ed O’Bannon’s lawsuit against the NCAA: All-American linebacker Jake Fischer, and transfer kicker Jake Smith.

» Is Jahii Carson the quickest point guard in college basketball? Continue reading

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Pac-12 links: Utah’s Jordan Loveridge sheds 25 pounds

» Promising Utah forward Jordan Loveridge has dropped 25 pounds since March, spurred in part by his father’s recent diabetes diagnosis. The 6-foot-6 rising sophomore didn’t want his dad to diet alone.

“As close as we are, it’s something that’s made us closer,” Bill Loveridge told the Salt Lake Tribune. “We talked about it once, and then we’ve just kind of gone out and done it.”

» Washington tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins will serve one day in jail for his guilty DUI plea. How long should he be suspended?

» Stanford is the only FBS school that employs African-Americans as athletic director, football head coach and men’s basketball head coach. Is that a big deal? David Shaw: “I think it is a story that it’s not a big story. That’s a great story!” Continue reading

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Pac-12′s Top 25 Players: Who was left out?

With the week’s countdown over, here is a rundown of the Pac-12′s top 25 players as voted on by 11 different writers. I also included my ballot on the right side.

Totaled votes My votes
1 Marqise Lee, USC Marqise Lee, USC
2 Anthony Barr, UCLA Marcus Mariota, Oregon
3 Will Sutton, Arizona State Anthony Barr, UCLA
4 Marcus Mariota, Oregon Will Sutton, Arizona State
5 De’Anthony Thomas, Oregon De’Anthony Thomas, Oregon
6 Ka’Deem Carey, Arizona Brett Hundley, UCLA
7 David Yankey, Stanford Ka’Deem Carey, Arizona
8 Brett Hundley, UCLA Morgan Breslin, USC
9 Austin Seferian-Jenkins, Washington David Yankey, Stanford
10 Morgan Breslin, USC Ifo Ekpre-Olomu, Oregon
11 Ifo Ekpre-Olomu, Oregon Ed Reynolds, Stanford
12 Xavier Su’a-Filo, UCLA Trent Murphy, Stanford
13 Ed Reynolds, Stanford Hroniss Grasu, Oregon
14 Scott Crichton, Oregon State Scott Crichton, Oregon State
15 Shayne Skov, Stanford Xavier Su’a-Filo, UCLA
16 Hroniss Grasu, Oregon Hayes Pullard, USC
17 Trent Murphy, Stanford Austin Seferian-Jenkins, Washington
18 Brandin Cooks, Oregon State Shayne Skov, Stanford
19 Leonard Williams, USC Taylor Kelly, Arizona State
20 Bishop Sankey, Washington Shaq Thompson, Washington
21 Hayes Pullard, USC Deone Buccanon, Washington State
22 Taylor Kelly, Arizona State Brandin Cooks, Oregon State
23 Shaq Thompson, Washington Bishop Sankey, Washington
24 Brendan Bigelow, Cal Paul Richardson, Colorado
25 Silas Redd, USC Eric Kendricks, UCLA

For player bios, see Parts I, II, III, IV and V. The voter list is at the end of Part I.

The per-team tally in the final results: USC 5, Oregon 4, Stanford 4, UCLA 3, Washington 3, Arizona State 2, Oregon State 2, Arizona 1, Cal 1. Washington State, Colorado and Utah were shut out.

Also receiving votes, in descending order: Continue reading

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Pac-12′s Top 25 Players, Part II

Picking up from Part I, here’s the next five in our Pac-12 Top 25 countdown.

20. Bishop Sankey, Washington

The 5-foot-10 back rushed for 1,439 yards and 16 touchdowns as a sophomore, ensuring that the Huskies didn’t miss All-Pac-12 first-teamer Chris Polk. The only returning running back in the conference who had more yards last season is Arizona’s Ka’Deem Carey. Sankey, who has a knack for avoiding direct hits, may even break UW’s single-season rushing record (1,695, set by Corey Dillon in 1996). Continue reading

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Pac-12 links: Stanford lands four-star QB, $151 million donation, Twitter trade

» Stanford “traded” Twitter handles with Syracuse, giving up @SUAthletics in exchange for a local goods package that includes a crate of oranges.

“Obviously we’re thrilled to activate @GoStanford as our official Twitter handle and pull off this dynamic trade,” said Bernard Muir, The Jaquish & Kenninger Director of Athletics at Stanford. “From a branding standpoint, this trade makes sense for both schools. We held both accounts – the social media equivalent to having two starting quarterbacks, and we wanted to derive as much value fun as possible. We expect great things from our new starter, @GoStanford, and wish @SUAthletics good luck in a new home.”

The Cardinal also landed four-star quarterback Keller Chryst and got $151 million from donor John Arrillaga. But those oranges! What a coup.

» Oregon continues its run as basketball’s Transfer U. Last week, the Ducks added Houston transfer Joseph Young, a 6-foot-3 guard that led the Cougars with 18.0 points per game as a redshirt sophomore. If he isn’t granted a waiver, he will only be eligible for the 2014-15 season.

Dana Altman recently landed his fifth and sixth senior transfers in ex-Iowa State commit Richard Amardi and UNLV’s Mike Moser.

» Oregon State running back Storm Woods, on his team’s 31-27 Alamo Bowl loss to Texas: “I’ve watched it more than 10 times by myself, honestly. It haunts me still, and it fuels me but at the same time, I have to let it go.” Continue reading

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Pac-12 links: Cal stadium debt a ‘noose around the campus’ neck’

» Cal’s newly renovated Memorial Stadium has a marvelous press box view of the San Francisco Bay, but the price may be looming, insurmountable debt. According to the San Francisco Chronicle, the school would still be short $132 million even if it sold all 2,902 seats. Stagnated at 1,857, Berkeley is now spending $300,000 a year to “professionalize” sales efforts.

The campus had originally planned to raise $270 million of the $321 million cost through ticket sales.

The whole project seemed ill-conceived from the beginning, what with the reliance on non-binding pledges. An absolute face palm of a quote from John Wilton, vice chancellor for administration and finance: “They learned a commitment is not a commitment until you have a binding document. Now we feel we’re better off.”

In other news, the Bears landed 2014 quarterback Luke Rubenzer, a Scottsdale, Ariz., product rated three stars by Rivals.com. He has generated at least one premature comparison to Russell Wilson, which is fine but does little to avert crippling debt.

» Tucson’s city prosecutor dropped domestic violence charges against Arizona running back Ka’Deem Carey, who had been allegedly involved in a December incident with his then-pregnant ex-girlfriend. Carey was an All-American for the Wildcats last season, a card he won’t hesitate to use in the face of trouble.

» Former Washington State athlete and New Orleans Saint Steve Gleason wrote marvelously about his battle with ALS in a guest spot on Peter King’s MMQB. Continue reading

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Bruins steady in latest APR rankings

The NCAA released its annual Academic Progress Rate reports this morning, which means anyone can go fiddle with the somewhat-cumbersome search engine and figure out which rivals they can mock for their classroom failures. While certainly imperfect, the APR — which factors in eligibility and retention — is still the only college athletics’ only comprehensive academic metric.

Here are the rankings for Pac-12 football, which average out the four academic years through 2011-12:

1. Stanford, 978
2. UCLA, 966
3. Utah, 963
4. Oregon St, 957
5. Arizona, 956
6. Washington, 954
7. Oregon, 951
8. Colorado, 946
9. USC, 945
10. Washington St, 942
11. Arizona St, 937
12. Cal, 935 Continue reading

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