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′s Top 25 Players, Part I

Who are the top players in the Pac-12?

Eleven beat writers from around the conference tried to answer that question, submitting their top-25 lists based on whatever criteria they thought appropriate. The No. 1 player received 25 points, the No. 2 player received 24, and so on. (Credit to the OC Register’s Ryan Kartje for starting the project and tallying up all the votes.)

The results will be released in groups of five. On Saturday, I’ll post my own ballot and compare it to the combined results.

Here we go … 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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Larry Scott: Pac-12 to limit contact due to concussion worries

The Pac-12 will become the first major conference to restrict football contact due to concussion concerns.

Commissioner Larry Scott said in a Monday morning conference call that a new league policy will limit hits in practice to less than what the NCAA mandates. More details will be announced at Pac-12 Media Day on July 26.

The conference is also instituting a number of new health and safety initiatives, including a Head Trauma Task Force to study affects on athletes.

– Scott said there will be no further action regarding the officiating controversy surrounding Arizona head coach Sean Miller. Continue reading

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Jim Mora ranked among top Pac-12 coaches

The Sporting News released its ranking of all 125 college football coaches today, and UCLA’s Jim Mora came in at No. 28 — one spot ahead of Arizona’s Rich Rodriguez. In the Pac-12, only Stanford’s David Shaw (seventh) and Oregon State’s Mike Riley (14th) are higher.

I agree with this list more than the one Athlon Sports released earlier this month, which docked Mora heavily for inexperience. That ranking placed him at 54th in the country and — inexplicably — eighth among Pac-12 coaches behind Mike MacIntyre and Steve Sarkisian.

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Bruins win outright Pac-12 title

UCLA has won the Pac-12 regular season championship for the first time since 2008.

The Bruins clinched a share of the title with a 61-54 win over turnover-prone Washington, their first road victory over the Huskies since 2004. A few minutes later, Utah finished off Oregon with a 10-point win in Salt Lake City, leaving UCLA alone at the top of the conference. Continue reading

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Who will be the top seed in the Pac-12?

A little convoluted, but here are the best and worst case Pac-12 tourney seeding scenarios for the top four teams. Each has one game left on Saturday except Cal, which can only sit and wait. Scroll all the way down for the tiebreaker rules.

Oregon (23-7, 12-5)
Best case: No. 1 seed and an outright Pac-12 title. The Ducks beat Utah while UCLA loses to Washington, dropping the Bruins to a three-seed. Cal would be a No. 2 seed because it has a season sweep of Oregon (see second tiebreaker).
Worst case: No. 3 seed. Oregon loses at Utah, while UCLA clinches an outright Pac-12 title with a win at Washington. Cal would get the No. 2 seed. Continue reading

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Guerrero highest-paid public school AD in Pac-12

School Name School Pay Other Pay Total Pay Max Bonus
UCLA Dan Guerrero $715,211 $0 $715,211 $75,000
Cal Sandy Barbour $576,931 $25,000 $601,931 $271,004
Arizona Greg Byrne $600,000 $0 $600,000 $338,462
Oregon State Bob De Carolis $562,376 $0 $562,376 $50,000
Washington Scott Woodward $553,000 $0 $553,000 $0
Oregon Rob Mullens $500,000 $0 $500,000 $150,000
WSU Bill Moos $455,000 $2,000 $457,000 $107,501
Utah Chris Hill $450,000 $0 $450,000 $0
ASU Steve Patterson $365,000 $0 $365,000 $182,500
Colorado Mike Bohn $306,640 $3,500 $310,140 $154,000

No salaries available for Stanford’s Bernard Muir or USC’s Pat Haden since private schools aren’t bound by the same disclosure laws. All figures from USA Today.

The numbers skew after bonuses, as both Cal’s Sandy Barbour and Arizona’s Greg Byrne can max out above Guerrero at $872,935 and $938,462, respectively. Guerrero ranks 18th in the FBS in total pay.

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Weekly Q&A — 3/2/13 Answers

Q: Larry Scott has been very active since becoming commissioner, expanding the conference from ten to twelve, creating the Pac-12 Networks, and bringing a tremendous amount of new revenue to each member school. Any idea that the next big thing from Scott will be?

A: Most pressing is getting a DirecTV deal nailed down, but that’s not exactly a “big thing” so much as a necessary one. Scott has said consistently over the past few months that the conference isn’t looking to expand, so the Pac-12 probably won’t be leading the country into an era of 16-team superconferences. What he might look to do next is push for some significant reform in the NCAA, especially as the institution’s enforcement policies look more and more like a joke. Scott has been candid about the need for change in the past, something he reaffirmed again on Saturday.

Q: What is the latest news on RB Craig Lee commitment status? Also, we heard of the great recruiting class UCLA had this year but did not hear of any high school seniors that flipped their commitment. Were there any? Continue reading

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