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 →
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.
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 certainlyimperfect, 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:
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 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.
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 →
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 →
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 →
UCLA controlled the entire game, never trailing after three minutes in a 74-69 win that keeps the team in control of its own destiny. Arizona closed to within three points in the final minute, but a clutch rebound by freshman Shabazz Muhammad all but sealed the victory. Muhammad went to the line and sank two free throws to cap the final score, serenaded by “One more year!” cheers as he did.
Muhammad scored a game-high 18 after being limited by foul trouble early, followed closely behind by Kyle Anderson’s 17. Four Bruins scored in double figures.
This is UCLA’s first season sweep over Arizona since 2008. The attendance of 13,727 is a stadium record.