- Graham Watson at Dr. Saturday19 hrs ago
Charlie Strong has spoken his mind in the months since he’s taken over at Texas, and during an interview on Wednesday, Strong made it known exactly how he feels about rekindling the rivalry against Texas A&M.
"You would like to see it happen," Strong told ESPN.com. "At some point it needs to happen. We need to play them."
Since Texas A&M left the Big 12 a few years ago to join the SEC exactly no one with any pull at either Texas or Texas A&M has been keen on mending the bridge between the two schools, at least in a regular season game. In fact, in April, Texas athletic director Steve Patterson all but double-bolted that door by saying Texas would need a “compelling business or branding reason” to play the Aggies.
- Graham Watson at Dr. Saturday20 hrs ago
Washington coach Chris Petersen has added to the punishment for quarterback Cyler Miles — a one-game suspension.
Miles will miss the season opener against Hawaii, according to the Seattle Times.
Miles missed spring practice after being linked to two post-Super Bowl assaults on the Washington campus on Feb. 2. Although Miles wasn’t charged in either incident, he did serve a three-month suspension for the Huskies.
One of the incidents involved former Washington receiver Damore’ea Stringfellow, who said he was “backing up his quarterback” when he knocked down a woman during a post-Super Bowl bonfire. The woman briefly lost consciousness.
After the bonfire, Stringfellow and Miles, according to court documents, got out of a car and chased and assaulted a Seahawks fan. Miles was wearing Denver Broncos attire. According to the Seattle Times, prosecutors did not pursue the case because of insufficient evidence.
- Graham Watson at Dr. Saturday21 hrs ago
Welcome to our Dr. Saturday feature titled "Random offseason tweet of the day." With real games still weeks away, coaches and players will be tweeting about non-football-related things as the season approaches. In this space, we'll try to find the funniest and goofiest tweets of the day. If you see something, don't hesitate to send it to us.
USC, which has one of the most iconic color schemes and images in college football, decided to play a little joke on its Twitter followers Wednesday, and post a picture of what it claimed to be a new helmet.
Of course, the Trojans foiled the joke before it could even get started by hashtagging the picture “#kidding,” though it did get some good initial responses.
USC actually wasn’t the only team to have a strange silver on white helmet, the Pac-12 did them for each team as part of the league’s media days this week.
- Graham Watson at Dr. Saturday21 hrs ago
Even though Washington State coach Mike Leach has had some of the best quarterbacks — statistically — they’re not always considered the nation’s best quarterbacks or even the best quarterbacks in their particular league.
Leach thinks Connor Halliday can change that.
Last season, Halliday threw an astonishing 714 passes for 4,597 yards and 34 touchdowns while leading the Cougars to their first bowl game since 2003.
“He's a very talented guy, and he's steadily improved and with a young supporting cast ended up fourth in the country in passing,” Leach said during Pac-12 media day on Wednesday. “So clearly he's one of the best quarterbacks in the entire nation like the debates and media faces. You might be rooting for your guy, and I don't care what you think, he's better than your guy is.”
Halliday ranked third nationally in passing yards and Washington State was fourth in the country with 368 passing yards per game. Halliday had just two games where he attempted fewer than 41 passes and he threw the ball 89 times — completing 65.2 percent — against Oregon, which broke an FBS record.
Very few coaching changes go smoothly.
As both the coach and the institution are trying to hide their true intentions, feelings get hurt, relationships get damaged and there are regrets, oh so many regrets.
Steve Sarkisian isn’t immune to this.
During Pac-12 media days on Wednesday, Sarkisian said his biggest regret in leaving Washington for USC was doing a radio interview the morning he left and denying to the host that he was switching schools.
“You know, it’s unfortunate. I did that Monday morning radio show with Mitch (Levy) every Monday morning after a game. And honestly, in hindsight, I probably shouldn’t have done that interview that morning,” Sarkisian said. “But I had committed to the interview. And I did the interview. There was nothing done, I hadn’t accepted the job at USC yet. Hindsight’s 20/20 in those moments. I probably should have stayed out of interviews and stayed away from cameras. But I did it. I tried to handle it to the best of my ability.
Earlier this summer, when Arkansas coach Bret Bielema and Alabama coach Nick Saban were on a crusade to enact a 10-second rule that would essentially slow down hurry-up offenses, Arizona coach Rich Rodriguez became annoyed.
He made remarks knocking the rule, sent out snide tweets and even helped his video department produce an incredibly witty video based off the movie “Speed.”
See, Rodriguez is the coach of one of the fastest offenses in college football at 83.23 plays per game, which ranked seventh in the country. And during Pac-12 media day on Wednesday, he continued to take jabs at those who wanted to slow him down.
“Oh, hell, it's all personal agenda,” Rodriguez said when asked about the attempted rule change. “Why try to defend it when you can just change the rules? I don't blame them. I would do it too. I don't want to have to teach our guys how to substitute fast, let's just change the rules. That's all it is.”
When coach Charlie Strong said he wanted to put the “T” back in Texas that “T” stood for different things, but to senior cornerback Quandre Diggs that “T” meant toughness.
Not the toughness that is inherently involved with playing football, but the toughness that comes with overcoming some of the struggles Texas has recently experienced.
Diggs told reporters during Big 12 media day on Tuesday that he felt like many of his Texas teammates had been coddled and that they didn’t have the commitment that they needed to make Texas successful.
"I told Coach Strong that I just feel like we had guys on the team that just didn't love football the way they should. That's something that I've always sensed since I've been here: We had guys that just didn't love football," Diggs said. "If you don't love football, you don't need to be a part of this university or a part of this team. That's just something I feel greatly and strong about.
Bob Stoops hasn’t been shy about taking on the SEC in the media, so when he heard Alabama coach Nick Saban tried to downgrade the Sooners' 45-31 win against the Tide in the Sugar Bowl last season, Stoops fired back.
During an appearance on ESPN on Tuesday, Saban said it was difficult "getting [his team] to try to play a consolation game."
Alabama was No. 1 in the national rankings before it was upset by Auburn during the final week of the regular season. The loss bumped the Tide from the SEC title game and ultimately the national championship game.
When asked about Saban’s comments during Big 12 media days on Tuesday, Stoops made it clear he wasn’t buying the excuse.
“We’ve played for quite a few national championships and when we don’t play for one it never seems to be the mantra but anyway you can make all the excuses you want or not,” he said. "The bottom line is, it is what it is.
“And they sure looked good that first series, I’ll tell you that.”
Stoops didn’t stop there. He continued to rail against Saban during his interviews with ESPN on Wednesday.
Today’s Video of the Day features Ohio, one of our favorite Mid-American Conference teams, getting into the military spirit.
Like many teams before them, Ohio used Navy SEAL training prior to the start of fall camp to create toughness and more importantly, bond as a program.
This workout, which started at 5 a.m., looks absolutely brutal, especially when guys are crawling through sand dragging a teammate underneath them.
At one point, Jake Zweig, who is leading the workout, yells: "Right now, you're more uncomfortable than you'll ever be in a game."
This approach in a collegiate offseason isn’t new. Several teams work with Navy SEALs in the offseason as a team-building exercise and usually have nothing but positive things to say about the experience afterward.
At the end of the video, Ohio seems to also have enjoyed the experience.
The only think missing is coach Frank Solich getting dragged across the beach.
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- Graham Watson at Dr. Saturday2 days ago
Former Illinois offensive lineman Shawn Afryl died of cardiac arrest on Monday evening after he collapsed during a practice at Winona State in Minnesota.
Afryl, 22, spent three seasons with the Illini from 2010-2012, took a season off and then recently signed with Winona State for his final season of eligibility.
He had no known prior medical conditions.
Curtis Tate, who coached Afryl at Niles West, told the Chicago Tribune paramedics were unable to revive Afryl and he was pronounced dead at a local hospital.
Illinois released a statement expresses its condolences.
"All of us in the Fighting Illini football family are greatly saddened by Shawn's passing last night," Illinois head coach Tim Beckman said. "He was a great teammate and a dedicated student. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family."
Afryl played in just one game with the Illini — against Charleston Southern in 2012 — and graduated with a degree in political science in 2013.