Pat Forde

  • New hope, same Michigan: Jim Harbaugh's debut shows rebuild may take a while

    Pat Forde at Yahoo Sports 1 day ago

    SALT LAKE CITY – The maize and blue masses descended here Thursday, wearing jerseys that hearkened back to the glory days: No. 2 Woodson, No. 21 Howard – and, yeah, a couple No. 4 Harbaughs, too.

    They hit the ground running – and drinking. The Michigan fans filled downtown barstools and tables by noon, spontaneously breaking into rousing renditions of “Hail To The Victors.”

    They were drunk on hope, not hops. The new era was starting, the Jim Harbaugh Era, the one that would return the winningest program in college history to the exalted realm it has not inhabited for a long time. The Rich Rodriguez bad fit was history, the Brady Hoke joke was over – here was a Michigan Man who could actually coach, marrying the two things his predecessors had lacked.

    Yeah, they’d drink to that.

    But here was the sober reality: hope made the trip here, but greatness is catching a later flight. The Cult of the Khakis must exercise patience.

    At least the new guy wears a headset. But so many old headaches recurred.

    “[The line play] improved in the second half,” Harbaugh said. “I think we played a little bit tentative in the first half, not coming off the ball like we need to.”

    And supportive.

  • Forde-Yard Dash: Biggest storylines, playoff picks and more

    Pat Forde at Yahoo Sports 4 days ago

    [In this Dash: Playoff picks | What's back | What's not | Pressure gauge | Football paranoia]


    To paraphrase Thomas Jefferson (who is none too happy about the state of Virginia football): We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights, that among these are Football, Tailgating and the pursuit of Glory by our favorite college teams.

    Thus, more or less, on July 4, 1776, America won the toss and elected to receive. And returned the kickoff for six. And proceeded to treat Great Britain the way Ohio State’s offensive line treated Oregon’s defensive front in JerryWorld to end last season.




  • New world order: Big 12 in era of upheaval as Texas, Oklahoma take back seat

    Pat Forde at Yahoo Sports 5 days ago

    The Big 12 is the best place in America to prove that massive, substantive change is possible in college football.

    The elite can be overthrown. The meek can inherit the earth.

    After Oklahoma and Texas won every league title from 2004-09, the two historic kingpins of the Southwest have managed just a share of one Big 12 championship since – that by the Sooners in 2012, when they were clearly the second-best team to Kansas State. Oklahoma and the Longhorns are both in the top seven in FBS history in winning percentage.

    Lately, the conference has been overtaken by programs with a long history of being trod upon.

    In 2011, Oklahoma State – No. 87 in FBS history in winning percentage, at .506 – ended the Oklahoma-Texas hegemony. In ’12, it was Kansas State – No. 112 in winning percentage, at .447. In 2013, it was Baylor – No. 82, at .510.

    And last year, quite memorably, Baylor and TCU (No. 70, at .534), were controversial co-champions.

    This season? The rebellion should continue in the Big 12. The Bears and Horned Frogs are top-heavy favorites.

    Thus Baylor and TCU are wise to think that they need to eliminate the guesswork by doing one thing: going 12-0.

  • Sources: John Daly taken to hospital for evaluation

    Pat Forde at Yahoo Sports 6 days ago

    After collapsing on the 18th tee box, golfer John Daly was taken by ambulance from a golf course in Canton, Miss., to a hospital in Jackson for tests Saturday, multiple sources told Yahoo Sports.

    Zack Hamm, an emergency room technician at Baptist Medical Center, confirmed to Yahoo Sports on Saturday night that Daly was there and being evaluated. Daly was treated and released Saturday night after likely suffering from dehydration, according to Yahoo sources and published reports.

    Daly had been playing in an outing at Deerfield Golf Club, multiple sources told Yahoo Sports.

    Daly, a 49-year-old winner of two major championships with a well-documented penchant for excess, most recently missed the cut at the PGA Championship at Whistling Straits. Daly shot 73-82, including a 10 on the par-3 7th hole. Daly threw a club into Lake Michigan while playing that hole.

    The last time Daly made the cut in a PGA Tour event was in March at the Puerto Rico Open.


  • AD Pat Haden has shown he can do it all – except bring success to USC

    Pat Forde at Yahoo Sports 9 days ago

    Star player. Star student. Prominent broadcaster. Successful lawyer. Savvy businessman. Permanently youthful. Perpetually distinguished. Talk to people of that certain age and you will come away convinced that there’s not a thing he can’t do better than 99 percent of the populace.

    Except maybe run a major athletic department.

    One of the game’s all-time golden boys has had a five-year tenure as athletic director at his alma mater, USC, that has left a few dents on the old halo. Haden is one of those guys who is regularly referred to as “dignified” – yet USC athletics has staggered through one indignity after another during Haden’s time in charge.

    The indignities aren’t necessarily his doing – but some of them have come from a guy Haden personally hired to put a better face on the program than his predecessor. For a classy guy, Haden has been bogged down by dealing with a lot of low-class stuff.

    Sarkisian said he does not believe he has a drinking problem, but is seeking treatment anyway. However, that treatment apparently will not take him away from his long-hour, high-stress job – which seems a bit antithetical, really. But strange is the new normal at USC.

  • College football's 25 Most Intriguing Games of 2015

    Pat Forde at Yahoo Sports 11 days ago

    Back by popular demand (or a lack of alternative content), we have the college football Most Intriguing Lists of 2015. That's not necessarily the best, not necessarily the most popular – it's the most intriguing. First week: Most Intriguing Coaches. Second week:Most Intriguing Quarterbacks. Third week:Most Intriguing Non-Quarterbacks. Wrapping up the series this week: Most Intriguing Games.

    [Preseason rankings: See how our fantasy experts stack each position]

  • Art Briles' apparent lie puts his future at Baylor in doubt

    Pat Forde at Yahoo Sports 14 days ago

    On Thursday, Baylor football coach Art Briles could charitably have been considered an incompetent know-nothing who had little interest in learning the off-the-field truth about a troubled transfer into his program.

    On Friday, Briles looks more like a flat-out liar.

    Now we'll see whether that's the man the Baptist school in Waco still wants leading its football program.

    When Washington coach Chris Petersen issued a statement to ESPN Friday afternoon saying that he personally informed Briles about the reason for defensive end Sam Ukwuachu's dismissal from Boise State (where Peterson used to coach) in 2013, it put Briles' credibility on the front burner. Coaches don't always do what Petersen did. Good for him for speaking up – and bad for Briles.

    A damning Texas Monthly exposé that was published this week, before the conviction, revealed that Ukwuachu was a major problem at Boise State:

    But at what cost?


  • Why Georgia Tech's Paul Johnson still runs option offense, and why it still works

    Pat Forde at Yahoo Sports 15 days ago

    ATLANTA – Contrary to rumor, Paul Johnson’s office overlooking Bobby Dodd Stadium is not hewn out of rock.

    There are no cave drawings on the walls. He does not come to work at Georgia Tech wearing a Fred Flintstone animal skin.

    In clear refutation of perception, Johnson actually has a desktop computer. And an iPhone sits in front of him – albeit one that looks like a dated model, maybe an iPhone 4.

    But amid the trappings of fancy modern offices, the Yellow Jackets’ facility is permeated with the smell of sweat. Nice furniture and carpet can’t hide that. It’s football’s ancient ingredient, and Johnson is right at home with ancient stuff.

    As long as it keeps working. And it is.

    The Yellow Jackets went 11-3 last year, winning both the Atlantic Coast Conference Coastal Division and the Orange Bowl, and they could be every bit as good in 2015 if a new crop of backs and receivers step up. Despite the alleged antiquity of the man in charge.

    Johnson may be the last college football coach to send in plays by word of mouth – his mouth into a player’s ear, who runs onto the field and relays it to the quarterback, who then calls it to the team in the huddle. Yes, they still huddle at Georgia Tech.

  • Brian Kelly has learned what's needed to succeed at Notre Dame – and what needs to improve

    Pat Forde at Yahoo Sports 17 days ago

    SOUTH BEND, Ind. – Brian Kelly is entering his sixth season as the football coach at Notre Dame, which shows some staying power. Seriously.

    This is a dog-years job, tending to grind up coaches in five years or fewer. Only four others in the program's 128-year history have lasted longer than five seasons, and all of them were national title-winning giants: Knute Rockne, Frank Leahy, Ara Parseghian and Lou Holtz. Kelly has no title and his .692 winning percentage doesn't compare to Rockne's (.881), Leahy's (.855), Parseghian's (.836) or Holtz's (.765).

    But let's face it, it's a different job now than it was then.

    Given Kelly's deceptively long tenure, he was asked Tuesday at Notre Dame media day if he's grown more comfortable on the job. His answer was interesting.

    "Like I said, I don't think you ever feel comfortable here at Notre Dame. And I don't mean that in a negative way. I just think you've always got to be looking at how to get better every day."

    I asked him a follow-up question: What are those strengths and weaknesses? That answer was interesting, too.

    They came back raving about the experience.