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Headlinin’: Les Miles vows ‘a different view’ for LSU’s 2012 passing game

Matt Hinton
Dr. Saturday

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Making the morning rounds.

Wait, you mean you already had a guy who could actually throw? LSU coach Les Miles met with reporters Tuesday for the first extended postmortem since last week's flop in the BCS Championship Game, simultaneously defending his decision to leave quarterback Jordan Jefferson in the game and promising a more wide-open passing game in 2012 with prototypical slinger Zach Mettenberger assuming the starting job. "We'll throw the football more," Miles said. "We'll lose the characteristic of a quarterback who can move his feet. But, we'll have a quarterback who throws the football with a greater percentage. We'll have a different view of the quarterback position now. It will enable us to throw the football more effectively. We'll throw the football down the field more efficiently."

For the record, Jefferson and fellow senior Jarrett Lee combined to lead the SEC in pass efficiency during the regular season, but only as part of the league's most run-oriented offense. When the running game dried up — which it had done on more than one occasion before the BCS whitewashing at the hands of Alabama — the Tigers struggled to stretch defenses down the field without relying on play-action.

Oh, and those ridiculous rumors floating around about divisiveness and petty infighting before the game? Still just a bunch of ridiculous rumors. [Baton Rouge Advocate, TigerBait.com, Associated Press]

It's official. Arkansas State finally confirmed the worst-kept secret in college football Tuesday, announcing that former Auburn running back Michael Dyer is joining the team after falling out of favor on the Plains. As a Tiger, Dyer broke Bo Jackson's freshman rushing record, took home offensive MVP honors in last year's BCS Championship win over Oregon and was just voted first-team All-SEC as a sophomore. At ASU, he'll reunite with his former offensive coordinator at Auburn, new head coach/fellow Arkansan Gus Malzahn. [Associated Press]

Can't resist the mist. Washington continued its ongoing raid on California's coaching staff Tuesday by poaching wide receivers coach Eric Kiesau to be its new offensive coordinator, making him the second Cal assistant to opt for Seattle over Berkeley in as many days. Washington has yet to release the salaries of its overhauled assistant coaching staff, but whatever the number is, it's too rich for Cal's blood: Per coach Jeff Tedford, the Golden Bears "exhausted all our resources" in a futile attempt to convince Kiesau and ace recruiter Tosh Lupoi to stay. [Seattle Times, San Jose Mercury News]

Elsewhere in the coordinator shuffle… UCLA hires NFL veteran Alex Spanos to oversee its defense. [L.A. Daily News] … Maryland hires Brian Stewart from Houston to install an "aggressive" 3-4 scheme for its defense. [Washington Post] … And just because new Wisconsin offensive coordinator Matt Canada has experience running a spread offense doesn't mean the Badgers are going to start getting fancy. [Wisconsin State Journal]

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Prepare the cupcakes. The clock is ticking on Big 12 scheduling plans for next fall, with one big question gumming up the proceedings: Is West Virginia on board or not? Yes, the Mountaineers still plan to join the conference at some point in the not-too-distant future; it's just that no one is certain when that point will be.

If they can't extricate themselves from the Big East in time for the 2012 season, the rest of the Big 12 could be left with a gaping hole on the calendar — or two holes, in Oklahoma's case, thanks to a previously scheduled date with its other new conference mate, TCU — and not much time to fill it. "That's problematic," said Oklahoma athletic director Mike Holder. "We had a hard enough time finding a game to fill the void we already had."

It's either that, or WVU will just go ahead and leave the Big East, anyway, and deal with the contractual consequences later. [The Oklahoman]

Quickly… In other scheduling news, the SEC isn't considering a nine-game conference slate anytime soon. … Rivals unveils the final version of its top 100 recruits in the 2012 class, including ten new names. … Police in Canada recover a 2001 Orange Bowl ring. … A former Ohio State captain is found dead in Oregon a day before he was scheduled to enter a plea on sexual abuse charges. … Purdue loses a running back. … Central Florida turns down an offer from South Florida to play in the Citrus Bowl. … The Committee to Determine the Future of Rolling Toomer's Corner recommends replanting the trees. An incoming freshman outruns Georgia's fastest player. … And you want to be an assistant coach for Steve Spurrier? Better put out that cigarette and hit the gym.

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Matt Hinton is on Facebook and Twitter: Follow him @DrSaturday.

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