October 13, 2010
Making the morning rounds.
• Come on, somebody has to take the new guys. The divisions in the Pac-10's post-expansion realignment could hinge on the Bay Area schools, Cal and Stanford, which are coveted by both ends of a North-South split. The conference seems to have agreed on the geographical alignment, but athletic directors of the Northwest schools (Oregon, Oregon State, Washington, Washington State) refused to sign off on a plan during weekend meetings that sends newcomers Colorado and Utah to the North Division instead of Cal and Stanford, freezing the entire division out of California. On the other side, USC and UCLA lobbied for the Cardinal and Bears in the South to keep the old Cali rivals together. According to ESPN's Andy Katz, quite a few members are adamant that "splitting the four California schools is a must" for competitive balance across the conference. [ESPN]
• You're not thinking of getting rid of the dank, are you? Staying on the West Coast, the Pasadena City Council approved a $152 million renovation to the Rose Bowl Tuesday, at a total cost of $0 to the UCLA athletic department. The ancient landmark will add more aisles, concessions, toilets, "luxury and premium seating" inside a refurbished press box and a colossal new video board to go with a new "1940s-style scoreboard" on the stadium's south end. Taxpayers and citizens of the nearly bankrupt Golden State will be thrilled to note that the upgrade will be paid for in part by federal stimulus funds. [Los Angeles Times, Associated Press]
• In less optimistic UCLA news... At one point Tuesday, the rumor mill had the Bruins down six suspended starters for
Saturday's next Thursday's trip to Oregon. At the end of the day, there were only two: Tight end Morrell Pressley and receiver Josh Smith, a former Colorado transfer, will sit against the Ducks for the ever popular "violation of team rules." Whatever they did, coach Rick Neuheisel is very disappointed in them both. [Los Angeles Times]
• Surprise! You're done for the year. Notre Dame tight end, a former five-star recruit best known now for his 95-yard touchdown catch against Michigan last month, will miss the rest of the season with a hamstring avulsion – a separation of tendons from the bone. Rudolph had been dealing with the hammy since the summer, and hadn't had any inkling the injury was nearly so severe until an MRI on Sunday. Former ACL victim Mike Ragone, come on down. [South Bend Tribune]
Also done for the season: Penn State safety Nick Sukay, who tore a pectoral muscle in Saturday's loss to Illinois; Kansas State wide receiver Brodrick Smith, who broke his leg in the Wildcats' loss to Nebraska; and Colorado safety Anthony Perkins, who played most of the second half on a torn ACL in the Buffs' loss to Missouri. CU also lost its backup tailback, Brian Lockridge.
• You made it, kid. If niche stardom in 2010 is signaled primarily by unlistenable, amateur YouTube parodies of hit songs I'm too old to have ever heard of, then Nebraska quarterback Taylor Martinez has arrived:
We got T-Magic, he won a competition
Through hard work and prayer he got in this position
Comin' outta Cali, nobody wanted to listen
Bo Pelini saw what everyone was missin'
We got Coach Watson callin' all the plays
I believe in Magic, he can run it all day
Dicin' through defenders, you can call him Bobby Flay
Heisman 20-10 yeah he's well on his way
"T-Magic" isn't to blame for this, but now that it's on his resumé, it will take five touchdowns Saturday against Texas just to come out even. [Via David Ubben]
Quickly... The AP gets behind cornerback Chris L. Rucker's mysterious suspension at Michigan State. ... Jacquizz Rodgers talks about his brother's injury. ... Bo Pelini's not worried about Nebraska fans when Texas shows up in Lincoln for the last time Saturday. ... USC gets a new mural. ... Alabama's non-conference schedules, visualized. ... What's up with the 'Bama defense on opening drives? ... Greg Little is very sorry about the whole "improper benefits" thing, y'all. ... And even if a New Mexico beat reporter did send a player an e-mail suggesting he should quit the team, really, isn't he just looking out for the kid?
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Matt Hinton is on Twitter: Follow him @DrSaturday.