October 29, 2010
Making the morning rounds.
• I can't define it, but I know "It" when I see it. I'm not sure even Mel Kiper Jr. knows what he means by the precise scouting term, "'It' Factor." But whatever "It" is, Washington quarterback Jake Locker – once "etched in stone" by Kiper and other draftniks as the No. 1 overall pick next April– no longer has it as his mediocre senior campaign hits the stretch run Saturday against the new No. 1 lock, Bradford-esque Stanford slinger Andrew Luck. Kiper and well-gelled ESPN cohort Todd McShay, also a former Locker champion before his awful effort against Nebraska and meh outings in losses to Arizona State and Arizona, now see Locker falling well outside the top 10, behind Luck and possibly Arkansas' Ryan Mallett. [Seattle Post-Intelligencer]
Another quarterback lacking "the 'It' Factor," according to the Dallas Morning News: Oklahoma sophomore Landry Jones. Apparently, "It" doesn't include leading your team to the No. 1 ranking with eight touchdown passes to one pick in wins over Florida State, Cincinnati and Texas, as a sophomore. [Dallas Morning News]
• How did we ever go wrong with the South Beach Bling King? Shockingly, a high-profile South Florida jeweler recently described as a "pseudo-agent" who "bring the bling for NFL players" in a July profile by the South Florida Sun-Sentinel has admitted to providing diamond jewelry that led to North Carolina players being declared ineligible. The document doesn't specify which of the dozen or so Tar Heels facing eligibility issues this year were on the receiving end of A.J. Machado's largesse, but considering that three of the most-coveted pro prospects – defensive linemen Marvin Austin and Robert Quinn and receiver Greg Little – have all been declared permanently ineligible for accepting both jewelry and trips to Miami, it's not hard to guess. [News & Observer]
• He won't. After a week of "Will he or won't he?," Penn State confirmed Thursday that true freshman quarterback Robert Bolden will not start Saturday against Michigan after suffering a concussion in the Nittany Lions' win over Minnesota last week. The job will instead fall to former walk-on Matt McGloin, who'll make his first career start with the Lions' chances for any kind of respectable season hanging by a thread. [Pittsburgh Post-Gazette]
• Just clearing this up. Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops said he planned to press the Big 12 for clarification on what qualifies as an illegal hit in the wake of the conference's decision to suspend Nebraska's Eric Martin for one game for a vicious block on Oklahoma State's Andrew Hudson during a kickoff return last week: "It seems to me… you're starting to regulate non-defenseless players," Stoops said. "From what I understand (Hudson) wasn't a defenseless player, right? ... To me, if you're covering something you're on a swivel looking for blockers, or should be, in my opinion. So I don't know." [Tulsa World]
• An Amato divided against itself will do just fine, actually. Longtime Bobby Bowden sidekick/former N.C. State head coach Chuck Amato didn't want to choose between his divided loyalties Thursday night, so he divided his wardrobe instead:
Obviously, it was the only logical thing to do.
Quickly... Justin Blackmon didn't run afoul of NCAA regs during his trip to Dallas for Monday Night Football or his DUI arrest on the way home. ... Missouri, in its benevolence, won't press charges against fans who rushed the field after last weekend's win over Oklahoma. ... In search of an even worse Florida offense than the one that's taken the field this year. ... Nebraska picks up a commitment from mega-hyped Texas running back Aaron Green. ... Exiled Georgia quarterback Zach Mettenberger picks up another SEC scholarship offer. ... BYU issues its first (and probably last) statement on a university employee's presence in the replay booth during a game-changing call against San Diego State. ... A slight identification problem on the N.C. State sideline.... and Chip Kelly doesn't need any time to rattle off USC's former five-star recruits. Ball's in your court to have the air let out, Kiffin.
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Matt Hinton is on Twitter: Follow him @DrSaturday.