Finally… college football… HAS COME BACK… to the airwaves. It gets started in a big way tonight with four Pac-12 teams in action. We have game previews of the Thursday contests, trivia and an update on the status of Oregon State’s opener in the August 30 version of the link roundup.
- Utah is the only Pac-12 team playing on Thursday that doesn’t have a new head coach. The Utes are expected to be the No. 1 contender to USC in the Pac-12 South, but Utah must first take care of Northern Colorado.
- Jim Mora’s boys are the second Pac-12 squad to kick off on Thursday as UCLA travels to Rice. Like Utah, the Bruins have been projected to finish in the top-half of the Pac-12 South.
- The Cougs are third in kickoff order, but probably have the most intriguing season opener as the Mike Leach-led Washington State Cougars head to Provo to take on BYU, a team that won ten games last year.
- Last but not least are the Forks; Arizona State will open the Todd Graham Era at home against Northern Arizona. Make that the second directional school from the Big Sky a Pac-12 team will face on Thursday.
- Unfortunate news out of Corvallis: Oregon State’s season opener against Nicholls State has been postponed, as the Colonels are unable to fly west due to Hurricane Isaac. No official date has been set for a make-up game as of now, but we’ll keep you posted.
- As Cal gets ready to play its first game in the renovated Memorial Stadium, here are some fun facts about the first game ever played at Memorial Stadium in 1923.
- Apparently 111 receptions for 1,292 yards and 15 TDs wasn’t enough: USC wide receiver Robert Woods wants to make more big plays.
- A Rose Bowl victory followed by membership to Augusta National for all graduates or a Big Game loss because Cal hacked the Cardinal’s iPad playbooks- what will it be for the Stanford Cardinal? My guess is it will be somewhere in between the parameters set by ESPN Pac-12 Blog’s “best case-worst case” scenario.
- It has been a long winding road for Washington cornerback Tre Watson, as he has gone from transfer to walk-on to starter for the season opener against San Diego State.
- You know who else has earned a starting spot? Colorado running back Tony Jones, who has to fill the gap left behind by Rodney Stewart.
- Everyone knows about De’Anthony Thomas, Kenjon Barner and Marcus Mariota, so who are going to be the breakout players for Oregon? This article suggests Keanon Lowe, Colt Lyerla and Brian Jackson.
- He would like to think he was a coach in a previous life, and he can certainly be in the future. Arizona backup quarterback B.J. Denker is a student of the game and self-proclaimed football nerd.
NFL Training Camp News
- There were three NFL preseason games on Wednesday night, but it being the last of its kind for all squads involved, not too many noteworthy guys played. One Pac-12 alum who did was former Beaver Sammie Stroughter; he caught two passes for 30 yards in a losing effort for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
- Indianapolis Colts rookie tight ends Coby Fleener and Dwayne Allen don’t mind doing the dirty work that comes with lining up next to a tackle.
- This is a little old, but still worth a look. Here’s Jonathan Martin’s haircut, as given to him by his Miami Dolphins teammates in a rookie hazing prank.
- Some consider him the steal of the draft, but one thing is for certain: You can listen to a three-minute interview with Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver Marvin Jones by clicking on the link text.
- I swore I read an article like this more than a week ago, but when the trend continues, it’s worth repeating. Juron Criner and Rod Streater continue to impress, and this article includes what the two did for the Raiders against Detroit last weekend. Remember this? And this?