Posted on: July 14, 2010 5:03 pm
Edited on: July 14, 2010 8:48 pm

Keenum headlines O'Brien Watch List

Houston's Case Keenum, who threw for 5,671 yards and 44 touchdowns last season, was one of 30 players named to the Davey O'Brien watch list for the upcoming season.

Keenum was a finalist last season when Texas' Colt McCoy won the award. In addition to Keenum, five 2009 semifinalists are included on the list: Matt Barkley (Jr., USC), Jacory Harris (Jr., Miami), Jake Locker (Sr., Washington), Kellen Moore (Jr., Boise State) and Ricky Stanzi (Sr., Iowa).

Overall the list features 13 seniors, 13 juniors and four sophomores.
The field will be narrowed down to 16 semifinalists on Mon., Oct. 25. The Foundation and the Selection Committee will announce three finalists on Mon., Nov. 22 and the winner will be announced on Thurs., Dec. 9. The Davey O'Brien National Quarterback Award is presented annually to the nation's best college quarterback and is the oldest and most prestigious national quarterback award. The O'Brien honors candidates who exemplify Davey O'Brien's enduring character while exhibiting teamwork, sportsmanship and leadership in both academics and athletics .

The complete list of voters is listed here , and you should find a familiar name on that list ... MINE! For the first time, I will get a vote in the O'Brien Award.

Complete Watch List:
Matt Barkley, Soph., USC; Zach Collaros, Jr., Cincinnati; Andy Dalton, Sr., TCU; Dwight Dasher, Sr., Middle Tennessee; Ricky Dobbs, Sr., Navy; Nathan Enderle, Sr., Idaho; Nick Foles, Jr., Arizona; Blaine Gabbert, Jr., Missouri; Robert Griffin, Jr., Baylor; Jacory Harris, Jr., Miami; Jerrod Johnson, Jr., Texas A&M; Landry Jones, Soph., Oklahoma; Colin Kaepernick, Sr., Nevada; Case Keenum, Sr., Houston; G.J. Kinne, Jr., Tulsa; Jake Locker, Sr., Washington; Andrew Luck, Soph., Stanford; Ryan Mallett, Jr., Arkansas; Greg McElroy, Jr., Alabama; Kellen Moore, Jr., Boise State; Josh Nesbitt, Sr., Georgia Tech; Kyle Padron, Soph., SMU; Christian Ponder, Sr., Florida State; Taylor Potts, Sr., Texas Tech; Terrelle Pryor, Jr., Ohio State; Tom Savage, Soph., Rutgers; Ricky Stanzi, Sr., Iowa; Tyrod Taylor, Sr., Virginia Tech; Scott Tolzien, Sr., Wisconsin; Russell Wilson, Jr., NC State.

Posted on: February 3, 2010 10:05 am
Edited on: February 3, 2010 6:37 pm

USC snags another huge recruiting class

Who needs Pete Carroll?

Things are looking up at USC again on Signing Day as the Trojans are primed for another big recruiting class. MaxPreps.com has USC in its Top 5 with a haul of six players ranked in the MaxPreps.com Top 100 and four High School All-Americans.

Robert Woods is the No. 6 ranked player, while Kyle Prater is ranked No. 19. The Trojans also got some more good news this morning, as Markeith Ambles signed with USC after giving a verbal to Tennessee last year. 

And at 5:30 p.m. live on CBS College Sports, USC got a commitment from No. 1 recruit Seantrel Henderson. The offensive lineman, who was MaxPreps.com's top-rated player, picked the Trojans over Minnesota, Notre Dame, Florida, Miami and Ohio State.

You can watch USC's Signing Day news conference today at 7:30 p.m. ET on CBS College Sports XXL.

For thousands of live and on-demand videos from over 120 schools around the country, sign up for CBS College Sports XXL.


Posted on: November 16, 2009 3:55 pm
Edited on: November 16, 2009 4:34 pm

CBSSports.com 120 -- North Carolina

Finish up strong.

Every coach preaches it, but North Carolina is showing how it's done.

With its second consecutive victory over a Top 25 team -- a 33-24 victory over Miami (Fla.) on Saturday -- the Tar Heels jumped to No. 20 in the latest CBSSports.com 120.

The team has now won five straight over ranked teams, going back to last season (Georgia Tech was not ranked when the Yellow Jackets beat them).

Robert QuinnNot bad for a team that was basically written off after losing to Virginia 16-3 and blowing a lead against Florida State earlier in the season.

"Life teaches you lessons," said head coach Butch Davis. "I think this football team, in the Thursday night game vs. Florida State, learned a really big lesson about trying to finish ballgames. About how important it is to play all 60 minutes, no matter what the score is at halftime."

North Carolina isn't like most 7-3 teams. It doesn't have a running back with more than 600 yards rushing and its leading receiver has just 409 yards receiving. Quarterback T.J. Yates has the same number of touchdowns as interceptions (10).

But the one thing is does have is a defense ranked eighth in the nation in total yards allowed and second in the ACC in interceptions. The team also has 25 sacks, led by sophomore defensive end Robert Quinn with 10.

In the win over Virginia Tech, the defense sacked Tyrod Taylor three times and recovered two fumbles, including one with two minutes left as the Hokies were trying to run out the clock.

Against the Hurricanes, the Tar Heels recorded four interceptions, including three by Kendric Burney. The junior cornerback returned one for a 77-yard touchdown and compiled an ACC single-game record with 170 interception return yards.

"Our guys are really getting a handle on studying quarterbacks," defensive coordinator Everett Withers said. "You hear their conversations while they're watching film -- this guy will stare down this receiver, this guy looks here in this personnel group, this guy looks to run in this formation, how another guy handles the pocket. They know that as the quarterback goes, so goes the offense."

Now if the Tar Heels can just take care of business against at Boston College and at North Carolina State to end the regular season, they will have won five in a row and six out of the last seven.

Southern California

Despite still being ranked in all the other polls, USC fell out of the CBSSports.com Top 25, falling from No. 12 to No. 28. The Trojans are now 7-3, 4-3 in the Pac-10 and will not make a BCS bowl for the first time since 2001.

"I'm not sure I have the right words to describe being humbled like this," Pete Carroll said after losing 55-21 to Stanford. "I don't really know where to put it. ... We have fallen apart and given our opponents the opportunity to do whatever they want, but you have to give Stanford a lot of credit."

The Trojans are on a bye this week and then return to the field against UCLA.


The Wolf Pack started the season 0-3, but has now won seven in a row and is ranked No. 45. After taking care of Fresno State this weekend, the Wolf Pack are eyeing the end of the season game against Boise State. With a victory, Nevada would win the conference and end Boise State's dream of going undefeated and playing in a BCS bowl.

MAC Attack

Central Michigan and Temple are course to meet in the Mid-American Conference title game. Both teams control their own destiny and the game would feature two teams in the Top 35.

Central Michigan is ranked No. 31, while Temple is No. 34. Both teams are 8-2 and 6-0 in the conference. The winner will play in the Little Caesars Pizza Bowl, which used to be the Motor City Bowl.

Three winless teams left

New Mexico (No. 118), Eastern Michigan (No. 119) and Western Kentucky (No. 120) are all 0-10. New Mexico was close to winning this weekend, falling 24-19 to BYU. It plays Colorado State on Saturday.

Posted on: November 9, 2009 3:40 pm
Edited on: November 9, 2009 4:24 pm

CBSSports.com 120 -- Kansas State

I'm guilty. I was one of the pundits to pick Kansas State toward the bottom of the Big 12 North.
Boy, was I wrong!
Bill Snyder's team is sitting in first place of the Big 12 North at 4-2 and 6-4 overall and this week moved up to No. 43 in the latest CBSSports.com 120 rankings.

K-State needs just one more victory to become bowl-eligible (The Wildcats played two FCS teams, so they must win seven games, instead of the usual six) and controls its own destiny to reach the Big 12 Championship game against Texas.

Emmanuel Lamur"At the beginning of the season, everyone expected us to not do so much, to have a losing season or whatever," cornerback Josh Moore said to The Manhattan Mercury, "but all the players on the team and the coaches have a lot of faith in what we're doing. We're number one in the North right now - you have to take us seriously."

After Bill Snyder retired in 2005, the Wildcats didn't have much success under former assistant Ron Prince. They made just one bowl game (Texas Bowl in 2006) and had two consecutive losing seasons. The school decided a change needed to be made and brought Snyder back.

Not much was expected heading into this season, in what was supposed to be a competitive Big 12, with one of the worst defensives in the nation. Kansas state gave up 36.8 points per game (110th in the nation) and was 117th in the nation overall. This year, the defense is 43rd in the nation overall and 45th in points allowed.

The biggest telling statistics is the Wildcats are plus-11 in turnover margin. Safties Emmanuel Lamur, who leads the team in tackles and recorded two INTs against Colorado, and Tysyn Hartman, who has four INTS, are the driving force behind the turnaround on defense.

We're playing at a very high level," Hartman said to The Kansas City Star a few weeks ago. "We don't make a lot of mistakes, and when we do we try to correct them as soon as possible. That's what leads to our performance."

Another nice surprise has been running back Daniel Thomas. After rushing for 185 yards in the victory over Kansas, he now has 1,087 yards on the season with 11 touchdowns.

Thomas was a star at Northwest Mississippi Community College before signing with Kansas State, but wasn't expected to contribute much with the return of three running backs.

"Here is a guy that did not know where Kansas was a few months ago and still does not know anything about Kansas, but he gives it everything he has got, and he played hard," said Snyder after the game. "Sometimes he plays like he is a linebacker, and I just appreciate his approach to the game. He is not an easy guy to get down, and that is for one reason and one reason alone. It does not have anything to do with speed or size or anything else, it is just tenacity and a desire to get that extra inch or foot."

Oregon ranking talk, Part II

Last week, we had the debate about which team should be ranked higher -- one-loss Oregon or an undefeated Boise State team? This week we have the Oregon/USC debate.

Both teams are 7-2, but Oregon destroyed USC two weeks ago 47-20. In all four polls (AP, Coaches, Harris and BCS), the Trojans are ranked ahead of the Ducks. Did the voters forget about the thrashing the Trojans took?

One poll that didn't follow the rest of the nation was the CBSSports.com 120, where Oregon is ranked No. 11, USC is No. 12 and Ohio State is No. 13. The Trojans beat the Buckeyes 18-15 earlier in the season.


... The highest-ranked team with a losing record is Washington at No. 71. Despite being only 3-6, the Huskies beat USC, Idaho and Arizona. It also barely lost to LSU, Notre Dame and UCLA.

... The lowest-ranked team with a winning record is Louisiana-Lafayette at No. 101. The Rajin' Cajuns are 5-4, but their strength of schedule is ranked No. 116 out of 120 teams. They did beat Kansas State, but the rest of their wins are against Southern (FCS team) and three Sun Belt schools with a combined record of 4-22.

... One of the biggest games between non-Top 25 teams is this weekend when No. 40 Fresno State (6-3, 5-1) takes on No. 53 Nevada (6-3, 5-0). Both teams still have a shot to win the WAC, especially Nevada, which hasn't faced the Broncos yet.

Posted on: February 3, 2009 4:49 pm

Telfort, Kelly still undecided

While the nation awaits for some of the biggest names -- Manti Te'o, Ruben Randle, Marlon Brown -- to decide where they will play college, there are still a handful of lower-ranked Top 100 players that are undecided.

Frankie Telfort, who is ranked No. 61 on Maxpreps.com/Tom Lemming's Top 100, is expected to make his decision between Florida and USC tomorrow. But according to the Miami Herald, academic power Stanford is still in the mix.

During his visit, Telfort, who is interested in medicine, got to see an open-heart surgery.

"I was a about a foot away" said Telfort to the Miami Herald. "It was crazy. It was the biggest highlight of any of my recruiting visits. I thought, 'There's not a lot they wouldn't do for their students.'"

One of the top receivers still on the board is, Kendall Kelly (No. 96 overall), is deciding between Alabama, LSU and Clemson. According to Tuscaloosanews.com, Kelly might choose to go out of state and join high school teammate Darrell Smith, who was offered a scholarship by Clemson.

The NewsStar.com, also reported that Clemson is ahead of LSU and Alabama for Kelly.

Another linebacker, Anthony Patrick (ranked No. 70) from Stevenson, Alabama will make a decision between Alabama, USC, Auburn and Tennessee.

Posted on: January 30, 2009 1:27 pm
Edited on: January 30, 2009 1:29 pm

Some big names still undecided

As we get closer to National Signing Day on Feb. 4, most of the big names have already decided where they are going. But there are still a handful of 5-star recruits who have yet to make a decision.

One of the biggest ones, according to Maxpreps.com and Tom Lemming is D'Andre Kirkpatrick, from Gadsden, Alabama. The 6-foot-4, 185 defensive back is ranked 12th overall by Lemming.

He already visited Alabama, Florida and most recently Texas. According to GoUpstate.com, he is considering a visit to Clemson this weekend. According to GoVolstra, he canceled a planned trip to LSU.

Some other big names ...

Jelani Jenkins, a 6-2, 220-pound linebacker from Olney, Maryland, is one of the most sought-after recruits. He most recently visited Penn State. According to the online newspaper Gazette.net, the Nittany Lions could be the frontrunner, especially since Jenkins' high school teammate Mike Wallace decided to sign there. In a story in the USA Today, Jenkins' dad said "It's down to Florida, Penn State, Notre Dame, Stanford and Southern Cal."

Jarvis Jones, a 6-3, 215-pound linebacker from Columbus, Georgia, still hasn't made up his mind. Along with the Bulldogs and Gators, he is also still considering LSU, Texas and USC. According to the Shreveport Times, Jones will head to Baton Rouge for a visit this weekend.

Edison High School in Fresno, California had three players named to the U.S. Army All-American Bowl and two have already found homes to play college ball.

Safety T.J. McDonald committed to USC, cornerback Cliff Harris gave a verbal to attend Oregon, but wide receiver Rolando Jefferson hasn't made a decision yet. Jefferson has visited Arizona, Oregon, Utah and Fresno State, but Georgia Tech is also in the mix.

Posted on: November 12, 2008 12:00 pm
Edited on: November 12, 2008 12:12 pm

Let's Play .... Who plays in the BCS title?

Let's throw some train wreck scenarios out the for the BCS:

Scenario 1 -- Alabama wins out, but Oklahoma beats Texas Tech and then wins the Big 12. Who plays Alabama for the national title? You have to assume Tech is out because they lost late, so the choice is Oklahoma or Texas. Texas won the head-to-head, but will Oklahoma be able to vault the Longhorns based on winning the Big 12?

Scenario 2 -- Texas Tech wins out and they are in the national title game. Florida loses, but comes back to beat Alabama in the SEC title game. Who do the Red Raiders play? Texas in a rematch game? Do the pollsters jump USC up so we don't have a Big 12 vs. Big 12 title game?

Scenario 3 -- Texas Tech beats Oklahoma, but loses in the Big 12 title game, so it has one loss. Florida loses to South Carolina, then comes back to beat Alabama. Who is in? Texas with one loss, the team that lost to Texas Tech? USC?

Scenario 4 -- Florida loses to Florida State, but then comes back and beats Alabama in the SEC title game. Both teams are out. Oklahoma beats Texas Tech. Who plays for the national title? Oklahoma vs. Texas? Oklahoma vs. USC? Texas vs. USC? Let's even throw in that Oregon State won the Pac-10, but USC still only has one loss -- does that change your mind?

Scenario 5 -- Florida loses to FSU, comes back and beats Alabama in the SEC title. Oklahoma beats Texas Tech, but then loses to Missouri in the Big 12 title game. Texas wins out. USC stumbles (take your choice -- UCLA/Stanford/ND). Utah is undefeated. Penn State has one loss. Who you got? Texas, who didn't win its division vs. Utah? Does Penn State jump back up? What about an undefeated Boise State?

Scenario 6 -- Florida loses to FSU, comes back and beats Alabama in the SEC title. Oklahoma beats Texas Tech, but the Sooners lose the Big 12 title game. Texas loses at Kansas. USC loses to Stanford. Penn State loses to Michigan State. Utah and Boise State are both undefeated. Who plays? What if Utah and Boise State both lose? Could we actually have a SEC runner up in Alabama with one loss vs. some random team? Ball State, stand by.

I'd love to hear what you guys think. Any chance we can get to see the BCS explode is always a good thing.



Posted on: November 3, 2008 1:02 pm

CBSSports.com 120 Blog -- Two QBs helping Cal

The two quarterback system takes a lot of criticism, but don't tell that to California coach Jeff Tedford.

Nate Longshore came off the bench for an injured Kevin Riley, helping the Golden Bears beat Oregon 26-16 this weekend. The victory earned Cal a spot in the Top 25 of the CBSSports.com 120 this week, landing at No. 22, just in time for its big game against the Trojans.

Riley suffered a concussion when he failed to slide for a first down late in the first quarter, bringing on the senior Longshore. He threw for 136 yards, including a 2-yard touchdown to Nyan Boateng.

Tedford has used both throughout the season, changing starters twice and splitting first-team practice snaps between the two quarterbacks despite Riley's superior game play.

"You need two quality quarterbacks, and you just can't say enough about those guys," Tedford said. "They're always out there competing and supporting each other. ... Nate is a veteran. He's been in a lot of games. Sure, coming off the bench is a bit new for him, but it was no big deal."

Longshore had a great season in 2006, throwing for 3,021 yards with 24 touchdowns and 13 interceptions. In 2007, he threw for 2,580 yards and 16 touchdowns with 13 interceptions, but battled an ankle injury for the second half of the season, opening the door for Riley.
Riley was named the starter before the season, but both quarterbacks have seen significant time throughout the year.

It's obviously working because the Golden Bears are sitting at 4-1 in conference play and averaging 36 points per game.

It also helps to have the return of Jahvid Best, who injured his shoulder against Colorado State on Sept. 27. Best was leading the nation in all-purpose yards at the time of the injury with 215.5 yards per game. Since his return, he has 315 yards rushing in three games, averaging 6.4 yards per carry. Meanwhile, freshman Shane Vereen has filled in nicely, rushing for 93 yards against Arizona State and 99 yards against UCLA.

If Cal can win out against Southern California, Oregon State, Stanford and Washington, it will earn the conference title and a trip to the Rose Bowl.

But there is another conference foe lurking with Pac-10 title hopes and it too controls its own destiny ... Oregon State.

The Beavers moved up to No. 30 after winning its third in a row and having already beat USC, the Beavers would be in line for the Rose Bowl if they win out.

"I think this game (against ASU) is the perfect lesson," Oregon State coach Mike Riley said. "If all of a sudden we don't win that game, we don't control our destiny anymore. And it was very close to being that."


... Conference count: Most teams in the Top 25 -- Big 12 (5), SEC (4), ACC (4), Big Ten (3), MWC (3). Most teams in the bottom 25 -- Sun Belt (5), C-USA (5), MAC (5), WAC (3).

... In the ever-changing ACC, Georgia Tech moved up from No. 32 to No. 20 after beating Florida State. The Yellow Jackets take on No. 18 North Carolina, with the winner having the inside track to represent the Coastal Division in the ACC Championship.

... North Texas moved out of the No. 120 slot and up to No. 118 after earning its first victory of the season.

... Washington is now the lowest-ranked BCS team, falling to No. 112 after losing 56-0 to Southern California.

... Fresno State took a major tumble, falling 27 spots from No. 36 to No. 63 after losing to Louisiana Tech. Fresno also barely beat Utah State the week before 30-28.

The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com