Greetings from the JFK airport in NYC. Figured I’d throw up some quick football links and take time from this basketball post that is going nowhere.
There is some big news in the local college football landscape that has Pac-12 ties and blog related ties.
Over in Missoula, the University of Montana has fired athletics director Jim O’Day and head football coach Robin Pflugrad. The firings have little to do with on the field performance since Montana played in the FCS semfinals. No, this is due to a series of allegations of sexual assault and rape against several football players, including starting quarterback Jordan Johnson – a former News Tribune Northwest Nugget. The handling of these allegations and the recent comments made by Pflugrad and O’Day to the media about Johnson’s case probably didn’t help. Pflugrad has coached at WSU, ASU and most recently Oregon before taking over at his alma mater. His son Aaron was a receiver for ASU this past season.
There is a possibility of even more of his staff being fired. Montana’s defensive coordinator Mike Breske accepted a similar job for Mike Leach. Former UW assistant coach Ty Gregorak replaced Breske. Meanwhile offensive coordinator Jonathan Smith – the former Beavers QB – took a QB coaches job with Boise State. Former WSU quarterback and offensive coordinator Timm Rosenbach replaced Smith at Montana.
Montana is two weeks into spring ball. So the hiring of additional coaches could be difficult. But you can bet that Paul Wulff and Nick Holt will get phone calls. Wulff had success at the Big Sky level at Eastern. Holt’s son is at Montana after transferring out of Washington when his dad was fired. The name Ty Willingham – excuse me while hit myself across the forehead – will likely be mentioned.
Let’s get to some Pac-12 linkage …
Quote to note from it …
Effort and toughness — you have to have those. They are non-negotiable. Unfortunately, they won’t win you games. You can play with the greatest effort and the greatest toughness, but if you don’t execute at a high level, you’re going to play bad defense. What we need to focus on is being able to execute at a high level, down-in, down-out, up-tempo, for four quarters, even when we are tired. That’s just conditioning your mind, conditioning your body. That’s what we’re focusing on. The scheme is important. There’s no doubt. But how you execute the scheme is even more important. That’s what we’re focusing on this spring, getting good at what we do
Oregon head coach Chip Kelly provided no clarity in the battle for the quarterback position. Since practices are closed to the public and media, there is no way to judge if either Marcus Mariota or Bryan Bennett has taken step ahead in the battle.
In a move that surprised no one, including Lisa Love, Arizona State fired its athletic director.
Wise cracking Arizona WR Dan Buckner will have to back up his talking if he is going to take over as the Wildcats playmaker with absence of Juron Criner.
Here’s a breakdown of OSU’s offensive line.
Jim Mora said he plans to have very physical spring practices. He did the same with the Seahawks. There seems to be some discussion about who will be quarterback for the Bruins. Let me tell you who it shouldn’t be — Richard Brehaut or Kevin Prince
Marqise Lee is making a huge leap this spring for USC. The combination of Matt Barkley and Lee and Robert Woods should have opponents terrified.