Monday, July 30, 2007
Sunday, July 29, 2007
Terry Richardson got his first training camp practice in on Friday with the Houston Texans. Richardson is trying to make the Texans squad, but is competing with veterans like Bethel Johnson and Keenan McCardell for a roster spot. Terry was signed as an undrafted free agent back in early May, and fared well at the team's OTA's. Despite all the quality veteran receivers on the roster, Richardson has the ability make the team as a returner on special teams. Fellow Sun Devils Jason Simmons and Drew Hodgdon are also on the Texans roster.
Keep checking Pitchfork Nation for updates on Sun Devils in NFL training camps.
photos courtesy of raiders.com and texans.com
Saturday, July 28, 2007
In simple terms, it will never happen. There are three main reasons we’ll never see it: logistics, revenue and tradition.
In 2006, the NCAA mandated for every BCS school to play 12 games during their regular season. On top of that, qualifying teams play in their bowl game (up to 13) and teams who travel to
A playoff system, whether it have 4, 8, 12 or 16 teams, would extend the season through December and into January, putting an extra travel and work strain on each school’s student athletes. And despite what you may think, most of these students (pick your least favorite school year as an example of the opposite) actually have classes. At most schools, including
Putting an extra strain on these students would severely interfere with their ability to fulfill their academic responsibilities. Even NCAA basketball teams take a week off from games in December for finals.
Another logistical nightmare involves the amount of teams actually qualifying for the playoffs. Four would be the quickest, but it leaves out the most teams. 16 would allow mid-major conferences to join the bracket, but the playoff would take at least a month and be a logistical nightmare to schedule. Small conferences would revolt if an 8-team playoff was introduced, because their schools would without a doubt be left out in favor of non-conference champion BCS schools (acting under the assumption that each of the 6 BCS Conference champions qualify, leaving 2 at-large berths).
Simply put, a playoff would be more trouble than its worth.
This one is easier to explain. Money talks.
School presidents don’t want to lose the revenue their teams make from bowl games. Cities that host bowls don’t want to lose revenue from travel taxes, restaurants, hotel rooms and other things visitors spend their money on. The list goes on and on.
Teams who qualify for BCS games make, at minimum, $14 million just for showing up as a bowl payout. Add to that the amount of tickets sold by each school to these games, and the number goes up from there. Even minor bowls pay out upwards of $1 million to their losing teams, and smaller schools with lower budgets are in no position to give up that potential payout.
What’s the end of the college football season without the Rose Bowl? Or the Sugar Bowl? Or any other bowl that longtime fans are so used to seeing?
Old school fans of football have already been alienated enough since 1998 and the introduction of the BCS. The sight of Miami (ACC) playing
College football bases a lot of its appeal in its traditions; marching bands, tailgate parties, rivalries and, most especially, trips to bowl games.
That, more than anything, is something conferences will never part with.
Friday, July 27, 2007
by Justin Karp, Host of Sun Devil Power Hour on The Fan AM 1060.
Without any shadow of a doubt, the strongest unit for the Sun Devils coming into the 2007 season is the backfield.
Over the past five seasons, the running back position had been systematically devalued as former head coach Dirk Koetter heavily leaned on the passing game. As a result, before last season, ASU lacked a marquee, standout running back for several seasons.
All of that changed in 2006 with the emergence of Ryan Torain, a JuCo transfer from Butler Community College in Kansas. Thanks to several outstanding performances throughout the season and struggles within the Sun Devils passing game, Torain became ASU’s first 1,000-yard rusher since 2001 and had the most rushing yards in a single season for ASU since 1975.
In this edition of my 2007 season preview, I’ll spotlight the four most notable ASU running backs.
Watching this happen live was probably the best moment of my college career. I'll be covering tailgate parties throughout the season, and I hope they can live up to this one. Maybe Aunt Chippy can make a repeat appearance this year for Thanksgiving.
- Washington State will play a football game against Notre Dame on Halloween, 2009, at the Alamodome in San Antonio. It is the first of an annual trend of Notre Dame games played in neutral sites to attract fans to games who aren't able to make the trip to South Bend. I have a feeling this game will be all Notre Dame fans, Wazzou must be receiving a hefty pay day for this.
Here's a pretty good article from Chris Dufrense of the LA Times about Pac-10 Media Day. His article focuses on the war of words between the SEC and the Pac-10, including some quotes from Dennis Erickson.
- If you want to get a complete update on the Eric Scott burglary story, I would highly suggest checking out what they have compiled over at The Wizard of Odds. If UCLA has an 11 win season, this story will go away. If they have a mediocre record, we'll be looking at this story as the beginning of the end of Karl Dorrell's coaching career at UCLA. Bruins Nation is all over this story as well.
Thursday, July 26, 2007
The Pac-10 preseason poll was released today, as voted on by 39 members of the media. USC recieved was a unanimous selection, receiving all 39 first place votes, while Arizona state has been picked to finish 4th, behind USC, Cal and UCLA. Arizona is picked to finish 7th.
Jeff Metcalfe of the Arizona Republic reported of another in-state commitment to the football program, offensive tackle Patrick Jamison of Hamilton High School
Center Mike Pollak - On the shotgun formation: "It hasn't taken me that long to get used to the shotgun, but Rudy [Carpenter] loves it. He did it in high school so if that helps him I'm all for it."
On having eight home games:"As a senior I am looking forward to being at home. You get that advantage of not having to travel, playing in front of your home crowd and playing in the heat which we are used too."
ARIZONA Head Coach Mike Stoops
General Remarks: "We are very excited for this day and for our football team. When you look at the entirety of last season, to win six games shows constant growth in our program. To win some of the games we won, after what our kids went through and then to win our last three road games was good for us. But we didn't finish the way we had liked too. The loss against Arizona State cost us a lot, including a bowl game. Hopefully that will have an impact. Our expectations are much different going into this season. The way we persevered last season, winning against top teams, I think that gives us some legitimate confidence and our work habits really match those expectations. Our attitude matches our expectations. We are healthy, we have great experience coming back, it is by far and away our most experienced and talented football team."
On the new spread offense: "We are going to implement the whole system. Our biggest challenge will be in utilizing the personnel we have on our team. Whether we go four wides, three wides, we'll have to see. I think the system gives us a unique protection of our quarterback. If we keep Willie [Tuitama] healthy our chance of winning goes up dramatically. All of those things are important to our success."
Quotes from coaches and star players of every Pac-10 team can be found at The Pac-10's official website.
Arguably, the 2006 season for
You could plausibly say that on the night former head coach Dirk Koetter told the assembled media at the Kajikawa Practice Field that he was reversing course. He was going with junior Rudy Carpenter over senior Sam Keller as the starting quarterback, exactly 48 hours after declaring Keller the starter.
All of a sudden, ASU had gone from having the top quarterback tandem in the nation to having their offense descend into disarray. The offense never fully clicked last year thanks to miscommunication, questionable play calling and a slough of injuries and off-field issues. By the end of the season at the Hawaii Bowl, the Sun Devils top two receiving targets were true freshmen.
This season’s offense will be a little different than what Sun Devil fans are used to, including more two tight end sets, quick passing and the shotgun.
In this edition of the 2007 Preview, we’ll take a look at the quarterback and receiving corps.
With no quarterback controversy in sight, the incumbent starter is red-shirt junior Rudy Carpenter. Carpenter, who took over and kept the starting job after Sam Keller was injured in a 2005 home loss to Oregon, was the nation’s most efficient passer that season. He completed 68% of his passes and held an outstanding 8.5/1 touchdown-to-interception ratio (17 touchdowns to 2 interceptions).
However, Rudy took a step back in 2006, throwing 14 interceptions, four of those coming in a season-changing loss at
Despite his struggles last season, 2007 can and should be a big year out for Carpenter. Rudy will be encouraged to scramble and move out of the pocket more, a perk that ASU hasn’t really had since Jake Plummer led the 1996 team to the Rose Bowl. He’s also got his top target, Rudy Burgess, back on offense this season. The young receivers around him have a year under their belts and he worked very well with them during Spring ball.
In terms of depth, there are three QB’s under Carpenter that merit mentioning. Last year, Danny Sullivan was expected to redshirt and learn the college game behind the Keller/Carpenter tandem. With Keller’s demotion and subsequent transfer to
Head coach Dennis Erickson also signed two notable prep quarterbacks to his first recruiting class in
Wide Receivers/Tight Ends
It’s widely said that a quarterback is only as good as the guys who are catching his passes. Last year, Rudy Carpenter didn’t have much help in that department. ASU’s leading receiver in 2006 only had 484 yards, and he will provide no help to the Sun Devils this season, seeing as that he’s now helping the Oakland Raiders cause.
On paper, ASU’s losses in this group look strong, but in reality, both Terry Richardson and Jamaal Lewis made little to no contribution to the team on the field last year, both running into injury and, in Lewis’ case, legal problems. Zach Miller’s departure is a major blow, but there is more than enough young talent left in
At points last year, all of ASU’s top three returning wide receivers were out with significant injuries. Mike Jones, Nate Kimbrough and Rudy Burgess all missed time, leaving players such as Chris McGaha and Brandon Smith to pick up the slack. Even Kyle Williams, a highly touted and quick receiver/kick returner, had his redshirt taken off before a game at
This year, Rudy Burgess is back on offense full time after a stint at cornerback. The team needs Burgess to come through in a big way this year, especially after having time to concentrate on being a top wideout. Don’t forget that Burgess spent the majority of 2005 as the team’s featured running back and, as mentioned earlier, he was injured and used on defense last season. This year, he’s going to be a receiver all year and will be Carpenter’s main target.
Returning from last season will be Mike Jones, a solid pass-catcher, Chris McGaha, who’s big and agile but suffered from a case of the dropsies all year, and Nate Kimbrough, who missed the majority of the second half of last season due to a non-contact ACL tear in the Oregon State game but showed flashes of brilliance during the non-conference season. Look for Kyle Williams to see some spot duty at WR but more time as a kick returner and Brandon Smith in five-wide and spread sets.
The Devils are left without a marquee tight end after Zach Miller’s departure, but his brother Brent is still around and figures to step into the 1st string tight end role. He’s a better pass blocker than his little brother but not as good of a route runner or pass catcher. However, he did prove midway through last season that he can catch in the clutch, as proved by his performance against
Wednesday, July 25, 2007
On the flip side, former Kentucky outfielder Jason Kipnis has completed his academic eligibility requirements and is transferring to Arizona State. Kipnis is currently knocking the cover off of the ball for the Covington Lumberjacks of the Virginia Alley Summer League.
Rich Perelman, LA Times - Police officers in Norwalk, California, responding to a 911 call, found three men burglarizing a home, one of which was UCLA wide receivers coach Eric Scott. Scott was just hired on last March to coach the receiving core. He formerly was an assistant coach at Crenshaw High School, where he coached incoming freshmen Brian Price and Raymond Carter. Scott was released on $50,000 bail.
UPDATE: Eric Scott has been put on Administrative Leave by the University.
Tuesday, July 24, 2007
Monday, July 23, 2007
Barry Bonds went 1-3 with a single and a walk against Atlanta tonight. In his third at bat of the night, John Smoltz challenged him inside three times, the first taken for a strike, the second swung on an missed, and the third being sent into foul territory down the right field line. Barry had a two-homerun game last week in Chicago, and now sits 2 homeruns short of tying Hank Aaron's record of 755.
Dustin Pedroia had a good night on the road in Cleveland, going 3 for 5 with an RBI and a run scored, but his routine performance was overshadowed by the return of Jon Lester from cancer. The 23 year old struck out 6 in 6 innings, while only giving up 2 runs in a dominating and emotional performance. Here's to him winning comeback player of the year.
Willie Bloomquist pinch-ran for Kenji Johjima, being called out at second on a fielder's choice. Bloomquist is hitting .290 in 56 games played for the Mariners.
Travis Buck had the night off while his A's demolished the Angels, but is hitting .271 with 6 homeruns an 23 RBI's in just over 200 at-bats.
Andre Ethier went 2 for 4 in a 10-2 victory for the Dodgers over the Astros. He is currently hitting .297 with 8 homeruns and 42 RBI's.
This has to be the best time possible for Oregon to reinstate the program. Rival Oregon State just reeled off back to back College World Series championships while recruiting primarily out of the Northwest.
Sunday, July 22, 2007
Joe Persichina and C.J. Retherford, both undrafted seniors from the Sun Devil program are achieving success together in the Chicago White Sox program. Both are playing at the Rookie Level for the Great Falls White Sox of the Pioneer League. They were even featured in a story by Scott Mansch of the Great Falls Tribune, which can be found by clicking here.
Joe is hitting .328 with 8 doubles, seeing action in 17 of 32 games, while C.J. is hitting .330 with 4 homeruns and an OPS of 1.008.
Stats courtesy of milb.com