Morris Phillips on the NCAA: Former Raider Tuiasosopo to coach Hunger Bowl for Washington

by Morris Phillips

SAN FRANCISCO–The Kraft Hunger Bowl is back and kick off is scheduled for Sat December 28th at AT&T Park between BYU and Washington University. Friday night I was in downtown S.F. and ran into the BYU advance crew. The Cougars don’t arrive in the City until Sunday. The Cougars former head coach Lavelle Edwards was in town on Friday night.

There’s a lot of excitment downtown it’s BYU’s first appearance in the Kraft Bowl and it’s Washington’s also. It should be a great football game. BYU is having a great season. The Cougars lost games during the regular season to Wisconsin and Notre Dame. BYU is a good football team and they run the football.

Washington runs the football just as well with their running back Bishop Sankey and the Huskies are 8-12 for the regular season in the Pac 12. Then there was the coaching change for Washington as Steve Sarkisian who left for USC is replaced by Chris Peterson. Sarkisian will not be involved in this game.

Peterson left Boise State to coach the Huskies and with the Hunger Bowl in the last couple years there have been coaching changes for this game. It will not affect the product on the field it should be an exciting game. Former Raider quarterback Marques Tuiasosopo the Huskies interim coach knows the system going into this bowl game. It’s all hands on deck with Sarkisian gone and the team has to rally around the new coach for this game.

The players have to be more attentive and the assistants have to assume the responsibilty it’s not going to affect them on the field. They’ve got plenty of time to prepare and they might be able to do well without Sarkisian for this game. What happened two years ago with Illinois they came into the bowl to play UCLA with their new coach and last year a coaching change happened when Boston College came town and they also had a new coach.

That’s just the kind of timing they have in football and particuarily with this bowl game coaches are taking new jobs at this time of the year and obviously athletic directors are not interested in having somebody around whose accepted a new job who can not even coach the last few games. They get the guy out and he doesn’t coach the final bowl games and they just move on.

It shouldn’t effect Washington at all with this change and again Peterson will take over at the beginning of next season and coach the Huskies 2014 season. Peterson maybe attending this game as an observer. He might be there as a consultant but Peterson left Boise State and it’s great for Washington he was an excellent coach while he was with the Buffaloes and made a couple of BCS appearences.

Morris Phillips is filling in for Michelle Richardson this week for NCAA commentary

Morris Phillips on the NCAA

by Morris Phillips

BERKELEY–The Cal Bears are getting confidence with these non conference games wins like the one Saturday against the Fresno State Bull Dogs 67-56 in an 11 point victory and it’s an opportunity to gain confidence with a young basketball team which is great. The Bears have got new players that haven’t had expereince at the division one level and that’s why home games or pre conference games are so critical so that will help them.

The Bears didn’t see anybody of size this week and obviously when the conference games start they will be seeing bigger teams and taller players and the Bears will have to contend with those teams. At that point Cal will be the smaller team of the group. Especially they played Nevada and Fresno State on Saturday at Haas Pavilion and they saw a pair of undersize teams and that won’t be the case in the Pac 12.

The one thing that’s going on right now for the first time since 2006 the number one team in the country is from the Pac 12 Arizona who won against Michigan to secure that number one spot and the Pac 12 looks to be as balanced and competitive as it has been in years top to bottom and their already getting raves for being one of the strong leagues in the country.

Once again Cal is not in a conference schedule there is nothing compared to what they will see once the conference season starts. Just to run through the team, Arizona is number one, Oregon is ranked, Washington State looks to be much improved, Washington as like Cal a younger team trying to find it’s way.

Stanford is kind of interesting they just lost their point guard Aaron Bright for the season the Pac 12 is going to be a bear and every week it’s going to be tough ball games that are going to be very closely contested. Cal is going to be right there in the mix. They are younger and less experienced than some of the teams that they will face.

Morris Phillips covers Cal basketball and is filling in for Dr.Michelle Richardson this week for the NCAA commentary

Michelle Richardson on the NCAA

CFBMapIII

by Michelle Richardson

It was a very interesting Saturday litterally of games and any one of them were not disappointing we’ll start with the Oklahoma-Oklahoma State game I was truly surprised that OU went into Still Water and came home with a victory. Number 17 Oklahoma and Oklahoma State is their archrival over in Still Water Oklahoma.

Number six Oklahoma State they did it for bedlum and they came back with a victory and I’m just surprised that just really surprised me to me it was those turnovers and once again it’s always about those turnovers and penalties whereas Oklahoma State had seven penalties they had two turnovers and it was still pretty much even.

Oklahoma had the ball a little bit more and this came down to who wanted it more and I kind of think that Oklahoma State really took it as “oh we got this” and really didn’t think about “hey Oklahoma has less to lose in this” this was a big win for Oklahoma. OU as soon as you count one of those teams out they got and the win and when you expect everything from them they don’t show up.

It’s one of those weird things about OU and this team but this was a real shocker to go into Still Waters and do this what can you say it’s like Oklahoma State quarterback Clint Chelf he was 19-35 for 200 yards plus one touchdown and one interception Oklahoma quarterback Blake Bell was 10-16 for 140 yards, one touchdown with one interceptions.

The rushing game was pretty much non-existant there wasn’t a lot of rushing this was truly a non spectacular game that came out with a very surprising outcome. Baylor totally ran over the University of Texas what can you say it is what it is in a 30-10 win. We go back to Bowling Green State University Friday night who is the max conference champion beating Northern Illinois University 47-27.

The loss didn’t allow Northern Illinois to get into a BCS Bowl they were undefeated up until then I don’t see them in a BCS game possibly a non-BCS game will get them into Fresno State who had a very convincing win against Utah State 24-17. I don’t see any other non-BCS team making it to the BCS Bowl game.

Stanford definitley let them know they are here and their a force to be reckon with winning the Pac 12 over Arizona State 38-14. Stanford has been looking for some respect all year long people thought that after they lost to Utah then of course they lost to Oregon people really didn’t give them the respect that they truly deserved.

The Cardinal are truly the better team in the Pac 12, everybody was talking about UCLA, Oregon and Stanford turned out to be the team to watch. Auburn”s win over Missuori 59-42 I had Missouri winning this one and it almost happened. It was a barnburner and it went back and forth all four quarters and Auburn came back the victor being the champion of the South Eastern Conference.

Michelle Richardson does commentary each week on the NCAA

Michelle Richardson on the NCAA

 by Michelle Richardson
Auburn 34 Alabama 28: This was one of the most exciting games and exciting might not be even the right word to use that’s how great it was and at the very end of the game when Chris Davis returned the ball from a botched field goal for over 100 yards that’s how you want to win the game. Auburn did this against their arch rival and you can’t ask for anything more. The game was great it was pretty evenly matched the time of possession was about the same. Alabama has about 1:34 left and couldn’t hold the ball and Alabama had more penalties they had six penalties for 45 yards.
Auburn had only three penalties for 21 yards, Auburn had a fumble and they had a turnover and Alabama had no turnovers and there were no interceptions so the game was played well. It was just one of those things. How do you explain it, you just can’t explain it was one of those things that makes football in November so exciting and I tell people over and over it’s great when football season starts but November it is the time of the year that’s when you know who the real deal and whose not.
Remember what it doesn’t matter what happens in September or October in football but it’s November it’s all about what happens in November because that’s when the games really matter. People play these games and know they have to win them because these are the ones that have to be won in order to advance to the next level for bowl games. Auburn let it be known they won it. I can’t tell you Alabama wasn’t in it maybe they thought they should be looking forward to the SCC Championship instead of concentrating on the game that was in front of them.
Pac 12 Championship: Stanford is made up of a group of very poised young men and they can play anywhere as they play this Championship in Arizona State this coming Saturday night. They have more issues amongst their peers than on the field. Arizona State is not going to let you just walk in and take over by no means and their not going let you do this last dynasty stuff. Stanford is going to go in there and play but it’s believed that Stanford can and should go down there and pull off a win.
It will be a good game and who would have thought this would be the year that it would be Stanford and Arizona State to represent the Pac 12 as everybody had Oregon picked to win and these teams proved otherwise. Oregon was just a little bit over hyped and that’s why they play the games. That’s why the games are played. Somebody isn’t just going to show up and get handed the title. Stanford had a tough loss against USC in their last loss but it ended the season with a 10-2 record.
Stanford is in the Pac 12 Championship and have earned a spot in the BCS bowl and Arizona State who quietly dominated for the most part the Pac 12 south. It’s going to be a great game and it’s evenly matched but I have still have Stanford coming out on top. I wouldn’t be surprised however if ASU shows us a little something something on Saturday night.
Villanova 88 Iowa 83 Big Ten/ACC hoops: Honestly this was a great game with Villanova winning it on Saturday and I take nothing away from either team but I’ll be honest with you it’s too early. This tournament was a great tournament and these were great games but don’t talk to me until you get to conference play. It’s December and January you’ll be in the conference play and you’ll be getting beat up and we might not see these teams again and then again you might not.
It’s like the last week in August or the second week in September when their still beating up on Liberty or Appalachian State. Lets all kind of calm down we’ve seen some really good basketball so far, there’s some very exciting players out there for Iowa and this was really a good game. Villanova was all over the floor with players like Jayvaughn Pinkston with 14 points and James Bell at guard he had 20 points and then they had Chris Jenkins, Josh Hart had 14, also they had key help from Ryan Arcidiacono.
This game came down to bench play and Villanova had three people on the bench that was in double figures and that’s a good showing that was very large. This was a great game and I can’t wait to see more games like this and it’s just the beginning and we have to wait until they get into conference play.
Michelle Richardson does NCAA commentary each week for Sportstalk Radio

Michelle Richarson on the NCAA

by Michelle Richardson

 

 

Stanford 20 USC 17: I’ll be honest with you this game really surprised me, in the end you would think Stanford would eek out the win after losing in the last 25 seconds of the game on a field goal by USC kicker Andre Heidari who hit a 47 yarder. It’s never easy this is a tough loss for Stanford and they played at USC which is a tough school to play at. Stanford looked like they had that extra push that would put them over the top but it got late and the Trojans got in range to get three points at the end of the game.

 

Southern Cal basically played bowl crasher and their the first team this year to play bowl crasher this year in knocking down Stanford in their bid to the Rose Bowl. USC beat Oregon State back on November 1st and beat Stanford last Saturday with that being said Stanford had three turnovers but everything else was pretty much even.

 

You can’t turn over the ball and expect to win and that’s been pretty much the story of the game, turnovers you can not have them they had two interceptions and one fumble. You can not turn over the ball especially against a highly effective team like SC and to expect to come out with a victory.

 

Alabama 20 Mississippi State 7: Alabama kind of got ahead of themselves that happened after they beat LSU last week 38-17, and the Crimson Tide thought all they had to do was go on cruise control, it’s one of those teams their about to change the tide in the SCC. Their no longer whipping boys they’ve proved they can play with the best in the SCC they can beat them or play them very close.

 

For Alabama quarterback A.J. McCarron this was not his best work he threw for 187 yards, went 18-32, with two touchdowns, and two interceptions, which means there was a mistake in the secondary and Mississippi St was ball hawking and they were on it. MS was on McCarron and the Tide knew it and they knew how he played. Alabama not only threw for two interceptions they had two fumbles on top of that.

 

Alabama gave up four turnovers in the game for 41 yards, you can not make stupid penalties and give up the ball if you expect to win the game. The Crimson Tide were lucky in this one and strangely enough they came back and won this game. Alabama head coach Nick Saban I’m sure talked to his players during half time to get them to shake some of these turnovers and other mistakes off as the Tide held on.

 

Charleston Classic coming November 21st: I love all the tournaments that are playing at the end of the year and we can get an idea how they play before they get into the conference and none of the teams going into this classic are slouches. A lot of these teams are doing well that’s in there, Nebraska, UMass, UAB, New Mexico, Georgia, Davidson, Temple and Clemson.

 

The smaller schools like UAB and Davidson the other big schools can not take these teams lightly, this is going to be very interesting, there’s some great talent scheduled for this tournament and there is going to be some great basketball and I can’t wait to see it.

 

Michelle Richardson will be covering the Charleston Classic Tournament for Sportstalk Radio

Michelle Richardson on the NCAA

CFBMapIII

by Michelle Richardson

USC considers Lovie Smith: It’s good move that the USC Trojans would consider hiring ex Chicago Bears head coach Lovie Smith. I was really surprised before the Chiefs hired Andy Reid that he was able to get another professional job. Smith did a good job with the Bears he took them to a Super Bowl. He lost in the playoffs and ran into a string of bad luck with player injuries.

I never thought he did a bad job at Chicago and I was surprised when they let him go and a few times prior I thought they might let him go. It’s a good move if he gets on with USC. He can be as good as former SC coach Pete Carroll and Lovie was successful as a pro coach with the Bears coming out of that Tony Dungy camp.

So this is a good move the only thing is he’s really going to have to surround himself with good consistent coaches that go out and help him recruit because he doesn’t know anything about recruiting players so he’s going to have to find some coaches around him that can help him produce this school. Smith is from Southern California he’s at the University of Southern California he going to be able to go after some of the best and brightest players if hired.

Crimson Tide going into week 10 perfect: Alabama and Oregon are one and two in the BCS poll ratings the red headed step child of the SCC was brutalized by Missouri and came off a heartbreaking loss to South Carolina where South Carolina was able to get the win as much as Missouri lost the game. The holder didn’t turn the laces on the ball therefore Florida State people always think wide right and he meant wide left.

It was not a good day for the University of Tennessee but hopefully the new coach will turn things around in the next year or two because it’s a shame that Tennessee is really not in the hunt this year for anything when it come to college football after they play their last game at the end of November that it’s literally over for them that’s really a shame.

NCAA Basketball season opened this week: This going to be an interesting year even though Kentucky is predicted to be number one I don’t see any clear cut number one. Kentucky lost a whole squad and they got up there with a entirely new squad but their still freshman. I’m going to go for the team that’s been together for more than a year will be the winner.

Kentucky probably won’t do it like they did two years ago that was an anomaly of course everybody is looking for one man out of Kansas Andrew Williams if this year goes like it’s expected to do this young man is going to be one and done. I hear so much about him and how great he is can’t wait to really see him play on the big stage.

Don’t forget about the young man out of Duke forward Jabari Parker he’s been touted as the next Benji Watson and for any old schoolers who remember Watson out of Chicago the young man was tragically killed in his senior year and really never got to play on the whole next level but if your from Chicago or if your from the midwest and your of a certain age you’ll know about Benji Watson and know what he could have been.

Michelle Richardson does commentary on the NCAA each week

Weak scores on and off the field for Cal football

Michelle Richardson on the NCAA by Morris Phillips

SEATTLE–It’s real sad news that Cal’s graduation rate is at number 72 out of the major colleges in the nation and the team is not winning and their supposed to win in the classroom that’s what the university is all about. That’s why universities in the Pac 12 conference which is an academic conference but not at the highest level unfortunately but near the highest level.

The football team is not performing well on the field and it hasn’t been a good first year for Cal head coach Sonny Dykes in his program and that’s some bad news. I don’t think the Bears are going to win this weekend either as they get ready to face the Huskies in Washington so they would fall to 1-7 on the season.

The academic news is disturbing because if guys can’t perform in the classroom they can’t get on the field, they can’t help the school. It’s surprising but I’m sure they’ll get it worked out while it’s depressing you have to assume the school is going to work it out with the group they have now with guys going to class.

Back in 2009 Cal had some of the worst graduation rates in the NCAA until former Cal head coach Jeff Tedford got his students to turn around their academic scores in the classroom and got the team to start winning. Tedford won a bunch of recruiting battles. He had successes with his students, with recruiting and getting them good test scores even though Tedford was heading out the door.

Tedford bears a great deal of responsibility of getting the program off the ground at that time but Dykes is the coach now and these are his kids and this is his team he needs to get on the football field and to coach his problem. Dykes is not going anywhere there’s so much money involved in getting Tedford out and paying the new coach there won’t be any changes.

Cal must clean their problem up, they have to internally, they have to get it fixed. It’s not what the university is all about. Once again Tedford is the origin of the problem but it is truly and squarely on Dykes at this point. Cal Athletic Director Sandy Barbour did not comment on the story only to say that she will look into the low academic situation of the graduation rates and “put systems in place that we believe will raise for under preforming teams.”

None of the players with graduating issues were recruited by Dykes and a majority of them were not on the Cal Men’s basketball team, “a top priority for this program since this staff was formed has always and will always be for our student-athletes to complete their undergraduate degree.” said Cal men’s basketball head coach Mike Montgomery.

Tedford said about the low graduation rate, “(it was) very concerning, it makes it seem like we weren’t dedicated to academics, no matter what anybody says that’s not true, people have good intentions but life goes in a different direction, they rarely come back. Looking back the lesson I learned was to have them graduate in four and half years.”

Morris Phillips is filling in for Michelle Richardson on NCAA commentary this week

Michelle Richardson on the NCAA

[category Stanford Cardinal]

by Michelle Richardson

 Stanford 24 UCLA 10: Stanford they want to be the best that the Pac 12 has to offer and right now it looks like with the exception of Oregon they maybe that team. It’s going to be a tough battle in the Pac 12 and the best talent is in the north. You have Oregon, Stanford, and Washington all lined up to get into the Pac 12 championship which most likely they’ll play UCLA.

UCLA or Arizona State I would put my money on UCLA but wow Stanford really played a vicious game on Saturday with 23 first downs and they converted nine of 17 third downs, total rushing yards 419. Stanford’s defense really held they only had one interception but they had a turnover as well. They really put the brakes on that defense.

That defense was playing they knew that UCLA had a an air it out kind of a game, UCLA doesn’t do a lot of ground and pound they like to throw the ball and UCLA’s defensive back and the defensive line really kept UCLA in check. It’s really hard to explain just how well Stanford played and they played well on both sides of the football.

Mississippi 27 LSU 24: This game didn’t come down to a field goal it came down to a lot of things but I will say this this was a dog fight this was a game that was really in the trenches. They really held LSU quarterback Zach Mettenberger to 19-33 for 274 yards and one touchdown. Mettenberger turned over the ball three times you just really can’t do that against a up and comer like Mississippi.

The way the defense played for Mississippi they really took Mettenberger off his game, they got to him with frequency and they got to him with ease and they really covered their receivers very well. At the end of it I love the fact that LSU head coach Les Miles was man enough to say that he did not compare his team well enough to play that one.

Most coaches will blame the players, they’ll blame the coordinators Miles said “that one was on me, I did not prepare them” he basically said he did not prepare his coaches correctly and there are many things he could have done to change the situation in that game and he didn’t blame his players and I really want to commend him for that.

State of Grambling State: Last Saturday the Grambling State players boycotted the game at Jackson State University. They were boycotting the facilities, they were boycotting the inadequate facilities. I’ve been listening to a lot of people and I have to side with the players. They have mildew where the players are lifting weights and there are big chunks of the floor where there is no matting plus the team was taking 20 hour bus rides for their road trips.

You have benches that are tore open, you have mold and mildew on your football pads. This is not safe and this is not healthy. I was listening to sportscaster Lou Holtz and he was saying “your just have to play the game” my response is Lou I’m sorry sir without being disrespectful to you I don’t know what game you’ve been thinking about.

Holtz would never allow his players to play in a facility like that. I’m tired of people evoking the name of the former legendary head coach of Grambling Eddie Robinson. Players do not disrespect coach Robinson’s memory by evoking it for this cluster of ignorant and negligence towards the students. Grambling president Frank Pouge he said on ESPN he didn’t know about mold in the facilities and the floor was torn up.

How are you president of Grambling and you don’t know the state of your facilities and then when asked about it you throw your staff underneath the bus. I’m sorry sir you are the president and CEO of Grambling State you should know.

Michelle Richardson does commentary on the NCAA each week