USC loses two to early entry

December, 15, 2010
12/15/10
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USC is losing its best player on the offensive and defensive lines to the NFL draft a year early.

Offensive tackle Tyron Smith and defensive tackle Jurrell Casey, both first-team All-Pac-10 players, are forgoing their final seasons of eligibility, according to ESPN.com's Bruce Feldman.

Neither decision is a surprise. Both are projected as early-round selections.

While the Trojans are thin on both lines, there is some talent at defensive tackle. Christian Tupou, a starter in 2009 who missed this past season due to a knee injury, could step in for Casey. Sophomore Kevin Graf is the leader to replace Smith, though he's expected to miss spring practices due to shoulder surgery, according to the L.A. Times.

USC did get some good news when defensive lineman Armond Armstead told the Orange County Register he plans to return for his senior season.

More on AP All-American teams

December, 15, 2010
12/15/10
9:47
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Our post Tuesday didn't include all the Pac-10 players on the three Associated Press All-America teams.

So here's take two.

First team: RB LaMichael James, Oregon; C Chase Beeler, Stanford; DT Stephen Paea, Oregon State.

Second team: QB Andrew Luck, Stanford; CB Cliff Harris, Oregon.

Third team: LB Mason Foster, Washington; LB Akeem Ayers, UCLA, S Rahim Moore, UCLA.

Video: Arizona State season review

December, 14, 2010
12/14/10
6:00
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Ted Miller reviews Arizona State's season.

Video: How Oregon can stop Cam Newton

December, 14, 2010
12/14/10
5:30
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video
Rece Davis and Craig James look at how the Oregon Ducks can slow down Auburn quarterback Cam Newton.

Video: Oregon vs. Auburn preview

December, 14, 2010
12/14/10
4:30
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video
Pat Forde and Ivan Maisel take a look at Oregon versus Auburn.

James leads AP All-American team

December, 14, 2010
12/14/10
3:30
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Oregon running back LaMichael James and Oregon State defensive tackle Stephen Paea have been named first-team All-Americans by the Associated Press.

James is already considered a consensus All-American. He previously was named to the first-team of the Walter Camp Football Foundation and Football Writers Association of America teams. He also won the Doak Walker award as the nation's best running back.

Stanford quarterback Andrew Luck and Oregon cornerback Cliff Harris were named to the AP second-team.

Video: Orange Bowl preview

December, 14, 2010
12/14/10
3:30
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video

Andrea Adelson and Mark Schlabach take a look at Stanford vs. Virginia Tech.

Video: BCS bowl games preview

December, 14, 2010
12/14/10
2:30
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video
Pat Forde and Ivan Maisel take a quick look at all five BCS bowl games.

Pac-10 lunch links: Wildcats O-line hurting

December, 14, 2010
12/14/10
2:30
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I have been assured by a very knowing American of my acquaintance in London, that a young healthy child, well nursed, is, at a year old, a most delicious, nourishing, and wholesome food.

Celebrating standout seniors

December, 14, 2010
12/14/10
12:04
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Not every player earns All-American or All-Conference honors. Not everyone plays in the NFL. But lots of guys turn in outstanding college careers, even if they don't get a lot of publicity.

Here are some outstanding senior Pac-10 players, none of whom made first- or second-team All-Conference teams.

Arizona: NT Lolomana Mikaele
The fifth-year senior was a co-captain this season who matured significantly during his time in Tucson. He missed the 2008 season because of a suspension for violating team rules, but he returned in 2009 and 2010 as one of the Wildcats quiet leaders and became well-respected by his teammates. He started all 12 games and finished with 32 tackles, including 7.5 for a loss.

Arizona State: S Max Tabach
The Scottsdale native grew up a Sun Devils fan: He's quoted in his bio as saying that "the day he received a scholarship from ASU was 'one of the best days' of his life." Despite only starting six games -- out of the final seven -- he tied for third on the team with 64 tackles. He also chipped in a sack and two interceptions. He was ASU's most consistent safety in 2010.

California: C Chris Guarnero
It's not easy to replace the best center in program history: Alex Mack. And Guarnero is not terribly big -- 6-foot-2, 270; Mack is 6-5, 316 -- but he started 27 career games and earned honorable mention All-Pac-10 honors the past two seasons.

Oregon: WR D.J. Davis
Davis, the Ducks second-leading receiver, has started 20 games, but his 36 receptions for 410 yards don't tell his whole story. For one, he's a tenacious blocker, a key part of the Ducks rushing success the past two seasons. Second, he's a class guy. Davis, who in high school won the Watkins Memorial Award as the nation’s top African American male scholar athlete, was so moved by the death of Notre Dame student videographer Declan Sullivan, he decided to make a touching tribute this season.

Oregon State: WR Aaron Nichols
Nichols is a former walk-on who ended up tied for third on the Beavers with 29 receptions for 330 yards. When the Beavers needed a clutch play this year -- particularly after James Rodgers went down -- Nichols was often the go-to guy. And he's been accepted into Oregon State's highly competitive Doctor of Pharmacy Program.

Stanford: OG Andrew Phillips
Phillips is the unsung leader of one of the nation's best offensive lines, and he played well this season despite a heavy heart: In August, his father, Bill Phillips Sr., died in a plane crash.

UCLA: DT David Carter
Carter never started until he was a fifth-year senior, yet he led all Bruins defensive linemen with 42 tackles and 3.5 sacks. Further, he's a history major and honor roll student.

USC: FB Stanley Havili
Havili is a four-year starter who's made so many big plays he's hardly "unsung." But he's still underappreciated. He was named USC's Most Inspirational Player Award and was named Co-Lifter of the Year. He played the entire season with a shoulder injury. His 116 career receptions are the most of any fullback in program history.

Washington: OLB Victor Aiyewa
He's a two-time first-team Pac-10 All-Academic selection (2nd team this year) and made All-Pac-10 honorable mention. A former safety who moved to "Sam" outside linebacker this season, he ended up leading the Pac-10 in tackles for a loss with 18, 11th-most in school history.

Washington State: OT Micah Hannam
The four-year starter and three-time Pac-10 All-Academic first team member started more losses than any player in the 107-year history of Cougars football. That's perseverance.

Cal posting a big recruiting week

December, 14, 2010
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California didn't have a great season on the field, but it's surging in recruiting.

The Bears received commitments from two ESPNU 150 players this week: defensive tackle Todd Barr of Lakewood, Calif., and linebacker Jason Gibson of Serra (Gardena, Calif.).

And they might pull a trifecta: touted defensive back Avery Walls of Eagle's Landing Christian High School (McDonough, Ga.) is expected to decide Tuesday between the Bears, Oregon and Michigan.

Barr and Gibson give Cal 14 commitments.

Barr, 6-foot-3, 265 pounds, is ranked the nation's No. 3 defensive tackle and No. 31 overall prospect. He made official visits to Oregon, Washington and Florida, but he had offers from every BCS conference.

"It's where I always wanted to go," Barr told ESPN's Greg Biggins. "I have a great comfort level there and I'm very comfortable with all the coaches. I'm super tight with Tosh [Lupoi], the defensive line coach and that made a big difference for me. I think the defense is a great fit for me, I love the academics and I like how the school is far enough away from home to get the college feel but still close enough to come home whenever I want to."

The 6-foot-3, 215-pound Gibson is ranked the No. 6 outside linebacker and No. 129 overall in the nation. He also received offers from every Pac-10 school, among others across the country.

The Bears' 2010 class finished ranked 15th in the nation. Is this one on pace to match or even eclipse it?

A look at 2011 nonconference schedules

December, 13, 2010
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Utah and Colorado should fit right in when Pac-12 play begins next fall, at least in terms of playing tough nonconference schedules.

The Utes will maintain their rivalry with BYU and they also visit Pittsburgh. Colorado has two tough road trips -- at Hawaii to open and at Ohio State -- as well as its rivalry game with Colorado State.

As a whole, it will be another tough year of nonconference scheduling, with games against Oklahoma State, Missouri, LSU, Wisconsin, Texas, Notre Dame and Nebraska being highlights.

Here's a look (note: California and Oregon are still filling out their dates).

Arizona
9/3 Northern Arizona
9/10 at Oklahoma State
11/26 Louisiana-Lafayette

Arizona State
9/3 UC Davis
9/10 Missouri
9/17 at Illinois

California
9/3 Fresno State (Candlestick Park in San Francisco)
According to the school: "Cal's remaining two non-conference games scheduled for September 10 (away) and 17 (home) will be announced at a later date.

Colorado
9/3 at Hawaii
9/17 Colorado State
9/24 at Ohio State

Oregon
9/3 LSU (Arlington, Texas, Cowboys Stadium)
9/10 Nevada
(Oregon has open dates on 9/17 and 10/01 that are listed as TBA; one will be filled with another nonconference foe).

Oregon State
9/3 Sacramento State
9/10 at Wisconsin
10/15 BYU

Stanford
9/3 San Jose State
9/10 at Duke
11/26 Notre Dame

UCLA
9/3 at Houston
9/10 San Jose State
9/17 Texas

USC
9/3 Minnesota
9/17 Syracuse
10/22 at Notre Dame

Utah
9/1 Montana State
9/17 at BYU
10/15 at Pittsburgh

Washington
9/3 Eastern Washington
9/10 Hawaii
9/17 at Nebraska

Washington State
9/3 Idaho State
9/10 UNLV
9/17 at San Diego State

Video: Wrapping up Arizona's regular season

December, 13, 2010
12/13/10
6:00
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Ted Miller wraps up Arizona’s regular season.

Oregon State completes 2011 schedule

December, 13, 2010
12/13/10
4:09
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Oregon State has added the Atlanta Falcons to its 2011 schedule.

Kidding!

The Beavers, whose 2010 nonconference schedule included two top-10 teams, have completed their 2011 slate by adding a home game vs. Sacramento State on Sept. 3.

The Beavers won't, however, malinger their way through the season against FCS teams. The nonconference schedule also includes a visit to Wisconsin (Sept. 10) and a home game with BYU (Oct. 15).

Oregon State opens the inaugural Pac-12 season hosting UCLA Sept. 24 in a non-divisional game. The Beavers’ first divisional game in the Pac-12 North will be Oct. 22 against Washington State at Qwest Field in Seattle.

You can see the entire schedule here.

Lunch links: Will Luck return in 2011?

December, 13, 2010
12/13/10
2:30
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This one time, at band camp ...

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