Indeed, before the first Wednesday of February, recruitniks gossip like old ladies in a sewing circle about who is going to sign where and who's pulling dirty tricks – it's General Hospital for college football junkies.
But spring is less like a soap opera and more like an issue of the Enquirer at the news stand -- you know you want to read it. You know you want to find out which celebrity it was who found an alien having relations with their yard rake.
|Rumor, Satire, Factoids, Innuendo, Odds and Ends|
BIG NEWS OUT of Arizona State. This past week, The Prodigal Son has decided to quit football and just be a student at Arizona State.
Jack Elway, redshirt freshman quarterback and son of Hall of Fame QB John Elway, announced he was leaving the football program. Saint Dennis Erickson was quoted as saying "He's just tired of football". No info was available on whether being 5th string and not getting a single snap in skeleton drills or scrimmages had anything to do with it.
Fourth year senior Danny Sullivan, much to the consternation of the Sun Devil fans I know, is the heir apparent at ASU. Personally, I have the utmost faith in any guy who can win the Indy 500 and then transition to college life and college football.
DOWN THE ROAD in Tucson, Mike Stoops is busy with his own quarterback controversy. No word this spring on whether he's any closer to the sidelines than the hash marks or not during scrimmages, but while it appears to be a two-horse battle between Matt Scott and Nick Foles, a dark horse has emerged in another product from the Islands: Hawaii's Bryson Byrne.
Byrne impressed with both his legs and throwing arm -- maybe enough to be mentioned more in the discussion by spring's end. Whoever plays QB for the Cats this season will enjoy the services of the Gronkowski brothers, who may be the second most feared pair of brothers in the Pac-10.
THE DRAMA QUEENS at Oregon continue to provide the gossip circles with plenty of ammo and guffaws. Mike Bellotti steps down and Chipper runs Robin Pflugrad and Michael Gray out of town on a rail.
Gray in particular was rumored to be quite unhappy, and then (bam, surprise) starting DT Tono Colletto bails, citing the need to tend to his ailing grandmother but also making sure he comments on his frustration with Gray being put out to twist in the wind.
For those in need of a quick review, on the day the Ducks' succession plan was announced, Bellotti said Pflugrad's and Gray's jobs were safe until Bellotti stepped aside. But Oregon then immediately advertised their positions, set up interviews, began trying to fill the jobs and took their bio pages off their official site. Bellotti and Kelly each said the moves were being made because there were a couple guys specifically Kelly felt close to who would fill the positions. That turned out not to be the case.
Meanwhile, LaGarrett Blount's suspension from.. um.. nothing.. is lifted. Oregon State fans insist he remains under a "cloud of suspicion" while Oregon fans insist it was only a wake up call. Former and future head coach Bellotti has now accepted a position as the QB coach after negotiating a fair salary with himself, which Beaver fans also insist must be viewed under a cloud of suspicion.
CAL SO FAR is the leading candidate in the "hardest to get a bead on" category. Kevin Riley is back and without Nate Longshore, he seemed to be a lock for the starting gig at QB. Not so, he's in the middle of a QB competition according to the word out of Berkeley.
The Golden Bears return the most electric player in the conference in Jahvid Best. The game breaking running back may be the most Reggie Bush-like player since Bush himself was busy collecting an NFL salary for his family at USC and then stiffing the agency that employed him.
The question is, how will Best bounce back from the not one, but TWO surgeries in the offseason? Meanwhile, Shane "Don't call me Ben" Vereen is off running track, but not to worry Ted-heads. Tedford has him on a regiment of change-of-direction drills in lifting so that he doesn't get going too fast in one direction only.
AGAINST ALL ODDS, UCLA head coach Rick Neuheisel is not under a cloud of suspicion this spring.
Kevin Craft is the leading candidate for the starting QB position, battling with Kevin Prince and freshman Richard Brehaut -- in between rafting and singing Kumbaya with Skippy.
A guy to watch this fall is TE Morrell Pressley, whom Bruin watchers are describing as "a young Marcedes Lewis". It was unclear at press time if that means he's going to be a massively talented but lazy specimen who drops a boatload of footballs. But Mad Scientist Norm Chow appears to be having a ball moving the fluid, rangy, fast freshman all over the field during the spring.
Meanwhile, Vegas remains in awe of how Neuheisel again had the winning bracket in the USC Song Girls group pool. Rumor has it Neuheisel also recently applied again for the position of video editor on petecarroll.com.
Check in tomorrow for the rundown on the other five Pac-10 teams, including Oregon State.