Posted April 23, 2014

Spring Spotlight: Cal QB Jared Goff

Cal Bears, Pac-12, Sonny Dykes, Spring Football
Cal's Jared Goff

Cal’s Jared Goff passed for 3,508 yards with 18 touchdowns during his true freshman season. (Matt Cohen/Icon SMI)

It’s not often that a quarterback throws for more than 3,500 yards as a freshman and mostly flies under the radar. Yet that’s exactly where Cal’s Jared Goff stands heading into his sophomore campaign. Goff and the 1-11 Bears took their lumps over the course of 2013, but with coach Sonny Dykes’ offense installed and a young roster a bit more experienced, Cal is looking for improvement. That begins and ends with the 6-foot-4 Novato, Calif., product.

Goff, a four-star recruit in class of 2013, according to Rivals.com, was the first true freshman quarterback in school history to start in the season opener. And he came out firing. He threw for 1,306 yards with seven touchdowns in the Bears’ first three games, but things were pretty inconsistent from there. Goff was benched at Oregon on Sept. 28 after losing two fumbles. He went 33-of-59 for 504 yards the next week in a 44-22 loss to Washington State. Goff clung onto the starting role for the remainder of the season, and his biggest competition — Zach Kline — announced he was transferring to Oregon State in December.

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Posted April 23, 2014

New statue of Joe Paterno planned for downtown State College in 2015

Joe Paterno, Penn State Nittany Lions
Penn State removed a statue of Joe Paterno from outside Beaver Stadium in July 2012.

Penn State removed its statue of Joe Paterno in July 2012, six months after the coach’s death. (John Beale/AP)

Penn State removed an iconic statue of late coach Joe Paterno from outside Beaver Stadium in 2012. Now State College residents are planning a new statue to honor the former Nittany Lions coach.

A group is planning to install a bronze statue of Paterno outside the Tavern Restaurant in State College in 2015, according to a report from Onward State. Paterno will be seated on a bench reading a copy of “Aeneid.” Organizers of the project, currently called “Joe’s Bench,” say the goal is to recognize Paterno’s impact on the community.

“There’s been some level of frustration among Penn Staters with what happened with the statue at the stadium,” Ted Sebastianelli, one of the organizers of the project, said. “We wanted to come up with a way to honor Joe for all that he did for the State College community. It wasn’t just the university he impacted — it was the whole town.”

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Posted April 22, 2014

ESPN releases a commercial for each SEC school to promote its SEC Network launch

Alabama Crimson Tide, Arkansas Razorbacks, Auburn Tigers, ESPN, Florida Gators, Georgia Bulldogs, LSU Tigers, Mississippi State Bulldogs, Missouri Tigers, Ole Miss Rebels, Television, Texas A&M Aggies, Vanderbilt Commodores
SEC logo

ESPN’s brand new SEC Network is set to launch on Aug. 14. (John Korduner/Icon SMI)

ESPN released 14 commercials on Tuesday (one for each school in the SEC) to promote the upcoming launch of the SEC Network on Aug. 14. Each spot captures the passion that various fan bases possess from a fairly unique angle, which is seemingly impressive. Of course, it’s not particularly difficult to get romantic about SEC sports.

As of now, U-Verse and Dish are the only major providers to carry the network, so it’s understandable that ESPN would seek to build up hype prior to launch, lest it suffer a Longhorn Network-type debacle.

The commercials are listed below in alphabetical order by school.

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Posted April 22, 2014

Ohio State offensive line gets boost in Alabama transfer Chad Lindsay

Alabama Crimson Tide, Ohio State Buckeyes, Player Transfers, Spring Football, Urban Meyer
Chad Lindsay

Former Alabama center Chad Lindsay is transferring to Ohio State. (Wesley Hitt/Getty Images)

Ohio State has unanswered questions on its offensive line, but it got some instant help in the form of former Alabama center Chad Lindsay, according to Jeremy Fowler of CBS Sports. Lindsay texted “It’s done. Go Buckeyes!” to CBS Sports on Tuesday.

The news was later confirmed by multiple sources. Michigan was in the hunt for the Crimson Tide lineman, as was Cal, Oklahoma and Louisville.

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Posted April 22, 2014

Jim Tressel is one of three finalists vying to become University of Akron’s new president

Akron Zips, Jim Tressel
Jim Tressel

Jim Tressel is one of three finalists to become the University of Akron’s next president. (Mark Duncan/AP)

Former Ohio State coach Jim Tressel is one of three finalists in the running to become the University of Akron’s next president, the school announced on Tuesday.

Last month it was reported that Tressel, Akron’s current executive vice president of student success, was one of 19 candidates vying to become the university’s next president. In January, Tressel submitted a letter recommending his candidacy for the school’s interim presidency, but he submitted a second letter in February requesting consideration for the full-time position.

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Posted April 22, 2014

Breaking down Nebraska football and Bo Pelini’s future with Hail Varsity’s Erin Sorensen

Big Ten, Bo Pelini, Leaders & Legends, Nebraska Cornhuskers, Recruiting
Bo Pelini

Nebraska coach Bo Pelini hoisted a cat at the Cornhuskers 2014 spring game. (Francis Gardler/The Journal Star/AP)

Throughout the offseason, Campus Union will talk with a few team experts to go over some of the most intriguing storylines and questions in advance of the 2014 campaign.

A cat can’t cure everything, but it’s a start. Outside of Florida’s Will Muschamp, Nebraska’s Bo Pelini was arguably the head coach on the hottest seat after the 2013 campaign. A 24-19 win over Georgia in the Gator Bowl on New Year’s Day (a rematch of the previous year’s Capital One Bowl) helped matters, and Pelini received a one-year extension in March through the 2018 season.

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Posted April 22, 2014

Spring Game Roundup: USC defense thrives; Texas quarterbacks struggle

Alabama Crimson Tide, Arizona State Sun Devils, Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets, Missouri Tigers, Spring Football, Texas Longhorns, USC Trojans, Utah Utes, Washington Huskies
T.J. Yeldon was one of few offensive bright spots on an A-Day that the Alabama defense dominated.

T.J. Yeldon (4) was one of few offensive bright spots on an A-Day the Alabama defense dominated. (Butch Dill/AP)

With spring games occurring across the country, SI.com distills the top news and notes from the weekend’s games.

Alabama

All 73,506 fans at Alabama’s “A-Day” spring game on Saturday witnessed some vintage Crimson Tide defense. Coach Nick Saban’s defense highlighted the afternoon by stifling the offense on several occasions with seven sacks, 19 tackles for a loss and four interceptions. Two of those picks came from the arm of quarterback Blake Sims, who is expected to compete with incoming Florida State transfer Jacob Coker for the starting role. Sims completed 13-of-30 passes for 178 yards and a touchdown along with his two interceptions Saturday, and he still looks to be the leader among the current passers at the end of spring. Coker cannot practice with Alabama until he completes his studies at Florida State. Continue Reading

Posted April 18, 2014

Washington Huskies unveil revamped football uniforms

Uniforms, Washington Huskies

It looks like Washington will boast some new uniforms in 2014. The Huskies released photos of three new looks on Friday.

All three uniform combinations will represent parts of the Washington tradition, according to the school. Continue Reading

Posted April 18, 2014

We Talkin’ ‘Bout Spring Practice: Saban speaks out, quarterback transfers galore

Alabama Crimson Tide, Arkansas State Red Wolves, Clemson Tigers, Fresno State Bulldogs, Gary Patterson, Illinois Fighting Illini, Kentucky Wildcats, Louisiana Ragin' Cajuns, Nick Saban, SEC, Steve Sarkisian, TCU Horned Frogs, USC Trojans
2014 spring practice: Alabama coach Nick Saban, quarterback transfers and more

Nick Saban and Alabama are on a two-game losing streak for the first time since 2008. (Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

With spring football taking place across the country, Campus Union has decided to round up all of the important news and notes from each week in practice. Continue Reading

Posted April 18, 2014

NCAA recommends change to hardship waiver policy

NCAA, Rule Changes
The Division 1 Leadership Council proposed a change to hardship transfer rules. (G Fiume/Maryland Terrapins/Getty Images)

The NCAA’s proposed changes would curb waivers for immediate eligibility for hardship transfers. (G Fiume/Getty)

A student-athlete transferring to another program because of hardship could automatically receive an extra year of eligibility in the future. Continue Reading