college

Paul Finebaum Thinks Chip Kelly, Kevin Sumlin Will Be USC’s 2 Leading Candidates

ESPN college football analyst Paul Finebaum usually sticks to covering the SEC, but given the turmoil out in Los Angeles this week, he’s broadening his horizons. Tuesday, he commented on USC’s heading coaching situation. He thinks there are two “leading candidates” for the job.

Finebaum said that former Oregon coach Chip Kelly, who is now with the Philadelphia Eagles in the NFL, is one. The other is current Texas A&M head coach Kevin Sumlin. He joined ESPN’s Mike & Mike this morning:

On @MikeAndMike, @finebaum just said he believes the two leading candidates for the USC HC job will be Chip Kelly and Kevin Sumlin.

— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) October 13, 2015

Finebaum expanded on Philadelphia radio station 97.5 Middays later on:

On NOW: @finebaum with @975Middays to discuss his claim that Chip is a leading candidate for the USC head coach job.

— 975TheFanatic (@975TheFanatic) October 13, 2015

Finebaum: Chip Kelly will be high on USC’s list. He may not want the job, but USC is the Pac 10 & has talent, so it may entice him.

— 975TheFanatic (@975TheFanatic) October 13, 2015

Finebaum on dealing w/ boosters: USC isn’t a job like Alabama. LA is LA. You may have to do lunch w/ Spielberg once in a while but that’s it

— 975TheFanatic (@975TheFanatic) October 13, 2015

Finebaum: To me it all comes down to what makes Chip Kelly tick. I don’t know what interests him (but USC seems like a fit).

— 975TheFanatic (@975TheFanatic) October 13, 2015

Finebaum: Chip is the Jon Gruden of five years ago; he is the most coveted coach by colleges.

— 975TheFanatic (@975TheFanatic) October 13, 2015

Regarding Kelly, we’re obviously a few steps from it even being a possibility. Kelly would have to either coach his way out of his job with the Eagles or make the decision that he wants to return to the college ranks. As for Sumlin, given the momentum the Aggies have right now, it’s hard to see him jumping ship for a job that’s been very unstable recently.

That being said, USC is still one of the most desirable jobs in college football. It’ll be interesting to see if Finebaum winds up being right. 

Oregon 4-Star Commit Openly Recruiting USC’s Commits To Play For Ducks

Given the turmoil at USC right now, a number of players who were committed to (or thinking about committing to) the Trojans have reconsidered their decisions. Lamar Winston Jr – who is committed to play for Oregon – is jumping at the opportunity to sway some of his fellow athletes to join him on the Ducks.

Monday, hours after USC head coach Steve Sarkisian was fired, Winston openly recruited USC’s commits to switch sides and instead commit to the Ducks.

To all you USC commits, Oregon has a home for you, don’t be shy.. Come join the family… We’d love to have you

— La’Marvelous (@LamarWinstonJr) October 12, 2015

Winston, a four-star athlete, committed to Oregon this past July. Could his recruiting help the program land a few more top players?

Photo: Oregon Basketball Has Some Sweet New Customized LeBron Sneakers

Oregon is always on the cutting edge of athletic fashion, so it’s no surprise the Ducks’ basketball team has some sweet new LeBron sneakers for the upcoming season.

The program showed off the shoes on Instagram today.

 

Nike LeBron Soldier 9. New kicks for @oregonmbb #GoDucks #kotd

A photo posted by Oregon Ducks (@goducks) on Oct 12, 2015 at 3:43pm PDT

Subtle, but well-done. What do you think?

4-Star DE Bryson Young Announces Commitment To Oregon

Clovis (Calif.) Buchanan four-star defensive end Bryson Young has committed to Oregon, he announced minutes ago on Twitter. 

Blessed to say that I have committed the next chapter of my life of being a student-athlete to the University of Oregon #stayfaithful #WTD

— Bryson T. Young (@blackhawk32698) October 11, 2015

Can’t wait to put in work and help the Ducks get back on track

— Bryson T. Young (@blackhawk32698) October 11, 2015

The 6-foot-5, 220-pound Young is the No. 20 weak-side defensive end in the 2016 class according to 247Sports’ Composite Rankings.

The Oregon Duck Pokes Fun At Washington State Mascot Butch With An “Oregon Trail” Graphic

The Oregon Duck may be college football’s best mascot, and he has an excellent social media presence to boot. Over the summer, The Duck and Goldy Gopher had a ridiculous Twitter conversation that spanned a few days and plenty of ridiculous pictures and gifs. Now, The Duck is taking some time out of his busy schedule to troll Washington State mascot Butch T. Cougar. Oregon hosts Wazzu this weekend, and is wearing some very interesting Oregon Trail-themed helmets for the game, making this tweet pretty appropriate.

[email protected] get well soon pic.twitter.com/cCHdLHcEc8

— The Oregon Duck (@TheOregonDuck) October 5, 2015

Butch is yet to return Twitter fire. He better got on that, or he’ll run the risk of becoming the Meek Mill of the Pac-12 mascot world.

Take a knee: Gary Campbell on using Royce Freeman and the fight for playing time

One thing became apparent by the end of Oregon’s 41-24 victory over Colorado last Saturday: this team wants to run the ball.

With the quarterback situation in flux, the focus of the offense turned towards the running backs, giving sophomore starter Royce Freeman 27 carries against the Buffalos.

Freeman, who has racked up 613 yards and seven touchdowns this season, leads the group. Steadily growing into a featured back is freshman Taj Griffin, who had a season-high 110 yards to go along with a touchdown against Colorado.

Tony Brooks-James and Kani Benoit have also contributed this year, helping the Ducks collect 1,502 rushing yards and 15 touchdowns so far this season.

With such a talented backfield, Oregon running backs coach Gary Campbell talked with the media after practice to discuss his plans for the group going forward.

How many times can you give Royce Freeman 27 carries?

I don’t know, we will find out. When we started the game I asked if he could carry it 35 times, and he said yeah. My plan was to see if he could carry it at least 30, and I think he carried it 27 and caught three passes, so he touched it 30 times. I think he proved he can do that.

So you factor in the receptions?

Well, no. That was just a number I thought would be good for him. 25-30 I think is feasible for him.

Are you worried about the long-term effects of giving Freeman the ball that much?

No, we got three other backs that I think can carry it too. So if need be for him to carry it that many times I think he can handle it. He is a big, strong, physical kid — he is a lot more mature this year. I look around the country at guys that run the ball and those guys are carrying it 25-26 times.

It seems like since Tyner went out, you have been looking for that number two back.

I don’t care who it is and there isn’t a certain style that I am looking for. I just want a guy who can go in, produce and run the offense. There’s not a particular body type or anything. Obviously Royce can do some things that Taj can’t do and Taj does some different things. That may be good as a change up, I don’t know. Just the same, it may be good to have a guy just like Royce, another guy like Tyner to come in and continue that same style of running. But as long as the guy is productive, that is what counts.

Are Tony and Kani competing with each other for that other Tyner look, whereas Taj is the change-of-pace back?

No, they are all competing to start. That is the way I want them to practice and think every day. Nobody is competing to be second or third, they are all competing for the number one spot.

How do you decide who is going to be number two in a given week? Is it based on practice or on the defense you are going to face?

It is based on practice. Obviously there are always some things we would like to do in a game, and we factor those things into practice. The guy who does it best is usually the guy who is going to be in that role in the game.

What do you like about Taj so far this season?

I like what I’ve seen from him this season. The whole holdback for him has been the learning process, him really getting the offense down, lining up in the right spots and being able to protect the passer.

How is he doing in the protection phase of the game?

He is getting better. He still has some glitches now and again, but as I said, he is improving in all areas.

Follow Christopher Keizur on Twitter @chriskeizur

Oregon Unveils New Uniforms Dedicated To The Oregon Trail, Lewis & Clark

Monday, Oregon unveiled a new Nike Mach Speed uniform – this time for its home contest next week against Washington State. It’s far different that what we’ve typically seen from the Ducks, however. Oregon’s new kit pays tribute to Lewis & Clark and the Oregon Trail – it’s called the ‘Oregon Pioneers’ uniform. Via Nike.com:

“We have many discussions with the Oregon athletes, equipment staff and coaches,” says Todd Van Horne, Creative Director for Nike Football. “For this inspiring new uniform, we want to celebrate the state and its great founders and innovators.” 

The jerseys actually feature what Nike calls a “sublimated, tonal pattern of the Oregon Trail traversed by explorers.” According to Oregon, each player’s uniform is different and features a different section of the map. The helmets feature a silhouette of Lewis and Clark and the Oregon Duck. 

Check out the photos:

Oregon Ducks Uniform & Helmet for Home Game against Washington State Saturday will pay tribute to Lewis & Clark. pic.twitter.com/GmsD1wtJMI

— Michael Convery (@MichaelRConvery) October 5, 2015

Every “Pioneer” uniform has a different portion of the Oregon Trail on it. #GoDucks pic.twitter.com/i74qEvUXFo

— Craig Pintens (@UOPintens) October 5, 2015

New Oregon Pioneers Uniform from @usnikefootball #GoDucks http://t.co/XvmcDVkMsx pic.twitter.com/BvKqP42mf1

— Oregon Football (@WinTheDay) October 5, 2015

For the record, neither Lewis nor Clark is carrying a gun in the silhouette. One is pointing west, the other is holding a telescope. There was some confusion online when they first debuted.

Oregon fans – do you like them? Or is this too far outside the comfort zone?

The 5 Most Overrated Teams In The Week 5 Coaches’ Poll

Ohio State Confetti

Do the Buckeyes really deserve to be No. 1?

With four weeks of college football in the books, we’re already a full third of the way through the regular season. In that month, many of the preconceived notions about the 2015 season have been shattered. Auburn, once a popular College Football Playoff pick, is floundering, while Oregon already has two losses and just got blasted at home by 40 points. Things aren’t even perfect in Columbus, where a stacked Ohio State team hasn’t been able to shake off the rust following a championship season. 

Many of the teams that we had high expectations for have failed to live up, and as usual, the polls often lag behind what we see on the field. Last week, our two most overrated teams—Auburn and Arizona—both lost, and fell from the USA Today Coaches’ Poll. Auburn lost a second straight SEC game, this time to Mississippi State 17-9, while previously undefeated Arizona was blasted by Pac-12 rival UCLA 56-30 at home.

Which teams have failed to play up to their week five rankings, and which are one bad loss away from being exposed? Here are the five most overrated teams in this week’s poll:

5th Most Overrated: Ohio State >>>

Samuel L. Jackson Randomly Trolls Oregon After Ducks’ Blowout Loss

Star actor Samuel L. Jackson is a noted Georgia football fan, but Saturday, he took a swipe at a team that doesn’t really call the Bulldogs a rival whatsoever. Jackson, after watching Oregon get pounded by Utah 62-20, randomly trolled the Ducks on Twitter, suggesting that their ranking (at the time) wasn’t deserved.

So I’m guessing Oregon’s ranking by reputation is coming to an end? # rude awakening

— Samuel L. Jackson (@SamuelLJackson) September 27, 2015

Jackson wound up being half-correct, if that’s a thing. Oregon wound up sticking around in the Coaches’ Poll, coming in at No. 24. The Ducks were not part of the AP Poll.

Jackson is very outspoken on his Twitter feed – especially when it comes to sports. Now we know that he apparently isn’t a fan of what’s been going on in Eugene.

Video: Oregon WR Bralon Addison’s Electrifying 81-Yard Punt Return Tied The Score Against Michigan State

Oregon has struck quickly in the second half in East Lansing. The Ducks just the score at 14 on a superb punt return by wide receiver Bralon Addison.

Addison took the Michigan State punt at his own 19-yard line, made the first coverage man miss, and then sprinted untouched down the right sideline. He received a tremendous downfield block on the perimeter as well. 

Bralon Addison TO. THE. CRIB!!!! The Ducks are tied with MSU, watch live now on ABC! #BackThePac http://t.co/HfcFyhrD1q

— Pac-12 Networks (@Pac12Networks) September 13, 2015

Something tells us this second half is going to be a good one. 

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