The battle for Los Angeles has become interesting with the rebuilding job that Jim Mora has overseen at UCLA. USC is coming off severe NCAA sanctions; the Bruins are good enough to win the Pac-12 and earn spot in the playoff. …
Here’s a fast climber: In 2009, Derek Mason served as the Minnesota Vikings assistant defensive backs coach. Now, he’s in his first season as Vanderbilt’s head coach. …
Nebraska’s Bo Pelini received a contract extension through 2018. Yet a number of preseason publications listed Pelini as a coach on the hot seat. Complicated relationship between Pelini and Cornhuskers fan base. …
And finally, how can you not love Steve Spurrier? Here was the Ol’ Ball Coach’s response to a question about a trophy named in honor of a soldier who died at the Alamo being awarded to the winner of the new “rivalry game” between South Carolina and Texas A&M: “I’m actually from Tennessee,” Spurrier said. “I always thought Davy Crockett was the hero of the Alamo, he and those 33 Tennessee guys that came in there and got killed and so forth.”
The Super Six
Every year, we create a list of Heisman Trophy candidates in this space. Every year, we’re flat wrong. Or more accurately, we fail even to mention the eventual winner. We had no clue about Johnny Manziel in 2012. Or Jameis Winston last season. Cam Newton’s personal bio in Auburn’s media guide took up only one line the season he won the Heisman, 2010. His bio included his birthdate and the names of his parents. So, we’ve learned our lesson. We have no clue which player will take home the Heisman this winter. But here are six players who college football fans will love to watch this season:
1. Jameis Winston, Florida State
Duh. He took the college football world by storm last season, passing for 4,057 yards and 40 touchdowns as a freshman. What does he have in store for an encore?
2. Marcus Mariota, Oregon
If he can stay healthy, the Ducks quarterback will amass Heisman-worthy statistics in a fast-break offense.
3. Todd Gurley, Georgia
Best running back in college football. He battled injuries last season, but he’s a force as a runner and receiver out of the backfield.
4. Vic Beasley, Clemson