Heisman Watch: Flip a coin


Heisman Watch: Flip a coin

Out of 120 FBS teams (formerly known as Division 1-A) only 44 will be in action this week. The remaining 76 are either waiting to see what Bowl they will be playing in, or preparing for next season already.

Three of our top five Heisman candidates are "in the clubhouse" and have submitted their resumes. There are no more games left to improve, or hurt, their Heisman stock.

Rank Player, Position, School Recent Game Stats Season Stats Next Game 1a Trent Richardson, RB, Alabama 27 rush, 203 yards, rec. TD in 42-14 win over No. 24 Auburn 263 rush, 1583 yards (6.0 YPC), 20 TD, 327 rec. yards, 3 rec. TD Bowl Game 1b Andrew Luck, QB, Stanford 20-30, 233 yards, 4 TD, INT in 28-14 win over No. 22 Notre Dame 261-373 (70), 3170 yards, 35 TD, 9 INT, 2 rush TD Bowl Game 3 Robert Griffin III, QB, Baylor 7-11, 106 yards, TD, 62 rush yards, 2 rush TD in 66-42 win over Texas Tech (didn't play in 2nd half) 252-347 (73), 3678 yards, 34 TD, 5 INT, 612 rush yards, 7 rush TD No. 22 Texas 4 Matt Barkley, QB, USC 35-42, 423 yards, 6 TD in 50-0 win over UCLA 306-446 (69), 3528 yards 39 TD, 7 INT, 2 rush TD Season Over 5 Case Keenum, QB, Houston 33-46, 457 yards, 5 TD in 48-16 win at Tulsa 342-467 (73), 4726 yards, 43 TD, 3 INT, 3 rush TD No. 24 Southen Mississippi
On the bubble: Montee BallRBWisconsin, Kellen MooreQBBoise State


1a) Trent Richardson: There is no doubt that Trent Richardson is the best running back in college football. Although Wisconsin's Montee Ball has more rushing yards and 11 more total touchdowns, the Heisman Trophy isn't awarded to the player with the best stats. Richardson rushed for a career-high 203 yards against Auburn on Saturday, a mark that may have won him the trophy (regardless of the fact Auburn entered the game with the 99th worst rushing defense).

1b) Andrew Luck: In the week leading up to Stanford's meeting with Notre Dame, media outlets everywhere were saying, "Andrew Luck needs a monster performance vs. the Irish to cement himself at the top of the Heisman list." Well, 233 yards and four touchdowns later, and it still doesn't seem as if Luck has done enough to win. At this point, I have him in a virtual tie with Richardson. Check back next week to see the final verdict.

3) Robert Griffin III: It's too bad that Griffin suffered a concussion late in the second quarter, because prior to the injury, he was having himself quite the game vs. the Red Raiders (Griffin left the game for one play, came back in and rushed for a 3-yard TD with 1:36 to play in the first half, and the Baylor medical staff had to take away Griffin's helmet at halftime to keep him off the field in the second half). The only way Griffin isn't invited to New York is if he has an awful performance against No. 22 Texas this weekend, to the tune of three or four interceptions -- don't count on it.

4) Matt Barkley: Despite the fact that Barkley threw for more yards and touchdowns than Andrew Luck, and threw less interceptions than Stanford's signal-caller, it was Luck who took home the Pac-12 Offensive Player of the Year honors on Monday. It will also be Luck who finishes ahead of Barkley in the Heisman voting, and will most likely be selected ahead of Barkley in the 2012 NFL Draft -- if Barkley elects to forego his senior year of eligibility (It's scary to think about it, but both Barkley and Luck could come back to college for another year in 2012). However, if Luck doesn't win the Heisman, it may be because of Barkley stealing away some votes from No. 12. These two will forever be linked because of the 2011 season.

5) Case Keenum: His year has been one for the record books, and the Cougars are sixty minutes away from a BCS appearance, and Keenum is sixty minutes away from receiving an invite to New York. Houston dismantled Tulsa on the road last Saturday, 48-16, and for those who don't believe in the Cougars, let's look at how other top-ranked teams fared against Tulsa...
- Oklahoma 47, Tulsa 14 -- Week 1
- Oklahoma State 59, Tulsa 33 -- Week 3
- Boise State 41, Tulsa 21 -- Week 4
Houston is legit and so is Case Keenum. However, a loss to No. 24 Southern Mississippi in the Conference USA title game and Houston's BCS dreams are dashed, and Kellen Moore will most likely replace Keenum in New York.

Check back next Monday for the final installment of Heisman Watch, before the winner is announced Saturday, December 10.

Drew Shiller is a Web Producer at You can follow him on Twitter @DrewShiller

The future of Cal athletics, or lack thereof


The future of Cal athletics, or lack thereof

Your education dollars are always at work, so it is with pride and bewilderment that we report that the University of California’s incoming class (2021, for those few who can get out in four years) marched to Memorial Stadium and formed the world’s largest human letter.
It was . . . wait for it . . . a “C.” A 7,196-person-strong “C.”
But the school, as it occasionally does, missed a golden opportunity to seize a golden opportunity. All they needed to do was have a quick whip-round, get $55,586.44 from each and every one of the captives . . . er, students, and they could have wiped out their entire athletics deficit in one night.
You see, while forming gigantic letters is always fun (or as the kids used to say when double negatives didn’t mean voting, never not fun), Cal is staring at quite possibly the bleakest future a major athletic university ever has. The athletic department, whose chief officer, Mike Williams, has just announced his intention to quit, is over $400 million in debt between construction costs, ambition, shrinking allegiance and the absence of a Phil Knight-level sugar daddy to buy the pain away.
And before you blame Williams, he inherited this indigestible planetoid from his predecessor, Sandy Barbour, who grew it from her predecessor, Steve Gladstone, and hastened it from . . . well, you get the drift. 
Cal’s been blowing through money it hasn’t been taking in for years upon years, didn’t realize the deficit-cutting benefits of the Pac-12 Network (because they largely don’t exist), and the day of reckoning looms closer and closer, especially now that new chancellor Carol Christ (no apparent relation) described the deficit as “corrosive” and has insisted that the athletic department have a balanced budget by 2020.
In short, the school may only be able to afford a lower-case “C” before too long. Maybe in comic sans. 

NCAA adopts sexual violence policy: 'It's not banning violent athletes...'


NCAA adopts sexual violence policy: 'It's not banning violent athletes...'

NCAA member schools will be required to provide yearly sexual violence education for all college athletes, coaches and athletics administrators under a policy announced Thursday by the organization's board of governors.

Campus leaders such as athletic directors, school presidents and Title IX coordinators will be required to attest that athletes, coaches and administrators have been educated on sexual violence.

The policy was adopted from a recommendation made by the Commission to Combat Campus Sexual Violence, which was created by the board last year in response to several high-profile cases involving sexual assaults and athletic departments, including the scandal at Baylor.

The policy also requires campus leaders to declare that athletic departments are knowledgeable and compliant with school policies on sexual violence prevention, adjudication and resolution.

Brenda Tracy, a rape survivor and activist who speaks to college teams across the country about sexual violence , is a member of the commission. She has called for the NCAA to ban athletes with a history of sexual violence. While this policy falls far short of that, Tracy said she was encouraged.

"It's not banning violent athletes, but it's a positive policy that's going to have a big impact on our campuses," Tracy said in a phone interview from Amherst, Massachusetts, where she was spending the day speaking to the UMass football and basketball teams.

The announcement from the NCAA came just one day after Youngstown State decided a football player who served jail time for a rape committed while he was in high school will not be allowed to play in games this season. Ma'Lik Richmond , who served about 10 months in a juvenile lockup after being convicted with another Steubenville High School football player of raping a 16-year-old girl in 2012, walked on at Youngstown State earlier this year. He will be allowed to practice and participate in other team activities.

Tracy has promoted a petition urging Youngstown State to not allow Richmond to play.

"I think that playing sports and playing NCAA sports is a privilege. It is not a right," Tracy said. "If we're going to be placing student-athletes in that position of power and influence - to drive narrative, to drive conversation, to affect culture - then behavior matters. Right now, I feel like Youngstown is sending the message that violence against women, rape all of these things are OK. It doesn't affect your ability to play sports."

A move toward an NCAA policy on sexual violence was given momentum by numerous issues involving athletes and athletic departments in recent years. Perhaps the most high-profile example is Baylor, where an investigation found that allegations of sexual assault, some against football players, were mishandled by school leaders.

Two years ago, the Southeastern Conference barred schools from accepting transfers who had been dismissed from another school for serious misconduct, defined as sexual assault, domestic violence or other forms of sexual violence.

Indiana announced in April that it would no longer accept any prospective student-athlete who has been convicted of or pleaded guilty or no contest to a felony involving sexual violence. In July, the athletic director at the University of Illinois said the school was working on a similar policy.

Tracy said the NCAA has not ruled out implementing a policy like Indiana's.

"The fact that's still on the table, we're still having discussions about that, we're still going to keep working moving forward, gives me a lot of hope," she said.

In a statement, the NCAA said: "Any discussion of individual accountability beyond the criminal justice system must address the complexities and nuances of different federal and state laws so that it can be consistently applied across the NCAA."

The new NCAA policy defers to schools to set their own sexual violence education practices, though in 2014 the association set expectations for its members with a resolution and made recommendations in a handbook on sexual assault.

"Schools do different things," Tracy said. "The NCAA is now saying this isn't just an option. This is now a policy and a requirement. And not only that but you need to attest to us every year what it is that you're doing ... Some schools are doing a great job. Some schools are not doing a great job."