Reiss' Pieces -- Week 5 college football recap

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Reiss' Pieces -- Week 5 college football recap

Another Saturday, another Stanford blowoutThe Cardinal has the nations longest win streak at 12games. The last seven of those wins havecome by at least 26 points. So why thecontinued slide down the AP poll?...The answer is two-fold.The obvious part: Oklahoma State and Wisconsinhave leapfrogged Stanford after beating top-10 teams, while the Cardinal waseither on a BYE or beating lightly-regarded UCLA. But then theres the perception problemStanford is methodical, not explosive. This team doesnt run and gun anybody out ofthe building; it merely pounds opponents into submission over fourquarters. And thats just not sexyFrankly, Im tired of hearing about the lack of big-playoptions at wide receiver. The Cardinaloffense is as potent as any in the nation.You know whats coming, you still cant stop it. But the defense is less convincing than itwas a year ago, and that could prove to be costly once legit foes begin to dotthe scheduleFortunately for Stanford, that wont happen for another fourweeks at USC on October 29thAndrew Luck remains the Heisman favorite, not because of hisstats, but because nobody in the nation runs an offense as efficiently andadeptlyRobert Griffin III might have overtaken Luck in the strawpolls had his first interception of the season not resulted in Baylors firstloss of the season at Kansas StateThe guy moving up the charts with a massive bullet isWisconsin QB Russell Wilson. His numbersare better than Lucks across the board, and his team might well run the BigTen tableHow bout them Tigers?Clemson is the first ACC team ever to beat three straight rankedopponents. And theyve done it with theanti-Stanford offense (read: explosive, sexy, chuckin it downfield withreckless abandon). But before you gopenciling Dabo Swineys guys into the BCS, might want to wait for their game atGeorgia Tech on October 29thThe Yellow Jackets are second in the nation in points andyards per game, and theres simply no way to prepare for the speed at whichTevin Washington and company run that triple-option offense Ohio State. YeeeeechThe Buckeyes came within seconds of being shut out at homefor the first time since 1982I heard a Texas A&M fan on sports radio after the Aggiesgacked away a second consecutive big lead against a ranked opponent (Arkansas). The caller said it was a worse choke job thanthe Red Sox. Clearly he had just imbibedhimself into a post-game stupor, but his point is well-taken: A&M hasBCS-level talent yet has already eliminated itself from that equation Of course, that guy wont get any sympathy from South Carolinafans. The Gamecocks are a cautionarytale of how an abundance of star power can be derailed by shoddy quarterbackplay Stephen Garcia has thrown nine interceptions in fourgames. Steve Spurrier would probablytrade his superstar tailback, wideout, and defensive end for a guy capable ofthrowing the ball to his teammatesAuburn managed to beat South Carolina in spiteof its own QB. Couldnt be much lessimpressed with Barrett Trotter, but couldnt be much more impressed withMichael Dyer. The reigning BCS titlegame MVP played through a lot of pain to lead his team to victoryOther week five props: Oklahoma QB Landry Jones, Illinois QBNathan Scheelhaase, Michigan QB Denard Robinson, West Virginia RB DustinGarrison, LSU cornerback Tyrann Mathieu, the Michigan Statedefensive front seven.

Week six feature games: Oklahoma-Texas, Florida-LSU, Ohio State-Nebraska, Arizona State-Utah and of course, Cal-Oregon.

Seton Hall slips past Cal basketball at Pearl Harbor Invitational

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AP

Seton Hall slips past Cal basketball at Pearl Harbor Invitational

HONOLULU Jabari Bird nearly notched his first collegiate double-double with 22 points and a career-high nine rebounds, but just as his effort fell short, so did California men's basketball's efforts against Seton Hall. The Pirates slipped past the Golden Bears, 60-57, at the Pearl Harbor Invitational to hand Cal its second loss of the season. The Bears are now 7-2.

Seton Hall's Angel Delgado scored 16 points and grabbed 12 rebounds.

Delgado, a 6-foot-10, 240-pound forward, made 6 of 9 shots from the field in a game-high 36 minutes played.

Desi Rodriguez scored 15 points and Khadeen Carrington had 14 points with four assists for the Pirates (7-2).

Carrington tied it at 45 with just under 12 minutes to play on a 3-pointer from the right wing, which ignited a 7-0 Seton Hall run. California never regained the lead.

Ivan Rabb's putback pulled the Golden Bears (7-2) within 58-57 with 31.1 seconds remaining, but Carrington and Delgado each hit a free throw to extend the Pirates' lead to 60-57 with 2.7 seconds left.

Bird had a chance to sent it into overtime, but his 3-pointer from about 25 feet as time expired was no good.

California closed out the first half with an 11-4 run to turn a four-point deficit into a 34-31 lead.

It was just the second meeting between the teams with California winning 81-76 on Dec. 8, 1973.

BIG PICTURE

California: Rabb, a 6-11 sophomore, struggled for the second consecutive game. He made just 3 of his 8 shots from the field and finished with eight points after being held to a season-low six points against Princeton Tuesday. Rabb, who has been playing with a left wrist injury, entered Wednesday's game averaging 17.5 points per game.

Seton Hall: The Pirates reeled off their third straight win despite making just 9 of their 20 attempts (45 percent) from the free-throw line. They shot just 46.6 percent (21 of 45) on free throws for the two-day tournament.

UP NEXT

California will host UC Davis Saturday, its seventh home game in 10 contests this season.

Oregon hires former Harbaugh assistant as new head coach

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AP

Oregon hires former Harbaugh assistant as new head coach

Oregon has hired Willie Taggart, who spent the last four seasons as head coach at South Florida, to take over the Ducks following the dismissal of Mark Helfrich.

Oregon formally announced Taggart's appointment Wednesday.

Taggart has led USF to an 18-7 record over the last two seasons, including a 10-2 mark this year. He also spent three seasons as coach of Western Kentucky, his alma mater, and was an assistant coach at Stanford under Jim Harbaugh.

Oregon fired Helfrich last week after the Ducks went 4-8. A news conference to formally introduce Taggart was set for Thursday.

"Oregon has a strong national presence and a proud recent history of playing among the nation's elite, and I look forward to the challenge of upholding the excellence," Taggart said in a statement. "I can't wait to get started."

Taggart, 40, is the first coach Oregon has hired from outside the program since 1976. The Ducks' previous three coaches, Mike Bellotti, Chip Kelly and Helfrich, were all assistants who were promoted.

Taggart will be the first black head football coach at Oregon. The length and terms of his contract with the Ducks were not immediately released.

Taggart was 16-20 at Western Kentucky, taking over when it was first transitioning to FBS. He went 7-5 in his last two seasons with the Hilltoppers and then moved to USF, not far from where he grew up in Bradenton, Florida.

It took two seasons and a change in offensive philosophy from more pro-style, West Coast schemes to a spread, but he now has the 25th-ranked Bulls rolling. They finished second in the American Athletic Conference East Division to Temple and will play South Carolina on Dec. 29 in the Birmingham Bowl.

Wednesday was the second straight day the AAC has lost one of its best coaches, and the third the conference has lost since Thanksgiving weekend. Temple's Matt Rhule was hired by Baylor on Monday and Tom Herman left Houston for Texas on Nov. 26.

Taggart had support from former NFL player and broadcaster Tony Dungy, whose son Eric played at USF in 2014 after transferring from Oregon.

Taggart served as running backs coach for Harbaugh at Stanford from 2007-09 and is credited with helping to recruit Andrew Luck. Harbaugh had recruited Taggart, a quarterback, to play at Western Kentucky under father Jack Harbaugh from 1995-98.

After taking over when Kelly left in 2013, Helfrich went 37-16 in his four seasons as head coach of the Ducks. He signed a contract extension in early 2015, and had an $11.6 million buyout.

Just two seasons ago, Oregon went to the first College Football Playoff championship game, led by Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback Marcus Mariota.

But the Ducks struggled this season with a five-game losing streak - the program's longest since 1996 - and finished at the bottom of the Pac-12 North with just two conference wins.

In a statement after his dismissal, Helfrich thanked his own family, the campus community, the fans, and his coaches and their families.

"Finally, to the players - thank you, and I love you," he said. "The future is bright for this young, talented team, and we will be supporting them and their new leadership."

Oregon athletic director Rob Mullens also reportedly interviewed Boise State's Bryan Harsin and Ohio State defensive coordinator Greg Schiano before settling on Taggart. Kelly, now with the San Francisco 49ers, had said he was not interested in the job, as did former offensive coordinator Scott Frost, now at Central Florida.

For the immediate future, Taggart will need to reach out to Oregon's recruits. Defensive back Deommodore Lenoir and defensive end Langi Tuifua both previously withdrew verbal commitments. Offensive lineman John Vaka said he was no longer committed via Twitter on Tuesday.