A few links and notes for Monday afternoon. …
— One of Stanford’s question marks for 2013 — who will replace Stepfan Taylor at tailback? — may have been answered today when it was announced that Tyler Gaffney will return after a year playing pro baseball. Gaffney had one of his best games against UW in Stanford’s 65-21 win in 2011 with 117 yards on nine carries and a touchdown. For all the heightened expectations that will greet UW in 2013, the reality remains the Huskies will almost certainly be picked no higher than third in the Pac-12 North behind Stanford and Oregon (or Oregon and Stanford, take your pick). ESPN’s Mark Schlabach made his case earlier today for Stanford as the No. 2 team in the country heading into 2013.
— Could Desmond Trufant be drafted before Manti Te’o? Yahoo.com’s Shutdown Corner thinks so.
— The Big Ten wants to increase the number of conference games it plays each year from eight to nine or ten, the kind of thing you’d think would only make it less likely the Pac-12 might decrease the number of conference games it plays (and worth noting that the Pac-12 has not indicated there is any real move afoot to lessen the number of conference games it plays).
— CoachingSearch.com wonders if Lane Kiffin might be looking at Paul Wulff to fill USC’s suddenly open offensive line position — and careful to note this is merely speculation and not a report that anything has happened.
— CBSSports.com with a good examination of USC’s offense being at a crossroads.
— If you really want to get a head start on the 2014 recruiting season, 247Sports lists the top 650 players in the nation.
— Good stuff here on what Dennis Erickson’s hiring could mean for Utah.
— Grading Jim Mora’s first year at UCLA.
— Athlon’s has a list of JC transfers who could make an immediate impact in 2013, including DT Lavon Hooks, who seriously considered UW before signing with Ole Miss.