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Pac-12 Confidential

Bud Withers offers an inside look at the Pac-12 Conference and the national college scene.

September 23, 2014 at 1:43 PM

Highlights of Tuesday’s football teleconference . . .

Tuesday morning marked the weekly Pac-12 football coaches media teleconference. Some of what was discussed: Arizona After its madcap win over Cal, Arizona gets five extra days to get that win out of its system, not taking the field until nine days from now in a Thursday game against Oregon in Eugene. “We normally give the guys 24…

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September 20, 2014 at 6:48 PM

Utes strike a blow for the Pac-12 (and against Brady Hoke)

Big, big win for Utah today at Michigan, 26-10, in a game in which the punchless Wolverines didn’t score an offensive touchdown. Nationally, the story line will be more about Michigan’s continuing problems than Utah, but it’s unmistakably a nice win not only for the Utes but for the Pac-12. Utah, after all, was picked No….

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September 18, 2014 at 10:42 PM

Pac-12 picks, week 4

It’s the final week of appreciable non-league action, as next week’s schedule consists entirely of conference games. Hawaii (plus 7.5) at Colorado — Not wild about going with the Buffs to win this one convincingly. But nor am I wild about taking the Warriors playing 4,000 miles from home. For all the talk about Hawaii playing…

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September 17, 2014 at 9:26 AM

The weekly Pac-12 Prankings . . .

Wherein we take a stern, serious look at the state of football in the conference: 1. Oregon  (3-0) … After Wyoming, Cowboys taught Ducks how to brand cattle 2. Stanford (2-1) …  Wore combat boots to try to even game out against Army 3. UCLA (3-0) … Hit-and-miss Bruins kind of Jerry-built right now 4. Arizona State (3-0) ……

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September 16, 2014 at 6:22 PM

What they were saying on the Pac-12 teleconference . . .

Snippets from Pac-12 football coaches on Tuesday’s teleconference:

Arizona

Coach Rich Rodriguez has apparently unearthed a plum in freshman running back Nick Wilson, who has run for 449 yards already.

“We thought he was special when we recruited him,” said Rodriguez of the 5-10, 199-pound Fresno product. “He had kind of a quiet confidence about him. I think most pleasing for us, we knew the first two weeks in camp how quickly he was picking up the system, not only the run game, but the passing game. He’s way advanced mentally than most freshmen would be at the position.”

Arizona State

Todd Graham said of Taylor Kelly’s replacement, fourth-year junior Mike Bercovici, “We’ve got a lot of confidence in Mike. We felt in camp and through spring, we had one of the best 1-2 quarterback combinations in the country. He’s got a tremendously strong throwing arm and he’s a tremendously smart guy. All he has to do is come in and execute the offense and take care of the football.”

California

In what should be an early, telling sign, the Bears go to Tucson this week to play Arizona, and quarterback Anu Solomon.

“I’ve been impressed with him,” said Sonny Dykes, the Bear coach. “He’s played in a couple of tight ball games, and it seems to me, when the game gets tight, he plays better.”

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September 15, 2014 at 12:00 PM

Neuheisel, Thompson and Adams: My thoughts exactly . . .

The Pac-12 announced Monday morning its football players of the week, chosen for the second straight year by media members covering the league, and they’re UCLA quarterback Jerry Neuheisel, Washington linebacker Shaq Thompson and, for special teams play, UCLA’s Ishmael Adams. That matched my ballot. Neuheisel, son of former coach Rick Neuheisel, came off the bench…

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September 14, 2014 at 12:21 AM

An interesting, but also alarming, day for the conference

What loomed as one of the sleepiest weekends of the Pac-12 football season instead turned into something a little more riveting. But in the end, it was not a great day for the league. Jerry Neuheisel’s relief pitching for UCLA made for a great story — he’s the son of Rick Neuheisel, the ex-Washington coach and…

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