Last season, Nussmeier's Washington offense averaged 410 yards per game, ranking No. 38 in the nation, and 33.4 points per game, which ranked 26th nationally. As for balance, the Huskies' offensive production included 154 yards per game by rush, and 256 by pass. Nussmeier, 41, was also Washington's quarterbacks coach and oversaw the development of Jake Locker, who was a first-round NFL Draft choice by the Tennessee Titans last April. Locker passed for 2,265 yards with 17 touchdowns and nine interceptions in his final season at Washington in 2010 under Nussmeier, and another 385 yards rushing.
If indeed Washington's Doug Nussmeier is replacing Jim McElwain as offensive coordinator, as reports indicate, Alabama coach Nick Saban gets a seal of approval from a former colleague. Former Fresno State coach Pat Hill made the same move in 2008, hiring Nussmeier after McElwain left the California school to come to Alabama. "Nick doesn't miss a beat," Hill said Monday. "He just moves on with a guy who can come in and take over. It's hard replacing coordinators when you have to re-teach a whole system. Both of those guys are very, very similar in their approach. Doug will fit right in."
The easy one is the fight to replace Trent Richardson. In reality, that’s about the third- or fourth-most important battle to be fought this spring. Reason being, there is no replacing Trent Richardson. Line up someone and hand him the ball. A Trent Richardson can’t be developed; he can only be born. Time will tell if Eddie Lacy, Dee Hart, Jalston Fowler, etc., will be up to the task. Instead, keep a watchful eye on these three position battles, as they’ll determine the makeup of both Alabama’s defense and its offense: H-back, nosetackle, strongside linebacker.
ESPN’s costs are defrayed whenever it passes on surcharges to cable operators. But as viewers begin to squawk over rising cable bills, cable operators protest that the sports giant has gotten too pricey and too coercive in its terms. Outspoken Liberty Media CEO Greg Maffei, who oversees Starz and QVC, has called ESPN’s fees "a tax on every American household"—the key word being "every." Because cable channels are bundled into packages, tens of millions of people who never watch sports end up paying for it anyway—and paying a lot more than they would for a package that didn’t include sports channels, ESPN the most expensive among them. Cable carriers who balk and threaten to drop ESPN must also contemplate losing its corporate brethren: the Disney Channel and ABC Family. "ESPN, through ... sheer muscle, has been able to say to us, ‘You will carry this service on the lowest level subscription you offer, and you will make all of them pay for it,’" says Matt Polka, CEO of the American Cable Association, a trade group. "My next-door neighbor is 74, a widow. She says to me, ‘Why do I have to get all that sports programming?’ She has no idea that in the course of a year, for just ESPN and ESPN2, she is sending a check to Disney for about $70. She would be apoplectic if she knew ... Ultimately, there’s going to be a revolt over the cost. Or policymakers will get involved, because the costs of these things are so out of line with cost of living that someone’s going to put up a stop sign."
This entire game was seen as another example of offensive ineptitude by some, but that was really only the case when LSU had the ball. Yes, Alabama only scored one touchdown, and yes, they were quite timid with the ball once they dipped inside LSU's 30, but a) they still turned bad field position into points multiple times, and b) they would have probably been more aggressive if their defense wasn't so insanely effective. When you've got perhaps the best defense of the last 20 years, you can afford to play it safe and settle for field goals. Alabama's offense was very impressive when it needed to be, and the Tide's ability to throw on standard downs was both unexpected and a sign of solid proficiency.
Alabama ultimately had an unbeatable combination – the most talent on the field and the most talent on the sideline. Alabama won its second national title in three seasons by relying on an All-America running back and a star-studded defense, but the Crimson Tide’s outstanding coaching staff ended up making the difference in their 21-0 BCS championship game victory over LSU. That dominant performance helped Alabama coach Nick Saban and defensive coordinator Kirby Smart take over No. 1 positions in the final 2011 edition of the Rivals.com College Football Power Rankings, which measure the nation’s top performers at each position. "We have the best coaching staff in the country," Alabama quarterback A.J. McCarron told reporters after the win over LSU.
Texas and California are bigger, but are they better? Pennsylvania is home to six of the 23 modern-era Pro Football Hall of Fame quarterbacks, the most of any state. Ohio produced Roger Staubach and Ben Roethlisberger. And Alabama can lay claim to Packers Hall of Famer Bart Starr, Philip Rivers, and most recently, the Tide's own national champ, AJ McCarron. When it comes to producing elite quarterbacks, Texas, California, Pennsylvania, Alabama and Ohio have separated themselves from the pack. Together they have combined for 15 Heisman Trophy winners, 18 Pro Football Hall of Famers and more than half of the top 100 quarterback prospects in the ESPNU Class of 2012 rankings. The talent spans generations, from quarterbacks who are still 17 and 18 years old to veterans whose glory days were 20 or more years ago.
Bob Johnson started with Carson Palmer at age 12 two decades ago. Their program has since produced Brees, Sanchez, David Carr, A.J. Feeley, Joey Harrington, Tim Rattay and many others. "Playing quarterback is not like going to the park and shooting baskets," Bret Johnson said. "You need an education. These kids who came to us, they didn't know what they were doing. They don't know the difference between a Cover 2 and a Cover 3. They think they do now, because of video games, but they've actually got to live it." While the 7-on-7 style emphasizes repetition and game-like experience, the QB gurus offer intense training in the mental aspects of quarterback play. "It's our sticking point," Bret Johnson said. "We don't miss the classroom. You need to have footwork and accuracy, but what separates these kids now in getting to college is that they've got to have an education about how to play the position."
Nick Montana, the son of Hall of Fame quarterback Joe Montana, has been granted his release from Washington so he may transfer to another program, Huskies coach Steve Sarkisian said. Montana is considering a pair of two-year colleges -- Blinn College in Texas or El Camino College in California, a source told ESPN's Joe Schad.
This is not a repeat. You are not experiencing deja vu. It's just the next chapter in the ongoing saga, the Courtship of Gunner Kiel: For the second time in three weeks, the most sought-after quarterback in the 2012 recruiting class has apparently juked his way out of one verbal commitment and into another. This time, Kiel is ditching LSU for a last-second defection to Notre Dame, according to the Notre Dame Observer, which confirmed an afternoon of rampant speculation with a university staffer on Monday night. (Other sources suggested as much ($) earlier in the day.) Kiel is expected to enroll in South Bend by the end of the week — possible as soon as today, the first day of classes for the spring semester — putting him on pace to join a crowded depth chart in spring practice.
In August, former Miami booster Nevin Shapiro told Yahoo! Sports that he provided extra benefits to 72 Hurricanes football players and recruits from 2002 through 2010. He said some of those benefits included meals and entertainment at his homes. Going forward, Miami is telling its boosters that cannot happen. "Boosters should not provide any type of food, drink, transportation, or other extra benefits to current student-athletes," the newsletter reads. Under NCAA rule, athletes "may receive an occasional meal from a representative of athletics interests on infrequent and special occasions." The NCAA also cites certain conditions under which those meals may take place, and does permit those events to take place in a booster's home.
Auburn junior quarterback Barrett Trotter will not return for his senior season, announced head coach Gene Chizik Monday. In eight games in 2011, including seven starts, Trotter completed 92-of-167 passes for 1,184 yards with 11 touchdown passes. A two-time SEC Academic Honor Roll recipient, Trotter graduated in August of 2011 with a degree in communications and is currently enrolled in graduate school at Auburn.