MWC prez says 'math be damned' when it comes to BcS

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When BcS executive director Bill Hancock responded on Thursday to a March letter from a pair of U.S. senators — which apparently went over like a fart in church based on Sen. Orrin Hatch‘s response — part of Hancock’s letter contained the criteria for a non-automatic qualifying conference to become an automatic qualifier.

While Hatch and fellow Sen. Max Baucus are concerned about how the BcS financial pie is divvied up and whether the current structure violates antitrust law, Utah president Michael Young is more concerned about the math that’s involved in keeping his school and his conference from getting an automatic piece of said financial pie.

In two of the three categories the BcS uses to determine which conferences automatically qualify, the Mountain West ranks third — highest-ranked team and Top 25 points.  Sure, they are seventh in the third category — average team ranking — but, as noted by the Idaho Statesman, both the Big Ten and ACC do not currently meet the exacting standards applied to the MWC by the BcS.

And therein lies the rub for Young, who feels that his conference has proved its mettle against the “Big Boys” over the past few years.

If any conference in the country has proved itself, we think it’s us,” Young told the Statesman. “We think, math be damned, it’s pretty clear. … There’s a real sense that if this system has even a modicum of rationality we ought to be in. But we don’t make those decisions and how much that will influence my fellow presidents in their deliberation is hard to say.”

(Once again giving a standing ovation to the deserving little man.)

Even for the BcS and their smugness, that’s a hard argument to counter.  So, now, it’s up to the collegiate cartel to do the right thing.  Right here, right now.

Don’t make this conference go to the presidential oversight committee and “beg” for something they’ve earned based on play on the field, and make them pay for politics played behind closed doors.

You want some much-needed goodwill, BcS?  Do the right thing and strip the Mountain West of their non-AQ status and put them in their rightful place next to the Big East and ACC as automatic qualifiers.

You oh-so-quietly tweaked your rules regarding the stripping of a BcS champion of their title as the whole Reggie Bush situation was just beginning to unfold; you can thus oh-so-loudly tweak the rules when it comes to non-AQs.

And maybe, just maybe, you’ll get Congress off your back.

Then again, that would make too much sense, something the BcS will never, ever be accused of.

Clemson transfer Scott Pagano progressing from foot surgery, but might miss Oregon’s opener

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There was good news and potentially not-so-good news on the Scott Pagano front Thursday for Oregon.

A transfer from Clemson this offseason, Pagano suffered a broken bone in his foot in the Tigers’ mid-November win over Pitt that forced him to miss the remainder of the regular season.  After moving on to the Ducks as a graduate transfer in mid-April, UO’s medical staff decided he needed to undergo surgery to repair the damage in his foot.

First-year head coach Willie Taggart Thursday declared the defensive lineman ahead of schedule in his recovery from the medical procedure, but didn’t guarantee he’d be on the field for the 2017 opener.

“Something he had that he needed to be corrected,” Taggart said of the surgery according to oregonlive.com. “He’s ahead of schedule right now. I don’t like putting certain weeks on guys because everybody heals differently.

“He’s one of those kids that has been rehabbing his tail off and is itching to get back out there. He’s ahead of schedule right now. Hopefully he’s there for the Southern Utah game.”

Coming out of high school in Hawaii as a four-star 2013 recruit, Pagano was rated as the No. 24 tackle in the country and the No. 2 player at any position in the state. He started 13 games the past two seasons, four of which came in 2016.

Before opting for UO, Pagano had taken an official visit to Oklahoma as he had whittled his to-do list down to those two. Arkansas, Notre Dame and Texas were also among the lineman’s five allotted official visits in his second round of collegiate recruiting.

CB Ryan Mayes no longer part of Miami football team

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There’s been a slight tweak to Miami’s defensive secondary ahead of the start of summer camp.

In a press release that consisted all of two sentences, the Hurricanes announced that Ryan Mayes is no longer a member of Mark Richt’s football program.  No reason was given for the separation, nor is it known whether the move was voluntary or involuntary.

A three-star member of The U’s 2014 recruiting class, Mayes was rated as the No. 48 cornerback in the country and the No. 92 player at any position in the state of Florida.  He held offers from, among others, Boston College and Syracuse.

As a true freshman, Mayes played in three games, then saw action in just one game the following season as he took a redshirt.  In 2016, the defensive back played in 11 games, mainly on special teams.

Prior to his departure, the redshirt junior was expected to fill a reserve role in the Hurricanes’ secondary.

Kyle Whittingham confirms Darren Carrington is at Utah, not yet a Ute

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Former Oregon wide receiver Darren Carrington‘s father confirmed his son of the same name was headed to Utah on Wednesday, and the head coach of the team in question has now double confirmed it.

But just because Carrington is at the University of Utah does not make him a Ute. Not yet.

Speaking at Pac-12 media days, Utah head coach Kyle Whittingham said Carrington is in school but has hurdles to clear to join the team.

“Not just yet. There’s a process that has to occur, some things that have to transpire and we’ve just got to wait for all that to kind of take place,” Whittingham said, via Deseret News.

It’s not sure what “things” have to transpire and when that is expected to happen; Whittingham couldn’t be sure Carrington would be with the team when camp opens Friday.

“Right now I don’t have a good answer because everything’s being sorted through right now,” Whittingham said.

Carrington will be immediately eligible to play as a graduate transfer. He caught 43 passes for a team-leading 606 yards and six touchdowns last season. Utah’s leading returning receiver, junior Raelon Singleton, nabbed 27 passes for 464 yards and four scores a year ago.

Clay Helton: O.J. not welcome back at USC

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OJ Simpson is one of the greatest Trojans of all-time. A unanimous two-time All-American, Simpson won the 1968 Heisman Trophy and was a member of USC’s 1967 national championship team.

OJ Simpson will also soon be a free man.

Granted parole from his felony armed robbery conviction last week, Simpson will be free on Oct. 1. The question, then, if you’re a reporter at Pac-12 media days is whether or not USC will welcome back one of its most accomplished — if not favorite — sons.

The answer? Uh, no.

To be clear, Simpson has not indicated he wanted to be part of USC football again. The 70-year-old indicated to the parole board he would return to Florida if granted his freedom.

USC has distanced itself from Simpson ever since his 1994 double-murder trial, but his Heisman Trophy remains on display at Heritage Hall.