Rich Rodriguez

Arizona, Houston schedule future home-and-home


In what’s undoubtedly a record-breaking, albeit unofficial, CFT performance, the Houston football program has made it into a featured post three separate times in a single day!!!

(Throw confetti at your leisure. Sincerely, The Management)

The latest Tuesday missive involving Cougars football is a positive one, though, as UH and Arizona announced Tuesday a future home-and-home series.  Houston will travel to Tucson, Ariz., in 2017 while Arizona will return the favor in 2018.

While no specific dates were detailed, UA’s release notes that both of the games will be played the second week of each respective season.

“We are excited to announce our agreement with Arizona. Our department is committed to scheduling quality non-conference opponents and this type of matchup is one that rewards both our team and our fans,” said UH athletic director Mack Rhoades in a statement. “Not only are these non-conference games exciting for our fans, but they are exciting for college football. Our plan is to continue to schedule home-and-home series with a number of high-profile teams in the future.”

The two schools have met just twice in football, the last coming in 1986 in a 34-point Wildcat win.  The first meeting resulted in a 34-17 victory for the Cougars.

The 2018 game will mark UA’s first trip to Houston as the first two games were in Tucson.

Was Washington loss the beginning of the end of the Steve Sarkisian era at USC?

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Steve Sarkisian’s win totals in his six previous seasons are both a positive and a negative.

On one hand, he resurrected a moribund Washington program that went 0-12 under Ty Willingham in 2008 and took them to four consecutive bowl games from 2010-2013. He won nine games his last year in Seattle, then led a talented-yet-thin USC team to a nine-win season and AP No. 20 finish in 2014.

Those are good accomplishments. But the flip side of the argument is Sarkisian has never won double-digit games in a season, something that’s a necessity to keep one’s job at USC. The Trojans’ 17-12 loss to Washington last night — at home, no less — means the road to 10 wins and a Pac-12 title will be awfully difficult.

And worse yet, there are plenty of arguments to be made Sarkisian doesn’t deserve the benefit of the doubt and a little more time in Los Angeles to turn things around (#SarkAfterDark, his drunken rant at a booster event, certainly doesn’t help). The reaction from national media to last night’s loss looked like this:

Mandel, in his column, argued USC is right where it was two years ago with Lane Kiffin as its coach. And there’s this embarrassing thought, that looks more and more like a truth, for Pat Haden:

This one, however, was the most damning by far for many reasons, most notably that it came at the hands of Sarkisian’s old team. The sense among many Washington fans nearly two years ago was that the Huskies managed to upgrade coaches when the school lured Chris Petersen from Boise State upon Sarkisian’s departure to USC.

They were right.

USA Today’s Dan Wolken similarly wrote that USC needs to drop Sarkisian and bring in Chip Kelly from the Philadelphia Eagles.

This is the state of USC, and it may not get better. The Trojans start a brutal three-game stretch next Saturday at Notre Dame in primetime, then welcome Utah to Los Angeles the next week. A Halloween trip to Berkeley to face Jared Goff and Cal finishes it up. There’s a very real chance USC, for all its talent and all its hype, limps into November with a 4-4 or 3-5 record.

Sarkisian will have to engineer and sustain a major turnaround in these coming weeks, otherwise he’ll give Haden all the ammo he needs to unceremoniously jettison him after two years.

Starting Navy S Kwazel Bertrand undergoes surgery, likely out for season

Kwazel Bertrand, Jacobi Owens
Associated Press
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Navy has seen one of its most productive players on the defensive side of the ball play for perhaps the final time this season.

Kwazel Bertrand sustained a broken ankle in the win over Air Force last Saturday, head coach Ken Niumatalolo confirmed earlier this week. As a result, the defensive back will very likely miss the remainder of the 2015 season.

And, because he is a senior and has no other eligibility avenues to pursue, it would effectively end his collegiate career as well.

“I feel terrible for Kwazel. It’s really unfortunate any time a senior goes down with a season-ending injury,” Niumatalolo said. “Kwazel has been a really good player for us and we’re going to miss his presence out on the field.”

Bertrand started 27 games over the past three-plus seasons, including all four in 2015.