Even as we’re a mere week and a half away from the start of a new season, personnel attrition by various means continues unabated across the country.
The latest to be hit by roster losses is Cal, which lost a pair of linebackers Sunday, head coach Sonny Dykes confirmed.
Backup linebacker Nathan Broussard (pictured) suffered a torn ACL and will be lost for the season, Dykes said. The injury occurred during a scrimmage this past Saturday.
After redshirting as a true freshman in 2011, Broussard played in 11 games in 2012, starting four of those contests. He was credited with 3.5 tackles for loss. Broussard was a three-star member of Cal’s 2011 recruiting class.
In addition to Broussard, fellow backup LB David Wilkerson asked for and was granted a release from his scholarship. Dykes said Wilkerson came to him “and said it wasn’t working out. … It’s just kind of time to move on.”
Coming out of high school in Danville, Calif., in 2010, Wilkerson was given a four-star rating by Rivals.com. That recruiting service rated him as the No. 6 inside linebacker in that recruiting class.
Wilkerson’s Cal career, though, was plagued by injury. He played in three games in 2010 before suffering a season-ending injury and taking a medical redshirt. After starting three of the 10 games in which he played in 2011, he missed the entire 2012 season after undergoing ankle surgery.
(Photo credit: Cal athletics)
Oregon touched the ball 15 times in its 41-24 win over Colorado on Saturday night. Jeff Lockie played seven of them, including the first. Taylor Alie played eight.
As long as Vernon Adams nurses his broken finger, this appears to be the plan for the Ducks.
“They’d both done enough good things in practice last week to merit playing,” head coach Mark Helfrich told the Oregonian. “We just felt looking at the game plan we could parcel out aspects with each.”
“Of course you want to get into a better rhythm but that’s how it goes,” Lockie said. “We’re just going to play the best we can and as long as we’re winning games, there’s no problem with me.”
Lockie completed 8-of-11 throws for 54 yards with an interception while rushing five times for 18 yards. Alie connected on 4-of-9 throws for 83 yards and a touchdown while adding 22 yards on five carries. Not quite Marcus Mariota numbers from either signal caller.
“It’ll just depend on the game plan,” Helfrich said of Alie and Lockie. “I think those guys they have differences. There are some strengths and weaknesses to different areas of their game and so we’ll think about that going forward of just how the Washington State game plan comes out.”
With Oregon playing Washington and Washington State (combined Pac-12 wins thus far: zero) before a tough closing stretch, Helfrich and company have time to alternate signal callers.
The polls are meaningless. Especially any poll that isn’t the College Football Playoff top 25 and even then, as the TCU learned late last season, even the penultimate ranking is as meaningless as the paper they’re metaphorically written on.
Still, they’re catnip to college football fans and observers. Place them in front of us and we can’t help but gnaw on them.
And with that said, a bit of milestone was reached in Sunday’s Associated Press Top 25, as the SEC was completely shut out of the top five.
That group breaks down as follows:
- Ohio State
- Michigan State
An SEC free top five hasn’t happened in nearly five full years; October 10, 2010 was the last time such a thing occurred. Oddly enough, two of the same five culprits occupied that ranking as well:
- Ohio State
- Boise State
Underscoring the lesson of the first paragraph, eventual national champion Auburn checked in at No. 6. Those Tigers moved up a spot the following week and never looked back.
None of this means anything at all, until it does. But that doesn’t mean we can’t have some fun along the way.