Keith Price

Washington 4-0 for first time since 2001, Stanford next


Washington’s Steve Sarkisian has done a solid job of improving the Washington football program, but could the Huskies finally be turning the corner and becoming one of the top teams in the Pac 12? They may not be there yet, but a 4-0 start following a win against Arizona has Washington off on the right track this fall. It is the first 4-0 start for Washington since 2001, when the Huskies went 8-4 and finished the season in the top 20. Now Sarkisian’s Huskies must study up for a big test in Pac 12 North play next weekend. Washington visits Stanford in week six.

The constant rain and drizzle in the area may have had an impact on the offensive play for both teams. The play was sloppy at times, playing to the advantage of the defenses on both sides for stretches. Washington quarterback Keith Price may not have had his most accurate performance, completing 14-of-25 attempts for 165 yards, but he did toss two touchdowns. Running back Bishop Sankey had a monster performance, rushing for 161 yards and a touchdown. Washington will need a better showing from Price and a similar output from Sankey next weekend if the Huskies are going to pull off an upset of Stanford.

Oh, and if Washington can defeat Stanford, they get to try it all over again against Oregon. We could find out an awful lot about the progress being made at Washington the next two weeks. Stanford and Oregon are measuring stick games. Let’s see how Washington measures up.

Arizona gets a week to address what went right and what went wrong before getting back on the field. The Wildcats travel to USC in two weeks.

Ole Miss OT Laremy Tunsil to return for Texas A&M on Oct. 24

Associated Press

As if this day wasn’t busy enough, Ole Miss announced late Monday evening star-crossed offensive lineman Laremy Tunsil‘s suspension has been capped at seven games, meaning he’ll miss Saturday’s trip to Memphis but return in time for Texas A&M visit to The Grove on Oct. 24.

From the university:

The University initially withheld Tunsil from competition at the start of the season as both the NCAA and the University examined several alleged improper benefits.  During the course of the process, it was determined by the NCAA that Tunsil received impermissible extra benefits that included the use of three separate loaner vehicles over a sixth-month period without payment, a four-month interest-free promissory note on a $3,000 down payment for purchasing a used vehicle, two nights of lodging at a local home, an airline ticket purchased by a friend of a teammate, and one day use of a rental vehicle.  In addition, it was determined that Tunsil was not completely forthcoming when initially questioned by NCAA investigators regarding the loaner vehicles.  He later corrected his account and since apologized. 

As part of his reinstatement conditions, the NCAA imposed a seven-game suspension, ordered Tunsil to pay the value of the extra benefits to a charity, perform community service, and he will also make the vehicle down payment.

Said Tunsil: “I take full responsibility for the mistakes I made and want to thank everyone for their continued support. I want to apologize to my teammates, coaches and the entire Ole Miss family for how my choices affected our program. This was a learning experience, and I’m looking forward to being back on the field with my team and redeeming myself. The last 10 months have been a physical and mental battle for me, but I love playing this game more than anything else. I want to be here for my teammates who are depending on me to finish what we started together.”

The news is, obviously, great for Tunsil and head coach Hugh Freeze personally, as well as the entire Ole Miss football program. It’s also a nice plus for NFL scouts, as it means Tunsil’s first live action of 2015 will come against possible future No. 1 draft pick Myles Garrett.

Hope he’s been practicing.

Report: Steve Spurrier set to retire

Steve Spurrier

Say it ain’t so, Steve.

According to a report from Thayer Evans of Sports Illustrated Monday evening, Steve Spurrier is set to retire.

Spurrier, 70, is a legend the likes college football has never seen before and never will again.

He was a Heisman Trophy winning quarterback at Florida, then returned to his alma mater and turned the program into a juggernaut, leading the Gators to 122-27-1 record from 1990-01 and a national championship in 1996. After a stint with the NFL’s Washington Redskins, Spurrier landed at South Carolina, where since 2005 he’s racked up a school record 86 wins.

But those wins slowed down of late. After an SEC East championship in 2010 and three straight 11-2 seasons from 2011-13, the Gamecocks fell to 7-6 in 2014, and are off to a 2-4 mark this fall. With the possibility of losses to nemeses old and new like Tennessee, Vanderbilt, Florida and Clemson ahead, Spurrier, it appears, would rather fade away quietly to the putting green.

Perhaps no two sentences summarize Spurrier, then and now, more precisely than this:

Combined with his three years at Duke, Spurrier closes up shop with a 228-89-2 mark, and a bust in the coaches’ wing of the Hall of Fame waiting for him.