C.J. Mosley

Alabama’s C.J. Mosley to skip Senior Bowl


Feeling he has nothing to prove at the Senior Bowl, Alabama linebacker C.J. Mosley has decided to skip the Senior Bowl next week. His agent, the famed Jimmy Sexton, broke the news during a radio interview Thursday.

Th Senior Bowl is considered the nation’s top college football all-star event, and is the top showcase for potential draft picks outside of the annual scouting combine. The game serves as a great opportunity to work in front of NFL coaches an scouts from every NFL franchise and receive instruction from NFL coaches. The practices during the week sometimes carry more weight for a player’s draft profile than the game itself, so any player opting out is missing out on far more than a game experience.

Of course, for some players, the game ultimately means little for the potential draft positioning. Mosley is expected to be a solid first round draft pick, perhaps in the top half of the opening round. Even a shabby performance in the Senior Bowl practices and game may not have been enough to drop him far in the first round, never mind out of it completely, nor would a good showing do much to move him up much higher in the draft considering some of the options and needs of teams drafting at the top of the order. For Mosley, the focus will be on the scouting combine, and that is a perfectly fine decision.

Alabama quarterback A.J. McCarron also decided to pass on a Senior Bowl invite, feeling his workload over the past three seasons will speak for itself. McCarron will need a great showing at the scouting combine and any potential pro day workout in order to change his draft outlook. Most expect McCarron to be a third round draft pick, which made his decision to turn down a Senior Bowl invite a little more confusing.

Helmet sticker to AL.com.

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

Steve Sarkisian

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.