Category: Arizona State Sun Devils

Vizio Fiesta Bowl - Boise State v Arizona
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Arizona LB Scooby Wright out “several weeks” with sprained foot

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Gather your collective sighs. Yet another key player has suffered yet another key injury. This time the injury bug has bitten for the second time, as Arizona All-American linebacker Scooby Wright will miss “several weeks” with another lower-body injury.

Wright injured his lateral meniscus in Arizona’s opener against UTSA, then returned for the Wildcats’ 59-30 loss to UCLA Saturday, a game in which he looked like a player fresh off an extended injury break.

And now he’ll miss several more weeks, this time with a sprained foot.

“If it was broken, which was a concern, we could have gotten a medical redshirt if we applied for it,” Arizona head coach Rodriguez said Monday. “Jamar Allah and Anthony Lopez suffered foot sprains in camp, and they returned in a few weeks, and with the way Scooby attacks his rehab, hopefully we’ll have him back in a couple of weeks.”

Wright collected 163 tackles (first nationally), 14 sacks (third) and 29 tackles for loss (first) in 2014, a season in which he won the Nagurski, Bednarik and Lombardi awards.

Freshman Tre Tyler will place Wright in the middle of Arizona’s defense.

As far as silver linings go, Arizona’s October schedule is about as easy as it gets in the Pac-12. The Wildcats visit Stanford Saturday, host Oregon State Oct. 10, visit Colorado 17, host Washington State Oct. 24, and then visit Washington on Halloween before closing with road trips to USC and Arizona State sandwiched around a home date with Utah.


Pac-12’s Larry Scott pushes back against onslaught of daily fantasy ads

Larry Scott

If you’ve turned on a television, listened to a radio or simply gotten out of bed over the past month, you’ve been inundated with ads for Draft Kings and Fan Duel. The daily fantasy sites are legally classified as games of skill and not luck, thus skirting federal gambling laws and therefore free and clear to beat you over the head with the theoretical opportunity of becoming a millionaire with the few clicks of a mouse.

The flood of ads on college football broadcasts with ads, an arrangement that makes college administrators uncomfortable. Then again, anyone other than them making money off the efforts of college athletes makes college administrators uncomfortable.

Pac-12 commissioner Larry Scott told Paul Myerberg of USA Today his conference has opted to reject the unhinged cash register that is daily fantasy advertising on its Pac-12 Networks.

“The federal government has determined, for the moment, that it’s not gambling,” Scott said. “But the NCAA has taken a position that we can set the rules and we don’t support it. So that’s where we’ve drawn the line.”

The Pac-12 is in a unique position, as it unilaterally owns its conference network, as opposed to the arrangements the Big Ten has with Fox and the SEC with ESPN.

ESPN has significantly upped its coverage of gambling, thanks in large part to Disney’s investment in Draft Kings.

“I don’t think those are things that ought to be a part of the presentation of college football, but maybe that’s the environment in which we find ourselves,” Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby told USA Today earlier this month.

“We would not like to see more discussion about gambling and spread,” he said. “We feel like that’s not the healthiest or best presentation of the college game. Obviously we have to give some latitude to our broadcast partners and from an editorial standpoint, in terms of how they want to call the game, but we have opened up dialogue.”

While the Pac-12 can exercise control over ads on its own network, the conference is at the mercy of Fox and ESPN (and the billion-dollar carriages contracts it signed a few years back) for its games on broadcast networks.

UCLA and USC open as favorites for road trips to Arizona and Arizona State

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College GameDay will be in the desert this week for No. 9 UCLA’s visit to No. 16 Arizona, and Vegas likes the visitors to come home with a win.

According to lines released by Vegas Insider, UCLA is a 4.5-point favorite at Arizona. Similarly, No. 19 USC will be a six-point favorite just up the road at Arizona State.

A sampling of the biggest lines for Week 4 can be found below. You know, in case you want to bet lunch with the guy in the next cubical over.

Cincinnati at Memphis (-4.5)
Boise State (-3) at Virginia
BYU at Michigan (-6)
No. 25 Missouri at Kentucky (-2.5)
No. 14 Texas A&M (-3) vs. Arkansas
Tennessee at Florida (-3)
Mississippi State at Auburn (-4)
No. 3 TCU (-13) at Texas Tech
No. 24 Oklahoma State (-4) at Texas
California (-1) at Washington