UCLA Bruins

TEMPE, AZ - DECEMBER 07:  Pac-12 Commissioner, Larry Scott stands in front of the Stanford Cardinal as they celebrate the Pac 12 Championship after defeating the Arizona State Sun Devils 38-14 at Sun Devil Stadium on December 7, 2013 in Tempe, Arizona.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
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Pac-12 to tamper down on select #Pac12AfterDark kickoffs

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When you allow television networks to pay you $3 billion to broadcast football games and happen to be located on the West Coast, you’re going to pay for it in the form of late kickoffs. ESPN and Fox want eyeballs on their networks as long as possible on fall Saturdays, and they’re not putting SEC games on at 10 p.m. Eastern time.

So, naturally, the Pac-12 drew those time slots.

And they absolutely hated it.

Remember, this is a conference that only recently joined the 21st century. For decades, the conference was happy with its 10 teams, its football games played on Saturday afternoons and its basketball schedule diced into a handy Thursday-Saturday format. Larry Scott was hired in 2009 to modernize the league while increasing the bottom line, and part of that required late kickoffs.

But on Tuesday the conference announced it has worked with its television partners to reduce the number of late kickoffs. ESPN and Fox won’t change their late slots, but the conference has received clearance to play Pac-12 Network games in previously exclusive windows of 2 p.m. or 6:30 p.m. local time. The change is expected to reduce the late night kickoffs by “up to” four games.

“The Pac-12 has some of the most loyal fans in college athletics and we appreciate our television partners working with us on this important issue for fans,” Oregon AD Rob Mullens said in a statement. “The increased exposure and revenue from our contracts with ESPN and FOX Sports have been instrumental to our success, but we continue to work hard to minimize as much as possible the negative impact late start times have on our fans who travel great distances to see our teams in person.”

Additionally, the conference announced it has instituted a field storming fine structure of $25,000 for a first offense, $50,000 for a second offense and $100,000 for a third offense. The SEC has a similar structure on its books.

“The Pac-12 Council carefully considered this policy and its impact on our fans who loyally support our teams,” Cal AD Mike Williams said. “This enhanced policy underscores the importance our universities place on the safety and welfare of our student-athletes, officials and fans, and will allow us to educate staffs and fans on procedures going forward.”

Finally, Pac-12 Network will start broadcasting eSports contests between member schools. Clear your schedule now.

Josh Rosen, on UCLA’s $280 million deal: ‘we’re still amateurs though … gotta love non-profits’

SANTA CLARA, CA - DECEMBER 26:  Josh Rosen #3 of the UCLA Bruins runs back to the bench after he threw a touchdown pass to Kenneth Walker III against the Nebraska Cornhuskers during the Foster Farms Bowl at Levi's Stadium on December 26, 2015 in Santa Clara, California.  (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
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Here’s to guessing that, right or wrong, Jim Mora won’t be pleased with his young quarterback’s latest social media foray.

Late last week, the UCLA head coach used the public airwaves to help “guide” Josh Rosen down the straight and narrow.  Specifically, in regards to the Freshman All-American infamous “f**k Trump” cap flap this offseason, Mora stated that the rising sophomore was “heading towards Johnny Manziel” territory with stunts like that.

Hyperbole?  Yes.  But Rosen is seemingly hellbent on giving Mora further reason to continue down his odd “Money Manziel” path.

Shortly after it was reported that UCLA was set to sign a record-breaking $280 million apparel deal with Under Armour, Rosen took to social media to offer up some snark on the financial windfall that will line the pockets of the athletic department — and which the student-athletes won’t get a sniff.

We’re still amateurs though … Gotta love non-profits #NCAA

A photo posted by Josh Rosen (@josh3rosen) on May 24, 2016 at 8:53am PDT

(The tweet above was retweeted on Rosen’s personal Twitter account)

Coming from a kid who had a hot tub in his dorm his freshman season and whose parents graduated from Ivy League schools — one’s a surgeon — it might not be the actual money but the principle that has Rosen feeling feisty.  Whether his head coach gets just as feisty on his own JFF moral high ground in return remains to be seen.

UCLA set to announce record-setting deal with Under Armour

american money
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In July of last year, Michigan’s reported apparel deal with Nike set a then-record of $169 million over 15 years (the final figure came in at just shy of $174 million).

Four months after UM’s new deal was reported, news surfaced that Texas’ new contract with Nike would be worth $250 million over 15 years.  In January of this year, Ohio State announced its new deal with Nike, an agreement that will pay that school upwards of $252 million over 15 years.  Four months later?  There’s a new unofficial record-holder.

According to ESPN.com‘s Darren Rovell, “Under Armour and UCLA will announce a 15-year schoolwide shoe and apparel deal worth $280 million” later Tuesday.  Scout.com is also reporting the same financial parameters of an agreement between the two entities.

From the latter’s report:

UCLA’s agreement with Under Armour, too, will be unique in the details, providing UCLA a vast amount of benefits that are reportedly unequaled in other apparel agreements. For one, we’ve learned that the money is guaranteed, and doesn’t include royalties, which is a significant difference.

UCLA’s athletic program’s have been aligned with adidas since 1999.  A press conference to announce the switch to Under Armour is set for 3 p.m. ET.

Jim Mora, on Josh Rosen’s ‘f**k Trump’ cap flap: ‘you’re heading towards Johnny Manziel’

TUCSON, AZ - SEPTEMBER 26:  Head coach Jim Mora of the UCLA Bruins congratulates quarterback Josh Rosen #3 after Rosen scored on a eighth yard rushing touchdown against the Arizona Wildcats  during the third quarter of the college football game at Arizona Stadium on September 26, 2015 in Tucson, Arizona. The Bruins defeated the Wildcats 56-23.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
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Four years ago, being compared to Johnny Manziel would’ve been considered a compliment. These days? Not so much, as evidenced by Jim Mora discussing his precocious sophomore quarterback.

During an appearance on the Rich Eisen Show this week, the UCLA head coach lavished praise on the sophomore signal-caller, saying at one point that, had he been eligible, Rosen would’ve been the first pick in the 2016 NFL draft over Cal’s Jared Goff. Mora also compared, very favorably, his quarterback to future Hall of Famer Peyton Manning.

“I can’t remember ever seeing anyone at [Rosen’s] age with the arm talent, the intelligence, the decision-making, the drive, the passion and the ability that he has,” Mora said.

And then there was the JFF blast.

Earlier this offseason, Rosen created quite the kerfuffle when he wore a “f**k Trump” cap to one of the presumptive Republican presidential nominee’s golf courses. While most either viewed it as humorous or a kid being a kid, Mora couched the incident in terms that, given how Manziel’s career has crashed and burned, would open anyone’s eyes.

From BruinsNation.com:

Unless he continues to work hard…unless he makes good decisions…unless he dedicates himself the way that guys like Tom Brady and Drew Brees and Peyton Manning have then it’s a pipe dream. And, I’ve asked him “Who do you want to be Johnny Manziel or Tom Brady? And, you need to make that decision right now and you need to start working in the direction that you want to work in. So, if you’re going to go out on Donald Trump’s golf course and wear a hat that says ‘F– Trump’, I said, ‘You’re heading towards Johnny Manziel.’ So, let’s head toward Peyton Manning. Let’s head towards Tom Brady. Let’s head towards Troy Aikman,” who spent an hour with him on Sunday, which was fantastic…talking to him about the responsibilities of being a quarterback.

While Rosen doesn’t even remotely appear to be headed down the same self-destructive path Manziel has blazed, Mora is doing everything in his power to ensure that the potential first-overall pick of the 2018/2019 NFL draft stays on the straight and narrow.

2016 Las Vegas win totals think highly of Clemson, FSU, Sooners and Vols

MIAMI GARDENS, FL - DECEMBER 31:  Wayne Gallman #9 of the Clemson Tigers scores a touchdown in the fourth quarter against the Oklahoma Sooners during the 2015 Capital One Orange Bowl at Sun Life Stadium on December 31, 2015 in Miami Gardens, Florida.  (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
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The top two teams in the ACC, Clemson and Florida State, are widely expected to once again lead the way in the ACC and the first batch of season win totals from Las Vegas outlet The Golden Nugget back that up. The initial 2016 win totals for a handful of college football programs were released by The Golden Nugget this week, and it would appear the sportsbook expects a big season from the defending ACC champion and national runner-up Clemson.

As noted by The Sporting News, The Golden Nugget gave a regular season win total of 10 to Clemson and Oklahoma, both coming off an appearance in the College Football Playoff last season. Florida State also gets a double-digit win total, as does Tennessee. Defending national champion Alabama has a line of 9.5 for its win total.

Tennessee having a higher win total than Alabama? Well, consider the divisions each play in. The SEC West is still arguably a stronger division than the SEC East, suggesting Tennessee will have an easier path to hitting 10 wins during the regular season. Tennessee opens the season on a neutral field against Virginia Tech in Bristol, while Alabama hits the big stage in Arlington to take on USC. The Trojans have a win total of just 7.5. There was no number available for Virginia Tech.

Defending Big Ten champion Michigan State has a win total number of 8, which is half a game lower than the 8.5 given to Ohio State (take the over now while you can) and 1.5 games lower than in-state rival Michigan (9.5). Defending Pac-12 champion Stanford has to get to eight games to break even. The Golden Nugget set UCLA’s win total at nine, the highest among Pac-12 teams.

Clemson 10 (over -120)
Alabama 9.5
Florida State 10 (over -120)
Oklahoma 10 (under -130)
LSU 9.5 (over -140)
Michigan 9.5 (over -120)
Houston 9 (under -150)
Notre Dame 9 (under -125)
Ohio State 8.5 (over -115)
Tennessee 10
Baylor 9 (under -125)
Michigan State 8 (under -135)
Stanford 8 (under -130
Ole Miss 7.5 (under -115)
Georgia 8.5 (over -145)
Auburn 7 (over -120)
UCLA 9 (over -120)
USC 7.5 (over -120)
Oregon 8.5 (under -120)
Florida 8 (under -125)
Louisville 9
TCU 8.5 (under -125)
Oklahoma State (under -130)
UNLV 4.5