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Carroll says he won’t forget Harbaugh, Stanford’s 2-point attempt

USC’s Pete Carroll says he’s over Stanford head coach John Harbaugh going for two when the Cardinal were already up 48-21 in the second half of their victory over the Trojans last Saturday. But Carroll also said that he wouldn’t forget about the play either.


MASON: What do you think, now a couple of days removed, of Harbaugh going for the two-point conversion?

CARROLL: Well, really, even since the time that it happened, you know, I haven’t bothered with it, and I know everybody else has and taken a lot of time to kinda discuss it and all. I think, you know, it is what you think it is, you know, it’s a statement that you can take away that maybe they were trying to accomplish something that seems out of the ordinary, you know, I don’t really care, to tell you the truth, it doesn’t matter.

And when you look at it like, uh, they’re ahead in the game and they’re in command of it, they really get to do whatever they want to do, and it doesn’t bother me to worry about it anymore, you know what I mean? Jim came out and said what he wanted to say, you know, a couple different times about it and, you know, to me it’s dropped, I don’t care.
Will I forget it? No, I’m not forgetting it. But uh, you know, to me, it’s in the past.

What’s funny is that everyone is concentrating on how Stanford went for two to make a statement to USC, but what Carroll and everyone needs to focus on is that the Cardinal whipped the Trojans’ ass for four quarters. It wasn’t just one play; Stanford owned USC on the Trojans’ home field for 60 minutes. That’s the bigger deal.

So Carroll truly does need to forget about the one play (albeit, an embarrassing play) and concentrate on what has happened this year to his program. To hell with the two-point conversation: How does that once stout USC defense allow 36 (Oregon State), 47 (Oregon) and 55 (Stanford) points over the course of a four game span?

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2009 Heisman Barometer: Week 12

Draft writes that Stanford’s Toby Gerhart and Alabama’s Mark Ingram has seen their draft stock rise over the past couple weeks and now ranks them No. 1 and No. 2 on their Heisman Barometer.

1. Toby Gerhart, RB, Stanford
Once again, a guy who might not have a real shot at winning the award. Mark Ingram looks poised to become Alabama’s first Heisman recipient ever, and I’m not trying to take anything away from him, but I don’t think the Tide would struggle without him. Stanford, on the other hand, doesn’t beat USC without their junior tailback. He’s a deceptively quick bulldozer who has the Cardinal on the right track to getting back to the Rose Bowl. One loss from Oregon, and a Pac 10 title could be just enough help to give Gerhart the hardware. At the very least, he’s my number one.

Last Week’s Stats: 178 Rushing Yards, 3 TDs

2. Mark Ingram, RB, Alabama
He’s probably the realistic frontrunner right now, and it’s not like he doesn’t deserve it. 1297 rushing yards, 13 total TDs, and a 6.7 ypc average. Not bad at all, especially through only 10 games. But the biggest reason that Ingram’s looking like a lock to become the second sophomore to win the Heisman is the fact that his team is undefeated. One big test left against Florida in the SEC championship. Win that one and head to Pasadena for the big game and Mark can vote for himself next year.

As Draft Zoo points out, Gerhart is unlikely to win the award but the way he has come on as of late, it’s hard to argue that he doesn’t at least deserve some mention.

If you haven’t see Gerhart play, you’re really missing out. He’s a load to bring down and looked damn near unstoppable against Oregon and USC the past two weeks. He’s one of those guys that can put his entire team on his back and carry them and it’s no wonder that more pundits are starting to talk about him as a legit NFL prospect.

People keep talking about how Tim Tebow is the front-runner to win this year’s Heisman, but I just don’t see it. Can anyone objectively say that Tebow has done enough to merit the award? Considering how much talent he has around him (and I’m not just talking about offense), I’m not sure you can.

Unless he comes out and puts on a show against Alabama and whomever Florida plays in the national championship if the Gators can beat the Tide in the SEC title game, then I don’t see Tebow taking home the hardware this season.

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Jim Harbaugh squashes Michigan rumors

Stanford head coach Jim Harbaugh recently was asked on Sirius XM’s “Mad Dog Radio” if he would be interested in coaching at Michigan if things didn’t work out with current Wolverine coach Rich Rodriguez.

His response (via the Detroit Free Press):

Host Bruce Murray: “You are a hot prospect now in college football. You are going to be sought after. Do you have outs to go to other jobs should they present themselves in your contract?”

Jim Harbaugh: “Well, I love Stanford and I love the football players here and the coaches here. I’m not going to specifically discuss my contract but I hope to have the honor of coaching here, Bruce, for a very long time.”

Murray: “But you’ve heard the rumors and I’m not saying that you would entertain it. You know if something doesn’t work out with Rich Rodriguez at Michigan, as an alum you’re going to be called by them … ”

Harbaugh: “Let me just stop you right there, Bruce. This is big game week. This is Cal week, and as you would understand, all my focus and our focus has to be on that. So if we’re going to keep going into this I’ve got other things that are more pressing. … This week is just one of those weeks where the focus really has to be on the game we’ve got coming up.”

Good for Harbaugh for not getting roped into saying something that he would probably regret later. He didn’t come out and say that he wouldn’t coach at Michigan; instead he kept the focus on Stanford and its upcoming battle with Cal this Saturday. It wouldn’t be fair to his players or his fellow coaches if he stoked the Michigan-head coaching flames three days before a big game against a key rival. Furthermore, it would be disrespectful to Rodriguez for Harbaugh to talk about a job that isn’t his.

I know he has ties to Michigan because he played there, but I hope the powers at be put together a fair extension so that he can stay at Stanford. They were the ones to give him his first shot and it would be nice to see a college football head coach show some loyalty once in awhile (although one could argue that he has loyalties to Michigan, too).

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2009 College Football Week 12 Picks & Predictions

Last week was bitter sweet as I went 4-0 straight up but just 1-3 against the spread. Keep in mind that I try to only pick top 25 games, so they’re much, much harder to predict. Like, much harder. (Or at least that’s my excuse anyway.)

No. 8 LSU at Mississippi, 3:30PM ET
Both of these SEC teams will be looking to finish the 2009 season strong when they square off this Saturday in Oxford. The Rebels snapped a six-game losing streak to the Tigers last season but they haven’t won at home in his series since 1998. The public seems high on Ole Miss after the Rebs hammered Tennessee last Saturday, but keep in mind that the Vols were in the midst of some turmoil after three of their players were arrested for attempted armed robbery last week. Dexter McCluster went off on Tennessee for 282 yards and four touchdowns, but he’ll have a hard time repeating that effort against a stout LSU front seven. Something tells me that Les Miles’ team is still pissed off about what happened two weeks again in Tuscaloosa and will play this week with passion. I see a small upset for the Tigers and an outright win.
Odds: Ole Miss –4.5.
Prediction: LSU 20, Ole Miss 17.

No. 25 California at No. 17 Stanford, 7:30PM ET
Stanford is playing as well as anyone in the nation right now. The Cardinal have scored 106 points combined against Oregon and USC the past two weeks and senior running back Toby Gerhart has almost been unstoppable. Without running back Jahvid Best, Cal squeaked by Arizona last week, 24-16. With Best sidelined again this Saturday, many expect Stanford to roll but don’t forget that Cal has the 19th best run defense in the nation and is capable of containing Gerhart and keeping things close. Quarterback Kevin Riley might be able to take advantage of a Stanford secondary that has been inconsistent this season, although without the threat of a running game the Bears’ offense might become too one-dimensional in the second half. I think Stanford will pull out the victory but this game will be closer than people think.
Odds: Stanford –7.5.
Prediction: Stanford 35, Cal 31.

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