Thu Mar 24 07:55am EDT
Making the morning rounds
• This is what I call a 'target-rich environment.' Six pilots who participated in a pregame flyover before last November's Iowa-Ohio State game in Iowa City — a show that prompted many, many YouTube tributes — have been officially reprimanded by the Air Force for flying too low and too fast over Kinnick Stadium. Specifically, four Talon T-38 Trainer jets cleared the press box by all of 16 feet at 400 knots (the speed limit for flyovers is 300 knots), a daredevil effort that has cost the lead pilot his right to fly military aircraft. [Associated Press]
• Naturally: I taught him everything he knows. Most coaches and players deflect the "Will he or won't he?" question until the last possible moment. but Lane Kiffin — who runs and sells his program on the promise of preparing players for the NFL — straightforwardly hinted Wednesday that quarterback Matt Barkley's junior season at USC this fall will be his last. "Matt's going into his third year here. Obviously, if he has a good year, I'm sure he'll look to go to the NFL. Most guys do after their junior year," Kiffin said. "He needs to take the next step, (going from) being a really good quarterback to a great quarterback. Obviously he's not competing against the guys on this field, because he's above that level. But he's competing against the best guys in the country every single day." For what it's worth, pro scouts have had their eye on Barkley for a long time, and after Andrew Luck, the 2012 QB class is a fairly underwhelming lot. [Orange County Register]
• A poor wayfaring Wegher. Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops confirmed Wednesday that running back Brandon Wegher, a transfer from Iowa, is no longer with the team. As Stoops put it, "that didn't last real long": Wegher just joined OU in January, fresh from a season-long sabbatical at Iowa for murky personal reasons. Prior to that, he was actually pretty good, setting Hawkeye records in 2009 for yards and touchdowns by a freshman. [The Oklahoman]
• Another one bites the dust. In other comings-and-goings, part-time starter Ray Vinopal is leaving Michigan — also for "personal issues," according to coach Brady Hoke — which is less notable for Vinopal's departure than for who the Wolverines plan to plug in at free safety in his absence, which is: Nobody. Of the safeties listed on the spring roster, all (or all that have any realistic chance to see the field) are generally slotted as strong safeties. Vinopal is at least the seventh starter or would-be starter in the Michigan secondary to leave the team or go down with a major injury since the end of the 2009 season. [AnnArbor.com, MGoBlog]
Quickly… The Detroit News has the first of many obligatory "Denard Robinson is adjusting well to the pro-style offense" articles out of Michigan. … Minnesota doesn't have enough healthy bodies for a real spring game. … Mississippi State expects big things from its new transfer, if he makes it onto the field. … Notre Dame quarterbacks put on the helmet cam. … Aaron Murray has finally dropped the glove. … And store clerks at the mall say they will miss Dez Bryant.
- - -
Matt Hinton is on Twitter: Follow him @DrSaturday.