Tue Dec 15 08:55am EST
Making the morning rounds.
• This Bud's gettin' paid, son. Georgia wasn't able to lure highly respected defensive coordinator Bud Foster from Virginia Tech to fill the vacancy on Mark Richt's staff in Athens, but the Bulldogs' overtures did force Tech to "step up with a package" that will keep Foster in Blacksburg: If Foster remains a Hokie for another five years, he'll get an annuity -- reportedly $1 million -- for sticking with a staff he's helped anchor since 1987. "I'm pleased with that," he said, stating the obvious. [Daily Press]
• Jake delays his big break. It was a good news/bad news afternoon for Washington. First, the good news: Star quarterback Jake Locker plans to be back for his senior season in Seattle, passing up a certain first-round selection -- and possibly the No. 1 overall pick -- in April's draft to finish his career with the Huskies. (More on Locker's return later today.)
The not-so-good news: News broke Monday that Washington self-reported a secondary violation after veteran players allegedly bought more than $300 worth of alcohol for underage recruits during Steve Sarkisian's first weekend as head coach last December. The vets were assigned community service while the recruits were required to pay the money back. [Seattle Times]
• Buckeyes turn to the silent treatment. The Columbus Dispatch delves into Ohio State's various strategies for bowl preparation, all of which have resulted in high profile BCS losses over the last three years. Jim Tressel seems to have concluded it comes down to how the players personally handle the layoff and hype -- and has apparently concluded quarterback Terrelle Pryor will best handle this year's run-up to the Rose Bowl by being completely restricted from the media. [Columbus Dispatch]
• Sir Charles still chagrined with Chizik. Gene Chizik acquitted himself fairly well in his first season at Auburn, leading a revived offense that finished 7-5, threw a serious scare into Alabama and landed in a New Year's Day bowl. Outspoken alum Charles Barkley, the most vocal critic of Chizik's hiring over Turner Gill last winter, remains unimpressed: "My worst nightmare is coming true. I’m definitely concerned about Alabama going on a huge roll." [Birmingham News]
Quickly ... Highly sought defensive end prospect Chris Martin, a one-time Notre Dame commitment, has defected to Cal over a host of suitors including Florida (for now). ... Based on ticket sales, Kentucky fans are way more excited about the Music City Bowl than Clemson fans, who were five points from a BCS game. ... Outgoing Michigan running back Brandon Minor underwent shoulder surgery before he begins draft prep. ... UCLA quarterback Kevin Prince's status is up in the air for the Bruins' bowl game against Temple. ... Florida State players describe bowl prep as "exciting" and "weird." ... Former boss Gary Hart pretends to remember Brian Kelly. ... And Jim Harbaugh must be the only person on Stanford's campus who reportedly enjoys chewing tobacco.