Response to Pac-12 developments on and off the sector …
1. One rent, three groups
Oregon crammed its defensive coordinator emptiness this week and created a ripple impact by the North within the course of.
The Geese employed Tim DeRuyter, the previous co-architect of Cal’s defensive turnaround and one of many high defensive coaches within the convention.
It’s a stellar rent for Mario Cristobal — one which meets the bar set by Oregon’s earlier coordinator, Andy Avalos, who left not too long ago to grow to be the pinnacle coach at Boise State.
Think about DeRuyter’s work in Berkeley, the place he mixed with head coach Justin Wilcox to orchestrate a dramatic turnaround:
— The 12 months earlier than they took over, Cal allowed 6.7 yards-per-play, good for No. 122 nationally.
— Of their first season (2017), that determine dropped to five.8 yards per play (No. 80 nationally).
— Of their second season, the Bears allowed simply 4.6 yards per play — tops within the Pac-12 and No. 9 nationally.
From No. 122 to No. 9 in two years, with DeRuyter calling the performs.
With DeRuyter and Joe Moorhead, the Geese possess a coordinator tandem that ranks with any within the convention, simply as they did with Avalos and Moorhead.
2. The affect beneath
Not solely did Oregon fortify its defensive employees with DeRuyter, it weakened a North rival.
And never simply any North rival however the one which does a greater job than any of flummoxing the Geese.
Oregon averaged 35.4 factors per recreation in 2019 however scored simply 17 in opposition to Cal.
Final season, the Geese averaged 31.3 factors however, once more, managed simply 17 in opposition to the Bears.
Wilcox and DeRuyter had Oregon discovered.
Now, the Berkeley braintrust has been weakened.
The monetary phrases of DeRuyter’s deal haven’t been disclosed, however right here’s what we all know:
DeRuyter made $400,000 at Cal this season (with out pandemic reductions), in line with the USA At the moment wage database.
Avalos made $815,000 at Oregon (per USAT).
Regardless of the last quantity, it should represent a major increase for DeRuyter … and a promotion.
He was employed by Wilcox in 2017 because the defensive coordinator and retained the title for 3 seasons.
However in 2020, DeRuyter turned co-coordinator together with Peter Sirmon, who oh-by-the-way was handed the play-calling duties.
You possibly can see why DeRuyter was open to different presents.
The Geese well swooped in and took a superb coach from a division peer.
Now it’s as much as Wilcox to fill a major void.
3. The affect above
The repercussions of the DeRuyter rent don’t essentially finish in Berkeley — a minimum of in a theoretical sense.
The Geese additionally raised the bar for his or her chief adversary: Washington, which is recent off a employees change of its personal.
Defensive coordinator Pete Kwiatkowski, among the finest within the west, is heading to Texas to work for Steve Sarkisian and maybe accumulate a 50 p.c increase over the $1 million (approx) he was making in Seattle.
(Washington spent $5.1 million on its teaching employees final season, in comparison with $6.3 million for Texas — and we assume Sarkisian may have much more money at his disposal … maybe as a lot as $7 million.
(It’s one other instance of the useful resource drawback Pac-12 packages face when richer colleges come knocking for high coaches.)
Because of Kwiatkowski’s exit, second-year coach Jimmy Lake had a excessive bar to clear along with his coordinator rent earlier than Oregon crammed its emptiness with a first-rate coach.
It’s a double whammy for the Huskies, a minimum of till Lake makes his transfer.
Besides we’re undecided there’s an equal of DeRuyter out there for UW.
4. Utah mines the portal
We’re months away from finalized rosters, with a whole lot of gamers shifting by the switch portal this offseason.
Out of necessity, Utah has been lively.
From the appears of it, Utah has been profitable, too.
The Utes completed 2020 with three consecutive wins and had the framework for a first-rate depth chart subsequent season, save for 2 positions.
They wanted a No. 1 tailback following Ty Jordan’s loss of life and a minimum of one candidate to compete for the beginning quarterback spot.
(Week One starter Cameron Rising is recovering from shoulder surgical procedure; Jake Bentley, who changed Rising because the starter, is transferring; and touted rookie Peter Costelli is, effectively, a rookie.)
It seems each hurdles have been cleared.
The Utes landed two quarterbacks to compete with Rising: Ja’Quiden Jackson from Texas and Charlie Brewer from Baylor.
Jackson is a freshman whereas Brewer threw for nearly 10,000 yards as a multi-year starter for the Bears.
The Utes additionally grabbed two attainable beginning tailbacks in T.J. Pledger, who rushed for 100+ yards in two video games for Oklahoma this season, and Chris Curry, who arrives in Salt Lake Metropolis from his backup position at LSU.
Our guess is that quartet from the portal, in some mixture, will produce Utah’s beginning quarterback and tailback.
If the outcomes match their resumes, the Utes ought to be in place to problem for the South title.
Every part else is in place.
5. Warning from afar
In what could possibly be thought of a slender however notable victory over COVID, the Pac-12 has performed 9 of the ten basketball video games to this point this weekend. And the the lone cancellation got here as the results of a false constructive take a look at throughout the USC program.
Saturday night time introduced a warning flare, all the way in which from Ann Arbor.
Michigan introduced that each one of its winter sports activities are shutting down for 2 weeks due to constructive take a look at for coronavirus.
However not the COVID-19 we’ve come to know and hate.
As an alternative, the shutdown reportedly comes on account of 5 constructive checks for the B.1.1.7 pressure — the UK model that’s believed to be 50 p.c extra transmissible than the strains circulating within the U.S. for the previous 12 months.
Well being authorities all over the place will undoubtedly (and understandably) take a cautious method to the brand new pressure.
On the west coast, the quantity of warning might double what we see elsewhere.
It’s simple to ascertain the B.1.1.7 pressure ultimately infiltrating Pac-12 packages and inflicting state and county well being departments to impose multi-week pauses.
That would affect the Pac-12 common season and maybe the match, which is presently scheduled to start March 10 in Las Vegas.
And it would have an effect on the NCAA match, which has a March 18 begin date throughout the Indianapolis bubble.
In different phrases, the potential for main disruption throughout the sport — and maybe even for Might Insanity — stays excessive.
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