Pat Forde

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Pat Forde is Yahoo! Sports’ national college columnist. He is an award-winning writer, author and commentator with 25 years experience in newspapers and online.

  • The Big 12 is the best place in America to prove that massive, substantive change is possible in college football.

    The elite can be overthrown. The meek can inherit the earth.

    After Oklahoma and Texas won every league title from 2004-09, the two historic kingpins of the Southwest have managed just a share of one Big 12 championship since – that by the Sooners in 2012, when they were clearly the second-best team to Kansas State. Oklahoma and the Longhorns are both in the top seven in FBS history in winning percentage.

    Lately, the conference has been overtaken by programs with a long history of being trod upon.

    In 2011, Oklahoma State – No. 87 in FBS history in winning percentage, at .506 – ended the Oklahoma-Texas hegemony. In ’12, it was Kansas State – No. 112 in winning percentage, at .447. In 2013, it was Baylor – No. 82, at .510.

    And last year, quite memorably, Baylor and TCU (No. 70, at .534), were controversial co-champions.Will Charlie Strong's Longhorns or Bob Stoops' Sooners reclaim the Big 12 throne this year? (AP)Will Charlie Strong's Longhorns or Bob Stoops' Sooners reclaim the Big 12 throne this year? (AP)

    You won’t find a comparable run of non-traditional

    Read More »from New world order: Big 12 in era of upheaval as Texas, Oklahoma take back seat
  • Sources: John Daly taken to hospital for evaluation

    After collapsing on the 18th tee box, golfer John Daly was taken by ambulance from a golf course in Canton, Miss., to a hospital in Jackson for tests Saturday, multiple sources told Yahoo Sports.John Daly squares up for a shot on Saturday. (Special to Yahoo Sports)John Daly squares up for a shot on Saturday. (Special to Yahoo Sports)

    Zack Hamm, an emergency room technician at Baptist Medical Center, confirmed to Yahoo Sports on Saturday night that Daly was there and being evaluated. Daly was treated and released Saturday night after likely suffering from dehydration, according to Yahoo sources and published reports.

    Daly had been playing in an outing at Deerfield Golf Club, multiple sources told Yahoo Sports.

    Daly, a 49-year-old winner of two major championships with a well-documented penchant for excess, most recently missed the cut at the PGA Championship at Whistling Straits. Daly shot 73-82, including a 10 on the par-3 7th hole. Daly threw a club into Lake Michigan while playing that hole.

    The last time Daly made the cut in a PGA Tour event was in March at the Puerto Rico Open.

     

    Read More »from Sources: John Daly taken to hospital for evaluation
  • AD Pat Haden has shown he can do it all – except bring success to USC

    For college football fans and insiders of a certain age – say, 40s and older – the name “Pat Haden” conjures respect verging on awe. He darn near comes with a halo attached.

    Star player. Star student. Prominent broadcaster. Successful lawyer. Savvy businessman. Permanently youthful. Perpetually distinguished. Talk to people of that certain age and you will come away convinced that there’s not a thing he can’t do better than 99 percent of the populace.

    Except maybe run a major athletic department.

    One of the game’s all-time golden boys has had a five-year tenure as athletic director at his alma mater, USC, that has left a few dents on the old halo. Haden is one of those guys who is regularly referred to as “dignified” – yet USC athletics has staggered through one indignity after another during Haden’s time in charge.

    The indignities aren’t necessarily his doing – but some of them have come from a guy Haden personally hired to put a better face on the program than his predecessor. For a

    Read More »from AD Pat Haden has shown he can do it all – except bring success to USC
  • College football's 25 Most Intriguing Games of 2015

    Back by popular demand (or a lack of alternative content), we have the college football Most Intriguing Lists of 2015. That's not necessarily the best, not necessarily the most popular – it's the most intriguing. First week: Most Intriguing Coaches. Second week: Most Intriguing Quarterbacks. Third week: Most Intriguing Non-Quarterbacks. Wrapping up the series this week: Most Intriguing Games.

    Baylor seniors Jarell Broxton (61) and Spencer Drango (58) lined up next to each other for this year's team photo. (AP)Baylor seniors Jarell Broxton (61) and Spencer Drango (58) lined up next to each other for this year's team photo. (AP)1. Baylor at TCU, Nov. 27. This time, the winner WILL make the College Football Playoff. Even though both were snubbed last year, the game was madly memorable: the Bears won a 61-58 shootout by scoring the final 24 points in the last 11 minutes. Then they may (or may not) have rubbed a little subliminal salt in the wound in this year’s team picture. In it, senior Jarell Broxton (No. 61) is right next to senior Spencer Drango (No. 58) on the front row. It was a “weird coincidence,” according to a Baylor spokesman. Probably didn’t seem coincidental to the Horned Frogs.

    2. Ohio State at Michigan,

    Read More »from College football's 25 Most Intriguing Games of 2015
  • Art Briles' apparent lie puts his future at Baylor in doubt

    Art Briles was caught in a lie, which could lead to his ouster at Baylor. (AP)Art Briles was caught in a lie, which could lead to his ouster at Baylor. (AP)On Thursday, Baylor football coach Art Briles could charitably have been considered an incompetent know-nothing who had little interest in learning the off-the-field truth about a troubled transfer into his program.

    On Friday, Briles looks more like a flat-out liar.

    Now we'll see whether that's the man the Baptist school in Waco still wants leading its football program.

    When Washington coach Chris Petersen issued a statement to ESPN Friday afternoon saying that he personally informed Briles about the reason for defensive end Sam Ukwuachu's dismissal from Boise State (where Peterson used to coach) in 2013, it put Briles' credibility on the front burner. Coaches don't always do what Petersen did. Good for him for speaking up – and bad for Briles.

    "After Sam Ukwuachu was dismissed from the Boise State football program and expressed an interest in transferring to Baylor, I initiated a call with coach Art Briles," Petersen, who left Boise State for Washington after the 2013 season, said in

    Read More »from Art Briles' apparent lie puts his future at Baylor in doubt
  • Why Georgia Tech's Paul Johnson still runs option offense, and why it still works

    ATLANTA – Contrary to rumor, Paul Johnson’s office overlooking Bobby Dodd Stadium is not hewn out of rock.

    There are no cave drawings on the walls. He does not come to work at Georgia Tech wearing a Fred Flintstone animal skin.How far will Paul Johnson's option offense take the Yellow Jackets this season? (Getty)How far will Paul Johnson's option offense take the Yellow Jackets this season? (Getty)

    In clear refutation of perception, Johnson actually has a desktop computer. And an iPhone sits in front of him – albeit one that looks like a dated model, maybe an iPhone 4.

    But amid the trappings of fancy modern offices, the Yellow Jackets’ facility is permeated with the smell of sweat. Nice furniture and carpet can’t hide that. It’s football’s ancient ingredient, and Johnson is right at home with ancient stuff.

    As long as it keeps working. And it is.

    The Yellow Jackets went 11-3 last year, winning both the Atlantic Coast Conference Coastal Division and the Orange Bowl, and they could be every bit as good in 2015 if a new crop of backs and receivers step up. Despite the alleged antiquity of the man in charge.

    Johnson may be the last college football coach to

    Read More »from Why Georgia Tech's Paul Johnson still runs option offense, and why it still works
  • Brian Kelly has learned what's needed to succeed at Notre Dame – and what needs to improve

    SOUTH BEND, Ind. – Brian Kelly is entering his sixth season as the football coach at Notre Dame, which shows some staying power. Seriously.

    This is a dog-years job, tending to grind up coaches in five years or fewer. Only four others in the program's 128-year history have lasted longer than five seasons, and all of them were national title-winning giants: Knute Rockne, Frank Leahy, Ara Parseghian and Lou Holtz. Kelly has no title and his .692 winning percentage doesn't compare to Rockne's (.881), Leahy's (.855), Parseghian's (.836) or Holtz's (.765).

    But let's face it, it's a different job now than it was then.

    Given Kelly's deceptively long tenure, he was asked Tuesday at Notre Dame media day if he's grown more comfortable on the job. His answer was interesting.

    Brian Kelly has a .692 winning percentage in his first five seasons at Notre Dame. (AP)Brian Kelly has a .692 winning percentage in his first five seasons at Notre Dame. (AP)"I don't know if you ever get comfortable in the seat at Notre Dame," Kelly said. "Comfortable wouldn't be a word that I would use. I think what I would probably say is that the picture is a lot clearer in the sense that I

    Read More »from Brian Kelly has learned what's needed to succeed at Notre Dame – and what needs to improve
  • College football's 25 Most Intriguing Non-Quarterbacks of 2015

    Back by popular demand (or a lack of alternative content), we have the college football Most Intriguing Lists of 2015. That's not necessarily the best, not necessarily the most popular – it's the most intriguing. First week: Most Intriguing Coaches. Last week: Most Intriguing Quarterbacks. This week: Most Intriguing Non-Quarterbacks.

    1. Braxton Miller, Ohio State wide receiver. Until last month he was ticketed for the Most Intriguing Quarterback List. Then the two-time Big Ten Offensive Player of the Year made the biggest position switch of 2015, which should lower Urban Meyer's stress level in deciding on a QB while simultaneously helping the Buckeyes get another weapon on the field. And it should help Miller's NFL future as well. Can't wait to see how Meyer uses him.

    2. Ezekiel Elliott, Ohio State running back. From the moment J.T. Barrett went down on the first play of the fourth quarter against Michigan last year, Elliott put the Buckeyes on his back in heroic fashion. He broke a

    Read More »from College football's 25 Most Intriguing Non-Quarterbacks of 2015
  • First World problem: Will Ohio State go with Barrett or Jones at QB?

    J.T. Barrett (16) and Braxton Miller (5) watch as Cardale Jones runs the offense. (Getty Images)J.T. Barrett (16) and Braxton Miller (5) watch as Cardale Jones runs the offense. (Getty Images)COLUMBUS, Ohio — The jarring truth is that either J.T. Barrett or Cardale Jones is going to be Ohio State's backup quarterback in the very near future.

    The best backup quarterback in college football. A guy who could start almost everywhere but in crowded Columbus.

    When decision day comes, the loser in the nation's most interesting quarterback derby may handle it better than the coaches in charge of making the decision.

    "Yeah, that'll probably be a tough one," Buckeyes quarterback coach Tim Beck said at Ohio State media day on Sunday. "Thanks for bringing that up."

    For now, at least, Jones and Barrett sound like they will be at peace with whatever head coach Urban Meyer, Beck and co-offensive coordinator Ed Warinner decide.

    "I know how I'm going to handle it [if Jones starts]," Barrett said. "Obviously, you didn't make the plays to make this the best offense it can be. Who am I going to blame? Am I going to blame the coach? Am I going to blame Cardale? That doesn't make sense."

    Said

    Read More »from First World problem: Will Ohio State go with Barrett or Jones at QB?
  • College football's 25 Most Intriguing Quarterbacks of 2015

    Back by popular demand (or a lack of alternative content), we have the college football Most Intriguing Lists of 2015. That’s not necessarily the best, not necessarily the most popular – it’s the most intriguing. Last week: Most Intriguing Coaches. This week: Most Intriguing Quarterbacks.

    1. Whoever Starts at Ohio State. He will have prevailed in one of the most fascinating QB duels in college history – a competition fierce enough to have sent a two-time Big Ten Offensive Player of the Year packing to wide receiver. And he will still have a backup who is plenty capable breathing down his neck. Gut feel says the starter will be J.T. Barrett, whose nose-to-the-grindstone, alpha-male approach fits Urban Meyer best. But just wait until Ohio State’s first three-and-out...J.T. Barrett (16) and Braxton Miller (5) look on while Cardale Jones takes reps at QB during spring practice. (Getty)J.T. Barrett (16) and Braxton Miller (5) look on while Cardale Jones takes reps at QB during spring practice. (Getty)

    2. The Backup at Ohio State. If Barrett does indeed start, that would leave Cardale Jones in this position – and the last time we saw Jones play, he was leading the Buckeyes to the national title by winning his only three

    Read More »from College football's 25 Most Intriguing Quarterbacks of 2015

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