A weekly assessment of Pac-12 news, quasi-news and (occasional) non-news …

Rising: Freshman quarterbacks.

The NCAA’s new ‘redshirt rule,’ which was announced Wednesday and allows players to participate in a maximum of four games without losing the year of eligibility, could transform the quarterback evaluation process.

Coaches without an obvious starter now have the ability to insert a hotshot freshman into early-season games to determine if he’s ready to take over immediately, if he needs 12 months of refinement … or if he might not be of service for several years.

With depth charts in mind, the Hotline believes UCLA stands as the biggest immediate winner from the redshirt rule.

The Bruins have a handful of players competing for the starting job, and one, Dorian Thompson-Robinson, is a hotshot freshman.

Coach Chip Kelly has the option to play Thompson-Robinson for several series (or quarters) against Cincinnati, Oklahoma and Fresno State and determine whether he should start or sit in 2018.

To a slightly lesser degree, Washington State will benefit from the rule, with newcomer Cammon Cooper getting a shot to prove he’s worthy in a crowded field.

Some might argue for USC as a winner, as well, but the presumption here is that JT Daniels would play, and start, regardless of the new rule.

Rising: Pac-12 hype.

The vast majority of fans do not care about conference media events, and they shouldn’t … except that the mid-summer gatherings provide a foundation for attention that, in turn, elevates the profile of a player/coach/team/conference.

And elevated profiles impact the success of the overall brand, which fans should care about.

The Pac-12 took an important step this spring by strong-arming … err, requiring … err, urging the schools to send their top players to the late-July festivities in Hollywood.

The list of attendees, released Tuesday, includes all of the conference’s marquee players, from Khalil Tate and …read more

Source:: The Mercury News – Sports


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