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What to watch this weekend

12/1/2011

Will ASU or UCLA fill coaching vacancies?

Washington State moved quick in naming former Texas Tech head coach Mike Leach its new coach, a move that will make things in the Pac-12 much more exciting, on and off the field. Arizona State and UCLA had a one-day head start on the Cougars but don’t appear close to naming a new head man.

By all accounts, UCLA is trying to hit a grand slam and land Boise State coach Chris Petersen. Petersen has been approached numerous times in the past for just about every open job in the West Coast for the last several years. He has always maintained his desire to stay in Boise so it will be interesting to see how this one plays out.

The leading candidate for the Sun Devils job appears to be Houston head coach Kevin Sumlin. Sumlin has also been mentioned with the UCLA job and if Petersen decided to stay at Boise, you could see a scenario where the two Pac-12 programs compete head-to-head for Sumlin.

L.A. City Player of the Year on the line

Two of the leading candidates for Los Angeles City Player of the Year honors will be on the field together this weekend when Harbor City (Calif.) Narbonne hosts Los Angeles (Calif.) Dorsey in a key city semifinal matchup.

The Gauchos are led by junior quarterback Troy Williams, who has established himself as a national prospect and should have double digit scholarship offers by the spring. He has thrown for 2,882 yards and 30 touchdowns and rushed for 540 yards and nine more scores.

The Dons are led by linebacker Jeremiah Allison, who is gunning for his third straight, 20 sack season. Even more impressive, Allison has had straight A's in the classroom every semester he has been at Dorsey. The winner of this game moves on to play for the city title and could also give Williams or Allison, the edge when it comes to player of the year voting.

Would Shepard and Greenberry go their separate ways?

Fresno (Calif.) Washington Union teammates and cousins Tee Shepard and Deonte Greenbery committed to Notre Dame early in the process saying they were a strong package deal and have wanted to play college ball together since they were little.

Recently there has been some talk that the two could actually go their separate ways. Shepard looks rock solid to the Irish and plans to graduate early in hopes of winning a starting job in the spring. He was considering visiting USC this weekend, but said he’ll likely stay home out of respect to the Irish coaches.

Greenberry could be a different story. After visiting Arizona State during the season, some close to the receiver said they felt he was leaning to the Sun Devils. With the firing of Dennis Erickson, that no longer appears to be the case but Greenberry will likely take the visit to USC and the Trojans could be a player for his services.

Can Cal make up ground with Washington RB?

Running back KeiVarae Russell (Everett, Wash./Mariner) will take an official visit to Cal this weekend and the Bears have a real shot at the talented ballcarrier. Russell has already visited Notre Dame and will also check out USC and Washington.

He took an unofficial visit to Berkeley back in the summer for the Bears junior day and said he loved everything about the trip. Cal has been consistently on Russell’s short list all year and he has a very good relationship with Bears running back coach Ron Gould.

Russell also loved his visit to Notre Dame and the hometown Huskies will definitely be in this race until the end. However, the feeling is if his visit to Cal goes well, the Golden Bears will be right there as well.

Santa Margarita vs. Mission Viejo

Multiple storylines in this one make it one of the most intriguing games to watch. Forget the fact that both teams are loaded, ranked among the top 15 teams in the state and have multiple BCS level players filling their roster.

This one is a grudge match headlined by two head coaches with history and not much love lost between them. When the Santa Margarita job opened up a few years ago, Diablos head coach Bob Johnson was passed over for current coach Harry Welch. Making matters worse for Johnson, his close friend and long time line coach Marty Spalding came out of retirement to coach with Welch and is currently on the Eagles staff.

The teams play similar styles of football -- smash mouth on the ground with very tough and physical defenses. USC-bound Max Tuerk leads a strong Eagles offensive line and the Diablos have a pair of BCS prospects on the line as well in San Diego State bound Austin Maas and Coly Cyburt. When healthy, Diablo running back Jahleel Pinner, a USC commit, is an absolute load to deal with as well.