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Kurt Kragthorpe and Kyle Goon
Kurt Kragthorpe and Kyle Goon cover the Pac-12 for The Salt Lake Tribune.

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(Chris Detrick | The Salt Lake Tribune) USC Trojans safety Josh Shaw grabs an interception during a game at the The Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum Saturday October 26, 2013. Shaw is under scrutiny after telling the Trojans he was injured while rescuing his nephew from drowning over the weekend. Coach Steve Sarkisian has said several have contradicted the story.
Pac-12 notes: USC corner’s injury story being questioned

The heart-warming story of USC cornerback Josh Shaw injuring himself while saving his nephew from drowning barely lasted a day before coming under scrutiny.

Trojans coach Steve Sarkisian acknowledged Tuesday morning that the football program had gotten several calls "questioning the validity" of Shaw's narrative of how he sprained both his ankles, thus putting himself on the shelf for the start of USC's season.

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Shaw, a senior and team captain, was the subject of a Monday USC release describing how he jumped from an upper-floor balcony while trying to help his nephew, who can't swim, out of a pool at a family gathering in Palmdale, Calif.. Sarkisian said Shaw has been consistent in his account since informing the team about his injury, but that the program is trying to learn all it can about the incident.

"He's been a kid of very high character for us, a team leader, elected team captain," he said in a Pac-12 conference call. "I had no reason not to believe him. Now, we did receive some calls that question the validity of his story. We're vetting. We're doing our due diligence on that as we speak."

ASU coach wants playoff expansion • Todd Graham said he may be old fashioned, but he would sure love to see each of the Power 5 conferences send its conference champion to the College Football Playoff.

Wait .. four teams ... five conferences. That doesn't quite add up, does it?

There is an answer, however, he said. Make the pool a little larger, he said, saying he "would love to see it expand to eight."

Barring that, Graham does have an idea of which conferences should see its champions make the playoff: the SEC and the Pac-12.

The SEC has been a dominant force in the last decade, winning seven of the last eight national title games. The Pac-12 has been much less of a factor in recent BCS history, with Oregon only going once in the same time frame. But the depth of the Pac-12 makes it an underappreciated league, Graham said.

"The way our league works, it's very difficult in our league to go undefeated, as it is in the SEC," he said. "We beat each other up. I can't imagine a team winning a Pac-12 championship with the caliber of teams we have here and not being in that four-team playoff.

Arizona going with freshman QB • Amid a conference that has so many experienced and high-profile quarterbacks, here's a new name to remember: Anu Solomon.

That's the redshirt freshman who will start under center when Arizona takes on UNLV in its season opener this week. The Wildcats announced this week that Solomon had won the fall camp position battle and has earned the right to at least start the season as the team's go-to gunner. He's the first freshman to start at quarterback since Arizona joined the Pac-12.

Coach Rich Rodriguez said he's not going to be overly nitpicky of every mistake Solomon makes as long as he doesn't make the big ones, namely turnovers. But he's seen enough from his rookie to feel comfortable handing over the reins.

"He's a cool customer," Rodriguez said. "He's hard to get rattled. I'm sure he'll get rattled on Friday night, but I'm excited to see what he can do."

Kyle Goon

kgoon@sltrib.com

Twitter: @kylegoon

PAC-12 Links
Links from around the Pac-12
Arizona (Tucson Citizen)
» Can you top these UA football memes?
» Hansen: Arizona vs. Cal
» UA volleyball: Arizobal has keyed UA's success
» Transcript: Q&A on UA football with Daniel Berk

Arizona St. (Arizona Republic)
» ASU football chat with Doug Haller
» Teofilo, Westerman power ASU offensive line
» Foster stable offensive force for ASU football
» Doug Haller's Week 3 Pac-12 power rankings

California (East Bay Tribune)
» Jeff Tedford's recruits finding delayed success at Cal
» Sonny Dykes: Cal's confidence rooted in hard work
» Stanford, Cal 2015 football schedules announced
» Oakland Soldiers set tone for college basketball recruiting in Bay Area

Colorado (Denver Post)
» Speedy freshman Donovan Lee gives CU Buffs another playmaker
» Colorado coached to avoid coin-toss glitches, MacIntyre says
» Colorado's MacIntyre gratified Buffs practiced hard Monday
» CU Buffs tackle Jeromy Irwin might play vs. Hawaii after concussion

Oregon (The Oregonian)
» Oregon Ducks open up Autzen Stadium doors for Fan Fest: Photo gallery
» No. 1 Florida State vs. No. 22 Clemson highlights college football top 25; Live updates: Full schedule, TV listings
» Washington State's aerial attack isn't the first challenge for Oregon Ducks corner Dior Mathis
» No concerns here about Oregon's defense, but Oregon State needs to clean up the penalties

Oregon State (Corvallis Gazette-Times)
» Oregon State roundup (Sept. 19)
» OSU men's basketball: Tinkle says positive steps being made
» Spencer to become new AD at Evansville
» BeaversSalute program gives tickets to military personnel and veterans

Stanford (San Jose Mercury-News)
» Stanford coach David Shaw goes digging
» Cal, Stanford Pac-12 men's basketball schedules announced
» Local sports digest: Stanford's Maverick McNealy ties for medalist honors
» Local sports digest: Stanford sweeps Santa Clara

UCLA (Los Angeles Daily News)
» UCLA Football Notebook: Running back Malcolm Jones loses appeal for extra season
» COLLEGE FOOTBALL: Improving UCLA has questions to answer during preseason football camp
» COLLEGE FOOTBALL: UCLA's prized recruit Eddie Vanderdoes cleared to play by NCAA after leaving Notre Dame
» Pac-12 Media Day: Eyes on Anthony Barr for UCLA's 2013 hopes

USC (Los Angeles Daily News)
» USC Football Notebook: Marqise Lee's injury not too serious
» USC Football Notebook: QBs Max Wittek, Cody Kessler present dilemma for Trojans coach Lane Kiffin
» USC FOOTBALL NOTEBOOK: Former UCLA coach Rick Neuheisel thinks Trojans might not miss QB Matt Barkley
» USC FOOTBALL NOTEBOOK: Dion Bailey says it's 'now or never'

Washington (Seattle Times)
» Remember Joe Jarzynka? Huskies looking for a punt returner who can bust it
» Lorenzo Romar on Robert Upshaw, Ray Rice and starting Sept. 25
» WNBA playoffs most-viewed postseason since 2007, according to ESPN
» NFL draft analyst Rob Rang breaks down the Washington Huskies

Washington State (Spokane Spokesman-Review)
» The future of the WSU defense looked bright on Thursday
» Chiefs ready for new season with new look
» Ewu sports chat Sept. 18 (noon)
» A big weekend is ahead



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