Morning Coffee: Fresno State DC has surgery

Posted by ESPN.com's Graham Watson

Fresno State defensive coordinator Dan Brown underwent surgery Monday in San Francisco to remove the last of a brain tumor which was discovered last year.

Last summer, Brown was diagnosed with a malignant, Grade 4 tumor, which is lethal in most cases. He went through an experimental treatment, which included chemotherapy and radiation.

Five days after his surgery, Brown took in a Fresno State scrimmage from the press box. He was back for the season opener against Sacramento State on Sept. 1, sitting in the coaches box, calling plays. In all, Brown missed just one game before coaching the rest of the season.

Fresno State coach Pat Hill told the Fresno Bee that the surgery was less intense than last year's procedure in which doctors removed 80-to-90 percent of the tumor.

Hill said Brown would continue to coach as he did last season.

"It's going to be a lot like last year, but this surgery wasn't nearly as intrusive as the last one," Hill said. "He'll coach again this year. So Dan will be back.

"The doctors said it all went really well. He's already up and talking."

In other news...

  • Darrell Mack is finally alone at the top of Utah's depth chart. The senior, and last season's returning rusher, fought off a furious attack by junior Matt Asiata during the last two weeks, but an injured ankle proved costly to Asiata as he missed the team's scrimmage this weekend and subsequently found himself in the backup role.

  • Southern Miss' defensive line, which many figured would be a weak spot for the team with four starters lost, played well in Monday's scrimmage and could be a strength when the Golden Eagles open play against Louisiana-Lafayette on Aug. 30.

  • Troy receiver Josh Jarboe is not eligible to play this season after Oklahoma officials told Troy that they didn't refuse Jarboe admission for the fall. So, Jarboe is considered a transfer student and must sit out the season. Troy is appealing to the NCAA. Personally, I think if a kid gets kicked off a team, he's in good academic standing, and another team wants to pick him up, that team should be able to do so without penalty.

  • Middle Tennessee coach Rick Stockstill said the Blue Raiders decision on a starting quarterback would be a game-time decision. Joe Craddock and Dwight Dasher have been battling throughout camp and neither has established himself as the clear favorite.

  • Air Force quarterback Shea Smith might be listed as the starter on the depth chart, but coach Troy Calhoun has not ruled out the possibility of also playing junior Eric Herbort.

  • And in a stunning twist... SMU coach June Jones announced Monday that true freshmen Bo Levi Mitchell and Braden Smith are at the top of the depth chart as the Mustangs prepare for their season opener at Rice on Aug. 29.

  • Fresno State linebacker Ryan Machado will undergo knee surgery for the third time this year, ending his career with the Bulldogs. Machado tore his ACL five games into last season and then again in February.

  • Tulsa coaches are wearing shirts that say, "Own the Ball" as they attempt to instill ball security in their player's minds.