No One Goes to Hooters For Wings: Crazy Like a Fox Part 2, BlogPoll Ballot, Football Parlay and Classic Music Video of the Week

Posted: October 23, 2012 in Big East, Big Ten, College Basketball, College Football, Illinois Fighting Illini, Sports
Tags: , , , , , , ,

It has been quite crazy in the real life of Frank the Tank over the past couple of weeks, so I apologize for the hiatus.  Let’s get right back into it:

(1) The Enemy of My Enemy is My Friend: Fox Emerging as Top Competitor to ESPN Instead of Comcast (Because That’s How ESPN Wants It) – When I wrote this post on potential challengers to ESPN back in March, I was fairly skeptical of anyone being able to step up to create a full-fledged all-sports network competitor.  Unlike Fox News Channel and MSNBC, which were able to establish audiences to compete with CNN with internal programming decisions within their full control, new sports networks are largely dependent upon winning sports rights from third parties (which aren’t guaranteed).  To its credit, though, Fox has been able to assemble a broad array of what I called “tier one” properties since that time, such as cable rights for Major League Baseball (including postseason games) and NASCAR.  When combined with the Big 12, Pac-12 and soccer (e.g. future FIFA events such as the World Cup, English Premier League, etc.) rights that Fox already has in hand, the likely-to-be-formed “Fox Sports One” looks like a legitimate counterweight to ESPN.  Rupert Murdoch and News Corp. certainly has a lot of experience building empires based on sports properties with BSkyB in the United Kingdom breaking through after the purchase of English Premier League rights and over-the-air Fox doing the same after winning NFL games here in the United States.  (If you were around in the early-1990s, there were legitimate concerns and tons of late night talk show fodder about whether enough people would be able to find the Fox network.  Within a couple of years of having NFL games, though, Fox established itself as every bit as powerful of a network as ABC, CBS and NBC.)  It looks like he’ll finally have a cable sports network in the US that will have access to top properties during the entire calendar year.

In contrast, it appears that Comcast has very few options left for its NBC Sports Network.  For all of the bluster from Comcast that it was looking to invest heavily in NBCSN, it has ended up losing out on every competitive bidding situation for sports rights over the past 2 years with the exception of retaining the NHL and Olympics rights that it already had.  The other properties that NBCSN has added during that time frame are generally low value, such as MLS soccer, Formula One racing and Atlantic 10 basketball.  Comcast may no longer have much incentive to spend significantly on NBCSN since there is literally nothing else of value available over the next few years outside of the Big East rights (which we’ll address separately in a moment).  As a result, I wouldn’t be surprised to see NBCSN go more toward the CBS Sports Network route of trying to keep costs down while providing an overflow outlet for the main over-the-air NBC Sports operation.

What’s interesting here is that ESPN effectively picked the winner between News Corp. and Comcast when it chose to work with Fox in winning the Pac-12 rights against NBC last year.  Once that occurred, it established (or maybe just reflected) a fascinating bond between Disney (ESPN) and News Corp. (Fox) along with Time Warner/Turner (TBS/TNT): no matter how much they might have hated each other, they all hated Comcast even more and showed that they would rather work together to squash NBCSN than let the fledgling network gain any traction.  ESPN and Fox have partnered on the new Big 12 TV deal, while Turner is going to pay twice as much as it does now for MLB rights for half as many games (with virtually all of the games that they’re losing heading over to Fox).  From the perspective of these media companies, it makes complete sense.  Comcast is the largest source of subscriber fees for all of the top cable networks, which means that a Comcast-owned sports network that has enough top tier properties to be used as leverage in carriage fees negotiations is much more dangerous for ESPN, Fox and Turner than any other potential competitor.  So, for ESPN, it was much better for them to allow Fox to rise up as its primary competition than Comcast/NBC.  It’s a classic “the enemy of my enemy is my friend” situation.

The Big East is sitting back seeing this dance unfold.  A few months ago, many sports media industry observers thought that it was a foregone conclusion that the Big East’s new TV contract would end up with Comcast/NBC.  Now, the view seems to have shifted to where a number of people are betting on an ESPN/Fox combo for the Big East (similar to what they have in place with the Pac-12 and Big 12).  What’s hard to tell is whether this is going to end up working out financially well for the Big East since, whether or not they ultimately sign a contract with any particular media entity, they need all three of ESPN, Fox and Comcast/NBC (plus CBS for basketball) to be legitimately interested in the conference’s rights to drive up the price.  If ESPN and Fox are working together while Comcast/NBC decides that it’s going to take a low cost approach, then the Big East may not receive the payday that many of the league’s fans are hoping for.  Therefore, the Big East had better hope that Comcast/NBC is willing to legitimately pay up to compete with ESPN and Fox and not just sell the availability of “exposure” with open Saturday time slots that ESPN can’t offer.  The fact that Comcast/NBC wasn’t willing to do that with MLB rights is a negative sign, but as always, we’ll find out whether that will be the case here soon enough.

(2) BlogPoll Ballot

I seriously don’t try to win the Jim Tressel’s Numb Existence Award every week, but I’m on top of the list again despite my love for Toledo.

(3) College Football Parlay Picks (odds from Yahoo! and home teams in CAPS)

Indiana (+1) over ILLINOIS – I don’t care how bad Indiana might be (and believe me, they’re awful) – Illinois should not be giving points to any team.  Look, I’ve had some prolonged rough stretches as an Illini fan.  During my first three years of college in Champaign, the Illinois football team amassed a 5-28 record (including a winless season in 1997).  When Illinois finally won a game in 1998, fans rushed the field even though that win was against the mighty Middle Tennessee State.  2003 through 2006 featured an 8-38 stretch, which was mitigated a little bit by some glory years for the Illini basketball team.  However, I’m not exaggerating here when I say that this is the most dejected that I’ve ever seen the Illini football fan base.  At least with Ron Zook, there was the inkling of hope that his legendary recruiting ability would eventually turn things around.  Plus, I think we’ll eventually remember the Zook years as being “funny bad”.  Between the asinine 2-point conversion attempts in the first quarter, rugby punts and water skiing without water skis, Zook at least sucked with some style.  (Other examples of “funny bad”: “Evil Dead 2″, the “Cheaters” TV show, and the Henry Burris stint as quarterback for the Bears.)

The Illini team under Tim Beckman, on the other hand, has been completely listless since the loss to Louisiana Tech in week 4.  To use a sports cliche, it’s not that the Illini are losing per se that bothers me, but rather how they are losing.  Several other top Illini boosters are bothered by it, as well, and have made it known publicly that they aren’t happy at all with Beckman or Illinois athletic director Mike Thomas.  Granted, it’s tough to fire any new head coach after only one season (compounded by the fact that the Illinois athletic department is still paying buyouts to both Ron Zook and Bruce Weber at the same time), but we’re getting dangerously close to the point where fan anger turns to fan apathy, which is the worst thing that can happen to a program that can’t count on 100,000 people showing up every week no matter what like Ohio State and Michigan.  For practical purposes, I’m resigned to the fact that Beckman will almost certainly get another year (if only because Thomas would be admitting he made a major mistake in the hiring by axing Beckman so quickly), yet Illinois might be trading a short-term contract buyout issue for a legitimately long-term setback once again.

Cincinnati (+4) over LOUISVILLE – Even though Cincinnati lost a trap road game to Toledo last week, I believe that the real fight in the Big East will eventually come down to between the Bearcats and Rutgers.  Louisville has already had multiple close escapes with a very weak schedule, so the Cardinals’ undefeated record and #16 ranking are paper thin in my eyes.  (The sharps in Las Vegas apparently agree with me since this line has been dropping with money heading towards Cincinnati all week.)

Michigan (+2.5) over NEBRASKA – This ought to be a fun atmosphere in Lincoln with Michigan coming to town, but my feeling is that the Wolverines will end up running the table for the rest of the year to get to the Rose Bowl.

(4) NFL Parlay Picks (odds from Yahoo! and home teams in CAPS)

BEARS (-8) over Panthers – An organization in a tailspin versus the NFL’s best defense isn’t a great combo for Cam Newton and Ron Rivera.  Granted, I’m concerned about Jay Cutler’s bruised ribs (as his passes were nowhere near as crisp in the 2nd half against the Lions on Monday Night as they were in the 1st half), but the Bears have definitely taken care of business against all of the teams that they were supposed to beat so far this season.  Lovie Smith has had this team completely focused game-to-game.

LIONS (-1) over Seahawks – As stifling as the Bears defense might be, the Lions were actually able to move the ball fairly well down field in the 2nd half and it took multiple disastrous red zone turnovers by Detroit for Chicago to come away with the win.  I have no idea why Matthew Stafford seems to miss on half of his throws toward Calvin Johnson with Megatron being such a massive target, but those two connecting consistently is much more likely at home against Seattle than it was on the road against Chicago.

Falcons (+2) over EAGLES – I know that Atlanta has to eventually lose, but I don’t feel that it’s going to come against an underachieving .500 squad in the middle of Philly fan calls for the scalps of Michael Vick and Andy Reid.

(5) Classic Music Video of the Week: “No Sex in the Champagne Room” by Chris Rock

In honor of Tom Fornelli starting up The Champaign Room at SBNation to cover the Fighting Illini (the logo is even better than the name), here’s a memorable ditty from Chris Rock:

Enjoy the World Series and the rest of your week!

(Follow Frank the Tank’s Slant on Twitter @frankthetank111 and Facebook)

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Comments
  1. greg says:

    Go Hawks!

    indiana +100 ILLINOIS

  2. Alan from Baton Rouge says:

    GEAUX LSU Fightin’ Tigers!

  3. BoilermakerMarc says:

    Love love LOVE Cheaters… never gets old.

    Go Boilers

    • @BoilermakerMarc – My wife just shakes her head whenever I turn it on. I love everything about that show. It’s justice served on a nightly basis (typically in the form of a public confrontation in a fast food parking lot).

  4. Craig Z says:

    Go Bucks.

  5. bamatab says:

    RTR!!!

  6. Pezlion says:

    Ridiculous that people continue to ignore Penn State in polls. Particularly when the person making the poll is a fan of a team with a horrible slimy coach, that got curb stomped by the Lions at home. The only reason PSUisnt unbeaten is because they don’t have a kicker and they played the most emotional season opener of any college football team since Marshall in 1971. Anyone who can’t admit that Penn State is playing some of the best football in the country outside of the top 4-6 is biased and lying to themselves.

    • largeR says:

      Maybe it is because we were over-rated so often during the Paterno years. Never-the-less I totally agree with you on the slimey coach, and the emotional season opener. Even I saw that one coming. Unfortunately with regard to the kicker, ‘it is what it is’, or as my generation would view it, ‘we’re effed!’
      Beat OSU and even Frank of the ‘poaching Illini’ can’t ignore us. :)

    • @Pezlion – I happen to think that Penn State is playing very well. Regardless of the circumstances, though, those 2 losses at the beginning of the year made it an uphill battle for PSU to get back into the rankings. It’s hard to put them ahead of the other 2-loss teams currently ranked such as South Carolina and Michigan at this point. Beating Ohio State, though, could certainly change that.

    • bullet says:

      Your former kicker has missed key FGs at Texas once he got off the injured list.

    • Scarlet_Lutefisk says:

      Time for a reality check, the only reason PSU has 5 wins is because they played some very bad teams.

  7. frug says:

    http://www.chicagotribune.com/sports/college/chi-big-east-commish-aresco-talks-tv-deal-bowls-future-20121005,0,7151969.story

    I suggest everyone read this interview with the new Big East commish just to see how desperate he really is to get a good TV deal.

    A sample:

    People have said, well, football seems to drive everything in conferences these days, I take issue with that. That’s not true. It’s true in some conferences, because their basketball isn’t very good. it’s just not central to what they do. Big East basketball is legendary. Big East basketball commands some of the most important markets that there are in the country. Big East basketball has a resonance, has an intensity that no other basketball has.

    Other stuff

    -The interview is a couple weeks old, but he said that a deal with ESPN during its exclusive rights negotiate period (which runs the through the end of October) is “not anywhere near done.” He added there had been, “a lot of interest expressed to us by other networks.” Which tells me this deal isn’t getting done. (By the way, what is the point of an “exclusive negotiation window” if the conference is still able to have talks with other networks?)

    – He pretty much rules out anymore all sports expansion, but implies that at a 14th for FB is going to be necessary.

    – He goes on to predicts stability in the college sports now that ND is moving to the ACC, ignoring that facts that;

    A) He said in the same article the Big East would have to find another FB school

    B) people said the same exact thing after Colorado and Nebraska left the Big XII, after the PAC passed on the Oklahoma schools, after Mizzou left the Big XII, after Pitt and Syracuse left the Big East and after WVU joined the Big XII.

    • morganwick says:

      I think “negotiating” is a bit inaccurate; you can send out feelers to other entities, but you can’t actually sign a contract with anyone but the incumbent, so the incumbent can lock up a deal before anyone else even has a chance.

      • frug says:

        I guess that makes sense as long as the contracts don’t have a “tampering” clause.

        That said, I still don’t fundamentally get the concept of an exclusive negotiation period. Does their current contract prohibit the two sides from signing an extension outside of the designated periods? And if they did reach agreement, then who would actually sue them for violating it?

        • Richard says:

          ??? It means that no one else besides ESPN can sign with the BE until a certain date. Before that date, I’m sure the BE and ESPN could extent their relationship if they wanted to. That’s what the ACC and ESPN did.

          • frug says:

            My point is, why do ESPN and the Big East have 90 day “exclusive negotiating windows” actually written into the contract. If the Big East can’t sign with anyone else but can (presumably) rework their deal with ESPN at any time prior to its expiration, why do they have “windows” specifically set aside? (They had one last year also) What makes those 90 days different from the rest of the contract? What can they do then that they can’t do at any other time?

          • Richard says:

            Maybe they can get feelers from other networks during that window when they can’t before? In other words, maybe it’s misnamed.

            Any lawyers here know?

    • vp19 says:

      People have said, well, football seems to drive everything in conferences these days, I take issue with that. That’s not true. It’s true in some conferences, because their basketball isn’t very good. it’s just not central to what they do. Big East basketball is legendary. Big East basketball commands some of the most important markets that there are in the country. Big East basketball has a resonance, has an intensity that no other basketball has.

      Yep, a Southern Methodist-St. John’s basketball game (featuring two of those “most important markets”) is going to have more intensity than one pitting Big East emigre Syracuse against Maryland. And sorry, even the most vocal Big East proponent can’t claim its conference is any more “legendary” than one that has more than a quarter-century of additional tradition (the ACC). He’s nuts; I’m surprised his quotes don’t have Big East in their customary ALL CAPS.

  8. duffman says:

    @ Frank

    You can look at the positives here. The Chip Kelly side is owned by the B1G and its wholly owned subsidiary the MAC! On the other side the B1G – with the MAC blog – owned 4 of the 5 spots!

    # Blog Team Ballot Avg Error
    1 Black Heart Gold Pants Iowa Hawkeyes ballot 3.35
    2 The Champaign Room Illinois Fighting Illini ballot 2.97
    3 Let’s Go Rockets Toledo Rockets ballot 2.96
    4 Corn Nation Nebraska Cornhuskers ballot 2.91
    5 Bucky’s 5th Quarter Wisconsin Badgers ballot 2.60

    # Blog Team Ballot Avg Error
    1 Frank the Tank’s Slant Illinois Fighting Illini ballot 1.14
    2 Red and Black Attack Northern Illinois Huskies ballot 1.18
    3 Eleven Warriors Ohio St. Buckeyes ballot 1.23
    4 Mountain West Connection Utah Utes ballot 1.31
    5 Sippin on Purple Northwestern Wildcats ballot 1.35

    .

    .

    Glad you are back and I hope all in your real world life is okay.

  9. morganwick says:

    I’ve been wondering why ESPN has been seemingly essentially giving Fox rights left and right; one thing you failed to mention is that ESPN locked up all three of its primetime packages before anyone else, essentially eliminating NBC as a contender because its only options that would be all that beneficial to NBCSN would appear to have involved Turner’s shitty Sunday afternoon package. Interestingly, it was reported at one point that a major reason Fox started thinking about starting FS1 was MLB telling them they needed to; of course, then it was reported that they then proceeded to turn around and tell NBC they were concerned about NBCSN’s relatively lightweight status…

    My computer rankings agree with you about Louisville (admittedly these are last week’s rankings, before the Cincy loss).

    • bullet says:

      ESPN didn’t have the space to take all of the inventory that the Pac 12 wanted to sell. That was the reason on the Pac 12. They are working with Fox on the Big 12 to get more flexibility for both of them and work out mutually beneficial trades. Fox got the “Tier I” games the 1st 3 weeks of the Big 12 season. So its about mutual benefit.

    • morganwick says:

      Also, it’s not quite as slim pickings for NBC as you might think. NASCAR still needs to sort out the non-FOX portion of the schedule, and the Big Ten and NBA are coming up faster than you think.

  10. bullet says:

    Frank, you may have to have some love for Kent next week after a 2nd MAC team knocks off an unbeaten BE team. Actually, I don’t expect that, but Kent at least gives Rutgers a scare.

    • mnfanstc says:

      Kent State took ‘em down… shows the MAC really isn’t that bad… and Big Least is clearly over-rated… Two undefeated Big East teams lose to MAC teams in consecutive weeks…

  11. Alan from Baton Rouge says:

    I thought I’d take a look at what the playoffs/new bowl arrangement would look like if it was in effect now and the season ended today. Here’s what I came up with, assuming the selection committee used the current BCS rankings.

    Semi (Sugar/Cotton) – #1 Alabama v. #4 Oregon
    Semi (Fiesta) – #2 Florida v. #3 K-State
    Rose – #22 Michigan v. #7 Oregon State
    Cotton/Sugar – #6 LSU v. #8 Oklahoma
    Orange – #12 Florida State v. #5 Notre Dame
    Chick-Fil-A – #9 USC v. #10 Georgia

    Also, Brett McMurphy is reporting that the 7th bowl is DOA. The plan now is to stick to 6 bowls.

    http://espn.go.com/college-football/story/_/id/8545522/seventh-access-bowl-bcs-unlikely-sources-say

    Without a 7th bowl in the mix, the question of what to do with the Big East, MAC, CUSA, MWC, and Sunbelt arises. Should the highest ranked champ among the outcasts make it to an access bowl? If so, #15 Rutgers takes the place of #10 Georgia in the Chick-Fil-A Bowl.

    • m (Ag) says:

      -If a Big East team finished undefeated this year, I’d expect a ‘committee’ to give them at least an access bowl slot if the playoff system was in place this year. That might not always be true in future years if the Big East looks less impressive, but I think the committee will want to appear to be ‘looking out for the little guy’ even if it leaves a better big conference team out.

      -The economics of the 7th bowl never made sense to me. It would presumably be worth a lot of money in the years it would host a playoff game, but I’m guessing the playoff system would get that money. The rest of the time it would feature a highly ranked Pac 12 or Big 12 team against a team outside of the ‘power conferences’ that will rank at most 5, and might not even be ranked at all*. This bowl would likely pay far less than the Access Bowls, or a Bowl outside the ‘playoff bowls’ where the highest remaining Pac 12 and Big 12 teams played each other (this is essentially the Alamo Bowl today).

      The Pac 12 and Big 12 would be better off keeping the Alamo as their top Bowl outside the ‘playoff bowls’. They could still have teams play in the playoffs, Rose/Champions Bowl, and perhaps an access Bowl as well before San Antonio gets a pick.

      -One question I’m wondering is if there will be a chance for the selection committee and bowls to trade some of these contracted slots to avoid rematches. I believe the system last year would have produced Clemson vs. South Carolina in the Orange Bowl; it’s possible the system this year might produce Florida vs. FSU in the same Bowl. Would they be able to trade a team with the Champions Bowl or one of the Access bowls to get a non-rematch?

      * Note if a non-power conference team is in the top 8, it’s likely undefeated, which means there is a good chance the committee will be trying to get it in the 4-team playoff over higher-ranked 1 or 2 loss teams from power conferences. I don’t think a 7th bowl would get a top 10 team very often at all.

      • bullet says:

        Although $25 million is nothing to sneeze at. That is better than the current BCS bowls are paying. Maybe they should try to work that deal outside the BCS system.

        Still, with teams from Hawaii to Hartford in the other 5, it would seem hard to find a bowl that would work well.

        • m (Ag) says:

          I’m guessing the $25 million is the amount the network would pay every year, including the years it gets the playoff. In effect, the playoff system would be subsidizing this bowl by taking a hit every time it hosts a playoff game so this bowl can have a bigger payoff in the years it doesn’t.

        • I think the issue is that the $25 million is predicated on that 7th bowl game having 3 or 4 semifinals over a 12-year period. Without those semifinals, I have a hard time seeing how this bowl would get much more on the market than, say, the Alamo Bowl (if that). So, the BCS (or whatever we will call the new system) designation is critical.

          • m (Ag) says:

            Let’s try some rough math that requires some guesses:

            Rose & Champions Bowl are $80 million
            Orange is $60 million
            ‘7th Bowl’ is $25 million

            1)Let’s assume the TV networks value the Orange Bowl match-up equal to a playoff match-up. Thus, when it’s the top ACC team vs. the top remaining ND/SEC/B1G team they value it at $60 million and when it’s a playoff game they value it at $60 million.

            2)Let’s assume the Access bowl match-ups are slightly less valued to TV networks, but they still get $57 million a year (the playoff game every 3 years is just as valuable, but the other match-ups are slightly less valuable).

            3)I would guess the initial idea with the 7th bowl was for the Rose and Champions to only have 1 playoff game every 6 years (so those conferences kept more of their value), the ‘other original 4′ Bowls each 2 playoff games every 6 years, and for this ‘7th’ bowl to have 2 playoff games every 6 years.

            So over 3 years, the networks would pay $75 million to the 7th bowl for one playoff game and 2 ‘normal’ match-ups; if the one playoff game is valued at $60 million, then the two years it had the ‘normal’ match-up would each be valued at $7.5 million

            Note that if you go back to 1) and think a playoff game is worth more than the average Orange Bowl match-up, then the value for this ‘7th Bowl’ match-up shrinks down much further. (If you guess $70 million for the playoff game and $55 million for the normal Orange Bowl match-up, then the ‘7th Bowl’ match-up is only worth $2.5 million per year)

            4) From what’s been said, apparently the playoff system keeps all the money of the Bowl it replaces when the playoff is held there. So the playoff would get $80 million every time it’s held at the Rose or Champions, $60 million every time it’s held at an Access Bowl, $57 million every time it’s held at an Access Bowl, and $25 million when it’s held at the ‘7th Bowl’.

            So the playoff system would lose $55 million every time this bowl replaces the Rose or Champions Bowl for a playoff game, and $32 million every time it replaces an Access Bowl in the rotation.

            5) All that said, it might still be desirable for conferences. That money lost to the playoff system is going to the conferences represented in the ‘7th Bowl’, and that represents a very large percentage of the FBS schools.

          • @m(Ag) – Good breakdown. This shows why the value of this 7th bowl is so critical in determining whether it’s a realistic home for semifinal games.

            As a frame of reference, the Big Ten Championship Game is worth over $23 million per year in just TV rights from Fox. If a bowl that’s going to host 3 or 4 semifinals in a 12 year period is only getting slightly more than that at $25 million per year (even though other bowls are getting $60 million to $80 million payouts for their semifinal games), then that means that people are valuing the non-semifinal games as effectively worthless and it’s dragging down the overall value of the playoff system (which is what would give the power conferences a lot of heartburn).

          • m (Ag) says:

            error in #4 should be “$60 million every time it’s held at the ORANGE Bowl, $57 million every time it’s held at an Access Bowl, and $25 million when it’s held at the ’7th Bowl’.”

          • Richard says:

            The semifinals paying out differently depending on where they are hosted makes no sense.

            My guess is that the semifinals always pay out the same (say, $100M each). B10/Pac game pays out $80M, B12/SEC game pays out $80M, ACC/best-of-brands game pays out $60M, and the access bowls when they don’t have the semifinal pay out $40M.

            B10/Pac game plays at the Fiesta when the Rose is a semifinal.
            B12/SEC game plays at the non-Champions Cotton/Sugar Bowl when the Champions bowl is a semifinal.
            ACC/Somebody plays in Atlanta when the Orange is a semifinal.

            I would just have the 7th bowl always be BE vs. someone & never get a semifinal (would they pay out $10M?)

            The rest (over a 3 year period):
            Rose & Champions bowls: $80M, $80M, & $100M
            Fiesta & Cotton/Sugar-non-Champions bowl: $100M, $80M, & $40M
            Orange Bowl: $60M, $100M, & $60M
            Altanta: $100M, $60M, & $40M

            By payout, the bowls would then fall in to 3 tiers:
            1. Rose & Champions bowls with significantly higher average payouts than everyone else.
            2. Orange, Fiesta, & Cotton/Sugar-non-Champions bowl average the same payout over 3 years.
            3. the Atlanta bowl slightly trailing those 3.

          • m (Ag) says:

            What we’ve seen says the networks will be paying for a bowl over a certain number of years, not a price that will jump when it hosts a playoff game.

            This allows the more popular conferences to keep their bowls while subsidizing the less popular conferences.

            Now, the playoffs will probably normalize their payments so its the same amount each year (slowly increasing), but the money received will bounce.

          • Richard says:

            OK, got it.

            So over 3 years, my guesses:
            Rose & Champions receive $240 ($100M for semifinal, $70M, $70M)
            Fiesta & Cotton/Sugar-non-Champions bowls receive $210M ($100M for semifinal, $70M for Rose/Champions pairing, $40M for other pairing)
            Orange & Atlanta bowls receives $180 ($100M for semifinal, $40M, $40M)

    • Brian says:

      Alan,

      Also in there was this tidbit:

      “Although the six access bowls have not been “officially” selected, sources said the access bowls will be the existing four BCS bowls — Rose, Fiesta, Sugar and Orange — plus the Cotton and Chick-fil-A.”

      That seems like the right selection. It gets 2 in each region (west, central, SE), all are in decent stadiums/cities, and all are bowls with some history. Plus, it leaves the Cap1 alone for the B10/SEC match-up, which is fine by me.

    • Eric says:

      The committee is supposed to consider both strength of schedule and conference championships. Practically speaking though, I don’t expect them to be all that different than the AP poll. With 6 bowls, the top 10 will almost always be in and pretty much every undefeated team regardless of conference is top 10, so I suspect undefeated teams will still always be in. 1 loss could sometimes be harder.

      • m (Ag) says:

        I agree with you that nearly all top 10 teams will find themselves in a bowl or playoff.

        But if you have #4 Oklahoma (11-1) and #7 Boise State (12-0), I think there will be people on the committee who want undefeated Boise State in the playoff and OU in the ‘Champions Bowl’, regardless of strength-of-schedule.

  12. bullet says:

    http://footballoutsiders.com/stats/ncaadef2012

    Interesting “innovative statistics.” They try to factor in strength of opponent and garbage time in order to come up with revised offensive and defensive statistics.

    Results are not what you would expect with 7 SEC schools along with 6 Big 12 schools in the top 20 on offense. Defensive leaders are spread around the country with only 5 SEC (3 Big 12, 3 Pac 12, several with 2) in the top 20.

    Among the top 5 unbeatens:
    Oregon #1 offense, #3 defense (behind only AL and OU)
    KSU #6 offense, #42 defense (you would expect the opposite)
    Alabama #15 offense, #1 defense
    Florida #12 offense (surprising), #7 defense
    Notre Dame #13 offense (surprising), #11 defense

    Top 5 on defense:
    1 Alabama, 2 Oklahoma, 3 Oregon, 4 Michigan St., 5 Stanford
    (why ND is so high on offense)
    Top 5 on offense
    1 Oregon, 2 Arkansas, 3 Tennessee, 4 Arizona, 5 Michigan

    • bullet says:

      And for 2011, which you can also look up, some ratings
      Alabama 6 offense, 1 defense
      LSU 9 offense, 2 defense
      Oklahoma St. 2 offense, 17 defense

      Rest of top 5 on defense-Boise St. 3, Texas 4, Georgia 5
      Rest of top 5 on offense-Wisconsin 1, Baylor 3, Oregon 4, Houston 5

  13. Richard says:

    Morgan brought up NASCAR, but even while reading the article, it occurred to me that the NBA TV contract is coming up soon. Is that not the case? That’s a big juicy morsel. Maybe not as big as any TV involving the NFL, but as big as anything else out there.

    • @Richard – Yes, the NBA contract will be coming up over the next year or two, although I’d be very surprised if they end up with anything other than the ESPN/Turner setup that they have now. Turner now runs NBA TV, so there’s already that relationship.

  14. loki_the_bubba says:

    ” During my first three years of college in Champaign, the Illinois football team amassed a 5-28 record (including a winless season in 1997).”

    Rare that I get to one-up in college football, but Rice went 2-31 my last three years. Both wins were D1AA teams.

  15. Mike says:

    Maps and realignment.

    http://deadspin.com/5954550/see-the-big-east-get-much-bigger-and-much-less-eastern-with-conference-realignment-visualizations

    Taking a look at these five conferences, it seems like the death of regional identities may have been exaggerated. The Pac-10/12 did move east from the Pacific, but only by about 90 miles, as Arizona and Arizona State were already further east than people realize. The ACC barely budged from the Atlantic (11 miles west) because the East Coast doesn’t run as straight north/south as people think it does. The Big 12 and the SEC moved towards each other by 165 miles, and will likely collide someday in a sweet slo-mo explosion. The Big Ten barely twitched. Every conference became a little less compact, but only by 12 percent on average.

    [snip]

    When a star dies, it expands outwards and outwards until it furthermost layer sheds off into space and its core collapses. This is basically what the Big East is up to right about now.

    The Big East was once a Northeastern conference, in this realignment it will add schools in the Northwest (Boise St.) the Southwest (SDSU), and the Southeast (UCF). This will send the conference’s midpoint a remarkable 465 miles west and 140 miles south, while the average distance from this midpoint will spike 120 percent to 713 miles.

    • Alan from Baton Rouge says:

      That’s great. The gegraphic center of the Big East is Benton, KY, which is about 80 miles east of the Mississippi River and in the Central Time Zone.

    • largeR says:

      This is a great visual representation of the BCS conferences. Most interesting to us B1Gers, is we are the most compact of the six. Also, loved the comment that our geographic center was once near South Bend (Is there a college there?), but since Nebraska joined, the center of the BiG galaxy is now over…………………..Gary, Indiana!

  16. frug says:

    http://buckeyextra.dispatch.com/content/stories/2012/10/23/ohio-state-schedules-oregon-for20-21.html

    Gene Smith’s targeted BYU to replace Vandy next year (I like to think he got the idea from the comment I made on Frank’s last post), but the deal fell through so now they are likely to settle for SDSU (which would likely require moving their already schedule game against Buffalo up a week).

    SB Nation’s Ohio St. blog noted that if this comes to pass tOSU’s home schedule would be San Diego State, Florida A&M, Buffalo, Wisconsin, Iowa, Penn State, and Indiana which could make it hard to justify raising ticket prices.

  17. m (Ag) says:

    So, I guess Honey Badger won’t be returning to LSU next year after all:

    http://www.wafb.com/story/19918447/former-lsu-stars-arrested-on-drug-charges?clienttype=printable

  18. Brian says:

    http://espn.go.com/college-football/story/_/id/8551268/champions-bowl-site-determined-new-orleans-arlington

    Just to clarify a few things:

    1. The site of the Champions Bowl will be announced next week (New Orleans or Dallas)

    2. The bowl will take the name of the hosting bowl (Sugar Bowl or Cotton Bowl), “Champions Bowl” was just a placeholder name until the decision was made according to Mike Slive.

  19. [...] clarified this for me was a post on the Frank the Tank’s Slant blog earlier in the week (specifically the third full [...]

  20. darvon86 says:

    Question:

    In the current BCS system, and the future one: Who owns the IP rights to the Final(now and future) and Semi-final(future) game? I assume BCS holds the IP rights to the current Final. Is that right?

    Why wouldn’t the BCS hold the IP rights to the future games? Why does the Bowl get the IP rights to the game (including broadcast rights, digital rights, etc.)? Or are we talking loosely and the bowl doesn’t actually sell the broadcast rights to the TV nets?

    Why would the BCS cede control? And even more importantly, why would the BCS cede it to the SEC/B12 for the Champions Bowl?

    • m (Ag) says:

      From the leaks it appears that the championship game will be bid out by the new playoff consortium.

      The bowls themselves will bid out their own rights, which includes the first round playoff games (in the first proposal, 2 of the 6 bowls host a playoff game each year). However, the consortium takes the $ in the years they host a playoff game.

      As to ‘why would the BCS cede control?’, you have it the wrong way. This is a consortium of the conferences themselves. You have to ask, ‘why would the SEC/Big12/B1G/P12 cede control to this consortium?’ They’re doing it partly because of public opinion and partly because they think they will, indeed, make more money than they would otherwise.

  21. frug says:

    Head coaches in football and basketball will be held directly accountable for NCAA rules violations by members of their coaching staff in radically new legislation that is expected to be adopted Tuesday by the Division 1 Board of Directors, according to a document obtained by USA TODAY Sports.

    http://www.usatoday.com/story/sports/ncaaf/2012/10/25/ncaa-penalty-enforcement-document-board-of-directors/1659413/

    The document reads, “A head coach is presumed responsible for major/Level I and Level II violations (e.g. academic fraud, recruiting inducements) occurring within his or her program unless the coach can show that he or she promoted an atmosphere of compliance and monitored his or her staff.”

    Any coach who is found responsible for the most serious violations under those guidelines will be subject to an entire-season suspension, according to the document.

    the primary message for head coaches is that ignorance will no longer be acceptable as a defense.

    ….

    The new guidelines also state that beginning Aug. 1, 2013, men’s basketball coaches can be suspended for violations ranging from illegal contact with recruits, giving team gear to prospects or impermissible benefits given by third parties if the coach
    knows the third party has a relationship with the recruit.

    Football coaches can face suspension for violations such as holding 7-on-7 on campus or providing written scholarship offers before Aug. 1 of a prospect’s senior year.

    In both cases, the head coach could be suspended for violations committed by his assistants.

    [Emphasis mine]

    • ccrider55 says:

      “Football coaches can face suspension for violations such as holding 7-on-7 on campus…”

      Has this been a big problem?

      • bullet says:

        I know A&M has had 7 on 7 competitions on campus and there was discussion they may need to be moved. Summer 7 on 7 HS competition is big in Texas. So it could be viewed by some as promoting recruiting beyond the rules.

        • ccrider55 says:

          Are they during no contact periods? How different is it from standard FB camps most schools hold? Just curious about it being included in offences HC could be banished over.

          • m (Ag) says:

            It hasn’t been outlawed long enough to have created a problem. I’m pretty sure it was just last summer that the rule was passed forbidding hosting these games.

            A&M had been hosting the state championships for 7-on 7 high school championships; this wasn’t something that was organized by the coaches.

            see:
            http://www.reporternews.com/news/2012/jul/18/state-7-on-7-football-begins-today-at-am/?partner=RSS

            It was already outlawed by the SEC for fear it would provide a recruiting advantage to schools as potential recruits see how wonderful your campus is (A&M received a one time waiver in it’s first summer in the SEC), when the NCAA decided to adopt the rule as well.

        • FranktheAg says:

          The 7 on 7 championship is remaining on A&M’s campus. Much like the many UIL championships on UTs campus.

  22. Mike says:

    NBC outbits a joint ESPN/Fox bid for EPL.

    http://www.sportsbusinessdaily.com/Daily/Closing-Bell/2012/10/26/EPL.aspx


    Sources say NBC’s bid would pay the EPL around $83M per year, an amount that would more than triple the $23M per year that Fox currently pays. Sources say Fox and ESPN have been told that their joint bid was not accepted. It is not clear if the Al Jazeera network, BeIN Sport, still is in the running. The emergence of NBC Universal as the clear front-runner in this bidding process comes as a surprise. In the weeks leading up to the bidding process, NBC sources downplayed the company’s interest.

    • bullet says:

      Not a soccer fan, I’m guessing EPL stands for English Premier League?

      Interesting that Fox and ESPN were bidding together.

      • bullet says:

        Speaking of ESPN, saw this which also confirmed BE got a $13.8 million offer last year (bigger than the ACC contract per school at the time) and turned it down, against the commissioner’s recommendation. I’d seen that $130 million/$13.8 per full member figure before, but hadn’t seen it in print until now. Now BE is turning ESPN down again and going to bid.
        http://espn.go.com/college-football/story/_/id/8554125/big-east-negotiate-networks-other-espn-new-tv-deal-according-sources

        • Brian says:

          I will laugh if ESPN just keeps lowering their bid. No exclusive window, now it’s $12M/team. Take another month, now it’s $10M, etc.

      • Mike says:

        Yes. The English Premier League. Yet another instance of rights fees tripling. MLB doubled (IIRC) its value. If this keeps up, the Big Ten is going to get paid excessively high on it’s next contract.

      • mnfanstc says:

        Soccer?? What’s that?? Watching grass grow or paint dry is more exciting… whoo-hoo 90 minute 0-0 shootout…

        • Richard says:

          Spoken like a guy who doesn’t understand soccer at all.

          To folks who don’t understand football (the gridiron kind), it’s a bunch of fat guys running in to each other.

          • mnfanstc says:

            I was purposely exaggerating the game time… just seems that long… Football (a.k.a. soccer) is played mostly by those that couldn’t make the American Football team… Just like those cross-country runners… No apologies…

          • Richard says:

            You’re showing your provincialism.

            Soccer is preferred over gridiron in 99%+ of the countries in the world (or by 95% of the population of the world, if you would rather look at it that way). Even in certain communities in the US, soccer is preferred over gridiron.

          • Brian says:

            Richard,

            “Soccer is preferred over gridiron in 99%+ of the countries in the world (or by 95% of the population of the world, if you would rather look at it that way).”

            I don’t know, Canada has the CFL and that’s a pretty big deal. That would make 2 countries, and thus more than 1%. Still about 95% of the population. Maybe some pacific islands, too.

            “Even in certain communities in the US, soccer is preferred over gridiron.”

            And in certain communities in other countries, football is preferred over soccer. In many countries other sports are preferred over soccer, too (rugby, hockey, cricket, etc). What’s your point? Why should anyone care if the rest of the world likes soccer more? Opinions don’t make it any better or worse than it is. If someone derives no pleasure from watching soccer, that doesn’t make them wrong or even necessarily uneducated. Maybe they just don’t like soccer.

          • Richard says:

            Brian:

            He can have an preference he wants, but he also said “Football (a.k.a. soccer) is played mostly by those that couldn’t make the American Football team” which simply isn’t true in the vast majority of the world.

          • Brian says:

            That’s true, but you know full well he wasn’t talking about the whole world when he said that. It’s mostly true in the US, though. There are obvious exceptions, but generally football is still the top choice sport in fall and the soccer players were too small or slow or afraid of contact/injury for the football team. Of course, you also know that is true so I’m wondering why you got your hackles up over this at all.

          • bullet says:

            Soccer-afraid of contact/injury? I was thinking of this comment as I saw 3 from my kid’s team and a couple from the other team helped off the field today, all in the 2nd half. 2 of those 3 + my son, who had a toe injury, were still hobbling around hours later. In fact, they had to finish short handed with those two not able to finish the game, but held onto their lead.

  23. Brian says:

    http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2012/football/ncaa/10/26/mike-aresco-bowl-game.ap/index.html?sct=cf_t2_a6

    The BE commish says the 7th bowl still has the same level of support, disputing the rumor from earlier this week. Also, “Pac-12 Commissioner Larry Scott said during a radio interview Thursday on the “Tim Brando Show” that a decision on adding a seventh game could be six to nine months away.”

    Just decide on a playoff format already!!!!! Pick the damn games, set the times, decide the rotation, settle the revenue split, etc. It’s a clue this postseason plan is a bad idea when they need more than a year to decide on it.

    • ccrider55 says:

      It’s not a matter of deciding the competition format. It is the actual competition deciding financial winners, regardless of the athletic competitions. That takes time.

      • Brian says:

        But it is a matter of deciding the competition format. 6 bowls or 7, how many semis at each spot, time slots for each game, size of the committee, how the committee will weigh different factors, how teams will be assigned to the various bowls, who has tie-ins to the bowls, etc. Over a year in, and none of it is settled. They could decide much of it before settling the money issues, but they haven’t. Or they could work on settling the money issue, but they haven’t.

        • ccrider55 says:

          How the money issues are decided is the foundation. In the “big game” all the rest is peripheral. For fans, frustrating. For schools/conferences, essential.

          • Brian says:

            I disagree. Both sides are important, and you often compromise on one side to make gains in the other. Certain fundamental competition issues have to be settled before you can really decide on the money anyway. Besides, some of these issues should have been resolved as part of deciding to have a playoff.

          • Richard says:

            “Certain fundamental competition issues have to be settled before you can really decide on the money anyway”

            ?? Like what?

          • ccrider55 says:

            I would reverse that statement. Certain fundamental money issues have to be settled before (or concurrently) you can really decide on the competition anyway
            While they are intertwined, it is the money that will decide what competition will even be considered. How long has it taken, and what is actually driving the steps to a fake playoff (BCS 2.1)? Enough time to show its not purity of results, but the certainty of a fleet of larger trucks delivering money.

          • Brian says:

            Richard,

            They can’t find out how much they’ll make without deciding on a format. Without knowing how much they’ll make, they can’t decide how to split the money.

            Also, several of these decisions aren’t primarily money issues:

            Sugar or Cotton Bowl for the Champs?
            The access bowls will be?
            The rotation of semis will be?
            The bowl time slots will be?

            ccrider55,

            “I would reverse that statement.”

            And you’d be wrong IMO.

            “Certain fundamental money issues have to be settled before (or concurrently) you can really decide on the competition anyway”

            No, they can decide the competition issues first. They apparently won’t, but they could.

            They started down this road by saying they wanted to take back NYD and NYE. They didn’t hear from TV that was the most valuable plan, they just decided that’s what they wanted. That competition decision allows TV to tell them what the system will be worth, and the total value let’s them decide how to split the revenue.

            From several of their decisions, TPTB have shown that they aren’t chasing the absolute maximum money. Given that, they could make these competition decisions now and split the money later.

            “While they are intertwined, it is the money that will decide what competition will even be considered.”

            Completely untrue. They rejected going beyond 4 teams when clearly the money favored going to 6 or 8 or 12 or 16. They want all the games on 12/31 and 1/1 despite that not earning the most money. They want access for the little guys despite that not making the most money.

            “How long has it taken, and what is actually driving the steps to a fake playoff (BCS 2.1)? Enough time to show its not purity of results, but the certainty of a fleet of larger trucks delivering money.”

            I think they have several main problems. First, the people deciding this already have full time jobs so it’s hard to get them all together for meetings. Second, they don’t all want the same things. Third, they’re all greedy. Fourth, there is no 1 person in charge to force the committee to make decisions in a timely fashion.

    • wmtiger says:

      Format is decided, what’s yet to be decided is the money and more importantly, how to split it…

      Big East wants it’s guaranteed piece (guaranteed major bowl game), even if it’s a lesser bowl game (say Citrus) and much lesser payout relative to the 5 Major conferences. Being guaranteed a top 7 bowl would be a significant boon to the Big East, not relative to the top 5 conferences but relative to the C-USA, MWC, MAC, Sun Belt…

      Obviously the Big East is pushing this, the question becomes does the 5 Major conferences go along with it, which they might if they think they are likely to benefit by getting another team in those top bowl games and the finances work.

      • ccrider55 says:

        Format is decided as to semis and final (though how to qualify is uncertain). The format regarding the other bowls, and even how many there will be, is a work in progress. If it reduces power conference payments it won’t happen.

      • Brian says:

        wmtiger,

        Only the rough outline of the playoff is set. Everything else is up in the air:

        What bowls will host semis?
        How will they rotate?
        Who is on the committee?
        How do championships and SOS get honored in the selection process?
        How will they even determine SOS (OOC only, whole season, etc)?
        When will the games be played?

        On top of that, the whole rest of the postseason is unsettled.

        • Michael in Raleigh says:

          @Brian,

          Not all questions can be answered today, but some of them can.

          What bowls will host semis?”

          Brett McMurphy offers an answer:

          “Although the six access bowls have not been “officially” selected, sources said the access bowls will be the existing four BCS bowls — Rose, Fiesta, Sugar and Orange — plus the Cotton and Chick-fil-A. This also works best geographically with the access bowls spread equally across the country: Rose and Fiesta in the west, Sugar and Cotton in the central and Orange and Chick-fil-A in the east.
          ….
          “That leaves the remaining three access bowls — the Fiesta, Chick-fil-A and either the Cotton or Sugar — to be filled by the playoff’s selection committee with the highest-rated available at-large teams.”

          http://espn.go.com/college-football/story/_/id/8545522/seventh-access-bowl-bcs-unlikely-sources-say

          So nothing is set in stone, but it’s fairly certain the six playoff/”major” bowl games will be the Rose, Fiesta, Cotton, Sugar, Chick-fil-a, and Orange. If there is a seventh, well, who knows where it might be?

          “When will the games be played?”

          The Orange (1:00 ET), Rose (5:00), and “Champions” (“primetime,” probably 8:30) will be on New Year’s Day. The Fiesta, Chick-fil-a, and non-Champions of the Cotton/Sugar will be on New Year’s Eve. Exact times of those games are undetermined.

          The winners of the semifinals will play in the national championship game on a Monday, at least one week after NYD. In other words, if NYD is a Monday, the championship game will be 7 days later, but if NYD is on a Tuesday, it will be 13 days later. (If NYD is a Wednesday, it will be 12 days later. If NYD is a Thursday, the NCG will be 11 days later. And so on.)

          Other questions are unclear.

          • m (Ag) says:

            “If there is a seventh [bowl], well, who knows where it might be?”

            They’ll be depending on fans from the Pac 12 or Big 12 to sell tickets, so it pretty much has to be in California, Arizona, or Texas. This bowl could be Washington-Boisie State, Kansas State-UCF, or (in a repeat of the well-loved 2011 Fiesta Bowl), UConn-OU.

            That 2011 Fiesta Bowl is what I think about every time this bowl comes up.

          • Brian says:

            Michael,

            So in essence, none of those questions are unanswered. At best we have partial and/or unofficial answers.

        • Michael in Raleigh says:

          So, if indeed the Rose, Fiesta, Cotton, Sugar, Chick-fil-a, and Orange are set to be the six “major”/playoff/BCS bowl games, there will be some interesting changes to each of the Big Five’s secondary bowl tie-ins.

          The SEC’s secondary bowl tie-ins will be effected the most by the change in postseason format. With the Cotton and Chick-fil-a Bowls both being added as major bowl games, the SEC will be looking for two new homes for its non-major bowl teams*.

          *Note that I didn’t say that the SEC will need new homes for its “second- or third-place” teams. The new format may indeed allow the SEC (and, technically, the other major conferences) to have 3 or even 4 teams in major bowl games. Still, the SEC will be losing two guaranteed tie-ins with the new format: the Chick-fil-a, and either the Sugar or Cotton.

          The ACC will be losing its most valuable non-major bowl tie-in with the Chick-fil-a. Thus the ACC will need a new home for its top non-major bowl team.

          The Big 12 will, in effect, swapping its #1 team’s guaranteed tie-in to the Fiesta for a guaranteed tie-in to the Cotton or Sugar. But with the Cotton becoming a major bowl game, the Big 12 is losing the home for its top non-major bowl team.

          The Big Ten, on the other hand, will not lose its best non-major bowl tie-ins (the Capital One and the Outback) to the new format. In fact, with the new Orange Bowl arrangement pitting the top non-playoff ACC team against the Big Ten, SEC, or Notre Dame, the Big Ten loses no tie-ins and gains a new one (sort of).

          Likewise, the Pac-12 loses no tie-ins. However, with the SEC losing both Chick-fil-a and the Cotton Bowl tie-ins, the Pac-12’s tie-in for its top non-major bowl team is likely in jeopardy.

          Finally, the Big East’s bowl lineup is going to suffer the most. Short of a seventh major bowl game being added, it will lose its tie-in to college football’s major bowl games. Furthermore, it can no longer leverage Notre Dame for secondary bowl tie-ins. Nor can it leverage well traveling WVU fans or well-known names Pitt & Syracuse. Worse yet, the Big East cannot even offer bowl games a general region of the country from which its fans will come.

          • Michael in Raleigh says:

            One byproduct of the Chick-fil-a and Cotton Bowls promotion, if you will, to major bowl status is that other bowls will have to replaces them as bowl games for the best of the rest.

            The Capital One and Outback will retain their status as strong bowl games, with one of them possibly picking up the ACC’s top non-major bowl team. (It would be tough, though, for those bowl games to give up any tie-in with the Big Ten or SEC.)

            There are a number of games that could be in line to take the place of the Cotton and Chick-fil-a, in terms of those games’ status. I would include the Insight, the Alamo, and the Russell Athletic (formerly Champs Sports & held in Orlando), but the front-runner has got to be the Texas Bowl in Houston. That city, according to several articles I have read, is extremely interested in hosting more high-profile college football games, and it has the cash and and a high-quality stadium to back up its ambitions. My understanding is that Houston actually outbid both New Orleans and Dallas for the Champions bowl game but was turned down because of the city’s lack of tradition in hosting major bowl games. Nonetheless, Houston would be an ideal location to replace the current Cotton Bowl matchup (Big 12 No. 2 vs. SEC No. 3/4). The Big Ten, should it lose the Outback Bowl tie-in to the ACC’s No. 2, for example, could also be a good fit for this bowl game. The Pac-12’s No. 2 team could fit there as well or better than it does in San Antonio’s Alamo Bowl.

          • Phil says:

            I am not arguing the Big East is not going to be hurt in the new bowl situation, but to a few of your specifics:

            -Notre Dame was only part of the BE’s deal with the Champs (Russell Athletic) Bowl, so they were helping the BE a lot less than they will the ACC (where they are considered an ACC member for all of the lesser bowl selection).

            -Well known “names” Pitt and Syracuse were also known for not traveling well so they weren’t helping the BE make bowl deals.

            -WVU was the huge loss. I still don’t understand why the BE didn’t add ECU to get a “WVU Junior” in terms of a program with a solid fanbase that would be a good draw to any eastern bowl.

            The Big East is going to have to get creative in obtaining a mix of eastern and western bowls and having a bowl selection process that takes geography into account instead of just conference finish.

      • m (Ag) says:

        “Obviously the Big East is pushing this, the question becomes does the 5 Major conferences go along with it”

        Remember there’s other conferences, too…MAC, MWC, CUSA, etc. What do they want?

        If they think this 7th bowl will go mostly to Big East teams, they’ll probably be losing money as playoff money (which they’ll certainly get some small share of) will be subsidizing this bowl.

        Of course they may be confident they will sporadically get teams in, which can make it work out for them (this year LA Tech and Ohio would have a shot at it).

        If every non-power conference wants this, I think the major conferences will agree to it, but ask to cut the payout that non-participants get from the playoff system. The leaks about the bowl losing support could be a negotiation ploy by the major conferences.

        Another question is if BYU will be eligible for this. It isn’t hard to imagine an independent BYU becoming a frequent top-25 team and getting this bowl slot regularly, totally frustrating Big East fans.

        • frug says:

          The leaks about the bowl losing support could be a negotiation ploy by the major conferences.

          Why would they need a negotiation ploy? As the numerical majority they already have all the leverage in negotiations.

          I’m not saying the major conferences wouldn’t consider requests from the have-nots but I’m not sure why they would need to resort targeted leaks.

          • m (Ag) says:

            The minor conferences don’t have much leverage, but they have some. The major conferences need their approval to get the NCAA to allow the playoff.

            The big conferences still have the greatest leverage (as they’ll do fine if we revert to the BCS or the ‘traditional’ system), but the small conferences will demand a payout for signing on to the playoff system.

  24. Andy says:

    Mizzou finally gets their first SEC win today. 33-10 over Kentucky. Our starting QB is finally playing again, although he’s not 100%. Losing him has had a very negative impact on our offense in the first half of the season, and almost certainly cost us the game against Vanderbilt (lost by 4 pts during a game where our freshman backup played horribly).

    Mizzou’s attendance for the season right now is 68,214 per game. That’s up 6k compared to last season. Based on last year’s numbers Mizzou would rank 22nd in the country, behind Iowa and ahead of Arkansas.

    • Michael in Raleigh says:

      Congrats. Mizzou will come along in the next few years. Short of Pinkel abruptly leaving the program or losing his touch the way coaches do sometimes late in their careers, they won’t go through the awful growing pains that South Carolina did in the 90’s. (My senior year in high school & freshman year off college, SC went a combined 1-21.) But after a few years in the SEC, Missouri should emerge as a contender. They should be on par, over a ten-year average, with South Carolina, Texas A&M, Arkansas, and, if they’re fortunate, Auburn. The program may even prove over the long haul to be stronger than Tennessee if that program doesn’t figure out a way to finally live up to its historically strong past. Over time, they should be a clear step ahead of Ole Miss, Mississippi State, Kentucky, and Vandy. I don’t see Missouri being able to keep up with Alabama, Florida, Georgia, or LSU on a year-in, year-out basis, but there’s no reason it can’t be in the next tier. In other words, the commitment to football at Mizzou is, in my opinion, underestimated, but it will take several division titles before I’m convinced it can have a permanent place among the most elite programs of the most elite conference.

      • Andy says:

        I think Mizzou likely would have won 7 or 8 games this year had they not had the injuries at QB. As it is I think 6-6 is a best case scenario (they are 4-4 now).

        Long term I see Mizzou fluctuating between 6-6 and 10-2 most years, with an average of about 8 wins per year. I think there’s a top tier in the SEC of Alabama/LSU/Florida/Georgia. Then there’s a second tier of Auburn/South Carolina/A&M/Arkansas/Tennessee. I think Missouri will be in that tier long term, and will be right in the middle of that race.

        Mizzou is in the midst of a $200M facilities upgrade/stadium expansion. Our stadium will be above average for an SEC team in 2 or 3 years. Season tickets sold out this year. There’s a lot of commitment to football right now. Recruiting will need to get better.

  25. bullet says:

    Luck of the Irish again. That interception with a 7 point lead with 3 to go sure didn’t look like one to me. Hit the ground and then he bobbled it. Official couldn’t see that from his position. But it was a judgement call, so the replay official logically let it stand. If it was called incomplete the replay official would have let it stand.

    Interesting week. Florida, Ohio, Rutgers have bit the dust. Mississippi St. will. Oregon St. behind at halftime. Good wins for Oregon, Alabama, KSU, Ohio St. and Notre Dame. Louisville wins key BE game.

    • Brian says:

      ND deserved that win, though. They outplayed OU.

      The UF loss means no SEC rematch in the NCG. UGA has all but locked up the East, and their thrashing by SC as well as missing out on the best teams from the West, will keep them out of the NCG unless they beat AL. There’s no way AL gets a back to back rematch unless nobody else is available.

      The BCS will get interesting as ND, OR and KSU fight for #2. With USC losing to AZ, OR won’t have any elite wins unless OrSU stays undefeated. USC and Stanford already have 2 losses, and OR would have to beat USC twice most likely. Neither ND nor KSU gets a 13th game, though. OR has the flash, ND has the love of the voters, KSU has a conference the computers love. I think OR might win that battle, but ND could too.

      • bullet says:

        Yes, but they sealed it with a lucky call for the 2nd big game in a row.

        UGA isn’t in yet, but they should beat Ole Miss and Auburn. However, you never know with rivalry games like Auburn. What happens if LSU squeaks by Alabama and AL and FL win out while ND, OR and KSU lose a game? Could AL and FL end up in the BCS title game with the LSU/UGA SEC ccg winner on the outside looking in?

        • Brian says:

          bullet,

          “What happens if LSU squeaks by Alabama and AL and FL win out while ND, OR and KSU lose a game? Could AL and FL end up in the BCS title game with the LSU/UGA SEC ccg winner on the outside looking in?”

          If there are a bunch of 1 loss teams, the voters will manipulate the results if necessary to avoid a conference game in the NCG.

          No, a non-champ won’t knock the SEC champ out unless UGA loses to GT but wins the SEC.

          • duffman says:

            @ bullet,

            Being an apologist for the B12 is a bit much. Notre Dame won and won fairly. Not one person besides Stoops disputed the holding call and Notre Dame showed that a team with a better defense is more valuable then all the scoring in the B12. I suppose you will say Texas was dominating Kansas when the Jayhawks almost beat them with the better defense going in. Texas should finish between 8-4 and 10-2 but I am willing to bet they will not have 1 quality win all season. Notre Dame is for real and the B12 is not that great. Look at the numbers:

            Notre Dame wins ranked by margin of victory and game location
            BYU beaten by 3 points at Notre Dame
            Purdue beaten by 3 points at Notre Dame
            Michigan beaten by 7 points at Notre Dame
            Stanford beaten by 7 points at Notre Dame
            Michigan State beaten by 17 points at Michigan State
            Oklahoma beaten by 17 points at Oklahoma
            Miami beaten by 38 points at neutral site (granted Chicago is pro Irish)
            Navy beaten by 40 points at neutral site (granted Ireland is pro Irish)

            Right now Notre Dame has the #2 defense in the country behind only Alabama. The closest B12 school is Kansas State in the #13 spot. To be fair Oregon is #24 at this point so I still think #12 Oregon State has a good shot of beating Oregon when they meet.

          • ccrider55 says:

            Again, I’m definately not a duk fan but UO defense numbers skew higher because by the second half it’s purely experience time for second and third team (and maybe cheer leaders).

          • duffman says:

            @ ccrider55

            I tend to agree but I read UO as OU the first time. Like other teams we have not seen them against a top team yet and their 3 biggest games are still to be played against teams that have shown vulnerable issues. Southern Cal as preseason #1 in some eyes now has 2 losses and Stanford + Oregon State have show issues as well.

            Oregon could win all 3 or get upset by all 3 so we just have to see how it plays out.

          • bullet says:

            @duffman
            You’re confused. B12 doesn’t need to apologize for anything.

            Notre Dame is for real. I thought OU and USC would crush them. Now looks like they will be solid favorites vs. USC and huge favorites vs. everyone else.

          • duffman says:

            @ bullet,

            After the Domers beat all 3 B1G teams I remember some on here saying was because the B1G was weak and ND would lose to the B12, PAC, or others left on their schedule. After the game this weekend nobody can say Oklahoma or the B12 are that great because in their only Top 25 game OOC they failed at home in Norman. I still think if the B12 had played some tougher OOC games they would be even more exposed. Somewhere today the possible bowl pairings had Southern Cal and Texas. While they both have just 2 losses each it is safe to say the Trojans would appear to run roughshod over the Longhorns if this comes to pass.

          • Brian says:

            duffman,

            Looking back, ND beat PU, MSU and MI because all three were overrated. PU has collapsed. MSU has no offense. MI just isn’t that great.

          • bullet says:

            And Notre Dame struggled with all 3 who then disappointed after the ND game, so those wins looked less impressive over time. So there were questions about ND. But they keep winnning.

          • duffman says:

            Brian and bullet,

            My point being is the Domers had a defense to keep them in the games instead of just an offense so they should be a contender based on the teams winning the majority of BCS MNC’s. My long standing point is the teams at the finish line have the defense to win even if it looks ugly. Kansas State is similar even if their offense was not high output at the time. Both schools kept getting overlooked by the offense schools like Southern Cal, Oklahoma, Texas, and Oregon. If the season ends with Oregon, Notre Dame, and Kansas State being the only undefeated teams then I would favor Notre Dame vs Kansas State but we would get Notre Dame vs Oregon instead because they are more marketable.

            The conference should have embraced Kansas State early on for promotion when they were busy promoting Oklahoma, Texas, and West Virginia. Notre Dame is already over the hump but their promotion for the MNC game is well under way. The Irish will get that final exposure with a win over Southern Cal. The Wildcats have 4 manageable wins but nobody of not for that boost at the end. If Alabama and Oregon run the table this years Auburn of 2004 could be Kansas State behind the other 2 and Notre Dame.

          • Brian says:

            duffman,

            You can obsess over defense all you want, but the teams that win the NCG also can play offense. MSU has a great defense and they’re 5-4. Beating 1-dimensional teams like that didn’t give people any reason to suspect ND was necessarily that good. I still don’t think they are great.

  26. Andy says:

    So wh’s the top 10 now?

    1. Alabama
    2. Notre Dame
    3. Kansas State
    4. Oregon
    5. LSU
    6. Georgia
    7. Florida State
    8. Florida
    9. South Carolina
    10. Oklahoma/USC?

    • bullet says:

      The tough part is going beyond 15. As I said earlier, its hard to find teams who look like they deserve it. This week AP Poll #15 Texas Tech lost badly, #16 UL won in OT, #17 S. Carolina won by 3 over a bad team, #18 Rutgers lost to a MAC team, #19 Stanford won by 7 over a bad team, #20 Michigan lost, #21 Boise won comfortably over a bad team, #22 A&M won big over a bad team, #23 Ohio U lost to a 4-4 team, #24 La Tech struggled over winless in FBS NMSU, #25 WV was thankfully off. #s28, 29, 31 and 32 also lost.

    • bullet says:

      If you’re talking BCS, KSU stays ahead of Notre Dame unless the pollsters change their minds dramatically. Florida with sos probably stays ahead of FSU. Oregon St. hasn’t lost yet, so they may be #6.

    • Brian says:

      Andy,

      “So wh’s the top 10 now?”

      In which rankings? AP, coaches and BCS disagree.

      AP – AL, ND, OR, KSU, OSU
      Coaches – AL, OR, ND, KSU, UGA
      BCS – AL, ND, KSU, OR, UGA

      • Andy says:

        Must suck to have your buckeyes held out of the conversation on a year they likely go undefeated.

        • Ryan says:

          Nope. As an OSU grad, I am pretty sure that the Buckeyes would lose to every top five team not named Notre Dame with the team they currently have. Works out perfectly for Urban Meyer’s recruiting in the first year if they win them all–Look what we can do in a down year in this conference!!!

        • Brian says:

          Not really. It’s the price we pay for people screwing up. We’ll have other great years. It’s not like we’re as good as AL this year. They’d kill us in a game.

        • Richard says:

          They might even luck in to a split national title if a bunch of teams lose.

          I don’t believe tOSU has any prayer of actually beating a top 5 team (including ND) this year, so it’s a blessing in disguise, actually (for the B10 as well).

          • bullet says:

            I still think Ohio St. has the best chance of running the table. Notre Dame probably has 2nd best shot now. Still think noone gets out of SEC undefeated this year. Oregon is really good, but the question is what happens if they ever get pressed in the 2nd half. And they have several opponents who could. Think KSU drops one. Louisville drops 1 of their last 4 as well. 5 of their 8 wins could have gone either way. They’ve been skirting the edge and find a way to lose one of the remaining.

            So my best guess today is Oregon vs. Notre Dame for the BCS title game. SEC will fume claiming they have the 5 best teams.

      • Brian says:

        ESPN’s projected BCS top 5: AL, KSU, ND, OR, LSU

    • frug says:

      I think you are right expect flip KSU and ND. KSU is already ahead of them in both the human polls and the computers and I don’t think today’s results are going to change that.

      • frug says:

        KSU maintained its lead over ND in the Coaches’ Poll and is now number 1 in the Sagarin numbers (none of the other computers are out yet) so they’re almost certain to be #2.

    • Michael in Raleigh says:

      LSU being the second-highest ranked SEC team makes no sense to me. The SEC teams should be ranked this way:
      Alabama-ahead of EVERYONE else.
      Georgia-ahead of Florida by virtue of victory over the Gators and ahead of South Carolina by virtue of superior record
      Florida-ahead of LSU because UF has the same record as LSU and FLORIDA BEAT LSU! Also ahead of SC by virtue of dominating win over the Gamecocks and a superior record.
      LSU-Behind all of the above because it lost to Florida and only squeezed by SC, whereas Florida blew out SC.
      South Carolina-destroyed Georgia but has lesser record than all of the above
      Mississippi State-better record than SC, but has no wins over any of the above and was destroyed by the only team above it.

      Besides amnesia to the fact that LSU lost to Florida just a few weeks ago, why would voters outrank LSU above Florida yet put Georgia ahead of Florida?

      (I feel icky saying all this in favor of UF, since iim a Gator-hating Seminole fan, but the ridiculous ratings need to be called out.)

      • m (Ag) says:

        LSU went 1-1 vs. Florida and SC. Georgia went 1-1 vs. Florida and SC. You have to get away from those opponents to rank them.

        Georgia beat Florida beat SC beat Georgia is a nice loop. I’d separate the East teams by how they played vs. LSU: 1) Florida (1-0) 2) Georgia (0-0) 3) SC (0-1).

        I’d put LSU above Georgia right now as I think they’ve played a slightly more difficult schedule overall (although I’m clearly biased), for this ranking of one-loss SEC teams:

        Florida
        LSU
        Georgia
        South Carolina

      • bullet says:

        LSU is ranked higher because the pollsters thought they would be better at the beginning of the year and because LSU was better last year. There’s no logic based on this year’s results other than the who lost last rating system which many use. If you have identical schedules and one loses in the 3rd game and one loses in the 6th, normally the one losing in the 3rd game will be rated higher.

      • Alan from Baton Rouge says:

        Micheal – it really doesn’t matter where LSU is ranked in relation to UGa and UF during the last week of October. The SEC has a way of working it out. After this Saturday night, LSU will either be #1 in the SEC or #4.

        But to answer your question, LSU lost a close game to a top 10 team on the road by one score. As poorly as the offense played, LSU had a chance to win the game late into the 4th quarter, but for a fumbled pass reception. UGa got blown out by a South Carolina that that was man-handled by LSU the next week. Florida lost on a neutral site to UGa by a greater margin than they defeated LSU. LSU clearly has the best loss of the three. Also, LSU skull-drug Washington earlier in the season. The same Washington team that defeated top 10 USC and Oregon State.

        • m (Ag) says:

          Washington lost to USC, but beat Stanford, who was top 10 at the time.

          • Alan from Baton Rouge says:

            My mistake, m(Ag). Thanks for catching it. But regardless of whether it was a top 10 USC or a top 10 Stanford that Washington beat, LSU dump-trucked the Huskies for the best OOC win so far between LSU, UF, and UGa, in addition to having the best loss among the group.

  27. Brian says:

    http://espn.go.com/blog/bigten/post/_/id/63490/huskers-try-to-take-control-of-wacky-b1g

    ESPN is reporting WI’s QB Stave broke his collar bone and thus is out for the season except maybe the bowl. Go ahead and book your tickets to Pasadena, Huskers.

    East:
    OSU 5-0*
    PSU 3-1*
    WI 3-2
    IN 1-3
    PU 0-4
    IL 0-4

    WI has already beaten PU and IL, so 1 more WI win eliminates them. WI gets IN after a bye next week, and a win there would lock their spot in the CCG. WI finishes with OSU and @PSU, so they shouldn’t be riding high but maybe they’ll rest some players if they fall behind early in those games.

    West:
    NE 3-1
    MI 3-1
    NW 3-2
    IA 2-2
    MSU 2-3
    MN 1-3

    NE has the tiebreaker over MI and NW. Both MI and NE play MN and IA, and both should get 2 wins. NE also has PSU and @MSU, while MI has NW and @OSU. Both could win out, but 3-1 is more likely. MI needs NE to lose twice, or else MI must beat OSU and have NE lose once. Clearly, NE is the favorite now.

    Without their only decent QB, WI has little chance to beat NE in Indy. Huskers fans are finally going to get a conference championship (1st since 1999). Enjoy a real Rose Bowl guys.

    • Kevin says:

      Wisconsin might find it difficult to win another with Danny O’Brien at QB. He is awful. No Poise in the pocket. Never seen a QB that takes sacks the way he does.

    • jj says:

      Msu will do mi a big favor next week.

    • Richard says:

      The irony is that their first Rose Bowl while a member of the B10 may not even be a “true” Pac/Big20 Rose Bowl if Oregon runs the table, as no other Pac team may qualify. If it’s UNL vs. ND (or OU), it would feature 2 schools where neither was in a Rose Bowl conference 2 years ago.

      It would also feature a Rose Bowl with 2 Midwestern teams. When did that last happen? Has it ever?

  28. Brian says:

    http://espn.go.com/blog/bigten/post/_/id/63472/loss-carries-big-sting-for-penn-state#more

    “He probably shouldn’t have been there,” McGloin said about linebacker Ryan Shazier, who came away an interception that gave Ohio State a third-quarter lead it never relinquished.

    Does this seem odd to anyone else? I don’t know that I’ve ever seen a QB say something like that after clearly just not seeing a defender. If you watch a replay, Shazier just faked a blitz and dropped straight back. McGloin through it right to him.

  29. duffman says:

    The current BCS picture :

    Alabama – win and in with only 3 possible obstacles (beat 5 ranked teams)
    11.03 @ #6 LSU (7-1)
    11.10 vs #20 Texas A&M (6-2)
    11.17 vs Western Carolina (1-8)
    11.24 vs Auburn (1-7)
    12.01 vs SEC east champions (?-?)

    Notre Dame – hard to keep out with 1 remaining obstacle (beat 5 ranked teams)
    11.03 vs Pittsburgh (4-4)
    11.10 @ Boston College (2-6)
    11.17 vs Wake Forest (4-4)
    11.24 @ #9 Southern Cal (6-2)

    Kansas State – hardest teams behind them with no real obstacles (beat 3-4 ranked teams)
    11.03 vs Oklahoma State (5-2)
    11.10 @ TCU (5-3)
    11.17 @ Baylor (3-4)
    12.01 vs #23 Texas (6-2)

    Oregon – meat of schedule left with 3-4 obstacles (beat 3-6 ranked teams)
    11.03 @ #9 Southern Cal (6-2)
    11.10 @ California (3-6)
    11.17 vs #17 Stanford (6-2)
    11.24 @ #7 Oregon State (6-1)
    12.01 vs PAC south champions (?-?)

    Louisville – dark horse needs others to lose (beat 1 ranked team)
    11.03 vs Temple (3-4)
    11.10 @ Syracuse (4-4)
    11.24 vs Connecticut (3-5)
    11.29 @ #15 Rutgers (7-1)

    .

    .

    The issue with Oregon is going to be their schedule. 3 non AQ’s and wins against ranked teams at the time who have fallen from grace since. Southern Cal and Oregon State lost this weekend so those match ups now have some tarnish on them.

    vs Arkansas State (5-3) in SunBelt = non AQ school
    vs Fresno State (6-3) in MWC = non AQ school
    vs Tennessee Tech (2-6) in OVC = FCS school
    vs #22 Arizona (5-3) = dropped out of Top 25
    @ Washington State (2-6) = dead last in the north
    vs #23 Washington (4-4) = dropped out of Top 25 – not likely to get back in
    @ Arizona State (5-3) = not ranked
    vs Colorado (1-7) = dead last in the south and dead last in the PAC
    @ #9 Southern Cal (6-2) = lost this week so out of the MNC discussion
    @ California (3-6) = second worst team in the north
    vs #17 Stanford (6-2) = could still lose 2-3 games and Top 25 status
    @ #7 Oregon State (6-1) = could still lose 2-4 games and Top 25 status
    12.01 vs PAC south champions (?-?)

  30. duffman says:

    Week 9 :

    ACC : AQ = 4-5 : NAQ = DNP : FCS = DNP : OFF = THREE :: U = NONE
    ACC (4-4) : B1G (DNP) : BE (DNP) : B12 (DNP) : PAC (DNP) : SEC (DNP) : IND (0-1)
    CUSA (DNP) : MAC (DNP) : MWC (DNP) : SB (DNP) : WAC (DNP) : FCS (DNP)

    B 12 : AQ = 4-5 : NAQ = DNP : FCS = DNP : OFF = ONE :: U = Kansas State
    ACC (DNP) : B1G (DNP) : BE (DNP) : B12 (4-4) : PAC (DNP) : SEC (DNP) : IND (0-1)
    CUSA (DNP) : MAC (DNP) : MWC (DNP) : SB (DNP) : WAC (DNP) : FCS (DNP)

    BE : AQ = 3-3 : NAQ = 0-1 : FCS = DNP : OFF = ONE :: U = Louisville
    ACC (DNP) : B1G (DNP) : BE (3-3) : B12 (DNP) : PAC (DNP) : SEC (DNP) : IND (DNP)
    CUSA (DNP) : MAC (0-1) : MWC (DNP) : SB (DNP) : WAC (DNP) : FCS (DNP)

    B1G : AQ = 6-6 : NAQ = DNP : FCS = DNP : OFF = NONE :: U = Ohio State
    ACC (DNP) : B1G (6-6) : BE (DNP) : B12 (DNP) : PAC (DNP) : SEC (DNP) : IND (DNP)
    CUSA (DNP) : MAC (DNP) : MWC (DNP) : SB (DNP) : WAC (DNP) : FCS (DNP)

    IND : AQ = 2-0 : NAQ = 1-1 : FCS = DNP : OFF = NONE :: U = Notre Dame
    ACC (1-0) : B1G (DNP) : BE (DNP) : B12 (1-0) : PAC (DNP) : SEC (DNP) : IND (DNP)
    CUSA (1-0) : MAC (0-1) : MWC (DNP) : SB (DNP) : WAC (DNP) : FCS (DNP)

    PAC : AQ = 6-6 : NAQ = DNP : FCS = DNP : OFF = NONE :: U = Oregon
    ACC (DNP) : B1G (DNP) : BE (DNP) : B12 (DNP) : PAC (6-6) : SEC (DNP) : IND (DNP)
    CUSA (DNP) : MAC (DNP) : MWC (DNP) : SB (DNP) : WAC (DNP) : FCS (DNP)

    SEC : AQ = 6-6 : NAQ = 1-0 : FCS = DNP : OFF = ONE :: U = Alabama
    ACC (DNP) : B1G (DNP) : BE (DNP) : B12 (DNP) : PAC (DNP) : SEC (5-5) : IND (DNP)
    CUSA (DNP) : MAC (1-0) : MWC (DNP) : SB (DNP) : WAC (DNP) : FCS (DNP)

    .

    Best scheduler = everybody played about equal but the ACC had 3 teams OFF
    Worst scheduler = IND had 2 non AQ’s but that is the nature of IND play now

    .

    Observations :
    Nebraska has taken the lead in the Legends – the good
    Nebraska still has to play Penn State (potential losses to both Leaders) – the bad
    Illinois and Purdue still looking for a conference win – the ugly

    .

    My weekly B 12 is over rated observations :

    Sagarin still ranks the B 12 as the toughest conference as updated 10.28.2012 @ 2 am

    http://usatoday30.usatoday.com/sports/sagarin/fbc12.htm

    I included the ELO numbers this week for Brian (70% of conference has Top 25 ELO)
    3 Kansas State (8-0) : #30 SoS : #1 ELO :::: W 4-4 ACC, W 3-5 SB, W 3-6 FCS
    5 Oklahoma (5-2) : #12 SoS : #5 ELO :::: L 8-0 IND, W 2-7 CUSA, W 3-5 FCS
    8 Texas Tech (6-2) : #18 SoS : #10 ELO :::: W 4-5 MWC, W 3-4 WAC, W 4-4 FCS
    16 Oklahoma St (5-2) : #35 SoS : #23 ELO :::: L 5-3 PAC, W 4-3 SB, W 1-7 FCS
    18 Texas (6-2) : #23 SoS : #17 ELO :::: W 5-3 SEC, W 4-5 MWC, W 1-7 MWC
    25 Iowa State (5-3) : #11 SoS : #21 ELO :::: W 4-4 B1G, L 7-1 CUSA, W 3-5 FCS
    30 TCU (5-3) : #33 SoS : #39 ELO :::: W 2-6 ACC, W 4-4 CUSA, W 1-7 FCS
    37 Baylor (3-4) : #13 SoS : #50 ELO :::: W 4-4 CUSA, W 6-2 SB, W 6-2 FCS
    43 West Virginia (5-2) : #27 SoS : #14 ELO :::: W 4-4 ACC, W 3-5 CUSA, W 6-2 FCS
    85 Kansas (1-7) : #4 SoS : #110 ELO :::: L 3-6 CUSA, L 8-1 MAC, W 6-2 FCS

    .
    Again, B12 is skewed with only 2 schools with ELO of 50 or more!
    3 Kansas State – still think they should be Top 5 till they lose
    5 Oklahoma – still a Top 25 team but should be no higher than #16
    8 Texas Tech – still a Top 25 team but should be no higher than #21
    16 Oklahoma State – not Top 25 as both losses were to not Top 25 teams
    18 Texas – not Top 25 for near loss to KANSAS and no quality wins
    25 Iowa State – 3 losses and no quality wins
    30 TCU – 3 losses and no quality wins
    37 Baylor – 4 losses and no quality wins
    43 West Virginia – 2 losses and no quality wins
    85 Kansas – 7 losses and no quality wins

    According to Sagarin this is the 4th toughest schedule in the USA so far!
    Game # 1 = 6-2 FCS school
    Game # 2 = 8-1 MAC school
    Game # 3 = 3-6 CUSA school
    Game # 4 = 5-3, 2-3 conference team with no big wins
    Game # 5 = 6-2, 3-2 conference team with no big wins
    Game # 6 = 5-2, 3-1 conference team with no big wins
    Game # 7 = 5-2, 3-1 conference team
    Game # 8 = 8-0, 5-0 conference team

    For comparison here is an AQ school with an SoS over 30!!
    Game # 1 = 1-6 MWC school
    Game # 2 = 4-4 BE school
    Game # 3 = 1-7, 1-4 conference team with no big wins
    Game # 4 = 3-5, 1-4 conference team with win against probable 8-4 / Top 25 team
    Game # 5 = 3-6, 2-4 conference team with (1) Top 25 wins
    Game # 6 = 4-4, 2-3 conference team with (2) Top 15 wins
    Game # 7 = 5-3, 2-3 conference team with Top 10 win and B12 win
    Game # 8 = 6-2, 4-1 conference team currently in Top 20

    .

    .

    Sagarin states his numbers are connected yet the following schools are below 80% of the B12 schools (3-4 Baylor is number 8 at #37) NOTE, teams with winning records in BOLD :

    ACC (9) or 75.0% : #53 North Carolina State 5-3, #55 Virginia Tech 4-4, #63 Miami 4-4, #76 Duke 6-3, #81 Georgia Tech 3-5, #100 Maryland 4-4, #109 Boston College 2-6, #124 Wake Forest 4-4, #125 Virginia 2-6

    Big East (8) or 100% : #42 Rutgers 7-1, #47 Cincinnati 5-2, #48 Louisville 8-0, #60 Syracuse 4-4, #72 Pittsburgh 4-4, #75 South Florida 2-6, #102 Temple 3-4, #114 Connecticut 3-5

    B1G (7) or 58.3% : #38 Northwestern 7-2, #40 Penn State 5-3, #59 Indiana 3-5, #61 Purdue 3-5, #66 Iowa 4-4, #69 Minnesota 5-3, #126 Illinois 2-6

    B 12 (2) or 20.0% : #43 West Virginia 5-2, #85 Kansas 1-7

    IND (2) or 50.0% : #74 Navy 5-3, #164 Army 1-7

    PAC (5) or 41.7% : #44 Utah 3-5, #49 Washington 4-4, #62 California 3-6, #87 Washington State 2-6, #155 Colorado 1-7

    SEC (6) or 42.9% : #41 Tennessee 3-5, #50 Missouri 4-4, #58 Vanderbilt, #65 Arkansas 3-5, #83 Auburn 1-7, #91 Kentucky 1-8

    A conference with 80% Top 37 schools should be playing in the MNC every season! Look at all the teams above in BOLD that fall below Baylor who has a LOSING record! 3 B1G teams have a valid claim to be ahead of Baylor. I would argue these 3 same B1G schools should be ahead of the vast majority of the B12 schools. I still say only 3 B12 schools should be in the Top 25 and at least 50% of the B12 conference should not be getting even a single vote in any poll or ranking!

    Top 25 (3) = Kansas State / Oklahoma / Texas Tech (due to weak OOC)

    .

    .

    The teams with the better defense went 3-2

    #102 Texas @ #89 Kansas : Kansas was projected and almost beat Texas
    #34 Texas Tech @ #14 Kansas State : Kansas State was projected and won
    #32 TCU @ #52 Oklahoma State : TCU was projected but had skewed OOC numbers
    #120 Baylor @ #27 Iowa State : Iowa State projected and won
    #2 Notre Dame @ #12 Oklahoma : Notre Dame projected and won

    B12 games this week with better defense in BOLD :

    #44 Oklahoma State @ #13 Kansas State
    #16 Oklahoma @ #26 Iowa State
    #97 Texas @ #57 Texas Tech
    #37 Texas Christian @ #115 West Virginia
    #83 Kansas @ #118 Baylor

  31. bullet says:

    The real question in the polls is why Arizona gets no love in the coaches poll. They are 33rd. They lost in OT to Stanford, by 3 to Oregon St., beat USC and Okie St. who are ranked and did get stomped by Oregon, but so has everyone else.

    Now Rutgers is still ranked in the coaches’ poll, but I presume that is because they didn’t pay attention. They lost to Kent St. whose lone loss was to Kentucky-by 33! Kent’s only other win over a team with a winning record was Ball St. (6-3). Kent is ranked 30th, ahead of Arizona.

    Penn St. hasn’t gotten much interest by the writers. They got no votes this week. Hard to tell how much of that is bias because of Sandusky and how much is because they lost to UVA who hasn’t beaten any other FCS schools (but Kent is 30th in the AP as well despite giving UK their only win).

  32. Quiet Storm says:

    Don’t know if anyone saw this but NBC gets exclusive media rights for the EPL in the U.S. This was a huge win for them; I am surprised FOX didn’t get the rights. They needed a major sports property badly.

    http://prosoccertalk.nbcsports.com/2012/10/28/nbc-universal-acquires-exclusive-english-premier-league-rights-in-united-states/related/

    • Richard says:

      This was discussed in the comments section here:

      http://www.laketheposts.com/index.php/2012/10/an-offense-grounded-102312/

      I chalk this down to the Gator Bowl not being a historical B10 tie-in & thus not knowing how much support NU brings to bowl games (usually almost as much as we bring to home games, due to having a national alumni base; we were one of 2 B10 schools that filled our full ticket allotment last year).

      In any case, I have no desire to visit Jacksonville; that is the only bowl location I definitely won’t go to.

      • Brian says:

        Richard,

        “In any case, I have no desire to visit Jacksonville; that is the only bowl location I definitely won’t go to.”

        Which only reinforces the Gator Bowl’s opinion as the right one. If NW fans are above going to their game, why should they consider NW?

        • Richard says:

          Everybody’s happy when the feeling is mutual.

          Personally, I would like the B10 to drop the Gator for NYC if the payout is close. Definitely want them to keep the Houston bowl if possible, especially since the payout of that one figures to rise a fair bit.

          The ACC could have the Gator back. Definitely want to keep Orlando and Tampa (which are likely to stay SEC-B10). Then, with the Atlanta bowl going away, both the Jacksonville and Birmingham bowls could carry on the tradition of matching up SEC-ACC.

  33. Brian says:

    Bowl eligibility report

    Eligible
    ACC – 3*
    BE – 2
    B10 – 3
    B12 – 3**
    P12 – 5
    SEC – 7
    Indy – 1
    CUSA – 2
    MAC – 6
    MWC – 4
    SB – 2
    WAC – 3

    Total – 41 (70)

    Ineligible
    ACC – 1*
    BE – 0
    B10 – 2**
    B12 – 1
    P12 – 1
    SEC – 2
    Indy – 1
    CUSA – 4
    MAC – 4
    MWC – 2
    SB – 1
    WAC – 2

    Total – 21 (44)

    To fill the bowls, only 23 more teams can become ineligible.

    2-6 or 3-6
    12 – BC, UVA, USF, IL, Tulane, Rice, WMU, CSU, Cal, WSU, USA, FAU

    It’s unlikely any of these teams win out.

    3-5

    10 – GT, UConn, IN, PU, Marshall, CMU, Utah, TN, AR, UNT

    About half of those teams have reasonable chances to get 6 wins, but that doesn’t mean they will get to 6.

    That’s 12+7 = 19 teams likely not to get eligible so far.

    4-5
    1 – NM

    They have an easy schedule, so getting to 7-6 should be doable.

    4-4
    14 teams

    You have to think a few will lose 3 of 4.

    It’s going to be close to get to 70, and the NCAA delaying UCF’s hearing until next year may have been necessary to get there.

  34. duffman says:

    The ranks of the undefeated after week 9 :

    AQ schools 6 of 72 = 8.33% of population : 6 of 124 = 4.8% of total

    IND (1) of 4 => 25.0% : 8 – 0 = Notre Dame
    Big East (1) of 8 => 12.5% : 8 – 0 = Louisville
    Big 12 (1) of 10 => 10.0% : 8 – 0 = Kansas State
    B1G (1) of 12 => 8.3% : 9 – 0 = Ohio State
    PAC (1) of 12 => 8.3% : 8 – 0 = Oregon
    SEC (1) of 14 => 7.1% : 8 – 0 = Alabama

    ACC (0) of 12 => 0.0%

    .

    Non AQ schools 0 of 52 = 0.0% of population : 0 of 124 = 0.0% of total

    MAC (0) of 13 => 0%
    CUSA (0) of 12 => 0%
    MWC (0) of 10 => 0%
    Sun Belt (0) of 10 => 0%
    WAC (0) of 7 => 0%

    .

    Undefeated teams off for week #10
    NONE

    Undefeated pairings for week #10
    NONE

    Undefeated games for week #10
    3-4 Temple @ 8-0 Louisville : 12:00 pm on ABC
    4-4 Pittsburgh @ 8-0 Notre Dame : 3:30 pm on NBC
    8-0 Oregon @ 6-2 Southern Cal : 7:00 pm FOX
    8-0 Alabama @ 7-1 Louisiana State : 8:00 pm CBS
    5-2 Oklahoma State @ 8-0 Kansas State : 8:00 pm ABC

    .
    ….
    .

    AP Top 25

    SEC (7) = #1 Alabama, #5 LSU, #7 UGA, #8 UF, #11 USC, #16 TAMU, #17 MSU
    PAC (6) = #2 Oregon, #13 Oregon St, #15 Stanford, #18 Southern Cal, #24 AZ, #25 UCLA
    B 12 (4) = #3 Kansas State, #14 Oklahoma, #20 Texas Tech, #23 West Virginia
    B1G (2) = #6 Ohio State, #20 Nebraska
    ACC (2) = #9 Florida State, #10 Clemson
    I ND (1) = #4 Notre Dame
    BigE (1) = #12 Louisville
    MWC (1) = #19 Boise State
    WAC (1) = #22 La Tech

    Dropped : Rutgers / Michigan / Ohio

    .

    USA Top 25

    SEC (7) = #1 Alabama, #5 LSU, #6 UGA, #8 UF, #11 USC, #16 TAMU, #18 MSU
    B 12 (6) = #3 Kansas State, #12 Oklahoma, #19 WVU, #20 TT, #22 UT, #24 oSu
    PAC (4) = #2 Oregon, #13 Oregon State, #15 Stanford, #17 Southern Cal
    ACC (2) = #7 Florida State, #9 Clemson
    BigE (2) = #10 Louisville, #25 Rutgers
    I ND (1) = #4 Notre Dame
    MWC (1) = #14 Boise State
    B1G (1) = #21 Nebraska
    WAC (1) = #23 La Tech

    Dropped : Michigan / Ohio / Wisconsin

    .

    Harris Interactive Top 25

    SEC (7) #1 Alabama, #5 LSU, #6 UGA, #8 UF, #11 USC, #15 MSU, #18 TAMU
    B12 (6) #3 Kansas State, #12 Oklahoma, #19 Texas Tech, #20 WVU, #22 UT, #25 oSu
    PAC (4) #2 Oregon, #13 Oregon State, #14 Stanford, #16 Southern Cal
    ACC (2) #7 Florida State, #9 Clemson
    BigE (2) #10 Louisville, #23 Rutgers
    I ND (1) #4 Notre Dame
    MWC (1) #17 Boise State
    B1G (1) #21 Nebraska
    WAC (1) #24 La Tech

    Dropped : Michigan / Ohio / Texas Christian

    .

    .

    The B12 rankings
    – Kansas State demolished #15 Texas Tech @ home : #3 / #3 / #3 – up 1
    – Oklahoma got beat by Notre Dame @ home : #14 / #12 / #12 – only dropped 5 !!
    – Texas Tech lost big @ Kansas State : #20 / #20 / #19 – only dropped 4 !!
    – West Virginia did not play and still moved up 3! : #23 / #19 / #20 – up 3
    – Texas squeaked by 1-7 Kansas @ Kansas! : #29 / #22 / #22 – bumped up 2
    – Oklahoma State beat TCU @ home : #28 / #24 / #25 – bumped up 5!
    – Iowa State beat pitiful Baylor and moved up! : #NR / #38 / #41 – how do they get votes?
    – TCU lost @ Oklahoma State and still got votes : #NR / #NR / #35 – who voted?
    – Baylor (3-4, 0-4) lost and is out
    – Kansas (1-7, 0-5) lost and is out

    80% of a conference who played such a padded getting votes is terrible. The AP (4 B12 teams) poll seems more balanced, the USA (6 B12 teams) poll, and the Harris (6 B12 teams) just adores the B12! The B1G is not as bad as advertised yet still only Nebraska is ranked in the Top 25 in all 3 polls. In contrast I still feel the B12 is not as good as advertised and does not warrant 6 teams in the Top 25. At least the AP does not have Texas but USA and Harris seems happy to let them hang around. The B12 has 5 teams (50%) of their conference with 2 losses and still ranked! Here are the 2 loss teams in the Top 25 for this week :

    B 12 (5) = 6-2 Texas Tech and Texas : 5-2 Oklahoma, West Virginia, and Oklahoma State
    B1G (1) = 6-2 Nebraska
    PAC (2) = 6-2 Stanford and Southern Cal
    SEC (2) = 7-2 South Carolina and 6-2 Texas A&M

    .

    .

    Here is the third BCS

    SEC (7) #1 Alabama, #5 LSU, #6 UGA, #7 UF, #8 USC, #15 MSU, #16 TAMU
    B 12 (6) #2 Kansas St, #12 Oklahoma, #18 Tx Tech, #21 W Virginia, #23 Texas, #24 OK St
    PAC (5) #4 Oregon, #11 Oregon State, #14 Stanford, #17 Southern Cal, #22 Arizona
    ACC (2) #9 Florida State, #13 Clemson
    I ND (1) #3 Notre Dame
    BigE (1) #10 Louisville
    MWC (1) #19 Boise State
    B1G (1) #20 Nebraska
    WAC (1) #25 La Tech
    MAC (0) NONE
    CUSA (0) NONE
    SunB (0) NONE
    WAC (0) NONE

    7 SEC teams = 50% of conference
    6 B 12 teams = 60% of conference
    5 PAC teams = 42% of conference

    Bad enough that Texas and West Virginia are in but having Oklahoma State as the 6th B12 team is terrible!

    • Brian says:

      duffman,

      “Undefeated games for week #10
      3-4 Temple @ 8-0 Louisville : 12:00 pm on ABC
      4-4 Pittsburgh @ 8-0 Notre Dame : 3:30 pm on NBC
      8-0 Oregon @ 6-2 Southern Cal : 7:00 pm FOX
      8-0 Alabama @ 7-1 Louisiana State : 8:00 pm CBS
      5-2 Oklahoma State @ 8-0 Kansas State : 8:00 pm ABC”

      You forgot one:
      2-6 Illinois @ 9-0 Ohio State : 3:30 pm on ESPN

      “- West Virginia did not play and still moved up 3! : #23 / #19 / #20 – up 3″

      You’ve been around too long to pretend that you don’t understand how the polls work. When teams above you lose during your bye week, you move up because they move down. Stop trying to make everything in CFB a pro-B12 conspiracy. You’re turning into the crazy old man down the street that parents warn their kids about.

      • duffman says:

        Brian,

        My apology on that! I remember looking it up and knowing the Buckeyes were not off but somehow I missed typing it (or possibly deleted it on clean up) when I filled in the new data. To save time I cut and paste the previous week and edit and that got lost in the transition. Thanks for catching it.

        I really am trying not to get irritated at the B12 but it sends my blood pressure up when I see 6-7 schools from the B12 in the Top 25 and then see none or one from the B1G. As stated before I have no problem when the valid teams being in there like Kansas State and Oklahoma but every slot one of the “inflated ones” takes means 1 less for everybody else. I think it would be hard for the SEC to squeeze an 8th team into the Top 25 so each lost spot has the highest probability to hit a B1G or PAC school. While I can see a 5-2 Oklahoma in the Top 25 a 5-2 Oklahoma State or a 6-2 Texas may keep a 7-2 Northwestern (currently sitting at #26 in the USA poll) or 6-2 UCLA (currently sitting at #27 in the USA poll) out.

        ccrider55 may be right that in the end it will all right itself but in the meantime many average or below average teams are getting an imbalanced amount of expose. Unlike most every other discussion this one just rubs me the wrong way and it is hard for me to sit still and say nothing.

        • Brian says:

          duffman,

          B10 teams don’t deserve much love from the voters:

          OSU & PSU – ineligible for USA Today
          6-3, 3-2 WI – best win is over MN
          3-5, 1-3 IN
          3-5, 0-4 PU
          2-6, 0-4 IL

          6-2, 3-1 NE – ranked
          5-3, 3-1 MI – best win is over MSU?
          7-2, 3-2 NW – best win is over IA?
          4-4, 2-2 IA – best win is over MSU, lost to CMU
          5-4, 2-3 MSU – 1 dimensional team, best win is over WI
          5-3, 1-3 MN – best win is over PU

          Who exactly deserves to be in the top 25 from that group? No team with more than 2 losses is in the USA Today top 25. That leaves NE and NW, with MI close since they lost to 2 top 5 teams.

          Look at the poll, and NE is ranked, NW is close (#26) despite no good wins, and MI is getting votes. So is WI despite their bad start, and some deluded soul is even voting for MSU.

          • duffman says:

            Brian,

            I see your point but so far the only non con game that challenged the B12 was OU vs ND while look at where the losses came from in the B1G :

            Ohio State = none (beat Cal and 3 AQ’s – no FCS schools)
            Nebraska = Top 25 caliber UCLA
            Michigan = Top 5 caliber Alabama and Notre Dame
            Northwestern = none (beat 3 AQ’s)
            Penn State = slow start but could have been none
            Wisconsin = Top 15 Oregon State
            Michigan State = Top 5 Notre Dame (beat Top 25 BSU)
            Iowa = Iowa State was ranked but has fallen
            Minnesota = none
            Indiana = Navy, who will be bowl eligible with next win
            Purdue = Top 5 Notre Dame (and won the other 3 OOC’s)
            Illinois = Lost to Top 30 Arizona State and La Tech

            If say the average B1G school had 1 less loss they would have similar records to the the B12. It is a case of separate and unequal between the two. If your point is that the B1G schools deserve little love from the voters then why should a conference who played much less impressive opponents deserve more?

          • Brian says:

            duffman,

            “I see your point but so far the only non con game that challenged the B12 was OU vs ND”

            So effing what? That doesn’t make the B10 teams any better. They almost all have bad losses in addition to no good wins. It’s not just records, but how you look compiling them.

            “while look at where the losses came from in the B1G :

            Ohio State = none (beat Cal and 3 AQ’s – no FCS schools)”

            And is ranked #6 in the AP, unranked in the USA Today by rule. No reason for complaints.

            “Nebraska = Top 25 caliber UCLA”

            And OSU, giving up 99 points in those 2 games. Teams that get blown out like that don’t really deserve to be higher than NE is.

            “Michigan = Top 5 caliber Alabama and Notre Dame”

            And a shaky defense in NE. MI is just outside the polls, which is about right for a 3 loss team that hasn’t beaten anybody at this point.

            “Northwestern = none (beat 3 AQ’s)”

            NW has no impressive wins as MN is the only AQ with a winning record they’ve beaten so far. NW is also chronically underranked due to their history and style of team.

            “Penn State = slow start but could have been none”

            But it isn’t none. They lost to a bad UVA and an unimpressive Ohio.

            “Wisconsin = Top 15 Oregon State”

            And almost lost to USU and UNI. And just lost to a one-dimensional MSU. And just lost their 2nd starting QB.

            “Michigan State = Top 5 Notre Dame (beat Top 25 BSU)”

            They have no offense, and they have 4 losses.

            “Iowa = Iowa State was ranked but has fallen”

            CMU. Enough said.

            “Minnesota = none”

            No wins of note, 3 straight losses.

            “Indiana = Navy, who will be bowl eligible with next win”

            5 straight losses, best win is over IL.

            “Purdue = Top 5 Notre Dame (and won the other 3 OOC’s)”

            4 straight losses, no wins.

            “Illinois = Lost to Top 30 Arizona State and La Tech”

            A horrible, horrible team.

            “If say the average B1G school had 1 less loss they would have similar records to the the B12.”

            And then they might be ranked a little higher. But they do have those extra losses, so you have no point.

            “If your point is that the B1G schools deserve little love from the voters”

            What do you mean “if”? That’s exactly what I said, and it means your whining about the B12 rankings hurting the B10 have no merit.

            “then why should a conference who played much less impressive opponents deserve more?”

            Because they don’t have as many losses and haven’t looked as bad.

          • jj says:

            I’d vote for MSU.

          • Brian says:

            jj,

            Would you admit to being a little biased in voting for MSU?

            The OSU and ND losses are fine on paper although the lack of scoring is an issue. The MI loss isn’t great, but not terrible either. The IA loss really hurts, though. That makes losses to a 5-3 and a 4-4 team, with the best win over a 6-3 team that has some of it’s hardest conference games upcoming or over a not elite non-AQ.

  35. Brian says:

    A brief B10 recruiting look in. The national ranking is dependent on class size, but it gives you a feel for the difference between teams and how they compare to the rest of the country. The average player rating is more meaningful at this point, though. Many fans don’t like recruiting, but multiple analyses have shown that it does matter. By only looking at B10 schools here, I’m keeping a level playing field in terms of limits and approach (no oversigning, few if any JUCOs, etc)

    Data (National rank, Player average)
    School # Scout Rivals
    Michigan 22 2, 3.86 3, 3.59
    Ohio State 17 8, 3.82 7, 3.65
    Nebraska 13 27, 3.31 40, 3.15
    Michigan State 14 33, 3.14 38, 3.07
    Penn State 12 42, 3.00 43, 3.18
    Northwestern 17 34, 2.94 34, 2.88
    Indiana 10 60, 2.90 59, 2.92
    Illinois 18 36, 2.89 27, 2.94
    Iowa 16 40, 2.81 45, 3.00
    Wisconsin 15 41, 2.80 43, 3.15
    Purdue 11 61, 2.73 61, 2.85
    Minnesota 6 89, 2.33 86, 2.57

    Tier 1: MI, OSU
    Tier 2: NE, MSU, PSU
    Tier 3: NW, IN, IL, IA, WI
    Tier 4: PU
    Tier 5: MN

    Obviously things will change by February, but the player averages say a lot. If this keeps up, MI and OSU will be going to Indy a lot. MSU should also do well since they have a much easier locked rival than the other top 4 teams. The two divisions look to be fairly well matched, too.

    • mnfanstc says:

      Sometimes, the recruiting thing can be over-analyzed too. In the case of Minnesota, Coach Kill and his staff had a lot of work to do just to “re-load” the roster. While former Coach Brewster’s recruiting classes were fairly high ranking, very few of those recruits are left on the roster (academics, didn’t live up to ranking, off-field issues). Kill definitely runs a much tighter ship. This year (2013), Coach Kill and his staff have a limited number of scholarships to give–to this point, they are being pretty selective in going after position needs, not after numbers like they had to do last year.

      Quite frankly, the Gophers will likely never have a Top 10 recruiting class… The cache (or maybe it’s the “cash”) just isn’t there, and Minnesota is not a top football recruiting state—hockey, yes… football… not-so-much. If you are in a hot-bed, is a little easier to retain those than to try and steal them away.

      Minnesota obviously is not the only school that fights an uphill battle for recruits… it’s just the example I know… We have to coach up the 1, 2, and 3 stars and hope for a gem or two… Fortunately, I think we might have the right coach at the right time…

      • Brian says:

        There are lots of reasons for the numbers to be what they are. Not every player has been rated yet, and even 1 player moving from 2 stars to 3 would have a big impact on MN. You also need players that fit your system, not just an all-star team. But the numbers do speak a little to how the B10 compares within the league (no shock to see the kings up top, but NW is higher than normal) and nationally.

        History also shows that the B10 tends to coach up their players better than other conferences, so they turn more 2 and 3 star recruits into NFL draft picks than others do. Part of that may be recruiting bias, but much of it is that southern kids are closer to fully developed when they get recruited (due to spring football and 7 on 7s) than in the north. It may also be that the recruiting services love numbers, so they rate combine freaks really high while some lesser athletes are better players.

    • Richard says:

      A 3.0 average is about mediocre nationally. So tOSU and Michigan will be competitive on a national level, and then there’s a whole bunch of mediocre (a little better than average in the case of UNL, PSU, Wiscy, & MSU; a little worse than average for most everyone else), and then Minny (taking IU’s traditional spot).

      Essentially, only Michigan and tOSU will have a prayer at a national title, but at least they’ll be competitive with any schools who don’t oversign (to beat the SEC West, those 2 likely will need a transcendent college QB like a Tebow, Cam Newton, or Vince Young)

  36. Alan from Baton Rouge says:

    Looking ahead to the weekend of November 3rd, I have to admit that I’ve been looking forward to this weekend since January, there are five games matching up ranked teams, including the 3rd Game of the Century in the last 12 months.

    #1 Alabama at #5 LSU. At Night. In Tiger Stadium. On CBS. The site of ESPN’s College Gameday – TV and Radio. ESPN the Magazine is dedicating an entire issue to this game. Baton Rouge is the center of the football universe this week.

    Alabama has looked a lot better than I expected before the season. LSU has looked a lot worse. Suspensions, transfers, dismissals and injuries to 8 pre-season starters certainly hasn’t helped LSU. Alabama starts the week as a 10 point favorite. That said, at LSU, the Mad Hatter is 5-2 coming off an open date, and 3-0 against Alabama coming off an open date.

    Also, #4 Oregon at #17 USC
    #2 K-State v. #24 OK State
    #16 Texas A&M at #15 Miss State
    #18 Texas Tech v. #23 Texas

    • ccrider55 says:

      Sort of like the yearly “100 year flood/storm”.

      On a weather note, you all in the east and upper Midwest keep your heads down for a day or two. Hope this becomes an over hyped event but don’t bet anything of value on it.

  37. duffman says:

    gopher fans what is going on up there?

    http://espn.go.com/mens-college-basketball/story/_/id/8555479/saul-smith-assistant-coach-minnesota-golden-gophers-keep-job

    Saul Smith was pulled over on a highway after leaving downtown when a state trooper saw his vehicle driving on the shoulder between 70 mph and 80 mph in a 55 mph zone. Smith’s breath test registered a 0.18 blood-alcohol concentration, more than twice the state limit of 0.08

    Saul is in his 30’s now and should be past the college stage.

    • mnfanstc says:

      Can’t speak for someone else… Saul (or anyone for that matter) should know better than to drive drunk… Stupid, stupid, stupid…

      For some reason, Gopher men’s basketball just cannot stay out of the negative spotlight… Has been this way since Clem’s big academic scandal in the 90’s…

      Sure wish the ship would right itself, and stay that way… I think if Tubby and crew do not perform highly this year–could be the end of his run–and maybe that’s the way it should be…

  38. frug says:

    Ohio State spokesperson Jerry Emig just said he can neither confirm nor deny the Buckeyes will wear Nike Pro combat jerseys against Michigan

    • Eric says:

      Better get any Nike gear I want now. Everytime they wear those things against Michigan I boycott the company for a year. I’ll grudgingly accept any other game, but not Michigan.

    • Brian says:

      Of course they’ll stick us with another set of godawful uniforms for The Game.

  39. FranktheAg says:

    Frank – you rank teams worse than you predict conference moves.

  40. Mike says:

    http://www.omaha.com/article/20121028/HUSKERS/710289909/1002#barfknecht-hoosiers-have-real-shot-at-title-game


    Enter Indiana, which last won a Big Ten football championship 45 years ago.

    The Hoosiers (3-5, 1-3) broke a skid that stretched two seasons by beating Illinois on Saturday 31-17. Big deal, you say. Everybody beats Illinois, which is true.

    But Indiana, under second-year coach Kevin Wilson, has played Ohio State to three points and Michigan State to four points.

    Up next is lethargic Iowa at home, and then Wisconsin at home.

    Two wins there and a split of the final two games against Penn State and Purdue would leave Indiana 4-4 in league play with a head-to-head tiebreaker over Wisconsin. The Badgers would then have to beat Ohio State and Penn State back to back to claim the division crown.

    So how about Indiana playing in Indianapolis to get to the Rose Bowl for the first time since 1967?

    Sounds like the perfect ending to the Big Ten’s imperfect season.

    • Brian says:

      Mike,

      It’s a big assumption to say IN will beat WI, especially since WI gets 2 weeks to prepare for them. Power running is usually IN’s kryptonite. But yes, his scenario could happen. How would Husker fans react to losing a CCG to IN?

      • Mike says:

        I honestly don’t think the opponent matters. There isn’t a lot of prejudice by Nebraska fans against B1G doormats yet. Nebraska fans won’t treat a loss to Indiana the same way they would a loss against Kansas. Nebraska fans will expect a win in Indianapolis but if Pelini loses, he will start to face some stronger headwinds. Nebraska fans are patient, but expect progress. What Pelini needs to prove is that nine wins isn’t his ceiling. Winning out and making the Rose Bowl appearance is almost a must for keeping the wind behind him.

    • mushroomgod says:

      Hehe………as an IU fan, I’ll readily admit that we would easily be the worst team ever to appear in a BCS championship game…….but the scenerio is definately possible…..word is Wis’s QB is now out for the year, and they will have to go with O’Brien the rest of the way. Man, the Big 10 really sucks right now……….

      • Richard says:

        Dunno. That 6-8 Neuheisel-led UCLA team from a year ago would give you a run for the money. Lest you forgot, they got blown out by Utah and a team that fired their coach (‘Zona). They also lost to another team that fired their coach (the Zookless Wonders) & to their archrival 50-0.

        IU has an offense, at least.

      • Brian says:

        mushroomgod,

        I’m hearing that WI will turn to Phillips at QB rather than O’Brien.

        • mushroomgod says:

          Haven’t heard of him…I’ll have to check it out.

          Pretty embarrassing for the BIG to be in the position that IU is in the speculation. Kind of reminds me of a WC Fields(?) line to the effect that he wouldn’t want to be a part of any club that would have him as a member……….

  41. frug says:

    Utah’s AG gives up on trying to sue the BCS for anti-trust violations. He’s been at it for 3 years.

    http://espn.go.com/college-football/story/_/id/8571943/utah-attorney-general-stops-trying-sue-bcs

  42. frug says:

    ESPN’s corporate overlord continues its spending spree:

    http://www.deadline.com/2012/10/disney-acquires-lucasfilm-star-wars-creator/

    Disney has just confirmed that it has agreed to acquire George Lucas‘ Lucasfilm Ltd, and that includes rights to the Star Wars franchise that will now continue on. The companies have targeted a 2015 release for Star Wars: Episode 7, with Episode 8 and Episode 9 to follow as the the long-term plan is to release a new feature every two or three years.

    To quote Revenge of the Sith:

    NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!

    (This of course has nothing to do with sports but I know Frank is a huge Star Wars fan)

    • greg says:

      Pixar acquiring Star Wars is excellent. The movies may be good, they may be bad, but the world will be better off for getting to experience it happening.

    • frug says:

      [T]he companies “have a pretty extensive treatment of the next three movies,”

      This must have been in the works for a REALLY long time if they already have treatments for three films. They did a pretty darn good job keeping this under raps.

      • @frug – Yes, it’s absolutely stunning that weren’t any rumors about this at all. If they’re targeting Episode 7 to be released in 2015, that basically means that it is ready to start production within the next few months. 3 years isn’t very long at all for producing a film of that magnitude. 2015 is going to be a big year for Disney since The Avengers sequel will also be coming out at that time.

        Ultimately, it makes a whole lot of sense for Disney and I think the purchase price of $4 billion will ultimately be a bargin. Star Wars is essentially a self-sustaining franchise where it’s making a couple of hundred million dollars per year even without new movies being being released, and each of these new films will likely cross the $1 billion revenue barrier just in box office grosses. It also fits into Disney’s plan to move more toward the teenage boy set that fuel the large box office numbers (see the Marvel acquisition from a few years ago which has been paying off in spades with Iron Man and The Avengers). As I read from someone else today, Disney is way better off paying a premium for Star Wars than risking over $200 million on a film like John Carter that can easily flop.

        • bullet says:

          I think Lucas has had a general idea of a storyline for 7, 8 and 9 since he did the original movie. He mentions he’s turning those ideas over to Kathy Kennedy to move forward with.

          • jj says:

            I strongly suspect the products were well under way when they were sold. This was a no brainer deal for everyone.

    • bullet says:

      Lucas always planned a 7, 8 and 9, but thought he had given up on it. I was curious how his new Republic with only 1 living Jedi would work.

      • frug says:

        To be clear, after Episode III, Lucas said that Star Wars was the story of Anakin Skywalker and since Anakin’s story was complete he was done with the series… but that had an idea for what a hypothetical Episode VII would be about.

        Anyways, presumably the next trilogy will be about Luke rebuilding the Jedi order and Leia establishing a New Republic.

  43. duffman says:

    Bob Stoops losses @ Norman
    2001 Oklahoma State 13-16, finished 11-2
    2005 Texas Christian 10-17, finished 8-4
    2011 Texas Tech 38-41, finished 10-3
    2012 Kansas State 19-24
    2012 Notre Dame 13-30

    If OU loses to Oklahoma State, then he will equal the home losses of the previous 13 years!

    • Brian says:

      As a footnote, people should be reminded they always play UT at a neutral site so they never have a home loss to UT. Playing your top rival, and the only other king in your conference, at a neutral site id helpful to having a great home record.

      • Michael in Raleigh says:

        They did have Nebraska, a clear cut king in my mind, in their conference for all but two years of Stoops’ tenure, not to mention home games against perennial powers Miami and Florida State. On the other hand, NU was only played at home once per four years and was down through most of the 2000’s.

        • Brian says:

          Yep. I’m not saying he doesn’t have a great home record, just pointing out that there are some reasons for it. They played NE at home 3 times since 2000 (2000, 2004, 2008).

          2000 NE was really good (10-2), 2004 stunk (5-6) and 2008 was decent (9-4). 2000 NE was #1, but they lost @OU and @KSU that year. Meanwhile, OU was #3 and went on to win the NCG that year. 2004 and 2008 OU lost the NCG.

          Meanwhile, OU lost to UT in 2005-6 and 2008-9. 2 of those would have been home losses if they played UT at home.

    • bullet says:

      In case you were wondering why UT fans are almost all glad they are gone-they vandalized a couple of nearly 100 year old statues as well as the Tower (now the Flawn Center most would probably just as soon see torn down-its an ugly 60s era former undergraduate library). Of course it was probably just a 3-4 people, but this sort of immaturity is just too typical and encouraged. I had my car vandalized by Aggies in Houston (and not anywhere or anytime near a game). I suspected it was by mid to upper 20 something Aggie neighbors (it doesn’t stop when they graduate).

      Hey if Duffman gets to vent about the Big 12’s high rankings every week, I can vent about Aggie immaturity once every 2 or 3 years!

    • Brian says:

      OSU’s OOC schedules so far:

      2012

      09/01 – Miami (OH)
      09/08 – UCF
      09/15 – California
      09/22 – UAB

      2013

      09/07 – Florida A&M
      09/14 – at California
      09/21 – Buffalo

      2014

      08/30 – Navy (at Baltimore, MD)
      09/13 – Kent State
      09/20 – Virginia Tech
      09/27 – Cincinnati

      2015

      09/12 – Northern Illinois
      09/19 – at Virginia Tech

      2016

      09/03 – Bowling Green
      09/10 – Tulsa
      09/17 – at Oklahoma
      09/24 – Central Michigan

      2017

      09/16 – Oklahoma
      09/23 – at North Carolina

      2018

      09/08 – Cincinnati
      09/15 – at TCU
      09/22 – North Carolina

      2019

      09/21 – TCU

      2020

      09/12 – at Oregon
      09/19 – Boston College

      2021

      09/11 – Oregon
      09/18 – at Boston College

      2022

      09/17 – at Texas

      2023

      09/16 – Texas

  44. Alan from Baton Rouge says:

    Decision on location of “Champions” Bowl delayed . . . again.

    http://theadvocate.com/sports/generalsports/4290314-123/decision-on-champions-bowl-delayed

    If the decision is this hard, the B12 & SEC really ought to just split the baby and give 6 games to Arlington and 6 games to New Orleans, and keep all the money. That would allow the Sugar and Cotton Bowls to host 4 semi-finals each, without disrupting the “Champions” Bowl. Also, each city would only be stuck with 2 access bowls each over the life of the contract.

    • bullet says:

      If they only want two semis, that makes a 7th bowl work better. Rose/Champions get 2 semis, 5 other bowls get 4 over the 12 years. If you’ve got 6 bowls with the Rose and Champions getting 2 semis it would work either:
      Rose/Champions/Orange 2
      Other 3 6 semis (every other year)
      That would change the nature of the other 3 when every other year was a semi-final. That’s not necessarily bad or good, but its different.

      or:
      Rose/Champions 2
      Other 4 5 semis

      • bullet says:

        And actually, anything other than everyone getting 4 semi-finals messes with their proposed scheduling. Rose/Champions/Orange have claimed New Year’s Day. There is no way 2 semi-finals happen on New Year’s Eve. So there is a conflict. Rose/Champions/Orange get moved those years when none are semi-finals, or there are 4 bowls on NYD and non-exclusive slots in those years, or they change the proposed 3 NYE, 3 NYD scheduling. I guessing the semi-final would challenge the Orange. It definitely wouldn’t mess with the Rose. But all of that reduces TV value.

        • @bullet – The rotation in that scenario definitely makes it impossible to have a semifinal game on New Year’s Day every year (meaning that the “taking back New Year’s Day” message rings hollow). I still think that when push comes to shove, we’ll end up with a semifinal game being played on January 2nd more often than not.

          • Richard says:

            I thought that Jan 2nd would be a semifinal date (or Jan 3rd or Jan 4th if Jan 2nd was an NFL playoff date) a while ago as well, and really, I don’t see a problem with that.

    • m (Ag) says:

      If you allow the ‘traditional’ match-ups to be broken up when their bowl is hosting a playoff game it gives more flexibility to the selection committee.

      For example, let’s say the agreed upon standings one year are as follows:

      5. Florida
      6. Oregon
      7. USC
      8. Georgia
      9. Oklahoma
      10. Arizona
      11. South Carolina
      12. Florida State
      13. Notre Dame
      14. Nebraska

      Now, assume this year the Sugar Bowl (Champion’s Bowl) and Fiesta Bowl are hosting playoffs.

      Automatically:
      Rose-Oregon v. Nebraska
      Orange-Georgia v. FSU

      Florida & OU are guaranteed an Access Bowl spot because they would have been in the Sugar Bowl, and USC and Arizona are the next 2 highest teams.

      If the selection committee isn’t bound to keep Florida and OU together they could have:
      Cotton: OU v. Arizona
      Peach: Florida v. USC.

      If they have to have OU v. Florida in the Cotton, then the Peach is left with a conference rematch of USC v. Arizona. Perhaps the committee might drop Arizona for South Carolina or Notre Dame in this case. Will that be permitted in the playoff agreement?

      Of course, the ability to break up a match-up wouldn’t help if this was the year the Rose Bowl was hosting a playoff (as there would be 3 Pac 12 teams and 1 Big Ten team to assign to 2 bowls), which is one reason I wonder if the committee will be able to ‘trade’ teams to the assigned Bowls (say, USC to the Orange for Georgia).

    • Brian says:

      Alan,

      Nobody wants to be the B10 of the Champs Bowl. The B12 doesn’t want to play in New Orleans every time nor does the SEC want to play in Dallas every time. I think the split is the logical answer, as it also addresses the revenue sharing issues with semifinals, but they seem resistant to the idea.

      We still haven’t heard a definitive number of semifinals for the Rose, either, which is odd since they have their TV deal. I would’ve thought that would be a factor in the deal’s value.

      • Richard says:

        True to an extent, though Dallas is within the territory of both conferences, plus it’s actually closer for 3 SEC schools & another 2-3 would be indifferent (UK, Tennessee, and likely SC because they’re so far away from either site) while every B12 school would be closer to Dallas than NO (besides WVU, who is so far away from both that I don’t think they care).

        • Brian says:

          Just because both cities are far away doesn’t mean UK, UT and SC wouldn’t prefer New Orleans. It’s still the traditional bowl of the SEC and that means something. It also means the neutral fans are more likely to be pro-SEC which is good for them.

    • Richard says:

      The thing is, if they merely had the other bowl have the B12/SEC matchup when the “Champions” bowl hosts a semifinal (and both hosts 4 semifinals each), then there wouldn’t be a huge difference. Essentially 8 “Champions” matchups for 1 and 4 for the other.

  45. duffman says:

    @ Frank,

    Predictions on Illinois for this basketball season?

    With the tourney in Chicago are you getting tickets early?

  46. Brian says:

    http://espn.go.com/college-football/story/_/id/8579116/graham-spanier-charged-jerry-sandusky-case-reports-say

    It’s official. Spanier has been charged in the Sandusky scandal, and new counts were added against Curley and Schultz. Meanwhile, Sandusky is fittingly in the prison PA uses to house most of their death row inmates.

  47. Brian says:

    Week 10 viewing plan (assuming I’m home and not doing something else):

    Th – I probably won’t get home in time to catch VT @ Miami
    F – UW @ Cal

    Sat
    12 – OU @ ISU with MI @ MN on Gamecast
    2 – Stanford @ CO enters the rotation
    3 – TCU @ WV enters the rotation (surely there’ll be one decent game amongst the 3, right?)

    3:30 – IL @ OSU, checking NE @ MSU during commercials

    7 – OR @ USC
    8 – OkSU @ KSU (I’ll watch whichever game seems better)

    10:30 – ASU @ OrSU

    • bullet says:

      Interesting this week, ESPN has 2 SEC games filling the noon slots on ESPN and ESPN2 (normally that has been Big 10 games) along with a 3rd SEC game on ESPNU. ABC has Big 12 and Big East games on at noon regionally. The noon B1G game is on BTN. 4 Big 10 games are on at the 3:30 slot-ABC mirrored on ESPN2, ESPN, ESPNU and BTN. The mirrored ESPN2/ABC 3:30 game is Big 12. The night games are ABC-Big 12, ESPN2-ACC, ESPNU-Big East. Pac 12 only gets ESPN2’s 10:30 pm slot this week (I’m just discussing the Mouse-other games are on Fox, CBS, etc.).

      • Alan from Baton Rouge says:

        bullet – all the ESPN SEC games are early because CBS has two exclusive windows this Saturday.

        • bullet says:

          Does that apply to all of their games or is this week different?

          • Alan from Baton Rouge says:

            bullet – usually ESPN gets the SEC night games, which are nonexclusive. When CBS gets a night game its exclusive, just like their mid-afternoon kicks.

      • m (Ag) says:

        All of the SEC games are jammed at noon ET because CBS’ contract prevents other SEC games airing at the same time as its day-night doubleheader.

  48. Alan from Baton Rouge says:

    Benson Field at Yulman Stadium on the Tulane Campus for the 2014 Season.

    The Yulman family, of Serta mattress fame, gave $15mm. Saints and Hornets owner Tom Benson kicked in $7.5mm. Tulane has raised $45mm so far for its 30,000 seat $55mm stadium.

    • bullet says:

      Tulane, Baylor, UNLV and Colorado St are all working on moving from off-campus to on-campus facilities. In the last 10 or so years, Minnesota, Akron, UCF and Louisville have already done so (and there may be more I don’t remember). SMU built their on-campus stadium in the 90s and Houston moved from the Astrodome to an on-campus stadium in the 90s and is building a new one to replace the old on-campus facility. After the current round, only 3 AQ teams will be off campus-Pitt, Miami and UCLA (USC is technically off campus, but its 1/4 mile and they have a long term lease).

      Outside of the new Big East, I can only think of 4 other schools-UAB, Hawaii and newbies UMass and UTSA, who are off campus. Big East will have SDSU, Memphis, UConn, USF and Temple. So that is 16 of 124 in the process of dropping to 12 of 124.

  49. Brian says:

    Big game in the ACC tonight. Miami beat VT to take the lead in the Coastal Division. Duke and UNC are both a half game back, and UNC can’t play in the CCG. Duke plays Miami in the last game of the year. VT and GT are both 2-3 and UVA 0-4 to fill out the division.

    4-2 Miami – 11/10 @UVA, 11/17 OOC, 11/24 @Duke
    3-2 Duke – 11/3 Clemson, 11/17 @GT, 11/24 Miami

    Assume Duke loses to Clemson to fall to 3-3. Miami should beat UVA to reach 5-2. Then if Duke can win @GT to reach 4-3, it all comes down to the last game.

    The Mayans may have been right, since Duke, NW, Indiana and Oregon State could all be playing in CCGs the same year. Add in KSU possibly winning the B12 and ND being good again, and the CFB world is turning on it’s head.

    Last conference title (non-representative co-champs), W% since 1962:
    Duke – 1962 (1989), 0.351 (#105)
    OrSU – 1964 (2000), 0.400 (#99)
    IN – 1967, 0.378 (#101)
    NW – 1995 (1996, 2000; before that,1936), 0.350 (#107)
    KSU – 2003 (before that, 1934), 0.440 (#82)

    The only equivalent or worse AQ teams:
    83. IL
    85. Baylor
    87. KU
    89. WSU
    91. MS St
    93. UK
    98. ISU
    102. WF
    113. Vandy

  50. jj says:

    Now that the NHL has cancelled the wings / leafs winter classic, can cosmic karma force bettman out of his job? Every time I start to think he’s getting it, something totally insane happens.

  51. Brian says:

    http://espn.go.com/college-football/story/_/id/8583765/ohio-state-buckeyes-fill-non-league-schedule-2013-san-diego-state-aztecs

    OSU has officially replaced Vandy with SDSU. They play @OSU on 9/7/13. That means OSU moved their other 2 non-AQ games around, too. The new OOC schedule:

    8/31 – Buffalo
    9/7 – SDSU
    9/14 – @Cal
    9/21 – FAMU

  52. Brian says:

    http://www.chicagotribune.com/sports/college/ct-spt-1102-gator-northwestern-football–20121102,0,463221.story

    Clarification/followup on the NW/Gator Bowl story. The guy from the bowl says the writer was editorializing when saying the Gator wouldn’t want NW.

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