Latest in Conference Realignment (and a Touch of Linsanity): Temple to the Big East and BYU Talking to the Big 12

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

The conference realignment news continues to drip along in the middle of Linsanity*, with multiple reports stating that Temple** is deep in discussions to join the Big East as an all-sports member.  If this is fully consummated, I’d call the move slightly surprising because Villanova seemed to have a lot a sway in blocking Temple from encroaching on Main Line school’s power conference monopoly in the Philadelphia market, but it’s certainly not shocking.  Ultimately, it would be tough for any football conference claiming to be northeastern-centric to not have some type of presence in Pennsylvania, so Temple fills a need for the Big East on that front.  Another immediate league need that Temple can take care of is being able to join for the 2012 football season, which would allow the Big East to maintain a full conference schedule.

(* To preface the story below, you should know that I’m half-Chinese and half-Polish and my childhood dream was always to be the first Asian-American NBA player.  That dream was looking good when I was a towering 5′ 11″ center that could shoot 3-pointers in 7th grade.  I’m now 34 years old… and still 5′ 11″.  Anyway, three years ago this month, I went to visit my sister and some of my cousins living in Philadelphia.  As a hoops junkie, one of my requests was to see a game at the Palestra, which featured a Penn vs. Harvard game that particular weekend.  My two fully Asian-American cousins pointed out beforehand that there was actually a Chinese-American player on Harvard that was halfway decent named Jeremy Lin and we all got pretty excited.  Think about that for moment: for us, the thought of an Asian-American playing even Ivy League basketball was a carnie attraction on par with a bearded lady.  Lin ended up playing fairly well, but I recall him shooting an airball at one point and there definitely wasn’t any thought that he’d be ever able to make an NBA roster (much less be a starting point guard that scores 20 points and dishes out 10 assists per game consistently).  It was easy to see why he went undrafted and so many teams passed on him – the extra speed and power that you’d expect from an NBA prospect in comparison to other college players wasn’t there.  The fact that Lin has become a walking movie plot on almost every single level and taken over SportsCenter for the past three weeks (this has actually been statistically documented) does make me beam with some ethnic pride and it’s a legitimately fun story to watch unfold no matter what your background might be.  The only drawback for me as a Bulls fan is that he plays for the Knicks.  Still, being able to say that I saw Harvard-vintage Jeremy Lin at the Palestra as a college kid makes me feel like I saw The Beatles play at the Cavern Club.  The story has also taken some of my attention away from the nuclear disaster known as University of Illinois basketball.  Ugh.)

(** In case you don’t recognize the person in the picture at the top of this post, it’s Bill Cosby playing for the Temple football team in the 1960s.)

Brett McMurphy of CBSSports.com intimated that the addition of Temple could be a preemptive move by the Big East in anticipation of Louisville getting an invite down the road from the Big 12, which was also a thought that I had when Memphis was invited by the conference a couple of weeks ago.  This dovetails into a report by Deep Shades of Blue tonight that BYU is “aggressively pursuing Big 12 membership”.  It appears that no expansion moves would be made by the Big 12 until there’s a permanent replacement for current interim commissioner Chuck Neinas, but the signs continue to point to Louisville and BYU as the league’s primary targets.

Over the coming weeks, I’ll have some more posts on conference realignment news as it unfolds, college football playoff/plus-one proposals, the state of challenges to ESPN’s TV sports supremacy, and March Madness thoughts.  Until then, please send me your list of coaching candidates to replace Bruce Weber.

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

(Image from New York Times)

Advertisements
Comments
  1. Christian in Texas says:

    Hook ’em

    Like

  2. Michael in Raleigh says:

    Thanks for sharing the story, Frank, about Jeremy Lin. Almost all the responses to your post will be about realignment, but this was cool because it speaks to how sports can be personally meaningful in ways the athletes may never know. As for ethnic pride for my own lineage, there’s not much to speak about. Generally, and I emphasize generally, caucasian amilies in the South don’t keep up with their ethnic heritage quite as well as they do with their identities as southerners and/or Americans. My mom’s side of the family is certainly that way. My dad knows very little about his family history

    Like

  3. Michael in Raleigh says:

    Thanks for sharing the story, Frank, about Jeremy Lin. Almost all the responses to your post will be about realignment, but this was cool because it speaks to how sports can be personally meaningful in ways the athletes may never know. As for ethnic pride for my own lineage, there’s not much to speak about. Generally, and I emphasize generally, caucasian amilies in the South don’t keep up with their ethnic heritage quite as well as they do with their identities as southerners and/or Americans. My mom’s side of the family is certainly that way. My dad knows little about his family origins, beyond his grandparents being from Ohio. On the other hand, my mother-in-law knows very well where she comes from. Her parents (my wife’s grandparents) were born and raised in Manila. The Philippines were, during her father’s young adult years, an American territory, specifically during World War II. He joined the US Army and a decade or so later, my mother in law was being raised in North Carolina (Fayetteville, near Fort Bragg, to be exact). But she and her brothers and sisters have never been to the Philippines… until now. She and her sister are visiting there for the first time in their lives as I type. It’s an emotional, educational, joyous, sobering (because of sex crimes and poverty in Manila), overwhelming, wonderful experience for them. Pride for their heritage, which has always been impossible to miss, must be at an all-time high.

    Being married to a woman who’s half-Asian (or half-Pacific Islander or whatever the heck they’re calling it these days) and in light of sharing your story about seeing a Harvard-era Jeremy Lin live in Philly, I thought I’d share that with you.

    Thanks for the great blog post Frank!

    Like

    • bullet says:

      @Michael
      My spouse has a book tracing her family back to the Mayflower. I don’t think its that uncommon in the South. Old times there are not forgotten. Her grandmother considered “Sherman” a curse word. Of course, she knew people who survived Sherman’s march through Georgia when he vowed to “Make Georgia howl.”

      Like

      • Michael in Raleigh says:

        The understanding of roots to the Mayflower does lend credence to the idea of southerners appreciating their roots from their ancestors’ home countries. But the “Sherman” reference totally affirms my sense that white southerners have as much or more pride in their regional heritage here in the States than they do in their ethnic heritage from ancestors’ origins. Contrast that with the Midwest. Midwestern pride is certainly real, but it’s not viewed as a rallying point the way it is in the South. But what there’s a lot more of is ethnic pride. In fact (someone correct me if I’m wrong) there aren’t Little Italy’s or Chinatowns or Greektowns in southern cities although New Orleans has great French Heritage.

        Look I k ow my characterizations are simplifying. That’s why keep saying “generally.” Heck, I mentioned my own mother-in-law’s connection to her ethnic background that she learned growing up in Fayetteville, NC. But even with that, it was much harder for to be as connected and knowlwdgeable about Philipino culture, in part because of the place she grew up. Her accent is 10X more southern than it is Philipino. However, her cousins who grew up in San Francisco and Seattle, are fluent in the language and are all around more versed in the customs than she and her siblings are. Anecdotal evidence of my point? Yes, but I think a lot of people would agree with me that it’s easier to keep up with ethnic heritage outside of the South than it using the South. But its just my opinion, nothing more.

        Like

        • Mike says:

          totally affirms my sense that white southerners have as much or more pride in their regional heritage here in the States than they do in their ethnic heritage from ancestors’ origins. Contrast that with the Midwest. Midwestern pride is certainly real, but it’s not viewed as a rallying point the way it is in the South.

          IMHO, it is mostly due to the south losing the war.

          Like

        • Brian says:

          Michael in Raleigh,

          In fact (someone correct me if I’m wrong) there aren’t Little Italy’s or Chinatowns or Greektowns in southern cities although New Orleans has great French Heritage.

          I won’t speak for other cities, but Atlanta has those types of ethnic neighborhoods, mostly along Buford Highway (at least for the Asian countries).

          Like

        • bullet says:

          I think the lack of ethnic enclaves has to do with immigration to the north tied to factories. In the south the ethnic heritage is more heavily English and Scotch. So most of the enclaves are recent.

          Like

          • Dick says:

            The enclaves are definitely a product of various waves of immigration over the last 100-150 years with newer waves reinforcing the ethnic identity over time. Now the southern thing, or old New England families for that matter, that’s about even longer periods of time. Enough generations go by in one place and families identify with that. My family was in North Carolina from the early 1700s until my dad’s generation spread out across the country. Lots of reason to identify with that area, no reason to identify with Scotland/Northern Ireland/England.

            Like

        • Eric says:

          I’m not southerner, but I guess I’ve got kind of the same outlook. I can respect people wanting to know and feeling connected, but to me knowing some of the countries/areas my ancestors were living in the decades/centuries before coming here just never mattered. I figured if the melting pot really works (which I hope it does) we should all have ancestors from all over whether we know it or not (unless ancestory in this country is very recent) and knowing I had a distant relative from somewhere just never really effected me.

          I guess I feel the same type of connection in a different way though. When asked “where I’m from” I say that I’m three quarters Ohioan and one quarter South Carolinan. My grandparents were very important to me and even having never been to my grandma’s area in South Carolina, I think I’d feel a connection. I guess this kind of explains how sports effect me too. Being huge into state pride, it’s the state vs. state battles that interest me the most and why losing something like Missouri vs. Kansas actually made me sadder than Texas vs. Texas A&M or BYU vs. Utah.

          Like

        • Art Vandelay says:

          I can’t comment on how people are in the South with regards to their ethnic pride as I live in Florida which really isn’t a good example of the “cultural South”, I can affirm what you’re saying about Midwestern ethnic pride.

          Being 100% Dutch and growing up in Grand Rapids, MI, which has a very prominent Dutch population, I have a very healthy appreciation from where my ancestors came from. Don’t get me wrong, I’m a total Michigan homer. I like people more who are from Michigan, I almost always root for people and teams from Michigan, especially those from West Michigan, even when they’re total jerk-offs like Floyd Mayweather. But at the same time, I love listening to my 94-year old grandpa attempt to teach me Dutch words, and talk about different cultural things that have been lost over the years. My great-grandmother was born in GR, but didn’t speak English until she was like 12 because she went to an all Dutch speaking school until 6th grade! I take significant pride in that I have a distant Dutch relative who was an admiral in the Dutch Navy in the 1600s who fought those douchey Brits.

          Like

  4. Michael in Raleigh says:

    Oh, and if there’s any way Illinois can get the man who will one day break Coach K’s all-time wins mark, aka Brad Stevens, your Illini are set for the next 30 years. 2 national title games in a row wiith a Horizon League team? I’m still amazed by that. I don’t care how much Butler has struggled after losing its only two NBA players in school history (Heyward and Mack, whom Stevens recruited and developed), his coaching accomplishments at such a young age without tremendous resources is unparalleled. He’s got to be the #1 choice, even ahead of Shaka Smart. It’s only a question of whether he’d be willing to leave Butler.

    Like

  5. michael says:

    I saw both games of a home-and-home series between UC Irvine and harvard in 2007 (the game in Irvine) and 2008. It was interesting because in both cases, the away team had more support than the home team (there were more harvard fans in Irvine and more Irvine fans in Cambridge) and the home team lost both games. The game in cambridge actually went into overtime, which was exciting.

    Lin was on those teams and I remember Lin leading the crimson in scoring in both games. Like you, I was aware of him at that time and was excited to see someone representing us that way- even though, as a Californian, i wished he could have been on the Irvine side!

    Like

  6. OrderRestored says:

    Im in.

    Like

    • Michael in Raleigh says:

      Wan Kenobi!

      Like

    • Michael in Raleigh says:

      Big problem will happen in the perfectly plausible scenario that Air Force joins for football only and Louisville leaves. The Big East would be stuck with 13 for the 2015 football roster, whichever is where it is set to be now, and all the sensible all-sports candidates east of the Rockies who “fit the Big East profile” will have been added by then. ECU would seem a great FB only option, but if the Big East believes that, it would have been added by now anyway. Who’s that leave as a 14th football member? Fresno? Hawaii? Would they replace Louisville with an all-sports member? There just aren’t any even decent candidates left. Assuming ECU is not considered an option, choices would include such ratings-drivers as FIU, Buffalo, Northern Illinois, Tulane, UMass, and Delaware.

      Like

      • Richard says:

        Well, the BE doesn’t actually have to invite AFA, so they get to choose whether they’re at 13 or not. If they do, though, they still have some options.

        One is to become a national conference in both football in basketball. If Louisville leaves and AFA is added in all sports, they could add UNLV in both basketball and football and add SDSU basketball as well. That makes for a 14 team football league and 20 team basketball league.

        In football, all teams Memphis and west are in the West. All teams Cincy and east are in the East. In basketball, you’d have 2 5-team divisions in 2 conferences. Teams play all other teams in their division twice, the 5 teams in the other division in the conference annually, and one of the 2 divisions in the other conference for a total of 18 games.

        Southwest
        SDSU
        UNLV
        AFA
        SMU
        Houston

        Midwest
        ND
        Marquette
        DePaul
        Cincy
        Memphis

        Northeast
        Providence
        UConn
        Rutgers
        Seton Hall
        St. John’s

        Atlantic
        Villanova
        Temple
        Georgetown
        UCF
        USF.

        The Southwest, Midwest, and Atlantic divisions can expect to send 3 teams to the NCAA tourney every year. The weaker Northeast can expect to only send 1-2, but 10-11 tourney teams isn’t dad for a 20 school league.

        As for ECU, I thought that they weren’t willing to take a football-only invite from the BE (in part because they didn’t want to put their non-football sports in inferior leagues).

        Like

  7. Will says:

    Nice blog post, who would be louisville’s eventual replacement, in the Big East frank?

    Like

    • Michael in Raleigh says:

      Contingency plan if Louisville’s invitation doesn’t come by 2015, Navy’s first year in the Big East: try really, really hard to add Air Force in football only. Basketball would be 18 and football would be 14.

      Contingency plan if L’ville does leave: on paper, you’d think the Big East stays at 12 for football and just deals with the odd number of 17 for basketball; 17 was going to be the number for next year, anyway, before WVU andTCU bolted.

      Like

  8. jj says:

    The Cos. Great photo.

    Like

  9. Brian says:

    http://college-basketball-blog.blogs.cbssports.com/mcc/blogs/entry/26283066/34973736

    After last night’s press conference, IL has to get Pat Knight.

    Like

    • Richard says:

      Well, if you throw your players under the bus, you have to win, and to win, you’d have to be either a good recruiter or good coach. I’ll have to be convinced that Pat Knight is either.

      I mean, I could throw people under the bus as well, but that doesn’t mean Illinois should hire me to coach basketball.

      Like

    • Richard says:

      BTW, some choice comments from online posters over at ESPN:

      “Pat Knight is a silver spooner who got a scholarship to play at IU despite the fact he wasn’t nearly good enough, only because his dad was the coach. Then he got a job on his dad’s staff at IU and Texas Tech. Then his dad quit during the season so Pat could take over the team. Then, after he got fired, his dad got him the job at Lamar.

      Pat got arrested and kicked off the team for awhile at IU because he got drunk on his 21st birthday and wound up in handcuffs in the back seat of a police car.

      So, all things considered, he’s been gravy-training his entire basketball career, and isn’t really the guy to be calling out players. ”

      “That was the problem Bob Knight ended up with at Indiana. None of the kids with talent wanted to go there anymore. Who wants to play for a jacka$$?”

      I have to say, though, that at least Bob Knight could coach. Just because his son is also an a**h— doesn’t mean he can coach.

      Like

  10. Brian says:

    Being a white male at least 3rd generation American, I don’t get the ethnic rooting thing for (I think) obvious reasons. I’ve never rooted for someone because they’re white, or English/Scottish/Welsh/German. It seems a lot like “SEC pride” to me, and people regularly mock that.. I’m sure it seems different when you are a minority or a large fraction minority.

    Like

    • jj says:

      I root for mankind over the would-be robot overlords.

      Like

    • jj says:

      Also, I’m pretty heavily stocked in Irish lineage, but a lot of Irish Americans drive me nuts.

      Like

      • bullet says:

        Especially in Septembers when MSU plays Notre Dame? (you are an MSU fan right?)

        Like

        • jj says:

          Yep. I generally like the Domers though.

          It’s the folks that are all in yer face about it, feel some huge connection to a place they’ve never been, get passes out drunk at 10 am on st pat’s, and name their kids things like “ire-lynn” and whatnot. I’m around these guys a lot and i’m not trying to bash anyone. It just seems like there is a lot of one uppers in the crowd. I like them and all and I seriously doubt they are unique in their excessive ethnic celebration. They’re just the ones I hang out with. I’ve seen a lot of huge polish tattoos in my day too. I believe the Australians have a word for this feeling. Like when they watch paul hogan on tv. I don’t remember what it is.

          Apologies, and sympathies, to all the irelynns out there.

          Like

          • SideshowBob says:

            One thing I always think is funny in that vein is the number of those faux Irish who root for Celtic FC in soccer because they “are Irish”. Which is funny since they are a Scottish team. And, yes, I know they have a history of support from Irish Catholics (both living in Glasgow and even from Ireland proper) but if you really wanted to show your Irish pride, why wouldn’t you root for a team from, I dunno, Ireland itself?

            Like

          • Richard says:

            Because none of the soccer clubs in Ireland are any good and Americans don’t understand hurling.

            Like

  11. Brian says:

    The new football rules (kickoff changes, losing your helmet = injury, etc) have been approved.

    Like

  12. Brian says:

    http://cfn.scout.com/2/1161439.html

    CFN breaks down the B10 schedule.

    Toughest Schedules
    (Based on home games as well as who the teams play. when. From toughest to easiest …)

    East
    1. Ohio State
    2. Wisconsin
    3. Illinois
    4. Purdue
    5. Indiana
    6. Penn State

    West
    1. Nebraska
    2. Michigan
    3. Michigan State
    4. Iowa
    5. Northwestern
    6. Minnesota

    Like

  13. Brian says:

    http://www.buckeyextra.com/content/stories/2012/02/24/0224-big-ten-looks-for-new-possible-site.html

    The B10 is looking to move the baseball tournament to Omaha. It makes sense based on the local support for college baseball there, and it’s a good way to let NE host something.

    Like

  14. Mack says:

    With the XII having the 10 teams it needs, expansion is unlikely before the 2014 school year, although something could be announced. No need to pay big buyouts for an early exit. BYU getting a XII invite may depend on if the current members think they are worth the baggage they bring. If BYU created a lot of bad feelings in the negotiations last year, the Boss may no longer be interested.

    Like

  15. Andy says:

    BYU and Louisville would be good additions to the Big 12. This ensures that the Big 12 will likely survive no matter what. If Texas and Oklahoma were to leave later, they could bring in schools like Boise State, San Diego State, Houston, and Cincinatti.

    Like

    • Redhawk says:

      No one’s leaving for at least 6 years. All 10 schools including WVU have signed over TV rights to the conference.

      (but….hey…let’s not let that stop everyone comes to this board, from thinking that the Big 12 is ‘unstable’, and schools are leaving)

      Like

      • Mike says:

        The Big 12 is stable for the duration of rights. Let’s say in 2017:

        The PAC or B1G came and told your Sooners that they were welcome along with Pistol Pete in 2018, do you really think they would turn it down? If the same offer was made to Kansas and Kansas St would they?

        Iowa St. gets an offer from the B1G. Don’t you think they would they take it?

        Texas solves their Tech problem. What will they do?

        West Virginia gets an ACC invite. Wouldn’t they rather be in an east coast conference rather than a southern plains dominated one?

        I’m not saying these things will happen, but using these scenarios to show that the Big 12 will be inherently unstable because there are better places to go. Is there a B1G, SEC, or PAC team who would rather be in another conference?

        Like

        • Andy says:

          The B1G, SEC, and PAC are the only truly stable conferences at this point. They can be 100% certain that they will not lose any members.

          Like

          • Christian in Texas says:

            I think Missouri would jump at a B1G invite, so I don’t think you can say all three are 100% certain.

            Like

          • Andy says:

            As a Missouri guy who’s somewhat tuned in to these things, I can say that as long as the current leaders are in place the odds of Missouri leaving the SEC to the B1G are slim to none. Mizzou tried dealing with the Big Ten, the Big Ten played hardball w/ revenue sharing, Nebraska low balled us, and that was it. The Big Ten hasn’t really been an option for Mizzou ever since. Only way it happens is if the SEC doesn’t turn out well over the next 20+ years and the new leadership decides to leave. But for that to even be possible the B1G would need to have a spot open and would need to invite Missouri. The odds of all of those things happening are extremely small.

            Like

          • bullet says:

            I think going to 14 made the SEC by definition unstable. They’re starting to realize 14 is not a great number. Long run I think Slive turned an extremely stable conference into one with potential fault lines.

            Like

          • Andy says:

            Why can’t 14 work? Nobody’s going to leave. The only problem is if they don’t increase the number of conferene games then teams won’t play each other as often. But that doesn’t cause any actual instability. Nobody’s going to leave the SEC for the ACC because they’re not playing Alabama often enough. I fail to see your point.

            Like

          • Bullet says:

            That’s because you’re not an SEC fan yet.

            It also exacerbates other issues. UGA tries to do things the right way while other schools stretch the rules. It could lead to teams leaving or a split to maximize revenue like the MWC did with the WAC. I’m not saying its likely, just saying its gone from almost no chance to a measurable chance. 14 means you play less which weakens the ties.

            Neinas talked about how economic ties used to bind conferences. Missouri has a lot more in common with the Big 10 and Big 12 states economically than the SEC.

            Like

          • Andy says:

            There are several thousand Mizzou alums in Florida and Georgia. I know several who have moved down there. I foresee Mizzou aligning closely with those two schools.

            The SEC isn’t big enough to split in two, and I have a hard time imagining any kind of a scenario where it would be beneficial for any of the SEC schools to do so.

            This sounds like fantastical wishful thinking from a Texas fan to me.

            Like

          • bullet says:

            I’m also a UK (grew up in KY) and UGA fan (married to a Bulldawg). SEC fans barely knew A&M and Missouri existed before they joined the league. It breaks up rivalries and stirs things up. The SEC fans I know aren’t enthused. Also, the SEC schools are growing apart in a similar manner that the Texas state schools and privates grew apart. Georgia and Florida are now much bigger states and the schools are striving to become Michigans and Cals. They also aren’t very happy with the stretching (and breaking) of the rules some of the other schools do. That stretching is the biggest reason why no ACC school has joined the SEC despite bigger $. Its why Texas and even OU weren’t interested.

            Again I didn’t say it was likely, but 14 just puts instability into the system where there was none before. 14 isn’t as bad as 16 (when you really are just an MWC/CUSA type combination for TV), but its much worse than 12. The SEC is just now getting into all the logistical problems. They’ve discovered there are now only 3 pools large enough to handle the swimming meet. The remainder of the schools are unhappy about the advantage that gives UGA, Auburn and the 3rd school (UF I think).

            Like

          • Andy says:

            Sure, there will be disadvantages to go along with the advantages. But the SEC wouldn’t have made this move and SEC Presidents wouldn’t have agreed to it if there weren’t some serious advantages.

            Florida and Georgia should be (and by all accounts they are) thrilled to add Mizzou and A&M. Florida was Missouri’s main champion in the expansion process. In a lot of ways these four institutions have the most in common. The hope has to be that those four can work together a voting block to clean up the SEC.

            Like

          • bullet says:

            SEC ADs will be discussing scheduling this week. Good discussion of the issues-6-1-1? 6-2-0 with no AL/TN no UGA/AU? 9 games? MSU AD also raises the issue of changing rules requiring everyone to play the teams in the division (which would wreck the “on the field” argument of those proposing only champs in a playoff).

            http://timesfreepress.com/news/2012/feb/26/ut-bama-georgia-auburn-series-at-risk/

            Georgia AD-“Our top priority in the whole scheduling discussion is maintaining the rivalry with Auburn.” Later, “Our fans are disturbed about possibly losing the Auburn game for Missouri…Adding South Carolina back in the day was not that big a deal, because there was proximity, and it made sense from a regional standpoint. The difficult thing people are trying to grasp now is that we are outside of the Southeast region or what people think of as the deep South.

            Saban and Dooley both talk about Alabama/Tennessee being the biggest game of the year.

            Like

          • FranktheAg says:

            bullet – Texas A&M’s Natatorium could handle it just fine. You know, the pool, right? It’s the one that replaced Texas’ pool for B12 championships and hosted an NCAA championship.

            You get so many facts wrong due to your orange blinders.

            Like

          • bullet says:

            @Frank
            Your reaction is why we are glad A&M is gone. And you’re pretty reasonable.

            I’m just quoting from an Atlanta Journal Constitution article.

            Like

          • greg says:

            AJC BLINDED BY WHORN BLINDERS1!!!111one

            Like

        • bullet says:

          Noone is going to invite Iowa St., Kansas St., Kansas, WVU, TCU, Texas Tech, Baylor or Oklahoma St. on their own. Texas has made it clear they like it where they are. OU, at least, likes itself where its at for now.

          Like

          • Andy says:

            OU made it crystal clear that they would leave if they found something better. Texas can leave any time they want. The rest couldn’t join a league other than the Big East or the MWCUSA if they wanted to.

            Like

          • Mike says:

            @bullet – I’m just pointing out that at least half of the Big 12 would accept an invite to another conference. After 2017 the Big 12 is only as stable as their member’s options. It has been in this position since the B1G announced it was expanding. For what it’s worth, It’s the exact position every conference but the B1G, SEC, and PAC are in.

            Like

          • Bob in Houston says:

            Andy, it was David Boren who wanted something better, and got stonewalled. The adults at OU wanted to stay with Texas, and still do.

            Like

          • FranktheAg says:

            Bob Stoops wanted the Pac12. So did Castiglione. They’d be gone today if the Pac12 didn’t change their mind on OSU.

            Like

          • bullet says:

            Everything I have seen indicated Catiglione wanted to stay in the Big 12. Stoops says something different whenever the wind shifts. Boren and the trustees seemed to be the one pushing the Pac. Of course, later Boren claimed he was just checking things out and using it for leverage, but that looked like face saving comments.

            Like

      • Andy says:

        Redhawk, I didn’t say it would happen soon. I don’t know if it will happen at all. But it’s definitely possible, and by adding a couple more strong progams it means the Big 12 will likely be able to withstand further attrition.

        Like

        • Playoffs Now says:

          Eh, I’d rather add BYU and Rutgers rather than BYU and Louisville. Getting a decent toehold in the NYC and Philly markets via NJ is better than adding a good basketball team, since both Lou and Rutgers’ football are weak. Plus Salt Lake and NYC are great road trips.

          Either way, add BYU if going to 12. Gives the B12 a Longhorn shape geographically, needling the conspiracy types.

          Like

          • Bullet says:

            BYU and UL are the two best programs. But I’m not sure I don’t prefer UL and UC. Cincinnati is less complicated and fits better. They are in a populated state with talent.

            But there just isn’t much talk out of Big 12 territory. I don’t think this is particularly far along.

            Like

  16. spartakles78 says:

    here’s a list of under the spotlight coaches for you Frank.

    in no particular order:

    John Groce Ohio
    Greg Marshall Wichita St
    Dave Rice UNLV
    Rex Walters San Francisco
    Buzz Williams Marquette
    Chris Mack Xavier
    Rob Jeter UW-Milwaukee
    Steve Prohm Murray St
    Kevin Willard Seton Hall
    Scott Drew Baylor
    Billy Taylor Ball St

    Like

  17. Brian says:

    http://deadspin.com/5888089/

    Now this is news. ESPN does not plan to bring back Craig James after his senate bid fails. Perhaps his bigoted statements about gays were a factor, or maybe they just realized he’s bad at his job.

    Like

    • bullet says:

      Maybe he’s running for Senate since he knew he wouldn’t get renewed?

      Like

    • pl says:

      Craig James is an idiot, but nothing he said was bigoted. He said he wouldn’t walk in a gay pride parade and thinks it is a choice rather than genetic. It isn’t bigoted to have a difference of opinion. Some people won’t march in a NY Yankees parade, give to a religious charity, or go to a gun show for similar reasons, i.e. they don’t agree with something. That doesn’t make them ‘bigoted.’

      Really tired of libs claiming anyone who dares to have a different opinion on anything is automatically bigoted, racist, sexist, whatever. It is a copout and rather gutless.

      Like

  18. Playoffs Now says:

    Craig James is an idiot, but nothing he said was bigoted. He said he wouldn’t walk in a gay pride parade and thinks it is a choice rather than genetic. It isn’t bigoted to have a difference of opinion. Some people won’t march in a NY Yankees parade, give to a religious charity, or go to a gun show for similar reasons, i.e. they don’t agree with something. That doesn’t make them ‘bigoted.’

    Really tired of libs claiming anyone who dares to have a different opinion on anything is automatically bigoted, racist, sexist, whatever. It is a copout and rather gutless.

    Like

    • Andy says:

      Saying it’s a choice rather than congenital isn’t an opinion. It’s a wilfull refusal to accept proven facts. I can’t get a pass because I say I have the “opinion” that the sun revolves around the earth. It doesn’t work that way.

      Like

      • Kevin says:

        I agree with Andy. It’s congenital. Anyone who has family members or friends who are gay know this. And I am certainly no lib.

        Like

      • Playoffs Now says:

        No it isn’t a ‘fact.’ Just because there is a genetic component doesn’t it make it 100% genetic and 0% choice. There are a whole range of actions that have genetic tendencies but also involve a degree of choice, for example appetite and weight gain. Some people are genetically predisposed to add weight easily, do we just say it is 100% genetic and not at all their decision to then eat 100 donuts a day and swell to 1000 pounds? No whether it is good, bad, or neutral to resist or fully engage in an action that one has a higher genetic predisposition is another matter that I’m not getting into to or offering an opinion on.

        Some people are genetically predisposed to be more talkative or friendly or nurturing. Some are more predisposed to anger or violence. All also involve an element of choice.

        BTW, there’s a heck of a lot of ‘accepted facts’ when we are born that will be refuted and discarded during our lifetimes, as has happened throughout history. Witness the same zealots who were declaring ‘Human caused global warming an undisputed fact’ a few years ago now saying that, hmmm, we actually may be looking at global cooling.

        Like

        • Andy says:

          The behavior is a choice. The inclination towards that behavior is congenital. And that’s a fact.

          Like

        • Bullet says:

          Actually in the 70s scientists were proclaiming that pumping all the carbon in the air would produce a new ice age. Time magazine had a cover with smokestacks pumping stuff in the air. Why did they believe that? Because there was a cooling trend in the 50s and 60s and 70s. That also contributed to a lot of coastal development since hurricanes were less frequent. Now people are understanding there is a risk to coastal development.

          But that doesn’t mean that people won’t keep moving to the Sun Belt and that the midwest will continue to shrink as a % of the total population. (It was difficult, but I finally got something relevant to the normal topic!).

          Like

    • Robber Baron says:

      Here is a quote of what James said: “I think it’s a choice. I do. I think — you have to make that choice. Absolutely. I’m gonna finish this up now. Same-sex marriage, if someone chooses to do that, that’s them. And the Lord — God’s going to judge each one of us in this room for our actions. But in that case right there, they’re going to have to answer to the Lord for their actions. We should not give benefits to those civil unions.”

      Frankly, this lib doesn’t really care one way or the other on the “is it a choice” issue. Homosexuality isn’t something that should be chastised, so why should it matter if is chosen or not? (I don’t mean to belittle the difficulties of being gay in a hostile environment, though. So sorry if this comes off that way.) I think that arguing about choice in sexual orientation has the unintended consequence of tacitly admitting that homosexuality is a sin, when it really is not. So, you have a point that James is not necessarily bigoted for thinking that being gay is a choice. What screams bigotry is the last line in his quote, the one about people not deserving benefits. Hard to argue he isn’t bigoted when he wants different benefits for different people in loving relationships.

      Is it still gutless if I think he’s a bigot for that reason?

      Like

      • Eric says:

        I actually think completely the opposite. I think the issue of choice is more clear cut than the choice “to give benefits.” I’m pretty conservative, but still for gay marriages (legally, I’m not getting into religious views on it here). It’s not an issue that is cut and dry like either side likes to pretend though. It really depends on what you think the purpose of the institution of marriage is. If you think it is established to support families (having and then raising kids) then marriage is already in a crisis and the last thing we should be doing is altering it even further from that purpose. Based on where our society is and what marriage has become, I don’t favor that approach, but it’s a perfectly legitimate one and in no way bigoted.

        Like

  19. duffman says:

    Frank,

    As a child basketball greatness was my dream in a basketball crazy state. Sadly, height and speed bypassed my genes for the ability to hit people very hard, and be hit by others with little affect. By about 4th grade my lot was cast on the offensive or defensive line till my playing days were done. To this day I still dream about basketball. The gods can be cruel indeed!

    On Lin, he actually was getting press, but I think much was secondary because of the Cornell team at the time being good. That was cool about you getting to see him play, and just shows you it takes more than early success to last in the end. If you have relatives in Philly, and they know where Chaney lives, I have relatives a few blocks away. One of their kids just transferred to Chicago or Northwestern, so it will probably mean some visits before they graduate. You know the NBA wants Lin to do well to increase their marketing presence in China and all those new eyeballs.

    Hope the kids are doing well, and who knows, maybe they will keep growing past 5′ 11″

    Like

  20. Alan from Baton Rouge says:

    GEAUX LSU Fightin’ Tigers!

    Like

  21. duffman says:

    On the B12, I still think you have some big issues to clear up :

    .

    #1 Cultural clashes
    If the last 2 really are BYU & Louisville, you have some polar opposite schools in the new kids

    West Virginia + Louisville are east coast BYU + TCU are west
    Aside from the obvious travel distances and fan makeup you have 2 schools who have the most liberal booze policies and 2 of the most conservative. UofL and WVU are used to going at it rough and tumble, but when BYU and TCU travel east their fans will probably be mortified by what they see. UL and WVU are state schools with many fans who did not attend, and can get pretty hostile to visiting teams. Not saying this is a deal breaker, but the four schools appear to have nothing in common.

    .

    #2 How you split the schools
    Right now Oklahoma is #1 in football history, and Texas is #2 with Nebraska now in the B1G

    Not insurmountable, but you can not put UT and OU in the same division, which means separating oSu from OU in the same division just to keep the powers split. Again, it looks easy, but due to the distance there are few options :

    option A : keeps UT with OU and OU with oSu
    North = BYU / KU / KSU / ISU / UL / WVU
    South = OU / oSu / UT / TT / BU / TCU

    option B : keeps OU separate from UT and oSu
    East = WVU / UL / ISU / KU / KSU / OU
    West = BYU / TT / oSu / TCU / BU / UT

    .

    #3 Academic spiral downward
    UNL / CU / TAMU / MU were all AAU – TCU / BYU / UL / WVU will probably never be AAU

    Granted, maybe this matters more to the B1G / ACC / PAC, but UT made great noise about the academics of the SEC. Unless the B12 is adding Rice and Tulane to get to 12, and saving some academic face, putting BYU and Louisville in the mix is the road to academic ridicule. It might even put pressure on KU and ISU to maintain AAU status. All 4 former AAU members have lost their place in the past decade or 2, and may signal that the gate will be raised in the future. 2 years ago the B12 had 7 votes, and now they are down to just 3. If UT really prides the academic side, then how can they keep letting non research schools in?

    .

    #4 Clash of titan egos and faith
    UT and OU have egos, but BYU is not far behind as a mini Notre Dame

    Just like I could NEVER see Notre Dame happy in the B12 as a private independent school, I see BYU as a Mini – Me in that situation. TCU is a regional school, and WVU & UL are state schools. All 3 are small regional players at best, but BYU does not fit that same profile. If Notre Dame views itself as the national and global touchstone of the catholic faith, is it not safe to say that BYU has a similar view among the Mormon faithful? Sure UT and OU look good on the BYU schedule every fall, but how excited are they to play the football powers of ISU / KU / KSU when they can schedule across the nation and get better exposure in states that have high Mormon populations. Just look at Mormons by state :

    Top 15 states by Mormon population
    UT => 1.858 million
    CA ==> .756 million
    ID ===> .407 million
    AZ ==> .375 million
    TX ==> .278 million
    WA ==> .258 million
    NV ==> .174 million
    OR ==> .145 million
    CO ==> .137 million
    FL ===> .132 million
    VA ===> .085 million
    NY ===> .076 million
    GA ===> .075 million
    NC ===> .074 million
    HI ====> .068 million

    B12 states Mormon population (excluding Texas with UT / TT / BU / TCU)
    OK = 42 thousand (OU + oSu)
    KS = 33 thousand (KU + KSU)
    WV = 17 thousand (WVU)
    KY = 31 thousand (UK dominates state not UL)
    IA = 24 thousand (Iowa dominates state not ISU)

    Put a different way, all the B12 states Mormons added together equal roughly the state of Virginia’s Mormon population. Settling in the B12 means excluding getting Mormon fans in the rapidly growing east coast, west coast, and deep south. While we can talk about football eyeballs, my guess is Mormon TV wants to reach souls as well, and that means looking far beyond football and college sports.

    .

    If you can sell me realistic solutions to these 4 arguments then I might buy BYU to the B12, but for now I am totally skeptical. Frank and others, how do you counter these issues?

    Like

    • frug says:

      UL and WVU are not East Coast teams. To begin with, neither state borders the Atlantic, and are culturally very different from the Eastern schools. And I doubt TCU would have any problem with Louisville and WVU since they were all set to join them before the Big XII came knocking.

      As for divisions, I think a modified zipper would work best.

      This Division That Division
      UT OU
      TTU OSU
      Baylor TCU
      K-State Kansas
      WVU UL
      BYU ISU

      The “pairs” are protected rivalries. I tried to split the divisions based in favor of competitive balance, with That Division being stronger at the top, and This Division having better depth. You could try play around with the alignment, just remember that TTU and Baylor will have to be in the same division since they will throw a hissy fit fi they don’t get annual games with Texas (TCU would be peeved if they don’t get one, but they haven’t played Texas in years so they have less of an argument).

      Really, the only big problem with this arrangement is that BYU may not go for it. Not only does it give them the worst crossover game, but it also means they won’t get annual games against both Longhorns and Sooners (something that they might view as a condition for agreeing to join the conference). The former could be dealt with by giving them WVU or UL instead of ISU (though the Big East schools wouldn’t be happy with that), but the latter can’t be easily solved.

      Like

      • duffman says:

        frug,

        WVU was in the Big East for what 20 years, and is closest to the Pittsburgh market. UL growth has been in the exposure of the BE, and 4 kids on UofL’s basketball roster are from the east coast. Like it or not UofL is still a basketball school, and most of their roster comes from east of the Mississippi. The rest come from the west coast. None of these folks will tune in to watch UL play ISU or KSU. While I agree they are not a pure NYC / Philly east coast school, they do seem to get the most exposure as an east coast team.

        I think TCU has less of a say so because they are small and already in Texas. That means a more local or regional school. What I am looking at more is BYU and how they are going to feel joining a conference with 2 schools (UL and WVU) that far away and neither friendly to the Mormon faith. Again, outside of just sports, what keeps with the overall fit of BYU. When they parked all their non football sports with the WCC that was a pretty strong statement even if it meant a cut in exposure and wealth from a better deal. Nine of the top 10 mormon states are west of the mississippi. Again, I understand the football sales pitch, just not sure BYU is driven by just football.

        Like

      • Michael in Raleigh says:

        My divisions:

        This Division/That Division Crossover Rival

        OU / UT
        Ok. St. / WVU
        TCU / K-State
        Baylor / TT
        Iowa St. / Kansas
        BYU / Louisville

        Like

        • frug says:

          I think this offers better balance (especially in terms of the crossovers) the problem is I think Baylor will go nuts if they don’t get to play Texas every year. Now I don’t know if they will have the leverage to force the issue, but the Cali-4 bullied the PAC into letting them play ever year, so who knows.

          That said, it does offer a certain logic. That Division has the Big East schools, Kansas schools and public Texas schools. This Division has the Oklahoma schools and private Texas schools, and all of the religious schools (and Iowa St. but they had to go somewhere, right?)

          Like

    • joe4psu says:

      You need to rethink this part of your argument:

      [i]Not insurmountable, but you can not put UT and OU in the same division, which means separating oSu from OU in the same division just to keep the powers split. Again, it looks easy, but due to the distance there are few options :[/i]

      OU and UT have said that they [b]must[/b] be in the same division because they don’t want to play again in a CCG.

      Like

      • joe4psu says:

        Somebody remind me how to use italics, bold and etc.

        Like

        • duffman says:

          joe4psu,

          use instead of [ and ] in your post.

          If you had that OU / UT link can you post it?

          I understand OU and UT doing it, but in the era of the CCG will it sell? Every other conference is trying to balance divisions and you have one with already large issues going in the opposite direction. UT was used to controlling the SWC and their home state. OU is tied to Texas recruiting and the Red River Rivalry, and oSu is tied to OU. Asking for peace in the barnyard with three new schools with no ties to Texas or the old SWC seems like a an open invitation to future disaster and discontent.

          Like

          • joe4psu says:

            I don’t follow on the use of italics and etc. Use what instead of [ and ]?

            I’ll see if I can find one of the articles that talked about the OU/UT issue and post later.

            Like

          • frug says:

            Use less than (Shift+,) and greater than (Shift+.) signs to use HTML.

            Like

          • joe4psu says:

            Thanks duffman, frug and M in R for help with HTML.

            Here’s a couple of pieces that mentions the OU and UT division restriction. The authors don’t explain the reason. I found the first piece in two places, one of which is gregswaim.com–BigTimeSports which doesn’t add credibility from what I’ve heard, so I’ll list both. None of these are mainstream sources so maybe this is an urban myth. If I have time I’ll look for something mainstream.

            Weighing In On Big 12 Expansion by Jordan Grove
            http://bloguin.com/articles/college/weighing-in-on-big-12-expansion.html
            http://gregswaim.com/2012/02/weighing-in-on-big-12-expansion/

            When aligning the division three points should be kept in mind: 1) Oklahoma and Texas must be in the same division, 2) the divisions should be competitively balanced, and 3) each division needs equal access to Texas for recruiting purposes. Geography would be a minimal consideration considering how unbalanced the former twelve team Big 12 was before the defections started.

            ——————-

            Big 12 Expansion Would End the Red River Rivalry | Big 12 Football: 4 Reasons the Oklahoma Sooners Will Kill Expansion Talk | Bleacher Report by Nick Machiavelli
            http://bleacherreport.com/articles/780363-big-xii-expansion-4-reasons-oklahoma-sooners-will-kill-expansion-talk/page/3

            To expand back to 12 teams, there would need to be two divisions.

            For expansion to be beneficial, the divisions need to be evenly matched, and there are no legitimate counterweights to Texas and Oklahoma to anchor a northern division. Oklahoma and Oklahoma State would have to move to the North Division.

            Neither Texas nor Oklahoma would agree to continue their rivalry if they would face each other in a championship game.

            Playing each other once is dangerous for their National Championship aspirations; twice could be disastrous.

            ———————-

            Predictions for the New Big 12 for the New Year | December by Honus Sneed
            (Yes, it’s “The Dude”)
            http://www.eerinsider.com/2011-articles/december/predictions-for-the-new-big-12-for-the-new-year.html

            Texas (and maybe Oklahoma) is against expansion beyond the current 10 members. Texas doesn’t want to have to play a conference championship game and the Longhorns hate the possibility of having to play Oklahoma twice to make it to the BCS.

            Like

          • joe4psu says:

            Now can someone explain why the ‘ (single quote character) is displayed as an underscore?

            Like

          • Redhawk says:

            @joe4psu

            you went to Greg Swaim, Bleacher Report and “the Dude of WV” for reference? sigh

            ok…OU and Texas will have to play every year in the Cotton Bowl. Honestly the rest of college football can burn in fiery pit of hell, before this game isn’t played in October of every year. It’s that important.

            As far as “divisional strength” that’s just TODAY…that changes. OU is still not happy that they were split off from Nebraska, with the “you’ll play in the championship game” sales pitch. in 15 years that only happened twice.

            Like

          • joe4psu says:

            Redhawk,

            I didn’t go there looking for info. I was asked about a topic that has been discussed many places but I couldn’t think of any off the top of my heard so I did a search. The fact that the only references I found with a quick search was the three listed was why I noted that these were all I could find right now and I knew they were less than reputable. Thus my point that I hoped to further search for mainstream sources.

            I’m not sure what your post,

            ok…OU and Texas will have to play every year in the Cotton Bowl. Honestly the rest of college football can burn in fiery pit of hell, before this game isn’t played in October of every year. It’s that important.

            means. Do you dispute that OU and UT want to remain in the same division? While my search didn’t come up with any articles from OK or TX papers that discuss this, it is something that I have read many times before. I really hate the idea of going through all the expansion articles I bookmarked to find them, thus the quick search.

            As for “divisional strength”, I agree that it will fluctuate, just like conference dominance. The point I was making is that this is a known issue for OU and UT.

            Like

        • Michael in Raleigh says:

          Like this:
          Then use the backslash inside the greater-than/less-than symbols.

          Like

        • Redhawk says:

          @joe4psu

          No…I’m saying OU and Texas will most definitely want to be in the same division. If they are split up in different divisions, then some form of protected cross divisional game will HAVE to be included as well.

          I’m saying that the #1 issue for Texas and Oklahoma will be to maintain the OU/Texas game in Oct, in Dallas. No exceptions to this rule….at all…period.

          Even if college football ceased to exist, and was banned….11 fraternity men from Oklahoma, and 11 from Texas would show up in Dallas to play a game on a sandlot some where.

          Like

          • vincent says:

            The following proposal is sort of a zipper system, keeping Oklahoma and Texas in the same division:

            West: Texas, Texas Tech, Oklahoma, Kansas State, Brigham Young, Iowa State
            East: Baylor, Texas Christian, Oklahoma State, Kansas, West Virginia, Louisville

            Each division plays two automatic interdivision games — Texas schools vs. each other, Oklahoma/Kansas schools vs. each other, BYU/ISU vs. WVU/UL

            Nine-game schedule; everyone visits teams in the other division at least once every four years.

            Like

          • joe4psu says:

            All I was saying is that, from what I understand, OU and UT DO NOT want to be in opposite divisions and take the chance of playing a second time. It is my understanding that the reason they don’t want to play the second time, regardless of any benefit of this set up and the acceptance of it by others including the B1G, UM and OSU specifically (although you can add PSU, Nebraska, Wiscy and all other B1G schools here), is the fear of losing the CCG. They both, maybe especially UT, seem to feel that any benefit is outweighed by the outside chance of losing the second game. Not a positive argument or one that shows confidence in oneself. It is the argument for the path of least resistance. They would probably find over time that a second game in the CCG would translate to big money and added prestige to go along with the negligible danger of missing out on a MNC but I guess if it happened once that would be one time too many. And in that, they do have a point.

            I personally don’t like rematches but would like the opportunity to prove my worth by overcoming that extra burden. Nothing is sweeter than winning against the toughest of odds. I understand that some would rather stack the odds in their favor. Just a difference of opinion and not a judgement.

            Like

          • bullet says:

            Actually it has already happened 3 times and nearly a 4th. KSU lost ccg in 1998 and cost themselves a spot in BCS title game. They played in the Alamo Bowl. Texas lost ccg in 2001 and cost themselves a spot in BCS title game. They played in the Holiday Bowl. OU lost ccg in 2003 but still made it to the BCS title game. Missouri lost ccg in 2007 and cost themselves a spot in BCS title game. They played in the Cotton Bowl. 3 times in 10 years a Big 12 team lost ccg and didn’t even make a BCS game.

            Like

          • joe4psu says:

            Bullet,

            There is a remedy. Don’t lost the CCG. The single most important point I think is that the CCG is the same as a semifinal playoff game. If a team loses a playoff game to a school it should have beaten they have no reason to complain. The thinking that CCG’s are bad because we could lost is arguing from weakness and fear. Not what should make up a champion.

            Like

          • joe4psu says:

            I wish this darn board had edit! I seem to be developing poor spelling fingers and losing any editing ability.

            Like

    • bullet says:

      BYU is discovering scheduling as an independent is extremely difficult. They’ve got some high profile games but they’ve got lots of gaps. The B1G/Pac 12 deal and ACC and Big 12 going to 9 games is going to make things very difficult for them. Its Iowa State and Kansas vs. San Jose St. and New Mexico St.

      As for academics, its about $ and competition first. And the academic issue has several components. Its not just the caliber of school, but what they are trying to achieve. Texas Tech and OU are working very hard to improve their academic status and both have political leaders who have the clout to help achieve that. Another component is the athletics side. Some schools will compromise a lot more on the “student” part of student-athlete. And SEC schools clearly stretch the rules. And while the number of major violations isn’t significantly different among the 5 major conferences, there’s a difference between GT getting a major violation for an athlete getting $300 in clothes from an agent and UK getting one for sending $20,000 in a Fedex envelope to a recruit. All the Texas SWC schools but Rice had major violations in the later years, but there was a difference between openly paying players like SMU, TCU and A&M did and what the others got charged with. BYU is a clean program. Louisville hasn’t had any major issues in recent years.

      Splitting the schools is a real issue. I suspect if they expand they will figure that out later. With a 9 game schedule, the attractiveness of schedules is not an issue. Its just the competitiveness of the divisions. I don’t see them doing a zipper. They may separate Tech and TCU from Texas and Baylor, but that’s as far as I see a zipper going. Ultimately, if UT and OU decide they want to stay in the same division, they will be.

      As for cultural clashes, BYU isn’t like anyone else. The OSU AD or President made a comment about keeping the Big 12 midwestern and there have been several comments about expansion being to the east.

      I really don’t think Big 12 expansion is that far along. Its probably not much more advanced than the BCS changes. They’re still at 29,000 feet. My gut feel is that expansion is still 50/50.

      Like

      • Eric says:

        I agree that the divisions will be a big issue and it will be interesting to see if they decide them before or after. So far we had the PAC-10, who was really looking to go to 16, add before deciding divisions, we have the Big Ten who ended up rushing and added Nebraska and had made no final decisions on divisions (although early discussions had been held already), the SEC and A&M were certainly in a rush which led to divisions being formed later. The Big East and Alliance certainly hasn’t figured out divisions yet.

        I think the Big 12 will buck this trend this time and if they are going to expand will make sure they know divisions first, especially since they are more than willing to stay at 10 teams.

        Like

        • ccrider55 says:

          The Big12 divisions will be whatever UT decides they will be.

          The Pac’s N/S was predictable as it followed Scott’s mandate to improve and ease the marketabllity of the conference nationally.
          The B1G’s leggins and Leaderhosen…I guess I just don’t understand. Emulate the ACC, but add a dose of ego?

          Like

          • TX_Andy says:

            The TX/OU game generates millions in additional alumni donations for each school in order to secure tickets. If they were put in different divisions, their alumni would likely consider the game in October to be a scrimmage and the second game two months later in Dallas again to be the meaningful neutral site matchup. Each school would risk losing millions if they agreed to be put in different divisions.

            Like

          • frug says:

            I though about that, but I don’t buy it. I mean Ohio St and Michigan could now play two weeks in a row and I doubt any fans are going to be apathetic about The Game.

            Like

          • frug says:

            Plus, the fans have absolutely no way of knowing if they will meet again in the CCG.

            Like

          • joe4psu says:

            ccrider55,

            Leggins & Leaderhosen! Brilliant!

            TX_Andy,

            As for TX/OU, whether it is a division game or a cross-division game, it counts. If it is a cross-division game the loser is that much less likely to get to the CCG for a rematch. IOW, what frug says.

            Like

          • TX_Andy says:

            TX/OU is different in that it’s basically a mid-season bowl game. The ability to buy tickets is based on donation level. If they were split in different divisions, their season ticket holders would have a choice of A) donate $500 and pay $500 more for four tickets to the game at the State Fair, B) pay $500 for four tickets to the Big XII champtionship game also likely in Dallas or C) both. I think a number of fans would opt for B. A rematch isn’t guaranteed, but the season would be a disappointment for either school if they didn’t reach the title game.

            Like

          • Redhawk says:

            I fully doubt OU/Texas game will be split up with the idea that they will match up in a championship game every fall. OU was sold that with the OU/Nebraska game split and that only happened twice.

            If fans had the choice of getting OU/Texas or a Big Championship game ticket, I’m guessing most fans will demand….”BOTH”. An appearance in a Championship game isn’t guaranteed. A regular season game is.

            Like

          • frug says:

            (Meant to post this here)

            I know the economics of the RRR (it is the most valuable regular season game in all of CFB) but the fact that you are looking at only about a 25% chance of a rematch 3 months later, means that fans are still going to pay to see them (and any lost revenue would likely be offset by the premium that TV networks and Jerry would pay for the possibility of a UT-OU rematch in the title game).

            They may insist on being in the same division, but the economics of a title rematch is not going to be the issue.

            Like

          • wmtiger says:

            B10’s TV people pretty much demanded PSU, Ohio & Michigan be in separate divisions.

            Like

          • TX_Andy says:

            I agree that most fans will want to attend both. But I don’t think they will be as willing to donate as much as before if they believe there is a reasonable chance for a rematch.

            Like

          • joe4psu says:

            wmtiger,

            If only it had happened. Three divisions. 🙂 I can see it now, the Leggins, Leaderhosen and Eastern Elitist divisions.

            Like

        • frug says:

          I know the economics of the RRR (it is the most valuable regular season game in all of CFB) but the fact that you are looking at only about a 25% chance of a rematch 3 months later, means that fans are still going to pay to see them (and any lost revenue would likely be offset by the premium that TV networks and Jerry would pay for the possibility of a UT-OU rematch in the title game).

          Like

          • bullet says:

            Texas and OU also like to think about national championships. Playing a bitter rival in a game the best team frequently doesn’t win-twice in one season makes that much more difficult (in the years both win divisions).

            Like

          • frug says:

            I agree that is the reason the reason they don’t want to split, not a fear of devaluing the RRR.

            Like

  22. joe4psu says:

    More on the PSU subpoena from Harrisburg Patriot-News reporter Sara Ganim.

    Penn State, board of trustees money trails under investigation by feds | PennLive.com
    http://www.pennlive.com/midstate/index.ssf/2012/02/post_318.html

    She recently won a George Polk Award for her coverage of the Sandusky scandal.

    Patriot-News reporter Sara Ganim wins George Polk Award | PennLive.com
    http://www.pennlive.com/midstate/index.ssf/2012/02/patriot-news_reporter_sara_gan_1.html

    Like

    • joe4psu says:

      A small portion of the article related to the Clery Act, which again affirms that what Paterno did was not only appropriate but the recommended actions for someone in his position. It also verifies that Schultz was considered the head of university police, and would be responsible for reporting sex crimes.

      —————–

      “By law, individuals can’t be charged with violating the act. Only an institution can be charged, Carter said, and the law outlines the procedure for mandated reporting to include any official with significant responsibility for student and campus activities, including an athletic director or team coach.

      “Chain-of-command reporting is perfectly permissible,” Carter said. “And, in fact, [it is] something I recommend so an individual official may report it to their supervisor who would then report to the collecting authority. This may have been one of the ‘gray areas’ at issue in 2002.”

      Prosecutors say Schultz, head of university police at the time, and Curley never gave the 2002 report to campus police — the Clery Act reporter for Penn State.”

      Like

  23. Pat says:

    Larry Scott talked with Pete Thamel of the NY Times on Friday. The link below contains some very “insightful” comments, but nothing definitive. One comment I found particularly interesting is;

    “As for determining the final four teams, Scott said a notion that Roy Kramer, a former Southeastern Conference commissioner, expressed to CBSSports.com last week “resonated with me.” To keep the integrity of the regular season and the conference championship games, Kramer said, all of the teams in the playoff should be conference champions.”

    http://www.nytimes.com/2012/02/26/sports/ncaafootball/considering-a-playoff-format-that-would-scrap-the-bcs.html?_r=2&ref=sports

    Like

    • Kevin says:

      I like the idea of using conference champions to determine the national champion but I am not sure how they bridge that concept with 4 teams and not have to expand it to 8 teams. I think there are too many issue trying to rank the top four teams or conferences.

      Like

    • frug says:

      …Scott agreed with the position of the Big Ten, first reported by The Chicago Tribune, which favored home sites for the semifinal games and a neutral site for the championship game. After a number of discussions with the N.F.L., Scott said, following its model made sense.

      “There’s a reason that in the N.F.L. they only play the Super Bowl as a neutral-site game,” he said. “There’s a reason they play playoffs and A.F.C. and N.F.C. championships with home hosting.”

      Scott added that the Pac-12 chose a campus-hosting model for its title game because he felt it would create the best atmosphere. Fans, he said, would be unlikely to travel to two neutral sites in 10 days.

      “If the N.F.L. thought that they could support that model, they would,” he said.

      Probably the best argument for using home games for the semi-finals. I know that the NFL and CFB are different, but he makes a good point.

      Like

    • bullet says:

      anyone who thinks the unpopularity of the system has to do with 4 year TV contract cycles is really living in a bubble. They’re in their own private Idaho.

      Like

    • Brian says:

      Scott said that he would not let economics guide the process of shaping his decisions, because plenty of money would be available. The B.C.S. is worth $125 million, a number that could double when college football’s leaders agree on a few format.

      I thought that was also an important statement.

      Like

      • bullet says:

        Don’t believe everything you hear from these guys. (I think some Ohio St. fan said that recently).

        They are going to have some baselines, much like AAU was a baseline for B1G expansion. But they are going to try to maximize $ within those baselines.

        Like

        • Brian says:

          I don’t take it at face value, but since he said it I think it reflects the presidents telling him it isn’t only about money. The presidents have long turned down the greater money from a playoff, so I don’t think they’re going to try to max revenue this time either.

          Like

    • Mike says:

      What incentive will any team have to play good teams out of conference if only conference champions are allowed in? I expect more Bill Snyder style schedules designed to build depth and to keep the best players healthy for conference games. How is the regular season more meaningful if you effectively make three to four games meaningless.

      Like

      • allthatyoucantleavebehind says:

        Money. The conferences will start explaining to PSU’s president that he can make 2 million for the school (in TV money) for scheduling, let’s say, Texas Tech as a home-and-home series or 1 million for the school by scheduling Eastern Ohio Tech (home game revenue…the old yearly creampuff). Essential, it’s an NFL model, where every week is a decent game and very rarely do you have blowouts. You might have more 10-3 or 9-4 conference champions (for better or worse), but those teams will have gotten to 10-3 or 9-4 against superior competition than most CFB teams do today.

        Like

        • Mike says:

          Conference TV contracts are valued off of conference games only. So no pressure from the conference there.

          Like

          • joe4psu says:

            That is strange since the networks get the best OOC games. I would think that it is a built in part of these contracts without regard to any schools specific schedule. UM v ND is always on the major networks, games like PSU v Alabama and OSU v Miami always end up on the major networks IINM. Surely improved OOC schedules would have an effect on network contracts. Plus, since the other networks can’t show all the B1G games on a given Saturday the BTN would benefit from improved OOC scheduling, making more money for the schools.

            Like

          • Mike says:

            Non conference games are not guaranteed. Its hard for a network to pay for what they may not get. For example, West Viriginia buying out their game with FSU this year. In addition, non conference schedules may not be set for the duration of a contract when its signed.

            Like

          • Richard says:

            However, the schools do get paid for agreeing to play marquee nonconference games (like the Cowboys Classic and Chick-A-Fil Classic).

            Also, there _would_ be conference pressure from those conferences (B10 & Pac) who own their own network (and get more money when ratings go up and more advertising sells). That’s why there’s been talk about those 2 conferences dropping FCS games.

            Finally, schools make money off of ticket sales as well. A tougher/more enticing schedule would mean higher donations in order to get season tickets even at schools that sell out all the time (obviously, the schools that don’t would have more incentive to attract ticket-buying fans).

            Like

      • joe4psu says:

        I think it would have the opposite effect. If the playoff participants are determined by conference champs there is no reason, outside of getting a certain number of home games, to schedule cream puffs OOC. Here are some advantages as I see it. Losing a tough OOC game is no longer a near automatic disqualification from the MNCG. Want to add to you programs prestige and attract top flight players? Play OOC games against the best of the best. Want to better prepare your team for tough conference play? Play tough OOC games. Want to increase SOS, which should be a big part of seeding? Play tough OOC games.

        I’m in favor of an eight team playoff which would include two or three at-large bids. If SOS is a big part of determining who gets those spots, as it should be, then OOC scheduling is VERY important. In other words, play tough OOC games. IMO, the Bill Snyder style of scheduling exists because of today’s beauty pageant method of determining champions. Want a better week to week product for tv? Get rid of the beauty pageant, make SOS more important, and PLAY TOUGH OOC GAMES!

        Like

        • Mike says:

          Why would a coach risk injury and put wear and tear on his best players in a tough out of conference game, when they know that the only games that matter to win a national title are conference games? Building depth and keeping you’re regulars fresh for the games that matter all while not eliminating you from the hunt would, to me, be most important. Why would they risk playing a good out of conference team when a conference schedule will provide enough SOS? Would an undefeated Big Ten team ever be left out of a playoff? What does Michigan gain by playing Notre Dame vs a MACrafice game when conference title means playoff eligibility.

          I fear making a conference champion rule will make OOC games even more cup cake city than they are today (where SOS is even more important and nonconference games count just as much conference games in the title hunt). The system needs to account for the 2012 Alabamas of the world where a top four team isnt a conference champion.

          Like

          • joe4psu says:

            Players can be injured again Eastern PA Polytech just as easily as they can against Alabama. And the experience gained from the Alabama game would help a heck of alot more come tough conference games and the playoffs. That is not to say that an easier game or two to open the season isn’t a big benefit. The point is that four cupcakes in the OOC has NO benefit in preparing a team to play. It is exactly because losing the OOC games would not hurt the teams chances of winning the conference that the I am in favor of tough OOC games. Not to mention the enjoyment of watching those games instead of Eastern Michigan or Coastal Carolina.

            Conference games will provide SOS? That only goes so far. No offense to these schools but how much good do you think it does to play half of your conference games against Indiana, Purdue, Minny and NW? Heck, how many years can you count on Iowa, WIscy, Illinois and MSU to all be positive SOS games? Even the so-called “upper tier” schools do not provide positive SOS results many years. I’ll admit scheduling OSU v UM and PSU v Nebraska as yearly games will help those teams SOS in the long run but the other schools don’t get that benefit from the conference schedule.

            As an example, would an undefeated Wiscy team that missed out on UM and Nebraska within conference play, had no OOC games tougher than Oregon State or Fresno State, and went undefeated ever be left out of a playoff? I would hope so. There is also the matter of seeding. How much of an advantage would UM gain, because they played ND, by having Alabama or LSU come to Ann Arbor in December instead of visa versa? It would be huge.

            The idea that OOC games are more important in today’s beauty pageant is misleading since the rankings are done by sports writers and coaches that don’t see most teams play. That is why I call it a beauty pageant. There is no quantifiable measurement, such as being a conference champ.

            Like

          • Mike says:

            @Joe – Yes players can be hurt anytime they are on the field. The main benefit of four cupcake games is that it limits the opportunity for players to get hurt, all while getting experience for our second, third and fourth stringers. Coaches are risk adverse, and the benefits of exposure and money only go so far. Having followed the Big 12, this has actually happened when SOS and non-conference wins matter more to the BCS than in a conference championship only playoff. Bill Snyder of Kansas St actually made the argument that the Big 12 was tough enough and he didn’t see any reason for playing tough OOC games (yes I know they played Miami last year, but you can thank Ron Price). Texas Tech under Lietch did the same thing. Those two programs would have benefited from the money and exposure more than say, Texas or Oklahoma, yet still played cupcake OOC schedules.

            How mad would you be at your favorite school if they played tough OOC games and in the thick of the conference title race had players start to break down due to overuse in OOC games (see Nebraska’s use of Rex Burkhead)? If you answer that they should have limited their snaps then are you implying that coaches shouldn’t place a priority on winning OOC games. How many coaches are willing to sacrifice a conference champions only national title shot for the sake of winning a OOC game against Alabama that doesn’t gain them anything in the national title race?

            Like

          • Richard says:

            Mike:

            At pretty much all schools (other than KSU), the AD makes the scheduling decisions, not the head coach, and AD’s are motivated to maximize revenues. As I mentioned above, there are even more reasons to schedule tougher out of conference if you know the conference champ is guaranteed to make the playoffs (as opposed to now when one loss can make you lose control of your destiny):

            1. Ticket sales.
            2. Donations (for the right to buy season tickets).
            3. Pressure from the conference (in the case of the B10 and Pac, who want to drive up the ratings of their respective channels).
            4. Money from other TV channels (ESPN will pay 2 schools to play each other OOC if they think it is worth it; this isn’t true of the Pac, which wants to monopolize all the TV money in that conference, but it is true for all other conferences).

            Like

      • Brian says:

        Mike,

        What incentives do they have now? Exposure and money.

        OR might have played LSU in the NCG if they didn’t play them in Dallas. Instead, they were #5 behind a Stanford team that they beat easily.

        The current ranking system favors quantity over quality in wins anyway.

        Like

        • Mike says:

          Brian – in a conference champions only playoff system, the incentives are much less to play quality ooc opponents than they are today. That might be a unintended consequence.

          Like

          • Richard says:

            ??? Why? Money would be worth less? Exposure would be worth less? With a playoff where a conference champ is guaranteed a slot, there is much less disincentive to play a tough OOC game.

            Like

  24. Steve says:

    Yeah, I’m starting to come around to the idea of the four highest conference champions getting the semi-final bids with the top two hosting. But, conferences must have at least 12 teams with two divisions and a championship game. Get rid of the AQ and allow all confernces, including MW, CUSA, MAC have access, not just the big boys. Also, I wonder what Notre Dame and Brigham Young would do if this idea came to fuition? They could still play in the New Year’s Day bowl games, but not the National Championship Game. Hmmm…..

    Like

    • joe4psu says:

      Steve,

      I don’t like the idea of “forcing” ND or any school to join a conference but if they feel “forced” to join a conference to get into the playoffs, so be it. I also agree 100% with your take on the rest.

      Like

    • frug says:

      Notre Dame’s Prez and AD have both stated that one of the few things that would make them give up independence is rule change that would force them to join a conference to compete for a national title.

      Like

    • Eric says:

      When they say conference champ, what I really think they mean is “not a conference loser.” In other words, independents would still eligible, but conference runner-ups wouldn’t.

      The only other aspect I expect on that would be that the limit is one team per conference. If the Big 12 remains at 10 (I don’t think they’ll force anything), then only the higher rated conference champ could make the playoffs if 2 are tied.

      Like

      • frug says:

        When they say conference champ, what I really think they mean is “not a conference loser.” In other words, independents would still eligible, but conference runner-ups wouldn’t.

        Why would they want to make it easier for independents to make it to the playoffs that it is for their own teams?

        Like

        • joe4psu says:

          I agree. If conference champs is the standard how does an independent qualify? What schedule would they have to play? The closer we come to an equal playing field, same number of schools per conference, must play a CCG, the more integrity the system has.

          Like

          • Kevin says:

            An 8 team playoff really solves a lot of the problems with access and fairness but it likely significantly devalues the Rose Bowl. Not sure how they can really save the Rose Bowl and have home games.

            Like

          • Eric says:

            Kevin,

            With 4 games they can. If you only have semi-finals (preferably with the season moved up a week) and then announce bowl games, the Rose Bowl would always have the Big Ten champ unless they are in the national championship game. Losing in the semi-finals would hurt travel some years, but I think the cost of that is a lot less than the cost of having 2nd or 3rd place team every year where even the idea of going to a bowl is devalued (since then you have a distinct tract of playoffs vs. bowls rather than the playoffs being semi-finals before the bowls and a bowl itself (the national championship game)).

            joe4psu

            I’d argue Notre Dame has a tougher schedule most years (and really that’s all that’s likely to qualify anytime soon) than most your conference champions do.

            Like

          • bullet says:

            @Kevin
            8 team model
            Move the season forward 1 week.
            Play quarterfinals at home sites what is now ccg week.
            Have all the bowl bids go out after those games.
            Play semi-finals in 2 major bowls between Christmas and New Year’s. 2 other major bowls and the Rose Bowl invite who they want and play on New Year’s (or the next night). They can use some sort of BCS qualification (top 14) for those bowls or simply leave it open. The 4 major bowls not the Rose will rotate the semi-finals. Rose always gets its New Year’s Day slot and choices of anyone not in the semi-finals-so they get B1G/Pac 12 almost always.
            Final at bid site (so the bowls could also bid) 10-14 days after semi-finals.

            Like

          • ccrider55 says:

            B1G and PAC champs meet in the Rose Bowl. That is two of the five major conference’s likely to be involved in a semi. Sugar, Orange, Fiesta can bid to become the other semi on a rotation or a fixed schedule.

            Like

          • joe4psu says:

            I know my opinion isn’t mainstream but either way the Rose Bowl is just an exhibition game. Lower ranked schools would almost certainly lower tv ratings but I wonder if it would alter the value of the game to the local area? Wouldn’t the fans of the schools fortunate enough to get into the Rose, by hook or by crook, be just as excited to make the trip?

            Like

          • joe4psu says:

            Oh, and as for ND’s (or any independents) SOS, I’m not sure that would be true in recent years and the likelihood seems to grow smaller if (as the B1G has done by adding MSU, PSU and Nebraska most recently) conferences continue to grow by adding the best programs. That makes conference schedules tougher over time. The major conferences are not looking to add Indiana’s or Duke’s, not offense to either school but they’re not fb powerhouses. The addition of A&M and Mizzou to the SEC, and the addition of Pitt and SU to the ACC, make those conferences stronger. It can be argued that SU atleast is a weak fb addition but that is a very recent phenomenon, their last decade is probably the worst in school history. The addition of PItt to the ACC maintains or adds to the depth and Pitt is considered by many to be a notable and worthy opponent regularly on ND’s schedule. The B12 may not have replaced the historically dominant, though recently somewhat less so–not a swipe, the same can be said of PSU, Nebraska with an equal but adding TCU and WVU will not make most schools schedules weaker. WVU has three BCS victories in the last decade IIRC, and TCU has become a top program as well.

            Like

          • frug says:

            ND’s schedule compared to conference champs since BCS NCG was added in ’06. (Number is rank in the country)

            2006:
            USC 2
            Florida 6
            ND 25
            Louisville 28
            Oklahoma 29
            tOSU 34
            Wake 46

            2007:
            LSU 14
            ND 19
            USC 23
            WVU32
            Oklahoma 37
            V-Tech 38
            tOSU 56

            2008:
            Oklahoma 2
            Florida 5
            USC 18
            V-Tech 41
            PSU 45
            ND 55
            Cincy 62

            2009:
            Alabama 2
            Oregon 11
            G-Tech 14
            ND 14
            Texas 26
            WVU 42
            tOSU 52

            2010:
            Auburn 9
            Oklahoma 10
            ND 12
            Oregon 24
            V-Tech 35
            Wisconsin 60
            UCONN 77

            2011:
            OK. St. 2
            LSU 8
            ND 15
            Oregon 27
            Clemson 42
            West Virginia 49
            Wisconsin 52

            So ND schedule has been comparable to the AQ conference champs over the past 6 years. That said, ND may start to slip behind the Power Conference champs with the PAC and Big Ten’s adding CCGs*, the ACC moving to a 9 game conference schedule and the Big East (and maybe even ACC) likely to lose their Power Conference reputation (formal AQ designation is likely going to disappear in a few years).

            *The Big XII’s adoption of a 9 game conference schedule should offset the loss of the CCG

            (Note that all data is from http://www.sports-reference.com/cfb/ and includes bowl games)

            *The Big XII’s loss of

            Like

          • frug says:

            Wow, I really messed up everything in my previous post after the lists. I think you can still understand what I am saying though.

            Like

        • Eric says:

          Because the main reason they are saying conference champs are:

          a. To make the regular season more meaningful
          b. To prevent one conference from getting too much representation (and thus hurting the others)

          The last thing these conferences want is to force Notre Dame to join a conference other than their own. That limits the games they get to play against the Irish, forces realignment by at least 2 teams that might harm other conferences, and makes every other conference weaker by comparison.

          Like

          • Kevin says:

            Eric,

            With 4 games how do you determine which conference champion to select? It seems you would still have to rely on rankings which most people question because there is not enough cross sectional games to really rank teams appropriately.

            Like

          • Eric says:

            Kevin,

            You either go by BCS ranking or you get a committee. It’s less prone to error this way than if you simply take the top 4 in the BCS standings which seems the more likely way they go about this.

            Knowing the top 4 may not always be easy, but that’s not actually the question. The question is which conference champs have earned the right to be called national champs. The 5th highest rated best conference champ in my mind almost never has earned this right and thus has no business in playoffs anyway.

            To me the biggest issue though is that if you start taking more than 4, you are basically destroying the bowl system as you start to create “playoff teams” and “bowl teams,” which is a short step away from the very idea of going to a bowl being a bad thing.

            Like

          • bullet says:

            I think its a knee-jerk reaction to (b). But Alabama-LSU is a function of 2 things-1) having only 2 schools; and b) the selection method. Alabama and Oklahoma St. were extremely close in the BCS. The only legitimate argument for Alabama over Oklahoma St. is the eyeball test. Most voters thought Alabama was a better team. If you look at schedule difficulty, accomplishments (i.e. a conference title) and the philosophy of whether someone should have a 2nd shot (and LSU be forced to give someone a 2nd shot), it was definitely in Oklahoma St.’s favor.

            Your point a. is irrelevant if only 4 teams get in.

            Making it champs only will rely on tie-break systems in some cases to determine the champs. There have been unbeaten co-champs in the past (and just because the Big 5 have ccgs or rr doesn’t mean it will always be that way-Big 12 could add UL and stop at 11). And there have been several 3 way ties that aren’t always clear.

            Limiting it to conference champs doesn’t guarantee you get the most accomplished teams and often clearly brings in teams almost certainly much weaker than other possible teams.

            Like

          • ccrider55 says:

            Limiting to conference champs does guarantee a non champ is not included at the expense of a champ (you know, win to get in, decided on the field). The conference season/CG are the preliminary/Qtr final rounds.

            Like

          • bullet says:

            But conference champs aren’t always decided on the field. Ask Iowa. Ask Texas.

            Like

          • Brian says:

            Iowa lost a game, and so did UT. Once you lose a game, you also lose your right to complain. If you don’t like the system your conference uses to pick a champion, then propose rule changes. That’s not a reason not to require conference champs.

            Like

          • bullet says:

            Iowa didn’t lose a conference game. Texas beat the team that won the tiebreak on a neutral field.

            Like

          • ccrider55 says:

            Simple solution. By not winning conference outright co-champs have demonstrated they are the equal of team(s) not included. Co-champs are excluded.

            Like

          • Brian says:

            I didn’t say IA did lose a conference game. But any reasonable tiebreaker in that situation would look at overall records and give the edge to OSU.

            OOC:
            IA – Akron, @ Miami OH, lost to ISU, USU
            OSU – TT, Kent St, #10 WSU, @ UC, SJSU

            In B10 play:
            Both beat IN, NW, WI, PSU, MN, PU and MI
            OSU beat IL, IA beat MSU (IL was 4-4, MSU 2-6)

            OSU beat more teams and more ranked teams. The bowl games showed which teams deserved it, too.

            UT lost to TT by 6 in the last seconds. OU blew out TT. UT beat OU by 10. A smarter tiebreaking system might have tried to eliminate the worst team rather than pick the best. In that case, maybe the blowout loss eliminates TT and UT wins by head to head. But even after the fact the coaches didn’t suggest any significant changes to the system.

            Like

          • Eric says:

            Iowa was Big Ten champs, they just didn’t make the national title (and wouldn’t even if OSU would have lost since they had a loss to Iowa State).

            Tie-breakers would be a much smaller deal now with the Big 12 being the only major conference w/o a conference championship game and since it has round robin anyway (so head to head is more likely to tell us something). Actually I’d prefer no limit on teams from a conference if they happen to tie, but I don’t think that would be likely.

            In regards to limiting the field to deserving teams, my view is that you remove them to be fair to the actual conference champs. If you win your conference, then you shouldn’t have to beat a conference team to be called national champs. This year for instance, Alabama may have been legitimately the best team in the country, but LSU won the SEC over them and deserved to represent the SEC in the national championship. Alabama didn’t win the conference and didn’t get the same rights.

            Like

          • cutter says:

            Eric-

            There are only two conferences that Notre Dame could realistically join–the ACC and the Big Ten.

            Notre Dame didn’t join the Big East for football even when it had Miami-FL, Boston College and Virginia Tech. Now that West Virginia, Pittsburgh and Syracuse are gone, it’s even less likely given the replacements for those teams.

            The SEC is now at fourteen teams, but we both know Notre Dame wouldn’t fit there. Geographically, obviously, the Pac 12 is also a non-starter. DeLoss Dodds has talked about having a Big East type of relationship with Notre Dame for the Big XII, but we have no idea if that idea has any traction anyway. Besides, the conference may have 12 members in due course anyway, and if it keepts its nine-game conference schedule, there may not be many opportunities for more than one or two teams a year from the Big XII to play Notre Dame anyway.

            That leaves the ACC, which would go to 16 members with a nine-game conference schedule as one possibility. If ND goes that route, then they have three non-conference games with two of those games likely being USC and Navy.

            The Big Ten would go to at least 14 members and by 2017, the conference has a scheduling agreement with the Pac 12. First off, if the Pac 12 keeps its nine game schedule, that means teams in that conference will only have two non-conferece games to schedule and if they want to play a minimum of seven at home, that means they can’t have a second home-and home. Secondly, if this does get implemented, Notre Dame could keep its rivalry with USC and the two conferences could work out the rest of the scheduling agreement since the Big Ten might out number the Pac 12 by two at that point.

            With the television deals that are in place, a team could play Notre Dame or the Little Sisters of the Poor and still make the same money. Perhaps they could charge a premiium for a game ticket when ND is in town, but ND isn’t the only team out there that could do the same thing. Finally, if you’re playing Notre Dame late in the season and they’re having a subpar year, the televisioin ratings for the NBC ND games have proven to be very poor. So while there’s a certain mystique playing ND (which I’m sure the players at Tulsa and Western Michigan will remember), It really doesn’t sell.

            Like

        • bullet says:

          @frug
          That’s another good reason for them not to have a conference champ requirement. They can’t shut out Notre Dame. And they won’t given independents an advantage over their conference teams.

          Like

          • frug says:

            They can’t shut out Notre Dame.

            Why not? There’s nothing the Irish can do about it.

            Like

          • bullet says:

            ND could complain to the bowls and the networks.

            Like

          • frug says:

            And then what? The networks aren’t going to pay a premium for the chance to broadcast Notre Dame once a decade that would outway having to give ND a cut.

            Plus, and this is significant, ND’s Prez and AD have already publicly stated that they will join a conference if it necessary to play for the title.

            ND can try and pit the conferences against each other (convince everyone else not to do the Big Ten or ACC a big favor) but if the 11 conferences want a conference champs requirement there is absolutely NOTHING the Irish can do about it.

            Like

          • Eric says:

            The other 11 conferences aren’t going to want to push the Irish anywhere. One conference gains if the Irish join, but everyone else losses. Let imagine they choose the ACC.

            Big Ten: Likely lose non-conference games against Notre Dame. ACC likely adds another northeastern team too which leaves them as the dominant conference in the east.

            SEC: Just watched a competitor which shares markets with it get a major boost and a lot more attention.

            PAC-12: Maybe USC remains a yearly game, but Standford probably doesn’t. The conference made official rules to help make sure these games continued.

            Big 12: Is going to lose potential for games and more importantly, the ACC is likely to be recognized as a football equal/superior long term (may get there anyway, but haven’t yet).

            Big East: Lost a powerful member and probably another eastern member.

            If you instead say Notre Dame joins the Big Ten, everything else holds, but the ACC likes the move even less than the Big Ten did before as the 14th Big Ten team might be an ACC school.

            For these reasons, I think that any rule is far more likely to exclude conference runner-ups than it is to prevent independents.

            Like

          • @Eric – This is correct. The power conference commissioners are VERY pragmatic toward Notre Dame. That’s why the Big Ten and Pac-12 actually kept ND informed of their partnership discussions and every single new rule that on its face looks like it might negatively impact ND ends up having a specific exception for the Irish (e.g. the Pac-12 rule about not having non-conference games after the conference schedule starts).

            Jim Delany keeps talking about the “Seven Founders” of the BCS. This is critical. When it comes to a playoff system, he looks at ND as an equal of an entire AQ conference and whose view carries more weight than all of the non-AQ schools combined. While the conferences could technically shut out ND, THEY WILL NOT DO IT. Delany would rather let ND into a playoff 1000 times over than giving a spot to the MWC/C-USA Alliance. This might annoy us as non-ND fans to no end, but that’s a fact. The Big Ten, Pac-12 and ND are all very much allies when it comes to the postseason.

            At the same time, conferences want autonomy themselves, so they’re not going to be heavy-handed in telling other conferences and schools what they need to do membership-wise. If 4 years ago, the SEC, ACC and Big 12 came to the Big Ten and said that it couldn’t participate in the system without expanding to 12 and having a conference championship game, Delany would have rightly gone and told them to go f**k themselves. No one wants to be told how to deal with their membership issues, so they’re not going impose rules on either conferences in terms of getting to 12 or more or tell independents that they need to join conferences.

            Like

          • metatron5369 says:

            @Eric

            Except the benefits of having a team in the national spotlight far outweighs any benefits Notre Dame might give their competitors.

            College Football is a crooked game that crowns champions by vote. Is it really any wonder that ESPN managed to rig up an all-SEC “championship” game? Is anyone really so blind as to why they’d do it? Every single conference wants in on the prize, and no one wants the inevitable “Alabama-Auburn-Florida-LSU” post-season.

            Like

          • cutter says:

            For Eric:

            In a recent article, Jim Delany talked about the Big Ten Network generating $4B to $5B in rights fees and revenues thru the next fifteen years. On an average, let’s say the network will pay the Big Ten enough money to hand each team in the conference between $15M and $18M per year (it’s in the $8M range right now out of a total of around $23M in conference distributions in the most recent fiscal year). Add to that what ABC/ESPN (or some other network) will pay in the new contract that will go in effect mid-decade plus what the playoff plus bowls will add and that conference distrubutionn figure goes into the range of around $40M.

            I don’t think Michigan, Michigan State and Purdue are going to worry too much about losing an annual game to Notre Dame. Michigan has sold out its 25,000 seats for the opener against Alabama in Dallas to open next season, so there’s no real issue for UM to replace ND on their schedule. Michigan State and Purdue might be in a different situation, but keep in mind that the Big Ten-Pac 12 scheduling agreement begins with 2010 season. While we don’t know the specifics behind it, teams like Michigan and Michigan State may take a pass on Notre Dame and play the major teams in the Pac 12 (or the Pac 16, for all we know).

            IRT the Pac 12, besides the agreement above, P12 Commissioner Larry Scott has said no more neutral site games. That means no more Washington State-Notre Dame games in San Antonio. The league also has a rule that going forward, any teams playing non-conference games after conference play starts has to get approval from all the athletic directors in the conference with two exceptions–USC and Stanford. So while USC will probably be a regular on ND’s schedule due to tradition, there’s no guarantee Stanford will continue to do so going forward unless that game is played in September. However, since the Big Ten games against ND have been scheduled largely in that month ad infinitum, there’ll have to be some accomodations for any B10 team to get the Irish on yhr schedule (apparently Northwestern has agreed to a home-and-home with ND that includes a late season game that replaced a bye week–it’s not impossible, but it’s not a likely course for B10 teams to take with a possible conference championship game in the mix).

            Not to be reiterative, but the SEC, Big 12 and Big East probably don’t think Notre Dame is going to join their conferences anway. Maybe they would be accomodating to ND in order to keep them out of the ACC or Big Ten or maybe they don’t care. The SEC now has 14 teams and is the premiere football conference in the country–do they think adding Notre Dame and perhaps another school like Rutgers is really going to shake things up competition wise–especially with a four-team playoff? I suspect they’re more worried about a Pac 16 scenario than a Big Ten with 14 members.

            I have no idea if TPWB will try to strong arm Notre Dame (and Brigham Young) into a conference by denying them a path to the national championship. I suspect that if ND or BYU stayed independent and ended up in the top two or even the top four of the rating system used, then those two teams would get a berth in the playoff at the expense of a conference champion. That might not be well received in some quarters, but it’d be my best guess.

            That said, I don’t there are too many “Friends of Notre Dame” among the power broakers who will look out for ND’s interests. Jim Delany, for example, has approached ND twice regarding membership in the Big Ten, and been told no. The BCS knocked down ND’s share for a BCS bowl from a full amount (around $17M) to what a second team from a conference would get ($4.5M). The Big East probably doesn’t want to do Notre Dame any favors either. In fact, the only person who has talked favorably about ND in all this confrence realignment stuff seems to be Texas AD DeLoss Dodds.

            We’ll see what happens. If the did go with the plan for conference champions only, then everyone will be looking at last year and asking what about Alabama and Stanford. Then the next question will be what about an undefeated Notre Dame or Brigham Young. They’re going to have to defend their decisions regarding how to select and seed a four-team playoff. I’m sure that whatever they decide will be very telling IRT ND’s position in college football these days.

            Like

          • bullet says:

            @frug
            The networks and bowls will pay less if Notre Dame isn’t included. They love Notre Dame. It may not always be that way, but it is true now.

            Like

          • frug says:

            @bullet and frank

            All I said was they did not have to accommodate Notre Dame. They still might, but if they really want a requirement for conference champs ND will have to suck it up and join a conference (which they have already confirmed they will do in that situation).

            Also, since the new system is going to be outside the bowls, I don’t think that really matters and while the TV networks will pay less if Notre Dame is blocked out, the pay cut will not outweigh the cost of giving ND a share. (But then that is irrelevant since the Irish already said they would join a conference)

            Like

          • frug says:

            And keep in mind that mentioning the Founding Seven isn’t as important as it sounds. AQ designation is going away and there is no way the Big East is going to continue to have the same leverage as the other “power conferences”.

            Like

          • frug says:

            (Sorry for the triple post, but I need to respond to this)

            If 4 years ago, the SEC, ACC and Big 12 came to the Big Ten and said that it couldn’t participate in the system without expanding to 12 and having a conference championship game, Delany would have rightly gone and told them to go f**k themselves

            Actually, Delany would have jumped for joy since it would have forced Notre Dame to become the Big Ten’s number 12.

            As for your larger point, the fact is conferences tell each other what to do all the time. The SEC just rammed through new rules on oversigning forcing the rest of the NCAA to adopt the same policy that had just instituted for themselves.

            Like

          • cutter says:

            For Frank:

            I wonder how congenial the relationship between the Big Ten, Pac 12 and Notre Dame really is at the moment.

            For example, the Pac 12 recently banned the practice of playing neutral site games, meaning a Washington State-Notre Dame game in San Antonio won’t be happening in the future. Add to that the nine-game conference schedule plus the agreement to start scheduling Big Ten teams starting in 2017 makes matters even more difficult. Then you add the requirement for P12 teams to get permission from all the ADs to play non-conference games once conference play has started (with the exception of USC and Stanford vis-a-vis Notre Dame) and you wonder how cooperative Larry Scott really wants to be with ND.

            Similarly, I assume Jim Delany talked to all the conference ADs about the Pac 12 scheduling agreement as well. While reducing the number of conference games from nine to eight, it also added a home-and-home series with a Pac 12 school to the schedule. Are Michigan, Michigan State and Purdue going to want to play a second home-and-home series with Notre Dame under those circumstances? Purdue might do it, but Michigan State and Michigan might go another direction or perhaps reduce the number of times those schools play ND. We’ll know more as things pan out.

            One of the things I actually thought was genius about the Big Ten – Pac 12 scheduling agreement is that it let the door open for ND to come to the B10. With eight conference games and a permanent non-conference game with USC (meaning the other 11 schools in each conference would play one another), it was certainly a better situation that the nine-game ACC (who has been steadfast in saying ND wouldn’t get an associate membership and that the Irish had to bring football into the conference as well).

            Realistically, I suppose the only other conference that might offer ND safe harbor (outside of the newly refangled Big East) might be the Big XII. They might allow Notre Dame to play 3-4 games with Big XII football opponents in exchange for an associate membership (this is what DeLoss Dodds has talked about in the past) that will allow ND’s other sports to play in the Big XII (althoug I think ND has some sports that don’t have major participation in the Big XII). Is this likely to happen? Well, we might know a bit more in due course if BYU and Louisville were to join that conference.

            Like

          • frug says:

            @cutter

            Michigan and MSU have both already stated they plan to move to a 4 years out of 6 cycle with ND after their current contracts expire. Purdue always keep ND on the schedule though (it’s their most valuable game).

            For all the talk about the Big XII, I just don’t see it happening, The Irish don’t bring the Big XII anything like they do to the Big East (ND is really popular in the Northeast), and no one is going to trust any 4 football games per year pledge (ND made a similar promise to the Big East after the first ACC raid and has never once fulfilled it).

            Moreover, the Big XII doesn’t want to do anything that would set a precedent for Texas (and possibly even Oklahoma) to go Indy in football.

            Like

          • cutter says:

            For Frug: If you have a link talking about how Michigan will be playing Notre Dame four years out of six going forward, I’d appreciate it. I do know that UM and ND have a scheduled hiatus in the 2018/19 seasons, but that was agreed upon before the the Big Ten/Pac 12 scheduling agreement was publicized. See http://www.annarbor.com/sports/um-football/michigan-notre-dame-never-signed-contract-to-extend-rivalry-series/

            Per UM Athletic Director David Brandon, the scheduling agreement allows either school to cancel games with the other four years in advance. I assume that this means Michigan could give Notre Dame notice now about cancelling the 2017 game either this year or next, if it’s deemed necessary. Brandon also added back in 2010 that the 20-year contract announced in 2007 was never signed. I don’t know the current status of the agreement. See http://www.annarbor.com/sports/um-football/michigan-football-able-to-participate-in-big-ten-pac-12-series-before-17-long-term-future-with-notre/

            There’s also one other fly in the ointment right now. Michigan currently plays Notre Dame, Nebraska and Ohio State either all home or all on the road not only last season, but in 2012, 2013 and 2014. Brandon has said that he wants to see that changed, but ND won’t flip dates because the Irish want to play USC at home and Michigan away one season and vice versa the next year.

            So unless the Big Ten changes the conference schedule in 2015 so that the Nebraska and Ohio State games are played one at home and one away or Brandon has a change of heart, then the Michigan-Notre Dame series may be terminated in due course. The Big Ten hasn’t released any conference schedules beyond 2014, so we may not know more until the conference does so.

            See http://blog.mlive.com/terpstake/2012/01/new_b1g-pac_12_agreement_could.html

            Like

          • Richard says:

            cutter:

            There’s no way Purdue wants to willingly drop ND, ever.

            Like

  25. Brian says:

    http://espn.go.com/college-football/story/_/id/7613030/ncaa-documents-say-oregon-ducks-violated-recruiting-regulations

    It probably won’t amount to much, but it sounds like the NCAA will accuse OR of violations related to Willie Lyles and recruiting services.

    Like

    • jamesinsocal says:

      Question regarding Oregon. If the Head Coach has to sign that NCAA form stating he is in no knowledge of any NCAA violations, and he has done so for the last 4 years, and now Oregon is in agreement with the NCAA that the recruiting methods of their football program is indeed an NCAA violation. That would put this thing more so on Kelly and the staff….or am I missing something here? Could this turn out bigger than we see it now?

      Like

      • Brian says:

        I don’t think the violations will hit Kelly as hard as Tressel, for example. From what I know, OR can at least make an argument that their violations weren’t completely obvious. Tressel knew he was covering up violations, so he got hammered. Unless something else breaks, I expect OR to get a hard slap on the wrist (some probation, lose some recruiting visits, maybe lose some scholarships since they got a player out of it).

        Like

  26. Brian says:

    http://cfn.scout.com/2/1161729.html

    10 Teams About to Take A Tumble from CFN:

    1. PSU
    2. WV
    3. MO
    4. TCU
    5. OR
    6. Miami
    7. MSU
    8. WI
    9. TAMU
    10. Stanford

    Like

    • joe4psu says:

      Let’s just say I disagree with his observation of PSU. It seems to have been written without looking at what is actually happening. There is excitement surrounding the program because of what O’Brien and the new staff are doing and almost every recruit that has visited has commented positively. Many saying things like “PSU will always be PSU” and “I knew that what happened was not representative of what PSU stands for”. If you were following the Scout articles on PSU recruiting (which is where I get my info) you would see that even the kids that PSU is contacting from places like GA, AL and FL, that the program has ignored for many years, are very excited to hear from PSU and often place them on par with the best of the best. It is certain to be another tough recruiting year until, and unless, there is success on the field. Kids and their parents seem to love O’Brien and the rest of the staff but how can they be expected to commit to a coach that hasn’t coached a down? But the FUD promulgated by guys like this is WAY overstated.

      The investigations are real and along with the Sandusky trial will continue to be an embarrassment to the university but please explain how the NCAA is going to have any grounds for action. As time has gone along, and we have learned more than just what was in the GJ “SUMMARY”, it has become clear that there was no deception by the fb program and though there may have been incompetence by the AD (alot depends on what McQueary actually said to him and Schultz, which is not certain at this time because of the multiple descriptions of events said to have come from McQueary), the only person who seems to have some splainin’ to do is the VP Gary Schultz. He was, to my knowledge, the only person who knew of the 1998 investigation into Sandusky (which came to nothing because there were no chargeable offenses per the county DA and the government agency responsible for child welfare) when the incident that has caused this whole fiasco occurred and he was responsible for reporting incidents that occurred on the university grounds. I personally would like to know what Graham Spanier was told and what he instructed others to do but so far he hasn’t been mentioned in any of this outside of the media blitz that led to his dismissal.

      Anyone who believes (or is hoping) that PSU is dirty and is going to be bombed back to the stone age will be very disappointed when all the info is put together in final reports by the MANY investigations that are taking place. Sadly, but ultimately for the better, this has moved the discussion of sexual abuse and reporting of incidents into the public consciousness as never before. Along with all the individual steps being taken by the university, this could be a real turning point in how this country addresses the issue.

      Like

      • PSUGuy says:

        Yah, I’ll leave the off the field stuff pretty much alone only to add right or wrong, football everywhere has always been isolated from a school’s actual troubles. I’m sure (sadly) Penn State will be no different.

        As for a slide…I think that depends totally on O’Brien. Fact is we kept the two best coach/recruiters on our staff and kept the majority of our recruiting class in place. The guys we added, with the sole exception of Ted Roof, are all very philosophically similar to the guys they replaced. We aren’t changing offensive styles (like tOSU) and won’t need a whole-sale swap of personnel to “play our game”. On defense, the difference is going to be in mentality, not substance. More attack, less sit back and wait. We’ll see how that turns out.

        Our strength program is completely changed…and I think for the better. Don’t get me wrong, I may not be as against HIT as some other PSU folks, but I do think the reliance on machines at the expense of free weights was an abomination, especially for football. This means our players can only get better in the strength department.

        As for Meyer and recruiting…that’s the best part IMO. He has a completely different offensive scheme than any other school around him other than maybe Indiana. He’s going to want to go to Florida and his old stomping grounds to find that “elite athleticism” (don’t get me wrong, I’m sure he’ll still focus at home too), but in the end if you’re going to want to play for a pro-style offense, you are not going to want to go to tOSU. Now Pitt switching back to pro style will hurt a bit (why couldn’t “High Octane” stick???). Not to mention the real coach of issue for us, Schiano, has moved away from New Jersey. Penn State is still going to be the premier school to play for from Northern Virginia to Maine and O’Brien has shown (via recruiting) a willingness to continue to call that territory their own. Add to that the new staff’s willingness to go south / west to pick up additional recruits and I just can’t say recruiting is going to be all that negatively effected.

        In the end, you still need to win and that’s why I said its on O’Brien. Nothing the new staff has done so far screams “wrong” to me, but they still need to coach a winning program. IMO, if O’Brien does nothing more than what Paterno put together his last few years O’Brien’s stint will be considered a success.

        Like

      • Brian says:

        I expect to see PSU slide a little, at least in the short term. The coaches have to get on the same page. The players have to adjust to the new offense, which takes time. Not all of the players will fit BOB’s system, so there will be some turnover. This last recruiting class was a little weak, and 2011’s wasn’t great either, meaning they are down a little on talented depth. They also are starting from ground zero with a QB. On top of all that, there are the off the field distractions from the Sandusky scandal (it may be a big deal or nothing at all, we really can’t tell until the trials start).

        On the bright side, 2009 and 2010 were good classes for PSU and those should be the team leaders. The attrition of players will leave more room for BOB to recruit his style of players, so the talent level should pick up. I think the new staff adds some energy and excitement to the situation, so future recruiting should be better than the norm at the end of Paterno’s reign.

        Based on all of that, and assuming that BOB is a reasonably good coach, I’d expect PSU to be down a little (8-9 wins) in 2012 (players learning the system, attrition), 2013 (lack of depth) and maybe 2014 (lack of talent in upperclassmen) as BOB gets the talent in place to run his system. To me that’s a pretty soft landing based on losing a legend and having the scandal.

        Whether that fits CFN’s definition of taking a tumble or not, that’s my initial expectation.

        Like

        • joe4psu says:

          I can agree with pretty much everything you wrote. On the plus side, the QB play and overall offense has been so bad the last couple of years that it should see improvement under O’Brien if he’s half the offensive coach he appeared to be with NE.

          As the the CFN article and others like it, it seems that many of them are predicting PSU to fall to Indiana like depths, and stay there for a long period of time. They seem to think that recruiting will dry up for years and years. I expect if PSU has another 8 or 9 win season, shows some creativity on offense and continues to excel at producing good dlineman and linebackers that recruits will come. This years team should produce at least one dlineman, Jordan Hill, and two linebackers, Gerald Hodges and Michael Mauti, for the NFL draft next year. Hopefully recruits will pay more attention to that than the trial, or trials, related to Sandusky.

          Like

        • joe4psu says:

          Not that I’m a Lemming fan but this is the kind of press that PSU seems to be getting in relation to recruiting. And it’s good.

          Penn State Football’s ‘Name Popping Up Everywhere,’ Says Recruiting Guru Lemming
          http://www.statecollege.com/news/columns/penn-state-footballs-name-popping-up-everywhere-says-recruiting-guru-lemming-1012931/

          “As I travel the country,” Lemming said, “Penn State’s name is popping up everywhere, more than it did in the past.”

          …Still, Lemming never had a cozy relationship with former head coach Joe Paterno or Penn State. And Lemming admits he isn’t buddies with new head coach Bill O’Brien, either.

          But Lemming, who has a recruiting television show on the CBS Sports Network, is impressed with the way O’Brien is tackling recruiting after a five-year absence from the college game while he served as the offensive coordinator of the New England Patriots.

          “Joe Paterno was a legend, an icon,” Lemming said over the phone as he journeyed across the U.S. “He attracted attention anytime he went on the road and the parents of the kids were crazy about seeing him. But unfortunately, he wasn’t going on the road much in his later years and that wasn’t helping Penn State nationally.

          “Bill O’Brien seems to be spreading his recruiting all over the country, which is a good sign. I think it’s a refreshing change that Penn State is now more open and friendlier and not living in a vacuum like it did before. I think that will translate into landing more nationally known recruits.”

          …Two Virginia signal-callers — Ryan Burns and Christian Hackenberg – already have received scholarship offers from the Nittany Lions.

          “I visited with both of those guys recently — they are among two of the best quarterbacks in the country. Both appear to be leaning toward committing to Penn State,” Lemming said.

          “They were impressed with what Coach O’Brien said about the quarterback position, how he trains them and how they would fit into his system.

          “I don’t think Penn State will be hurting at quarterback after this year.”

          Like

          • allthatyoucantleavebehind says:

            Great article. If Miami and OSU can land top 10 classes after the year they both had in 2011, I think PSU can get off to a good start with this recruiting class.

            Like

        • zeek says:

          I’m pretty much with you on that Brian.

          This was going to happen at some point (the transition to a new HC).

          The way it ended up happening will lead to a bit more of a slide than otherwise, but I don’t see a downward long-term or even medium-term impact.

          I know people were saying PSU would be some kind of smoking crater, but that doesn’t mesh with the facts and especially the reality of recruiting. Recruiting has an incredibly short memory given that you’re talking about 17-18 year old kids, and the fact that they’re going to be looking forwards at the situation at Penn State.

          Like

          • Richard says:

            Yep, and I have to reiterate what I said before, which is that PSU in JoePa’s later years was operating far under potential (at least in recruiting). PSU is a true king with a national brand & the only dominant football program east of tOSU and north of VTech (a region that contains 20% of the entire population of the US), yet they were 30th in Rivals recruiting rankings from 2002-2010); the only one of the kings that was outside the top 20 in that decade.

            They pretty much didn’t bother recruiting south of VA or west of OH, and lost out in recruiting battles to Rutgers. There really is no place to go but up.

            Like

  27. bullet says:

    Interesting radio interview with Chuck Neinas by DFW ESPN crew. About 15 minutes. Announcers not particular fans of DeLoss Dodds. Chuck has some interesting comments midway through about WVU’s selection (with implications for future expansion) as well as why TCU was selected (implication was biggest factor was that they were easiest-WVU certainly proved that!). Later talks about the BCS meetings. There were 6 criteria:
    1. Improve the game
    2. Protect the players
    3. Find something with public acceptance (my hint-don’t let ESPN influence those deciding)
    4. Protect the regular season
    5. Have a vibrant postseason
    6. Have something fair and competitive

    http://espn.go.com/espnradio/dallas/play?id=7604285

    Like

    • bullet says:

      interesting tidbit from interview for those saying college bb regular season is dead, KU/MU courtside seats were going for $2500.

      Like

      • Richard says:

        Somewhat of an anomaly. What did those tickets cost last year (when both schools were planning to play each other twice yearly in the foreseeable future)?

        Unfortunately for college basketball, you can’t rely on that many regular season games being the last game in a historic series between bitter rivals who also are ranked in the top 10 all the time.

        Like

  28. Brian says:

    http://cfn.scout.com/2/1161441.html

    Top 10 B10 games this fall (resorted in calendar order):
    8. Ohio State at Michigan State, Sept. 29
    9. Wisconsin at Nebraska, Sept. 29
    4. Nebraska at Ohio State, Oct. 6
    3. Michigan State at Michigan, Oct. 20
    5. Michigan State at Wisconsin, Oct. 27
    7. Michigan at Nebraska, Oct. 27
    10. Ohio State at Penn State, Oct. 27

    6. Nebraska at Michigan State, Nov. 3
    2. Ohio State at Wisconsin, Nov. 17
    1. Michigan at Ohio State, Nov. 24

    Looks like 10/27 is the day to keep your calendar clear.

    Like

  29. allthatyoucantleavebehind says:

    My blog is seriously outdated (after just 9 months of CFB changes) but I want to propose a potential “way” forward if everyone wants to solidify a spot for conference champions while still allowing “access” to all (to make Oren Hatch and his BCS-busters happy).

    http://perfectcollegefootballworld.wordpress.com/the-super-6-playoff/

    Like

    • Eric says:

      Well if we are going above 4, this probably how I’d like to it. I still favor 4 (or 2 actually, but that’s not going to last), but this is the best proposal above 4 that I have seen. I’d limit the 6 to conference champs and independents though.

      Like

    • metatron5369 says:

      Six isn’t enough.

      I think eight is the smallest acceptable number, but I’d rather twelve.

      Like

      • allthatyoucantleavebehind says:

        Six is plenty. If you go back the past decade, there is rarely a case for more than 5 who deserve a shot. I can only think of 2008 (when my PSU team that demolished the whole Big Ten but lost by 1 on the road finished a paltry 8th) when team 7 and 8 had any merit at all.

        If you’re talking about “every conference champion deserves a shot” and all that garbage…well, yeah, we might need 8 or more. But if we’re just looking at the reality of CFB, four is fine and six is safe. Eight is usually too much.

        Like

  30. Michael in Raleigh says:

    Frank,

    I’ve got an idea for a blog post for you…

    We’ve talked a lot about how the college football postseason could be improved, but outside of cupcake games here and there, there’s not much to complaint about for the regular season.

    College basketball is pretty much the opposite. There might be a few who take issue with the bracket being so big or about the way conference tournaments determine automatic bids (instead of regular season championships), but there’s almost no argument as to the level of excitement the postseason creates. The regular season? Not so much.

    So… what ideas do you have for improving the interest level in the sport’s regular season? How could a greater sense of urgency to watch games in early January, December, and even November be created for the casual fan?

    I live in a place where college basketball is #1, which can’t be said of many other locales other than maybe Kentucky and Kansas, but even here, the regular season doesn’t even seem to matter until at least the bowl games are all over, and even until the Super Bowl is over for the more casual fans. Elsewhere, it seems that college basketball doesn’t even hit the national consciousness until conference tournaments begin. (For example, national radio shows like Mike & Mike, whose topics are basically driven by the level of national interest, still have hardly even spoken one word about college basketball, and there’s just one week left in the regular season.) I don’t remember it always being this way, but there seems to be very little being done to address the problem. Granted, the one-and-done rule by the NBA has played a huge factor in declining interest, but is there anything else? If so, what other factors have played a role in the drop in college basketball interest? Should games follow a more predictable schedule (like Tuesdays and Saturdays only for some leagues)? Should conferences that don’t make money, or only negligible amounts, on their tournaments just drop them in order to drive season ticket sales?

    You seem to be a pretty hard-core basketball fan, so I’d be interested in your thoughts on this. Thanks!

    Like

    • bullet says:

      Other than the places like UK where opening practice is a big deal, basketball doesn’t seem to generate a lot of interest until late December except for the neutral site tourneys. Games in December when school is out always have low attendance.

      Like

    • Eric says:

      I think there is some things they can do, but they have be instituted at the higher levels. Here are a couple of my ideas with #1 being my favorite.

      1. We already have this idea in basketball of regular season and tournament conference champs. Let’s expand that to the national level. Given scheduling, you probably can’t get more than a day for it, but hold a “Regular Season National Championship Game” between the AP top 2 conference champs on the Tuesday or Wednesday before the NCAA Tournament (with any team possibly playing in the game given a 1st round game on Friday). This would give more attention to the top teams throughout the season for the regular season and could potentially serious punish a #1 team for losing in a conference tournament they might not otherwise care about.

      2. Think about redoing the conference tournaments a little. Instead of having to hold them at the end of the year, let conferences hold them before conference play starts. This would bring more interest earlier in the year when its needed more. Maybe even a rule could be put in place that lets the regular season winner play the tournament winner for the NCAA bid if necessary.

      Like

      • allthatyoucantleavebehind says:

        I like #1. How about this? Take the first four games and included them in the 64 team field. Give your #1 vs. #2 opponents a bye into the Saturday/Sunday round of 32. The “First Four” can play to determine who the “other” number one seeds must play.

        It eliminates bracket creep while giving you incentive to be regular season 1 and 2. I’m not sure what you can call it though. Regular Season champion sounds weird. AP Champion kind of makes sense…but can the AP really sponsor a game?

        Like

    • Brian says:

      Michael in Raleigh,

      There are several reasons for the decline of the MBB’s regular season, and many of them aren’t fixable by the NCAA. Here are some that come to mind:

      1. NBA’s one and done rule – The NCAA can ask, but it’s up to the NBA and NBAPA to change it. The loss of stars means fewer fans, since all the great players leave.

      2. March Madness – The regular season can’t have much value when the postseason is such a big deal and it is easy to make the tournament.

      3. Fans are much more focused on championships and nothing else. Most pro sports get largely ignored by the casual fan until the playoffs start, and college sports are feeling that too.

      4. Conference tournaments – Why should a fan follow the regular season when everyone gets a shot to win the conference with one good weekend? Even worse, that champ gets the automatic bid to the tourney.

      Suggested fixes:

      1. Start the season later. All the casual fans are busy following the NFL and CFB in November. Play fewer of those crap games and shorten the season.

      2. Start conference play earlier. Get some conference games played when CFB is on hiatus to get people to pay attention, then go back to OOC or “tournaments” during bowl season.

      3. Stop letting ESPN dictate the schedules. If the fans don’t know which days to expect games, they won’t watch. And nobody wants 9pm starts if they have to go to work the next day. Use some of this new CFB playoff money to make up the difference and refuse to be bossed around by TV so much.

      4. Eliminate the conference tournaments. They let undeserving teams into the NCAA tournament and invalidate the regular season. Replace them with eight 4-team regional tournaments that week instead. Put small conference champs and bubble teams in them, and the winners get automatic NCAA berths. The committee uses the results to help seed teams into the field of 64 as 13-16 seeds (32 teams play, 8 get autobids as 13/14 seeds and 8 more get in as 15/16 seeds).

      5. Shrink the real tournament back to 64. The bubble tourneys let all the undeserving teams have a chance to get in and let the little guys prove their worth on the courts against majors.

      6. Beg and plead with the NBAPA to get the rules changed. If they say no, commit schools to 4 years for each scholarship. Make every one and done count against the limit for 3 more years, so no school can afford to have a lot of them. That means more teams will have one superstar, but fewer will seem like NBA training camps (looking at you, UK). There are enough schools that all the studs will find a home, but the best coaches will focus on college talent rather than elite NBA talent. Let me be clear that I know this will never happen, but until there is a downside to recruiting one and dones you can’t fix the problem.

      Like

      • joe4psu says:

        I agree entirely with your suggested fixes except #3. The tv scheduling is what it is though. The networks will have slots to fill and someone will be willing to fill it. The other ideas are great though! Start a petition and I’ll sign. 🙂

        Like

        • allthatyoucantleavebehind says:

          Don’t forget about West Coast viewers…I loved those 9pm (6pm in San Diego) starts. Eat some dinner while watching quality hoops…the game finishes before you need to put kids to bed or before primetime TV comes on with the wife and kids. Is 11pm REALLY that late for hoops fans who work to stay up?!?!

          Like

      • Eric says:

        I like the list a lot to and wish they’d do most of it. I don’t think there is a prayer for most of it though. The one thing I’d like, but probably couldn’t support though would be moving the start date for the NBA. I hate how players when players are forced to stay in college even though it does make things more interesting. Maybe instead go with a baseball kind of rule, you can go straight to the NBA, but if you go to college, you have to wait 4 years.

        Like

        • Eric says:

          Should say, I hate when players are forced to stay in college even though it does make things more interesting (as a fan).

          Like

        • bullet says:

          Isn’t the baseball rule 3 years?

          I wonder if such a rule would really survive legal scrutiny. With the NBA there’s so much money and certain windows to get it. Baseball is not quite as extreme with the money and windows of opportunity. The NFL usually isn’t an issue because of the physical maturity needed.

          Like

          • Mike says:

            @bullet – I believe you are right on the three year rule.

            Like

          • Brian says:

            The three year rule must be part of their collective bargaining deal or it wouldn’t be enforceable, and being collectively bargained makes it legal (like the NFL’s no early entry rule).

            Like

          • greg says:

            Baseball’s three year rule may also be allowed to exist as part of their implicit (explicit?) congressional approval of the reserve clause.

            Like

          • bullet says:

            I’m not a labor law expert, but I don’t think collective bargaining agreements can totally over-ride people’s freedom to work as it would in this case. I think, ultimately, it would fail on constitutional grounds. With baseball and the NFL, the exceptions are too few and have too little value to challenge. Basketball is different.

            Like

      • jj says:

        I think every conference champ should get a bid. Each can decide how it gets allocated.

        The winner of any “power” conference tourneys should not get a bid. But as a practical matter, the event won’t exist without it. I don’t care if they disappear, but they won’t.

        Like

      • duffman says:

        from Brian’s post :

        Suggested fixes:

        1. Start the season later. All the casual fans are busy following the NFL and CFB in November. Play fewer of those crap games and shorten the season.

        response : I disagree, as I like the early games because it allows the most OOC games which is critical in exposure for schools not in a specific conference. IU beating UK did more for their exposure than any other game. Sure folks inside a conference watch a team once conference play starts, but it is that early OOC exposure that gets more national media love. I do think you hit the the true point of the “crap” games (and I would add OOA games) and the fact that too many schools load up in the preseason with cupcakes. If you are in an AQ conference, you need to play more AQ schools (unless you are scheduling the GOOD mid majors) to bring the bottom of the scheduling up. Look at IU / MSU / OSU in the pre conference :

        IU played Butler, @ NC State, UK, and ND
        MSU played UNC & Duke at neutral sites, Florida State, and @ Gonzaga
        OSU played UF & Duke, then played @ KU and @ USC

        .

        2. Start conference play earlier. Get some conference games played when CFB is on hiatus to get people to pay attention, then go back to OOC or “tournaments” during bowl season.

        response : I disagree, and would like to see something more like this :
        #1 1-2 “warm up games”
        #2 tough OOC games between early “exhibitions” and christmas break
        #3 lesser OOC games during christmas break / bowl season – let the kids enjoy holiday
        #4 Conference games from Jan 1 on, with big games after BCS bowl games

        .

        3. Stop letting ESPN dictate the schedules. If the fans don’t know which days to expect games, they won’t watch. And nobody wants 9pm starts if they have to go to work the next day. Use some of this new CFB playoff money to make up the difference and refuse to be bossed around by TV so much.

        response : I agree with this one totally!
        Conferences east of the Mississippi get the 7pm game, and those west of the Mississippi get the 9pm games. I hate 9pm games because it means getting home close to midnight if you actually want to attend the game live. If an “eastern” conference like the B1G and SEC have a school in a later time zone, you can make exceptions so Ohio State will get the 7pm game and maybe you put Minnesota in the 9pm slot if the game is played in Minnesota. The future of basketball fans are in their kids, and no decent parent is going to let a kid stay up that late on a school night.

        .

        4. Eliminate the conference tournaments. They let undeserving teams into the NCAA tournament and invalidate the regular season. Replace them with eight 4-team regional tournaments that week instead. Put small conference champs and bubble teams in them, and the winners get automatic NCAA berths. The committee uses the results to help seed teams into the field of 64 as 13-16 seeds (32 teams play, 8 get autobids as 13/14 seeds and 8 more get in as 15/16 seeds).

        response : I agree 100%, tho I may approach it a different way. Take the NCAA back to a 16 team tournament, but make it a best of 3 like the CWS. Move the games off weekdays when possible so fans can actually travel to the games, and by making it the best of 3 teams that lose the opening day stay all weekend and add revenue to the sponsoring cities. I like your early elimination idea and would use the NIT to fill this role. Say do it like this :

        End of regular season = 8 schools get auto NCAA bid (similar to AQ’s) + 4 At Large
        Post season NIT for last 4 slots, but play all in one weekend, single elimination so,
        Thursday = 64 teams, Friday = 32 teams, Saturday = 16 teams, Sunday = 8 teams
        NCAA starts following week with “sweet sixteen” in best of 3 CWS rolling game format
        Sweet 16 weekend = 1 Friday night game + 1 Saturday game + 1 Sunday game
        Final 4 weekend just like CWS Final Four double elimination Fri night to Sun afternoon

        .

        5. Shrink the real tournament back to 64. The bubble tourneys let all the undeserving teams have a chance to get in and let the little guys prove their worth on the courts against majors.

        response : see above, but basically looks like this :
        Weekend #1 = End of regular season, no conference tournaments
        Weekend #2 = NIT for “bubble” schools => Start with 64, end with 4
        Weekend #3 = NCAA 16, in 3 game format, end with 4 on sunday
        Weekend #4 = NCAA FF, in 3 game format, end with NC on sunday

        This allows 80 teams total to compete, but rewards those who did well in the regular season to get an automatic slot in the Sweet 16, while holds 4 slots for At Large schools, and 4 slots for the 4 surviving schools in the NIT preliminary championship. You get the “upsets” in the NIT games, and the ratings in the NCAA games where the “brands” translate to eyeballs and advertising revenue.

        .

        6. Beg and plead with the NBAPA to get the rules changed. If they say no, commit schools to 4 years for each scholarship. Make every one and done count against the limit for 3 more years, so no school can afford to have a lot of them. That means more teams will have one superstar, but fewer will seem like NBA training camps (looking at you, UK). There are enough schools that all the studs will find a home, but the best coaches will focus on college talent rather than elite NBA talent. Let me be clear that I know this will never happen, but until there is a downside to recruiting one and dones you can’t fix the problem.

        .

        response : I agree, as nothing ruins college basketball more than 1 year players
        The top basketball “brands” are by and large are the big state schools. Kids from a home state playing at the local college has always been a big part of the college basketball experience. I watch college ball and not pro ball for a reason, and it has to do with time to watch players develop, and knowing that a degree is part of the college sports equation. It is ironic that UK’s early basketball success was young men from in the state playing, even when they knew their pro prospects were not great. I like Butler having back to back NC games with local and regional kids that played as seniors. I loved the flintstones at MSU as being local talent that showed you could win at the top level without a roster of McDonald’s All Americans. To me, college basketball is still a team sport, and defense still matters in a way it will not once kids go to the NBA. I like that Creen is getting his talent closer to home, and they have more than 1 year to win our hearts and championship dreams. Not to totally slam UM, but they became the “U” of college basketball with the Fab 5, and how many of those kids did not get a degree, did not make the pros, or washed out of the NBA early?

        Like

        • bullet says:

          Recruiting by the top teams has always had a national component, but it has gotten extreme. UK was usually half or more Kentucky players until Pitino came in. It was Kentucky players who helped bring the team back under Pitino after Sutton’s probation. Calipari has taken it to a new level with all the one and dones. Tubbs got criticized because he wouldn’t take even one of those types and UK’s talent was clearly inferior to the top teams by the end of his tenure. I don’t remember any UK players leaving more than a year early prior to Calipari except one back in the 70s who was having trouble academically (Paine?). There may have been 1 or 2 of Pitino’s players. But your proposal would put coaches and players at odds. Calipari encourages his players to do what is in their best interest. That would not be the case if schools got penalized for players leaving early.

          You’re right about the cupcake schedules. I think we could reduce the bloat in the NCAA tourney and some of the cupcakes if we reduced Division I. There are at least half a dozen conferences that have no business in Division I and probably 10-12. If you eliminate 10 conferences and 10 wildcards, you can get to 48. With 68, the conference tourneys have become a negative. The lower conferences get decent teams knocked out in upsets and then get creamed in the NCAA. In the upper conferences, teams on the bubble can be impacted, but almost never does a team that is out of the tourney have a good enough run to win their conference tourney.

          I think either the conference tourneys should go away (not going to happen unless people quit going) or the brackets get reduced from 68 (only if there is some sort of restructuring). In the latter case, better teams are on the bubble and may actually have the ability to win a conference tourney and the remaining conferences won’t be hurt as badly by a tourney upset since their overall conference is stronger.

          Like

          • greg says:

            AFAICT, Antoine Walker left after two years and Ron Mercer after three. That’s the first two that popped into mind.

            But the lack of one and dones would be true at pretty much all other schools in the 90s, it didn’t become all that common until the zeros.

            Like

          • bullet says:

            @Greg
            I believe there were some others who left after 3 years (like Mercer), but I think Calipari has lost more after 1 or 2 than all the prior coaches combined.

            Like

  31. frug says:

    So I could only bring myself to watch the first 20 minutes and final two awards tonight. Was the rest of the ceremony just as unbearable?

    Like

    • Brian says:

      Why would you even suffer through that much of it?

      Like

      • frug says:

        I was wondering they would say anything about Brett Ratner and Eddie Murphy.

        I watched the final two awards because my brother’s girlfriend wanted to see if Viola Davis would win Best Actress. (Meryl Streep end up winning. Score another victory for Harvey Weinstein. Ugh.)

        Like

    • @frug – Not a good Oscars this year, although that might be a function that I wasn’t personally invested in any of them outside of Man or Muppet winning for Best Song. I hadn’t seen any of the Best Picture nominees outside of Moneyball and I knew that wasn’t going to win. I’ve usually seen the main contenders prior to the show, but I didn’t have much drive to see The Artist. I’ll probably get it on Netflix down the road. This was a subpar year for movies in general.

      One suggestion from Bill Simmons last year that I love (but will obviously never happen) is that the Oscars should vote for movies 5 years after their release in the same manner that the Halls of Fame have a waiting period after players retire. This way, you award movies that actually hold up over time as opposed to ones that have Weinstein-esque campaigns or touch on the hot button political issue of the moment that no one will remember years later. (The worst beneficiary of a Weinstein campaign was Shakespeare in Love in 1998. Every time that I see the opening sequence to Saving Private Ryan and remember that it lost the Oscar that year to a sappy romantic dramedy that no one has watched again over the past decade makes me respect the Academy a little less.)

      So, under that format, the Academy would have the 2006 awards this year, in which case we know that the winner would be ABC (Anybody But Crash).

      Maybe it’s just me, but it feels like that it’s been quite awhile since there’s been a year where there’s been depth in the Best Picture nominee lists of films that much of the public has actually seen and could realistically win. (Lots of people saw Toy Story 3 last year, which is really a fantastic film, but that was a paper nomination with no chance to win.) There have been occasional blockbusters that get nominated like Avatar and the Lord of the Rings trilogy, but they were then competing with lots of smaller films. I long for a year like 1994 (Forrest Gump, Pulp Fiction, Shawshank Redemption) where you had several films that people loved at the time and, even more importantly, still watch with fresh eyes almost two decades later.

      I could go on about this for awhile, but suffice to say, movies are suffering from the same audience fragmentation that TV shows are. Even the biggest tent pole movies don’t attract nearly the same size audiences as they did in previous years. (The gross box office figures are worthless in terms of comparing movies over time. Hollywood’s tactic of treating Avatar’s 2009 gross figures as the same as 1977 gross figures when Star Wars came out without any inflation adjustment would get bombasted in any other business, but the media that owns those studios happily reports them as equals.) I’m trying to think of any movies since the turn of the century besides The Dark Knight, Avatar, the Lord of the Rings trilogy and Gladiator that will end up being as widely watched over time as the John Hughes movies from the 1980s (much less the biggest blockbusters) – I don’t think there are many (if any) others.

      Like

      • bullet says:

        1994-Hadn’t realized those were all the same year. Pulp Fiction is one everyone acclaims, but I never really “got it.” I wonder if Forest Gump will fade over time. It was a great movie, but anyone younger than me really would miss a lot. Running gurus, smiley faces, “stuff” happens, ping pong diplomacy…those were things that won’t be in the history books and were really big at the time. If you weren’t there its hard to understand Linsanity moments. And that movie was filled with Linsanity moments. But if people are watching movies 100 years from now they will still be watching Shawshank Redemption. I knew the Mother of the man the film was dedicated to (a friend of the director who died young).

        Like

        • Mike says:

          I wonder how many people know Rita Hayworth and the Shawshank Redemption (the short story the movie was based on) was written by Steven King.

          Like

        • frug says:

          Yeah, ’94 was the best year for Oscar nominees since ’76. Gump, Pulp Fiction, Shawshank and Quiz Show. True they also nominated Four Weddings and a Funeral, but the others were some of the best films of the decade.

          I get the feeling that Forrest Gump is becoming The Eagles of movies. Those who enjoy the film absolutely love, while those who don’t like it hate it with a vengeance. Given that it is ode to the Baby Boomer generation how it ages will be interesting.

          Like

          • gas1958 says:

            Count me as a boomer who thinks Gump is one of the most overrated movies in the history of cinema. Pulp Fiction is a classic, and Shawshank, to me, is one of the greatest of all time. I think you’re spot on about there being little, if any, middle ground on Gump.

            Like

          • bullet says:

            The Eagles had a concert in Piedmont Park in Atlanta. I’ve never seen so many middle aged white people taking mass transit. I like the Eagles and Gump.

            Like

          • bullet says:

            The Eagles concert was about a year and a half ago-to be clear.

            Like

          • frug says:

            Wow. I just reread my post and realized I completely butchered the English language.

            Like

          • duffman says:

            Anybody who read the original book Forrest Gump knows they butchered it to make that movie. When I read the book, I envisioned the wonderful character actor Frank McRae and his role as Hazel in Cannery Row or Michael Clarke Duncan in the Green Mile as the Gump character. Instead we got a skinny white guy who can not act in dramatic roles. It also meant changing the book in such radical ways that it had almost no resemblance to the final movie. In the book Jenny left him because she was pregnant and wanted him to stop wrestling because she did not want to see her son grow up in a world that referred to his dad as “The Dunce” in addition to flipping all the roles of the supporting cast such as Lt. Dan. I like the Eagles, but that movie was an example of all that is wrong with Hollywood making the “happy ending” movie that sells tickets over making a good film with an interesting story. I have a feeling that those who do not like the movie were the folks who actually read the original book and were disappointed at what could have been. 😦

            Like

          • bullet says:

            I think I enjoyed the Natural more because, while I hadn’t read the book, I had read other of Bernard Malamud’s writings. Normally you would think-Hollywood, Robert Redford, you know the ending-home run with 2 out in the bottom of the 9th, everyone happy, fireworks. But Malamud is dark.

            Partial Spoiler alert for anyone who wants to read the book. In the book, he does not win the game.

            Like

          • frug says:

            but that movie was an example of all that is wrong with Hollywood making the “happy ending”

            Well Jenny does die at the end…

            Like

          • Thanks for reminding me about Quiz Show. Looking back at 1994, that was a great year for movies even beyond the Oscar nominees. The Lion King came out for the kid set – this is the favorite movie of my 2 1/2 year twins (one boy and one girl) TODAY. I still find Clerks and Dumb and Dumber to be hilarious. (Jim Carrey killed it at the box office that year – Ace Ventura, The Mask and Dumb and Dumber were all released in 1994.) Speed was a great action movie. Hoop Dreams is probably the best documentary that I’ve ever seen. No wonder why I recall going to the movies almost every week back then.

            I definitely believe that Shawshank and Pulp Fiction are better than Forrest Gump. Both Shawshank and Pulp Fiction are story-telling masterpieces (albeit in very different ways). However, I can understand how Forrest Gump won and still think it’s a great film. I think most film buffs are probably more bothered by the fact that it won the Oscar over two superior movies than hating the movie itself. The Baby Boomer aspect is certainly important to connecting to Forrest Gump. My parents are Baby Boomers (along with pretty much every school teacher that I’ve had), so even though I was a lot younger (high school age when the movie came out), I could still place all of the references since I grew up with a lot of knowledge about 60s/70s history and music. It will definitely be interesting to see how my kids (who will be two generations removed from those events) will look at the movie down the road. I also remember the context of Forrest Gump being a true sleeper blockbuster – it’s still #24 on the list of highest grossing movies adjusted for inflation (by way of comparison, The Dark Knight is at #28) – which NO ONE saw coming at the time. There’s usually a sleeper hit every year that does unexpectedly well, but even back in those days, you never saw a not-heavily-promoted movie achieve Star Wars/E.T.-level grosses by word-of-mouth, which is something that Forrest Gump achieved. Suffice to say, Hollywood loved EVERYTHING about that movie in that particular year.

            Like

          • bullet says:

            For me, Gump carries me from childhood to young adulthood. From desegregation to the AIDS scare. And with a couple of mentally challenged relatives, I thought Tom Hanks did a fabulous job portraying Gump. That wasn’t an easy role. I do agree, though, that Shawshank Redemption is one of the top movies of all time.

            Like

          • duffman says:

            frug,

            In the book she lives, but Gump does not wind up with her or Gump jr. because she has married another and made a life for both of them away from Forest, hence the true tragic ending and not one that would sell as many tickets with Haley Joe Osmont getting only one tiny scene in the movie in a park.

            Shawshank can be remade in a future generation, and probably will, but it is a guy flick, and there are women who vote which means compensation of votes

            Pulp Fiction is helped by the specific actors, and would be hard to remake

            4 weddings was good because it had a funeral, which allowed some issues to come in, and it was probably the only one in the group that got female voters in numbers

            I loved a movie called Breaker Morant, but because it was not set in america, and had no romantic interests, it did not win all kinds of awards. When they made the English Patient it won all kins of awards because they altered the tale of a ruthless homosexual spy to one of a heterosexual spy who did it for love. Never underestimate the average american moviegoer in wanting to reach for the lowest common denominator. I also thought Empire of the Sun was the best Speilberg movie ever made, but he made money on the cheezy ones.

            bullet,

            I will give the Eagles credit for “The Last Resort” which is my favorite song they did, but I was never in the “Eagles are the greatest” group.

            Like

          • bullet says:

            @Duffman
            I have never been in the Eagles are the greatest group either, but I do like most of their stuff.

            Like

          • bullet says:

            And the Eagles aren’t totally stuck in the 70s and 80s. In their concert, Singing “Life’s been good,” Walsh updated the lyrics. “My fans send me e-mails, tell me Don’s great.”

            Like

          • Richard says:

            Duff:

            Oh my goodness, I thought “Breaker Morant” was absolutely terrific. After catching that movie (on TV somewhere; PBS?), I was thinking to myself “my God, those Aussies can _act_; why the heck haven’t they made it big in Hollywood yet?!”

            Oh, and I agree that the “English Patient” was a massive letdown. I have no idea what people saw in that movie.

            Like

          • frug says:

            The English Patient made $230 million won 9 Oscars, yet I’ve still never met anyone that enjoys it. Maybe it’s because it turns out the guy isn’t actually English…

            Like

          • bullet says:

            @frug
            My wife and I enjoyed it.

            Of course, we only watched it once. I haven’t really had the desire to commit another 4 hours to it!

            Like

      • jj says:

        The delay is a good idea but it will never fly. Maybe it could be a new category.

        Also, anyone else think Angelina looks like hell these days?

        Like

      • frug says:

        I think the Pixar films will continue to be watched, and could see some the R-rated comedies of the decade holding up, but it’s always hard to predict how movies are going to age (which is why waiting to vote on films is a good idea).

        Whenever we talk about Harvey and the Oscars, I think it worth noting that his favorite film is How Green Was My Valley, which is best remembered the movie that beat Citizen Kane for Best Picture.

        Like

        • Richard says:

          “How Green Was My Valley” was a very good film, though, and extremely memorable. “Citizen Kane” was virtuoso-istic technically for the time, but I find myself flashing back to “How Green Was My Valley” much more often.

          Like

  32. Alan from Baton Rouge says:

    Jake – we went to Fort Worth last week, along with my daughter’s friend (another future Horned Frog) and her family. We attended the TCU drubbing of #18 New Mexico by the score of 83-64. After the win, the students rushed the floor – it was great.

    On Friday, my friend, who is on the TCU faculty, took us over to the football operations center. We watched a few minutes of their first spring practice, then we went over to the football office. As I admired all the trophies, I asked about the Rose Bowl trophy, which I couldn’t find. My buddy huddled up with Gary Patterson’s secretary and she led us down a hall to Patterson’s office. The Rose Bowl trophy was sitting on a coffee table in Patterson’s office. My daughter and her friend had their picture taken with the trophy. We hung around in his office for a few more minutes admiring some of the other trophies and memorabilia. Sitting on Patterson’s desk were prototypes of the 2012 helmets. We couldn’t take any pictures of the helmets, but they looked good. After that, we checked out the player lounge, complete with the Rose Bowl game running on a continuous loop on a 60-inch flat screen, and the construction of the stadium upgrades.

    Every time we visit TCU, we have a great time and come away more impressed.

    Like

  33. Read The D says:

    My suggestions for improving interest in College Basketball regular season:

    1. 2 rounds during conference play, with 1st round and 2nd round champion meeting at the home court of the team with the best overall conference record for the conference championship. Or, if the conference is too large for round-robin play, the division winners will meet for the championship.

    2. The selection committe can only consider NON-conference games when choosing at-large bids. This completely eliminates the competitive need for conference tournaments for major conferences. Money would be the only driving force, which means they would probably still exist.

    However, this would create much tougher and more intriguing non-conference games. We would start seeing important inter-conference games later in the season.

    With these two rule changes every game would hold much more importance.

    Like

  34. jj says:

    Hey Duffman:

    My prediction for tonight’s matchup … Pain!

    I can’t wait. We don’t like to share – particularly not with OSU and UM. ( tho wisc is far more of a bugaboo these days)

    Have fun.

    Like

    • Alan from Baton Rouge says:

      jj – nice Clubber Lang/Mr. T reference from Rocky III.

      Like

    • duffman says:

      jj,

      Yes it will be pain tomorrow, and I apologize in advance for the injury to Sparty resulting in a trip to the lair of all that is cream and crimson. You guys will play closer than the gophers did, but the Tan One will win one for the home crowd. Sadly we will be so excited that we will drop the next one to PU.

      Like

  35. Brian says:

    http://espn.go.com/college-sports/recruiting/story/_/id/7621978/notre-dame-fighting-irish-football-recruit-davonte-neal-withdraws-high-school

    A weird little tidbit of news. ND’s last recruit, who just signed last week, just withdrew from high school for “personal reasons.” He wasn’t kicked out, but it’s to think of many good reasons to drop out of HS in spring of your senior year. It’s especially weird for a future ND student.

    Like

    • Steve says:

      Not sure how accurate this is, but a posting on Bleacher Report says he lost two family members recently. Rumor is that he enrolled in another high school (Phoenix Central) today.

      Kevin Callison posted 1 minute ago Contributor:
      After losing his sister three weeks ago, the loss of his cousin last week and the ridicule he took over the no show ( after cousin was killed ). I don’t blame him for transferring. Looks like he may be having a tough time coping…Certainly hope that is all it is…I am sure we will hear more very soon. And of course some folks will blow this up….

      Like

  36. vp19 says:

    The ACC has issued its 2012 football schedule…

    http://grfx.cstv.com/photos/schools/acc/sports/m-footbl/auto_pdf/2012-13/schedule/schedule.pdf

    …and it’s a weird one.

    For example, who does North Carolina close the regular season with on Nov. 24?
    * Duke? Nope (they meet in Durham Oct. 20).
    * N.C. State? Nope (State visits Chapel Hill Oct. 27).
    * Virginia, which UNC closed the season with for decades into the early years of the ACC? Nope (they meet at UVa on Thursday night, Nov. 15).

    Who does UNC close with? Maryland, at home, Nov. 24 (the same day Duke hosts Miami and NCSU hosts Boston College).

    There are two ACC-SEC matchups in Atlanta — NCSU vs. Tennessee Aug. 31, Clemson vs. Auburn Sept. 1. Virginia Tech faces Cincinnati at Landover on Sept. 29 and the following week Miami and Notre Dame meet in Chicago.

    .

    Like

    • duffman says:

      I am guessing there are more than 2 as FSU vs UF / GT vs UGA / Clemson vs USC are probably all still on the schedule. As for Atlanta, with the ACC and SEC both being ESPN territory I can see more match ups the way the B1G and PAC will in the OCC schedule going forward.

      Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s