Someday Love Will Find You: The Longhorn Network, BlogPoll Ballot, Parlay Picks and Classic Music Video of the Week

Posted: September 6, 2012 in Big Ten, College Football, Illinois Fighting Illini, Sports
Tags: , , ,

There’s a post-Labor Day rush of thoughts on football of all stripes and types.  Let’s get to it:

(1) Longhorn Network Carriage – Anyone that has followed conference realignment over the past couple of years understands the importance of the ESPN-owned Longhorn Network.  In my opinion, it’s the single greatest factor that is keeping Texas in the Big 12, and in turn, Texas has the ability to cause a greatest earthquake out of any school on the college sports landscape (even more than Notre Dame) if it ever chooses to move.  Therefore, it’s key to keep an eye on Longhorn Network carriage in the State of Texas and its environs.

Last week, the Longhorn Network finally signed up AT&T U-Verse as its first of what would considered to be “major” cable carriers after a year of being on the air.  From those who recollect the carriage disputes in the Midwest when the Big Ten Network was formed, it took about a year for the top cable carriers such as Comcast to add the channel (with the one major difference being that DirecTV had the BTN from day one).  Getting AT&T on board is an important step for the LHN, but there’s still a lot work to be done in order to get the network onto what I would consider to be the most critical ones for its long-term survival: Comcast, Time Warner Cable and DirecTV.  With each week that goes by during the football season, the leverage that ESPN has in negotiating with carriers diminishes.  If ESPN can’t strike more deals by the time that the LHN airs its next football game, the chances of anything else occurring before next football season drop precipitously, which is where the long-term viability of the LHN starts truly coming into question.

My impression is that ESPN’s asking price for LHN is too high for the market to bear, but the problem is that the asking price is effectively what ESPN has to have in order to make only a minimal amount of profit (or even just to break even) after taking away all of the expenses of running the network.  If ESPN lowered the asking price much further, then it would be locking in long-term losses that would send Mickey Mouse and his shareholders into a bloody rage.  As a result, ESPN is likely going to have to go back to Texas to renegotiate its rights fees if these carriage disputes continue much further.  While Texas could theoretically sit back and tell ESPN, “F**k you, pay me” (which is effectively what the Longhorn Network contract states), the LHN is still an extension of the program’s brand even if it technically doesn’t own the channel.  The university ultimately doesn’t want irate alums and donors calling every week about why the LHN isn’t on their cable systems (as many of them actually mistkanely believe that the school owns the channel as opposed to ESPN), so it behooves the school to bend on rights payments if it can translate into greater carriage down the road.  Plus, if you look at the linked LHN contract, the real potential financial windfall for Texas comes from when the LHN hits profitability targets and a lucrative revenue sharing arrangement kicks in.  That windfall is realistically only possible if the LHN gets broad distribution across the State of Texas.

(2) BlogPoll Ballot

The clear lesson of the first week of the college football season is that Alabama is a holy terror of a scary team.  It looks like Alabama-LSU in November will be yet another national championship elimination game that might not end up being an elimination game.

Note that I got onto this week’s BlogPoll “Straight Bangin’ Award”  list for those biased against their favorite schools since there were actually some poor souls out there that put Illinois on their ballots.

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

Purdue (+14.5) over NOTRE DAME – The Boilermakers are going to sneak up on some teams this year.

Nebraska (-5) over UCLA – I have a feeling that enough Husker fans are going to head out to Pasadena to make this a fairly hospitable atmosphere for the road team.

Illinois (+4) over ARIZONA STATE – The Illini offense (particularly the offensive line) was pretty shaky last week, but the defense is impressive and can keep this game close.

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

Bills (+2.5) over JETS – Unfortunately, I think the Tebow Starter Watch is going to begin immediately.

PACKERS (-4.5) over 49ers – There’s a lot of interesting analysis out there suggesting that the 49ers are going to come back to Earth this season and I’m starting to buy it.  As a Bears fan, I have seen the great defense/untrustworthy quarterback combo rear its head for most of my lifetime and can easily see a drop off for the 49ers similar to what Chicago experienced from 2001 to 2002 and 2006 to 2007.

Colts (+9.5) over BEARS – I’m not that concerned that the Bears are going to lose this game outright, but as long as the team’s offensive line has more holes than the Soldier Field sod, there are going to be a lot of close calls.

(5) Classic Music Video of the Week: “Separate Ways” by Journey

Back in 2005, my Chicago White Sox adopted “Don’t Stop Believin'” as a corny theme song for the season and rode all the way to a World Series Championship (the first that either Chicago baseball franchise had seen since 1917).  Journey front man and self-described San Francisco Giants fan Steve Perry had enough time on his hands to show up to both the White Sox World Series clincher in Houston and the team’s ticker tape parade despite having no previous connection to the team.

“Don’t Stop Believin'” has enjoyed a fairly stunning renaissance since that time that was supercharged by its prominence in the closing moment in The Sopranos finale* and then the pilot episode of the shrill Glee.  It is now the most downloaded song of all time and has been ensconced in the top 100 list on iTunes every week for several years (which is remarkable for a 30 year old song).

(* If you haven’t already spent a couple of hours going through the legendary “Definitive Explanation” and second-by-second analysis of the final scene of The Sopranos, it’s well worth the time.)

One would think that this would be Journey’s greatest achievement, but the reality is that it’s not even close.  Please see the following:

It always slays me that Steve Perry and company are dead serious in this video.  There’s not a hint of irony or self-deprecation (or self-awareness, for that matter).  This is nothing less than the Citizen Kane of all music videos (or Vertigo, if you prefer).

Enjoy a wall-to-wall football weekend!

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

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Comments
  1. greg says:

    Hawks -3.5

    Like

  2. Hook ’em, LHN is here to stay!

    Like

  3. Also, if you go to any Longhorn message board (or, at least any of the four that I frequent), the vitriol against the LHN has gone from DEFCON 5 to just a small amount of white noise in the background since AT&T came on board. Still a lot of folks who can’t get FIOS or Uverse, but now almost everyone knows someone who has one or the other (or a friend who will give them access to a sub-account). The fandom is behind LHN now, I believe.

    Like

  4. Denogginizer says:

    GBR

    Like

  5. cfn_ms says:

    Nice. It’s been years since I’ve seen that video. You’re right, it’s absolutely hilarious.

    Like

  6. Alan from Baton Rouge says:

    GEAUX LSU Fightin’ Tigers!

    Like

  7. FLP_NDRox says:

    1. Best Journey video there is; I never tire of it.

    2. Purdue getting 14.5? It’s a classic trap game for the Irish: big win, coming back from across the pond jet lag, and Sparty and UM next two weeks. Purdue, unfortunately, will give the Irish trouble.

    3. That said, I think ND will win, and I will be able to speak to my Boilermaker father again by Monday. =)

    Like

  8. frug says:

    Ugh…

    Separate Ways is one of my two most hated songs of all time. Steve Perry’s voice is just grating and the video just ups the cheesiness.

    Still can’t decide if it is actually worse than Fly by Sugar Ray though…

    Like

  9. bamatab says:

    RTR!!!

    Like

  10. Michael in Raleigh says:

    Nobody plays the air keyboards like Journey.

    Like

  11. OrderRestored83 says:

    add

    Like

  12. duffman says:

    Brian & frug,

    Last season TCU went 7-0 (100%) in the MWC and 10-2 overall (83%)
    Do you think they will go 9-0 this year in the B12?
    Last season MU went 5-4 (56%) in the MWC and 7-5 overall (58%)
    Do you think they will go 4-4 this year in the SEC?
    Last season TAMU went 4-5 (44%) in the MWC and 6-6 overall (50%)
    Do you think they will go 4-4 this year in the SEC?

    Granted these are different years, I rounded for an eight game conference, and TAMU plays 2 FCS schools this season. If the B12 was better than the SEC last year both should not only be able to reach 4-4 but they should be 5-3 or 6-2 if the B12 really was as great at the computers had the B12 last season. If TCU drops from conference leader will they blame the year or will they admit the Horned Frogs had it easier in the MWC?

    What about West Virginia?

    Everybody said the Big East was the worst AQ conference last year, what happens if they are at the top of the B12 this year? Last year LSU went to Morgantown and destroyed them in their own stadium? How will you explain the worst AQ conference dominating the best AQ conference? Is is possible the B12 may get exposed this year because we actually get to see more B12 vs SEC interaction. Granted it took moving conferences to make it happen!

    Again, scheduling an OOC where it is very easy to go 30-0 will make the numbers skewed all season as Brian pointed out in his reply to my post. The other 5 AQ’s play good OOC, so why does the B12 hide behind the weakest OOC? This year the PAC and B12 both play only 3 OOC games but look at the difference in AQ’s on the schedules! Ranked opponents in BOLD

    B12 OOC AQ games 2012 – 7 games total
    Iowa State vs Iowa (only annual with TAMU vs UTx and MU vs KU gone)
    Kansas State vs Miami
    Oklahoma vs Notre Dame
    Oklahoma State vs Arizona
    TCU vs UVA (scheduled when they were not in B12)
    Texas vs Mississippi
    WVU vs Maryland (scheduled when they were not in B12)

    PAC OOC AQ games 2012 – 14 games total
    Arizona vs Oklahoma State
    Arizona State vs Illinois
    Arizona State vs Missouri (scheduled when they were not in SEC)
    Cal vs Ohio State
    Oregon State vs Wisconsin
    Oregon State vs BYU – BYU is just outside the Top 25 @ 27
    Southern Cal vs Syracuse
    Southern Cal vs Notre Dame
    Stanford vs Duke
    Stanford vs Notre Dame
    Washington vs LSU
    WSU vs BYU – BYU is just outside the Top 25 @ 27
    UCLA vs Nebraska
    Utah vs BYU – BYU is just outside the Top 25 @ 27

    Both conferences are playing 9 + 3, yet the PAC has the stones to schedule Top 25 teams across the nation when they are farther away than the B12 is from the B1G and SEC. The best B12 vs B1G matchup is Iowa State vs Iowa? The best B12 vs PAC matchup is Oklahoma State vs Arizona? The best B12 vs SEC matchup is Texas vs Mississippi? The only Top 25 OOC game in the B12 is Oklahoma vs Notre Dame. Will it take the Irish winning in Norman to expose the B12 the way the emperor was exposed in the folk tale by HCA?

    Can you honestly tell me it does not look like the B12 cherry picked to pad their schedules?
    The B12 can go 30-0 then play each other and say how tough the B12 is when it is noting more than a big circle jerk. Like last year, how do we know how good they really are when we get no games to begin to compare them. At least the PAC has enough OOC games against top teams to have some sort of gauge before they go to conference play.

    .
    .
    .

    @ frug

    smartfootball says Kansas State @ #22
    (Kansas State finished #2 in the B12)

    footballoutsiders says Wisconsin @ #3 and Oklahoma @ #11
    (okay I like that, but they also had Arkansas @ #16 behind KSU @ #13 who they beat)

    sagarin says Oklahoma @ #4
    (they were the only 3 loss team in the Top 5 and beat #45 Iowa to get there)

    sports reference says TAMU (6-6) @ #14 and Texas (7-5) @ #15
    (both were ahead of better teams with better records from the B1G and SEC)

    You may defend yourself with data, but how do you defend their data?
    Again, if oSu had a decent team on their OOC I would say yes, but they did not.

    .

    @ Brian

    I had : # 2 Arkansas W 38 – 14 : Baylor W 59 – 24
    You had : BU > PSU
    I think we can agree Arkansas was better than Penn State last year

    I had : # 8 Tennessee W 37 – 6 : Texas Tech W 66 – 6
    You had : TT MS
    I think we can agree Tennessee was better than Mississippi last year

    I think these 3 could go either way so I say “meh”
    (I do think Texas was over rated all season tho)
    MO > AU
    UT > UF
    TAMU > MsSU

    Once you get to the bottom 1/3 it becomes the law of diminishing returns :
    # 9 Mississippi W 52 – 7 : Arizona W 37 – 14
    #10 Kent State W 48 – 7 : Kansas W 70 – 28
    #11 North Texas W 41 – 0 : LA – LA W 61 – 34
    #12 GA Southern W 45 – 21 : Tulsa W 59 – 33

    Maybe you get a weighted measure as a better indicator
    Top 1/3 = 60%
    Middle 1/3 = 30%
    Bottom 1/3 = 10%

    It is not a perfect idea, but it would reward the better games over the cannon fodder

    On the flip side if TCU wins the B12 or TAMU / Missouri win the SEC the whole “stepping up in class” becomes a moot point. 🙂

    Like

    • duffman says:

      aarrgh!

      Notre Dame in the Oklahoma vs Notre Dame was supposed to be BOLD

      Like

    • Brian says:

      duffman,

      “Last season TCU went 7-0 (100%) in the MWC and 10-2 overall (83%)
      Do you think they will go 9-0 this year in the B12?”

      I doubt it, but 2012 is not 2011 so who cares?

      “Last season MU went 5-4 (56%) in the MWC and 7-5 overall (58%)
      Do you think they will go 4-4 this year in the SEC?”

      I assume you mean B12 there. I think MO has a good chance with UK, Vandy, @UF, @TN, @TAMU, and they could upset UGA and @SC. Only AL is virtually unwinnable. So yeah, 4-4 seems very plausible. They could go 5-3 or even 6-2. But, again, 2012 is not 2011.

      “Last season TAMU went 4-5 (44%) in the MWC and 6-6 overall (50%)
      Do you think they will go 4-4 this year in the SEC?”

      Again, that’s B12 not MWC, and 2012 isn’t 2011. TAMU has a new coach and moved to play in the SEC West. 3-5 seems more likely than 4-4 to me, and worse is possible if the coaching change isn’t smooth.

      “If the B12 was better than the SEC last year both should not only be able to reach 4-4 but they should be 5-3 or 6-2 if the B12 really was as great at the computers had the B12 last season.”

      That’s complete bull. 2012 performance says absolutely nothing about how good the leagues were in 2011. Every team is different the next year.

      “What about West Virginia?”

      What about them? They are good and can score a lot. They’ll do well in the B12 this year. They crushed Clemson last year, too. And it’s year 2 for a new coach and QB so it’s not the same thing.

      “Last year LSU went to Morgantown and destroyed them in their own stadium?”

      WV out-gained LSU 533-366 and was 38/65 for 436 yards passing. WV had 4 TOs and bad special teams play. They still scored the same 21 points AL did in try #2.

      “How will you explain the worst AQ conference dominating the best AQ conference?”

      By pointing out that one team isn’t the whole conference and that 2012 isn’t 2011.

      “The other 5 AQ’s play good OOC, so why does the B12 hide behind the weakest OOC?”

      Because they play 9 conference games, which only the P12 can match, and they can draw fans more easily than the P12 so they don’t have to schedule tougher teams.

      “Both conferences are playing 9 + 3, yet the PAC has the stones to schedule Top 25 teams across the nation when they are farther away than the B12 is from the B1G and SEC.”

      The P12 has a hard time filling their stadiums without playing strong OOC teams. That’s less true for the B12.

      “Can you honestly tell me it does not look like the B12 cherry picked to pad their schedules?”

      No. Can you tell me other teams don’t do the same thing (WI, etc)?

      “I think these 3 could go either way so I say “meh”
      (I do think Texas was over rated all season tho)
      MO > AU
      UT > UF
      TAMU > MsSU”

      No way those could go either way. UF was terrible last year. They could barely beat OSU in the bowl and OSU sucked in that game. AU was terrible last year, too. Remember USU blowing the win? TAMU could at least score last year. MsSU couldn’t.

      Like

      • duffman says:

        Brian,

        A bad Ohio State team is still better than 75% of D I football, which is why I keep pointing out the inequality of teams from conference to conference.

        Like

        • Brian says:

          They weren’t better than 75% of teams in that bowl game. Trust me. The team was listless and the offense played a glaring example of Walrusball all day. UF looked almost as bad but without the same reasons.

          Like

  13. jj says:

    Sparty On!

    For the love of God and the collective sanity of Spartan Nation, don’t look past the Chips.

    Like

  14. frug says:

    New Big XII officially announced:

    http://www.big12sports.com/ViewArticle.dbml?DB_LANG=C&ATCLID=205680799&DB_OEM_ID=10410

    Highlights:

    An increase in the number of guaranteed full national football telecasts to a minimum of 25 per season on a combination of ABC, FOX, ESPN and FX.

    Allows FOX over-the-air access to Big 12 football with a minimum of six games annually on broadcast television.

    Provides FOX with enhanced selections through 2015. ESPN and FOX share rotating game selections beginning in 2016.

    ESPN continues as the primary rights holder of Big 12 men’s basketball

    Beginning this season, every Big 12 home football game will be carried on a combination of ESPN, FOX or institutional platforms. Big 12 schools will have the option to retain rights to one conference-controlled football game per season for distribution via permitted member institution outlets and third-party licensees, or can return the retained game back to FOX for broadcast. Institutions will also be permitted to retain a minimum of four men’s basketball games a season. In all other sports, institutions will retain rights to all home contests not selected for air by ESPN or FOX.

    It is not mentioned in the article but according to ESPN the deal is worth $200 million a year ($20 million per team per year) and includes a 13 year GOR.

    Like

  15. frug says:

    http://espn.go.com/college-football/story/_/id/8347913/savannah-state-tigers-getting-70-1-2-points-vs-florida-state-seminoles

    After last week’s beatdown at the hand of Okie St., Savannah St. is getting 70.5 points vs. FSU. It is the largest points spread for a DI game.

    Like

  16. duffman says:

    Frank,

    There is an old saying “It not the price but the terms” when valuing a deal

    LHN saying they get 6.8 million homes in 22 states but what were the terms?

    a) carriage rate : big difference between a nickel and a dollar
    b) penetration : 6.8 million in TX is not 6.8 million spread in 22 states

    Did the LHN have to give it away to get numbers or give it away to entice a bigger fish like Time Warner? If Nebraska is in that 22 states I can not see their fans paying anything to see Texas now that their home is the BTN.

    It is sort of like the huge B12 media deal that has been rumored since last october and still has not surfaced outside of rumors and speculation. If it hit the news cycle in the past month and I missed it please post a link. For now all of this – including the rumored expansions this summer – seem like smoke and mirrors to cover the hole left by the 4 departures.

    Thanks for keeping it on the burner tho. It will be interesting to see how it all plays out. I do think TAMU and Missouri have gotten more press tho in the past 6 months than they did in the past 6 years.

    Good luck with Arizona State even if the ESPN talking heads are picking ASU

    BTN : Northwestern vs Vanderbilt – battle of the brains!

    Like

    • bullet says:

      Looks like frug posted it before I did and I didn’t read his link.

      You obviously don’t believe Sports Business Journal. We’ve both posted the ESPN link. Its on the Big 12 website if ESPN’s story isn’t enough. The holdup was ESPN and Fox. They are now sharing rights like in the Pac 12 and it took a while for them to reach agreement on the language, as has been reported for the past few weeks.

      As Brian has pointed out, the Big 12 dropped two teams who have been around .500 in the Big 12 and added two conference champs. Its an upgrade in the short term. Long term competitively and financially it may be a different story, but WVU and TCU combined have been better than Missouri and A&M over the past 5-10 years. Since you like January bowls, A&M hasn’t been to a BCS bowl since 98 and Missouri never made it (although they did get the shaft in 07). TCU won the Rose Bowl (over a B1G champ) and WVU beat the ACC champ 70-33 and also has recent BCS wins over UGA and OU. Colorado was also around .500 during their time in the Big 12.

      Like

      • bullet says:

        And the Big 12 has had addition by subtraction in basketball. They dropped the bottom 3 programs and a program (Missouri) that never has made it to the final 4. TCU doesn’t help, but WVU is good and has a few final 4s.

        Like

        • duffman says:

          bullet,

          Before you get wound up, put the comment to match the conversation. Since 2010 I have stated that Nebraska was the “brand” not TAMU or Missouri.

          Nebraska > TCU + WVU (that is the hole left in the B12)

          Nebraska was the anchor store, the other 3 were supporting shops

          TCU and WVU are shops as they have yet to prove they are anchor stores

          Like

          • bullet says:

            Nebraska was a loss.

            But they have been down. Nebraska has not been > than TCU or WVU in recent years. No question they are a big loss, but not short term.

            Like

          • duffman says:

            bullet,

            They may be down but when you have sold out since 1962 with an 80+ K stadium that is expanding to around 90K that is a “brand”

            TCU just got to 50K
            WVU has been seating 60K for a few years (LSU game last year drew 62K)

            #13 Nebraska = 50 Million
            #24 West Virginia = 29 million
            #?? TCU = was not on Top 50 list

            Granted this was last year so all 3 should jump in their new conferences but the BTN deal is still better than the new B12 deal.

            Like

  17. Mike says:

    Sooner Sports TV to be offically announced by FOX soon. Its already on OU’s website.

    Like

      • ccrider55 says:

        I’m not sure how this differs from tier 3 rights pre purchased and improvement in online. What ownership level does OU have in this “network”?

        Like

        • bullet says:

          This is somewhat similar to what Florida has done with the Sunshine network. OU sold its product in a package to Fox. Fox using the programming on its existing networks. Its really no different than the conferences selling their Tier I and II rights to ABC/CBS, etc. Fox Sports Southwest is the regional sports network covering Houston and Dallas which used to have the Astros, Rockets and Mavericks. Its predecesor gave Hannah Storm her broadcasting debut about 3 decades ago.

          There are rumours of a Red River network (my name, not theirs) Fox is working on with Tech, Baylor, TCU and Oklahoma State. WVU is rebidding all of its Tier III. It is one of the few schools that has handled it internally. KSU did a deal last year putting a lot of its content on the internet. Not sure what KU and ISU are doing.

          Like

          • ccrider55 says:

            Thanks Bullet, that is sort of what I thought. I guess this is my beef: calling a media deal a network.

            To me a network is an entity dedicated to, controlled, and to a large extent, owned by the school, conf, etc that bares it name and shows just it’s content (mostly). LHN gets a pass on the ownership part as it is totally UT dedicated (a few purchased games…ok) and they have significant control, and future potential. In spite of ads proclaiming a certain ESPN channel the SEC network. It is not anymore than NBC (ND’s broadcast partner) is the ND network. I doubt OU now has significant control or ownership of the Fox properties that will be broadcasting the newly agreed to Sooner events. I’m glad they are getting more exposure for non FB, BB.

            Am I wrong to feel people are trying to usurp the term “network” to massage some school/conference pride, without actually acquiring/creating one?

            Like

          • Mike says:

            I believe KU has a “Jayhawk Network” syndication package.

            Like

          • duffman says:

            KU has a deal with IMG – as does UTx with the LHN – that is one of the most valuable in college sports. When Dosh did her list I think the Jayhawks were in the Top 5 or Top 10

            Like

          • bullet says:

            Actually its the new use of the term that’s different. On radio you always heard, “the Georgia Bulldog network,” or “the Longhorn network,” or the “Southwest Conference network.” encompassing all the radio stations covering that team’s games(or conference’s game of the week). So you’ve got the dedicated networks now but still the use of the same terminology for something that was quite different.

            Like

          • ccrider55 says:

            Bullet:

            That makes sense. Multiple stations linked in a network, broadcasting dedicated content. I perhaps should have included that I feel a “network” almost by definition involves more than one entity.
            BIg Ten Network had 11, now 12 sources for programming feeding 1 dedicated channel, plus occasional overflows. P12N has 12 sources feeding the network of 7 channels. I won’t begrudge LHN calling its channel a network. It is a stand alone dedicated channel with potential (what some fear) to broadcast for multiple sources. What Fla and apparently OU have are independent networks that have media broadcast agreements. Perhaps the Sooner’s will involve more.

            Like

    • greg says:

      The one thing that the Big East owns that still has some cache is their name. If they change their name, there is nothing to make them seem BCS-ish to the nation at large.

      Like

      • duffman says:

        They should just go the Prince route and use a symbol

        Like

      • zeek says:

        I agree 100%.

        The Big East’s name at least has a lot of built-in value to it in terms of the fact that it’s always been associated with the other conferences at the top tier.

        If they change that, they’re going to lose that association because with a different name and a mix of schools mostly from C-USA/MWC, they basically become Conference-USA.

        Like

      • bullet says:

        Add Hawaii as #14 and their name can be “So Big East we’re West.”

        Like

    • Michael in Raleigh says:

      They’ll study whether to change the name, come up with nothing more better than “Big America” or “Coast to Coast League,” and then conclude, as everyone has said, that they’d lose whatever positive branding they have left by changing names. It is no different from the Big 12 choosing not to change its name despite the numerical inaccuracy and the turmoil that league has experienced under the name Big 12. (The Pac-12, by contrast, changed its name because the higher number, 12, subconsciously represents an improvement in the general public’s mind, i.e., “bigger is better.” Besides, the Pac-12’s change in name felt like a natural progression from its previous name change from Pac-8 to Pac-10.)

      The Big East will probably end up with more subtle changes. Maybe a new logo. Maybe a new slogan. Maybe new in-game commercials that highlight the positive aspects of the league.

      Keep in mind, also, that the main source cited about possibly changing the name was interim commissioner Joseph Bailey. He just doesn’t have as much invested in the long term interests of the conference as a league board member or the permanent commissioner. I’m not saying his comments don’t have any validity–he probably did run across people who commented on the league’s identity issue–but it’s likely that those who have a more vested interest in the league would at least insist on a study that shows a name change would have far more positives than negatives.

      Like

    • greg says:

      The media is always messing up the financial numbers. That article calls it a $2.5B deal. Well, simple math of $2.5B divided by 13 years divided by 10 teams (ignoring the conference’s cut) gives you $19.23 per team. I imagine the conference will take a cut, driving it even lower. Even if its $2.6B, it comes to $20M.

      I guess we wait until we see some official details.

      Like

      • bullet says:

        Good point. They are journalists, not mathematicians. I have seen mistakes in their numbers, even obvious ones within the same article.

        When you are rounding to the nearest hundred million, 10s of millions can make a little difference. $2.55 billion vs. $2.65 billion is about 770k a year per school.

        The initial SBJ article said $2.5 billion. Latest reports are saying $2.6 billion. Neinas made the comment in response to a question that it was “20 million or more.”

        Like

    • Nostradamus says:

      @Bullet,

      At the end of the article though Dodd gives this: “The deal is worth approximately $20.3 million per school per year.” That is obviously $203 million a year on average, or $2.639 billion over 13 years. McMurphy, now at ESPN, and others are still reporting the $2.6 billion/13 years/$20 million per team per year average.

      @greg
      I agree the media typically tends to mess things like this up. That said, I doubt you’ll ever see official numbers. These articles with dollar figures from “sources” the day a contract is announced is about official as it gets.

      Like

  18. Mike says:

    I don’t care about the National Titles but, why claim the 1997 and 2010 Big 12 title?

    http://deadspin.com/5941380/texas-am-picked-up-two-national-championships-two-conference-titles-over-the-summer

    Like

    • Brian says:

      They tied for the division title each year. I don’t see how that extrapolate that into a B12 title, though.

      Like

    • Brian says:

      I believe I found the source for the bogus claims (as in, I stumbled across someone else posting a link).

      http://www.big12sports.com/ViewArticle.dbml?&&DB_OEM_ID=10410&ATCLID=205160610

      The B12’s website lists TAMU as having 3 B12 Championships. In mice type at the bottom it indicates that this includes co-championships and division titles.

      Like

      • Eric says:

        I actually kind of like the idea of conference titles for the regular season. I say we do it like basketball and acknowledged a regular season and tournament/CCG title. (I’d personally value the regular season one more).

        Like

        • frug says:

          Except in basketball there aren’t divisions and everyone plays everyone else.

          Like

        • Brian says:

          Eric,

          I don’t mind regular season titles, but TAMU didn’t win one of those, either. They were a division champ in 1997 but only a co-champ that didn’t even make the CCG in 2010. By virtue of having divisions and a CCG, the B12 couldn’t have a regular season champ. The CCG has to determine the champ or you lose the extra game exemption.

          In 1997, TAMU was 6-2 to win the South outright. However, NE was 8-0 to win the North and beat TAMU in the CCG. TAMU can only claim a division title. Technically, being B12 South champ is winning a B12 championship (they award 2 division championships and a conference championship). It’s just not winning the B12 championship.

          In 2010, TAMU was 6-2 and was co-champ with OU and OkSU in the South. NE and MO split the North at 6-2. TAMU lost the tiebreaker to OU.

          Like

          • bullet says:

            Minnesota and A&M are adopting the SEC philosophy. I remember going into Tennessee’s stadium and wondering where they came up with all those national titles listed on the stands. I think its pretty silly claiming computer formula national titles. I hope Texas never does that. They could claim about 5 more and they would all be pretty silly.

            Like

          • Brian says:

            I’m with you. OSU could claim several more as well. OSU claims 7 (42, 54, 57, 61, 68, 70, 02). They could easily claim 8 more (1933, 1944, 1961, 1969, 1973, 1974, 1975, 2006), but many of those are BS as other teams had much better claims.

            Like

          • bullet says:

            Ran across this report on a billboard in Gainesville, which is even funnier than the conference titles (given that A&M is not Vanderbilt and is just behind the leaders in major violations all time).

            Humorous part at the bottom about who was responsible.

            http://collegefootballtalk.nbcsports.com/2012/09/04/am-billboard-in-gainesville-boasts-cleanest-program-in-the-sec/

            Like

  19. Mike says:

    Recap of the Big 12 deal from Matt Sarzyniak (mattsarzsports.blogspot.com)


    Of ESPN’s 19 games, they can air on ABC, ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU or Longhorn Network. How does Longhorn Network fit? Isn’t it a institutional network for Texas? Yes it is. As ESPN’s Burke Magnus corrected me on Twitter, games on Longhorn Network count towards the 19 games for any game after the 1st Texas game (aka Texas’s institutional game).

    This is huge. The LHN isn’t just going to be the worst game on the schedule.


    * No more than 4-5 games can appear on ESPNU.
    * Anywhere from 13-15 of the 19games must be full national in some form. Either by a national game on ABC, ESPN, ESPN2 or ESPNU or through a reverse mirror combination with ABC and ESPN/ESPN2. In short, on the ESPN side, they no longer have to negotiate with FOX to place games on the cable networks nor to do reverse mirroring of games.

    * FOX must place at least six of its games on its broadcast network and another six games on a national cable outlet. I presume that “national cable outlet” today means F/X (could be a different channel in the future) since FSN is not cleared in many areas of the country on regional sports networks not majority owned by FOX.
    * If a school elects not to televise its institutional game, the rights to that game revert back to FOX for broadcasting
    * At least four Thursday games per year including Thanksgiving (looks like this will start in 2013) and one game on Sunday of Labor Day weekend

    Like

    • ccrider55 says:

      As long as the rest of the conference receives equal compensation for any game beyond UT’s institutional game it seems financially fair. The conference will just have to accept that the LHN is becoming the Longhorn conference network.

      Like

      • Mike says:

        Financially fair, yes. It appears that conference games can be moved to the LHN without the opponent’s permission. I imagine that future games with Tech and Baylor will be on the LHN to help with carriage. I know Tech hasn’t been receptive to being on the LHN before.

        Like

        • ccrider55 says:

          I wonder if an ISU/OkSU game could and/or would be moved to the LHN?

          Like

        • frug says:

          I’d be surprised if they didn’t require the opponent’s permission. Last year ESPN had to pay Kansas $500,000 for the right to broadcast the UT-KU game on the LHN.

          Like

          • texmex says:

            Any conference game on the LHN will require the opponents permission. Orangebloods.com is reporting that the likely 3rd game on the LHN will be Iowa St. and not Baylor as Baylor does not want the game to be on the LHN. Last year, the Kansas game was televised on the LHN and ESPN allowed the game to be simulcasted on local Kansas affiliates throughout the state so Jayhawk fans can watch. I would expect the same for iowa St.

            Like

        • zeek says:

          It’s not like any of them really had a choice.

          Texas (and OU) bring the value to the conference, so the LHN is here to stay and this agreement pretty much cements that.

          Once you get the LHN spread through Texas, putting some Tech, Baylor, or TCU games on it (against Texas) will make sense.

          Like

    • bullet says:

      Thursday night football is coming back. I used to enjoy the TH night games, but then everyone but ACC and BE (and usually not good games) abandoned TH. Now the SEC and Big 12 are doing limited TH night games. Looks like Big 12 will do 2 (not counting Thanksgiving and Labor Day). Lots of non-holiday TH night games is not good for the school or attending fan, but one occassional one is fine. And it will make TH night football better.

      The bad news for the colleges is that the NFL is moving to TH night games. The good news about that is that the schools won’t move lots of games to TH night, because they aren’t going to beat the NFL and generate lots of revenue head to head.

      Like

  20. frug says:

    http://www.deadline.com/2012/09/joe-paterno-movie-al-pacino-penn-state-gridiron-scandal/

    Al Pacino will play JoePa in an upcoming film based on the Posanski book.

    Hoo-Ah!

    Like

  21. Ron says:

    Problem with the LHN business model is that Texas college football is mostly divided between two broad fanbases…
    1. Longhorn fans.
    2. Supporters of other Texas schools, plus Arkansas/Oklahoma/Oklahoma State fans (all of whom are united only in their desire to see the Longhorns fail).

    It is difficult to overstate the extent to which this is true. Jackie Sherrill (former Texas A&M coach) was once moved to comment that he didn’t understand people from Texas who would root for Oklahoma on Texas/OU weekend.

    A lot of college football fans in Texas (and surrounding states) who are not Longhorn fans feel pretty strongly about having a portion of their cable/satellite fees going to the University of Texas athletics. They don’t like it.

    Like

  22. Brian says:

    ESPN’s friday night magic returns. USU beats Utah in OT. Not a great offensive performance by either team, but a good game.

    It’s another blow for the P12. Many people were touting Utah as a darkhorse to upset USC and win the South. I don’t see ASU, AZ, CO or UCLA as challenging USC either.

    Like

    • Eric says:

      I forgot how many good Friday night games we’ve had. I don’t really remember last year specifically, but I know years ago it felt like every game was close (or maybe it was the end of 2 years ago into last year).

      Like

    • duffman says:

      PAC finished weak in the bowls last season and now looking weak in the early season. If the PAC OOC games go bad today it will be more hits on the west coast.

      Like

      • bullet says:

        Really bad start for them, although they will probably come out with Ws. Cal leads Southern Utah 20-17 late in 3rd. Colorado just pulled ahead of Sac St. 28-24 at start of 4th. WSU leads Eastern Washington 24-14 in 3rd and highly ranked USC is only up 14-3 on Syracuse at half (maybe Syracuse won’t be so bad this year).

        Like

  23. jj says:

    Frank, a good win for IL.

    How about that spot in the 4th Q?! What did Zook pay those guys?

    Like

  24. frug says:

    Well that was fast

    http://espn.go.com/college-football/story/_/id/8351277/big-east-change-name-brand-equity-cited

    Big East commissioner Mike Aresco says there are no plans for the conference to change its name…

    “There’s tremendous brand equity built up in the Big East name.”

    Also in the article

    Aresco says there is interest from other networks in the Big East TV package, but the intention is to say with ESPN. The conference and ESPN are in the midst of a 60-day exclusive negotiating window.

    Like

    • zeek says:

      Interesting that their intent is to stay with ESPN (at least that’s what they’re saying).

      Also, he’s 100% right on the Big East name. If they change their name, they basically just become another C-USA or MWC. Sure it might seem like the name is just window-dressing at this point, but there’s still brand equity there. No reason to just toss it out for nothing…

      Like

      • Brian says:

        ESPN treats them well for hoops, and the competing networks aren’t necessarily big names or serious bidders. If I was negotiating a deal I’d claim others were interested, too.

        Like

  25. Pablo says:

    Lucky win for UVa. PSU plays better, but the kicker shanks 4 FGs and gets a PAT blocked (the football gods are intervening).

    Like

  26. zeek says:

    Wisconsin should have been unranked to start the season.

    Like

  27. Richard says:

    Wow. Poor day by the B10, but Wisconsin got jobbed and the FX analysts & their “officiating guru” (as well as the replay official who counts) were blind (though the FX analysts did question their initial view). It’s pretty clear that the ball bounced back to hit the Wisconsin kicker, and the only way it could do that is if it bounced off of the Oregon St. player.

    Like

    • Brian says:

      I disagree. I liked the overturn. It only took 1 viewing for me to see the ball hit the kicker early. I saw no evidence of the ball hitting anyone else. There was as much evidence of the ball hitting OrSU then as there was of the ball hitting WI on the punt.

      Congrats to IN and MN on big wins. MSU and OSU did what they were supposed to do. MI survived a trap game. PU played ND tough and got hurt by the refs.

      IA got Ferentzed in yet another ISU loss. PSU played terribly. WI looked horrible and deserved to lose.

      Like

      • frug says:

        I was with you at first, but the last angle they showed it looked to me it definitely hit an Oregon St. player (Zimmerman).

        Like

        • Brian says:

          It possibly could have, but it wasn’t definitive. What was clear was that WI touched it before it went 10 yards, which overturned the call on the field. If the call on the field had been that it bounced off of OrSU, then they couldn’t have overturned it.

          Like

          • ccrider55 says:

            WI’s problem wasn’t maybe losing a last min opportunity, with no TO’s. It was less than 40 yards rushing.

            Like

    • zeek says:

      The Leaders division looks like it wants to give the Pac-12 South from last year a run for its money; at this point I just hope the division winner has at least 8 wins…

      Like

      • Brian says:

        Yep. I’m still trying to figure out who plays the role of UCLA. I’m guessing the representative goes 5-3 (OSU will win at 6-2), but it could be 4-4.

        PU, IL and IN have no excuses this year. The top 3 are as vulnerable as they can possibly be (OSU ineligible, PSU ineligible and terrible, WI horrid). Step up or shut up.

        Like

  28. duffman says:

    NU fans on here, did they say Vanhoose was done for the game, or longer? Not sure what they commentator said.

    Like

  29. bullet says:

    A lot of strange football today.

    UGA/MU 1st half almost as ugly as Missouri’s throwback uniforms and helmets.

    Texas recovered a fumble in UNM territory, has a blocked punt and a big punt return. UNM has 6 penalties to 1 for Texas. UT has scored every time they had the ball except for a missed 45 yard FG. Sounds like a blowout at halftime, right? It was 10-0 with 28 seconds left in the half. Then UT scored on a 3rd and 16 to make it 17-0. New Mexico has run all over UT’s strength, their run defense, getting into UT territory 3 times and to their own 45 the other, but was forced to punt or turned it over.

    Wisconsin doesn’t score until the 4th quarter and only rushes for 35 yards for the game.

    Long weather delays in E. Rutherford and Tallahassee.

    FAMU without a band.

    Like

    • Brian says:

      bullet,

      “UGA/MU 1st half almost as ugly as Missouri’s throwback uniforms and helmets.”

      I’ve been watching B10 football all day and nothing, I mean NOTHING, is as ugly as those uniforms.

      Like

    • zeek says:

      This ULM-Arkansas game also needs to be chalked up to the bizarre. I’ve been wondering all day what’s going on…

      Like

      • Brian says:

        John L. Smith

        Like

        • Richard says:

          The legend of John L. grows (in his case, like mold taking over an abandoned house, though I don’t think mold is as combustible).

          Like

      • bullet says:

        FSU didn’t cover the 70.5 point spread. Wonder how Vegas handles that. FSU led 55-0 in the 3rd when it got called on the weather.

        Like

      • bullet says:

        Double ugly day for Colorado. Not only did they lose to Sacremento St. (FCS), Colorado St. who beat CU last week lost to North Dakota St. (FCS), decisively.

        Like

      • duffman says:

        I think the Arkansas kid was knocked out with concussion

        Like

        • duffman says:

          ESPN had a graphic on Arkansas players injured today. Not pretty

          Like

          • Michael in Raleigh says:

            Nobody sympathized with Florida State last year when its entire offensive line was knocked out by the end of the year. Losses to Wake Forest (despite missing EJ Manuel) and Virginia (despite other injuries) were deemed inexcusable.

            I just don’t want there to be a double standard with Arkansas just because they’re in the almighty SEC.

            Everyone knows that if this were an ACC or a Big Ten team, the league would be ripped apart by critics.

            Like

          • duffman says:

            MiR,

            The comment was not defending Arkansas – tho they are still not saying what is wrong – but that a non AQ seems to be able to hit hard enough to take 4 guys out on the other side. Someone needs to find out what they are feeding those LA kids.

            Like

          • Alan from Baton Rouge says:

            duff – even though Monroe was not heavily settled by the French, I can only imagine that the La-Monroe Warhawks’ pre-game meal was centered around a Couchon de Lait – a Cajun pig roast. The post-game meal certainly was.

            Like

  30. ccrider55 says:

    Just saw where Wash St hit a 60 yard FG…and it wasn’t a school record.

    Like

  31. Michael in Raleigh says:

    Is it too soon to say the SEC West isn’t the freaking NFC East that ESPN keeps blabbering that it is?

    LSU? Lights-out awesome. Alabama? Ditto.

    The rest of the division? What’s so dang special about it? Auburn can’t beat a team from the “awful” ACC, nor can it beat a mediocre Mississippi State team. Ole Miss is below average. Arkansas lost to La. Monroe, which is inexcusable. Texas A&M lost to Florida, which struggled to beat Bowling Green State.

    Like

    • Richard says:

      It’s safe to say that the entire SEC, outside of ‘Bama & LSU, isn’t any better than the other conferences. SEC East title contender SCarolina beat Vandy by less than Northwestern did.

      Like

      • bullet says:

        And Northwestern saves the B1G. Unless Illinois pulls a miraculous comeback, B1G other than Northwestern is 0-6 vs. AQ teams.

        Like

        • Brian says:

          For now. MSU and OSU haven’t played an AQ yet. They beat some of the top non-AQs instead.

          Saturday, September 15:
          1. Notre Dame at Michigan State
          2. California at Ohio State

          That should be 2 more AQ wins.

          3. Boston College at Northwestern

          BC is pretty weak, so NW could go 3-0. I think NW will be favored.

          4. Arkansas State at Nebraska

          Good rebound game for NE.

          5. Ball State at Indiana

          IN 3-0? It’ll be tough without Roberson.

          6. Navy at Penn State

          Eventually PSU will win a game. AF > Navy, but MI > PSU, too.

          7. Western Michigan at Minnesota

          3-0 for the Gophers? It’s certainly possible.

          8. Northern Iowa at Iowa

          Sniff sniff. Smells like upset. IA needs to improve to win this one.

          9. Utah State at Wisconsin

          USU used up their luck against Utah and WI will be mad. WI big. Ball for 200+ yards.

          10. Eastern Michigan at Purdue

          PU pretty big.

          11. Massachusetts at Michigan

          MI huge.

          12. Charleston Southern at Illinois

          Even if the QB is still hurt, IL should win this.

          Like

  32. bw says:

    Conference rankings as of tonight
    1. SEC
    2. Big 12
    3. Pac 12
    4. Big 10
    5. ACC

    Like

    • Michael in Raleigh says:

      Why is the SEC automatically #1? Why is the ACC behind the Big Ten? Last I checked, the ACC had wins over the SEC (Auburn) and the Big Ten (Penn State). What does the Big Ten have?

      Like

      • bw says:

        Good points, Big 10 could be 5th.

        Like

      • Brian says:

        Michael,

        The B10 has a win over the SEC, too.

        Like

      • zeek says:

        Even though Oklahoma State seems like they may lose to Arizona, I’d put the Big 12 at #1.

        I really don’t like how the rest of the SEC’s top teams look outside of Alabama and LSU. Almost all of their top teams look like they’ve taken a step back except those two (Arkansas and South Carolina especially look worse).

        As for the Big Ten, this is a down year, it has to be 5th. The leaders division is going to end up similar to the Pac-12 South last year where some 7-5 team gets sent to play against a much better opponent.

        Outside of Michigan State and a somewhat untested Ohio State team, the Big Ten has no elite teams.

        Like

        • bullet says:

          Northwestern? SU gave USC fits.

          Like

          • zeek says:

            Northwestern has a soft schedule coming up. If they make a run to 7-0 or 6-1 to start the season; this could be a great year for them.

            Like

          • Brian says:

            Zeek isn’t exaggerating. Their next few games:
            BC
            South Dakota
            IN
            @ PSU
            @ MN
            NE

            This is NW’s first 4 game home stand since 1934 according to Dave Revsine. BC isn’t great but they do throw the ball a lot. SD is I-AA so NW should do fine (NW isn’t MN, after all). IN is all offense, and Roberson is out for the year. His backup is a drop pack passer. This may be a 70-63 type of game. PSU could be tough if they have any morale at that point. MN looks to be much improved this year so that’s a toss up.

            NW could well be 6-1 when NE comes to town for revenge (I think they split the road games).

            The rest of the schedule is a little tougher:

            NE
            IA
            bye
            @ MI
            @ MSU
            IL

            I think they’d be satisfied to go 2-3 there to end up 8-4 and head to the BWW (nee Insight) or even Gator bowl.

            Like

          • zeek says:

            Main problem for Northwestern is that although they have a good enough team to break their bowl streak, they might end up getting too tough an opponent with how bad the rest of the Big Ten looks (along with OSU/PSU ineligibility).

            Like

          • Brian says:

            zeek,

            Agreed. ESPN’s “experts” seem to be projecting NW to the Ticket City Bowl, though, so NW’s lack of perceived fan base may help them. The projected opponent is ECU or SMU, so a pass happy team with no defense

            NW is projected behind MSU, MI, NE, WI and PU, and on par with IA, IL and NW (each picks one of IL/IA before NW and the other after NW). That seems a little optimistic for WI, IA and IL based on the first 2 games, but bowls do seem to avoid NW.

            Like

    • Brian says:

      bw,

      “Conference rankings as of tonight
      1. SEC
      2. Big 12
      3. Pac 12
      4. Big 10
      5. ACC”

      Not quite. Try this:
      1. AL, LSU, USC, OR
      2. Everyone else

      Like

      • zeek says:

        This is a year that screams for ranking the teams separate from the conferences.

        You have some teams playing like absolute crap along with other teams playing well (even more than usual).

        Look at the weekend the Pac-12 had. Colorado and Utah posting embarrassing losses to start the weekend before other teams show up and win a bunch of big games (along with a Washington wipeout).

        This is the kind of year where there’s going to be a lot of upheaval (much more than usual) outside those top 5 elite teams…

        Like

      • mnfanstc says:

        You are right on regarding “the Big 4” and then everyone else. Some are high on FSU—they need to prove their mettle first…

        Like

  33. frug says:

    Wisconsin and Nebraska both get upset by (what look like) mediocre PAC teams, Purdue and Penn St. both lose winnable games, Iowa gets beat by Iowa St. and Illinois is down 28-7 against ASU at the half. Not a pretty day for the Big 10.

    Like

    • frug says:

      Just realized that if Illinois doesn’t summon up some courage in the second half the Big 10 will 2-7 against AQ teams through the first 2 weeks with Northwestern accounting for both wins (Syracuse and Vandy).

      Like

      • zeek says:

        The Big Ten needs to be like the SEC (except LSU assuming they take a return trip to UW) and just refuse to travel out west.

        It’s just one debacle after another year after year when the teams go out west…

        Like

        • duffman says:

          zeek,

          Ask Alan, but I think this was the return trip. I think LSU played Washington out there a couple of years ago.

          Like

          • frug says:

            Yeah, they played in Seattle in ’09

            Like

          • Michael in Raleigh says:

            @frug,

            I remember watching that game. Pretty sure it was the same day BYU upset Oklahoma in the first non-preseason NFL football game in Cowboys Stadium. It was when Sam Bradford was knocked out for the year. Anyway, I remember with the LSU-UW game that there were several thousand very audible Tigers fans at the game. There were, if I had to guesstimate, around 10,000. It was impressive. Maybe not Nebraska-turning-Pasadena-into-Lincoln-West impressive(did anyone else see that sea of red today?), but impressive nonetheless.

            Like

          • Richard says:

            Yes. The Huskers might have done better if some of those fans had suited up on defense.

            Like

        • Alan from Baton Rouge says:

          zeek – the U-dub trip to Baton Rouge was the return trip. LSU opened the 08 season in Seattle. LSU also played at Arizona in 03 and at Arizona State in 05. My Tigers have a home and home with Arizona State later in this decade.

          MiR – I went to the LSU/UW game in Seattle in 08. My Tigers brought closer to 20k fans to that game.

          Other week #2 observations:

          1. U-dub is probably the 4th best team in the Pac-12 and their game with LSU wasn’t as close as the 41-3 score would indicate. LSU is nowhere near a finished product and should continue to improve.

          2. Mizzou and A&M – welcome to the SEC.

          3. Congrats to the Louisiana-Monroe Warhawks. I expected the Hogs to be a train wreck without Petrino. I just didn’t expect it to happen in September.

          Like

        • Brian says:

          Everyone needs to remember that when supporting the B10/P12 deal. Expected success:

          9th B10 game – 6-6
          B10/P12 – 5.5-6.5 (4-2 at home, 1.5-4.5 at P12)

          That’s based on the historical W% for B10/P12 games since PSU joined the B10. At least you know you’ll win half of the conference games.

          Like

      • Richard says:

        Yep, I’m glad that Northwestern proved Brian wrong and salvaged some pride for the B10 on an otherwise very rough day.

        Like

        • Brian says:

          I’m glad NW won, too. I just didn’t expect it based on Vandy keeping up with SC and NW almost blowing it against Syracuse last week. NW looked terrible at the start, too.

          Like

          • Richard says:

            Syracuse definitely has a legit passing attack. I’d personally like to see NU go up against SCarolina (outside of SC, preferably in bad weather). They definitely have athletes, but we do too, and I do feel that they get a benefit from being in the same conference as ‘Bama and LSU.

            Like

          • Brian says:

            SC certainly gets the SEC bump. I think they have too many athletes for NW, though. On the bright side, their QB situation is bad.

            Like

          • zeek says:

            It was a fair prediction to begin with, Northwestern was a few points underdog at home, and most fans viewed this as the toughest game of our first 7 on the schedule.

            Like

          • duffman says:

            I watched that whole game and it was a tale of 2 halves. It was close all the way to the end and NU scored that last TD the way LA Monroe did with Arkansas. The key to that win was NU’s defense in the second half. It got several 3 and outs from VU. Solid D carried the day – which was part of the discussion I keep having with Brian. I still think as conferences the B1G and SEC have the better D’s. The first week that SU vs NU game was in the 40’s on both sides but after the first game shakeout NU calmed down and stiffened up. Congrats to them.

            Like

          • bullet says:

            Some people are still convinced Arkansas is good. They were 27th in the AP poll. La-Monroe got 23 points, good enough for 33rd.

            Top 25 dominated by big 5-all of the top 18. SEC-6, Big 12-5, Pac 12-5, B1G-3, ACC-3, Indies-2, BE-1. La-Monroe was one of only 4 non-AQs to even get votes. Boise was 26th with 106, La-Mo 33rd, Ohio 34th with 17 and Utah St.’s coach apparently voted for them 25th-1 point. BE had UL at 19 and USF in 37th with 12 points. BE future adds Boise and Navy are 0-1, Houston and Memphis are 0-2, SMU and UCF are 1-1 and SDSU 2-0. This year’s addition Temple is 1-1.

            Like

          • zeek says:

            Arkansas couldn’t move the ball without their QB; I don’t know how they survive a month without him…

            And that Auburn-ULM game could be interesting…

            Like

          • Brian says:

            duffman,

            Are you sure you want to talk about B10 defenses? MSU’s is solid and OSU’s is pretty good. Who else is playing good D this year?

            National scoring defense rank:
            #12 MSU
            #18 IN
            #25 PU, IA, OSU
            #34 WI
            #38 MN
            #51 PSU
            #72 IL
            #79 NW
            #84 NE
            #95 MI

            Yes, it’s early and it’s schedule dependent. On the other hand, IN is inflated by who they’ve played and most of the B10 hasn’t challenged themselves that much.

            That doesn’t look like a league with much room to talk.

            Like

          • duffman says:

            Brian,

            National scoring defense rank:
            #12 MSU – Already played Boise State
            #18 IN – Agreed, has not played anybody
            #25 PU, IA, OSU – PU played ND, lesser for the other 2
            #34 WI – Oregon State still undefeated, but the season is early
            #38 MN – not played anybody
            #51 PSU – not normal PSU D, but Ohio and Virginia are both undefeated
            #72 IL – ASU is undefeated and solid mid level PAC school
            #79 NW – Syracuse and Vanderbilt (2 probable bowl schools)
            #84 NE – UCLA, but I agree this is not pretty
            #95 MI – Alabama and Air Force, still no B1G is over 100, and Bama is good

            Yes, it’s early and it’s schedule dependent. On the other hand, IN is inflated by who they’ve played and most of the B10 hasn’t challenged themselves that much.

            I agree it is still early in the season, but what were the B12 schools ranked?

            Like

          • Brian says:

            duffman,

            The B12 are 1, 7, 8, 12, 17, 32, 53, 67, 87, 98.
            With the B10 at 12, 18, 25, 25, 25, 34, 38, 51, 72, 79, 84 and 95, I see no basis to say B10 > B12 so far.

            Like

          • duffman says:

            Brian, just like IU has played a soft schedule and is high on the list the same could be said for the top ranked B12 schools. As we discussed before, this early season stat padding probably will affect the perception down the road. After the top few, the B1G is pretty solid between the #10 and #50 spots.

            2012-13 NCAA FBS Team Scoring Defense : Updated: 9/9/2012

            1 TCU – Grambling State (W)
            7 Texas Tech – Northwestern State (W) and Texas State (W)
            8 Texas – Wyoming (W) and New Mexico (W)
            12 Michigan State – Boise State (W) and Central Michigan (W)
            12 Oklahoma – UTEP (W) and Florida A&M (W)
            17 Kansas State – Missouri State (W) and Miami W
            18 Indiana – Indiana State (W) and Massachusetts (W)
            25 Iowa – Northern Illinois (W)Iowa State (L)
            25 Ohio State – Miami (W) and Central Florida (W)
            25 Purdue – Eastern Kentucky (W) and Notre Dame (L)

            32 Iowa State – Tulsa (W) and Iowa W
            34 Wisconsin – Northern Iowa (W) and Oregon State (L)
            38 Minnesota – UNLV (W) and New Hampshire (W)
            50 Penn State – Ohio (L) and Virginia (L)

            52 Kansas – South Dakota State (W) and Rice (L)
            66 Baylor – Southern Methodist (W)
            71 Illinois – Western Michigan (W) and Arizona State (L)
            78 Northwestern – Syracuse (W) and Vanderbilt (W)
            83 Nebraska – Southern Mississippi (W)UCLA (L)

            86 Oklahoma State – Savannah State (W) and Arizona (L)
            93 Michigan – Alabama (L) and Air Force (W)
            96 West Virginia – Marshall (W)

            Like

      • frug says:

        Remaining AQ games for the Big 10:

        Cal @ tOSU
        BC @ Northwestern
        ND @ MSU

        Temple @ PSU
        Michigan @ ND

        The Big 10 should be favored in first three games but the others are pick ’em at this point.

        Like

        • Brian says:

          frug,

          I think PSU and MI will also be favored. PSU is at home and Temple isn’t great this year. If PSU beats Navy they’ll be riding a little momentum. MI will be coming off a blowout of UMass while ND will be coming off a loss to MSU (hopefully).

          Like

        • Bo Darville says:

          Syracuse plays at Minnesota on 9/22

          Like

  34. Brian says:

    ESPN has been hyping the B10’s struggles in P12 stadiums since 1993. Let’s examine those numbers a little closer. These are before today.

    From the P12’s POV (teams listed in order of conference W%, newbies last):
    USC H 2-0; A 3-2; N 3-1; 5-0 in Rose Bowl
    OR H 6-1; A 3-2; N 2-3
    UCLA H 3-0; A 1-2; N 1-2; 0-2 in Rose
    UW H 3-1; A 0-5; N 2-2
    ASU H 2-0; A 1-3; N 2-1
    Stanford H 0-0-1; A 0-1-1; N 1-1
    Cal H 3-1; A 3-1; N 1-0
    AZ H 3-3; A 1-7; N 0-0
    OrSU H 0-0; A 0-2; N 0-0
    WSU H 1-0; A 2-3; N 1-1
    CO H 0-0; A 0-1; N 0-0
    Utah H 0-0; A 0-0; N 0-0

    Total H 23-6-1 = 0.783
    Total A 14-29-1 = 0.330
    Total N 13-11 = 0.542
    Total Rose for LA teams 5-2
    Total 55-48-2 = 0.533

    That doesn’t look so bad, huh? Perhaps traveling 2000 miles makes it hard to win. Not surprisingly, the problem comes from USC:

    USC 13-3 overall
    Rest of P12 42-45-2

    From the B10’s POV (teams listed in order of conference W%, NE last):
    OSU 11-4
    MI 4-6
    PSU 6-2
    WI 11-2-1
    IA 4-7
    MSU 1-5
    PU 3-6
    NW 0-4-1
    IL 5-13
    MN 1-5
    IN 1-1
    NE 1-0

    And from this side, the problem is caused by IL (-8), NW, MN and MSU (all -4):

    IL, NW, MN and MSU 7-29-1
    Rest of B10 41-26-1

    The biggest problem is that IL likes to play the P12 but they stink at it.

    Heaven forbid ESPN should consider the nuances, though.

    Like

    • zeek says:

      At this point, just sign me up for a 9th conference game and move some conference games to week 2-3,

      Like

      • Brian says:

        Yep. At least with the 9th game the B10 is guaranteed 6 wins. The P12 math works out a little worse (5.6 wins expected) plus it can lead to more media embarrassment.

        As for moving OOC games earlier, be careful what you wish for. The tradeoff is that teams may schedule even fewer good teams. Major OOC games usually need to be scheduled far in advance, so the B10 schedules won’t be known yet. AD’s won’t schedule a major opponent during conference season, and many won’t do it the week before a conference game either. If you might be playing a B10 game in week 2 or 3, you’re reducing the options to playing a major OOC foe in week 1. It’ll be hard enough to convince them to schedule any non-cupcake when they have 9 AQs built into the schedule.

        Like

        • Richard says:

          That can be solved pretty easily by always having 1 division play weeks 3&5 and the other division play 4&6, however.

          Personally, I like the 8 game conference slate.

          Maybe institute a challenge series with the ACC over 6 years (28 games over 6 years).

          Like

        • zeek says:

          Maybe schedule non-annual cross-over games in weeks 2-3?

          I get that you don’t want to be putting division games that early, but you could make a case for putting some games up there, I’d guess.

          Like

        • Richard says:

          Another alternative is having 1 division play conference games weeks 1&2 while the other plays 3&4.

          Which division starts off with conference play week 1 can alternate. So long as they are designated far enough in advance, OOC games can still be planned far in the future.

          Like

  35. duffman says:

    Week 2 :

    B1G : AQ = 1 – 6 : NAQ = 4 – 0 : FCS = 1 – 0 : OFF = 0 => IN NU, MSU, IU, OSU, MN
    ACC (0-1) : B1G (DNP) : BE (DNP) : B12 (0-1) : PAC (0-3) : SEC (1-0) : IND (0-1)
    CUSA (1-0) : MAC (2-0) : MWC (1-0) : SB (DNP) : WAC (DNP) : FCS (1-0)

    ACC : AQ = 4 – 3 : NAQ = 1 – 0 : FCS = 4 – 0 : OFF = 0 => OUT Miami and UNC
    ACC (1-1) : B1G (1-0) : BE (2-0) : B12 (0-1) : PAC (0-1) : SEC (DNP) : IND (DNP)
    CUSA (DNP) : MAC (1-0) : MWC (DNP) : SB (DNP) : WAC (DNP) : FCS (4-0)

    B12 : AQ = 2 – 1 : NAQ = 2 – 1 : FCS = 2 – 0 : OFF = 2 => OUT Kansas and OK State
    ACC (1-0) : B1G (1-0) : BE (DNP) : B12 (DNP) : PAC (0-1) : SEC (DNP) : IND (DNP)
    CUSA (0-1) : MAC (DNP) : MWC (1-0) : SB (DNP) : WAC (1-0) : FCS (2-0)

    BE : AQ = 1 – 4 : NAQ = 1 – 0 : FCS = 2 – 0 : OFF = 0 => OUT Uconn and Temple
    ACC (0-2) : B1G (DNP) : BE (1-1) : B12 (DNP) : PAC (0-1) : SEC (DNP) : IND (DNP)
    CUSA (DNP) : MAC (DNP) : MWC (1-0) : SB (DNP) : WAC (DNP) : FCS (2-0)

    IND : AQ = 1 – 0 : NAQ = 0 – 1 : FCS = 1 – 0 : OFF = 1 => IN BYU and Notre Dame
    ACC (DNP) : B1G (1-0) : BE (DNP) : B12 (DNP) : PAC (DNP) : SEC (DNP) : IND (DNP)
    CUSA (DNP) : MAC (DNP) : MWC (0-1) : SB (DNP) : WAC (DNP) : FCS (1-0)

    PAC : AQ = 6 – 1 : NAQ = 1 – 1 : FCS = 2 – 1 : OFF = 0 => OUT Utah and Washington
    ACC (1-0) : B1G (3-0) : BE (1-0) : B12 (1-0) : PAC (DNP) : SEC (0-1) : IND (DNP)
    CUSA (DNP) : MAC (DNP) : MWC (1-0) : SB (DNP) : WAC (0-1) : FCS (2-1)

    SEC : AQ = 4 – 4 : NAQ = 4 – 1 : FCS = 1 – 0 : OFF = 0 => OUT AR, Mizzou, and TAMU
    ACC (DNP) : B1G (0-1) : BE (DNP) : B12 (DNP) : PAC (1-0) : SEC (3-3) : IND (DNP)
    CUSA (2-0) : MAC (1-0) : MWC (DNP) : SB (1-1) : WAC (DNP) : FCS (1-0)

    .

    Best schedulers = B1G – 7 AQ’s, only 1 FCS, and everybody played
    Worst schedulers = B12 – No Top 25, 2 OFF, 3 AQ’s, 2 FCS – and still 2 losses!

    .

    Observations :
    The B1G had a solid schedule and beat the SEC – the good
    The B1G went 0-3 to the PAC, B12, and ACC – the bad
    The B12 is not who many think they are – the ugly

    Pardon me if I say “I told you so” about Oklahoma State and the B12 getting more love than they should have last season. Yay to Loki on Rice beating Kansas! Shame on #5 Oklahoma, #14 Texas, #16 TCU, and #18 Oklahoma State for playing historically weak teams yet another week into the season. At least Kansas State scheduled Miami pre scandal so it should have been a good game. Baylor and West Virginia took the week off after playing CUSA teams the week before playing James Madison and Sam Houston State. Oklahoma has off in week 3.

    Like

    • zeek says:

      To me, it’s not about the Big 12 from last year though; I think they proved their chops last year.

      This year, it’s more that some teams were vastly overrated based on last year’s reputation or otherwise (Wisconsin, Michigan, Nebraska, Arkansas, South Carolina, Oklahoma State). None of them should have been ranked as highly as they were to start the season.

      The Pac-12 was underrated to start this season although it’s got its share of bottom feeders too. They might actually have the makings of a middle class this year given that the Pac-12 South teams look a lot better on the whole.

      Like

      • bullet says:

        I guess the coaches mailed it in early. Wisconsin is still ranked (and Oregon St. isn’t). Arkansas is still ranked. Nebraska is still ranked and only 12 pts (with 59 voters) behind UCLA. If you want to know who the pollsters love-look at who stayed in the rankings-SEC and Big 10. Okie St. didn’t. Neither did Boise with an off week.

        For anyone who didn’t think early season polls matter, its clear the pollsters don’t want to acknowledge they were wrong about Wisconsin and Arkansas (I’ll give Nebraska the benefit of a doubt-for now-UCLA can score points).

        Like

        • ccrider55 says:

          But a committee won’t be subject to the same human failings. Oh, wait…it’s made up of humans? 😦

          Like

          • Michael in Raleigh says:

            There’s no way to eliminate all human failings & biases when figuring out who gets to go to a tiny playoff field out of a pool of 124 teams. Even computers can’t eliminate bias. For example, if margin of victory or total points scored is a factor, offensive-oriented teams get a bias over teams with a dominant defense.

            What a committee can do that the polls can’t is allow for accountability & transparency. Right now, coaches don’t have to answer why in the heck they have Arkansas and Wisconsin still ranked. For all we know, there are fellow Big Ten coaches who have kept Wisconsin in the rankings because they know that having a ranked Wisconsin available on the schedule for them to beat gives their team opportunity to have its own profile and ranking boosted. Ditto for SEC coaches with Arkansas. Or… the coaches could immaturely be reluctant to admit they were wrong for having them ranked highly in the first place and keep them in the rankings because of that. Or, in the most likely case, maybe no coaches in college football are putting significant thought into their rankings because they’ve got a zillion other things concerning them.

            Individuals on a committee, on the other hand, would have to answer why Team A was ranked #1, Team B was ranked #2, etc. The committee would never satisfy everyone, but at least they wouldn’t be covered in secrecy.

            Like

          • bullet says:

            A committee doesn’t include mathematically challenged (and challenged in other ways) journalists like the AP poll. It doesn’t include coaches whose bonus may be based on where they are ranked like the coaches poll. It also allows for discussion. People ranking Wisconsin and not Oregon St. in this situation would be challenged and might come up with something more logical.

            Like

          • ccrider55 says:

            Excuse me for not sharing your optimism. A committee does allow for the possibility of all those things you don’t think would, or might, or should/shouldn’t come into play, and at any time during the season. It would be an improvement and will work better…until it doesn’t. A computer program, locked in before the season, would assure that the goal posts don’t move for either kings, princes, or peasants.

            Like

          • Brian says:

            So maybe we could combine computers and humans? Oh, wait.

            It doesn’t matter that computers might do a better job. The majority of fans don’t trust them and never will.

            Like

          • ccrider55 says:

            Majority of fans didn’t like BCS, or it’s predecessor, or the bowl system. They always think (perhaps correctly) there is a better way. Bottom line is fans have no say in the system. We now have BCS 2.0, or BCS+2. Not a playoff, just labeled as one.

            Like

          • Michael in Raleigh says:

            @ccrider,

            How is it not a playoff? There will be four teams, seeded 1 through 4, with #1 playing #4 and #2 playing #3 and the winners of those two games playing in another one to crown a national champion. This system was ratified by the commissio,ners of every conference in D1 FBS and by the BCS presidential oversight committee. National champions will therfore be recognized through this system by each of the conferences at the D1 FBS level.

            The size of the playoff field, the methodology for choosing the teams, etc., do not chage the fact that there will be a playoff. Winners advance to the next round while losers are eliminated until there is only one winner left. Isn’t that, by definition a single elimination playoff?

            Now, if you think there should be more teams intthe field, that is fine. But four teams in a playoff is still a playoff. MLB had only four from the late 60’s to the mid 90’s. Were those series not playoffs until the wild card round was introduced?

            Like

          • ccrider55 says:

            M in R:

            Ok. It’s a 4 team invitational playoff. Unless qualification is through winning conferences, and then if necessary (to get 4) selecting for the 4 top conference champions, it is a beauty “playoff”, no a national championship.

            Like

    • Brian says:

      duffman,

      “Best schedulers = B1G – 7 AQ’s, only 1 FCS, and everybody played
      Worst schedulers = B12 – No Top 25, 2 OFF, 3 AQ’s, 2 FCS – and still 2 losses!”

      Big deal. The B10 went 1-6 against AQs. Only you would try to claim bragging rights out of that.

      “Observations :
      The B1G had a solid schedule and beat the SEC – the good
      The B1G went 0-3 to the PAC, B12, and ACC – the bad
      The B12 is not who many think they are – the ugly”

      No, the ugly was the B10 out west. WI and IL were embarrassed and NE exposed. The B10 clearly isn’t who you think they are this year.

      Like

      • duffman says:

        Brian,

        The post was intended to show who scheduled well and how they did. Since the schedules are done years in advance (except for the schedules shifted by realignment) it showed the B1G was making the attempt to schedule more challenging games. Winning or losing those games is another issue related more to current coaches, staff, and players. Week 2 was not good for the B1G but at least they played better games. 20% of the B12 had already played such tough schedules they took their open dates the second week of football.

        Arkansas fell like a stone based on losing to a non AQ school. Michigan is still ranked because even tho they got beat badly the school that beat them was good.

        Like

        • Brian says:

          duffman,

          “The post was intended to show who scheduled well and how they did.”

          We’ll never agree on this.

          The B10 played Vandy, ASU, OrSU, UCLA, ND, UVA and ISU. That’s hardly a murderer’s row of AQ teams. And I really don’t care what week teams play an AQ or have a bye. Playing an AQ in week 3 versus week 2 is not materially different.

          Would you agree that the middle B12 teams are on par with those teams? If so, the B12’s 9th conference game cancels those out. If not, you so blindly hate the B12 that any discussion is pointless.

          I’d much rather see the B10 schedule so that they can win 8-10 games each week OOC and not be made fun of by the media all week. I see zero advantage in playing 7 AQs if this is the result, and they weren’t even strong AQs.

          Like

  36. Alan from Baton Rouge says:

    Business looks to pick up next week, with four games pitting ranked teams and seven other AQ OOC games.

    #1/1 Bama at #nr/21 (coaches) Arkansas. With Arky’s QB out with a broken collarbone, it could get ugly for the Hogs.

    #2/3 USC at #21/16 Stanford.

    #10/10 Michigan State v. #20/19 Notre Dame

    #18/17 Florida at #23/nr Tennessee

    AQ OOC games include Arizona State at Mizzou, Cal at #12/nr Ohio State, #13/13 VA Tech at Pitt, #14/12 Texas at Ole Miss, #19/20 Louisville at North Carolina, UConn at Maryland, and BC at Northwestern.

    Like

  37. duffman says:

    jj,

    Sparty must carry the B1G banner this season

    With 5 undefeated teams left, 1 can not play. Indiana, Northwestern, and Minnesota all remain unblemished but their hills are tougher to climb with less exposure.

    OOC you had the Boise State game and you have Notre Dame approaching. The other 4 undefeated B1G schools are all on the schedule. The remaining 4 are respectable to put MSU in the Top 5 – Top 10 rolling into the CCG. Southern Cal is the most credible threat out of the PAC and the winner of OU vs WVU has the inside track for the B12. The ACC will shoot itself in the foot so it may come down to 4 schools with a legitimate shot and the talking heads seem to think it will be Alabama vs USC. I am going out on a limb and say Alan’s Tigers get the upset and take the SEC west and win their CCG. Unlike oSu playing Arizona in their OOC last year the Spartans have both Boise State and Notre Dame. Couple that with the win against Georgia in the bowl last year and it could be:

    Michigan State vs Louisiana State for the BCS MNC in january.

    Sparty on and remember you heard it here first.

    Like

    • Richard says:

      MSU definitely has the defense of a national title contender, but Sparty is also prone to Sparty No! moments.

      Like

      • zeek says:

        It’s all about their offense to me; their passing game should come along nicely though and Notre Dame will be a good test of that.

        They’re by far the most complete team in the Big Ten though; Nebraska and Michigan look suspect defensively and of course Ohio State isn’t eligible for anything but looks like they’ll win 10 games anyways…

        Like

  38. Brian says:

    http://www.cfbstats.com/2012/leader/827/team/offense/split01/category01/sort01.html

    Here are some stats I never thought I’d see:
    WI is tied for 9th in the B10 in rushing attempts, 11th in ypc, 11th in TDs and 12th in yards.

    This is with WI having a stud RB, a new QB and a soft early schedule as usual.

    Like

  39. Brian says:

    For those that say the B10 gets no credit, MI is the only ranked team with a loss and is #17 in the AP. Sure, MSU is only #10 but most of the 9 above them have looked pretty good. Other than SC, who can you really complain about being above them (AL, USC, LSU, OR, OU, FSU, UGA, SC, WV)? And SC is only 30 points ahead of them.

    Like

  40. frug says:

    http://www.cbssports.com/collegebasketball/story/20052645/more-trouble-for-gillispie-as-allegations-of-mistreatment-surface

    This is ugly, ugly stuff.

    – Since Gillispie arrived 2 years ago 15 players have left prematurely as have another 15 individuals who work for the BB team ranging from coaches, to secretaries to grad assistants etc.

    – Multiple individuals have been promised jobs that never materialized, including some who had already left their previous positions

    Gillispie left two Canadian players, Ty Nurse and Dejan Kravic, in scholarship limbo this past summer. According to multiple sources, he wouldn’t tell either one whether he was renewing their scholarships yet when they wanted to go home to Canada after summer school ended, he made it clear that if they left, they could not return. Both players had purchased flights home for about $1,000 and wound up having to absorb the cost in fear of not being able to return to Lubbock.

    – He had players practicing far more than the NCAA maximum 4 hours a day 20 hours a week, including one 8 hour practice day

    – He forced a player with stress fractures to continue practicing despite literally crying from the pain. After the doctors informed Gilispie how bad the X-rays were, he ordered them to ice the player down and then made him return to practice.

    Jordan Tolbert, cut his hand on the rim one day last year in practice and suffered a four-inch gash across his fingers. The next day, according to one source, Gillispie had the trainer bandage his hand and then instructed Tolbert to dunk the ball every time he caught it.

    “he bullied everyone, including the trainer. He’d make the trainer make kids come back. Bodies were dropping like flies. One day I walked in and the whole team was in the training room. All the players and even the managers. He’d make them practice”

    Like

    • bullet says:

      Is there something in the Edwards Aquifer that affects coaches? Or is it just being bored to death in Lubbock? 1st Leach with a player with a concussion, now Gillespie.

      Like

      • frug says:

        I don’t know about Leach, but Gillispie’s been nuts for years. I remember him getting in trouble as far back as the 90s when he was on Bill Self’s staff at Tulsa.

        He went to rehab after Kentucky fired him and (at least in interviews) sounded like he had actually changed, but I guess not.

        Like

    • Michael in Raleigh says:

      That stuff is pretty sick. It bothers me that people that controlling and abusive can rise to power like that. Gillispie needs to be held accountable. People who lie to and manipulate their employees and to fairly vulnerable, young men who are dependent on him for their scholarship should not be allowed to be a head coach.

      I just have absolutely zero respect for people who treat those who are dependent on them in such an abusive manner. Hopefully Tech is waiting this out just has to make sure they have sufficient documented evidence to fire with cause.

      Like

      • Brian says:

        Michael in Raleigh,

        “Hopefully Tech is waiting this out just has to make sure they have sufficient documented evidence to fire with cause.”

        Based on OSU’s experience, I’m sure TT is waiting for the NCAA to officially bust him for the violation so they can fire him using a clause in his contract. Until then, they’ll presumably suspend him with pay.

        What I want to know is where the adults were. Since when don’t doctors have the final say on a player being available? Why didn’t said doctor go straight to the AD and/or president? Or did he, and they wouldn’t overrule the coach? This smacks of LOIC, and I bet TT will get hammered for it.

        Like

    • frug says:

      http://espn.go.com/mens-college-basketball/story/_/id/8362335/texas-tech-red-raiders-jordan-tolbert-says-want-coach-billy-gillispie-back

      More on the Gilispie situation:

      Texas Tech leading scorer Jordan Tolbert said Monday he doesn’t want to play for Billy Gillispie if the coach returns from an extended medical leave.

      “I don’t,” Tolbert said by phone. “I don’t. Maybe I would for the assistants. I haven’t put that much thought into it. There is a big sense of urgency. I don’t want to play for him if he comes back.”

      [AD] Hocutt last week announced that the school had reprimanded Gillispie in January for exceeding practice-time limits the previous fall. The letter included language that there would be “no tolerance for disregard of rules,” Hocutt told The Associated Press.

      The school penalized itself for the overage, docking twice the number of hours that Gillispie had exceeded during a two-week period in October or 12 hours and 20 minutes.

      Gillispie is on indefinite sick leave…

      Like

  41. duffman says:

    The ranks of the undefeated week 2 :
    The non AQ’s shot at a MNC are pretty much dead after the first 2 weeks!

    AQ schools 40 of 72 = 55.5% of population : 40 of 124 = 32% of total
    Big 12 (8) of 10 => 80%
    2-0 = Iowa State, Kansas State, Oklahoma, Texas, Texas Tech
    1-0 = Baylor, Texas Christian, West Virginia

    PAC 12 (7) of 12 => 58%
    2-0 = Oregon, Stanford, Arizona, Arizona State, UCLA, Southern Cal
    1-0 = Oregon State

    SEC (8) of 14 => 57%
    2-0 = Florida, Georgia, S Carolina, Tennessee, Mississippi St, Alabama, Louisiana St, Ole Miss

    ACC (6) of 12 => 50%
    2-0 = Wake Forest, Clemson, Florida State, Maryland, Virginia Tech, Virginia

    Big East (4) of 8 => 50%
    2-0 = Louisville, Rutgers, South Florida
    1-0 = Cincinnati

    IND (2) of 4 => 50%
    2-0 = Brigham Young, Notre Dame

    B1G (5) of 12 => 42%
    2-0 = Michigan State, Minnesota, Northwestern, Indiana, Ohio State

    .

    Non AQ schools 6 of 52 = 11.5% of population : 6 of 124 = 5% of total
    WAC (3) of 7 => 43%
    2-0 = Utah State, Texas San Antonio
    1-0 = Louisiana Tech

    Sun Belt (2) of 10 => 20%
    2-0 = Louisiana Lafayette
    1-0 = Louisiana Monroe

    MAC (1) of 13 => 8%
    2-0 = Ohio

    CUSA (0) of 12 => 0%

    MWC (0) of 10 => 0%

    .

    Undefeated pairings for week #3
    13th
    Rutgers @ South Florida

    15th
    Wake Forest @ Florida State
    Florida @ Tennessee
    Southern Cal @ Stanford
    Notre Dame @ Michigan State
    Texas @ Ole Miss

    Like

  42. Brian says:

    http://www.pollspeak.com/component/option,com_psreport/Itemid,3/lang,en/p,46/r,T/s,21/t1,74/v,664/w,3/

    This is one of the things that drive me nuts with polls. Linked is the breakdown of AP votes for OSU this week. It’s an improvement in that everyone voted them in the top 25 this week, but the spread is ridiculous. OSU had a mean of 13.13 but votes ranged from 6 to 25. The people that voted OSU 6, 6, 7, 23 and 25 are crazy and should lose their votes. The ones that voted them 9, 9, 17, 18, 18, and 18 need to explain themselves. The votes from 10-16 are more understandable although 10 seems high to me.

    Like

    • acaffrey says:

      I think it is great. Even worse is when everyone just knee-jerk votes for the same teams. If Ohio State goes 6-6, then everyone is wrong. If Ohio State goes 11-1, maybe the people at the top are right. I could see OSU being 9-3–which would make your expectation of 10-16 perfect. But it is OK for people to see it differently, especially at this point of the season.

      The bigger question–why even have preseason and September polls? Imagine the hype if the first poll came out after the games on Week 4. They could probably schedule a 1-hour show on ESPN to go over it, as with selection Sunday.

      Like

      • ccrider55 says:

        They wait and hype the first BCS poll. Computers have enough data then to begin to be relevant. Humans don’t need data…

        Like

        • bullet says:

          Computers simply don’t have common sense. Since we discussed SEC schools claiming MNCs whenever somebodies senile grandfather declared them champ:
          1941 Texas 8-1-1 (#4 AP) was champion according to the Berryman and Williamson systems. That Texas team made the cover of Life magazine and dominated 8 teams by 23 points. But they got upset in a 7-7 tie with Baylor and lost 14-7 to TCU. Alabama 8-2-0 (#20 AP) was the champ in the Houlgate system. Everyone else picked Minnesota 8-0-0.

          Austin could have had the Rose Bowl that year. Texas was invited, but only if they cancelled a late game against Oregon. The Rose was worried they would be upset as Oregon had lost only 12-7 to Pac champ Oregon St. Texas refused and the Rose invited Duke. December 7, 1941 happened and the Rose was moved to North Carolina that year. Texas beat Oregon 71-7.

          Like

          • bullet says:

            1961 Texas 10-1-0 (#3 AP) was champion according to Sagarin. Texas was dominant, but once again got upset by TCU 6-0. Ohio St. 8-0-1 (#2 AP) was according to Poling as well as the human football writers. Everyone else picked 11-0-0 Alabama.

            Interestingly Ohio St.’s faculty council refused a Rose Bowl invite that year due to Ohio St.’s overemphasis on sports.

            The only regular season loss for Texas in 1959 was also TCU. 1961 led to Coach Royal’s quip that the Horned Frogs were like cockroaches. It wasn’t so much what they picked up, carried off and ate, as what they fell into and messed up.

            Like

          • bullet says:

            1968 Sagarin, Mathews and Devold picked Texas 9-1-1 (AP # 3) as their top team. That team tied and lost its 1st two games before rolling everyone. It may have been the best team in December, but there were two unbeatens. Litkenhous picked Georgia 8-1-2 (AP #10). Everyone else picked Ohio St. 10-0-0. PSU 11-0-0 was #2.

            That Texas team started a 30 game win streak, for decades the longest modern major team’s win streak, 11th all time and 5th since WWI, exceeded only by two OU win streaks in the 50s, Toledo’s 69-71 31 game streak and Miami’s 34 game streak starting in 2000.

            Berryman, as well as FACT, also liked Texas in 77, but there were a bunch of 1 loss teams that year, so while it didn’t make sense (Texas lost badly to the most common #1 ND in the Cotton Bowl), it wasn’t totally ridiculous like 41, 61 and 68.

            You simply can’t program common sense into computers. Computers can’t pick the deserving teams, even if you may be able to do a decent job on point spreads.

            Like

          • ccrider55 says:

            Common sense = sense, or opinion held in common with others. Those who disagree with the majority opinion “lack” common sense, not legitimacy.
            Computer spits out result based on predetermined criteria and aren’t concerned with emotion, historical, or eyeball tests that influence “common sense”.

            Like

          • bullet says:

            I think common sense says that a 9-1-1 team doesn’t deserve an MNC or playoff spot over an 11-0-0 team when both are from major conferences. Was Texas 68 better than Ohio St. 68 in January? Maybe. Were they better over the whole course of the season. Definitely not. Were they more deserving of an MNC or a playoff spot (if there were one)? Unquestionably not. Those types of conclusions lack legitimacy. Just because it follows black and white rules doesn’t mean its logical.

            Computer formulas will emphasize wins (moving up teams with weak schedules) or emphasize how teams win (which ignore the intangibles of teams who just know how to win). Texas had 5 different computer formulas declare them the best team in those 3 years when it made no sense. The 2 other formulas picking SEC teams in those years made even less sense.

            Like

      • Brian says:

        acaffrey,

        “I think it is great. Even worse is when everyone just knee-jerk votes for the same teams. If Ohio State goes 6-6, then everyone is wrong. If Ohio State goes 11-1, maybe the people at the top are right.”

        They’d be correct then, that doesn’t make them correct now. After 2 games, OSU doesn’t deserve to be in the top 10 based on performance. They don’t deserve to be in the 20s either. The poll isn’t supposed to be a prediction of where teams will end up, but an evaluation of where they are now.

        “I could see OSU being 9-3–which would make your expectation of 10-16 perfect. But it is OK for people to see it differently, especially at this point of the season.”

        If people watched both games, there is no justification for a top 10 ranking. There just isn’t. I’d love there to be reason for it, but there isn’t.

        “The bigger question–why even have preseason and September polls?”

        Because they sold newspapers and now drive web clicks.

        “Imagine the hype if the first poll came out after the games on Week 4.”

        Nobody seems hyped for the Harris poll that starts mid-season, just the BCS rankings it goes into.

        “They could probably schedule a 1-hour show on ESPN to go over it, as with selection Sunday.”

        They do.

        Like

  43. Brian says:

    http://host.madison.com/sports/college/football/badgers-football-mike-markuson-out-as-offensive-line-coach/article_37201f8a-faf8-11e1-96fb-0019bb2963f4.html

    And the first domino has fallen from the weekend of pain. WI fires their OL coach, citing a “difficult transition.”

    “When UW coach Bret Bielema hired Markuson in the offseason, it was considered to be a coup at the time. Markuson spent the last 14 years coaching offensive lines in the Southeastern Conference at Arkansas and Mississippi. Since 2003, he coached six different players who earned All-America honors.”

    But it’s all his fault, right Bret? Is he the one that stopped calling running plays with Ball? Is he the one that got a free agent QB that makes several bad throws per game? Or is he the one that got a line missing several starters that got drafted?

    Like

    • Kevin says:

      @Brian – I was highly skeptical of this hire. We heard there were significant problems with Markuson during the Spring. The Personnel on the line is pretty similar to last year. (C, LG, and LT and started in the CCG). This coach came in wanting to overall all the techniques. It’s mindboggling given the success of the offensive line.

      Saying that the line lost talent to the NFL is true but it’s happened every year. As I mentioned the entire left side of the line was back and the RT started in a number of games last year. The only question mark was the RG.

      It’s my opinion that this hire was pushed on Bielema by Alvarez. Markuson GA’d at ND when Barry was the Defensive Coordinator. Houston Nutt called Barry about getting his buddy, Markuson, an interview after he was fired at Ole Miss.

      Also, there are rumors that Markuson was not getting along with other coaches, particularly the O Coordinator.

      Like

      • bullet says:

        Houston fired their offensive coordinator after their dismal performance vs. Texas St.

        Assistant coaches are on shakier ground than head coaches.

        The good news for Wisconsin is that UH scored 49 the next week. Of course, they still lost.

        Like

      • Brian says:

        Kevin,

        Yes, teams lose players every year. But eventually you run into the year when the replacements aren’t as good and/or don’t gel together as well as the previous guys. WI lost 3 OL to the NFL, and maybe these other guys just aren’t quite there yet. I’m not saying that’s all of it, but it may well be part of it.

        As for changing techniques, why wouldn’t Bielema and Alvarez have vetted him for this? Surely they both know there are different methodologies out there and they’d want someone who fits what they do. If they didn’t talk specifics with him, that’s their fault. Regardless of technique, though, guys that big should be able to push people around on at least some plays. Their complete ineptitude makes me think there is more to it than this.

        Like

        • Kevin says:

          The three starters this year that started last year are good players. 2 of which will be drafted in the top 3 rounds.

          We will know fairly quickly in the next few weeks if you are right regarding talent or if it was technique/coaching issue.

          Regarding why they hired him is anyone’s guess but boosters that have been at closed practices noticed significant differences in coaching style between Markuson and Bostad. All the veteran offensive linemen had significant problems with Markuson’s coaching techniques.

          Frankly, the O-line play the past 2 weeks is the worst I’ve seen at Wisconsin since Alvarez arrived. I am not willing to believe it’s talent just yet. Since there were a number of games last year that 4 of the 5 starters this year played at the same time last year.

          I also think Montee Ball looks a little rusty. He didn’t participate in the Spring and didn’t take a hit during fall camp.

          Like

          • Brian says:

            Kevin,

            I’m not trying to say it’s just talent. I’m saying it’s a combination of factors and several of those factors aren’t the coach’s fault.

            Like

  44. Alan from Baton Rouge says:

    I don’t recall anyone posting ESPN’s basketball prestige rankings that came out last month. I just came across it myself. Unlike their football ranking, they just ranked the top 50 over the last 50 years.

    http://espn.go.com/blog/collegebasketballnation/tag/_/name/50-in-50-series/count/1

    Looking at the AQ conferences post-realignment, the Big East leads all conference with 12 schools: #6 Louisville, #9 UConn, #12 Georgetown, #16 Villanova, #17 Marquette, #18 Temple, #19 Memphis, #24 Cincy, #29 Notre Dame, #35 Houston, #40 St. John’s, and #45 DePaul.

    The ACC, Big Ten and SEC each placed 6 schools on the list.

    ACC: #1 North Carolina, #4 Duke, #8 Syracuse, #27 Maryland, #42 NC State, and #50 BC.

    Big Ten: #7 Indiana, #11 Michigan State, #13 Michigan, #15 Ohio State, #20 Purdue, and #33 IIllinois.

    SEC: #3 Kentucky, #25 Arkansas, #27 Mizzou, #40 Florida, #47 Alabama, and #48 LSU.

    Big XII (4): #5 Kansas, #26 Texas, #31 Oklahoma, and #38 K-State

    Pac-12 (3): #2 UCLA, #10 Arizona, and #20 Utah.

    ESPN also named the top 50 in 50 starting five for each school. While my Tigers just barely made the list at #48, I’d put my starting five against anybody’s. Shaquille O’Neal, Pete Maravich, Chris Jackson, Rudy Macklin, and Glen “Big Baby” Davis. I would have picked John “Hot Plate” Williams over Big Baby though.

    Like

    • bullet says:

      Houston had Elvin Hayes, Hakeem Alajuwon & Clyde Drexler along with Michael Young (played in NBA and was on team with Hakeem and Clyde) and Otis Birdsong in their starting 5. 3 of the NBA top 50. That’s a pretty good starting 5.

      They had a question about which was the best of the 3 best teams for each school. You have to evaluate which is more important, how talented were they or how they compared to the other teams. For Kentucky 2011-12 was enormously talented. But 1977-78 was just so much better than anyone else that year and was ranked #1 virtually start to finish (and had Jack Givens and Purdue transfer Kyle Macy on their 50 in 50 starting 5). That question is even more difficult in football as the players have gotten so much bigger and faster. 1971 Nebraska couldn’t stay on the field with 1995 Nebraska, but was every bit as good compared to the competition.

      Like

      • Mike says:

        A fun side exercise, how many years of development and innovation would it take to make a dominant team no longer be dominant if you could transport that team into the future? For example, when would the ’27 Yankees be an also ran? How would Jordan’s Bulls hold up? To use bullet’s example, I doubt ’71 Nebraska could win a game against an FBS school today. I would be surprised if ’95 Nebraska could make any bowl.

        My answers:
        10 years max for a dominant team to stay dominant.
        20 years max before it became a .500 team
        30 years max before it couldn’t even win a game.

        Like

        • ccrider55 says:

          And the counter proposal. Could todaysFB teams survive the early ’60s and earlier with 3 substitutions per play (and fewer earlier)? RBs, WRs, and DBs probably could go both ways, but today’s linemen would be in trouble. As always, the rules dictate what a teams makeup needs to be to succeed.

          Like

          • bullet says:

            Yeah, those 300 lb lineman would have a HARD time. They get winded on a 10-12 play series.

            Like

          • Mike says:

            Today’s teams against the 60’s teams wouldn’t be fair. Size, speed, and conditioning are markedly better today. Watching games (on ESPN classic) from the 80’s and to hear Keith Jackson say “He’s a big one at 265” always surprises me. William “the Refrigerator” Perry played at 305 his senior year (‘84) in college. Players of that size are much more common and athletic today.

            Like

          • bullet says:

            I would disagree about conditioning. Size, speed and strength definitely. There seems to be a focus on building quickness and strength (which often go hand in hand). But these players seem to have a deficit of slow twitch fibers. They’re trained for short intense bursts but get winded (receivers as well as lineman) when they are out there for any length of time.

            Like

          • Mike says:

            When did the play clock come in? I imagine the short bursts would be fine if the tempo can be slower.

            Like

          • bullet says:

            They’ve got unlimited substitution now. So they can rest their players more. And of course, they don’t play both ways. I imagine they’ve always had some kind of delay of game penalty. Didn’t see anything in the NCAA record book on time clock changes. They had about 3 pages of other rules changes, so its possible I missed it.

            Like

        • bullet says:

          Prior to the steroid era, I think the 27 Yankees would whip anyone. There was noone with as good a record (110-44) and only about a dozen teams that even won 2/3 of their games in the next 70 years. Up through the late 90s, 70 Orioles, 61 Yankees, 32/36/39 Yankees and 29 Phillies were the only AL WS champs to win 2/3. 86 Mets, 75 Reds, and 42/44 Cards were the only NL WS champs to do that. The tendency of top athletes to play baseball in those days makes the length of time stretch for baseball.

          The Texas 1969 O-line had a 276 pounder and 4 guys under 200 lbs. That team was unbeaten and dominated. Not sure the 10/20/30 would be too long for football.

          Basketball would be interesting. With expansion and the ABA, it was obvious the teams of the late 70s weren’t as good as the teams of the 60s. But the athleticism and strength is much better now. On the other hand, the fundamentals aren’t nearly as good.

          Like

        • Michael in Raleigh says:

          ’95 Nebraska? I’m pretty certain they’d still win a lot today. Theyd be top 10, at worst. It’s not like those guys were skinny 1950’s players. Heck, a lot of their players beat the crap out of Peyton Manning’s Tennessee Vols just two years later, and Peyton is still in the NFL playing very well. I know it was 17 years ago, but it’s not ancient history.

          Like

        • @Mike – Interesting topic.

          There’s definitely no doubt in my mind that Jordan’s Bulls would still be dominant today easily (and I’m not just saying that as a Bulls fan). MJ was a physical and competitive freak on all levels and the no hand checking rules of today’s NBA would have allowed him to average 40 points per game. Generally speaking, all basketball teams since the Magic/Bird era began are comparable in my eyes. Power forwards are more likely to be able to hit 3-point shots and spread the floor today compared to 20 years ago, but centers were MUCH better back in the ’80s and ’90s.

          Baseball is an interesting case. The overall athleticism of today’s baseball players is certainly better today compared to the ’60s and ’70s, but pitching practices are so dramatically different. Could you imagine a 1st place Cardinals team from the ’60s willingly shutting down Bob Gibson in September in the way that the Nationals just shut down Stephen Strausburg? Also, Nolan Ryan is evidence that elite athletes can cross over and be great in any generation. That guy still threw a no-hitter with a fastball in the upper 90s at the tail end of his career. If Ryan could still play like that in his 40s in the 1990s, I’d imagine that he would have racked up the same records even if his prime years were in 2010s instead of 1970s. (The specific ’27 Yankees example brings up a different issue, which is whether they would have been nearly as dominant if African-American players had been allowed to play back then.)

          In football, I feel that the elite skill position players from the past would still be dominant players today. Walter Payton and Barry Sanders would perform just fine in today’s NFL. However, the difference would be with the offensive and defensive lines where the players are markedly bigger and faster compared to the 1980s. It’s really been a sea change on that front over the past 20 years.

          For college teams specifically, there is a lot more dispersal of talent today compared to even 15 years ago. The ’82 UNC or ’96 Kentucky basketball teams would destroy any of their contemporaries. Even if you could recruit and aggregate the same amount of talent today onto a single team, you’d never be able to keep them around for more than a year. Football hasn’t had quite the same recent history if only because the NFL Draft rules force players to stay in college longer, but I still feel that even the Alabamas of the world can’t stockpile talent quite to the same extent that, say, Tom Osborne was able to do at Nebraska. So, that would even things a little more if you dropped ’95 Nebraska into today’s college football world.

          Like

          • bullet says:

            What has happened to the centers?

            The Rockets alone in the 80s had Moses Malone, Elvin Hayes, Ralph Sampson and Hakeem Alajuwon.

            Like

    • Kevin says:

      Not sure I understand why Louisville is ahead of Indiana

      Like

    • Brian says:

      Alan,

      “ESPN also named the top 50 in 50 starting five for each school. While my Tigers just barely made the list at #48, I’d put my starting five against anybody’s. Shaquille O’Neal, Pete Maravich, Chris Jackson, Rudy Macklin, and Glen “Big Baby” Davis. I would have picked John “Hot Plate” Williams over Big Baby though.”

      I think Georgetown would be a tough matchup for you:

      G – Sleepy Floyd (1978-82)
      G – Allen Iverson (1994-96)
      F – Reggie Williams (1983-87)
      F/C – Alonzo Mourning (1988-92)
      C – Patrick Ewing (1981-85)

      Mourning and Ewing could combine to stop Shaq and Davis and Iverson and Floyd would do fine out top.

      Like

  45. zeek says:

    Oh, I just wanted to point out that this definitely looks like a year where the Big Ten may only have a Rose Bowl representative and no 2nd BCS team.

    Wisconsin and Nebraska both look unlikely (although things can change); Ohio State is ineligible.

    That basically leaves Michigan State and Michigan. There’s a decent shot that both of them make it, but the loser of that game has to finish at least 10-2 in order to pull it off given that the Big Ten is going to be hurt in the BCS polls by computers (just guessing here based on the goose egg against the Pac-12 this past weekend).

    Like

    • Michael in Raleigh says:

      It’s ridiculously early to be forecasting BCS bowl participants, but hey, I’ll do it anyway.

      6 autobids to the AQ league champions
      1 bid to a second SEC team
      1 bid to a second Pac-12 team (most likely the loser of a USC-Oregon rematch)
      1 bid to a non-AQ team (Louisiana Tech and Ohio both have excellent shots at going unbeaten and inevitably finishing in the top 12)
      1 bid to a second Big 12 team, especially if that team is a highly ranked Texas or OU, but also likely for WVU given the way they travel well

      Alternatively, a second ACC team isn’t all that far fetched, with VT, FSU, and Clemson unscathed (but largely untested) so far.

      I wouldn’t bet against the Big Ten, though. Bowls love they way they travel. It’s also a long season. Several teams could still finish with 10 wins.

      Like

      • duffman says:

        Brian,

        You raise an interesting point about Ohio. They have not gotten the love of a TCU or Boise State but it will be interesting to see. The problem is it the luster is lost as the season goes on if Penn State and Marshall slide downward.

        Like

      • Brian says:

        Michael in Raleigh,

        “6 autobids to the AQ league champions
        1 bid to a second SEC team”

        Given. You can write in AL and LSU now. One’s in the NCG, the other in the Sugar.

        “1 bid to a second Pac-12 team (most likely the loser of a USC-Oregon rematch)”

        Probably, but there’s a catch. If the same team loses both times, they have no margin for error. A third loss would probably doom them.

        “1 bid to a non-AQ team (Louisiana Tech and Ohio both have excellent shots at going unbeaten and inevitably finishing in the top 12)”

        I don’t know about that. The MAC is considered so bad I don’t know if Ohio can crack the top 12. Ohio has a terrible schedule and it only looks worse as time goes on. They miss the MAC West “powers” and PSU is looking like a zero-value win for them. The WAC is even worse, plus LA Tech has 3 AQs coming up – @IL, @UVA, TAMU. Get back to me after they win all of those. Now, if any AQ champ (BE) is lower then they only need the top 16 which is more doable but still iffy.

        “1 bid to a second Big 12 team, especially if that team is a highly ranked Texas or OU, but also likely for WVU given the way they travel well”

        Agreed, OU and WV seem likely right now (maybe others).

        “Alternatively, a second ACC team isn’t all that far fetched, with VT, FSU, and Clemson unscathed (but largely untested) so far.”

        FSU and Clemson share a division, so they are most likely. Both play VT, though. Would a 10-2 Clemson that lost to FSU and VT get in? Or 10-2 FSU? VT would have to be 11-2 or better.

        MSU looks to be the Rose team, so MI or NE would need to finish 10-2. Maybe MI could swing 9-3 with the loss to AL if the 2 B10 losses are early and/or good. With OSU playing both of them, that could be the wrench in the works. I’d expect the MI/NE winner to have a good shot if they split their games with OSU and MSU and don’t get upset otherwise. Due to timing, an OSU loss would hurt MI more than NE, but it might be survivable if OSU is riding high late in the year (10-2 or better).

        Now, the odds of MI or NE going 10-2 are another story. But who’s going to beat them? MSU and OSU look like legitimate threats to beat them, but who else does right now? NW and MN are improved, but it would still be an upset. IA shows no capability of doing it so far. On the other side, WI, PSU, IN, IL and PU all look very beatable right now. So, 10-2 seems plausible if not likely.

        Like

        • Richard says:

          I think NU beating Michigan (and, especially, Nebraska again) is definitely possible.

          Michigan does host MSU. Realistically, the best chance of the B10 getting 2 BCS teams again requires Michigan beating Sparty. Granted, Michigan may not have 2 or less losses even if they manage to do so, though.

          Like

          • greg says:

            The best chance the B10 has for 2 BCS teams is MSU going undefeated before losing to Purdue in the title game.

            I’d prefer they only get one.

            Like

          • Brian says:

            Richard,

            NW certainly has a chance. But I assume you’d agree it would be an upset.

            Like

          • zeek says:

            Brian, I think he’s counting on the notion that Northwestern is typically good for 1 upset and 1 loss to an underdog. Games like BC and Minnesota look as much like upset bids for Northwestern as the likelihood of Northwestern pulling off an upset against Nebraska or Michigan.

            Like

          • Richard says:

            Yep. Pretty confident that we’ll win at least one against Michigan/Nebraska/MSU. Hoping that we won’t drop one vs. BC/Minny, but that seems to happen every year.

            Like

  46. duffman says:

    Alan,

    Thanks for the link, not sure if you saw the Duke scandal brewing

    http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2012/basketball/ncaa/wires/09/07/2060.ap.bkc.duke.thomas.sued.0158/

    I meant to put it with the discussion on Franks last post about UNC getting off on the academic scandal when it looked like it was heading to the basketball players as well as the football team. Some schools really do seem to live by a different set of rules. They let Duke keep that other banner, so I guess they will let Duke keep the one against Butler. To bad because those Butler kids were a great story and it would have added another banner for the state of Indiana.

    Like

    • bullet says:

      If someone passes hundreds of random tests and you have nothing but the evidence of testimony from people plea bargaining to get lesser penalties for themselves, you could NEVER win in a court of law.

      I understand the desire to stop drug use in sports, but the Bonds, Clemens and Armstrong vendettas against retired participants are just an incredible waste of resources. They strike me as an ego thing by those pursuing.

      Like

  47. Michael in Raleigh says:

    Here’s something that’s right with college football: http://www.goasu.com/ViewArticle.dbml?DB_OEM_ID=21500&ATCLID=205683382

    It’s just a classy gesture by the team, which is refreshing for anyone to see. It makde me proud as an alum.

    Like

  48. OrderRestored83 says:

    Wow, it only took a 3 TD loss for Andy to disappear from this board. It’s been much more pleasant, thank you Georgia.

    Like

    • greg says:

      Dude, don’t poke a sleeping tiger.

      Like

    • Andy says:

      I typically only post on here when somebody goes out of their way to bash Mizzou, which amazingly happens fairly often.

      8 pt lead (17-9) late in the third quarter on Saturday, then a turnover-fest. Yeah, Mizzou got beat. But they outgained Georgia 370-350. Georgia’s defense is evidently great at causing turnovers, and that was the difference. They’ll win a lot of games this year. They might even finish the season undefeated as they don’t have to play Alabama or LSU.

      Mizzou still has 10 games to go. I wouldn’t be surprised if they blow out Arizona State on Saturday.

      Mizzou football is doing good. Sold out season tickets for the entire season. Mizzou should rank in the top 20 in attendance nationally this year. And lots of fun games left on the schedule.

      And how about that Big Ten? Penn State, Purdue, Iowa, Wisconsin, Nebraska, Illinois, Michigan, all with losses now. Many of them bad losses. And Ohio State is on probation and not bowl eligible. Minnesota, Indiana, and Northwestern have struggled against weak competition. So who’s left? I guess Michigan State. Not a good year for you guys.

      Like

  49. Andy says:

    I guess Mizzou is a TV draw afterall:

    http://espnmediazone.com/us/press-releases/2012/09/espn2-sets-saturday-record-abc-has-highest-rated-game-of-day-large-audience-for-espn/

    •ESPN2’s prime-time telecast of Georgia at Missouri averaged a 2.4 US rating (2.8 coverage), 4,119,000 viewers and 2,726,000 households, making it the network’s highest-rated and most-viewed Saturday regular-season college football game. •The SEC contest is ESPN2’s second most-viewed and third highest-rated regular-season college football game on any day. ESPN2 averaged 4,137,000 viewers (a 2.5 US rating, 2.9 coverage and 2,894,000 households) for a Friday night Pittsburgh at West Virginia telecast in 2009 and a 2.5 US rating (3.1 coverage, 3,734,000 viewers and 2,768,000 households) for a Monday LSU at Tennessee matchup in 2005.

    In addition to a large national rating, ESPN2’s Georgia at Missouri telecast garnered significant local interest. It was the network’s highest rated college football game in Atlanta and St. Louis ever, averaging an 18.4 metered market rating in Atlanta and 12.7 in St. Louis. The telecast was also the second highest rated college football game ever in Kansas City with a 14.0 metered market rating (Oklahoma St at Missouri on October 11, 2008 averaged a 15.0).

    Like

    • bullet says:

      Actually UGA is the draw. Note that ratings in Atlanta were 50% higher than St. Louis. UGA is back in the top 10 this year and the favorite in the SEC East.

      Like

      • Andy says:

        Nice try, but you’re wrong like usual. Georgia has played plenty of games on ESPN2. This was their highest rated game ever. And it didn’t come against Florida or Tennessee or Auburn or Alabama or LSU or Arkansas. It came against Missouri.

        Like

        • Brian says:

          The attraction was the novelty of it, guys. People wanted to see how MO did in their first SEC game. The in-state numbers might remain elevated from previous years, but the rest of the country won’t care nearly as much about game 2+ in the SEC.

          Like

          • Andy says:

            As I’ve shown repeatedly, Mizzou does very well in national ratings. They did well again. Yes, they did even better than usual b/c of the novelty factor, but Mizzou has been a strong TV draw for years.

            Like

  50. bullet says:

    SEC not particularly close, but making progress. Expects TV contract by end of year. Champions Bowl decision will most likely be early October.
    http://espn.go.com/college-football/story/_/id/8353485/sec-commissioner-mike-slive-expects-new-tv-deal-year-end

    Like

    • Andy says:

      I’m sure Mizzou’s tv ratings so far this year will help Slive’s case.

      Like

    • zeek says:

      Main reason it’d be complicated is the questionmarks on the SEC Network and how that’ll be split up and for how many years if anything.

      I doubt there’s that much contention over the value of A&M/Missouri (compared to the myriad of issues with putting together a network).

      Like

      • Andy says:

        There was plenty of contention over Mizzou’s value on here.

        Like

        • bullet says:

          CBS said both were worth very little, if anything at all, for Tier I.
          ESPN and the SEC probably have a decent understanding by now on the Tier II value, whatever that is. The potential SEC network is complicated and it can complicate the Tier II valuation if they pull games out of Tier II for a network.

          Like

          • Andy says:

            That’s because CBS only has one game per week.

            Missouri is in the CBS game of the week on Sept 22. We’ll have to see what the ratings are.

            No doubt Missouri has helped ESPN’s revenue, at least this week.

            Like

  51. bullet says:

    Frank, need a new post!

    5 games, everything but hockey and fb moving from BE to ACC.

    I don’t think today is April Fool’s.

    Like

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