". . . While we have great respect for all of the institutions that have contacted us, and certain expansion proposals were financially attractive, we have a strong conference structure and culture of equality that we are committed to preserve. With new landmark TV agreements and plans to launch our innovative television networks, we are going to focus solely on these great assets, our strong heritage and the bright future in front of us."
Included in the statement was the "culture of equality that we are committed to preserve" which was clearly a reference to Texas and its Longhorn Network. The assumption many were making was that at some point if Texas would get to the Pac-12--and Texas' role in all of this stuff was the most intriguing (Pac-12 vs. ACC vs. Independence vs. Trying to keep the Big 12 alive)--is that UT and Larry Scott would be able to finesse the LHN deal into the conference's TV model, but that was part of the deal breaker for all of this.
Of course, this news does not mean the conference realignment chaos is over. If anything, it just shows how much bigger of a mess the Big 12 schools' dynamic actually is now.
Richard Justice, the long-time Houston Chronicle columnist, tweeted this Wednesday morning: "For one day, sanity ruled college sports. Whether it'll last for a decade or an hour is beside the point. It's a start."
I think "sanity" is Larry Scott. And I think he's only beginning to flex his muscle. Dan Beebe, the "head" of the Big 12, is on the opposite side of the spectrum. *LSU may have lost the best DB in college football in Patrick Peterson, but the Tigers have two DBs, Morris Claiborne and Tyrann Mathieu who both may lack the big corner's size, but also now are being considered as first-round talents, reports Glenn Guilbeau.
"I think Claiborne is a first round pick now," NFL Draft expert Mike Detillier said. "I do not see him returning for his senior year. Tyrann could also be a first round pick. They don't have the size and speed of Peterson, but they're both great cornerbacks."I'll have a lot more about the talent on this LSU defense next week in a bigger story on the site.
Mathieu at 5-foot-9 and 180 and Claiborne at 6-0, 185 are built like most cornerbacks. Peterson was freakish at 6-1, 219, but LSU coach Les Miles sees parts of Peterson in both players. "I think Mo is as fast and athletic as any," Miles said Monday at his press luncheon. "His athleticism, fluidity and ball skills are equal, but Patrick was bigger, stronger and more explosive. I would certainly like to have Mo at either corner and Patrick at any corner as well."
Miles sees Peterson's sixth sense for playmaking in Mathieu. "Tyrann anticipates making the play," he said. "He makes plays that only a guy who thinks he can blitz and not be blocked can make. He just thinks he can chase the ball, get to the ball, catch the ball and strip the ball. He looks at every piece of a play as an opportunity to enhance his opportunity to make another play. He is a guy that sees each opportunity as incredible and tries to throw his body around it. I see it in a number of our guys at times. It happens with some regularity with our guys."
*Notre Dame freshman DE Aaron Lynch is making a big impact for the Irish, who have been desperate to find a difference-maker up front for a long time, as Tom Davis reports.
After racking up just one tackle in the first two games, Lynch accounted for five total tackles and a sack of Spartan quarterback Kirk Cousins. In a game that had a combined 13 quarterback hurries between the two squads, the 6-foot-6, 265-pound youngster had six of those himself.“If (Lynch) didn't get to the quarterback, he got held,” coach Brian Kelly said.
*Top 2013 QB prospect Shane Morris not only is already committed to Michigan, he's also working very hard recruiting for the Wolverines as well, reports Tim Sullivan.
“Definitely, I'm just trying to get the best players in the country to come to Michigan,” Morris said. “In person, on Facebook or whatever I have to do to get a hold of them.”
That approach paid off for Morris following the night game against Notre Dame. Thanks, in part, to his hard work, Alliance (Ohio) Marlington defensive back Dymonte Thomas committed to U-M. He's the second commitment in Michigan’s class of 2013. “I’ve been recruiting him hard,” Morris said, “He’s a great kid, and we’re really good friends. I didn’t think he was ready to commit yet. We’re all really excited about that. He’s going to be one of the best players in Ohio next year.”
Morris has other recruiting targets in his sights, too. Westlake Village (Calif.) Oaks Christian wide receiver Jordan Payton and Lakewood (Wash.) Lakes offensive lineman Zach Banner attended the Notre Dame, and Morris gave his best pitch for Michigan to the senior prospects. “I talked to Jordan Payton and Zach Banner for a long time,” Morris said. “I tried to talk to everyone I could out there and build relationships.”