Tag:West Virginia
Posted on: October 17, 2011 7:23 pm
Edited on: October 18, 2011 10:05 am
 

Report: Mizzou to SEC "inevitable and imminent"

Posted by Tom Fornelli

You know, it had just been too long since we heard news about a school leaving or joining the Big 12, so thankfully the New York Times has come along with a report on some new developments.

Pete Thamel is reporting that a move that would see Missouri leave the Big 12 to join Texas A&M in the SEC is "inevitable and imminent."
The person said that Missouri’s decision to apply for membership to the SEC was “inevitable and imminent,” although a specific timeframe has yet to be set. Missouri’s Board of Curators will meet on Thursday and Friday at the University of Missouri, Kansas City, where the process of withdrawing from the Big 12 and applying to the SEC is expected to begin. While expansion is not listed on the agenda, there is an private session scheduled Thursday afternoon and Friday morning.

After Missouri applies, the person said that it expects “no problems” with gathering enough votes among SEC presidents to become a member.
As Thamel also says in the report, interim Big 12 commissioner Chuck Neinas said he expected Missouri to be a Big 12 member in 2012 and that the league would consist of ten teams now that TCU has joined. Well, if Mizzou does decide to leave for the SEC, it's possible that, like Texas A&M, it could begin play in the conference next season.

Also like the Texas A&M move, the SEC isn't expected to make any formal move on Missouri until it's assured there will be no legal ramifications. So the nation turns its leery eyes to you, Ken Starr.

As for what this move would mean for the rest of college football, if Missouri does leave then odds are that the Big 12 will move to replace the school in time for next season. Neinas has said that if Missouri did leave that the conference would move back to ten teams, and possibly twelve. Which isn't good news for a Big East conference that is currently scrambling to keep itself together.

After all, Louisville and West Virginia have frequently been mentioned as targets for the Big 12, and considering that Louisville is sitting out a Big East call to discuss raising exit fees, I guess we have a good idea of who the Big 12's first target will be.
Posted on: October 17, 2011 5:42 pm
Edited on: October 17, 2011 5:44 pm
 

Big East will discuss realignment Tuesday

Posted by Chip Patterson

The Big East conference invited media members to join Commissioner John Marinatto on a conference call Tuesday afternoon, the league announced on Monday. The release from the conference office stated the purpose of the call would be to discuss current information on Big East realignment. The call suggests Marinatto has an update regarding their efforts to replace Syracuse and Pittsburgh while pursuing a 12-team model for football.

As previously reported by CBSSports.com's Brett McMurphy, one of the challenges in attracting new members to the Big East has been an apparent lack of commitment by the six remaining football members. One of the highly contested topics reportedly of concern to potential members like Navy, Air Force, or Boise State has been the league's exit fees - currently around $5 million. It is believed that an agreement to increase the exit fees by the current members would display the stability needed to appear attractive to potential members.

On Monday afternoon, The Charleston Gazette reported that West Virginia is expected to vote in favor of raising the exit fees from $5 million to roughly $10 million. If the proposal passes during Monday evening's conference call, Marinatto should have some good news to report to the media on Tuesday. The league needs 11 of the 14 member schools to vote for a hike in fees in order to change the bylaws, and West Virginia's commitment could end up being a crucial piece to keeping the conference together.

The Mountaineers have been mentioned frequently during realignment talks as possible targets for the SEC or Big 12. Louisville, believed to be a candidate for the Big 12 if Missouri departs for the SEC, reportedly may sit out the call. If the Cardinals pull their vote from consideration, West Virginia's vote could end up being decisive in the exit fees proposal.

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Posted on: October 17, 2011 9:46 am
 

Big East poll reactions, Week 7

Posted by Chip Patterson

This week's polls have been released. Here's how the Big East fared, from the top of the polls to the bottom, and what it means.

(AP/Coaches)

11/14. West Virginia

Not a bad week for West Virginia, who saw a rise in both polls despite having the week off. As teams begin to stumble in conference play, the Mountaineers will continue to rise as one of the most impressive 1-loss teams. If they continue to ride the gas pedal against the rest of the Big East conference slate, the Mountaineers could continue to rise and break into the top ten.

However, Dana Holgorsen's squad really does not have much to gain from the pollsters from here on out. The best possible finish for the Mountaineers in 2011 is likely a Big East title and BCS bowl win. Their focus has shifted from the national scene to the six conference match ups left on the schedule. Keep winning and West Virginia will have an opportunity to achieve all of their goals. Any slip ups along the way, and things could get interesting.


Others receiving votes:Cincinnati and Rutgers, both 5-1 overall and undefeated in conference play, saw some attention from the Coaches and Associated Press voters.  The Scarlet Knights put together an impressive comeback against Navy this past weekend, while the Bearcats outlasted the youthful (and sloppy) Louisville Cardinals.  Rutgers is probably the surprise of the conference this season, with freshman quarterback Gary Nova taking over for Chas Dodd.  They will face a tough challenge on Friday, visiting that angry Louisville team looking for redemption. 

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Posted on: October 16, 2011 2:33 am
Edited on: October 16, 2011 3:05 am
 

Big East Winners and Losers: Week 7


Posted by Chip Patterson


A handy recap of who really won and who really lost that you won't find in the box score.

WINNER: Greg Schiano

Rutgers' head coach was struggling with his running back rotation, and not getting enough production out of Chas Dodd as the Scarlet Knights started the season. Contrary to the desires of many Rutgers' fans, Schiano dedicated many of the rushing attempts to sophomore Jawan Jamison instead of highly-touted freshman Savon Huggins. Jamison's early season experience paid off in the 21-20 comeback victory over Navy, as he delivered his first 100+ yard performance of his short career. Schiano also made the right call making a quarterback change, giving freshman Gary Nova his first career start against the Midshipmen. Nova also stepped up to the challenge, completing 23 of 31 passes for 271 yards and two touchdowns. There is room for improvement with Nova (like the two interceptions, one returned for a touchdown) but it is clear he is the quarterback of the future for the Scarlet Knights.

LOSER: South Florida's Big East title hopes

After starting conference play with two straight losses, South Florida has made the task of claiming their first Big East title much more difficult. It is not impossible, Connecticut accomplished such a feat just a year ago, but it is particularly challenging with USF's schedule. In order to put themselves in a position to finish atop the league standings, they will need to run the table in conference play and get some significant help. After starting the season 4-0, the Bulls were ranked in the top 20 and getting buzz as Big East frontrunners. Now they stare down Cincinnati, Rutgers, Syracuse (on a short week), Louisville, and West Virginia needing five wins and some help in order to reclaim that buzz surrounding the program in September.

WINNER: Mistake-prone Bearcats

Cincinnati started flat against Louisville on Saturday, and some Bearcats fans will even tell you they arguably deserved to lose the game. The only turnover was a Zach Collaros interception returned for a touchdown, but Cincinnati fumbled the ball four times. Thankfully the ball was recovered by a Bearcat in each of the four instances, but Butch Jones' squad had that kind of luck against the Cardinals. After all, it was Louisville penalties and failure to execute that opened the door for the 18-0 second half run to deliver Cincinnati a victory in their Big East opener. At 5-1 the Bearcats have already surpassed the win total from Jones' first season, and find themselves as one of the new favorites in the hunt for the conference title.

LOSER: Pittsburgh's "no-octane" offense

Head coach Todd Graham has tried everything with Pittsburgh's offense, but with the exception of their explosion against South Florida the Panthers have been painfully ineffective with the ball. Starting quarterback Tino Sunseri still looks uneasy trying to push the ball down the field, and even a change of pace quarterback like Trey Anderson hasn't been able to get anything started for Pittsburgh. The 26-14 loss to a visiting Utah squad was embarrassing, but the offense's inability to score a single point against the Utes was downright shameful. Pittsburgh instead had to get their points with defense and special teams, while their no-octane offense definitely sorts them into the "loser" column for Week 7.

WINNER: West Virginia

Even though the Mountaineers had Week 7 off, they emerge as a winner in the Big East. More conference infighting has revealed vulnerability in West Virginia's opponents in the quest for a conference title. South Florida started the season as one of the early candidates to challenge for the crown, but after Skip Holtz's squad dropped their second conference game and Pittsburgh failed to score an offensive touchdown things are looking good in Morgantown. Their stiffest competition will likely either come from Rutgers and/or Cincinnati. Both games will be road tests for the Mountaineers, and now become the unsuspecting "games to circle" in the Big East conference schedule.

LOSER: Louisville and their self-hating ways

Louisville entered the game as the Big East's most penalized team, averaging 8.6 flags per game. On Saturday they lived up to their reputation, committing four penalties on one drive as the Cardinals held a 16-14 lead heading into the fourth quarter. While Charlie Strong's squad kept the total number of penalties down, that frustrating possession was enough to swing the momentum away from the inexperienced Cardinals. When Cincinnati got the ball back, it only took two plays for Isaiah Pead to break loose for 50 of his 151 yards rushing and a touchdown to take the lead away from Louisville. For the third week in a row, the Cardinals suffer a close loss. A game that could have easily ended differently if not for some crucial mental errors.


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Posted on: October 14, 2011 1:19 pm
Edited on: October 14, 2011 1:20 pm
 

Big 12 TV partners didn't want BYU

Posted by Tom Fornelli

When the Big 12 was looking for a school to replace Texas A&M, the one school that was mentioned frequently was BYU. It made some sense in the fact that since BYU was already an independent in football, it might not have to make a lot of changes to bring its football program to the Big 12. Of course, TCU was then named the newest member of the Big 12, and now you're not hearing all that much about BYU as much as you do schools like West Virginia and Louisville should the Big 12 add more teams.

Why is that? Well, according to a report in the Salt Lake Tribune, the Big 12's television partners put the kibosh on BYU.
Although BYU’s flirtation with the Big 12 may yet be renewed at some point beyond next year, The Salt Lake Tribune has confirmed what the Tulsa World first reported on Oct. 7: Big 12 talks with BYU hit a snag last week and the league, at the behest of its television partners, quickly moved to invite TCU.

“There is some rigidity at BYU in terms of what they will and won’t do,” Tulsa World columnist Dave Sittler wrote, quoting a Big 12 source. “Some of it has to do with [LDS Church] rules, and also the way they engage with media partners.”
It seems both ABC/ESPN and Fox Sports also had problems with BYU's policy of not playing sports on Sundays. Not for football as much as any other sports the networks might want to televise.

In addition the report also says that BYU wanted assurances that an unspecified minimum of the school's games would be televised nationally, and it also wanted the ability to show BYU games that weren't picked up by Fox or ESPN on BYUtv.
Posted on: October 11, 2011 12:27 am
 

Report: San Diego State looking for Big 12 invite

Posted by Bryan Fischer

Memphis has been looking for an invitation to the SEC (really) but they're not the only program looking to take a big step up in competition.

According to the San Diego Union-Tribune, San Diego State is all but begging for an invite to the Big 12. Athletic director Jim Sterk has passed information about the school and surrounding television market to Big 12 officials, including interim commissioner Chuck Neinas.

“We’ve been proactive as far as getting information out and just making sure their folks know what a valuable commodity San Diego State is,” Sterk told the Union-Tribune. “We’ve been able to show how well we capture the San Diego television market in the last couple of years and have a program that’s really on the rise and have a lot of things going for it. We’re a member of the Mountain West Conference, and we think it’s a very good conference. But if things realign, you never know how the sands are moving.”

The Big 12 officially welcomed TCU to the league on Monday, adding the school in the wake of Texas A&M's departure to the SEC in 2012. The league may continue to expand, possibly back to 12 members, or choose to remain at 10. Leaders are still waiting on a decision from Missouri, which is mulling their conference affiliation options and could choose to follow the Aggies to the SEC.

BYU, Louisville and West Virginia are the schools frequently brought up if the Big 12 is to expand again but Sterk wanted to make officials aware that San Diego State is just as close geographically to schools such as Texas as BYU is.

“If they look west, who knows what happens?” Sterk said.

Neinas is familiar with the school, having advised former athletic director Jeff Schemmel to hire football coach Rocky Long in 2006 as part of his consulting business.
Posted on: October 10, 2011 5:55 pm
 

The Poll Attacks: Week 6

Posted by Bryan Fischer

The latest college football polls are out and now it's time to rip them to shreds. Senior college basketball writer Gary Parrish has been calling out voters in the major hoops polls for thinking a little bit too far outside of the box when it comes to their AP ballots every week.

With the football season starting, I thought I'd steal take the baton on the idea from my colleague and keep all of the writers across the country who vote honest. I've come to know a good number of these people through time and twitter but relationships do not matter, bad votes do.

AP Poll           Coaches Poll           Harris Poll

(Details of AP ballots courtesy of PollSpeak.com)

Poll reactions: ACC, Big East, Big Ten, Big 12, Pac-12, SEC

Rodney Dangerfield "No respect" team of the week: Kansas State

  You would think that the coaches (or sports information directors) that vote in the Coaches Poll would appreciate what Bill Snyder has done at Kansas State this year. The Wildcats are undefeated so far this season with wins at Miami and against Baylor and Missouri. They don't have much of a passing game (115th in the country) but do have a good ground game, even without the services of former former five-star running back Bryce Brown. Not sure then why the coaches have Kansas State 18th then, one spot below where they are underrated in the AP Poll. They're below South Carolina and Nebraska, both of whom are one-loss teams that have more issues. This is the ultimate "don't get no respect" program but Snyder has them playing hard and playing tough this season.

Overrated: Auburn

  First of all, no one expected Auburn to be sitting 3rd in the SEC West with only two total loses approaching the halfway mark in the season. They're one of only two teams to play three teams that are currently ranked in the top 25. They are, however, not supposed to be one of them. The Tigers are just barely in the top 25, ranked 24th in the AP Poll and unranked in the Coaches. Once again, some kudos for the latter for keeping them out. Gene Chizik's group has gotten lucky in most of their wins - they're 80th in total offense and 105th in total defense - and really only the South Carolina one is notable. That's why it's funny to see Jon Wilner put them 12th and Andy Staples to rank them 17th. Too high gentlemen, act more like Brett McMurphy who has Auburn unranked.

California Craziness

A trio of voters from California (CSN Bay Area/CBSSports.com's Ray Ratto, San Jose Mercury News' Jon Wilner, LA Daily News' Scott Wolf) are an interesting voting block. Some would call them progressive, others would call them extreme and just about everybody else will call them crazy given their fluctuations in their ballots each week. All three are consistently in Pollspeak's group of "extreme voters" so we'll highlight the most baffling decision(s) out of each.

  Three in a row for Wolf! He pulls into the lead in the race to the top/bottom of the California Craziness derby. Wisconsin is 8th, lowest on any ballot in the country, while West Virginia is right behind them ranked 9th, highest on any ballot. Florida is still a top 15 team according to Wolf, despite quarterbacks that were born in the 1990's who have barely taken any snaps. Undefeated Illinois is 22nd, behind two-loss Notre Dame, while Auburn is 17th. Undefeated Kansas State is 24th (see above) and SMU is on the ballot at 25th. Yeah...

What were you thinking? Ron Higgins, Memphis Commercial Appeal

Ron, I feel for you. You probably have to watch Memphis Tigers football closely and have to do so more often than anyone. That's rough but you still have to vote in the AP Poll. You didn't turn in a ballot this week, causing some angst back in the office for those that coordinate and release the thing we have to rip to shreds every Monday on CBSSports.com. Remember, every vote counts and, unlike the state of Florida, we know how to count them. Thanks! (P.S. if you want me to email a reminder, I'll do so!)

Team bias

Our tech team at CBSSports.com is pretty awesome and came up with this neat tool to take a look at team and region bias in the AP Poll. Check it out below, it's a fun thing to play around with.





Posted on: October 10, 2011 5:30 pm
 

Big East poll reactions, Week 6

Posted by Chip Patterson

This week's polls have been released. Here's how the Big East fared, from the top of the polls to the bottom, and what it means.

(AP/Coaches)

13/16. West Virginia

West Virginia got off to a slow start before riding a 33-point second half to a 43-16 beatdown of Connecticut in their Big East conference opener.  The Mountaineers are off to a 5-1 start under first-year head coach Dana Holgorsen, and should feel good heading into their off week with only a loss to top-ranked LSU.  The Mountaineers will return to action in two weeks against Syracuse, and finish the season with five straight conference games.  

Holgorsen referred to Big East play as "the second season," and that's the way the schedule sets it up for the only ranked team in the league.  As West Virginia found out in 2010, ranking does not hold any weight in the second season.  Despite a national ranking, two conference losses had the Mountaineers playing in the Champs Sports Bowl in December.  It was unranked Connecticut that earned the Fiesta Bowl bid with their play in the "second season."   


Others receiving votes:South Florida and Cincinnati make their second straight appearance as vote-getters, both falling short of the Top 25 once again.  The Bulls and the Bearcats were off in Week 6 and will try to capitalize on what little voter attention they have left with conference matchups ahead in Week 7.  

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