Tag:Big 12 Expansion
Posted on: February 22, 2012 12:01 pm
 

FSU replaces WVU with Savannah State on schedule

Posted by Chip Patterson

West Virginia's
decision to cancel their Sept. 8 game with Florida State in the 2012 schedule on Feb. 3 left the Seminoles in a bind as they scrambled to fill the slot for their seventh home game. On Wednesday, the school announced that the Mountaineers would be replaced with a visit from Savannah State.

“West Virginia’s announcement at the 11th hour really put us in a very difficult position,” said FSU Director of Athletics Randy Spetman in the official release.  “We contacted every BCS school that had an opening in hopes of replacing WVU with a BCS opponent, but none of those few schools could make it work either because of our dates or theirs.  It is important for our fans to realize that the schools we contacted during the search did not pass on the 2012 game out of concern for the competition, but because of challenges they faced with schedule changes this late in the year. 

  “We worked with Oklahoma, Arkansas, Texas A&M, Cincinnati, Syracuse and Pitt to name a few along with our current non-conference opponents and television partners, but reached a point where our options simply dried up. We might have been able to play on the road at some BCS schools this season, but that would cost our fans and the university one of just seven chances to play a home game and also would have a negative impact on our local economy.”

Florida State's announcement included a guarantee that the entire 2012 schedule will be released by the ACC "shortly." The release of the regular season schedule was pushed back by the league because of "unusual circumstances" (West Virginia's cancellation), so fans can assume the full ACC regular season schedule should be on the way.

The school has already predicted a huge loss in revenue with West Virginia dipping out at the last minute. The first loss in revenue begins with the change in ticket sales. Single-game tickets for the Mountaineers early-season visit - likely to be a Top 25 matchup - was set for $70. On Wednesday, the school announced a $40 single-game ticket price for the Savannah State game.

For more on Florida State, be sure to follow the Seminoles RapidReports.

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Posted on: February 20, 2012 12:12 pm
Edited on: February 20, 2012 12:18 pm
 

Report: FSU to lose $2.5M from WVU cancellation

Posted by Chip Patterson

In a move directly tied to West Virginia's arrival in the Big 12, the Mountaineers were forced to back out of a scheduled Sept. 8 contest with Florida State. The school paid Florida State a $500,000 cancellation fee but the total loss could end up being much more expensive, according to one school official.

"We'll probably lose $2.5 million in ticket sales," assistant athletic director Elliot Finebloom told ESPN.com. The school has been scrambling to replace West Virginia on the home schedule, a task that could end up costing Florida State an additional $1 million. Finebloom also explained the economic importance of keeping that date a home game on the schedule.

“Seven home games is something every business in town counts on, from hotels to restaurants,” Finebloom said. “People think it’s about the athletic department wanting to make more money, but we have a responsibility to area businesses who count on seven home games.”

The ACC regular season schedule had been released at this point in 2011, but Florida State's efforts to replace West Virginia are one of the "unusual circumstances" pushing back the release of the 2012 schedule.

The ACC issued a release late last week to explain the delay:

"As has been documented, there are a number of unusual circumstances beyond the control of the ACC and its member schools that have directly impacted a number of our school's nonconference schedules, which in turn effects the development and completion of the overall schedule."

According to Coley Harvey, of the Orlando Sentinel, the Seminoles have reached out to more than 50 schools to try and fill the date. As many as 31 of those have been FBS programs, reportedly including Boise State, Texas A&M, Syracuse, Rutgers, Wyoming, Arkansas, and Pittsburgh.

For more on Florida State, be sure to follow Seminole RapidReports.

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Posted on: February 14, 2012 5:14 pm
 

Roundtable: College football valentines

Posted by Eye on College Football



Occasionally the Eye on CFB team convenes Voltron-style to answer a pressing question in the world of college football. Today's query:

It's Valentine's Day, so pick someone or something from college football--person, team, conference, whatever. Who should they be sending a valentine to today, and what does that valentine say?

Bryan FischerI think the athletic directors at Arizona, Arizona State, UCLA, Washington and Washington State should be sending a Valentine to Larry Scott this year. The Pac-12 commissioner unveiled his Pac-12 Network studios just yesterday, and that's appropriate considering the media deals he negotiated were the biggest reason those schools were able to off the sweetheart deals that landed their new coaches. Do you think the Bruins or Huskies could have afforded the assistant salaries before that money started flowing? Or that Wazzu was able to land a coach like Mike Leach? I don't think they do.

I'm guessing their valentine says something to the affect of, "Thank$ Larry for everything, hope you'll be our Valentine for several more years."

Tom Fornelli:  I'm going to say TCU and West Virginia owe Missouri and Texas A&M a valentine this year, one with some expensively-licensed cartoon character saying "Thanks for the sloppy seconds!" If not for those two leaving the Big 12 for the SEC, then both TCU and WVU are stuck in the Big East for 2012 at least--a Big East that's without a clear future at the moment, and seems en route to becoming Conference USA version 2.0.

Instead the Frogs and Mountaineers have joined the Big 12, which is in much better shape than the Big East and will provide far more money for both schools in the long run.

Jerry Hinnen: If I'm Mike Slive, I'm sending out a valentine to Dana Holgorsen -- or maybe Gus Malzahn, or Mike Leach, or Todd Monken -- saying "WILL YOU BE MINE?" festooned with as many hearts (and dollar signs) as it takes to convince them to try their hand (again, in Malzahn's case) in the SEC. There's no doubting the SEC's dominance on the defensive side of the ball or its overall array of talent, but the 2011 season also showed a league in dire need of an infusion of offensive ingenuity, preferably (for variety's sake) out of the spread school. Alabama's yawn-inducing strangulation of LSU in the BCS title game is Exhibit A for the conference's current cloud-of-dust tendencies, but the overall statistical picture is even more damning: six different SEC teams finished in the bottom 25 in the FBS in total offense, with zero finishing in the FBS top 25. (Arkansas ranked highest at 29th.) 

Some of that is good defense; an awful lot of it is terrible offense, too. And it may get worse before it gets better--look at the likes of former offensive juggernauts Florida and Auburn, currently undergoing dramatic offensive regime changes after regressing badly in 2011.

Defense may win championships, but offense often wins TV ratings, as the BCS championship Nielsens will tell you. The SEC's current regular season ratings are fine, of course, but Slive is about to go back to the negotiating table to try and keep his TV contract up with the Joneses of the Big Ten and Pac-12, a table to which he'll want to bring every single positive for his league he can gets his hands on. The SEC will be a-OK with or without the Big 12's reputation for high-flying offensive theatrics, but that doesn't mean Slive -- and a league full of fans likely tiring of watching Tennessee and South Carolina combine for 17 points and barely more than 500 yards in nationally televised prime-time -- wouldn't welcome someone who could shake up the conference's burgeoning reputation for Slugfest-with-a-capital-S football. Kevin Sumlin gets first crack, but we're guessing Slive would prefer he had some high-profile help sooner rather than later.

Chip Patterson: If I'm Ohio State athletic director Gene Smith, I'm sending roses, candy, banners, and thankful notes to new head coach Urban Meyer.  Even with an ill-timed bowl ban from the NCAA Committee on Infractions, Meyer has cooled much of the heat on Smith after the fallout surrounding Jim Tressel's departure.  Winning cures all, but hiring a two-time national champion to supposedly guide your program out of the darkness will certainly hold the Buckeye fans over until the bowl ban is lifted.  Meyer hit the recruiting trail hard after his hire, pulling in a top-5 recruiting class despite the sanctions from the NCAA.  

If Smith had whiffed on his hire to replace Tressel, he would find himself under further scrutiny with the additional sanctions.  Meyer is exactly the home run hire Ohio State -- and Gene Smith -- needed.  In fact, a valentine might not be enough.  Maybe Smith should get a tattoo. 

What? Too soon? 

Posted on: February 10, 2012 12:46 pm
Edited on: February 10, 2012 2:34 pm
 

Report: Big 12 schedule 'getting close,' not done

Posted by Chip Patterson

UPDATE: CBSSports.com's Brett McMurphy confirms the Big 12 schedule will not be released on Friday (Feb. 10).

The idea that the 2012 Big 12 conference schedule would be released on Friday (today) reportedly was just "the wishful thinking" of Texas Tech athletic directory Kirby Hocutt.

The Oklahoman's Travis Haney, citing a source within the league, says that Big 12 officials are "getting close" to completing the 2012 football schedule. Unfortunately for Big 12 fans - especially West Virginia fans - the slate will likely not be set by the end of this week.

CBSSports.com's Brett McMurphy reported that the Big East and West Virginia have reached a $20 million settlement that would allow the Mountaineers to compete in the Big 12 for the upcoming season. The close timing of the buyout negotiations and the Big 12's intentions of putting out a 2012 conference schedule led to the concerns of West Virginia appearing on two different conference schedules. However, with legal issues behind them, the Mountaineers should be clear to complete a 10-team conference for competition in 2012.

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Posted on: February 6, 2012 1:44 pm
Edited on: February 6, 2012 2:00 pm
 

Neinas: Big 12 might help WVU pay exit fee

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

West Virginia and the Big 12 have been adamant for weeks that neither the Big East's legal actions nor the inevitable snafus of last-minute scheduling will keep the Mountaineers out of their new conference digs for the 2012 season. And if the comments of Big 12 commissioner Chuck Neinas to the West Virginia MetroNews are any indication, the league is willing to put its money where its mouth is.

Specifically, Neinas said that if West Virginia needs some financial assistance from the Big 12 in order to pay its exit fee, the league "would talk with WVU about it."

"It would be an internal matter for our Board of Directors to determine," Neinas said. "If West Virginia makes a request, we'll take it to the board."

The exit fee is set at $5 million, but the Big East could likely demand far more to let the Mountaineers wriggle out of the league's pending lawsuit. The sum could be difficult for the Mountaineers to come up with, particularly if the program is also forced to pay damages from a potential scheduling lawsuit from Florida State. It won't help relations between the two sides that Boise State will force the league to proceed with just seven teams in 2012, either.

All the same, the cancellation of the Mountaineers' scheduled meeting with the Seminoles -- along with the private release of a 10-team schedule to the Big 12's TV partners -- is just the latest evidence that Neinas and WVU fully intend to clear whatever hurdles might stand between the Mountaineers and playing a 2012 Big 12 schedule. Neinas brushed off the threat of a legal injunction, saying that the spelling-out of the injunction's enforcement details would arrive too late to prevent WVU making the jump.

"They will be with us come July 1, 2012," Neinas said of the Mountaineers, "and we'll play the football schedule in the Big 12 Conference."

For all parties involved, that would be the cleanest, easiest resolution to the issue. But don't expect the arrival at that resolution to be remotely clean or easy.

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Posted on: February 3, 2012 7:20 pm
 

Boise State: 'too late' for 2012 move to Big East

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

Boise State announced last December that its impending move to the Big East wouldn't take place until 2013. But with West Virginia still caught in limbo between its old league and its leap to the Big 12, the San Jose Mercury-News'Jon Wilner reported this week that the Broncos might still be considering an offer to step directly into the Mountaineers' scheduling shoes should WVU extricate itself in time for the 2012 season.

Boise president Bob Kustra told the Idaho Statesman Friday that he had "heard those rumors." But he stated firmly that any move for this coming season is already off the table.

"It's too late. I can't imagine how anyone can pull that off," he said. "We would never want to pull it off in a fashion that dealt shabbily with our existing partners in the Mountain West. I don't think that could ever work."

If the Mountaineers succeeded in joining the Big 12 by this fall -- and with a 10-team schedule already released to the conference's television partners, the expectation both in the Big 12 offices and Morgantown is that they will -- the Big East will be set to play out the 2012 season with just seven members: Cincinnati, South Florida, UConn, Rutgers, Louisville, Syracuse and Pitt. (The Orange and Panthers have both announced their intentions to join the ACC and are scheduled to leave in 2014, but both could look to leave next year if the Mountaineers are successful in their attempt to bolt early.)

Once 2013 hits, the Big East will receive a substantial boost in the form of five new members, the Broncos included. But for 2012, facing the ugly prospect of just six conference games and a matter of weeks in which to find a nonconference replacement for the Mountaineers, it's understandable if John Marinatto would like to see BSU make a last-gasp switch. Unfortunately for him, it seems like Kustra and the Broncos aren't in quite such a hurry.

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Posted on: January 18, 2012 11:38 am
Edited on: January 18, 2012 12:41 pm
 

Pitt, Syracuse not likely on 2012 ACC schedule

Posted by Chip Patterson

With very little warning, the ACC made one of the most prominent moves in conference realignment in the middle of the 2011 regular season with the addition of Pittsburgh and Syracuse from the Big East. The bylaw-mandated 27-month exit period was thought to be negotiable, but all signs from Big East commissioner John Marinatto indicate that the league will hold all departing members to full withdrawal process.

Following the process outlined in the bylaws would hold off the conference move until the 2014-2015 academic year. While the ACC has made it clear they are prepared to work with the Big East to get Pittsburgh and Syracuse to the league sooner, they have not made any legal efforts to expedite the process. With the release of the ACC regular season schedule coming in early February, it is beginning to look unlikely that either school will be in the ACC for the 2012 season.

"You never say never, but it's unlikely there would be major changes once [the schedule] is set," Mike Finn, ACC associate commissioner in charge of football communications, told The Charlotte Observer.

The SEC and Pac-12 have both released their conference schedules for 2012, and the rest of the major conferences will likely follow suit in the next several weeks. The ACC released the 2011 league schedule on Feb. 14.

While the ACC seems comfortable waiting out the exit period, West Virginia is having a much more difficult time leaving the Big East. Both the school and the conference have filed competing lawsuits regarding West Virginia's plans to join the Big 12, and a Rhode Island judge has ordered both parties to enter non-binding mediation. West Virginia hopes to reach a settlement allowing the school to join the Big 12 in time for the 2012 season, while the league has no plans of making exception to the bylaws. A status conference has been scheduled for Feb. 9, as both parties hope to reach a resolution before the Big East and Big 12 release their conference schedules.

When the Big East releases their schedule for 2012, I would expect to see West Virginia, Pittsburgh, and Syracuse on the slate. If the Big 12 includes West Virginia as well, it could lead to potentially massive headaches for both conferences. It seems as though the ACC is content avoiding the legalities and welcoming their new additions at a later date.

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Posted on: October 28, 2011 5:46 pm
Edited on: October 28, 2011 6:44 pm
 

West Virginia expects July 2012 arrival in Big 12

Posted by Chip Patterson

West Virginia president James Clements made it very clear the way he felt when issuing his opening statements on the Big 12 Update teleconference.

"It's a great day to be a Mountaineer, and a great day to be a member of the Big 12 conference," Clements boasted to the media on the line. After a week filed with back and fort reports regarding their conference affiliation, West Virginia finally had a home.

When, exactly, the Mountaineers join the Big 12 is still unknown. Big East bylaws require a 27 month withdrawal period after the official notification from the departing school. Athletic director Oliver Luck confirmed he officially informed Big East commissioner John Marinatto of West Virginia's intentions on Friday morning.

Both Luck and Clements repeatedly used the target date "July 1, 2012" as the school's expected arrival in the Big 12. When multiple questions were posed to West Virginia's leadership on how they planned to leave before the completion 27-month period - the response was predictably vague.

"Our team and their team were in discussion today, tying to make that happen," Luck said of the negotiations with the Big East office.

As required in the bylaws, West Virginia has already paid $2.5 million - half of the $5 million exit fee - to the league offices along with their official notification of withdrawal. Luck and Clements were both confident in their ability to join the Big 12 in time for the 2012-2013 season, though there was no elaboration on the negotiations with the Big East.

West Virginia to the Big 12
Another important development from Friday's teleconference was the Big 12's announcement that the reported grant-in-rights was close to being approved by the member schools. The agreement, which was confirmed as a 6-year deal, is currently "being circulated" among the member schools with the expectation it will be approved in a Tuesday meeting.

The Big 12 announced that this would likely be a stopping point, for now, for expansion. Ten teams allows for a round-robin conference schedule, and "a true champion" to be crowned in the regular season. Missouri has not officially left the Big 12 as of Friday's call, but it was clear they did not expect the Tigers to be a conference member for much longer.

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