Tag:Britton Banowsky
Posted on: February 2, 2012 12:40 pm
 

Oliver Luck not looking to be Big 12 commissioner

Posted by Tom Fornelli

There are a lot of questions surrounding the Big 12 right now, not the least of which is who will be the conference's next commissioner. Chuck Neinas, who was brought on to replace Dan Beebe, has no interest in removing the word "acting" from his title, and the conference has put a search committee together to find a replacement.

Although his school isn't even an official member of the conference yet, West Virginia athletic director Oliver Luck's name has been brought up as a potential candidate for the job, though it doesn't sound like he's all that interested in taking it. Luck told the Charleston Gazette that it's not really in his plans.

"I'd rather be on the search committee," Luck told the paper.

"No, I'm very happy with what I'm doing. We have lots to do here yet. I'm happy being on [school president] Jim Clements' team."

Others brought up as potential candidates include Conference USA commissioner Britton Banowsky, Notre Dame athletic director Jack Swarbrick, and NCAA interim vice president of championships and alliances Greg Shaheen.

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Posted on: December 22, 2010 2:18 pm
 

MWC, C-USA to team up for BCS bid?

Posted by Tom Fornelli

The Mountain West has been taking hits all season long.  Things started out promising enough when the conference landed Boise State, and speculation that the league could end up with an automatic BCS bid because of it began.  Unfortunately, since then, the conference has watched TCU, Utah and BYU move on to greener pastures, and any talk of an automatic bid for the Mountain West quickly came to a halt.

Though that hasn't stopped the conference from brainstorming ideas to get that bid.  In fact, it seems that the Mountain West is teaming up with Conference USA in an attempt to find a way to get a BCS bid between the two conferences.
A united approach to a Bowl Championship Series automatic-qualifying berth has been among the most intriguing possibilities since neither currently has automatic status.
"There is still some level of interest in talking about that between the two conferences," [C_USA commissioner Britton] Banowsky said. "Where the conversation ultimately goes, I think, is way too early to tell. But I think as long as folks are interested in exploring that idea, we'll continue to do that."
There has been speculation the two could push for a BCS play-in game between the winners of their conferences.

That laughing you hear in the background is Bill Hancock.

It's a noble idea, sure, and one that in a perfect world would likely deserve some consideration, but let's be real, the BCS isn't looking to bring in any new members.  While the two conferences may team up and help each other with marketing and television, there's no way either will end up with an automatic BCS berth.
Posted on: December 2, 2010 4:18 pm
 

Mountain West mulls expansion options

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

BYU may have wanted out, Utah may have wanted out, TCU may have wanted out, but the continuing expansion drama surrounding the Mountain West Conference has proven that there's still plenty of schools that would be happy to be in. The Honolulu Star-Advertister reported yesterday that Hawaii officials were in Colorado this week, speaking with MWC commissioner Craig Thompson and ironing out the final details of what appears to be a done deal to bring the Warriors aboard as a football-only member. (UH's other sports will join the California-based Big West. )

But the MWC may not stop there. According to this AOL Fanhouse report , Utah State officials have also been making a face-to-face plea to Thompson and Co. this week, asking for a MWC invite and a lifeline out of the lame-duck WAC . The Aggies won't bring much to the table in terms of football pedigree, but at least they've taken steps forward in recent years under coach Gary Andersen (including beating BYU this season for the first time in 10 tries) and can claim a sterling men's basketball program and solid academics.

USU's interest gives the MWC several options when it comes to expansion. Running them down:

They could stand pat at 10 teams . There seems to be little downside to bringing Hawaii aboard, especially in football alone -- the travel costs of visiting the islands are easily offset by the NCAA provision allowing teams a 13th scheduled game if they travel to Hawaii -- so it seems unlikely the MWC will suddenly stiff-arm the Warriors and stay at 10 teams. But few other immediate options will do much to raise the league's football profile, and weaker members on the gridiron could put the league's dream of a BCS automatic bid in jeopardy.

They could expand to 12 teams and start a championship game . A title game could be an excellent carrot for the MWC to dangle when they start looking to finally get out of the less-than-lucrative current television contracts that drove BYU into football independence. Utah State might be the most obvious candidate, but Conference USA member SMU would bring the highly attractive Dallas media market back into the league after TCU's defection, and under June Jones the Mustangs have made major strides on the field as well. With C-USA's chances of ever snagging a BCS bid set at "nil," the Mustangs would likely jump at the chance. The same goes for Houston , which is an even more distant geographical fit but features an even-better established football program and a similarly-lucrative market.
Other potential WAC refugees like Idaho or New Mexico State would also be options, but probably only in the event the BCS bid was already off the table and SMU and Houston had turned the league down.

They could merge with C-USA. This seems like a terrible idea from the MWC's perspective, but nonetheless the Orlando Sentinel reported today that Thompson and C-USA commissioner Britton Banowsky have had prliminary discussions about "a variety of potential collaboration options." But it's hard to see what, other than potentially a push for a joint TV contract, the C-USA can offer the MWC; the latter is the stronger conference top-to-bottom, has more brand recognition (compare the profiles of Boise State and even, say, Fresno State to C-USA powers like East Carolina and Southern Miss ), and already has the BCS bid process underway. If the C-USA is looking to create a full merger, it would seem to eliminate any chance of the league being powerful enough to wrangle a BCS bid; if all they want is an end-of-year title tilt, that's likely just one more obstacle in the way of a Boise or, well, Boise and a BCS at-large berth.

Butit's on the table, along with a lot of other possibilities for the MWC. Thompson has some very big decisions to make, decisions that will help shape the future of college football in the West for years to come.
 
 
 
 
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