Posted on: January 25, 2012 11:27 am
Posted by Tom Fornelli
Maybe you thought conferences were done expanding after all the movement we saw before the 2011 season started. After all, nobody was shuffling the deck during the season. Then on Tuesday it was announced that Navy would be joining the Big East for the 2015 season, and it looks like the dominoes have started falling again.
According to The Chronicle (subscription), the Big 12 is once again considering expanding the conference. While nothing is imminent, two sources told the paper that the Big 12 adding at least one new member is "very possible."
That new member would likely be Louisville, which shouldn't come as much of a surprise. Before it was announced that West Virginia would be joining the conference, there were reports that half the schools were split on which school they wanted to extend an invitation to. Half wanted West Virginia, half wanted Louisville.
An expansion committee plans to put together a report for the Big 12's Board of Directors next week. Oklahoma athletic director Joe Castiglione, Texas athletic director DeLoss Dodds, Oklahoma State president Burns Hargis, and Kansas State president Kirk Schulz make up the committee.
“I don’t want to send the message, ‘Oh, they’re getting ready to expand,’” Castiglione told The Chronicle. “But you’d be naïve to think there’s not instability still in our business.
“From a transition standpoint, we’re in position now to deal with the reality of our world. We’re going to make some evaluations and reach the best conclusion that helps us stabilize our long-term future.”
The conference seems willing to stay at 11 teams, much like the Big Ten did for years, if it adds Louisville, but if the return of a Big 12 championship game is the ultimate goal, it will have to add a twelfth school. As for which school that would be, BYU is being mentioned as a possibility again. Cincinnati has also been mentioned as an option in the past as well.
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Posted on: December 29, 2011 11:59 am
Edited on: December 29, 2011 12:15 pm
Posted by Tom Fornelli
The Big 12 is yet to release its schedule for the 2012 season in part thanks to the uncertainty of whether or not West Virginia will be a member of the conference or forced to stay in the Big East. Though that doesn't mean that some games aren't becoming a bit clearer, and one thing many Big 12 fans have been wondering, Texas in particular, is who will replace Texas A&M as Texas' Thanksgiving opponent.
Well, according to Texas athletic director DeLoss Dodds, it looks like it will be conference newcomer TCU.
"That is the one that I've heard," Dodds told the Dallas Morning News' Chuck Carlton. "It looks like we're going to have a Thanksgiving day or night game in Austin."
Though Dodds did also caution that the schedule is still tentative, so nothing is set in stone just yet. Which is a sentiment TCU athletic director Chris Del Conte echoed to CBSSports.com's Bryan Fischer.
"It's just in a review stage, we have to make sure West Virginia is in the hopper first," said Del Conte. "Texas put on a proposal that I thought was interesting - to rotate their games there. But that would mean they'd always end on the road.
"I think, for our conference, what is the best game to showcase the Big 12 That's what everyone wants. In my selfish case, what's the best game to showcase TCU? If it's a rotation of games there, does that really help the conference or is it better to go home-and-home? That game has been a historical one between Texas and A&M and from a television standpoint, we have to put in the right components to make it a great game. I do feel that TCU ought to be the right ones to fill that one in."
As for when we'll know for sure and when the Big 12 schedule will be released, nobody is all that sure right now. Though Big 12 spokesman Bob Burda also told Carlton that "it's getting closer and closer." Of course, nobody knows how close "closer" is, and with West Virginia still fighting with the Big East, it could still be a while.
Posted on: December 27, 2011 12:20 pm
Edited on: December 27, 2011 12:21 pm
Posted by Tom Fornelli
It's becoming somewhat of a December tradition. Texas has a disappointing season and then the rumors of Mack Brown retiring begin. Those rumors have been put to rest by anyone at Texas whom you might ask about them, but it seems athletic director DeLoss Dodds wants to do something that will really put an end to the retirement rumors.
Dodds is hoping to give Mack Brown a contract extension.
“I’m just tired of all the conversations (about Brown’s retirement),” Dodds told the Austin American-Statesman. “Continuity is of the essence. It’s more about stability than anything else. Mack’s comfortable with what he’s doing right now. I think he’s very comfortable. He’s enjoying it. I’ve been around him 14 years, and he seems to be into it. Everything I know points to him being happy and wanting to do it for a while.”
Dodds wouldn't go into how long of an extension it would be, but Brown's current contract runs through the 2016 season and pays him $5.2 million annually. Dodds did say that there are no plans to give Brown a raise on his current salary, though considering he's already one of the highest paid coaches in the country, that's understandable.
As for when Brown would get his extension, Texas regents won't discuss the extension until the next time they're together, and that won't be until February. Which is after signing day, so expect the retirement rumors to continue until then.
Posted on: November 25, 2011 2:05 am
Edited on: November 25, 2011 11:57 am
Posted by Bryan Fischer
COLLEGE STATION, Texas -- It said it all.
Texas' band spelled out 'Thanks aTm" and played Thanks for the Memories as the Kyle Field crowd politely applauded. It was in many ways the warmest moment the two schools had in months, if not years.
For Longhorns and Aggies alike, the memory of the 118th and final scheduled time the two schools play will last.
It will hurt for some and be the source of bragging rights for others.
Texas' come back victory on Thanksgiving night was anything but a line in the record books that reads "Texas 27, Texas A&M 25."
The pain - the anguish - that typically lingers from every game will last a bit longer for the maroon side after Thursday. The pride - the jubilation - will last even longer for the burnt orange side.
"Sports can be really cruel," head coach Mack Brown said. "It was a great college football game. I don't think you can call either team a team that loses. We're the ones that had more points on the board."
The poignant thank you from the band at halftime might have been the final 'good' memory for Aggies as members of the Big 12 conference, witnessing yet another second half collapse in a season full of them.
"it seems like it's the same comment," coach Mike Sherman said. "This is a devastating loss for out team.
"I take nothing away from Texas, they played well, but it's a game we should have won and didn't."
Same old story for the Aggies, who once again said "Gag'em" after a first half full of "Gig'ems."
The third quarter was A&M's achilies heel, as Texas capitalized on turnovers to swing a 7-16 deficit into a 24-16 lead. Despite a double-digit lead for the 11th time this season, the Aggies squandered it with two Ryan Tannehill interceptions - one returned for a touchdown - and mistake after mistake.
The team fell to 6-6 on the season thanks to flipping the switch to 'off' during halfitime, A&M outscored 86-0 in the third quarter alone in each loss.
"Well I think if you look at the games, we definitely have turned the ball over too many times," Sherman said. "We have to make the plays we have to make."
The Aggies didn't, the Horns did, the story of the series that Texas now leads 76-37-5. Tannehill's pick-six made it a two-point game. A punt on the next drive resulted in a 81-yard Quandre Diggs return and an eventual field goal to take the lead. Yet another interception put the Longhorns in business deep in A&M territory before senior Cody Johnson punched it in for a one-yard touchdown.
All it took was 13 plays and 27 offensive yards to completely snatch momentum away in a game that the Aggies didn't need to win as much as they couldn't lose.
"It was an emotional night," quarterback Case McCoy said. "We didn't play well at all the first half but our defense got us back in it. I'm proud of how hard we fought."
Case was the latest McCoy to torment Texas A&M. After what looked to be a game winning drive following Jeff Fuller's 16 yard catch and run to muscle into the end zone, McCoy took over an offense that had struggled all night. But he made the play of the game on a 25-yard scramble right up the middle to set up Justin Tucker's game-winning 40-yard field goal.
"What a great feeling to end this rivalry and celebrate Thanksgiving," McCoy said, minutes after sharing an emotional hug with offensive coordinator Major Applewhite, who was 3-1 against A&M himself.
The Aggies end their football tenure in the Big 12 with a loss, closing the book on an era in which they won just one conference title. The first line of the fight song late in the game was perhaps the saddest, most painful of all the Lone Star Showdowns because it meant far more than 'we'll see you in 365.'
"Goodbye Texas University…" the Kyle Field crowd sang in unison, swaying in different directions for the final time in 2011. The third-longest rivalry in major college football was, suddenly, over.
"It's Texas but...," A&M running back Ben Malena, the lone bright spot on the night with 93 all-purpose yards, "We're going to the SEC, we have bigger and better things to worry about."
"It's one of the great traditions we have in college athletics," athletic director Bill Byrne remarked. "But it's just part of the change".
"It takes two to sign a contract. We've expressed sincere interest in every sport to continue the relationship. So far we've had no takers. The question doesn't need to be asked of me, it needs to be asked of (Texas AD DeLoss) Dodds."
The Longhorns seem to want no part of it. As soon as Tucker's field goal went through the uprights, they ran straight to the 'Lone Star Showdown' logo and jumped with joy. Players started an "S-E-C" chant. The Longhorn Network's twitter account provided the final salt in the wounds however.
"Goodbye and Good Luck."
As the Longhorns left Kyle Field for what could be the last time in decades, they did so with as satisfying a win as ever. The only team Texas A&M has lost to from the state in two years: the University of Texas.
Thanks for the memories indeed.
Posted on: November 9, 2011 3:44 pm
Posted by Adam Jacobi
The John L. Toner Award, an annual honor given to athletic directors by the National Football Foundation, will not be awarded this year. The NFF announced in June that Penn State athletic director Tim Curley was going to accept the award; now that Curley is currently awaiting charges of perjury and failure to report child abuse, the NFF's announcement has been taken offline.
Here is the full statement issued by the NFF on Wednesday:
The National Football Foundation Executive Committee and the NFF Awards Committee announced today that the John L. Toner Award will not be presented at this year's NFF Annual Awards Dinner, and it will be vacated in 2011.
Previous winners of the award include Texas' DeLoss Dodds, Ohio State's Gene Smith, and Georgia's Vince Dooley.
Posted on: November 3, 2011 11:53 am
Edited on: November 3, 2011 2:08 pm
Posted by Tom Fornelli
Ever since the landscape of the Big 12 started to change with Texas A&M announcing that it was leaving the conference for the SEC, there's generally been one school that has taken that largest portion of the blame in public opinion: Texas. Many believe that the reasons schools like Texas A&M and Missouri want to leave was because they were tired of the preferential treatment they believed Texas has received in the conference over the years.
The school has also been portrayed as a bully of sorts, forcing the Big 12 to do things its way. Which is a perception that athletic director DeLoss Dodds doesn't agree with at all.
"We have stuck our neck out to save the Big 12, and we're not a bully," Dodds told the Missourian. "We didn't cause it. Our goal has been, and continues to be, to keep something together for the Big 12 and that's what we're going to do, good Lord willing."
Dodds then talked about the Longhorn Network again, reiterating that the network was never supposed to be a great revenue producer, but that when ESPN came around saying they'd give the school $15 million a year for it, it was kind of hard to turn down.
"Would you have said no? Would Missouri have said no?" Dodds said. "No, they wouldn't have said no, they would have taken it. And we took it.
"So are we being a bully? No, we feel like we're probably being good guys. Does somebody think we're being a bully? Well that's up to them to think we're a bully. We want to keep the conference together, we want equal sharing, we want our own network for our kids, we'll give half of it to the university. If somebody can poke a hole in that, poke a hole in it."
Well, there are holes that can be poked. Texas may be trying to keep the conference together, but it was also flirting with the idea of joining the Pac-12. As for wanting the equal sharing, that didn't come about until the Pac-12 had turned it down and the school was getting that $15 million a year for the Longhorn Network. It's a lot easier to give up that extra money you were getting from the Big 12 when you have a revenue stream that none of the other schools have.
Still, that being said, I don't see Texas as being a bully. I just see Texas as a school that's doing the exact same thing schools like Missouri and Texas A&M are doing, that Pitt, Syracuse and West Virginia are doing, and that Nebraska and Colorado did before them.
It's looking out for its own self-interest. That's it.
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Posted on: October 14, 2011 1:44 pm
Edited on: October 14, 2011 5:25 pm
Posted by Tom Fornelli
After Texas A&M decided to leave the Big 12 for the SEC, it put the future of the Aggies annual showdown with Texas on Thanksgiving Day in jeopardy. For its part, Texas A&M has shown a willingness to continue the game, but Texas hasn't been nearly as willing. Well, that doesn't mean Texas A&M isn't going to stop trying.
Sure, the two schools have broken up, but that doesn't mean they can't get together for a cup of coffee, right? You know, just to talk.
According to a tweet from Kirk Bohls, Texas A&M president R. Bowen Loftin has authorized athletic director Bill Byrne to ask Texas out for that coffee date.
In another tweet Bohls shares that Loftin also said the game doesn't have to be on Thanksgiving if that doesn't work for Texas, and that A&M would be willing to play the game in September. "We're open to a date that meets all our needs," said Loftin.
Whether or not Texas will want to continue the tradition remains to be seen, but personally I know I'm hoping that the Longhorns agree to it. With so much history between the two schools, it'd be a shame to see their annual meeting come to an end, even if it's no longer a conference game.
UPDATE: According to Brent Zwerneman, Texas has already told Texas A&M they don't have room on the schedule until at least 2018.
Posted on: October 6, 2011 11:20 am
Edited on: October 6, 2011 4:17 pm
Posted by Tom Fornelli
As reported earlier Thursday by CBSSports.com's Brett McMurphy, TCU will be joining the Big 12 conference.
The Big 12 made the announcement official on Thursday morning, saying that it has "authorized negotiations with TCU to become the conference's tenth member." The Big 12 also announced that Missouri did not participate in the vote on the advice of legal counsel.
"These discussions with the Big 12 have huge implications for TCU," said TCU Chancellor Victor Boschini. "It will allow us to return to old rivalries, something our fans and others have been advocating for years. As always, we must consider what's best for TCU and our student-athletes in this ever-changing landscape of collegiate athletics. We look forward to continuing these discussions with the Big 12."
"We’re proud that TCU has been invited to join the Big 12," said Texas AD DeLoss Dodds in a statement. "Their commitment to academics and success on the field make them an excellent fit. With a solid budget and strong financial support, they have been proactive at improving facilities. Their close proximity to all conference institutions makes for a comfortable travel situation."
When Texas A&M was going through the process of leaving the Big 12 for the SEC, for the most part the Big 12 kind of just sat there hoping that Texas A&M wouldn't leave. Which is a role that the Big East seems to have taken over now.
Well, obviously, the Big 12 isn't sitting still anymore. Missouri may not have said that it's leaving just yet, but the writing is on the wall, and this time the Big 12 is being a lot more proactive. Something that Oklahoma President David Boren alluded to in his statement about the addition of TCU.
“TCU is an excellent choice as a new member of the conference," said Boren. "They bring strong athletics and academic credentials and were enthusiastically and unanimously supported by all of the members of the conference. There could be other additions in the future.”
Adding TCU would bring the Big 12 back to 10 schools without Texas A&M, but once Missouri leaves the Big 12 will need to find another replacement. Schools that have been mentioned the most often are BYU, Louisville, West Virginia and Cincinnati. Accoring to the Tulsa World's Dave Sittler, Louisville is the next school in line for an invite, but it's possible that three of those four get invites, as the conference has been kicking around the idea of expanding back to 12 schools.
For all our coverage on conference realignment in college football, click here. You can also hear Brett McMurphy discuss TCU's move and what it means for the Big 12 and the Big East on the latest episode of the CBSSports.com College Football Podcast here.