Posted on: February 15, 2012 10:58 am
Edited on: February 15, 2012 2:39 pm
Posted by Bryan Fischer
If you follow along the timeline the past few days, it's pretty clear we're headed toward some sort of consolidation in college football.
No sooner than CBSSports.com's Brett McMurphy reported that Conference USA and the Mountain West were both dissolving in order for remaining schools to start a new league for the 2013-2014 academic year, Dennis Dodd followed that up with a report that WAC commissioner Karl Benson would be taking the same position with the Sun Belt. With no commissioner and a league on its last legs, nobody should be surprised that the Salt Lake Tribune reported Tuesday night that Utah State and several other schools are candidates to join the new superconference spanning the country from the East Coast to Hawaii.
“At this point, we are sitting tight,” Utah State athletics director Scott Barnes told the paper. “We obviously feel we are a strong candidate should [the new conference] decide to expand. The good news from our perspective is that there is clarity in the sense that expansion is likely.”
Temple, Florida International, San Jose State and Louisiana Tech are among the schools who are also mentioned for the unnamed league. With the departures of Boise State to the Mountain West in 2011 and Fresno State, Nevada and Hawaii in 2012, the WAC will have just seven football members this upcoming season and any further defections would probably result in the conference folding.
The new league being formed is expected to consist of Southern Miss, Marshall, East Carolina, UAB, Tulsa, Rice, UTEP and Tulane from Conference USA and Wyoming, Air Force, Colorado State, UNLV, New Mexico, Fresno State, Nevada and Hawaii (football-only) from the Mountain West. If you add in aforementioned candidates then the conference would be right at 21 schools, right in the middle of the targeted 18-24 that are expected to be part of a true coast-to-coast endeavor.
By the way, you can vote on possible names (and suggest your own) for this massive, superleague on our Facebook page.
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Tags: Air Force, Boise State, Brett McMurphy, Bryan Fischer, Colorado State, Conference USA, Dennis Dodd, East Carolina, FIU, Fresno State, Hawaii, Karl Benson, Louisiana Tech, Marshall, Mountain West, Nevada, New Mexico, Non-BCS, Rice, San Jose State, Scott Barnes, Southern Miss, Temple, Tulane, Tulsa, UAB, UNLV, Utah State, UTEP, WAC, Wyoming
Posted on: December 12, 2011 10:27 am
Edited on: December 12, 2011 10:30 am
Posted by Chip Patterson
As the coaching carousel continues to turn, one name generating some buzz was Utah State head coach Gary Andersen. In just his third year with the Aggies, Andersen led the team to a 7-5 record and their first bowl bid since 1997. The school's first postseason trip in more than a decade does not just mean more practices for Andersen and the Aggies, but also some fresh ink for the third-year head coach.
According to the Salt Lake Tribune, Andersen told his players before the season that if they made a bowl game he would get a tattoo of the Utah State logo. On Sunday afternoon Andersen fulfilled the bargain, visiting a tattoo parlor in Salt Lake City to get the Aggies' logo and "a bowl message" tattooed on the back of his shoulder.
“I have to keep my promise to the kids,” Andersen told the Tribune. “It’s a little weird having a tattoo, but this is well worth it. I love it.”
The predictable sting of the fresh ink can be soothed with the knowledge that Andersen is likely days away from finalizing a new contract that will add a year to his current deal and raise his base salary. The new deal has reportedly been in the process for "a few weeks" and could be announced as soon as Monday.
Thanks to the tattoo Andersen is guaranteed to remember this season forever, but many Utah State fans will not need permanent ink to do the same. The 2011 season opened with the near-upset of Auburn in a last-minute 42-38 loss on the road, and the Aggies went on to lose three more games by a touchdown or less in their 2-5 start. But once Utah State hit the home stretch of the conference schedule the close losses became close wins, as the Aggies rolled of five straight victories by an average margin of 3.8 points.
Utah State will travel to Boise to face Ohio in the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl on Saturday. Click here to check out the rest of the bowl schedule.
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