Tag:UTEP
Posted on: February 15, 2012 10:58 am
Edited on: February 15, 2012 2:39 pm
 

Report: Utah St, others candidates for new league



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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Posted on: February 13, 2012 2:59 pm
Edited on: February 13, 2012 3:46 pm
 

MWC and C-USA forming new conference

Posted by Tom Fornelli



CBSSports.com's Brett McMurphy reported on Monday that both the Mountain West Conference and Conference USA would be dissolving to form a new conference starting in the 2013 school season.
The new league – which is yet to be named – is expected to consist of Southern Miss, Marshall, East Carolina, UAB, Tulsa, Rice, UTEP and Tulane from C-USA and Wyoming, Air Force, Colorado State, UNLV, New Mexico, Fresno State, Nevada and Hawaii from the MWC. Hawaii would be a football-only member, making a 15-team all-sports conference and a 16-team football conference.

Temple also is a possibility as the school was contacted by Conference USA, sources told CBSSports.com, when the Big East last week opted to invited Memphis instead of Temple.
It's a move that has been discussed and speculated for a while now, ever since the conference landscape began shifting so abrubtly last year. Now, however, it's official.

And you can't have an official conference without an official conference name, and as McMurphy pointed out in his story, the conference doesn't have one yet. Which means that its time to make your voice heard in two ways:

1. By heading over to the Eye On College Football page on Facebook and voting for your choice in our poll

2. By leaving the name you've come up with that we should have had in that poll in the comment section of this post. We'll use the best suggestions in another post tomorrow.

Though we can't guarantee that they'll listen to us, by working together, we can do our best to make sure this new conference has the name it deserves ... or at least, a nickname it deserves.

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Posted on: December 1, 2011 12:53 pm
Edited on: December 1, 2011 12:57 pm
 

UTEP head coach Mike Price returning for 2012

Posted by Chip Patterson

UTEP head coach Mike Price recently got a bump in the all-time wins list among active coaches with Dennis Erickson's firing earlier this week. But Price himself was in jeopardy of losing his position with the Miners, and informed the media on Tuesday he would soon meet with athletic director Bob Stull and school university president Dr. Diana Natalicio to discuss the future of the program. That future was sealed on Thursday, when the school officially announced Price's return for the 2012 season.

The Miners had a disappointing finish to 2011, losing four of their final five games and missing the postseason with a 5-7 record. Price is one of only two coaches to lead UTEP to three bowl games, but the Miners have not finished with a winning record since going 8-4 in both 2004 and 2005. Still, his 45 wins since arriving in El Paso will give him the opportunity to become the program's second-winningest coach when he returns for his ninth season.

Conference USA has been an all-offense league recently, so it bodes well for the Miners to return seven starters on offense in 2012. Price's tenure at UTEP has led to some of the best offensive numbers in school history, and the head coach believes he will have a team ready to compete next season. The offense was in flux at times this season, as Price bounced between junior college transfer Nick Lamaison and sophomore Carson Meger both getting significant snaps down the stretch of the season.

UTEP likes Mike Price enough to keep him for 2012.  We'd enjoy if you "Like" us at the new Eye On College Football Facebook page.

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Posted on: October 18, 2011 10:08 am
 

Report: Bob Toledo out at Tulane

Posted by Chip Patterson

Just days after Tulane's 44-7 home loss at the hands of UTEP the school will announce the firing of head coach Bob Toledo, according to SportsNola.com.

The Green Wave were off to a 2-5 start in Toledo's fifth season at the helm, with wins only against winless UAB and Southeastern Louisiana. Offensive line coach Mark Hutson is expected to be named the interim head coach for the remainder of the season. The school has called a press conference for 10:30 a.m. locally in New Orleans to make the news official. Toledo holds his weekly meeting with the media on Tuesday, but an hour later.

In five season with the Green Wave Toledo failed to win more than four games, finishing with a 15-40 overall record. Toledo, 65, is best known in the head coaching ranks for his seven season stint at UCLA where he led the Bruins to two Pac-10 championships in 1997 and 1998.

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Posted on: October 15, 2011 9:16 pm
Edited on: October 15, 2011 9:56 pm
 

QUICK HITS: Boise State 63, Colorado State 13

Posted by Bryan Fischer

BOISE STATE WON. The first ever Mountain West conference game for Boise State went pretty much like so many of their conference games in the WAC: Jump out to a big lead using a precision offense, take advantage of the opponent's mistakes and mix in a trick play for style points late. The Broncos had over 600 yards of offense before the halfway point in the third quarter. It was a balanced attack too, with nearly equal production out of the running game as the passing game.

WHY BOISE STATE WON. Plenty of Broncos offensive players had career days against the Rams. Quarterback Kellen Moore had 338 yards on 26 of 30 passing and four touchdowns with no interceptions. Running back Doug Martin easily set a career-high, rushing for 200 yards and three touchdowns, including a long of 65 yards. Wide receiver Tyler Shoemaker finished the day with nine catches for a career-high 180 yards and two touchdowns. The defense was pretty good too, intercepting Pete Thomas once and held Colorado State under four yards a play.

WHEN BOISE STATE WON. 21-0 first quarters generally indicate the game is over before it even started. The Broncos allowed Colorado State to threaten a little after slowing down in the second quarter and allowing them to score 13 points before halftime. But they got the offense started after faking a punt and ending a drive with a touchdown early in the 3rd quarter. Still, this one was won as soon as the boys from the blue turf got off the bus.

WHAT BOISE STATE WON. Yet another win to keep the record perfect and their hopes of playing in another BCS bowl game alive. Speaking of which, the BCS rankings come out this weekend and most of the projections have the Broncos in the middle of the Stanford/Wisconsin/Oklahoma State pack following the elite teams in the top three. It's a longshot to play for the title with their schedule this year but that Georgia win is looking better by the week. Still, big wins like this are good for some style points with Harris and Coaches Poll voters and that can only help.

WHAT COLORADO STATE LOST. The Rams fall to .500 overall and in conference play with the loss Saturday. They're likely to get to the six wins needed for bowl eligblity but have a tough stretch of games following two winnable games against UTEP and UNLV. It's possible this is the last conference game against Boise State so maybe Steve Fairchild won't have to worry about them too much longer.

THAT WAS CRAZY. It was a record-setting day for Boise State and several individuals on offense. Doug Martin set a new career-high before halftime and finished with 200 yards rushing. Kellen Moore was nearly perfect on the day and was one reason why the team racked up 742 yards of total offense, best mark in school history. In fact, they had 644 yards through three quarters, which would have been fifth best in school history.

Posted on: September 24, 2011 11:26 pm
 

QUICK HITS: No. 18 South Florida 52, UTEP 24

Posted by Chip Patterson

SOUTH FLOIRDA WON. After the first half looked like it was going to be a shootout on both sides, South Florida pulled away from UTEP late for a 52-24 win.  BJ Daniels put together yet another impressive performance through the air, throwing for 202 yards, two touchdowns and no interceptions.  He complimented that with 130 yards rushing and a touchdown on the ground.  USF is 4-0 and rolling, but now must focus on conference play with Pittsburgh coming up on Thursday. 

HOW SOUTH FLORIDA WON: In the first half UTEP was taking advantage of uncharacteristically reactive Bulls' defense.  The result was a 31-17 halftime deficit that still felt attainable for the Miners.  But the defense toughened up in the second half, forcing three UTEP turnovers while the offense delivered the late touchdowns to put the game out of reach.  .

WHEN SOUTH FLORIDA WON: When B.J. Daniels struck Lindsey Lamar (pictured) for the 54-yard touchdown in the third quarter to put USF up by three touchdowns, you could tell the Bulls were going to have their way for the rest of the game.  UTEP had sputtered significantly since putting up 234 yards of total offense in the first half.  The game was sealed for good with Sam Barrington's interception returned for a touchdown in the fourth quarter.

WHAT SOUTH FLORIDA WON: Withstanding the Miners' first shot was a good test for the Bulls' defense.  South Florida's competition since their season opening win against Notre Dame in South Bend has been a noticable caliber downgrade, so it was good to see a different look before staring the Big East season on Thursday.  In their 4-0 start the Bulls have boosted their status as Big East title contenders, and they will have a short week to prepare proving it in conference play. 

WHAT UTEP LOST: The Miners had a chance to hang with the nationally ranked Bulls, but turnovers put the game out of hand in the second half.  UTEP is pretty banged up right now, and competing with South Florida in Tampa was not something that was expected.  Any road trip against a team like the Bulls is a good experience for UTEP, but it really stings knowing how close they were.

THAT WAS CRAZY: South Florida was not known as a particularly high scoring offense in 2010, but through four games the Bulls are averaging 45.5 points scored.  Additionally, the 52-point performance against UTEP marked the first time in program history a team has scored 50+ points in back-to-back games.  USF entered Saturday's game hot after routing Florida A&M 70-17 a week ago.

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Posted on: September 24, 2011 12:28 pm
Edited on: September 24, 2011 12:44 pm
 

Game day weather updates, Week 4

Posted by Adam Jacobi

Up north, fans at their tailgates are shivering, seeing their breath, and calling it "football weather." Down south, the fans are chanting "SEC! SEC! SEC!" Can't blame 'em. We have a loaded slate of afternoon games this week, which means it's right in the sweet spot for weather this time of year. Don't forget, though -- in  a month or so, all these 3:30 games are going to be ending under the lights. Onward!

As always, all times listed are Eastern.

Noon kickoffs

North Carolina at No. 25 Georgia Tech, 12:00, Atlanta, GA: Low 70s, clear

San Diego State at No. 22 Michigan, 12:00, Ann Arbor, MI: Low 60s, cloudy, showers

Afternoon kickoffs

Portland State at No. 20 TCU, 2:00, Fort Worth, TX: Low 90s, clear

No. 11 Florida State at No. 21 Clemson, 3:30, Clemson, SC: Low 80s, partly cloudy

No. 13 Virginia Tech at Marshall, 3:30, Huntington, WV: Low 70s, partly cloudy

No. 14 Arkansas at No. 3 Alabama, 3:30, Tuscaloosa, AL: Upper 70s, clear

Western Michigan at No. 24 Illinois, 3:30, Champaign, IL: Mid 60s, cloudy, storms

South Dakota at No. 6 Wisconsin, 3:30, Madison, WI: Upper 50s, cloudy, showers

No. 7 Oklahoma State at No. 8 Texas A&M, 3:30, College Station, TX: Low 90s, clear

Evening kickoffs

No. 15 Florida at Kentucky, 7:00, Lexington, KY: Mid 60s, partly cloudy

UTEP at No. 18 South Florida, 7:00, Tampa, FL: Upper 70s, mostly cloudy, storms

Rice at No. 17 Baylor, 7:00, Waco, TX: Low 90s, clear

Vanderbilt at No. 12 South Carolina, 7:00, Columbia, SC: Upper 70s, mostly cloudy, storms

No. 9 Nebraska at Wyoming, 7:30, Laramie, WY: Low 70s, clear

No. 2 LSU at No. 16 West Virginia, 8:00, Morgantown, WV: Low 60s, mostly cloudy

Missouri at No. 1 Oklahoma, 8:00, Norman, OK: Low 70s, partly cloudy

Tulsa at No. 4 Boise State, 8:00, Boise, ID: Mid 80s, clear

Late night kickoffs 

No. 23 Southern California at Arizona State, 10:15, Tempe, AZ: Upper 90s, partly cloudy, storms

No. 10 Oregon at Arizona, 10:15, Tucson, AZ: Low 90s, partly cloudy, storms

Posted on: March 14, 2011 12:03 pm
 

Spring Practice Primer: BYU

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

College Football has no offseason. Every coach knows that the preparation for September begins now, in Spring Practice. So we here at the Eye on College Football  will get you ready as teams open spring ball with our Spring Practice Primers . Today, we look at BYU , who opens spring camp today.


Spring Practice Question: Can the BYU offense catch up with its defense?

Pop quiz, hotshot, and no cheating: was it BYU's offense or their defense that finished some 42 spots behind the other in national total yardage and managed to get its coordinator fired midseason?

If you said "defense" you're ... partially right. It's a trick question, since Bronco Mendenhall dismissed previous defensive boss Jaime Hill immediately following the Cougars' embarrassing 31-16 capitulation to traditional in-state punching bag Utah State on Oct. 1. But in the wake of that move, the Cougar defense improved dramatically, holding six of their final eight opponents to 21 points or fewer as BYU rallied from a 1-4 start to a 7-6 finish. When the dust had settled, the Cougar defense had posted a perfectly-respectable 24th-place finish in the FBS in total defense.

That should tell you, then, that despite the program's longstanding (and Steve Young/Jim McMahon know we mean long) reputation for aerial circus offenses and broken scoreboards, it was primarily the Cougar offense that kept BYU from getting over the .500 mark until a waltz past UTEP in the New Mexico Bowl. Behind the platoon of true freshman Jake Heaps and junior Riley Nelson -- and eventually just Heaps, after Nelson was lost for the year with a shoulder injury in late September -- the Cougar quarterbacks finished 100th in FBS with a miserable 115.09 quarterback rating. Though often-overlooked Cougar running game wasn't terrible (42nd in rushing offense, earning 4.2 yards per-carry), it wasn't nearly explosive enough to offset the ugly, flailing passing attack through the season's first half. Though Heaps eventually got his feet underneath him, the Cougars scored just 16 points or fewer six times--and lost all six. Their final finish in total offense? 72nd, a 52-spot drop from the top-20 unit of 2009.

The good news for Cougar fans is that if the secondary can be rebuilt -- three of the four 2010 starters have graduated, including first-team All-Mountain West safety Andrew Rich -- the defense should be able to maintain the gains of late 2010. Mendenhall took over the defense himself in the wake of Hill's departure and will stay in that capacity this season; with his oversight and five members of the starting front seven back, BYU should be particularly stout against the run. (The two losses in that front seven, all-league defensive end Vic So'oto and leading tackler Shane Hunter, aren't insignificant. But up-and-coming talents like sophomore linebacker Kyle Van Noy, junior tackle Eathyn Manumaleuna and junior linebacker Brandon Ogletree should keep things intact.)

So what about the offense? There's several big reasons for optimism:
  • Start with Heaps. After his rocky start, he looked every part the prototypical BYU quarterback down the stretch, putting together a 13-to-2 touchdown-to-interception ratio over his final five games and averaging a robust 8.2 yards per-attempt in that span. Not coincidentally, BYU went 4-1 in those five games with the loss by a single point to Utah and the wins by an average of 37 points.
  • Four members of the 2010 starting offensive line return, including two-time first team All-Mountain West selection Matt Reynolds. With a future NFL left tackle to build around, the second-fewest number of sacks allowed in the MWC a year ago, and an abundance of experience, the Cougar line should be poised to improve by leaps and bounds in 2011.
  • The return of all three of the Cougars' top rushers from 2010, including senior J.J. DiLuigi (917 yards) and sophomore Bryan Kariya (537). BYU may also get a spark from sophomore Joshua Quezada, who averaged an impressive 5.1 yards a carry as a freshman.
  • The top three receivers return as well in another dynamic sophomore, wideout Cody Hoffman (527 yards), DiLuigi (443 out of the backfield) and senior McKay Jacobson (410). Though the Cougar wideouts will have to do more to stretch the field (no receiver with more than 8 catches averaged more than Hoffman's 12.6 yards per-reception), Hepas won't lack for options to target.
  • Though it will be his first season calling plays, new offensive coordinator Brandon Doman has enough of a pedigree at BYU to believe he'll be able to continue the Cougar high-flying offensive tradition.
So things look promising ... on paper. We'll find out this spring practice if Mendenhall and the Cougars can actually put that potential into, well, practice. Is Heaps ready to take the next step into stardom? Can DiLuigi (or Quezada?) find that extra bit of explosiveness that would make the Cougar running game really hum? Is the line ready to perform to expectations? Is Doman fully up to the task?

With this being BYU's first season to prove their plan for football independence can work ... and the defense in position to turn this into a special season if the offense pulls its weight this time ... and the schedule kicking off with a challenging at Ole Miss -at Texas -vs. Utah slate for the first three weeks that will leave little time for adjusting on the fly ... there may be no better time for the answers to those questions to be "yes."
 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com