Tag:West Virginia
Posted on: February 15, 2012 3:40 pm
 

VIDEO: Oliver Luck talks WVU move to Big 12

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

It's officially official: not only is West Virginia the newest member of the Big 12, the Mountaineers will play a full Big 12 schedule this coming fall and avoid an awkward lame-duck final season in the Big East. (Sorry, Pitt and Syracuse. The 'Eers will send you a postcard.)

Their freedom from the Big East hasn't come cheap, of course, but it nonetheless remains a major feather in the cap of Mountaineer athletic director Oliver Luck. Luck stopped by the CBS Sports Network's Tim Brando Show to talk about the process of making the jump, the "blue-sky opportunity" of competing in their new conference digs, and even an Archie Manning-starring anecdote on raising a famous quarterback. Watch below:

 
Posted on: February 15, 2012 2:40 pm
Edited on: February 15, 2012 7:05 pm
 

Boise looks to "cover expenses" for Big East leap

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

It wasn't even two weeks ago that no less an authority than Boise State president Bob Kustra said it was "too late" for the Broncos to consider moving to the Big East for the 2012 season. But with West Virginia now officially out the Big East door, Broncos officials admitted Wednesday that the school is in active talks with the league about joining this fall after all--and actively searching for the money that would make it happen.

Bronco athletic director Mark Coyle told the Idaho Statesman that though the final amount to get Boise out of the Mountain West and into the Big East -- and the WAC, where the Broncos' Olympic sports teams are headed -- "changes by the minute," there is "a sense of urgency" for the school to reach a decision soon.

“With the departure of West Virginia, it’s created this talk about somebody jumping to the Big East. We have had those conversations, but it’s not a simple black and white answer,” Coyle said. “Yes, we want to make sure that football has a solid home, but we have to have a solid home for our 18 other sports ...  Before we make any move, we need to make sure we cover all our expenses."

Those expenses are estimated to be between $7.5 and $9 million in exit fees due the Mountain West, and possibly an entry fee due the WAC to accommodate the Olympic teams on short notice. But just as West Virginia's exit has created a hole in the Big East schedule that the Broncos could fill, so the Broncos' future league could re-route the $10 million the Mountaineers are paying in their own exit fees -- or the potential $9 million in revenues the league plans on withholding from WVU -- to the MWC or WAC to help grease the skids for Boise's arrival.

Despite the potential hiccups, with Boise interested in speeding up their arrival, the Big East desperate to avoid a season with only seven football teams (just ask Syracuse and Rutgersand the necessary cash hypothetically available, it will now be a surprise if the Broncos don't make the leap this offseason. One potential monkey wrench, however: the Mountain West-Conference USA merger, which could in turn destabilize the reeling WAC and leave the Bronco Olympic sports high and dry. Coyle called the merger a "new twist in the conversation."

But as the expansion experience of the Mountaineers (as well as schools like Missouri) have shown, where there's a will to expedite the conference-jumping process, there's usually a way. That the Broncos now publicly have the former and a game-plan for the latter, it's not hard to imagine them going from "too late" to "already there" in a matter of weeks.

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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 14, 2012 1:38 pm
Edited on: February 14, 2012 1:39 pm
 

Report: Oklahoma State WR suspended for 2012

Posted by Chip Patterson

Oklahoma State could be without junior wide receiver Michael Harrison for the entire 2012 season, according to a local report.

Citing a source, Tusla World is reporting that Harrison has been suspended for the entire season. Rumors had been swirling that the talented outside receiver had been dismissed from the team, but The Oklahoman reported on Tuesday that was not true. However, a source did tell the paper on Sunday that the Cowboys are "not counting on [Harrison]" playing in 2012.

Harrison recorded 20 catches for 255 yards and three touchdowns as a sophomore in 2011, despite missing time due to injury. He was considered by many to be the likely replacement on the outside for star wide receiver Justin Blackmon.

The Big 12 conference schedule was released on Tuesday, and the Cowboys will host conference newcomers West Virginia and TCU. For more, check out Tom Fornelli's breakdown of the schedule.

For all the latest on Oklahoma State be sure to bookmark the Cowboys RapidReports

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Posted on: February 14, 2012 11:18 am
 

Big 12 schedule finally released

Posted by Tom Fornelli

America, your long wait is over! On Tuesday morning, barely two hours after West Virginia officially joined the conference, the Big 12 finally released its schedule for the 2012 season.

It's everything you could have hoped for. It has games on it, scheduled to be played on certain dates between specific opponents!

There are just too many great games on the docket to go over all of them, but here are the major dates.

- TCU will play its first Big 12 conference game in Lawrence against Kansas on September 15th. Can the Horned Frogs overcome Charlie Weis' decided schematic advantage? We'll find out! TCU's first conference home game will be on October 6th against Iowa State.

- Baylor will be the first Big 12 team to play a conference game in Morgantown, facing West Virginia on September 29th. West Virginia's first road test comes a week later, and will not be easy, as the Mountaineers head to Austin to face Texas on October 6th.

- Oklahoma and Texas will get together for their annual Football Hate And Fried Foods Festival in Dallas on October 13th.

- Oklahoma State will begin it's Big 12 title defense against Texas in Stillwater on September 29th. Five of Oklahoma State's first seven conference games will be at home, but the Cowboys finish the regular season on the road against Oklahoma and Baylor.

- Texas Tech and Iowa State are the only two teams in the conference who won't have a bye week between conference games, playing every weekend from September 29th through November 24th.

- Texas won't be playing anybody on Thanksgiving night, but will play TCU in Austin the Saturday after Thanksgiving.

You can see the entire Big 12 schedule here

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Posted on: February 10, 2012 5:16 pm
Edited on: February 10, 2012 5:18 pm
 

Report: Saban tried to get WVU SEC invitation

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

As of this moment, there is -- almost without question -- no more powerful coach in all of college football than Alabama's Nick Saban. But as it turns out, even Saban couldn't pull enough strings to get someone other than Missouri the coveted 14th invite to the SEC.

That's according to the account provided to the Charleston Daily Mail by West Virginia senator Joe Manchin, West Virginia University graduate, who said he and Saban had spoken and "were working toward" snagging that invitation for the Mountaineers before the league settled on the Tigers. Both Saban and his wife Terry are West Virginia natives, and Saban spent two seasons in the late '70s as a defensive assistant for the Mountaineers.

"I thought we could have been in the SEC," Manchin said. "I talked to my dear friend Nick Saban about that, and, like me, he said, 'I would like West Virginia in the SEC,' and we were working toward that."

The Charleston Gazette also reported in October that Saban had been lobbying behind the scenes for West Virginia. But to no avail: Missouri was officially added as the SEC's 14th team in early November.

"They chose Missouri instead, and then you never heard a thing else about it," Manchin said.

That decision helped lead to a bitter political struggle between Manchin and Kentucky senator Mitch McConnell. McConnell, a Louisville graduate and Republican, reportedly attempted to block the Mountaineers' bid to join the Big 12 with the hopes of getting the Cardinals the invitation instead; Manchin, a Democrat, responded by publicly calling for Congress to hold hearings on whether McConnell had committed an ethics violation.

In the end, of course, Manchin and the Mountaineers got their happy ending -- they're not even going to have to wait an extra year -- and Manchin says the feud with McConnell is in the past. But with as powerful an ally as Saban on his side, you have to wonder if he doesn't wonder what might have been if the SEC had lent a more friendly ear.

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Posted on: February 10, 2012 4:30 pm
 

West Virginia has some new billboards

Posted by Tom Fornelli

While West Virginia is making its way to a new era in the Big 12, it's not quite ready to forget about its past. Well, at least not its recent past. 

If you've been cruising along any interstates near Morgantown in recent days, you may have noticed these nice reminders about West Virginia's recent success against Clemson in the Orange Bowl.



While this may seem somewhat insulting to Clemson fans, let's remember that the billboards are in West Virginia, not South Carolina. So it's not as if the Mountaineers are rubbing it in anyone's face.

Though a part of me does wonder if spending money on billboards is the best thing for a school that currently owes the Big East $20 million to do right now.

Hat tip: Dr. Saturday

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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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The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com