Tag:Texas A&M
Posted on: July 21, 2011 8:35 pm
Edited on: July 21, 2011 10:55 pm
 

Texas A&M AD releases Longhorn Network statement

Posted by Adam Jacobi

Concerns about the Longhorn Network were made official today, what with Dan Beebe addressing them in a statement earlier Thursday. The Longhorn Network was set to air two Texas football games -- including a conference game -- and had made plans to televise high school football games involving Texas recruits, even before the NCAA could make a ruling on its permissibility one way or the other. Fortunately for the rest of the conference, Beebe put the kibosh on that idea Thursday.

Still, that wasn't in time to stop a meeting by the Texas A&M Regents on the issue, and now Texas A&M athletic director Bill Byrne has become the first administrator to make his thoughts on the network public, in the somewhat ominous statement issued Thursday. The statement is reprinted in full below.

I have continued to have concerns about the Longhorn Network since the original announcement by ESPN and Texas. Since last summer, the Big 12 member institutions have committed to work together in a spirit of unity and equality. Recent news reports concerning this network; however, have created a considerable amount of uncertainty.

We had an agreement in place that Big 12 members would have the right to one non-conference football game and four to six basketball games for third tier, or institutional rights. The concept of the Longhorn Network broadcasting two live football games—with one of these being a conference game—had not been discussed among the Big 12 athletic directors.

Our concerns were heightened further when news reports surfaced that the Longhorn Network would be broadcasting high school football games featuring Texas high school recruits, including recruits living outside the state of Texas. Knowing how restrictive NCAA rules are regarding any collegiate representative contacting prospects, we contacted the NCAA for an interpretation. We are still waiting for the NCAA’s response.

I have continued to communicate our concerns to the conference office and my fellow athletic directors. We are pleased that the Commissioner has started to address these concerns, but many questions remain. These are significant issues for all of collegiate athletics as they relate to broadcast rights, revenue distribution and the recruitment of student-athletes.

Obviously, there's more than a little lingering dissatisfaction here, and if Texas and its new network don't address them to Texas A&M's satisfaction -- which might be asking a lot, considering we're talking about rivals with a very divergent set of opinions on what constitutes an optimal deal -- that could spell disaster for the conference's already teetering stability.

Still, it's also unfair to say that Beebe has merely "started to address" these things. He has already said that, until further notice, Texas can't show high school games on the Longhorn Network or televise more than one game on it, and those rules will go for any other school's network if/when they start up. That is as fully addressed as those concerns can be at this point, is it not?

And still, Texas A&M may continue to claim uncertainty, since Beebe left the door open for those things (but only with the other conference members' approval, and that ain't exactly happening anytime soon). And in these types of situations, "uncertainty" is really just an acceptable way of saying "political cover for acting more selfishly." So this is all music to the SEC's ears, if they want the Aggies or anybody else feeling a little more disloyal to the Big 12 these days.


Posted on: July 21, 2011 7:18 pm
Edited on: July 21, 2011 7:29 pm
 

Beebe issues statement on Longhorn Network

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

This isn't exactly news, per se; you could have read in this space first thing this morning that Big 12 commissioner Dan Beebe had put a temporary hold on the Longhorn Network's plans to air Texas high school games and one Longhorn conference matchup. But with rumors about Texas A&M and Oklahoma's levels of discontent with the promised network continuing to swirl, Beebe issued an official league statement Thursday afternoon regarding the joint venture between Texas and ESPN.

The statement reads:
The Conference members are committed to working together to address issues in a manner that benefits all members. There are elements of our new television agreement, which take effect in 2012, that need clarification and the members will be working together to develop a process that will work to the benefit of the entire Conference. Until the members have a chance to consider all the issues and come to conclusion about how the Conference will manage the interplay between the Conference television package and institutional networks, no more than one live football game will be televised on any institutional network and no high school content will be televised on a branded member’s network.
In other words: High school games and the promised Big 12 game aren't totally ruled out yet ... but until the Aggies and Sooners are satisfied that the Longhorn Network's policies are truly "benfitting all members" of the Big 12, don't expect them to get the OK any time soon.

But at the same time, that the Longhorns (and their television partners) appear to be willing to reach some kind of compromise might indicate that the rumored A&M/Oklahoma-to-the-SEC split might not be in the immediate future, either.


Posted on: July 21, 2011 8:38 am
Edited on: July 21, 2011 8:56 am
 

Big 12 hits pause on Longhorn Network's HS plans

Posted by Chip Patterson

As soon as the general public got wind of the Longhorn Network's plan to televise high school games, red flags went up across the nation. CBSSports.com's Dennis Dodd mentioned that ESPN VP Dave Brown may have committed an NCAA violation by mentioning the names of two 2012 Texas commits in a June radio interview. The network has already asked the NCAA for guidelines on televising high school football games, but the weakened Big 12 conference wants to make sure the network has the league's best interests in mind as well.

Big 12 commissioner Dan Beebe announced a temporary hold on the telecasts of high school football games on the Longhorn Network. Both the NCAA and Big 12 still need to make decisions on how the pending high school football media deal should be handled.

"It's not going to happen until and unless the conference can make it happen with benefit to all and detriment to none," Beebe told the Dallas Morning News. "It's fair to say what [ESPN VP Dave Brown] said publicly is why we're having conversations about this new world and what the parameters are."

Texas athletic director DeLoss Dodds has stated that the university is ready to cooperate and wants to play by the rules in regards to the new network, and pledged his allegiance to the conference.

The recent developments with the network have re-started the rumors of Texas' rivals looking to leave the conference. Texas A&M's board of regents reportedly will hold a closed door meeting at the end of this week to discuss the new network, and wild (but concerning) rumors have swirled about Oklahoma considering a departure as well. The potential in-state recruiting advantage provided by airing high school football games on the network would be huge for the Longhorns, particularly if the game selection focused on the verbal commits and/or the highest profile recruits.

Posted on: July 20, 2011 6:01 pm
Edited on: July 20, 2011 6:55 pm
 

Big 12 media preseason poll released

Posted by Tom Fornelli

The preseason media poll for the Big 12 was released on Wednesday afternoon, and for the most part, it looks exactly like you'd expect it to. Though it definitely doesn't look like something that Texas fans will enjoy or approve of. Forty-three members of the media voted in the poll, and Oklahoma was the runaway favorite as the Sooners garnered 41 of the 43 first-place votes.

Here's how the entire poll looked.

  1. Oklahoma (41) - 428 points
  2. Texas A&M (1) - 362 points
  3. Oklahoma State (1) - 360 points
  4. Missouri - 281 points
  5. Texas - 265 points 
  6. Baylor - 194 points
  7. Texas Tech - 191 points
  8. Kansas State - 140 points
  9. Iowa State - 93 points
  10. Kansas - 51 points
Obviously, the thing that sticks out more than anything is the fact that Texas -- Texas -- comes in ranked fifth. Even though Nebraska has left the conference, the Big 12 media still feels that there are four teams in the conference better than the Longhorns.

Now, personally, I think preseason polls of any kind are silly. How any of us are supposed to pretend we know how good a football team will be without seeing it run a single play against another team is trivial.

Still, Texas is fifth! Only one spot ahead of Baylor! Think about that.

It's amazing how one bad season can have such an impact on a school's reputation. I can't see ranking the Longhorns any lower than fourth in the conference, and I'd have them above Missouri. I just can't help but feel that even though Garrett Gilbert struggled last year, coming into 2011 with that experience will only help him, and the Longhorns offense can't be much worse than it was in 2010. Meanwhile, Missouri has lost Blaine Gabbert to the NFL, and that's not an easy person to replace on offense. 
Posted on: July 19, 2011 9:18 am
Edited on: July 19, 2011 9:21 am
 

OU, Texas A&M responding to the Longhorn Network

Posted by Chip Patterson

College football has become a big money business, and most of that money is coming from lucrative media contracts. As we prepare for the 2011 football season, we are on the verge of a historic college sports media venture with the premiere of the Longhorn Network. The network will present an all-access focus on Texas athletics unlike any major media venture before. In the soon-to-be 10-team Big 12 conference, the competitors have taken notice.

The College Station Bureau reported Monday night that Texas A&M has added a closed-door session to their regularly scheduled regents meeting this week regarding Texas' multi-million dollar network. The sources cited in the report said the session would be "informational only" and the Aggie decision makers will simply be given the latest from lawyers on the network.

The topic has come up for Red River rival Oklahoma as well. Athletic director Joe Castiglione told local media on Monday that progress is being made for a Longhorn-style network for the Sooners.

"We have had a great amount of interest in the prospects of a network here," Castiglione said. We are interacting with a variety of different media companies and we know that we will have potentially a different model than the one that people keep hearing about in regards to the one at the University of Texas."

Castiglione went on to turn the focus on the "digital revolution," reminding the Sooner faithful of the "frontier spirit" in Oklahoma. Oklahoma already boasts a powerful broadband and mobile network, and plans to stream 30 to 50 live events in the coming year.

While the comments seemed a little defensive on the first read, I think that Castiglione has the right idea with making progress towards the full multimedia experience rather than make a hasty push towards the television network. Sure, the power of the Longhorn Network and its ability to reach a mass audience greatly overpowers Oklahoma's current broadband setup, but as mobile video becomes more and more popular it will become a necessary piece of sports media providers.
Posted on: July 18, 2011 2:40 pm
Edited on: July 18, 2011 3:33 pm
 

Walter Camp Award watch list announced

Posted by Chip Patterson

As we brace ourselves for the media day onslaught that will begin with the SEC on Wednesday, the watch list season finally wraps up with the prestigious Walter Camp Award watch list. The award is given annually by the Walter Camp Football Foundation to the "Player of the Year.  Although it also awards individual greatness in college football, only two of the last five Heisman Trophy winners have also collected the Walter Camp Award.

Two of last year's finalists return to the watch list (Stanford's Andrew Luck and Oregon's LaMichael James) along with many of the usual suspects from the other position-based awards. The list will be narrowed to 10 semifinalists in mid-November, then the winner will be chosen from the finalists and announced on Dec. 8.

QB Matt Barkley, USC
WR Justin Blackmon, Oklahoma State
WR Ryan Broyles, Oklahoma
LB Vontaze Burfict, Arizona State
LB Tank Carder, TCU
DE Quinton Coples, North Carolina
QB Kirk Cousins, Michigan State
DT Jared Crick, Nebraska
RB Knile Davis, Arkansas
TE Michael Egnew, Missouri
WR Michael Floyd, Notre Dame
WR Jeff Fuller, Texas A&M
QB Robert Griffin III, Baylor
QB Chandler Harnish, Northern Illinois
RB Ronnie Hillman, San Diego State
DB Jayron Hosley, Virginia Tech
RB LaMichael James, Oregon
WR Alshon Jeffery, South Carolina
DT Brandon Jenkins, Florida State
WR Damarais Johnson, Tulsa
QB Landry Jones, Oklahoma
QB Case Keenum, Houston
LB Luke Kuechly, Boston College
RB Marcus Lattimore, South Carolina
DB Robert Lester, Alabama
DE Brandon Lindsey, Pittsburgh
QB Andrew Luck, Stanford
DE Jonathan Massaquoi, Troy
QB Bryant Moniz, Hawaii
QB Kellen Moore, Boise State
QB Aaron Murray, Georgia
WR/KR Eric Page, Toledo
QB Dan Persa, Northwestern
RB Chris Polk, Washington
RB Trent Richardson, Alabama
QB Denard Robinson, Michigan
QB Geno Smith, West Virginia
QB Darron Thomas, Oregon
QB Brandon Weeden, Oklahoma State
RB James White, Wisconsin

Anyone missing?  Think anyone doesn't belong? Let us know in the comments section below or tell us on Twitter 




Posted on: July 18, 2011 1:49 pm
 

Franchione draws Hawaii ire in scheduling snafu

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

Seriously, who wouldn't want to schedule a game at Hawaii?

It's too expensive to make a habit out of it if you don't share a conference with the Warriors, but consider the benefits: you get to visit Hawaii. The NCAA's Hawaii scheduling exception lets you play a 13-game season, perfect for the young, developing team. The game will likely start late enough that it's certain to land on television somewhere, possibly even reach a national audience*. Also, you get to visit Hawaii.

So what kind of coach would not only turn down the Warriors, but do so by first reaching a scheduling agreement with them and then backing out just as most teams are finalizing their 2012 slates? Why, college football's old friend Dennis Franchione, now the head man at newly-minted FBS program (and 2012 WAC member) Texas State.

And no, as the Honolulu Star-Advertiser reports, the folks at Hawaii are none too thrilled with Franchione's decision (emphasis added):

After "five or six months" of talking, UH said an agreement was worked out to bring the Bobcats here, only to have Franchione scuttle it when contracts were to be sent out.

When Texas State asked for a better financial package, UH said it complied, upping the terms. When the Bobcats requested a home game, UH said it offered a two-for-one deal and would make a later appearance in San Marcos.

Texas State athletic director Lawrence Teis said the Bobcats were interested in UH when they found out they would not be eligible for a bowl or the WAC title in '12 and saw a trip here as "great." But Teis said "we also had not completed (scheduling) our other 12 games yet ... Ideally, if Hawaii would have been in September or October, we probably could have made this work."

Instead, as a 13th game in December, "Coach Fran was concerned that (date) would cut into recruiting, which we desperately need to do moving to (the FBS) level," Teis said ...

[I]t has been taken very personally in Manoa, where athletic director Jim Donovan said, "We won't be working with Texas State anytime in my tenure."

To recap: Franchione could have given his fledgling program an extra week of practice and an extra game at the stage when it needs it the most; a likely television date for a team no doubt desperate for exposure; a home game against a nationally-recognized Mountain West opponent that won 11 games last year; and, oh yes, two visits to Hawaii. He turned it all down to spend one extra week recruiting (at a date on the calendar when most recruits have long since already decided their destinations), and turned it down in such a fashion as to eliminate all possibility of getting it back in the future.

So consider us skeptical this is the best decision for Texas State. To be fair, Franchione has no doubt forgotten more about coaching college football (as the saying goes) than we'll ever know. But we're also pretty sure we'd have known enough to tell him selling a super-secret newsletter to big-money Texas A&M boosters wasn't such a great idea ... and this one doesn't seem all that hot, either.

*A national audience at 1 a.m. Eastern, but still.

Posted on: July 14, 2011 12:20 pm
Edited on: July 14, 2011 12:45 pm
 

The entire 2011 season simulated on NCAA 12

Posted by Tom Fornelli

After getting my new copy of EA Sports' NCAA Football 12 on Tuesday, I took the time to simulate the entire 2012 season to see what the video game thinks is going to happen this year. In order to make things realistic, I even went through all the trouble of updating rosters to reflect what they currently look like.

That meant moving Russell Wilson from NC State to Wisconsin, removing Terrelle Pryor -- not to mention benching the suspended Buckeyes for the first five games of the season -- removing WaShaun Ealey and Caleb King from Georgia's backfield and so on and so forth.

No need to thank me, it was a labor of love.

So how did things turn out?

Well, it looks as if we'll once again have a non-BCS school finish the year undefeated -- the only school to do so -- but it's not Boise State or TCU. In fact, Boise State finally got its shot at a national title, but it couldn't come through.

Who did?

Let's find out. First we'll start with the conference champions (Records don't include conference championships or bowl games).

ACC -- North Carolina 9-3 (6-2)

Big 12 -- Texas A&M 10-2 (8-1)

Big East -- South Florida 9-3 (6-1)

Big Ten -- Wisconsin 11-1 (7-1)

C-USA -- Houston 12-0 (8-0)

MAC -- Western Michigan 10-2 (7-1)

MWC -- Boise State 12-0 (7-0)

Pac 12 -- Oregon 9-3 (7-2)

SEC -- South Carolina 11-1 (7-1)

Sun Belt -- Troy 10-2 (8-0)

WAC -- Fresno State 8-4 (7-0)

And how about those BCS bowl games? Well I'm glad you asked.

Rose Bowl -- Wisconsin 49, Oregon 46 OT

Fiesta Bowl -- Texas A&M 38, Ohio State 17

Orange Bowl -- North Carolina 28, Alabama 20

Sugar Bowl -- Houston 48, South Florida 13

BCS National Championship -- South Carolina 24, Boise State 22

Yes, that's right, the Ol' Ball Coach has added another national title to his resume. Boise State did have a chance to topple the BCS machine, but couldn't pull through. Trailing 24-16, Kellen Moore hit Kyle Efaw on a 16-yard touchdown with 3 minutes left, but the Broncos couldn't convert the two-point conversion. The Gamecocks ran out the clock and celebrated a national title. Oh, and Stephen Garcia was the game's MVP. Let that marinate in your brain for a minute or two.

As for awards, I hope Houston quarterback Case Keenum used all that time off last season to build himself a trophy case because it looks as if he's going to need one. Keenum not only won the Heisman Trophy, but the Maxwell, Walter Camp and Davey O'Brien trophies to boot. That's what happens when you lead Houston to a 14-0 record yet still finish second in both polls.

Now, if that's not enough info for you, let's take a look at some of the season storylines by conference.

ACC

-- Jimbo Fisher hits the sophomore slump. Florida State doesn't even qualify for a bowl berth after finishing the year 5-7 with a 3-5 mark within the ACC. FSU loses to Oklahoma, Wake Forest, Maryland, NC State, Boston College, Miami and Florida. And of those losses, only the loss to Florida was by less than 10 points.

-- Al Golden has Miami on the right track. Sure, the Canes only went 8-5 during the season, but they did finish 6-2 in ACC play, just missing the ACC title game thanks to a 27-17 loss to North Carolina

-- Duke goes bowling! That's right, Duke finishes the year 7-6 with a 4-4 mark in the ACC, including a two-point win over UNC. Though the Dukies do lose to Florida in the Music City Bowl. I have no idea who Steve Spurrier was rooting for while watching.

-- Boston College is the "best" team in the Atlantic Division. The Eagles finish the year 8-6 with a 5-3 mark in the conference. They even nearly beat UNC in the title game, losing 29-27.

Big 12

-- Oklahoma can't handle the pressure. The Sooners started out the year 7-0 before getting shocked by Kansas State on the road -- where else? -- 24-21. They also lost at Oklahoma State 38-24 to end the regular season and kill their hopes of a BCS berth.

-- Texas won't be terrible two years in a row. The Longhorns finish the season 11-2 with a 7-2 mark in the Big 12. Though they do lose to Oklahoma and Texas A&M, which stings a bit.

-- Where have you gone, Blaine Gabbert? Missouri needs you. The Tigers finished the season 4-8 with a 2-7 mark in the conference. Seems they're going to miss Colorado, Nebraska and the North Division.

Big East

-- The Big East is respectable. While no team in the conference finished the season with less than three losses (Pitt being the only with three), seven of the eight Big East schools won at least seven games, with Rutgers holding the only losing record.

-- Louisville can't finish. The Cardinals led the Big East most of the season before losing four of their last five games to finish 3-4 in the conference.

-- Casino or football field, Dana Holgorsen has a tough time winning anywhere this year. The Mountaineers went 2-5 in the Big East during his inaugural campaign.

Big Ten

-- Who needs Jim Tressel and Terrelle Pryor? Ohio State went 4-1 in its first five games of the season while so many of its playmakers sat out, and though the Buckeyes struggled in Big Ten play, they still finished the year 9-4 and got an at-large berth to the Fiesta Bowl. Oh, and they still beat Michigan.

-- Not that Michigan minded all that much, because Brady Hoke made believers out of the faithful in his first year. That Michigan loss to Ohio State? That was the Wolverines only Big Ten loss of the regular season, as they went 7-1 to win the Legends Division.

-- Wisconsin loves Russell Wilson. Wilson and the Badgers tore up the Big Ten all year long until the final week of the regular season. Then, after being 11-0 and ranked #1 for the majority of the regular season, the Badgers fell at home to Penn State 42-28. Though I guess beating Michigan 34-13 in the first Big Ten Championship Game and then Oregon in the Rose Bowl took some of the sting out of it.

-- New kid Nebraska gets picked on. The Huskers went 3-5 in Big Ten play, even losing to Minnesota. Though that wasn't as embarrassing as the 13-7 loss to Ohio -- University, not State -- in the Texas Bowl.

Pac-12

-- USC isn't on probation in virtual reality. So the Trojans were able to win the Pac-12 South division, even if they did lose to Oregon 35-14 in the inaugural Pac-12 Championship.

-- Utah enjoyed their move more than Colorado. The Utes finished the season 5-4 in conference play while Colorado went 3-6.

-- Andrew Luck should have gone pro. Stanford and Luck were off to a very nice start to the season, opening 7-0. Then Luck broke his arm, missed the rest of the year and Stanford finished 10-3.

SEC

-- The East still stinks. Sure, South Carolina wins the national title, but no other SEC East team managed to win more than four games in the conference. Meanwhile, in the West, LSU had the worst season of anyone, going 7-6 with a 3-5 mark in the SEC. Les Miles needs to eat more grass.

-- Will Muschamp did OK. Florida finished the season 9-4 with a 4-4 mark in the SEC, though Charlie Weis' offense needs some work. The Gators never scored more than 21 points against a SEC opponent not named Vanderbilt.

-- Alabama needs to fire Nick Saban, PAAAAWWWWWWWL. Oh the indignity of Alabama's 2012 season. Not only did the Tide lose the SEC title game to South Carolina, but then they went and lost to North Carolina in the Orange Bowl. Since when does Alabama play in the Orange Bowl, PAAWWWWL? NICK SABAN HAS GOT TO GO.

-- Auburn doesn't miss Cam Newton as much as you'd think. Even without their Heisman winning quarterback, the Tigers still manage to go 8-5 with a 4-4 mark in the conference. Not great, but not terrible either.

Non-BCS

-- TCU would like to get to the Big East ASAP. The Horned Frogs lose twice in 2012, and not just to Boise State. Unlike 2011, TCU wasn't able to escape San Diego State, losing 33-30 at Qualcomm Stadium.

-- Notre Dame is back! The Irish finish the year 10-3, and feature one of the most potent offenses in college football. Why they're painting Brian Kelly over Touchdown Jesus as you read this.

-- BYU finds independence to be constricting. The Cougars first season free of the shackles of conferencedom does not work out very well, as BYU finishes the year 4-8 and even loses to Utah State along the way.

-- While I already went over the disrespect Houston received, what about conference mate Southern Miss? The Golden Eagles finished the regular season 11-1 before losing to Houston in the C-USA title game, and they couldn't even sniff the Top 25.

And that's it. There's the entire 2011 season right there according to a video game. I suppose at this point there's no point in even watching any of the games. Now, if you don't mind me, I'm going to go try and wrap my head around Stephen Garcia leading South Carolina to a national championship.

Can you imagine that party?
 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com