Tag:Big East
Posted on: December 8, 2010 11:41 am
Edited on: December 8, 2010 5:03 pm

Jonathan Baldwin is going pro

Posted by Tom Fornelli

It seems that head coach isn't the only position that Pitt is going to have to replace next season.  Now that Dave Wannstedt has resigned, it seems Jonathan Baldwin's decision about what to do next year has become a lot easier.  Word was that the wide receiver had been leaning towards leaving Pitt for the NFL following his junior season, but now that he's faced with the prospect of having to play under a new head coach, that decision has been made a lot easier.
In fact, if you read what Baldwin told CBSSports' Chris Steuber, it sounds like he can't get out of Pitt fast enough.
Reached through text message Tuesday evening and asked if it was safe to say he would forego his senior year with Wannstedt stepping down, Baldwin responded, "No, it's not safe to say that. It doesn't change my quarterback!"
At first, it sounded as if Baldwin was non-committal on his future, but when asked, "Why would you stay [for your senior season] when you have no chemistry with QB Tino Sunseri, a new coach/system taking over next season and possibly hurt your draft stock for the 2012 draft, Baldwin clarified, "Oh, I misunderstood you ... Heck yeah I'm leaving. It can only get worse. They had me running a lot of deep routes [this year] and yards were hard to come by. I barely ran intermediate routes; it felt like they were purposely trying to disrupt my draft stock."

So to be clear, Baldwin has no problem throwing Tino Sunseri under the bus, and he believes there was a conspiracy theory amongst his own coaching staff to hurt his draft stock and get him to stay for his senior season.  He should fit in perfectly with NFL wide receivers.

Baldwin has 52 receptions for 810 yards and five touchdowns this season.
Posted on: December 8, 2010 10:39 am
Edited on: December 8, 2010 11:02 am

UConn tackle facing child pornography charges

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

Hot on the heels of the shocking Derrell Johnson-Koulianos arrest comes a potentially even more shocking set of charges against a college football player: the Hartford Courant reported this morning that UConn offensive tackle Greg McKee is being held on charges of importing child pornography, obscenity, and "promoting a minor in an obscene performance."

McKee, a freshman, had been suspended indefinitely by the team on Tuesday and then turned himself in to authorities Wednesday after learning a warrant had been issued for his arrest. Law enforcement has apparently been building their case against McKee for quite some time:
State police said their computer crimes unit received information in September about possible possession and distribution of child pornography.

Detectives executed a search and seizure warrant in November at McKee's dorm room at Rosebrooks Hall, state police said. Items of evidence were seized during that search and were examined, state police said.

The impact on UConn in on-field football terms should be negligible; McKee's absence won't be felt at all on their veteran offensive line. But the case has the potential to become a huge distraction for a team that can't afford any loss of focus as they prepare for a Fiesta Bowl that may be the toughest game in their program's abbreviated Division I history.

As for McKee, suffice it to say that football will be the very least of his worries for the foreseeable future.


Posted on: December 6, 2010 5:18 pm
Edited on: December 6, 2010 5:20 pm

Syracuse punter Rob Long to have tumor removed

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

In a college football season that's already seen Eric LeGrand paralyzed at Rutgers and Mississippi State defensive end Nick Bell pass away at age 20 after battling cancer, maybe we should be thankful the terrible news today regarding Syracuse punter Rob Long isn't worse already:
[Long] will not participate in the 2010 New Era Pinstripe Bowl due to surgery to remove a benign brain tumor. Long notified the Syracuse University sports medicine staff that he had been experiencing headaches for the past several weeks. An MRI performed on December 2, 2010 revealed the benign tumor that will require imminent surgery.
Long will, obviously, miss the practices leading up to the bowl as well, and as a senior, his Orange career has come to an end. One of the many shames in this situation is that he will not be able to participate in what would have been the only bowl game of his and his fellow Syracuse seniors' careers. And however badly he'll be missed on the punting unit -- at 43.3 yards an attempt, he will go down ranked second in school history in punting average -- his absence will be felt even moreso in the locker room, where Long is a captain, popular teammate, and longtime 'Cuse fan favorite. (Syracuse blogger Sean Keeley writes that there's "probably some truth " to the idea that Long has been the team's MVP over the past few years.)

But clearly nothing football-related matters a bit next to a full recovery for Long from his upcoming surgery. The College Football Blog 's thoughts go with him as we wish him the speediest recovery possible.

Posted on: December 4, 2010 2:17 pm
Edited on: December 4, 2010 6:11 pm

Cincinnati mascot arrested for throwing snowballs

Posted by Tom Fornelli

While Pitt and Cincinnati are currently playing in the snow, it seems that someone got a bit too carried away playing with the snow.  The Cincinnati mascot was detained by police and ejected from the stadium on Saturday, and had to be replaced.  Why?

Because he was throwing snowballs into the crowd, and when police asked him to stop, he didn't.  Something that then causes this to happen.

If that's not the greatest picture from the 2010 college football season, then i don't know what is.

Now with video!  Though be forewarned, there are some naughty words, so it's NSFW.

Photo courtesy of Molly Gruber

Video courtesy of FearTheStache and MaxBobinski

Posted on: December 4, 2010 1:32 pm

Dion Lewis, Pitt love the snow

Posted by Tom Fornelli

Pitt needs some help from its Big East brethren if its going to win the Big East and head to the Fiesta Bowl next month, but first the Panthers have to pick up a win on the road against Cincinnati.  So far, so good.

At halftime in Cincinnati, in the snow, the Panthers hold a 21-10 lead, and look like a team that should have been playing in snow all season.  While the offense hasn't been perfect, particularly the passing game, but it has been efficient given the playing conditions.  The one person who seems to be benefitting the most from the snow is running back Dion Lewis.

At halftime Lewis has 164 yards rushing and three touchdowns.  His season high coming into today's game was 130 yards against Rutgers back in October.  It looks like Lewis is taking advantage of his shiftiness in conditions that don't exactly make it easy for defenders to cut and change direction smoothly.

If the kid played in Alaska, he might end up the greatest college football player ever.

As for the help Pitt needs from the rest of the Big East, the Panthers need West Virginia to lose to Rutgers, and at halftime in Morgantown, WVU is up 14-7.  They also need UConn to lose to South Florida, and that game will be played tonight.
Posted on: November 30, 2010 7:26 pm
Edited on: November 30, 2010 7:32 pm

Self: Big East was set to take Kansas, others

Posted by Adam Jacobi

At the height of conference realignment talks last year, there was real concern that Texas (and most of the other Big XII South schools) would flee the conference for -- pardon the pun -- greener pastures, leaving the schools up north wondering what their next move would be. Six conference members doth not a viable conference make, after all, and there was real concern that schools like Iowa State or Kansas State would have to suffer the indignity of joining a non-AQ conference.

Fortunately, as Kansas basketball coach Bill Self told listeners on his weekly radio show yesterday, his Jayhawks' AQ status was never in doubt -- and nor was that of Missouri, KSU, and ISU. When asked about TCU and its move to the Big East, Self said that if the Big 12 folded, those schools would have been offered a spot in the Big East. And further, Self thinks the Big East was smart to make those offers, because it was the only way to ensure the Big Ten doesn't kill the Big East's football program.

Audio, courtesy of the IMG Jayhawk Network, is below. Those interested in the full show may listen through Jayhawks All-Access ($$).

If you can't listen, here's the full text of Self's statement, with minor alterations for clarity's sake:

To be honest with you, Kansas could have been making the same announcement today that TCU made. And Kansas State could have been in there too, because the feeling that we got -- or we had, when the conference realignment was going on, that if by chance, Texas would have gone to the Pac-10 and we would have stayed buddies with Kansas State and not separated and done all that stuff, then the Big East would have came and gotten us, and KSU, and Iowa State, and Missouri. Which, in theory, you say, 'Oh god, the Big East, bad travel.' They would have gone to divisions, so we would have had divisions with probably the teams that are close, and maybe Louisville and Cincinnati or whatever.

And I think that's smart on the Big East's part, because the Big Ten's still going to go poach somebody, and when they poach somebody it's going to be a football-playing school, and if that number goes beneath eight, then I believe -- I could be wrong -- but I believe then they're not eligible for the BCS bid. So they're covering themselves to make sure that whenever the Big Ten does whatever they do, they'll still have enough football-playing schools to make sure that they keep their BCS football bid alive. So I think it's a smart move, and probably great for TCU, so I see no problems with it.

Although there had been rumors to this extent back in the spring and summer, this is the first time that a school official has not only addressed the rumor that the Big East was set to invite the wayward Big 12 North schools, but out-and-out confirmed it. And as Self mentioned, with the Big Ten purportedly sniffing around for expansion targets out east, the Big East needed to either go into buyer mode or prepare to get out of the business of football altogether. While some college football fans might have preferred the latter, the Big East would have lost an automatic qualifier bid and all the money it entails, so that was never really going to happen.

And above all else, this should at least reassure fans of those four schools that even if the Big 12 had folded, the day that ISU or Missouri would have had to share a conference with Wyoming or Middle Tennessee State was never really going to happen; there had always been another BCS conference waiting, and there probably still will be if this latest iteration of the Big 12 doesn't work over the next few years. The arms race probably isn't over yet.

Posted on: November 30, 2010 12:07 pm

Vandy considering Temple's Golden

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

It's still something of a mystery why Vanderbilt ever removed the "interim" tag from recently ousted (or "resigned," if you believe the press releases) Robbie Caldwell if the Commodores were just going to go coach-shopping again after just one season with college football's most famous turkey inseminator , but at least the Vandy brass appears to be going about that shopping the right way. As in, according to the Tennesseean , taking a look at one of the hottest properties on the coaching market in Temple 's Al Golden .

Golden's overall record of 27-34 may not look overly impressive, and this year's 8-4 mark has actually been something of a disappointment for an Owls team that was expected to win the MAC and instead finished a surprising third in the conference's East division. But that a program as punishingly downtrodden as Temple ever had those kinds of expectations to begin with is a minor miracle; the Owls had gone 3-31 the three years prior to Golden's arrival. And this season hasn't exactly been a disaster, especially by typical Temple standards, not with accomplishments like a win over potential Big East champion UConn , eight wins, and back-to-back bowl berths for the first time in the program's history.

With a resume like that and the rampant similarities between Vandy and Temple -- both academics-first afterthoughts in major metropolitan centers with zero tradition of winning football -- Golden would appear to be the best-case scenario for the Commodores. The bigger question is if their interest is reciprocated; Golden has been rumored for jobs at places like his alma mater Penn State (assuming Joe Paterno isn't immortal, a dangerous assumption at this stage) and Virginia before they hired Mike London . Like fellow alleged Vandy target Gus Malzahn , he may be able to land a better (and certainly easier ) gig down the road even if one doesn't come available this offseason.

But if the 'Dores can get Golden to listen, the Caldwell fiasco might start to make a little sense after all.

Posted on: November 29, 2010 7:16 pm
Edited on: November 29, 2010 7:38 pm

TCU travel will remain largely unchanged

Posted by Tom Fornelli

Ever since the news broke that TCU will be joining the Big East, a lot of the reaction to the news has been that having a school from Texas in a conference called the Big East doesn't make a lot of sense.  The state of Texas is a lot of things, but being in the east isn't one of them.

Hell, when you think of Texas, you get visions of cowboy movies and the Old West.  Still, people who live east of the Mississippi River tend to forget that on the west side of that mighty river, there is a whole lot of land.  So, in an effort to show those who think that having TCU in the Big East doesn't make much sense that it's not as crazy an idea as they think, I did a little research.

I checked out the distance between TCU, located in Fort Worth, Texas, and the cities of the schools in the Big East and Mountain West.  Now, when using the Mountain West, I used the conference as it will look, not as it does now.

That means I took out Utah and BYU, and replaced them with Boise State, Nevada and Fresno State.  This is what I found.

Distance From TCU to Mountain West Schools

  • Air Force - 595 miles
  • Boise State - 1268 miles
  • Colorado State - 692 miles
  • Fresno State - 1,304 miles
  • Nevada - 1,338 miles
  • New Mexico - 560 miles
  • San Diego State - 1,153 miles
  • UNLV - 1,043 miles
  • Wyoming - 747 miles

Distance From TCU to Big East Schools

  • Cincinnati - 845 miles
  • Connecticut - 1,508 miles
  • Louisville - 754 miles
  • Pitt - 1,097 miles
  • Rutgers - 1,377 miles
  • South Florida - 946 miles
  • Syracuse - 1,352 miles
  • West Virginia - 1,078 miles

Now, the total distance between TCU and the schools of the new Mountain West is 8,700 miles, or an average of 966.7 miles per school.  In the Big East the total distance is 8,957 miles, or an average of 1,119.6 miles.

So, yes, there is a difference between the two conferences.  TCU will travel more for Big East games than it did for Mountain West, but we're not quite done yet.  Remember, the Big East isn't going to stop at TCU, it's going to add a tenth team.

The likely candidates for this are UCF and Villanova.  If Villanova joins the Big East in football the numbers grow a bit.  TCU would then have to travel an average of 1,142,8 miles per school.  If UCF joined, the average trip would lower to 1,105.3 miles per school.

So the difference remains, but it's not as big of one as you thought, is it?

There's also another factor we need to consider when it comes to TCU and its traveling schedule.  You see, in the Mountain West where you have to impress pollsters to get into a BCS game by playing respected programs, you have to travel in your non-conference schedule.  You have to take on the Oregon States, or the Virginia Techs.

Which adds to the travel.

In the Big East, though, this is no longer the case.  All you have to do to get to a BCS game in the Big East is win the Big East.  Which means that TCU can adopt the same strategy as every other BCS conference powerhouse, and schedule FCS sacrificial lambs during the first month of the season.

All of whom would be coming to Fort Worth, not the other way around.  Plus, if TCU kept an annual game with SMU, that isn't a long trip at all.  So, what the Horned Frogs would gain in frequent flier miles during conference play, they'd be saving a lot more miles at home during September.

So think about that next time the idea of TCU in the Big East blows your mind.

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