Tag:Conference USA
Posted on: October 27, 2011 11:50 pm
 

Case Keenum sets another NCAA record in 73-34 win

Posted by Chip Patterson

On a night when one of the nation's most prolific passers needed an above average night to tie Graham Harrell for most career touchdown passes, Houston quarterback Case Keenum had an extraordinary night and shattered the NCAA record. Houston battled through an early Rice charge and rainy conditions to burn the Owls for 655 yards and a 73-34 win.

Keenum finished the night completing 24 of 37 throws for 534 yards and nine touchdowns, adding yet another record to his six-year career as a Cougar. Just a week ago, Keenum became FBS's career leader in total offense during Houston's 63-28 win over Marshall. So it wasn't surprising to see the star quarterback repeat a similar performance against Rice on Thursday night.

Rice jumped out to an early 17-7 lead in the first quarter, recovering a Keenum fumble for a touchdown. But the sixth-year senior answered quickly, tossing a 57-yard touchdown pass to Patrick Edwards on the final play of the period. From there it was all standard-issue Cougars offense, as the speedy attack wore down Rice and pulled away over the next 45 minutes of game time. Edwards continued to be a target of choice for Keenum on the record-setting night, finishing with 318 yards and five touchdowns - both career highs for the senior.

Keep up with the latest college football news from around the country. From the regular season all the way through the bowl games, CBSSports.com has you covered with this daily newsletter. | Preview
Posted on: October 24, 2011 4:17 pm
Edited on: October 24, 2011 4:20 pm
 

The Poll Attacks: Week 8

Posted by Bryan Fischer

The latest college football polls are out and now it's time to rip them to shreds. Senior college basketball writer Gary Parrish has been calling out voters in the major hoops polls for thinking a little bit too far outside of the box when it comes to their AP ballots every week.

With the football season starting, I thought I'd steal take the baton on the idea from my colleague and keep all of the writers across the country who vote honest. I've come to know a good number of these people through time and twitter but relationships do not matter, bad votes do.

AP Poll           Coaches Poll           Harris Poll           BCS

(Details of AP ballots courtesy of PollSpeak.com)

Poll reactions: ACC, Big East, Big Ten, Big 12, Pac-12, SEC

Rodney Dangerfield "No respect" team of the week: Southern Miss

  The Golden Eagles are ranked in the top 25 for the first time since 2004 in the Coaches Poll but are just "receiving votes" in the AP. Voters must not be aware of them shutting down June Jones' offense on Saturday, holding SMU to just three points and 330 yards. They're behind teams like West Virginia (blown out by Syracuse) and Arizona State (lost to Illinois, blown out by Oregon) for some reason. Yes, they're a Conference USA team so they have to fight for respect a lot more than others but they should be on everyone's ballot at 6-1.

Overrated: Nebraska

  To be fair, it's hard to figure out where to slot Nebraska because of the mediocre group of teams outside of the top 10-12 or so. The blowout loss to Wisconsin looks even worse now and having to come back and beat Ohio State is not a ringing endorsement for a top 15 team given their troubles in the passing game. We'll figure out if they deserve a high-ranking after Saturday but until then, they probably should be behind Virginia Tech and even Texas A&M.

California Craziness

A trio of voters from California (CSN Bay Area/CBSSports.com's Ray Ratto, San Jose Mercury News' Jon Wilner, LA Daily News' Scott Wolf) are an interesting voting block. Some would call them progressive, others would call them extreme and just about everybody else will call them crazy given their fluctuations in their ballots each week. All three are consistently in Pollspeak's group of "extreme voters" so we'll highlight the most baffling decision(s) out of each.

  I swear that Wilner just likes being the one in this space in order to gloat to his Bay Area compatriot Ratto. First off, teams that are on his ballot that shouldn't be: Auburn (17th), Washington (21st), Texas (23rd). Teams not on his ballot that should be: Houston, Michigan, Penn State. Also head-scratching: Auburn above USC, Kansas State 19th, Virginia Tech one spot behind Washington, Arkansas ahead of Stanford, South Carolina in the top 12, Georgia in the top 15.

What were you thinking? Desmond Conner, Hartford Courant

  Conner's top 20 isn't bad at all, aside from Nebraska being ahead of both Michigan State and Wisconsin. The bottom five is disastrous however. Arizona State is 20th, followed by West Virginia, Auburn, Georgia Tech, Illinois and Penn State. He was the only voter to rank the Fighting Zookers despite losing back-to-back games to Ohio State and Purdue and has one-loss Penn State dead last on his ballot. Conner is also the only one to leave USC unranked.


Posted on: October 22, 2011 7:46 pm
 

PIC: Tulsa's shiny helmets are hard to read

Posted by Chip Patterson

Tulsa and Rice are underway as part of a busy evening in Conference USA action (you can keep up with the action HERE) and the Golden Hurricanes have made quite a statement with their headgear.

Are the shiny helmets are some odd combination of an optical allusion and subliminal messaging? Or do you think their stylist is encouraging the team to embrace subtlety? Leave your opinions on these bold skull protectors in the comments below or hit us up on Twitter (@EyeOnCFB).

Screencap courtesy of Mocksession



Keep up with the latest college football news from around the country. From the regular season all the way through the bowl games, CBSSports.com has you covered with this daily newsletter. | Preview
Posted on: October 21, 2011 8:00 pm
 

VIDEO: Case Keenum's road to redemption, records

Posted by Adam Jacobi

After suffering a season-ending ACL tear last fall, Case Keenum has led the Houston Cougars to a 6-0 start. Click to watch Keenum describe his incredible journey back to the football field.

I think the process of recovery from a torn ACL doesn't really get enough respect, on account of its relative prevalence in college sports these days. This isn't like the days of Gale Sayers, where one blown knee can ruin the most talented player in the sport; medicine is far, far advanced. And yet, surgery can only get these guys so far into their recovery process; from there, it's still day after day, week after week, and month after month of agonizing rehab -- and then piling on extra conditioning as soon as your knee can handle it, just to get back into game shape. 

Past that, I definitely laughed at the players and coaches being mystified at Keenum's monogamist tendencies, long before his actual marriage. This is college we're talking about, and Keenum's not just some guy, nor just some athlete, nor just some quarterback, nor just some starting quarterback -- he's en route to being the most prolific passer in the history of college football. To stay committed to the woman who's now his wife through all that? That's a level of dedication most of us can't even contemplate. Kudos to you, Mr. Keenum. 

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.

Keep up with the latest college football news from around the country. From the regular season all the way through the bowl games, CBSSports.com has you covered with this daily newsletter. | Preview
Posted on: October 14, 2011 6:19 pm
Edited on: October 14, 2011 9:25 pm
 

C-USA and MWC to join forces in football

Posted by Tom Fornelli and Bryan Fischer

As CBSSports.com's Dennis Dodd reported earlier on Friday, the Mountain West Conference and Conference USA are consolidating into one conference. The reasoning behind it is, as CBSSports.com's Brett McMurphy reported on Friday, the Big East is set to extend invitations to Boise State and Air Force along with Navy and UCF.

Both conferences released a statement about their partnership on Friday night:

The Mountain West Conference and Conference USA have unanimously come to an agreement in principle to consolidate their member football programs into one large association.

Commissioners of the two leagues formulated this creative and innovative plan with the support of the presidents, chancellors and athletics directors. The 12 members of Conference USA and 10 football-playing members of the Mountain West will join forces for this strategic landmark in college football.

“The role of a conference is to provide its members with the best possible environment in which to conduct their intercollegiate athletics programs,” said Mountain West Commissioner Craig Thompson. “Rather than await changes in membership due to realignment, it became clear the best way to serve our institutions was to pursue an original concept. The Mountain West and C-USA share a number of similarities, and the creative merger of our football assets firmly positions our respective members for the future.”

The new conference, for football only, features 22 schools in 16 different states across five time zones (including Hawaii). Both leagues will continue to function as is for all other sports but they will work jointly on governance of the football side, though no specifics were given by either commissioner. The presidents of the member schools authorized Thompson and Conference USA commissioner Britton Banowsky to sign a memorandum of understanding earlier Friday as the first step in the process of consolidating the football programs.

"We really realized that college athletics is changing so fast and at such a rapid pace, if we're not quick to adapt we might lose some positioning," Banowsky said. "This is a structure that creates all kinds of fun, competitive opportunities. Nobody's ever put together a structure like this."

There is no name for the new venture, one of several details about the league that are still being worked out. The aim is for the conference to be operational by 2012 but they are focusing on 2013 as a more likely start date. Over the next 90 days a working group will explore how feasible it is to start next season but, given the already fluid realignment situation, nothing is assured. Banowsky said that there would likely be a two division model for the first year before moving to a mutli-divisional model down the road. There would be a football championship game no matter what the structure.

Both leaders said they have not had any conversations with the BCS about becoming an automatic qualifier conference and made it a point to say that nothing was guaranteed in terms of the BCS going forward and how it operates. The current agreement runs through the 2013-14 season with conferences reevaluated based on their membership as of December 2011.

"I don't think anyone can really predict what the future of the BCS will be or what it will look like," Banowsky said. "The idea that the BCS would simply be rebooted, as it has been in the past, I think is a significant question mark. From my perspective, this doesn't hang on that at all.

"I don't think anyone has a clear idea of what will happen in 2014," Banowsky said. "Will there even be a BCS? If there is, who will be in what conferences and what conferences will have access? Will there even be an automatic qualification?

"Our conferences will stand up together and speak with a stong voice. We will expect to have our champion recognized at the highest level."

In addition to the sheer size of the conference being an issue, the respective conference television contracts present a sticky situation. Both currently have separate deals with CBS Sports; while CUSA has partnered with Fox Sports and ESPN and the MWC has contracts with Comcast/NBC Sports. The MWC also owns and operates their own cable channel, The Mtn.

"It's all about inventory and it's all about programming" Thompson said. ""Better is better and more is better in the television industry."

"The schools that we're talking about have made significant investments in their football programs," Banowsky said of the new conference's appeal to television partners. "They're here and they're not going anywhere. The champion out of a group of schools like this is a worthy champion from my perspective."

The football only association has several models they've looked at, including as many as 24 teams participating. Adding to the already complicated setup is the fact that some of the current MWC and CUSA schools could be targets of other leagues, specifically the Big East. UCF, Boise State and Air Force leaders participated in the board of directors call early Friday morning and were part of the unanimous recommendation to proceed forward with the idea. Thompson said that the latter two had been in contact with the Big East but did not elaborate.

"Right now today, Friday afternoon, the intention is we start with 22," he said. "One of the beauties of this structure is the flexibility to accommodate additional members."

"We won't try to hold any one back if that's what they believe they want to do," Banowsky said. "As long as they're fair to the other members and they follow the rules, that's ok."

Posted on: October 14, 2011 10:33 am
Edited on: October 14, 2011 10:40 am
 

Report: Big East voting on exit fees Friday

Posted by Chip Patterson

As the Big East pursues a conference model that includes 12 football-playing schools, one obstacle that seems to be holding up the process is the league's exit fees. With an unknown future, the six remaining football schools have been noncommittal towards increasing the exit fees, which would make it more difficult to leave. At the same time, potential Big East targets such as Navy and Boise State would like to see some more commitment from the conference before joining.

According to a Sporting News report the conference has scheduled a call on Friday that would include a vote on "dramatically increasing the exit fee for universities wishing to leave for other conferences."
A source close to the league told Sporting News the meeting will ask schools to approve a change in the league bylaws that would require a school to pay three times its annual share of league television revenue in order to depart.

Under the league’s current deal, that would raise the buyout to between $15-17 million. If the league were able to gain a TV contract even close to the one it recently declined from ESPN -- $1.4 billion over 9 years – that escape clause would become even more substantial.
The report also includes a detail that Louisville may decline to participate in the call. The Cardinals have been the most realistic defector of the remaining six, as they have targeted as a potential replacement for MIssouri should the Tigers leave the Big 12. Louisville's vote is not needed to issue a change in the withdrawal fees, Big East bylaws require just a 75 percent vote for approval.

Until the exit fees are raised, it will be near impossible to convince other schools to join arguably the most volatile conference in FBS play. However, the addition of the service academies would be a big step forward towards securing the league's future. Once you get the service academies you can start working towards bringing in programs that would help maintain the Big East's status as a BCS automatic qualifier.

Keep up with the latest college football news from around the country. From the regular season all the way through the bowl games, CBSSports.com has you covered with this daily newsletter. | Preview
Posted on: October 13, 2011 11:58 am
 

Tulsa's Johnson pleads guilty to embezzlement

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

The NCAA's all-time record holder in all-purpose yardage has pled guilty to felony embezzlement charges. But it still might not keep Tulsa's Damaris Johnson from returning to the football field in 2012.

Per the Tulsa World, Johnson and co-defendant Chamon Jones each pleaded guilty to charges of felony embezzlement filed after Johnson's Aug. 31 arrest. Jones stood accused of selling Johnson more than $2,600 worth of merchandise from the Macy's department store where she worked to Johnson for $13.

As part of a plea agreement, both Johnson and Jones were sentenced to deferred one-year prison sentences, 800 hours of community service, fines, and a one-year probation. Upon completion of the probation program, both Jones and Johnson's cases will be dismissed without a felony conviction. Neither will serve any jail time.

The deferred sentence and dismissal of the felony conviction may allow Johnson to make his eventual return to the Golden Hurricane football team. Johnson remains indefinitely suspended, and Tulsa head coach Bill Blankenship said he "can't foresee anything changing" where the 2011 season is concerned. But 2012 could be a different story.

"[It] might open the door for him next year," Blankenship said.

If so, Johnson would finally have the chance to build on his tremendous record-breaking career, one in which he's already the FBS all-time leader in kick return yardage and all-purpose yardage. But if not, what's already a crushing mistake will become, somehow, even bigger.
 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com