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Tag:Big 12
Posted on: January 25, 2012 11:27 am
 

The Big 12 still looking to expand

Posted by Tom Fornelli

Maybe you thought conferences were done expanding after all the movement we saw before the 2011 season started. After all, nobody was shuffling the deck during the season. Then on Tuesday it was announced that Navy would be joining the Big East for the 2015 season, and it looks like the dominoes have started falling again.

According to The Chronicle (subscription), the Big 12 is once again considering expanding the conference. While nothing is imminent, two sources told the paper that the Big 12 adding at least one new member is "very possible."

That new member would likely be Louisville, which shouldn't come as much of a surprise. Before it was announced that West Virginia would be joining the conference, there were reports that half the schools were split on which school they wanted to extend an invitation to. Half wanted West Virginia, half wanted Louisville.

An expansion committee plans to put together a report for the Big 12's Board of Directors next week. Oklahoma athletic director Joe Castiglione, Texas athletic director DeLoss Dodds, Oklahoma State president Burns Hargis, and Kansas State president Kirk Schulz make up the committee. 

“I don’t want to send the message, ‘Oh, they’re getting ready to expand,’” Castiglione told The Chronicle. “But you’d be naïve to think there’s not instability still in our business.

“From a transition standpoint, we’re in position now to deal with the reality of our world. We’re going to make some evaluations and reach the best conclusion that helps us stabilize our long-term future.”

The conference seems willing to stay at 11 teams, much like the Big Ten did for years, if it adds Louisville, but if the return of a Big 12 championship game is the ultimate goal, it will have to add a twelfth school. As for which school that would be, BYU is being mentioned as a possibility again. Cincinnati has also been mentioned as an option in the past as well.

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Posted on: January 24, 2012 11:51 am
 

Mack Brown to get a contract extension

Posted by Tom Fornelli

If you were still holding onto those "Mack Brown to retire" rumors that seem to pop up just about every year, well, sorry to crush your dreams.

The Austin American-Statesman is reporting that Texas is about to give Mack Brown a four year extension. That would extend Brown's contract through the 2020 season. 

The extension will also give Brown a $100,000 raise every year. He currently makes $5.2 million a year at Texas.

Now whether or not this extension will actually end the retirement rumors that seem to pop up every December and January as the recruiting season approaches its end, I doubt it. They first began popping up when Will Muschamp was named the "head coach in waiting," and even though Muschamp is no longer waiting to be a head coach, and at a different school entirely, I doubt the rumors will come to an end.

Of course, you can also wonder if Mack Brown will still be coaching at Texas by the time this deal ends. Not just because he's 60-years old, but because his Longhorns are 13-12 in the last two seasons. If that trend continues, retirement or not, I don't think Brown will be at Texas too much longer.

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Posted on: January 22, 2012 12:25 pm
Edited on: January 22, 2012 4:43 pm
 

The Big 12 responds to Paterno's death

Posted by Tom Fornelli

Though Joe Paterno spent his entire coaching career at Penn State, his impact on the world of college football is one that has been felt all over the country. After all, Penn State didn't begin playing in the Big Ten until 1990.

That impact includes the Big 12 conference, where Paterno's presence was felt all over. Former Nebraska head coach and current athletic director Tom Osborne, who spent his coaching career at Nebraska as a member of the Big 8 and Big 12, released a statement about Paterno on Sunday.

"I am saddened to hear the news of Joe Paterno’s passing," said Osborne. "Joe was a genuinely good person. Whenever you recruited or played against Joe you knew how he operated and that he always stood for the right things. Of course, his longevity over time and his impact on college football is remarkable. Anybody who knew Joe feels badly about the circumstances. I suspect the emotional turmoil of the last few weeks might have played into it. We offer our condolences to his family and wish them the very best." 

Current Texas Tech head coach Tommy Tuberville released a statement as well.

"When you think of college football and its tradition, you can't help but picture those dark glasses, black shoes and plain uniforms that were his style and mark on Penn State University," said Tuberville. "I have had the great fortune to coach against Coach Paterno four times during my career and each time I came away from those contests with a greater understanding of the game of football. A true highlight of my career, has been a 30-year relationship with Coach and his wife Sue.

"Like many coaches, I grew up watching and learning from one of the greatest tutors and mentors of the game. I am deeply saddened to learn of his passing and wish to extend my condolences to Sue and the rest of the Paterno family." 

"I've known Coach Paterno since I started coaching," said Texas head coach Mack Brown in a statement. "Sally and I built a great relationship with him and Sue over the last 10 to 15 years, and we shared many great times. I know our lives are better because we had the opportunity to spend time with them. He was a gift to us, and when we heard the sad news today, we both openly wept, not only because college football lost a great man, but we lost a great friend. I appreciate all of the advice, the attention and the time he's given us over the years. We will miss him dearly and will always cherish the wonderful memories. College football will be left with a major void because he has done so much for our game and for Penn State. It's a very sad day, and with his passing, we have lost one of the greatest coaches our game, and all sports, will ever have. He leaves us with great stories, memories and records that may never be broken. There will never be another Joe Paterno. Our thoughts and prayers are with Sue and the family."

Even former President and Texas resident George H.W. Bush knew Paterno, as the Penn State coach was one of the men who seconded Bush's presidential nomination at the 1988 Republican National Convention. 

"I was deeply saddened to hear of the passing of Joe Paterno," the former president said in a statement released Sunday. "He was an outstanding American who was respected not only on the field of play but in life generally — and he was, without a doubt, a true icon in the world of sports. I was proud that he was a friend of mine. Barbara and I send our condolences to his devoted wife Suzanne and to his wonderful family."

During Paterno's long career as a head coach at Penn State, he faced teams currently in the Big 12 in nine different bowl games -- including four of his first five -- going 7-2. In his tenure as the head coach at Penn State, the ten schools currently in the Big 12 hired 88 new head coaches -- 86 coaches total as Bill Snyder was hired twice at Kansas State, and Don Fambrough was hired twice at Kansas --whether interim or permanent.

For more reaction from State College, follow CBSSports.com's Penn State RapidReports.

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Posted on: January 20, 2012 12:24 pm
 

Big 12 and Big East in limbo waiting on WVU

Posted by Tom Fornelli

Eight months from now West Virginia may be playing as a member of the Big 12 conference, or it may still be a member of the Big East. Right now, we don't really know, and if you ask West Virginia's athletic director, Oliver Luck, he's not going to be of much help.

"I can't help much," Luck told The Charleston Gazette when asked. "I'm sworn to secrecy ... I'm not going to comment. My silence is all I can offer." 

This is because the situation is currently being handled by the courts. West Virginia would like to leave, but the Big East is holding the school to its contract, and until some type of settlement is reached, both the Big 12 and Big East remain in limbo. Which is causing headaches for both conferences, as The Oklahoman's Berry Tramel went over earlier this week when discussing the Big 12's scheduling problem. While Tramel's focus was on the Big 12, the Big East is facing similar problems with its schools not knowing whether West Virginia will still be on their schedules or not.

In both the Charleston Gazette story and Tramel's story, the prevailing theory is that whether the case is settled or not -- and I'd put money on it not being -- West Virginia is going to jump to the Big 12 in time for the next school year and then just suffer the consequences of that decision. Consequences that could end up costing the school quite a bit of money.

This is because even if there was a decision made in the courts on the case, the "losing" side would appeal the decision, and that appeal could take another couple of years to be settled. Another couple of years West Virginia isn't likely to sit around waiting for a decision on.

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Posted on: January 19, 2012 5:56 pm
 

Kansas won't release Berglund from scholarship

Posted by Tom Fornelli

On Monday Kansas announced that it had dismissed 6 players from the team, including backup quarterback Brock Berglund. On Tuesday Berglund told the Lawrence Journal-World that he found out about his dismissal on Twitter, along with the rest of the world.

Now we find out that while Berglund has been dismissed from the team by Charlie Weis, the new head coach in Lawrence isn't making things easy for Berglund, as he is yet to release him from his scholarship.

This is an excerpt from the release written up by Berglund's attorney and sent to members of the media on Thursday.
Colorado Springs, CO. January 19, 2012 — The University of Kansas (KU) football program has a new coach, Charlie Weis, and several high-profile transfers from other programs. Fortunately for KU, schools such as Notre Dame, BYU and Oklahoma have released incoming KU transfers, quarterback Dayne Crist, quarterback Jake Heaps and receiver Justin McCay, from their respective commitments to those programs.

Unfortunately for Brock Berglund, KU, however, has refused to extend the same courtesy.

Berglund, a freshman, was heavily recruited out of high school, and accepted a scholarship to KU in 2010, primarily because of the bond formed between him and then-coach Turner Gill during the recruiting process. Gill assured Berglund that his quarterbacking skill set was a perfect fit for the KU offense, and that he expected Berglund to compete for the starter's role right away. However, KU terminated Gill and his staff at the end of the season, and hired Charlie Weis as its head coach.

Shortly thereafter, Weis successfully landed his high-profile transfers -- all of whom he had previously recruited out of high school when he was head coach at Notre Dame. In December, 2011, Berglund was informed during a short conversation with new quarterbacks coach Ron Powlus that Crist, the Irish's former starting quarterback, would start for the KU football team in 2012, and that Berglund was only competing for the backup quarterback position. Given the change in coaching staffs and offensive philosophies, and the abrupt demotion, in December 2011, Berglund requested permission from KU to enable him to speak with other Division I-A football programs about a possible transfer.
Until Berglund is released from his scholarship he cannot speak to other Division 1-A schools about a transfer without Kansas permission. This despite the fact that Kansas and Weis have already dismissed him from the team.

So, to recap, Charlie Weis came to Kansas and brought his own quarterbacks with him. Then, after dismissing Berglund from the team -- a decision in itself that I have no problem with -- he refuses to release him from his scholarship.

So Berglund can't play for Weis or anybody else. Such a nice guy, that Charlie Weis.

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Posted on: January 19, 2012 3:05 pm
Edited on: January 19, 2012 3:06 pm
 

PODCAST: 2011 College Football Season Wrapup

Posted by Adam Jacobi

J. Darin Darst and Adam Aizer give some final thoughts on the BCS Championship Game and the 2011 season as a whole. The SEC dominated again, USC is back and conference expansion is annoying. The guys also look at some recent coaching news. Will Brent Venables be a good hire for Clemson? Did Wisconsin take a risk by hiring Matt Canada as offensive coordinator? 

Remember, all of the CBSSports.com College Football Podcasts can be downloaded for FREE from the iTunes Store.

You can listen to the podcast in the player below, pop out a player to keep browsing, or download the MP3 right to your computer.

Keep up with the latest college football news from around the country. From the opening kick of the year all the way through the offseason, CBSSports.com has you covered with this daily newsletter. View a preview. Like us? Tell our Facebook page.

Posted on: January 18, 2012 11:46 pm
 

Report: Brent Venables is going to Clemson

Posted by Tom Fornelli

Finally it seems that one of the strangest coaching searches I've ever seen involving an assistant coach has come to an end. After a night of speculation that saw people reporting that Brent Venables was doing everything but running for President, it's now being reported that Venables has indeed accepted the defensive coordinator position at Clemson.

And I think it's serious this time.

The Oklahoman's Travis Haney tweeted, along with others, that Venables had confirmed to him that he's leaving Oklahoma for Clemson. 

Which should be good news for a Clemson defense that can use a tune-up. The Tigers allowed 70 points to West Virginia in the Orange Bowl and gave up 29.3 points per game during the 2011 season. Since joining Bob Stoops' staff at Oklahoma in 1999 as a co-defensive coordinator, Venables' defenses in Norman have routinely been some of the best in the country, churning out NFL players and keeping the Sooners in title contention year after year.

If he can bring that same kind of success to Clemson and the Tigers combine it with their potent offense, the school could become quite a force in the ACC.

As for why Venables would suddenly leave Oklahoma after spending the last 12 years there, it all started when Mike Stoops was brought back to the Sooners from Arizona. Rather than share defensive coordinator duties with Stoops, Venables decided he'd rather start somewhere new. He'd also been mentioned as a candidate at West Virginia since the announcement of Stoops' return.

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Posted on: January 18, 2012 6:28 pm
Edited on: January 18, 2012 7:27 pm
 

The Brent Venables situation gets crazier

Posted by Tom Fornelli

The Brent Venables Saga is no longer a saga and has now become The Brent Venables Variety Hour.

According to multiple reports on Twitter Wednesday evening, Oklahoma defensive coordinator Brent Venables was all set to become Clemson defensive coordinator Brent Venables. He had interviewed for the position last weekend, and after a few days of speculation, it seemed a decision had finally been made.

Turns out nothing is settled yet.

After Twitter was set ablaze with "Venables to Clemson" tweets, Venables texted the Tulsa World's Dave Sittler to let him know that he was staying at Oklahoma.

Shortly after that tweet, Sittler tweeted again, saying that he may have misunderstood Venables' meaning. Venables later texted to the Tulsa World's John Hoover that he was "working through some details" and that "nothing was final either way."

In other words, in the last week Venables has gone from West Virginia, to Clemson, back to Oklahoma, to Clemson once again, followed by a return trip to Oklahoma, but could still finish his trip at Clemson. Confused? Don't worry, so are we.

At the moment it seems that people jumped the gun on Venables taking the Clemson job because the school wasn't finished doing a background check on him, and that no official contract offer had been made. However, the prevailing feeling at the moment is that once the background check is complete, the offer will be made and that Venables will accept it.

So that's where things currently stand as of now. Where will they stand in another five minutes? Nobody knows. The only thing I know for sure is that I've got a headache from watching this story go back and forth.

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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