Tag:Conference USA
Posted on: October 12, 2011 2:04 pm
Edited on: October 14, 2011 3:50 pm
 

PODCAST: Week 7 Preview

Posted by Tom Fornelli

While there isn't exactly a marquee matchup on the schedule this weekend like we've had the last few weeks, that doesn't mean there isn't plenty of interesting games to keep an eye on. In this week's preview, the CBSSports.com College Football Podcast wonders whether Michigan, Illinois or Kansas State will be the surprise unbeaten that finally falls. Adam Aizer and J. Darin Darst also wonder if Arizona State and Wake Forest can pull off a couple upsets, whether Texas has a chance against Oklahoma State, and even an important Conference USA matchup. All that and more, so give it a listen.

Listen below, download the mp3pop out the player to continue browsing, and subscribe to the CFB Podcast in iTunes if you like what you hear.

Posted on: October 5, 2011 6:19 pm
 

SMU commemorates TCU win with $40.33 ticket offer

Posted by Jerry Hinnen



They say he who laughs last laughs best. And in this week's war of words between TCU's Gary Patterson and cross-town rivals SMU, we're awarding the Mustangs the last, best laugh.

That's not for lack of effort on Patterson's part. In the wake of SMU's 40-33 overtime victory Saturday, Patterson lashed out at everyone and everything involved in the game that wasn't Frog-related, including SMU, SMU "people," SMU head coach June Jones, former SMU head coach Phil Bennett, SMU receiver Darius Johnson, the Conference USA officials that worked the game, and Conference USA itself.

"We’ve let them come over and talked about how we do things academically and how we do things with the stadium and everything to try to make their program better and their way of thanking us for that is to cut us down," Patterson said in one typical quote. "I don’t think they should ever look for anymore help from anybody from over here ever again."

As Jones himself noted Wednesday, Patterson's outburst has already helped the Mustangs, by helping ensure that 2012's SMU-hosted "Battle for the Iron Skillet" draws far more attention -- and theoretically sells far more tickets -- than it would have otherwise. But the ensuing coverage has also helped get the word out about Mustangs' new offer for fans looking to purchase tickets to SMU's remaining 2011 home games. We'll let the official SMU athletic site explain the "Iron Skillet Special":

On the heels of winning the Iron Skillet, SMU has cooked up a special $40.33 ticket plan that offers fans a ticket for its four remaining home games at a special rate that highlights SMU's big 40-33 win over rival and 20th-ranked TCU last Saturday.

This "Iron Skillet Special" allows fans to catch every minute of the four remaining home games for just $40.33.

If you're keeping track, that's three different repetitions of the numbers "40" and "33" in just two sentences.

Patterson is more than welcome to air his grievances over the officiating and Jones' and Johnson's comments. But in the end, those two numbers are what both he and the Mustangs are going to ultimately remember about the game, and kudos are due SMU for going out of their way to remind their fans (and TCU's) of that.

Posted on: October 4, 2011 1:14 pm
Edited on: October 4, 2011 2:10 pm
 

Week 6 Picks: Who do you like?

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

Each week, the CBSSports.com college football staff offer their choice for the week's Expert Picks. But before we make our selections for Week 6, we spin the wheel o' games to select a handful of contests we want your take on. 

Check the poll below to pick an outcome for the 10 games our wheel landed on, including Florida at LSU on CBS, Oklahoma vs. Texas in the Red River Rivalry, and Auburn traveling to Arkansas in a matchup of ranked teams. Also on tap: Southern Miss taking on Navy at 3:30 ET on the CBS Sports Network. To see the results of the poll, tune in to Inside College Football, 8 p.m. ET on CBSSN.



As a sneak peek of this week's Expert Picks, here's this blogger's early impressions of the week's slate:

Southern Miss at Navy: The Golden Eagles have recovered nicely from an early-season loss to Marshall, but still have to prove their defense is at all capable of stopping the Midshipmen triple-option. At home in Annapolis, Navy should have the edge.

Army at Miami (Ohio): It's been an up-and-down season for the Knights, who upset Northwestern but have been clubbed by a total of 50 points in two previous trips to MAC teams Ball State and Northern Illinois. With the Redhawks winless and going nowhere on offense, though, Army should be OK this time.

Missouri at Kansas State: The Wildcats are flying high after upsetting Baylor, but the Tigers promise to be much stingier on defense than the Bears and are coming off a bye. We like the Tigers to bring KSU back to earth a bit.

Iowa at Penn State: Kirk Ferentz has owned Joe Paterno's squad in recent years, and with the Nittany Lions seemingly going backwards on offense as James Vandenberg has woken up the Hawkeye attack, that may not change this season.

Georgia at Tennessee: All bets are off if Tyler Bray catches fire. But Mark Richt has always been an outstanding coach on the road, and until the Vols show some ability to get some push for the running game, we'll take the team with Isaiah Crowell.

Arizona State at Utah: The Utes got a rude welcome to the Pac-12 in their conference home opener against Washington last week, and the Sun Devils are a more complete team than the Huskies. An injury to Jordan Wynn won't help matters, either.

Texas A&M at Texas Tech: There's no more myserious undefeated team in the FBS than the Red Raiders, whose 4-0 record has been complied against an FCS tomato can, hopeless New Mexico, Nevada (in a nail-biter) and Kansas. We're not sure they've been impressive enough to take them over what should be an angry Aggies squad.

Florida at LSU: There's not a college football fan alive who wouldn't tell you the same thing, but it's true: the matchup of true freshman Gator quarterback Jeff Driskel against LSU's defense in Baton Rouge should not be pretty.

Auburn at Arkansas: Last year, Tyler Wilson ripped the Auburn defense for 330-plus yards and four touchdowns in relief of Ryan Mallett, and that was on the road at the defending national champions. At home vs. an even more wobbly Tiger defense, Wilson may make it 1,000 yards in two weeks.

Oklahoma vs. Texas: Ever since Garrett Gilbert went to the sidelines, the Longhorns have been scorching hot, roaring back against BYU and thumping UCLA and Iowa State on the road. The Sooners are still a bridge too far for a team this young, but the Red River Rivalry should me much closer than many expect.
Posted on: September 22, 2011 1:06 pm
 

East Carolina interest in Big East nothing new

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

Wasting no time attempting to get their foot in the door left open by Pitt and Syracuse, East Carolina announced Wednesday they had applied for membership in the Big East. From a statement by ECU athletic director Terry Holland:
"East Carolina University will always maintain a proactive approach in regards to positioning itself for future success, and the fluidity of current conference realignment possibilities is no exception."

"While we have formalized our interest in Big East Conference membership as a viable option, ECU will remain focused on competing at the highest level through the efforts of Conference USA."
Openly announcing that you've applied to a different conference is a curious definition of "remaining focused" on succeeding in Conference USA, we'd argue, and when we say "openly" we mean it. Contrast the continued (open) secrecy of, say, West Virginia's attempt to join the ACC or SEC with e-mailing 50 different media members the news of your application before the Big East has even had a chance to give it a serious thought -- it arrived the same day ECU announced they'd put it in the mail -- and you'll see how badly the Pirates want to be taken as a serious candidate for Big East expansion.

But this is nothing new for the Greenville, N.C. school. Back in 2008, the Hartford Courant reported that ECU officials would be willing to make a stunning number of concessions if the Big East would give them their big break at the BCS level.

Among the offers allegedly on the table: that ECU would forgo entirely their share of Big East revenue on a "trial basis," so that conference revenues for the res tof the league remained constant; forgoing any shared BCS bowl revenue until the Pirates made a BCS bowl themselves; provide its own television contract so as not to interfere with the league's existing deal; guaranteeing the sale of 2,500 tickets to their Big East away games; and possibly more.

"We would agree to all of that and others," a "prominent ECU supporter" told the Courant at the time. "Our partnership could be described as a 'hand-in' partnership rather than a 'hand-out' partnership. We wouldn't be asking for anything except the opportunity to prove ourselves as good and productive partners of the eight institutions playing Division I-A football."

Would the Pirates still be as desperate today? With the Big East in a position of lesser strength and stability, then-Pirate head coach Skip Holtz now at South Florida, and the economy making finances more tricky for football programs outside the BCS, it seems far less likely ECU administrators would be willing to make quite that big a gamble on a league with so many question marks still to be answered.

But it nonetheless goes to show that Wednesday's application announcement isn't the first time the Pirates have attempted to beat down the Big East's door. And if the conference once again passes over the Pirates (this time in favor of teams like Navy and Air Force), expect ECU to try again whenever the opportunity presents itself again.

For more on Conference Realignment 2011, follow our RapidReports on the subject by clicking here.

Posted on: September 22, 2011 12:06 pm
Edited on: September 22, 2011 12:07 pm
 

Report: Schools want Syracuse & Pitt gone soon

Posted by Chip Patterson

In the most recent episode of the Emmy Award-winning drama Conference Realignment, the Big East leadership emerged from a three-hour meeting in New York City with plans to "aggressively" pursue replacements for Syracuse and Pittsburgh.

The message from the conference has been a plan to hold the two departing schools to the 27-month withdrawal period required in the conference by-laws. However, according to a Sporting News report some of the Big East's current members would like to see the two programs leave "as soon as possible."

Part of Marinatto's "aggressive" plans for replacement reportedly includes extending football-only invitations to Navy and Air Force. The conference's membership still includes their seven non-football schools, and adding the service academies to the gridiron slate would be an easy transition. Other suggested moves for expansion include looking towards Conference USA, where schools like UCF, Houston, and ECU have expressed interest in joining the Big East.

A big piece of Tuesday's meeting was also getting TCU athletic director Chris Del Conte on board with the future of the conference. TCU is scheduled to move to the Big East in 2012, but the threat of violent realignment in the college football landscape had the school's leadership nervous about the future of the conference. For the Big East to remain attractive to the BCS, a perennial contender like TCU will be a necessary component.

But regardless of when Syracuse and Pittsburgh leave, it does seem as though the realignment shift has begun to slow - at least for the moment. The Pac-12 expressed no interest in expanding at this time, and it does not appear that the Big Ten has any desire to either. With Texas and Oklahoma recommitting themselves to the Big 12 under new leadership, it is likely that Missouri will not be making any moves to the East anytime soon.

Click here for all the latest updates on Conference Realignment.

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: September 19, 2011 11:47 am
Edited on: September 19, 2011 11:48 am
 

Tulsa's Kinne out 2-4 weeks

Posted by Tom Fornelli

Odds are that you didn't watch Tulsa's game against Oklahoma State this weekend. That's because the game did not start until after midnight local time thanks to storms in the area delaying the game for more than three hours. Tulsa would lose the game 59-33 but it wasn't the only loss the Golden Hurricanes suffered in the contest.

Quarterback G.J. Kinne left the game after suffering a knee injury in the first quarter and never returned. Kinne had scrambled for a 23-yard gain before he was hit late out of bounds by Oklahoma State's Daytawion Lowe, drawing a 15-yard personal foul penalty. It was then discovered on Sunday afternoon that Kinne had suffered a Grade II MCL tear in his left knee, and he's going to miss two to four weeks.

“(After 2-4 weeks), you can heal enough where you can put someone in a brace and play them safely,” Keith Stanley, a sports medicine physician at Tulsa Bone and Joint Associates told the Tulsa World. “You still have to be reevaluated because people heal at different rates. It can be two weeks or four weeks. Occasionally, it will take longer.” 

Kinne had thrown for 525 yards and 5 touchdowns this season before suffering the injury, and he's coming off a season in which he threw for 3,650 yards and 31 touchdowns for Tulsa. He'll be replaced by freshman Kalen Henderson, who completed 6 of 20 passes for 104 yards with 2 touchdowns and 3 interceptions after stepping in for Kinne on Sunday morning.
Posted on: September 14, 2011 2:34 pm
Edited on: September 14, 2011 4:09 pm
 

WWE's Lawler wants Memphis HC Porter fired

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

Somewhat suddenly, Memphis has become the kind of football team that's capable of garnering national attention. Unfortunately, it's not the kind of attention the Tigers would like; after being on the receiving end of out-and-out hammerings from Mississippi State (understandable) and the Sun Belt's Arkansas State (dramatically less so), Larry Porter's team is the clear leader in the race to be named the Worst Team in the FBS.

So embarrassing have the losses been that Memphis athletic director R.C. Johnson was compelled this week to offer Porter an emphatic vote of confidence--just two weeks into Porter's second season at the helm. But unfortunately for Porter, the support from Johnson (himself a not-entirely-popular figure among many Memphis fans these days) won't do much to win over a Tiger fanbase that just saw the Tigers outgained 611-169 by the Red Wolves. (That former Memphis-area high school coach Hugh Freeze -- Michael Oher's coach in The Blind Side -- is now in charge at Arkansas State only adds insult to injury.)

For one high-profile example of how badly Porter needs a popularity boost, look to famous former wrestler, current WWE personality and Memphis legend Jerry "The King" Lawler, who this week e-mailed local Commercial-Appeal columnist Geoff Calkins his opinion on Porter and Johnson. That opinion is not one that's going to do either of them any favors:
Hi Geoff,

This is just a quick note to commend you for ... tell[ing] it exactly like it is concerning the sorry state of the University of Memphis football program ... Memphis football is a laughing stock to the rest of the nation and an embarrassment to anyone from this city.  Stick to your guns, keep shouting the truth...Memphis football will never improve until both Porter and Johnson are gone!
If Lawler's assessment is one shared by the majority of Memphis supporters -- and after these breutal first two weeks, we'd be surprised if it wasn't -- Porter's seat may only get hotter from here. If there's any coach that needs a victory worse that Porter does this week at home against FCS Austin Peay (likely the Tigers' best opportunity at a win this season), we certainly haven't seen him.

UPDATE: It's not Johnson or Porter just yet, but heads at Memphis have started to roll; with the Tigers mired at dead last in the country in total defense, defensive coordinator Jay Hopson has been fired. Per the Commercial-Appeal's Kyle Veazey, Hopson will be replaced by co-coordinators Galen Scott and Mike Dubose, the latter famous for his tenure as head coach at Alabama.

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: September 9, 2011 11:33 am
Edited on: September 9, 2011 11:34 am
 

Marshall receiver has charges dropped

Posted by Tom Fornelli

Marshall wide receiver Troy Evans was arrested for four counts of armed robbery and one count of wanton endangerment in August after he allegedly went on a miniature robbery spree on the Marshall campus. Evans had been accused of brandishing a handgun and robbing four people on campus in a ten minute span.

Well, according to a release from Cabell County prosecutor Chris Chiles, as of Friday morning all the charges against Evans have been dropped. In the statement Chiles cited insufficient evidence and an alibi that was corroborated by seven individuals.

As you would expect after Evans was arrested for such crimes, he had been suspended indefinitely by the Marshall football team, and now much like the charges against him, Evans suspension has been dropped. He'll be able to suit up for the Herd this Saturday against Southern Mississippi.

"Troy is reinstated immediately," Marshall Atheletic Director Mike Hamrick said in a statement. "Doc Holliday and I have discussed this and Troy can play against Southern Miss on Saturday. That is Doc's decision."

Evans had 21 catches for 225 yards and 3 touchdowns for Marshall in 2010. He also scored 2 rushing touchdowns and returned a kick for a score as well.
 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com