Category:NCAAF
Posted on: October 6, 2011 11:11 am
Edited on: October 6, 2011 4:27 pm
 

TCU to join Big 12 in 2012-13

TCU will accept an invitation to join the Big 12 Conference for the 2012-13 school year, college football industry sources told CBSSports.com.

Multiple TCU sources told CBSSports.com "it's a done deal." 

TCU was scheduled to join the Big East on July 1, 2012, but instead will join the Big 12. By leaving the Big East before it officially became a member, the Horned Frogs will have to pay a $5 million exit fee but is not bound by the Big East’s 27-month requirement for notification.

TCU chancellor Victor J. Boschini told the Big East Thursday morning that the school has scheduled a board of regents meeting for later in the day.

The addition of TCU to the Big 12 replaces Texas A&M, which is headed to the SEC.

"We’re proud that TCU has been invited to join the Big 12," Texas athletic director DeLoss Dodds said in a statement. "Their commitment to academics and success on the field make them an excellent fit. With a solid budget and strong financial support, they have been proactive at improving facilities. Their close proximity to all conference institutions makes for a comfortable travel situation."

The Big 12 still must determine if it wants 10 or 12 members. Tuesday, Missouri gave chancellor Brady Deaton the authority to pursue its options about joining another conference.

Sources told CBSSports.com that if Missouri stays in the Big 12, the league likely would stay at 10 schools, including TCU. However, if Missouri leaves for the SEC -- and the Birmingham News reported Missouri currently does not have unanimous support -- the Big 12 likely would add three more schools to get to 12. The leading candidates would be Louisville, BYU, West Virginia, Cincinnati and Tulane.

The loss of TCU is another blow to the Big East. The league also lost Pittsburgh and Syracuse to the ACC, but commissioner John Marinatto has said previously the Big East would make Pitt and Syracuse honor the 27-month exit agreement, meaning they couldn't join the ACC until 2014.

Without TCU, Pittsburgh and Syracuse, the remaining Big East football members are Louisville, West Virginia, Cincinnati, UConn, Rutgers and South Florida.

Posted on: October 1, 2011 9:10 pm
 

Clemson for real, Virginia Tech is not

BLACKSBURG, Va. – On Clemson’s way to an undefeated September, the Tigers knocked off the defending champions of the Sun Belt Conference (Troy), Southern Conference (Wofford), Southeastern Conference and national champ (Auburn) and Atlantic Coast Atlantic Division (Florida State).

Four defending champions, four victories for the Tigers.

But those victories were all at home. The question was could the Tigers keep it up on the road against another defending champion: Virginia Tech.

The answer was a rounding yes. No. 13 Clemson throttled No. 11 Virginia Tech 23-3 at Lane Stadium.

If there’s any doubt, the Tigers (5-0) are very much for real. The Hokies (4-1), who finally survived their non-conference schedule unscathed, were exposed as, at best, an average team.

In their 4-0 start the Tigers had gained at least 443 yards in all four games. But against Virginia Tech it was their defense that was the difference.

The Hokies were held without a touchdown at home for the first time since 1995 and held to their fewest points since a 22-3 loss at Boston College in 2006.

Virginia Tech had won 13 of its last 14 home games in ACC play and had won 12 consecutive regular season ACC games. But the Hokies were absolutely no match for Clemson. It got so bad that in the second half Hokies fans were reduced to cheering a 29-yard punt – their punting is that bad.

Now that Clemson is 5-0 – the Tigers, who started the season unranked and unloved, have a very manageable schedule the rest of the way. There are home games with Boston College, North Carolina and Wake Forest and road games at Maryland, Georgia Tech, NC State and South Carolina.

Clemson should be favored the rest of the way out, except for the road trips at Georgia Tech and South Carolina.

Category: NCAAF
Posted on: September 25, 2011 5:06 pm
Edited on: September 25, 2011 5:35 pm
 

Texas A&M to join SEC in 2012

Texas A&M will join the SEC for all sports beginning with the 2012-13 academic year, the SEC announced Sunday.

The league's Presidents and Chancellors voted unanimously to add the Aggies as their 13th member.

The next question for the SEC is who's next? Sources have indicated if Missouri does not join the league, the SEC is prepared to go through the 2012-13 season with only 13 members. If Missouri remains in the Big 12, the most likely candidates appear Virginia Tech or Florida State, CBSSports.com's Tony Barnhart reported.

Adding Texas A&M is the first expansion for the SEC since September 1991 when the University of South Carolina joined the league. Arkansas joined the SEC in August of 1991. With the addition of Arkansas and South Carolina, the SEC was the first conference to split into divisions and add a conference championship game in 1992.

“The Southeastern Conference Presidents and Chancellors are pleased to welcome Texas A&M University to the SEC family,” Dr. Bernie Machen, chair of the SEC Presidents and Chancellors and president of the University of Florida said in a statement. “The addition of Texas A&M University as the SEC’s 13th member gives our league a prestigious academic institution with a strong athletic tradition and a culture similar to our current institutions.”

Texas A&M President R. Bowen Loftin, who told CBSSports.com on Saturday, he expected any legal issues to be resolved "shortly" also issued a statement.

“The Southeastern Conference provides Texas A&M the national visibility that our great university and our student-athletes deserve,” Loftin said. “We are excited to begin competition in the nation’s premier athletic conference. This is a 100-year decision that we have addressed carefully and methodically, and I believe the Southeastern Conference gives the Aggies the best situation of any conference in the country.”

Texas A&M, located in College Station, will also be the third institution in the SEC with membership in the prestigious Association of American Universities, joining Florida and Vanderbilt. Texas A&M's 50,000 enrollment ranks as the nation's sixth-largest university, with 360,000 former students worldwide.

By moving to the SEC, Texas A&M and Texas officials have hinted this might be the last season for the rivalry between the Aggies and Longhorns.

“On behalf of our presidents, chancellors, athletics directors, students and fans, I welcome Texas A&M University to the SEC family,” SEC Commissioner Mike Slive said. “Texas A&M is a nationally-prominent institution on and off the field and a great fit for the SEC tradition of excellence—athletically, academically and culturally.”

The Aggies sponsor 20 varsity sports.  Men’s sports include baseball, basketball, football, golf, swimming and diving, tennis, indoor and outdoor track and field and cross country.  Women’s sports include basketball, equestrian, golf, soccer, softball, swimming and diving, tennis, indoor and outdoor track and field and cross country and volleyball.  Texas A&M participates in every sport sponsored by the SEC except gymnastics and the SEC sponsors every sport the Aggies participate in except equestrian.


Posted on: September 24, 2011 11:49 pm
Edited on: September 24, 2011 11:52 pm
 

LSU pulls away from West Virginia

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – Officially, the nation’s No. 1 team resides in Norman, Okla., and has ever since the preseason Associated Press and coaches polls debuted last month.

However, the folks in Baton Rouge feel they have a pretty good argument. Especially after LSU’s latest victory, 47-21, at No. 16 West Virginia Saturday night. 

The Tigers (4-0) are the nation’s only team that has played three ranked teams in their first four games. LSU has defeated No. 3 Oregon 40-27 and won at No. 25 Mississippi State 19-6 and nearly hit half-a-hundred at West Virginia. None of those games were at home.

It was the most points allowed at home in regulation by West Virginia since allowing 48 to Maryland in 2002. 

The Tigers were badly outgained – again – but won handedly. The defense allowed more than 500 yards, yet LSU won comfortably.

In the third quarter alone West Virginia racked up 231 yards (by comparison, LSU allowed only 193 the entire game at Mississippi State), but LSU was too resilient. 

After Dustin Garrison’s 1-yard run pulled West Virginia within 27-21 with 1:16 remaining in the third, the capacity crowd of 62,056 at Milan Puskar Stadium was rocking.

The Mountaineers, trying to make a statement for the beleaguered Big East, had rallied from a 27-7 deficit.

On the ensuing kickoff, LSU’s Maurice Claiborne ended WVU’s upset hopes, racing 99 yards, putting the Tigers back up 34-21. 

LSU added a pair of fourth quarter touchdowns in cruising to its 36th consecutive non-conference victory, the nation’s longest current streak.

Next up for LSU: a home gimmie against Kentucky on Saturday, followed by a visit from nationally ranked Florida on Oct. 8.

Is LSU the most fortunate team in America or the best? The Tigers might just be both.


Category: NCAAF
Posted on: September 21, 2011 12:33 am
 

Big East will be aggressive in expansion

Before the Big East’s meeting of the league’s presidents and athletic directors in the Grand Hyatt Hotel in New York, someone noticed a familiar face in the hotel: Henry Kissinger.

“Someone joked, he should come up here,” Big East commissioner John Marinatto told CBSSports.com.

However, the former Secretary of State wasn’t needed on Tuesday night – three days after the sudden announcement that Pittsburgh and Syracuse would depart the Big East –when the presidents and athletic directors of the seven remaining Big East football-playing schools gathered.

The league “will be aggressive” in replacing Pittsburgh and Syracuse and the Big East will continue talks with Navy and Air Force as football-only members, an official in the meeting told CBSSports.com. On Tuesday, CBSSports.com reported that Big East was in the final stages of adding Navy as a football-only member before Pitt and Syracuse abruptly left for the ACC. Air Force also was expected to come on board.

Marinatto would not discuss specific expansion candidates, but said “there’s no urgency to expand. We don’t need to make a quick decision. We need to make the right decision.”

Another official that attended the meeting said the league’s members made a commitment to work and stay together.

“It went well,” the official said. “I think those schools that thought they were going somewhere now realize they have no where to go.”

There have been multiple reports than UConn and Rutgers are interested in the ACC. The Newark-Star Ledger also reported Rutgers “had discussions” with the Big Ten. West Virginia also hoped to go to the ACC or SEC, but both leagues indicated they were not interested in the Mountaineers, CBSSports.com reported.

“Part of the purpose of the meeting was getting everyone’s commitment,” Marinatto said. “At some point, you have to take people at their word.”

The presidents and athletic directors from Cincinnati, UConn, Louisville, Rutgers, South Florida, TCU and West Virginia attended the meeting. Marinatto said the membership discussed increasing the withdrawal fee from $5 million.

“I don’t know if there’s a price you can put on for breaking your word and lying,” Marinatto said. “That’s priceless. I don’t know high enough of a figure to charge for being disloyal or untruthful.”

Marinatto also reiterated that the league plans to make Pitt and Syracuse honor the league’s by-laws, which require 27-month notice to withdraw from the league.

“They are with us until June 30, 2014,” Marinatto said. “I think our membership is firm on that. There is no intention of granting [an early] release.”

Marinatto said he was “hurt and disappointed” about Pitt and Syracuse’s decision to leave the league, especially since both schools kept their dealings with the ACC secret until announcing their departure.

“I don’t want to use words that go over the edge,” Marinatto said. “Let’s just say I was very disappointed.”

Representatives from the Big East’s non-football member schools – DePaul, Georgetown, Marquette, Notre Dame, Providence, St. John’s, Seton Hall and Villanova – were not in attendance. The athletic directors of those schools, with exception of Notre Dame, held a one-hour conference call on Monday morning.

“Everyone was frustrated with the way it [Pitt and Syracuse] went down and the fact no one had any idea Syracuse and Pitt were bailing,” said an official from a Big East’s non-football member school.

That individual added that it appears some of the “basketball schools are willing to leave.”

Marinatto, however, said that he held a conference call with the presidents of the non-football members on Monday.

“I went around the horn and asked each one if they were in support of keeping the conference together,” Marinatto said. “Unanimously they said they support what the football schools want us to do.”

Following the football-member schools meeting, the Big East issued a statement:

“Our membership met this evening and we are committed as a conference to recruit top level BCS caliber institutions with strong athletic and academic histories and traditions. We have been approached by a number of such institutions and will pursue all of our options to make the Big East Conference stronger than it has ever been in both basketball and football.”

Rutgers president Richard McCormick would not comment to the Newark-Star Ledger Tuesday night, but said he felt “very good” about the league’s future. “Certainly from our standpoint.”

The president’s next meeting is scheduled for Oct. 2.


Posted on: September 20, 2011 5:53 pm
Edited on: September 20, 2011 9:47 pm
 

Navy nearly to Big East before Pitt, SU exited

Before the sudden news broke last weekend that Pittsburgh and Syracuse were leaving for the Atlantic Coast Conference, the Big East was in the final stages of acquiring Navy as a football-only member.

No official invitation was extended by the league, but both parties had extensive discussions about Navy joining the league in football only and it very well could have happened in the next couple of weeks, college football industry sources told CBSSports.com.

Besides Navy, the Big East also was targeting Air Force and league sources felt confident both schools would have been Big East members, perhaps within the next year – that is until Pitt and Syracuse announced they were leaving for the ACC.

“Navy is one of the most special things out there, prestige,” said an administrator who would benefit from Navy being in a BCS league. 

“I don't see why Air Force doesn’t fit in a BCS league,” said the same person. “Class, class, class.”

However, with the Big East’s future now in limbo, it’s uncertain if Navy and/or Air Force will remain interested in joining either a Big East without Pitt and Syracuse or a merger of leftover teams from the Big East and Big 12 conferences. That is, in fact, if the Big 12 loses Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Texas and Texas Tech to the Pac-12.

Navy is one of four independents with Army, Notre Dame and BYU, but doesn’t enjoy the automatic qualifying BCS access that Notre Dame does. Navy is in solid shape now with its own television deal, but with the division growing by the second between the automatic qualifying BCS leagues and non-AQ BCS leagues, Navy might feel it has better long-term security in an AQ BCS league.

“There were discussions and dialogues on a number of issues,” said an individual with knowledge of the talks between Navy and the Big East. “The question now is: what is the Big East going to look like in the future? How do they right the ship? I don’t think they even know that.”

Meanwhile, Tuesday night in New York, the league’s presidents and athletic directors from Cincinnati, UConn, Louisville, Rutgers, South Florida, TCU and West Virginia will meet with Big East commissioner John Marinatto to discuss the league’s future.

The meeting is for the league’s decision makers to gather face-to-face and see who wants to be a part of the Big East’s future.

“If they don’t want to be in the league, then they should make their intentions known and leave,” said one league official.

Also on Monday officials from Big East schools and the Big 12 schools proposed meeting Wednesday in Chicago to discuss the possible merger between the conferences. However, it was decided that meeting would that not be held because of legal issues involving both leagues.

UConn and Rutgers have been reported as possible candidates to the ACC, while West Virginia targeted the ACC or SEC, but was notified that neither league was interested.


Posted on: September 20, 2011 12:35 pm
Edited on: September 20, 2011 1:06 pm
 

West Virginia turned down by ACC, SEC

With the uncertainty of the future of the Big East, it's no secret several schools are seeking conference membership elsewhere. West Virginia, however, appears like it will remain in the league as Big East sources told CBSSports.com that the Mountaineers will not be accepted into either the Atlantic Coast Conference or Southeastern Conference.

WVU had enquired with both leagues, but WVU officials told representatives of the Big East those overtures had been denied and they were remaining in the Big East.

West Virginia athletic director Oliver Luck released a statement on Sunday concerning conference realignment and ironically did not mention the Big East once in his statement.

"There is no question that the landscape of college athletics is once again changing," Luck said. "West Virginia University has great tradition as the state's flagship land-grant institution and we will continue working to do what's best for our University and its athletic teams. No matter how the college athletic landscape changes, there is no doubt WVU is and will remain a national player."

After Saturday’s news that Pittsburgh and Syracuse were headed to the ACC, there have been various reports that UConn and Rutgers are likely candidates to join the ACC

Both schools have released statements about conference realignment, leaving open the possibility either or both would leave the Big East if extended an invitation to the ACC.

Also, Monday Big East commissioner John Marinatto told the New York Times that he expects to make Pitt and Syracuse honor the Big East’s withdrawal agreement - $5 million and 27 months notice. If true, that means the Panthers and Orange could not join the ACC until July 2014.

Posted on: September 18, 2011 8:15 am
Edited on: September 18, 2011 10:54 am
 

ACC officially adds Pitt, Syracuse

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - The Atlantic Coast Conference Council of Presidents unanimously voted to accept Pittsburgh and Syracuse as new members Sunday, the league announced. The invitation followed the submission of letters of application from both universities.

“The ACC is a strong united conference that is only going to get better with the addition of the University of Pittsburgh and Syracuse University,” said Duke President Richard Broadhead, chair of the ACC Council of Presidents.  “Both schools are committed to competing at the highest level of academics and athletics.  We welcome them as full partners in the ACC.”

On Saturday morning, CBSSports.com first reported that Pitt and Syracuse had submitted letters of application to the ACC. Commissioner John Swofford said the league would respect the Big East's withdrawal by-laws, which requires 27 months notice. However, it's doubtful the Big East would want Pitt and Syracuse to remain in the league over that period because it would seek to immediately add additional members to survive.

“The ACC has enjoyed a rich tradition by balancing academics and athletics and the addition of Pitt and Syracuse further strengthens the ACC culture in this regard,” Swofford said. “Pittsburgh and Syracuse also serve to enhance the ACC’s reach into the states of New York and Pennsylvania and geographically bridges our footprint between Maryland and Massachusetts. With the addition of Pitt and Syracuse, the ACC will cover virtually the entire Eastern Seaboard of the United States.”

It also could serve as a devastating blow to the Big East Conference. Syracuse was a founding member and Pittsburgh has been a member since 1982. The Big East was stunned by the news and didn't learn that either school had submitted a letter of application to the ACC until Saturday.

“This is an exciting day for the University of Pittsburgh. We have a long history of competing and collaborating with the distinguished universities that already are members of the Atlantic Coast Conference, and have enormous respect for both their academic strengths and their athletic accomplishments,” Pittsburgh Chancellor Mark Nordenberg said. “In looking to our own future, we could not envision a better conference home for Pitt and are grateful to the Council of Presidents for extending an invitation to join the ACC community.”

Pittsburgh desire to leave the Big East was "common knowledge," several Big East sources told CBSSports.com. Nordenberg has served as chairman of the Big East's executive committee of presidents and "put the brakes" on the Big East accepting a $1.3 million media rights deal from ESPN in the spring.

“This is a very significant day for all of our student-athletes, coaches and staff at the University of Pittsburgh,” Pitt athletic director Steve Pederson said. “The strength and quality of the ACC is highly regarded by everyone at Pitt. When we set high expectations for our student-athletes in their academic, athletic and personal goals, it is important to provide every opportunity and resource to enable that success. Joining the ACC and the outstanding institutions in this conference will give every Pitt student-athlete the chance to achieve their highest aspirations."

The addition of Pittsburgh and Syracuse will speed up the race to 16-team superconferences. So what will happen next? Here's one viewpoint on what lies ahead for the ACC and Big East along with the other four automatic qualifying BCS leagues and Notre Dame.

"We are very excited to be joining the ACC," Syracuse Chancellor Nancy Cantor said. "This is a tremendous opportunity for Syracuse, and with its outstanding academic quality and athletic excellence, the ACC is a perfect fit for us. The ACC is home to excellent national research universities with very strong academic quality, and is a group that Syracuse will contribute to significantly and benefit from considerably.

"As a comprehensive, all-sports conference, the ACC provides Syracuse tremendous opportunities for quality competition and growth in all sports, while also renewing some of our historic rivalries. This move will also bolster our continued efforts to look outward, engage, and extend Syracuse’s reach to key areas of the country, including the southeast, as we grow and expand our national connections to alumni, partners and the students of the future. We are pleased that Syracuse adds a New York City dimension to the ACC, a region in which we have built strong identity and affinity, and we look forward to bringing ACC games to the Big Apple.  Overall, for Syracuse, this opportunity provides long-term conference stability in what is an uncertain, evolving, and rapidly shifting national landscape."

The league did not announce when Syracuse and Pittsburgh would join the conference. The Big East requires 27 months notice to leave the conference, although it's doubtful that would be enforced, sources said, since the Big East would want to replace both schools as quickly as possible. Big East schools must pay $5 million to leave. Last week, the ACC unanimously increased its withdrawal fee to $20 million, in a move of solidarity.

"Today is a day that we will remember for years to come," Syracuse athletic director Daryl Gross said. "We are truly excited that academically and athletically we will be a member of the ACC, one of the nation's premier collegiate athletic conferences. As New York's College Team, we plan to compete at the highest level across all of our sports and help to enhance this great conference."

Gross is absolutely right: today is the day that the entire college football conference landscape will remember as the day it changed forever.
Category: NCAAF
 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com