Tag:C-USA
Posted on: October 10, 2011 10:45 pm
  •  
 

Sources: Big East contacts UCF

The Big East Conference contacted the University of Central Florida on Monday, perhaps setting the stage for the Knights to join the league, Big East and college football industry sources told CBSSports.com.

The Big East, which announced Monday morning that it would consider a model with 12 football members, expressed interest in UCF, which may lead to a meeting later this week between Big East and UCF officials, an industry source said.

UCF has not received an invitation to join the Big East as an all-sports member, but one could be extended in the coming days. The Big East is looking to replace TCU, which was announced Monday as the newest member to the Big 12, and Pittsburgh and Syracuse, which are headed to the ACC.

Big East commissioner John Marinatto also contacted Conference USA commissioner Britton Banowsky about the Big East’s interest in the Knights, Boston.com reported.

After a brief two-year stint in the Mid-American Conference, UCF has been in Conference USA since 2005. The Knights, 3-2 this season, have been to bowl games in four of their six seasons in C-USA, winning the league title in 2007 and 2010. They went 11-3 last season, defeating Georgia in the Liberty Bowl.

The Knights have lobbied publicly and privately for Big East membership for several years and would jump at the chance to join the league. UCF coach George O’Leary told me last season he thought the Knights “would be a great candidate” for the Big East.

“When you look at the school size, facilities, academics, the weather and the (nation's No. 19) TV market is something that Orlando brings,” O’Leary said last year. “There are a lot of major plusses why UCF would be considered. The big thing is all we can do is win, continue to do the things we need to do and all the other things will take care of itself.

“Obviously I think we have everything in place to move.”

The Big East is guaranteed to remain an automatic qualifying BCS conference through the 2013 season. After that, though, it’s uncertain if the Big East would retain its automatic qualifying status. O’Leary told me it’s imperative for UCF to get into a BCS league.

“No question with the economy, the BCS would solve some problems that way as far as the economy and marketing,” O'Leary said last year. “The TV exposure and recruiting – they (the recruits) want to know if you're a BCS school or not. There are a lot of major plusses just from exposure standpoint.”

On Monday morning, Marinatto released a statement that said the league’s presidents authorized him “to engage in formal discussions with additional institutions” and the league is “considering moving to a model that includes 12 football playing schools.”

The Big East has been pursuing the academies – Navy, Air Force and Army – for years. A league source said Monday night the Big East believes Army was a “long shot” to join the league, but Navy athletic director Chet Gladchuk told CBSSports.com Monday the Midshipmen continue to monitor the Big East and that joining the league "remains an option."

On Saturday, Air Force athletic director Hans Mueh told the Denver Post “our interest is high in the Big East.”

Posted on: August 22, 2011 11:08 pm
Edited on: August 22, 2011 11:12 pm
 

C-USA QBs causing some sleepless nights

Defensive coordinators John Skladany of UCF and Andre Patterson of UTEP might want to get some extra shut eye in the next two weeks. Because once the season starts, they’ll be having their share of sleepless nights.

Conference USA returns a national-best four quarterbacks that threw for at least 3,000 yards last season – East Carolina’s Dominique Davis, Southern Miss’ Austin Davis, Tulsa’s G.J. Kinne and SMU’s Kyle Padron.

UCF and UTEP each have to face those four quarterbacks this fall – and it’s even worse for Patterson’s UTEP club, who also has to play Houston and likely NCAA record holder Case Keenum, who was granted a sixth year of eligibility.

“I think four or five years from now, people will look back and say ‘Wow, all those guys came out of that league,’ ” Southern Miss coach Larry Fedora said.

Nine of C-USA’s 12 schools return their starting quarterbacks. Besides Keenum, Dominique Davis (3,967 yards passing, 37 TDs), Padron (3,828, 31 TDs), Kinne (3,650 yards, 31 TDs) and Austin Davis (3,103, 20 TDs), other returnees include UAB’s Bryan Ellis (2,940 yards, 25 TDs), UCF’s Jeff Godfrey (2,159 yards, 13 TDs) and Tulane’s Ryan Griffin (2,371, 14 TDs).

“The non-BCS schools have to play ‘up’ in non-conference games so you better be doing something a little bit different and take some chances in games with schemes or you’re going to have a tough time winning all four non-conference games,” SMU coach June Jones said. “The quarterbacks are benefiting. They’re spreading the field and doing something different and each team has their own mark.”

C-USA also returns a national-best six quarterbacks who threw 20 or more touchdowns last season.

“They’re all so versatile and they’re also great leaders,” East Carolina coach Ruffin McNeil said. “Which is not easier said than done.”

Even without Keenum last year, C-USA still had seven of the nation’s top 40 quarterbacks in passing yards per game, including four of the top 18.

“It’s an offensive league,” UTEP coach Mike Price said. “But you’re going to win it on defense if you can just slow some people down.”

All of the league’s offensive firepower has taken a huge toll on C-USA defenses. Last year, seven league teams ranked among the nation’s 27 worst defenses in passing yards allowed.

“If you don’t like going against the best [quarterbacks], then you’re not one to be in this conference,” UCF defensive end Darius Nall said.
Posted on: June 21, 2011 3:26 pm
Edited on: June 22, 2011 8:51 am
 

Rutgers snares 5th highest per year stadium deal

High Point Solution Stadium. Not exactly the most tradition rich name in college sports, but, hey, it is the newest. Tuesday, Rutgers announced a 10-year naming rights deal with High Points Solution worth $6.5 million.

The initial reaction on my Twitter feed to a corporation naming a college stadium was "Ugh." But if you haven't figured out by now how vital big bucks are in college football these days, then it's time for you to take off your leather helmet and put it in storage.

Remember a time when bowl games were actually named after fruits and not dot.com businesses or car muffler stores? Yeah, me neither. Now it's a rarity if a bowl game isn't named after a corporation. Years from now, the same - unfortunately - will be said about college football stadiums.

Anyway, Rutgers' deal is the fifth-highest per year amount for a college stadium named after a corporation/business. This list does not include stadiums named after individuals who may have contributed several gazillion dollars (i.e. Oklahoma State's Boone Pickens Stadium). This list also does not include college teams that play in NFL stadiums, such as Pittsburgh's Heinz Field or South Florida's Raymond James Stadium.

Here are the 11 college stadiums named after corporations and I'm sure this list will double within the next five years. For what it's worth the breakdown of corporation named college stadiums by conference: Big East (3), ACC (2), Sun Belt (2), Big Ten (1), Big 12 (1), C-USA (1) and MAC (1). (1).

School (Year) Stadium Name; Terms

Minnesota (2005) TCF Bank Stadium; 25 years, $35 million
Per year average: $1.4 million

UCF (2006) Bright House Networks Stadium; 15 yrs, $15 million
Per year average: $1 million

Maryland (2006) Chevy Chase Bank Field at Byrd Stadium; 25 years, $20 million
Per year average: $800,000

Texas Tech (2006) Jones AT&T Stadium; 25 years, $20 million
Per year average: $800,000

Rutgers (2011) High Point Solutions Stadium; 10 years, $6.5 million
Per year average: $650,000

Louisville (1998) Papa John's Cardinal Stadium; 10 years, $5 million
Per year average: $500,000

Louisville (2004) Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium; 33 years, $15 million
Per year average: $454,000

Akron (2009) InfoCision Stadium; 20 years, $10 million
Per year average: $500,000

Troy (2003) Movie Gallery Veterans Stadium; 20 yrs, $5 million
Per year average: $250,000

Syracuse (1980) Carrier Dome; Indefinite, $2.75 million
Per year average: n/a

Wake Forest (2007) BB&T Field; 10 years, undisclosed
Per year average: n/a

Western Kentucky (2007) Houchens Industries-L.T. Smith Stadium; unknown, $5 million
Per year average: n/a



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