Tag:Illinois
Posted on: October 6, 2011 5:02 pm
Edited on: October 6, 2011 5:43 pm
 

Notre Dame's football independence now at risk

When news broke Thursday that TCU was joining the Big 12 Conference instead of the Big East, it was just another domino in the latest craze sweeping across America: Conference realignment!

Another piece that might be teetering: Notre Dame.

For the Big East, losing TCU is another sucker punch to the groin or -- as Illinois’ Jonathan Brown prefers -- a knee to the groin.

Sure technically the Big East never really had TCU since the Horned Frogs weren’t officially joining the league until July 1, 2012, but the loss of what could have been is even more devastating for the Big East.

In the matter of weeks, the Big East has lost Syracuse and Pittsburgh to the ACC and now TCU to the Big 12. And if Missouri leaves for the SEC, sources have told CBSSports.com the Big 12 will likely add three more schools to get to 12 members. At the top of that list, sources said, is Louisville, along with a combination of BYU, West Virginia, Cincinnati or Tulane.

Losing Louisville and West Virginia or Cincinnati would likely be a fatal blow to the Big East's football BCS status. As damaging as these defections are to the Big East, it could have an even greater impact on the behemoth of college football.

Even before man invented fire, the Fighting Irish’s football program has been an independent. And Notre Dame plans on staying an independent until the galaxy explodes -- or until the Big East implodes -- whichever happens first.

So while the Big East’s pulse continues to weaken, Notre Dame could be forced to join a conference. The Fighting Irish have enjoyed the benefit of remaining a football independent, while their non-football sports competed in the Big East. Those days could be numbered.

"Certainly the factors that have contributed to the larger conference realignment continue to exist," Notre Dame AD Jack Swarbrick told the Associated Press on Wednesday, a day before the news about TCU leaving to the Big 12. "And we’re doing the same thing we’ve done throughout, monitoring them closely, and hoping that the Big East stays a vibrant and successful partner for us."

But if there’s no Big East, then Notre Dame becomes the Holy Grail of college football. The Big 12, the Big Ten, the ACC and the SEC would add the Fighting Irish yesterday. Heck, even the Pac-12’s Larry Scott would find a way to bring the Irish on board if he could.

I’ve maintained that as long as Notre Dame has a conference home to put its non-football or Olympic sports (men’s basketball, women’s basketball, etc.) in it will never join a conference. But things are about to get interesting for Notre Dame.

If the Big East no longer exists, Notre Dame will have two options: Join the Big 12/Big Ten/ACC/SEC as a full member or stay independent in football and join one of those conferences with its non-football sports.

It will depend on how bad Notre Dame cherishes its football independence, because I’m sure one of those four conferences would prefer Notre Dame as a non-football member (and the guarantee of Notre Dame being on those future football schedules) to having Notre Dame in another league.

Before TCU and the Big 12’s announcement on Thursday, Swarbrick said Wednesday Notre Dame needed to continue to support the league.

"They’re [the Big East] working on additions," he said. "You got to wait until the whole picture is shaped to really have a feel for it, for what that option is like. Just continue to support them and be involved in their planning and hope they wind up in a great place.

"It's great to make plans. It’s whether the people you might be interested in or the circumstances will allow you to achieve those plans. But certainly the way the conference is thinking and what it’s trying to achieve are consistent with what I think it needs to do."

That was Swarbrick’s view Wednesday. That all changed Thursday with TCU headed to the Big 12 and there are likely more changes ahead. The question remains: will it be enough to force Notre Dame to give up its independence?


Posted on: July 8, 2011 1:05 pm
Edited on: July 8, 2011 1:19 pm
 

Presenting NCAA's most frequent cheaters club

As our series on college football’s cheaters continues today, I looked at the most frequent cheaters – at least in terms of major infractions – since SMU received the Death Penalty in 1987.

It’s a neck-and-neck race between Alabama and Texas Tech, with three major infractions each.

There are also a dozen teams – Cal, Colorado, Florida International, Florida State, Illinois, Minnesota, Mississippi State, Oklahoma, SMU, Texas A&M, USC and Washington – with two infractions each

Here are the remaining 42 teams with one major infraction each: Arkansas, Arkansas State, Arizona State, Auburn, Ball State, Baylor, Central Florida, Cincinnati, Clemson, Florida, Georgia, Georgia Tech, Houston, Kansas, Kansas State, Kentucky, Louisiana Lafayette, Marshall, Maryland, Memphis, Miami, Michigan, Michigan State, Mississippi, New Mexico, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Oklahoma State, Oregon, Pittsburgh, Rutgers, San Diego State, South Carolina, Syracuse, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, UTEP, Virginia, Virginia Tech, Washington State and Wisconsin.

In all 56 of the 120 FBS programs have committed a major infraction in the past 25 years, including nearly two-thirds of the automatic qualifying BCS programs.

By the way, I loved a response on Twitter from @FGrimes1 – listed as Forrest Grimes – defending Texas Tech’s three major infractions. He wrote: “Most of Techs major infractions came around the same time, way to make Tech look like a contuinously dirty program a--hole."

For Mr. Grimes’ information, Tech’s violations were not at the same time – but spaced more than 10 years apart in 1987, 1998 and on Jan. 7, 2011 – during Grimes’ current semester as a journalism major at Tech

While our two-week series is looking at whether schools can win without cheating, I think it’s important to recognize the 23 AQ BCS programs that have not committed a major infraction since 1987 … so far.

ACC–Boston College, Duke, North Carolina, N.C. State, Wake Forest.
Big East–UConn, Louisville, South Florida, West Virginia.
Big Ten–Indiana, Iowa, Nebraska, Northwestern, Penn State, Purdue.
Big 12–Iowa State, Missouri.
Pac-12–Arizona, Oregon State, Stanford, UCLA.
SEC–LSU, Vanderbilt


Posted on: June 23, 2011 5:01 pm
Edited on: June 24, 2011 12:13 pm
 

Who survives among the not so Fab 5?

CBSSports.com’s Dennis Dodd unveiled his annual Hot Seat Ratings for all 120 FBS coaches today. Here’s a look at his complete ratings, with coaches rated from 0 (untouchable) to 5 (scorching).

We have good news for 115 coaches: you received lower than a 4-rating on Dodd’s hot scale and while that’s not a guarantee you’ll be coaching next fall, your odds are a lot better than the remaining five.

Those other five coaches – Washington State’s Paul Wulff, New Mexico’s Mike Locksley, UCLA’s Rick Neuheisel, Tulane’s Bob Toledo and Illinois’ Ron Zook – might want to turn up their AC units. They received between a 4 or 5 rating: 4-4.5 is “Warm seat – feeling the pressure” and 5 is “On the hot seat – it’s time to win now.”

Looking back at Dodd’s Hot Seat Ratings for the past three seasons, he has given 19 coaches between a 4 and 5 rating. Of those coaches, 13 of 19 – or 68.4 percent – were fired before the next season.

Dodd also has only handed out the dreaded 5 rating to five coaches and four of the five were fired that season – Louisville’s Steve Kragthorpe (2009), North Texas’ Todd Dodge (2010), Colorado’s Dan Hawkins (2010) and Michigan’s Rich Rodriguez (2010). 

Only Wulff, who received a 5 rating in 2010, survived. But now Dodd has stuck Wulff with another 5 this season.

Based on Dodd’s ratings the past three seasons, at least three, maybe four, coaches among Wulff, Locksley, Neuheisel, Toledo and Zook will not be back in 2012.

Which coach of the not so Fab 5 will survive and who did Dodd totally miss the boat on and not give a 4 or 5 rating that deserved one?

2011 Hot Seat Rating
5 Paul Wulff, Washington State
4.5 Mike Locksley, New Mexico
4 Rick Neuheisel, UCLA
4 Bob Toledo, Tulane
4 Ron Zook, Illinois

2010 Hot Seat Rating
Gone after season
5 Todd Dodge, North Texas
5 Dan Hawkins, Colorado
5 Rich Rodriguez, Michigan
4.5 Ralph Friedgen, Maryland
4 Tim Brewster, Minnesota
4 Bill Lynch, Indiana

Survived
5 Paul Wulff, Washington State
4.5 Mike Locksley, New Mexico
4.5 Ron Zook, Illinois

2009 Hot Seat Rating
Gone after season
5 Steve Kragthorpe, Louisville
4 Al Groh, Virginia
4 Mark Snyder, Marshall
4 Charlie Weis, Notre Dame

Survived
4 Todd Dodge, North Texas

2008 Hot Seat Rating
Gone after season
4.95 Ty Willingham, Washington
4.5 Greg Robinson, Syracuse
4 Brent Guy, Utah State

Survived
4 Mike Sanford, UNLV
4 Mike Stoops, Arizona


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