Posted on: February 23, 2012 11:14 am
With Temple likely headed to the Big East as an all-sports member in 2012, Atlantic 10 commissioner Bernadette McGlade didn't sound surprised the Owls would seek such a move.
"Temple is a valued member of the A-10,” McGlade said in a statement. “However we are well aware that finding the right home for its FBS football program will drive its future membership decision for all sports. The Atlantic 10 is a large, strong league and I will continue to work with our membership in the best interest of the conference."
Temple is a member of the Mid-American Conference in football and a member of the Atlantic 10 in its Olympic sports. To leave the A-10 with less than a year's notice, it would cost $2 million. To leave the MAC with less than a years notice will cost the Owls at least $2.5 million.
By moving to the Big East in 2012, the league would have eight football members and 16 basketball members.
Posted on: February 23, 2012 10:54 am
DALLAS – While the Mountain West finally knows exactly who will be playing in the league this season, the MWC may have to wait seven more months before knowing if it will be an automatic qualifying BCS league in the next two seasons.
In December, the Mountain West applied for a BCS exemption, which would allow the league champion to receive an automatic bid to one of the BCS bowls. The exemption must be voted on by the 12-member Presidential Oversight Committee, with nine votes needed for approval.
That committee, which consists of a president from each of the 11 Football Bowl Subdivision conferences and Notre Dame’s president, doesn’t appear in any rush to rule on the Mountain West’s AQ status.
BCS executive director Bill Hancock told CBSSports.com Wednesday that the BCS will continue to try to get the Presidential Oversight Committee together on a conference call, but Hancock said there is no immediate deadline when the committee would vote and one may not be conducted until the start of the season, in late August or early September.
On Dec. 13, 2011, the Mountain West filed an exemption, claiming it met the necessary requirements to earn its champion an automatic berth to one of the five BCS bowls.
In its four-page letter to the Oversight Committee, the Mountain West stated that “important factors are at the core of the Committee’s consideration of this request for an exemption – precedent and performance. The BCS has a well-established history of granting automatic qualification exemptions. Equally important, the performance of the Mountain West during the evaluation period has clearly been deserving of automatic-qualifying status.”
The Mountain West claims the Big East was granted BCS access and kept its AQ without meeting qualification standards in February 2004 “apparently based on reputation and relationships, rather than demonstrated performance.”
Despite having only seven members for the 2004 season, after the departures of Miami and Virginia Tech to the ACC, the Big East retained its AQ status from 2004-07.
“It is only appropriate that the Mountain West's exemption request be considered in that context and a consistency of approach be maintained,” the league wrote to the committee.
Because the Mountain West, along with Conference USA, is dissolving and forming a new league in 2013, Mountain West commissioner Craig Thompson told CBSSports.com the Presidential Oversight Committee recently requested information regarding those plans for the new conference.
“We are in the process of answering,” Thompson said.
Because the Mountain West will be an entirely different league in 2013, Hancock said he doesn’t know if the MWC would receive AQ status in both the 2012 and 2013 seasons.
“No one knows about that,” Hancock said. “They might or might not. That would have to be revisited.”
The Mountain West met two of the three criteria for an exemption and were just outside at No. 7 in the third (needing to be ranked among the top six conferences in overall strength of the league based on the computer polls). The ACC and Big East also fell short of the threshold to retain their automatic qualification status after the four-year evaluation cycle (2008-2011), but aren’t being evaluated against these same standards. In fact, the Big East’s numbers wouldn’t even qualify it to request an exemption.Thompson said Wednesday he would characterize the Mountain West’s chances “as neutral right now.”
“TCU and West Virginia’s moves (to the Big 12 from the Mountain West and Big East, respectively) really effects three leagues, although two have AQ status,” Thompson said. “That shows the volatility of the college landscape.”
That landscape continues shifting and changing – sometimes on a weekly basis. While the Big East wouldn’t pay Boise State’s exit fees to leave the Mountain West this season, the Mountain West won’t technically exist next season. It will have totally new membership and a new name.
The Big East, which is close to adding Temple for the 2012 season, also will have a new look with anywhere from 11 to 13 members in 2013, depending if Pittsburgh and Syracuse leave early for the ACC. The Big 12, currently set for 10 members in 2012, could decide to expand for the 2013 season.
And who knows what else might happen involving conference realignment in the next 12-18 months?
One thing is certain: if the Mountain West is granted an exemption for the next two seasons, it would be mean one fewer team would qualify for an at-large spot in one of the five BCS bowls during the next two seasons.
If the MWC earns an exemption, the champions from the Pac-12, Big Ten, SEC, ACC, Big 12, Big East and MWC would all earn automatic berths to the BCS bowls. The remaining three spots would be filled by at-large selections, reducing the number of conferences with potentially two BCS bowl teams from four to three.
Posted on: February 22, 2012 1:28 pm
Edited on: February 22, 2012 3:00 pm
DALLAS - The BCS released a statement Wednesday after the conclusion of its meetings. It didn't say much, but here it is:
"In an effort to grow college football's great popularity and success, we just completed two days of productive meetings in Dallas, Texas.
"We have until the fall of this year to finalize any possible changes to our current structure. That's when contractual obligations require us to begin negotiations with our television carrier for future coverage decisions. We have a self-imposed deadline of sometime this summer to decide what changes we will propose to our governing bodies for football's post-season. It's still early in our process and we will continue to meet with our conferences and review options.
"Whatever we do, we want to protect college football's regular season which is the best and most meaningful in sports. We want to preserve the great bowl tradition while making it better and more attractive. We also have heard the message about playing bowl games closer to or on January 1, the way it used to be.
"As we proceed, we will evaluate the many pros and cons of numerous possible changes. Every idea has exciting up sides, as well as complicated consequences. From the realities of the calendar to the issues presented in terms of venues such as who hosts games, we have tremendous responsibilities and opportunities.
"The bottom line is we will continue to talk about how to make a great sport even better for student-athletes, fans and everyone who loves college football."
Posted on: February 22, 2012 1:23 pm
Edited on: February 22, 2012 5:46 pm
DALLAS – Temple is close to joining the Big East as an all-sports member in 2012, college football industry sources told CBSSports.com Wednesday morning.
The addition of Temple is imperative for the Big East, which desperately needs a school to replace West Virginia this fall after the Mountaineers reached a $20 million agreement with the league to leave for the Big 12.
One source told CBSSports.com that Temple to the Big East in 2012 "is done."
An announcement could be made as early as next week, sources told CBSSports.com.
MAC commissioner Jon Steinbrecher, attending the BCS meetings at the Dallas-Fort Worth Airport Grand Hyatt Hotel, told CBSSports.com that discussions are ongoing between Temple and the Big East.
"I don't know where those will lead," Steinbrecher said.
Big East commissioner John Marinatto, also at the BCS meetings, declined comment Wednesday.
The Big East initially wanted Boise State, which will join in 2013, to join this fall as West Virginia’s replacement. However, the Big East was not willing to provide the Broncos with about $10 million they needed to leave the Mountain West in football and have their Olympic sports join the WAC a year early.
Boise State president Bob Kustra confirmed Wednesday afternoon that the Broncos would remain in the Mountain West in the 2012-13 season.
"While we have had several discussions with the Big East and the WAC in moving our sports into those two leagues a year earlier than previously stated, the University feels there were too many obstacles to overcome to make the move at this time," Kustra said in a statement. "While there certainly would have been advantages in making the move a year early, it became clear that it would not be fiscally responsible, as all of the expenses associated with early entry into the two conferences would not be covered."
Boise State would have had to pay the Mountain West between $8 million and $9 million and also pay the WAC $1.5 million.
With Boise State out of the picture, the Big East then turned its attention to Temple. The Mid-American Conference's exit fee is $2.5 million with two years notice, but it's unknown what the amount would be for a school providing less than a year's notice, a source said. To leave the Atlantic 10 Conference, where the Owls’ Olympic sports compete, would cost Temple $2 million with less than a year's notice, a source said.Temple was one of the Big East’s original eight football members in 1991, but was expelled from the league after the 2004 season for not being competitive and not meeting certain financial requirements. However, the Owls’ program has been resurrected under the direction of Al Golden and Steve Addazio, posting a 26-12 record the last three seasons.
Golden, who left for Miami after the 2010 season, guided the Owls to their first bowl in 30 years. Addazio completed his first year with a 37-15 victory against Wyoming in the New Mexico Bowl in December, only the second bowl victory in school history.
The addition of Temple will be the latest change for the Big East, which also added Memphis two weeks ago.
With Temple being added, the Big East’s membership is expected to have eight football members and 16 basketball members in 2012. In 2013, the football membership will grow to 14 with the addition of Boise State, SMU, UCF, Houston, Memphis and San Diego State. However, if Pittsburgh and Syracuse are allowed to leave a year early to the ACC, the league would have 12 football members.
In 2014, the football membership will be 12 (after Pittsburgh and Syracuse leave) but it will grow to 13 in 2015 with the addition of Navy.
Sources told CBSSports.com, the reason the Big East decided to go beyond 12 football members is because the league is preparing for the possibility it will lose Louisville if the Big 12 decides to expand by at least another team.
Multiple sources have told CBSSports.com that Louisville is the consensus choice for the Big 12’s 11th member, if the league expands, and that the Cardinals would accept an invitation to the Big 12.
Big 12 acting commissioner Chuck Neinas said Wednesday his league has no expansion meetings scheduled and is concentrating on the additions of West Virginia and TCU.
Two weeks ago when the Big East added Memphis, Marinatto said the league had reached its “primary objective” of securing a 12-team football league when Navy joins in 2015. However he opened the door to further expansion.
“We’re always going to be vigilant and we’re going to continue to do whatever is in the best interest of the conference,” Marinatto said. “You never say never (about future expansion), I guess. But we’ve reached our goal and we’re pleased that we’ve done that. But we’re always going to be obviously continuing to evaluate different opportunities as time goes on."
Posted on: February 21, 2012 8:00 pm
Edited on: February 21, 2012 8:47 pm
DALLAS – There are still a myriad of things to determine how the Bowl Championship Series’ postseason format ultimately will look like in 2014, but one topic seems apparent: college football’s playoff will not be larger than four teams.
“I would say obviously eight or 16 team (playoff formats) are not on the radar screen,” said a person attending the four-hour plus BCS meetings Tuesday at the Dallas-Fort Worth Grand Hyatt Hotel.
On Tuesday, the 11 conference commissioners, Notre Dame athletic director Jack Swarbrick, two BCS officials and a BCS attorney met to discuss what form college football’s postseason will look like beginning in 2014.
While sources at the meeting said a four-team plus-one format looks likely when the new BCS format starts in two years, BCS executive director Bill Hancock stressed the meetings were “very broad and analytical” and that no decisions were reached.
The group will meet Wednesday then again in Dallas next month and in Fort Lauderdale in April. However, Hancock says he would be surprised if a decision is reached before summer.
“I don’t think this will be an overnight decision,” Hancock said.
Added SEC commissioner Mike Slive: “This is a marathon, not a sprint.”
Maybe so, but when they’re done running there likely will be a four-team playoff.
Now comes the intriguing part: how will the plus-one model look like?
Will it be a seeded model (one vs. four, two vs. three); where will the semifinals be played; and how - or will - the bowl games be utilized? Will the bowl games host the semifinals and final or will the plus-one semifinals and final be awarded to the highest bidder – i.e. the Cotton Bowl or another current non-BCS bowl?
Even with a four-team format some of problems are "insurmountable" according to source in attendance Tuesday. Hancock and others spoke of not wanting to hold BCS games during the December exam period, usually between Dec. 1-21. While FCS (Division I-AA), Division II and III stage playoffs in December, FBS (Division I-A) would be doing it for the first time. The scrutiny would be enhanced on presidents at the highest level of college athletics if football cut into that exam time.
Besides wanting to avoid BCS games during the exam schedule, they also want to avoid playing BCS games around Christmas. Another challenge, Hancock said, is scheduling games around the NFL.
Presidents also want the season to end before the second week of January and closer to Jan. 1. Ohio State has flown back from a BCS championship game site immediately after the game at least once because school had started back home.
Last season's BCS title game between Alabama and LSU was played on Jan. 9 and resulted in the lowest TV ratings in BCS title game history.
Based on those preferred timelines (no exams, no Christmas and no NFL conflicts), the most likely time for a plus-one would be holding the semifinals a few days after Christmas and the final about a week later.Any changes to the BCS format, which expires after the 2013 regular season, must be approved by the NCAA’s Presidential Oversight Committee, which must decide whether to approve the recommendation of the 11 Football Bowl Subdivision commissioners and Swarbrick.
Posted on: February 14, 2012 9:08 am
Edited on: February 14, 2012 10:20 am
Finally, West Virginia is officially headed to the Big 12.
The Big East Conference announced Tuesday that West Virginia's membership had been "terminated" and it was no longer a league member after June 30. The Mountaineers will join the Big 12 for the 2012-13 academic season.
"Our membership in the Big 12 offers WVU significant advantages," West Virginia athletic director Oliver Luck said in a statement. "The Big 12 is a strong and vibrant conference academically and athletically. We look forward to the potential academic and athletic partnerships and financial opportunities that membership in the Big 12 offers."
Sources told CBSSports.com that the Big East will receive $20 million from West Virginia, which is responsible for $10 million. The Big 12 is "loaning" West Virginia the remaining $10 million, but the school will only be responsible for paying back about half of that amount.
Luck said the agreement prohibits discussion of the settlement, but that no state or taxpayer funds, tuition or academic support monies will be used. Any settlement funding transferred will come from private sources and independently generated athletic revenues, Luck said.
Last week, CBSSports.com reported West Virginia and the Big East reached a verbal settlement that would pay the Big East $20 million.
"West Virginia University has acknowledged and agreed that the Court in Monongalia County, WVa., will enter a judgment that the Big East Conference Bylaws are valid and enforceable, and will dismiss with prejudice all of West Virginia’s claims against the Conference," Big East commissioner John Marinatto said in a statement.
With West Virginia gone, the Big East currently has seven football members for the 2012 season. However, the league is trying to get Boise State to join a year early, sources told CBSSports.com. If the Big East is not able to find a replacement for West Virginia this fall, the remaining seven league members would have to scramble to find a 12th game.
Pittsburgh and Syracuse, which are headed to the ACC, will not try to leave the Big East this summer, sources told CBSSports.com. However, both schools will attempt to negotiate deals to allow them to join the ACC a year early in 2013.
West Virginia President Jim Clements said the school's Big 12 membership "is an investment in WVU's future. We're looking forward to the tremendous opportunities it presents – all across our university."
The Mountaineers were one of the Big East charter members in 1991 when the league formed its football conference.
Luck said the settlement with the Big East "closes a chapter and opens a new one filled with exciting possibilities for WVU’s future. I’ve heard from Mountaineer fans across the country who have made it very clear that they are proud and honored to be heading into the Big 12.”
Posted on: February 14, 2012 8:46 am
Although West Virginia is bolting from the Big East early, Pittsburgh and Syracuse will not leave the Big East this fall for the Atlantic Coast Conference, college football industry sources told CBSSports.com.
West Virginia, Pittsburgh and Syracuse were scheduled to leave the Big East in 2014, but the Mountaineers filed a lawsuit to exit early. CBSSports.com reported last week that West Virginia and the Big East reached a verbal agreement that would pay the Big East $20 million and resolve the issues between the two parties, allowing the Mountaineers to join the Big 12 on July 1.
Sources told CBSSports.com that Pittsburgh and Syracuse won’t try to leave this summer, but will attempt to negotiate deals to allow them to join the ACC a year early in 2013. Unlike West Virginia, Pittsburgh and Syracuse have not pursued any legal action to get out of the Big East’s 27-month exit requirement and leave before 2014.
The main reason Pittsburgh and Syracuse are not trying to leave the Big East this season is both schools don’t want to be “any more disruptive to the Big East” for the coming season. If Pittsburgh and Syracuse left for the ACC this summer, the Big East could be down to only five football members.
Another reason, Pittsburgh and Syracuse aren’t trying to join the ACC this fall, is because the ACC doesn’t desperately need the teams to fill out this year’s league schedule, like the Big 12 needed West Virginia to replace Missouri in its 2012 schedule.
With West Virginia paying $20 million to leave the Big East two years early, Pittsburgh and Syracuse each would likely have been required to pay the same amount to leave this summer. Also by waiting until 2013, they likely can negotiate a deal to only pay $10 million – double the $5 they initially paid when they announced they were leaving. That $10 million figure is the Big East’s current exit fee since Navy announced it was joining the league last month.
Finally the timing of a move in 2013 for Pittsburgh and Syracuse also would make more sense logistically since that’s when the Big East will be adding six members – Boise State, San Diego State, Houston, Memphis, SMU and UCF.
In December, Syracuse athletic director Daryl Gross said his school would honor the Big East’s 27-month exit agreement, but indicated the Orange preferred to leave sooner.
“We’re just open to seeing what happens,” Gross told CBSSports.com two months ago. “They (the Big East) are starting to put together what the new Big East will look like. As they go forward to put together new multi-media deals, they’re going to need us to move out of the way. We’re waiting for that.”
Big East commissioner John Marinatto has said repeatedly that West Virginia, Pittsburgh and Syracuse would not be allowed to exit the league until 2014.
Two weeks ago, when the ACC announced that Pittsburgh would compete in the ACC’s Coastal Division and Syracuse in the ACC’s Atlantic Division when they officially join the league, ACC commissioner John Swofford would not speculate whether the ACC would help Pitt and Syracuse financially to leave the Big East before 2014.
“The fact we made our decision how we will schedule and compete certainly helps us (when they join),” Swofford said. “In terms of when that time may come, I don’t want to get into a hypothetical of this or that. Our position continues to be that we want to prepare ourselves when they’re ready and it’s appropriate for them to join us.”
That won’t be this summer, but the ACC won’t have to wait until 2014 either.
Posted on: February 13, 2012 2:15 pm
Edited on: February 14, 2012 6:20 am
The institutions from Conference USA and the Mountain West are dissolving both leagues to create their own conference, college football industry sources told CBSSports.com.
The new conference will consist of 18 to 24 members and start in the 2013-14 academic year. It would not only have a conference championship football game, but also conference semifinals. Conference USA and the Mountain West would continue as is for the 2012-13 season.
The reason that the institutions are dissolving and forming their own league and not just merging is for legal reasons, sources said.
"This presidentially led association will ensure stability and be built upon the principles of operating at the highest level of integrity and sportsmanship, enhancing the student-athlete academic and competitive experience, bringing fiscal discipline into athletics and ensuring competitive fairness," said a statement from UNLV president Neal Smatresk and Tulane president Scott Cowen.
"This is an exciting development that will stabilize the current conferences and create the first truly national conference with members in five time zones and television viewership from coast to coast," Smatresk said. "This partnership brings together like-minded institutions to improve the integrity and stability of intercollegiate athletics. We are moving our plans forward rapidly and expect to complete our conversations in the near future. Look for further announcements soon as we work together on this exciting new venture."
The structure of the new conference, Smatresk and Cowen's statement said, will have a "national scope from the Atlantic Seaboard to Hawaii, regular season scheduling in divisions, NCAA FBS affiliation and mechanisms to emphasize and improve academic standards and fiscal responsibility."
The new league -- which is yet to be named -- is expected to consist of Southern Miss, Marshall, East Carolina, UAB, Tulsa, Rice, UTEP and Tulane from C-USA and Wyoming, Air Force, Colorado State, UNLV, New Mexico, Fresno State, Nevada and Hawaii from the MWC. Hawaii would be a football-only member.
Temple also is a possibility. The school was contacted by Conference USA, sources told CBSSports.com, when the Big East last week opted to invited Memphis instead of Temple.
CBSSports.com's Dennis Dodd first reported last month about the possibility of the leagues dissolving and forming their own league.
Both leagues have suffered significant losses. BYU went independent last season, while TCU is leaving for the Big 12 and Boise State and San Diego State are leaving for the Big East, with Boise State possibly joining the Big East this summer. C-USA also lost Houston, UCF, SMU and Memphis to the Big East, starting in 2013.