Tag:SEC
Posted on: October 15, 2011 6:53 pm
Edited on: October 15, 2011 6:56 pm
 

Serious talks upcoming for Big 12 membership size

AUSTIN, Texas – Oklahoma State President Burns Hargis told CBSSports.com he prefers a 12-team Big 12 Conference, but admits there is no consensus whether the league should be a 10-team or 12-team league.

“I think we’ll have serious conversations at our next (Big 12) board meeting (in two weeks) about whether the league should be 10 or 12 teams,” Hargis said at halftime of the Oklahoma State-Texas game.

Texas athletic director DeLoss Dodds has said he prefers a 10-team model, but would be open to 12 schools. Oklahoma officials, including Coach Bob Stoops, have said they prefer 12, but are most concerned with what provides stability.

“There is no consensus from conference members on going to 10 or 12 members,” Big 12 interim commissioner Chuck Neinas said last week.

Hargis said the league continues to wait on a decision from Missouri if the Tigers are staying or leaving for the SEC.

Missouri remains favored by a majority of SEC presidents and chancellors as the SEC's 14th member, four sources familiar with their discussions told The Birmingham News.

One sticking point is which division Missouri would play in, the newspaper reported. Sources told the News that Alabama would support Missouri as the 14th member if it joined the SEC East and not the SEC West.





Posted on: October 15, 2011 5:14 pm
 

BYU admits discussions with Big 12, but no invite

BYU athletic director Tom Holmoe said Saturday the Cougars have had discussions with the Big 12, but have not turned down an invitation and have not been invited to join the Big 12.

“I think with all that’s happened in the last little while and now that you see TCU has joined the Big 12 replacing Texas A&M, it’s probably a good time to talk about things we haven’t before,” said Holmoe prior to Saturday’s game at Oregon State.

Holmoe said he’s made it a point to keep all past discussions with the Big 12 private. The Cougars are playing their first year as an independent after leaving the Mountain West Conference last season.

“That’s really how we want to do our business,” Holmoe said. “These are very important discussions. We want to make sure that they’re private and that they’re personal and that we do not put our business out in front of the nation.

“I do really appreciate that the Big 12 has kept to their word and that the discussions that we have been involved with have been very private and very confidential.”

BYU has been mentioned as a possible candidate to the Big 12. The league is still waiting for a decision whether Missouri will remain or join the SEC.

“Well I’m very excited about BYU football in the future and BYU athletics,” Holmoe said. “As you know we’ve made some pretty bold moves the last little while to go independent. But for me, I’m competitive. 

“People that know me, that know (football coach) Bronco Mendenhall, (basketball coach) Dave Rose and the rest of our coaches that we’re going to do everything that we can to stay as competitive as we can. I want to play at the highest level that we can. We’ve been doing a good job where we’ve been and we’re going to continue to look to do our very best.”

If the BCS conferences evolve into 16-team superconferences, Holmoe “wants to be at the table.”

“We’re always monitoring and listening to what’s going on out there,” Holmoe said. “So I think some people have thought that we haven’t been involved. We’ve very much been involved at a lot of different levels of communication with various conferences.”

Holmoe said he doesn’t believe the fact BYU won’t participate in athletic events on Sundays is an issue.

“I don’t think it’s real complicated for BYU, but I think everybody knows that BYU is not going to play on Sunday,” Holmoe said. “That’s one of the issues that I think everyone in the country knows where BYU stands.”

Category: NCAAF
Tags: Big 12, BYU, Missouri, SEC
 
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: 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 8, 2011 9:53 pm
Edited on: September 9, 2011 1:18 am
 

OSU: Focused on Big 12, won't speculate on Pac-12

STILLWATER, Okla. – Oklahoma State President Burns Hargis told CBSSports.com Thursday his school is focused on remaining in the Big 12. However, he would not speculate on the Cowboys’ future if Texas A&M leaves the league.

“I think [the Big 12] can exist,” Hargis said. “I don’t think it’s a fait accompli A&M is gone. Obviously the SEC had a string on their bid.”

Hargis said if Texas A&M leaves, Oklahoma and Oklahoma State are “not necessarily” headed to the Pac-12. “That’s a hypothetical, but we want 10 teams [in the Big 12].”

What could push the Sooners and Cowboys to the Pac-12?

“At this point, we’re focused on the Big 12 going forward,” Hargis said before Oklahoma State’s game with, ironically, Pac-12 member Arizona. “I wouldn’t want to get into [the possibility of the Pac-12]. That’s a hypothetical and a hypothetical. It’s just not anything we’re real focused on right now.”

An Oklahoma State source told CBSSports.com that OSU would not sue Texas A&M or the SEC if Texas A&M left.

Since Texas A&M announced it was leaving the Big 12, Baylor President Ken Starr threatened to sue the SEC and Commissioner Mike Slive for tortious interference. The SEC released a statement before Starr's threat. It read in part:

“After receiving unanimous written assurance from the Big 12 on Sept. 2 that the Southeastern Conference was free to accept Texas A&M to join as a new member, the presidents and chancellors of the SEC met last night with the intention of accepting the application of Texas A&M to be the newest member of the SEC. We were notified [Tuesday] afternoon that at least one Big 12 institution had withdrawn its previous consent and was considering legal action.”

Hargis said he didn’t believe the SEC thought the conference could waive the rights of the individual institutions.

“Only the regents can waive [legal] claims of the university,” Hargis said. “The conference can’t do it, the presidents can’t do it. I think as far as conference was concerned there was no intention to take any action.”

Hargis said he wasn’t aware of a timetable when this all gets resolved. Oklahoma President David Boren estimated it would take less than three weeks.

“We’d all like to resolve it that fast but I don’t know a timetable,” Hargis said. “There’s no big rush. Everyone has to work through and get their conditions on the table and move forward.

“We have 10 really good schools. We had a close call with A&M. All of us wanted them to stay. The only ones that didn’t want them to stay was A&M, which is kind of a critical point. But hopefully maybe this event will give everyone time to take a deep breath.”



Posted on: September 7, 2011 6:56 pm
 

Bowl system will be "chaos" if Big 12 implodes

If the Big 12 implodes next season by Texas A&M leaving for the SEC and more Big 12 teams leaving for other leagues, it would open up a BCSbowl spot for an at-large team but also would have an even greater impact on the bowl system.

"If the Big 12 isn't around next year, I can sum up the bowl system in one word: chaos," a college football industry source told CBSSports.com.

The Fiesta Bowl gets the Big 12 champion, if it doesn’t finish among the top two in the final BCS standings, as its "anchor" team. However without a Big 12 Conference, the Fiesta would be left to choose two at-large teams.

But it wouldn't be that simple. A major question would be when would the Fiesta Bowl get its first pick of at-large teams? The BCS by-laws are currently set up so that the five bowls – BCS, Rose, Fiesta, Orange and Sugar – have a set rotation each year to fill their bowls. Without a Big 12 champion would the Fiesta Bowl get the first at-large pick overall or have to wait until the last pick?

Bowl sources said that could be a major issue since the BCS certainly couldn’t have predicted the Big 12 might not be around when the current BCS contract expires after the January 2014 games.

“We’re in close contact with our partners and are monitoring developments,” a Fiesta Bowl spokesperson said Wednesday. “We are not going to speculate on rumors related to the Big 12 Conference or anyone else for that matter.”

BCS executive director Bill Hancock also said Wednesday he does not discuss hypothetical situations.

Also, the BCS bowls can only take two teams from a conference, so that would increase the chances for non-AQ conference teams, such as Boise State, to secure an at-large BCS bowl bid.

A bigger – and more complex – issue that would impact one-fifth of the bowls would be what does the bowls with Big 12 tie-ins do for teams if there is no Big 12?

Besides the Fiesta, the Big 12 bowl lineup is Cotton, Alamo, Insight, Holiday, Texas and Pinstripe.

So the Cotton, instead of pairing the No. 2 team from the Big 12 against the No. 3 pick from the SEC, would have to wait until all of the other remaining bowls with existing contracts with the other 10 conferences choose their teams before it could fill that spot.

“What do you think will happen when [SEC commissioner] Mike Slive’s third-place team doesn’t have a quality opponent,” a source said.

The bowls all have specific contracts indicating a specific pick from a conference to play another specific pick from another conference.

But if that conference is the Big 12 and it doesn’t exist anymore, it would be nullify the bowl agreement and nullify the television contract, a source said.

“You’d be starting over," a source said. "It involves everyone. What are we going to do? Have a draft of teams? ESPN doesn’t want to broadcast Michigan vs. Fresno State, it wants to televise Michigan against a comparable BCS program.”

“If the Big 12 doesn't survive," said a college football industry source, “the bowl system will be a gigantic mess.”


Posted on: September 7, 2011 9:39 am
Edited on: September 7, 2011 11:46 am
 

Baylor puts Texas A&M move to SEC on hold

Five days ago, the Big 12 institutions agreed received “written assurance” from the Big 12 that the SEC could add Texas A&M without any legal issues. Well, a funny thing happened on the way to expansion: Baylor has changed its mind and has the SEC, at least for now, in a holding pattern.

Consequently, Texas A&M officials are left in a wait-and-see mode, releasing a statement from school president R. Bowen Loftin.

"We are certainly pleased with the action taken last night by the presidents and chancellors of the Southeastern Conference to unanimously accept Texas A&M as the league’s 13th member. However, this acceptance is conditional, and we are disappointed in the threats made by one of the Big 12 member institutions to coerce Texas A&M into staying in Big 12 Conference. These actions go against the commitment that was made by this university and the Big 12 on Sept. 2. We are working diligently to resolve any and all issues as outlined by the SEC."

Can Baylor’s threat of a lawsuit really keep Texas A&M out of the SEC? Baylor's Bad News Bears is going to stop the Big 12 from crumbling? Stay tuned.

Here’s the SEC’s official statement from Florida President Dr. Bernie Machen, Chair of the SEC’s Presidents and Chancellors.

“After receiving unanimous written assurance from the Big 12 on September 2 that the Southeastern Conference was free to accept Texas A&M to join as a new member, the presidents and chancellors of the SEC met last night with the intention of accepting the application of Texas A&M to be the newest member of the SEC,” Machen said. “We were notified yesterday afternoon that at least one Big 12 institution had withdrawn its previous consent and was considering legal action.

“The SEC has stated that to consider an institution for membership, there must be no contractual hindrances to its departure.  The SEC voted unanimously to accept Texas A&M University as a member upon receiving acceptable reconfirmation that the Big 12 and its members have reaffirmed the letter dated September 2, 2011.”





Category: NCAAF
Posted on: September 5, 2011 10:07 pm
Edited on: September 6, 2011 12:57 am
 

ACC commissioner refutes Texas to ACC report

COLLEGE PARK, Md. – Atlantic Coast Commissioner John Swofford shot down a report Monday night that his league was considering adding Texas, Syracuse, UConn and Rutgers.

“I need to read more to see what we’re doing,” Swofford said laughing. “That’s news to me.”

Orangebloods.com quoted a source Monday night that the ACC, trying to fend off a potential raid by the SEC – who might take Virginia Tech – would look to add Texas along with Syracuse, UConn and Rutgers for a 16-team league. Swofford spoke to reporters from CBSSports.com, SI.com and the New York Post at halftime of the Miami-Maryland game.

“I think we see a lot of things that are written, blogged and speculated about right now,” Swofford said. “We’re not at a point at doing anything from a conference standpoint other than a lot of discussion, analysis and seeing what the landscape may hold moving forward. That’s way beyond any type of discussion we’ve had.”

The ACC’s current media rights deal is split evenly among all members. If, hypothetically the ACC added Texas, the Longhorns would bring their Longhorn Network and earn more than the other ACC members.

Swofford said equal revenue sharing among ACC members “has been a very strong principle of our league since the middle ‘80s.”

“I was AD in this league when we went to that fundamental principle and it’s been a very strong one ever since then,” Swofford said. “I think that it’s one that has a lot to do with the stability of conferences, just fundamentally.”

Swofford also was asked about the, uh, colorful helmets Maryland debuted on Monday night.

“They’re unique,” Swofford said. “And I think they’re appropriate for the state of Maryland with the flag and wearing the state colors for a state university.”


 
 
 
 
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