Tag:UCF
Posted on: December 8, 2011 1:50 pm
Edited on: December 8, 2011 1:54 pm
 

Notre Dame football remaining independent

NEW YORK – Notre Dame to the ACC? Notre Dame to the Big Ten? How about Notre Dame to the Big 12 or SEC?

It’s not going to happen, Notre Dame athletic director Jack Swarbrick said Thursday.

The Irish plan to remain an independent in football and are confident with the future of the Big East after the league introduced five new members Wednesday. The majority of Notre Dame’s non-football schools compete in the Big East, which allows Notre Dame to be an independent in football.

However, there had been some speculation that because of the league's uncertainty, Notre Dame might be forced to join another conference in football.

“We’re thrilled with the announcement of the Big East’s new members and we think it delivers on the (league’s) stability,” Swarbrick told CBSSports.com. “It’s great news for the Big East and it’s a great home for us for most of our sports.”

The Big East announced Wednesday Boise State and San Diego State would join the league in football-only in 2013 and add Houston, UCF and SMU in all sports. By the Big East remaining together, it allows Notre Dame to compete as a Big East member in virtually all sports but football, while remaining a football independent.

“Father (John) Jenkins was trying to provide leadership to help the Big East navigate through this period of time,” Swarbrick said of Notre Dame’s president. “We welcome the new Big East members and we think it speaks to the future vitality and stability of the Big East.”

With the addition of Houston, UCF and SMU in 2013 and if West Virginia, Pittsburgh and Syracuse remain in the league until June 30, 2014 as scheduled, that means during the 2013-14 school year the Big East would have at least 19 basketball members.

“It doesn’t scare me,” Swarbrick said. “You could figure out a way to set up the schedule. The amount of time they’ve spent determining how many teams will play in the Big East tournament is another story. I think it’s manageable.”

Swarbrick said he would defer to the conference whether West Virginia, Pittsburgh and Syracuse should be allowed to leave a year early in 2013 when the new members are added.

The biggest question Swarbrick said he gets from the media and when he travels around the country at speaking engagements is whether the Irish will remain an independent in football.

He estimated he speaks each year at between 80-100 Notre Dame clubs or fundraisers in association with a Fighting Irish game.

“You can’t do a Q/A without one of those (questions about if Notre Dame is joining a conference),” Swarbrick said. “They (Notre Dame’s fan base) are pretty clear: they want status quo and national championships.

“It’s easy,” he joked.

Status quo as a football independent and national championships.

“But not in that order, that’s exactly right,” Swarbrick said.

Posted on: December 7, 2011 7:38 pm
Edited on: December 7, 2011 7:43 pm
 

Big East: different look, but same name

NEW YORK – First things first: the Big East Conference, stretching four time zones from the East Coast to the West Coast, is not undergoing a name change.

It will remain the Big East.

It will, however, look much, much different.

On Wednesday, the league announced that Boise State, San Diego State, Houston, SMU and UCF would join the league in 2013. Boise State and San Diego State as football-only members and Houston, SMU and UCF as all-sport members.

And even with the addition of those five schools, Big East commissioner John Marinatto said the league has no plans to allow West Virginia (to the Big 12) and Syracuse and Pittsburgh (to the ACC) to leave before June 30, 2014, as required by conference by-laws.

“The additions that we're making today have no impact whatsoever in regard to our commitment and our belief that our schools that are leaving would fulfill the 27‑month requirement clause that's currently in our bylaws,” Marinatto said. “The bylaws are the bylaws are the bylaws. They represent the agreements between the conference schools. I think there's an understanding amongst all of our schools that an early departure and a violation of those bylaws would do damage to the schools that are remaining. As a result, two of our schools have indicated that they respect that process and they understand it.”

Those two schools are Syracuse and Pittsburgh. West Virginia, however, has filed a lawsuit to join the Big 12 next season. The Big East also has filed a lawsuit to make West Virginia honor the exit agreement until 2014.

West Virginia athletic director Oliver Luck told CBSSports.com Wednesday that even if the league compromised and allowed the Mountaineers to leave a year early in 2013, their plans are still to join the Big 12 next season.

“That doesn’t change,” Luck told CBSSports.com.

Syracuse athletic director Daryl Gross said his school is prepared to honor the 27-month exit agreement, but told CBSSports.com “we’re just open to seeing what happens.”

“They’re starting to put together what the new Big East will look like,” Gross said. “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.”

Marinatto said that was not the case. So if West Virginia, Pitt and Syracuse must remain in the league through June 30, 2014, that means the Big East in 2013 would consist of at least 13 teams in football and 19 schools in basketball.

Officials at Air Force, which was a target of the Big East as a football-only member, told the Gazette Wednesday, that it would remain in the Mountain West. Navy, however, remains a viable target, but won’t make any decisions this week that would take attention away from Saturday’s Army-Navy game.

The new Big East is certainly bigger than any conference out there. It’s got a bigger footprint than even Bigfoot.

“We've envisioned the premise that we could theoretically on any given Saturday have four kickoffs that don't compete with each other,” Marinatto said. “We think, as I mentioned earlier, that's a very powerful model as we move forward in our upcoming TV negotiations.”

Those will begin in 2012. The Big East first must give ESPN the first opportunity as its currents rights holder and if they don’t reach a deal by November 2012 then the Big East could negotiate with other networks such as Fox or NBC/Comcast.

NCAA President Mark Emmert, without specially mentioning the Big East, discussed schools leaving non-automatic BCS qualifying conferences (such as Boise State, Houston, San Diego State, UCF and SMU) for an automatic qualifying BCS conference such as the Big East.

“There’s a lot of motivation’s going on (with expansion), clearly the BCS automatic qualifying position is driving a lot of this,” Emmert said at the IMG Forum at the Marriott Marquis. “Nobody wants to lose their AQ rights in the BCS and, of course, one of the ironies is the BCS is going to be refined again (in 2014).”

And if there remains BCS AQ conferences at that time, the Big East feels strongly it will remain one.

“Part of our objectives in expansion was to create the best conference we could both on the football side as well as other sports,” Marinatto said. “We recognize obviously the departure of the schools leaving the conference affected us. But we always felt confident that if we made the right moves, we would keep our BCS AQ status and we've done that.”

Posted on: December 7, 2011 4:41 pm
Edited on: December 7, 2011 6:03 pm
 

C-USA, Mountain West all-sports merger on horizon

NEW YORK – With the Mountain West and Conference USA losing at least five members to the Big East, those two leagues are now looking at an all-sports merger instead of a full-scale football expansion as originally planned, sources told CBSSports.com.

Conference USA and the Mountain West initially planned to combine into a separate football-only league with between 20 and 24 members and conducted an Oct. 15 press conference to announce the news. The winners from C-USA and the Mountain West would meet in a playoff with, they hoped, the winner earning a BCS bowl berth.

A BCS bowl berth, however, would have had to be approved by the BCS.

However, that plan has lost steam by the loss of Boise State, San Diego State, Houston, SMU and UCF to the Big East. Instead, C-USA and the Mountain West are considering a merger in all sports. Sources have indicated that Craig Thompson, the current commissioner of the Mountain West, would become the commissioner of the new merged league, while Conference USA commissioner Britton Banowsky would step down.

A vote on the merger could come by next month, sources said.

The merged league would consist of: East Carolina, Marshall, Memphis, Rice, Southern Miss, Tulane, Tulsa, UAB and UTEP from C-USA and Air Force, Colorado State, New Mexico, UNLV and Wyoming from the Mountain West along with new members Fresno State, Hawaii and Nevada for a 17-team conference. Air Force was being sought after by the Big East, but the Gazette reported Tuesday evening that the Falcons would remain in the Mountain West.

After the initial merger announcement to as many as 24 schools on Oct. 15, Banowsky e-mailed officials at Conference USA and the Mountain West a week later about a proposed new conference, entitled “BCS and The Big East Expansion (An Alternative Plan).”

“Attached is a document that might find of interest regarding conference realignment,” Banowsky wrote on the e-mail, obtained by CBSSports.com.

That eight-page document presented two possible conferences mergers: one with 28 teams and another with 32 teams. They included all the Big East, Conference USA and Mountain West teams, plus a few other teams from other leagues. The plan was never endorsed by the Big East and didn’t get much further than being reported by various media outlets.

To combat the departures of the five schools, the Mountain West had decided to add San Jose State and Utah State. But adding those schools has now been put on hold, sources said.

Posted on: December 6, 2011 8:49 pm
 

Want to be President? Carry the Big East states

With the 2012 Presidential election upcoming, here is a sure fire way to become the next President of the United States - simply win all the Big East states.

CBSSports.com reported Tuesday that Boise State, San Diego State, UCF, Houston and SMU will join the Big East in 2013. A formal announcement is expected Wednesday.

Bob Elliott, a copy editor at CBSSports.com, did the numbers crunching and discovered the next POTUS only needs to campaign and win the Big East states. Well, that is 15 states after all, including the District of Columbia.

Carrying all 15 states would give the next POTUS the minimum required 270 electoral votes, so don't waste your time campaigning in Iowa - that's Big Ten country. Presidential candidates need to concentrate solely on the Big East.

West Virginia was not included as a Big East state since the Mountaineers are all but officially out the door to the Big 12 - either in 2012 or 2013 or 2014, although Pennsylvania and New York remained as a Big East state because even without Pitt and Syracuse to the ACC there still remains Big East schools in each respective state.

Here's the breakdown of electoral votes by each state with that will have a Big East member in 2013.

State Electoral votes (Big East member)
California 55 (San Diego State)
Idaho 4 (Boise State)
Texas 38 (SMU, Houston)
Wisconsin 10 (Marquette)
Illinois 20 (DePaul)
Indiana 11 (Notre Dame)
Kentucky 8 (Louisville)
Ohio 18 (Cincinnati)
New York 29 (St. John's)
Pennsylvania 20 (Villanova)
Connecticut 7 (UConn)
Rhode Island 4 (Providence)
New Jersey 14 (Rutgers, Seton Hall)
Florida 29 (South Florida, UCF)
District of Columbia 3 (Georgetown)

The next President of the United States approved of this message.
Posted on: December 6, 2011 12:50 pm
Edited on: December 7, 2011 9:05 am
 

Boise State, 4 others to join Big East in 2013

Boise State, San Diego State, Houston, SMU and UCF will join the Big East Conference in 2013, sources told CBSSports.com.

The announcement will be made Wednesday. The league will hold a 5 p.m. ET teleconference to formally discuss the new members. Realignment map: The new Big East

Boise State and San Diego State will join the Big East as football-only members, while Houston, SMU and UCF will join as all-sport members. Boise State is expected to put its non-football sports in the WAC, while San Diego State would place its non-football sports in the Big West, sources told CBSSports.com.

With the addition of those five schools -- minus the departures of West Virginia, Pittsburgh and Syracuse -- the Big East will have 10 football members.

With those five schools on board, Navy is expected to join as a football-only member -- possibly as soon as next week -- to boost the football membership to 11 schools.

The Big East hopes to add Air Force as its 12th football school -- as a football-only member -- but the Falcons still remain undecided.

If the Big East cannot get Air Force, Temple would be a likely candidate to become the Big East's 12th member.

Even with the new schools, sources also told CBSSports.com that the Big East still plans to make West Virginia, Syracuse and Pittsburgh honor the league's 27-month exit requirement and stay in the league until June 30, 2014. Big East commissioner John Marinatto has said previously the league could have more than 12 football members and 16 basketball members during the 2013 season.

However, West Virginia AD Oliver Luck told CBSSports.com two weeks ago the Mountaineers are planning to join the Big 12 next season.

"We're planning on all sports spending the 2012-13 academic year in the Big 12," Luck said. "The Big 12 folks haven't given us a [deadline] date. We're 100 percent focused on competing in the Big 12 and with this season closing, have time to prepare for next year.

"Our coaches are starting to think about Kansas State, Oklahoma and Texas and all the other schools we'll be facing in the Big 12 next year."

Both West Virginia and the Big East have filed lawsuits. West Virginia claims it should not have to honor the 27-month commitment, while the Big East contends West Virginia may not leave before 2014.

Syracuse and Pittsburgh have not filed a lawsuit to join the ACC early, but are monitoring the West Virginia situation. If WVU leaves before 2014, Syracuse and Pittsburgh would do the same, sources said.



Posted on: November 28, 2011 10:50 pm
Edited on: November 28, 2011 10:51 pm
 

SDSU in no hurry w/Big East, BYU no Big 12 offer

San Diego State and the Big East began discussions last week about the Aztecs joining the league as a football-only member, but don’t expect the Aztecs to make a decision anytime soon.

Meanwhile BYU athletic director Tom Holmoe said Monday night the Cougars never had an invitation to the Big 12 and the school  is “at an impasse (with the Big East) and not able to move any further.”

College football industry sources said San Diego State officials informed the Big East it will need some time before determining whether to join the league as a football-only member.

“They might not be in a hurry,” a source said.

The Big East is looking at San Diego State as a football-only member after the Big East decided to “move on” from negotiations with the Cougars after BYU wanted to retain its television rights for its home football games.

Sources said San Diego State “is still very excited about the opportunity” to join the Big East, but estimated it could take anywhere from “two to three weeks” to “a few months.”

The Big East is pursuing the Aztecs because Boise State has said it wants a guarantee of a Western partner before joining the league.

UCF, Houston and SMU are prepared to join the league but want to join in a group with Boise State. So those three schools are waiting on Boise State while the Broncos are waiting on a Western partner – either San Diego State or Air Force – and Navy is waiting until those other schools join before it commits.

BYU began discussions with the Big East after the Big 12 “decided to go in a different direction,” Holmoe said Monday night on BYU coach Bronco Mendenhall’s radio show.

“At this time things have slowed down (with the Big East),” Holmoe said. “I think it’s apparent.”

Holmoe said BYU and the Big East were able to go through a number of issues very quickly.

“But there were some uncertainties when it got to the end," he said. "Some television issues, and other issues. We are at an impasse and couldn’t go any further.

“They were eager to make this happen, to get BYU on board. We weren’t ready to do this. We gave them a proposal – I’m not sure exactly how it got out – we could do that, we could sign on right now if there were TV rights for our home games. But that would have been certain; we would have known exactly what we were getting into.

“We tried to come up with a possible solution, once we reached an impasse.”

Holmoe also said BYU never had any television discussions with the Big 12.

“We didn’t get too far down the road (with the Big 12),” Holmoe said.

Even though, the Cougars left the Mountain West last season to become an independent in football, Holmoe and Mendenhall both said the school sounded eager to join a conference.

“We’re continuing looking for conference affiliation if it were to come along, we’re not hanging posters on conference doors,” Holmoe said. “We’re going to keep our eyes open.”

Mendenhall added that “at some point, some one in a conference will say that’s a ‘very unique brand that wins a lot of football games that has a worldwide following and has tremendous assets and we want them.’ ”

A source told CBSSports.com last week that the Big East had “moved on” and was no longer pursuing BYU as a football member.

“The Big East, I respect them so much,” Holmoe said. “I’m not in position to tell them where things are.”


Posted on: November 26, 2011 10:24 pm
Edited on: November 26, 2011 10:31 pm
 

Big East, San Diego State begin discussions

With BYU officially out of the picture for the Big East, the league has begun negotiations with San Diego State about the Aztecs joining the league as a football-only member, college football industry sources told CBSSports.com Saturday night.

On Tuesday, CBSSports.com first reported that the Big East would target San Diego State after the league had decided to “move on” and no longer pursue BYU.

The San Diego Tribune first reported Saturday night negotiations had begun between the Big East and San Diego State.

The Big East is talking with the Aztecs because Boise State wants a guarantee of a “Western partner” before joining the league. The Broncos, along with Houston, SMU, UCF and Navy, are all ready to join the Big East, but Boise State is waiting for the Big East to secure a Western partner and Houston, SMU and UCF are waiting to join with Boise State.

Navy has told Boise State, SMU, Houston and UCF it definitely will join, sources said, but are waiting on those schools as well.

Air Force, which remains a football-only target of the Big East, remains undecided.

San Diego State, Boise State and Navy would join as football only members, while SMU, Houston and UCF would be all-sports members. San Diego State and Boise State could place its Olympic sports in the Big West.

None of the new Big East schools would join the league until the 2013 school year, sources told CBSSports.com.



Posted on: November 22, 2011 4:08 pm
Edited on: November 22, 2011 8:28 pm
 

Big East done pursuing BYU

The Big East has decided "to move on" and is no longer pursuing BYU as a conference member, college football industry sources told CBSSports.com Tuesday.

Earlier Tuesday morning, sources previously had told CBSSports.com that unless BYU decided to relinquish its television rights for its home football games, the Cougars would not join the Big East. The Cougars would not do so.

"The Big East has moved on," a source said about the prospect of adding BYU.

The Cougars had been in discussions with the Big East for weeks about joining the league. In the earlier negotiations between BYU and the Big East, BYU did not have an issue with relinquishing its home television rights. That changed, however.

"They (BYU) are being extremely unreasonable all of a sudden," a source said Tuesday morning. "This is one reason why they did not get into the Big 12. Their general counsel (lawyers) is a piece of work.”

With BYU out of the picture, the Big East will target San Diego State as a football-only member, a source said. The reason the Big East would seek out the Aztecs is because Boise State wants a Western partner before joining the league.

The Big East had hoped to announce its newest members (SMU, Houston, UCF and Boise State) in the past two weeks, but the on-going discussions with BYU brought the Big East’s expansion plans to a standstill. That’s because the league wanted to announce SMU, UCF, Houston and Boise State as new members together along with either BYU or Air Force or both schools.

Air Force does not plan to make a decision until after the regular season ends on Saturday, a source said.

Navy also is waiting for the other schools to join before fully committing to the league.

“It’s like everyone standing by the pool, waiting for someone to jump in before everyone else jumps in,” a source said.

On Oct. 25, CBSSports.com first reported that the Western contingent of possible future Big East members was making a push to add BYU.

Two weeks ago, a source told CBSSports.com San Diego State was pursuing a football-only membership with the Big East. San Diego State had previously pursued membership in the Big 12.

Houston, SMU, UCF and Boise State are committed to joining the Big East. Navy also has told those four schools, who CBSSports.com reported were working in concert to join the league, it also is committed to the Big East. With those five schools, the league will still need two more football schools to get to a 12-team league. Those possibilities now are San Diego State and Air Force with the 12-team league split in a West and East division.

BYU athletic director Tom Holmoe and coach Bronco Mendenhall were said to favor a move to the Big East, but BYU President Cecil Samuelson and the school’s general counsel weren't as receptive. That was unless the Cougars could have retained their home television rights, which is unheard of for a conference school.

If the Big East gave up the television rights to BYU’s home games, it would have reduced the amount the Big East could seek in its upcoming negotiations for its new media rights deal with either ESPN, NBC-Comcast and/or Fox.

There are no schools in any of the BCS AQ conferences that retain their home television rights, only those schools that are independents. BYU is in its first year as an independent after leaving the Mountain West and last year signed an eight-year deal with ESPN, which would have to be reworked if the Cougars joined the Big East.

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