Tag:Louisville
Posted on: October 10, 2011 12:42 pm
Edited on: October 10, 2011 12:51 pm
  •  
 

Big East wants 12 members, but who will it get?

Big East presidents and chancellors Monday authorized Big East commissioner John Marinatto “to engage in formal discussions with additional institutions and are considering moving to a model that includes 12 football playing schools.”

Now the question is: what schools will make up those 12?

With TCU gone before it even got here and Pittsburgh and Syracuse headed to the ACC in 2014 (and they hope even earlier than that), that leaves six football members – Cincinnati, UConn, Louisville, Rutgers, South Florida and West Virginia.

For now.

That number could reduce further if Missouri goes to the SEC. Louisville and West Virginia is considered the strongest candidates for the Big 12 now that BYU apparently is no longer as highly regarded by the Big 12.

Navy, Air Force and Army remain the prime targets of the Big East as football only members. However, with the news that the Big East is pursuing 12 football schools, if the league went to a nine-game league schedule, that actually might not be an attractive option for the academies having only three non-conference games.

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.

Other Big East targets are Temple, of the Mid-American Conference, and a number of Conference USA schools headed by Central Florida and East Carolina.

The Newark Star-Ledger reported Sunday that Boise State was a possibility as a football-only member. Last month in a Big East presidents meeting, the Broncos were brought up as an expansion candidate, but the consensus was the school was too far away and there were concerns with their recent NCAA issues, a source said.

However, that was before TCU announced it received a Big 12 invitation, which the Horned Frogs will formally accept Monday night. Does that mean the Big East is warming to Boise State - or that desparate for members?

As far as any problems in having a 12-team football conference and a resulting basketball membership of up to 20 schools, a league source told me the size of the basketball membership is not a concern.

“You can have 50 teams in basketball (in the conference),” the source said. “It doesn't matter. That's why they have the NCAA tournament.”

The reality for the Big East is, other than continuing to pursue the academies, it must wait to see what happens with Missouri and the Big 12/SEC and the resulting dominos before proceeding further.

During Monday’s teleconference, the presidents were “still discussing appropriate figures” for increased withdrawal fees, an individual on the call told CBSSports.com.

The withdrawal fee is currently $5 million and a school must provide 27 months notice.

Last month Marinatto told CBSSports.com that the league will not allow Syracuse and Pitt to leave before their 27-month withdrawal requirement expires, keeping them in Big East until June 30, 2014.

On Saturday, Air Force athletic director Hans Mueh told the Denver Post “our interest is high in the Big East. That's fair to say. This stuff is moving fast.”

Air Force has to decide whether to remain in a comfortable situation in the Mountain West or leave for an uncertain future in the Big East, once an automatic qualifying BCS league that may or may not still be an AQ BCS conference when the new BCS cycle begins before the 2014 season.

Even with the league holding a second conference call in four days among officials from representative from the remaining Big East schools, there wasn’t much accomplished said one frustrated individual on the call.

“Nothing accomplished,” he said.

Posted on: October 7, 2011 5:44 pm
Edited on: October 7, 2011 8:55 pm
 

Louisville replaces offensive coordinator

Louisville assistant head coach/offensive coordinator Mike Sanford is no longer with the program and has been replaced as offensive coordinator by quarterbacks coach Shawn Watson, CBSSports.com has learned.

Sanford, 56, did not make the trip to Chapel Hill, N.C., for Saturday’s game at North Carolina. He also did not attend any practices this week leading up to the UNC game. Sanford was in his second season with the Cardinals after five seasons as head coach at UNLV. He was 16-43 with the Runnin’ Rebels from 2005-09. He also was previously offensive coordinator at Utah and Stanford.

Watson came to Louisville before this season from Nebraska. Watson will take over the offensive coordinator duties Saturday against UNC and for the rest of the season. UL officials declined comment.

Louisville (2-2) was averaging 18.7 points per game under Sanford, ranking last in the Big East and 105th out of 120 FBS schools in scoring offense. The Cardinals also were 86th nationally in total offense, averaging 359.7 yards per game.
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: August 19, 2011 9:34 pm
Edited on: August 20, 2011 10:03 am
 

Biggest AP preseason poll busts since 2001

Take a good long look at the top 10 teams in the Associated Press preseason poll released today because based on the past decade, chances are at least one will not finish the season ranked in the Top 25. Who do you think that team will be?

The AP preseason top 10:

1. Oklahoma
2. Alabama
3. Oregon
4. LSU
5. Boise State
6. Florida State
7. Stanford
8. Texas A&M
9. Oklahoma State
10. Nebraska

In the past 10 years, nine teams ranked in the preseason Top 10 finished the season out of the Top 25 in the final poll.

Since 2001, Tennessee has been the biggest preseason bust. The Volunteers were ranked No. 3 in the 2005 preseason poll, but finished 5-6 and unranked.

The Volunteers also have the distinction of being the only school in the last 10 years that finished the season not in the final rankings twice after being ranked among the top 10 preseason teams.

In 2002, Tennessee was No. 5 in the preseason poll, but an 8-5 record left the Volunteers out of the Top 25. Last season, Texas also was No. 5 in the preseason poll, but finished 5-7.

In the last 10 years 26 percent of the teams – or 6.5 teams per year – that were ranked in the Top 25 preseason poll were not ranked in the final AP poll. Last year, nine teams ranked in the Top 25 preseason poll were nowhere to be found when the final poll was released led by preseason No. 5 Texas.

Here’s a look at the biggest busts based on the AP preseason poll since 2001:

Year-PreRank School (final record)

2005–No. 3 Tennessee (finished 5-6)
2010–No. 5 Texas (finished 5-7)
2002–No. 5 Tennessee (finished 8-5)
2008–No. 9 Clemson (finished 7-6)
2002–No. 9 Washington (finished 7-6)
2003–No. 9 Virginia Tech (finished 8-5)
2008–No. 10 Auburn (finished 5-7)
2007–No. 10 Louisville (finished 6-6)
2002–No. 10 Nebraska (finished 7-7)
2001–No. 11 Oregon State (finished 5-6)
2006–No. 11 Florida State (finished 7-6)
2004–No. 12 Kansas State (finished 4-7)
2009–No. 12 Cal (finished 8-5)



Posted on: August 13, 2011 5:16 pm
Edited on: August 15, 2011 11:57 am
 

BYU, Louisville say they're happy where they are

NOTE: This is an update from an earlier post on BYU and Louisville.

If - or when - the Big 12 starts seeking a replacement for Texas A&M, at least two possible candidates told CBSSports.com they are happy with their current situations.

BYU, which left the Mountain West last season to become an independent, plans to remain an independent, while Louisville is happy to remain in the Big East. That, of course, could change if either school receives an invitation to join the Big 12. Both schools have been speculated as possible targets of the Big 12 if Texas A&M leaves for the SEC.

"We have not been contacted by anybody," BYU athletic director Tom Holmoe said. "We are very happy with our partnerships and relationships with ESPN, BYUtv and the West Coast Conference [in BYU's Olympic sports.]

"We like the plans we have made as an independent in football and with the West Coast Conference. We are moving forward fast on that path and getting ready for a big season."

Louisville athletic director Tom Jurich said the Cardinals are excited about the future of the Big East.

The league recently turned down a nine-year, $1.4 billion media rights deal from ESPN and is line for an even bigger deal in the next couple years from ESPN, NBC/Comcast or Fox.

"We are very happy where we are," Jurich said.

Neither Holmoe or Jurich would address any other conferences. I also asked Holmoe how committed BYU was to being an independent. "Just focusing in on what could be an exciting year for Cougar football," he said.

One official at a BCS conference, that could be affected by Texas A&M's move to the SEC and the resulting dominos, said Saturday he had not heard of any new developments.

"The only news is whatever your colleagues make up," he said jokingly.
Category: NCAAF
Posted on: August 11, 2011 3:51 pm
Edited on: August 11, 2011 4:02 pm
 

17 football schools wouldn't have met APR minimum

With the NCAA’s Division 1 Board of Directors decision on Thursday to increase the average four-year APR score to 930 in order to be able to participate in the NCAA basketball tournament and bowl games, 17 of the Football Bowl Subdivision schools would not have met the APR requirement in the 2009-10 season.

Here are the football programs by conference that did not have a 930 APR in 2009-10:

ACC – Maryland, N.C. State
Big East – Louisville
Big Ten – Michigan
Pac-12 – Colorado, Washington State
Conference USA – UAB, Houston, Southern Miss, Tulsa, UTEP
Independent – Brigham Young
Mid-American – Akron
Sun Belt – Florida Atlantic, Louisiana-Monroe
WAC – Idaho, New Mexico State

Each school from the Big 12, SEC and Mountain West had at least a 930 APR.

Of the 17 schools with sub 930 APRs, eight played in bowl games last season – Maryland, N.C. State, Louisville, Michigan, Southern Miss, Tulsa, UTEP and BYU.

If the 930 APR requirement was in place, the Beef O' Brady's St. Petersburg Bowl (Louisville vs. Southern Miss) and New Mexico Bowl (BYU vs. UTEP) would have been seeking additional teams since their four schools would not have qualified.



Posted on: August 11, 2011 12:02 pm
Edited on: August 11, 2011 5:22 pm
 

FAU's Schnellenberger retiring after this season

Florida Atlantic coach Howard Schnellenberger announced Thursday afternoon he is retiring after this season.

CBSSports.com first reported Schnellenberger's decision to retire.

"After looking at the situation, Beverlee and I are delighted that the University has welcomed our decision to leave the coaching ranks following the 2011 season," Schnellenberger said. "We will continue our relationship with the University in the most pronounced way. I feel this will be the most seamless and best way to formulate a transition from coaching to an ambassador for the University."

The 77-year-old Schnellenberger began the FAU program in 2001. He is 57-63 with the Owls. He also has had head coaching jobs at Oklahoma (1995), Louisville (1985-94) and Miami (1979-83). He won the 1983 national championship with the Hurricanes. He has a 157-140-3 record in 26 seasons as a college head coach.

The Owls open this season with five consecutive road games against Florida, Michigan State, Auburn, Louisiana-Lafayette and North Texas before playing their home opener against Western Kentucky on Oct. 15.

Against WKU, FAU will debut its new 30,000-seat, $70 million football stadium, a project that Schnellenberger was instrumental in helping fundraise.

"Three university presidents were involved in this, but one coach," FAU president Mary Jane Saunders said last week. "And it's coach Schnellenberger that made this happen. The vision that this university that he came to after an incredibly illustrious career. We're grateful to have him. He's done a fabulous job with all the guys and I'm just so pleased I could share this day with you."

In 2007, Schnellenberger was named the Sun Belt’s Coach of the Year, the first time in his career he ever received a league coach of the year award. He guided the Owls to consecutive bowl games in 2007 and 2008.

Schnellenberger, who also was a head coach with the Baltimore Colts in 1973 and 1974, has been involved with college football for nearly 60 years. He played at Kentucky for Bear Bryant. His first coaching job was in 1959 as an assistant at Kentucky. He also was an assistant at Alabama and then the NFL's Los Angeles Rams and Miami Dolphins, including the Dolphins' perfect season in 1972.

After his two-year stint as the Colts head coach, he returned to the Dolphins in 1975 before taking over as the Hurricanes in 1979.

At Miami, Schnellenberger went 41-16. He won the national title in his final season with a 31-30 victory against Nebraska when NU coach Tom Osborne opted to go for the winning two-point conversion. Schnellenberger left Miami for the USFL, but he never coached a game in that league and returned to the college ranks at Louisville, where he spent 10 seasons.

He was at Oklahoma for only one season, then began building FAU's program as the Owls moved from Division I-AA to FBS status as Sun Belt members.





Posted on: August 3, 2011 9:18 am
 

Big East move should help keep Patterson at TCU

NEWPORT, R.I. – Besides all the obvious benefits of TCU’s move to the Big East – money, better BCS bowl access, money, more television exposure, money and money – another plus for the Horned Frogs is it could make it easier to keep Gary Patterson in Fort Worth.

Patterson has been mentioned as a candidate for multiple openings in past years, but has remained at TCU. He begins his 12th season with the Horned Frogs on Sept. 2 against Baylor. The Horned Frogs are playing their final season in the Mountain West before moving to the Big East next season.

“Gary has an opportunity to create his own shadow,” TCU athletic director Chris Del Conte said. “You can go somewhere else and you’re following some one else’s footsteps.

“You go to Alabama, it’s still Bear Bryant. You go to Texas, it’s still Darrell Royal. You go to Arkansas, it’s Frank Broyles. It’s still Woody Hayes at Ohio [State] and Bo Schembechler at Michigan. Gary is that figure for us. He is our iconic figure.”

The Horned Frogs are in the process of $105 million expansion and renovation of Amon Carter Stadium. It’s scheduled to be completed for the 2012 season. That’s only one piece of the puzzle, Del Conte said.

“The one thing we have to continue to do is invest in facilities, invest in staff and invest in our program,” Del Conte said. “But Gary’s created that iconic figure for us. That’s something to be said.

“The grass isn’t always greener. That whole field is riddled with people who thought it was greener and they’re now skeletons littered in the weeds.”

The Horned Frogs first game in the renovated Carter Stadium in 2012 will be against Grambling on Sept. 8. TCU’s first season as a Big East member also will include home games against Oklahoma, Virginia, Cincinnati, Louisville, South Florida and West Virginia and road games at Pittsburgh, UConn, Rutgers and Syracuse.

Even though the Horned Frogs aren’t members of the Big East yet, Del Conte has an opinion on the league's expansion.

“Whatever we do, you have to have significant value to the mosaic that is already there,” Del Conte said. “If not, keep the league at what it’s at. Nine, 10, 12 [teams] – I have no dog in that race. Our forefathers do. My opinion is you have to add significant value and preserve the Big East’s tradition and history in basketball and what Dave Gavitt created way back in the day.”

Del Conte said he’s confident a Big East team will be playing for a national championship – in football – in the very near future and referenced near misses by Cincinnati in 2009 (if Texas doesn’t edge Nebraska in the Big 12 title game) and West Virginia in 2007 (if the Mountaineers defeat Pitt in regular season finale).

“There will be a Big East team playing in the national championship game soon enough,” Del Conte said. “There will be.”

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