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Posted on: February 3, 2012 12:36 pm
Edited on: February 3, 2012 4:37 pm
 

ACC ready for Pitt, Syracuse. But when?

Pittsburgh and Syracuse may not be leaving the Big East for the ACC for another two years, but the Panthers and Orange know now which ACC divisions they’ll be in. Pittsburgh will compete in the ACC’s Coastal Division, while Syracuse will be in the ACC’s Atlantic Division, the ACC’s athletic directors voted Friday.

The ACC also voted to increase its league football schedule from eight to nine conference games when the Panthers and Orange come on board.

Pittsburgh and Syracuse aren’t scheduled to join the ACC until July 1, 2014. However, that timetable could get moved up depending on if West Virginia is allowed to leave the Big East early for the Big 12. West Virginia is trying to join the Big 12 this fall, while the Big East is trying to make the Mountaineers honor the league’s exit agreement and stay until June 30, 2014.

Pittsburgh and Syracuse have not indicated they would pursue legal action, like West Virginia has, to leave the Big East before 2014, but sources told CBSSports.com that both schools are monitoring West Virginia’s situation and would try to join the ACC early if the Mountaineers are able to leave before 2014.

ACC commissioner John Swofford wouldn’t speculate on Pittsburgh and Syracuse joining the ACC before 2014. “First of all, (that decision) is between Pitt and Syracuse and the Big East,” Swofford said.

However, if the Panthers and Orange can leave before 2014, the ACC will be ready.

“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.”

If West Virginia leaves the Big East before 2014, it will likely have to pay a substantial financial penalty to the Big East. Swofford would not speculate whether the ACC would assist Pitt and Syracuse financially to assist them if they were able to leave the Big East early.

The ACC is expected to announce its 2012 football schedule in the next two weeks, so even if WVU and the Big East settles in the coming days it's unlikely Pitt and Syracuse would be able to join for the 2012-13 school year. Before the 2013 season is a more realisitic possibility.

Whenever they do get to the ACC, Pittsburgh will join Miami, Georgia Tech, Duke, North Carolina, Virginia and Virginia Tech in the Coastal Division. Syracuse will join Clemson, Florida State, N.C. State, Boston College, Maryland and Wake Forest in the Atlantic.

The current primary crossover partners will remain consistent with Syracuse and Pitt becoming primary crossover partners with each other.

When Pitt and Syracuse join the ACC, the league will play a nine-game conference football schedule. The format will consist of each team playing all six in its division each year, plus its primary crossover partner each year and two rotating opponents from the opposite division.

“We’ve been evaluating (eight or nine-game league schedules) since back in the fall,” Swofford said. “We want to see and play each other as much as reasonably possible.”

Swofford also said that adding conference television inventory (more ACC games) also was beneficial.

This six-year cycle allows each team to play each divisional opponent and its primary crossover partner six times (three home and three away) while also playing each rotating crossover opponent two times (one home and one away).

In basketball, the ACC will play an 18-game conference schedule beginning in the 2012-13 school year.

After Pitt and Syracuse join, each school will have one primary partner (Boston College and Syracuse; Clemson and Georgia Tech; Duke and North Carolina; Florida State and Miami; Maryland and Pitt; N.C. State and Wake Forest; Virginia and Virginia Tech).

The scheduling model will be based on a three-year cycle during which teams will play every league opponent at least once with the primary partners playing home and away annually while the other 12 rotate in groups of four: one year both home and away; one year at home only; and one year away only.  Over the course of the three-year cycle primary partners play a total of six times and all other conference opponents play four times.

The format allows each program to see opponents with more regularity and creates an increase in competitive balance throughout the teams.

The league also determined that all 14 league members will qualify for the ACC men's and women’s basketball tournaments. However, how the tournaments will be formatted will be announced at a later date.




Posted on: January 30, 2012 3:28 pm
Edited on: January 30, 2012 3:34 pm
 

AD proposes minor bowls moved on campus in '14

Last week, CBSSports.com exposed the declining bowl attendance and also reported there is “growing support” to increase bowl eligibility to seven victories in 2014, when the new BCS cycle begins.

One athletic director I spoke with had a unique idea: suggesting only the best 16 bowl games should remain with the remaining “bowl games” held on campuses of the remaining bowl eligible teams – whether six or seven wins is required for bowl eligibility.

“Declining attendance and the huge hidden costs of ticket ‘guarantees’ make most bowl trips a losing proposition for all involved,” said the athletic director, who spoke to CBSSports.com on the condition of anonymity. “Institutions and fans are beginning to say ‘uncle’ since they can’t afford to support those bowls in the current economy.”

Under the AD’s scenario, once the 16 premier bowls are filled, every team that is bowl eligible would participate in an on-campus bowl game. If there is an odd number of teams that qualify, the lowest ranked team, based on the BCS rankings, would not play in an on-campus bowl game, but still would be allowed to conduct December practices like the other bowl teams.

“Most bowl ‘functions’ are for local public relations and sponsors and simply another public appearance ‘duty’ for the players and coaches involved,” the AD said. “They have no real interest in dressing up and going to luncheons and dinners or even to events where they are expected to mingle with the opposing players. They would much rather spend their free time visiting with family members or teammates’ families or doing the things college kids do.”

Also, the AD proposed that all teams that qualified for a bowl would receive the same bowl “loot” – i.e. bowl gifts – paid out of a central pool of funds from the BCS bowls or another source so that each student-athlete was treated the same.

The AD said having bowl games on campus would eliminate the huge amount of money lost on the “secondary” bowl games and provide the best opportunity for the games to have better attendance. “Currently (the attendance at) many bowls are an embarrassment that indicates to players and fans there is no interest in the game,” he said.

By holding the “secondary” bowl games on campus, it would provide a flexible system that can adjust to whether there are 62 or 74 bowl eligible teams. “Many of these (secondary) bowls are owned by ESPN,” he said. “So it should not make much difference where they are played.”

I’m not sure how many schools would be prepared, or want to, hold bowl games on campus when their school is on holiday break. I also doubt the attendance would match a regular season conference game, but it’s better than the alternative, according to the AD.

“To be honest, some of the bowl sites are just not attractive for teams,” he said. “At least at (the campus) sites, there is a good chance for some excitement surrounding the game. Some of the stadiums (for bowls) are not used regularly whereas a home (campus) site has hosted five or six games already that year and would be able to provide things like decent locker rooms."



Posted on: January 26, 2012 11:40 am
Edited on: January 26, 2012 12:09 pm
 

Rutgers' Schiano accepts Bucs job

TAMPA, Fla. - Rutgers coach Greg Schiano has accepted the head coaching job with the Tampa Bay Bucs, sources told CBSSports.com.

Schiano was 68-67 in 11 years with Rutgers. He also is a former defensive assistant with the Chicago Bears from 1996-98 and defensive coordinator at Miami from 1999-2000.

Schiano was the second college head coach the Bucs targeted to replace Raheem Morris. The Bucs appeared to have a deal with Oregon coach Chip Kelly, but Kelly changed his mind and decided to stay with Oregon.

Schiano's move to the NFL was stunning, considering it came less than a week before Wednesday's National Signing Day. Although the signings aren't official until Wednesday, the Scarlet Knights were stock piling one of their best recruiting classes in school history.

Before Schiano arrived at Rutgers in 2001, the Scarlet Knights had been to only one bowl game in the program's 135-year history. Under Schiano, Rutgers went to bowls in six of the past seven seasons.

With Schiano gone, look for Rutgers to target Miami's Al Golden and FIU's Mario Cristobal.

Posted on: January 23, 2012 8:49 pm
Edited on: January 24, 2012 4:53 pm
 

Navy to join Big East football in 2015

In December, Navy athletic director Chet Gladchuk told CBSSports.com Navy would be joining the Big East as a football-only member but wasn’t sure when.

The Midshipmen have made that decision.

On Tuesday, Navy will announce it is joining the Big East as a football-only member in 2015, sources told CBSSports.com. After more than 130 years playing as an independent, the Midshipmen will join a conference.

In 2013, the Big East is adding Boise State and San Diego State as football-only members and UCF, Houston and SMU as all sports members, but Gladchuk previously said it was unlikely Navy could solve a myriad of its scheduling problems and television contracts in that short of time. Navy has games scheduled through 2017 and television contracts with CBS Sports Network and CBS Sports (Navy-Army game) through 2018, Gladchuk said.

“We’re breaking away from a lifelong commitment as an independent and we have a better television deal than a lot of conferences,” Gladchuk told CBSSports.com last month. “We can’t do that without a mutual understanding with the Big East. The good news is [Big East commissioner] John [Marinatto] has been receptive of talking this though.”

With the addition of Boise State, San Diego State, Houston, UCF, SMU and Navy and the departures of West Virginia, Syracuse and Pittsburgh, the Big East will have at least 11 football members when Navy comes on board in 2015.

Marinatto has said repeatedly the league is seeking a 12-team football league and there’s a possibility the league could add another football member by the 2013 season, sources said.

“We’re bringing some sizzle to the steak,” Gladchuk said last month about Navy’s move to the Big East. “That’s why we’re excited about the possibility of the Big East and the Big East is excited about us. We (Navy and the Big East) would both like to get to the goal line.”

Air Force and Army also have been targeted by the Big East, but Air Force said it will remain in the Mountain West and Army wants to remain an independent. Gladchuk said the decisions by Air Force and Army not to join the Big East would not have any impact on Navy’s decision.

“The thinking from Colorado Springs is fully removed from Annapolis – there are no tentacles attached,” Gladchuk said. “We’ll make our decision based on what’s best for us.”

Gladchuk has said the league’s stability was important before the Midshipmen would join. The Big East currently is one of the lucrative six automatic qualifying BCS conferences, but there is a possibility the AQ BCS status may not exist when the new BCS cycle begins in 2014.

Gladchuk said last month that was something Navy would consider.

With Navy headed to the Big East in 2015, there remains no definitive answer how long West Virginia will remain in the league. West Virginia, Syracuse and Pittsburgh are all bound by the conference bylaw requiring 27 months notice, the Big East claims.

However, West Virginia has filed a lawsuit to leave and join the Big 12 in 2012, while the Big East also has filed a lawsuit to keep West Virginia from leaving early. Mountaineers athletic director Oliver Luck told CBSSports.com last month WVU still plans to join the Big 12 next season.

A Rhode Island judge has ordered the league and West Virginia into non-binding mediation to try and resolve the lawsuits.

Pittsburgh and Syracuse are scheduled to join the ACC on July 1, 2014 and have given no indication the two schools would not honor the 27-month notice.

Navy’s announcement Tuesday that it will join the Big East also will increase the Big East’s exit fees from $5 million to $10 million if any other current teams leave the league. WVU, Pitt, Syracuse and TCU all had to pay a $5 million exit fee.




Posted on: January 18, 2012 4:32 pm
Edited on: January 18, 2012 4:39 pm
 

Texas A&M, Notre Dame most overrated in 2011

Now that the 2011 college football season is finally completed – Bobby Hebert’s done ranting about Les Miles, right? – let’s take a look at how smart or, make that clueless,  the voters in the Associated Press poll were before the season.

I was one of the 60 voters that participated in the AP poll. Each summer we’re asked to produce a Top 25 out of thin air. And then come January, we discover we’re usually as accurate as a non-fiction piece from James Frey.

Surprisingly, though, this year we did a fairly decent job of predicting the future or, if you prefer, the teams did a decent job of living up to their preseason rankings.

First the good.

We nailed it! Of the AP’s preseason Top 25 teams, three schools – No. 7 Stanford, No. 14 TCU and No. 19 Georgia – finished with the same ranking in the final AP poll.

Missed it by this much: Of the remaining 22 teams ranked in the preseason, we were off by only three spots or less on six schools: Alabama (preseason No. 2, finished No. 1), Oregon (preseason No. 3, finished No. 4), LSU (preseason No. 4, finished No. 2), Boise State (preseason No. 5, finished No. 8), Wisconsin (preseason No. 10, finished No. 11) and South Carolina (preseason No. 12, finished No. 9).

At this point I’d like to mention of the preseason top 19 teams, nearly half (nine) finished within three spots in the final AP rankings. Not bad. Which brings me too …

Wow, were we wrong: Of the remaining 16 teams ranked in the preseason Top 25, nine schools finished in the final Top 25, but were nowhere close to their preseason rankings. No. 1 Oklahoma finished 16th, No. 6 Florida State finished 23rd, No. 9 Oklahoma State finished third, No. 10 Nebraska finished No. 24, No. 13 Virginia Tech finished No. 21, No. 15 Arkansas finished fifth, No. 17 Michigan State finished 11th, No. 24 West Virginia finished No. 17 and No. 25 USC finished No. 6.

That leaves seven schools that were ranked in the preseason Top 25 but plummeted out of the rankings by season’s end because (take your pick) they choked under the pressure of a preseason Top 25 ranking, didn’t deserve to be ranked, were overrated, underachieved or all of the above.

We/they totally blew it: Here they are: the not-so-Magnificent Seven teams that were ranked in the preseason Top 25 but ended the season outside the Top 25. No. 8 Texas A&M, No. 16 Notre Dame, No. 18 Ohio State, No. 20 Mississippi State, No. 21 Missouri, No. 22 Florida and No. 23 Auburn all finished out of the Top 25.

We never saw them coming: There were 48 schools that received at least one vote in the preseason Top 25 poll. Yet, there were four schools that did not receive a single preseason vote that still finished in the final top 25: Baylor (finishing No. 13), Kansas State (finishing No. 15), Clemson (finishing No. 22) and Cincinnati (finishing No. 25).

Three other schools received Top 25 preseason votes and were not in the preseason Top 25 but finished in the AP final poll: No. 12 Michigan, No. 18 Houston and No. 20 Southern Miss.

So who were the biggest surprises and disappointments of 2011? Look no further than the Big 12, which had the nation's two most pleasant surprises in Baylor and Kansas State and the nation's biggest disappointment in Texas A&M.

Based on their AP preseason rankings, the biggest surprises in 2011: Baylor, Kansas State, Clemson (yes, even with the Orange Bowl seal-clubbing), Michigan, Cincinnati, USC and Houston. The biggest disappointments: Texas A&M, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Mississippi State, Florida, Arizona State, Miami, Utah, Iowa, Florida State, N.C. State and Oklahoma.

Listed below are the 48 schools that received a vote in the preseason Top 25 and the difference of how many spots better (+) or worse (-) it finished in the final Top 25 rankings. Following the school is each team’s preseason and final ranking. If a school started unranked and finished unranked, it was considered starting/finishing at No. 49.

Diff School (Pre-Final ranking)
+36 Baylor (NR-13)
+34 Kansas State (NR-15)
+27 Clemson (NR-22)
+26 Michigan (38-12)
+24 Cincinnati (NR-25)
+19 USC (25-6)
+18 Houston (36-18)
+15 Virginia (NR-34)
+11 Southern Miss (31-20)
+13 Northern Illinois (41-28)
+10 Arkansas (15-5)
+7 West Virginia (24-17)
+7 Brigham Young (33-26)
+6 Oklahoma State (9-3)
+6 Michigan State (17-11)
+3 South Carolina (12-9)
+2 LSU (4-2)
+1 Alabama (2-1)
+1 Wisconsin (11-10)
0 Stanford (7-7)
0 TCU (14-14)
0 Georgia (19-19)
-1 Oregon (3-4)
-3 Boise State (5-8)
-3 Nevada (46-NR)
-3 Northwestern (46-NR)
-3 Washington (46-NR)
-4 Auburn (23-27)
-4 Texas (26-30)
-5 Arizona (44-NR)
-5 Maryland (44-NR)
-6 Penn State (27-33)
-6 Tulsa (43-NR)
-8 Virginia Tech (13-21)
-8 Missouri (21-29)
-8 Hawaii (41-NR)
-9 UCF (40-NR) 5
-10 Tennessee (39-NR)
-12 Pittsburgh (37-NR)
-14 Nebraska (10-24)
-14 Air Force (35-NR)
-15 Oklahoma (1-16)
-16 N.C. State (33-NR)
-17 Florida State (6-23)
-17 Iowa (32-NR)
-19 Utah (30-NR) 25
-20 Miami (29-NR)
-21 Arizona State (28-NR)
-27 Florida (22-NR)
-29 Mississippi State (20-NR)
-31 Ohio State (18-NR)
-33 Notre Dame (16-NR)
-41 Texas A&M (8-NR)



Posted on: January 17, 2012 6:10 pm
 

Miami has biggest presence in NFL playoffs

Of the NFL's four teams playing in Sunday's AFC and NFC championships, the University of Miami has the most former players on those teams' rosters and injured reserve.

There are a combined 11 former Hurricanes playing for New England, Baltimore, San Francisco and the New York Giants, followed by five colleges represented by seven players each: Ohio State, Oregon, Pittsburgh, Rutgers and Texas.
Posted on: January 9, 2012 11:24 pm
Edited on: January 9, 2012 11:25 pm
 

Alabama, LSU, Okla State top my AP ballot

NEW ORLEANS – Based on Alabama’s dominating performance in Monday night’s BCS title game, the Crimson Tide are ranked No. 1 on my final Associated Press ballot.

Alabama (12-1) was ranked No. 3 on my final regular season ballot, but the Tide were impressive enough to leap LSU and Oklahoma State. LSU (13-1) may have had the most impressive regular season in college football history, but I only ranked the Tigers No. 2

Despite Oklahoma State’s victory against Stanford in the Fiesta Bowl, I dropped the Cowboys from No. 2 to No. 3. Their victory wasn’t dominating enough for me to keep Oklahoma State (12-1) in my top two.

Here is my final AP ballot for 2011. Last week’s rankings in parenthesis.
 
1. Alabama (3)
The Crimson Tide finished 12-1, defeating LSU in the BCS title game.

2. LSU (1)
The Tigers finished 13-1, losing to Alabama in the BCS title game.

3. Oklahoma State (2)
The Cowboys finished 12-1, defeating Stanford 41-38 in overtime in the Fiesta Bowl.

4. Oregon (4)
The Ducks finished 12-2, defeating Wisconsin 45-38 in the Rose Bowl.

5. Boise State (6)
The Broncos finished 12-1, defeating Arizona State 56-24 in Las Vegas Bowl.

6. Arkansas (8)
The Razorbacks finished 11-2, defeating Kansas State 29-16 in the Cotton Bowl.

7. USC (9)
The Trojans finished 10-2 and were not eligible for a bowl game.

8. Stanford (5)
The Cardinal finished 11-2, losing to Oklahoma State 41-38 in overtime in the Fiesta Bowl.

9. South Carolina (10)
The Gamecocks finished 11-2, defeating Nebraska 30-13 in the Capital One Bowl.

10. Wisconsin (7)
The Badgers finished 11-3, losing to Oregon 45-38 in the Rose Bowl.

11. Michigan (12)
The Wolverines finished 11-2, defeating Virginia Tech 23-20 in overtime in the Sugar Bowl.

12. Michigan State (15)
The Spartans finished 11-3, defeating Georgia 33-30 in triple overtime in the Outback Bowl.

13. Baylor (13)
The Bears finished 10-3, defeating Washington 67-56 in the Alamo Bowl.

14. TCU (17)
The Horned Frogs finished 11-2, defeating Louisiana Tech 31-24 in the Poinsettia Bowl.

15. Georgia (16)
The Bulldogs finished 10-4, losing to Michigan State 33-30 in triple overtime in the Outback Bowl.

16. Oklahoma (20)
The Sooners finished 10-3, defeating Iowa 31-14 in the Insight Bowl.

17. Kansas State (11)
The Wildcats finished 10-3, losing to Arkansas 29-16 in the Cotton Bowl.

18. West Virginia (24)
The Mountaineers finished 10-3, defeating Clemson 70-33 in the Orange Bowl.

19. Florida State (19)
The Seminoles finished 9-4, defeating Notre Dame 18-14 in the Champs Sports Bowl.

20. Southern Miss (21)
The Golden Eagles finished 12-2, defeating Nevada 24-17 in the Hawaii Bowl.

21. Houston (22)
The Cougars finished 12-1, defeating Penn State 30-14 in the Ticket City Bowl.

22. Nebraska (18)
The Cornhuskers finished 9-4, losing to South Carolina 30-13 in the Capital One Bowl.

23. Clemson (14)
The Tigers finished 10-4, losing to West Virginia 70-33 in the Orange Bowl.

24. Virginia Tech (23)
The Hokes finished 11-3, losing to Michigan 23-20 in overtime in the Sugar Bowl.

25. Cincinnati (NR)
The Bearcats finished 10-3, defeating Vanderbilt 31-24 in the Liberty Bowl.



Posted on: January 9, 2012 2:34 pm
Edited on: January 9, 2012 2:36 pm
 

USF DC Snyder headed to Texas A&M

NEW ORLEANS - South Florida defensive coordinator Mark Snyder is leaving to become Texas A&M's defensive coordinator, sources told CBSSports.com.

Footballscoop.com first reported Snyder's departure.

Snyder joins the staff at Texas A&M under new coach Kevin Sumlin. Snyder spent the past two seasons as USF's defensive coordinator and linebackers coach. Before that, he was head coach at Marshall for five seasons from 2005-09 and an assistant for seven seasons at Ohio State and Minnesota.



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