Tag:West Virginia
Posted on: October 18, 2011 10:25 am
Edited on: October 18, 2011 2:43 pm
 

Big East talks expansion; contacts UH, SMU

Officials at Houston and SMU have both been contacted by Big East commissioner John Marinatto and have been told the league wants to discuss with them further about joining the league, sources told CBSSports.com.

The Houston Chronicle reported Monday night that Houston had been extended an invitation. However, league sources said no official invitations have been extended to any teams. The Big East also released a statement Saturday that no invitations have been extended.

On Tuesday afternoon, Marinatto held a media teleconference, but would not identify specific schools but did admit he's had preliminary discussions with several schools.

Those schools are Boise State, Navy, Air Force, UCF, Houston and SMU, sources said.

Marinatto said he's confident the Big East will remain an automatic qualifying BCS conference when the new cycle begins in 2014 and didn't provide a timetable on adding teams to replace TCU, Pittsburgh and Syracuse.

"Stay tuned," he said. "We're not rushing ourselves to meet anyone's deadline. The sooner, the better."

Marinatto reiterated that the Big East would not allow Pittsburgh or Syracuse to leave the league early and must honor the 27-month exit agreement. Pitt and Syracuse will remain in the Big East through June 30, 2014, meaning the Big East could have a 14-team football league in 2013 if necessary, Marinatto said.

A college football industry source indicated the fact the ACC has to wait until then is not a big deal to the league. "It just gives the ACC more time to get organized and get their schedules set," the source said.

On Monday night, the Big East’s presidents and chancellors voted unanimously to increase the league’s exit fee to $10 million, but the increased fee is contingent on either Navy or Air Force joining the league as football only members, sources told CBSSports.com.

Marinatto confirmed the increase in the exit fee, but would not identify the school that would trigger the increased exit fee.

The increased exit fees from $5 million to $10 million for the football schools were something Navy and Air Force wanted before committing to the Big East.

"I don't think anyone will be blindsided or feel bushwhacked when this process is complete," Marinatto said.

Navy, Air Force and Boise State are interested to joining the Big East because of the league's automatic qualifying BCS status, but wanted a bigger financial commitment from the remaining members (Cincinnati, UConn, Louisville, Rutgers, South Florida and West Virginia).

Sources said Houston and SMU – along with UCF – are prepared to accept an invitation to join the Big East as all sports members once an official invitation is extended.

UCF met with Marinatto and other Big East representatives in Cincinnati on Friday. Boise State officials spoke via telephone with the Big East on Thursday.

Marinatto is in the process of scheduling a meeting with Houston and SMU officials in the coming days in New York, sources said.

The Big East wants to get to 12 football teams with the addition of Navy, Air Force and Boise State as football-only members and Houston, SMU and UCF as all-sports members.

However, the Big East still could lose a school if Missouri leaves for the SEC. The New York Times reported Monday night that Missouri’s departure from the Big 12 to the SEC is “inevitable and imminent.” If so, the Big 12 could target either Louisville or West Virginia or even add both teams. BYU also remains an expansion candidate for the Big 12.

Marinatto said the Big East would move quickly in expanding and "is not going to pause" and wait on "the Missouri situation."

Marinatto also said he has not been contacted by any other conferences interested in any Big East schools since TCU left for the Big 12. When the league gets to 12 schools, Marinatto said it's a possibility the Big East could hold its football championship game in New York, similar to the Big East basketball tournament.

Posted on: October 17, 2011 9:25 pm
Edited on: October 17, 2011 9:46 pm
 

Big East fee increase depends on Navy, Air Force

The Big East’s presidents and chancellors voted unanimously Monday night to increase the league’s exit fee to $10 million, but the increased fee is contingent on Navy and Air Force joining the league as football only members, sources told CBSSports.com.

The increase in exit fees from $5 million to $10 million is expected to increase the probability of adding Navy and Air Force as football-only members. Both schools are receptive to joining the Big East, but wanted a bigger financial commitment from the remaining members (Cincinnati, UConn, Louisville, Rutgers, South Florida and West Virginia).

Sources with knowledge of Monday's teleconference also said that there is no timetable to issue invitations. The Big East previously had indicated a desire to get to 12 football members after losing TCU to the Big 12 and Pittsburgh and Syracuse to the ACC.

Less than an hour before the Big East’s presidents and chancellors held their teleconference Monday night with Commissioner John Marinatto, the New York Times reported Missouri’s departure from the Big 12 to the SEC was “inevitable and imminent.”

That development would have a significant impact on the league, specifically Big East members Louisville and West Virginia, who sources have told CBSSports.com are prime candidates to receive a Big 12 invitation if Missouri left. However, all of the Big East’s 14 members still voted unanimously for the increased exit fee Monday night.

Besides Navy and Air Force, the Big East also has had conversations with Boise State about becoming a football-only member and with UCF about joining as an all sports member.

As of Saturday, the Big East “felt confident about their discussions with Boise State,” a college football industry source told CBSSports.com.

“That’s the most important factor, the stability of the core membership,” Navy athletic director Chet Gladchuk told CBSSports.com Monday night.

Gladchuk said that the possibility of adding Boise State was significant in Navy’s decision making process. “Absolutely,” Gladchuk said. “Anything that helps stabilize the Big East’s automatic BCS berth.”

Boise State president Bob Kustra told the Idaho Statesman Saturday the Broncos have notified the Mountain West Conference that it is definitely staying or leaving the league.

“If by some strange chance somebody came to us and said we’d like to invite you to join our conference, I’d have to say, ‘Well, you’ll have to give us time to do our due diligence and really spend the time on it.’ We’re not ready,” Kustra told the Statesman. “I have no idea how fast or slow this whole process is going to move.”

Last week Boise State coach Chris Petersen said he was not concerned about the extra travel that would be required by competing in the Big East.

“For us, it’s not that big of a deal (with) how we travel,” Petersen told the Statesman. “You get on a plane, you charter. You’re in and out. You’re on a plane four hours instead of two. Whatever. All that’s doable.

“Do all the other things make sense? And I think that, don’t kid yourself, these guys (Kustra and interim athletic director Curt Apsey) are all over it. They’re analyzing everything.”

UCF is ready to join the Big East, multiple sources told CBSSports.com, and is just awaiting an official invitation to the league.

UCF officials met with Marinatto and other Big East representatives Friday in Cincinnati. “We were very impressed with them,” a league source said. “It went well. I can’t imagine it dragging out too long with them.”

The league also is targeting Houston and SMU as potential all-sports members to get to 12 football members. If the Big East lost any schools to the Big 12 or other conferences, the next likely candidates the Big East would pursue would be Temple and East Carolina.
Posted on: October 17, 2011 7:25 pm
Edited on: October 17, 2011 8:58 pm
 

Big 12 on Mizzou move to SEC: "Wait and see"

Missouri's departure from the Big 12 to the SEC is "inevitable and imminent," the New York Times reported Monday night, but Big 12 interim commissioner Chuck Neinas told CBSSports.com's Dennis Dodd "I guess we'll wait and see."

"I have not heard anything different," Neinas told CBSSports.com. "I really have no comment. I have not heard anything. I have not read the New York Times story. That's all I can tell you."

The Times, quoting a college official with direct knowledge of the situation, said no specific timetable has been set. However, Missouri’s Board of Curators will meet on Thursday in Kansas City, Mo., where the process of withdrawing from the Big 12 and applying to the SEC is expected to begin, the Times reported.

Neinas told Dodd he understood the Board of Curators meeting were "regularly scheduled meetings, not a special meeting," Neinas said. "They're looking for a new systems president."

On Saturday, Oklahoma State president Burns Hargis told CBSSports.com Big 12 officials did not know whether Missouri would stay in the Big 12.

Hargis also told CBSSports.com the league's presidents would engage in "serious conversations" in the next two weeks whether to remain at 10 schools or return to 12 schools. Oklahoma State and Oklahoma prefer 12 members, while Texas prefers 10 members. However, officials from all three schools stress they just want the best model that assures long-term stability.

Neinas said recently that Missouri would remain in the league in 2012, no matter what the Tigers decision was regarding the SEC. However, a source told CBSSports.com last week that it was still "very possible" if Missouri left the Big 12, it could begin play in the SEC next season along with Texas A&M.

Neinas said last week he told SEC commissioner Mike Slive “if you’re going to extend an invitation to Missouri please let me know.”

Missouri's decision to leave for the SEC could have a major impact on the Big East Conference, whose presidents and chancellors were scheduled to hold an 8 p.m. teleconference to approve an increase in its exit fees from $5 million to $10 million.

Louisville and West Virginia would be leading candidates for the Big 12, but league sources told CBSSports.com Monday afternoon both schools would support increasing the league's exit fees. That was, however, before the Times' report Monday night that Missouri was headed to the SEC.



Posted on: October 11, 2011 1:50 pm
 

Big East plotting football, hoops divisions

Officials from what’s left of the Big East’s dwindling football membership had another conference call on Tuesday morning and there remains no specific timetable on adding UCF, but “appears an invitation is forthcoming” for the Knights, the league’s No. 1 target.

The presidents, chancellors and athletic directors continued to discuss potential expansion candidates. Among those mentioned were UCF, Air Force, Navy, Temple, Houston, SMU and Boise State, a league source told CBSSports.com.

While Commissioner John Marinatto said in a statement Monday the league would consider a model with 12 football members, part of Tuesday’s call was discussing the possibility of splitting the football and basketball conference into divisions, once the football side is replenished.

Navy, Air Force and Boise State are being considered as football members only, while UCF, Temple, Houston and SMU are at the top of the list as all-sports members so it’s unknown right now how large the basketball membership could grow.

The Newark Star-Ledger reported one proposed alignment discussed at Tuesday’s meeting consisted of Rutgers, UConn, South Florida, UCF, Temple and Navy in an East Division with West Virginia, Louisville, Cincinnati, Air Force, SMU and Houston in a West Division.

However, there remains the very real possibility Louisville and West Virginia may not be in the league and bound for the Big 12 if Missouri leaves for the SEC or the Big 12 expands to 12 teams.

What make Temple, SMU and Houston attractive to the Big East, one source said, is their respective television markets. Philadelphia (Temple) is the nation’s No. 4 market, Dallas (SMU) is No. 5 and Houston is No. 10.

Beyond Navy, Air Force and UCF, a league source said “no one team is definitely next” as an expansion candidate.

There also appears to be conflicting opinions on pursuing Boise State. Some league members support adding Boise State because of the Broncos’ recent success, which would help the league with its future BCS status. However, others believe Boise State, located nearly 700 miles west of Air Force and nearly 2,200 miles from Tampa/USF, is simply too far to consider.

Boise State president Bob Kustra said in a statement Monday that the Broncos “are looking forward to their inaugural season” in the Mountain West Conference and he “has great confidence in the future direction of the Mountain West.”

“While we are certainly flattered to be mentioned in connection with other conferences and we hold those leagues in high regard, our current focus is on continuing to build the outstanding athletic programs that have helped make Boise State a popular and compelling national brand," Kustra said.

“The landscape of college athletics is exceptionally fluid, and we are continuing to monitor the situation. We are confident that Boise State will be well positioned for future success, and we will evaluate our status with the best interests of the entire university in mind. Boise State’s athletic achievements, academic and research successes, popularity, and vision for future growth make the university an extremely valuable conference partner.”

A league source also told CBSSports.com that Army is no longer being considered as a candidate by the Big East. “They’ve been honest with us and that they’re not interested because of the challenges they had previously in Conference USA,” the source said.

Army was in C-USA from 1998-2004. The Cadets were 9-41 in C-USA play and finished last in the league five of the seven seasons.

Posted on: October 11, 2011 11:04 am
Edited on: October 11, 2011 11:21 am
 

Big 12 commish: league will be 10 teams in 2012

Big 12 interim commissioner Chuck Neinas said Tuesday his league will give Missouri as much time as it needs – until the end of this academic year, if necessary – to make a decision whether to remain in the Big 12 or leave for the SEC. 

“There’s no timetable,” Neinas said. “Everything is in place. We’re preparing for 2012. We’ll see what occurs.”

Neinas said he has had recent decisions with SEC commissioner Mike Slive. Neinas said he told Slive “if you’re going to extend an invitation to Missouri please let me know.” 

Neinas also said no matter what decision Missouri makes, the Big 12 would be a 10-team league in 2012 - with Missouri and new member TCU

"If Missouri is going to change horses (conferences), it won't be for 2012 anyway," Neinas said.

Whether the Big 12 eventually grows to 12 teams, there has been no decision made, Neinas said. 

“There is no consensus from conference members on going to 10 or 12 members,” Neinas said.

Neinas added there was some support last month for staying at nine teams (if Missouri left for the SEC), but that was no longer the thinking about league members. 

“The idea (with or without Missouri) would be (for the Big 12 membership) 10 or 12 teams,” Neinas said. “It won’t be 16.”

The decision to expand to 12 would have a big impact on the Big East. Sources have told CBSSports.com that Louisville is the top candidate of the Big 12 if the league adds one member and if it expands by more than one, West Virginia is another strong candidate. 

Neinas did not discuss any potential expansion candidates on Tuesday’s conference call.

He did say, however, that an Associated Press report that Missouri could make $12 million more annually in a 14-team SEC was not accurate. 

“They (a 14-team SEC) would have to increase their television revenue by $168 million,” Neinas said.

The Big 12’s interim commissioner said Missouri reacted “favorably” to the addition of TCU. He also added Texas will continue to have a nationally televised Thanksgiving game, but with Texas A&M gone to the SEC, the Longhorns’ opponent for future seasons has not been determined. It, in all likelihood, will not be against TCU, Neinas said.

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 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 24, 2011 11:49 pm
Edited on: September 24, 2011 11:52 pm
 

LSU pulls away from West Virginia

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – Officially, the nation’s No. 1 team resides in Norman, Okla., and has ever since the preseason Associated Press and coaches polls debuted last month.

However, the folks in Baton Rouge feel they have a pretty good argument. Especially after LSU’s latest victory, 47-21, at No. 16 West Virginia Saturday night. 

The Tigers (4-0) are the nation’s only team that has played three ranked teams in their first four games. LSU has defeated No. 3 Oregon 40-27 and won at No. 25 Mississippi State 19-6 and nearly hit half-a-hundred at West Virginia. None of those games were at home.

It was the most points allowed at home in regulation by West Virginia since allowing 48 to Maryland in 2002. 

The Tigers were badly outgained – again – but won handedly. The defense allowed more than 500 yards, yet LSU won comfortably.

In the third quarter alone West Virginia racked up 231 yards (by comparison, LSU allowed only 193 the entire game at Mississippi State), but LSU was too resilient. 

After Dustin Garrison’s 1-yard run pulled West Virginia within 27-21 with 1:16 remaining in the third, the capacity crowd of 62,056 at Milan Puskar Stadium was rocking.

The Mountaineers, trying to make a statement for the beleaguered Big East, had rallied from a 27-7 deficit.

On the ensuing kickoff, LSU’s Maurice Claiborne ended WVU’s upset hopes, racing 99 yards, putting the Tigers back up 34-21. 

LSU added a pair of fourth quarter touchdowns in cruising to its 36th consecutive non-conference victory, the nation’s longest current streak.

Next up for LSU: a home gimmie against Kentucky on Saturday, followed by a visit from nationally ranked Florida on Oct. 8.

Is LSU the most fortunate team in America or the best? The Tigers might just be both.


Category: NCAAF
 
 
 
 
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