Tag:Big East
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 10:45 pm
 

Sources: Big East contacts UCF

The Big East Conference contacted the University of Central Florida on Monday, perhaps setting the stage for the Knights to join the league, Big East and college football industry sources told CBSSports.com.

The Big East, which announced Monday morning that it would consider a model with 12 football members, expressed interest in UCF, which may lead to a meeting later this week between Big East and UCF officials, an industry source said.

UCF has not received an invitation to join the Big East as an all-sports member, but one could be extended in the coming days. The Big East is looking to replace TCU, which was announced Monday as the newest member to the Big 12, and Pittsburgh and Syracuse, which are headed to the ACC.

Big East commissioner John Marinatto also contacted Conference USA commissioner Britton Banowsky about the Big East’s interest in the Knights, Boston.com reported.

After a brief two-year stint in the Mid-American Conference, UCF has been in Conference USA since 2005. The Knights, 3-2 this season, have been to bowl games in four of their six seasons in C-USA, winning the league title in 2007 and 2010. They went 11-3 last season, defeating Georgia in the Liberty Bowl.

The Knights have lobbied publicly and privately for Big East membership for several years and would jump at the chance to join the league. UCF coach George O’Leary told me last season he thought the Knights “would be a great candidate” for the Big East.

“When you look at the school size, facilities, academics, the weather and the (nation's No. 19) TV market is something that Orlando brings,” O’Leary said last year. “There are a lot of major plusses why UCF would be considered. The big thing is all we can do is win, continue to do the things we need to do and all the other things will take care of itself.

“Obviously I think we have everything in place to move.”

The Big East is guaranteed to remain an automatic qualifying BCS conference through the 2013 season. After that, though, it’s uncertain if the Big East would retain its automatic qualifying status. O’Leary told me it’s imperative for UCF to get into a BCS league.

“No question with the economy, the BCS would solve some problems that way as far as the economy and marketing,” O'Leary said last year. “The TV exposure and recruiting – they (the recruits) want to know if you're a BCS school or not. There are a lot of major plusses just from exposure standpoint.”

On Monday morning, Marinatto released a statement that said the league’s presidents authorized him “to engage in formal discussions with additional institutions” and the league is “considering moving to a model that includes 12 football playing schools.”

The Big East has been pursuing the academies – Navy, Air Force and Army – for years. A league source said Monday night the Big East believes Army was a “long shot” to join the league, but 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."

On Saturday, Air Force athletic director Hans Mueh told the Denver Post “our interest is high in the Big East.”

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: October 6, 2011 11:11 am
Edited on: October 6, 2011 4:27 pm
 

TCU to join Big 12 in 2012-13

TCU will accept an invitation to join the Big 12 Conference for the 2012-13 school year, college football industry sources told CBSSports.com.

Multiple TCU sources told CBSSports.com "it's a done deal." 

TCU was scheduled to join the Big East on July 1, 2012, but instead will join the Big 12. By leaving the Big East before it officially became a member, the Horned Frogs will have to pay a $5 million exit fee but is not bound by the Big East’s 27-month requirement for notification.

TCU chancellor Victor J. Boschini told the Big East Thursday morning that the school has scheduled a board of regents meeting for later in the day.

The addition of TCU to the Big 12 replaces Texas A&M, which is headed to the SEC.

"We’re proud that TCU has been invited to join the Big 12," Texas athletic director DeLoss Dodds said in a statement. "Their commitment to academics and success on the field make them an excellent fit. With a solid budget and strong financial support, they have been proactive at improving facilities. Their close proximity to all conference institutions makes for a comfortable travel situation."

The Big 12 still must determine if it wants 10 or 12 members. Tuesday, Missouri gave chancellor Brady Deaton the authority to pursue its options about joining another conference.

Sources told CBSSports.com that if Missouri stays in the Big 12, the league likely would stay at 10 schools, including TCU. However, if Missouri leaves for the SEC -- and the Birmingham News reported Missouri currently does not have unanimous support -- the Big 12 likely would add three more schools to get to 12. The leading candidates would be Louisville, BYU, West Virginia, Cincinnati and Tulane.

The loss of TCU is another blow to the Big East. The league also lost Pittsburgh and Syracuse to the ACC, but commissioner John Marinatto has said previously the Big East would make Pitt and Syracuse honor the 27-month exit agreement, meaning they couldn't join the ACC until 2014.

Without TCU, Pittsburgh and Syracuse, the remaining Big East football members are Louisville, West Virginia, Cincinnati, UConn, Rutgers and South Florida.

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
Posted on: September 21, 2011 12:33 am
 

Big East will be aggressive in expansion

Before the Big East’s meeting of the league’s presidents and athletic directors in the Grand Hyatt Hotel in New York, someone noticed a familiar face in the hotel: Henry Kissinger.

“Someone joked, he should come up here,” Big East commissioner John Marinatto told CBSSports.com.

However, the former Secretary of State wasn’t needed on Tuesday night – three days after the sudden announcement that Pittsburgh and Syracuse would depart the Big East –when the presidents and athletic directors of the seven remaining Big East football-playing schools gathered.

The league “will be aggressive” in replacing Pittsburgh and Syracuse and the Big East will continue talks with Navy and Air Force as football-only members, an official in the meeting told CBSSports.com. On Tuesday, CBSSports.com reported that Big East was in the final stages of adding Navy as a football-only member before Pitt and Syracuse abruptly left for the ACC. Air Force also was expected to come on board.

Marinatto would not discuss specific expansion candidates, but said “there’s no urgency to expand. We don’t need to make a quick decision. We need to make the right decision.”

Another official that attended the meeting said the league’s members made a commitment to work and stay together.

“It went well,” the official said. “I think those schools that thought they were going somewhere now realize they have no where to go.”

There have been multiple reports than UConn and Rutgers are interested in the ACC. The Newark-Star Ledger also reported Rutgers “had discussions” with the Big Ten. West Virginia also hoped to go to the ACC or SEC, but both leagues indicated they were not interested in the Mountaineers, CBSSports.com reported.

“Part of the purpose of the meeting was getting everyone’s commitment,” Marinatto said. “At some point, you have to take people at their word.”

The presidents and athletic directors from Cincinnati, UConn, Louisville, Rutgers, South Florida, TCU and West Virginia attended the meeting. Marinatto said the membership discussed increasing the withdrawal fee from $5 million.

“I don’t know if there’s a price you can put on for breaking your word and lying,” Marinatto said. “That’s priceless. I don’t know high enough of a figure to charge for being disloyal or untruthful.”

Marinatto also reiterated that the league plans to make Pitt and Syracuse honor the league’s by-laws, which require 27-month notice to withdraw from the league.

“They are with us until June 30, 2014,” Marinatto said. “I think our membership is firm on that. There is no intention of granting [an early] release.”

Marinatto said he was “hurt and disappointed” about Pitt and Syracuse’s decision to leave the league, especially since both schools kept their dealings with the ACC secret until announcing their departure.

“I don’t want to use words that go over the edge,” Marinatto said. “Let’s just say I was very disappointed.”

Representatives from the Big East’s non-football member schools – DePaul, Georgetown, Marquette, Notre Dame, Providence, St. John’s, Seton Hall and Villanova – were not in attendance. The athletic directors of those schools, with exception of Notre Dame, held a one-hour conference call on Monday morning.

“Everyone was frustrated with the way it [Pitt and Syracuse] went down and the fact no one had any idea Syracuse and Pitt were bailing,” said an official from a Big East’s non-football member school.

That individual added that it appears some of the “basketball schools are willing to leave.”

Marinatto, however, said that he held a conference call with the presidents of the non-football members on Monday.

“I went around the horn and asked each one if they were in support of keeping the conference together,” Marinatto said. “Unanimously they said they support what the football schools want us to do.”

Following the football-member schools meeting, the Big East issued a statement:

“Our membership met this evening and we are committed as a conference to recruit top level BCS caliber institutions with strong athletic and academic histories and traditions. We have been approached by a number of such institutions and will pursue all of our options to make the Big East Conference stronger than it has ever been in both basketball and football.”

Rutgers president Richard McCormick would not comment to the Newark-Star Ledger Tuesday night, but said he felt “very good” about the league’s future. “Certainly from our standpoint.”

The president’s next meeting is scheduled for Oct. 2.


Posted on: September 20, 2011 5:53 pm
Edited on: September 20, 2011 9:47 pm
 

Navy nearly to Big East before Pitt, SU exited

Before the sudden news broke last weekend that Pittsburgh and Syracuse were leaving for the Atlantic Coast Conference, the Big East was in the final stages of acquiring Navy as a football-only member.

No official invitation was extended by the league, but both parties had extensive discussions about Navy joining the league in football only and it very well could have happened in the next couple of weeks, college football industry sources told CBSSports.com.

Besides Navy, the Big East also was targeting Air Force and league sources felt confident both schools would have been Big East members, perhaps within the next year – that is until Pitt and Syracuse announced they were leaving for the ACC.

“Navy is one of the most special things out there, prestige,” said an administrator who would benefit from Navy being in a BCS league. 

“I don't see why Air Force doesn’t fit in a BCS league,” said the same person. “Class, class, class.”

However, with the Big East’s future now in limbo, it’s uncertain if Navy and/or Air Force will remain interested in joining either a Big East without Pitt and Syracuse or a merger of leftover teams from the Big East and Big 12 conferences. That is, in fact, if the Big 12 loses Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Texas and Texas Tech to the Pac-12.

Navy is one of four independents with Army, Notre Dame and BYU, but doesn’t enjoy the automatic qualifying BCS access that Notre Dame does. Navy is in solid shape now with its own television deal, but with the division growing by the second between the automatic qualifying BCS leagues and non-AQ BCS leagues, Navy might feel it has better long-term security in an AQ BCS league.

“There were discussions and dialogues on a number of issues,” said an individual with knowledge of the talks between Navy and the Big East. “The question now is: what is the Big East going to look like in the future? How do they right the ship? I don’t think they even know that.”

Meanwhile, Tuesday night in New York, the league’s presidents and athletic directors from Cincinnati, UConn, Louisville, Rutgers, South Florida, TCU and West Virginia will meet with Big East commissioner John Marinatto to discuss the league’s future.

The meeting is for the league’s decision makers to gather face-to-face and see who wants to be a part of the Big East’s future.

“If they don’t want to be in the league, then they should make their intentions known and leave,” said one league official.

Also on Monday officials from Big East schools and the Big 12 schools proposed meeting Wednesday in Chicago to discuss the possible merger between the conferences. However, it was decided that meeting would that not be held because of legal issues involving both leagues.

UConn and Rutgers have been reported as possible candidates to the ACC, while West Virginia targeted the ACC or SEC, but was notified that neither league was interested.


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