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Category:NCAAF
Posted on: May 10, 2010 10:00 pm
Edited on: May 11, 2010 10:10 am
 

Video Podcast: Big Ten expansion

Earlier Monday a report came out from a Kansas City radio station that the Big Ten had extended initial offers to Nebraska, Missouri, Notre Dame and Rutgers.

Rutgers' athletic director Tim Pernetti released a statement on the report saying: "We are a proud member of the Big East Conference. It is not our place to speculate on any reports on the expansion plans of any other conference." And Nebraska said there has been no offer whatsoever.

So while speculation about the Big Ten continues to flood the message boards and talk radio, Adam Aizer and I got a chance to talk with senior writer Dennis Dodd (Full story) about the report and what to expect next from the hottest topic of the offseason.

Watch it here:

Posted on: May 3, 2010 12:47 pm
Edited on: May 3, 2010 2:54 pm
 

FedEx to no longer sponsor Orange Bowl

Some things go hand in hand, but sadly, FedEx and the Orange Bowl are no longer one of them.

It was reported today that the longest-running sponsorship of a Bowl Championship Series game is over. FedEx first sponsored the game 21 years ago, for the 1989 Orange Bowl between Miami and Nebraska.

According to the Sports Business Journal, FedEx balked at a proposal from ESPN to buy a "lengthy and more expensive college football package." ESPN said it's in active discussions with new sponsors for the Orange Bowl. 

"We are in active discussions around the Orange Bowl, which is a premier property and presents a tremendous marketing opportunity. FedEx remains an important client and we continue to be engaged with them in other areas,” ESPN’s president of customer marketing and sales Ed Erhardt said in a statement e-mailed to Sports Business Journal by ESPN PR.

Category: NCAAF
Tags: ESPN, Orange Bowl
 
Posted on: April 23, 2010 2:06 pm
Edited on: April 23, 2010 4:51 pm
 

Big East, C-USA: Now what?

Future of College Football Graphic: Five Super Conferences

The biggest question in all this expansion talk is what is going to happen to the Big East?

If the Big Ten pulls in Connecticut, Rutgers and Pittsburgh for the Big East, the conference will be down to five teams and on life support to survive. As Dennis Dodd points out, Cincinnati, Syracuse, West Virginia and Louisville would do their best to look elsewhere and most likely join the ACC.

Links

Dodd: Part IV: Variables could spawn revolution

Dodd: Part III: Texas would cause domino effect

Dodd: Part II: A look at the Big Ten Network

Dodd: Part I: The sport will never be the same

That means the Big East basically has two options.

No. 1: Fold. Allow the lone member South Florida to go somewhere else, mostly likely to Conference USA.

No. 2: Scrape together the best teams from Conference USA and the Sun Belt to keep the Big East together.

In scenario No. 1, the Big East would realize that no matter what teams it tries to pull over, it just will never be a major player in the college football/BCS world. So just close up shop and let South Florida to go wherever it could.

With C-USA losing SMU, Houston, Tulsa, UTEP and Tulane, that means it will need to replenish to keep 12 teams and its conference title game. Currently it uses two division -- East and West -- but it's time to change to North and South.

Army and Navy might end up staying as Independents, but why? Join a conference. Now that Notre Dame is gone it's time to do away with the Independents.

New Conference USA
North South
Army Florida Atlantic
East Carolina Florida International
Marshall Southern Miss
Memphis South Florida
Navy UCF
Rice UAB
New teams in bold

Things are a little bit more tricky in the South. Who would C-USA want and why?

Well, South Florida would be an automatic, so it really only needs two teams. Forget adding anybody from the MAC and WAC, so the only choices left are from the Sun Belt.

Florida International in Miami would be high on the list, if for nothing else, because of its location. The school is located in a Top 20 television market, has more than 40,000 students, and the school is doing its best to improve the football program (it just upgraded the stadium).

By taking FIU, that makes Florida Atlantic 60 miles north in Palm Beach County a perfect fit for a travel partner in other sports. The Owls also are building a new stadium.

I'm not sure the other schools would be attractive enough for C-USA to invite. Even though Troy has had the most success football wise, it has a major downside of being in a city of less than 15,000 people.

Louisiana-Lafayette does offer the conference a chance to get back int the state of Louisiana and the city is one of the largest of all the Sun Belt schools, but FAU and FIU are more attractive on a broader scale.

Now let's talk about scenario No. 2:

The Big East decides it can stay together by pulling some of the larger teams from Conference USA and Sun Belt. So here is what an eight-team conference would look like.

New Big East New C-USA/Sun Belt
South Florida Marshall
East Carolina UAB
UCF Rice
Memphis Southern Miss
Florida Atlantic Troy
Florida International Middle Tennessee
Navy La.-Monroe
Army La.-Lafayette
  Arkansas State
  North Texas
  Western Kentucky
  Georgia State (future)

Again, not much to work with, but the conference does get Memphis, UCF, East Carolina, the two Florida schools (FAU and FIU) and two military academies (Army and Navy). Is it strong enough to pull an automatic BCS bid? Doubtful.

Plus this creates another problem. Does the Big East invite all these schools to play basketball? No offense, but adding Florida International and its 5,000-seat gym, to play basketball and hosting games against Georgetown isn't very inticing. This would have to be a football-move only.

As for Conference USA and the Sun Belt, they would have no choice but to join forces. Conference USA would be left with only four schools, while the Sun Belt has seven. It would need one more school to get back to 12 and preserve a conference title game.

It's far-fetched and definitely something down the road, but Georgia State starts football in FCS (I-AA) this season and would be a perfect fit as the 12th school.

Located in downtown Atlanta with more than 30,000 students, the Panthers would be a nice addition to the C-USA/Sun Belt Conference.

Posted on: April 1, 2010 12:24 pm
 

Purple turf coming to LSU?

The folks in the LSU athletic department are having a little fun this April Fools' Day.

On the cover of their website, LSUSports.net, there is a story about Tiger Stadium switching to purple turf for the 2010 season!

This wouldn't seem out of the realm of possibility would it? We have blue turf in Boise and Eastern Washington is trying to install red turf. But purple turf? Imagine those night games at LSU with the team wearing purple uniforms. The opponents would have a hell of time trying to play defense.

From the LSU official release:

"This wasn't just a knee-jerk reaction," Marcus Davidson, Assistant to the Associate in the Office of Athletic Branding, said. "It was a perfect storm of factors.  Not only will field maintenance be easier for our grounds crew, but being able to project purple and gold to a national television audience is an opportunity for branding that will make Tiger Stadium the greatest place to watch a sporting event in the world."

For you Seinfeld fans, you'll be happy to know that Art Vandalay, the President and CEO of Vandalay Industries, will be installing the new turf. (I thought Vandalay was an architect, not a turf installer).

 "We've been speaking on the virtues of colored turf for years at various conventions and we finally have the perfect partner in LSU. The field is going to be amazing. Although we have never done a project with our turf on anything more than municipal parks, we are confident that 'Tiger Turf' is going to be a staple of all collegiate athletic fields.  The possibilities are endless.  I see a future where grass will cease to exist."  

Good stuff LSU, very creative.


Category: NCAAF
Posted on: March 30, 2010 2:59 pm
Edited on: March 30, 2010 3:50 pm
 

Week-by-Week in SEC Football

Sure the games are tentative and we are months from the start of the season, but that won't stop me from breaking down week-by-week of what to watch for in the SEC.

Sept. 4: Opening weekend of the season. If you want to get excited about Alabama playing San Jose State or Florida vs. Miami (Ohio), go ahead, but I'll be watching LSU vs. North Carolina in the Kickoff Classic in Atlanta. LSU's offense was horrendous last season, while North Carolina's defense was one of the best. So with Jordan Jefferson having a full season under his belt at quarterback, things have to get better for the Tigers, right? North Carolina is one of my teams to watch as it returns a ton of starters and will ranked in the preseason Top 20.

Sept. 11: Two huge out-of-conference matchups highlight this huge day in sports. Not only do we have Michigan at Notre Dame, Stanford at UCLA, Florida State at Oklahoma, Miami at Ohio State, but three key games involving SEC schools. No. 1 -- Oregon at Tennessee: Pac-10 vs. SEC matchups don't happen very often. Can Oregon put offseason issues behind them or will Derek Dooley earn his first big win as coach? No. 2 -- South Florida at Florida: Last year when USF beat Florida State they put up billboards claiming it is now part of the Big Four. Is this the year USF shocks the Gators in The Swamp? John Brantley's first real test. No. 3: The biggest of them all -- Penn State at Alabama: These two teams have had some epic history. The 1979 Sugar Bowl and 1989 blocked field goal game come to mind. The teams haven't played since 1990, so expect this to be one of the biggest games of the year.

Sept. 18: Florida at Tennessee. Urban Meyer vs. Lane Kiff ... Oh what could have been a great rivalry between the two coaches. Either way this one is always huge. Both schools and fans don't like each other very much no matter who is coaching. Two other games to watch ... Arkansas at Georgia. Last year's game was won by Georgia 52-41. Ryan Mallett's first really big game of the season to see how legit the Razorbacks will be this year. Clemson at Auburn: For two schools only four hours apart this will be the first time they meet in the regular season since 1971. ACC vs. SEC is always fun.

Sept. 25: West Virginia at LSU. It's hard to believe, but these two schools have never played each other. By this point, we'll know how good LSU is and if it can be a real contender in the SEC. This will be the Mountaineers real first game. Gotta love those LSU night games with the hostile crowd welcoming in the opponents. Make sure you are in front of the TV for this one. Alabama at Arkansas: If the Razorbacks get past Georgia, this one will be their biggest game of the season, especially since they get the defending champions at home.

Oct. 2: Florida at Alabama: Seven of the last 11 times these teams have met was in the SEC Championship game, but the two haven't played in Tuscaloosa since 2005. Could be a conference title game preview. If both teams are ranked in the Top 10, this might end up as one of the games of the year in college football. Tennessee at LSU: Another classic east vs. west division matchup. The last three games have been classic -- Tennessee 30-27 (2005); LSU 28-24 (2006) and LSU 21-14 (2007). At this point, we'll know if either team has a chance to win the SEC.

Oct. 9: LSU at Florida: Another huge West vs. East division game. LSU has lost three of the last four in the series, including last year's 13-3 game in Baton Rouge. This is a tougher task for the Tigers as they go to Gainesville, but expect this game to be another classic matchup.

Oct. 16: Mississippi State at Florida: With the Bulldogs on the up swing and only losing 29-19 last year, this could be the year Mississippi State gives the Gators a real run for its money ... or it could be a 42-10 blowout by the Gators.

Oct. 23: Alabama at Tennessee: Remember last year's 12-10 win by Alabama that featured two blocked field goals? Get ready for another defensive battle, this time the Vols get the defending champs at home. Georgia at Kentucky: The Wildcats shocked Georgia 34-27 in Athens last year, so this game has a little more meaning than a usual SEC matchup. Georgia would love a little payback, while Kentucky looks to cap a three-game home stretch (Auburn on the Oct. 9 and South Carolina on Oct. 16).

Oct. 30: Florida vs. Georgia. It doesn't matter what the records are or who is playing at quarterback, get to Jacksonville to experience The World's Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party.

Nov. 6: Alabama at LSU: At this point of the season, we'll know who is challenging Alabama in the West. Arkansas? Auburn? Or LSU? If it's LSU, get ready for an epic SEC game.

Nov. 13: Georgia at Auburn: Auburn's final home game of the season before it takes on Alabama. While this is Georgia's last road game before it gets Georgia Tech at home the final week. Georgia has won four in a row in the series, including 31-24 at Athens last year.

Nov. 20: South Carolina at Troy: Troy loves taking on SEC teams, but usually is on the losing end. But this time, the Trojans get South Carolina at home and just might be able to pull off the upset. Also if South Carolina loses this one and is sitting at 6-5, get ready for the "Fire Steve Spurrier" chants.

Nov. 26: Auburn at Alabama: The annual Iron Bowl is always one of the best traditions in college football. No explanation needed.

Posted on: February 3, 2010 6:36 pm
 

Look out Mountain West, here comes TCU


It looks like TCU is benefiting from its great season. The Fort Worth Star-Telegram has a nice story on the Horned Frogs class this year.

The Horned Frogs landed 19 recruits, inlcuding 17 from the state of Texas. But the biggest name is from Louisiana. Defensive back Curtis Carter is a four-star athlete that orginally committed to Nebraska. That's a great find for a defense that will lose five starters after next season.

Bleacher Report: Did TCU finally land a good class?



Posted on: February 3, 2010 2:47 pm
 

Oklahoma doing it up big

Big time schools treat National Signing Day like a national holiday, especially at Oklahoma.

At SoonerSports.com, you can get everything you wanted to know about all their recruits. The site has bios and video for every player that has signed today.

According the NormanTranscript.com, the Sooners have received 27 letters of intent from the 27 players who had pledged oral commitments. Things are going well in Norman for a class that will most definitely be in the Top 10 by every recruiting service in the nation.

You can watch Oklahoma's Signing Day press conference today at 4 p.m. ET on CBS College Sports XXL.

For thousands of live and on-demand videos from over 120 schools around the country, sign up for CBS College Sports XXL.
Posted on: February 3, 2010 2:08 pm
Edited on: February 3, 2010 3:19 pm
 

Michigan on the way back up?

The Rich Rodriguez era hasn't been kind to Michigan fans, but things might be changing in Ann Arbor.

MaxPreps.com sees a big class is coming with three Top 100 players slated and a potential Top 10 recruiting class despite losing Sean Parker to Washington. Parker one of the top cornerbacks in the nation, surprised everybody by choosing the Huskies.

The best news of the day was signing Demar Dorsey. One of the best defensive backs in the country was deciding between Florida State, Michigan and USC.

Bleacher Report: Washington scores with Parker

Meanwhile, if you can't get enough Michigan news, The Detroit Free Press is blogging live.

You can watch Michigan's Signing Day press conference today at 3 p.m. ET on CBS College Sports XXL.

For thousands of live and on-demand videos from over 120 schools around the country, sign up for CBS College Sports XXL.
 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com