Tag:Texas
Posted on: July 27, 2010 1:27 am
Edited on: July 27, 2010 1:29 am
 

Five things about the Big 12

Five things about the Big 12

1. Coach of the year. For now, it has to be Tommy Tuberville. Texas Tech's new coach was reprimanded for saying what we were all thinking: The Big 12 is not long for this world. On the field, Tubs has to clean up the mess left by Leach. There is plenty of talent -- including Craig James' son who is still on the roster. Tuberville plans to play more defense, tweak the offense and grab the first decent job in the SEC. OK, I added that last one myself. The prediction here is that Tuberville will upset Texas at home, finish second in the South and play in the Cotton Bowl. Reprimand that!

2. Sexiest opening. It might soon be at Oklahoma State where Mike Gundy is feeling a bit of heat. The season ended horribly with a 27-0 loss to Oklahoma and a listless 21-7 bummer against Ole Miss in the Cotton Bowl. A Big 12-low eight starters return. Six of the top seven tacklers are gone too. Mike Leach was seen around the team helping old friend, and new offensive coordinator, Dana Holgorsen install the offense. If Leach ever gets his lawsuit against Texas Tech settled, he would actually make a nice fit in Stillwater. Think of that: A billionaire (Boone Pickens) and a pirate.

3. Once more with feeling. Nebraska is playing its final year in the Big 12 trying to win the league for the first time since 1999. Just as the Huskers are getting back on top, they are departing for the Big Ten. Wonder how that will affect their comeback attempt? Best guess: The competition in the Big Ten will be about even with the Big 12. The absolute best finish for the Huskers would be to play Oklahoma, one last time, in the Big 12 title game. After this season, that conference rivalry goes away. Forever.

4. Oklahoma is OK again. The media picked Oklahoma to win the Big South. More than that, Phil Steele picked Oklahoma to win the national championship in his magazine annual. Strange. Texas just came off playing for the national championship and, at least, has been dominating OU lately. Meanwhile, the Sooners just had seven guys drafted, four in the first round. That, off a team that lost five games. OU No. 1 in the South? Not outrageous but strange.

5. The perfect media gift. The Insight Bowl hat handed out to the media summed up current state of the conference. Upheaval! One side of the hat is adorned with a Big Ten logo (hello, Nebraska!). The other side has a Big 12 logo which, of course, doesn't add up to 12. There is still debate whether to keep the name despite the league having only 10 members. Nebraska and Colorado left this summer.  As for the Insight Bowl itself, it is one of the reasons Missouri felt slighted and started making noise about the Big Ten. Mizzou was supposedly "passed over" by the Insight and played in the Texas Bowl last year where it stunk up the joint losing to Navy.

Posted on: July 21, 2010 10:37 pm
 

SEC expansion fantasy

HOOVER, Ala. -- The conflict, it will be written, started in a small conference room at a Scottsdale, Ariz. resort.

It was on that day in April that Mike Slive, lawyer-turned-revolutionary, calmly unfolded a piece of paper and began reading his manifesto to the assembled media.

"If there is going to be a significant shift in the conference paradigm," Slive began, "the SEC will be strategic and thoughtful to make sure it maintains its position as one of the nation's pre-eminent conferences."

Cool, confident and articulate, the SEC commissioner, fired his warning shot at the Big Ten during the BCS meetings.

College sports stopped short of full-on realignmentmania this summer but Slive's words from that day endure. The point was to get his message across to Big Ten commissioner Jim Delany.

Slive was using his big words that day to issue a short message: If the Big Ten expands beyond 12, the SEC is ready to throw down. The conferences are No. 1 (Big Ten) and No. 2 (SEC) in revenue produced. They didn't get that way by being timid.

The waters are calm for now but when the time comes -- and it will come -- the SEC needs to add these four schools:

Texas: I know, I know. Texas is happy for now. But how long is it going to want to travel to Ames, Iowa and Columbia, Missouri? What Texas wants, Texas gets. Why not access to the SEC riches and recruiting grounds? Arkansas would gain back its natural rival and be able to recruit again in Texas.


Miami: Admit it. The expanded ACC has been a borderline failure in football. The league has arguably lost its position as the nation's best basketball conference.

The SEC would do for Miami what the ACC couldn't. The U still holds that cache as a market (South Florida) and a brand. Get Miami in the SEC and suddenly you turn on that entire South Florida region to the SEC. Think of a conference featuring the Big Three -- Miami, Florida and ...

Florida State: Yeah, that's right. Throw the Seminoles a life line too. Florida State is run like an SEC program anyway. Tallahassee is as Deep South as it gets.

Think of Alabama, LSU and Tennessee coming through Tally on a regular basis. Florida already does. There were 17,000 empty seats (at least) at Doak last year for the Maryland game. It would never happen again.

FSU needs to become a superpower again. It isn't going to happen in the sleepy ACC.

Georgia Tech: A natural rival of Georgia and former SEC member (1933-63), Tech is the easiest fit in this scenario.

It has always been sort of awkward for the Jackets to playing in the ACC in the traditional center of the SEC, Atlanta. Recruiting would definitely improve. Imagine Tech being able to go head-to-head with Georgia in recruiting. Imagine Tech beating Georgia and being able to stay home in the SEC championship game.

Imagine Tech's academics classing up the SEC.

All this a pipe dream, you say? Who would have thought in December that Nebraska would be in the Big Ten?

Posted on: July 7, 2010 4:50 pm
Edited on: July 11, 2010 5:51 pm
 

Preseason mags' top 25

We love the polls. College football polls to be specific. Preseason college football polls to be exact.

There is the annual cry to get rid of them. Hogwash. First, the Associated Press isn't going to disappoint its subscribers by scrapping one of its most popular offerings of the year. Second, there would be no preseason magazines without preseason top 25s.

And last time I checked, the magazines aren't going away either. We need them. We want them. The likes of Athlon and Lindy's are selling better than ever. There are regional editions. Sure, some of them outdated by the time they hit the stands. (USC No. 3, Athlon? Really?) That's OK. The sport is year-round now. It's not going to stop for a printing press.

The mags' arrival officially stirs the juices. Suddenly, it's OK to break down the Sun Belt, predict the WAC. Argue about the SEC East. That's why this blog is devoted to one of my annual obsessions -- a combined poll from all the preseason magazines.

I combined five polls, from The Sporting News, Phil Steele, Lindy's, Athlon. Yahoo Sports and CBSSports.com. Our official preseason poll won't come out until late August. For this purpose, then, I'm using my post-spring top 25.

A few notes, rules and notifications:

*Each school was assigned a number in descending order. Twenty-five points for a No. 1 ranking, 24 for No. 2, etc.

*Schools are then ranked from highest-point total to lowest.

*I also included an average poll rank, mostly because not all the schools were named in all five polls. Example: Oregon State finished No. 25 because it got 11 points from being ranked No. 15 in The Sporting News.  The likes of Cincinnati (eight points) and Utah (five) were ranked in two polls but finished with fewer total points than Oregon State.

*Thirty seven schools received votes.

*Alabama was not a consensus No. 1. Phil Steele made some waves by picking Oklahoma No. 1.

The annual compilation:

1. Alabama: Duh. Haven't lost an SEC regular-season game since 2007. Highest rank, No. 1. Lowest, No. 3 (148 points, Avg. rank between No. 1 and No. 2)

2. Ohio State: The Big Ten is back. Ohio State never left. Highest rank, No. 2. Lowest rank, No. 3. (142 points. Avg. rank between No. 2 and No. 3)

3. Boise State: Should be a consensus top five pick with major polls debut next month. Highest rank, No. 2. Lowest rank, No. No. 6. (136 points. Average rank between No. 3 and No. 4)

4. Florida: Fastest team in the country, again. Highest rank, No. 4. Lowest rank, No. 7. (123 points. Avg. rank between No. 5 and No. 6)

5. TCU: Nation's best defense the past two seasons. Highest rank, No. 4. Lowest rank, No. 11. (113 points. Avg. rank between No. 7 and No. 8)

6. Nebraska: Fitting that these two are tied. They hate each other. Highest rank, No. 5. Lowest rank, No. 11 (112 points. Average rank between No. 7 and No. 8)

7. Oregon: Most talent in the Pac-10. Highest rank, No. 6. Lowest rank, No. 15 (111 points. Avg. rank between No. 7 and No. 8)

8. Texas: Adding physicality to offense. Highest rank, No. 4. Lowest rank, No. No. 11 (110 points. Avg. rank between No. 7 and No. 8)

9. Oklahoma: Rebuilding into Big 12 and national power again. Highest rank, No. 1. Lowest rank, No. 12. (106 points. Avg. rank between No. 8 and No. 9)

10. Virginia Tech: Class of the ACC until further notice. Highest rank, No. 8. Lowest rank, No. 13. (94 points. Avg. rank between No. 10 and No. 11)

11. (tie) USC: Two-year bowl ban begins. Does the dynasty continue? Highest rank, No. 3. Lowest rank, No. 16. (90 points. Avg. rank No. 11)

Iowa: Sexy dark horse pick in the Big Ten. Highest rank, No. 8. Lowest rank, No. 14. (90 points. Avg. rank No. 11)

13. Wisconsin: Fresh from pounding Miami. Factor in Big Ten. Highest rank, No. 6. Lowest rank, No. 23. (82 points. Avg. rank between No. 12 and No. 13)

14. Miami: Starting to look like Canes of old. Highest rank, No. 4. Lowest rank, No. 14. (79 points. Avg. rank between No. 12 and No. 13)

15. Florida State: New coach, healthy quarterback. Great prospects. Highest rank, No. 14. Lowest rank, No. 20. (60 points, Avg. rank No. 16)

16. Arkansas: Petrino starting to work his magic with Ryan Mallett. Highest rank, No. 16. Lowest rank, No. 21. (50 points, Avg. rank between No. 17 and No. 18)

17. North Carolina: Nation's best defense? Highest rank, No. 12. Lowest rank, No. 24. (48 points. Avg. rank No. 18)

18. Pittsburgh: Coming first 10 win season since 1981. Highest rank, No. 14. Not ranked by Steele. (45 points. Avg. rank No. 17)

19. LSU: Les Miles on the hot seat? Highest rank, No. 18. Not ranked by Steele. (35 points. Avg. rank No. 19)

20. Georgia Tech:
Defending ACC champs seem to have gotten better. Highest rank, No. 13. Not ranked by Steele, Yahoo and Athlon. (30 points. Avg. rank No. 16)

21. Auburn: Chizik not ready to cede state to Alabama. Highest rank, No. 15. Not ranked by Lindy's and Yahoo. (29 points. Avg. rank between No. 18 and No. 19)

22. Penn State: JoePa going for No. 400. Highest rank, No. 18. Not ranked by Sporting News. (27 points. Avg. rank No.  20 and No. 21)

23. Georgia: New AD could be the least of Dawgs' problems. Highest rank, No. 15. Not ranked by CBSSports.com and Sporting News. (24 points. Avg. rank No. 20)

24. West Virginia: Noel Devine could carry 'Neers to a BCS bowl. Highest rank, No. 19. Not ranked by Athlon and Yahoo. (16 points. Avg. rank No. 22)

25. Oregon State: Mike Riley always has Beavers in contention. Highest rank, No. 15. Not ranked by CBSSports.com, Steele, Lindy's and Athlon. (15 points. Avg. rank between No. 18 and No. 19)

Other teams receiving votes: Notre Dame, Connecticut, Missouri, South Carolina, Cincinnati, Utah, Houston, Clemson, Arizona, Stanford, Washington, Navy.

Notes: To no one's surprise the SEC led all conferences with six teams in the top 25 (Alabama, Florida, Arkansas, Auburn, LSU, Georgia) ... To everyone's surprise, the ACC was second with five teams (Virginia Tech, Miami, Florida State, North Carolina, Georgia Tech) ... The Big 12 had three of the top 10 (Oklahoma, Texas, Nebraska) ... The ACC, Big Ten and Big 12 each had three teams in the top 15 ... Every national champion since 1999 is represented in the top 25 ... Six states had multiple teams in the poll. Florida led all states with three (Miami, Florida, Florida State).

 

Posted on: June 13, 2010 8:58 pm
 

Expand-O-Meter, Sunday, June 13

Days college athletics has been held hostage (since Big Ten announced expansion exploration on Dec. 15): 180
 

Having a good day: The guy who invented the Intensive Care Unit. That's where the Big 12 is right now. As of Sunday evening, the patient had a pulse. There were reports of a last-ditch effort to save the Big 12 that has 10 as opposed to the Big Ten that has 12. The 10 remaining Big 12 schools were trying to rustle up some TV numbers that would be agreeable to everyone. One problem: The current number being thrown out is $17 million per school. That's the same number the Pac-10 has figured for a 16-team league even before it goes out to bid.


Having the bad day: Texas is going to get paid one way or another in the big picture, but it won't be playing in the College World Series. Just like college athletics, Texas owns Omaha. The baseball Horns are one of the most frequent visitors to the CWS. Sunday's super regional elimination by TCU avoided a potentially embarrassing situation: Texas playing in front of Nebraska fans a few days after the Huskers left/were forced to leave for the Big Ten.


 
Quote of the day: "Contrary to a published report, TCU would not lobby against another institution possibly seeking membership in the Mountain West Conference." --statement from TCU after a report that the school was against the Mountain West adding Baylor. More than a few Froggies remember that Baylor was included in original Big 12 formation, rather than TCU.

 
Link of the day: You can track Pac-10 commissioner Larry Scott's tour of Utah, Texas, Oklahoma and Kansas here. Oregon booster and former AD Pat Kilkenny lent his plane to Scott and deputy commish Kevin Weiberg for what are reportedly campus visits to Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Texas Tech and Texas. At least. It is not known if any formal invites were issued. Still up in the air -- along with Air Scott -- was Texas A&M which, as of Sunday night, was still trying to decide between the Pac-10 and SEC.  According to flightaware.com, Air Scott landed Sunday night at Kansas City International. That would suggest that Kansas is next on the list. If A&M goes to the SEC then the thinking goes that the last invite would go to either Kansas or Utah.


On tap: Me, on vacation. See you in two weeks. Please have this realignment thing cleared up by then.

Posted on: June 11, 2010 3:53 pm
Edited on: June 11, 2010 6:47 pm
 

Nebraska trounces Texas, moves to Big Ten

LINCOLN, Neb. -- It was the worst beating Texas has taken in public in at least seven years.

That 65-13 loss to Oklahoma in 2003 was only a football game. Nebraska officials spent the better part of 40 minutes Friday putting Bevo in his place.

Nebraska didn't just leave the Big 12 for the Big Ten on Friday, it told the world why: That bully Texas. In the space of eight days, Nebraska transformed from happy member of the Big 12 to angry, rancorous new member of the Big Ten.

Nebraska chancellor Harvey Perlman and AD Tom Osborne both took turns hammering Texas during a comment period before the board of regents. When they got done, there was only one possible result. The regents' vote was unanimous. Nebraska is headed to the Big Ten. Unspoken: Because Texas forced it out.

The moment the news broke last week about the Pac-10's desire to take Texas and five Big 12 partners, Nebraska turned sour. Perlman, at one point, stared across a table during the Big 12 meetings at his Texas counterpart Bill Powers and asked him if he was willing to give up his media rights. In other words, start a Big 12 Network. Powers said no. At that point, Perlman knew it was over.

This league had a chance to survive seven years ago but a possible network was voted down, obviously not supported by Texas. Now, it's clear the Pac-10 is going to get Texas, Texas A&M, Texas Tech, Oklahoma State and Oklahoma.

Super conferences, start your engines.

The money quote from Osborne: "One school leaving a conference does not break up a conference. Two schools leaving a conference does not break up a conference. Six schools leaving a conference, breaks up a conference. We have not had a hidden agenda, we have not dealt with more than one conference."

T.O. intimated that Texas has been talking to the SEC, Big Ten and Pac-10.

It was a bad day for Texas' reputation. It was a good day for Nebraska's future.
Posted on: June 11, 2010 2:33 pm
 

It's done: Nebraska to the Big 11

LINCOLN, Neb. -- It's official. Nebraska has joined the Big Ten, according to the Omaha World-Herald.

The story broke online while the board of regents are in executive session upstairs from where we are in the basement of Varner Hall. That means we're going to get a story today.

It's going to be great seeing Michigan and Ohio State come to Memorial Stadium. Purdue and Indiana not so much. Sad day, in a way, I'm sure for Tom Osborne. He wanted to stay in the Big 12. Texas forced his hand.
Category: NCAAF
Posted on: June 11, 2010 8:46 am
 

Rift in Texas

Your morning expansion line for Friday includes news that Texas and Texas A&M may break apart.

Call it an expansion micro-burst. First it was the Big 12 breaking up. Now the most powerful faction of the Big 12 could be drifting apart. We always thought that Texas and A&M were joined at the hip pads when it came to expansion. But a Thursday meeting produced no consensus between Texas and Texas A&M. I hear that A&M prefers the SEC while the league is a non-starter for Texas.

I also hear that Jim Delany is still trying like heck to get Texas into the Big Ten. But what about that "Tech problem"?

The dominoes figure to officially start tumbling today when Nebraska announces it is joining the Big Ten. I wrote the heck out of this issue this week but it bears repeating: The Big 12 cannot survive if Nebraska leaves. 1) The TV rights go way down; 2) What's to keep Texas, or any other school, leaving in two, three, four or five years? The Big 12 is a bad marriage that cannot go on.

The biggest issues on the table going into Friday:

a) What does Texas do?
b) What does Texas do?
c) What does Texas do?

OK, seriously:

a) Where do Texas and A&M end up and do they go as a unit?
b) Where does the Big Ten strike next (because it will strike next)?
c) Where does the Pac-10 strikes next (please don't believe his stuff about the Pac-10 stopping at 11)?
d) What are you doing at 5 p.m.? Remember when happy hour today was the deadline for Missouri and Nebraska? Nebraska is gone and Missouri has no idea where it stands.


Posted on: June 10, 2010 1:54 pm
Edited on: June 10, 2010 8:46 pm
 

Say goodbye to the Big 12 -- R.I.P., 1996-2012

Well, if it makes it that far without a knife fight breaking out.

Colorado's departure to the Pac-10 Thursday made it official. It was so official that the Pac-10 itself cut out the middleman -- speculation -- and made the announcement itself.

Form is holding according to what one source told me earlier in the week: Colorado would be taken regardless in an effort to collapse the Big 12 and force Texas, Texas AM, Texas Tech, Oklahoma and Oklahoma State.

The MVP of the expansion process remains Pac-10 commissioner Larry Scott.

You'll be hearing a lot about legislatures and regents but it is a smokescreen. There is no Big 12 Conference to go back to.

Nebraska hates Texas which hates Missouri. That was in the best of times. Try keeping together a conference with that kind of animosity swirling around.

What you'll see next is the Pac-10 expanding to 16. The next move? Seeing if the Big 12 stays together even long enough to satisfy its current tv contract which expires in 2012..

The answer, of course, is no. Get out the machetes, boys. May the deserter win.
Category: NCAAF
 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com