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Category:NCAAF
Posted on: October 22, 2011 7:05 pm
 

LSU rout of Auburn over; time to talk 'Bama

Who needs synthetic marijuana when you have real depth on your roster?

Such is the case for LSU now that the countdown has officially begun to the Alabama game. The Baton Rouge Tigers beat Auburn's Tigers with, not exactly a skeleton crew, but there was a little less meat on the bone.

Budding superstar cornerback Tyrann Mathieu, backup Tharold Simon and starting tailback Spencer Ware sat out because of reported failed drug tests (reportedly for that synthetic marijuana). The supposition was that LSU had enough talent left over to set up college football's Super Bowl in a couple of weeks. They just had to prove it.

It was a blowout, but it wasn't easy. During a sometimes-dreary first half LSU's faithful actually booed on a couple of occasions. For a while it looked like LSU's season would go, well, up in smoke. Those fans' attitude changed after a pair of matching sideline strikes stretching the halftime lead to 21-3.

Jordan Jefferson (42 yards) and Jarrett Lee (46 yards) threw almost identical bombs to Rueben Randle within four minutes of each other in the second quarter. The game plan following that -- whether stated or unstated -- was to show as little as possible.

You know who's watching.

Two weeks from Saturday the nation's No. 1 team will play a de facto national semifinal in Tuscaloosa. Winner goes to New Orleans for the BCS title. Well, not directly, but the stakes are that high.

Both schools have a bye next week giving the game time to build to a 1 vs. 2 pinnacle. LSU goes in almost with a yawn to this point. For the first time in school history, the Tigers have opened the season with eight double-digit wins. They have trailed for 6 minutes, 33 seconds all season.

Those missing starters were hardly missed. True freshman Kenny Hilliard ran for two touchdowns including the game's opening touchdown on his sixth career carry. Senior Ron Brooks more than compensated for the loss of Mathieu. His 28-yard pick six made it 42-3 in the third quarter.

LSU got satisfaction for last season's 24-17 loss at Auburn. Don't call it revenge because Cam Newton, the difference in a lot of games for Auburn last season, is gone. Let's just call it the No. 1 team in 2011's first BCS rankings beating last season's last No. 1 in the BCS.

Now it's time to bring on Alabama.

Category: NCAAF
Tags: Alabama, Auburn, BCS, LSU, SEC
 
Posted on: October 22, 2011 11:06 am
Edited on: October 22, 2011 11:20 am
 

MWC/CUSA behind Global Conference proposal

You thought Big Country was big? Wait until you wade into the details from a consortium that would include more than a quarter of all Football Bowl Subdivision schools.

Under the plan being circulated by the Mountain West and Conference USA to FBS administrators, those two conferences would hope to join forces with the Big East in a grouping of 28 to 32 schools in football only. The Big East is still pursuing a 12-team football league.

The idea is for the three conferences to stay viable to the BCS for automatic qualification to a BCS bowl or bowls. For now, call it the Global Conference. 

Those conferences would reorganize to compete in four, eight-team divisions or four, seven-team divisions. It’s not clear from the document how many automatic bids would emerge out of the group.

The Boston Globe and CBSSports.com received the document detailing the plan. The Globe first reported its details on Friday.

“In the event the concept of the AQ (automatic qualifier) goes forward,” the document states, “the decision of which conferences receive it, will likely be based on multiple factors, some of which are tangible and others intangible.”

It adds that nothing is assured in the postseason landscape after the 2013 season, the final year of the current BCS/ESPN agreement. The document acknowledges that the five power conferences have “clearly distinguished” themselves – Pac-12, Big Ten, Big 12, ACC and SEC – but that the Big East “has not compared well to most Power Conferences from a competitive standpoint”.

The document goes on to say that there is a “low probability” the Big East would retain its automatic BCS bid after 2013. It states what is already known -- that the conference needed a waiver from commissioners to retain BCS membership in 2008. It also says that the Big East is so low in the current qualification standards that it wouldn’t even qualify for a waiver to remain a BCS league at the moment. It concludes the Big East in its current form does not merit BCS inclusion over “the MW/CUSA.”

That could be self-serving propaganda from the Big Country. Conference USA and the Mountain West announced last week a 22-school alliance from which a champion could emerge that would snag a BCS bowl. Separately, the Mountain West recently proposed a 16-team FBS playoff.

The document obtained by CBSSports.com and the Globe goes on to detail “an alternative path” for the Big East worthy of “serious consideration.” If there is a BCS going forward after 2013, it states, the Big East’s best future lies with a “cooperative initiative” rather than individual efforts to rebuild.

“We are at a crossroads,” states the document.

The Global Conference divisions

 

West

Boise State

Hawaii

UNLV

Nevada

Fresno State

San Diego State

Utah State

 

Mountain

Air Force

 Wyoming

Colorado State

New Mexico

Texas –El Paso

SMU

 Tulsa

Houston


Central

Marshall

Memphis

Southern Miss

Tulane

Alabama-Birmingham

Rice

Temple

Louisiana Tech

 

Big East

Louisville

Connecticut

Rutgers

Cincinnati

South Florida

Central Florida

East Carolina

Navy

 

The 28-team model would be slightly reorganized and not include San Jose State, Temple, Louisiana Tech, Navy

Posted on: October 21, 2011 1:40 pm
Edited on: October 21, 2011 2:27 pm
 

Missouri takes the next step toward SEC

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Missouri chancellor Brady Deaton was granted sole authority to negotiate contracts "regarding conference realignment" by the school's board of curators Friday afternoon.

The move seems to be the next incremental step in Missouri removing itself from the Big 12 to go to the SEC. On Oct. 4, the board gave Deaton similar, but narrower authority in seeking a new conference. For the first time on Friday, Deaton did acknowledge communication between Missouri and the SEC. 

Deaton would not put a time frame on Missouri's decision saying only, "we're not putting any immediate timeline on ourselves ... We're not looking at a long time frame."

Meanwhile, a large portion of college football continues to wait on Missouri. The Big East can't move on reconstituting its league until it knows what Missouri is going to do. If Missouri leaves, the Big East may be impacted. Louisville and West Virginia have been mentioned frequently as possible Big 12 replacements. The Big East is also reportedly targeting some Conference USA schools as well.

"The next step will be resolution of the question, final resolution of the question," said curators chair Warren Erdman. "The chancellor has the authority to take all actions necessary to resolve the question."

The board also announced the school would pursue establishing an invitational basketball tournament in Kansas City as well as an annual football game in the city against "a traditional regional rival." The move seems to address concerns over the loss of the Kansas rivalry if Missouri goes to the SEC. Missouri and Kansas have played in football for 119 years and annually at Kansas City's Arrowhead Stadium since 2007. 

The bitter rivals also participate annually in the Big 12 basketball tournament.

The announcement can be interpreted as Missouri throwing Kansas City a bone as it heads out the door. This city will be particularly impacted by Missouri's departure. The Big 12 basketball tournament has been played here, with few exceptions, back to when the conference was formed in 1996. The annual event has a multi-million dollar impact on the city. Missouri's tournament basketball ties with the city go back to the 1970s when the old Big Eight Holiday Tournament was established.

Missouri is considering severing conference ties that go back to 1907 when it joined the old Missouri Valley Conference. That league eventually morphed into the Big Six, Big Seven, Big Eight and Big 12. It has been in the current Big 12 since the conference formed in 1996.

It is known that certain Missouri officials -- and alums and fans -- are tired of the Big 12's instability. Missouri would be the fourth Big 12 school to leave since June 2010. Each had essentially the same reason: Uncertainty about the future. Nebraska was spooked by Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon’s Dec. 2009 comments about the school’s similarities with Big Ten institutions. Colorado AD Mike Bohn said publicly that Missouri’s apparent desire to the be in the Big Ten had caused his school to find a resting place in the Pac-10.

In September, A&M finally ended a contentious relationship with Texas that goes back decades. The flash point was Texas’ launch of the Longhorn Network. But that was merely a symptom, not a cause. If it hadn’t been the LHN, it would have been something else for the Aggies.

The A&M coaches and AD Bill Byrne weren’t necessarily in favor of the move but president R. Bowen Loftin pushed for the migration to the SEC. The SEC wasn’t necessarily looking for expand according to sources but when A&M came calling it was difficult to turn down a brand name in Texas. 

In this case, any negotiation of contracts by Deaton would be subject to review by university counsel. 


Category: NCAAF
Tags: Big 12, Missouri, SEC
 
Posted on: October 21, 2011 12:34 pm
Edited on: October 21, 2011 12:36 pm
 

Son of WWL: Les Miles will do the right thing

Les Miles will do the right thing.

Ever since CBSSports.com’s Brett McMurphy noted that LSU’s suspended players may face a two-game suspension due to failed drug tests, there has to be a lot of hand-wringing in Baton Rouge.

A two-game suspension would put the Nov. 5 Alabama game in play. LSU can get by without Tyrann Mathieu, Spencer Ware and Tharold Simon Saturday against Auburn. Alabama is a different matter.

In a game that is shaping up as a national semifinal, Miles needs all hands available. I believe he will do the right thing and hold those players out of the Alabama game – if the players are subject to a two-game suspension.

It’s a logical conclusion that the players face a two-game suspension – at least. The original report said the players failed a drug test. The NCAA doesn’t test for street drugs like synthetic marijuana, the drug named in the report. The SEC doesn’t test for drugs. It is the conference’s policy that each school have its own drug-testing policy.

That leaves LSU. If the report is true, there are some tough decisions ahead. The New Orleans Times-Picayune reported that the suspensions will be only one game

We probably will never know that for sure about any drug-test issues. Any failed drug test falls under privacy laws protecting students. Unless the students or their parents admit to a failed test, the reason for the suspensions could remain a secret.

That doesn’t relieve Miles, or his AD Joe Alleva, from doing the right thing. I believe they will. Miles took decisive action on Jordan Jefferson, even though the quarterback was eventually charged with only misdemeanor battery.

There a lot of schools that would have gone to the wall to keep their starting quarterback on the field. LSU wasn’t one of them. Miles was behind that.

In a world gone mad with conference realignment and unethical conduct, it would be nice to see LSU/Miles set a standard.

 


WWL has a sworn duty not to give free publicity to apparel makers during their hideous assault on traditional uniforms. But this item could not be ignored.

It’s a perfect time to draw attention to the players who are on the field for LSU against Auburn. The Tigers will be wearing their Pro Combat unis.

Meanwhile, the damage was done last week at Michigan State. While the words “good taste” didn’t enter the conversation in describing the Alabama-Birminghamish uniforms, there was one cool aspect to them.

On the back of the Spartans’ Pro Combat jerseys worn last week against Michigan is the Greek phrase, “Molon Labe.” Translated, it means “come and take them.” It is an expression of defiance spoken by King Leonidas I to the Persian army which had demanded the Spartans lay down their weapons.

Wow, these guys are serious. Used to be the most damage at a Michigan State game was caused by brat juice dripping on your new fleece.



Maybe it’s not Urban Meyer. Maybe it’s just being a Gator. There have been arrests at Florida in the last calendar year.



How long does Denard Robinson have as Michigan's quarterback? Devin Gardner is bigger, stronger and definitely has a more accurate arm. That’s not saying much given D-Rob’s 52 percent completion percentage.

But the feeling among many is that if Robinson, a junior, is around next season he will be converted to a slot receiver, wildcat or some sort of other unique weapon. Michigan State exposed him as an inaccurate thrower who couldn’t get outside against a quality defense.

Michigan has another week to figure things out before hosting Purdue. 

Category: NCAAF
Posted on: October 20, 2011 6:45 pm
 

No action taken by Missouri curators

kANSAS CITY, Mo. -- No action was taken Thursday by the University of Missouri board of curators as the school continues to consider a move to the SEC.

The curators emerged after an approximately 90-minute executive session without commenting. A university spokesman said there would be media availability Friday at 11 a.m. ET prior to another executive session. There are no indications whether the curators will have an announcement at that time.

The next step for the university would be to announce its formal withdrawl from the Big 12. Missouri chancellor Brady Deaton was given permission by the curators to seek new conference membership. A New York Times report earlier this week said Missouri's move to the SEC is "imminent."  
Category: NCAAF
Tags: Big 12, Missouri, SEC
 
Posted on: October 20, 2011 11:29 am
Edited on: October 20, 2011 1:04 pm
 

Mountain West proposes 16-team playoff

A formal 16-team college football playoff worth at least $650 million has been proposed by Mountain West commissioner Craig Thompson.

CBSSports.com obtained information from the document that was distributed to the 10 other Football Bowl Subdivision commissioners. It proposes that a human committee would rank 30 teams at the end of the season to help select the 16-team field. Those rankings would determine the 1-through-16 seedings. At least six Football Bowl Subdivision (formerly Division I-A) conference champions would be in the field. There would be a maximum of three teams per conference.

Thompson had an eight-team playoff proposal rejected by the BCS in 2009. With the current BCS agreement ending after the 2014 bowls, there is an opening for suggestions for new postseason models. BCS executive director Bill Hancock did not immediately comment.

Thompson's proposal was sent to those 10 other FBS commissioners, Notre Dame and Hancock.

Under his proposal, first-round games would be played the week after conference championship games (usually the second week of December).  The games would be played at the home stadium of the top eight seeds. The quarterfinals would follow on Jan. 1 or 2 at the four major bowl sites -- Orange, Sugar, Fiesta and Rose.

The semifinals would be played at the stadium of the two highest-seeded remaining schools. Bowls could bid on hosting the championship game.

Financial bonuses would be awarded to participating conferences based on performance in the NCAA's Academic Performance Rate. There is also a clause that would allocate $50 million "to address issues of integrity in intercollegiate athletics."

Several playoff scenarios have been proposed by commercial entities. The NCAA even explored the possibly in the mid-1990s before dropping the idea.

The Arizona Republic interviewed Thompson about his proposal on Wednesday.However, CBSSports.com was able to obtain specific detailed information about the proposal.

The FBS commissioners were to discuss Thompson's proposal at a previously scheduled meeting Sept. 20 in Chicago. But conference realignment issues forced the meeting to be cancelled.

Information from the document details the revenue windfall long anticipated from a playoff. Under Thompson's plan, a conference would receive $25 million for each top eight seed it had in the field. For seeds 9 through 16, the revenue would decrease by $2 million in descending order. For example, the conference of the No. 9 seed would get $23 million, No. 10 seed, $21 million, etc.

Conferences would then receive $20 million for each team that reaches the quarterfinals (round of eight). The remainder of the revenue from the semifinals and championship would be distributed this way: Two shares for each for each of the semifinal winners. One share for each for the semifinal losers. Each of those shares, according to information in the document would exceed $25 million.

According to a source, Thompson also asked for support from the so-called "group of five" non-BCS conferences to support and promote the proposal. There was no consensus of support from those four other leagues -- Conference USA, WAC, MAC and Sun Belt -- according to the source.

The Mountain West at least is staying in the news. Thompson's league and Conference USA announced an alliance on Friday. The champions of each league -- soon to be a 22-team consortium -- would play each other, the winner of which would theoretically get an automatic BCS bowl bid. Both leagues are currently non-automatic qualifiers for BCS bowls.

They have received no assurance that they would receive an automatic bid under the new arrangement. The current BCS agreement runs through the 2014 bowls (2013 season). The champions of each BCS league (Pac-12, Big 12, Big East, ACC, SEC, Big Ten) are guaranteed a BCS bowl. That leaves four other spots filled by second teams from BCS leagues. Notre Dame and non-BCS league champions can also qualify by meeting certain benchmarks.

 

 

Category: NCAAF
Tags: bcs
 
Posted on: October 19, 2011 3:27 pm
Edited on: October 19, 2011 9:29 pm
 

Advantage 'Bama in College Super Bowl on Nov. 5

Well, that certainly breaks whatever tie existed between the Alabama and LSU defenses.

Which, of course, means we may have a break in the national championship race.

Randy Rosetta of TigerSportsDigest is reporting that at least three LSU players will be suspended for Saturday’s Auburn game. Two of them appear to be All-American cornerback-in-the-making Tyrann Mathieu and leading rusher Spencer Ware. Les Miles would not confirm the suspensions Wednesday night. 

The Tigers can beat Auburn without both. It puts the game more in question but the Tigers should still win. Most of the implications from today have to do with Nov. 5. Will those guys be on the field against Alabama?

If not, hand our first national semifinal game to the Crimson Tide. Mathieu is a shutdown corner, a punt returner, LSU’s best defender. He was the best Heisman contender at his position since Charles Woodson. Take that kind of guy off the field against Alabama, and that makes not only AJ McCarron more dangerous as a thrower. It makes Trent Richardson a better runner.

Remember, Mathieu has forced six turnovers this season while scoring two touchdowns on defense and special teams. This is shocking conduct from a Honey Badger.

The LSU student paper is reporting that Ware and Mathieu failed drug tests. It’s not immediately clear what procedures are in place at LSU, but at many major programs players face three levels of testing -– from the school, the conference and the NCAA.

Category: NCAAF
Tags: Auburn, LSU
 
Posted on: October 16, 2011 9:25 pm
 

Ignore top four teams in BCS; drama starts lower

Let's cut through the BCS standings commercials, teases and the wild guesses you saw on TV Sunday night.

Ignore the top four teams. Doesn't matter. That's not the news. LSU, Alabama, Oklahoma and Oklahoma State are going to play each other. They all control their own destiny.

The story of Week 1 of the BCS standings are in spots 6 through 8. That's where three potential undefeated major-conference champions reside: Wisconsin, Clemson and Stanford. That is significant because only two undefeated major-conference champions have been shut out of the title game in the BCS' 13-year history. That would be Auburn in 2004 and Cincinnati in 2009.

We're looking at three just this season.  

Yeah, there's half a season to go, but it's easy to bet on those top four right now. Two of those emerging to play for the title seems to be a lock. The drama comes if one or more undefeated champions emerge from the Big Ten/ACC/Pac-12. It won't get us to a playoff in the near future but it will get those commissioners thinking about it, especially if any combination of the Big Ten/ACC/Pac-12 are shut out and the SEC wins a sixth consecutive national championship.

Category: NCAAF
Tags: ACC, BCS, Big Ten, Pac-12
 
 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com