Posted on: September 9, 2011 9:53 pm
Edited on: September 9, 2011 10:03 pm
This is all the stuff that spilled over from Weekend Watch List ...
There will be plenty of opportunity for Jimbo Fisher to massage the roster in preparation for Oklahoma next week. Florida State hosts Charleston Southern which lost last week to Central Florida, 62-0...For the first time in 18 years Illinois is coming off a game in which it did not commit a penalty. It is one of three teams to go into Week 2 without a penalty. Navy and Eastern Michigan are the others ... TCU (at Air Force) hasn't started 0-2 since 1999 ... Can this be right? Virginia Tech (at East Carolina) hasn't started 2-0 since 2001...Hawaii (at Washington) is looking to start 2-0 against the Pac-12 after beating Colorado in the opener...Utah goes into the USC game with heavy hearts. The wife of Utes' defensive lineman Ron Tongaoneai was killed in a car accident following last week's season-opening win over Montana State ... With Colorado having shifted conferences, that means receiver Toney Clemons, a Michigan transfer, has played in three conferences...Iowa State has scored one touchdown against Iowa in the last 18 quarters going back to 2007...
One more thing about the new taunting rule: Taunt your opponent on the way to the end zone and the points are taken off the board. We know that. What a lot of folks don't know is that the penalty counts as a personal foul. Two PFs and you're out of the game.
Players will be reminded of this, no doubt, but they're reminded of a lot of things: Like, how not to associate with prostitutes and greasy jock-sniffers who pop for $500 lunches. In the spirit of everything personal and foul, here are the five teams most likely to first get points taken off the board this season.
1. Arizona State: Linebacker Vontaze Burfict's nickname is not Choir Boy.
2. Baylor: Achieved a rare quadruple-quadruple -- 1,000-yard rusher (Jay Finley) and 1,007 yards in penalties to lead the country.
3. Troy: No team caused more laundry to be dropped on the field (110 penalties).
4. Ohio State: Off-field conduct carries over.
5. Miami: Do you even have to ask?
Noble pursuits: With Jim Tressel having taken a colossal fall from grace at Ohio State, WWL thought it would be interesting to compare other recent major-college coaches who are out of the game. Compare Tressel's quality control position with the Colts (after a suspension that followed him from college) to these other accomplished coaches.
Urban Meyer (resigned December 2010), last coaching job: Florida. Currently, ollege football analyst, ESPN. NCAA reformer.
Mike Bellotti (resigned to become Oregon AD 2008. Left that position 2010), last coaching job, Oregon. Currently: ESPN analyst.
Mark Mangino (resigned under pressure, December 2009), last coaching job, Kansas. Currently, residing Naples, Fla.
Mike Leach (fired December 2009) last coaching job, Texas Tech. Currently, author of best-selling book Swing Your Sword, daily satellite radio show on SiriusXM
Jim Leavitt (fired January 2010) last coaching job, South Florida. Currently, linebackers coach, San Francisco 49ers
Dan Hawkins (fired after 2010 season) last coaching job, Colorado. Currently, ESPN analyst
Butch Davis (fired, July 27, 2010) last coaching job, North Carolina. Currently, unknown.
Tags: Air Force, Arizona State, Baylor, Central Florida, Colorado, East Carolina, Eastern Michigan Charleston Southern, Florida, Florida State, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Iowa State, Kansas, Miami, Michigan, Montana State, Navy, North Carolina, Ohio State, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pac-12, San Francisco 49ers, South Florida, TCU, Texas Tech, Troy, USC, Utah, Virginia Tech, Washington
Posted on: September 3, 2011 8:16 pm
Edited on: September 3, 2011 9:57 pm
ARLINGTON, Texas -- Pac-12 commissioner Larry Scott admitted for the first time during this latest round of conference upheaval that his league has been contacted by prospective members.
"I will say schools have reached out to us," Scott said Saturday shortly before the start of the LSU-Oregon game here. "We are not doing anything proactively."
Scott was speaking approximately 90 minutes after an Oklahoma source was quoted as saying the school's "sole focus" was moving to the Pac-12. The story broke Saturday in the The Oklahoman and stated that Texas, Texas Tech and Oklahoma State could also be part of the move to the Pac-12.
The commissioner said he was not aware of the report but reiterated that, "schools have called us. We certainly are going to listen."
Cut through the language and it seems that the Big 12's days are numbered. Texas A&M is expected to be formally invited to the SEC next week. Oklahoma has been leaning toward the Pac-12. It's doubtful that the 15-year-old league could survive with the loss Oklahoma, Texas and Texas A&M.
"If you can't fix Big 12, you might as well go west," Boone Pickens, Oklahoma State's billionaire benefactor, told an Oklahoma City reporter.
Events of the last 36 hours may have put college athletics at the brink of one of the most significant points in its history. Oklahoma president David Boren said Friday his school would not be a "wallflower" as it surveys conference membership. Boren added that Oklahoma's future could be clearer by as early as Monday. At no time during those comments did he pledge loyalty to the Big 12. A Pac-12 expansion to 16 teams could usher in the era of the super conference in college athletics.
The Pac-12 locking up Texas and Oklahoma, two of the most famous brands, in college sports would almost assure it. There already has been speculation that the combination of the new Pac-12 agreement ($3 billion, 12 years with ESPN/Fox) and the new Pac-12 Network could mean an annual $30 million to each member school.
Other conferences -- notably the SEC and Big Ten -- would almost have to react to the Pac-12's move.
"I've also been clear," Scott reminded, "that there will probably be further expansion at some stage."
The Pac-12 controls the option to reopen that lucrative contract for negotiations if membership changes, Scott said. He added that he and the Pac-12 won't be the guys who alter the current college conference structure.
"If there is any suggestion whatsoever that our conference is being predatory that's just wrong," he said. "We've not had expansion as an initiative, as an agenda, for us at all. If there were any conversations going on, you can be sure there are not any we initiated."
That's likely legalese for staying with the process. Three weeks ago SEC presidents met to discuss Texas A&M's move to the conference. They were reminded by lawyers during that meeting the conference could not appear to be pursuing the Aggies at the expense of collapsing the Big 12.
The then-Pac-10 was definitely proactive last year when it pursued six Big 12 schools last year in a bold attempt to move up to 16 teams in preparations for negotiating a new TV deal. It settled on Utah and Colorado to expand to 14. That deal is now in place.
The biggest complication seems to be folding Texas and its network into the Pac-12. Texas and ESPN have an exclusive $300 million deal with the Longhorn Network. Scott said any such deal would have to be folded into the Pac-12 distribution model. The Pac-12 Network consists of six regional networks.
Texas mostly likely would have to renegotiate its deal and possibly share money with Pac-12 members were it to join the Pac-12.
Posted on: August 25, 2011 4:14 pm
Edited on: August 25, 2011 4:24 pm
Sometimes the spouse is the last to know.
As obvious as Texas A&M's shameless affair with the SEC has been, it was still a bit disconcerting to see it admitted in writing Thursday afternoon. A&M president R. Bowen Loftin officially notified the Big 12 that his school is "exploring our options."
If you need to be hit over the head, we'll go ahead and say it: A&M wants a divorce and marry into the SEC, but it wants to keep things civil. There are children involved -- eight of them if you don't count Texas which is an otherworldly mega-force.
We've known for weeks that Aggies everywhere would rather change into formalwear, than stay in the Big 12. It's a University of Texas thing and you're not expected to understand it fully but a multi-million deal with ESPN to launch a network has something to do with it.
This starts the official process of A&M leaving its not-exactly-life partners in the Big 12. Now comes the potentially ugly legal part. According to Big 12 bylaws (these are dated but still relevant), departing schools must give two years' notice.
Short answer: That probably ain't happenin' with A&M. If the school gives less than a year's notice, which seems likely here, it must forfeit 90 percent of two years' worth of payouts. That comes to approximately $30 million. Consider that a starting point for negotiations between the school and league.
By the way, Nebraska paid $9.2 million to move to the Big Ten, basically 50 percent of a year's payout. Colorado paid approximately $6 million.
Then there is the question of whether the Big 12 wants to claim tortuous interference on the part of the SEC. Street term: Poaching. That's what that SEC presidents meeting was about a couple of weeks ago. I was told the presidents huddled with SEC lawyers to determine the best legal path.
Texas A&M has to extricate itself legally from the Big 12 before it jumps into, ahem, bed with the SEC.
Loftin wrote " ... If Texas A&M withdraws ... we want to do so in a way that complies with the bylaws and is supportive of your efforts to seek a new member ..."
That made the letter seem official and legal but was it final? Remember, "If Texas A&M withdraws ..."
Doesn't anybody care about the kids?
Posted on: May 3, 2011 11:28 am
Edited on: May 4, 2011 10:09 am
The Pac-12 will announce the largest television rights fees deal in college conference history on Wednesday CBSSports.com has learned.
Initial reports Tuesday that the league would announce a 12-year, $2.7 billion agreement with ESPN and Fox were low, according to a person familiar with the negotiations. Instead, the new deal will make the Pac-12 No. 1 among all conferences in an age where rights fees are skyrocketing. The 12-year, $3 billion deal will be worth an average of more than $20 million per school each year over the course of the agreement. The final numbers could be staggering considering that the Pac-12 is going to announce a broadcast and cable deal only at this time. There is the digitial (phone/Internet) and network component still out there.
In the reports that surfaced Tuesday Pac-12 teams would average $18.75 million per year per school. That figure alone would double the current take of Pac-10 schools. The New York Times also reported the deal Tuesday morning.
How a sleepy league that was routinely No. 4 rights fees could shoot up to to No. 1 is explained here.
The announcement should mark the ultimate payoff for commissioner Larry Scott. The former CEO of the Women's Tennis Association has been on the job less than two years. Already he has shaken up not only his league but also college sports. He nearly succeeded last year in a raid of the Big 12 in expanding the Pac-10 from 10 to 16 teams. Falling short of that, the league invited Utah and Colorado and instituted a championship game beginning this year.
Scott already is on record intending to market the Pac-12 in Pacific Rim countries, including China.
NBC-Universal dropped out of the Pac-12 idding last week according to the Sports Business Journal. The conference will be part of a Saturday night primetime package on ESPN also according to SBJ.
The league has scheduled a Wednesday morning press conference at the Arizona Biltmore Hotel in Phoenix, meaning Arizona State will be the "host" school of the largest TV deal in college history.
Posted on: March 21, 2011 11:22 am
Edited on: March 21, 2011 3:32 pm
Stay strong, Jay Bilas . It's not the fact that Virginia Commonwealth is in the Sweet 16, people. The fact remains that VCU didn't deserve to be in the bracket in the first place. Colorado could have gone in place of the Rams and also gone to the Sweet 16. Tell me Missouri State wouldn't have had a shot with the right matchup.
It's a separate argument -- 1) Did VCU deserve to be in the bracket? No. 2) Does winning in the tournament justify that spot in the bracket? No. I can give you the name of five teams that could have gotten hot and won two games.
Big East flop. After the first round, the Big East was guaranteed at least two teams in the Sweet 16. That's all it got. For what is believed to be the first time in the seeding era, the selection committee knowingly made it possible for not one, but two games between conference foes in the second round.
The committee long ago had to abandon the principle of conference rivals not being able to meet until the regional final. A 16-team Big East made the committee get rid of that principle for obvious reasons. But it was lazy that the committee didn't try to eliminate the possibility of Connecticut-Cincinnati and Marquette-Syracuse in the second round. That looks more like Big Monday than the NCAA tournament.
It wasn't fair to the Big East to have to eat its own so early in the bracket. It showed the committee didn't do its diligence. That being said, the fact that the Mountain West has as many teams in the Sweet 16 as the Big East (two) is embarrassing -- for the Big East.
Most entertaining regional? It isn't the Southwest where Kansas is surrounded by three mutts (Richmond, VCU and Florida State). I'll give you the Southeast with Butler still alive, again, going against the immovable force in Wisconsin. The Southeast also has Jimmer (Fredette) and Billy (Donovan).
But I'll take the West where I dare you to pick the best player in Anaheim. Is it Nolan Smith, Kyrie Irving, Derrick Williams, Kemba Walker or Kawhi Leonard? There are so many storylines at the Honda Center, my head is spinning.
--San Diego State is expected to take over the Honda Center. The school is less than two hours from Anaheim. "The Show" almost blew the roof off the McKale Center last week.
--Is it possible to have too many good players? Duke barely survived Michigan while trying to integrate Irving back in the lineup. That's a problem every other team would love to have. Also, if Coach K gets to the Final Four out of this regional, he will tie a certain Bobby Knight for the Division I record in career wins, 902. Go, Mike, go!
--San Diego State fans were chanting "We want Kemba!" after beating Temple in the second round. Be careful what you wish for, Aztecs. I'll kind of answer my previous question: Walker might be the best player in the regional and maybe the country.
--Arizona's Derrick Williams comes back home to his native L.A. As of this moment, Williams is the most important and charismatic player in the tournament. (That's different than "best".) His block in the first round against Memphis preserved the win. His and-one late against Texas on Sunday was the difference. Think Williams will be a little energized going back home playing for a spot in the Final Four?
Easiest road to the Final Four: You kidding? It has to be Kansas. If it wins, it won't face a single-digit seed until the Final Four. On the one-year anniversary of losing to Northern Iowa in 2010, the Jayhawks destroyed an Illinois team Sunday that brought to mind an obvious question: How did VCU and Illinois get in the bracket?
Posted on: January 25, 2011 2:42 pm
Edited on: January 25, 2011 3:33 pm
Conference USA raised some eyebrows earlier this month when it signed a new deal with Fox Sports Media Group for $7 million per year through 2015-16. That may be the reason why the Mountain West is reportedly targeting Utah State and San Jose State as expansion candidates. CUSA possibilities for the MWC -- SMU, Texas-El Paso and Houston -- are now more than happy in their current league with a new network deal. CUSA also has a new side deal with current partner CBS College Sports. The combined deals represent approximately a 47 percent increase in broadcast revenue. ($14 million, up from $9.5 million according to reports).
The Mountain West met again Tuesday, in part, to discuss whether to add two more teams in order to make it more attractive to bidding networks. Comcast, a partner in the league's network, is thought to be a player in a deal that could be worth $15 million per year over an undisclosed period of years. ESPN also may be interested, which is significant because the conference at one time made a conscious decision to move away from the cable giant. A few years ago, the Mountain West presidents told commissioner Craig Thompson to move off of ESPN after tiring of having weeknight game times dictated to them.
The Mountain West's network that resulted from that move away from ESPN hasn't turned a profit yet. Comcast, a partner with CBS College Sports in the MWC, has an out clause in the deal if both Utah schools depart the league, according to a source. BYU is going independent. Utah is joining the Pac-12. The current network deal with CBS College and Comcast is worth $120 million over 10 years. The contract ends in 2016.
That's why the MWC may be looking to increase its value. In addition to the loss of BYU and Utah, TCU is bolting for the Big East in 2012. The addition of Hawaii, Fresno State, Nevada and Boise State has made the league look more like the old WAC than a new Mountain West. The expansion to a 12-team league, though, would mean the addition of a conference championship game.
It's interesting that one conference moved away from ESPN (Conference USA) while another (the MWC) may be moving toward it. Bottom line: There is plenty of money out there, even for the non-BCS leagues. Texas last week announced a $300 million, 20-year deal with ESPN for The Longhorn Network. The ACC doubled its money last year in signing a long-term deal with ESPN (12 years, $1.86 billion). That perhaps left money for Fox, a bidder for the ACC, to hook up with Conference USA.
Comcast is a national communications company headquartered in Philadelphia. For college sports purposes, it is a regional cable giant that also owns E! Entertainment Television, the Golf Channel and VERSUS. There has been speculation ever since Comcast struck the NBC Universal deal what that would mean for sports properties everywhere. For example, what will happen next with the Pac-12 and Big 12 are next in line waiting to cash in on new network deals? Consider this passage from a USA Today story regarding Comcast: "The [NBC Universal] deal fulfills a longtime goal of Comcast CEO Brian Roberts to turn his family-controlled company into a global media colossus."
Both the Pac-12 and Big 12 will begin negotiating this year with a new-looking product. The Pac-12 added Utah and Colorado. The Big 12 slimmed down to 10 teams after the loss of Colorado and Nebraska. ESPN and Fox made financial promises to the Big 12 last spring that eventually allowed Texas to stay in and keep the league together.
The Big Ten and SEC remain the big dogs in the college television landscape. The SEC finalized a $3 billion, 15-year deal with ESPN and CBS in July 2009. The Big Ten Network continues to be a force after turning a profit slightly more than three years ago.
Posted on: January 23, 2011 9:51 am
Edited on: January 23, 2011 4:59 pm
LAWRENCE, Kan. – It was a game worthy of “instant classic” status.
On The Longhorn Network, of course.
It was a scene that will be remembered long after what Texas’ 74-63 win over Kansas meant in the standings or rankings. For the first time in almost four years – 70 home games – they filed out of Allen Fieldhouse silent. No “Rooock Chaaalk, Jaaaayhaaawk” chant drifting down from the rafters after another Kansas victory.
Well, there wasn’t complete silence. A group of giddy Texas fans were sitting behind us in Section 10 whooping it up as their team’s win became apparent. You could practically see the steam rising off the heads of KU fans barely able to hold their tongues.
One Kansas fan on his way out early turned to the dancing, prancing Texas contingent and yelled, “How about doing it with some class?” Never mind that both sides’ fans – KU in basketball, Texas in football – have been known for their obnoxiousness at times.
It wasn’t about that, though, Saturday afternoon as we sat up behind one basket at historic Allen. It was a father-son outing. Jack had only been to one Kansas game in his life. We both watched the Ohio State-Illinois game earlier in the day knowing that if Illinois had won we might be watching KU play for the No. 1 ranking.
Me? I’m a dad who had a Saturday off to watch hoops with his son. Jack is a fan of the Jayhawks, as are most 14-year-olds who grow up 30 miles away in the Kansas City suburb of Johnson County, Kan. It’s like a worker at a Ford plant. He and his family tend to buy and drive Fords. It’s a loyalty thing. You become attached.
Jack is just learning what it means to be loyal. He jumped up and down with the students trying to distract a Longhorn free-throw shooter. He busily texted his friends, telling them where he was and what he was seeing. He met a friend sitting behind the Texas bench at halftime.
We have two “pro” franchises in the Kansas City area – the Chiefs and the Jayhawks. It’s a great sports town, a better college basketball town and on occasion – like 25 years ago – a baseball town. But the Chiefs and Hawks are talking points everywhere.
The talking points changed Saturday afternoon. Kansas didn’t lose the game because of the death of forward Thomas Robinson’s mother Friday night. That would be diminishing Texas’ coming-of-age effort that might have defined it as the new Big 12 favorite. More to the point, Kansas and Robinson somehow played through the tragedy for an afternoon.
The Jayhawks were good enough to go up 18-3 early. They led by 12 points at halftime and still had a double-digit lead in the second half. If anything, Kansas was inspired by their teammate deciding to play hours after his mother had passed. Robinson, a sophomore, recently lost two grandparents – his mother’s parents – in the last three weeks. It fell to Robinson’s sisters, 9-year-old Jayla, to deliver the news to her brother by phone Friday night.
Teammates and their mothers stayed up with Robinson through the early morning hours of Saturday morning trying to console him.
“It was the saddest thing I’d ever seen in my life,” KU coach Bill Self told reporters.
Jack and I found out while making the pregame rounds to see friends on press row. KU play-by-play legend Bob Davis told us. Apparently, 37-year-old Lisa Robinson died of a heart attack in Washington, D.C. When a moment of silence was observed before the game, obviously many fans were surprised. There were a couple of audible gasps.
Robinson is a backup, a brawny 19-year-old who averages eight points and six rebounds per game. On this day he contributed two points, five rebounds and four fouls in eight minutes. As Texas made a stunning second-half comeback, it became less about Kansas’ 69-game home winning streak and more about rallying around Robinson.
In the postgame, teammates praised his desire to play. Texas coach Rick Barnes started his postgame presser by issuing condolences. Kansas may play better than it did in those opening few minutes but it will never play worse this season when Texas outscored it 51-28 in the second half.
Again, it’s too easy to call the Jayhawks distracted. Texas has a physical front line that showed how to beat KU for the first time this season: Body up the Morris twins, Markieff and Marcus and shoot 64 percent in the second half.
That combination doesn’t happen every day against Kansas. It may not happen again this season. Maybe the Jayhawks were just … drained – emotionally, physically. There is a lot of healing still left. KU plays Colorado on Tuesday night. It’s not certain if Robinson will be there. There will be a funeral. Many, many more tears.
Whatever happens, Kansas is still a top-five team. It is also a changed team. Texas deserves our praise. Kansas deserves our sympathy.
It did everything right this weekend except win a basketball game. I’m hoping that’s what Jack remembers Saturday. He saw history – the end of that home streak – but he also saw loyalty and humanity.
Posted on: December 30, 2010 11:46 am
Edited on: December 30, 2010 4:15 pm
Jan. 8 -- I'll never forget a crushed Mack Brown in the Rose Bowl hallway leading to the Texas lockerroom after losing to Alabama. I ask him, "Would Colt [McCoy] have made a difference?" Mack: "It wouldn't have been close."
Feb. 1 -- What's so special about Cretin-Derham Hall High in St. Paul, Minn. No. 1 recruit Seantrel Henderson? A lot. But the kid's nationally televised commitment to USC turns out to be a mockery of the system.
March 17 -- Before Butler bounces a ball in the NCAA Tournament I was there to chronicle what was then a stepping-stone job.
Also in May -- Haley Dodd graduates from high school, commits to the University of Missouri.
June 1 -- Big 12 spring meetings begin in Kansas City with all hell breaking loose.
June 3 -- Big 12 schools are so spooked by impending conference realignment that an ultimatum is issued: Declare loyalty or else. Nebraska won't commit, having been in talks with Big Ten since January.
June 9 -- Colorado announces it is joining the Pac-10.
June 11 -- Nebraska trashes Texas on the way to announcing its departure for the Big Ten in 2011. The Longhorns take their worst beating in seven years.
A portion of the remaining Big 12 have nots (Missouri, Iowa State, etc.) agree that Texas should get an increased share of conference revenue just because it's Texas. There is no Big 12 with it. The Horns spend the rest of the year establishing its own network, reportedly with ESPN for $15 million per year.
June 16 -- Troy is burned to the ground.
July 21 -- Nick Saban goes there with the p-word.
August 15 -- Haley moves into her University of Missouri dorm 30 years after her dad moved out of Columbia. Yes, a few sentimental tears were shed.
August 27 -- It's the Year of the Comeback.
September 7 -- Boise State launches itself into a season-long national conversation with a 33-30 win over Virginia Tech.
October 9 -- It's officially a national race again as defending national champ Alabama loses to South Carolina.
October 12 -- Turns out, South Carolina's win was a bigger deal than we thought. The Gamecocks become only the 45th team ever (in wire service era) to a beat a No. 1 team.
November 4 -- Story breaks of Cam Newton's dad soliciting $180,000 from Mississippi State.
November 6 -- Matt Hayes of the Sporting News and I get trapped in the LSU postgame celebration after an amazing win over Alabama. We get a behind-the-scenes look at the LSU's coach's "Lesticles."
Non-BCS story of the year: While covering that Boise-Nevada game on a bitterly cold night in Reno, a window in the press box has to be cracked so the clock crew "can hear the whistle." We're not exactly in Columbus, folks. Haven't heard a line like that since the Class 4-A state title game in 1984.
November 27 -- Miami's Randy Shannon is fired after an uninspired loss to South Florida. Jon Gruden gets his name in the search, as he always does, but in the first major hire of his career, AD Kirby Hocutt eventually picks Temple's Al Golden.
December 1 -- The best guy to talk about Kyle Brotzman's disappointment happens to be Boise resident and fan Bill Buckner.
December 5 -- Told you it was the Year of the Comeback.
December 19 -- Jack and dad enjoy the Chiefs and Rams in St. Louis during Christmas break. It's nice watching a game without a deadline to meet or a petulant coach to question. It's even better doing it with my wingman.
It was a great year. May 2011 be even better.
Tags: Alabama, Ascension Catholic School, Auburn, Baylor, BCS, Big Ten, Big Ten, Boise State, Butler, Cardinals, Chiefs, Colorado, Cretin-Derham Hall High, CYO football, ESPN, Final Four, Frozen Four, Haley Dodd, Heisman, Iowa State, Jack Dodd, Janet Dodd, Kappa Kappa Gamma, Magic Johnson, Mexico, Miami, Mississippi State, Missouri, NCAA Tournament, Nebraska, Newport Beach, North Carolina, Northern Iowa, Ohio State, Oklahoma, Oregon, Oregon State, Pac-10, Padres, Rams, South Carolina, Texas, Texas, USC, Virginia Tech, Wisconsin, World Cup