Posted on: August 19, 2010 2:19 pm
Edited on: August 19, 2010 2:30 pm
The WAC commissioner spent 80 minutes on a conference call Thursday explaining why his conference would survive.
He mentioned several schools by name that would be interested in joining -- Cal-Poly, Cal-Davis, Sacramento State (already a member in baseball), Texas-San Antonio, Texas State, Montana. The WAC staff was checking what the minimum number of teams it takes to have a I-A conference. I checked the NCAA Manual a while ago and it's confusing. Not sure by the by-law if it meant six teams for a division, or six teams for a league.
However, the WAC wants to bulk up to at least eight.
Benson called the defection of Fresno State and Nevada "disappointing" and "selfish." On Wednesday, the commissioner thought he had secured BYU as a non-football member. On Thursday, his league was fighting for its life. The Mountain West raided the WAC for Fresno and Nevada as a preemptive strike to keep BYU from leaving. As of Thursday, BYU was considering its options. The school's move to independence is, in fact, not a done deal.
For a guy who has given blood in trying to keep his conference together, it was a bitter day for Benson. There are only two teams left from the last year of the old 16-team WAC in the late 1990s (San Jose State, Hawaii). From that he built a league that sent its champion to a BCS bowl three times in four years.
"We will be successful, Benson said.
"I fully expect Utah State or New Mexico State to jump from the pack and go to a bowl [in 2010]. I won't be surprised at either of those teams," he added.
What the WAC might look like in a couple of years:
San Jose State -- almost dropped football a few years ago.
Hawaii --pondering independent status itself?
Idaho -- Robb Akey led Vandals to 2009 bowl
Louisiana Tech -- Let's just say Derek Dooley got out at a good time
New Mexico State -- Named by me the worst I-A program in the country a couple of years ago
Montana -- could be the next Boise State
Texas State -- see above
Utah State -- the state of Utah could have a Pac-10 team (Utah) an independent (BYU) and this WAC member
Posted on: August 18, 2010 6:05 pm
The Mountain West just announced on its Twitter account that it had offered invitations to Nevada and Fresno.
Earlier in the day, the Salt Lake City Tribune reported that BYU would leave the MWC and go independent in football and move its other sports to the WAC. The MWC's move seems to confirm that report. The league is attempting to stay alive by adding the Bulldogs and Wolf Pack.
It looks now like the two leagues are trying to put each other out of business. The old 16-team WAC was almost killed when half the teams broke off in 1999 to form the Mountain West.
If both schools leave for the MWC then the WAC is on the clock. The addition of Nevada and Fresno don't do much for the MWC's BCS numbers but that's hardly the point right now. It's all about survival now. The MWC has lost power teams Utah and BYU in the last few weeks.
As of now, none of this impacts BCS leagues causing the Big Bang (superconferences). The WAC will likely have to retrench with the likes of Montana (moving up from Division I-AA).
How the MWC might look in 2011
San Diego State
Posted on: July 6, 2010 11:38 am
Edited on: July 7, 2010 12:47 pm
Friday I offered up 10 fresh faces to watch for 2010. Here are 21 more ...
Kolton Browning, QB, Louisiana-Monroe -- Redshirt beat out senior Trey Revell.
Clemson quarterbacks -- Depending on whether Kyle Parker signs a major-league contract. That means either fifth-year senior Michael Wade or redshirt freshman Tajh Boyd will take over.
Michael Dyer, RB, Auburn -- Alabama-Auburn is heating up again. Gene Chizik landed a top five recruit to go with new quarterback Cameron Newton.
Vidal Hazelton, WR, Cincinnati -- Transfer from USC could take over for Mardy Gilyard as the go-to guy.
Brandon Jenkins, DE, Florida State -- The progress of Florida State's defense under Mark Stoops will be one of the biggest stories going into '10. This redshirt sophomore is starting at rush end, a glamour position.
Skylar Jones, QB, Wake Forest -- Takes over for Riley Skinner. The junior won the job in the spring after not throwing a pass last season.
Logan Kilgore, QB, Middle Tennessee -- Transfer from Bakersfield (Calif). College, threw for 322 yards and two touchdowns in the spring game. Dwight Dasher is the man but Kilgore could be the next man.
Dan Mason, LB, Pittsburgh -- Pittsburgh's starting middle linebacker has been All-Big East first team each of the last five years. Will Mason make it six in a row as a sophomore?
Lamar Miller, TB, Miami -- With Graig Cooper rehabbing a knee hurt in the bowl, this homegrown redshirt freshman could be a savior.
Jason Peters, DE, Georgia Tech -- Al Groh was hired to install the 3-4. There is more pressure on the ends in that alignment. Peters was one of the stars of the spring.
Tydreke Powell, DT, North Carolina -- Overshadowed on one of the best defenses in the country.
Ryan Radcliff, QB, Central Michigan -- If you're asking who will replace Dave LeFevour, this is the guy. The redshirt sophomore threw 21 passes last season.
Robbie Rouse, RB, Fresno State -- This sophomore is replacing NCAA rushing leader Ryan Mathews in the Central Valley. Runs like Jacquizz Rodgers with similar measureables -- 5-foot-7, 185.
Nathan Scheelhaase, QB, Illinois -- Redshirt freshman from high school power Kansas City (Mo.) Rockhurst was named starter by Ron Zook in the spring. Dual-threat guy needs to jump start Illini offense.
Josh Snead, TB, Duke -- Early enrolling freshman is a home-run hitter for a program desperate for a bowl.
Tino Sunseri, QB, Pittsburgh -- The Panthers always seem to be a quarterback away from doing great things. Coming off a 10-win season, Sunseri could be the difference in Pittsburgh getting back to a BCS bowl.
Posted on: February 10, 2010 10:30 pm
Edited on: February 11, 2010 2:02 pm
The Mountain West is on notice.
The Big East too.
Don’t forget the Big 12 which could be ripped asunder.
One or all of those conferences are going to be impacted if, as expected, the Pac-10 and Big Ten expand in the near future.
After writing about the big picture on Wednesday, we’re here to speculate freely about how other conferences might be impacted.
Mountain West: After leading his league to the brink of BCS automatic qualifying status, commissioner Craig Thompson has to be concerned.
A BYU-Utah defection to the Pac-10 makes a lot of sense. In basketball, the league has travel partners (Washington-Washington State, Arizona-Arizona State). The Utes and Cougars are bitter rivals but would be make ideal additions due to the far-flung nature of the league.
I still don’t know how the Pac-10 views the academic aspect of expansion, so I’m not sure how it views the combination of a state school (Utah) and what amounts to a private school (BYU). If there is a fallback, it could be San Diego State.
If the Big Ten were to take Missouri, that’s a potential three teams ripped from the Mountain West and could mean the end of the league. The three most likely replacements would be Boise State, Fresno State and Texas-El Paso.
The best non-BCS league could find itself teetering on the edge of existence, or at least relevance.
Big 12: The biggest hit comes if both Colorado (Pac-10) and Missouri (Big Ten) leave.
If Missouri or Colorado leave, the Big 12 would go get TCU from the Mountain West. While that would wound the MWC, the league would most likely then invite Boise State.
If both Colorado and Missouri left, the Big 12 would get TCU and, maybe, Houston? Either way, the Big 12’s TV stature would shrink.
Big East: The league was almost wiped out when the ACC expanded five years ago. What happens if Pittsburgh, Syracuse or Rutgers is taken by the Big Ten?
Most likely the Big East would raid Conference USA for Central Florida. That would get the league further into Florida. UCF is third-largest school in the country (53,000) behind Ohio State and Arizona State. There's got to be some football players in there somewhere. Plus, the school has made a huge commitment to facilities.
After the wounds caused by the ACC, another hit could cause the end of the Big East in football.
My latest look on how the Big Ten, Pac-10, Big 12 and MWC might look in the future.
Tags: ACC, Air Force, Arizona, Arizona State, Baylor, Big 12, Big East, Big Ten, Boie State, BYU, Cal, Central Florida, Colorado, Colorado State, Fresno State, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Iowa State, Kansas, Kansas State, Michigan, Michigan State, Minnesota, Missouri, Mountain West, Nebraska, New Mexico, Northwestern, Ohio State, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Oregon, Oregon State, Pac-10, Penn State, Purdue, San Diego State, Stanford, TCU, Texas, Texas A&M, Texas El-Paso, Texas Tech, UCLA, UNLV, USC, Utah, Washington, Washington State, Wisconsin, Wyoming
Posted on: November 1, 2009 8:52 pm
Stunning stat of the day: At least one former Miami player has scored a touchdown in 112 straight weeks of NFL play dating back to week 15 of 2002.
BCS ramblings: Iowa is a heartbeat away from the presidency at No. 4 in the BCS. Here’s how it gets to the title game: LSU upsets Bama this week (Tigers have won five of the last six overall and the last three in a row in T-town) and then beats Florida in the SEC championship game. That opens up a spot for the Hawkeyes vs. Texas.
It’s looking worse for Notre Dame, 6-2. At 22, the Irish are the second-lowest ranked two-loss team in the BCS top 25. It will get some bump for beating No. 13 Pittsburgh, but that’s about it. It has to get to No. 14 in the final standings to be “eligible” which for Notre Dame would mean a BCS bowl bid.
It doesn’t help that eight of the nine teams above Notre Dame all have a chance to run the table. That could block out the Irish even if they win out.
• If you don’t vote Case Keenum No. 1 this week for the Heisman, you’re high.
There, I said it. The kid has accomplished more than Jimmy Clausen and is more consistent than Tim Tebow or Colt McCoy. The Houston quarterback’s Heisman moment came Saturday in the final minute when he tossed the winning touchdown pass to beat Southern Miss.
That ended one of the best games by a quarterback this season. Keenum completed 44 of 54 game for 559 yards and five touchdowns. Oh yeah, he’s the second most accurate passer in the country too.
The Cougs also ran for 191 yards. That’s 750 yards in total offense. I know it probably isn’t going to happen, but I’d love to see Houston in a BCS game against a defense like Texas’. The Longhorns beat Texas-El Paso 64-7, the only team that has defeated Houston. Strange.
2. Ryan Mathews, Fresno State – The nation’s leading rusher went for 185 yards against an aggressive Utah State defense to keep the national rushing lead. Mathews was able to return after a third-quarterback hit that reportedly bruised his ribs. “Probably the hardest I’ve ever been hit,” he said.
Mathews has run for 1,316 yards despite not playing a couple of fourth quarters.
3. Iowa defense – Your offense turns it over six times. Your quarterback throws four interceptions in one quarter. The Iowa D deserves some sort of recognition for a couple of pick sixes that might have been the difference in the Hawkeyes’ 42-24 win over Indiana.
Las Vegas should just get it over with and list Iowa as a pick ‘em in every remaining game. Team Turnover is that flaky.
Two rushing touchdowns by Superman shot him past Herschel Walker for SEC lead in career rushing touchdowns, 51.
5. Kellen Moore, Boise State – A trip to New York would be Boise’s consolation prize for missing out on a BCS bowl in consecutive years. Moore has 24 touchdowns and only two interceptions.
Also consider Golden Tate. He's still the best Notre Dame player, not Jimmy Clausen. Had an effective game against Washington State.
• A Tennessee radio guy FOI’d (Freedom of Information Act) the Mike Slive letter to Lane Kiffin on Friday. The contents of it are out there. It’s good reading.
In case you missed it, the SEC commish brought the hammer down on Friday threatening suspensions and fines if there is any more criticism of league officials. He seemed to call out Tennessee coach Lane Kiffin who is going from the reprimand hat trick. Remember him erroneously saying that Urban Meyer “cheated” in the recruiting of Nu’Keese Richardson?
``It is your responsibility as a coach to comply with the policies of the Southeastern Conference and to know the football playing rules …,” Slive wrote.
``Since it is clear from your public comments that you believe this letter `mean(s) nothing,' let me be equally as clear to you. The next time you, or a member of your staff, make public comments of this nature, you will be suspended from all coaching duties for one or more games, and the institution may be subjected to a substantial fine … ''
Bam, zing, boom!
Posted on: October 29, 2009 5:00 pm
Edited on: October 29, 2009 5:01 pm
New Mexico coach Mike Locksley is back after being suspended for a week for punching an assistant. After losing $29,000 in pay, Locksley returns in time for the winless Lobos to go to San Diego State ... The nation’s leading rusher, Fresno junior Ryan Mathews, is weighing his NFL options. Mathews says if he is rated in the top 40 he might go. The Bulldogs host Utah State ... The last time Georgia beat a No. 1 team was 14 years ago in the Cocktail Party, 24-3 over the Gators …
Posted on: October 23, 2009 11:24 am
Edited on: October 24, 2009 9:49 am
Montana coach Bobby Hauck has disgraced his profession. Wonder why the American Football Coaches Association hasn't weighed in on this issue...Let's see, because it condones this conduct by ignorning it. Bullying students, real nice Bobby ...
• There’s tough and there’s SEC tough: Since suffering a broken jaw and concussion on Oct. 3 against LSU, Georgia tailback Caleb King has missed one game while subsisting on a liquid diet. King scored two touchdowns against last week against Vanderbilt. The Bulldogs are off this week before the Cocktail Party on Oct. 31.
• Whatever happened to that Sam Bradford press conference to announce his future? Love this stat: Three starting Big 12 quarterbacks have started against Texas. Three Big 12 starting quarterbacks have not finished this games.
• WWL saw USC’s Matt Barkley on some Heisman lists this week. Check the Pac-10 first. Barks isn’t even the best freshman quarterback in his own league. Stanford’s Andrew Luck has thrown for almost 1,600 yards with nine touchdowns.
• National rushing leader Ryan Mathews of Fresno State is on pace to rush for almost 2,000 yards. Four of the six rush defenses he will face the remainder of the season are ranked 98th or worse against the run (New Mexico State, Utah State, Louisiana Tech and Illinois).
USC at Oregon. Trojans haven’t won in the state of Oregon since 2005 and need this one to stay in the Pac-10 and national championship hunt. Beavers, though, could end USC’s seven-year run of dominance with a win.
Texas at Oklahoma State. Cowboys thought they should have beaten the Horns last year in Austin. If they win in Stillwater, Pokes take control of the Big 12 South.
Posted on: October 21, 2009 12:18 pm
Edited on: October 21, 2009 12:28 pm
If you read Wednesday’s AP story, you know that the BCS commissioners don’t know what they want.
The title of “coordinator” of the Bowl Championship Series has been a sentence, not a position. The commissioners look forward to the one-year term of BCS coordinator about as much as a trip to the NCAA infractions committee.
They’ve talked intermittently about hiring an outside person to take over the day-to-day administration of the controversial system. They sure as hell don’t want to do it. What does that say about the system itself? You could put a pistol to my head and I couldn’t tell you what the “BCS coordinator” does. It’s a title emptier than Bud Selig’s head when it comes to replay.
The issue was coming to a head because Big East commissioner John Marinatto is due to take over as coordinator in January. He is a “rookie”, in his first year as commissioner. His fellow commissioners don’t want a rook taking over but that’s part of the problem. The Pac-10 and Big Ten commissioners don’t want the title at all. That eliminates three of the six BCS commissioners.
ACC commissioner John Swofford and SEC commissioner Mike Slive -- guys who actually served -- have had a hard time being coordinator. They have presidents within their conferences who are opposed to the BCS – Florida State president T.K. Wetherell in addition to Florida’s Bernie Machen and Georgia’s Michael Adams.
If the commishes do hire an outsider, they’ve got to decide to spend the money. Take it from me, they’re going to get some blow back from the schools if they pay someone like Archie Manning or Condoleezza Rice half a million a year. The money they’re producing is supposed to go directly to the schools.
What could an Archie or Condie do, really? They would be figureheads trying to sell snow to the Eskimos. But at least they’d be figureheads who could push the BCS with a clear conscience. That’s something Condie couldn’t do with her Bush Push of the presidential agenda.
We’ve already heard “No New Taxes”. Pardon us if we ignore cries of “Know Your Texas”.
I’ll take Archie as the first father of football. As a parent, he produces great quarterbacks. As a BCS flak, he'd probably become just as confused as the rest of us.
That’s why the commissioners don’t know what they want to do. It’s a job they don’t want, but who does?
These are your leaders in these categories halfway through the season:
Rushing: Nevada, 292.83 yards per game