Play Fantasy Use your Fantasy skills to win Cash Prizes. Join or start a league today. Play Now
 
Tag:Rose Bowl
Posted on: April 23, 2010 1:51 pm
Edited on: April 23, 2010 2:57 pm
 

Cowboys Stadium is coming to the BCS

Jerry Jones has been typically aggressive lately. Somehow the Cowboys' owner convinced Wade Phillips to stay for another season, then got him boy scout Dez Bryant in the draft.

There's another side to JJ's aggressiveness -- filling his new stadium. Since it opened it has been filled with basketball games (including the NBA all-star game), a soccer game, the Cotton Bowl and other neutral site games. About the only thing missing from Cowboys Stadium is a BCS game.

Trust me, it's coming. It's coming because the Cowboys owner remains aggressive. Don't be surprised if the city of Dallas, backed by Jones, makes a bid for the 2020 Summer Olympics. Cowboys Stadium could be expanded to 100,000 for soccer and could easily be the site of the opening and closing ceremonies.

It's coming because you can't keep the best stadium in the world (at least for football) out of the mix. Three-plus months ago I wrote that the BCS would listen if Jones called. The devil is in the details. The current BCS bowls have a hard enough time hosting a championship game once every four years. Theoretically, the addition of Cowboys Stadium would push that to once every five years.

Unless ...

Unless the BCS has to expand. There are two ways...

1) As part of conference expansion the Big Ten and SEC demand the BCS rescind the two BCS-bowl limit per conference. A case can be made for both expanded 16-team super conferences having enough members to merit a chance at three BCS bowls.

That's up to six of the 10 slots taken by two leagues. With the Big 12, Pac-10, Big East and ACC still guaranteed slots, there stkill has to be room made for the non-BCS qualifier. The reasonable thing to do is expand the BCS by one bowl. No one said that Cowboys Stadium bowl has to be a championship game. Have the Cotton Bowl replace the double-hosting game on Jan. 1.

The big four bowls get to stay in the rotation, the Cotton gets into the BCS with a better game than it could ever get now with the Big 12 and SEC. Everybody is happy.

2) Extrapolate this expansion thing out to its likely conclusion -- four, 16-team conferences. At some point or another the commissioners have to think about a plus-one.

The four super conference winners meet in a four-team bracket. While the commissioners are against such a set-up at the moment, think of this:

If the Super 64 broke away from the NCAA, they could do anything they wanted. No Orrin Hatch, no anti-trust threats, just a lucrative entity that they could market to the highest bidder.

There's no worry about rotating the championship game because all five major bowls (Fiesta, Rose, Orange, Sugar, Cotton) are involved in the bracket every year. Here's one five-year rotation example...

First year: Fiesta-Cotton winner vs. Orange-Rose winner in the Sugar Bowl.

Second year: Sugar-Fiesta winner vs. Cotton-Orange winner in the Rose Bowl.

Third year: Rose-Sugar winner vs.  Fiesta-Cotton winner in the Orange Bowl.

Fourth year:  Orange- Rose vs. Sugar-Fiesta winner in the Cotton Bowl.

Fifth year:   Cotton-Orange winner vs. Rose-Sugar winner in the Fiesta Bowl.

In the years when a bowl isn't hosting a championship, it is hosting a national semifinal. There's a huge hurdle to get over here with the Rose Bowl. It says it will never be part of a playoff. But as we've seen lately, the game is about to change in radical ways.  

Maybe it works or maybe all this expansion talk has made loopier than after my second martini...

Posted on: February 2, 2010 3:30 pm
 

NCAA Tournament vs. BCS

One playoff plan may end up in the hands of the Justice Department. Another new one is a heartbeat away.

The difference between the college football and basketball postseasons are being played out at the same time. Football, of course, doesn’t have a playoff. Basketball has the perfect playoff.

The BCS is protected by a cadre of lawyers who believe that the maddening system is not in violation of the Sherman Anti-Trust Act. That protection is being challenged by Sen. Orrin Hatch who has asked the Justice Department to look into the legality of the system.

Meanwhile, March Madness is perceived as the best, fairest way to decide a national champion.

In both cases, the keepers of both postseasons are willling to do anything financially to prop up their systems. The BCS had spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on lobbyists and PR flacks to promote their system. The NCAA is considering expanding the 65-team basketball tournament to 96.

The irony is dripping from the headlines. Never mind that BCS executive director Bill Hancock is hawking football’s flawed postseason after spending 13 years running the NCAA Tournament. Big Ten commissioner Jim Delany and Texas AD DeLoss Dodds questioned the wisdom of expanding the bracket Tuesday in USA Today.

One is the head of a BCS conference getting BCS money. The other is the AD of the richest athletic department in the country -- also getting BCS money.

Expansion is bad? Getting a mixed message here, guys. Delany’s own conference apparently is aggressively pursuing expansion, perhaps by as many as three schools. Texas leads the world in post-secondary athletic facilities and is paying its coach $5 million a year.

Scratch that mixed message. We’re getting a headache. The keepers of the flame are also the bloaters of the flame. Both men say the process for “bracket creep” should be more transparent.

Texas didn’t canvas public opinion when it paid Mack Brown that $5 million. The Rose Bowl, Pac-10 and Big Ten don’t let us in on their contract negotiations. The Big Ten isn’t going to hold a press conference when officials are on campus examining expansion candidates.

At issue is whether the NCAA will opt out early this year from the 11-year, $6 billion tournament contract with CBS.

Dodds and Delany are both rightly worried about revenue split after adding 31 teams. In other words, does expansion make financial sense? There is no expansion without the money to back it up.  These two guys know money. Ask Big Ten schools which make $16 million per year off conference contracts. Ask Texas which, in the uneven Big 12 revenue split, makes at least $4 million per season than Baylor.

As for the expansion itself, it seems to me that the NCAA is about to ruin a good thing, a perfect thing by opting out and expanding the tournament. (Full disclosure: I work for CBS which stands to lose the contract but what the heck. This is my blog.) Ninety-six seems like too many teams. That’s the equivalent of a 34-team playoff in football.

That would go a long way toward making both postseasons even. They would both stink.

Category: NCAAF
Posted on: November 16, 2009 12:43 pm
 

How Cincinnati becomes USC

One of the knocks on USC this week is that it got eviscerated by Stanford and still remained in the polls (No. 21 in coaches, No. 22 in AP). Had it been a Clemson or a Missouri, they would have been dropped so far out of the polls they would have needed the Hubble telescope to see No. 25.

But the Trojans are still ranked and still have a slight chance to go to the Rose Bowl through a series of tiebreakers.  How Cincinnati takes on the USC disguise is if it passes TCU in the BCS rankings down the stretch.  Cincy probably has a weaker schedule than TCU but will get a big push from playing Illinois – yes, Illinois – and Pittsburgh in the final two games.

TCU has Wyoming and New Mexico. A jump by Cincinnati could make a huge difference if two of the top three lose. While that’s not likely, imagine the screams you would hear from Fort Worth if Cincinnati played for a national championship over the Frogs.

Think about that: Cincinnati getting to the championship because it has more "name brand" value than ... anyone!

Cincinnati signature victories: Rutgers, Oregon State

TCU signature victories: at Clemson (possible ACC champion), at Virginia, at BYU, Utah. That’s three ranked teams and as many or more ACC wins than four ACC teams.

Posted on: October 14, 2009 6:22 pm
 

National notes

Thank you Florida State for releasing the 695-page transcript of the school's hearing with the NCAA earlier this year.

What the school gained in transparency, it lost in embarrassment. In the transcript we found out that one academic advisor said a player had a 60 IQ and was unable to read. Gee, what was he doing at Florida State then?

 Jan. 1 used to be a holy day of obligation. Hook up an IV of beer, spread out the snacks, let the belt out a notch and veg in front of the TV.

Lately, our day of football daze has been denuded of significance. The calendar for Jan. 1, 2011 now shows at least six games. Six! The announcement of the Dallas Classic beginning in 14 months further degrades what used to be the best football day of the year.

Just what the world needs, a No. 7 team from the Big 12 vs. some slug from Conference USA. Jan. 1 used to be special. All the majors played on the same day. Now the Rose, Fiesta, Sugar and Orange are so spread out you need a GPS to locate them all.

In addition to the Rose and Sugar, this year we’ll get the Gator, Capital One and Outback. The roster swells next year because Dallas felt the need to replace the Cotton Bowl game it is losing to the new Cowboys Stadium in Arlington. The new Dallas Classic will be played in the Cotton Bowl.

Can’t wait to see the attendance in the 92,000 stadium which is essentially used twice a year. The other time being for Texas-Oklahoma. Got a birthday or a bar mitzvah coming up, the Cotton Bowl is available.

The Rose Bowl has been the Jan. 1 stalwart. We could always look forward to seeing the parade and the San Gabriel Mountains each New Year’s Day. Nurse that hangover, suck on a Bloody Mary. It was all good. In recent years, even the Rose has been moved around in years it is in the BCS championship rotation.


The game itself has become almost an afterthought with the Big Ten having lost seven Grandaddys in a row.

Sure, it’s a national holiday and advertisers know we’re going to be home to watch, but we want our NYD back. The beer is going flat.


 Expanding on the Ndamukong Suh angle. If the Nebraska defensive tackle is on top of the list, here are the other top five defense players in the country.

2. Eric Berry, S, Tennessee. The SEC defensive player of the year hasn’t backed off. Berry has an incredible 50 tackles and one interception of Tim Tebow.

3.Tyler Sash, S, Iowa. Tied for the national lead in interceptions with five.

4.Brandon Spikes, LB, Florida. The fastest, meanest linebacker around playing for the No. 1 defense. Thirty-two tackles, four tackles for loss and two sacks.

5. Rolando McClain, LB, Alabama. Bama has the No. 2 defense in the country. McClain is the center of it with 42 tackles, 5 ½ for loss, two sacks and two interceptions.

  This week’s Scripps Howard Heisman poll which yours truly votes in.

            (10 voters. First-place votes in parentheses.)
            1. Tim Tebow, QB, Florida. 40 points (8).
            2. Colt McCoy, QB, Texas, 25.
            3. Tony Pike, QB, Cincinnati, 13.
            4 (tie). Jimmy Clausen, QB, Notre Dame;
            Case Keenum, QB, Houston, 12.
           
            Others receiving votes: Nebraska DT Ndamukong, Suh, 7; Miami QB Jacory Harris, 6; Texas WR Jordan Shipley 5 (1); Kansas QB Todd Reesing 5 (1); Alabama RB Mark Ingram 5; Stanford RB Toby Gerhart, 2; Boise State QB Kellen Moore, 2.
 
 
 Weird meeting of the headsets Thursday in South Florida.

Cincinnati’s Brian Kelly fired defensive coordinator Joe Tresey after last season. Tresey was then hired by Bulls’ coach Jim Leavitt. South Florida enters Thursday’s showdown fifth in scoring defense (9.4 points per game) after allowing 20 per game last season.

Advantage Tresey who knows Cincy’s personnel and whose team is at home? Not exactly. Kelly’s new d-coordinator Bob Diaco has the Bearcats at No. 10 in scoring defense (13.8 points).

 Props to Lousiana-Monroe which has its longest conference winning streak (three games) since 1992. The Warhawks have one of the smallest budgets in I-A and are coached by the coach thought to be the lowest paid in the division, Charlie Weatherbie.

 The WAC is at it again. Idaho’s Tre’Shawn Robinson was reprimanded by the conference after throwing a punch against San Jose State. Reprimanded, not suspended. Sound familiar, Boise State?

 We’ll know more next week but Washington looks to be the most improved team in the country at the halfway point. The Huskies are 3-3 heading to Saturday’s game at Arizona State. That’s a net improvement of six games over last season’s 0-12 record. The season reaches its halfway point on Saturday.

Posted on: November 9, 2008 7:52 pm
Edited on: November 9, 2008 8:50 pm
 

Random thoughts on a football Saturday

The BCS question of the week: If Oklahoma beats Texas Tech in two weeks ,which Big 12 team wins the South and could ultimately get to the BCS title game?

The national championship chase is basically down to six teams if you make a reach and include No. 6 (in the BCS) USC. As of this moment, it's pretty much assured that the Big 12 and SEC will meet in South Florida.

Alabama and Texas Tech remained 1-2 in the BCS standings released on Sunday. Now the intrigue: Texas moved up to No. 3, followed by Florida and Oklahoma. All three Big 12 teams in the top five have a chance to win the Big 12 South.

An Oklahoma win in two weeks would create a three-way tie for the division. (Oklahoma still has still has to go to Oklahoma State on Nov. 29) That tie would be broken by the highest-ranked BCS team at the end of the regular season.

So who gets it?

"Can't say," Jerry Palm told me Sunday afternoon.

This much we do know: Texas has a huge advantage over Oklahoma in the computers, .920-.820. Palm says, in theory, all OU would have to do is pass Texas in the computers. That's possible considering Oklahoma's stronger schedule than Texas down the stretch.

There's also a huge variable -- the human polls. Texas jumped over Oklahoma on Sunday in the Harris poll.

The outrage in all this -- at least for Texas -- is that Oklahoma lost to the Longhorns and could be playing for the Big 12 title instead of Texas.

Another scenario. Texas Tech could lose in two weeks and still win the South if Oklahoma State beats Oklahoma. In that case, Texas and Texas Tech would be tied but the Red Raiders hold the head-to-head tiebreaker.

 After watching the quality of play in the LSU-Alabama game -- folks, it was not good -- I don't want to hear anything about how the Big 12 somehow takes a back seat to the SEC.

 

Example: In the 19 games since Ruffin McNeil took over as Texas Tech's defensive coordinator, the Red Raiders are giving up an average of 22 points and 330 yards having forced 35 turnovers.

Last season Texas Tech gave up 610 yards and 49 points to Oklahoma State. After the game Setenich resigned and was replaced by McNeil. On Saturday, Texas Tech gave up only 368 yards and 20 points.

"Our defense is never mentioned in the same breath with our offense," McNeil said. "Our offense is so consistent. That's where we're trying to get."

 Texas Tech became the second team since 1965 to beat a top 10 team the week after beating No. 1. The last team to accomplish what was Oklahoma in 1984. The Sooners beat No. 1 Nebraska, then beat No. 3 Oklahoma State.

 

 There was word circulating that the Rose Bowl would break its cast-in-stone (and broken only by the BCS) tradition of matching the Pac-10 and Big Ten.

 

There were some in the Rose administration -- just like us -- who simply did not want to see Ohio State and USC play again. Who wants to see a re-run of also-rans?

After Saturday, it looks like the Rose will be juuuuust fine. If you consider Oregon State vs. Penn State "fine." That would be a rematch of Penn State's Sept. 6 rout of the Beavers but any major bowl with Joe Paterno in it would be better than Trojans-Buckeyes.

The Nittany Lions' one-point loss to Iowa just about dropped the Big Ten out of the national championship picture. Penn State can still win out (against Indiana and Michigan State) and still capture the Big Ten.

The looming surprise is that with four weeks to go, Oregon State still controls its own destiny in the Pac-10. The Beavers stayed on track with an impressive 34-6 victory over UCLA. The pesky Beavers have Cal and Oregon at home before going to Arizona for the season-finale on Nov. 29.

That's not exactly a daunting schedule considering the Pac-10 is going to have to hustle to fill its six bowl slots. Only five teams are above .500.

Oregon State would be making its first Rose Bowl appearance since 1965.

 Nothing like sacking up for your lame duck coach.

 

Hard to tell who should be more embarrassed -- Tennessee's players for laying down to punchless Wyoming or Fulmer who couldn't squeeze a win-one-for-the skipper game out of the Vols.

Incredibly, Wyoming coach Joe Glenn, almost a certainty to be fired himself, is 3-1 against the SEC.

 The ACC is the only I-A conference with at least two conference losses by every member school.

 

 How bad is the Pac-10? It is basically down to Stanford (5-5) to fill all six of its bowls. Only five teams to this point are bowl eligible. The Cardinal have to beat USC at home or win at Cal to become bowl eligible. 

 

 Happy 79th to Bobby Bowden who celebrated his birthday with a victory over Clemson that put Florida State in a tie with Wake Forest for a tie in the ACC Atlantic.

 

Posted on: November 5, 2008 10:32 am
 

National notes

What is the immediate future of Tennessee football?

I'm talking two, three years down the road. I have a nagging feeling that Tennessee could become the new Nebraska. A fallen power. Nebraska will never win three national championships in five years. Those days are over.
I'm wondering when the Huskers will challenge for the Big 12 North again. As recently as early this decade, Nebraska was still dominating the division.

Tennessee has won three SEC East titles in the past seven years. That's not bad, folks. Will the next coach do that? The school has the facilities and interest and budget to win big. How does it get that back in one of the most competitive atmospheres in the country?

 Good to see that Steve Spurrier has officially declined interest in tap-dancing on Phil Fulmer's grave, er, in the vacancy. After all, you can't spell Steve Spurrier without UT.

 Before that the Old Ball Coach took a few final jabs at his favorite target. After South Carolina beat the Vols 27-6, Steve Spurrier said: "I'm used to hearing 'Rocky Top' about 10 times. Did they play it at all? I can't remember any of it. Usually you hear that song -- maybe they only play it after they score." Ouch.

 

 USC has become a victim of its own excellence. The Trojans dropped from fifth to seventh this week in the BCS standings despite shutting out Washington 56-0. Apparently the pollsters and computers aren't impressed with the Pac-10 conference.

 

Since the BCS standings debuted, USC is 3-0 having outscored Washington State, Arizona and Washington by a combined 142-10. In that time USC has lost 7.5 percent of its BCS average (.8165 to .7551).

Three of the six BCS computers have the Pac-10 ranked no higher than fourth (Billingsley, fourth; Sagarin, sixth; Colley, seventh behind the Mountain West).

"The more we win, the worse we get," Pete Carroll said.

 BYU needs Utah to beat TCU on Thursday to have any chance of winning its third consecutive Mountain West title.

 

Where is BYU quarterback Max Hall going to be?

"Can't miss 'The Office,' Hall said before changing his story. "I don't know. I will probably pay attention to it. I will probably watch it."
 
 
 Greg Robinson has won three Big East games in four seasons at Syracuse. Two of those are over Louisville's Steve Kragthorpe. Might want to add another name to the hot list.

 This week's SEC ill feeling of the week descends upon Baton Rouge where Nick Saban makes his return as a college coach to LSU.

 

"This isn't about me," Bama's coach said.

Uh, yeah it is, Nick. It's all about you walking out on LSU for the NFL. That in and of itself isn't bad. Who among us wouldn't jump at the chance for a huge promotion?

The mistake is coming back into the belly of the beast (Death Valley!) and trying to deflect the attention. Check this comment from the SEC meetings earlier this year. The guy doesn't exactly expect a welcoming committee.

"All I know is when we had a staff meeting about who goes on what bus, who rides where and all that kind of stuff, it was pretty unanimous in our staff that when we go to LSU, nobody's riding on the bus I'm on," Saban said.

 The pandering went down to the last day for Mr. Hope and Change. Barack Obama continued to tell us what we wanted to hear without offering any substance.

 

"I think it is about time that we had playoffs in college football," Obama said during a Monday interview. "I'm fed up with these computer rankings and this and that and the other. Get eight teams -- the top eight teams right at the end. You got a playoff. Decide a national champion."

That will resonate with Joe Six Pack, which is the point of Obama's entire campaign. Hope and change are empty terms. I'm betting Mr. H and C knows as much about college football as the average cricket player.

How are you going to select the eight teams? What about the ninth team? What about the bowls? Where are the games going to be? You might want to check with the Rose Bowl, Pac-10 and Big Ten.

A lifetime of Washington experience counts more than charisma and empty promises. To paraphrase Dennis Miller, John McCain gave us 5 1/2 years in a Vietnamese prison, I believe we owed him at least four in the White House.

 Mystery team of the week. Unbeaten, No. 1 in total defense in a major conference, tied for 54th nationally in total defense. Answer below.

 

 Tyrell Fenroy of Louisiana-Lafayette became the seventh player to rush for 1,000 yards in each of four seasons. He joins a list that includes Tony Dorsett, Cedric Benson and Ron Dayne.

 

 More Tennessee:

 

One of the more striking aspects of Phil Fulmer's firing is the support showed by his players.

“I just feel like I just lost one of my ribs and my kidney or something,” safety Eric Berry said. “I feel like I just lost a family member. Nobody has died, but that’s what it feels like to me right now.”

"That right there wasn't very stand up of Tennessee ... He should go out on his own terms," offensive lineman Ramon Foster said.  "If you're on the other side of the fence we hope you're happy."

 Tennessee AD Mike Hamilton's letter to alumni:

 

Dear friends,


This afternoon, Coach Fulmer announced he will step aside at the conclusion of the football season. I want to express my sincere gratitude for everything he has done for the University and our program.

Coach Fulmer has been, and will continue to be, a great representative of the University and the athletic department. He has dedicated a majority of his life to our program and brought home two SEC championships and a national championship. He has secured his place as the second winningest coach in Tennessee history behind General Neyland. I personally appreciate everything he has done for Tennessee and look forward to him continuing to be a part of our family.

I hope that you will come and show your appreciation for Coach Fulmer at the Wyoming and Vanderbilt games as well as the Kentucky game on Nov. 29 when we celebrate “Phillip Fulmer Day” in Neyland Stadium.

We will begin a national coaching search immediately. We have a great University, world-class student-athletes, a tremendous fans base and first-class facilities. As a result, we will attract some of the nation’s best candidates. We will introduce a new coach to you over the next several weeks.

Thank you for your continued support of Tennessee football.

Sincerely,

Mike Hamilton

 

 Kentucky wishes Randall Cobbs could clone himself. In his first career start, he threw for 56 yards and a touchdown in a 14-13 win over Mississippi State. Cobbs also rushed for 31 yards and a touchdown.

 

He also caught a team-high three passes as a receiver and returned a few punts.

"If I were our field goal kickers, I'd be worried," offensive coordinator Joker Phillips said.

 Texas Tech is your mystery team of the week.

 

Posted on: October 30, 2008 4:59 pm
 

Weekend bloglist

A tease on what is to come Friday in the Weekend Watch List. There's so much information this week I can't contain myself ...

A Bowl Championship Series primer: The three biggest BCS questions on your mind.

Can Oklahoma jump Texas and play in the BCS title game without winning the Big 12? The inherent outrage is that Texas has beaten OU head-to-head.

Scenario: Texas and Oklahoma each finish with one loss but Texas still wins the Big 12. Texas probably would still finish ahead of OU but would it still be in the top two? 

If the top three win out which team will be left out? No question, Penn State.

Both Texas and Alabama not only would be undefeated but would have played a stronger schedule and have the advantage of playing an extra game in the conference championship.

If Big Ten commissioner Jim Delany has any problem with that he can take it up with the Rose Bowl.

Wait a minute, wouldn't the coaches' poll tend to heavily favor Joe Paterno? The coaches are inconsistent and hold grudges at times in their poll voting but this isn't 1997.

That was the year the coaches essentially gave Tom Osborne a lifetime achievement award with a co-championship in their poll. Osborne had announced his retirement a month earlier.

The polls are much less influential in the BCS age. The two human polls combined count for only one-third of the formula.

Can a one-loss SEC champion get into the BCS title game if there are only two undefeated teams left at the top? Even the SEC isn't that powerful. If Texas and Penn State win out, it's likely they will meet in South Florida.

There will be arguments from below the Mason-Dixon Line that a 12-1 Alabama (or Florida or Georgia) deserves to play for it all. Sorry, a loss is a loss is a loss.

That makes Florida-Georgia an elimination game. In the SEC West, Alabama can't afford to trip up before the SEC title game with its toughest test Nov. 8 at LSU.

 

Posted on: August 14, 2008 1:26 pm
Edited on: August 14, 2008 7:16 pm
 

Don't forget to keep watching the SEC on CBS


Good news for me. CBS and SEC have hooked up for the next 15 years.

Bad news for Fox. To my knowledge, there are no major-conference TV contracts up there for renewal. The Fox mothership remains in a somewhat awkward position of televising five college games a year -- the BCS games minus the Rose and the Cotton Bowl. When I talked to Fox Sports president Ed Goren in April he reiterated that the network was still looking for a regular-season piece.

For now, the SEC was the last, most lucrative piece, available.

 

Category: NCAAF
Tags: Fox, Rose Bowl, SEC
 
 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com