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Tag:Florida State
Posted on: July 21, 2010 10:37 pm
 

SEC expansion fantasy

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Imagine Tech's academics classing up the SEC.

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

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

Preseason mags' top 25

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

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

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

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

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

A few notes, rules and notifications:

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

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

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

*Thirty seven schools received votes.

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

The annual compilation:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Posted on: July 6, 2010 11:38 am
Edited on: July 7, 2010 12:47 pm
 

Son of fresh faces

Friday I offered up 10 fresh faces to watch for 2010. Here are 21 more ...


Nick Becton, OT, Virginia Tech -- This sophomore replaces three-year starter Ed Wang at left tackle.

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.

Rutgers Super Sophs -- Six-foot-five quarterback Tom Savage threw for 14 touchdowns as a freshman. Receiver Mohamed Sanu (51 catches) is one of the fastest players in the game.

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.

Geno Smith, QB, West Virginia -- For the first time in five years, the Mountaineers don't have an experienced quarterback returning. Smith could be great (65 percent on 49 passes in '09) but will have to come back from a broken foot in the offseason.

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: May 20, 2010 8:38 pm
 

BCS can vacate USC's 2004 title

The BCS has the power  to vacate one of its championships should USC be found guilty violating of NCAA bylaws. The question is, what form would that take?

USA Today reported Wednesday that a little-known BCS rule added in January 2007 allows the BCS to vacate the championship of a team if it has found to be guilty of major rules violations. USC is awaiting penalties -- if any -- regarding the Reggie Bush case. Bush is alleged to have taken money and extra benefits from would-be agents while at the school. If he is ruled by the NCAA to have competed while ineligible, the association could strip USC victories while he was at the school. Only, then would the BCS step in.

But the NCAA doesn't sponsor a championship in football so it essentially has no jurisdiction on USC's '04 title. How the BCS would strip that title isn't clear.

The BCS can't compel the American Football Coaches Association or the Associated Press to take back trophies from the Trojans' 2004 championship season.  In other sports besides football, the NCAA typically only removes references of championships in media guides and record books of teams that have vacated wins.

In the case of the BCS, what record books? What media guides? The BCS runs a website, bcsfootball.org, and puts out a small pamphlet-like media guide each season. 

Since 1998, the AFCA has awarded a trophy to the winner of the BCS title game. The AP awards a trophy to a team that finishes No. 1 among the voters in its final poll. AP told the BCS to drop it from its formula a few years ago, in part due to a conflict of interest among its voters.

A college football national championship has never been forfeited or vacated (in the wire service era since 1936).

"The NCAA will do whatever we do," one BCS official said.


The NCAA has section in its record book recognizing BCS champions.

The NCAA has vacated those records and championships in basketball and other sports. That typically involves removing a teams' wins and championships of record books and media guides. In the case of Florida State's Bobby Bowden, it would have involved no reference its former coach being the all-time winningest coach in NCAA history.

Prior to his retirement, the veteran coach was within reach of catching Joe Paterno for No. 1 on the all-time list. The NCAA then forced Florida State to vacate 12 of his victories. Bowden finished with 377 career victories.

Category: NCAAF
Posted on: April 28, 2010 9:18 pm
Edited on: April 28, 2010 9:20 pm
 

How expansion could be stalled

Let's say the Big Ten doesn't have all the leverage in expansion.

Let's say the conference has been warned. Warned beyond Mike Slive's cryptic threat last week in Phoenix.

Let's say that if the Big Ten gets too big, too quick it could be met with a crippling retaliatory strike from the SEC. Let's say that strike could vault the SEC past the Big Ten in the current revenue pecking order.

That's what this is all about in the first place -- the Big Ten pumping $22 million per year to its teams and keeping the SEC in second place ($17 million per team). If the Big Ten senses that it could lose its position in the marketplace then expansion could be off, or extremely limited.

For the sake of argument, let's assume that Notre Dame is out of play for the Big Ten. The question I've asked from the beginning still exists: What combination of teams bring at least $22 million a year to the table for the Big Ten? I can't think of a combo although the Chicago Tribune quoted a league source a while ago saying, "We can all get richer if we get the right team or teams."

Richer, maybe, but not richer than the SEC?

What that source didn't point out was the SEC may be able to call and raise the Big Ten in this high stakes game of Hold 'Em. Make that Texas Hold 'Em. If the SEC can potentially out-earn the Big Ten that tells me that Texas may be in play for the SEC. If not the Longhorns then certainly Miami and Florida State. Maybe Miami, Florida State and Texas.

Look at this way: If the SEC can get Miami, Florida State, Texas and Texas A&M that potentially brings the South Florida and state of Texas markets into the league. The SEC would own the South even more than it does now. It would reach from Texas to the Deep South to South Florida. Think a league that contained the Gators, Noles and Canes be any good?

According to industry sources, most television contracts in these cases can be re-opened and renegotiated in cases of such radical membership change.

 Would such a move be enough to pass whatever expansion package the Big Ten can put together? Let's say the Big Ten has been warned. Facing that kind of uncertainty, the league might back off. Call it mutual disarmament.
 

Posted on: March 8, 2010 9:37 pm
 

Big 12 schedule analysis

(This is next installment of a continuing series analyzing the 2010 schedules of the BCS conferences)

You thought the Big 12 has been good lately? Year 15 of the conference kicks off with three familiar names at the top. At least two of the three are familiar.

Even with the loss of Colt McCoy, Texas never rebuilds (or is never allowed to). Oklahoma is over the loss of Sam Bradford as Landry Jones begins his first full season as starter. Nebraska is a fallen power making the long, slow slog back to the top. It hopes. But the Huskers are all the buzz coming off a 10-win season and sporting one of the nation's defenses -- even without a boy named Suh.

Elsewhere, there is depth throughout the Big 12. Missouri has established itself as a top 25 team every year. Texas Tech can only get better under Tommy Tuberville after Mike Leach's conduct going out the door almost ripped the program apart. Oklahoma State isn't going away with the Boone Pickens pipeline still running and Texas A&M is making strides, at least offensively. Baylor gets Robert Griffin back trying to end that pesky 15-year bowl-less streak.

Expect another national championship run, by some league team or another. A Big 12 team has been in five of the last seven BCS title games.

Game of the year: (non-conference) Florida State at Oklahoma, Sept. 11. In a sense, the suspense has been building for a decade. These teams last met in the 2000 BCS title game. Florida State is a shell of itself. Oklahoma not quite as strong as in the past. Watch for a rare Stoops vs. Stoops matchup. This time it's Oklahoma's Bob against FSU's Mark, the Seminoles new defensive coordinator. But there's so much more at stake here. This is essentially Jimbo Fisher's first real test (the opener is against Samford). It comes on the road in one of the game's most revered temples. We know FSU can score with Christian Ponder and other significant weapons. But for the Seminoles to get back to the top, it must start stopping people. God bless Mickey Andrews, but his final defense stunk. It's up to you, Mark.

Game of the year: (conference) Oklahoma vs. Texas, Oct. 16. As goes the Red River Shootout, so goes the Big 12. Or so it seems. The winner of this game usually has the inside track to the Big 12 South and national championship contention. Texas is a roll having won four of the last five. Included in that streak is two Big 12 titles, two national championship berths, one national championship. Or as they call it in Austin, "Doing pretty good lately."

Team on the spot: Nebraska. After a 10-win, Holiday Bowl-winning season in Bo Pelini's second year, we're all wondering if the Huskers are truly back. The Flying Pelinis will go into 2010 as favorites to win the North. At least. The next step is to win the Big 12 for the first time since 1999. Nebraska was one playmaker on offense -- one -- away from beating Texas last season. Armed with a fearsome defense, the only question for Pelini is whether his offense can score enough to make 10-2 a reality. Nebraska almost pulled off the upset last year. The toughest games (Texas, Missouri) are at home. Oklahoma is off the regular-season schedule.

Toughest non-conference schedule: Colorado. No surprise here. The Buffs haven't backed off in the non-con since the Bill McCartney days. Good for building a program, not good for keeping your job. Dan Hawkins starts a win-or-else season with Colorado State, Cal, Hawaii and Georgia outside of the Big 12. That's a blood rival, a Pac-10 team that tied USC for third in the Pac-10 and a Georgia team on the rebound. The only game you'd feel confident of putting in the win column is Hawaii and even that might be a stretch. CSU has split the last four meetings. CU has split the last four against the Pac-10 on the road but hasn't won in a Pac-10 stadium since 2004. Georgia is an SEC powerhouse coming off a down year but will be favored in Boulder. A 3-1 start is recommended. A 2-2 beginning might not be enough for Hawkins who has to play Missouri, Oklahoma and Nebraska on the road.

Easiest non-conference schedule: Missouri. The Tigers have beaten Illinois five consecutive times. McNeese State has never beaten a team from a current BCS conference. San Diego State last beat a team from a current BCS conference in 1999. Miami (Ohio) has lost 23 of its last 26. Throw in a home game against Colorado after that and the Tigers don't have to leave the state of Missouri to start 5-0.

 

 

Posted on: February 8, 2010 11:10 am
Edited on: February 8, 2010 11:11 am
 

Bobby Bowden era officially over

So it ends like this for Bobby Bowden. With paper work.

Florida State sealed the vault on the end of the Bowden era over the weekend by vacating 12 wins from 2006 and 2007 seasons. Nice job burying the embarrassment, suits, making sure it was released Super Bowl weekend. From the day the NCAA threw the massive academic fraud case back at FSU (It all but said, “You figure out how wins you should vacate!”) it was clear that Bowden wasn’t ever going to catch Joe Paterno.

But now it’s official. Bowden is retired and the distance between the FSU legend and JoePa is now 17 instead of five in the “race” for the all-time victories record. A race that is over, forever, which is sad.

The two principals who fought so hard for Bobby to keep his victories, AD Randy Spetman and outgoing president T.K. Wetherell, played an elaborate game of CYA. Ultimately, they were the gutless thugs who forced the great coach out the door. It was like having a rubber knife stuck in your back. There’s no wound but you sure as hell know the intent.

It was up to his players, the Gator Bowl and classy West Virginia coach Bill Stewart to send out Papa Bowden the right way last month in the bowl game. Now, after all the threats, Bowden loses 12 victories instead of 14.

Great job, fellas. We're talking everyone: AD, president, compliance, lawyers. Was it worth it?

Category: NCAAF
Posted on: December 9, 2009 10:50 am
 

Florida State defensive coordinator

The list is down to four for candidates to replace Mickey Andrews at Florida State defensive coordinator, Noleinsider.com is reporting.

Alabama linebackers coach Sal Sunseri, Arizona defensive coordinator Mark Stoops, South Carolina assistant head coach for defense Ellis Johnson and Virginia Tech defensive coordinator Bud Foster are reportedly the final four. While several outlets reported earlier this week that Sunseri was the guy, as of Tuesday Sunseri had not been formally contacted. Sunseri could still be the guy, however.

Also, Florida State offensive line coach Rick Trickett is interested in the vacant Marshall job.

 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com