Tag:Utah
Posted on: August 26, 2010 8:13 am
Edited on: August 26, 2010 2:30 pm
 

FWAA vacates USC 2004 title

The Football Writers Association of America has vacated USC's 2004 national championship and asked the school to return the Grantland Rice Trophy that symbolized that title.

The announcement was made Thursday morning after a resolutions committee voted by confidential ballot. USC will be eligible for the FWAA's preseason poll but cannot win the trophy in 2010. The action was taken after NCAA penalties were handed down in June. Among other violations, the NCAA concluded that former tailback Reggie Bush competing while ineligible

The Grantland Rice Trophy has been awarded continuously to its national champion since 1954 by the FWAA. The BCS is on record as saying it will vacate the USC title if the school's NCAA appeal fails. The Heisman Trophy Trust is still discussing its stance on Bush's 2004 award. Shortly after taking the job, new USC AD Pat Haden ordered the school's copy of Bush's trophy returned to the trust.

Tim Griffin, the current FWAA president, wrote this in his letter notifying USC of the FWAA's decisions: "Had these facts been known, USC would not have been selected for the award ... in light of standards applicable to FWAA poll participants, award candidates and award recipients. All finalists for FWAA team and individual awards, including the Grantland Rice Award and Trophy, reasonably are presumed to have been in material compliance with certain qualifying standards at the time of award issuance."

The coaches' poll is not ranking USC this season because the school is on NCAA probation. USC remains eligible to be ranked in the Associated Press poll and can finish No. 1. It is No. 14 in the AP preseason poll. The AP did not strip USC of its 2004 title.

The FWAA took no action to elevate a new champion for 2004. It stated that USC is eligible for its preseason poll but will not be eligible to be voted on in its season-ending poll. Auburn was also notified of Thursday's action by the FWAA. In addition to USC, Auburn and Utah also finished undefeated that season.

The FWAA is one of four major championship selectors recognized by the NCAA. This is the first time the FWAA has taken such action.

(Dennis Dodd is a past president of the FWAA and was a member of the resolutions committee on this matter)

Category: NCAAF
Tags: Auburn, USC, Utah
 
Posted on: August 23, 2010 2:44 pm
 

Have the BCS and BYU talked regarding access?

You have to assume that BYU's schedule as an independent is not a problem. At least not as big a one as I believed in the beginning.

The Salt Lake City Tribune reported last week that it was a "done deal" that BYU's football program was going indy. You don't get that far down the road without having a reasonable idea that there will be enough teams to schedule. Whether the WAC lives or dies, there's still a chance to play four to six of the remaining teams. Notre Dame could be sprinkled in every now and then. Throw in the two service academies, Army and Navy. That still leaves, at least, four games remaining.

But, again, I'm going to assume BYU has that figured out.

The real reason that BYU is in Purgatory West, rather than the Mountain West at this point is TV revenue. It's no secret the administration is not satisfied with The Mtn., the league's four-year old network which has yet to turn a profit. BYU may be talking to ESPN for both carriage of some of its games and as a partner to line up opponents as an independent.

The questions might be: What kind of deal is ESPN willing to do with BYU as an independent vs. what kind of break MWC will give BYU in terms of television exposure outside The Mtn.

Another huge reason for BYU's waffling, it is becoming clear, is its BCS access. It can line up a schedule. It can get more games on ESPN. But the only way it gets closer to a BCS bowl without having to go back to the MWC hat in hand, is to get easier access to the BCS. I have reason to believe BYU and BCS parties have talked. Could it be about improved access? As an independent BYU, along with Army and Navy, would have worst access to a BCS bowl. Those three teams would have same access point: Ranked No. 1 or No. 2, automatic. Other than, no automatic access point. Those three teams would be eligible if they finished in the top 14 of the BCS. BYU finished No. 14, its highest BCS finish, in 2009 and still was trumped by Florida, Iowa and Boise State as at-large teams.

 Remember, there are only four available at-large spots (out of 10) for independents. The other six spots (seven if Notre Dame qualifies) are taken up by the BCS conference champions.

The feeling is that BYU would have gone independent and placed its minor sports in the WAC had Craig Thompson not plucked Fresno State and Nevada. Now BYU has to determine if it wants to put its minor sports in the WAC (what WAC?), the West Coast Conference or the MWC. In the case of the last option, it's doubtful the MWC would allow BYU to put its minor sports in its league if football was independent.

Right now, no one has full leverage. BYU can't find enough games, improved access or more television money at the moment. The MWC doesn't want to lose BYU because it might lose The Mtn. Thompson wouldn't confirm there is language in the contract that allows The Mtn. to dissolve if Utah and/or BYU leave. That, however, is the assumption.

We are in Day 5 of a strange standoff.

For entertainment purposes only here are BYU's games already scheduled through 2014 (source: San Jose Mercury News).

2011

Utah
Oregon State
Texas
Utah State
Games needed: 8

2012

Oregon State
Utah State
Boise State
Hawaii
Utah
Games needed: 7

2013

Texas
Boise State
Hawaii
Utah
Games needed: 8

2014

Texas
Boise State
Utah
Games needed: 9

Posted on: August 21, 2010 3:12 pm
Edited on: August 21, 2010 3:24 pm
 

Preseason AP poll analysis

His name is Joe Giglio of the Raleigh News and Observer.

In 10 keystrokes of brilliance he made himself and his newspaper more relevant. That's not a swipe, that's a salute to the only AP voter to award a No. 1 vote to Boise State. In a year when the whole seems to have turned Crimson, Giglio hopefully made us aware of the obvious.

Boise State can win the national championship. Not just because it is ranked No. 5 in the coaches' poll and No. 3 in AP. True, it is positioned well to make a run -- Virginia Tech, Oregon State and the bye known as the WAC schedule.

But you have to see these guys play. I don't mean reading a preseason mag, I mean really see them play. For some not-fully-explained reason, every time Boise plays "up" it seems to win. (4-1 vs. BCS schools since 2006) I already wrote that coach Chris Petersen is upset that the Broncos aren't the cuddly underdog anymore.

Now we have to admit they are a powerhouse. What other proof do you need? They're not good because of who they don't play. You can only play the teams in your conference. You certainly can't criticize them for playing a weak non-conference schedule.

If Boise State gets to the championship game, it will have earned it. Giglio is like me. His eyes have been opened.

Other observations about the AP preseason poll ...

This is the first time since 1978, Alabama has been the AP preseason No 1. In the wire service era, Alabama is 72-8-3 in years after national championships.

The highest-ranked Big East team is Pittsburgh at No. 15. This important only because of the Panthers' schedule which has them playing Utah and Miami in the first four weeks.

To no one's surprise, the SEC has six teams in the top 25.

At No. 14, USC has its lowest preseason rank since 2002, Pete Carroll's second year.

At No. 23, Georgia has its lowest preseason AP rank since 2001.

The farthest back a team has come to win a championship in the BCS era is LSU in 2003. It was No. 12 in the first BCS rankings.

Posted on: August 20, 2010 3:41 pm
 

Houston not in MWC plans as of now

Mountain West Conference commissioner Craig Thompson just told me there is nothing to the Houston speculation.

"I haven't had any communication with Houston," he said.

There had been increasing speculation that Houston was headed to the MWC from Conference USA. Thompson did meet with CUSA commissioner Britton Banowsky on Thursday. He called it a "think tank" session. Out of the brainstorming came an idea to perhaps stage a BCS play-in game between the two conferences.

There was also the discussion that 22 or 23-team partnership, short of a merger, where the two conferences could market themselves together. He also said that there is language in the The Mtn. network contract with CBS College Sports and Comcast regarding BYU and Utah. He would not be specific about the viability of The Mtn. going forward without one or both in the Mountain West.
Category: NCAAF
Posted on: August 20, 2010 11:48 am
Edited on: August 20, 2010 5:01 pm
 

CUSA and MWC discuss BCS play-in and updated info

The commissioners of Conference USA and the Mountain West have had preliminary discussions regarding a BCS bowl play-in game between the two conferences' champions that would lead to an automatic BCS bowl berth, MWC commissioner Craig Thompson confirmed Friday after CBSSports.com's initial report.

Thompson and his Conference USA counterpart Britton Banowsky spoke Thursday in the midst of upheaval below the BCS conference level according to the source. There are few specifics at this point but the idea is to make both conferences more relevant and perhaps coax BYU into staying in the Mountain West. Thompson stressed the preliminary nature of the talks. Here is how the MWC couched things on its website.

"We had probably set this up about a month ago," Thompson said. "We said, 'Let's just talk about what's going on if there are going to be all these superconferences ...' We did speak about, 'What if a group of 22-24 teams were to approach the BCS about an automatic bid vs. the nine, or eight or 10-mmeber Mountain West?' That was on the table. I'd like to label it a 'think session.' "

No information has been submitted to BCS officials from the two leagues. In fact, 2010 begins a new four-year cycle for the BCS. That would mean the soonest anything could be in place is at the end of the 2014 season.

"The conferences have agreed to this format for the next four years," BCS executive director Bill Hancock said.

Conference USA and the Mountain West were among those conferences.

"We talked [with CUSA] about marketing 24 instead of 12, 10, whatever," Thompson added. "The bottom line is this is the first of four years. We haven't played this year's BCS games. This is like kindergarten in formal education. We're just talking."


Nothing much has changed in terms of access in the new BCS agreement. The champions of the six BCS leagues get automatic BCS bowl berths (ACC, Pac-10, Big 12, SEC, Big Ten, Big East). The other four BCS bowl berths are filled by schools that reach at-large qualification standards. In the Mountain West, Utah (twice) and TCU have gained at-large berths in recent years. Conference USA has not had a BCS bowl team.

CUSA and the MWC are among the conferences that are halfway through a four-year evaluation process to determine a possible temporary BCS automatic-qualifying status in 2012 and 2013. The Mountain West was close to achieving that status until it lost Utah in the offseason and invited Boise State, Fresno State and Nevada into the league.
 
The subject of a BCS bowl play-in game among non-BCS leagues has been discussed informally in the past. Conference USA and the MWC would probably have to get approval from the other nine Division I-A conferences. One potential roadblock: The three other non-BCS leagues (MAC, WAC, Sun Belt) probably would have an issue with those two conferences playing for a BCS bowl instead of them. The WAC probably isn't on the best terms with the MWC right now. The WAC has placed teams in BCS bowls three times (winning twice) since 2007.

This would not be a merger between Conference USA and the MWC, but a play-in game to advance to the BCS after both leagues decided their conference champions. Conference USA already stages a conference championship game. The Mountain West is in a state of flux as BYU decides if it wants to leave the league and play as an independent in football. Fresno State and Nevada accepted invitations to join the MWC this week, supposedly beginning in 2012. Since it's not certain how many members the MWC will have going forward, it's not certain if it will attempt to stage a conference championship game of its own.

A play-in game could mean at least one of the leagues would be playing 15 games in a season, counting a conference title game, BCS play-in game and bowl game.

The MWC is still waiting on BYU's decision. As of Friday afternoon, the Mormon flagship was supposedly still deciding whether to go independent in football. BYU had, or has, a standing agreement to play four-to-six games against WAC teams and put its non-football sports in the conference.


Thompson addressed the status of his conference's automatic BCS qualification in 2012 and 2013. If the MWC (and other non-BCS leagues) achieve a level of three mathematical benchmarks during a four-year evaluation period ending after the 2011 season they would earn a temporary automatic access to a BCS bowl. If they achieve two of the three benchmarks -- which is where the MWC is right now -- their admission would be subject to a waiver granted by the BCS. That waiver process has not been defined by the BCS.

In the past, the Big East has retained automatic BCS status by waiver.

"The numbers aren't that frigging difficult to figure out," Thompson said. "No, we are no qualified. We have not qualified. We've got two years left to go."


As of early June, the MWC's BCS prospects looked excellent. Boise State had joined the league, adding its numbers to the mix. Then Utah bolted for the Pac-10. When Fresno and Nevada joined that possibly diluting the numbers.

Thompson would not be specific on the status of The Mtn. contract with league. A source told CBSSports.com this week that the absence of Utah and/or BYU could allow conference's network to walk away from the MWC partnership. Thompson said only that there is language in the contract regarding membership. The Mtn. is owned by Comcast and CBS College Sports.



Posted on: August 18, 2010 3:42 pm
Edited on: August 18, 2010 4:26 pm
 

BYU goes independent in fb

BYU football has gone independent in football, the Salt Lake City Tribune is reporting.

Essentially, one of the country's foremost football factories was forced into a decision by the dynamics of the BCS era: Was it easier chasing a BCS bowl by winning the Mountain West or by finishing in the top 14 in the BCS?

The key words are "eligibility" and "automatic". Non-BCS league champions get an automatic berth by finished in the top 12 or top 16 if it finishes above a BCS conference champion. Any team that does not win its conference (and independents besides Notre Dame) is eligible for a BCS bowl if it finishes in the top 14. BYU finished with its highest final BCS ranking last season, 14th, and was eligible. But, it was upstaged by Florida, Iowa and Boise who were all ranked higher and were taken by BCS bowls.

Top 14 only guarantees eligibility for BYU as an independent. Other than that, it would have to finish No. 1 or No. 2 to play in a BCS bowl.

So what's better, conference or independence? BYU may have answered the question by breaking up the Mountain West and keeping all the money for itself. No one knows for sure if the MWC is breaking up but it is certainly on life support with only eight teams and little around it to bolster those automatic BCS hopes.

At the root of BYU's decision is the need for more television exposure. The league's decision to get off ESPN a few years ago and start its own network has had questionable results. The decision, ironically driven by the BYU president at the time, was based on Mountain West teams playing a lot of weekday games. The conference presidents wanted to play more on Saturday even if it meant leaving ESPN. The four-year-old mtn. has yet to turn a profit.

As an independent, BYU can create its own TV-friendly schedule. The school also has its own HD network, BYU TV.

The paper is also reporting that Boise State could return to the WAC. There is no buyout for Boise leaving the Mountain West at this point. Certainly the Mountain West's bid to get automatic BCS access in 2012 and 2013 is all but dead.

Once Utah went to the Pac-10 that put the Mountain West in bad shape for its BCS bid. Each program charts a path of least resistance to what it considers "success." BYU has won a national championship, ironically, in the old bowl system. In the BCS era, it has been upstaged by Utah and TCU in its own conference and Boise State from its region.

If it is going to keep falling short of a BCS bowl, it might as well keep all the money while doing it. BYU reportedly will place all its other sports in the WAC.


Boise was a de facto independent in the WAC because it was so far above its conference competition. The top-12 automatic spot for non-BCS conference champions goes only to the highest-ranked team, even if more than one are in the top 12.


Look for BYU to schedule other independents (including Notre Dame) plus Utah. It can still play its old WAC rivals as well. Heck, a similar schedule has worked for Boise.



Category: NCAAF
Posted on: August 18, 2010 10:58 am
 

BYU cybergossip

So far it's only anonymously sourced, but there are multiple rumors and reports that BYU is considering leaving the Mountain West to become an independent.

BYU would be prompted to leave the 11-year-old league after Utah bolted to the Pac-10 this summer. BYU may feel that the conference will ultimately be diminished financially and competitively without Utah. With a worldwide following, BYU could keep all its revenue becoming a mini-Notre Dame: Playing football independently and putting its other sports in the WAC.

BYU pulling out would severely damage the Mountain West which thought this summer it hard shored up its BCS chances by grabbing Boise State (beginning in 2011). With Utah leaving for the Pac-10, the Mountain West would be down to eight teams. BYU was not invited to the Pac-10 because it made little sense for the league to get two teams from the Salt Lake City market. Also, there were academic concerns about BYU compared to other Pac-10 institutions. It is neither a member of the elite Association of American Universities nor a highly rated Carnegie research institution. Seven of the 10 current Pac-10 members are both. The other three are either one or the other. Utah, for example, is rated by Carnegie.

The MWC is hoping for automatic BCS qualifier status in 2012 and 2013. The Mountain West is currently being evaluated (along with all other I-A leagues) on a four-year rotating basis. The BCS is halfway through that evaluation process.


Without talking about BYU specifically, Notre Dame AD Jack Swarbrick told CBSSports.com this week that it is still possible and advantageous for a school going independent.

"You've got to solve the non-football side of the equation," Swarbrick said, "but it can work. I don't know if there will be others but it wouldn't shock me because the landscape is so fluid."

Swarbrick added he had not spoken to any particular school about it becoming an independent. There are currently only three independents in Division I-A -- Notre Dame, Army and Navy.

This is what BYU AD Tom Holmoe told the Salt Lake City Tribune in July:

"Independence is an option that obviously has been out there. We will look at everything. We have looked at everything. There are pros and cons to the Pac-10, the Big Ten, the Big 12, the Mountain West Conference and independence. With all these things there are pros and cons.

"So what you have to do is you have to weigh those and measure them against what? What is right for BYU. And not for what is right for BYU in the year 2010, but what is right for BYU into the future.

"That is quite a bit more complex than most people understand. You have got a constituency to deal with. You have got a school to deal with. "

Here is the rest of that interview.


Some outlets are citing a tweet, reportedly coming from Colorado State, that the move will be announced at a Thursday press conference. The school was in the process Wednesday morning releasing a statement denying the tweet had come from Colorado State. A school spokesman said someone had hacked into the school account that could be accessed by only three persons from Colorado State.

Category: NCAAF
Posted on: August 9, 2010 11:20 am
Edited on: August 9, 2010 1:52 pm
 

Ute paranoia and Hout talks...

A former BYU lineman, now working in radio, is kicked out of Utah practice. Are we a bit paranoid, Utes?

Also, the infamous Byron Hout talks. Who is Byron Hout? The guy who touched off the near-riot last year between Oregon and Boise State. Coach Chris Peterson waited 11 months to let Hout explain why he baited Oregon's LeGarrette Blount last season.
Category: NCAAF
 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com