Tag:Oklahoma
Posted on: September 10, 2011 10:23 am
Edited on: September 10, 2011 10:26 am
 

NCAA Infractions committee chief steps down

Dennis Thomas, chairman of the powerful NCAA infractions committee, has stepped down citing personal reasons.

The commissioner of the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference cited "unforeseen personal reasons" in leaving the committee after five years.

The infractions committee is responsible for hearing cases of wrongdoing handed over from the enforcement department. The nine-person committee then decides penalties. Thomas had been criticized lately for his knowledge of the cases and being evasive during media conference calls regarding recent cases.

For the first time in recent memory last month, that traditional media conference call was split up between two committee members. Thomas was assisted by committee vice-chair Britton Banowsky during the call to announce the Tennessee penalties in late August.

Banowsky will now take over as interim chair and is assumed to be in charge when the Ohio State penalties are announced, possibly later this year. Thomas, 58, had overseen the high profile USC and Florida State cases among others.

During his nine years with the MEAC two of Thomas' schools were slapped with major football violations within three months of each other in 2006.

Banowsky, 51, has been Conference USA commissioner since 2002. He has a law degree from Oklahoma. His father was president of Pepperdine and Oklahoma. 

Posted on: September 9, 2011 9:53 pm
Edited on: September 9, 2011 10:03 pm
 

Son of Weekend Watch List

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.

Posted on: September 7, 2011 4:45 pm
Edited on: September 7, 2011 9:16 pm
 

Everyone looks bad in latest Big 12 snit

Congratulations Big 12, now you're all to blame. It's not just Texas A&M or Baylor or Oklahoma or Texas or Dan Beebe. It's all of you looking like fools.

The infighting that broke out Wednesday is embarrassing. If Texas A&M wants to go to the SEC, let it go. This looks like a cat fight on "Housewives of Beverly Hills," except the participants wear bow ties and carry law degrees and conduct endless conference calls. It's half tortuous, half torture.

A&M president R. Bowen Loftin is accusing Beebe, the Big 12 commissioner, and member schools of slowing the Aggies' migration to the SEC. A portion of the remaining nine Big 12 schools are with Baylor in reserving the right to have legal claims against the SEC. Twenty years from now fathers will be telling their sons the story of the Big 12. The dads will first pour themselves stiff drink.

These are educated people who should know how to conduct themselves. Instead, they look tawdry, jealous, petty. At the moment, Baylor is rallying a group of conference thugs -- yeah, I said it -- to try to delay A&M's inevitable move to the SEC. At the same time, they're trying to delay things so much that either Oklahoma loses its desire to go to the Pac-12 or the Pac-12 simply shuts the door.

In announcing it had voted Texas A&M in as a 13th member, the SEC said Wednesday in a statement that it had "unanimous written assurance from the Big 12" on Sept. 2 releasing any legal claims against the SEC.

However, Loftin had difficulty getting assurances for what were termed "release of claims," from other Big 12 schools. That was following a Wednesday Big 12 conference call that included what were estimated to be at least seven Big 12 institutions but not all 10.

"At least half, if not the majority are going to reserve their rights for litigation," a source said. "Unless you've got great options that would not be a wise document to sign."

Given recent reports at least five Big 12 schools have those "options" for future conference homes -- Texas, Texas Tech, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State and Missouri. That would leave Iowa State, Kansas State, Kansas and Baylor without clear prospects should the conference collapse.

In a Sept. 2 letter to his SEC counterpart Mike Slive, Big 12 commissioner Dan Beebe said his conference would not take any legal action against the SEC if Texas A&M were admitted by Sept. 8.

"We both agreed it is in the best interests of each of our conferences and our members institutions," Beebe wrote, "to ... to waive any and all legal actions by the conference and its members resulting from admission of Texas A&M into the SEC."

Baylor and others disagree.

"The end game is to stabilize the Big 12," the source said. "What most of us are looking for is a stable conference."

None of this means any of the other Big 12 schools will actually sue. Oklahoma has a decision to make in pursuing the Pac-12. OU president David Boren said Friday that process could take up to three weeks. Oklahoma State would likely follow Oklahoma if the Sooners headed west.

Texas then would have to decide between 1) following Oklahoma to the Pac-12; 2) staying in a diminished Big 12; 3) going independent and 4) going to an expanded ACC. Even though ACC commissioner John Swofford shot down the idea of Texas coming to his conference on Monday, there are those who think that idea may be alive. In choices 1-3, the continued viability of the LHN is in question. Option No. 4 would theoretically would allow Texas to bring the Longhorn Network with it.

Pac-12 commissioner Larry Scott said Saturday that the conference remains "wedded" to it equal revenue distribution model.
Posted on: September 6, 2011 11:46 am
Edited on: September 6, 2011 11:49 am
 

National notes

Since I didn't get around to predicting the BCS bowls before the season actually started, let's just call this a BCS bowl preview (after one week).

BCS championship in New Orleans: Alabama* vs. Oklahoma*

Did nothing in Week 1 to change my opinion of the two best teams in the country.


Rose Bowl:
Oregon* vs. Wisconsin*

Oregon suddenly not a prohibitive favorite in the Pac-12.


Fiesta:
Texas A&M vs. Stanford

Fiesta gets supposed Heisman winner (Andrew Luck) against Big 12 runner-up.


Sugar:
LSU vs. Florida State

Tigers make it back to Sugar, but not the big one.


Orange:
West Virginia* vs. Virginia Tech*

Tech makes a return trip to South. Mountaineers giddy over return to BCS bowl.

*-automatic qualifier


--One reason why we saw all those games delayed or postponed by weather:

Lawyers, or the threat of them if even one person was injured, never mind or killed. Our society is so litigious that even one person slipping on a staircase could cost a school millions. That's why you saw 80,000 people evacuated from stadiums in a short period of time. It's obvious by the speed at which these teams were cleared that schools have prepared for this occurrence.

I can remember seasons when we didn't see this many weather-related delays. Now schools are erring on the side of safety. Who can blame Notre Dame for clearing the stadium twice after it lost a student videographer last season?


--Give Miami's Al Golden credit for not whining about his predicament at Miami.

"Eight of the 110 kids on our team had a significant issue for something they did three years ago?" Golden said. "We're moving on right now. I've been to the deepest depths in the NCAA."

Those depths would have been inheriting a roster with 54 scholarship players at Temple as well as NCAA and APR problems. The difference, as Golden has pointed out, Temple was shooting for a winning record. Miami wants to win championships.


--Yes, it's early and it probably means nothing but here's where you'll find last year's returning Heisman finalists in the current NCAA stats after one week.

Andrew Luck, Stanford: The Heisman runner-up threw for a modest 171 yards against San Jose State in a 57-3 blowout. He is 39th overall in pass efficiency.

LaMichael James, Oregon: Not listed in the top 100 after rushing for 54 yards in 18 carries against LSU. In his last two games, both against SEC superpowers, James has rushed for 103 yards on 31 carries.

Kellen Moore, Boise State: 21st in passing efficiency after completing 28 of 34 against Georgia. How does that get him to 21st after one of the biggest wins in Boise State history? Think of it this way: Moore is first on that list among quarterbacks who played a BCS-conference opponent in the first week.


--Weird stat of the week: Of Oregon's 83 scoring drives last season, it was forced to go more than 11 plays only five times. Oregon had to go 79 yards in 19 plays to score its first touchdown of the season against LSU. What looked at the time like a turning of the tide against the Tigers, turns out to be another reason to like LSU's defense.


--Baylor isn't likely to lose in the month of September. After this week's bye, the Bears have Stephen F. Austin and Rice at home. The conference opener is Oct. 1 at Kansas State and that's looking easier by the moment.

Look for more deserved Baylor hype. The Bears could be 5-0 heading into Texas A&M on Oct. 15.


--Way too early Heisman ballot:

1. Robert Griffin III, QB, Baylor: Best quarterback in the Big 12 after beating TCU. Felt like Friday Night Lights in Waco.
2. Tyrann Mathieu, CB, LSU: It's good to have a playmaker. It's great to have a playmaker on defense. It's almost impossible to have a game changer in the secondary.
3. Kellen Moore, QB, Boise State: Now, only the NFL has to take notice.
Posted on: September 3, 2011 8:16 pm
Edited on: September 3, 2011 9:57 pm
 

Schools have called Pac-12; Big 12 days numbered?

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: September 3, 2011 6:04 pm
Edited on: September 3, 2011 7:39 pm
 

Oklahoma's 'sole focus' is Pac-12

ARLINGTON, Texas -- Pac-12 commissioner Larry Scott came to the Metroplex Saturday and a college football game broke out.

Sorry, but LSU-Oregon just got knocked off center stage here. The Oklahoman is reporting that Oklahoma's "sole focus" is on the Pac-12.  The implications are as significant as you think. The guy who wrote the story, columnist Berry Trammel, is as solid as they come. You can it to the bank.

It seems as if the Big 12 stands on the brink of breaking apart.

"You put something like that [Oklahoman quote] out there and it just reinforces that image of being unstable," Missouri's Mike Alden said from Columbia, Mo. "How do you recover from that? I don't know."

Scott is scheduled to meet with the media here at Cowboys Stadium press box at 7 pm ET. Stay tuned.


Category: NCAAF
Posted on: August 29, 2011 8:37 pm
Edited on: August 29, 2011 9:05 pm
 

As long Big 12 has OU & UT, it has options

Let's look at this current conference alignment thing a different way. No commissioner wants to be seen as the one to cause Alignment Armageddon. But if it has to be the Big 12, who could blame Dan Beebe? His embattled league has suffered enough. Suddenly it has options, good ones, with or without Texas A&M.

We all pretty much agree that we're headed sooner or later toward the age of the super conference with four 16-team (or whatever number) conferences. The question is how or when. Right now, we stand on the precipice with Texas A&M wanting to go to the SEC, but the SEC still thinking about whether to take the Aggies.

That's because the SEC doesn't have to expand. It's fine how it is with 18 years to run on a $3 billion contract with CBS and ESPN. If A&M goes then sooner or later, the SEC is going to have to get a 14th member. Commissioner Mike Slive seemingly loves A&M but he -- and his presidents -- don't necessarily want to be that guy, responsible for breaking up another league.

The question is whether Beebe has such reservations. And as long as he has Oklahoma and Texas, he has leverage.

As mentioned, it's looking suddenly like the Big 12 is dealing from a position of strength. It could lose Missouri and Texas A&M to the SEC and still be able to lure two teams (or more) to stay viable. Why? As long as the Texas/Oklahoma axis remains solid, so is the league. Fox invested $1.17 billion over 13 years just for the secondary rights. The Big 12 is going to hit another big financial home run in a couple of years when it goes out to bid. (The assumption is that ESPN will re-up for the primary rights.)

To this point, Oklahoma has shown a willingness to stay with Texas. While the schools are rivals on the field, ADs Joe Castiglione and DeLoss Dodds are close. They know that the fortunes of the two superpowers are mutually beneficial.

If Texas and Oklahoma stay bonded, the Big 12 is in somewhat of a position of power. It could raid the Big East and go to 12 or 16. Why not go get Pittsburgh and Louisville? Sure, Big East basketball great but think of a hoops league with Kansas, Kansas State, Texas, Pittsburgh and Louisville.

BIG POINT NO. 1: Even though the Big East is due for a windfall rights fee of its own in a few years I'm told that the pending primary rights deal for the Big 12 would be bigger than the Big East's entire deal. 

Would that possibility pry Notre Dame loose? Not likely. ND AD Jack Swarbrick reiterated for the millionth time on Monday that his school is happy with independence. ND probably would need eight home games to make the deal work in the Big 12 because of its deal with NBC, at least one of those being a neutral site game. The school makes a reported $15 million a year from that deal. The Big 12 wouldn't say no then ND also reaping $20 million from the Big 12 deal. Heck, it's Notre Dame.

Texas AD DeLoss Dodds said publicly last year that the Big 12 would be an attractive place for Notre Dame's minor sports. The schools do start a four-game football series in 2015.

While we're at it, let's also forget the talk of Arkansas, SMU and Houston to the Big 12. Arkansas would be taking a pay cut. The Big 12 is already in the Dallas, Houston and state of Texas markets. SMU is making its case in part because it has been to back-to-back bowls. Is that all it takes these days?

In this age don't think of conference affiliations, think of which schools assembled together make for the most lucrative media rights deals. Remember, geography matters little. When TCU enters the Big East in 2012 that will be its fifth conference since 1995.

That's why the pool of candidates for the SEC's No. 14 has to include Missouri, North Carolina, Maryland and Virginia Tech. That's not the list, it's a best-guess list if you believe that the SEC isn't going to expand inside its footprint. That means no Georgia Tech, no Louisville, no Clemson, no Florida State.

Whether the Big 12 loses Missouri or not, BYU has emerged as an attractive replacement for Texas A&M. That's not news. BYU has a loyal and large following. The question is whether BYU would give up its long-range plan for independence after only one year. One source last week went as far as to say BYU would be "excited" about the prospect of joining the Big 12.

AD Tom Holmoe told Brett McMurphy this month that his school was happy at the moment

While the Cougars have ESPN as a scheduling partner, it has to become apparent to the school sooner or later that it is all but out of BCS contention in most seasons. By going independent, it has the essentially the same BCS status as Army and Navy. That is to say, the only automatic berth would be if BYU finishes No. 1 or No. 2.

The six BCS conference champions are guaranteed a bid. A champion from one of the five non-BCS leagues get a bid if it finishes in the top 12 or top 16 if it is ranked higher in the final BCS standings than a BCS conference champion. Notre Dame (because it's Notre Dame) gets an automatic bid if it finishes in the top eight of the BCS.

Army, Navy and BYU? Guaranteed only in the top two. BIG POINT NO. 2: Essentially that means BYU could finish 10-2 (or even 11-1) and have nothing guaranteed in the BCS.

Earlier this year, I wrote that BYU's independence was more about faith that most people thought. I'm starting to think all it would take is one year of being left out of the BCS (and a call from the Big 12) for the school's fans and officials to change their minds about independence.

Meanwhile, the "composition language" in the SEC contract is probably similar to that of the Big 12's. That means ESPN would most likely try to renegotiate downward its current deal with the Big 12. Say that is 10 percent of the contract given that A&M represents 10 percent of the Big 12. At that point it becomes like rearranging deck chairs. ESPN could tell the SEC, the money it is taking away from the Big 12 goes to the SEC. In essence, A&M's money would follow it to the SEC.

It isn't that easy. The SEC would most likely negotiate for more saying it is gaining huge viewership in the state of Texas. BIG POINT NO. 3: What's forgotten is the SEC isn't starting from a zero position. In case you haven't noticed, ESPN is already in Texas. SMU AD Steve Orsini told me last week that the ratings for Big 12 and SEC games in Dallas are "even." Whether that's true or not, there is already a big following for the SEC in the Lone Star State because there is a big following for the SEC everywhere. That's why the league already gets the big bucks.

A further hang-up on this A&M thing: It's better for everyone if the SEC expands by two all at once. That's one negotiation, rather than two. But if Texas A&M is one, what's the other?

It might not matter to the Big 12.
Posted on: August 29, 2011 4:55 pm
 

Handicapping the Heisman field

1. Andrew Luck, QB, Stanford -- The ghosts of Jim Plunkett and Herschel Walker will haunt the season

2. Landry Jones, QB, Oklahoma -- OU has become Quarterback U

3. Justin Blackmon, WR, Oklahoma State -- Hasn't been one like him at OSU since Hart Lee Dykes (including Dez Bryant). I mean that in a good way.

4. LaMichael James, RB, Oregon -- With Lache Seastrunk no longer a threat to get in the rotation, is it possible the nation's leading rusher will get even more work?

5. Kellen Moore, QB, Boise State -- New set of receivers, same old arm.

6. Denard Robinson, QB, Michigan -- Would be a front runner but Michigan needs to win more and Brady Hoke is going to make him a pocket passer.

7. Marcus Lattimore, RB, South Carolina -- Just call him "Hoss" and give him the ball.

8. Trent Richardson, RB, Alabama -- Longshot because Nick Saban spreads the carries around.

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