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Tag:Big Ten
Posted on: September 1, 2010 2:30 pm
Edited on: September 1, 2010 4:02 pm
 

Big Ten divisional announcement special

Give the Big Ten credit for building the hype.

The league will announce the much-awaited divisions for 2011 going forward during what is being called a "divisional alignment special" at 7 pm ET Wednesday night. There is already speculation and a report out there that Michigan and Ohio State are in different divisions.

The other key issue is when that game will be played. There is much consternation over moving "The Game" from its traditional spot during the last weekend in November. The 90-minute special will feature ADs Gene Smith (Ohio State), Dave Brandon (Michigan), Mark Hollis (Michigan State) and Tom Osborne (Nebraska).

If you want to assume that a pair of schools are being represented, go ahead. 

My divisions: 

East (or Hayes) Division

Ohio State
Purdue
Minnesota
Wisconsin
Illinois
Penn State

West (or Schembechler) Division

Michigan
Indiana
Iowa
Nebraska
Northwestern
Michigan State

It appears that the Big Ten has used the "zipper" plan that essentially separates rivals. That makes it easier for the so-called 5-3-1 model. Five games against teams in your division, a set of three rotating games against teams from the opposite division and a designated rival. That would be a game played each year.

In my divisional alignment, Ohio State and Michigan would play each year along with Purdue-Indiana, Iowa-Minnesota, Michigan State-Penn State, Wisconsin-Nebraska and Illinois-Northwestern.
 

Posted on: August 31, 2010 6:15 pm
Edited on: August 31, 2010 11:09 pm
 

Big Ten divisions may be announced Wed.

A Nebraska assistant athletic director said Tuesday that the Big Ten divisions will be announced Wednesday night.

There are various reports saying Jeff Jamrog, that assistant AD, said on a radio show that he expects the Wednesday announcement. A Big Ten Network source told me Tuesday "there is time on the schedule" to announce the conference's divisional alignment Wednesday night.

The source stressed that it no knowledge of an announcement. Only that it is possible because of a season preview scheduled for Wednesday. College football blogger Chris Patterson reported speculation that had been swirling on Twitter and on blogs on Tuesday -- that the Big Ten is getting ready to pop its divisional announcement.


My source called Wednesday night's Big Ten season preview a possible "place  holder" for such an announcement. If it ends up going down that way, give the BTN credit for timing. A day before the 2010 season starts we're going to find out how the 12-team Big Ten stacks up for 2011, and beyond. The anticipation is building because the world wants to see where Michigan and Ohio State land.

Three weeks ago, I unveiled my master plan for Ohio State and Michigan to (possibly) play twice a season.

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 2, 2010 3:54 pm
Edited on: August 2, 2010 4:40 pm
 

Delany: Notre Dame will stay independent

CHICAGO -- Jim Delany expects Notre Dame to stay put.

That was among the revelations made by the Big Ten commissioner Monday during his annual state of the conference speech at the Big Ten media days.

Delany summarized the summer of realignment by saying that his league was hurried into expanding to Nebraska because of the immiment threat from the Pac-10. Officially, the Big Ten is still on a 12-18-month track. (That track is now down to 4 1/2-10 1/2 months, so don't expect any more expansion soon.)

"I wouldn't have known that would be our decision in December of '09," Delany said of Nebraska. "It achieved unanimous support."

As for ND, Delany put a rather final word on getting the Irish in expansion.

"I don't see them as a player, really," Delany said. "I see Notre Dame in the Big East for many years to come. I see them as an independent in football for many years to come."

Knowing Delany, that could be a way of smoking out ND/Big Ten supporters.

In other news, the commissioner will lobby for a nine-game conference schedule, although such an arrangement will take a while as teams clear their schedules.

The first Big Ten championship game will be in 2011. Green Bay, Chicago, Cleveland and Minneapolis are all interested in hosting the game.

Expect a decision on the divisional structure in 35-40 days. Delany said he will go back to 1993 (when Penn State joined the league) to look at the competitive balance issue.

Also, don't expect a name change for the iconic conference. The 12-team league will remain the Big Ten.

The session ended with an unscheduled photo op featuring Delany, Tom Osborne and Joe Paterno. Big Ten types are already calling it "The Moment."


Category: NCAAF
Posted on: August 2, 2010 9:38 am
Edited on: August 2, 2010 4:37 pm
 

Five things about the Big Ten

Sizing up the Big Ten going into the Big Ten media days in Chicago...

Divisional set up. Conference officials will begin talking this week about how to split the Big Ten in two beginning in 2011. That would be two six-team divisions and staging a championship, which is all but a certainty as league officials meet this week in Chicago. In a league that believes Dockers are a fashion statement, expansion to 12 teams is a radical step. Traditional rivalries are at stake. What do with the Old Oaken Bucket (Indiana-Purdue)? More importantly, what to do with Ohio State-Michigan? Competitive balance is first on commissioner Jim Delany’s list of priorities. But today’s slug (Michigan) could be tomorrow’s power. Don’t screw this one up, fellas. You’ve got a good thing going as it is. We don’t want too many Iowa-Northwestern championship games.

Joe goes for 400. No one is talking about it, but Joe Paterno is six victories away from 400 career victories. Only two other college coaches have made it to that number (Eddie Robinson, 408 and John Gagliardi, 471). The way the profession is structured today, it’s doubtful anyone will ever get to 400 again. Incredibly, JoePa has gotten better with age. His teams go to BCS bowls. He keeps recruiting with fervor. His staff stays mostly intact. We’re talking a modern miracle here, folks. Joe has been under the weather during the offseason with an intestinal disorder so it will be interesting to see how he looks at the media days. The Lions become the first team ever to play three teams that won BCS bowls the previous year. Alabama, Ohio State and Iowa are all on the road. Penn State hasn’t won in Iowa City since 1999 and has lost six of the last eight to Ohio State. Still, save the date: The way the schedule shapes up, win No. 400 will come on or around Oct. 30 against Michigan.

Malaise and blue. This is either the last year of the Rich Rodriguez era or the takeoff point for Michigan getting back on track. There is no in-between with a new athletic director in place and pending NCAA penalties on the horizon. Rich Rod is going to have to win – big, it says here -- to save his job. With the school trotting out a $225 million refurbishment of the Big House this season, another losing season won’t be tolerated. The angst starts Sept. 4 against UConn.

Define “pause.” That’s the term Delany used on June 11 to describe the current state of Big Ten expansion.  That was also the day Nebraska formally announced it had joined the league. That means college athletics still is sitting with a tack on its chair. There’s this uncomfortable feeling that things aren’t settled. Notre Dame could decide tomorrow it wanted in and we’d be in for another round of expansion turmoil. Texas could spend two years in the 10-team Big 12 and decide it doesn’t want to go to Waco and Ames anymore. Those two scenarios aren’t likely but Delany isn’t closing the book on expansion either. Going into Monday’s media days, he hasn’t quite defined what hitting the pause button means. For now, the Big Ten, which has an 11 in its logo, will expand to 12 beginning in 2011. 

Ohio Statement. After winning its first Rose Bowl in 10 years, the Big Ten is on a roll. It beat four top 15 teams in bowls last season. Even in losing, it proved its worth. Northwestern gave Auburn a tussle in the Outback Bowl.  Iowa’s Adrian Clayborn may be this season’s Ndamukong Suh. Wisconsin seems to have the running thing down (a 1,000-yard rusher in 15 of the last 17 seasons). It’s up to Ohio State, though, to complete the comeback. The Buckeyes won their first Rose Bowl in 14 years, have a Heisman candidate in Terrelle Pryor and most probably will start the season ranked No. 2.  This season is a success in Columbus and around the Big Ten only if Ohio State plays for in a third national championship game in nine years.
 

Posted on: June 11, 2010 3:53 pm
Edited on: June 11, 2010 6:47 pm
 

Nebraska trounces Texas, moves to Big Ten

LINCOLN, Neb. -- It was the worst beating Texas has taken in public in at least seven years.

That 65-13 loss to Oklahoma in 2003 was only a football game. Nebraska officials spent the better part of 40 minutes Friday putting Bevo in his place.

Nebraska didn't just leave the Big 12 for the Big Ten on Friday, it told the world why: That bully Texas. In the space of eight days, Nebraska transformed from happy member of the Big 12 to angry, rancorous new member of the Big Ten.

Nebraska chancellor Harvey Perlman and AD Tom Osborne both took turns hammering Texas during a comment period before the board of regents. When they got done, there was only one possible result. The regents' vote was unanimous. Nebraska is headed to the Big Ten. Unspoken: Because Texas forced it out.

The moment the news broke last week about the Pac-10's desire to take Texas and five Big 12 partners, Nebraska turned sour. Perlman, at one point, stared across a table during the Big 12 meetings at his Texas counterpart Bill Powers and asked him if he was willing to give up his media rights. In other words, start a Big 12 Network. Powers said no. At that point, Perlman knew it was over.

This league had a chance to survive seven years ago but a possible network was voted down, obviously not supported by Texas. Now, it's clear the Pac-10 is going to get Texas, Texas A&M, Texas Tech, Oklahoma State and Oklahoma.

Super conferences, start your engines.

The money quote from Osborne: "One school leaving a conference does not break up a conference. Two schools leaving a conference does not break up a conference. Six schools leaving a conference, breaks up a conference. We have not had a hidden agenda, we have not dealt with more than one conference."

T.O. intimated that Texas has been talking to the SEC, Big Ten and Pac-10.

It was a bad day for Texas' reputation. It was a good day for Nebraska's future.
Posted on: June 11, 2010 2:33 pm
 

It's done: Nebraska to the Big 11

LINCOLN, Neb. -- It's official. Nebraska has joined the Big Ten, according to the Omaha World-Herald.

The story broke online while the board of regents are in executive session upstairs from where we are in the basement of Varner Hall. That means we're going to get a story today.

It's going to be great seeing Michigan and Ohio State come to Memorial Stadium. Purdue and Indiana not so much. Sad day, in a way, I'm sure for Tom Osborne. He wanted to stay in the Big 12. Texas forced his hand.
Category: NCAAF
Posted on: June 11, 2010 1:23 pm
Edited on: June 11, 2010 1:57 pm
 

Boise State to the Mountain West

It's a few days late but Boise State will become the 10th member of the Mountain West Conference.

WAC commissioner Karl Benson told CBSSports.com Friday morning that the deal had been consumated. The Mountain West announced the deal a few minutes later. 

Mountain West presidents reportedly were ready to invite Boise at their league meetings on Monday until the possibility of grabbing Colorado became an option. When CU announced it was headed to the Pac-10 on Thursday that opened up the spot for Boise.

The Broncos bring a 26-1 record the past two seasons that will count toward the MWC's fight to become a BCS league. There are two more seasons to run on a four-year evaluation period. All conferences will be evaluated on average finish in the BCS and conference strength among other factors. The MWC believes it is close to what would be temporary BCS automatic qualifier status in 2012 and 2013.

The MWC might not be done. Depending on how expansion shakes out, the league could be interested in taking in Big 12 castoffs that don't make the cut in the Pac-10 or Big Ten. That's good news for the likes of Kansas, Kansas State, Iowa State, Baylor and Missouri.

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