Posted on: June 15, 2010 12:32 am
Edited on: June 15, 2010 11:47 am

Expand-O-Meter, Monday June 14

Days college athletics has been held hostage (since Big Ten announced expansion exploration on Dec. 15):

Had a good day:
Big 12 commissioner Dan Beebe went from the verge of having his league dissolve to solidifying a new agreement that will keep the 10 remaining schools together. Beebe convinced Texas to stay by convincing school officials that it can make $25 million a year in television revenue going forward. Is that true? Who knows? But Texas believed it and committed to the Big 12, which is all that matters now.

Had a bad day:
Pac-10 commissioner Larry Scott went from the verge of having the nation's first super conference to likely having to offer invitation to Utah just to get the Pac-10 to 12 schools. Imagine that. One day you think you're adding Texas, Texas A&M, Texas Tech, Oklahoma and Oklahoma State, the next you're reduced to offering an invitation to the school Urban Meyer left for Florida. I'm not sure if Larry Scott drinks. But if he does, he probably is right now. Or at least he should be.

Quote of the day: "I got resuscitated. You can take your hands off my chest." -- Baylor football coach Art Briles , who will continue to be a Big 12 coach thanks to Texas deciding to hold the Big 12 together. Had that not happened, Baylor (and Briles) could've been headed to the Mountain West or Conference USA. That would've been disappointing, especially considering Briles already coached in C-USA once (at Houston).

Link of the day: Click this link to read the latest from Orangebloods.com's Chip Brown, who might've benefited as much as anybody over the past two weeks. Brown owned the realignment story from start to finish, proof being how he was the first to report Texas might leave the Big 12 for the Pac-10, and the first to report Texas would reject the Pac-10 to stay in the Big 12. 

On tap: The next move will likely be the Pac-10 offering membership to Utah. Meantime, Michigan State basketball coach Tom Izzo is expected to choose between the Spartans and Cavaliers at some point before Midnight Madness in October, multiple sources have told CBSSports.com.

Category: NCAAF
Posted on: June 15, 2010 12:07 am
Edited on: June 15, 2010 8:08 am

Texas' decision seems to have calmed realignment

So that's it?


Boise State to the Mountain West, Colorado to the Pac-10, and Nebraska to the Big Ten is all we get in what has been described, over and over again throughout the past week, as college athletics' most unstable time in decades? No super conferences? No loss of a conference? If this is really all we get -- plus Utah to the Pac-10, which at the moment seems like the only logical move for commissioner Larry Scott, who wanted a 16-school league but will probably have to settle for Utah making his league a 12-school league -- then color me disappointed, because when this fuse was lit I prepared for the biggest of bangs. Instead, the national landscape hasn't really changed much, and it doesn't look like it will in the immediate future.

It was a bomb scare with no bomb.

It was a tornado watch with no twister.

The recap looks like this: The Big Ten improved with Nebraska. The Pac-10 will be enhanced with Colorado and, presumably, Utah. The Big 12 lost two schools and took a hit, but probably feels great considering how close it was to dissolving. And the Mountain West improved with the addition of Boise State, but could soon be damaged by the loss of Utah, which would then owe Texas a huge smooth.

Isn't that wild?

UT's decision to reject the Pac-10 will likely turn Utah into a "BCS" school.

All together now, Utah fans: Hook'em Horns!

(Note to Utah fans: If you see Vince Young in a strip club, do not fight him.He is your friend. You owe his alma mater.)

Seriously, almost from the start, it was clear Texas was the major player in all this, and that the Longhorns had the power to turn the Pac-10 into the Pac-16 and kill the Big 12, or hold much of the Big 12 together and in the process slow the move toward super conferences, if only temporarily. Ultimately, Texas decided to go with the latter. So now the Big 12 has 10 football-playing schools, the Pac-10 has 11, and the Big Ten has 12.

And nobody has 16.

That's the key.

Massive realignment now seems unlikely this summer.

The fuse was lit.

But Texas turned an expected bang into a minor dud by resisting the urge to go west.
Category: NCAAF
Posted on: June 14, 2010 10:04 am
Edited on: June 14, 2010 1:37 pm

Report: Texas to commit to 10-school Big 12

Texas is set to announce, perhaps as early as Monday, that it is now committed to remaining in the Big 12 even without Nebraska and Colorado, according to a report by Chip Brown at OrangeBloods.com.

This is the latest development -- and by far the most important -- in the ongoing expansion of conferences. If it happens, it would greatly damage the Pac-10's hope of getting to 16 members by adding five more Big 12 schools to go with Colorado, which announced a move to the Pac-10 last week. The Pac-10 would probably then be reduced to adding Utah to create a 12-member league.

Orangebloods.com reported that Big 12 commissioner Dan Beebee has informed Texas it could make between $20 million and $25 million per year under a proposed new television deal, plus whatever it could make -- perhaps an additional $3 million to $5 million per year -- by starting its own network. It is unclear whether Beebee's estimations are accurate. But, either way, Texas is listening. The school now seems set to hold the Big 12 together and by extension prevent the nation's first "super conference" from being created because the Pac-10 stopping at 12 could cause the Big Ten to hold at 12, at which point it's possible the SEC's interest in expansion would also feign.

The Big 12 has no scheduled announcement of any kind as of Monday afternoon.

Meetings are reportedly ongoing.
Category: NCAAF
Tags: Texas
Posted on: June 1, 2010 1:10 pm

Moultrie to take visits before committing

UTEP transfer Arnett Moultrie remains undecided about his next college and now plans to visit multiple schools before enrolling anywhere, his mentor, Sorrell Valentine, told CBSSports.com on Tuesday.

"At first he wanted to enroll in summer school in June," Valentine said. "But now he's going to take a few visits before he decides anything."

Valentine's comments come after a Memorial Day weekend during which various sources told CBSSports.com that Moultrie was leaning toward registering for summer school at Mississippi State on Tuesday. Valentine neither confirmed nor denied such was ever a plan. All he said is that Moultrie is not in school at Mississippi State, and that the 6-foot-11 forward will now take visits before settling on a destination.

Among the schools believed to be involved with Moultrie are Mississippi State, Arkansas, Texas, Memphis, Tennessee and Kentucky. The Memphis native averaged 9.8 points and 6.7 rebounds per game as a sophomore at UTEP. Moultrie will sit out next season per NCAA transfer rules and be eligible with two years remaining in 2011-12 provided he transfers to a school with a release. It's unclear which schools have requested and received releases. But it's worth noting that Valentine said UTEP has released Moultrie to Mississippi State after initially declining to do so. Memphis does not have a release because it is, like UTEP, a C-USA school.
Posted on: May 12, 2010 10:35 am
Edited on: May 12, 2010 12:07 pm

Moultrie's recruitment intensifying

Former UTEP standout Arnett Moultrie has developed into the hottest transfer on the market.

Most high-major programs in the south -- Tennessee, Memphis, Kentucky, Texas, etc., -- have inquired about the 6-foot-11 forward since the Memphis native withdrew from the NBA Draft last week and announced he would not return to UTEP. And though Moultrie's hometown school remains in play, developments over the past 48 hours suggest Mississippi State and Arkansas have made strong pushes and positioned themselves well.

Still, there could be an issue.

Sources told CBSSports.com on Wednesday that -- in addition to Memphis and other C-USA schools -- UTEP might not release Moultrie to Mississippi State or Arkansas. In that case, Moultrie would not be allowed to be on scholarship next year at either school. He would also lose a year of eligibility.

Why is Moultrie such a commodity?

He's a tall and skilled future NBA player who is being viewed by most as a Class of 2011 one-and-done prospect, as a guy who will sit out next year (per NCAA transfer rules) before having the same kind of impact in 2011-12 that Ekpe Udoh had at Baylor. Moultrie and Udoh aren't similar players, but they're simiar talents. Which is why coaches will spend Wednesday continuing to jockey for position, and this recruitment could turn 100 different ways before it ends, and there's no telling when it will end.

Fall classes don't start until August.

Moultrie and his people can be patient, if they want.
Posted on: March 8, 2010 8:06 pm
Edited on: March 8, 2010 8:15 pm

The Poll Attacks

Texas A&M isn't getting enough credit.

Neither is Texas, for that matter.

It's time to Poll Attack!

AP poll: I, like most of you, thought Texas A&M might slip when Derrick Roland shattered his leg just before Christmas. But it didn't happen, and now the Aggies enter the Big 12 tournament with a 21-8 record featuring wins over Baylor, Texas, Clemson, Oklahoma State and Missouri (and zero losses outside of the top 50).

So we can argue where to rank Texas A&M if you want.

I have them 18th.

A little higher or lower is fine.

But there's no way to reasonably conclude that the Aggies don't belong in the Top 25 based on their body of work, and yet eight AP voters left Mark Turgeon's team off their ballots, among them Scott Johnson of the Daily Herald in Washington. Scott omitted Texas A&M but included California despite the fact that Cal has A) an inferior RPI, B) one fewer win, C) one more loss, D) four fewer top 50 wins, and E) four more losses outside of the top 50.

So I ask: How could anybody rank Cal but not Texas A&M?

It's insane.

But it's fine because without insanity there would be no Poll Attacks.

Coaches poll: I'm not going to spend too much energy defending Texas because the Longhorns have been disappointing, and they seem headed toward nowhere significant. But do you really believe there are 25 better teams in the country? With five wins over schools projected to make the NCAA tournament -- including Pittsburgh, Michigan State and Texas A&M -- and just two losses outside of the top 50, Texas clearly has one of the best 25 bodies of work, and it's not like Rick Barnes' team been losing one bad game after another.

The Longhorns have lost four times in the past month.

They lost to Kansas.

They lost at Missouri.

They lost at Texas A&M.

They lost at Baylor.

Obviously, that shows they aren't the nationally prominent team everybody once believed them to be, but it doesn't mean they aren't a legitimate Top 25 team. There's a middle ground, you know? And Texas belongs in that middle ground.

Are the Longhorns great?

Clearly not.

But there aren't 25 better teams.

Which is why I can't understand how UT only got seven points in the Coaches poll.
Category: NCAAB
Posted on: February 22, 2010 11:03 am
Edited on: February 22, 2010 11:07 am

UT's Balbay out for season with torn ACL

Rick Barnes is going to shorten his rotation, one way or another.

One way would've been to do it on his own.

The other is to have it forced on him, which is what Dogus Balbay's torn ACL will do. Texas officials announced Monday that Balbay tore the ACL in his left knee Saturday against Texas Tech. It's a development that'll require Barnes to rely more heavily on freshman J'Covan Brown, which might not be a bad thing. Obviously, it would be nice if Balbay was still available; he's a good piece to a puzzle. But Brown is clearly the most gifted of UT's primary ballhandlers, and Balbay's injury will shove more minutes his way, point being it's possible this could be a turning point in Brown's career and UT's season, if you're looking for a positive.

Balbay was averaging 3.8 points, 3.9 assists and 3.2 rebounds in 21.5 minutes per game.

Texas is 21-6 heading into Wednesday's game against Oklahoma State.
Category: NCAAB
Posted on: February 9, 2010 1:17 pm
Edited on: February 9, 2010 1:18 pm

Where's a nice place in Austin to watch Izzo?

AUSTIN, Texas -- Bad weather has made my trip to Michigan State impossible.

So the second game of my three-games-in-three-days trip is off.

I'm stuck in Austin.

Thus, I'll miss tonight's Purdue-Michigan State game, but I'll still be at Duke-North Carolina on Wednesday. The plan is to stay the night here, then fly to UNC early tomorrow. In the meantime, I'll be accepting recommendations on good spots in Austin to watch Purdue-Michigan State, and dreading a 5 a.m. wake-up call that will most certainly be miserable.
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