Friday, October 14, 2011

Catching up rewards its dog for everything

The Big East invites everybody, location be damned: This story is changing by the minute, but as of 10:38 p.m. Friday night, the Big East wants Boise State, Central Florida, Houston, SMU, Air Force and Navy. Getting all of those schools is ... uhh ... not exactly a certainty. To the interwebs!

According to a source with direct knowledge of Friday's Big East conference call, the conference has sent conditional invitations to Houston and SMU for all sports and Air Force and Boise State for football only. The Big East informed the four schools that if all four agree to join the Big East then the remaining schools would agree to an increase in the exit fee from $5 million to the $10 million range to show a commitment to the incoming schools. However, the six remaining football playing schools won't commit to raising the fee unless all four commit to joining the Big East in football.

Meanwhile, the Big East sent a separate all-sports invitation to UCF and are expecting the Knights to accept, the source said.

The Big East also is working on a separate deal with Navy, the source told ESPN, but the Midshipmen are skeptical of accepting.

UCF makes sense in every way and should join without a second thought. The others are less certain; if you're Boise State, is the grasping-for-straws Big East (which will soon be without three of its best schools) significantly more enticing than the Mountain West? The same goes for Air Force, Houston and SMU, especially when you consider the jacked-up travel costs for all sports for Houston and SMU. I'm not sure it's worth it for them unless Boise State joins and gives the Big East a major prestige boost.

As stupid as the Mountfrence UWestA "merger" was, it did offer this tidbit:

According to a source with direct knowledge about Boise State's and Air Force's situations, the conferences went ahead with the alliance when Boise State indicated to the MWC that it didn't plan to leave the conference.

The source also said Air Force had soured on the Big East deal a bit when Army decided against joining the Big East and Navy became skeptical of the plan.

I don't know where the Big East goes next if Boise and the service academies all stay put (which would be a humiliating, duel-style slap to John Marinatto's face). Maybe UCF, SMU and Houston would be sufficient (that'd make 10 football-playing schools), but my guess is that SMU and Houston go where Boise goes. Why jump to a far-away conference that's barely more desirable and far less secure than Mountference UWestA? It might be time to give Temple a call and an apology.

Thanksgiving won't be the same: That mostly sarcastic stuff about Texas playing Kent State on Thanksgiving is a little closer to reality now that realignment greed has claimed its first victim:

The Texas-Texas A&M rivalry appears to be over. Or, at the very least, suspended.

Texas athletics director DeLoss Dodds sent an email to his counterpart Bill Byrne at Texas A&M to let him know that Texas' nonconference schedule was full through 2018.

"In my e-mail to Bill Byrne, I wrote that we were not in a position now to look at future football scheduling," Dodds said. "We're scheduled out with nonconference games through 2018 and our Big 12 schedule is not yet settled. What we have right now is a full schedule but if any future options are available, the decision will not be made by just one person."

A classic (and usually significant) end-of-season rivalry game between two schools 120 miles apart in the same state is now gone so each side can make an extra $10 million in TV money each year. This is a slightly altered photo of me shaking my angry fist at stupidly greedy college administrators:

The star-wipe transitions apparently weren't good enough: This breakdown of the intricacies of Oregon's simple-yet-devastating running game is really interesting despite being shot by a weird (and presumably single) guy who seems to have an odd relationship with his dog:

BTW, the comments on that video's YouTube page are equally illogical, bouncing back and forth between breakdowns of the midline option and tips on how to teach your dog to walk in a circle. I'm so confused by this guy.

The less-disturbing-and-opposite version: If you like the coaching-style analysis but not the conversations with dogs, here's Michigan State defensive coordinator Pat Narduzzi explaining how to stop the standard pulling-guard power lead:

I'm willing to take Narduzzi seriously since Michigan State has the top rushing defense in the country this year (weak schedule and all that, but still). Hopefully Al Borges finds his happy place tomorrow.

Ohio State announces its weekly suspensions: Dominic Clarke managed to go a whole week without an NCAA violation and still got himself suspended. The amusing details:

Backup cornerback Dominic Clarke won't travel with Ohio State to its game at No. 16 Illinois after being arrested for disorderly conduct for allegedly discharging a BB gun on campus.

Ohio State Deputy Chief of Police Richard Morman said Thursday that no one was hurt in the shootings about 9 p.m. Sunday outside a university-run restaurant.

Ummm ... yeah. Don't do that. Clarke's suspension isn't that significant in and of itself, but this line at the end of the AP story says it all:

Fifteen Buckeyes have been suspended or held out of games this season due to NCAA or legal problems or breaking team rules.


Wisconsin students get the smackdown from Bret Bielema: Unsurprisingly, the Wisconsin student section isn't a family-friendly place. This is from a letter sent by a fan at the Wisconsin-Nebraska game:

“This past Saturday, my son and I attended our first Badger game at Camp Randall. All in all, it was great fun; however, one thing surprised and disturbed me. During the course of the game, the student body was led in a very obscene cheer consisting of echoing ‘Eat (expletive)‘ and (expletive) you’. I was pretty appalled considering that not all the spectators were 18 years or older. It was not the sort of thing children should be hearing.’”

“I recorded the game at home. You can hear the students chant ‘You (expletive) up’ when another player commits a penalty. I can’t imagine that’s the image we want for UW.”

I question whether that person's ever been to a college sporting event before. He/she was probably quite taken aback by some of the female students' loose hairstyles. But it sounds a little worse when you put it this way:

Bielema said profanities from students have led the athletic department to move the seating assignments of potential recruits and their families during games.

Wisconsin officials included links to two YouTube videos at the end of the letter, one of the students singing “Build Me Up Buttercup” during the Nebraska victory and the other of students responding to the song “Jump Around.”

Bielema said he wanted school officials to include a third video — of the students saying the vulgar chants.

“I wanted to put the third video of the chant and just say, ‘Which one do you want to have represent you? We’re going to show this to your employer. Which one looks better to you?’” Bielema said. “The university didn’t want to put that in an email, but I would’ve."

Ouch. I bet the student-section chants this week will be AWESOME.


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