Rutgers says they are in contact with ACC, Big Ten
Rutgers could be next to run away from the Big East. Getty Images.
The Big Ten may be in need of Rutgers more than anyone ever anticipated. With Pittsburgh and Syracuse leaving the Big East for the ACC just as soon as the exit process can be finalized, the Big East is officially crumbling on the football front. The Pac-12 may soon become the Pac-16, depending on which source you believe, with the additions of Oklahoma and Oklahoma State looking to be a bit of a formality at this point and television issues being one more hurdle before adding Texas and Texas Tech.
The SEC is also in search of a 14th member, which could be West Virginia out of the Big East. The Big Ten is staying quiet, at least publicly. They should not be. The time to react is now.
Big Ten commissioner Jim Delany has said previously that the conference would not react to what other conferences do, but they would be proactive in changing if the current membership agreed that it was the best course to take.
“Our position is our position,” Delany said to the New York Times. “I don’t think that moves in the SEC or the A.C.C. or Pac-10 or Big 12, haven’t, to date, created an environment that changes our position. We’re as comfortable as we could be. We’re cautious and conservative.”
Coming up later today will be a podcast with Schimri Yoyo, Big East writer for Examiner.com, and Mark Ennis from Big East Coast Bias will join the Blog Talk Radio show, which returns this week after a brief hiatus last week.
Umm, where is the Kent State defense? Getty Images
I don’t want to kick some programs when they’re down, so the Miami Hurricanes will be excused from this ranking for the time being. Although I will say they were considered for allowing those crash-test dummy Maryland state flag uniforms to mess with them in the rain Monday night. Anyway, on with this week’s powerless rankings.
1. Louisiana Lafayette Rajin Cajuns: the powerless rankings begin with Louisiana-Lafayette, who allowed more points than any other FBS program in week one. The Ragin’ Cajuns allowed Oklahoma State to drop 61 points on them, consisting of seven touchdowns. The Cowboys passed for 458 yards in the game (second most passing yards allowed in week one, ahead of Washington vs. FCS Eastern Washington) and 208 yards on the ground (ranking Louisiana-Lafayette 97th in the FBS). This sets up our first true pillow-fight of the season, when Louisiana-Lafayette travels to Kent State in week two.
2. Memphis Tigers: You get credit for losing to a quality opponent (Mississippi State) but being down 31-7 at the half at home is laughable. Mississippi State put up 645 yards of offense in a record breaking night for Dan Mullen’s team. That’s a whole lot of yards. this could be another painful week for the Tigers of Memphis, but there is nothing new to see here.
3. TCU Defense: the big question for TCU was supposed to be the offense, without Andy Dalton under center. Baylor has some playmakers on offense, captained by Robert Griffin III, but TCU was scorched for 50 points for the first time ince allowing BYU to score 50 on them in 2005 (and TCU won that game). I don’t expect this to happen too often, and if TCU doesn’t give up more than 30 points the rest of the season I would not be surprised. Consider this a wake up call.
Give them credit though. Maryland pulled out a win against the Miami Hurricanes. Randy Edsall’s dream job is off to a good start. Maryland gets a couple weeks to cook up another surprise uniform before taking on West Virginia on the pivotal September 17 for the ACC.
5. Kent State Golden Flashes : I’ll give you that you were going up against one of the top defenses in the nation, but even against such a superior opponent (Alabama) on the road, you have to manage more than zero yards of rushing. If not, make sure you head home without going in the red in rushing yardage. Kent State rushed for negative nine yards of rushing against Alabama. Nothing golden or flashy about that performance.
6. New Mexico Football: New Mexico State hosted Ohio from the MAC and were steamrolled 44-24. Forget about running the football. New Mexico State had six (6!!!) rushing yards against the Bobcats on 23 attempts (kind of looks good next to Kent State). New Mexico, on the other hand, rushed for 150 yards but were unable to score a ton of points against Colorado State at home. The Rams handed the Lobos a season opening loss by a 14-10 decision. Next up? A road trip to play the Arkansas Razorbacks.
7. Indiana Hoosiers: Hoosiers lost to Ball State. I know that I should not expect much from Indiana until their big time quarterback recruit steps foot on campus, but I did expect the Kevin Wilson era to start with a victory on the road against in-state opponent Ball State. The MAC is celebrating a win against the Big Ten, and it’s all your fault Hoosiers!
8. SMU Mustangs: Way to leave me hanging Mustangs. I spoke highly optimistically of you in my Crystal Ball Run upset alert for week one and you just didn’t keep up with texas A&M. Remember, Texas A&M is being cast as the bad guy by some in the state of Texas. You’re supposed to put up a fight! Any time June Jones has to bench Kyle Padron early in a game, it’s not good news. I still feel SMU can make a run in Conference USA, but they have a long way to go before matching up with Houston.
9. Duke Blue Devils: If you are from a BCS AQ conference and you lose to an FCS squad, albeit one of the better ones, you earn an automatic spot on the list. Really, Duke should have already been on this list. Duke lost to Richmond form the powerful CAA from the FCS ranks. Good win for the Spiders. ACC teams picked up five wins against FCS programs, including wins over William & Mary (Virginia) and James Madison (North Carolina) from the CAA.
10. Mother Nature: Weather delays are supposed to be for baseball, not football. Hope you got everything out of your system because we have some pretty big games coming up and I don’t want you to play a role in any of them!
Eastern Michigan is looking up in 2011... to everybody. Getty Images.
On Examiner.com this morning we posted our first power rankings of the 2011 college football season. Our panel of voters collaborated over the weekend to put them together, and to the surprise of nobody, the Oklahoma Soonerstop the ranking in our preseason opinions. For fun, and because nobody else on the Internet does such a thing, I thought it would be fun to take a look at the worst of the worst in college football this season.
Brace yourself, this could get ugly.
1. Eastern Michigan Eagles: Good luck to the Eastern Michigan Eagles. It’s bad enough being in the same state as Michigan and Michigan State, but they also have to go up against MAC rivals Central Michigan and Western Michigan. When you are the fifth best school in the FBS in your state, and your state isn’t Texas, Florida or California, you are in bad shape. Eastern Michigan won two games last season while allowing 43.9 points per game (third worst in nation) and scoring just 19.0 points per game.
Eastern Michigan opens the season with two FCS opponents, so they could be looking to match last season’s win total before heading to Ann Arbor and State College in back-to-back weeks (Michigan and Penn State for the college football geography impaired).
2. Memphis Tigers: We have discussed the inability of Memphis to win in college football before, but the record speaks for itself. Try 1-11 last season, 14.4 points per game scored per game in 2010 (slightly above Buffalo) and allowing nearly 40 points per game (39.8 ppg). We’ll see if they can slow down Mississippi State in week one, and if they do maybe the Bulldogs will be exposed as a little bit overhyped entering the 2011 season. Nah…
3. Buffalo Bulls: Buffalo scored an average of 14.2 points per game last season, the lowest in all of FBS football. The post-Turner Gill era is certainly off to a bullish start. After picking up a season opening victory against Rhode Island, the Bulls lost 10 of 11 games the rest of the season. Try this on for non-conference action this season. Road games at Pittsburgh and Tennessee and a home game against defending Big East champion Connecticut. At least they have a home game against Stony Brook in week two, right?
4. Maryland Uniforms: We’ll let the pictures speak for themselves, and spare you from reposting the images.
5. New Mexico Football: New Mexico or New Mexico State, it doesn’t matter. The two programs went a combined 3-21 last season, and one of those wins came in a head-to-head match-up. Two of the wins came against two schools on this list (New Mexico, San Jose State). New Mexico allowed a nation-worst 44.3 points per game last season. New Mexico State gets slight bragging rights, allowing only 39.5 points per game. I know I am counting down to October 1. Aren’t you?
6. Akron Zips: Each of the past three seasons have seen the Zips decrease in total wins, nearing in on zip. The lone win last season came in a 22-14 victory against Buffalo. Akron opens their season at Ohio State. Even with everything going on in Columbus, this should be a rough start for Akron this season.
7. Villanova’s Big East Case: Have we all forgotten when Villanova was going to join the Big East? Is anyone really thinking the Wildcats still have any chance now, or has that boat sailed? Beat Temple on Thursday and maybe that talk can be reignited. Oh, by the way, be sure to check out the No 2-Minute Warning Mayor’s Cup pre-game show Thursday night.
8. Jordan Jefferson, LSU Quarterback: You were to be the starting quarterback for a team expected to contend for a BCS title, then you get suspended indefinitely following a bar fight? Not the best decision a young student-athlete can make.
9. San Jose State Spartans: For most schools it is tough to not improve on a two-win season, but San Jose State is not most schools. The Spartans had just one win in 2010 and they gave up more than twice as many points as they scored (allowing an average of 34.7 points per game while scoring just 16.1 points per game).
10. The Morning Jones listeners: Bomani Jones’ final The Morning Jones broadcast is later this week. We know that Jones will turn up somewhere and thrive, but the loss of The Morning Jones, even just temporary, is a severe blow for the morning routine for this particular college football writer.
A day after the report was published by Yahoo! Sports (read it now), the world of college football is reacting.
Former Hurricanes tight end Jeremy Shockey, as you might expect, shared his opinion on Twitter by saying “Wow what a shame another loser (Nevin Shapiro) trying to make money after a $930 million Ponzi scheme,” and “I just don’t get it.” Former head coach at Miami and current FOX NFL analyst Jimmy Johnson said “Miami haters will come out of woodwork with OLD NEWS and NCAA.” Well, he’s right. The haters have come out in full force, and some have declared that if any program deserves the NCAA death penalty, it is Miami.
We can debate whether or not that should be the case (vote in the poll here and share your thoughts there), but let’s just remember that the NCAA is still conducting an investigation in to the program. Let’s see if they can confirm some of these accusations and what else they may or may not find before rushing to judgement.
Last week I spoke with Michael Bradley, Senior Writer for Cane Insider, on Blog Talk Radio and we discussed the optimism surrounding the program as Al Golden is taking over the program from Randy Shannon. In it we learned that Golden is focusing on changing the work ethic in practice and setting the tone so his players start to work harder than they may have in the past. It was a very optimistic conversation regarding Miami. Naturally, when this news broke last night I reached out to Bradley to see if he could join me to share his initial thoughts and reactions to everything that has been unearthed. Despite saying that he has had better days, Bradley was kind enough to share some insight from Coral Gables and let us know what Miami fans are saying Wednesday morning.
I also brought in Aaron Torres, one of my co-writers over at Crystal Ball Run. Torres posted some great thoughts on the Miami news on the site, and followed them up today on his own website. I wanted to talk to Torres to get another outsider’s reaction and to talk about some of the questions we are all paying attention to.
How long of a bowl ban will Miami get?
How much longer does Al Golden stay in Miami?
Is the death penalty really an option in play here?
Have a listen to the podcast below, then make sure you are subscribed in iTunes, and following the show on Get Glue! Follow Bradley and Torres on Twitter (follow me too). And don’t forget, this podcast can be heard at anytime on Stitcher Radio (and click here for a promo code to get started and a chance to win $100)!
Texas A&M, through no fault of their own, could start a troublesome ripple effect.
Texas A&M’s Board of Regents voted unanimously to give President R. Bowen Loftin the authority to pursue a new conference home for the school. By all accounts, that is the first legal hurdle required to leave the Big 12 for the SEC. The SEC meanwhile wants to slow down the process so they can evaluate the options that best suit them. If they decide to invite Texas A&M, who else do they add? Florida State? Missouri?
The more important question is, what would Texas A&M moving to the SEC mean for the rest of the college athletics scene?
Are we truly gearing up for the era of the super conferences, with the Pac-12, Big Ten and SEC gobbling up the remainder of the Big 12 and plucking schools from the Big East and ACC as well as Conference USA, the MAC, Mountain West Conference and so on?
College Football News takes a look in to their crystal ball and predicts what the conferences may look like in 2014, once the conference carousel comes to a full and complete stop. Temple in the Big East. Pittsburgh, Rutgers, Syracuse and Maryland in the Big Ten. Texas joining BYU and Notre Dame as an independent. Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Kansas and Texas Tech to the Pac 12 16. How about a Pac-18?
Kentucky Wildcats basketball coach John Calipari spoke out about his idea that super conferences should be what the goal should be. “We should be 16 teams,” Calipari said of the SEC. “And then there should be a 16-team league out west and there should be a 16-team league north of us and there should be a 16-team league east of us. Or 18 (teams). Either one. That’s what it should be, in my opinion.”
Allow me to say that I have always been a supporter of a playoff format in college football’s FBS level. To me, determining a national champion based on polls as much as the FBS and BCS do is a silly concept. At the same time, I do love the bowl season. But for the good of the game, I feel that having a playoff format similar to the FCS, Division 2, Division 3, NAIA and NFL and high school levels (you know, every football level but FBS) just makes sense. Moving to fewer conferences with larger membership would seem to be one way of paving that road to a playoff format, so I ask myself if that is something I am ready to give up.
It is not. And quite frankly, the idea of super conferences scares the crap out of me as a college football fan.
Super conferences take away something to root for at many schools, including Florida International.
Look, I’m the kind of guy that can sit down on a Saturday afternoon and watch games all day, regardless of who is playing. I love being able to check out a Thursday night or Friday night game and I have been known to take in some Tuesday night MACtion from time to time. I get caught up in games no matter what the conference is, and like to watch the championship picture come together in every conference, from the Sun Belt to the SEC. By going to an era of super conferences, you lose that aspect of the sport.
If college football moves to four super regional conferences, or however it gets divided, then schools like Florida International (2010 Sun Belt champions), Central Florida (Conference USA), and Miami, Ohio (MAC) will never again make a championship run. Ever. Same goes for Nevada, Hawaii and Central Michigan and East Carolina. To me, every conference championship is something special that players can aim for at every level and at every school. Would Temple, Akron, or Western Michigan ever have a sniff of a championship run in a Super East conference comprised of Ohio State, Michigan, Penn State, Wisconsin, Pittsburgh, West Virginia and Boston College? Not to mention being in the same regional conference as perhaps Maryland, Iowa, Connecticut and Syracuse.
Imagine what those schools would have to pitch in recruiting then. You can’t say with a straight face that those kids will have a chance to win a championship. Instead it will be all about where you will travel “We’ll get to travel to Alabama, LSU, Texas A&M, Oklahoma and Georgia every year and get a solid paycheckbeatdown experience!”
If you are OK with taking away that championship hunt from the MAC, Sun Belt, WAC, Mountain West, and Conference USA, then maybe this is idea of super conferences is OK with you.
If it happens, so be it. But I won’t like it.
I want to know what you think about the idea of super conferences. Cast your vote below and leave a comment in the comment section with your thoughts on the idea, pro or con. You can also say you are undecided if that is the case. I’ll take a look at the answers next week.