Posted on: May 10, 2010 10:00 pm
Edited on: May 11, 2010 10:10 am
Earlier Monday a report came out from a Kansas City radio station that the Big Ten had extended initial offers to Nebraska, Missouri, Notre Dame and Rutgers.
Rutgers' athletic director Tim Pernetti released a statement on the report saying: "We are a proud member of the Big East Conference. It is not our place to speculate on any reports on the expansion plans of any other conference." And Nebraska said there has been no offer whatsoever.
So while speculation about the Big Ten continues to flood the message boards and talk radio, Adam Aizer and I got a chance to talk with senior writer Dennis Dodd (Full story) about the report and what to expect next from the hottest topic of the offseason.
Watch it here:
Posted on: April 23, 2010 2:06 pm
Edited on: April 23, 2010 4:51 pm
If the Big Ten pulls in Connecticut, Rutgers and Pittsburgh for the Big East, the conference will be down to five teams and on life support to survive. As Dennis Dodd points out, Cincinnati, Syracuse, West Virginia and Louisville would do their best to look elsewhere and most likely join the ACC.
That means the Big East basically has two options.
No. 1: Fold. Allow the lone member South Florida to go somewhere else, mostly likely to Conference USA.
No. 2: Scrape together the best teams from Conference USA and the Sun Belt to keep the Big East together.
In scenario No. 1, the Big East would realize that no matter what teams it tries to pull over, it just will never be a major player in the college football/BCS world. So just close up shop and let South Florida to go wherever it could.
With C-USA losing SMU, Houston, Tulsa, UTEP and Tulane, that means it will need to replenish to keep 12 teams and its conference title game. Currently it uses two division -- East and West -- but it's time to change to North and South.
Army and Navy might end up staying as Independents, but why? Join a conference. Now that Notre Dame is gone it's time to do away with the Independents.
Things are a little bit more tricky in the South. Who would C-USA want and why?
Well, South Florida would be an automatic, so it really only needs two teams. Forget adding anybody from the MAC and WAC, so the only choices left are from the Sun Belt.
Florida International in Miami would be high on the list, if for nothing else, because of its location. The school is located in a Top 20 television market, has more than 40,000 students, and the school is doing its best to improve the football program (it just upgraded the stadium).
By taking FIU, that makes Florida Atlantic 60 miles north in Palm Beach County a perfect fit for a travel partner in other sports. The Owls also are building a new stadium.
I'm not sure the other schools would be attractive enough for C-USA to invite. Even though Troy has had the most success football wise, it has a major downside of being in a city of less than 15,000 people.
Louisiana-Lafayette does offer the conference a chance to get back int the state of Louisiana and the city is one of the largest of all the Sun Belt schools, but FAU and FIU are more attractive on a broader scale.
Now let's talk about scenario No. 2:
The Big East decides it can stay together by pulling some of the larger teams from Conference USA and Sun Belt. So here is what an eight-team conference would look like.
Again, not much to work with, but the conference does get Memphis, UCF, East Carolina, the two Florida schools (FAU and FIU) and two military academies (Army and Navy). Is it strong enough to pull an automatic BCS bid? Doubtful.
Plus this creates another problem. Does the Big East invite all these schools to play basketball? No offense, but adding Florida International and its 5,000-seat gym, to play basketball and hosting games against Georgetown isn't very inticing. This would have to be a football-move only.
As for Conference USA and the Sun Belt, they would have no choice but to join forces. Conference USA would be left with only four schools, while the Sun Belt has seven. It would need one more school to get back to 12 and preserve a conference title game.
It's far-fetched and definitely something down the road, but Georgia State starts football in FCS (I-AA) this season and would be a perfect fit as the 12th school.
Located in downtown Atlanta with more than 30,000 students, the Panthers would be a nice addition to the C-USA/Sun Belt Conference.
Posted on: September 2, 2009 12:07 pm
Edited on: September 2, 2009 12:20 pm
So long Motor City Bowl, hello Pizza Bowl!
Posted on: September 29, 2008 12:33 pm
With one month of the season in the books, the usual debate of "Who has the best conference?" continues. Nobody can doubt the SEC is still king, but the conference that ranks No. 2 might surprise you.
Don't be so quick to say the Big 12, because after analyzing the rankings of this week's CBSSports.com 120, we see the Big Ten ranks slightly ahead of the Big 12 from top to bottom. Based on an average ranking of 36.63, the Big Ten edges out the Big 12, which has an overall average of 37.83. SEC is first at 31.83.
Before the e-mails of "How can that be? Oklahoma, Missouri, Texas and Texas Tech are all ranked in the Top 10!!!" -- we only have to look at the overall records in the Big Ten.
The Big Ten has two undefeated teams, three with a 4-1 record and zero teams in the conference have a losing record.
And one of those undefeated teams is Northwestern. The Wildcats sit tied with Penn State atop the Big Ten with a 5-0 record, including 1-0 in the conference.
Northwestern is off to their best start in 46 years and jumped all the way from No. 41 to No. 27 this week in the CBSSports.com 120. The Wildcats are on the verge of breaking into the Top 25 in the other polls too. They are ranked 30th in the AP poll, 26th in the Coaches poll and 27th in the Harris poll.
Northwestern takes on No. 24 ranked Michigan State on Oct. 11 in what could be a major breakthrough for a team that usually finds itself at the bottom of the conference.
"Our plan going into the bye week is, No. 1, get healthy," Northwestern coach Pat Fitzgerald said. "No. 2 is to stay sharp. I feel like we're getting better each week and growing each week. With that prudent mentality, we'll probably go quick in our practices and won't be out there real long."
Another factor that helps the Big Ten rank ahead of the Big 12 is the lowest-ranked team in the Big Ten is Indiana (No. 74), which stands at 2-2. Texas A&M (No. 84) and Iowa State (No. 90) pull down the average in the Big 12.
The Aggies lost to a Sun Belt school earlier this year (Arkansas State won 18-14) and barely beat Army 21-17. Iowa State is 2-2, but its only victories are against South Dakota State and Kent State.
Here are the overall average conference rankings:
1. SEC -- 31.83
... The ACC which gets criticized for being one of the weakest conference, is ranked fourth. Despite not having any undefeated teams, the conference has seven teams ranked between No. 31 and No. 49. Florida State (No. 35), North Carolina (No. 36) and Maryland (No. 40) all had big wins this past week, moving up numerous spots.
... The lowest-ranked undefeated school is Kentucky at No. 38. Kentucky defeated Louisville, Norfolk State, Middle Tennessee State and Western Kentucky. It will surely move way up the rankings if it beats Alabama this weekend.
... UCF dropped the farthest in the rankings this week, dropping from No. 76 to No. 100 after losing 58-13 to UTEP, which entered the game at 0-3.
... FIU got out of the 120th spot with a 35-16 victory over Toledo. The Golden Panthers are now ranked No. 114. North Texas fell from No. 118 to No. 120 after losing 77-20 to Rice. The Mean Green are one of only three teams without a win. Army (No. 119) and Washington (No. 101) are the others. The Huskies are ranked so high because it lost by only one point to BYU and by 7 to Stanford this past week.