Play Fantasy Use your Fantasy skills to win Cash Prizes. Join or start a league today. Play Now
 
Tag:Big East expansion
Posted on: February 15, 2012 6:26 pm
 

Syracuse AD: Rutgers rematch "not an option"

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

With the Big East now officially reduced to seven football-playing members after the departure of West Virginia, the conference's 2012 scheduling dilemma has reached its crisis point--doubly so if Boise State can't find a way to ride to the rescue. Perhaps nothing illustrates the direness of the league's scheduling situation than earlier reports that Syracuse and Rutgers have considered playing twice in the 2012 regular season, with the Scarlet Knights hosting the Orange as originally scheduled and the Orange hosting Rutgers either in the Carrier Dome or Yankee Stadium.

But even with a yawning Mountaineer-shaped gap in their schedules and not much more than six months until the 2012 season kicks off, Syracuse athletic director Daryl Gross told ESPN CNY radio  Tuesday that a second game against the Scarlet Knights was "not an option." As transcribed by Orange blog Troy Nunes is an Absolute Magician, Gross's response to the Yankee Stadium suggestion:

No. Not an option and I guess the simplest way to answer it is just no. It's just all wrong. It's not even an option. We're playing [USC] at the New Meadowlands next year and we have great respect for those folks, what they've set up for us. It'll be like a bowl game for us and we'll have all the trains and buses and everything going down, so that's our New York game. But besides that, we won't be playing ... home and home with members of the same conference.

On the one hand, this will save both the Orange and the Scarlet Knights the awkwardness of playing the kind of home-and-home college football series rarely seen since the turn of the 20th century; aside from New York City-based Orange fans greedy enough to want their team to visit the city twice (or any Syracuse-based diehard hoping for some immediate revenge for last year's 19-16 Rutgers win at the Carrier Dome), it's hard to imagine who at either school might want to play the in-season rematch.

On the other, at least a second game against each other would give the Orange and Scarlet Knights someone to play. As it stands, Boise's late addition to the schedule could be the only thing standing between the two programs and outright desperation, though they could also receive some highly ironic last-minute help from the Mountaineers, of all people--the settlement between WVU and the Big East requires the Mountaineers to "use its reasonable best efforts to help" the remaining Big East members find scheduling partners, including those from WVU's new Big 12 home "if possible."

But whatever solution the Big East, Orange, and Scarlet Knights finds (and our current bet is simply on Boise making the leap in the near future), Gross's comments do make clear what it won't be.

Keep up with the latest college football news from around the country. From the opening kick of the year all the way through the offseason, CBSSports.com has you covered with this daily newsletter. View a preview.

Get CBSSports.com College Football updates on Facebook   

Posted on: February 15, 2012 2:40 pm
Edited on: February 15, 2012 7:05 pm
 

Boise looks to "cover expenses" for Big East leap

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

It wasn't even two weeks ago that no less an authority than Boise State president Bob Kustra said it was "too late" for the Broncos to consider moving to the Big East for the 2012 season. But with West Virginia now officially out the Big East door, Broncos officials admitted Wednesday that the school is in active talks with the league about joining this fall after all--and actively searching for the money that would make it happen.

Bronco athletic director Mark Coyle told the Idaho Statesman that though the final amount to get Boise out of the Mountain West and into the Big East -- and the WAC, where the Broncos' Olympic sports teams are headed -- "changes by the minute," there is "a sense of urgency" for the school to reach a decision soon.

“With the departure of West Virginia, it’s created this talk about somebody jumping to the Big East. We have had those conversations, but it’s not a simple black and white answer,” Coyle said. “Yes, we want to make sure that football has a solid home, but we have to have a solid home for our 18 other sports ...  Before we make any move, we need to make sure we cover all our expenses."

Those expenses are estimated to be between $7.5 and $9 million in exit fees due the Mountain West, and possibly an entry fee due the WAC to accommodate the Olympic teams on short notice. But just as West Virginia's exit has created a hole in the Big East schedule that the Broncos could fill, so the Broncos' future league could re-route the $10 million the Mountaineers are paying in their own exit fees -- or the potential $9 million in revenues the league plans on withholding from WVU -- to the MWC or WAC to help grease the skids for Boise's arrival.

Despite the potential hiccups, with Boise interested in speeding up their arrival, the Big East desperate to avoid a season with only seven football teams (just ask Syracuse and Rutgersand the necessary cash hypothetically available, it will now be a surprise if the Broncos don't make the leap this offseason. One potential monkey wrench, however: the Mountain West-Conference USA merger, which could in turn destabilize the reeling WAC and leave the Bronco Olympic sports high and dry. Coyle called the merger a "new twist in the conversation."

But as the expansion experience of the Mountaineers (as well as schools like Missouri) have shown, where there's a will to expedite the conference-jumping process, there's usually a way. That the Broncos now publicly have the former and a game-plan for the latter, it's not hard to imagine them going from "too late" to "already there" in a matter of weeks.

Keep up with the latest college football news from around the country. From the opening kick of the year all the way through the offseason, CBSSports.com has you covered with this daily newsletter. View a preview.

Get CBSSports.com College Football updates on Facebook   

Posted on: February 3, 2012 7:20 pm
 

Boise State: 'too late' for 2012 move to Big East

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

Boise State announced last December that its impending move to the Big East wouldn't take place until 2013. But with West Virginia still caught in limbo between its old league and its leap to the Big 12, the San Jose Mercury-News'Jon Wilner reported this week that the Broncos might still be considering an offer to step directly into the Mountaineers' scheduling shoes should WVU extricate itself in time for the 2012 season.

Boise president Bob Kustra told the Idaho Statesman Friday that he had "heard those rumors." But he stated firmly that any move for this coming season is already off the table.

"It's too late. I can't imagine how anyone can pull that off," he said. "We would never want to pull it off in a fashion that dealt shabbily with our existing partners in the Mountain West. I don't think that could ever work."

If the Mountaineers succeeded in joining the Big 12 by this fall -- and with a 10-team schedule already released to the conference's television partners, the expectation both in the Big 12 offices and Morgantown is that they will -- the Big East will be set to play out the 2012 season with just seven members: Cincinnati, South Florida, UConn, Rutgers, Louisville, Syracuse and Pitt. (The Orange and Panthers have both announced their intentions to join the ACC and are scheduled to leave in 2014, but both could look to leave next year if the Mountaineers are successful in their attempt to bolt early.)

Once 2013 hits, the Big East will receive a substantial boost in the form of five new members, the Broncos included. But for 2012, facing the ugly prospect of just six conference games and a matter of weeks in which to find a nonconference replacement for the Mountaineers, it's understandable if John Marinatto would like to see BSU make a last-gasp switch. Unfortunately for him, it seems like Kustra and the Broncos aren't in quite such a hurry.

Keep up with the latest college football news from around the country. From the opening kick of the year all the way through the offseason, CBSSports.com has you covered with this daily newsletter. View a preview.

Get CBSSports.com College Football updates on Facebook   
Posted on: January 24, 2012 4:56 pm
Edited on: January 24, 2012 5:05 pm
 

Necessity, flexibility lead Navy to the Big East



Posted by Chip Patterson


The Big East welcomed Navy to the growing group of newcomers for football on Tuesday, announcing the school's intentions of joining the league for the 2015 season.

Navy will begin Big East conference play two years after the addition of San Diego State, Boise State, SMU, Houston, and UCF - but still after the official exit of Pittsburgh, Syracuse, and West Virginia. After more than 100 years of independence, Navy football will take on an official conference affiliation.

“The Naval Academy is pleased to accept the invitation for our football team to join the Big East Conference,” said Naval Academy Superintendent Vice Admiral Michael Miller, USN. “After careful consideration, we believe this affiliation to be in the best interests of the Naval Academy, our athletic programs and the Brigade of Midshipmen. While our independent status has served Navy football well to date, Big East conference affiliation will help ensure our future scholar-athletes and athletic programs remain competitive at the highest levels for the foreseeable future.”

A recurring theme from the Navy administration, and even head coach Ken Niumatalolo, was the idea that conference affiliation was the safest way to ensure a program's survival in these rapidly changing times. The administration mentioned the difficulties of scheduling opponents for the future, as schools begin to hold more dates open for conference play. The bowl affiliations, and television packages were mentioned as driving factors in college football becoming more conference-centric.

Searching for a permanent home, the Academy looked to the Big East - advancing a decade-long conversation regarding possible membership. One of the aspects that made the league attractive to Navy was the Big East's willingness to accommodate the traditional rivalries with Army, Air Force, and Notre Dame in the conference schedule.  In addition to holding those three rivalries, the conference was willing to accomodate Navy's interests in hosting all home games on Saturdays - something of concern with the school's proximity to Washington, D.C..

With eight conference games, Navy's non-conference schedule will likely only leave room for one rotating opponent in order to maintain the Commander-in-Chief rivalry and the annual contest with Notre Dame. However if there is a change of heart at Air Force regarding Big East membership, Navy would only have two protected non-conference rivalries to schedule around.

Whether Air Force becomes the Big East's next target is yet to be seen, but one thing is clear: there will be more announcements coming from the conference regarding expansion.

"Please know our membership has worked hard to get to where we are today, but also know we are not done yet," commissioner John Marinatto said. "We feel we can get stronger, and will continue pursue interests from additional top-notch institutions to further enhance our competetiveness in both football and basketball."

If the Big East has 12 teams in competition for the 2015 season and a conference championship game, it would present a potentially unique situation for the Midshipmen.  Navy could win their division in 2015, then play the Big East championship game a week before their scheduled meeting with Army to close the regular season.    

For much more on Navy's move to the Big East, check out Brett McMurphy's blog and our Conference Realignment home page.

Keep up with the latest college football news from around the country. From the regular season all the way through the bowl games, CBSSports.com has you covered with this daily newsletter. View a preview. Like us? Tell our Facebook page.

Get CBSSports.com College Football updates on Facebook   
Posted on: January 24, 2012 4:56 pm
Edited on: January 24, 2012 5:05 pm
 

Necessity, flexibility lead Navy to the Big East



Posted by Chip Patterson


The Big East welcomed Navy to the growing group of newcomers for football on Tuesday, announcing the school's intentions of joining the league for the 2015 season.

Navy will begin Big East conference play two years after the addition of San Diego State, Boise State, SMU, Houston, and UCF - but still after the official exit of Pittsburgh, Syracuse, and West Virginia. After more than 100 years of independence, Navy football will take on an official conference affiliation.

“The Naval Academy is pleased to accept the invitation for our football team to join the Big East Conference,” said Naval Academy Superintendent Vice Admiral Michael Miller, USN. “After careful consideration, we believe this affiliation to be in the best interests of the Naval Academy, our athletic programs and the Brigade of Midshipmen. While our independent status has served Navy football well to date, Big East conference affiliation will help ensure our future scholar-athletes and athletic programs remain competitive at the highest levels for the foreseeable future.”

A recurring theme from the Navy administration, and even head coach Ken Niumatalolo, was the idea that conference affiliation was the safest way to ensure a program's survival in these rapidly changing times. The administration mentioned the difficulties of scheduling opponents for the future, as schools begin to hold more dates open for conference play. The bowl affiliations, and television packages were mentioned as driving factors in college football becoming more conference-centric.

Searching for a permanent home, the Academy looked to the Big East - advancing a decade-long conversation regarding possible membership. One of the aspects that made the league attractive to Navy was the Big East's willingness to accommodate the traditional rivalries with Army, Air Force, and Notre Dame in the conference schedule.  In addition to holding those three rivalries, the conference was willing to accomodate Navy's interests in hosting all home games on Saturdays - something of concern with the school's proximity to Washington, D.C..

With eight conference games, Navy's non-conference schedule will likely only leave room for one rotating opponent in order to maintain the Commander-in-Chief rivalry and the annual contest with Notre Dame. However if there is a change of heart at Air Force regarding Big East membership, Navy would only have two protected non-conference rivalries to schedule around.

Whether Air Force becomes the Big East's next target is yet to be seen, but one thing is clear: there will be more announcements coming from the conference regarding expansion.

"Please know our membership has worked hard to get to where we are today, but also know we are not done yet," commissioner John Marinatto said. "We feel we can get stronger, and will continue pursue interests from additional top-notch institutions to further enhance our competetiveness in both football and basketball."

If the Big East has 12 teams in competition for the 2015 season and a conference championship game, it would present a potentially unique situation for the Midshipmen.  Navy could win their division in 2015, then play the Big East championship game a week before their scheduled meeting with Army to close the regular season.    

For much more on Navy's move to the Big East, check out Brett McMurphy's blog and our Conference Realignment home page.

Keep up with the latest college football news from around the country. From the regular season all the way through the bowl games, CBSSports.com has you covered with this daily newsletter. View a preview. Like us? Tell our Facebook page.

Get CBSSports.com College Football updates on Facebook   
Posted on: January 18, 2012 11:38 am
Edited on: January 18, 2012 12:41 pm
 

Pitt, Syracuse not likely on 2012 ACC schedule

Posted by Chip Patterson

With very little warning, the ACC made one of the most prominent moves in conference realignment in the middle of the 2011 regular season with the addition of Pittsburgh and Syracuse from the Big East. The bylaw-mandated 27-month exit period was thought to be negotiable, but all signs from Big East commissioner John Marinatto indicate that the league will hold all departing members to full withdrawal process.

Following the process outlined in the bylaws would hold off the conference move until the 2014-2015 academic year. While the ACC has made it clear they are prepared to work with the Big East to get Pittsburgh and Syracuse to the league sooner, they have not made any legal efforts to expedite the process. With the release of the ACC regular season schedule coming in early February, it is beginning to look unlikely that either school will be in the ACC for the 2012 season.

"You never say never, but it's unlikely there would be major changes once [the schedule] is set," Mike Finn, ACC associate commissioner in charge of football communications, told The Charlotte Observer.

The SEC and Pac-12 have both released their conference schedules for 2012, and the rest of the major conferences will likely follow suit in the next several weeks. The ACC released the 2011 league schedule on Feb. 14.

While the ACC seems comfortable waiting out the exit period, West Virginia is having a much more difficult time leaving the Big East. Both the school and the conference have filed competing lawsuits regarding West Virginia's plans to join the Big 12, and a Rhode Island judge has ordered both parties to enter non-binding mediation. West Virginia hopes to reach a settlement allowing the school to join the Big 12 in time for the 2012 season, while the league has no plans of making exception to the bylaws. A status conference has been scheduled for Feb. 9, as both parties hope to reach a resolution before the Big East and Big 12 release their conference schedules.

When the Big East releases their schedule for 2012, I would expect to see West Virginia, Pittsburgh, and Syracuse on the slate. If the Big 12 includes West Virginia as well, it could lead to potentially massive headaches for both conferences. It seems as though the ACC is content avoiding the legalities and welcoming their new additions at a later date.

Keep up with the latest college football news from around the country. From the regular season all the way through the bowl games, CBSSports.com has you covered with this daily newsletter. View a preview. Like us? Tell our Facebook page.

Get CBSSports.com College Football updates on Facebook   

Posted on: December 6, 2011 5:05 pm
Edited on: December 6, 2011 5:07 pm
 

What should we rename the Big East?

Posted by Eye On College Football staff

With the news coming from CBSSports.com's Brett McMurphy that the Big East was expanding to include Boise State, San Diego State, Houston, SMU and UCF in 2013, one thing became immediately and abundantly clear: the Big East cannot be called the Big East anymore. We've sat idly by and let the Big 12 have 10 teams while the Big Ten expanded to 12, and we're just not going to abide that conference name dishonesty any longer.

But we're solution-minded folks, one and all, so here are some helpful suggestions from us as to what the Big East ought to be renamed:

  • League of Extraordinary Liberty Bowls

  • Marinatto's Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy

  • Frequent Flyer Conference

  • Manifest Destiny Conference

  • Everything But The Crystal Football Conference

  • Etc. Etc. Conference

Vote! Vote at once, you knaves!

Posted on: December 6, 2011 3:41 pm
Edited on: December 6, 2011 6:05 pm
 

Big East additions: what do they bring?

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

The Big East will go a long way towards remaining a solvent football league this week when, as reported by CBSSports.com's Brett McMurphythey announce the additions of Boise State, San Diego State, Houston, UCF and SMU.

The additions will bring the conference's total number of football-playing members to 10, with Nos. 11 and 12 possibly soon to follow. But just as importantly, the expansion also gives the league a bona fide headliner--Boise brings their impeccable record at the non-AQ level, national recognition, and their attention-grabbing status as the No. 1 lightning rod for the FBS's ongoing haves-vs.-have-nots discussion.

But what do we know about the other four teams joining up? What do they bring to the table? What issues might they have to deal with? We've broken it down team-by-team:

HOUSTON

PROS: The Cougars are riding a Case Keenum-led high, having won 22 games in their star QB's last two healthy seasons, including the program's first bowl win since 1980 in 2009. But Houston has plenty going for it off the field, too; their location smack dab in the middle of one of the country's largest television markets (this is going to be a repeating theme) and most fertile recruiting grounds should pay the Big East dividends both in their TV negotiations and on the recruiting trail. If the Cougars themselves can capitalize on their new BCS status on the trails in Houston and nearby Louisiana, they could be a power for years to come.

CONS: What happens when Keenum and head coach Kevin Sumlin --as seems increasingly likely -- both depart for greener pastures? This is still a program that, as mentioned, has just one bowl win in the past 31 years and was in truly sorry shape when Art Briles (with Sumlin in tow) arrived in 2003. The wrong hire in the wake of Sumlin's exit could return the Cougars to their doormat days in a hurry. And as nice as the Houston market is, the Cougars still need to make more inroads into it; fulfilling a promise to expand or replace 32,000-seat Robertson Stadium would be a plus.

SMU

PROS: As with the Cougars, Dallas-based SMU has the advantage of being located in one of the nation's biggest metro markets, a major plus for the television bean counters. But the Mustangs also have an administration that hasn't been shy about throwing its financial support behind its formerly woebegone program, and that's not a "Pony Express" joke; the school opened Gerald J. Ford Stadium just 11 years ago and four seasons back ponied up the cash (that pun's intended) to lure June Jones from Hawaii. Result: three straight bowl bids after a 25-year drought, some of the best recruiting classes in Conference USA, and noticeably increased fan interest and attendance.

CONS: If the Mustangs can hang onto Jones, or replace him with another smart (and duly expensive) hire, they have more than enough potential to be a respectable member of the Big East for some time to come. (The league's higher-ups have to appreciate that the Mustangs defeated Big East deserters TCU this past season.) But the Dallas market and surrounding recruiting grounds are so ultra-competitive, turning SMU's resources and location into a legitimate BCS contender may take quite a few years and even more support from the SMU fanbase, which was called out by an SMU player this season for its lack of enthusiasm.

UCF

PROS: If there's any school that's put its money where its mouth is when it comes to supporting athletics, it's UCF, which opened the $55 million, 45,00-seat on-campus Bright House Networks Stadium four years ago amongst multiple other major facilities upgrades. Though a 5-7 2011 season has been a major disappointment for George O'Leary's program, this is still a team that's won two C-USA titles and earned three bowl bids in the past five years. As the second-largest school in the country in terms of enrollment and the only major college football program in the sizable Orlando market, a move to the Big East and a few years of consistent winning could give the Knights the push on the recruiting trail needed to become a legit BCS contender.

CONS: Of course, that's all assuming the NCAA Committee on Infractions doesn't give the program the USC treatment in the wake of the recent allegations against exiled athletic director Keith TribbleThough the Orlando market is an obvious TV positive, the Knight's central Florida location is both a blessing and a curse; while there's plenty of athletes available around which O'Leary (or his successor) can build a successful program, there's also few (if any) areas of the country where the competition for those athletes is more cutthroat. A few NCAA-hamstrung poor seasons could deal the program a blow that could take it years to recover from.

SAN DIEGO STATE

PROS: Long regarded as the "sleeping giant" of the Mountain West, the Aztecs finally went some way towards waking up with a 9-4 2010 season and just their second bowl berth in 19 years--a campaign that resulted in an attendance surge that ranked amongst the nation's best. Despite the loss of head coach Brady Hoke and multiple NFL talents, an 8-4 year and New Orleans Bowl berth wasn't a bad follow-up. Thanks to their access to California's bountiful recruiting grounds and the TV-friendly San Diego market, another good year or two for Rocky Long should lay the foundation for success for years to come.

CONS: As much potential as SDSU has on paper, this is still a program with just four bowl appearances and one win since 1969; just because it looks like it should be easy to win here doesn't mean it is. More than any of the other addditions save Boise, SDSU will add a sizable chunk to opponent's travel bills. And Long, already 61 years old, may not be the long-term answer at head coach; if he's not, will the Aztec brass be shrewd enough (or spend enough) to find another Hoke?

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