Well, after a loss there really is only one choice for this week’s soundtrack… Just be thankful I didn’t go all Broadway on you. I know that there were exciting things on the field to talk about, but the big story brings us to…
This week in EXPAND-A-PALOOZA: Well, well, well- Saturday awoke to the ACC getting their big boy pants on, and Sunday it became official- Pitt and Syracuse would be joining the conference in all sports. This was a surprising move, since the ACC has been relatively quiet throughout this process, although last week the powers that be agreed to raise the conference buyout to $20 million (from $12-$14 mil). While it looks proactive in many ways, it’s got to be influenced by rumors that the SEC was looking to poach several schools (FSU/Clemson) from the conference. The addition of Pitt and Syracuse also effectively block the B1G; these programs were always in the minds of those who believed that B1G Commish Jim Delaney was looking to connect with the NY media market- that ship may have now sailed. As a reminder, the B1G is constrained, in a good way from my perspective, by the belief that the conference’s affiliations should transcend television dollars or “great matchups”, and include schools that are parts of the CIC or AAU to share research revenue opportunities.
Other rumors today are that TBPU, OU, UT, and TTU would head to the PAC-16 and be in a western division with Utah, Colorado, and the two Arizona schools. To solve the problem of “not playing in California” for recruiting purposes, the conference would move to a “pod” system that would have teams playing three other schools every year, and then two schools from the other two pods on a rotating basis. Yeah, it’s that complicated. Be aware, though, that UT folks were just in LA for the UCLA game (more later), and that UT and OU have board of regents meetings called for Monday, with Texas having “Conference Alignment” on the agenda.
Elsewheres, UConn has also been rumored to head to the ACC (holy cow, is that going to be a basketball powerhouse conference), while WVa is rumored to have submitted it’s petition to be the SEC’s #14. Where does that leave the B1G? Notre Dame/Rutgers/Mizzou are supposedly the next targets… although the CIC/AAU thing is still a strong draw for some who are connected to Longhorn Nation.
Oh, and if the insiders at a certain Northwestern message board are to be believed, ESPN is at the heart of this. Anyone else curious how media conglomerates became involved in the actions of institutions of higher education? And you thought the “coverage” of B1G sports by the four letter network had an agenda now… what do you think will happen when three of the four super-conferences have deals with Bristol’s network. Now THAT’s something congress should look into, if you ask me- particularly given the fact that the organization that was created to monitor and guide these matters is pretty much powerless on top of other issues.
Onto the contests between our favorite squadrons. Well, the aftermath for our very favorite team is that it’s fallen out of the AP top 25 for the first time in seven years; which of course is on the ESPN front page (nothing about Auburn’s undefeated streak ending, though). Before Hurricane fans get too excited, they should be aware that the reach of their “provider” is still being felt across the college football landscape. What the Buckeyes needed? This guy.
You say you don’t care about UConn and Iowa State? What if I told you that there were some shananigans with the Mascot that ended up with him getting a broken arm? In an unrelated story- has anyone seen Brandon Hanning?
Speaking of Hanning- If you don’t like Ohio State’s “pro combat” look this year, remember it could be Ohio’s “amateur Arena League” look.
This week’s “reader road trip” photo comes to us from our own Robby Kitchell, who sends this shot from Thursday night’s matchup between Mississippi State and LSU. The Bayou Bengals managed to eke out a win, bolstered mostly by their defensive line, who terrified Robby beyond description. Remember, if you head to a game, send us a photo…
As mentioned earlier, the ACC vs Everyone challenge has a pretty good morning, as Tahj Boyd led the unranked Clemson Tigers to an upset of the then ranked Auburn Tigers. Insert “check to officials bounced” joke hereabouts.
Things didn’t continue that way for the ACC, though; #5 Florida State fell to Oklahoma in a defensive shootout and hard hitting match up. We join with the rest of college football fans in wishing quick recoveries for everyone involved with this huge impact.
Oklahoma’s “little brother” found out that there’s one thing T. Boone Pickens can’t buy, and that’s the weather (or can he?), and the Cowboys found themselves kicking off against in-state rival Tulsa at 12:14 AM due to a three hour rain/monsoon/lightening delay. Guys- Coach Gundy is an older man now, and can’t be staying up past Leno like that. Be considerate.
While they weren’t negotiating for the end of Dan Bebee’s career and the beginning of the Conference-pocalypse, the Longhorns of Texas were enjoying the California hospitality that the UCLA team is so known for. This pretty much sums up the game for the Bruins- makes Shazier’s block against Toledo look tame:
Maryland went with different colored uniforms, and decided to be ugly on the scoreboard in their loss to West By God Virginia. Toledo looked solid early before Kellen Moore remembered that he is Kellen Moore and led the Broncos to a blowout in the Glass Bowl.
Vandy (!) won a big in conference game in defeating the Ol’ Miss Giggitys, while fellow SEC-mate Kentucky lost the Basketball Bowl to the Fighting Cardinals of Louisville. Also in the SEC, Florida defeated Tennessee… in other news, water is wet. USCe found out that taking Navy for granted is not wise, although they were still able to unleash the cruise missile named Jadeveon.
The “Battle for the Beehive Boot” or “Holy War” between Utah and BYU ended uglier than the trophy, as the newest member of the Pac-112 (for now) blew away their Mormon brethren. Southern Cal handled Syracuse, while Oregon got two gifts- a game against Missouri State that was a massacre and a lovely note on official NCAA stationary.
Never forget the five who we’ve lost… (left of Stoops’ face)
Things in the B1G continued as planned… Wisconsin still looks to be the team to beat, but Illinois’ win over Arizona State has made more than a few conference offensive coordinators nervous. Nebraska proved that they can still beat Washington (unless it’s in a bowl game).
Michigan won, although the vaunted Wolverine D looked anemic early against Eastern Michigan. In fact, this is still the Denard show- his ability to take over the game is all they need at this point. Which already makes Hoke smarter than RRod… he’s crafted the offense around the players he has, rather than trying to stick square pegs into jello.
The folks in Ann Arbor can also celebrate being ranked above Ohio State for the first time since 2006, although these are the same ranking geniuses who dropped FSU 14 spots after the close loss to the number one team in the country. Another reason to drink if you’re a Wolverine? MSU embarrassed themselves against the Notre Ame team you out-jump-balled just last week… and it wasn’t close.
Interesting fact- the B1G leading rushers, as of today, are all three quarterbacks- Robinson, Martinez, and Gray. Speaking of Gray- it was great to see Coach Jerry Kill back on the sidelines for the Gophers, although they were in another dogfight at the end of the game against Miami (OH). and Purdue represented the conference while setting a record for the most touchdowns scored by a guy named “Akeem” (two, by two different Akeems, four total).
Congrats to the Hoosiers for getting their first victory of the year; and “thank you” to Northwestern for helping bolster the morale of our men in uniform. Army also wins the “you do things your way, and we’ll do things our way” award, if only for their version of the sideline playcard (right). On the topic of awards, let’s just go ahead and send the “Kirk Ferentz B1G Coach Of The Year Award Brought To You By Kirk Ferentz” to Kirk Ferentz right now for the epic come-from-behind victory over a team that they had no business being behind to.
Today’s “I have no idea what’s going on here” link is from the Virginia Tech/Arkansas State game. Your guess is as good as mine. I’ll be honest; I’ve got guesses, but we’re trying to keep this clean.
In the battle for Pennsylvania, PSU came back to win against Temple, which was good news that Matt McGloin needed… he’s had a tough week. As always, great job by the camera crew at keeping in touch with the head man at PSU- are we even sure that Paterno’s alive at this point?
ODU? Lost to Ferris State and falls to 2-1.
Next week, the Buckeyes look to rebound against the Buffaloes (who won their matchup with Colorado State) of Colorado, and future SEC foes LSU and WVa meet up on Saturday night. Alabama and Arkansas square off, while the “Really? You broke up with her too?” game of the weekend is TBPU and aTm in College Station. Florida State looks to rebound against Clemson, while the “Hoke Bowl” goes down in Ann Arbor as San Diego State travels north.
This coming week will also celebrate the 5th anniversary of tBBC… more later. There may even be cake.
Since most of you will be reading this at work on Monday (instead of doing your TPS reports), we here at tBBC want to help you be prepared for this year’s “Talk Like A Pirate Day” (pours out flagon of grog for Capn’ Leach). So, with that…