Two things are now certain after rumors became fact today with regards to the University of Maryland. First and foremost, they’ll have to throw away those gawd awful Under Armor uniforms. Second, they just got an immediate infusion of cash that will surely help save a declining athletic department.
I am sure Under Armour will stay seeing how their president is a graduate of Maryland, but they’ll now have more money to spice things up even more. The Terps athletic department has been struggling of late and will benefit greatly from the more than $24 million a year they will get from the BTN contract with all schools. The Board of Governers met earlier today and University of Maryland President Wallace Loh had this to say:
“I did it to guarantee the long-term future of Maryland athletics,” university President Wallace Loh told Maryland’s student newspaper, The Diamondback. “No future president will have to worry about cutting teams or that Maryland athletics will be at risk.”
Patricia Florestano, the Maryland Secretary of Higher Education, shared her thoughts as well:
“There was certainly discussion about the tradition of the ACC. And the question is what’s the future. And we’ve got to look to the future,” Florestano said in Baltimore before a previously scheduled public meeting on education policy.
Florestano said the vote earlier Monday was not unanimous but that she voted for the move to the Big Ten. “There was a long discussion,” she said. Is Maryland’s future brighter in the Big Ten? ”‘We perceive it that way,” said Florestano. We had a majority in the room,” she said. She went on to explain the status of the meeting ”It was certainly an executive meeting without the public,” she said.
The speculation is running rampant as to whether this will be a premptive move for the B1G to realign their football divisions after only two seasons with the Leaders and Legends. They have already had to remove a name from the B1G Championship trophy for very unfortunate reasons, but have had to deal with backlash of the original alignment to start with. The possibility of Rutgers joining very soon (as early as tomorrow) could allow the conference to realign in a east/west format and put TTUN and the Buckeyes back together.
The B1G has scheduled a press conference for this afternoon to discuss the current events. Stay tuned to the BBC for more realignment coverage.
We’re going to do things just a little bit differently this week, given all of the amazing news and events that happened this past weekend. So, this will be part Silver Bullet Points, part Monday Morning Commentary, and the usual chunk of random observations from Saturday’s events in the world of college football. Here’s something to listen to while you’re fighting the urge to tl;dr- we’ve certainly got a lot to be Thankful for.
In this year’s edition of the Battle For Los Angeles, the upstart UCLA Bruins jumped out to a quick lead and held on to “upset” the Trojans by ten points on a gray day in Pasadena. While the Bruins obviously have been playing much better football this year, you’ve also got to wonder if the trajectories of the programs have now crossed, particularly given some of the issues that continue to swirl at Southern Cal.
As the team that was picked by many to contend for the national title, the frustration for many SC fans has been swirling since the loss to what we now know is a pretty good Stanford team. That game highlighted the Trojans’ issues with depth; injuries since then have continued to create problems and have certainly didn’t help in their back to back losses to Arizona and Oregon. The defeat by the Ducks made things even more problematic, since SC’s defense was a point of strength for them under current coordinator Monte Kiffin; their being gashed turned up the heat on the current coaching administration. And now, to lose to “little brother” has many wondering if it’s not time to make a change.
Coach Kiffin’s actions certainly haven’t helped this season- cutting media opportunities short, banning reporters outright… it certainly makes sense that he’d not want to leave the Rose Bowl via the obvious entrance on Saturday night. Other controversy swirls around Lane as well; while possibly not related, it’s definitely not helping matters at all. You may remember “inflation-gate” and the termination of a student manager following the revelation that game balls for kickers were under-inflated against Oregon. For those not infatuated with special teams- a “flatter” pigskin has a much larger “sweet spot”; as a great Buckeye Planet poster pointed out, the Trojan’s kicking game has not been anywhere near as efficient ever since they were penalized for this “mistake”.
In addition, earlier this week Tennessee was dinged for recruiting issues that occurred under Kiffin’s one year tenure in Knoxville- issues that involved Chip Kelly’s favorite videographer, Willie Lyles. Given the length of the investigation into Oregon’s program and this new decision at UT involving Lyles, you’ve got to think that there’s more than a few million good reasons for Kelly to take the Pete Carroll route and jump to the NFL ASAP.
What does this mean for Kiffin? At this time, it’s difficult to say, but losing Matt Barkley for the matchup against Notre Dame this weekend, combined with the continuing scholarship losses for the next couple of years would certainly be reason to wonder how warm his office chair will be getting this winter.
Interestingly enough, the other two programs involved in “affair du Lyles” also had difficult weekends. Derek Dooley’s Volunteers lost to cross-state foe Vanderbilt, and it wasn’t even close. The win ensures that UT will have a losing season for the third time in as many years, and was only the second victory for the Commodores in 35 years. Following the game, the inevitable happened… Dooley was fired, effective immediately. If you’re an Ohio State fan, you’ve got to wonder if this might have an impact on current recruits looking at both programs… Vonn Bell is the name that pops up, but there may be others in the 2014 class. This year’s season ending clash between the Vols and ‘Kats will feature both coaches in either interim or lame duck status… it’s going to be a fun coaching carousel for the SEC this season.
Lyle’s third “partner” in all of this felt the sting of their first loss on Saturday, at home, to a Stanford team that should be in the conversation about the top programs in the nation. Remember, they’re a botched call from extending overtime in South Bend and possibly ending the Irish Nightmare that we are currently facing. I was most impressed with The Cardinal’s defense on Saturday- disciplined, aggressive, and never seemed to give up the big play to an offense that most often looks like throwing kerosene on a bonfire… one blink, and it’s over. Not that I’m speaking from experience or anything. Ahem.
The loss can easily be attributed to a lot of things- Oregon being too confident, and this being the Duck’s annual brain fart game; Questionable officiating, A “trap” game, with the resurgent Beavers looming Thanksgiving week… But all of these would not do a service to the great work that the coaches at Stanford, starting with Jim Harbaugh, have done in building a program that can certainly play with anyone in the country. It’s also why I think that Alabama, if given the usual bowl prep to face Oregon, would beat them- I believe that the Tide’s defense is more athletic and much more disruptive than Stanford’s… and the template we’ve seen in the Ducks’ losses over the past four years is now pretty well known. You just need to have the horses to pull it off; Stanford did on Saturday, and now control their PAC12 destiny. They’ll need to beat UCLA twice in two weeks to do so, but doing so may have the Oregon Ducks on the outside of the BCS championship game AND the automatic Rose Bowl berth… along with USC. It’s been that kind of year.
Oh, and on Saturday Northwestern, Stanford, and Vanderbilt all won. Nerds, y’all.
Commentary: Polls and Playoffs Read More
It’s your regularly scheduled look around the world of college sports- a bit more in depth than the tidbits we’ve got after practice. Following Tuesday’s notes, be sure to check the latest on “reform” from the NCAA and thoughts on Penn State’s constant appeals processes.
Not So Fast… Any speculation about Roby playing offense and defense was shut down by the coaches today. He made a spectacular play on an overthrow today, though- he’s going to be special. However, Corey Brown said that Roby wasn’t the fastest guy on the team, and called him out saying that he (Corey) wasn’t able to run during testing but that he could beat Roby in a race.
Or, as it’s also known, “Now we have a different thing to argue about”.
Today, the presidents of the BCS conferences announced that they’d come to an agreement regarding the terms and conditions of a “four team event” beginning the fall season of 2014.
If you’ll remember, we argued for playoffs for a long time now, joining our voices to the thousands across the interwebs which pointed out the hypocrisy in the current system. This new proposal, while a great step toward “closure”, is not without issues… but let’s take a look at the details before we jump headfirst into our “evaluation”.
Oh, and let the record show… I still think the idea of “champion” will be something that sounds better than it ends up actually being. Fulfillment? World peace? Still elusive.
While this is a step in the right direction, there are still a number of things that are missing from making this ideal (outside of the “what does it mean to be ‘champion’ anyway? thing). Here are some of my initial reflections… Read More
A couple of quick news stories from the OSU Athletic Department today we wanted to bring to your attention. Think of it as “Silver BBs”.
First, APR Scores are out, and OSU football is number three in the country, behind only Northwestern and Duke/SISU. The 988 score is better than Stanford, Harvard, Princeton, and Vandy.
As for “The Harvard Of The West”- tied for next to last in the B1G (thank you, Minnesota!) with their “little brother” in East Lansing.
Second, there’s a possibility that the 2013 Spring Game might be played in Cincinnati. From the press release:
COLUMBUS, Ohio – Ohio State Department of Athletics officials and those from the Cincinnati Bengals and Hamilton County are in discussions regarding the 2013 Ohio State LiFE Sports Spring Game, presented by Nationwide, being played at 65,535-seat Paul Brown Stadium in Cincinnati. Ohio Stadium will be under renovation next year, prompting the move to another location.
“We are very appreciative to be in discussions with the Cincinnati Bengals,” Director of Athletics Gene Smith said. “We look forward to continuing our discussions and look forward to an opportunity to bring the Buckeyes into Cincinnati and closer to our Southern Ohio fans.”
The work on Ohio Stadium includes stripping and replacing 1922-era coating and concrete off portions of A and C decks. These are areas that were not restored as part of the Ohio Stadium upgrades project between 1998-2001. Sand and water blasting will commence this December with the resurfacing portion of the project scheduled for the warmer spring and summer months next year.
While this is certainly a move due to the logistics of renovation, it should be remembered that the 2oo1 Spring Game stayed in Columbus, and was in Crew Stadium. This possible relocation to Cincinnati may be the start of a larger outreach to that area; I wouldn’t be surprised if future Spring Games would also include Cleveland as a locale, to connect deeper with the state’s fan and recruiting bases.
Rumors- Things to be watching for in the coming days… Huge camp weekend in Columbus; we’ll keep you up to date on that as the events warrant. Also, there’s some buzz regarding B12 Expansion news being released this weekend, including Florida State and Clemson heading to the conference in all sports, with Notre Dame (!) joining for their Olympic events (similar to the agreement they had previously with the Big lEast).
Just a friendly warning that there are only four more days to borrow money from your pops so you can buy him a gift. If you’re looking for ideas, check our friends at The Buckeye Room… And now, the news.
We Hardly New Ye- Well, it wasn’t news to us, as we’d heard for a while that Brian Bobek was looking to transfer, but earlier this week the University made it official. Potential landing spots could be the University of West By God Virginia, and a B1G program yet to be named. Brian’s got family across the conference, so we wish him luck in all of his games except one. A bit of a sad note, since he was supposed to be “next up” after Brewster graduated; however he was jumped on the depth chart in the spring, including being passed up by the latest in the Boren Legacy (just an incoming freshman). Again, godspeed!
As all is quiet on the (mid)western front, here’s Wednesday’s bucket o’ links and commentary.
Nope, this weekend starts the summer football camp season in Columbus, which is a B1G deal for the 2013/14 classes as well as for Coach Meyer’s continued
scorched earth policy building relationships with coaches and programs across the state. This weekend’s a one day camp, and the process builds to July’s Friday Night Lights event. For many HS students, this might be the make or break opportunity that they’ve been looking- a number of OSU targets have been encouraged to camp in order to either earn an offer or to be evaluated and have their offer “bumped up” to “Commit-able”. Many thought that QBs Malik Zaire and Mitch Trubisky were in this category, as Urban wanted to see them camp prior to having them join the 2013 class… obviously they wanted to be somewhere else or wanted someone who didn’t require them to “audition”.
Names to keep an ear out for this weekend include national #3 safety Vonn Bell, who will be making his second unofficial in less than a month- that’s got to be a good sign, methinks. Also, Lakota’s Kyle Meadows will be participating, as will Wayne’s Lovell Peterson, both will be looking to earn offers. Finally, North Carolina DE/LB Tyquan Lewis will also be present- another interesting recruit from the Tar Heel State.
Somehow, we managed to avoid burning our eyebrows off during Monday’s festival of lighter fluid and are still able to get you thought hump day with the scoop across college sports.