We continue the journey across the nation to get you ready for kickoff in less than two weeks. Today, Gary weighs in on the newest incarnation of the Big 12 conference.
With all the Conference re-aligning going on it has been tough to keep track of what team is going where. Many conferences are taking on small changes while many are undergoing complete makeovers. Today, we take a look at the Big 12 conference, which has changed drastically over the last couple of years.
2011 Record 10-3
Pre-Season Rank: NR
Head coach Art Briles has his work cut out for him after losing all three of his stars from last year’s offense. QB Robert Griffin III, WR Kendall Wright, and RB Terrance Ganaway all lead the Bears at their respective positions and have all left for the NFL. The Baylor offense still returns three talented wide receivers in Terrance Williams, Lanear Sampson, and Tevin Reese. All three had 1000+ yards last year. The question is can incoming QB Nick Florence get them the ball. Only time will tell if he can and that is why they will start this season outside of the Top 25 until that question is answered.
Iowa State Cyclones
2011 Record 6-7
Pre-Season Rank: NR
Last year was a very difficult season for the Cyclones as they struggled in every aspect of their game. The lone bright spot was the unexpected upset of the Oklahoma State Cowboys (their lone loss on the season). Head coach Paul Rhodes has very few things going for him in 2012 with a QB battle between Senior Steele Jantz and Sophomore Jared Barnett brewing which we all know is never a good thing this close to the season. Rhodes also lost his offensive coordinator Tom Herman to Ohio State. One things that is going for is the return of linebackers Jake Knott and A.J. Klein to lead their defense. Look for the Cyclones to struggle against a very strong conference and be towards the bottom of the standings again in 2012. Read More
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!
Once the B1G had added Nebraska as their twelth member in the Summer of 2010, the conference expansion discussion found itself quietly simmering in the other room – out of sight, but not entirely out of mind. Every once in a while, not surprisingly, someone has to get up and stir the pot a little.
We’ve watched the Big East scramble to find partners, seeing their own demise written on the wall with the loss of Syracuse and Pitt to the ACC. We’ve seen the SEC poach Missouri and Texas A&M off the Big 12. And we’ve seen the Big 12 pick up WVU and TCU to boost their flagging numbers.
In the last two weeks that simmering pot just had to go and boil over onto the floor and force us to really pay attention to it again. This time though, the B1G fans and bloggers get to sit back and watch someone else clean up the mess.
Word passed down this weekend, reportedly from very high up sources at FSU, that the Seminoles will indeed be leaving the ACC for the Big 12. With this move Clemson will very likely follow right along behind, as has been speculated for the last week or so.
This is a major shift in the nature of conference powers. A conference that many of us wrote off as dead a little over a year ago, having lost 33% of their composition to the SEC, B1G, and Pac-12, is now potentially a surging power in College Football again. With the inclusion of WVU and TCU the Big 12 will again be at 12 member institutions.
And there’s always the chance this could grow into something bigger.
Time for the wrap up of college football news, updates from Coach Fickell’s Tuesday press conference and other notes from college football
I wasn’t sure if it was my heart that was pounding or the screams from the crowd, but it was an unbelievable atmosphere, unbelievable experience, just to be a part of something obviously a game like that. But that’s what Ohio State football’s all about.
And I just want to say thank you to all the fans, the students, everybody that made that such a special night.
On Friday, tBBC turns 5. Or, as Jeff says “we’re old enough to be in kindergarten!” which will come as no surprise to all eight of our regular readers. You’ll also be happy to know that we’ve officially stopped eating paste.
So, to celebrate we “veterans” are taking a look back and re-posting our favorite articles from our time on the intertrons. Since I’m going first, I’m going to reach deep into the archives to pull up something from our time at SBN- my suggestions for “fixing” the BCS via conference realignment/expansion. Building on some of the “Bowl Crap” series that I did, I was working with Rob Harley’s ideas and those of a faithful reader, but it’s interesting how close to this is to what might be happening over the next week or so.
Granted, my idea included 6 conferences and not 4; but it did forsee a situation where the conference championship games were the first round of the tournament. Looking back… I think I like where we’re headed better.
Oh, and this was originally a two part post, so if you print it for “reading” at “work”, be warned that it may be a longer trip to the lounge than usual. Enjoy!
For the record, I’m not a proponent of playoffs. I actually liked the way things used to be with conference bowl tie-ins and such; arguing about who was #1 back in the day was a part of the enjoyment of the game, in my opinion.
But, since you asked me, if we were going to have a playoff this is what it should look like. Unlike some people, I’m not going to tell you what won’t work- I’m taking a flier on what would ooze awesomeness. Caution is advised; some items may shift during the duration of this posting. Read More
Update: Well… huh. The SEC has stated that they’re not extending an offer to aTm at this time, bringing this whole shebang to a screeching halt.
Sources say that the argument over who might be the 14th team and Aggy counterpart was partially responsible for the decision.
No word yet on whether or not the Big 12-2 will just preemptively break up with aTm in response to their looking around at other suitors.
After last summer’s exciting adventures in conference expansion, it seems as there might be a nice refractory period for at least a couple of years.
Ah, but like an addict jonesing for the next hit, university administration, conference leadership, and sports fans across the nation couldn’t stay away from the possibility of becoming bigger and better, particularly where money and egos are involved.
Yup, I referred to Freud… since much of what is going on seems to also be impacted by a sense of fear and frustration; schools not getting the respect they deserve, so leaving for greener pastures becomes a bright, shiny option.
The major factor, as before, is TV money. Just like the BTN started this gunfight last year with it’s ability to pay programs more than they might have been getting from other conference revenue sharing agreements, network exposure and cash are also at the heart of this wave of rumors.
There’s no way that we can start this week’s post without wishing Happy Birthday to Coach Jim Tressel. Ironically, it’s also the day of the ninja; although I can’t imagine the silent assassins being as polite or methodical as Senior Sweatervest- how would you write “Dave” in kanji?
While there were several significant games on the old telly this week, there were also off field doin’s that should not be left undiscussed. First, in this year’s addition of the River City Rivalry/Snow Bowl, Pittsburgh easily handled Ohio’s BCS team. That didn’t, however, keep the Bearcat mascot from getting arrested and escorted out of the stadium. Video and such, for those of you who are into that kind of thing, can be found here.
The Big lEast ended as it started, with a three way tie at the top of the conference. Pitt’s victory, along with West Virginia’s win over Rutgers that seemed to make their fans filled with glee, meant that UConn was still in the driver’s seat should they hold off South Florida. A late, long field goal meant that the 8-4 Huskies have earned themselves a bid to a BCS game.
As we mentioned earlier, this means that a team that only managed 10 points against the Wolverines will get to face off against, most likely, the Oklahoma Sooners. While we’ve given the Big lEast grief here in the past, it should be noted that the conference only has two teams that don’t have the requisite 6 wins necessary to go to a bowl game, a much better experience than our west coast stalwarts in the Pac-10. At this juncture, only four teams from that conference will be headed to the post season, since Southern Cal is on probation (sorry, that’s still awesome to write) and Arizona State’s 6-6 record includes too many victories over FCS schools. So, with two teams going to the BCS, this means that there’ll be four bowls looking for help with the automatic tie ins.