I’ll be honest… it’s been so great to relive the huge Buckeye win over Wisconsin, I’ve had to dig a bit to find motivation to even think about the other games from this week. However, my search for a soundtrack that would be appropriate for Halloween Weekend, I found this gem that helped me keep my focus…
The story this week was big upsets, both with teams falling from the ranks of the undefeated and teams rising to the occasion against expectations. So let’s start in that vein, and with a little “howdy do” to our newest BFFs from the Iowa State contingency, who turned the tables on a Texas Tech team coming off a huge upset on their own. And it wasn’t just a “win” against the #20 Red Raiders, but a 41-7 demolition of Tommy Tuberville’s squadron… must have been a bit presumptuous to start the “Mike Leach Who?” talk, huh? No wonder the folks in Lubbock were chippy.
But the Cyclone satisfaction didn’t stop there, as cross state rivals Iowa also fell in a surprising factor, to a Minnesota team that’s been disappointing both for their coach and for their conference. But, in a week where the new guy got a huge “Vote Of Confidence“, his Gophers responded with a one point victory in Iowa City to the perennial B1G Coach Of The Year. They get Floyd back in Minneapolis, which is always a good thing. Yup, just another week of pride for the folks at ISU… enjoy your moment. Read More
The picks return to the BBC after the interminable bye-week!
The last time we saw our intrepid pickers, Eric had the lead over Mali by two games. During week 6, our players came out with the following records:
Joe D: 4-6, Mali: 7-3, Jim: 5-5, Joe L: 8-2, Eric: 5-5, Chris: 6-4, Robby: 8-2
With his 8-2 record to tie for the lead in the week, Joe L succeeded in surpassing both Eric and Mali for the overall lead heading into the final leg of the season. The totals stand thus:
Joe L: 38-21, Eric: 37-22, Mali: 37-22, Jim: 33-26, Joe D: 31-28, Chris: 17-13, Robby: 13-7
It should be an exciting final couple of weeks!
This week’s games feature a couple of exciting divisional battles, particularly in the Big Ten race, along with a number of other fascinating matchups. Read on to find our picks!
I’m pretty sure that was the worst week of College Football picks for this crew in the five years of it’s existence. Maybe I’m over-exaggerating, but 75% of those who help me out with our Picks were at 0-5 as we headed into the evening on Saturday. Thanks to the Mustangs, I picked up some ground on everyone by a game! Beating those Horned Frogs like there’s no poison in their ummmm.. Bite.
It was Baylor this week that gave everyone a loss on their record. Thanks ESPN and RGIII for selling the hype on the clearance shelf. It was me digging in and looking for legendary 5 buck team.
Truth is Baylor still isn’t elite.
A team that is though is those damn Badgers. A huge win over Nebraska propels them into national contenders. As sick as it makes me to even think about a BCS championship scenerio with that team. What’s more disturbing to the mind? The Badgers holding the glass football, or Bo Ryan dancing on the court.
No Contest. I hate you Bo Ryan.
Anyways, we’re here to break down the games and talk about week six of the college football season. Let’s take a look at Week 5′s results.
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.
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.
History: There is none. Sure, you can talk about all the great Cotton Bowls that have graced these sacred grounds, but that game has been moved to Arlington this year. The message: Jerry Jones is evil incarnate.
So, let’s talk about the locale- the Cotton Bowl is located right in the middle of the Fair Park, home to the Texas State Fair. Or, as I like to call it- “Mecca for all things fried and tasty“. And by “All”, I include butter and beer. Seriously-
At 5:27, dude eats a fried club salad. Wow. Well, my wife said I need more veggies in my diet… Luckily, this one’s on the Ocho (ESPNU or ESPN3), or else we’d have to be tormented by the booth team enjoying these goodies while they mumbled through the play by play.
About the sponsor; you guessed it, this is an online broker for all things ticketed. So, if you don’t have your Sugar Bowl ducats, here’s the link. In terms of the game at hand, there are plenty of tickets still available, to the surprise of absolutely no one. I’ve also heard that you get two free with every three orders of chocolate coated fried bacon. So, yeah… I’ve got some extra if anyone wants them- it’s Christmas, don’t you judge me.
I”m going to get this out of the way right now- I miss Cap’n Leach. Going from him to Tommy Tuberville is like getting excited for Greek food and being handed a slice of Wonder Bread.
All Big 12 defensive lineman Colby Whitlock anchors a defense that gained 22 turnovers on the year. Linebacker Brian Duncan’s seven sacks lead the team, and defensive back Jarvis Phillips’ four interceptions for 114 yards aren’t too shabby for a redshirt freshman.
Under Tuberville, the obscene passing numbers we’re used to from Red Raiders have dwindled, but not significantly. Taylor Potts is still finding 279 yards per game through the air, and 17 of his 31 TDs have gone to receiver Lyle Long. Baron Batch and Eric Stephens have managed 1347 yards on the ground; it should be noted that the Red Raiders’ losses have mostly come in the Big 12 south, where the only win they have is against Baylor.
TTU/Buckeye Connections: Ohio State is 2-0 against the Red Raiders, most famously (and recently) as the first major challenge in the 2002 championship season. Read More
As the recruiting wheel turns, what looked to be a lock for the Pac-10 is now on shaky ground.
As we’ve talked about before, rumors were that the Pac-10 was looking to grab Texas, TTU, aTm, Oklahoma State, OU, and either Baylor or Colorado to expand to 16. When Colorado jumped west, it appeared that this was a sure thing.
Now, however, we’re hearing that the Aggies will be moving to the SEC. Rumors are that this is due, in part, to former Alabama coach Gene Stalling’s place on the aTm board of regents.
What This Means- Who knows? But it does seem to indicate, if true, that the Texas legislature will be limited in their influence over the University of Texas, and may not pressure them to move in mass to a new conference with the other Texas institutions. The “Tech Problem” President Gee was speaking about.
Other Rumors to be Mongered- We’re also hearing that the Pac-10 may be interested in Missouri and/or Kansas. Nothing solid, so no linkage, but it’s out there.
Interesting Factoid: If Nebraska begins playing in the Big T1e2n in football for the 2011 season, it will leave the Big 12/10 without enough teams to automatically allow them to play a championship game (although, the NCAA may make an exception). So, there may be an additional revenue-based motivation for the other Big 12/10 teams to make decisions quickly.
Questions Remaining- If Texas goes to the Pac-10, who do they take to fill aTm’s spot- Utah? Baylor? KU? Mizzou? Do they try to stick it out in the Big 12 or add SMU, Houston, and TCU? Does this free Texas in a way that makes a move to the Big T1e2n more plausible? Also- Does the SEC stop with aTm, or do they push for Oklahoma and other schools?
Again, we’ll continue to enjoy the cornucopia of wonders as it develops.
And now, your “Conference Expansion” update.
This weekend was a big bunch of doin’s across the nation, as Pac-10, Big 12, and Big T1e1en staff all held their meetings. Understandably, expansion was the topic of discussion across the board.
We’ve heard what the Pac-10 has on the table: Among the options are take part of the Big 12 (UT, TTU, aTm, OkSU, OU, CU), take the entire Big 12 South (UT, aTm, TTU, BU, OkSU, OU), or take Utah/Colorado. According to sources, they have received approval to extend these offers.
The second option listed above is a recent development- Texas legislators who are concerned that UT make a move without aTm and TTU are also preparing to demand that UT’s move include Baylor and exclude Colorado. This is the same legislative ideology that demanded that TTU be included in the Big 12; their academic caliber may be one of the reasons that the Big T1e1n wouldn’t extend an invitation to them, and may be the heart of Dr. Gee’s “Tech problem” reference.
In Colorado, this was greeted with the idea that CU join the MWC. Expected this week is an offer to Boise State to join the MWC; Colorado joining as well would then have the conference’s membership including Colorado, Utah, BYU, TCU, Boise State, and would strengthen state rivalries with Colorado State and Air Force.
So, what does this have to do with Nebraska? Well, it’s like this- at the Big 12 meetings, conference members were asked to reaffirm their commitment to the conference. Three schools did not: Missouri, Colorado, and Nebraska. In fact, Mizzou and Nebraska have allegedly been given a timeline to make up their minds on their future with the conference, although what would happen if they declined to take a position has not been stated.
Nebraska’s role in the history of the Big 12 is an interesting one. During the original merger between the Big 8 and the SWC’s teams, there was contention surrounding the new conference’s perspective on “partial qualifiers”- Nebraska wanted to maintain the Big 8′s willingness to allow unlimited numbers of these students as a part of the program (what has been described as a key part of their famous ‘walk on’ program); Texas wanted limits on the numbers of these types of students that would be allowed. Texas’ opinion won out. Recently, Nebraska AD and former football coach Tom Osborne was the only “nay’ vote in regards to maintaining the conference championship game’s location in Dallas; he thought that it should be split between Dallas (Big 12 south) and St. Louis (Big 12 north) regions. Remembering his school’s last experience in Dallas, this is more than understandable. Check out the great work on Orangebloods.com for more details on Nebraska’s position in this discussion.
So, if Nebraska decides that it will forsake the Big 12, it a) opens the door for others in the conference to do likewise (either to the Big T1e1n or Pac-10) and b) makes the national landscape unstable enough to potentially push Notre Dame into joining the Big t1e1n as well.
The 11 school presidents and chancellors along with Notre Dame athletic director Jack Swarbrick met for about 4 1/2 hours, and Big Ten commissioner Jim Delaney said the majority of time was spent on expansion dialogue.