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Tag:Big 12
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.

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Posted on: February 15, 2012 3:40 pm
 

VIDEO: Oliver Luck talks WVU move to Big 12

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

It's officially official: not only is West Virginia the newest member of the Big 12, the Mountaineers will play a full Big 12 schedule this coming fall and avoid an awkward lame-duck final season in the Big East. (Sorry, Pitt and Syracuse. The 'Eers will send you a postcard.)

Their freedom from the Big East hasn't come cheap, of course, but it nonetheless remains a major feather in the cap of Mountaineer athletic director Oliver Luck. Luck stopped by the CBS Sports Network's Tim Brando Show to talk about the process of making the jump, the "blue-sky opportunity" of competing in their new conference digs, and even an Archie Manning-starring anecdote on raising a famous quarterback. Watch below:

 
Posted on: February 15, 2012 1:25 pm
 

Gary Patterson's statement on TCU arrests

Posted by Tom Fornelli

While the news of a major drug bust at TCU on Wednesday came as a surprise to all, perhaps nobody was more surprised than TCU head coach Gary Patterson, who released a statement to the Fort Worth Star-Telegram on Wednesday.

"There are days people want to be a head football coach, but today is not one of those days," Patterson said. "As I heard the news this morning, I was first shocked, then hurt and now I’m mad.

"Under my watch, drugs and drug use by TCU’s student-athletes will not be tolerated by me or any member of my coaching staff. Period. Our program is respected nationally for its strong ethics and for that reason the players arrested today were separated from TCU by the University. I believe strongly that young people’s lives are more important than wins or losses.

"This situation isn’t unique to TCU -- it is a global issue that we all have to address. This isn’t just about bad decisions made by a small percentage of my team. It is about a bigger issue across this country and world.

"As a coach, I do the best I can to educate members of my team. We have programs in place that teach student-athletes about what they should and shouldn’t do and how to be successful in life. I talk to them about how to be students and upstanding men that uphold the TCU name and its traditions.

"At the end of the day, though, sometimes young people make poor choices. The Horned Frogs are bigger and stronger than those involved." 

Patterson said he was mad at the beginning of the statement, and you could tell he meant it while reading the rest of it.

Four TCU players were arrested as part of the sting. Those four players were linebacker Tanner Brock, defensive tackle D.J. Yendrey, safety Devin Johnson and offensive tackle Ty Horn.

All but Horn were starters for the Horned Frogs

Obviously, this isn't good news for anybody involved, including the rest of Patterson's football team. Losing three of your starters on defense this way heading into the Big 12 won't do the Horned Frogs any favors on the field, and to make matters worse, this may just be the beginning.

There's no telling where this story is going to end just yet.

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Posted on: February 15, 2012 1:10 pm
Edited on: February 15, 2012 1:14 pm
 

Leach inspires Friday Night Lights film script

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

Having a thinly veiled version of himself play a key role in the movie version of The Blind Side has only seemed to boost the career of Hugh Freeze, the new Ole Miss head man and the only FBS coach we can think of to have the details of his life turned into elements of a major motion picture. So maybe the folks at Washington State should be happy to hear the details revealed Tuesday regarding the planned Friday Night Lights movie.

FNL executive producer and director of the original Friday Night Lights film Peter Berg told MTV that the saga surrounding Mike Leach's controversial departure from Texas Tech would become the inspiration for one of the new movie's principal storylines. According to Berg: 

"[Screenwriter Jason Katims] has come up with a really great storyline that parallels what happened to Mike Leach, one of my heroes, a coach at Texas Tech who was unjustly fired and unjustly accused of mistreating a player with a concussion, which was proven to not have been the case. He's now at Washington State getting ready for what I think will be a great redemption story," Berg explained ... "The idea is to really revolve it around the coach."

While Leach's account of his treatment of Adam James and subsequent dismissal from Lubbock has not yet been "proven" in the legal sense, the drama over his battles with James (and ESPN analyst/senatorial candidate father Craig James) and the Texas Tech brass could provide fodder enough for an entire movie trilogy.

Of course, Berg may be fortunate just the get the one Leach-inspired movie made; while saying "We're not done with Friday Night Lights," he also admits that corralling all of his principal actors together for the film wouldn't be easy. (And star Taylor Kitsch sounded less than gung-ho about reprising his role as Tim Riggins, saying he'd "maybe do a cameo or something.")

So we wouldn't advise the Cougar public relations staff in Pullman to start work on their "Mike Leach: movie hero inspiration" promotional campaign just yet. But just ask Freeze: if Berg does get his Leach-centric script into production, it surely won't hurt Leach's already formidable reputation as one of the most fascinating characters in college football.

HT: Grantland 

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Posted on: February 15, 2012 11:19 am
Edited on: February 16, 2012 11:33 am
 

Four TCU players arrested in campus drug sweep



Posted by Chip Patterson and Tom Fornelli

Seventeen TCU students have been arrested as a result of a six-month investigation into drug related activity on campus on Wednesday. According to police and school officials, four of those students are Horned Frog football players.

The four TCU players to be arrested as part of the sting were senior linebacker Tanner Brock, senior defensive tackle D.J. Yendrey, offensive tackle Ty Horn, and senior safety Devin Johnson.

Sources confirmed to CBSSports.com's Bruce Feldman that all four players had been dismissed from the team. All but Horn were expected to start for TCU in 2012.

TCU head coach Gary Patterson released a statement through the Fort Worth Star-Telegram on Wednesday.

"There are days people want to be a head football coach, but today is not one of those days," said Patterson. "As I heard the news this morning, I was first shocked, then hurt and now I’m mad.

"Under my watch, drugs and drug use by TCU’s student-athletes will not be tolerated by me or any member of my coaching staff. Period. Our program is respected nationally for its strong ethics and for that reason the players arrested today were separated from TCU by the University. I believe strongly that young people’s lives are more important than wins or losses.

"This situation isn’t unique to TCU -- it is a global issue that we all have to address. This isn’t just about bad decisions made by a small percentage of my team. It is about a bigger issue across this country and world.

"As a coach, I do the best I can to educate members of my team. We have programs in place that teach student-athletes about what they should and shouldn’t do and how to be successful in life. I talk to them about how to be students and upstanding men that uphold the TCU name and its traditions.

"At the end of the day, though, sometimes young people make poor choices. The Horned Frogs are bigger and stronger than those involved."

According to TCU Chancellor Victor J. Boschini Jr., there has never been "a magnitude of student arrests such as this" and all of those found guilty will face immediate expulsion. The chancellor issued an official statement on TCU's website.

"While this news is certainly shocking and disappointing, it is important to remember that TCU has clear expectations for its students: that they behave in an ethical manner, abide by campus policies and adhere to state and federal law," Boschini wrote.

"These students are charged with acting in a manner that is incompatible with TCU values and against the law. That is simply unacceptable and such reported behavior is not tolerated at this University."

According to TCU police, the drugs being sold included marijuana, cocaine, acid, ecstasy, and prescription drugs. Fort Worth police said the investigation is ongoing and that more students could be arrested in the campus wide crackdown.

Arrest warrant affadavits released by police included statements from Brock and Johnson made to undercover officers that indicated widespread drug use on the Horned Frogs team. Regarding a surprise February 1 drug test (reportedly demanded by Patterson after a recruit had told him he would not come to TCU over drug use concerns), Brock estimated "about 60 people" would be "screwed" while Johnson told officers "82 people failed it."

Both TCU officials and (via Twitter) other Horned Frog players vigorously denied Brock's and Johnson's statements.

Check out a video of TCU police chief Steve McGee addressing the arrests in the video below, courtesy of The Fort-Worth Star-Telegram.



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Posted on: February 14, 2012 5:14 pm
 

Roundtable: College football valentines

Posted by Eye on College Football



Occasionally the Eye on CFB team convenes Voltron-style to answer a pressing question in the world of college football. Today's query:

It's Valentine's Day, so pick someone or something from college football--person, team, conference, whatever. Who should they be sending a valentine to today, and what does that valentine say?

Bryan FischerI think the athletic directors at Arizona, Arizona State, UCLA, Washington and Washington State should be sending a Valentine to Larry Scott this year. The Pac-12 commissioner unveiled his Pac-12 Network studios just yesterday, and that's appropriate considering the media deals he negotiated were the biggest reason those schools were able to off the sweetheart deals that landed their new coaches. Do you think the Bruins or Huskies could have afforded the assistant salaries before that money started flowing? Or that Wazzu was able to land a coach like Mike Leach? I don't think they do.

I'm guessing their valentine says something to the affect of, "Thank$ Larry for everything, hope you'll be our Valentine for several more years."

Tom Fornelli:  I'm going to say TCU and West Virginia owe Missouri and Texas A&M a valentine this year, one with some expensively-licensed cartoon character saying "Thanks for the sloppy seconds!" If not for those two leaving the Big 12 for the SEC, then both TCU and WVU are stuck in the Big East for 2012 at least--a Big East that's without a clear future at the moment, and seems en route to becoming Conference USA version 2.0.

Instead the Frogs and Mountaineers have joined the Big 12, which is in much better shape than the Big East and will provide far more money for both schools in the long run.

Jerry Hinnen: If I'm Mike Slive, I'm sending out a valentine to Dana Holgorsen -- or maybe Gus Malzahn, or Mike Leach, or Todd Monken -- saying "WILL YOU BE MINE?" festooned with as many hearts (and dollar signs) as it takes to convince them to try their hand (again, in Malzahn's case) in the SEC. There's no doubting the SEC's dominance on the defensive side of the ball or its overall array of talent, but the 2011 season also showed a league in dire need of an infusion of offensive ingenuity, preferably (for variety's sake) out of the spread school. Alabama's yawn-inducing strangulation of LSU in the BCS title game is Exhibit A for the conference's current cloud-of-dust tendencies, but the overall statistical picture is even more damning: six different SEC teams finished in the bottom 25 in the FBS in total offense, with zero finishing in the FBS top 25. (Arkansas ranked highest at 29th.) 

Some of that is good defense; an awful lot of it is terrible offense, too. And it may get worse before it gets better--look at the likes of former offensive juggernauts Florida and Auburn, currently undergoing dramatic offensive regime changes after regressing badly in 2011.

Defense may win championships, but offense often wins TV ratings, as the BCS championship Nielsens will tell you. The SEC's current regular season ratings are fine, of course, but Slive is about to go back to the negotiating table to try and keep his TV contract up with the Joneses of the Big Ten and Pac-12, a table to which he'll want to bring every single positive for his league he can gets his hands on. The SEC will be a-OK with or without the Big 12's reputation for high-flying offensive theatrics, but that doesn't mean Slive -- and a league full of fans likely tiring of watching Tennessee and South Carolina combine for 17 points and barely more than 500 yards in nationally televised prime-time -- wouldn't welcome someone who could shake up the conference's burgeoning reputation for Slugfest-with-a-capital-S football. Kevin Sumlin gets first crack, but we're guessing Slive would prefer he had some high-profile help sooner rather than later.

Chip Patterson: If I'm Ohio State athletic director Gene Smith, I'm sending roses, candy, banners, and thankful notes to new head coach Urban Meyer.  Even with an ill-timed bowl ban from the NCAA Committee on Infractions, Meyer has cooled much of the heat on Smith after the fallout surrounding Jim Tressel's departure.  Winning cures all, but hiring a two-time national champion to supposedly guide your program out of the darkness will certainly hold the Buckeye fans over until the bowl ban is lifted.  Meyer hit the recruiting trail hard after his hire, pulling in a top-5 recruiting class despite the sanctions from the NCAA.  

If Smith had whiffed on his hire to replace Tressel, he would find himself under further scrutiny with the additional sanctions.  Meyer is exactly the home run hire Ohio State -- and Gene Smith -- needed.  In fact, a valentine might not be enough.  Maybe Smith should get a tattoo. 

What? Too soon? 

Posted on: February 14, 2012 1:38 pm
Edited on: February 14, 2012 1:39 pm
 

Report: Oklahoma State WR suspended for 2012

Posted by Chip Patterson

Oklahoma State could be without junior wide receiver Michael Harrison for the entire 2012 season, according to a local report.

Citing a source, Tusla World is reporting that Harrison has been suspended for the entire season. Rumors had been swirling that the talented outside receiver had been dismissed from the team, but The Oklahoman reported on Tuesday that was not true. However, a source did tell the paper on Sunday that the Cowboys are "not counting on [Harrison]" playing in 2012.

Harrison recorded 20 catches for 255 yards and three touchdowns as a sophomore in 2011, despite missing time due to injury. He was considered by many to be the likely replacement on the outside for star wide receiver Justin Blackmon.

The Big 12 conference schedule was released on Tuesday, and the Cowboys will host conference newcomers West Virginia and TCU. For more, check out Tom Fornelli's breakdown of the schedule.

For all the latest on Oklahoma State be sure to bookmark the Cowboys RapidReports

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Posted on: February 14, 2012 11:18 am
 

Big 12 schedule finally released

Posted by Tom Fornelli

America, your long wait is over! On Tuesday morning, barely two hours after West Virginia officially joined the conference, the Big 12 finally released its schedule for the 2012 season.

It's everything you could have hoped for. It has games on it, scheduled to be played on certain dates between specific opponents!

There are just too many great games on the docket to go over all of them, but here are the major dates.

- TCU will play its first Big 12 conference game in Lawrence against Kansas on September 15th. Can the Horned Frogs overcome Charlie Weis' decided schematic advantage? We'll find out! TCU's first conference home game will be on October 6th against Iowa State.

- Baylor will be the first Big 12 team to play a conference game in Morgantown, facing West Virginia on September 29th. West Virginia's first road test comes a week later, and will not be easy, as the Mountaineers head to Austin to face Texas on October 6th.

- Oklahoma and Texas will get together for their annual Football Hate And Fried Foods Festival in Dallas on October 13th.

- Oklahoma State will begin it's Big 12 title defense against Texas in Stillwater on September 29th. Five of Oklahoma State's first seven conference games will be at home, but the Cowboys finish the regular season on the road against Oklahoma and Baylor.

- Texas Tech and Iowa State are the only two teams in the conference who won't have a bye week between conference games, playing every weekend from September 29th through November 24th.

- Texas won't be playing anybody on Thanksgiving night, but will play TCU in Austin the Saturday after Thanksgiving.

You can see the entire Big 12 schedule here

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