Tag:C-USA
Posted on: July 14, 2011 12:20 pm
Edited on: July 14, 2011 12:45 pm
 

The entire 2011 season simulated on NCAA 12

Posted by Tom Fornelli

After getting my new copy of EA Sports' NCAA Football 12 on Tuesday, I took the time to simulate the entire 2012 season to see what the video game thinks is going to happen this year. In order to make things realistic, I even went through all the trouble of updating rosters to reflect what they currently look like.

That meant moving Russell Wilson from NC State to Wisconsin, removing Terrelle Pryor -- not to mention benching the suspended Buckeyes for the first five games of the season -- removing WaShaun Ealey and Caleb King from Georgia's backfield and so on and so forth.

No need to thank me, it was a labor of love.

So how did things turn out?

Well, it looks as if we'll once again have a non-BCS school finish the year undefeated -- the only school to do so -- but it's not Boise State or TCU. In fact, Boise State finally got its shot at a national title, but it couldn't come through.

Who did?

Let's find out. First we'll start with the conference champions (Records don't include conference championships or bowl games).

ACC -- North Carolina 9-3 (6-2)

Big 12 -- Texas A&M 10-2 (8-1)

Big East -- South Florida 9-3 (6-1)

Big Ten -- Wisconsin 11-1 (7-1)

C-USA -- Houston 12-0 (8-0)

MAC -- Western Michigan 10-2 (7-1)

MWC -- Boise State 12-0 (7-0)

Pac 12 -- Oregon 9-3 (7-2)

SEC -- South Carolina 11-1 (7-1)

Sun Belt -- Troy 10-2 (8-0)

WAC -- Fresno State 8-4 (7-0)

And how about those BCS bowl games? Well I'm glad you asked.

Rose Bowl -- Wisconsin 49, Oregon 46 OT

Fiesta Bowl -- Texas A&M 38, Ohio State 17

Orange Bowl -- North Carolina 28, Alabama 20

Sugar Bowl -- Houston 48, South Florida 13

BCS National Championship -- South Carolina 24, Boise State 22

Yes, that's right, the Ol' Ball Coach has added another national title to his resume. Boise State did have a chance to topple the BCS machine, but couldn't pull through. Trailing 24-16, Kellen Moore hit Kyle Efaw on a 16-yard touchdown with 3 minutes left, but the Broncos couldn't convert the two-point conversion. The Gamecocks ran out the clock and celebrated a national title. Oh, and Stephen Garcia was the game's MVP. Let that marinate in your brain for a minute or two.

As for awards, I hope Houston quarterback Case Keenum used all that time off last season to build himself a trophy case because it looks as if he's going to need one. Keenum not only won the Heisman Trophy, but the Maxwell, Walter Camp and Davey O'Brien trophies to boot. That's what happens when you lead Houston to a 14-0 record yet still finish second in both polls.

Now, if that's not enough info for you, let's take a look at some of the season storylines by conference.

ACC

-- Jimbo Fisher hits the sophomore slump. Florida State doesn't even qualify for a bowl berth after finishing the year 5-7 with a 3-5 mark within the ACC. FSU loses to Oklahoma, Wake Forest, Maryland, NC State, Boston College, Miami and Florida. And of those losses, only the loss to Florida was by less than 10 points.

-- Al Golden has Miami on the right track. Sure, the Canes only went 8-5 during the season, but they did finish 6-2 in ACC play, just missing the ACC title game thanks to a 27-17 loss to North Carolina

-- Duke goes bowling! That's right, Duke finishes the year 7-6 with a 4-4 mark in the ACC, including a two-point win over UNC. Though the Dukies do lose to Florida in the Music City Bowl. I have no idea who Steve Spurrier was rooting for while watching.

-- Boston College is the "best" team in the Atlantic Division. The Eagles finish the year 8-6 with a 5-3 mark in the conference. They even nearly beat UNC in the title game, losing 29-27.

Big 12

-- Oklahoma can't handle the pressure. The Sooners started out the year 7-0 before getting shocked by Kansas State on the road -- where else? -- 24-21. They also lost at Oklahoma State 38-24 to end the regular season and kill their hopes of a BCS berth.

-- Texas won't be terrible two years in a row. The Longhorns finish the season 11-2 with a 7-2 mark in the Big 12. Though they do lose to Oklahoma and Texas A&M, which stings a bit.

-- Where have you gone, Blaine Gabbert? Missouri needs you. The Tigers finished the season 4-8 with a 2-7 mark in the conference. Seems they're going to miss Colorado, Nebraska and the North Division.

Big East

-- The Big East is respectable. While no team in the conference finished the season with less than three losses (Pitt being the only with three), seven of the eight Big East schools won at least seven games, with Rutgers holding the only losing record.

-- Louisville can't finish. The Cardinals led the Big East most of the season before losing four of their last five games to finish 3-4 in the conference.

-- Casino or football field, Dana Holgorsen has a tough time winning anywhere this year. The Mountaineers went 2-5 in the Big East during his inaugural campaign.

Big Ten

-- Who needs Jim Tressel and Terrelle Pryor? Ohio State went 4-1 in its first five games of the season while so many of its playmakers sat out, and though the Buckeyes struggled in Big Ten play, they still finished the year 9-4 and got an at-large berth to the Fiesta Bowl. Oh, and they still beat Michigan.

-- Not that Michigan minded all that much, because Brady Hoke made believers out of the faithful in his first year. That Michigan loss to Ohio State? That was the Wolverines only Big Ten loss of the regular season, as they went 7-1 to win the Legends Division.

-- Wisconsin loves Russell Wilson. Wilson and the Badgers tore up the Big Ten all year long until the final week of the regular season. Then, after being 11-0 and ranked #1 for the majority of the regular season, the Badgers fell at home to Penn State 42-28. Though I guess beating Michigan 34-13 in the first Big Ten Championship Game and then Oregon in the Rose Bowl took some of the sting out of it.

-- New kid Nebraska gets picked on. The Huskers went 3-5 in Big Ten play, even losing to Minnesota. Though that wasn't as embarrassing as the 13-7 loss to Ohio -- University, not State -- in the Texas Bowl.

Pac-12

-- USC isn't on probation in virtual reality. So the Trojans were able to win the Pac-12 South division, even if they did lose to Oregon 35-14 in the inaugural Pac-12 Championship.

-- Utah enjoyed their move more than Colorado. The Utes finished the season 5-4 in conference play while Colorado went 3-6.

-- Andrew Luck should have gone pro. Stanford and Luck were off to a very nice start to the season, opening 7-0. Then Luck broke his arm, missed the rest of the year and Stanford finished 10-3.

SEC

-- The East still stinks. Sure, South Carolina wins the national title, but no other SEC East team managed to win more than four games in the conference. Meanwhile, in the West, LSU had the worst season of anyone, going 7-6 with a 3-5 mark in the SEC. Les Miles needs to eat more grass.

-- Will Muschamp did OK. Florida finished the season 9-4 with a 4-4 mark in the SEC, though Charlie Weis' offense needs some work. The Gators never scored more than 21 points against a SEC opponent not named Vanderbilt.

-- Alabama needs to fire Nick Saban, PAAAAWWWWWWWL. Oh the indignity of Alabama's 2012 season. Not only did the Tide lose the SEC title game to South Carolina, but then they went and lost to North Carolina in the Orange Bowl. Since when does Alabama play in the Orange Bowl, PAAWWWWL? NICK SABAN HAS GOT TO GO.

-- Auburn doesn't miss Cam Newton as much as you'd think. Even without their Heisman winning quarterback, the Tigers still manage to go 8-5 with a 4-4 mark in the conference. Not great, but not terrible either.

Non-BCS

-- TCU would like to get to the Big East ASAP. The Horned Frogs lose twice in 2012, and not just to Boise State. Unlike 2011, TCU wasn't able to escape San Diego State, losing 33-30 at Qualcomm Stadium.

-- Notre Dame is back! The Irish finish the year 10-3, and feature one of the most potent offenses in college football. Why they're painting Brian Kelly over Touchdown Jesus as you read this.

-- BYU finds independence to be constricting. The Cougars first season free of the shackles of conferencedom does not work out very well, as BYU finishes the year 4-8 and even loses to Utah State along the way.

-- While I already went over the disrespect Houston received, what about conference mate Southern Miss? The Golden Eagles finished the regular season 11-1 before losing to Houston in the C-USA title game, and they couldn't even sniff the Top 25.

And that's it. There's the entire 2011 season right there according to a video game. I suppose at this point there's no point in even watching any of the games. Now, if you don't mind me, I'm going to go try and wrap my head around Stephen Garcia leading South Carolina to a national championship.

Can you imagine that party?
Posted on: July 5, 2011 11:17 am
 

Maxwell Award watch list released

Posted by Tom Fornelli

It's that special time of year when the watch lists for all the major college football awards are released, and once again this summer we begin with the Maxwell Award watch list. The Maxwell Award is given annually to the nation's most outstanding collegiate fooball player by the Maxwell Football Club. Last season the award went to Auburn quarterback Cam Newton.

Who will it go to this season? Your guess is as good as mine, but these are the 66 players you should be looking at now.

PLAYER NAME, SCHOOL, POSITION, CLASS

Edwin Baker, Michigan State, RB, Jr.
Montee Ball, Wisconsin, RB, Jr.
Vick Ballard, Mississippi State, RB, Sr.
Matt Barkley, USC, QB, Jr.
Justin Blackmon, Oklahoma State, WR, Jr.
Tyler Bray, Tennessee, QB, Soph.
Ryan Broyles, Oklahoma, WR, Sr.
Greg Childs, Arkansas, QB, Sr.
Marcus Coker, Iowa, RB, Soph.
Zach Collaros, Cincinnati, QB, Sr.
Kirk Cousins, Michigan State, QB, Sr.
Juron Criner, Arizona, WR, Sr.
Dayne Crist, Notre Dame, QB, Sr.
Dominique Davis, East Carolina, QB, Sr.
Knile Davis, Arkansas, RB, Jr.
Michael Dyer, Auburn, RB, Soph.
Andre Ellington, Clemson, RB, Jr.
Michael Floyd, Notre Dame, WR, Sr.
Nick Foles, Arizona, QB, Sr.
Johnathan Franklin, UCLA, RB, Jr.
Jeff Fuller, Texas A&M, WR, Sr.
Stephen Garcia, South Carolina, QB, Sr.
Mike Glennon, NC State, QB, Jr.
Ray Graham, Pittsburgh, RB, Jr.
Cyrus Gray, Texas A&M, RB, Sr.
Robert Griffin, Baylor, QB, Jr.
Chandler Harnish, Northern Illinois, QB, Sr.
Montel Harris, Boston College, RB, Sr.
Jared Hassin, Army, RB, Jr.
Ronnie Hillman, San Diego State, RB, Soph.
LaMichael James, Oregon, RB, Jr.
Alshon Jeffery, South Carolina, WR, Jr.
Damaris Johnson, Tulsa, WR, Sr
Landry Jones, Oklahoma , QB, Jr.
Case Keenum, Houston, QB, Sr.
Marcus Lattimore, South Carolina, RB, Soph.
Ryan Lindley, San Diego State, QB, Sr.
Zach Line, SMU, RB, Jr.
Andrew Luck, Stanford, QB, Jr.
E.J. Manuel, Florida State, QB, Jr.
Doug Martin, Boise State, RB, Sr.
Taylor Martinez, Nebraska, QB, Soph.
Bryant Moniz, Hawaii, QB, Sr.
Kellen Moore, Boise State, QB, Sr.
Aaron Murray, Georgia, QB, Soph.
Danny O'Brien, Maryland, QB, Soph.
Isaiah Pead, Cincinnati, RB, Sr.
Dan Persa, Northwestern, QB, Sr.
Chris Polk, Washington, RB, Jr.
Tauren Poole, Tennessee, RB, Sr.
Bobby Rainey, Western Kentucky, RB, Sr.
Trent Richardson, Alabama, RB, Jr.
Denard Robinson, Michigan, QB, Jr.
Nathan Scheelhaase, Illinois, QB, Soph.
Geno Smith, West Virginia, QB, Jr.
Rodney Stewart, Colorado, RB, Sr.
Ryan Tannehill, Texas A&M, QB , Sr.
Stepfan Taylor, Stanford, RB, Jr.
Darron Thomas, Oregon , QB, Jr.
Brandon Weeden, Oklahoma State, QB, Sr.
Ed Wesley, TCU, RB, Jr.
James White, Wisconsin, RB, Soph.
David Wilson, Virginia Tech, RB, Jr.
Russell Wilson, Wisconsin, QB, Sr.
Tyler Wilson, Arkansas, QB, Jr.
Robert Woods, USC, WR, Soph.
 

Posted on: May 11, 2011 11:56 am
 

Tulane loses assistant to a high school

Posted by Tom Fornelli

In college football, loyalty only goes so far in the world of coaches. The fact of the matter is, unless you're the head coach at your alma mater, a coach is generally always on the lookout for the next job. The next step up on the ladder. So an assistant leaving a school for another is no big deal. But then there's what happened to Tulane this week.

Dan Dodd had been the assistant head coach at Tulane for the last three years, and had been at the school for four. Dodd is now leaving Tulane to become a head coach at another school. Which would be totally normal except for the fact that this new school is a high school.

Dan Dodd, the assistant head football coach at Tulane University, has accepted the position of K-12 athletic director and varsity football coach at Capistrano Valley Christian Schools, the school announced Tuesday. Dodd, a graduate of San Clemente High, replaces Chris Fore, who said he has resigned to pursue other opportunities.

“Coach Dodd will clearly bring a new look to our football program, which will be highly attractive to student athletes who want to play for a coach who believes in young men and what they can accomplish," Dr. Ron Sipus, head of schools for CVCS, said in a press release. "Our athletes will get playing time in a quality program and if they develop their skills, Coach Dodd, because of his background, can connect them to the right college recruiters and coaches.” 

Now, I've no idea how good a school Capistrano Valley is, or how much they'll be paying Dodd at his new job. So I'm not going to question his decision to leave the position of assistant head coach at an FBS school to become a head coach at a high school. I'm just going to wish him luck at the new gig.

As far as Tulane is concerned, ouch. Maybe Dodd just took his dream job, but it's never going to look good when your assistant head coach feels that taking a head coaching job at a high school is a step up in his career. I mean, I can't remember anyone doing something like this since coach Eric Taylor left TMU to return to Dillion High School. 
Posted on: April 28, 2011 2:09 pm
 

New Orleans Bowl to be Dec. 17

Posted by J. Darin Darst

It looks like Saturday, Dec. 17 will be the first day of the bowl season as the New Orleans Bowl officially announced their game to be held at 9 p.m. ET on ESPN. 

As usual, the game will feature the No. 1 selection from the Sun Belt against a Conference USA team.

Bowl Chairman Ron Gardner expressed his enthusiasm for keeping the game on Saturday night, "We always enjoy when the date of our Bowl game allows fans and visitors to enjoy the entire experience of a New Orleans weekend with family and friends right before Christmas. We want everyone to be able to take advantage of what we have to offer as a City that thrives on hospitality and entertainment."

The Humanitarian Bowl in Boise, Idaho will also be on Dec. 17, but the time has not been announced. Check out the complete 2011-12 bowl schedule.

Posted on: April 22, 2011 12:06 pm
 

Rice has 4 players arrested in 3 days

Posted by Tom Fornelli

I don't know if you pay attention to the Fulmer Cup over at Every Day Should Be Saturday, but if you do, then you already know that there is no way anybody is going to catch Auburn to take the title this year. Still, that doesn't mean some schools aren't going to try, and you have to give Rice some credit. Having four players arrested within 72 hours is nothing to sneeze at.

Which is exactly what happened, as four players from the school were arrested in two separate incidents. One last Saturday, and then another on Monday.

Reserve defensive end Cody Bauer and offensive lineman Cade Shaw were arrested on Saturday for possession of a firearm in their on-campus residence, according to Harris County court records.

Both posted a $5,000 bail bond and were released from custody.

Cornerbacks Kevin Gaddis and Phillip Gaines were arrested in a separate incident Monday.

Gaddis was charged with a pair of misdemeanors — theft of property valued between $50 and $500 and possession of two ounces or less of marijuana, according to the case summary. He posted a $500 bail bond on both charges.

Gaines was arrested on a misdemeanor possession of two ounces or less of marijuana. He posted a $500 bail bond.

“We are aware of the allegations. We take these seriously,” Rice athletic director Rick Greenspan said. “Obviously, we have some investigations to do, both with the campus and off-campus (authorities), and when we have more information we’ll share it.”

The school has yet to make a decision on whether or not the players will be suspended, but I suspect the players will be at some point. As nebulous a description as the famous "violation of team rules" is, I'm pretty sure that being arrested is a violation of just about every team's rules. 

Phillip Gaines is the only starter of the bunch, as he started ten games for Rice at corner last season and finished third on the team with ten tackles. While not starters, both Bauer and Gaddis played in all 12 games last year, while Cade Shaw saw limited action in 2010.

 

Posted on: April 14, 2011 12:17 pm
Edited on: April 14, 2011 12:18 pm
 

AD Keith Tribble: UCF will be in a BCS league

Posted by Tom Fornelli

While the Big East and Villanova continue passing notes in class and asking their friends whether or not the other one likes them, or if they really, really like them, UCF sits in the back of the class waiting her turn. UCF wants to go to the dance too, you know. She's got herself a very lovely dress, and it has grown through her awkward teenage faze. While UCF isn't drop dead gorgeous, she's still a solid 7, and should be getting more attention from the popular boys in school.

But will she?

Well, ever the reassuring parent, UCF athletic director Keith Tribble wants UCF to know that even if its day doesn't come this year, there will be other dances, and UCF will be going.

Athletic director Keith Tribble says no matter what happens with the Big East, the Knights are going to get into an automatic-qualifying BCS league.

“It’s not a matter of if, it’s a matter of when,” Tribble said on our critically acclaimed Open Mike radio show earlier this week.

Of course, it’s the “when” that has UCF fans worried. They fear, and rightfully so, that if the Big East goes in another direction, it could be years before another opportunity to join a BCS league opens up.

Then again, all the Knights can do is what they’re doing right now: Winning on the field, graduating players and fielding championship-caliber teams in a number of sports.

“This program is trending the right way and doing the right things,” Tribble said. “We can’t stop doing the things we need to  do to make this program great.”

The common perception is that if the Big East does pass on adding Villanova to its football conference then UCF would be the next choice. It makes sense in that the program is on the rise, and it would give the conference another school in the state of Florida which could help recruiting for everyone. What I wonder is if the Big East does choose Villanova, then what BCS conference does Tribble see UCF joining?

The ACC and SEC would be the only other logical choices geographically, though I'm not sure what geography has to do with anything anymore considering TCU is now in the Big East. Still, I don't see the ACC or SEC expanding or replacing teams at any point in the near future, so I'm not sure they'd be an option for UCF. Really, the only options I see the school having would be if the Big East eventually expands to twelve teams, or if the Big 12 decides to go back to twelve. 

Posted on: March 28, 2011 3:39 pm
 

FX to carry weekly college football game

Posted by Tom Fornelli

We truly live in the greatest era to be college football fan. During the fall, there are more college football games on television than ever before, ensuring every fan that just about any game they want to watch, they can. Now it seems that we'll all be getting at least one more game a week to feast our eyes upon.

It was announced on Monday that the cable network FX, which is owned by Fox, will begin airing one game a week during the 2011 season.
Cable channel FX will broadcast a weekly college football game during the coming season.
The Fox-owned network said Monday it would air at least 13 games involving teams from the Big 12, Pac-12 and Conference USA.
FX is available in more than 99 million homes. The channel has shown other sports in the past, including Major League Baseball and NASCAR.
It makes sense that this would happen, since Fox has broadcast rights for the Big 12 and Pac-12. Instead of trying to fit a bunch of games on their regional Fox Sports stations, why not use a network that is already in so many homes? What would make it even better is if they surrounded the games on the schedule with reruns of Louie, It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia, Sons of Anarchy and Archer. As a matter of fact, I don't see any reason why Sterling Archer shouldn't be doing the play-by-play.
Posted on: March 17, 2011 12:37 pm
Edited on: March 17, 2011 1:26 pm
 

Memphis to lose its starting quarterback

Posted by Tom Fornelli

Here's a problem you generally don't want to deal with at any time, let alone on the first day of spring practice. With Memphis beginning its practice on Wednesday, it got a bit of a surprise from starting quarterback Ryan Williams as he's asked for his release from the program.

According to Williams' father, Rich Williams, his son has decided to leave the Tigers because head coach Larry Porter has decided to change the team's offensive scheme from a pro-style to a spread option attack. Which is what coaches tend to do after 1-11 seasons, and going 0-8 within conference play. Still, even when changing schemes, losing the quarterback with the most experience on your team seldom helps matters.

"Ryan Williams is no longer part of our program," Porter said Wednesday. "Obviously, the timing of this wasn't good, but I'd rather talk about the players who are still wearing the Memphis helmet."

Williams started ten games as a freshman last season, throwing for 2,075 yards, 13 touchdowns and 10 interceptions.

Williams took over for Cannon Smith last season, whom has now moved to safety. Another one of Memphis' backups last season, Tyler Bass, has transferred. Which means that the Tigers now go into the 2011 season with two quarterbacks on the roster in Will Gilchrist and Andy Summerlin. Both of whom are sophomores with now playing experience, and Summerlin is coming off of shoulder surgery.
 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com