Here We Go Again, now it’s Clemson to Big 12 rumors.

Last week some officials and coaches at Florida State got the rumormills/blogoshpere/twitterworld going with talks about wanting to leave the ACC and head to the BIG 12. Mainly for more money. The rumors were squashed by FSU’s President.

But this weekend, a FSU move to the BIG 12 was called “inevitable”, as in possibly this summer. This story was from the website chuckoliver.net. Chuck Oliver is a  sports talk radio host in Atlanta, and his main level of expertise is college football, mainly ACC and SEC college football. So you have that.

This week, it is the Clemson Tigers turn. According to jugofsnyder.com there is an “agreement in principle” for Clemson to join the BIG 12. Now I have no idea who or what jug of snyder is. The rumor was also reported here.

This is all rumors now, but still, it doesn’t look good for the ACC especially in the football world. Last year it was the BIG 12 that was on life support and about to be disbanded, the ACC reacted and snatched up two Big East schools. Two Big East basketball schools. Then you have the new bowl partnership between the SEC and the BIG12. It looks more and more like college football is finally moving to some sort of playoff. Will the ACC be left out in the cold?

College Conference Carousel

The SEC voted unanimously to add Texas A&M to the conference next year. The only hold up now is possible legal action by Baylor if the Aggies leave the Big 12.

This same sort of thing happened when Miami and Boston College left for the ACC. Five Big East teams sued.

So, when the Aggies move, the SEC will have 13 teams. Who thinks they will stop there? Will they add one more, three more teams?

The Big 12 has now lost Nebraska, Colorado, and Texas A&M. The two big prizes of the conference, Texas and Oklahoma, have apparently been approached by other conferences, mainly the Pac 12.

There was even the rumor of Texas moving to the ACC

But if the Big 12 comes apart, another way for Texas to hold onto LHN may be joining the Atlantic Coast Conference, two sources close to the situation said Monday. ESPN holds the TV rights in the ACC and also owns and operates The Longhorn Network.

But the ACC would only come into play if Oklahoma left for the Pac-12 and the Big 12 busted up, sources said

What will all the realignment mean to the ACC? The SEC could possibly look to raid the ACC. Virginia Tech, Florida State?….who knows. It is all speculation now.

We went through this last year.  Texas A&M could just be the beginning of another round of conference realignment.

 

Texas A&M Officially Puts Us ON NOTICE!

 

The speculation of the late summer has finally ended, Texas A&M has notified the Big 12 it will be leaving the conference in June:

“After much thought and consideration, and pursuant to the action of the (Texas A&M University System) Board of Regents authorizing me to take action related to Texas A&M University’s athletic conference alignment, I have determined it is in the best interest of Texas A&M to make application to join another athletic conference,” President R. Bowen Loftin wrote to Big 12 Commissioner Dan Beebe in the letter dated August 31, 2011.

So what is this mystery conference that will be aTm’s ultimate destination?!  Well, of course the flirtation all along has been with the SEC and that is where the Aggies are expected to land.  Like an honorable southern gentleman, it’s been reported that the SEC advised aTm to “get divorced” before they came a’callin’ on the SEC’s doorstep.

While today’s news is nothing more than a formalization of what was expected to happen all along, it moves us one step farther down the line towards conference realign-mageddon.  Where is the SEC going to look for #14 and beyond?  The latest scuttlebutt has Missouri, Virginia Tech, Maryland, and North Carolina as logical targets for the SEC to go after.  However, I think what we all learned with ACC expansion is that what may seem logical to some makes almost no sense at all (BC, anyone?).

Hokies AD Jim Weaver had originally said that if the SEC expressed interest, VT would politely decline, but now there are rumblings that may not be the case after all.  The VT fanbase seems to be quite split on the issue, with many of the younger generation of fans wondering why VT hasn’t made aTm like overtures at the SEC already… while the older generation, who are aware of the depths from which VT football has climbed, wants nothing more than to remain where they are (provided the ACC is stable and healthy.)

Forget VT for a moment, what about Maryland?  What about UNC?!  Would those founding members bolt the ACC if the SEC came calling?  How would any of the ACC schools leaving for the SEC affect the positions of the ones who were left behind?  Does VT become aggressive about leaving if Maryland, UNC, or FSU take off first?  How does the Miami situation affect the stability and health of the ACC?

Wow, so many questions with so many possible fascinating answers.

All we know for now is to hold on tight, because Texas A&M has put us all ON NOTICE!

 

UPDATE: Veteran Daily Press sportswriter David Teel just tweeted:

POPPYCOCK!?  Yes, POPPYCOCK!!

Saturday Open Thread

nsxmas35cWell, it’s a bit nipply out. I mean nippy out, what did I say, nipple? Huh, there is a nip in the air. Anyway get those leaves raked and the Christmas décor up and ‘Tis the season to be merry b/c it’s going to be a good day of college sports.

 College Basketball:

  •  Kentucky at North Carolina – a must win for the Heels in December? They could use some confidence.
  •  Butler at Duke – Natty rematch? Not hardly.
  •  NC State at Syracuse – State is in need of a quality out of conference win to build a post season resume but Syracuse will be a tough out for a bounce back. After that obliteration the other night the clock is ticking on the easy button.

 College Football:

  •  ACC Championship Game Florida State vs. Virginia Tech. Winner to the orange, loser to chick filet.
  •  The Civil War: Oregon at Oregon State
  •  SEC Championship game -Auburn vs South Carolina
  •  Big 12 Championship game -Nebraska vs Oklahoma

^ Will those championship games have BCS championship implications while Ohio State once again gets the free pass?

 There you have it guys. Sit back, enjoy some eggnog by the fire and comment if you got em.  Merry Christmas. Merry Christmas, Merry Christmas, Merry Christmas, kiss my ass. Kiss his ass. Kiss your ass. Happy Hanukkah.

Fascinating report: ESPN/ABC, Texas A&M at heart of Big 12 revival

Texas is getting a lot of attention for rejecting the Pac 10’s overtures and stopping college conference Armageddon. But a fascinating report from Orangebloods.com, who has been out in front of a lot of the realignment news, lays out a timeline of the past week that shows Texas A&M and ESPN/ABC may have a lot more to do with stopping the dominoes from falling all over the college landscape.

The short version is this: the Pac 10 makes a play for Colorado, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Texas, Texas Tech, and Texas A&M. But Texas A&M, led by Board of Regents member Gene Stallings, an A&M alum who won a national title as a football coach at Alabama, is also playing footsie with the SEC.

Texas and Texas A&M share a relationship much like UNC and NC State, where one is the flagship state university and the other is the insecure land-grant little brother. A&M starts thinking maybe it can go to the SEC and get out from under Texas’ shadow while being the top research university in the SEC. (A&M is also like NCSU in that the AD does things that make you wonder – while SEC commish Mike Slive is in College Station to discuss realignment, A&M’s AD, Bill Byrne, is at a family reunion in Idaho) By playing the SEC card, A&M can saddle Texas with the mantle of breaking up both the Big 12 and the Texas/Texas A&M rivalry.

Meanwhile, Big 12 commish Dan Beebe reportedly secures assurances that ESPN/ABC will honor its Big 12 contract, even though the league will have 10 teams and no title game. The rationale here is that A) Texas and Oklahoma would bolt to a Pac 10 network, purportedly on Fox; and B) if the Big 12 falls apart, then the SEC and ACC realign also, possibly forcing ESPN/ABC to renegotiate those contracts, and maybe at even higher costs than the $4 billion already promised. ESPN keeps Texas and Oklahoma, as well as the SEC and ACC, on its airwaves without spending any more money on contracts that are set through 2016.

Moreover, Beebe engineered a deal where the five Big 12 schools who would have been left out (Kansas, Kansas State, Baylor, Missouri, and Iowa State) are giving up their share of the buyout penalties Nebraska and Colorado will have to pay, to Texas, Texas A&M, and Oklahoma. Small price for the little five to pay to stay in a real conference.

So, it appears that by not blindly following Texas and pursuing SEC membership on its own, Texas A&M may have set into motion the chain of events that led to ESPN guaranteeing the Big 12 its TV payout and stopping realignment dead in its tracks, at least for six years.

Hard to believe that just one week ago the face of college athletics was about to change forever, and now the major change is just a minor ripple.

Monday Morning Fodder

After a brief hiatus, MMF is back with a vengence.  Hit the jump to read my thoughts on conference expansion the demise of college sports as we know it, Stephen “Jesus” Strasburg, Lebron James, the World Cup and Tom Izzo. Continue reading Monday Morning Fodder

I’ve Got a Fever, and the Only Cure is More Expansion!

Conference expansion is once again at the forefront of intercollegiate athletics talk as the Big Ten has been playing footsie (or not) with four schools, while the other conferences get ready for the dominoes to fall in case such a move is made.

A report out of Missouri this week reported the Big Ten had made membership offers to Notre Dame, Rutgers, Nebraska, and Missouri, but the Big Ten commissioner’s office moved quickly to quash those rumors. It seems odd that the Big Ten would make offers to four schools, which would keep the membership at an odd number (15) if all four accepted, especially when only one new school is needed to reach the 12-team threshold for a conference title game.

Notre Dame is the obvious choice for the Big Ten, as it geographically in the heart of the league and is a big-time name in football as well as a diaspora of alumni across the country. Missouri is also a logical choice as it provides natural rivals with contiguous states Illinois and Iowa and opens up new TV markets in St. Louis and Kansas City, plus Missouri seems like they would love to be chosen. Rutgers is more of a stretch, unless the league is trying to tap the New York market. And I just gotta tell you, when I think of New York, I think Big Ten country. (/sarcasm)

The bigger question now is whether or not the Big Ten is out to make a play for 14 or 16 teams. Other than the chase for the almighty dollar, what possible good comes out of such a monstrosity? The Big East basketball quagmire is the first thing that comes to mind, and even then it doesn’t apply to football.

Not to be outdone, the national thinking is that if the Big Ten makes a move for 14 or 16, the SEC will also, since both have similar models for revenue sharing and a TV network. The national consensus is that the SEC will then try to pilfer the ACC and the Big 12. Talk at the ACC meetings this week was league solidarity, and the backroom talk was should the ACC try to keep up or even be proactive in the apparent coming era of the mega-conference.

Likely scenarios played out in the media have included the SEC going after the likes of Texas, Florida State, Clemson, Miami, and even Georgia Tech. Texas makes a lot of sense from a geographic and revenue standpoint; FSU, Clemson, Miami, and Tech much less so because those schools do not open up markets for the SEC.

Personally, I like the ACC at 12 teams, and if the league could trade BC for Rutgers, West Virginia, or Pittsburgh, I would be really happy. But the race to keep up with the Delanys and Slives may alter the face of the ACC even more.

Colt McCoy Is A Gamer

Huge hat tip to Yahoo! Sports’ Dan Wetzel on this one.  Colt McCoy is a complete gamer.  Dude did not want to stay out of the BCS Championship Game last night.  He did not care about anything other than getting back out there and helping his team win.  If you have about ten minutes to kill and want to read a great article, click here.

BCS Championship (3/4 game) CSI

I’m too old to stay up past 11:00, that’s why you’re getting 3/4 of a game review…well make it 13/16th’s cuz I watched Sportscenter this morning.  But wow what a game last night. Continue reading BCS Championship (3/4 game) CSI

Your bowl weekend-in-review

The new year got off to a rousing start as most of the traditional New Year’s Day and day-after bowls provided some excitement as well as some clunkers, paving the way for the ridiculous one-game-per-night lead-in for Thursday’s BCS title game.

Here is a quick recap of the weekend’s bowls:

Continue reading Your bowl weekend-in-review