If this report from a Kansas City sports radio station is to believed, the Big Ten Conference is thinking big when it comes to expansion:
The Big Ten Conference has extended initial offers to join the league to four universities including Missouri and Nebraska from the Big 12, according to multiple sources close to the negotiations.
While nothing can be approved until the Big Ten presidents and chancellors meet the first week of June in Chicago, the league has informed the two Big 12 schools, Notre Dame and Rutgers that it would like to have them join. It is not yet clear whether the Big Ten will expand to 14 or 16 teams but sources indicated Missouri and Nebraska are invited in either scenario.Â Notre Dame has repeatedly declined the opportunity to join the Big Ten.Â If Notre Dame remains independent, Rutgers would be the 14th team.Â The Big Ten would then decide whether to stop at 14 or extend offers to two other schools.Â If Notre Dame joins, sources say an offer will be extended to one other school making it a 16-team league.
All four are interesting choices, for different reasons.
Notre Dame, of course, is a prize that the Big Ten has been pursuing for years, but it’s always been the one that got away. Given their lucrative television contract and national fan base, remaining independent has always seemed to be to Notre Dame’s advantage. Times are changing, though, and the Fighting Irish aren’t what they used to be. Putting them at the center of a conference where they would be instantly competitive might just be what’s needed to reinvigorate a program still hurting from the Charlie Weis years.
Rutgers seems like a odd choice at first because of it’s geographic distance from the rest of the Conference, but there are two reasons why it makes sense. Under Greg Schiano, the Rutgers football program (and make no mistake, this expansion is mostly geared toward football) has become credible in a way that it never was before. When I attended there in the late 80s and the Scarlet Knights played a rare game against Michigan State, it was an occasion for laughter in Lansing, Michigan. Not anymore. Second, bringing in Rutgers gives the Big Ten access to two of the biggest media markets in the country, which would be a big deal for both football and basketball.
As for Missouri and Nebraska, it’s interesting that the Big Ten would be so brazen about poaching from the Big 12, but both schools would be excellent additions on the football side to a conference that has come to be dominated in recent years by Ohio State and Penn State. Bringing the Tigers and Cornhuskers into the conference, along with Rutgers and Notre Dame, would instantly make football season much more competitive.
All in all, this seems like a smart move for the Big Ten.
NFL.com http://www.nfl.com/draft/2010/profiles/devin-mccourty?id=494287- Pick Analysis: After wheeling and dealing down the draft board, the Patriots pick up the versatile Devin McCourty. The former Rutgers standout gives the team a dynamic cover man and special teams player. Although he won’t be counted on to step right in as a starter, McCourty should excel as a sub-defender/special teamer in his rookie season. The Patriots are routinely chastised for their willingness to trade away picks, but it’s hard to dispute their ability to find gems at the right value.
McCourty is an average sized cornerback with good athleticism. He runs well but doesnâ€™t have premier speed out on and island. McCourty is a tough, competitive player that understands angles and route progressions. He is an active secondary defender that gets his hands on lots of balls but doesnâ€™t always make the interception. McCourty has great hips, agility and balance to turn and stay in the receiverâ€™s hip pocket. He does get overpowered at times versus larger receivers in block protection and on jump ball situations but he appears to know his limitations and is a defender. McCourty is a good football player that will likely contribute quickly at nickel back and special teams (returns as well as coverage units) in his rookie season.
The first in a series of draft picks made by teams who traded up.
NFL.com writes- Davis is a prototypical left tackle in that he is a good foot athlete and has bulk as well as long arms that allow him to get a fit and control opponents as he steers them on by the pocket. He is not a natural knee bender and will let his pads get too far forward as he extends to sustain his blocks. He can slide and shuffle with an edge rusher and has the body control and foot agility to react and adjust to counter moves. He has shown a tendency to gain too much weight and will need to be monitored. He has strong hands and upper body and can swallow opponents up on the run block but does not finish his blocks off as much as he could. He will need some time to develop but could end up as a starting left tackle in a couple of years.
Here it is-
Like with the Men’s tournament, I’ll take a shot at making some
guesses predictions in the women’s also.
She will miss the February 11th game against Seton Hall. From AP-
Rutgers suspended Hall of Fame women’s basketball coach C. Vivian Stringer on Tuesday for one game for misusing practice players.
Duncan Williams/Icon SMIC. Vivian Stringer was found to have violated an NCAA bylaw that bars managers from participating as practice players. Rutgers has only nine players on its roster.
Stringer will miss the Scarlet Knights’ game against Seton Hall on Wednesday. She is third among women’s coaches on the all-time victories list with 838 wins and was enshrined in the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame last September.
Stringer violated an NCAA bylaw which states that managers may not participate as practice players with the institution’s team if they are not eligible student-athletes.
“Accountability is a vital element of the Rutgers athletics family,” the school’s athletic director, Tim Pernetti, said in a statement. “We will always follow what is in accordance with athletic department and NCAA policy.”
Associate head coach Carlene Mitchell will be the acting head coach against Seton Hall.
Rutgers is down to nine players due to one player transferring away from the school. In my opinion a one-game suspension or a warning is enough punishment for this particular rules violation.
The 2008 NFL Draft also saw the same amount of under classmen. In 2009 the total was 46. From AP-
The expected heavy influx of non-seniors applying for this year’s NFL draft did not happen despite looming labor unrest in the league.
Although a record-tying 53 players declared for early entry, that number released Tuesday by the NFL was short of most projections.
“I think that the colleges have really done a good job of telling these young men how it is to their advantage to stay in school,” said NFL draft consultant Gil Brandt, who helped build the Dallas Cowboys in the 1960s, ’70s and ’80s. “I thought there would be more and I was surprised.”
Six All-Americans did apply for the draft: defensive backs Eric Berry of Tennessee and Joe Haden of Florida; defensive end Derrick Morgan of Georgia Tech; tight end Aaron Hernandez of Florida; linebacker Rolando McClain of Alabama; and wide receiver Golden Tate of Notre Dame.
Oklahoma quarterback Sam Bradford, the 2008 Heisman Trophy winner, also declared for April’s draft, along with Mississippi quarterback Jevan Snead; Notre Dame quarterback Jimmy Clausen; Southern California running back Joe McKnight; Cal running back Jahvid Best; Florida defensive end Carlos Dunlap; and Penn State linebacker Navorro Bowman.
Fresno State tailback Ryan Mathews, the nation’s leading rusher, applied. So did tackles Bryan Bulaga of Iowa and Anthony Davis of Rutgers, who are projected to go high in the draft.
I remember when Herschel Walker came out of school(U of Georgia) early and all the controversy it caused. A Herschel Walker today wouldn’t risk a potential big payday in the NFL either.
What I don’t get is how some experts expected the total of non-seniors to be around 100 or a 100% increase from last year. Maybe I’ll find an article that list the college players who stuck it out. A free college education should be valued. One day your sports playing days will end and what will you do for money then? Look at Bernie Kosar who left the University of Miami early for the NFL. Right now he is bankruptcy court.
The entire list of college underclassman declaring for this year’s NFL draft is below the fold.
2010 NFL Draft early entrants
Player Position College
Kevin Basped DE Nevada
Arrelious Benn WR Illinois
Eric Berry DB Tennessee
Jahvid Best RB California
Navorro Bowman LB Penn State
Sam Bradford QB Oklahoma
Dezmon Briscoe WR Kansas
Antonio Brown WR Central Michigan
Dez Bryant WR Oklahoma State
Bryan Bulaga OT Iowa
Morgan Burnett DB Georgia Tech
Bruce Campbell OT Maryland
Jimmy Clausen QB Notre Dame
Rennie Curran LB Georgia
Anthony Davis T Rutgers
Carlos Dunlap DE Florida
Jonathan Dwyer RB Georgia Tech
Dominique Franks DB Oklahoma
Clifton Geathers DE South Carolina
Thaddeus Gibson DE Ohio State
Jermaine Gresham TE Oklahoma
Everson Griffen DE Southern California
Rob Gronkowski TE Arizona
Joe Haden DB Florida
Aaron Hernandez TE Florida
Kareem Jackson DB Alabama
Chad Jones DB Louisiana State
Reshad Jones DB Georgia
Linval Joseph DT East Carolina
Darius Marshall RB Marshall
Ryan Mathews RB Fresno State
Rolando McClain LB Alabama
Gerald McCoy DT Oklahoma
Joe McKnight RB Southern California
Shawnbrey McNeal RB Southern Methodist
Carlton Mitchell WR South Florida
Joshua Moore DB Kansas State
Derrick Morgan DE Georgia Tech
Jerell Norton DB Arkansas
Jason Pierre-Paul DE South Florida
Maurkice Pouncey C Florida
Brian Price DT UCLA
Dennis Rogan DB Tennessee
Jevan Snead QB Mississippi
Amari Spievey DB Iowa
Golden Tate WR Notre Dame
Demaryius Thomas WR Georgia Tech
Earl Thomas DB Texas
Donovan Warren DB Michigan
Damian Williams WR Southern California
Mike Williams WR Syracuse
Jason Worilds DE Virginia Tech
Major Wright DB Florida
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No I’m not talking about some middle aged man propelling a ball at some objects at the end of a lane, but the games that climax every college football season. Bowl season officially starts this afternoon, here are the matchups for all the college football fanatics out there.
Note- I gave the shortened name version of all the upcoming games. Also I listed what broadcast network would be televising the game and what time they would be coming on the air. All times are Eastern Standard.
New Mexico- Fresno State vs. Wyoming 4:30 p.m. ESPN
St. Petersburg- Central Florida vs. Rutgers 8 p.m. ESPN
R+L Carriers New Orleans- Southern Miss vs. Middle Tennessee 8:30 p.m. ESPN
MAACO Las Vegas- Oregon State vs. BYU 8 p.m. ESPN
Poinsettia- Utah vs. Cal 8 p.m. ESPN
Sheraton Hawaii- Nevada vs. SMU 8 p.m. ESPN
Little Caesars- Marshall vs. Ohio 1 p.m. ESPN
Meineke- Pitt vs. North Carolina 4:30 p.m. ESPN
Emerald- Boston College vs. USC 8 p.m. ESPN
Music City- Kentucky vs. Clemson 8:30 p.m. ESPN
Independence- Texas A&M vs. Georgia 5 p.m. ESPN2
EagleBank- UCLA vs. Temple 4:30 p.m. ESPN
Champs Sports- Miami vs. Wisconsin 8 p.m. ESPN
Humanitarian- Bowling Green vs. Idaho 4:30 p.m. ESPN
Holiday- Arizona vs. Nebraska 8 p.m. ESPN
Armed Forces- Houston vs. Air Force Noon ESPN
Sun- Oklahoma vs. Stanford 2 p.m. CBS
Texas- Navy vs. Missouri 3:30 p.m. ESPN
Minnesota vs. Iowa State 6 p.m. NFL Network
Chick-fil-A- Virginia Tech vs. Tennessee 7:30 p.m. ESPN
Outback- Northwestern vs. Auburn 11 a.m. ESPN
Capital One- Penn State vs. LSU 1 p.m. ABC
Gator- West Virginia vs. Florida State 1 p.m. CBS
Rose Bowl- Ohio State vs. Oregon 4:30 p.m. ABC
Sugar- Cincinnati vs. Florida 8:30 p.m. FOX
International- South Florida vs. Northern Illinois Noon ESPN2
Papajohns.com- South Carolina vs. UConn 2 p.m. ESPN
Cotton- Oklahoma State vs. Ole Miss 2 p.m. FOX
Liberty- Arkansas vs. East Carolina 5:30 p.m. ESPN
Valero Alamo- Michigan State vs. Texas Tech 9 p.m. ESPN
Fiesta- Boise State vs. TCU 8 p.m. FOX
FedEx Orange- Iowa vs. Georgia Tech 8 p.m. FOX
GMAC- Central Michigan vs. Troy 7 p.m. ESPN
BCS National Championship Game- Texas vs. Alabama Jan. 7 8 p.m.
Some random notes on the above 34 games
*- 19 of the 34 games are not scheduled till Dec. 31st or later. I guess college football fanatics are expected to flip channels very quickly on those 3 days(Dec 31-Jan 2) when 15 games are being aired.
*- What a downer must it be for Oregon State players and fans. A few weeks ago they were one win from a Rose Bowl trip. Instead they lost to Oregon and are playing in a minor bowl before Christmas.
*- The NFL network televises a college football game. I guess that’s the cable sports equivalent of the Sci-Fi channel showing wrestling….
*- The bowls are now set where now certain conference finishers are locked into the same bowl games every year. I understand why the current system is done, but I prefer the day when bowl games would have greater variance from year to year. The Peach bowl would usually invite a ACC or SEC school but they could be creative, like when they invited Army and Illinois. Wouldn’t a SEC team against BYU or Wyoming be nice for a change?
*- Bobby Bowden’s farewell game is against the same school(West Virginia) that he left before coming to Florida State. I do know FSU and WV have played at least twice previously in bowls during the Bowden-Florida State era.
Another wide receiver. Did Miami make a mistake by not taking one with the 25th pick?
ESPN writes- Britt has a nice blend of size, hands and better-than-expected top-end speed. Although he’s a bit raw in his route-running Britt has the potential to develop into the big-play wideout the Titans desperately need.
No I’m not talking about some middle aged man propelling a ball at some objects at the end of a lane, but the games that climax every college football season. Bowl season officially starts this Saturday, here are the matchups for all the college football fanatics out there.
Eaglebank Bowl- Wake Forest vs Navy
New Mexico Bowl- Colorado State vs Fresno St
MAGICJACK ST. PETERSBURG BOWL- Memphis vs. South Florida
PIONEER LAS VEGAS BOWL- Brigham Young vs Arizona
R+L CARRIERS NEW ORLEANS BOWL- Southern Miss vs. Troy
SAN DIEGO COUNTY CREDIT UNION POINSETTIA BOWL- Boise St vs TCU
SHERATON HAWAII BOWL- Hawaii vs Notre Dame
MOTOR CITY BOWL- Florida Atlantic vs. Central Michigan
Saturday, December 27
MEINEKE CAR CARE BOWL- West Virginia vs. North Carolina
Champs Sports Bowl- Wisconsin vs. Florida State
Emerald Bowl- Miami (FL) vs. California
Independence Bowl- Northern Illinois vs. Louisiana Tech
PAPAJOHNS.COM BOWL- North Carolina State vs. Rutgers
Valero Alamo Bowl- Missouri vs. No. 23 Northwestern
Tuesday, December 30
ROADY’S HUMANITARIAN BOWL- Maryland vs. Nevada
PACIFIC LIFE HOLIDAY BOWL- Oklahoma State vs. No. 17 Oregon
Texas Bowl- Western Michigan vs. Rice
Wednesday, December 31
BELL HELICOPTER ARMED FORCES BOWL- Houston vs. Air Force
Sun Bowl- Oregon State vs. Pittsburgh
GAYLORD HOTELS MUSIC CITY BOWL- Boston College vs. Vanderbilt
Insight Bowl- Kansas vs. Minnesota
CHICK-FIL-A BOWL- LSU vs. Georgia Tech
Thursday, January 1
OUTBACK BOWL- South Carolina vs. Iowa
CAPITAL ONE BOWL- Georgia vs. Michigan State
Gator Bowl- Nebraska vs. Clemson
Rose Bowl- Penn State vs. USC
Fedex Orange Bowl- Cincinnati vs. Virginia Tech
Friday, January 2
Cotton Bowl- Mississippi vs. Texas Tech
AUTOZONE LIBERTY BOWL- Kentucky vs. East Carolina
ALLSTATE SUGAR BOWL- Utah vs. Alabama
INTERNATIONAL BOWL- Buffalo vs. Connecticut
TOSTITOS FIESTA BOWL- Ohio State vs. Texas
GMAC Bowl- Ball State vs. Tulsa*
FEDEX BCS NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP GAME- Florida vs. Oklahoma
That’s 34 games, 68 schools spread over a period of 20 days for those of you keeping score at home. An ample supply of college football for any fanatics out there.
A few notes
*- There are a few bowl games remaining without corporate names in their title. Gator, Sun, Texas, Independence. Were these games unable to find sponsors?
*- Will Oklahoma St. and Oregon combine for 70 pts or more in the Holiday Bowl? This annually has been of the most high scoring affairs.
*- Oh how has the Orange Bowl dropped. A game that featured early triumphs of Joe Paterno led Penn State, Nebraska and Oklahoma in their glory days, the first major bowl appearance of Florida State, and the all time classic 84 battle between Nebraska and Miami, has Cincinnati and Virginia Tech playing this year. I’m sure they are talented football teams, but how many people are drooling to see them play in a prime-time network slot?
*- Arizona and BYU meet in a bowl 30 years after the former left the WAC conference for the higher profile Pac Eight(Now Ten, Arizona State joined also)
*- Vanderbilt makes a rare bowl appearance. Congratulations to Commodore fans, but this is a sign of how bowls are grown way out of proportion. 6-6 college teams get bids. When I was growing up I could remember Florida State going without a bowl in 1978 even though they finished the season 8-3.
It is my humble opinion that bowl season has gotten out of hand. Someone may say what’s the big deal? If someone wants to start a bowl game and there are two schools willing to play in it, does their records matter. A good football isn’t only a contest between stars at big name schools.
All true, but how much public money is spent on these affairs? Many of the teams are state universities who get funded by taxpayers. Then there is the game itself where police have to be taken from other tasks to work the day or night of the game or paid over-time.
With the economic downturn right now, you have to wonder if there will be less bowls in the near future. That would depend on how long a deal a corporate sponsor signed on for. I wonder how many fans of some schools plan to make a bowl trip. Are there 1,000 or more FAU Owls willing to journey from Florida to Michigan in December to watch the team play? Even if I were a Owl fan and had money, I’d stay home.
Enjoy the games.
It was a bizarre weekend in college football, with eight ranked teams losing to teams ranked below them — seven to teams not ranked at all.
#3 Oklahoma lost to unranked Colorado, 24-27.
#4 Florida lost to unranked Auburn, 17-20.
#5 West Virginia lost to #18 South Florida, 13-21 (Thursday night).
#7 Texas lost to unranked Kansas State, 21-41
#10 Rutgers lost to unranked Maryland, 24-34
#13 Clemson lost to unranked Georgia Tech, 3-13
#21 Penn State lost to unranked Illinois, 20-27
#22 Alabama lost to unranked Florida State, 14- 21
This was on top of several other close finishes.
ESPN’s Pat Forde dubs it “Insanity Saturday” and observes that this throws the whole season out of whack.
Just that fast, the college football landscape shifted seismically beneath our feet.
Just that fast, the Red River Shootout game Saturday between Oklahoma and Texas was dropped to undercard status. For the first time in years, it’s not the marquee game in the Big 12. And for the first time in years, the league’s maligned North looks more compelling than the South. If you can believe it, the biggest game in that league next week might be unbeaten Kansas at 3-1 Kansas State — either that or 4-1 Nebraska at unbeaten Missouri.
Just that fast, the upcoming LSU-Florida showdown Saturday in Baton Rouge lost half its helium when the Gators were shocked in The Swamp by an Auburn team that had lost at home to South Florida and Mississippi State on consecutive weekends.
Just that fast, the three Big East teams that began the season in the Top 25 all have at least one loss. Louisville went down first, then West Virginia, now Rutgers. Suddenly South Florida, Connecticut and Cincinnati are the unbeaten teams in the Big East. Honk if you foresaw that in August.
Just that fast, Illinois is 4-1 and tied for first in the Big Ten at 2-0. That’s the same Illinois that went 2-10 last year, with only one victory over I-A competition.
Just that fast, we have an ACC plot twist that leaves Virginia and Boston College well out in front in their respective divisions at 3-0 in league play. Virginia was left for dead after a Week 1 blowout loss to Wyoming. Boston College was picked last in its division by at least one preseason magazine.
And just that fast, USC and LSU put that much more distance between themselves and what’s left of the pack.
The object lesson here is that no favorite is safe. Not at home, not on the road, not in league play, not out of league play. If those lessons hadn’t already been learned by Appalachian State 34, Michigan 32, and Syracuse 38, Louisville 35, they were reinforced on Insanity Saturday.
And no lead is safe. You’d think the Sooners getting up 24-7 would be enough to make Colorado quit. You’d be wrong. The Buffaloes scored the final 20 points, winning on the last play of the game — a 45-yard field goal by Kevin Eberhart.
Underdogs aren’t scared right now, by much of anyone. Players and coaches are shrugging off past history, blowing off bad losses, not worrying about falling behind and regrouping to pull upsets nobody saw coming. Nobody’s rolling over.
I’ve seen this sort of thing in college basketball before but never to this extent in football. The bottom line, though, is that Notre Dame and Alabama and Michigan no longer have an automatic recruiting advantage over South Florida and West Virginia and Georgia Tech. There’s a wealth of talent out there and plenty of television exposure to be had in the realigned conference structure. Players would rather go to a program with less prestige and start than sit on the bench and one of the Big Boys.