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Tag:Baylor
Posted on: September 7, 2011 2:44 pm
Edited on: September 7, 2011 2:51 pm
 

SEC expansion: Who's No. 14?

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

Baylor's
last-ditch legal effort to save the Big 12 is cute and all, but let's be realistic: Texas A&M to the SEC is something that A&M wants, the SEC wants, and even the Big 12 seems to want in an effort to put the Aggies behind them. Baylor, being Baylor, is not going to be able to hold back a tide that strong for very long. (For a visual representation of the effectiveness of the Bears' efforts, click here.*)

Which means, yes, A&M is going to become SEC school No. 13 and yes, before long the SEC is going to add school No. 14. No. 14 may not be able to join the Aggies in their new digs as soon as 2012 (it's possible -- arguably even likely at this late stage -- the SEC goes one season with an unbalanced divisional setup), but there's no way Mike Slive and Co. will stay at 13 one day longer than they have to.

So who's got next in the SEC expansion race? Breaking down the candidates in no particular order (and reminding you that a "gentleman's agreement" is in place that will prevent any expansion into states where the SEC already has a school):

MISSOURI

Pros: Excellent academics is a major plus for SEC presidents. Ties to both St. Louis and Kansas City television markets. Could be a candidate for Big Ten expansion as well. Well-supported basketball program.

Cons: Despite recent successes, not a traditionally nationally-relevent football program. Zero competitive history with any current SEC member and not even much with A&M. Little to gain in SEC recruiting by expanding to Missouri. Debatable how much impact in those major markets Mizzou actually has. Trickier to add team to West than East; would either require ignoring geography or moving current West team (Auburn?**) to the East.

WEST VIRGINIA

Pros:
Rabidly supported, traditionally strong football program with plenty of success vs. SEC. Hoops program would give SEC a boost, too. Adding school for East division would bring geographic balance opposite A&M.

Cons: Not connected to any major market and expanding into West Virginia does nothing for SEC recruiting. Presidents sensitive to SEC's reputation may not want a university not considered a strong academic school.

N.C. STATE

Pros:
Access to Raleigh TV market and fertile North Carolina recruiting grounds. More geographically accessible than other candidates. "Sleeper" football program enjoys high level of financial/fan support. Would join the East.

Cons: Despite that support, school has rarely fielded championship-level teams and won't move national needle. Academics aren't a minus, but may not be a Mizzou-style plus, either.

VIRGINIA TECH

Pros:
Most powerful, recognizable football program among potential/likely candidates; would hypthetically compete for East championships from moment of arrival. Sizable (if not national) following in Virginia and along Eastern seaboard. Could offer potential inroads in Virginia recruiting. Would join the East.

Cons: Swears up and down school is loyal to ACC. No real history with any SEC school.

OKLAHOMA

Pros:
Just hear out the scenario here: with the Sooners poised to force Texas's hand by jumping to the Pac-12 -- taking Oklahoma State with them and destroying the Big 12 in the process -- Mike Slive makes a preemptive strike against the potential Longhorn/Sooner Pac-16 by inviting the Sooners, Cowboys, and a third Big 12 castoff (Mizzou?) to form a 16-team SEC. Auburn and Alabama both move East and leaving the new SEC West looking like this: Ole Miss, Mississippi State, LSU, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Texas A&M, Missouri. The blockbuster move secures the SEC a gigantic new TV rights deal, keeps the Sooners and Aggies out from under the Longhorns' thumb, and even approaches competitive divisional balance.

Cons: This is exceedingly unlikely.

But if Texas really is planning to join the Sooners in the Pac-12, that may be Slive's best option. With all due respect to the other four teams mentioned here, not one is a slam-dunk choice to justify its addition as a 14th team, much less a 15th or 16th if Larry Scott's new league redefines the college landscape. When all is said and done, the guess here is that either Missouri (or possibly N.C. State) gets the invite ... and then the SEC stops to catch its breath to figure out if 16 is a luxury or a necessity.

*Via CBSSports.com's own Will Brinson.

**The Tigers are the easternmost West team and most of their traditional rivalries -- Georgia, Tennessee, Florida -- are in the East. The issue would be what to do with the Iron Bowl with Auburn and Alabama in separate divisions; would the league risk having the Tigers and Tide play each other on consecutive weeks?




Posted on: September 7, 2011 12:05 pm
Edited on: September 7, 2011 12:26 pm
 

Baylor stands between A&M and the SEC

Posted by Tom Fornelli

As we've told you about, the SEC voted to accept Texas A&M as the conference's thirteenth member on Tuesday night, but there still seems to be a roadblock or two in the Aggies way. The SEC originally received a notice from the Big 12 on September 2nd that said the SEC was free to accept Texas A&M as a member without fear of any legal repercussions from any other member of the Big 12. 

Something that no longer seems to be the case according to a release from the SEC on Wednesday which said that the conference has voted to accept Texas A&M, but won't officially bring the school into the fold until a certain member of the Big 12 agrees to accept the move.

"After receiving unanimous written assurance from the Big 12 on September 2 that the Southeastern Conference was free to accept Texas A&M to join as a new member," said Bernie Machen in the statement. "The presidents and chancellors of the SEC met last night with the intention of accepting the application of Texas A&M to be the newest member of the SEC. We were notified yesterday afternoon that at least one Big 12 institution had withdrawn its previous consent and was considering legal action. The SEC has stated that to consider an institution for membership, there must be no contractual hindrances to its departure. The SEC voted unanimously to accept Texas A&M University as a member upon receiving acceptable reconfirmation that the Big 12 and its members have reaffirmed the letter dated September 2, 2011."

Texas A&M President R. Bowen Loftin released a statement of his own saying pretty much the same thing on Wednesday morning.

“We are certainly pleased with the action taken last night by the presidents and chancellors of the Southeastern Conference to unanimously accept Texas A&M as the league’s 13th member. However, this acceptance is conditional, and we are disappointed in the threats made by one of the Big 12 member institutions to coerce Texas A&M into staying in Big 12 Conference. These actions go against the commitment that was made by this university and the Big 12 on Sept. 2. We are working diligently to resolve any and all issues as outlined by the SEC.”

While neither the SEC or Texas A&M will name this one Big 12 member, it's generally been acknowledged that the school is Baylor. The same Baylor that launched a bit of a grassroots campaign to keep the Big 12 together on Tuesday.

Can Baylor keep Texas A&M from leaving the Big 12? Probably not, but it's hard to blame the school for trying seeing as how the school doesn't know what the future will hold should the Big 12 completely dissolve.
Posted on: September 7, 2011 9:37 am
 

Official statement from SEC on Texas A&M

Posted by Chip Patterson

Statement from Dr. Bernie Machen, Chair, Southeastern Conference Presidents and Chancellors:

After receiving unanimous written assurance from the Big 12 on September 2 that the Southeastern Conference was free to accept Texas A&M to join as a new member, the presidents and chancellors of the SEC met last night with the intention of accepting the application of Texas A&M to be the newest member of the SEC. We were notified yesterday afternoon that at least one Big 12 institution had withdrawn its previous consent and was considering legal action. The SEC has stated that to consider an institution for membership, there must be no contractual hindrances to its departure. The SEC voted unanimously to accept Texas A&M University as a member upon receiving acceptable reconfirmation that the Big 12 and its members have reaffirmed the letter dated September 2, 2011.
Posted on: September 6, 2011 11:15 pm
 

The Poll Attacks: Week 1

Posted by Bryan Fischer

The latest college football polls are out and now it's time to rip them to shreds. Senior college basketball writer Gary Parrish has been calling out voters in the major hoops polls for thinking a little bit too far outside of the box when it comes to their AP ballots every week.

With the football season starting, I thought I'd steal take the baton on the idea from my colleague and keep all of the writers across the country who vote honest. I've come to know a good number of these people through time and twitter but relationships do not matter, bad votes do.

AP Poll           Coaches Poll

(Details of AP ballots courtesy of PollSpeak.com)

Poll reactions: ACC, Big East, Big Ten, Big 12, Pac-12, SEC

Rodney Dangerfield "No respect" team of the week: Baylor

Really coaches? Excuse me, really sports information directors voting for the coaches? I understand you might have a few concerns about Baylor after letting TCU back into the game but that's no excuse for keeping the Horned Frogs in the poll (#25) while leaving the Bears out (#26). Would hate to have something to compare the two teams in some way... like say their head-to-head match up last week.

Overrated: Auburn, Texas, Florida

All three won this past weekend but the competition each faced was mediocre and Auburn barely managed to get a win. Each team is in the coaches poll but at least the AP voters got things right and dropped the defending national champs out. Well, some did that is. Fox-1370 Radio's Rob Long and Boulder Daily Camera's Kyle Ringo both put the Tigers at 16th, which makes me want to pull what little hair I have out. 25? Sure. 16? No. And shame on WATE-TV's Jim Wogan who had the Gators as a borderline top 10 team and ahead of Texas A&M and Nebraska.

California Craziness

A trio of voters from California (CSN Bay Area/CBSSports.com's Ray Ratto, San Jose Mercury News' Jon Wilner, LA Daily News' Scott Wolf) are an interesting voting block. Some would call them progressive, others would call them extreme and just about everybody else will call them crazy given their fluctuations in their ballots each week. All three are consistently in Pollspeak's group of "extreme voters" so we'll highlight the most baffling decision(s) out of each.

Week one and we're going to look at Wilner with an eyebrow raised. First off, Jon is very nice and has been on top of the recent realignment rumors from the Pac-12 angle. But he's got a ballot that is way out there. First off, Virginia Tech and Arkansas are unranked, he has West Virginia, BYU, Georgia, Air Force and Hawaii ranked higher than anyone. No argument with having Texas A&M at #4 but Northwestern at #18 might be a stretch too.

What were you thinking? USF

Mike Hlas of the Cedar Rapids Gazette is a funny guy on twitter (@Hlas) but perhaps he needs to adjust his voting habits. USF was fifth despite Notre Dame doubling their yardage and the win coming by three in a rain-shortened game. And don't forget that the team you ranked sixth, Baylor, allowed 48 points and were flagged 11 times for 116 yards worth of penalties.

#1 in your heart: Boise State

Just four teams received #1 votes this week, Oklahoma, LSU, Alabama and Boise State. Can't attack anybody for that given each's performance this week but it still might be a stretch to put the Broncos on top. Wolf and Arkansas Democrat-Gazette's Tom Murphy were the two who were championing the team from the blue turf.

Come on man: Boise State

At the same time we're on some for having Boise State too high, my colleague over at SI.com Andy Staples has State ranked lower than anybody at 12th. You get points back for comparing the Broncos to the fantastic TV show Freaks and Geeks but get on the bus with everybody else Andy! You can probably discuss why the team should be where you ranked them better than anybody in the country but that doesn't mean you won't land on this list for putting the team as low as you did. Perhaps we'll run into each other and can discuss over some barbecue or Chick-Fil-A

Posted on: September 6, 2011 7:16 pm
Edited on: September 6, 2011 7:35 pm
 

Big 12 Poll Reactions, Week 1

Posted by Tom Fornelli

Now that actual games have been played, the polls actually carry some kind of weight. Sure, the majority of schools in the country played lightweights this week, but at least we got to see them on a field actually playing football. It's a lot easier to judge the strength of a team that way -- and much more accurate -- than staring at a depth chart.

So let's take a look at where the teams of the Big 12 landed on the latest AP poll.

1. Oklahoma - Shocking update here. The team that started the year on the top of the poll went out, won a game rather easily, and stayed on top of the poll. Not that the Sooners don't deserve to be here, mind you. They went out and did exactly what you expect a team of this caliber to do against an inferior opponent on Saturday night. The offense did churn out 663 yards and 47 points after all, so it's rather hard to say that Oklahoma doesn't deserve this ranking. That being said, in a perfect world where preconceived notions didn't exist, you could argue that LSU deserves to be on top considering it demolished a fellow top five opponent on Saturday.

7. Texas A&M - It seems the voters were just as impressed as I was with the Aggies on Sunday night in their 46-14 win over SMU, as Texas A&M jumps up a spot from No. 8 to No. 7. I'll admit I had some doubts about Texas A&M being ranked so high coming into the season, but if Ryan Tannehill continues to play like he did against SMU all season, and that Aggies defense keeps on terrorizing quarterbacks, they'll be up here for a while.

9. Oklahoma State - The voters still think you're good, Oklahoma State. Even if you wore what might be the worst uniform combination of the hundred or so different ones you now have. It's just the voters weren't impressed enough with your win over Louisiana-Lafayette to justify moving you further up in the polls, and that's the right call in my opinion. Yes, the offense exploded for 61 points, but it does have to be somewhat concerning that you allowed 24 points to a Sun Belt school, doesn't it? How about the fact that Brandon Weeden managed to throw three interceptions against a Sun Belt defense as well? That won't fly against bigger opponents, and the Cowboys get a bigger test this week against Arizona.

20. Baylor - Hello, Baylor! While I've loved you for a few years now thanks to the turbo boosters located on Robert Griffin's shoulder and feet, it seems the rest of the world was introduced to your special brand of roller coaster football on Friday night. Will you be able to keep edging out 50-48 victories through the entire year? Probably not, but a victory over TCU is still something to be proud of, and this spot in the polls is well-deserved. Even if it does turn out to be short-lived.

21. Missouri - I thoroughly enjoyed having college football back last week, and the five straight days of games at my disposal, but there were a few hours on Saturday morning I didn't enjoy quite as much as the rest. Yes, Missouri won, but it was not a pretty victory. Nor did it come cheap as the Tigers not only lost two defensive starters, but a running back as well. The pollsters may have enough faith in you to allow you to stay at 21 this week, Mizzou, but personally I don't think you deserve this spot just yet. I had high hopes coming into the season, so it's up to you to restore my faith, James Franklin.

24. Texas - I'm sorry, Longhorns, but I didn't get to see your game on Saturday night because I'm part of the 98% of the country that doesn't get the Longhorn Network. So because of that fact, it'd be incredibly unfair of me to judge whether or not you belong in this spot just yet. That being said, you are Texas, and you won a game easily against Rice, so this is where you find yourself. Congratulations, you're behind Baylor.
Posted on: September 6, 2011 5:21 pm
Edited on: September 9, 2011 12:50 pm
 

PODCAST: Reviewing Week One

Posted by Chip Patterson

Adam Aizer and J. Darin Darst sit down to review the first week fo the 2011 college football season.  They break down the porous defenses at Auburn and TCU, Oregon's inability to run, Lane Kiffin's unmatched arrogance, how Boise State measures up to the SEC and much more. Maryland's offense looked good but is the defense good enough to win the ACC Atlantic? What happened to Notre Dame? Are they buying South Florida? Baylor?

Listen below, download the mp3, or use our popout player to keep browsing. For more from the College Football podcast, subscribe on iTunes or click here.



Posted on: September 6, 2011 4:28 pm
Edited on: September 6, 2011 7:17 pm
 

SEC Poll Reactions, Week 1

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

This week's polls have been released. Here's how the SEC fared, from the top of the polls to its bottom, and what it means.


LSU. The Tigers were this week's big SEC winners in the balloting, moving from fourth in both polls to third in the Coaches and leapfrogging Alabama for second in the AP. It's something of a surprising move by the media, given that the Crimson Tide were hardly disappointing in defeating Kent State 48-7. But as long as you're not a Tide fan, it's a welcome one; the more voters are willing to pay attention to strength-of-schedule over rote preseason positioning and cupcake victories, the better.

But it's possible Les Miles will wind up wishing the voters hadn't noticed that was Oregon his team was whipping Saturday night. If Oklahoma falls to Florida State in two weeks and the Tigers survive their Thursday night trip to Starkville that same weekend, LSU could move all the way up to No. 1--just in time for a potential ambush at West Virginia.

ALABAMA. Tide fans will no doubt be livid at the media's LSU bump, but in the end, it doesn't much matter. The Tide will have ample opportunity to leapfrog the Tigers themselves this Saturday, when they travel to Penn State for one of the week's highest-profile matchups. LSU? They'll be busy getting a light workout against FCS Northwestern State, a team the Tigers have outscored 417-0 in 10 all-time meetings.

If Alabama can put together its own dominating performance against a name-brand opponent while the Bayou Bengals are off the radar, it won't be surprising if the Tide regain the No. 2 slot in both polls. (As for overtaking the Sooners, it won't happen for either team until at least OU's trip to Tallahassee; the margin in No. 1 votes seems far too wide still for either team to make the top slot without an Oklahoma loss.)

SOUTH CAROLINA.
The Connor Shaw experiment is over, but it may not have passed by without costing the Gamecocks some standing in the polls; Carolina was jumped over by Virginia Tech, overpowering winners over FCS power Appalachian State. Voters may have been punishing the Gamecocks for their slow Shaw-led start against East Carolina, one that led to a 17-0 deficit before a 56-14 gave SC a comfortable 19-point victory.

Frankly, we'll take a 19-point win over a potential Conference USA bowl team over a victory over an FCS team by any margin, even one as respected as Appalachian State. But the voters feeling otherwise hasn't done any real damage to the Gamecocks; they maintained their No. 12 spot despite the Tech preference, thanks to the Ducks falling all the way to No. 13.

ARKANSAS. Our personal opinion is that the Hogs are too low at No. 13 (Coaches) and No. 14 (AP), and having them ranked behind Oregon after the Ducks' relatively meek performance vs. LSU seems particularly shortsighted. But Arkansas also can't have any complaints about not moving up when their opener came against hapless FCS opponent Missouri State.

MISSISSIPPI STATE.
The Bulldogs were another big mover for the SEC, leaping from 20th in each poll to 16th in the AP and 17th in the Coaches. That (and ranking higher than a Baylor team with TCU's scalp already on its wall) seems like quite a reward for beating a terrible Memphis team, but when you score 58 points and put up a school-record 645 total yards, some commendation is certainly in order.

FLORIDA.
The Gators moved up four places in the AP and a full five in the Coaches to rank No. 18 in both--as with the Bulldogs, quite a bump for dismantling a Sun Belt also-ran like FAU. Teams like Baylor and South Florida have no doubt accomplished more. But even after the 8-5 disappointment of a year ago, clearly the Gators' cachet remains mostly intact. Then again, after seeing Jeff Demps and Chris Rainey run wild against the Owls, Florida's ceiling does seem high enough to justify a top-20 position.

AUBURN. The Tigers paid for their stunningly close call against Utah State by dropping out of the AP poll entirely, and slipping three places to No. 22 in the Coaches. On the one hand, this seems like a stunning amount of disrespect for a team that's won 16 straight games and won the national title less than nine months ago. On the other, the Tigers simply didn't look anything like a top-25 team against the Aggies, and when teams like USC (in the AP) and USF (in the coaches) remain unranked, at least they've got good company.

On top of that, only one more week will solve the pollsters' dilemma of what to do with the Tigers. If Auburn beats Mississippi State Saturday, it will certainly -- and justifiably -- return to both polls. If the Tigers lose, they will certainly and justifably be unranked in both.

GEORGIA. The Bulldogs naturally dropped out of both polls after their comprehensive defeat against Boise State; that they're still receiving a smattering of votes in each poll is surprising, and not particularly sensible. Beat Carolina, and the Dawgs can bark.

EVERYONE ELSE. Tennessee received a tiny handful of points in both polls. It makes sense, but they're getting fewer than Georgia; Montana or not, we'd still take the Vols' convincing W over the Dawgs' deeply worrying L.


Posted on: September 6, 2011 12:17 pm
Edited on: September 6, 2011 12:17 pm
 

Shocking News: Baylor wants B12 to stick together

Posted by Tom Fornelli

Welcome back to the latest episode of "How The Big 12 Slowly And Painfully Disintegrates." In the last few weeks we've seen Texas A&M publicly declare its crush on the SEC, and we've been hearing rumors about how the Pac-12 is ready to jump to 16 teams by adding Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Texas and Texas Tech. Well, one of the schools we haven't heard from much in this whole soap opera is Baylor.

Baylor is a Texas school as well, but unlike A&M, Tech and the Longhorns, there has been no mention of Baylor leaving the Big 12, nor has there been any rumored interest in the program from other conferences. So, shockingly, it seems that Baylor is fully on board the "Let's Keep The Big 12 Together" train. The school is even starting a bit of a grass roots campaign to do so on its website.
Nothing is more beloved in Texas than Texas football. Entire towns travel to neighboring communities on Friday nights as rivals meet under the Friday night lights; Saturday mornings find families rushing out to pee wee football games and spending their afternoons with friends tailgating or watching some of the most historic and storied football rivalries in the nation; Sunday afternoons see families gathered in living rooms across the state to cheer on the Cowboys or the Texans.

Football in Texas is more than a passing interest, it is a part of the fabric of this great state.

...

Texans must stand up and call the leadership of the University of Texas, Texas A&M, and Texas Tech to clear-headed thinking about the state's future. Texas' flagship institutions of higher learning are the guardians of the state's future—their loyalties must first be to Texas and to her citizens. Ask these leaders to take a stand for Texas and to stop this madness that will lead to the dissolution of the Big 12 and the end of an era for Texas. 
This is really the only stand that Baylor can take. As I said above, there hasn't been any rumored interest from other conferences in the school, and if the Big 12 does disband, Baylor faces an uncertain future. It would go from being in a BCS conference to likely having to move to the Mountain West or Conference USA.

And unfortunately for Baylor, that seems like the direction things are going to go.
 
 
 
 
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