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Tag:ACC
Posted on: February 21, 2012 9:35 pm
 

Spring Practice Primer: Boston College



Posted by Chip Patterson


Spring football is in the air, and with our Spring Practice Primers the Eye On College Football Blog gets you up to speed on what to look for on campuses around the country this spring. Today we look at Boston College.

Spring Practice Started: Saturday, February 18

Spring Game: Saturday, March 31

Three Things To Look For:

1. Replacing Luke Kuechly. Arguably one of the most dominant and decorated defensive players in recent Boston College history, Kuechly's early departure to the NFL has left a huge hole in the unit. Not only did Kuechly put up nation-leading tackle numbers for the last three seasons, but he was a swarming ball-hawk, exhibiting sideline-to-sideline speed and awareness that helped prevent the home run offensive play. That responsibility will fall now on sophomore Sean Duggan and junior Steele Vivitto - who likely will play outside linebacker. Kuechly was a leader by example for Boston College, and setting that same tone - both on the field and in the film room - is a responsibility to be claimed this spring.

2. With Montel Harris shut down, what is the identity of the offense? First-year offensive coordinator Doug Martin, formerly with New Mexico State and Kent State, has seen on film how the Eagles offense sputtered without Harris in 2011. It only took one practice for Harris to re-aggravate that left knee injury that kept him out of 10 contests last season, and questioning his availability for an entire 2012 season is a legitimate concern. Martin will have both Chase Rettig and Josh Bordner in competition for snaps at quarterback this spring, and he will have the (unfortunate) opportunity of creating his Montel Harris-less backup plan this spring.

3. Can Spaziani get back on track? Boston College may not leap off the page as an ACC power house to many, but until 2011 the Eagles had shown a constancy that that only a few of their fellow league members have displayed. The Eagles went to 12 straight bowl games from 1999-2010 before going 4-8 and missing the postseason. In recent years, bowl trips have helped cool "Frank Spaziani hot seat" talk, but now he needs results. The responsibility will eventually fall on Spaziani to get this new coaching staff on the same page this spring. The offensive staff for 2012 includes new faces at four of the five positions, including offensive coordinator Doug Martin. Improving the offense, which ranked dead last in scoring and total offense in the ACC in 2011, will be essential to getting the Eagles back to their bowling ways in 2012.

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Posted on: February 21, 2012 2:52 pm
 

Montel Harris (knee) out for spring practice

Posted by Chip Patterson

Boston College is just one workout into spring practice, and their most valuable offensive asset has already been shut down. Head coach Frank Spaziani announced on Tuesday that senior running back Montel Harris will not participate in the rest of spring practice due to a re-aggravation of the left knee injury that held him out of all but two games in 2011.

Harris participated in Saturday's first practice, but complained of soreness afterwards. The school's all-time leader in career rushing yards (3,735) and carries (786) underwent surgery on his left knee last August, and was granted a medical hardship waiver to participate in 2012.

Harris was cleared by doctors to participate in spring practice last week, but Spaziani admitted to ESPN.com's Heather Dinich there was concern about the possibility of re-injury.  The head coach indicated the focus of Harris' spring would be getting healthy for the season opener in September.

After Harris underwent the initial procedure on his left knee, the 2011 Preseason ACC Player of the Year was thought to be sidelined for only four to six weeks. The re-aggravation after just one practice should cause major concern for Spaziani and the rest of the Eagles' coaching staff.

Harris is the ACC's active leader in rushing yards and carries.  He is just 868 yards from overtaking NC State running back Ted Brown as the league's all-time rushing leader.  At ACC Media Day last July, the popular thought was that the record would be broken in 2011.  Even with an extra year of eligibility, the focus has moved away from 100-yard games to staying 100 percent healthy.  

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Posted on: February 20, 2012 12:12 pm
Edited on: February 20, 2012 12:18 pm
 

Report: FSU to lose $2.5M from WVU cancellation

Posted by Chip Patterson

In a move directly tied to West Virginia's arrival in the Big 12, the Mountaineers were forced to back out of a scheduled Sept. 8 contest with Florida State. The school paid Florida State a $500,000 cancellation fee but the total loss could end up being much more expensive, according to one school official.

"We'll probably lose $2.5 million in ticket sales," assistant athletic director Elliot Finebloom told ESPN.com. The school has been scrambling to replace West Virginia on the home schedule, a task that could end up costing Florida State an additional $1 million. Finebloom also explained the economic importance of keeping that date a home game on the schedule.

“Seven home games is something every business in town counts on, from hotels to restaurants,” Finebloom said. “People think it’s about the athletic department wanting to make more money, but we have a responsibility to area businesses who count on seven home games.”

The ACC regular season schedule had been released at this point in 2011, but Florida State's efforts to replace West Virginia are one of the "unusual circumstances" pushing back the release of the 2012 schedule.

The ACC issued a release late last week to explain the delay:

"As has been documented, there are a number of unusual circumstances beyond the control of the ACC and its member schools that have directly impacted a number of our school's nonconference schedules, which in turn effects the development and completion of the overall schedule."

According to Coley Harvey, of the Orlando Sentinel, the Seminoles have reached out to more than 50 schools to try and fill the date. As many as 31 of those have been FBS programs, reportedly including Boise State, Texas A&M, Syracuse, Rutgers, Wyoming, Arkansas, and Pittsburgh.

For more on Florida State, be sure to follow Seminole RapidReports.

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Posted on: February 17, 2012 1:40 pm
Edited on: February 17, 2012 2:23 pm
 

SEC paying out record $19.5 million to members

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

The SEC is richer than it's ever been--but is it rich enough?

The Birmingham News reported Friday that according to the league's tax documents, the SEC distributed a conference record $19.5 million to each of its member schools for the 2010-2011 season, an increase of $1.2 million on both its 2009-2010 payout and its initial 2011 estimates. Thanks to the new(ish) CBS Sports/ESPN television contracts fueling the increase, those revenues also represent a whopping $6.5 million per-school bump -- a 50 percent increase -- over the league's distribution numbers just two seasons before. 

That's the great news for the SEC. The less-great news is that those figures still leave them a bit behind the Joneses Mike Slive is looking to keep up with in the Big Ten and Pac-12; the Sports Business Journal recently estimated those conferences' per-member distributions* at "close to $21 million," with the growth from their respective networks expected to push those numbers even higher in the coming years. The SEC, meanwhile, is locked into its current contracts until 2023, with TV revenue only increasing 3 percent in the second year of the league's new deals. 

That those revenues will be divided 14 ways rather than 12 following the additions of Texas A&M and Missouri would be another headache for Slive if those additions didn't also open up the possibility for a renegotiation of those television contracts. The ACC's ongoing expansion-triggered renegotiation is expected to net the league an additional $1 to $2 million per team per year--hardly chump change, but likely not the sort of numbers that would keep the SEC even with the Big Ten and Pac-12 come 2017 or '18, much less the tail end of its current contract (which could also be extended as part of the renegotiation).

Make no mistake: the SEC is currently swimming in money, will continue to swim in money, and has the kind of advantages that have nothing to do with money -- overwhelming fan interest, proximity to recruiting hotbeds, a firmly cemented reputation as college football's gold standard -- that will keep it at or near the top of the college football heap. Slive is hardly in crisis management mode. But "or near" may not be good enough for the SEC after its recent run, and a potential $4 or $5 million gap per-school between the league and its Midwestern/West Coast "rivals" -- sustained over a period of years -- could (or would?) eventually even (or even tilt) the playing field. 

Times are no doubt very, very good for the SEC both on the field and in its checkbook. But the upcoming negotiations between the league and its TV partners will likely play a huge role in whether future times are as very good or not.

*The SBJ also estimated the SEC's distribution figure at only $17 million, which could be either a good sign or a bad one from an SEC perspective; if that figure was simply wrong while the Big Ten's and Pac-12's was accurate, then the gap isn't as wide as believed. But if the SBJ was simply being conservative across the board and the B1G's/P12's numbers are also underestimated, it would mean those leagues' networks and TV deals have established a substantial financial edge even before they really get rolling.    

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Posted on: February 16, 2012 5:49 pm
 

2012 Chick-Fil-A Kickoff: 2 games in 2 days

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

We've known since September 2010 that the 2012 edition of the Chick-Fil-A Kickoff Game would be the annual event's first doubleheader, one matching up Auburn and Clemson in one game and Tennessee and North Carolina State in the other. But Thursday saw the organizers reveal that for the first time, the Kickoff will become a two-day event, one matching up the Volunteers and Wolfpack on Friday, Aug. 31, and the Tigers and other Tigers Saturday, Sept. 1.

“When we created the Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game with ESPN, our goal was to kick off the season in a special and memorable way,” Chick-Fil-A Bowl president and CEO Gary Stokan said in a statement. “With these two games, and these four teams and their fan bases, this is going to be a colossal weekend of football in Atlanta – like nothing you have ever seen before.”

While we don't begrudge Stokan or the athletic directors quoted in the statement their excitement over "the first-ever double hosting of marquee, BCS-style games on back-to-back days in the same venue," we also won't begrudge any neutral fans their lack of excitement over games that -- frankly -- don't quite live up to that "BCS-style" billing. Clemson may have won the ACC last season, but none of the other three participants won more than 7 regular season games, with the Vols' 5-7 mark a particular disappointment. (That billboard-worthy Orange Bowl drubbing at the hands of West Virginia even took a bit of the shine off of Clemson's 2011, too.) There's also the little detail that Auburn and Clemson doesn't exactly qualify as an exotic nonconference matchup any longer, not with the two teams having played each of the last two seasons and three of the past five. 

We won't argue with Clemson athletic director Terry Don Phillips when he calls the Auburn-Clemson tilt "one of the national highlights of the opening weekend of college football." But compared to past games like Alabama-Clemson in 2008 or Georgia-Boise State in 2011, we're forced to point out the 2012 Kickoff isn't quite that kind of highlight, either.

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Posted on: February 16, 2012 3:48 pm
Edited on: March 22, 2012 2:58 pm
 

Spring Practice Dates

Posted by Bryan Fischer

Hard to believe but it is indeed time for Spring Practice to begin. It was not too long ago that Alabama hoisted up the crystal ball in New Orleans but as of now, all 120 FBS teams are equal with a 0-0 record and only themselves to face. Here's a list of notable dates for every school this spring and, as they become available on the blog, links to Spring Practice Primers (click here to see them all). Be sure and check out Dennis Dodd's preseason top 25 as well.

Spring Practice Dates
ACC First Practice Spring Game
Boston College February 18
Spring Primer 
March 31
Clemson March 7
Spring Primer 
April 14
Duke February 22
Spring Primer 
March 31
Florida State March 19
Spring Primer 
April 14
Georgia Tech March 26 April 20
Maryland March 10
Spring Primer 
April 21
Miami March 3
Spring Primer 
April 14
North Carolina March 14
Spring Primer 
April 14
N.C. State March 23 April 21
Virginia March 19
Spring Primer 
April 14
Virginia Tech March 28 April 21
Wake Forest March 1
Spring Primer 
April 14
Big East First Practice Spring Game
Cincinnati March 1
Spring Primer 
April 14
Louisville March 21 April 14
Pittsburgh March 15
Spring Primer 
April 14
Rutgers March 27 April 28
Syracuse March 20
Spring Primer 
April 21
Connecticut March 20
Spring Primer 
April 21
South Florida March 21 April 2, April 9
Big Ten First Practice Spring Game
Illinois March 7
Spring Primer 
April 14
Indiana March 3
Spring Primer 
April 14
Iowa March 24 April 14
Michigan March 17 April 14
Michigan State March 27 April 28
Minnesota March 24 April 21
Nebraska March 10
Spring Primer 
April 14
Northwestern March 3
Spring Primer 
April 14
Ohio State March 28 April 21
Penn State March 26 April 21
Purdue March 7
Spring Primer 
April 14
Wisconsin March 22 April 28
Big 12 First Practice Spring Game
Baylor March 19 April 14
Iowa State March 20 April 14
Kansas March 27 April 28
Kansas State April 4 April 28
Oklahoma March 5
Spring Primer 
April 14
Oklahoma State March 12 April 21
TCU February 25
Spring Primer 
April 5
Texas February 23
Spring Primer
April 1
Texas Tech February 17
Spring Primer
March 24
West Virginia March 11 April 21
Pac-12 First Practice Spring Game
Arizona March 5
Spring Primer 
April 14
Arizona State March 13 April 21
California March 13 None
Colorado March 10
Spring Primer 
April 14
Oregon April 3 April 28
Oregon State April 3 April 28
Stanford March 27
Spring Primer
April 14
UCLA April 3 May 5
USC March 6 April 14
Utah March 21 April 21
Washington April 2 April 28
Washington State March 22 April 21
SEC First Practice Spring Game
Alabama March 9
Spring Primer 
April 14
Arkansas March 14 April 21
Auburn March 21 April 14
Florida
March 14 April 7
Georgia March 20 April 14
Kentucky March 21 April 21
LSU March 1
Spring Primer 
March 31
Mississippi State March 21 April 20
Ole Miss March 23 April 21
Missouri March 6
Spring Primer 
April 14
South Carolina March 12 April 14
Tennessee March 26 April 21
Texas A&M March 31 April 28
Vanderbilt March 16 April 14
Others First Practice Spring Game
Notre Dame March 21 April 21
Boise State March 12
Spring Primer 
April 14
BYU March 5 March 30
Air Force February 24 None
Army February 13 March 9
Navy March 19 April 14

Posted on: February 16, 2012 9:50 am
Edited on: February 16, 2012 9:50 am
 

BC RB Montel Harris cleared for spring practice

Posted by Chip Patterson

Boston College running back Montel Harris has been cleared to participate in spring practice, after missing all but two games in 2011 due to a lingering knee injury.

Head coach Frank Spaziani told ESPN.com's Heather Dinich the 2011 ACC Preseason Player of the Year has been cleared by doctors, but the coaching staff is still concerned about Harris' health.

“I’d be less than honest with you if I said there wasn’t a concern,” Spaziani told ESPN.com. “When this procedure was done on him, we were looking at four to six weeks being back playing and ready to go and it’s now been a year and something. That in itself is a little bit of a red flag and a concern, but there are no indications now that that will be the case, but once again, we had hoped we weren’t at this point, so there is that lingering concern until he does it.”

Harris broke the school's all-time rushing record (currently at 3,735 yards) in one of his two appearances in 2011, is the school's all-time leader in carries (786), and is the ACC's active leader in rushing yards and carries.

Spaziani told ESPN.com the main focus of the spring will be to get Harris ready for the season opener. The lingering knee injury kept him out of the Eagles' first three contests in 2011 - losses to Northwestern, UCF, and Duke. The Eagles have not gotten off to a great start in each of the last two seasons, and having Harris 100 percent healthy in the backfield will help Spaziani attempt to reverse that trend.

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Posted on: February 15, 2012 10:46 am
Edited on: February 15, 2012 10:52 am
 

What's next for former Maryland QB Danny O'Brien?

Posted by Chip Patterson

When Maryland announced that quarterback Danny O'Brien would be among the latest group to leave the football program, head coach Randy Edsall said he was "disappointed" in the decision. On Tuesday, O'Brien released a statement to the media regarding his decision to transfer.

After careful thought, contemplation, prayer, and consultation with my family, we have come to a consensus that it is in my best interest to continue my educational and athletic endeavors elsewhere.  This was a very difficult decision, one which I did not take lightly. I will forever cherish the friendships of teammates, academic and athletic support staff, fellow students, professors, and of course Terp fans.

Playing at Byrd Stadium and experiencing college life in College Park will remain as unforgettable experiences for the rest of my life. I certainly wish nothing but the best to the team next season and for years to come.  I look forward to completing one of my established goals of graduating from the University of Maryland this spring and becoming a proud alumnus of this great institution.

Danny O’Brien

O'Brien's transfer release excludes all upcoming ACC opponents, upcoming non-conference opponents West Virginia and Temple, as well as Vanderbilt. Current Commodores' head coach James Franklin was offensive coordinator at Maryland during O'Brien's 2010 ACC Rookie of the Year campaign, and there is speculation the two have remained close while the quarterback pondered his future.

Franklin declined to comment Monday when asked if Danny O'Brien would transfer to Vanderbilt.

It is possible that O'Brien could appeal the Vanderbilt stipulation to the NCAA, though there has been no indication that will be the plan of action. The Washington Post reports that Mississippi, Arizona, South Florida, and East Carolina have all shown significant interest in O'Brien since the release was made official on Monday.

O'Brien's ideal system fit is likely a pro-style or West Coast offense. In addition to Vanderbilt, the Baltimore Sun listed Wisconsin, Michigan State, and Stanford as possible landing spots for the Kernersville, N.C. native.

As he mentioned in his statement, O'Brien is set to earn his undergraduate degree this spring from Maryland. That would make him eligible to play immediately if he enrolls in a graduate program not offered in College Park - the same rule allowing Russell Wilson to compete immediately for Wisconsin in 2011. With two years of eligibility remaining, O'Brien has become the latest college football free agent.

It is still too early in the process to predict O'Brien's destination, but he will have the opportunity to make an immediate impact wherever he lands.

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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