Tag:West Virginia
Posted on: April 7, 2010 12:10 am
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A Salute to Mountaineers and Old School Offense

Hail Moutaineers on your run to the NCAA Final Four.  It didn't work out the way you wanted but, it sure as hell was fun watching you play.



West Virginia Plays Old School Offense












Posted on: March 23, 2010 3:35 pm
 

Expansion-Pac 10 Wondering If It Needs It

CBS'  Dennis Dodd reported today that the commissioner of the Pac-10 has had conversations with the Big 10 and Big East about holding a championshp game with less than the NCAA-mandated twelve teams.
www.cbssports.com/collegefootball/s
tory/13102294/pac10-looking-at-titl
e-game-possibilities-without-expans
ion

The article notes that there's not a lot of value for the Pac-10 adding teams.  Unlike the Big Ten, it does not have a cable network that is driving the expansion issue.   (Although, there reportedly have been talks about the Pac-10 and/or Big 12 joining forces to form one.)
Dodd's article leaves the impression though that the Pac-10 might be interested in staying at ten teams but having a championship game.  What stands in the way are NCAA bylaws that require a conference to have 12 teams to hold a conference championship.

So I'm reading this article and I'm thinking, well good luck with that Pac-10.  If I remember correctly the ACC wanted to do the same thing but was told they needed twelve teams.  That set them on the path to expansion and the Big East raid.   So why is the Pac-10 commissioner bothering to talk to the Big East and Big Ten about this?  Well they're the only BCS conferences that don't have a conference championship.  Maybe he's trying to cobble together some support to get the twelve team rule overturned?

Here's another thought.  What if the Pac-10 decided to set up a championship game that involved not one but two or more conferences?   Suppose the Pac-10 approaches the Big East and says, "Hey let's soak up some of this post regular-season, pre bowl time TV time  and maximize our TV revenue by staging a Pac-10/Big East championship?"  Now I'd include the Big Ten in this idea because it, or at least Joe Paterno and Barry Alvarez are concerned about the Big Ten disappearing from the public eye after conclusion of the Big Ten season.  Expansion, however, makes more sense for the Big Ten because of the potential for further profits from their Big Ten Network cash cow.

The Big East and the Pac-10 don't have that option.  If Dodd reports that the Pac-10 is having trouble finding schools "valuable" enough to support expansion, how do you think the Big East feels?  The Pac-10 targets could be Utah, BYU, and Colorado.  The Big East gets to look at UCF, Memphis, and East Carolina.  Now don't get me wrong, I think any of these schools could become valuable members of the Big East, just as USF, Cincinnati, and Louisville did.  "Become" is the operative word though.  They're not going to come in and immediately increase the pie.

But a Pac-10/Big East championship would increase the TV revenues of both conferences.  Some hungry network would be happy to pick it up during the week of the other conference championships.  You don't have to expand to do it.   Finally, it gets you back in the public eye during conference championship week.  Alternate the site between the Pac 10/BE champ for the first few years so you don't have the embarrassment of an empty Gator Bowl like the ACC had.  If you get a really prime matchup like a highly ranked West Virginia and USC you can always move it to a larger pro stadium nearby if deamand warrants it.  In fact most of the teams in these conferences line up pretty well with nearby pro stadiums.  Just look at the BE:  WV and Pitt- Heinz Field in Pittsburgh,  Cincy and Louisville-Paul Brown Stadium, Rutgers, UConn, Syracuse-The new Meadowlands, USF- Raymond James Stadium.  The Pac 10 already has USC, UCLA, in the LA Coliseum and Rose Bowl, Cal's Memorial Stadium seats 75,000, Stanford can play at Candlestick, Husky Stadium holds 72,500,  (Sorry Oregon, Oregon State and Washington State, you get to schlep to Seattle), and Arizona State at Sun Devil Stadium and Arizona at University of Phoenix Stadium.

Now, I'm sure the bowl interests would fight this tooth and nail.  The Big Ten wouldn't like it.  But, hey, with the Big Ten's potential expansion, it' a bold new world in college football right?

Now, will this stave off expansion for both of these conferences forever?  No.  But not a bad interim step to make some money.



Posted on: March 20, 2010 4:24 pm
 

Big Ten Expansion Rumour Du Jour -ND, Rutgers, BC

Just when Big Ten expansion rumours were starting to quiet down, whistling in from the heartland of the nation comes this gem:
Radio host Steve Daece in Des Moines, Iowa quotes "sources in the Michigan athletic department" believing that Notre Dame, Rutgers, and Boston College are likely to be announced as winners of the Big Ten Beauty Pageant in 2-3 months.  Posters in Iowa have on the one hand alleged that Daece's source is the guy who drives the Little Debby Snacks truck to cafeteria  and on the other hand lauded Daece as an accurate prognosticator.  So anyone's guess on the validity of this one is, well, valid.

So let's look at this premise.  1.  Notre Dame.   Duh!  Yes the Big Ten will be happy to open its doors to the Golden Domers despite being spurned in the past.  Rumours from the Big Ten indicate that ND will have to do the courting this time.  This is like that hot chick that shot you down has to give you a sign that she's interested now.  So if ND looks coyly at the Big Ten and smiles, they're in. 

2.  Rutgers.  Yes I can hear the wailing and gnashing of elitist teeth already.  No Texas?  Uh, no.  But the Big Ten deserves better.  Yes and I deserve to retire right now to a life of playing golf, drinking good bourbon, and doing whatever the hell I feel like.  Ain't gonna happen.  Let me spell it out.  The Big Ten Network wants to make more money.  They want the NY/NJ television sets.  A lot of them.  Sorry Michigan, Penn State and whatever other Big Ten school that has at least one alumnus in NYC, you're just not getting it done.  Furthermore, the duo of Rutgers and Notre Dame on the BTN is a pretty good argument to get it on the basic tier.  And maybe, just maybe the BTN can get a bump in Philadelphia rates (4th largest DMA) with Rutgers in the fold as well. So despite many Big Ten fans' belief that Rutgers isn't worthy of the Big Ten, the fact remains that the Big Ten Network isn't worthy of getting on the basic tier in the NY/NJ area without them.  Deal with it.


3.  Boston College.  Now this one to me is a stretch.  Yes, you traditionophiles, BC has it, they have a rivalry with ND,  they've had success in football having made it to the ACC championship twice.  But if you talk to the ACC, you kinda get the impression that they're not that happy with new member Boston College.  Well at least their bowl partners anyway, that try to shun the Eagles every year because of their poor fan support.  The fact is, even the ACC Championship draws poorly when BC's in it.  BC wasn't in the original "5 team report" bandied about in the Chicago Tribune.  Add in that BC's 44,500 seat Alumi Stadium would be the smallest in the Big Ten and BC looks like a questionable choice.  How about Boston TV sets? Boston has the 6th largest DMA, better than any Big Ten home city with the exception of Chicago (Northwestern).  The TV argument is there along with adding another state to the Big Ten footprint.  Will BC really increase the pie of the Big Ten Network enough to justify its addition?  I don't have the answer but from what I read, BC has been somewhat of a disappointment in the ACC TV wise.  Could it change if they're playing Michigan, Ohio State, and Penn State instead of Virginia Tech, Clemson, and Georgia Tech?  My guess would be yes.  

How about Notre Dame's coattails?  Suppose ND says we'll only join if we can bring BC with us.  Now why Notre Dame would do this other than that they're both private Catholic schools is beyond my comprehension.  In fact Notre Dame apparently got rather tired of being beaten by Boston College on the football field and has not renewed the series.   Notre Dame doesn't need to bring rivals to the Big Ten, it already has plenty.

If Notre Dame is campaigning for BC's admission, it would explain why the Eagles are being mentioned now while being omitted from the "Report of Five."  The idea of the Big Ten's two eastern outposts located in the DMA of over 10% of the nations total number of TV sets does have some allure to it.  You would think that the Fighting Irish would have a few fans in New York and Boston as well.   If the trend is toward superconferences, the Big Ten would pluck some prime real estate in the NYC, Philadelphia, and Boston areas if it does pull this off.  Who knows, maybe the ACC would be happy to swap out BC and swap in a West Virginia, that actually has rivalries with Maryland and Virginia Tech?  Well it passes the giggle test anyway. 
Posted on: March 14, 2010 12:21 pm
 

Expansion - Time for the ACC to Enter the Fray?

And the plot thickens even further.  So is the Big Ten plan to cherry pick one or more Big East teams if Notre Dame doesn't come around?  Well don't wait to long Jim Delany.  You may have competition soon.  It's called the Atlantic Coast Conference.  Hold it, the ACC already has 12 teams.  Expansion for the ACC has been a money-maker by some reports, but hasn't put the ACC in a position to challenge the SEC.  Miami is still trying to return to a dominant team.  Virginia Tech and Boston College have both made the ACC championship the past few years.  With embarrassing results attendance wise.  So you'd think the ACC would have had enough expansion for a while.

Well think again.  According to an article in Sports Business Journal, the ACC's television negotiations with ESPN aren't really going that well.  Seems the ACC thinks they should get a 60 to 70% increase.  ESPN apparently has told them, "Sorry, you're not the Big Ten or SEC."  The reason?  According to unnamed media executives, the "weakness of the ACC's football teams."
http://cc.bingj.com/cache.aspx?q=acc+ourand+tepid&d=755400772582&mkt=en-US&setlang=en-US&w=974aae56,269d1ed0

Can't you just see the ACC honchos, scratching their heads and saying, "Hmmm, I wonder where we can get some good football teams that will make the TV networks give us more money?  Well we certainly don't want to geographically expand our footprint.  Going to Boston College is far enough already.  If we could only find some decent teams a little closer than Boston College.  We could revamp divisions, save some travel costs by going to geographical divisions with only a few out of division games.   We could come up with a rival for BC.  And of course, we could get some more money out of those TV devils.  If only there were some teams that could do that.  Are there any teams like that close to Boston College?  Or if not,  how about Maryland, who's the next farthest north.  Aren't there some schools around there that have strong football teams?"

Nah forget it.  The ACC wouldn't know how to go about getting teams from other conferences to join.  Just not something they'd do.  Never mind.

Posted on: March 12, 2010 7:51 pm
 

Abandon Ship? Is WV heading for the lifeboats?

How can you not like Bill Stewart?  He comes across a genuine, straight-shooter.   And crazy like a fox.  Stewart in his folksy way today basically said that he sees a future without the Big East.   He's not worried, because West Virginia will probably land in the SEC or the ACC.  Yep, he said it.  Here it is.
http://www.dailymail.com/Sports/WVU
Sports/201003120713


So kindly, straight-talking Bill Stewart just served notice:  If the Big Ten is going to start poaching Big East teams, don't expect West Virginia to hang around.  The purpose of this announcement?  Dunno.  Maybe to shock the Big East leadership into some kind of action?  Maybe to assure 'Eer fans that the Old Gold and Blue isn't going to be left out in the cold?  Could be either, or, both or more that we can't even fathom at this point.

The most important recipient of the message is a party for whom it is not actually intended.  That's Jack Swarbrick and pals at Notre Dame.   Jack's still monitoring the situation as he said he would.  Here's what he's hearing.  Big East teams that might not be considered for Big Ten membership are openly saying they wont remain in the rump of the Big East after it's been picked over by the Big Ten.  So Notre Dame's desire to stay independent in football and a Big East member for all other sports?  Well Jack the Big East you might be a member of could be a lot smaller real soon. 

West Virginia has been a loyal member of the Big East and has been the flag-bearer for the conference during some pretty bleak post ACC raid days.  It was West Virginia that knocked off Georgia in a BCS bowl.  Yes that it is an SEC team.  It was West Virginia that knocked off Oklahoma in the Fiesta Bowl even after Rich Rodriguez bailed on the 'Eers to head for Michigan.  Yup, a Big 12 team.  And it was West Virginia that also knocked off Georgia Tech and North Carolina in the Gator and Meineke Bowls.  Sorry bout that ACC.

For a Big East stalwart like West Virgina to say that it's looking forward to a future without the Big East means one of two things.    Either the Big East better get it's act together and do something proactive to ensure the survival of its football conference, or it won't have one. 

What could the Big East do?  A helluva lot more than what Commissioner John Marinatto was quoted as saying on Tuesday.  John was happy to tell the Times what he thinks his job is.  Here it is:


"My job is to keep everyone grounded and to improve the conference and insulate it from changing.”  
http://www.nytimes.com/2010/03/10/s
ports/ncaafootball/10irish.html



 Insulate it from changing.  Fabulous.  So basically, just make sure the basketball only schools don't get outvoted in the 16 team conference.  Reactionary strategy like this is  not going to save Big East football.  It's a way to guarantee it's death.  What could the BE do?   Well John, have you figured out yet that if the Big Ten and Pac 10 expand, the Big East will be the only BCS conference without 12 teams?  I'd start expanding John, and fast, because if you don't have the magic number of 12, you're not going to be in the BCS for long.  Apparently that's not important to the BE brain trust in Providence.  Just make sure the basketball teams don't get outvoted.

Hell here's an idea.  BE football schools, all eight of you, call up the Big 12.  Tell them, hey we hear you're being targeted for extinction as well.  Waddaya say we join forces to keep these piranhas at bay.  Take 6 or 7 of the BE football schools and make an eastern conference of the Big 12.  It's now the Big 18.  Hey if  you lose Colorado to the Pac 10, just move Louisville to the western conference.  If you lose Nebraska too, take all eight BE teams and move Cincy to the west.  Radical?  Sure.  Drastic?  You bet.  Aren't we talking about the actual survival of two BCS conferences here?  Do you really think the BCS would mess with this powerhouse?  Makes a pretty good basketball conference too.  Travel?  Not a problem.  Five division games, four conference games.  So you have to make two long trips a year.

A helluva lot better than "insulating against change."

Posted on: March 7, 2010 5:41 pm
 

Big Ten Expansion - Notre Dame Is Still A Player

Yeah I know, I know. The Chicago Tribune says Rutgers is the leader.  Big Ten fans that think their conference should expand only for a storied program are unhappy.  Pitt fans that feel their history and location count for everything are livid.  Rutgers fans who would love to see Michigan, Ohio State, and Penn State in Piscataway are optimistic.

Well just wait a minute.  As much as I hate to throw cold water on fellow Rutgers fans, there's still a thousand pound gorilla in the room.  Yes, he says he's independent.  That may not continue though.

Now even Notre Dame fans will be angry.  How dare I question the Irish' desire for continued football autonomy?  Well think about this.  ND's AD has repeatedly said ND wants to stay independent.  People overlook another part of what he has said.  That was that ND would continue to monitor the situation as to how it could affect Notre Dame.

Notre Dame is very happy now to stay independent in football and a Big East member in everything else.  Why not, they're a member of the top basketball conference in the country.  What if the second part of that is put in jeopardy by Big Ten expansion plans?  Now Rutgers going to the Big Ten is not going to cause the downfall of the Big East.  What happens if the Big Ten poaches Rutgers  AND  Syracuse?  AND Pitt?  Or throw UConn in for one of the above.  Now take a look at Big East.  Football?  Not good.  Basketball?  Losing two of Syracuse, Pitt and UConn is a big hit.  Does the Big East still have the same value to ND as a host for all of its other teams with three teams poached by the Big Ten?  Next does it cause other football schools with good basketball programs like West Virginia and Louisville to look elsewhere, further dilluting the basketball league?  So you may end up with a Big East sans Syracuse, Rutgers, Pitt, UConn, West Virginia and Louisville.  Big East basketball kind of loses some of its luster doesn't it?  Something I'm sure Jack Swarbrick and his friends are keeping an eye on.

So let's suppose it becomes pretty certain that three BE schools are going to make the jump to the Big Ten.   Then all of a sudden, a phone call goes out from South Bend.  You know Mr. Delany we've had second thoughts.  We've rather be a full member of the Big Ten than a football independent and a member of the rump of the Big East.  Somehow I think Mr. Delany would reconsider his list of five, fifteen or whatever number it's at now.

Scenario #2.  Notre Dame plays the White Knight.  Once again, the tea leaves in South Bend indicate that three Big Easties are about to head west.  So a phone call goes out from South Bend to Providence, RI.  Notre Dame would like to help out its Big East brethren.  If the three teams about to head west agree to stay, Notre Dame will join the Big East for football.  After all, ND wants to help out its conference mates in this time of need.  Oh and by the way, ND wants a deal that makes Texas' agreement with the Big 12 look foolish.  Just some little things like keeping all of their TV money, in addition to getting a cut of BE money, requiring certain away games being played at large pro stadiums with ND getting a cut of the gate, and various other sweetheart deals that only someone truly concerned with helping their conference mates could come up with.

Yes the gorilla wants to stay independent now.  But if his access to bananas is threatened, or if it looks like he can get more bananas by joining a conference?  Bet on the bananas.

Posted on: September 3, 2008 5:26 pm
 

TBDPITL Week 1. I really mean it this time.

Ok, in the interest of full disclosure, here are my votes.

1. USC - Trojans don't need a 1AA tuneup.  Ask Virginia.

2. Georgia - Georgia beats cupcake #1

3. Missouri - Tigers move up with big win over Illinois

4. West Virginia - See Georgia

5. Ohio St. - See Georgia

6. Texas - See Georgia

7. Florida - Memo to Hawaii.  Never visit the SEC again.

8. Wisconsin - See Georgia

9. LSU - Appy State learned LSU is not Michigan

10. Oklahoma - See Georgia

11. Auburn - Ok, so it's not a state-wide thing with Louisiana-Monroe

12. Alabama - Alright Saban, you impressed me.

13. Fresno St. - Damn Bulldogs!

14. Oregon - Ducks roll. Or should I say waddle?

15. Penn St. - Big win over Coma Carolina

16. USF - See Georgia

17. Texas Tech - Yeah, you shoulda been here in my preseason poll

18. Kansas - See Georgia

19. Cincinatti - See Georgia

20. Arizona St. - See Georgia

21. UCLA - Not completely convinced but beating TN has to be worth something

22. East Carolina - Note to Big East.  Scoop up the Pirates.  NOW!

23. BYU - Missed you in preseason poll. Sorry Cougs.

24. Utah - Yeah, Michigan's O is new but the Utes beat up their D too.

25. Wake Forest - A rare ACC winner last week.

Barbarian Report on the big week by Utah, East Carolina, and Fresno State on the way!

Posted on: July 7, 2008 4:52 pm
 

The Best Damn Poll in the Land

Courtesy of the Greek, I have been honored with selection to the group of pollsters for this top 25 CFB poll.  I am thrilled by the opportunity to prove that I know as little about who the best 25 teams are as the mavens of the AP, Coaches, Harris Interactive polls, and that stupid computer.

This reminds me of a stock market theory that says the market does what it wants to do, and that a group of dart-throwing monkeys can pick stock winners just as well as some high-powered stock brokers.  What can I say, I was always partial to the winged monkeys in the Wizard of Oz.  So it is my honor to be one of your dart-throwing monkeys this season.  Without further adieu, here are my preseason submissions to the Best Damn Poll in the Land.  Feel free to critcize, laugh, applaud, or respond inappropriately.

1.  Southern Cal   - The Trojans are loaded.  Don't expect another loss to Stanford

2.  Georgia - SEC Champions ride Jersey kid Moreno to the Championship

3.  West Virginia - The whole O line is back plus Pat White.

4.  Ohio State - Twice burnt  by the Buckeyes.  You're working your way up this year.

5.  Missouri -  TIgers turn the tables on the Big 12 South.

6.  Texas - The Longhorns are back. 

7.  Florida - Tebow's better, but not enough to get by Georgia.

8.  Wisconsin - Wiscy's good, but OSU's better still.

9.  Louisiana St. - QB?

10.  Virginia Tech - ACC champs, good D, offense?

11.  Auburn -  The spread takes root in Alabama.

12.  Oklahoma - Sooners lose 2 out of three to Lone Star teams.

13.  Tennessee - Florida, Auburn, and Georgia hand Vols their only losses.

14.  Oregon - Quack Attack!  Ducks come up roses.

15.  Clemson - Lose to Hokies in ACC Championship

16.  Rutgers - My homer pick.  Hey! Fuhgedaboudit!

17.  Penn St. - Joe's last hurrah.

18.  South Florida - Bulls are #3 in Big East,  just barely.

19.  Kansas - Schedule's a lot tougher this year.

20.  Fresno St. - The Bulldogs may have a nasty surprise in store for some BCS teams.

21.  Cincinnati - Strong showing against Sooners gets Bearcats noticed.

22.   Arizona St. - Losses to Georgia, Southern Cal, and Oregon early hurt.

23.  Illinois - The fourth best in the Big 10.

24.  Alabama - Saban hits the turning point.  The Tide is rising.

25.  Pittsburgh - Wannstedt's recruiting finally pays off.  Pitt joins the Big East party. 

 
 
 
 
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