Category Archives: Big 12 Football

Back to the “One True Champion” board

After being humiliated last season, Bob Bowlsby’s group decides to go with the common sense route.

It is too late to help Baylor, but the Big 12 athletic directors want one true champion to be more than just a slogan next season.

The conference ADs said Thursday they are in favor of using a head-to-head tiebreaker to determine their College Football Playoff participant after co-champions TCU and Baylor were skipped over by the selection committee last season.

When that approach flops, maybe they can just outsource the naming of a conference champ directly to the CFP selection committee.

12 Comments

Filed under BCS/Playoffs, Big 12 Football

Give the committee what it wants.

Bob Bowlsby said something to Heather Dinich about nonconference scheduling that bears repeating.

“I really do believe that nonconference scheduling should reside with the institution,” Bowlsby said. “They know best what they think it takes to get their team ready for the regular season. Having said that, we have talked about the very real circumstance of a situation where you have a weak schedule and you’ve got two teams that are about the same, and one played a good nonconference schedule and one played a poor nonconference schedule. I don’t think there’s any question the one with the good nonconference schedule is going to get in.”

Talk is cheap.  Control is real money.

Compare Bowlsby’s laissez faire attitude with Mike Slive’s on SEC nonconference basketball scheduling.

For as much as the SEC is seen as a football-driven conference, the people who run the conference have long felt strongly about their basketball reputation. So when things hit rock bottom two years ago, being called a glorified mid-major, they sprung to action.

The commissioner hired a basketball czar and also retained an outside expert. They sat down with their coaches and hammered away at the same message: Improve your scheduling to get those RPI numbers up.

It didn’t end there, though.

But lack of knowledge with what the NCAA tournament selection committee wants figured into it, too. Slive couldn’t quite get it through to his coaches, so he called on Whitworth and Shaheen to re-emphasize it.

One of the first things Shaheen did in 2013 was produce a 20-page document analyzing each team’s non-conference schedules during the 2012-13 season. The SEC also instituted a rule saying that every school had to send its non-conference schedule to Birmingham for approval.

That’s paid off, as this season the conference is widely expected to reverse an alarming trend.

Between 1999 and 2008, the SEC never had fewer than five teams receive NCAA bids. Then the drop-off began: Only three made it in 2009, followed by four apiece in 2010 and 2012, and three apiece the past two years.

As Shaheen puts it,

“These are institutions that are used to playing at a high level,” Shaheen said. “Sure, there’s an extraordinary amount to be proud of here. But the issue in response has to be: ‘What do we need to do to make sure the rest of America knows that?’ ”

Shaheen emphasized the need to “play anyone, anywhere, anytime.” And that led to what he called a “healthy dialogue,” with the coaches, and they proceeded to improve their schedules the last two years.

“The schools have done all the heavy lifting here,” Shaheen said.

Now SEC football has the luxury of banking on a reputation that SEC basketball doesn’t have.  That’s why it’s been able to get away with avoiding the hard choices of going to a nine-game conference schedule in football and doing away with games against FCS cupcakes without doing any damage to its reputation.  But nothing lasts forever.  A few more seasons of the SEC West falling flat on its face and other conferences whining about the SEC’s strength of schedule, and who knows what the selection committee will think of SEC schools’ nonconference scheduling?

If that day should come, I doubt we’ll see whoever’s running the SEC share Bowlsby’s attitude.  The question will be how stubborn the member schools will be in response.

4 Comments

Filed under BCS/Playoffs, Big 12 Football, SEC Football

Mommy, make the bad schools share!

Boy, this is subtle.

In a meeting with the editorial board of the Houston Chronicle, Tilman Fertitta, chairman of UH’s Board of Regents, suggested that the Texas state legislature should pressure and/or threaten the Big 12 into giving UH a spot in the conference.  And by suggested I mean he just flat-out said it.

“Put pressure on the presidents; say, ‘If you don’t do this, we’re not going to fund you for this,’” Fertitta said of the state legislature’s role in meeting his goal. “It’s just the way it is. That’s the way to do it. …

“Be a big boy, step up and put this school that has almost 50,000 students and is so high-profile, has so many of the top schools in the United States, it’s a tier one university — we belong in the Big 12. We’re a big, major school with an unbelievable history in athletics and academia.”

The Texas legislature can’t even get Texas and Texas A&M on the same field anymore, but it’s gonna wade into this?  Sure it will.

Perhaps if ol’ Tilman availed himself of his school’s resources and learned that more Big 12 schools are located outside the state of Texas than inside he wouldn’t sound like such a dope.

16 Comments

Filed under Big 12 Football, General Idiocy, Political Wankery, Texas Is Just Better Than You Are.

The Big 12’s “lawn mower” decision

While I love this quote

“At some point,” Pollard said, “you’re no longer a conference, you’re a consortium, and I feel the Big 12 is still a conference.”

… let’s face it:  the reason the Big 12 isn’t expanding its membership is because it can’t find suitable partners that make it worthwhile to split the revenue pie into more pieces.

We’ll see if Pollard is signing a different tune should the NCAA turn down the conference’s request for a waiver of the 12-team requirement to host a championship game.

18 Comments

Filed under Big 12 Football

Tuesday morning buffet

Jump right in, folks.

13 Comments

Filed under 'Cock Envy, Because Nothing Sucks Like A Big Orange, Big 12 Football, Georgia Football, Media Punditry/Foibles, Pac-12 Football, Recruiting, Stats Geek!, Strategery And Mechanics, The NCAA

Thursday morning buffet

If the end of signing day has left you empty, it’s time to fill up.

28 Comments

Filed under 'Cock Envy, Big 12 Football, Big Ten Football, Crime and Punishment, Recruiting, WOAH! It's Johnny Football!

Friday morning buffet

It’s a chilly, rainy morning… you got something better to do?

  • Patrick Garbin looks at Georgia’s offensive line recruiting efforts.  As you can guess, he doesn’t paint a pretty picture.
  • There’s so much rivalry in this lawsuit story, it’s hilarious.
  • Bulldog Illustrated reports that mat drills are no more.
  • The next lawsuit frontier is breachedO’Bannon attorney sues NCAA and North Carolina over the academic scandal.
  • “We’ll get all the information from him and decide what to do…” Looks like Nick Saban’s got a bookend for Jonathan Taylor.
  • And Hugh Freeze has more forgivin’ to do, too.
  • ESPN asks a bunch of recruits at the Under Armour All-American Game how much facilities matter in their choice of school, and gets a consensus that it’s not much, because all the big schools have good ones.  Sounds like a good argument for keeping up, and not running ahead of the pack.
  • Butch Jones has issues with roster management.
  • On the bright side for Tennessee, with offensive coordinator Tim Bajakian leaving for Tampa Bay, the Vols will actually get paid something for a coach’s departure from Knoxville.

41 Comments

Filed under Academics? Academics., Because Nothing Sucks Like A Big Orange, Big 12 Football, Crime and Punishment, Georgia Football, Recruiting, The NCAA