Conference Realignment: Would Penn State Have Ever Left the Big Ten?

Could Penn State Ever Leave the Big Ten?

According to Barry Alvarez, Appeasing Penn State Drove This Round of Realignment

Friday, on the three-year anniversary of leaking the news that the Big Ten was looking to add a 12th team, Wisconsin AD Barry Alvarez told the school’s athletic board the conference was driven to add a 13th and 14th team — in part — to keep Penn State in the fold.

“Jim (Delaney) felt that someday, if we didn’t have anyone else in that corridor, someday it wouldn’t make sense maybe for Penn State to be in our league,” Alvarez told the board, according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. “That they would go into a league somewhere on the East Coast. By doing that, it keeps us in the Northeast corridor.”

So is there any truth to this? Was there a threat by the PSU administration to leave? Since the Big Ten’s grant of rights only covers the length of the current television contract, the timing would make sense. And Penn State’s recent issues with the conference have been well documented, too. While we certainly never believed PSU — or any team, for that matter — would truly leave the Big Ten, here’s the sales pitch we advocated for the conference to push to the school back in November:

“We know the Big Ten has it out for you. That fumble call against Nebraska was part of a much larger conspiracy by the league and the NCAA to truly stick it to you in the wake of the Jerry Sandusky scandal. They’re going to continue to do so. Oh, and remember when Penn State was able to claim a good chunk of the New York market due to its proximity and affiliation to the B1G? Well that’s gone too, now that Rutgers has joined the conference. Speaking of the Scarlet Knights, we have a proposition for you: trade matchups with them and the Terps at noon for games against FSU, Notre Dame and Miami. We’ll even let you restart your old, bitter rivalries against Syracuse and Pitt. And we’ll let you win games and compete for a national championship. Seriously.”

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Final Hypothetical College Football Playoffs 2012

Would a 4- or 16-Team Playoff Crown the Ducks as Champions At Last?

Would a 4- or 16-Team Playoff Crown the Ducks as Champions At Last?

Now that the dream of a playoff has turned into a reality (following the 2014 season), this realistic-but-still-hypothetical-for-two-years feature actually has some outside guidelines to follow: four teams, two semifinal spots and then a championship game. We currently have no clue how teams will be determined, how polls will be released, or who will put them together. So with that in mind, we’re going with the BCS rankings (courtesy of BCSGuru for teams outside of top 25), for lack of an on-hand committee to spit out a detailed list. We’ll also fill in the major bowl games also slated to be part of the playoff structure. Additionally, for our own enjoyment, you’ll find a 16-team hypothetical tournament below, too. Just because it’s too much fun not to think about.

If the Four-Team Playoff Started This Year…

Fiesta Bowl (semifinal): #1 Notre Dame vs. #4 Oregon

Sugar Bowl (semifinal): #2 Alabama vs. #3 Florida

National Championship: #4 Oregon over #2 Alabama

Orange Bowl: Florida State vs. LSU

Cotton Bowl: Kansas State vs. Texas A&M

Rose Bowl: Stanford vs. Wisconsin

Chick-fil-a Bowl: Georgia vs. Northern Illinois

While the real-life national title game should be a fun matchup of two elite defenses, it’s great to see we’d be able to realize everyone’s dream matchup here (Oregon vs. Alabama). As has been the case in every one of these projections, the SEC would have a monopoly on the at-large bids.

If There Was a 16 Team Playoff…

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Atlantic Coast Convos 2012 Top 25: Week Two

After an Impressive Opening Win Over Michigan, Alabama is Quickly Repositioning Themselves for the Number-One Spot

Now that we’re in-season, we’ll be updating these rankings on a weekly basis. As always, we think these are correct. Simultaneously, you’re probably of the opinion you know better. Feel free to share that with us below (respectfully, of course).

Atlantic Coast Convos 2012 Top 25 (Week Two)

1. USC Trojans (1-0) (LW: 1) (First-place votes: 3)

2. Alabama Crimson Tide (1-0) (LW: 4) (1)

3. Oregon Ducks (1-0) (LW: 3)

4. LSU Tigers (1-0) (LW: 2)

5. Florida State Seminoles (1-0) (LW: 6)

6. Oklahoma Sooners (1-0) (LW: 5)

7. West Virginia Mountaineers (1-0) (LW: 10)

8. Georgia Bulldogs (1-0) (LW: 7)

9. South Carolina Gamecocks (1-0) (LW: 9)

10. Arkansas Razorbacks (1-0) (LW: 12)

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ACC 2012 Season Preview: Pittsburgh Panthers

Can Pitt Running Back Ray Graham Regain His Place As the Leader of the Panthers’ Rushing Attack in 2012?

Team: Pittsburgh Panthers

2011 W-L: 6-7 (4-3)

Head Coach: Paul Chryst (first season)

Returning Starters: 12 (8 Offense, 4 Defense)

After another offseason of transition in the program, the Pittsburgh Panthers are once again trying to enter a new season with a clean slate. Out goes Todd Graham, the known carpetbagger now despised by Pitt fans everywhere. In comes Paul Chryst, who spent the last seven years as Wisconsin‘s offensive coordinator. And while the first-team head coach inherits a challenging job with the program as currently comprised, he may also spot some similar surroundings. With a strong defense and a deadly running game, the coach is already taking to his new team just like his old one. Now, with a skeptical senior class (three different head coaches), he just has to hope they take to him.

As mentioned, the Panthers’ offense will go primarily through the running game, which I think may actually be among the best in the country (O-line permitting). So long as he’s healthy, the bulk of the carries should go to senior Ray Graham, who makes a surprise return after an ACL tear last year. At the time of the injury last season, Graham was second in the country in rushing yards, and appears to have some unfinished business to attend to. He’ll also be spelled by sophomore Isaac Bennett. After some flashes of potential late in 2011, and a very strong spring workout, he’ll be the favored back if Graham fails to return at 100-percent. Carries may also get doled out to freshman Rushel Shell as well. The highly-touted recruit runs a 4.45 40-yard dash. If given an opportunity for extended touches, he has the talent to jump right in and produce. Continue reading

Maryland QB C.J. Brown Tears ACL, Will Miss 2012 Season

 

Maryland Starting Quarterback C.J. Brown’s Injury Spells Doom for the Terrapins This Season

Maryland has seen its worst case scenario for 2012 come true. Its only QB with college experience, starting quarterback C.J. Brown, has been lost for the season due to injury.

Brown tore his ACL in a non-contact drill on Tuesday afternoon, and will miss the entire 2012 season. The other two quarterbacks that were behind him on the depth chart are both true freshman. Former starting QB Danny O’Brien was lost in the spring when he transferred to Wisconsin. Brown and O’Brien had split QB duties last year, but because of O’Brien’s departure, Brown was the unquestioned starter heading into camp. Now that he is sidelined, one of the true freshmen will be expected to start.

This is a serious blow for the Terps. While Brown may not have been as good a passer as O’Brien, he was extremely good with his feet. Even splitting time with O’Brien last year, Brown was able to set a Maryland rushing record for quarterbacks with 574 yards and had started five games. His teammates had also voted him to be one of the captains for the 2012 season, and he appeared to be quite ready to be one of the new leaders of the team. He had put on muscle in the off-season, worked on his accuracy, and was one of the fastest players on the entire team during drills.

With Brown out for the season, the expectations for the Terps will drop. Despite the 2-10 season from a year ago, there were signs that things were looking up. A new turf field had been installed, a good recruiting class was coming in (and a good one for 2013 is in progress), and the chaos of last season had been put behind them. Now that they will not have an experienced quarterback leading the team, it will be a much tougher road ahead. Continue reading

Atlantic Coast Convos 2012 Preseason Top 25

USC Barely Beat Out LSU For Our Number-One Spot. Are They the Favorites for This Year’s National Championship?

All those days and weeks and months of counting, and we’re now right on the doorstep of the 2012 college football season! With just 23 days remaining until the first kickoffs on August 30, it also seemed time for the blog’s preseason top 25 picks. Of course, we know no more than you or any one else does, so feel free to interject your own opinion in the comments. Yet another exciting season is nearly upon us, and I, for one, can’t wait.

Atlantic Coast Convos 2012 Preseason Top 25 (August 7)

1. USC Trojans (LW: 2) (First-place votes: 3)

2. LSU Tigers (LW: 1) (1)

3. Oregon Ducks (LW: 5)

4. Alabama Crimson Tide (LW: 3)

5. Oklahoma Sooners (LW: 4)

6. Florida State Seminoles (LW: 6)

7. Georgia Bulldogs (LW: 8)

8. Michigan Wolverines (LW: 10)

9. South Carolina Gamecocks (LW: 9)

10. West Virginia Mountaineers (LW: 7)

 

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Atlantic Coast Convos Early 2012 Top 25 (July 10)

Les Miles and LSU are Eying Another Championship After Falling in Last Year’s Title Game

Once every month until college football returns, this blog will be posting a top 25 ranking list that (similar to the polls that decide who plays in the National Championship Game) matters very little overall. Obviously, these can change based on new recruits, depth chart changes and other, unpredictable off-the-field factors (transfers, TCU weed bonanza, haphazard arrests, etc.). Disagree with these? (likely) Share your thoughts below.

Atlantic Coast Convos Top 25 (Early for 2012: July 10 Edition)

1. LSU Tigers (LW: 3) (First-place votes: 1)

2. USC Trojans (LW: 1) (2)

3. Alabama Crimson Tide (LW: 2)

4. Oklahoma Sooners (LW: 4)

5. Oregon Ducks (LW: 7)

6. Florida State Seminoles (LW: 5)

7. West Virginia Mountaineers (LW: 9)

8. Georgia Bulldogs (LW: 6)

9. South Carolina Gamecocks (LW: 12)

10. Michigan Wolverines (LW: 8) Continue reading