Saturday, February 27, 2010


I have come up with a format for the offseason. Each week I will do a week in review on Saturday that touches on the big stories of the week. Then you can give your input in the comments section about what stories you want to hear more about from me. Don't feel limited by the list I provide. If something interests you and I left it off my list, put it in the comments and I will research it and give my take during the week. I want to know what interests you so I can provide a better experience for you.

This week the big stories include:

1. The NCAA finding Michigan out of compliance on practices.

2. The NCAA finishing its hearings of the USC athletic department.

3. The NFL combine in Indianapolis.

4. New rules regarding the eye black and celebration penalties. Eye black must be just that, no logos, numbers, words, or scripture references. Celebration penalties will now be live ball fouls, so touchdowns will be called back if a player celebrates excessively.

Now it's your turn to tell me what you think and want more of.

Monday, February 22, 2010

POLL RESULTS: Best addition to the Pac-10

Colorado was the winner for the best school to join the Pac-10. The Buffs received 50% of the vote. Utah and Boise State were the only other vote getters.

Vote in the new poll posted for this week: Who will make the biggest impression on scouts at the NFL draft combine?

Wednesday, February 17, 2010


Since conference expansion usually takes months and years to happen, this will probably be a hot topic until September. There are about a million angles to take on this topic. Today, I will elaborate on three: TCU going to the Big 12, the Big 10 targeting ACC or SEC teams, and the impact on the BCS.

1.TCU to the Big12

Since it appears that the Big 12 is going to be hit by either the Big 10 (Missouri or Nebraska) or the Pac-10 (Colorado) the Big 12 will need to replace one or two schools, or shrink to 10 teams. TCU seems to be a perfect fit geographically and competitively. It doesn't hurt that TCU has tradition with several Big 12 schools as a former Southwestern Conference (SWC) member. That, however, is the exact reason I would be leery, if I were TCU, to join the Big 12. TCU was kicked to the curb while the then Texas Governor struck a deal to bind membership of one state school to the inclusion of three others. In other words, Texas, Texas A&M, Texas Tech, and Baylor are a package deal. If one is in they all are in, if one is out they all are out. As the last one in, TCU would be the first one out if the Big 12 ever decided another rising team (Houston, Tulsa) became more desirable in the future and rather than increase to 13 teams it wanted to stay an even 12. Then again, this is TCU, who was rejected by the other eight teams in the Mountain West Conference (MWC) ten or so years ago when they left the Western Athletic Conferenc (WAC). When the MWC came calling five years later, TCU fully embraced reuniting with the eight schools who felt they were better off without the Horned Frogs.

2. Big 10 targeting ACC or SEC schools

Everyone seems set that the Big 10 will expand with either a Big 12 North team or with a Big East team. Money seems to be the biggest reason behind this round of expansion talks, and the Big 10 seems to be on par with the SEC in that regard, even if the performance on the field has not reflected it. Isn't there a middle of the pack SEC team that would provide just as much added revenue as Missouri or Pitt and would also want to go to the Big 10 to compete better in football? Kentucky would help Big 10 basketball and Kentucky football might fare better in the Big 10. It is also situated nicely geographically. What about Boston College from the ACC? Huge media market, and no strong roots in the ACC. Georgia Tech? The Yellow Jacket's big rival (Georgia) is already in a different conference, and the Atlanta media market would be a nice catch.

3. The Impact on the BCS

Lost in all of the conference expansions and realignments is how this impacts the "solid" foundation of the BCS. The BCS formed itself on the premise that the best football teams were in the ACC, SEC, Big 10, Big 12, Big East, and Pac-10. The ACC and Big East realignments last decade resulted in three teams (Louisville, Cincinnati, and South Florida) that were originally considered outsiders to become insiders. By the time this potentially catacalysmic round of conference expansion finishes we could have another three teams "promoted" to the BCS level. Who says that these six teams (the former three and the hypothetical future three) were the most deserving? It is unfair if a team like Boise State is left out of automatic qualification status, but a team like South Florida gains automatic qualification status. Boise State has done everything in its control (win on the field), but South Florida has all the uncontrolable variables (location, media market). Conferences expand for money, but the BCS was designed, on the surface, to get the top two teams to play each other. With a new composition, who says the Big 10, Big 12, Pac-10, ACC, SEC, and Big East of 2012 will be worthy of the automatic qualification status they gained in 1998? The BCS should be null and void and a new system put in place after the conference expansions conclude, unless, like conference expansions, the BCS is really all about money.


I saw the story about a new recruiting rule that assistant coaches designated as the head coach in waiting are subject to the same recruiting restrictions as head coaches. The most notable restriction is the head coach can make only one in house visit to a recruit.

This has conspiracy written all over it. What evidence was presented to prove that this was a distinct recruiting advantage? What study was done that shows that high school recruits choose a school based on how long the coach will be there? Coaches change schools so fast now that most high school students probably expect a coaching change while they are at their school. Is there evidence that assistant coaches were using the head coach in waiting label as a successful recruiting tactic? Texas and Maryland are the only schools with designated head coaches in waiting. I don't think anyone is worried about Maryland, but Texas is a perennial power. Something tells me that having a head coach in waiting is not what made the Longhorns so good.

I understood that schools used the head coach in waiting designation as an attempt to secure a good assistant coach, but that coach is still free to leave and coach another school. Do the contracts for these assistant coaches penalize them if they leave to coach another school?

Texas and Maryland have united to fight this case and they will use ex post facto laws to defend themselves. I think on those grounds alone they will win. I think the rule could get wipped out of the books if someone demands answers to the questions I just asked, because I don't think the evidence exists to support such a rule.

Monday, February 15, 2010


I know it is now the college football off season, but I am back training for the next year. Train with me as I cover the hot issues of college football, like conference expansion (see below), as well as spring training, the NFL combine and draft (other outlets consider this NFL news, but until the college stars suit up for NFL teams I still consider them part of college football), and all the other unforeseen stories that will arise in the next six months as we gear up for a new decade of the best sport on earth.

I have added some new features. You can now email a link to each post by clicking on the envelop icon at the end of each post. You can also subscribe to email notifications whenever I make a new post. To subscribe use the "Subscribe to: Posts (Atom)" link at the bottom of this page, or email me at to be added to the email list.

As for coverage on BYU football, I have created a new blog where I will post content about BYU. That blog address is Go there now to read my thoughts about BYU and Pac-10 expansion and Max Hall in the NFL draft. You can also vote in a poll about the upcoming NFL draft. I am also continuing to write about BYU football on

For anyone interested, I am now offering authorship opportunities to others to provide alternative perspectives and more expansive coverage. If you are interested, please email with a sample of your writing and any areas of interest (recruiting, a specific team, etc.).


College sports have thrived under the organizational structure of conference for several decades now. These conferences have created identities through the years, which, in many cases, involves the geographical location of the schools in the conference. The Atlantic Coast Conference, Mid-America Conference, Southeastern Conference, and Pacific 10 Conference all refer to specific regions of the country.

From time to time, these conferences have grown in size by incorporating additional teams. Currently, the Big 10 and the Pac-10 conferences have expressed an interest in growing. Ask any “expert” on the subject of conference expansion and he or she will tell you that expansion consists of many factors in addition to the regional location aspect already mentioned. Academics (admission standards, research accreditation) and athletic competitiveness in all sports, and money are some of the bigger issues.

I have been reading about the possible conference expansions and all this rhetoric about academics and water polo being as important as football brings one word to mind: parochial. I don’t expect anything different since educating America’s brightest young minds should be the primary goal of colleges and universities, but let’s be honest with ourselves. When expansion is announced where does it make headlines and generate endless discussion and debate? College football media outlets. Football is the driving force behind all expansion. I graduated from a school that is a member of the Mountain West Conference (MWC), but we never competed academically with other MWC schools. The chemistry department did not have trivia bowls with conference rivals. The English department did not meet on weekends to have essay write offs with other MWC member schools. Maybe it looks good for recruiting after a down year or it helps with those conference advertising spots during athletic events when your team is losing by 30 points to be able to promote a strong academic resume, but people rarely associate athletics and academics in college sports. Conference alignment pertains to sports and sports only, and even then, conference alignment is flexible. The smaller sports like lacrosse and wrestling are not sanctioned by all schools, so some schools compete in one conference for the small sports and another conference for the big sports.

It is time to revamp the conference structure we have come to know in college sports. We need conferences that are assembled based more on competitiveness. It is time to kick out teams like Vanderbilt, Baylor, Iowa State, Duke, Maryland, Kansas, Mississippi State, Washington State, and Indiana who show little commitment to football and field a competitive team once a generation, and let teams like Boise State, BYU, Utah, and TCU replace them.