Archive for October, 2013

The Texas Pregamer: Kansas [Play Resumed]

Posted by    |    October 31st, 2013 at 3:40 am

Kansas-2013-mast_medium

What were we saying? OUR CONFERENCE, OUR… err. As self-respecting journablogists, we can’t printpost that sham of a statement. Oh, sobriety you unforgiving minx. Maybe we should turn off Dark Side of the Moon for a moment, take off the burnt orange glasses, and get technicolor up on this analysis.

For Billiam Powers’ sake, we’ve steamrolled favored teams in back to back games (one of which is still ranked in the coaches Top 10), gone undefeated in conference play, and you know where that leaves us? Absolutely, unequivocally, unranked. A footnote on the AP poll – TEXAS 22 votes. But you know, the more we forget those 3 shots of Hornitos, the more we realize that might not be entirely egregious.

Case is our QB after all. While moxie and shoulder chips abound, the TCU game showCASEd the best and worst of FEARLESS LEADER CASE. It’ll be a truly magical run if that’s the winning formula for a Big XII championship. But give credit where credit is due. Case has led this team with a slightly cocky, yet self-deprecating air that’s hard not to take a shine to. The Gerg has reclaimed his title of “Greg Robinson, Defensive Coordinator.” We have a two-three-sometimes four-headed rushing attack.

Folks, cancel the trip to the minute clinic, that strange tingling feeling nestled in the pit of your pyloric antrum is no tainted Foster Farms fowl – that’s optimism, boys and girls. You may remember it from Week 1. After a rough start to the season, the optimism is due – enjoy it, banish the panic.

We found our brains, got some courage, and gosh darn it, we are playing with heart.

And while Kansas may have given us a scare last year in Lawrence, you know what they say — there’s no place like home field.

Hook ‘em.

Spacer_medium

Head-fashion_medium

Style, by Coach

Sure, the kiddos get all the fun duds to wear on Saturdays (or Prime Time Thursdays), but once a year the coaches have their moment in the spotlight. Here’s what your favorite coaches are wearing this Halloween:

Chuck-brown_medium Diaz-goat_medium Kliff-bar_medium Mangino-b_medium Sonic_medium Sterling_medium Trevor_medium Kiffen-coach-costume_medium
Spacer_medium

Trivia_medium

Better Know a Roster:

This is too easy. Kansas has 6 QBs on the roster. And 3 Long Snappers! They list Holders (and Halfbacks are HB unless they play a 2nd position, in which case they are also listed as H), Flankers, Nickelbacks, and a position called BUCK, which is obviously just the 4th Linebacker name (joining Mike, Sam, and Will), because–why not? There’s your Weis schematic advantage. Here’s some fella’s you better know:

  • Prinz Kande LB: THIS IS NO JOKE PRONOUNCED PRINCE CANDY. It only makes sense we play against the Prince of Candy Halloween weekend. Diseaseproof-flickr-somegeekintn-the-haul-550w_medium

    via www.diseaseproof.com

  • Michael Cummings QB to Ishmael Hyman WR: the play call of Gus Johnson’s wet dreams.
  • Matthew Wyman K: The White Hyman
  • Beau Bell LB: is the perfect way to say – Have yourself a Beau Bell Country Day!
  • Ed Fink Jr. HB: Eddie the Fink is serving 10 in Sing Sing for fraud. No relation right?
  • Alex Matlock S: Put the Fink in jail through his folksy lawyerin’.
  • Jake Love LB, Trent Smiley TE, Jordan Darling QB: Could form the softest rock band since Peter, Paul, and Mary.
  • Ngalu Fusimalohi OL: The KU Roster lists pronunciation tips for Tyree, Tevin, and Darius… doesn’t even try with this guy.
  • Sean Connolly OL: The Irish James Bond.
  • Neal Page BUCK: Wasn’t Neal Page in a classic rock band? Or all of them?

Spacer_medium

Newswire_medium

Somewhere in Florida: Carl Pelini, Brother of (and beneficiary of nepotism from) Screamin’ Bo Pelini, was fired for resigned after crystal blue meth coke marijuana his use of illegal drugs was discovered. And you thought Bo was mad before…

Morgantown, WV: We can neither confirm nor deny an unnamed source that may have leaked that WVU Athletic Director Oliver luck will probably maybe not never leave WVU for the opening at Texas. Maybe. No comment. Ask Chip Brown.

Houston, TX: Blinded by searing “WE HATE SCHAUB!”, Texan fans are rabidly calling for the drafting of Fresno St. quarterback Derek Carr who is in the midst of a stellar season with the undefeated Bulldogs. Because those who do not remember the past are doomed to repeat it Texan fans.

Spacer_medium

Section-templates-ks_medium

Our KU comrades didn’t send a report this week. But don’t worry, we got a last minute fill-in that can really explain the whole KU football thing for us.

Gty_rnc_eastwood_chair_jef_120830_wg_medium

via a.abcnews.com

Well said. Well. Said.

Spacer_medium

Sponsors_medium

Kliff-bar_medium

This is actually Ryan Gosling. We didn’t realize at first either.

    Spacer_medium

    Weekly-forecase_medium

    Daily Hexan:

    Case, like Wallace Hall’s mullet, inexplicably puts off impeachment for another week, while Swoopes shines in the 4th quarter. Horns, 42-14. (But seriously, we all hate Wallace Hall, right?)

    VY Pump Fake:

    Oliver Luck enters DKR pregame astride Bevo. Texas wins, 31-17.

    TejasChaos:

    At this point I’m convinced Mack is just beating teams I say he can’t to spite me. Let’s keep up the tradition. Kansas by 500 Weispoints.

    The Texas Pregamer: Kansas [Rain Delay]

    Posted by    |    October 31st, 2013 at 3:05 am

    Kansas-2013-mast-sepia

    WELCOME TO THE GOOD OL’ DAYS

    Get back on your high horses, everyone. We’re the Joneses again.

    Did you see the way we handled that mediocre-to-bad TCU team like it was nothing? That’s how MackBrownTexasFootball rolls. We’re a well-oiled machine. Sure, it was dark days there for a while, but it’s been like 4 good games in a row now and Texas looks like a lean, mean football machine. That’s why the Pregamer is officially ready to proclaim, after long and careful consideration, that the glory days are back and they’ll never end. THAT’S RIGHT, WE’RE A SKINNY, POWER MACHINE THAT’S ALL OILED UP. Sorry, kind of ran out of machine metaphors there.

    As it turns out, the only problem with the football team was Manny Diaz. We know what you’re saying – “Now wait a second there, Pregamer. The problems with the program are larger than that. They’re endemic and they’ll likely take years to be fully fixed. Don’t you think you’re being premature here?” Well, as optimists, we choose not to believe that. And as arsonists, if you disagree we’re going to burn down your house and dance on the ashes like an excited Duane Akina. Yes, our one and only problem is fixed and Texas is right back where we belong. And come to think of it, isn’t it suspicious that baseball and basketball also went downhill around the time Manny came to campus? And what about this Kearney lawsuit?

    Thanks-diaz-sepia-3_medium

    But that’s all water under the bridge now, because we’re back on top. Who do we play this weekend? Doesn’t matter. Where’s the game? Don’t care. What time is it? Don’t know, we’ll be watching the Alabama and Florida State games to see who we’ll play in the National Champ…

    PREVIEW HAS DELAYED DUE TO INCLEMENT WEATHER.

    .

    .

    .

    .

    .

    Once the blog of play has been cleared for writing we will have the second half of this week’s Pregamer. Please clear the comment sections for your own safety. This should only take 30 minutes… …ish.

    .

    .

    .

    .

    .

    .

    Miss-gulch-stoops-3_medium

    The Week That Will Be (11.02.2013)

    Posted by    |    October 30th, 2013 at 11:56 pm

    Last Week: 4-2 ATS 5-1 SU
    For the Year: 28-24-2 (.538) $120 ATS 44-10 (.815) SU

    What we learned last week:

    Connor Shaw is Mr. Clutch, delivering three touchdowns in the fourth quarter and overtime periods to bring South Carolina back from a 17-0 deficit in a game where he wasn’t even supposed to play.

    • While Tennessee has shown signs of life in the SEC this year, they have now lost to Oregon and Alabama by a combined score of 104-24. Ouch.

    • Oregon can be contained…for three quarters.

    • Baylor’s Bryce Petty had 348 passing yards against Kansas…in the first half. No mention of national awards for him?

    • Is it possible that Texas Tech showed more in a loss than they have in most of their wins this season?

    • Lightning delays really, really stink.

    How about some Random College Football Thoughts this week:

    • The last time that Florida State and Miami both entered their rivalry game ranked in the Top Ten was 2004, when Frank Gore and Xavier Lee were still around. Of course FSU is a three-touchdown favorite here, but it is nice to see this game have some relevance again.

    • It is not a good week to be a Pelini. Nebraska loses to Minnesota, turning up the heat on Bo’s already hot seat, and Carl resigns his position at Florida Atlantic amid rumors of alleged drug use. They are probably also St. Louis Cardinals fans.

    • Nick Saban this week complained about students leaving games early – yeah, perhaps this Texas thing wouldn’t work out.

    • Oh Baylor. Quit sending out press releases when you take the tarp off your stands. It is embarrassing. You have a Top 5 team and play in a 50,000 seat stadium. You should be able to sell every seat.

    • You think Mack Brown is kicking himself for not hiring Greg Robinson in say, January?

    • Friday, November 8th really needs to be a work holiday. On Thursday night, Oklahoma and Baylor square off at 6:30 PM (we’re removing the TARP!), and Oregon and Stanford kickoff at 8:00 PM. Hook up two TVs in the living room, get your favorite craft beer and send the kids to bed early.

    • Ohio State’s schedule the rest of the way: @ Purdue, @ Illinois, Indiana, @ Michigan, Big10 Championship. Yeah. You might need to start scheduling a tougher non-conference schedule, Urban.

    • Please wake me up when the Heisman ceremony is over. The award became moot when neither Vince Young nor Colt McCoy won it.

    • I wonder if for Halloween Oliver Luck will go as West Virginia’s athletic director.

    • Remember when TCU was picked by many to win the Big 12? Or when Texas Tech was picked to finish near the bottom? Or when Blake Bell was the next great Oklahoma quarterback? Or when Oklahoma State had too many good quarterbacks? Or when Baylor had a tarp in their stands?

    On to the games…

    Tennessee @ Missouri -11.5:

    I was going to note that Tennessee quarterback Justin Worley will miss this game with injury, but would suggest that he would have made a difference here.

    Missouri 41 Tennessee 24
    ATS – Missouri
    SU – Missouri

    Georgia -2.5 vs. Florida:

    Two teams desperate for a win square off in the World’s Largest Cocktail Party, which might turn into a Find This Guy a New Job Party for the losing team.

    Florida’s defense has been solid, but they had some trouble against Missouri. Georgia can be just as explosive.

    Georgia 28 Florida 16
    ATS – Georgia
    SU – Georgia

    Miami @ Florida State -21.5:

    Miami has fallen behind by 10 points or more in three straight games. But, Florida State isn’t Georgia Tech, North Carolina or Wake Forest. Do it here and the game is over.

    They’ll be able to give the Seminoles a better game than most, but they just don’t have the offense to keep up.

    Florida State 34 Miami 21
    ATS – Miami
    SU – Florida State

    West Virginia @ TCU -13:

    The Mountaineers have lost three straight Big 12 match-ups, losing to Baylor, Texas Tech and Kansas State, giving up 145 points in the process…they are simply dreadful, but how much better is TCU at this point?

    Casey Pachall was supposed to be the savior of this offense, yet he only threw for 139 yards on 34 (!) attempts against Texas. They should find things easier against a West Virginia defense that is ranked 102nd in the country. At least you would think so.

    TCU 27 West Virginia 21
    ATS – West Virginia
    SU – TCU

    Oklahoma State @ Texas Tech -2:

    Texas Tech has the better offense, better defense and is at home. Sounds like a winner to me. Add to that Oklahoma State’s quarterback problems and Tech should break OSU’s four-game win streak in this series.

    Texas Tech 44 Oklahoma State 31
    ATS – Texas Tech
    SU – Texas Tech

    Kansas @ Texas -28:

    How dreadful is Kansas? They haven’t scored more than 19 points since the first game of the season, when they defeated South Dakota 31-14. They’re averaging 15.5 points per game in their other six contests, which won’t get you very far in an offensive conference.

    They don’t convert many third downs (115th), can’t score in the red zone (113th), and don’t get many first downs (121st), either.

    Their lone bright spot on offense is running back James Sims, who did run for 176 yards on Texas last season in Lawrence, and is averaging 4.6 yards per carry this season. But, of course, it is hard to keep handing it off to the running back when you are down big.

    Defensively it isn’t much better for the Jayhawks, as they are 101st in the country in total defense, 99th in rushing defense and 89th in passing defense.
    Simply put, this is a game where Texas should be able to do what it wants to do on both sides of the ball quite easily.

    Horns hand Kansas their 25th straight Big 12 loss in easy fashion.

    Texas 44 Kansas 10
    ATS – Texas
    SU – Texas

    For entertainment purposes only. Save your money for the inevitable Jonas Brothers Reunion Tour.

    The Big 12 Expansion Index: Wake Me Up When It’s All Over

    Posted by    |    October 30th, 2013 at 9:06 pm

    Conference realignment at the power conference level has seemingly ground to a halt after what has been nearly four years of rumors, Tweets and blogs speculating on apocalyptic moves. When I created the Big Ten Expansion Index, there seemed to be endless possibilities of how the college sports world would shake out. Now, tools such as grant of rights agreements have at least temporarily paused any realignment within the power conference ranks. However, there’s still a nagging feeling that the 10-member Big 12 won’t stay at its current size. While any belief that some outside force would demand that the Big 12 expand (i.e. the SEC or other power conferences in the new playoff system) should be discredited as completely erroneous (as every conference wants to respect each others’ full autonomy in determining its membership levels), the practical reality is that the Big 12 is the odd duck in a world where other conferences are seeking size and depth in terms of brand names and TV markets while adding conference championship games (as opposed to eliminating them). Just as there will continue to be speculation about the Big Ten expanding to 16 members until it actually does so (particularly with comments such as the recent ones in Inside the Hall from Indiana Athletic Director Fred Glass calling 16 schools a “sweet spot”), the Big 12 is going to face the same questions until it gets back up to 12 schools.

    With the peripheral rumor mongering noise dying down for the most part, I though it would be a good time to take a step back and create The Big 12 Expansion Index to assess where the viable candidates for that conference stand. To be clear, the purpose of this post is not to endorse the expansion of the Big 12. It’s perfectly reasonable for a Big 12 partisan to see the realistic expansion candidates as the equivalent of looking at a bar full of butterfaces at 3 am while “Closing Time” is playing in the background and saying, “No thanks. Call a cab for me to get the hell out of here.” Personally, I believe that the Big 12 needs to expand in the long-term regardless of any short-term revenue splitting implications, but this analysis can just as easily serve as justification for the conference to not get larger.

    I. ASSUMPTIONS

    In examining the Big 12 candidates, the following assumptions will be applied:

    • ASSUMPTION #1 – Think like a university president and NOT like a sports fan.

    This was the most important rule when constructing the Big Ten Expansion Index and it continues here with the Big 12. Conference realignment decisions aren’t driven by which school is most highly ranked in the latest BCS standings, who the fans like, or even what coaches and athletic directors may want (no matter how powerful they might be at their respective schools). Instead, university presidents are the ones that ultimately make realignment decisions and they’re looking at the long-term off-the-field big picture much more than short-term on-the-field issues that fans are generally focused upon. To be sure, how well a school plays football (and to a much lesser extent, basketball) is certainly relevant, but TV markets, demographic changes and academic rankings are factors that really get university presidents get much more engaged.

    • ASSUMPTION #2 – The Big 12 lacks the ability to raid another power conference.

    A number of Big 12 partisans wanted to believe over the past year that the league would be able to poach high profile schools from the ACC such as Florida State and Clemson. However, that prospect was simply never realistic due to a number of issues that the Big 12 needs to address, namely the demographics of the league outside of the state of Texas (which will be explained further in the index criteria below), overall academic reputation and national football brand names beyond Texas and Oklahoma. The Big 12 was able to save itself due to Texas wanting the Longhorn Network over the creation of the Pac-16 and Fox and ESPN paying a lot of money to keep the league together, but it is a paper tiger when it comes to expansion. As a result, the schools being evaluated in the index are all from the “Group of Five” non-power conference ranks.

    II. EXPLANATION OF THE BIG 12 EXPANSION INDEX

    The Big 12 Expansion Index assesses candidates on a 100-point scale. Please note that the schools are being graded on their values relative to only other Gang of Five schools. So, it doesn’t mean that if a school that receives a perfect score in the index that it would be as valuable as Florida State or USC. These values also have no relation to the figures that were calculated in the Big Ten Expansion Index*. This is only measuring the distinctions within the Group of Five universe that serves as the realistic pool of Big 12 expansion candidates. Here are the categories:

    Football Brand Value (30 points) – As it was with the Big Ten, this is the most heavily weighted category as a reflection of the reality of the college sports landscape. The revenue generated from football is so massive in comparison to the other sports (including basketball) that it is the ultimate driver for expansion in every conference (including more historically basketball-focused ones such as the ACC).

    It must be emphasized that Football Brand Value puts much more weight on the long-term history and financial underpinnings of a program over short-term or recent success. Thus, Team A that has sold out stadiums for years whether it wins or loses is much more valuable than Team B that only sells out a 40,000-seat stadium when it’s in the national championship race, even if Team A has had a mediocre seasons recently and Team B happens to rank in the top 25 of the BCS rankings this year. A lengthy tradition of playing football at the top level also carries more cache compared to being a noveau riche program. The “What have you done for me lately?” attitude of most sports fans doesn’t apply here. Instead, the proper question is the opposite: Even if the target school goes 0-12 in a season, will it still attract TV viewers and attendance? In other words, the true value of a football program is really measured by how much attention it still receives when it’s down as opposed to how much attention it gets when it’s up. Granted, it is much more difficult to find schools under this standard at the Group of Five level compared to at the power conferences, which is a large reason why those Group of Five schools aren’t in power conferences in the first place as of now.

    National TV Value (15 points) – The calculation for TV values is a bit different for the Big 12 compared to the Big Ten. With the latter’s Big Ten Network, there was more of an emphasis on the value that schools would bring to that channel (which meant it was fairly large market-focused, albeit the Big Ten still ended up small market Nebraska first when all was said and done because of its extraordinary national TV value). The Big 12, though, is more concerned with the value of its national TV contract above all else since the league doesn’t have a conference network (and in fact, grants third tier TV rights to its individual members who then keep all of that revenue to themselves). Losing Nebraska was a major hit on that front and it led to the Big 12′s decision to add West Virginia instead of Louisville in 2011. As with the Football Brand Value category, there is much more weight on programs with longer histories of being national TV draws as opposed to the flavors of the moment. The issue with Big 12 expansion, of course, is that there are really only a handful of Group of Five schools that have any national TV value at all with respect to football.

    Local TV Value (10 points) – While national TV value is more important to the Big 12 with respect to expansion candidates, there’s certainly still an interest for the Big 12 to expand to new TV markets (as the national TV contract can be impacted by local TV market coverage). The defections from the Big 12 over the past 4 years caused the conference to lose its only two top 25 TV markets that were located outside of the state of Texas (Denver and St. Louis). For this category, 10 points will be granted to a top 25 market, 7 points to a 26-50 market, 3 point to a 51-75 market, and then 0 points after that. Please note that any school that is already located in a Big 12 market will receive zero points in this category no matter how large its local market might be.

    Demographics/Recruiting Value (20 points) – This was a category that wasn’t included in The Big Ten Expansion Index, but it would have been if I knew then that Jim Delany was going to use the word “demographics” in conjunction with expansion more than any other word over the past 4 years. While there’s some correlation between demographics and local TV value (as a larger market generally means more favorable demographics), the word “demographics” is really a code word for a very tangible concern for football fans and coaches: football recruits. It always irks me whenever I see comments to the effect that the Big Ten’s additions of Rutgers and Maryland didn’t do anything for the conference in football. Quite to the contrary, that expansion was very important for on-the-field matters because New Jersey and Maryland, according to a study by Football Study Hall, happened to be the top two non-Sun Belt states not already in the Big Ten footprint in terms of producing Division I football recruits (and it wasn’t even close).

    The very real danger for the Big 12 compared to the other power conferences is that its coverage in the state of Texas (which is the nation’s top football recruiting state and a beast in terms of population growth) has masked its completely poor demographics in the rest of the conference. There’s no demographic depth at all in the conference once you get beyond the Lone Star State, which has come so close to collapse on multiple occasions over the past few years. Without Texas, the Big 12 dies (whereas each of the other power conferences might be severely wounded if their very top brand name school left, but they would likely still find a way to carry on since they have fuller slates of markets and populous states). In this category, 20 points go to any school in a state that is in the top 5 of Division I recruits annually under the Football Study Hall study (as there’s a huge gap between #5 and #6), 15 points go to any school in a state ranked 6 to 10, 10 points go to any school in a state ranked 11 to 20, 5 points go to any school in any other state that produces at least 20 Division I recruits per year, and 0 points for states under 20. As noted by Football Study Hall, the states that have 20 or more Division I recruits per year have produced 93% of all Division I football players since 2008, so any state under 20 isn’t helping the Big 12′s demographic cause. As with the Local TV Value category, any school that is already located in a Big 12 state will receive zero points in this category.

    Academics (5 points) – The Big 12 would certainly like to add top tier academic schools, but it won’t necessarily nix any expansion candidate on those grounds. This is in contrast to the Big Ten, where the Academics category was weighted heavily enough to effectively exclude any school that didn’t meet the threshold as being a viable candidate. For the purposes of the Big 12, 5 points will be assigned to any school that has at least 2 of the following 3 qualifications: an AAU member, ranked in the top 100 of the US News undergraduate rankings and/or ranked in the top 300 of the ARWU world graduate school rankings. A school that has 1 of those qualifications will receive 3 points. Everyone else will receive zero (as the Big 12 would likely only be swayed by truly exceptional academic reputations).

    Basketball Value (5 points) – As I stated in the Big Ten Expansion Index post, personally, there’s nothing that would make me more delirious as a sports fan than Illinois winning the national championship in basketball. However, when it comes to conference expansion discussions, basketball has been even less of a consideration than I originally thought 4 years ago. This is too bad since there is a whole slew of excellent or even elite basketball programs available in the Group of Five (much more so than football programs). That being said, if all things are relatively equal in the other categories, then basketball considerations could be the tipping point. An elite program and/or fan base will receive 5 points and a solid program and/or school with a fair amount of tradition will get 3 points.

    Geographic Fit/Need (5 points) – Normally, this is a category that is based on pure geographic proximity. However, the Big 12 also has a geographic need to bridge the distance gap between West Virginia and the rest of the conference. As a result, schools in states that are located within that gap along with other states immediately adjacent to the current Big 12 footprint will receive 5 points, while everyone else will receive zero. This is an all-or-nothing category – either a school meets the geographic need or it doesn’t.

    Tremendous Upside Potential/Monopoly Power (10 points) – This is a category that wasn’t considered for the Big Ten since it was really looking for established old money schools. In the Big 12′s case, though, its realistic expansion candidates almost all have warts of some nature. In fact, there are quite a few candidates that would be looked at in an entirely different light in a positive way if they were merely competent in on-the-field football performance (much less being powers). As a result, much like an unpolished prospect with a lot of athleticism in the NFL or NBA draft, the upside potential of a school should be taken into consideration by the Big 12. This is especially true for a school that could potentially have “monopoly power” of being the only power conference program in its home state. Other factors include whether a school is a flagship or academically elite, has a proven basketball fan base, or has made a lot of recent investments in football facilities.

    (* Note that the Mutual Interest category that was in the Big Ten Expansion Index was eliminated here. Any Group of Five school would join the Big 12 in a heartbeat.)

    III. EVALUATION OF BIG 12 EXPANSION CANDIDATES

    The candidates are listed in reverse order from least desirable to most desirable. Once again, for the purposes of this evaluation, it is assumed that the only viable Big 12 expansion candidates are not currently power conference members and the calculations are based upon comparisons only to other schools within that non-power conference school group.

    A. ALL HAT, NO CATTLE

    RICE
    Football Brand Value – 15
    National TV Value – 5
    Local TV Value – 0
    Demographics/Recruiting Value – 0
    Academics – 5
    Basketball Value – 0
    Geographic Fit/Need – 5
    Tremendous Upside Potential/Monopoly Power – 5
    Total: 35
    Overview: Fantastic academic institution with a lot of history with the former Southwestern Conference teams in the Big 12, but the lack of a new market or recruiting area is a killer for its candidacy. It would take some massive on-the-field accomplishments (i.e. winning the Group of Five bid to a top bowl in the new College Football Playoff system multiple times) for Rice to move up here.

    UNLV
    Football Brand Value – 10
    National TV Value – 5
    Local TV Value – 7
    Demographics/Recruiting Value – 0
    Academics – 0
    Basketball Value – 5
    Geographic Fit/Need – 0
    Tremendous Upside Potential/Monopoly Power – 10
    Total: 37
    Overview: The Runnin’ Rebels score low right now due to a horrid stretch of on-the-field football performances over the past several years, but they’re a program to watch if it can get a new state-of-the-art football stadium into place. This is a school that provides the highest profile sports teams in the Las Vegas market with a strong basketball fan base, so their value skyrockets if they can avoid complete ineptitude in football.

    COLORADO STATE
    Football Brand Value – 10
    National TV Value – 5
    Local TV Value – 10
    Demographics/Recruiting Value – 5
    Academics – 3
    Basketball Value – 0
    Geographic Fit/Need – 0
    Tremendous Upside Potential/Monopoly Power – 10
    Total: 43
    Overview: It’s a mystery why Colorado State doesn’t ever seem to be able to get its act together on-the-field. On paper, this is an institution that ought to be attractive to a power conference with its solid academics and location in fast growing and demographically desirable Colorado, yet their putrid football performances over the past decade have nixed them from any type of consideration. CSU, like UNLV, is looking to build a new football stadium to increase its chances to move up in the athletic world.

    SMU
    Football Brand Value – 15
    National TV Value – 10
    Local TV Value – 0
    Demographics/Recruiting Value – 0
    Academics – 3
    Basketball Value – 0
    Geographic Fit/Need – 5
    Tremendous Upside Potential/Monopoly Power – 5
    Total: 43
    Overview: The issue with SMU (and any other Texas-based school) is that they’re not bringing any new TV markets or recruiting areas that the Big 12 doesn’t already have blanketed. Now, that isn’t an automatic disqualifier for a Big 12 candidacy (see the addition of TCU in 2011), but it would likely take perfect scores in the Football Brand Value and National TV Value categories to make that happen.

    NEW MEXICO
    Football Brand Value – 10
    National TV Value – 5
    Local TV Value – 7
    Demographics/Recruiting Value – 0
    Academics – 3
    Basketball Value – 5
    Geographic Fit/Need – 5
    Tremendous Upside Potential/Monopoly Power – 10
    Total: 45
    Overview: New Mexico is in a very similar situation to UNLV with an excellent basketball program and fan base with potential monopoly power in its home market… but its on-the-field football product has been unacceptably terrible for a long period of time. The Lobos actually have a leg up on UNLV in terms of academics and being a geographic fit with the Big 12, so they’re a school that can rise rapidly in the pecking order with merely some football competence (much less prowess).

    HOUSTON
    Football Brand Value – 15
    National TV Value – 10
    Local TV Value – 0
    Demographics/Recruiting Value – 0
    Academics – 3
    Basketball Value – 3
    Geographic Fit/Need – 5
    Tremendous Upside Potential/Monopoly Power – 5
    Total: 48
    Overview: See the comments about SMU, only Houston has more basketball tradition. There is also the wild card that the Big 12 may want a physical presence in the Houston market in the same way that TCU is located in the Dallas-Fort Worth market, but the Cougars would still need to have some overwhelmingly extraordinary football success for this to be a possibility.

    MEMPHIS
    Football Brand Value – 10
    National TV Value – 5
    Local TV Value – 7
    Demographics/Recruiting Value – 10
    Academics – 0
    Basketball Value – 5
    Geographic Fit/Need – 5
    Tremendous Upside Potential/Monopoly Power – 7
    Total: 49
    Overview: Memphis is essentially an Eastern mirror of UNLV: large urban basketball school with historically terrible football over the past decade. The advantage that Memphis has by comparison is that it’s located in a rich football recruiting area and aids in bridging the geographic gap between West Virginia and the rest of the Big 12. Memphis has shown that they have excellent basketball fans – if they can get that to translate to football, they have quite a bit of upside. The main drag is being the midst of heavy SEC competition.

    B. INTRIGUING, BUT NOT PRACTICAL

    BOISE STATE
    Football Brand Value – 30
    National TV Value – 15
    Local TV Value – 0
    Demographics/Recruiting Value – 0
    Academics – 0
    Basketball Value – 0
    Geographic Fit/Need – 0
    Tremendous Upside Potential/Monopoly Power – 7
    Total: 52
    Overview: From a national TV contract standpoint, Boise State might be the single most valuable school that is outside of the power conferences as of today. The question that university presidents will always ask, though, is, “How long will this last?” As you can see, Boise State doesn’t bring anything else in terms of demographics, academics, basketball or geography. This is a school whose attributes are purely based upon on-the-field football performance, which is actually exactly what university presidents tend to shy away from since such success is difficult to maintain even when a program has all of the financial resources in the world (see Texas and USC right now and Alabama prior to Nick Saban coming in). There might be a point where Boise State becomes the Gang of Five equivalent of Nebraska where markets and demographics become completely irrelevant with having such a strong football brand, but we aren’t there yet.

    TEMPLE
    Football Brand Value – 15
    National TV Value – 5
    Local TV Value – 10
    Demographics/Recruiting Value – 15
    Academics – 0
    Basketball Value – 3
    Geographic Fit/Need – 0
    Tremendous Upside Potential/Monopoly Power – 5
    Total: 53
    Overview: This is an interesting potential play for the Big 12 by going directly east of West Virginia. The good news is that Philadelphia is a massive market with access to an excellent football recruiting state*. The bad news is that Philly is a tepid college football market (and those that follow college football there tend to follow the king program of Penn State) and there’s a sense that Temple won’t ever develop into much more than what is now (which isn’t satisfactory for the Big 12). The school has had plenty of chances to become a legit power program and never succeeded.

    (* For fans of “Friday Night Light”s (the TV series), just picture that fantastic final scene in the finale with the football in the air transitioning from Texas to Philly. If only conference realignment were as smooth.)

    CONNECTICUT
    Football Brand Value – 20
    National TV Value – 10
    Local TV Value – 7
    Demographics/Recruiting Value – 0
    Academics – 5
    Basketball Value – 5
    Geographic Fit/Need – 0
    Tremendous Upside Potential/Monopoly Power – 10
    Total: 57
    Overview: In a vacuum, UConn is arguably the most power conference-like school that isn’t in a power conference today. If this were an ACC Expansion Index, then UConn would be close to a perfect score. Frankly, there’s still a part of me that’s surprised that UConn isn’t in the ACC already, but I perfectly understand why Louisville got the nod last year. The problem with the prospect of UConn going to the Big 12 is that it’s not a good fit for what the conference is seeking in expansion. UConn has actually performed aptly in football over the past decade outside of the last couple of years, yet the New England region is a black hole when it comes for football recruiting (particularly considering how it’s a high population area) and the school’s men’s and women’s basketball prowess probably has the least value to the Big 12 out of any of the power conferences (as hoops mainly benefit conferences that either have networks like the Big Ten has or strong basketball syndication deals like the ACC). Now, UConn’s Big East pedigree and relatively strong brand name means that the school has a large amount of upside, but it may not matter to the Big 12 with Connecticut being so far geographically from the conference’s core.

    C. NEEDS WORK, BUT KEEP AN EYE ON THEM

    TULANE
    Football Brand Value – 15
    National TV Value – 5
    Local TV Value – 3
    Demographics/Recruiting Value – 15
    Academics – 5
    Basketball Value – 0
    Geographic Fit/Need – 5
    Tremendous Upside Potential/Monopoly Power – 10
    Total: 58
    Overview: Tulane has been in the on-the-field football doldrums since Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans, but the Green Wave might be resuscitating itself at just the right time. The school is building a brand new right-sized on-campus stadium and the football team is bowl eligible this season. Tulane’s academics are arguably the best of any school in the Group of Five besides Rice and the state of Louisiana is one of the best pound-for-pound football recruiting areas in the country. Honestly, out of all of the schools on this list, Tulane has the best chance out of anyone to realize its Tremendous Upside Potential and moving up to the top.

    D. LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION

    SOUTH FLORIDA
    Football Brand Value – 15
    National TV Value – 10
    Local TV Value – 10
    Demographics/Recruiting Value – 20
    Academics – 3
    Basketball Value – 0
    Geographic Fit/Need – 0
    Tremendous Upside Potential/Monopoly Power – 5
    Total: 63
    Overview: The allure of USF is purely about a demographic play – athletic directors and coaches fall all over themselves over the thought of combining the recruiting territories of Texas and Florida. (Note that this is a bigger reason for any fan of a school that’s not in the SEC to be scared of how successful that league can integrate Texas A&M.) USF has shown some flashes of football ability, but it’s been inconsistent. There is also extremely heavy power conference competition within the state of Florida (with Florida, Florida State and Miami gobbling up market shares), so there’s a limit to how large of a fan base that USF can realistically build.

    CENTRAL FLORIDA
    Football Brand Value – 15
    National TV Value – 10
    Local TV Value – 10
    Demographics/Recruiting Value – 20
    Academics – 3
    Basketball Value – 0
    Geographic Fit/Need – 0
    Tremendous Upside Potential/Monopoly Power – 7
    Total: 65
    Overview: UCF has the exact same overview as USF above (just switch USF with UCF) except that UCF has a bit more upside as (a) being one of the largest schools by enrollment in the country and (b) having fresh chances to perform at higher levels of college football (whereas we’ve already seen what USF was and wasn’t able to do in the old Big East).

    SAN DIEGO STATE
    Football Brand Value – 15
    National TV Value – 10
    Local TV Value – 7
    Demographics/Recruiting Value – 20
    Academics – 0
    Basketball Value – 5
    Geographic Fit/Need – 0
    Tremendous Upside Potential/Monopoly Power – 10
    Total: 67
    Overview: San Diego State has similar attributes as UCF and USF on the opposite coast when it comes to football, but the Aztecs have the advantage when it comes to basketball value and the fact that it is the primary Division I sports school in the San Diego market. While Florida and Florida State have statewide fan bases in the Sunshine State, California is much more fragmented by market, which means that SDSU has more potential to “deliver” its home market despite the on-paper proximity of UCLA and USC compared to the AAC’s Florida schools.

    E. THE ONLY CHOICES TODAY

    BYU
    Football Brand Value – 30
    National TV Value – 15
    Local TV Value – 7
    Demographics/Recruiting Value – 5
    Academics – 3
    Basketball Value – 5
    Geographic Fit/Need – 0
    Tremendous Upside Potential/Monopoly Power – 10
    Total: 75
    Overview: BYU has strong enough of a national brand to garner an independent TV contrac with ESPN, a massive worldwide fan base, its own TV network and a solid football tradition. My criteria for demographics and academics likely undercount the true value of BYU, as its relevant demographics are really related to the world’s Mormon population and it has top tier undergraduate academics. Boise State might have the best record of recent on-the-field achievements out of any non-power conference school, but BYU is the one institution at this level that legitimately looks, feels and acts like a power conference program.

    CINCINNATI
    Football Brand Value – 30
    National TV Value – 15
    Local TV Value – 7
    Demographics/Recruiting Value – 20
    Academics – 3
    Basketball Value – 5
    Geographic Fit/Need – 5
    Tremendous Upside Potential/Monopoly Power – 5
    Total: 90
    Overview: I’ve been mentioning Cincinnati as a strong Big 12 expansion candidate for awhile, but it wasn’t until constructing this index did I see how the school really does hit virtually every metric that the conference should be seeking. Among the Group of Five schools, its Football Brand Value is strong with multiple BCS bowl appearances and consistent performances over the past several years despite a number of coaching changes. The state of Ohio is a football recruiting powerhouse with only one in-state power conference competitor (albeit a massive one in the form of Ohio State). The school’s academics are solid, it has a great basketball history and its location is in a major market with probably the best geographic bridge to West Virginia of any viable candidate. The only question with Cincinnati is whether it can really perform any better on-the-field that it already has in football during the past few years. Still, that’s a minor issue compared to how the school has created a consistently competitive football program.

    So, if the Big 12 were to expand today, it’s clear that Cincinnati and BYU have a huge gap over the rest of the field. Whether that type of expansion would be compelling enough to the Big 12 to make a move at all is still an open question.

    Follow @frankthetank111

    (Image from Wikipedia)

    Filed under: College Basketball, College Football, Sports Tagged: Big 12 Expansion, Big 12 Expansion Index, Boise State Broncos, Boise State to the Big 12, BYU Cougars, BYU to the Big 12, Cincinnati Bearcats, Cincinnati to the Big 12, Colorado State Rams, Colorado State to the Big 12, Conference Realignment, Houston Cougars, Houston to the Big 12, Memphis Tigers, Memphis to the Big 12, New Mexico Lobos, New Mexico to the Big 12, Rice Owls, Rice to the Big 12, San Diego State Aztecs, SMU Mustangs, SMU to the Big 12, Temple Owls, Temple to the Big 12, Tulane Green Wave, Tulane to the Big 12, UCF Knights, UConn Huskies, UConn to the Big 12, UNLV Runnin’ Rebels, UNLV to the Big 12, USF Bulls

    Big 12 Rewind: Week 8 – Texas Still Undefeated in Conference Play

    Posted by    |    October 30th, 2013 at 4:46 pm

    Texas 30 TCU 7

    Case McCoy continues to defy the well established Case Rules for about five plays per game, and these plays have turned out to be the difference in the past two victories over Oklahoma and TCU. In Fort Worth, Case once again hit a wide open Marcus Johnson on a wheel route for a 65 yard TD. He also dropped a 40 yard out route into Mike Davis’ bread basket under tight coverage from Jason Verrett, stealing 3 easy points before halftime to take a 20-7 lead. Mr Moxie still completed less than half of his passes (9-19), bouncing a hanful off the turf, but those nine completions averaged 25 yards per catch … Baylory territory.

    If an opponent spots Texas a two touchdown lead, Case’s inevitable mistakes turn out to be far less damaging. The two ill advised moonballs to Jason Verrett in the second half effectively turned out to be early punts, as both left TCU pinned behind their 20. Other than the trick play touchdown for TCU in the first quarter, which would have scored against any defense, Texas shut out TCU — not just in the boxcore, but physically, mentally, and spiritually — and Gary Patterson’s sideline antics played out over four quarters told the tale well. Tying and re-tying shoes, jerking up unruly Dockers (purple suspenders would be a good Christmas gift), furiously wiping down visor sweat, and aggressively pacing the sidelines made for entertaining television. Assuming one was still awake, and hadn’t already muted the utterly horrific broadcoasting duo of Craig Bolerjack and Joey Harrington. AND THE FIELD GOAL IS GOOD! Until it’s not. Wide right …back to you Joey.

    It didn’t matter which QB lined up unter center for TCU, Boykin wasn’t asked to run (Blake Bell nod of approval), and Pachall couldn’t complete a forward pass, let alone a lateral one while running for his life under duress from Cedric Reed and Jackson Jeffcoat. The result was a paltry 246 yards of offense, lowlighted by 24 rushes for 45 yards

    Mack said the team learned from the delay in BYU game and let the players take off their pads and eat chicken strips. I think the bigger difference was probably firing Manny Diaz. Whatever they did, it worked for Johnathan Gray, who did hard work in between the tackles (22/94) and Malcom Brown, who converted two tough scores in the redzone. Texas tallied 30 points and nearly 200 yards rushing against a TCU D that hadn’t given up more than 20 points all season and ranked in the top 10 in rushing defense.

    Season MVP Anthony Fera connected on all 3 FGS (43,37,36), helping to distance an early lead that only got bigger with ever TCU 3 & out.

    Not that Mack Brown would ever overlook Kansas, and Holgo will have a few tricks in his flask in Morgantown, but Texas should be 6-0 in big 12 play heading into the final three game stretch against Okie State, Texas Tech, and Baylor. Regardless of our record come Dec 7th, BC will be making the road trip to Waco, if only to witness the post game handshake with Mack Brown and Art Briles.

    “Congratulations on a Big 12 title, Art.”

    “Thanks, Mack. Just leave the keys to your office in the locker room.”

    “Good one, Art. I thought Nick Saban was taking my job.”

    “You spend too much time on the Internet, Mack.”

    Next up: Texas vs Kansas | TCU vs West Virginia

    Oklahoma State 58 Iowa State 27

    The Cowboys have struggled on offense this year compared to the balanced juggernaut we’ve seen from Gundy teams over the past five years. Other than Josh Stewart, WR talent is below par and there isn’t a Kendall Hunter or Josh Randle on the depth chart. There is a guy named Desmond Roland, who took over the starting RB job from Jeremy Smith. Why Shitbird didn’t figure this out earlier, T. Boone can only wonder. In his first start, Roland went off for 219 yards and Okie State piled up a season high 249 on the ground against Paul Rhoads’ beleaguered Cyclones, who spotted the Cowboys a 14-0 lead but snuck back in it by halftime. As usual for Iowa State, the second half didn’t get any better. Okie State rushed for 179 yards … in the third quarter … and pulled away for 30 second half points. The Cyclones lost starter Sam Richardson to a neck/shoulder injury. At this point, Paul Rhoads just stares out of his office watching leaves fall. Take the first offer, man.

    Next up: OSU @ TT | ISU @ KSU

    Oklahoma 38 Texas Tech 30

    The line for this game opened at Tech +8 and Vegas had this one pegged. Late money came in on Tech that pushed the line down to 7 and Tech had many chances to win this game, but couldn’t close the deal in Norman. This was actually a good matchup for the Sooners, whose strength on defens is in the secondary led by Aaron Colvin. Jace Amaro and Erik Ward score against everybody though and Amaro once again punished anyone that tried to cover him with 8 catches for 119 yards. Blake Bell completed a few forward passes, most of them to stud WR Jalen Saunders, who hauled in a 76 yard bomb in the second quarter and finished with 6 catches for 153 yards and two scores. Tech QB Davis Webb moved the ball efficiently against the Sooners, throwing for 385 yards and 2 TDs but three turnovers ultimately buried the Red Raiders. OU finally got their running game going with Damian Williams (97 yards, 2 TDs) and LaColtan Bester delivered a highlight reel reverse of field run to the endzone off a failed trick play. Tech’s first conference loss leaves Texas and Baylor as the only undefeated in conference play.

    Next up: OU (bye) | Texas Tech vs Oklahoma State (6 pm FOX)

    Baylor 59 Kansas 14

    Bryce Petty and the nation’s #2 passing attack carved up Kansas early and often, covering the 35 point chalk, 14 1Q total, and the over once again. Easy money, imo. This is Baylor’s first 7-0 start since 1980 and the Bears haven’t lost since Nov 12, 2012 against Oklahoma, who they square off against on Nov 7. Baylor rushed for 306 and passed for 437, right on average. They also unleashed a new weapon called Shock Linwood, who ran for two long 4th quarter TDs after Seastrunk and Martin hit the bench. Shit gets real for Baylor in November after the bye week: OU, TT, @OSU, @TCU, Texas. They’ll probably drop one but good luck divining which opponent. Given prior struggles on the road against good teams, Okie State probably has the best shot.

    Next up: Baylor (bye) | Kansas @ Texas

    Kansas State 35 West Virginia 12

    The Mountaineers hung around for three quarters despite never scoring a touchdown before the Wildcats reeled off four 4th quarter TDs to pull away on Holgo & Co. K. State controlled the clock, running the ball 43 times and passing efficiently, as Jake Waters and Daniel Sams combined for 18/21 and 291 yards. Snyder wheelhouse. Holgorsen has some young talent in Dreamius Smith and Karl Joseph, but has major issues on the OL and DL that will need at least another year to fill out. Does Holgo have another year? Not likely if a new AD comes in to replace Oliver Luck.

    Next Up: WVU @ TCU | KSU vs Iowa State

    Poll
    Who will win the Big 12





      104 votes | Results