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Tag:Southern Miss
Posted on: March 1, 2012 2:13 pm
 

SEC loves (playing) the Sun Belt

While Thursday’s release of the Sun Belt’s 2012 football schedule didn’t bring as much fanfare as the SEC or Big 12 schedule release, it did give us a chance to look at which other conferences love the Sun Belt. Specifically which of the other 10 FBS conferences love playing against the Sun Belt.

And no one loves playing/beating the Sun Belt more than the SEC, especially Mississippi State.

Three of the Bulldogs' four non-conference games are against Sun Belt members Troy, South Alabama and Middle Tennessee. Their fourth non-conference game is against FCS member Jackson State. I guess there were no Division III teams available that week.

Anyway, Mississippi State is among nine SEC schools that will play Sun Belt schools this fall in a total of 12 non-conference games. The only SEC schools without a Sun Belt team on the schedule is Missouri, Ole Miss, South Carolina, Texas A&M and Vanderbilt. Defending national champion Alabama’s schedule features two Sun Belt opponents: Western Kentucky and Florida Atlantic.

After the SEC, Conference USA has the most schools (six) playing Sun Belt opponents with a total of eight games.

Mississippi State is one of five schools with multiple Sun Belt opponents. Alabama, Memphis, Tulane and Navy each have two Sun Belt non-conference games.

The only FBS league that isn’t playing the Sun Belt is the WAC.

Last year, the Sun Belt was only 10-25 in non-conference games against FBS opponents, including a 1-2 bowl record.

Conference (games vs. Sun Belt)

ACC (3):
Duke, Georgia Tech, N.C. State
Big East (1):
Louisville
Big 10 (1):
Nebraska
Big 12 (3):
Baylor, Kansas State, Oklahoma State
C-USA (6):
Houston, Memphis 2, Southern Miss, Tulane 2, UAB, UCF
Independents (1):
Navy 2
MAC (1):
Akron
Mountain West (1):
Hawaii
SEC (9):
Alabama 2, Arkansas, Auburn, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, LSU, Mississippi State 3, Tennessee
Pac-12 (1):
Oregon
WAC (0)

Posted on: February 13, 2012 2:15 pm
Edited on: February 14, 2012 6:20 am
 

C-USA, MWC dissolving to form new league

The institutions from Conference USA and the Mountain West are dissolving both leagues to create their own conference, college football industry sources told CBSSports.com.

The new conference will consist of 18 to 24 members and start in the 2013-14 academic year. It would not only have a conference championship football game, but also conference semifinals. Conference USA and the Mountain West would continue as is for the 2012-13 season.

The reason that the institutions are dissolving and forming their own league and not just merging is for legal reasons, sources said.

"This presidentially led association will ensure stability and be built upon the principles of operating at the highest level of integrity and sportsmanship, enhancing the student-athlete academic and competitive experience, bringing fiscal discipline into athletics and ensuring competitive fairness," said a statement from UNLV president Neal Smatresk and Tulane president Scott Cowen.

"This is an exciting development that will stabilize the current conferences and create the first truly national conference with members in five time zones and television viewership from coast to coast," Smatresk said. "This partnership brings together like-minded institutions to improve the integrity and stability of intercollegiate athletics. We are moving our plans forward rapidly and expect to complete our conversations in the near future. Look for further announcements soon as we work together on this exciting new venture."

The structure of the new conference, Smatresk and Cowen's statement said, will have a "national scope from the Atlantic Seaboard to Hawaii, regular season scheduling in divisions, NCAA FBS affiliation and mechanisms to emphasize and improve academic standards and fiscal responsibility."

The presidents and chancellors will have follow-up meetings during the next six months to fully develop the operational issues essential to the formation of the association.

The new league -- which is yet to be named -- is expected to consist of  Southern Miss, Marshall, East Carolina, UAB, Tulsa, Rice, UTEP and Tulane from C-USA and Wyoming, Air Force, Colorado State, UNLV, New Mexico, Fresno State, Nevada and Hawaii from the MWC. Hawaii would be a football-only member.

Temple also is a possibility. The school was contacted by Conference USA, sources told CBSSports.com, when the Big East last week opted to invited Memphis instead of Temple.

CBSSports.com's Dennis Dodd first reported last month about the possibility of the leagues dissolving and forming their own league.

Both leagues have suffered significant losses. BYU went independent last season, while TCU is leaving for the Big 12 and Boise State and San Diego State are leaving for the Big East, with Boise State possibly joining the Big East this summer. C-USA also lost Houston, UCF, SMU and Memphis to the Big East, starting in 2013.


Posted on: February 8, 2012 10:50 am
 

C-USA contacts Temple; MWC merger changes weekly

After Memphis’ decision to leave for the Big East on Tuesday, Conference USA officials immediately contacted Temple to gauge the Owls’ interest in moving from the Mid-American Conference to C-USA, college football industry sources told CBSSports.com.

Temple thought it would receive the Big East’s invitation and was stunned the Big East invited Memphis. The Owls were former Big East members before getting dismissed from the league in 2004. Temple has been a member of the MAC since 2007 and in the past three seasons has a 26-12 record under former coach Al Golden and current coach Steve Addazio.

It’s unknown if the Owls would welcome a move to C-USA since there’s still the possibility the Big East could have more future openings if the Big 12 expands to 11 and takes Louisville. If that happens, Temple would be back on the Big East’s radar.

The future of Conference USA is also unknown. C-USA and the Mountain West are considering a merger or will dissolve the two leagues into one. With Memphis gone, will the leagues still combine or decide its better to go at it alone? One source said the possibility of the C-USA/MWC merger “changes weekly.”

If C-USA and the MWC did combine as an all-sports league it would consist of: Southern Miss, Marshall, East Carolina, UAB, Tulsa, Rice, UTEP and Tulane from C-USA and Wyoming, Air Force, Colorado State, UNLV, New Mexico, Fresno State, Nevada and Hawaii from the MWC. Hawaii would be a football-only member, making a 15-team all-sports conference and a 16-team football conference, not including Temple.

The benefits of the combined league, sources say, would be stability, increased potential television revenue and the additional exposure across the country in new markets. They also would be able to conduct a conference championship game in football. C-USA currently has a championship game, the Mountain West doesn’t.

If the leagues decide to remain as they are could they survive with all of the defections? The Mountain West will be losing TCU, Boise State and San Diego State, while C-USA will lose Houston, UCF, SMU and Memphis. The television revenue for each league would not be as substantial.

As unwieldy as a 15- or 16-team all-sports league stretched across the country may seem, it still likely would provide more long-term stability – at least until one of the current BCS AQ conferences decides to expand again and the dominoes continue to trickle down to the MWC and C-USA.

So does Temple join forces with C-USA or hold out hope for a Big East invite? Does C-USA combine with the Mountain West? We’ll have to wait and see, but the fact that in 2013 seven of the Big East’s 11 football members are former C-USA members (Louisville, Cincinnati, South Florida, Houston, Memphis, UCF and SMU) was not lost on one college football industry source.

“Perhaps the Big East can save time and take the rest of Conference USA’s teams,” quipped the source. “Then take C-USA’s name and divide the league into Red, White and Blue Divisions (as the league once had in the 1990s).”
Posted on: January 9, 2012 11:24 pm
Edited on: January 9, 2012 11:25 pm
 

Alabama, LSU, Okla State top my AP ballot

NEW ORLEANS – Based on Alabama’s dominating performance in Monday night’s BCS title game, the Crimson Tide are ranked No. 1 on my final Associated Press ballot.

Alabama (12-1) was ranked No. 3 on my final regular season ballot, but the Tide were impressive enough to leap LSU and Oklahoma State. LSU (13-1) may have had the most impressive regular season in college football history, but I only ranked the Tigers No. 2

Despite Oklahoma State’s victory against Stanford in the Fiesta Bowl, I dropped the Cowboys from No. 2 to No. 3. Their victory wasn’t dominating enough for me to keep Oklahoma State (12-1) in my top two.

Here is my final AP ballot for 2011. Last week’s rankings in parenthesis.
 
1. Alabama (3)
The Crimson Tide finished 12-1, defeating LSU in the BCS title game.

2. LSU (1)
The Tigers finished 13-1, losing to Alabama in the BCS title game.

3. Oklahoma State (2)
The Cowboys finished 12-1, defeating Stanford 41-38 in overtime in the Fiesta Bowl.

4. Oregon (4)
The Ducks finished 12-2, defeating Wisconsin 45-38 in the Rose Bowl.

5. Boise State (6)
The Broncos finished 12-1, defeating Arizona State 56-24 in Las Vegas Bowl.

6. Arkansas (8)
The Razorbacks finished 11-2, defeating Kansas State 29-16 in the Cotton Bowl.

7. USC (9)
The Trojans finished 10-2 and were not eligible for a bowl game.

8. Stanford (5)
The Cardinal finished 11-2, losing to Oklahoma State 41-38 in overtime in the Fiesta Bowl.

9. South Carolina (10)
The Gamecocks finished 11-2, defeating Nebraska 30-13 in the Capital One Bowl.

10. Wisconsin (7)
The Badgers finished 11-3, losing to Oregon 45-38 in the Rose Bowl.

11. Michigan (12)
The Wolverines finished 11-2, defeating Virginia Tech 23-20 in overtime in the Sugar Bowl.

12. Michigan State (15)
The Spartans finished 11-3, defeating Georgia 33-30 in triple overtime in the Outback Bowl.

13. Baylor (13)
The Bears finished 10-3, defeating Washington 67-56 in the Alamo Bowl.

14. TCU (17)
The Horned Frogs finished 11-2, defeating Louisiana Tech 31-24 in the Poinsettia Bowl.

15. Georgia (16)
The Bulldogs finished 10-4, losing to Michigan State 33-30 in triple overtime in the Outback Bowl.

16. Oklahoma (20)
The Sooners finished 10-3, defeating Iowa 31-14 in the Insight Bowl.

17. Kansas State (11)
The Wildcats finished 10-3, losing to Arkansas 29-16 in the Cotton Bowl.

18. West Virginia (24)
The Mountaineers finished 10-3, defeating Clemson 70-33 in the Orange Bowl.

19. Florida State (19)
The Seminoles finished 9-4, defeating Notre Dame 18-14 in the Champs Sports Bowl.

20. Southern Miss (21)
The Golden Eagles finished 12-2, defeating Nevada 24-17 in the Hawaii Bowl.

21. Houston (22)
The Cougars finished 12-1, defeating Penn State 30-14 in the Ticket City Bowl.

22. Nebraska (18)
The Cornhuskers finished 9-4, losing to South Carolina 30-13 in the Capital One Bowl.

23. Clemson (14)
The Tigers finished 10-4, losing to West Virginia 70-33 in the Orange Bowl.

24. Virginia Tech (23)
The Hokes finished 11-3, losing to Michigan 23-20 in overtime in the Sugar Bowl.

25. Cincinnati (NR)
The Bearcats finished 10-3, defeating Vanderbilt 31-24 in the Liberty Bowl.



Posted on: December 7, 2011 4:41 pm
Edited on: December 7, 2011 6:03 pm
 

C-USA, Mountain West all-sports merger on horizon

NEW YORK – With the Mountain West and Conference USA losing at least five members to the Big East, those two leagues are now looking at an all-sports merger instead of a full-scale football expansion as originally planned, sources told CBSSports.com.

Conference USA and the Mountain West initially planned to combine into a separate football-only league with between 20 and 24 members and conducted an Oct. 15 press conference to announce the news. The winners from C-USA and the Mountain West would meet in a playoff with, they hoped, the winner earning a BCS bowl berth.

A BCS bowl berth, however, would have had to be approved by the BCS.

However, that plan has lost steam by the loss of Boise State, San Diego State, Houston, SMU and UCF to the Big East. Instead, C-USA and the Mountain West are considering a merger in all sports. Sources have indicated that Craig Thompson, the current commissioner of the Mountain West, would become the commissioner of the new merged league, while Conference USA commissioner Britton Banowsky would step down.

A vote on the merger could come by next month, sources said.

The merged league would consist of: East Carolina, Marshall, Memphis, Rice, Southern Miss, Tulane, Tulsa, UAB and UTEP from C-USA and Air Force, Colorado State, New Mexico, UNLV and Wyoming from the Mountain West along with new members Fresno State, Hawaii and Nevada for a 17-team conference. Air Force was being sought after by the Big East, but the Gazette reported Tuesday evening that the Falcons would remain in the Mountain West.

After the initial merger announcement to as many as 24 schools on Oct. 15, Banowsky e-mailed officials at Conference USA and the Mountain West a week later about a proposed new conference, entitled “BCS and The Big East Expansion (An Alternative Plan).”

“Attached is a document that might find of interest regarding conference realignment,” Banowsky wrote on the e-mail, obtained by CBSSports.com.

That eight-page document presented two possible conferences mergers: one with 28 teams and another with 32 teams. They included all the Big East, Conference USA and Mountain West teams, plus a few other teams from other leagues. The plan was never endorsed by the Big East and didn’t get much further than being reported by various media outlets.

To combat the departures of the five schools, the Mountain West had decided to add San Jose State and Utah State. But adding those schools has now been put on hold, sources said.

Posted on: December 4, 2011 2:56 am
Edited on: December 4, 2011 2:57 am
 

LSU, Okla. State atop my AP ballot

STILLWATER, Okla. – With Oklahoma State’s dominating victory against Oklahoma, earning the Cowboys their first Big 12 championship, I moved OSU up to No. 2 on my final regular season Associated Press ballot.

The final AP poll will be released on Jan. 10.

Last week’s rankings are in parenthesis.

1. LSU (1)

2. Oklahoma State (3)

3. Alabama (2)

4. Oregon (4)

5. Stanford (5)

6. Boise State (6)

7. Wisconsin (11)

8. Arkansas (7)

9. USC (10)

10. South Carolina (13)

11. Kansas State (16)

12. Michigan (17)

13. Baylor (18)

14. Clemson (22)

15. Michigan State (9)

16. Georgia (12)

17. TCU (19)

18. Nebraska (20)

19. Florida State (23)

20. Oklahoma (15)

21. Southern Miss (NR)

22. Houston (8)

23. Virginia Tech (14)

24. West Virginia (25)

25. Louisville (24)

Posted on: December 4, 2011 2:55 am
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Posted on: December 4, 2011 2:54 am
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The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com