Big East M5: 03.27.13 Edition

Posted by Dan Lyons on March 27th, 2013

bigeast_morning5(2)

  1. If nothing else, fans of the current Big East are going to have plenty of channels to catch their favorite schools on when the schools all go their separate ways. The ACC is taking over Big Monday and should have an increased presence on ESPN, the Big East (Catholic edition) will be on FOX, and the soon-to-be-the-conference-formerly-known-as-the-Big-East just inked a deal with CBS, which will get first dibs on the conference’s games through 2019-20. Oh, and West Virginia seemed to be on ESPN like every week this year… so good for the ‘Eers.
  2. Louisville was the number one overall seed in 2009, much like it is this year. That team hoisted both the Big East regular season and tournament trophies, and made a run to the Elite Eight before falling to Michigan State. That team featured excellent former Cardinals like Terrence Williams, Andre McGee, and Earl Clark, and apparently those guys won’t stop talking about that season. Peyton Siva would like to reclaim bragging rights over the 2009 squad with the one trophy they weren’t able to claim — a national title. “I don’t know a lot (about 2009), I just know T-Will and Dre were on it and they always brag about being the No. 1 overall seed… Our whole goal for the year — they had Andre’s picture on the wall from that ’09 team — is to take him off the wall.”
  3. Otto Porter is a finalist for the Naismith Award this season, and for good reason. A very good argument can be made that there was no player more important to his team this season, and it showed in Georgetown‘s best games — Porter scored 33 points in front of over 35,000 raucous Syracuse fans to stun the Orange at the Carrier Dome — as well as their worst — Porter could only muster 13 points on 5-of-17 shooting in Georgetown’s shocking loss to Florida Gulf Coast last weekend. While Porter is up against stiff competition for the Naismith Award, he already has accolade in his back pocket as Basketball Times has named the forward its National Player of the year.
  4. Expansion fever — catch the excitement! Today in schools moving conferences, the old Big East continues it’s mission to restore the halcyon days of mid-2000s Conference USA. Brett McMurphy reports that Tulsa will become the 12th member of the conference, calling the addition “imminent.” According to McMurphy, the Golden Hurricanes will join up in 2014 with Tulane and East Carolina, who will be elevated to full-member status to balance the conference numbers and fill the critical role of having basketball-playing Pirates in the league.
  5. The Journal-Sentinel sat down with former Marquette great Brian Wardle, currently the head coach at Wisconsin-Green Bay, to discuss the state of Warriors basketball. Wardle was obviously thrilled with the success that the program has had under Buzz Williams, and before him, Tom Crean, stating that MU has entered the ranks of the elite in college ball. “The level that Marquette basketball is at now is an elite level that it has not been in for a long time… they’ve gone to three Sweet Sixteens in a row, a Final Four, everything takes time to build. Nothing happens overnight. You’ve got to go through some failures to succeed. You’re seeing Marquette in the Sweet Sixteen every year with the Michigan States, the Dukes, with Kansas.”  There is no denying the success that Marquette has had recently, though dropping the ‘e’ word seems a bit strong.  Until Marquette makes a few more Final Fours or captures a national title, they’re a rung or two below the nation’s elite schools, at least to me. However, they’re not far behind, and with the consistent success that Buzz Williams has had with the program, it may only be a matter of time until they break through.
Share this story

Big 12 M5: 01.29.13 Edition

Posted by Nate Kotisso on January 29th, 2013

morning5_big12

  1. Going into last night, I thought Kansas was getting set to do terrible things to West Virginia. We instead saw a Jayhawks team playing with fire against an inferior opponent for the second time in their last three road games. They were able to scrape by Texas in Austin after trailing by 11 early in the second half, and KU was also supposed to drive a nail through the Mountaineers when they jumped out to a 22-7 lead yesterday. Should KU fans be concerned about these good-but-not-great performances outside of Lawrence? Look, if Kansas wins every game from now until the national championship by one point (it won’t happen, of course), then there’s no reason to be worried until a game or series of games are lost. Still…
  2. The Big 12 conference gathered its 10 athletic directors in Irving, Texas, to discuss measures that would be taken in the case of more conference expansion among the power six conferences. Here’s where it gets interesting: Big 12 sources revealed that if the Big Ten expands again, then that league would likely pursue a list of Association of American Universities in the ACC such as Duke, UNC, Pittsburgh, Georgia Tech and Virginia. They also said that if the SEC were to get bigger, then they would pursue schools who aren’t currently in their footprint like the Virginia and North Carolina schools in the — you guessed it — ACC. Commissioner Bob Bowlsby reaffirmed that the league’s 10 current members are happy with this configuration but they want contingency plans  just in case. I’d really hate it if I read this article and my name was John Swofford, although Bowlsby also noted that the Big 12 is seeking a “friends with benefits” alliance with the ACC as well.
  3. It was announced yesterday that Baylor guard Pierre Jackson had won Big 12 Player of the Week honors for the first time this season. Doesn’t it seem a little odd that this is the preseason conference player of the year’s first honor? It’s not like Jackson is having a bad year. He leads the Big 12 in scoring per game (18.7 PPG), is tied at the top in assists per game (5.9 APG) and is in the top 10 for free throw percentage and steals. Jackson averaged 19 points, four assists and two rebounds while connecting on 8-of-16 on three pointers last week. With four-time POTW winner Rodney McGruder coming on strong as of late, it looks to be a photo finish among those two for Big 12 Player of the Year.
  4. Big 12 Rookie of the Week went to Will Clyburn of Iowa State who has been everything and then some for the Cyclones. Usually these weekly honors go to players who played well for a team that went undefeated last week. The Cyclones fell on the road to Texas Tech but Clyburn was still able to make a mark on this game by recording 12 points and 10 rebounds. It’s clear he won the award with his 24/10 effort in Iowa State’s win over K-State that finally gave them a win over a ranked opponent. This is Clyburn’s second ROTW of the 2012-13 season.
  5. Here is a quote from Oklahoma State forward Kamari Murphy’s AAU coach about the freshman in 2011: “When he goes to Stillwater, he’ll be a freshman eligibility-wise, but a sophomore mentally.” So what prompted Murphy to say this via Twitter and then promptly delete it? Is he feeling disgruntled because he isn’t getting consistent playing time, or did he truly believe his tweet had no meaning to it? You decide. It’s just more bad press for a team that should be contending for second place in the Big 12 but instead finds itself living on the fringe in sixth place.
Share this story

Catholic Seven Exodus: What It Means for the ACC

Posted by mpatton on December 19th, 2012

With last weekend’s announcement that the seven Catholic schools (DePaul, Georgetown, Villanova, Marquette, St. John’s, Seton Hall and Providence) voted unanimously to leave the Big East, conference realignment is still going strong. The good news for ACC fans is it doesn’t look like the change will directly impact the conference. Cincinnati and Connecticut would still love to join the ACC, but time isn’t of the essence for that unless the Big Ten gets antsy again.

Mike Aresco

Big East Commissioner Mike Aresco couldn’t negotiate a TV contract big enough to keep the Catholic schools satisfied. (AP Photo/Mel Evans)

However, the news will still have major ramifications going forward. First, the old Big East is dead. It was probably dead when Syracuse and Pittsburgh jumped ship, but now it’s truly an empty name describing a group of financially-connected schools. The paradigmatic schools are gone — save Connecticut — and they’re taking their basketball history with them. But the news isn’t all bad for college hoops fans. According to the New Jersey Star Ledger‘s Brendan Prunty, the schools are looking to start a new conference focused on basketball (related, this is the best recap of how and why the Catholic schools left, so read it). Right now they’re aiming for 12 schools, potentially including Gonzaga, Xavier and/or Butler. The conference would be financed largely by NCAA Tournament bid money instead of football money. If the concept works (i.e., the schools are consistently successful enough to financially sustain high level athletics), it would be revolutionary. But before looking too deeply into the concept, it’s important to understand the current landscape of realignment.

Read the rest of this entry »

Share this story

ACC M5: 11.19.12 Edition

Posted by mpatton on November 19th, 2012

  1. Raleigh News & Observer: After several months of beating his drum, Dan Kane finally found a whistleblower from the North Carolina athletic support staff. Mary Willingham is the first named source to come out and directly say that plagiarism was tolerated by the tutors and professors in many no-show classes at UNC. A witness has been the missing piece to this story, and Willingham’s criticism is damning to say the least. She alleges special treatment for revenue sport athletes, both in terms of admissions and questionable classes. Willingham’s comments will take some further dissection but do not look good for the school at first reading.
  2. ESPN: The biggest news over the weekend was the bombshell dropped out of College Park when sources within the athletic department told ESPN that Maryland is far enough along in negotiations to join the Big Ten (along with Rutgers) and that an official announcement could come as soon as later today. This makes the ACC’s recent addition of Notre Dame even more important, though it could also spark additional expansion moves (does Connecticut become an ACC target?). By switching leagues, Maryland would likely see a significant boost in television profits in the long run, but the recently increased $50 million dollar ACC buyout could cripple an athletic department already in the red in the short term.
  3. Washington Post (pro and con): Two Maryland legends spoke out for and against the Terps’ potential move to the Big Ten. Gary Williams is all for the move despite supporting the ACC throughout all the expansion rumors. It should be noted that Williams serves as assistant to the athletic director, so it may color his opinion a little (though Williams was never scared to speak his mind before this). He cited the increased television revenue and hinted at a lack of respect from the ACC (noting the conference tournament was only hosted in Washington, DC, once in his 22 years). Len Elmore on the other hand fought for tradition: “Anything that’s driven solely by dollars, it’ll turn out badly.” Elmore took some shots at Maryland’s president and athletic director for not having Maryland pride. Expect more from us here at the ACC microsite on the potential move today.
  4. Wilmington Star News: NC State’s Debbie Yow earned herself an extension with increased supplemental compensation. Yow’s new deal runs through June 2017 and is a direct result of a successful coaching search (in hindsight at least) and the steady improvement that the Wolfpack’s athletic teams have seen under her tenure –most prominently, on the basketball court. Yow will continue making $354,000 a year with an extra $150,000 in supplemental earnings and an enhanced bonus structure going forward.
  5. Hampton Roads Daily Press: David Teel sat down with John Swofford to talk all things ACC. The majority of the interview is covered in his excellent profile, which ran Sunday. But the extras are also worth reading, especially Swofford’s optimism on merging the Notre Dame and ACC football deals in the near future. He also talked briefly about working above Dean Smith at North Carolina and the ongoing scandal in Chapel Hill.
Share this story

Florida State, Conference Realignment, and the ACC…

Posted by mpatton on May 15th, 2012

Florida State president Eric Barron released a statement Monday with his response to conference realignment rumors — specifically focused on Florida State Board of Trustees chair Andy Haggard‘s comments from last week. To summarize, Haggard wants out of the ACC. He pointed out that the conference’s attachment to Tobacco Road and basketball in general represents a fundamental chasm between the Seminoles and their current conference. He also pointed to the ACC’s new television deal, which reportedly will eventually pay the schools an extra $4 million dollars per school but still lags behind the Pac-12, Big 12, the Big Ten and SEC. Haggard also erroneously pointed to the ACC’s treatment of third-tier television rights as proof of the league’s anti-football bias (he claimed schools got to keep unused basketball games and not football games, but the schools actually do not have rights to either).

Florida State Eric Barron Wants to Stay in the ACC. (AP Photo/Phil Coale)

Barron’s statement sided with the ACC, citing increased travel costs, lower ticket sales and the high exit fee as financial reasons to avoid a deal with the Big 12. He also highlighted Texas’s influence on the conference, losing the rivalry with Miami, and academics. Barron’s statement also falsely suggested that the Big 12 will not share revenue equally: Unlike the old Big 12 deal, the new deal will include equal revenue sharing except for third-tier rights which belong to the schools (which unlike the ACC includes unused basketball and football games). Barron also failed to acknowledge that Florida State joining the Big 12 would improve the conference’s television deal, so the current $3 million dollar difference would likely increase. Additionally, the Big 12 may share travel costs but I couldn’t confirm that one way or another. For the Florida State fan perspective, Tomahawk Nation is the best source for conference realignment (and really everything else). Bud Elliott wasn’t impressed with Barron’s statement. It’s clear that a majority of Florida State fans are at least interested in what the Big 12 has to offer. On the other side of the argument, Chadd Scott makes strong arguments for the Seminoles staying in the ACC and on the specifics of each deal.

Read the rest of this entry »

Share this story

Memphis to Big East a Huge Win for Both Sides

Posted by EJacoby on February 7th, 2012

Evan Jacoby is a regular RTC contributor. You can find him @evanjacoby on Twitter. 

The college basketball landscape incurred another major shuffle on Tuesday, as Memphis is reportedly headed to the Big East for all sports beginning in the 2013-14 season. At this point, geographical alignment is a non-factor when it comes to conference separation, so fretting over the fact that a school in western Tennessee will be a part of the ‘Big East’ is simply a waste of time. Instead, looking at this deal from a basketball competition angle shows that the move is a benefit for both parties.

Josh Pastner Will Likely be Coaching Memphis in the Big East in Two Seasons

Memphis, an elite basketball program with the third-best winning percentage of the past decade, gets to join a top tier conference that provides enough guaranteed challenges and limits the amount of difficult non-conference scheduling that the team must make. Playing teams like Connecticut, Villanova, and Marquette every year will greatly boost the Tigers’ overall profile each season so they don’t have to schedule as many pre-conference contests against Tennessee, Michigan, Louisville, and Georgetown like they did this year. Meanwhile, the Big East Conference is adding an upper echelon basketball school to help replace the impending departures of West Virginia, Syracuse, and Pittsburgh. Memphis has reached the NCAA Tournament in six of the past eight seasons, including a Final Four run and two Elite Eight appearances in the last six years. Memphis is also a C-USA school, the conference that once harbored Louisville, Cincinnati, Marquette, DePaul, and South Florida. So the Tigers have familiar ties to several current Big East schools that make it a logical fit.

Read the rest of this entry »

Share this story

BREAKING: New Brothers From Missouri are the Best Brothers!

Posted by Gerald Smith on October 28th, 2011

The Big 12 offered the last rose to West Virginia. Sad tears are shed in Louisville’s limo while happy tears and embraces punctuate the official Big 12 press release.

Another feline in the SEC family! (Image via http://hewhowalkswithtigers.deviantart.com/)

Wait… In that press release, where’s Missouri in the list of ten Big 12 schools that’ll comprise the conference in 2012-13? Nothing official has been announced — well, nothing that wasn’t an error by a web vendor — but it appears that Mizzou has finalized its move to the Southeastern Conference. With Big 12 ex-pats Texas A&M also joining in the 2012-13 season, the pesky scheduling problem that comes with having thirteen basketball teams might have gotten easier.

We’ll update this post with any official news about Missouri to the SEC if it breaks later today. Otherwise, time for some Tiger hugs!

Share this story

ACC Morning Five: 10.06.11 Edition

Posted by mpatton on October 6th, 2011

  1. The Pitt News: Pittsburgh‘s student newspaper gives Panther fans a snark-filled rundown of what they can expect from ACC member schools. Highlights include: “The most recent U.S. News & World Report ranked Duke’s undergraduate program No. 10 in the nation, which is also the lowest Dick Vitale has ever ranked the basketball program,” or “Wake Forest admits students who correctly complete the analogy “Demon Deacon basketball is to _______ as DePaul basketball is to the Big East.” Really all of the descriptions are gold, though NC State’s The Hangover reference left me wondering whether Greg Trietley knows that Zach Galifianakis actually attended NC State
  2. CBSSports.com: Jeff Goodman managed to catch up with North Carolina alumnus Sean May in Europe and ask him about Gary Parrish’s recent post claiming this might be Roy Williams‘ best team at UNC. It suffices to say, May was not convinced: “It’s not even close [...] Overall, talent-wise, I think we were better.” While his initial assessment is a slight overstatement, May does provide pretty solid evidence for his squad, though I’ll still stick with the 2008-09 team for most dominant (if not most talented).
  3. ESPNHS: Senior Mitch McGary is the second rated prospect for 2012 according to ESPNU, and he’s cut his list to five including three ACC schools. The obvious leaders appear to be Michigan, Duke and North Carolina, which are the only schools McGary officially visited. McGary wrote a blog post for ESPN talking about his top schools in addition to reviewing Jay-Z and Kanye’s album “Watch the Throne” and J. Cole’s new album “Cole World: the Sideline Story.” For what it’s worth, recruiting guru Dave Telep thinks McGary is probably leaning towards Michigan, but I wouldn’t count Roy Williams or Mike Krzyzewski out just yet.
  4. The Diamondback – Terrapin Trail: Maryland‘s student newspaper sat down with new basketball coach Mark Turgeon and talked everything recruiting. Turgeon also noted the transition to working at Maryland has been easier than when he first started at Texas A&M. The observant Maryland reporter also spotted Curtis Malone, the president of DC Assault, talking up one of Turgeon’s assistants. One thing that got under Maryland fans’ collective skins–especially late in his career–was Gary Williams‘ lack of interest in dealing with AAU coaches.
  5. The Daily Orange: Syracuse‘s student newspaper dredged up a little bad blood the school has with Virginia politics in a very good piece about the Orange’s first invite to join the ACC back in 2003. Eventually the invitation was rescinded, as Virginia threatened to leave the ACC if Virginia Tech wasn’t one of the new teams. While I certainly don’t advocate reneging on one’s word, it’s tough to argue with Virginia Tech’s selection (they’ve been consistently competitive in football and basketball). Regardless, it’s an interesting piece that may have the seeds of a new conference rivalry.
Share this story

The Big 12 And Pac-10 — An Alliance?

Posted by jstevrtc on May 12th, 2010

Andrew Murawa is the RTC correspondent for the Pac-10 and Mountain West Conferences and an occasional contributor.

Much has been made of the Big Ten’s interest in expanding beyond their current 11 teams and all the consequences that such expansion could have on other conferences throughout the country. But, given that the other BCS conferences are multi-million dollar organizations and that the continued competitiveness and even existence of these organizations may depend on their actions both before and after the Big Ten comes to its decision, it should come as no surprise that conference commissioners and athletic directors of their respective member institutions are considering their options in a game of moves and countermoves. It is probably no coincidence that the first speculative report to surface indicating that the Big Ten has made its choices and offered up its first invitations came on the heels of reports at the end of last week that the Big 12 and Pac-10 had met to discuss a possible alliance, a big innovation that makes a lot of sense for both conferences.

Big 12/Pac-10

Representatives from the two conferences met in Phoenix last Wednesday in what Big 12 commissioner Dan Beebe described as “an informal meeting” to discuss a possible alliance. The two main planks of this possible alliance are rumored to be scheduling preferences in the future and, most importantly, joint television negotiations and ventures. As rumors have swirled of the Big Ten and possibly SEC poaching some Big 12 teams, and with the Pac-10 exploring its own expansion options, a “strategic alliance,” between the two conferences, as Pac-10 commissioner Larry Scott put it, could be a boon to both.

The conference generals will do what they have to do in the spirit of self-preservation.

Aside from the potential benefits that an alliance between the conferences could bring, there is a lot of common ground between the two, as they are the only two BCS conferences made up entirely of member schools located west of the Mississippi and Pac-10 deputy commissioner Kevin Weiberg was Beebe’s predecessor at the Big 12. Weiberg was also instrumental in helping launch the Big Ten Network, a bit of experience that may come in handy as these two conferences discuss possibly launching a network of their own, a joint venture between the two that would allow them to show more (or potentially all) of their football and basketball games that don’t get picked up by national or regional networks.

Read the rest of this entry »

Share this story

Jim Delany: Keep Moving, Nothing to See Here…

Posted by rtmsf on April 21st, 2010

If you were anticipating some clarity coming out of the BCS meetings in Arizona this week involving league commissioners from the various heavy-hitters across the college sports landscape, you’ll have to wait a little longer.  It was widely speculated that Big Ten Commissioner Jim Delany may have used the forum to announce some form of targeted expansion for his conference that could have blown a torpedo-sized hole in the existing structure of major college athletics.  Didn’t happen.  In fact, according to the commish of the richest conference in D1 sports, a whole bunch of nothing is going on.

There are no announcements here and there are no notifications here.”  Delany said the expansion process remains in an early phase. He said it’s too early to tell whether the 11-team conference would add one or as many as five teams. He said his thinking wasn’t being heavily influenced by a desire to hold a conference championship game in December. He also said he doesn’t know how quickly an expanded league could be put together.  He would not deny, however, that programs are being evaluated for their potential fit in the Big Ten.  “I didn’t say we weren’t at that phase, I said we are not at the phase of any need to provide notice to an institution, that we were in formal discussions with an institution.”

We counted at least five uses of the negative in his two quotes there.  Delaney uses two more in another interview with USA Today, where he said the Big Ten is: 

“not anywhere near” [approaching or adding new schools.]  “We have not accelerated anything” [with respect to the 12-18 month timetable.]

Delany’s manner of speaking reminds us of the old unknown unknown bit from Donald Rumsfeld in the mid-2000s.  It wouldn’t have surprised us to hear Delany segue into a similar lecture on what the knowns and unknowns are with respect to conference expansion, all the while dropping double-negatives and enough qualifiers and derivatives to make Goldman Sachs blush these days. 

The bottom line is this, though.  Missouri, Pitt, Rutgers, UConn and Notre Dame fans can all rest easy now.  Until they can’t anymore, which will happen at a time and place known only to Delany and his cronies  and will be pushed upon the American people without provocation or consideration.  All we ask is that when it comes time to actually add one, three, or five new teams to the Big Ten Conference, Delany doesn’t continue to play this game by telling us that, for example, ”Missouri may not be under consideration in the current phase, but that doesn’t mean that they weren’t ever under consideration nor does it preclude them from future consideration.  It wouldn’t make good business sense to not consider them at some point.”  Um, thanks.

Share this story