MWC prez says 'math be damned' when it comes to BcS

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When BcS executive director Bill Hancock responded on Thursday to a March letter from a pair of U.S. senators — which apparently went over like a fart in church based on Sen. Orrin Hatch‘s response — part of Hancock’s letter contained the criteria for a non-automatic qualifying conference to become an automatic qualifier.

While Hatch and fellow Sen. Max Baucus are concerned about how the BcS financial pie is divvied up and whether the current structure violates antitrust law, Utah president Michael Young is more concerned about the math that’s involved in keeping his school and his conference from getting an automatic piece of said financial pie.

In two of the three categories the BcS uses to determine which conferences automatically qualify, the Mountain West ranks third — highest-ranked team and Top 25 points.  Sure, they are seventh in the third category — average team ranking — but, as noted by the Idaho Statesman, both the Big Ten and ACC do not currently meet the exacting standards applied to the MWC by the BcS.

And therein lies the rub for Young, who feels that his conference has proved its mettle against the “Big Boys” over the past few years.

If any conference in the country has proved itself, we think it’s us,” Young told the Statesman. “We think, math be damned, it’s pretty clear. … There’s a real sense that if this system has even a modicum of rationality we ought to be in. But we don’t make those decisions and how much that will influence my fellow presidents in their deliberation is hard to say.”

(Once again giving a standing ovation to the deserving little man.)

Even for the BcS and their smugness, that’s a hard argument to counter.  So, now, it’s up to the collegiate cartel to do the right thing.  Right here, right now.

Don’t make this conference go to the presidential oversight committee and “beg” for something they’ve earned based on play on the field, and make them pay for politics played behind closed doors.

You want some much-needed goodwill, BcS?  Do the right thing and strip the Mountain West of their non-AQ status and put them in their rightful place next to the Big East and ACC as automatic qualifiers.

You oh-so-quietly tweaked your rules regarding the stripping of a BcS champion of their title as the whole Reggie Bush situation was just beginning to unfold; you can thus oh-so-loudly tweak the rules when it comes to non-AQs.

And maybe, just maybe, you’ll get Congress off your back.

Then again, that would make too much sense, something the BcS will never, ever be accused of.

Nick Saban, Urban Meyer, James Franklin and Clay Helton among 15 CFB coaches attending NFL Draft

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We’re less than a week away from former college players officially finding out their new homes with the start of the 2018 NFL Draft and the excitement is palpable no matter if you’re a Cleveland Browns fan or somebody who dons the cardinal and gold of USC.

Naturally this is a big deal for the players’ former programs as well and their recent head coaches will be taking full advantage of the marketing opportunity to future recruits by stopping by the draft itself at AT&T Stadium for the festivities. The NFL released a list of 14 college football coaches and one recent one on Friday as being confirmed to attend the event and there are a few notable names beyond the big ones we’re used to seeing every year:

In addition, Stanford head coach David Shaw will serve as a draft analyst on NFL Network for a seventh year in a row and even ESPN’s College GameDay is getting involved with a pregame show outside the stadium they are quite familiar with from big games over the years.

Georgia DB Mark Webb tears meniscus in practice but expected back before fall camp

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Georgia’s injury luck this spring isn’t getting much better as the defending SEC champions move toward their annual G-Day spring game over the weekend.

Head coach Kirby Smart confirmed with reporters after Thursday’s practice that sophomore defensive back Mark Webb suffered a knee injury earlier in the week and tore his meniscus. He already had the knee scoped and is expected back before fall camp after the rather minor procedure.

Webb originally landed in Athens as a wideout but made the move to the secondary just as the season was getting going. He appeared in 13 games in 2017, mostly on special teams, but was expected to challenge for one of the starting spots at cornerback heading into the upcoming campaign.

The absence of Webb in the lineup for the final week of spring adds to a growing list of injuries for the team during practice as they do a little bit of roster building toward the future. Receiver Michael Chigbu’s career may be over due to lingering injuries and defensive back Divaad Wilson tore his ACL not long after enrolling this semester.

Safe to say that G-Day on Saturday might not be as physical as Smart and the coaching staff would otherwise like as a result of trying to keep the team healthy as they prepare to head into a big offseason.

Old Dominion announces remodel, expansion plans for S.B. Ballard Stadium

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Old Dominion is making sure the first word in the school’s name is not the first thing you think of when you are playing against the Monarchs, joining a long list of their FBS peers with some significant upgrades for their home venue over the coming years. In plans approved this week by the university, ODU released renderings and an updated timeline on a $65 million remodel of S.B. Ballard Stadium that is set to begin as soon as this summer.

“We are excited to begin Phase 1 reconstruction,” said Greg DuBois, the school’s vice president for administration and finance. “Fan comfort and high-quality amenities are the primary focus of this phase. The project will help us create the type of game-day experience fans want and will set us up for future expansions.”

The stadium, some 81-years-old, will undergo a nearly complete teardown over the next two years in order to transform the place most know as Foreman Field. Both the east and west stands will be demolished and rebuilt, complete with new seating and a new press box. There will naturally be more restrooms and concession stands as part of the plan that includes plenty more bells and whistles for the Conference USA program. Seating is expected to grow beyond 21,000 or so capacity the current venue seats.

While construction will get started in the coming months, the bulk of activity will take place after the 2018 campaign is wrapped up at home and before kickoff of the opener in 2019. The Virginian-Pilot reports that funding will not utilize state funds but that the school is requesting that the legislature approve an added $10 million to the cost structure as a result of rising prices beyond the original $55 million forecasted.

2018 will be just the 10th season for the Monarchs (and fifth in FBS) since the football program was reinstated and it goes without saying that the new digs will be some of the nicest in CUSA when all is said and done. Few programs have been able to successfully navigate the transition as well as ODU has and it seems an updated stadium in the near future is the reward for head coach Bobby Wilder and others in Norfolk.

Boise State reportedly looking at replacing blue turf in 2019

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Boise State is exploring replacing their famous blue turf… with yet more blue turf.

Perhaps one of college football’s most recognized landmarks thanks to its quirky color, the school is looking at a fresh set of FieldTurf for Albertsons Stadium in a move that may come as soon as the 2018 campaign wraps up.

“We’re talking about it,” Athletic Director Curt Apsey told the Idaho Press-Tribune. “It’s getting to that point to where we’re going to have to make a change. It will remain blue if anyone asks.

“It’s a lifespan more than anything. I’m going to assume that the weather here in Boise does not help the life of it. That’s a guess on my part, but when you start getting into that eight, 10, 12-year range, in the past that’s when we’ve usually made the change.”

The current stadium field was installed back in 2010 and it has gone through various replacements over the years since the very first blue turf was put in place back in 1986. The report from the Press-Tribune and Apsey’s comments certainly make this seem like it’s a done deal but at a reported cost of nearly $1 million for the new surface, it would not be a quick or cheap fix for the school.

Broncos fans can rest easy knowing that the team’s signature color will be sticking around at the very least, even if the actual field itself gets a bit of an upgrade sometime next year.