Pac-10 commish given authority to advance expansion process

Leave a comment

Uh-oh?  Did you hear that rumbling?

That’s the landscape of collegiate football shifting right underneath our very feet.

Pac-10 commissioner Larry Scott is currently holding a press conference after a meeting involving conference chancellors/presidents and, according to a tweet from Chip Brown of Orangebloods.com, it’s so on.

“Pac-10 commish Larry Scott says he’s been given authority to ‘advance’ expansion process (hand out invites) at today’s Pac-10 meetings,” Brown wrote in a post on his Twitter account.

As Brown has very deftly reported over the past few days, there have been a few scenarios laid out by Scott to those with the authority and power to give a thumbs-up or thumbs-down to future league plans.  The preferred scenario for Scott, reportedly, is for six teams from the Big 12 — Texas, Texas A&M, Texas Tech, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State and Colorado — to be invited to join what is currently called the Pac-10.

So, with Scott’s own words, we are now to the point, it seems, where it’s not a question of “if” expansion will happen, but “when”.  And, with “who”.

With Jim Delany stating during his press conference today that there will be “no action on their end” right now when it comes to expansion, can Nebraska and Missouri afford to not give a pledge of allegiance to the Big 12?

Suddenly, those two schools find themselves in quite the predicament, when it seemed like just a month ago they were dealing from a position of “power”, what with the reported interest from the Big Ten — and the revenue that would flow from a move — and all.

This is far from a fluid situation, with the moving conference and institutional parts and all, but Scott’s sudden and shocking aggressiveness when it comes to expansion has turned it from a 12-18 month Big Ten process to the Pac-10’s follow-my-lead-and-try-to-keep-up approach.

And that cannot sit well with Delany, regardless of what stance he takes publicly.

UPDATE 4:31 p.m. ET: Here’s a tweet from Pete Thamel of the New York Times, one that will make Buff Nation very pissed off. And fans of Oklahoma State and Texas Tech somewhat concerned.

Source: Baylor appears to have bumped Colo in Pac-10 expansion. Also, Pac-10 pres have concern over TT and OSU academics.

Arizona State, Mississippi State ink home-and-home

Getty Images
Leave a comment

Arizona State and Mississippi State on Tuesday announced a home-and-home series to be played in 2024-25. Arizona State will host the first game in Tempe on Sept. 7, 2024, and the clubs will meet in Starkville on Sept. 6, 2025.

The Sun Devils and Bulldogs have never met previously.

The Arizona State trip is not Mississippi State’s only upcoming trek from the Deep South to the Southwest. The Bulldogs also lined up a visit to Arizona in 2020 and Texas Tech in 2029. Mississippi State will open the 2024 season against Eastern Kentucky and visit Southern Miss the week after its Arizona State visit, on Sept. 14. The Bulldogs have no other games lined up in 2025 as of yet, according to FBSchedules.

Likewise, Mississippi State is not the Sun Devils’ lone upcoming SEC opponent. Arizona State has a home-and-home with LSU on the docket for 2026-28, per FBSchedules. The Mississippi State games complete both of the Sun Devils’ non-conference schedules for these respective seasons. Arizona State opens with Wyoming and visits Texas State in 2024, and hosts Northern Arizona and Texas State in 2025.

UCLA lands Texas Tech graduate transfer OL Justin Murphy

Getty Images
Leave a comment

Help is on the way for Chip Kelly‘s offensive line. One graduate transfer offensive lineman has the Bruins on his list, but another has already pulled the trigger for UCLA.

Texas Tech graduate transfer Justin Murphy on Tuesday committed to UCLA in a post on his Twitter account.

A native of Belton, Texas, Murphy signed with Texas Tech in 2014 and made four starts at right guard as a redshirt freshman. He again started four games at right guard in ’15 before moving out to tackle, where he started another four games. But after battling a series of knee injuries, Murphy announced in the middle of the 2016 season he had medically retired from the game.

After sitting out 2017, Murphy announced in March he planned to make a comeback.

UCLA remarkably started the same offensive linemen in all 13 games last season, but tackle Kolton Miller entered the NFL draft, guard Najoee Toran and center Scott Quessenberry graduated.

Toledo posts, then deletes, tweet offering to change mascot to Shrek

Getty Images
Leave a comment

There are plenty of annoying trends on Twitter, but perhaps the worst is the “I’ll do X if this gets retweeted X-thousand amount of times.” I blame Wendy’s.

But blanket policies are never a good way to go through life, and an exception was made on Tuesday when Toledo offered to change its mascot from a rocket to Shrek with 500,000 retweets.

Sadly, some dreams are simply too beautiful to live in this fallen world, and the tweet was outed to be a hoax. “We are definitely not changing the school mascot to Shrek,” Toledo media relations specialist Christine Billau told USA Today. “The tweet was meant to be fun, but it caused too much of a distraction.”

Meanwhile, Bowling Green gleefully hopped on the dog pile with both elbows pointed out.

UMass grad transfer lineman narrows choices to Auburn, UCLA, USC

UMass athletics
Leave a comment

It’s not yet known to where Jack Driscoll will transfer, but the field has been significantly narrowed.

Earlier this offseason, Driscoll decided to transfer from UMass.  Tuesday, the offensive tackle confirmed to Rivals.com that he’s down to three schools as a potential landing spot — Auburn, UCLA and USC.

Neither football program will have to wait long for a decision as Driscoll expects to make an announcement Wednesday.  Driscoll had taken an official visit to all three of the campuses prior to whittling down his transfer to-do list.

“It will come down to one of those three schools,” the lineman told AuburnSports.com. “I feel like all three of the schools would be a good fit.”

Driscoll will graduate from UMass early next month, and will be eligible to play immediately in 2018 at whichever program he selects.  The upcoming season will be the first of two years of eligibility the 6-5, 294-pound lineman has remaining.

After starting eight games as a redshirt freshman in 2016, with most of those starts coming at left guard, he started all 12 games in 2017.  All of those starts this past season came at right tackle for the football-independent Minutemen. He was named to Phil Steele’s All-Independent first team while he earned second-team All-Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC) honors for good measure.