Big 12 Logo

Beebe reportedly calls meeting without UT, OU?


We open up the first Saturday of college football with this Earth-shattering news:

The Big 12 is on the fritz. Like, in a major way.

Yesterday, Oklahoma’s president, David Boren, revealed that the school has received interest from multiple conferences about possible membership and that the Sooners were essentially considering all options when it came to their athletic future.

Similarly, Missouri coach Gary Pinkel hinted Friday that the source of the Big 12’s current instability lies somewhere between, but definitely involving, the cities of Austin and Irving, Texas.

Not exactly votes of confidence.

As we’ve stated before, the Big 12 can still survive so long as Texas and Oklahoma are happy; the strength of the conference would be another story.

But commissioner Dan Beebe may have turned his back on the two programs who could keep him employed.

Chip Brown of reports that Beebe called “a conference call late Friday afternoon with a handful of his conference’s presidents to discuss the increasing possibility that Oklahoma wants to bolt the Big 12 for the Pac-12”, according to a source.

Boren, Texas president Bill Powers, Texas A&M president R. Bowen Loftin were reportedly not on the call — the point of which, according to Brown’s sources, was to “work on Texas” to keep the Longhorns put.

From OB:

“Sources said the Longhorns have been actively working to hold the Big 12 together*. Texas athletic director DeLoss Dodds and OU athletic director Joe Castiglione are on the five-member Big 12 expansion committee charged with looking for new members to join the Big 12. But if Oklahoma bolts, Texas would consider the Big 12 dead and probably follow the Sooners to the Pac-12.

(*note: of course they are; they’re getting two revenue streams from Big 12 membership and carry a ton of power)

If Texas does leave the Big 12 for dead, the Longhorn Network would likely turn into a “Pac-12 Networks — Texas” type of deal, but there obviously are significant legal details associated with that adjustment.

The rest of the Big 12 should be concerned about the feelings of Texas and Oklahoma, but it’s becoming evident that the two power members should be equally concerned about each other.

A feeling of discontent by one or both of them would more than certainly result in the Big 12’s demise.

Was Washington loss the beginning of the end of the Steve Sarkisian era at USC?

Steve Sarkisian

Steve Sarkisian’s win totals in his six previous seasons are both a positive and a negative.

On one hand, he resurrected a moribund Washington program that went 0-12 under Ty Willingham in 2008 and took them to four consecutive bowl games from 2010-2013. He won nine games his last year in Seattle, then led a talented-yet-thin USC team to a nine-win season and AP No. 20 finish in 2014.

Those are good accomplishments. But the flip side of the argument is Sarkisian has never won double-digit games in a season, something that’s a necessity to keep one’s job at USC. The Trojans’ 17-12 loss to Washington last night — at home, no less — means the road to 10 wins and a Pac-12 title will be awfully difficult.

And worse yet, there are plenty of arguments to be made Sarkisian doesn’t deserve the benefit of the doubt and a little more time in Los Angeles to turn things around (#SarkAfterDark, his drunken rant at a booster event, certainly doesn’t help). The reaction from national media to last night’s loss looked like this:

Mandel, in his column, argued USC is right where it was two years ago with Lane Kiffin as its coach. And there’s this embarrassing thought, that looks more and more like a truth, for Pat Haden:

This one, however, was the most damning by far for many reasons, most notably that it came at the hands of Sarkisian’s old team. The sense among many Washington fans nearly two years ago was that the Huskies managed to upgrade coaches when the school lured Chris Petersen from Boise State upon Sarkisian’s departure to USC.

They were right.

USA Today’s Dan Wolken similarly wrote that USC needs to drop Sarkisian and bring in Chip Kelly from the Philadelphia Eagles.

This is the state of USC, and it may not get better. The Trojans start a brutal three-game stretch next Saturday at Notre Dame in primetime, then welcome Utah to Los Angeles the next week. A Halloween trip to Berkeley to face Jared Goff and Cal finishes it up. There’s a very real chance USC, for all its talent and all its hype, limps into November with a 4-4 or 3-5 record.

Sarkisian will have to engineer and sustain a major turnaround in these coming weeks, otherwise he’ll give Haden all the ammo he needs to unceremoniously jettison him after two years.

Starting Navy S Kwazel Bertrand undergoes surgery, likely out for season

Kwazel Bertrand, Jacobi Owens
Associated Press
Leave a comment

Navy has seen one of its most productive players on the defensive side of the ball play for perhaps the final time this season.

Kwazel Bertrand sustained a broken ankle in the win over Air Force last Saturday, head coach Ken Niumatalolo confirmed earlier this week. As a result, the defensive back will very likely miss the remainder of the 2015 season.

And, because he is a senior and has no other eligibility avenues to pursue, it would effectively end his collegiate career as well.

“I feel terrible for Kwazel. It’s really unfortunate any time a senior goes down with a season-ending injury,” Niumatalolo said. “Kwazel has been a really good player for us and we’re going to miss his presence out on the field.”

Bertrand started 27 games over the past three-plus seasons, including all four in 2015.