Superconference not the direction Pac-12 wants to go

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At least not yet. Reportedly.

Even if Bob Stoops thinks that superconferences are the direction toward which the college football world is heading, the Pac-12 appears to be content staying at 12 members barring a major shift in conference realignment, in which case Larry Scott may be more reactive than proactive.

Sources have told Jon Wilner of the San Jose Mercury News that the preference for Pac-12 presidents and chancellors is a a continuation in the conference membership status quo — in other words, for A&M to stay in the Big 12 and for the SEC to remain at 12 members.

That’s likely not going to happen barring some magnificent trip up in the legal process now that A&M is officially looking to withdraw from the conference. Still, that’s for what Pac-12 officials are reportedly keeping their fingers crossed.

From the Mercury News:

“The conference has stability… it has a football championship game … it has the richest TV deal in college sports history … and it has a wholly-owned network(s) to serve its fans, provide unprecedented exposure for its athletes, promote the league’s academic mission — and generate millions of dollars per school annually once it attains maximum distribution.”

But, in the event that the SEC and Big Ten begin plucking schools, expect the Pac-12 to follow with an invite to — at least — Oklahoma and Oklahoma State. The Sooners have expressed an accelerated interest in their long-term conference security over the past week that may or may  not necessarily be tied to Texas’ interests.

“Their bond has frayed,” a source said. “Texas overplayed its hand.”

“The SEC won’t stop at 13, or even 14. And if the SEC is at 14 or 16, the Big Ten will do it,” another source told the Mercury News. ”At that point, (the Pac-12) would be crazy not to entertain the idea of expansion.”

But that doesn’t mean that Texas couldn’t join the Pac-whatever. Now, I know what you’re thinking — “What about the Longhorn Network?” As BusinessofCollegeSports.com explains, Texas’ LHN could morph into one of the of the Pac-12’s regional networks, and seeing how Texas and Texas Tech would likely be a package deal (unless the Pac-whatever wants another school), that means Texas would have to share revenue with the Red Raiders.

Make no mistake, though: any conference would want Texas as part of their conference. That doesn’t mean they’ll cater to Texas’ every desire, but you can bet there would be some compromise.

Unless the Longhorns go independent in football. At which point, congratulations on joining Conference USA (or the ACC as some have speculated?) in all Olympic sports.

Arizona State, Mississippi State ink home-and-home

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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

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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

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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

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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.