Big East, you may have a problem.
With Pittsburgh and Syracuse out the door… and UConn reportedly aggressively looking to do the same… and with West Virginia training their eyeballs southward, the basketball conference that dabbles in football is now standing at the precipice, staring straight down at gridiron oblivion.
And now this.
Tom Luicci of the Newark Star-Ledger is reporting that Rutgers has been involved in talks with the ACC over the past two days about potential membership in that suddenly proactive conference. Additionally, Luicci writes that Rutgers’ “lines of communications with the Big Ten have remained opened and ‘are active’.”
How open are those lines of communication with the Big Ten? So open that Rutgers is comfortable in showing Jim Delany some very public leg.
“The bottom line as it relates to Rutgers, this is not the kind of thing that causes us to get to work,” RU athletic director Tim Pernetti said earlier today about the upheaval in his current conference. “We continue to and have since I started on the job been very active in this space.
“And I think given our assets and our location, the New York TV market, our AAU status and strong academic standing, and most of all — given all the nonsense that’s gone on out there — running a clean program (with) integrity. We have great assets and we will continue to be a player nationally during this time as the landscape continues to shift.”
Bravo, Mr. Pernetti. You worked that like you owned the prestigious academic television market.
Regardless of whether it’s the Big Ten or ACC that’s the main object of flirtation, it’s clear Rutgers is “aggressively pursuing” a conference they feel could save it from the instability in its current conference. And would love nothing more than for a Midwestern savior to come a callin’.
When word first broke of NCAA violations against Ole Miss, word from the Rebels’ football program was one of caution, for it was uncertain how many were targeted against football versus women’s basketball and track and field.
It appears we now know.
On Tuesday evening, the Associated Press reported the NCAA levied 13 allegations out of a possible 28 against the Ole Miss football team, nine of which occurred under the watch of head coach Hugh Freeze. However, it appears the most serious violations were either already know or took place during the Houston Nutt regime.
Included in the allegations are Laremy Tunsil‘s improper benefits, for which the left tackle already sat seven games. Also included are accusations former Nutt assistant David Saunders participated in a scheme to produce fraudulent test scores for recruits — the same allegations currently levied against Louisiana-Lafayette.
The remaining allegations, as detailed by the AP, include run-of-the-mill violations such as having the wrong people provide transportation on recruiting visits or assistant coaches making improper contact with recruits, many of which Ole Miss has already self-reported.
ESPN recruiting analyst Gerry Hamilton provided a massive public service through his Twitter account on Tuesday, releasing a data dump of fascinating information about the signing class of 2016.
In short, Texas was the most popular breeding ground for FBS prospects, but half of all signees came from a clean sweep from Texas, across the Gulf of Mexico to Florida and up to North Carolina.
The Lone Star State produced 359 players, with nearly half of those heading to Power 5 institutions. In fact, Hamilton reports, 72 of 128 FBS programs and 38 of 64 Power 5’s signed at least one player from Texas.
Florida trailed with 327 players, followed by California with 248 players and Georgia with 225. For what it’s worth, Ohio was not included in the study.
Data dump, begin!
The American Athletic Conference released its 2016 conference schedule highlighted by, oddly enough, non-conference games that pit league gem Houston against Oklahoma (on opening day at Houston’s NRG Stadium) and Louisville (in Houston on Nov. 19).
Those two games, more than any others, will sink or swim the conference’s chances of not only grabbing the Group of Five spot in the New Year’s Six, but a spot in the College Football Playoff itself.
The 2016 conference slate kicks off with Navy meeting Connecticut on Sept. 10 and concludes with the second annual AAC title game on Dec. 3 at a to-be-determined campus site.
The AAC led the way in scheduling Power 5 opponents — highlighted by a Week 3 schedule that will see the entire East Division punching up a weight class — and includes the likes of Florida State, Maryland, N.C. State, Virginia, Syracuse, Kansas, TCU and Oklahoma (for all intents and purposes) visiting AAC campuses.
View the full AAC slate here:
Just like we all thought when watching him play at Notre Dame, Tommy Rees will be in the NFL in 2016. Just not as a quarterback.
The San Diego Chargers announced his hiring as an obnoxiously vague offensive assistant, assisting with the club’s offense in some form that they aren’t inclined to elaborate on.
After completing a career in which he threw for 7,670 yards with 61 touchdowns against 37 interceptions from 2010-13, Rees was cut by the Washington Redskins in 2014, then spent the 2014-15 seasons as a graduate assistant at Northwestern.