Just as Texas athletic director DeLoss Dodds hinted at last week, Big 12 AD’s are set to meet today and tomorrow to discuss what will likely be some form of continuation of the stability teleconference Big 12 officials partook in last week.
With new interim commissioner Chuck Neinas in full-fledged consultant mode and Texas A&M officially a member of the SEC, the Big 12 still has to sort out two major issues: revenue distribution and membership.
How the conference will decide to divvy up the first and second-tier revenue streams from ABC/ESPN and FOX is still a point of concern; the press conference disconnect between Missouri and Oklahoma last week over the six-year grant of TV rights to the conference was hardly a confidence booster for Big 12 survival.
As we touched on yesterday, that revenue-sharing disconnect may have traced back to last spring when Texas, A&M and Oklahoma reportedly shot down the idea of granting first and second-tier TV rights to the conference.
In regards to membership, the Big 12 will need at least 10 members to avoid any financial penalties with the upcoming Big 12 Network, and to continue as a viable product for their TV rights distributors. Who that 10th member will be — Air Force, BYU, Louisville, TCU and West Virginia have all been mentioned by Big 12 officials or by way of the rumor mill — is still unclear.
Equally uncertain is whether Missouri will be a member of the Big 12 at all when they do expand. Chip Brown of Orangebloods.com tweets that the Big 12 is still waiting on a commitment from Mizzou even as the meetings get underway. The rumor mill has been churning for the past couple of weeks about a possible move by Mizzou to the SEC. SEC commissioner Mike Slive has stated that the conference is satisfied at 13 members, although it’s thought that both parties were engaged in some form of back channel discussions over possible membership.
Hopefully, we’ll get some sense of which way Missouri is leaning as these meetings get underway. Right now, though, the Tigers are a wild card.
Neinas was prepared to make a stop in College Station to visit with A&M just before the Aggies left for the SEC. He might want to push his trip to Columbia forward to as soon as possible.
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.