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Report: Big East to invite Boise State, five others

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Late last night, Ben noted a report which stated Big East officials were set to hold a teleconference Friday, with the primary objective being the conference’s presidents and chancellors voting on an increase in exit fees from the current $5 million to somewhere north of $10 million.

Should that transpire, the path would reportedly be cleared for the conference to move on to the next phase of keeping the league alive: doubling its current membership.

According to the New York Post, and citing unnamed sources, the Big East will issue invitations to Boise State, Air Force, Navy and UCF — those first three institutions would join as football-only members — once the exit fees are increased.  The Post reports those invitations could be made as early as this weekend.

The Big East had previously announced it had authorized conference officials to expand membership to an even dozen schools.

The final two spots, the Post reports, would come down to Temple, SMU and Houston.  From the paper:

Sources told The Post that Villanova expressed strong objection to sharing the Philadelphia market with Temple. Philadelphia, however, is home to Comcast, which logically favors more Philadelphia-based institutions. It’s possible the Owls could receive a football-only invitation.

If the Temple issue can’t be resolved, the league will move on Houston and SMU. Some factions in the conference don’t favor inviting both Texas schools, although with Boise State and Air Force aboard, it would make sense to have other programs west of the Mississippi.

Boise State has been connected to the Big East for the past couple of weeks, although a report surfaced yesterday that both the school and the conference had serious reservations about a hook-up.  Based on the Post‘s report, it appears at least one of the two sides have worked their way through whatever reservations it may have had.  It remains unclear how BSU would respond if issued an official invitation, although their decision would likely boil down to one factor: whether or not the Big East would maintain their automatic BcS bid beyond the current cycle that ends in 2013.

While some media outlets have referenced a two-year waiver that would carry the Big East’s automatic BcS bid through 2015, that’s far from guaranteed.  The addition of Boise State, however, could go a long way toward retaining the coveted and financially lucrative postseason slot.

Report: NCAA finds 13 violations against Ole Miss football, nine under Hugh Freeze

BATON ROUGE, LA - OCTOBER 25:  Head coach Hugh Freeze of the Mississippi Rebels reacts to a call during the game against the LSU Tigers at Tiger Stadium on October 25, 2014 in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.  (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)
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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.

Half of all FBS signees lived between Texas and North Carolina

ORLANDO, FL - DECEMBER 29: Johnny Jefferson #5 of the Baylor Bears carries while defended by Dominquie Green #26 and Des Lawrence #2 of the North Carolina Tar Heels during the first half of the Russell Athletic Bowl game at Orlando Citrus Bowl on December 29, 2015 in Orlando, Florida.  (Photo by Rob Foldy/Getty Images)
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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!

AAC releases 2016 conference schedule

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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:

 

Former Notre Dame QB Tommy Rees hired as Chargers offensive assistant

SOUTH BEND, IN - NOVEMBER 02: Tommy Rees #11 of the Notre Dame Fighting Irish passes against the Navy Midshipmen at Notre Dame Stadium on November 2, 2013 in South Bend, Indiana. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
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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.