Updated: Report says talks over between BYU, Big East

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We briefly mentioned in our post last week about the potential for future SEC expansion that BYU could be very, very close to joining the Big East — perhaps as soon as early this week.

Well, it’s early this week, and there’s nothing yet. Then again, realignment tends to move at a completely arbitrary pace rather than the pace at which it’s being reported. But some of the same issues that prevented BYU from joining the Big 12 could be slowing things down between the school and the Big East.

The Salt Lake Tribune reports that, while a deal between BYU and the Big East isn’t dead, the school’s TV deal with ESPN is one of a few “stumbling blocks” that is preventing a deal from being finalized. From the Tribune:

Apparently, BYU wants to retain its home television rights through its eight-year arrangement with ESPN that allows the broadcast sports giant to televise all but one BYU home football game per season with an estimated payout of between $1 million and $2 million per game. The deal with ESPN allows BYU’s own network, BYUtv, to broadcast the one game not picked up by ESPN and also allows the Cougars to show replays of all their ESPN broadcasts — home or away — on BYUtv.

The Big East does not want to hand over those rights to BYU, primarily because it wants the option of using them when it negotiates a new television contract next year and believes it could affect the value of that contract.

The article also cites BYU’s apparent concern about whether or not the Big East would be able to retain its BCS automatic qualifying status beyond 2013. The BCS could, however, vote to remove AQ status beyond that date when the cartel BCS meets again to discuss membership.

But getting back to BYU’s TV deal, it shouldn’t really come as a surprise that it’s holding up negotiations. The eight-year deal with ESPN and BYUtv has already proven to be a insurmountable hurdle for Big 12 membership; likewise, the Longhorn Network has kept Texas out of the Pac-12. That isn’t meant to compare the LHN to BYUtv — they’re not quite the same thing in terms of programming — but the institution-associated networks have nevertheless caused negotiation headaches on more than one occasion.

All of that could lead to the Big East choosing another member over BYU, the Tribune reports: San Diego State.

Not joking, folks; I wish I was.

But, with the Thanksgiving holiday coming up, don’t expect any news on realignment until next week regardless of whomever it might involve.

UPDATED 7:41 p.m. ET: A source has told the Associated Press that talks have officially ended between the Big East and BYU, and that the Cougars will not be joining the conference. The source said that talks broke down after BYU said they  wanted to retain the rights to its home football games.

Additionally, a source with knowledge of the situation has told CBS that “the Big East has moved on” from BYU, with another adding that San Diego State was now in the Big East picture.

Because, you know SDSU is totally an eastern school. Good grief, conference realignment sucks.

VIDEO: LSU RB Derrius Guice squats 650 pounds

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Derrius Guice may be the most underrated player in college football.

Playing in the shadow of Leonard Fournette, Guice posted an eye-popping 8.55 yards per carry (51 rushes for 436 yards) as a freshman in 2015, then kept his big-play ability as his usage increased while Fournette battled injuries in his final college season. Guice rushed 183 times for 1,387 yards and 15 touchdowns; his 7.58 yards per carry average was the most among Power 5 rushers with at least 180 carries.

So, yes, Guice is really good. He’s also a physical freak.

LSU captured and tweeted video Friday of Guice squatting 650 pounds, more than three times his listed 212 pounds.

If — and this is a massive, Les Miles-firing if — LSU can consistently throw the ball in 2017, go ahead and make Guice your darkhorse Heisman contender in 2017.

(HT CBS Sports)

Former Miami TE Jovani Haskins headed to West Virginia

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Jovani Haskins announced two weeks ago he was leaving Miami for “somewhere else.” That somewhere else proved to be a favorite destination of other Sunshine State transfers: West Virginia.

“WVU is my new home and I can’t wait to perform in front of the fans of West Virginia!” he tweeted on Saturday.

A 3-star prospect out of Bergenfield, N.J.., Haskins was offered by West Virginia in the class of 2016 and most recruiting experts actually had him signing with the Mountaineers before a surprise commitment to Miami.

Haskins joins two former state of Florida players on WVU’s roster: starting quarterback Will Grier (Florida) and former Miami quarterback Jack Allison (Miami). The Mountaineers also employed Florida State transfer Clint Trickett at quarterback and Miami transfer Antonio Crawford at cornerback.

Haskins redshirted in 2016 and will presumably sit out 2017 before gaining eligibility in ’18. West Virginia could use the help immediately; the roster lists one scholarship tight end at present. WVU currently has two tight ends pledged for the 2018 class in addition to Haskins.

 

BYU wearing special patch in honor of LaVell Edwards

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BYU got the summer media day fun started on Friday with their football media day. BYU tends to pull out all the stops on its media day with coach and player interviews, alumni returning, and a handful of announcements about the future of the program. In addition to news about their relationship with ESPN, BYU also announced the football team will be sporting a patch this season in honor of the late LaVell Edwards.

In addition to players wearing the patch on their jerseys, BYU coaches will also wear the patch on their sleeves.

Edwards passed away in December at the age of 86. The BYU coaching legend spent 29 seasons on the sidelines in Provo and accumulated 257 wins along the way. Among those was a national championship season in 1984, which remains the most recent national championship to be claimed by a program not currently in a power conference. Edwards took 22 BYU teams to a bowl game.

Now if we can just keep getting BYU to stick to that lighter shade of blue as their main home uniform, we’ll be in great shape.

Former Vanderbilt football player Brandon Banks found guilty of rape

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Former Vanderbilt football player Brandon Banks was convicted by a jury on Friday for rape of a female Vanderbilt student. Following 15 hours of jury deliberations, the verdict of guilty on one count of aggravated rape and one count of aggravated sexual battery was in.

”He’s shocked but understands that this is only the first part of this process, there’s a lot more to do from here on,” Banks’ lawyer, Mark Scruggs, said after the verdict. ”We have some really good issues to raise.”

Part of Banks’ defense was built on succumbing to peer pressure, suggesting he feared he may be beaten up by teammates if he did not participate in the scandalous activity. The jury, having reviewed videos and photos from the incident, some of which were shot by Banks, determined that was not a viable defense.

”Making fun of another person is not right, but we know it happens,” Assistant District Attorney Roger Moore said in closing arguments, according to the Associated Press. ”But it doesn’t give you a legal defense to commit a crime, particularly not an aggravated rape, an aggravated sexual battery. I mean if that’s the case, then we’d have the ‘football team defense.”’

Banks will serve a minimum of 15 years in prison. One count of aggravated rape has a minimum sentence of 15 years.

Other former Vanderbilt players had previously been convicted for their roles in the 2013 rape. Cory Batey was found guilty of aggravated rape and sentenced to 15-25 years in prison in April 2016. Brandon Vandenbeurg was found guilty and sentenced to 17 years in prison.