With the path officially cleared this morning for West Virginia’s departure from the Big East, the Mountaineers’ new conference was finally able to reveal its oft-delayed slate for the upcoming season.
The Big 12 wasted no time in releasing the 2012 schedule, either, issuing a press release less than an hour after it was announced that new member WVU and the Big East had reached a settlement agreement in its civil litigation. The two new additions to the conference offsets the loss of Missouri and Texas A&M to the SEC, meaning the 10-member conference will again play a nine-game slate in 2012.
The conference schedule will officially kick-off the third weekend of the season, with TCU, the other new member of the conference along with WVU, traveling to Kansas to take on the Jayhawks Sept. 15. Iowa State and Texas Tech are the only two schools that will not play the final weekend of the regular season. Those schools are also the only two in the Big 12 that will play nine straight conference with no byes or non-conference games mixed in.
The official release also confirmed that TCU will travel to Texas on Thanksgiving, one of four matchups that holiday weekend. The premier matchup over the holiday, though, will likely be Oklahoma-Oklahoma State, with the Bedlam game officially moved up from its regular slot the past several years as the season finale for the in-state rivals.
The Bedlam game is part of a tough closing third of the conference season; the home game against the Cowboys is sandwiched between road trips to WVU and TCU.
Speaking of tough stretches, the Big 12 schedule makers did WVU no favors in the month of November in its inaugural season in the league. The game against OU Nov. 17 concludes a three-game stretch that opens with a home game vs. TCU and then a trip to Stillwater to take on OSU.
Below is the complete 2012 Big 12 conference schedule:
Jalen Hurts (pictured, right) helped lead Alabama to the national championship game as a true freshman last season and is seemingly the Crimson Tide’s unquestioned starter as we trudge toward summer. Five-star 2017 signee Tua Tagovailoa (pictured, left), however, had an impressive first spring in Tuscaloosa, capped off with an excellent showing in the annual A-Day game this past weekend.
The true freshman passed for 315 yards and three touchdowns in what amounted to a glorified scrimmage, while the incumbent threw for 301 yards and a pair of scores. Hurts also tossed the lone interception between the two on the day.
Tagovailoa’s showing throughout the 15 spring practice sessions had led some to wonder whether there could be a quarterback controversy brewing at ‘Bama. According to Nick Saban, that’s just the media being the media.
“Jalen Hurts played a lot of good football for us last year, and he’s certainly made a lot of progress this spring,” the head coach said by way of al.com. “Even though all of you in the press are trying to make a quarterback controversy out of nothing, which is what you’re doing right now, there isn’t one.”
LOOK: Jim Harbaugh hooks Pope Francis up with Michigan helmet, pair of Jordans
There’s a series of words I’d never imagined I’d string together in a headline.
As you may have heard, Jim Harbaugh has taken his Michigan football team to Italy for an offseason European vacation. As part of the trip, the team is in the Vatican City today and took in the Pope’s Wednesday address to the masses in St. Peter’s Square — the players and athletic director Warde Manuel sat amongst the crowd while the head coach and his wife were seated on the same stage as Pope Francis.
Following the address, and after a wait of nearly a half-hour, Harbaugh was able to meet with and speak to His Holiness. The coach didn’t come empty-handed, either, as Pope Francis was gifted with a Michigan football helmet and a pair of Air Jordans. Michigan-themed, of course.
Last season, there was just one FBS team — Army and its triple-option (967) — that passed for fewer yards than Tulane’s 1,360. Tulane’s team passing efficiency rating of 93.12 was 128th of the 128 teams at this level of football. Their completion percentage of 42.2 was, again, 128th in the FBS. Their 5.3 yards per attempt was… 127th.
This season, the Green Wave’s passing hopes in a run-heavy offense will likely land on the shoulders of a junior college transfer.
Throughout the spring, Jonathan Banks had taken the majority of reps with the first-team offense. Tuesday, Willie Fritz confirmed that Banks will be his starter under center heading into summer camp and, presumably, for the program’s season opener against Grambling at home Sept. 2.
At least for now, Banks has staked his claim to the job after a competition that included Glen Cuiellette and Jonathan Brantley, the starter and backup, respectively, last season.
“He did a good job this spring picking things up,” the head coach said according to nola.com. “We evaluated practices 1 through 15 and I thought, for a guy coming into a new situation, he did a very good job. He provides us with both a passing and a running threat, which in our offense you need to have.
“We’re excited about his development.”
Drew O’Bryan leaves Western Kentucky, drops down to FCS level