Pac-12 chairman: ‘never discussed’ Rose Bowl idea


Earlier this week, a report from the USA Today said BCS officials and conference commissioners had decided to group their postseason options into four main categories, although the number of options branching from those categories ran much larger.

But as it turned out, almost all the options were somewhere between the status quo and downright awful. To make matters more confusing — as if three semifinal games to determine one championship game was sensible — a representative from one side of the dreaded Pac-12 option (i.e. option 2) didn’t even know it was an option.

We as a group never discussed that,” Oregon State president and Pac-12 CEO group chairman Ed Ray said to the Wall Street Journal. “This is the first time I’m hearing it. But that doesn’t mean that people weren’t in conversations where all these things came up and somebody suggested it.”

I still think Jim Delany bypassed the BCS computer mainframe one night and added it in. Whether in jest or not, I’m unsure. It was probably one of those things that you joke about, but secretly gauge everyone’s reaction just in case they’re on board.

But regardless of how the three semifinal option got to be its own choice worthy of consideration, it’s on the table. In theory, it could happen.

It’s still not real popular, though.

“This is not 1950, or 1960,” Georgia President Michael Adams said. “There are great schools in the [Atlantic Coast Conference] and the Southeastern Conference and the Big 12. I think it’s time to put everybody on an equal footing. I just reject the notion that the Big Ten and the Pac-12 ought to be treated differently in this process.

“If they can be accommodated without changing the entire process, then I think everyone is open to that,” Adams said. “I have great respect for the Big Ten and the Pac-12, and have two Big Ten degrees [from Ohio State]. But I don’t think that they have the right to dictate policy to all the rest of us.”

University of Nebraska chancellor Harvey Perlman said that wasn’t the intention of the idea, although he admitted he only spoke for himself and not the Big Ten.

The long and short of it is that, categorized options or not, this postseason discussion isn’t much less convoluted now than it was a few months ago when meetings began in Dallas.

Vols ‘very confident there was no inappropriate conduct’ between Butch Jones, player

KNOXVILLE, TN - OCTOBER 11:  Head coach Butch Jones of the Tennessee Volunteers watches the action during a game against the Chattanooga Mocs at Neyland Stadium on October 11, 2014 in Knoxville, Tennessee.  (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)
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In the midst of reports that he had a physical altercation with one of his Tennessee players during summer camp this year, Butch Jones labeled the speculation “absolutely ridiculous.”

Apparently, his bosses agree with the head coach.

At a board meeting Thursday, UT-Knoxville chancellor Jimmy Cheek stated that he and athletic director Dave Hart had done their “due diligence” in investigating the accusations that Jones and senior offensive lineman Mack Crowder were involved in some type of physical skirmish during practice this past August.  The end result of interviews with Jones, coaches and players was the conclusion that there was nothing to the reports and message-board rumors.

“There’s been a lot of rumor and misinformation on social media and message boards about an alleged incident during football practice,” Cheek said according to‘s Wes Rucker. “It’s not our practice to respond to rumors, but I thought it was important to let you know that we’ve done our due diligence and Dave Hart and I are very confident there was no inappropriate conduct with any players or coaches.”

Shortly after Cheek spoke at the board meeting, Crowder took to Twitter with a series of missives that speaks around the issue.

Michigan’s keeping ‘fingers crossed’ for leading rusher’s availability

De'Veon Smith
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Michigan played without its leading rusher in Week 5.  The Wolverines are hoping there won’t be a repeat in Week 6.

De'Veon Smith sustained a lower-leg injury in the Week 4 win over BYU and didn’t travel with the team for last Saturday’s win over Maryland.  Smith has been practicing with his teammates throughout the first few days of this week, and head coach Jim Harbaugh is guardedly optimistic that the running back will be available for what’s turned into a huge Big Ten matchup with Northwestern Saturday in the Big House.

“He’s practicing and I’m keeping my fingers crossed that he’s going to stay good and be ready to play,” Harbaugh said during a radio appearance Thursday morning. “But we’ll (keep) looking at that every day.”

Despite essentially missing a game and a half, Smith currently leads the Wolverines with 331 rushing yards and four rushing touchdowns. He’s added four receptions for 35 yards and a touchdown coming out of the backfield the first four games.

Should Smith be unable to go again, the Wolverines have three other backs with at least 100 yards on the ground: Ty Isaac (187, 7.2 yards per carry), Drake Johnson (125, 4.2 ypc) and Derrick Green (100, 3.3 ypc).

In addition to Smith, Harbaugh is hopeful Channing Stribling will be available this weekend as well.  The starting cornerback didn’t play against the Cougars because of injury