Mike Aresco

Report: Big East could have a spot at the new postseason table (sort of)


Yesterday morning, John noted that a seventh bowl game was possibly going to be added to the rotating playoff site mix. As it turns out, that extra spot — again, provided that little detail comes to fruition — could benefit the Big East.

According to longtime sports writer Mark Blaudschun, the seventh bowl would offer a guaranteed spot to the highest remaining ranked team available. Given that the Big East will have the likes of Boise State, Houston, Central Florida, Louisville, Cincinnati and other BCS busters, there’s a good chance that spot could go to the Big East more often than not. Here’s what Blaudschun writes:

A a 7th bowl will be part of the group, offering a guaranteed spot to the highest ranked team available.

While there will be guaranteed spots for the conference champions from the ACC, Big 12, SEC, Pac-12 and Big Ten,, the other conferences, including the Big East, will also have a guaranteed slot for the highest ranked team from that group.

Granted, it’s not a guarantee that the Big East will be the representing conference in a seventh bowl game (if there is one); it only guarantees a spot for the highest-ranked team available. Reportedly.

The concern for the Big East moving forward was that it would be left out of college football’s new postseason since it’s been stripped of practically all its cornerstone programs over the past decade. The Orange Bowl has reportedly opted to look into matchups between the ACC and either Notre Dame, the Big Ten or the SEC. That seemed like potentially devastating news for the Big East at the time. However, if there’s a seventh bowl game added to the playoff rotation and Blaudschun’s report is accurate, the Big East may not be left out of the cold entirely.

Really what the move would do is allow a mid-major Cinderella to play in a high-profile game while pretty much guaranteeing the representative isn’t a 2010 UConn (which went 8-4 that season).

Starting LB C.J. Johnson reveals surgery on social media, Ole Miss confirms

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Ole Miss will be without a starting piece of its defensive puzzle for an extended period of time, both the player and the school revealed Tuesday.

With rumors swirling about his condition, C.J. Johnson confirmed on his personal Twitter account late this morning that he will be undergoing surgery at some point in the not-too-distant future.  The linebacker sustained an injury to his left knee in last Saturday’s loss to Florida and did not return to the contest.

Subsequent to that posting, Ole Miss confirmed that Johnson underwent surgery earlier in the day to repair a torn meniscus in his knee.  The procedure and rehab will sideline Johnson for a period of 4-6 weeks.

At the low-end of the prognosis, Johnson would miss the next four games — New Mexico State, Memphis, Texas A&M, Auburn — and return for the Nov. 7 game against Arkansas.  The high-end would have him sidelined until the regular-season finale against Mississippi State.

Johnson had started all five games at middle linebacker for the Rebels.  He started 26 games at defensive end the past three years before moving to linebacker.

Butch Jones labels rumor of ‘physical altercation’ with Vols player ‘absolutely ridiculous’

ATHENS, GA - SEPTEMBER 27:  Head coach Butch Jones of the Tennessee Volunteers yells at Marquez North #8 during the game against the Georgia Bulldogs at Sanford Stadium on September 27, 2014 in Athens, Georgia.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
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Already in the crosshairs for his 2-3 team’s late-game failures, Butch Jones now finds himself under increasing scrutiny for something that allegedly happened a couple of months ago.

The website Gridiron.com, which features such respected journalists Tony Barnhart and Mike Huguenin among others, reported earlier today that the Tennessee head coach was involved in what was described as a “physical altercation” with senior offensive lineman Mack Crowder during summer camp this past August.  The source close to the program added that practice film that day captured the alleged incident, although it’s unclear if that tapes still exists.

From the site’s report:

The incident occurred during fall camp, about the time that news started to come out about a few offensive linemen who were considering stepping away from the program. Crowder walked off the practice field one day and missed a day or two of practice, and Brett Kendrick and Dylan Wiesman were said to be contemplating their futures. Sources say the players’ actions stemmed from an incident between Jones and Crowder.

The website also made a Freedom of Information request seeking any correspondence between the university and the Crowder family be turned over, but writes that UT “administrators said any sort of letter or correspondence that may or may not have happened was covered under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act.”

Monday, Jones labeled what began as message-board speculation that he had struck one of his Vols players as “absolutely ridiculous.” The Knoxville News Sentinel contacted Crowder’s father, with the paper writing that “he had no comment and did not want to give validation to message boards.”

At least publicly, the university has yet to address the allegations.  Jones will get yet another chance to address the speculation with the media in the very near future.