As much as we here at CFT would like the topic of expansion and conference realignment to be over and done with, we understand that’s an unrealistic request.
However, the Big 12 is considering an alternative to expansion that should still make for interesting offseason conversation. In an interview with the Austin-American Statesman, Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby said his league is looking into an alliance with the ACC and two other unspecified conferences. The focus of the potential partnership — Bowlsby added that “nothing is imminent” — would be on scheduling, marketing and perhaps television. It could also span a variety of sports, not just football and basketball.
“We’ve had conversations with three other leagues,” Bowlsby told the Statesman. “The ACC is one of them. It’s a process of discovery that would provide some of the benefits of larger membership without actually adding members.
“You can begin to get some advantages without taking on any of the disadvantages (of expansion). It’s one option that allows benefits. It’s kind of like friends with benefits.”
Before moving on, we’re going to let that last line sink in.
Anyway, Big 12 athletic directors are set to meet early next week in Grapevine, Tx., where the idea will likely be discussed. It’s an interesting proposal, although the reasoning is not necessarily unprecedented. The Big 12 and SEC came together over the past year to form the “Champions Bowl,” which later morphed into the Sugar Bowl. The Big Ten and Pac-12 also ventured into the idea of a scheduling agreement in late 2011, although that was put on hold about six months later.
But both agreements were about conferences taking further control of a quality product and maximizing its appeal, exposure and profitability. While the nitty gritty details of this proposed alliance aren’t known and probably won’t be known for a while — this is assuming the deal gets done — the goal is essentially the same.
Last week, Texas confirmed four-star 2016 Baylor signee Devin Duvernay had joined Charlie Strong‘s football program, just a couple of days after BU announced five 2016 signees had been granted releases from their National Letters of Intent.
A couple of days later, the university has confirmed the addition of two more former Bears.
As had been reported just days ago HERE and HERE, UT acknowledged in a press release that offensive lineman J.P. Urquidez and defensive back Donovan Duvernay have been added to Charlie Strong‘s roster. According to the school’s release, “[b]oth have signed financial aid agreements and are expected to enroll in the University’s second summer session in July.”
Urquidez was a four-star BU signee this past February, rated as the No. 22 offensive tackle; the No. 37 player at any position in the state of Texas; and the No. 244 player on 247Sports.com
‘s composite board.
A three-star member
of the Bears’ 2016 recruiting class, Duvernay was rated as the No. 61 athlete in the country and the No. 113 player at any position in the state of Texas. Duvernay is the twin brother of Devin Duvernay
, the first 2016 BU signee to flee Waco and sign with the school in Austin.
Just a little over a month after leaving South Carolina, Connor Mitch has found himself a new college football home.
On Twitter Monday, Mitch revealed that he will continue his collegiate playing career at James Madison. As the Dukes play at the FCS level, and Mitch himself is a recent graduate of USC, the quarterback will be eligible to play immediately in 2016.
Additionally, Mitch will have two seasons of eligibility remaining.
Mitch started the first two games of the 2015 season for the Gamecocks before a hip injury and shoulder injury knocked him out for the remainder of the year.
Part of a five-man competition in the spring, Mitch fell behind the current front-runner, freshman Brandon McIlwain, as well as a pair of quarterbacks injured for portions of the spring, senior Perry Orth and sophomore Lorenzo Nunez. That positioning on the depth chart apparently led to his mid-May transfer.
During his time in Columbia, Mitch completed 15-of-35 passes for 165 yards and a touchdown. He also added 48 yards and another touchdown on 17 carries.
Another former Baylor Bear has found himself a landing spot, although this time it’s not rival Texas that’s the beneficiary.
On Twitter overnight, Kam Martin announced that he has committed to play his college football for the Auburn Tigers. The running back’s decision came shortly after the Texas native took a visit to The Plains.
Martin opted for Auburn over TCU.
“The main reason I committed to Auburn was because it’s family, man,” Martin told SEC Country in an interview after announcing his decision. “Those guys did everything that I wanted to hear and everything speaks for itself. It’s the SEC, one of the biggest fan bases in the nation and I just want to be a part of something big and special.”
Martin was one of five 2016 Baylor signees who were granted releases by the university from their National Letters of Intent last week. A four-star 2016 signee according to 247Sports.com, the 5-10, 178-pound Johnson was rated as the No. 7 all-purpose back in the country; the No. 39 player at any position in the state of Texas; and the No. 268 player overall on that recruiting website’s composite board.
As is the case with other 2016 Bears signees who have fled Waco, Johnson will be eligible to play immediately in 2016.
In Auburn’s 113-year history, it’s never played a Big Ten opponent in a regular season game. That’ll change in five years.
Penn State and Auburn announced Monday morning a home-and-home series to take place in 2021 and 2022. The first game will be played in State College on Sept. 18, 2021 and the return will take place at Jordan-Hare Stadium on Sept. 17, 2022.
“This is another great opportunity for our players and fans to be part of something special,” Auburn Director of Athletics Jay Jacobs said. “Bringing together elite programs rich in tradition is what college football is all about. We look forward to this home-and-home series with Penn State.”
Making matters betters is the home-and-home nature of this series, instead of playing it as a neutral site one-off to begin a season. Those games are fun (and, far more importantly, generate a ton of revenue) but having Penn State travel to Alabama and Tigers fans going to State College is a far better experience for traveling fanbases.
Auburn and Penn State have met twice before in bowl games, with the most recent meeting a 13-9 Tigers win in the 2003 Capital One Bowl.
Penn State also added a 2021 home game against Ball State on Monday, per ESPN’s Brett McMurphy.