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Big 12 reportedly discussed a possible scheduling agreement with Pac-12, ACC and SEC

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With concerns about overall strength of schedule reaching new heights, the only two conferences to be left out of the College Football Playoff in the past three years have reportedly explored the idea of injecting a little juice into the overall conference strength of schedule with a conference vs. conference concept. The Big 12 and Pac-12 reportedly discussed the possibility of working together, according to a report from Dennis Dodd of CBSSports.com. But don’t expect anything more to happen with those future schedules any time soon.

The discussions took place in an exploratory stage over the summer as the Big 12 was weighing future options for conference stability, including expansion. Unfortunately, that was about as far as the idea got as the Big 12 continued to follow through on its plan to add a conference championship game in 2017 and put any expansion plans on ice. For whatever reason or reasons, a deal with the Pac-12 could not gain any momentum and the talks essentially ended there. Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby also said in the report the Big 12 had similar discussions with the ACC and SEC.

A few years back, before conference expansion really hit its stride, the Big Ten and Pac-12 worked out an arrangement that would see the two conferences schedule a conference vs. conference slate of games involving every member of the conference. It was a brilliant idea at the time, feeding off similar concepts employed in college basketball, but the Pac-12 ultimately backed out of the arrangement due to increasing concerns about adding this type of deal on top of a nine-game conference schedule (the Big Ten, with 12 teams at the time, had not yet committed to a nine-game conference schedule). With the Pac-12 backing out, the deal was done and there had been no talk about such a scheduling arrangement by the Big Ten or Pac-12 until now (that we are aware of).

It is a shame such a deal could not have been worked out, because it would seemingly solve a possible problem the Big 12 and Pac-12 each have compared to the stature of the ACC, Big Ten and SEC. Like the ACC, Big Ten and SEC, all Big 12 schools are required to schedule at least one game per year against another power conference opponent. Of course, having a deal in place with the Pac-12 would automatically satisfy such a requirement for Big 12 schools. The problem, albeit minor, is the conferences do not have even membership, which means there would be two Pac-12 schools left out of the fun each season.

It is good to know the Big 12 continues to explore such an idea, although knowing the Big 12 and witnessing how long it takes this conference to move on anything tells us it will be a long time before anything comes out of it. If any conference could benefit from a scheduling agreement with another conference, it might be the Big 12. The conference has missed out on the College Football Playoff twice, including this past season, in part because of the overall perception of the conference compared to its peers. One loss was enough to help keep the Big 12 co-champions TCU and Baylor from the playoff three years ago and two losses prevented even a red-hot Big 12 champion Oklahoma from surging into the playoff mix. A solid bowl season helps, but improving the strength of schedule as a conference is key to adding an extra ingredient to combat criticism of the conference. If the big 12 does work out an agreement in the future, will other conferences respond?

The ACC and Big Ten have a terrific basketball series that would also make for a fantastic football series as well if one were to be created, for example. Basically, the bottom line is the bottom line. If it makes fiscal sense for power conferences to arrange a full conference vs. conference scheduling agreement, then it will come together. It is hard to argue there would be no interest in a series from a fan standpoint, and network partners and advertisers would jump at the opportunity to get in on more attractive games.

Let’s make this happen, college football overlords.

Baylor strength coach apparently no longer with the program

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It seems every bit of news related to Baylor football nowadays has to do with the school’s on-going sexual assault scandal but it appears there is one bit of information coming out of the program that doesn’t have something to do with that.

A school spokesperson told ESPN on Friday that football strength coach Kaz Kazadi has been “reassigned to a role outside the athletic performance staff.” A report from the local ESPN Radio affiliate in Waco indicates that the move will eventually have the coach leaving the school altogether.

Kazadi spent nearly a decade with the Bears and played a big role in the team’s on-field turnaround under the former coaching staff. Several former players took to Twitter on Friday to express their shock over the loss of one of the cornerstones of the team in recent years.

After the hire of Matt Rhule this offseason, it isn’t too surprising to see some turnover among those staff members connected to the previous regime. Baylor’s new head coach brought most of his strength staff with him from Temple so it was probably only a matter of time before Kazadi moved on, though the timing of the quasi-announcement (the Bears started spring football last weekend) is somewhat interesting.

Either way, it appears Baylor will have a new direction in the weight room going forward.

Michigan’s Jim Harbaugh has ditched his Dockers for another

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Peanut butter and jelly. Milk and cookies. Batman and Robin. Maize and blue. Jim Harbaugh and khakis.

All are iconic combinations, but it appears the latter is undergoing a few changes right now.

The Michigan head coach’s affinity for a pair of khakis has been so strong over the years that it’s become almost comical how much he likes the style of pant. Heck, he even got a commercial out of it a few years ago when he specifically started getting outfitted with Dockers brand khakis.

Despite being a paid endorser though, it appears that Harbaugh has dropped the famous Levi’s brand version of khakis to attack the day with an enthusiasm unknown to mankind in another pair of pants.

Not only is the switch from Dockers to Lululemon result in a lot more comfort for the Wolverines coach, it’s probably a bit more of a hit to the ol’ wallet than dropping by Walmart for a pair of khakis off the shelf. It probably doesn’t make a huge difference for Harbaugh though given that he’s the highest paid coach in the country but it might result in a few more trips to the mall.

Either way, what it does mean is that now we demand a new commercial featuring Harbaugh and khakis. After all, if you’re upping the clothing game, you’ve got to up the ad game as well.

Former Penn State president found guilty of role in Sandusky scandal

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Former Penn State president Graham Spanier’s day in court has come and has resulted in a guilty verdict.

The Centre Daily Times is among the outlets reporting that a jury has found Spanier guilty of one count of endangering the welfare of children in a trial related to his role in the Jerry Sandusky sex abuse scandal. In addition, Spanier was found not guilty on two other counts, one a similar child endangerment charge and the other a count of criminal conspiracy.

The verdict comes after lengthy deliberations by the jury in the case, which took a turn last week when former Penn State athletic director Tim Curley and vice president Gary Schultz plead guilty to child endangerment charges as part of the same trial. All three figure to be sentenced in the next few months.

Prior to the scandal, Spanier was widely considered to be one of the most respected college presidents in the country and heavily involved in NCAA matters. However he was one of several key figures fired by the school as a result of covering up the actions of Sandusky, the Nittany Lions’ former defensive coordinator who was found guilty on 45 charges of sexually abusing minors.

While the verdict is likely to be appealed, Spanier is nevertheless facing the prospect of joining Sandusky behind bars as a result of his own involvement in the scandal.

Dad of RB Kingston Davis says son will transfer from Michigan

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Michigan’s the latest football program to see its roster hit with the annual spring personnel attrition.

The father of Kingston Davis confirmed to Sam Webb of Scout.com that his son informed UM officials earlier Friday of his intention to transfer from the Wolverines.  Apparently there were two reasons that triggered the running back’s decision: a crowded backfield and chatter that he would be changing positions.

While 2016 leading rusher De'Veon Smith is gone, the Wolverines’ second-, third- and fourth-leading rushers from last season — rising sophomore Chris Evans (614 yards), rising junior Karan Higdon (425), rising fifth-year senior Ty Isaac (417) — all return. Kareem Walker, a four-star 2016 recruit rated as the No. 4 running back in the country, sat out last season because of academics but should be a part of the rotation as a redshirt freshman. They also added four-star (O'Maury Samuels) and three-star (Kurt Taylor) backs as part of their 2017 recruiting class.

A three-star 2016 recruit, Davis was rated as the No. 1 fullback in the country in that year’s class. As a true freshman, the 6-1, 245-pound back carried the ball twice for 17 yards.