The future of the Big 12 conference still seems a little murky but one thing remains clear: commissioner Bob Bowlsby will be in charge no matter which way things go.
The league announced on Friday morning that Bowlsby’s contract was extended through 2025, keeping him at Big 12 headquarters through the next round of television negotiations and right up to the expiration date on the conference’s grant of rights.
“This is an important time for college athletics. This is an important time for the Big 12,” West Virginia President Gordon Gee, the chairman of the conference’s board of directors, said in a video statement. “To have a valiant and committed leader and someone who understands athletics as well as anyone in this country leading our conference is something that is very much important to the league and to the individual schools and I believe to college athletics.”
Bowlsby notably guided the Big 12 through on-again, off-again rounds of conference expansion the past few years and played a big role in bringing a football championship game and new tiebreaker scenarios to the league since he took over in 2012. The former Stanford and Iowa athletic director will be 73 at the end of his new contract, which is paying him right under $2.7 million a year according to USA Today.
When you are at rock-bottom, there’s no place to go but up. When you’re like Kansas and have been at rock-bottom for the better part of a decade, though, you do nothing but further entrench yourself in the losing malaise.
Trailing 25-14 in a first half that featured one of the oddest offensive line plays you’ll ever witness, Kansas would get no closer until no time was left on the clock as Ohio pulled away for an embarrassingly easy, not-as-close-as-it-looks 42-30 win.
With the loss, the Jayhawks have now lost an astounding — and embarrassing — 42 straight games on the road. Their last win away from Memorial Stadium came in September of 2009 against UTEP. The last road win against a Power Five foe? In October of 2008 against Iowa State.
Looking ahead, KU will face No. 9 Oklahoma State, No. 20 TCU, Texas and Iowa State to close out the road portion of their 2017 schedule. In other words, it looks like the Jayhawks will head into the 2018 season looking to snap a 46-game road losing streak.
Kansas already owns the longest road losing streak in FBS history. The longest such streak at any level of NCAA football? 44 games in a row by Div. II Western Colorado State University from 1926-36.
Look out, Mountaineers; the Jayhawks are coming for you and your record.
Kansas has been woeful in football for the last decade, a fact that’s not exactly a state secret.
Since winning a combined 20 games in 2007 and 2008, the Jayhawks have won 20 games, total, the past nine years, including this season. Take away the five wins in Mark Mangino‘s final season in Lawrence, and KU has a won-loss record of 15-71 since the head coach was summarily dismissed.
The Jayhawks have won just five of their last 70 — 5-65!!! — Big 12 games. They currently own a 41-game road losing streak, with their last win away from Memorial Stadium coming in September of 2009 against UTEP. The last road win against a Power Five foe? In October of 2008 against Iowa State.
KU has lived at rock-bottom for myriad years, but was looking to snap that lengthy road losing streak against Ohio of the Mid-American Conference in Athens in Week 3. So, of course, this happens:
Kansas football, ladies and gentlemen!
Oh, and snapping that long skein isn’t looking too good at the moment as, at the half, the Jayhawks trail the 1-1 Bobcats 25-14.
As the college game gets set to head into its second week of the 2017 season Saturday, the pro version is getting ready to kick off its latest season in full on Sunday as well. And, given how the conference has dominated drafts for more than a decade, it’s far from surprising to see SEC teams very well-represented on NFL rosters amidst that kickoff.
In data compiled by the NCAA, there are a total of 285 schools representing all levels of college football whose players are currently on NFL opening-day rosters. The Association makes sure to note that its “list includes players on active rosters, injury reserved lists, practice squads and the commissioner’s exempt list.”
And the FBS team with the most players currently on big boy rosters? LSU, with 51. Florida and USC are next with 45 each, followed by 44 apiece for Alabama and Miami. Ohio State (42) and Florida State (40) are the only other programs with 40 or more.
Four of the five Power Five conferences are represented in that Top 10. Oklahoma, with 33, is the best the Big 12 has to offer.
Boise State is the first Group of Five team on the list with 21 former players in the show, more than the likes of TCU (20), Mississippi State (17) and Oklahoma State (13). Harvard also has nine players on current rosters, which is tied with Indiana and ahead of Wake Forest (eight), Washington State (eight), Iowa State (six) and Kansas (six).
New Mexico State, which is ticketed for FBS independence next season, has the fewest former players amongst FBS teams with two.
For the complete roster rundown, click HERE.
Everybody is busy during football season but few may be able to claim two full-time jobs related to America’s greatest sport. One exception? Walt Anderson.
The NFL announced that it has hired 21 full-time game officials on Wednesday, designed to “improve consistency, efficiency and accuracy” in their work at the professional level. What does that have to do with college football you might say? Well, one of those 21 officials happens to be Anderson, who also moonlights as the Big 12’s coordinator of officials when he is not busy on Sunday, Monday or Thursday during the NFL season.
“We believe that we will learn a great deal over the course of this initial year working with the full-time game officials,” said NFL Senior Vice President of Officiating Alberto Riveron in a statement. “Our collective goal is to make a positive impact on NFL officiating overall.”
Anderson, who retired from his other day job of being a dentist years ago, has been with the Big 12 for nearly a decade in the same post. A spokesperson for the conference confirmed to NBC Sports that he would remain the league’s coordinator of officials despite being hired “full-time” by the NFL.
According to the NFL, “full-time game officials will work throughout the calendar year on game preparation and game administration, analyzing current game trends, communicating with the officiating roster, and assisting to ensure that there is a qualified pipeline of future officials through scouting efforts.” Anderson appears to have plenty of experience doing that already thanks to his job in Dallas with the Big 12 but going forward he will be quite the busy man pulling double-duty.