Rutgers officially becomes the Big Ten’s 14th member

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(So, yeah, more math/counting jokes go here.)

John got y’all primed earlier today on Rutgers’ imminent move from the Big East to the Big Ten as the conference’s 14th member, following Maryland’s steps on Monday. This afternoon, the move became official with unanimous approval, though when the Scarlet Knights will make the jump to their new home is yet to be determined. Big East bylaws call for, along with a $10 million exit fee, a 27-month waiting period. However, former members West Virginia, Pittsburgh and Syracuse all were able to leave (or will leave in the case of the latter two) before that specified timetable with the price tag of a higher exit fee.

Below are statements on the move:

Rutgers President Robert Barchi:
“The Big Ten includes America’s most highly regarded academic institutions, known for both their athletic success and academic achievement. This is exactly the right conference for Rutgers. Our university is one of the nation’s leading research universities and our student-athletes excel in the classroom and on the playing field.

Rutgers Athletic Director Tim Pernetti:
“This is a historic day for Rutgers University. It is an honor to join such a prestigious conference and begin our partnership with the outstanding institutions in the Big Ten. There is no finer conference in the nation that combines top-notch academics and athletics.”

Big Ten commissioner Jim Delany:
“The Big Ten Conference is pleased to announce that Rutgers University will soon join the conference family. The additions of Rutgers and the University of Maryland further expand the Big Ten’s footprint while helping solidify our presence on the East Coast. Both institutions feature a combination of academic and athletic excellence and will prove a great fit for our future.”

Big East commissioner Mike Aresco:
“Although we are disappointed that Rutgers has decided to leave the Big East Conference, we wish them well. They have been a valued member of the Conference for many years. We realize that conference realignment is currently a fact of life in college sports. In the context of this realignment, changes in our membership have been taking place, including important additions. In fact, the Big East has expanded its scope with new members in California, Texas, Florida, Idaho, Tennessee and Pennsylvania. As a result, the Big East has created a unique national football conference that is a factor in the BCS Championship, remains the nation’s strongest basketball conference top to bottom, and is a major force across the full spectrum of men’s and women’s college sports. We remain committed to, and confident in, the continued growth and vitality of the Big East Conference.”

As we noted yesterday, the Big East is still in the open market for a new TV deal. If Boise State and San Diego State are having second third fourth thoughts about joining the league, it could affect the negotiation process. Likewise, the lack of a concrete number could be a concern to the likes of BSU and SDSU. Certainly losing Rutgers doesn’t help.

Either way, the Big East will continue to be at a disadvantage moving forward even with a TV deal. No media rights payout is going to be high enough to keep any member if another conference (like, say, the Big Ten for example) comes calling. That’s not to say the Big East won’t be better off with a finalized TV deal  — it will — but the league is simply at the mercy of other conferences.

Louisville not looking for new naming rights sponsor for Cardinal Stadium until the spring

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It’s been nearly three months since Louisville took Papa John’s name off Cardinal Stadium and it sounds like the status quo will be that way for a while more.

Speaking to the Louisville Courier Journal on Thursday, Cardinals AD Vince Tyra sounded as though finding a new sponsor for the stadium naming rights is far from his (or anybody else at the school’s) mind at the moment.

“There’s no deadline for us on that,” Tyra said. “I think we wanted to, as we’ve said before, let’s get through the season, let’s kind of move our way into the spring and distance ourselves from it.”

Those comments probably are not to surprising considering the team is 2-5 at the moment and dealing with plenty of issues under Bobby Petrino but it’s notable in the grand scheme of things considering how visible Papa John’s was at the school previously and how much founder John Schnatter donated to the program.

It will be interesting to see just how much Louisville can get for their naming rights when they do go through a bid process given the school’s location, recent performance and the fact that these deals are few and far between at the Power Five level nowadays. Just recently, Colorado State secured a $37.7 million deal for their new on-campus venue while USC cashed the richest deal in college football for a whopping $70 million.

The Cardinals figure to be somewhere in between those two numbers but any little bit could help if the school wants to consider cutting ties to their head coach any time soon.

Duke backups 3D-printed brace to help QB Daniel Jones return from fractured clavicle

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File this under stories that can only happen at a few schools across the country — that are very on-brand for the academic reputation of the place too.

A story published in The Chronicle this week detailed the efforts that Duke utilized to get quarterback Daniel Jones back from a fractured clavicle in a remarkable three weeks. One unconventional part of the recovery? A 3D-printed brace that was designed in conjunction with backup center Clark Bulleit and reserve linebacker Kevin Gehsmann.

In order to implement any of their ideas, Bulleit and Gehsmann needed approval from the team’s medical personnel. The training staff did more than just simply give the okay, opting to fully collaborate on the process.

“The training staff helped us to identify pressure points, and took Daniel through his range of motion, telling us where the brace could or could not go,” Bulleit said. “We would determine how to change the shape of the brace to cover the collarbone and retain its integrity while not hitting the pressure points.”

Jones wound up missing just two games with the Blue Devils and has played well with the brace underneath his pads in recent weeks, completing over 63% of his passes with four touchdowns as Duke has cracked the Top 25 with a 5-1 overall record.

While it’s still crazy that the signal-caller was even able to bounce back from a fracture so quickly, the extra bit of help he had (in the most unconventional way possible) from his teammates certainly made things a lot easier on Jones and the Blue Devils overall.

Baylor, Oregon schedule home-and-home series for 2027 and 2028

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If you like neon colors on college football uniforms, boy have we got a future series for you.

In an announcement made on Friday, Oregon and Baylor confirmed the two schools have agreed to a home-and-home series on the gridiron in their first-ever meeting between the two programs. The Bears and Ducks will play at McLane Stadium in Waco on Sept. 11, 2027; while the return game will take place at  Autzen Stadium in Eugene on Sept. 9, 2028.

The move certainly beefs up the non-conference slate for both sides after years of rather lackluster scheduling for various reasons. Baylor recently scheduled a series with Auburn for 2025/2026 and Oregon was similarly busy over the summer adding an SEC opponent with a future date with Georgia in 2022.

This series between the Ducks and Bears is the first on either team’s schedule for the 2027/2028 seasons so each has a few more slots to fill nearly a decade ago.

TCU safety Innis Gaines out for Oklahoma showdown and more likely done for season

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TCU will be without a key member of its defense for this weekend’s showdown against Big 12 rival Oklahoma as starting safety Innis Gaines will not play on Saturday — and possibly not again this season.

Speaking on his radio show on Thursday night in the DFW Metroplex, head coach Gary Patterson ruled the junior out against the Sooners and cautioned that he was “likely” done for the year after suffering a leg injury against Texas Tech last week.

Gaines himself seemed to suggest that he also will be out a significant amount of time with the injury in a Twitter post.

Gaines has been a key member of the Horned Frogs defense the past two years and has been one of the program’s best players on defense in 2018, ranking second on the team in tackles (31) and tackles for loss (6.5), as well as recording one interception, a forced fumble and a sack.

Compounding the loss of Gaines is the fact that fellow safety Niko Small has been out since the loss to Texas, leaving TCU fairly thin in the one area that you can typically count Patterson’s defense to be strong in. Freshman La’Kendrick Van Zandt is likely to be elevated into the starting role based on the team’s depth chart but you could also see an increase in playing time for Trevon Moehrig-Woodard as well.

Either way, this is not exactly the kind of news you want to hear just days before facing off against Kyler Murray and the Oklahoma offense.