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Pac-12 Notes

Discussion in 'CU Buffs Newsroom' started by RSSBot, Oct 11, 2011.

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    By Stuart

    October 11th
    Missouri not going anywhere … for now
    Always the bridesmaid, never the bride.
    Missouri, which actually started all the conference realignment with its open courtship of the Big Ten in early 2010, is once again … not going anywhere.
    Interim Big 12 commissioner Chuck Neinas said Tuesday that the league is set with 10 teams for 2012 with the addition of TCU, even though Missouri is exploring a possible departure to the Southeastern Conference.
    “If Missouri was going to change horses, it wouldn’t be for 2012 anyway,” Neinas said.
    The Big 12 has given no deadline for a decision from Missouri, though Neinas said there would need to be some determination by the end of the current academic year. The school has not ruled out remaining part of the Big 12.
    Neinas said the Big 12 needs to know what Missouri plans to do before the league can fully evaluate whether to stay at 10 members or expand back to 12.
    “We can’t address the 10 vs. 12 until we determine that Missouri is going to be one of the 10,” he said. “There’s no consensus at the present time between the conference members as to 10 or 12.”
    “We’ll give Missouri time to evaluate its situation, and have an opportunity to look at the Big 12 Conference and perhaps get a better understanding of where we’re going,” Neinas said. “I think we’re on the verge of making some good progress.
    “We’re in process of solidifying the conference, and I think that’s already been proven,” he said. “There are a lot of positives the curators of Missouri have a chance to listen to.”
    Neinas said he recently had a cordial conversation about Missouri with SEC commissioner Mike Slive, who he has known for a long time.
    “I said basically, if you’re going to extend an invitation to Missouri, let me know,” Neinas said.
    According to Neinas, Slive said no invitation had been extended to Missouri and that the SEC commissioner “didn’t indicate one way or another” if that would happen. SEC leaders met Monday for their regularly scheduled fall meeting but took no action on expansion.
    October 1oth
    Misery Loves Company – Arizona and Utah
    While it may feel that the Buffs are destined to finish last in a conference for the first time since 1915, a look at the Pac-12 South standings indicates that the Buffs, at 1-5, 0-2, are still holding steady in fourth place.
    Behind the Buffs are Utah, 2-3, 0-3, and Arizona, 1-5, 0-4.
    Can Colorado still manage to find a way to avoid the Pac-12 South cellar?
    Arizona
    UPDATE: Mike Stoops fired as the head coach at Arizona.
    Coach Mike Stoops has been fired halfway through his eighth season at Arizona.
    Athletic director Greg Byrne announced Stoops’ dismissal at a news conference Monday evening, two days after the Wildcats lost their fifth straight game, 37-27 at previously winless Oregon State.
    “It’s just a lot of things, overall where we are at with our program,” Stoops told ESPN.com’s Ted Miller on Monday.
    Stoops had a 41-50 record with the Wildcats. He was co-defensive coordinator on his brother Bob’s staff at Oklahoma before he was hired at Arizona.
    His 2010 team started the season 7-1 but lost its last five, including a 36-10 blowout to Oklahoma State in the Alamo Bowl.

    The Wildcats, after a 37-27 loss to Oregon State last weekend, have now lost ten straight games to FBS teams (the only win this fall came against Northern Arizona from the Big Sky Conference).
    “The Cats have been consistently unprepared, unmotivated, at the start of games this season,” wrote Anthony Gimino for TucsonCitizen.com. “They have trailed by double-digits in the first half in each of the past five games. (Head coach Mike) Stoops says he doesn’t have an explanation for the slow starts. If not him, who?”
    “The defense can’t stop anybody, abysmal against the pass and the run. The special teams … well, the less said, the better.”
    Sound familiar?
    Gimino goes on. “When the Wildcats had a chance to answer their critics with a game at previously winless Oregon State, they did all of the stupid stuff they have been doing against elite teams — and then some. Instead of hitting the accelerator and turning the corner, they stayed the course and skidded off a cliff.
    “The Oregon State game was supposed to be Arizona’s rescue shot. Get back on the fairway. Try to get to par — 6-6 — for the season.
    “Now, what’s left?
    “Ticket sales from here to the end of the season will be non-existent. Who is going to show up for UCLA on a Thursday night? Who wants to be at the season-ender vs. Louisiana-Lafayette? Even with a decent second half of the season, Arizona football will be a tough sell for next year … Time is running out for Stoops to show he can take the program to a higher level, and reasons to believe are few.”
    Injuries and poor recruiting classes have also taken a toll in Tucson (no, I’m not channeling cubuffs.com).
    “There is no real mystery to Arizona’s 10-game losing streak against BCS schools.” wrote Greg Hansen for the Arizona Daily Star. “This is what happens after two or three thin recruiting seasons in the Pac-12. You get beat up and nobody takes mercy on you.”
    ” ‘We’ve gotta play who we’ve got,’ defensive coordinator Tim Kish said after a bad Oregon State team beat Arizona 37-27.
    “When UA cornerbacks Shaquille Richardson and Trevin Wade were injured Saturday, Arizona’s replacement was senior cornerback Lyle Brown, who entered the season with five career tackles.
    “Brown is typical of the type of replacement on Arizona’s depth chart. He agreed to play at Montana when he completed his high school career in Colorado, but thought he could do better and wound up playing at Glendale Community College.
    “He ultimately became a nonscholarship player at Arizona and now occupies a place of importance on its roster.
    “This isn’t how Oregon does it.”
    No, it isn’t … but it is how it is being done at Colorado (at least this year).


    Utah
    UPDATE: Junior quarterback Jordan Wynn, a former Colorado commit, is out for the season. Wynn, injured against Washington, will have surgery on his left shoulder.
    It will be the second surgery in less than a year for the junior, who had surgery in December on his right shoulder.
    Wynn finishes the year 66-for-116 for 727 yards and six touchdowns with two interceptions. Wynn often struggled throwing long due to lingering effects of his December surgery and now faces another long recovery following the repair to his non-throwing arm.
    “Obviously this is disappointing news for Jordan and the entire team,” Utah coach Kyle Whittingham said. “Jordan worked incredibly hard to come back from his shoulder surgery last winter and we are confident he will take the same approach with his rehab this time around. The good news is that he is eligible for a redshirt season.”
    —-
    “Now that Utah’s football season is reduced to a fight for bowl eligibility, how likely are the Utes to succeed in that quest?”, wrote Kurt Kragthorpe for the Salt Lake City Tribune, in an article entitled “How bad can this season get for the Utes?”
    Wrote Kragthorpe: “The Utes (2-3) must win four of their remaining seven games to qualify for a ninth consecutive bowl game. Failing to do so in this first Pac-12 season would hurt the program’s credibility, especially considering Utah was given a very favorable opportunity with five (of nine) conference games at home and Stanford and Oregon missing from the schedule.
    “(Utah head coach Kyle) Whittingham has proven his ability to salvage seasons. But even a 6-6 record is no guarantee at this point, with the Utes having lost all three league games (including two at home) and quarterback Jordan Wynn out indefinitely with a shoulder injury.
    “Breaking down the schedule, the Utes logically should beat Oregon State, UCLA and Colorado at home. They should pick off at least one road win against Pittsburgh, California, Arizona and Washington State, giving them the required six victories.
    “Yet all seven of those games appear tougher for Utah than they did a month ago, don’t they? The Pac-12’s downtrodden teams are improving and nobody’s sure what to think of the Utes.”
    There … feel any better, Buff fans?
    Just get through October in one piece, Buffs, and salvage the season in November …
    October 6th
    TCU a short-term member of the Big East
    Texas Christian University, which is playing its last season as a member of the Mountain West Conference, will have a short entry in its media guide about the school’s history as a member of the Big East:
    2011 – Joined Big East; left conference without ever playing a game; paid $5 million exit fee in order to join Big 12.
    Now, starting in 2012, TCU will be a member of the Big 12, bringing the total teams in the conference back up to ten after the exodus of Texas A&M to the SEC.
    Meanwhile the Big East, already on life support with the pending moves of Pittsburgh and Syracuse to the ACC, has lost another key component of what had been seen as a potentially bright future for the conference.
    Are we done yet?
    Perhaps not.
    Missouri still wants someone to love them.
    Missouri’s seven voting curators agreed unanimously Tuesday night to give chancellor Brady Deaton authority to look elsewhere rather than immediately commit to the Big 12 Conference. Spurned by the Big Ten last summer in favor of Nebraska, the Tigers still seem to believe that they are a wanted commodity.
    If Missouri does get invited to join the SEC (hardly a lock), then the Big 12 is looking at other options to bolster its numbers and restore its cache. West Virginia, BYU, and Louisville are mentioned most often as additional teams which could bring the Big 12 back up to 12 should Missouri join Colorado, Nebraska, and Texas A&M as former members.
    October 3rd
    Jordan Wynn out at least 2-3 weeks … maybe longer
    Utah starting quarterback Jordan Wynn will miss at least two-to-three weeks with the injury to his left, non-throwing shoulder he suffered over the weekend in a loss to Washington.
    It’s not even certain Wynn, who was a Colorado commit two years ago before defecting to the Utes, will be back at that point. Said a statement from the school: “He will be re-evaluated at that time to determine if he is ready to return.” The statement didn’t identify the nature of the shoulder injury.
    A writer for the Salt Lake City Tribune speculated, though, that Wynn may be out longer than 2-3 games: “The Utes haven’t released details of the injury so this is speculation on my part, but if the joint is as unstable as Whittingham indicated it was following Saturday’s game, it could be difficult for Wynn to rehab the shoulder well enough to return. There is a mental aspect to the injury too, which is a bigger concern given Wynn’s history with injuries. How willing would he be to stand in the pocket if in the back of his mind he is worried about getting hurt again? We all know Wynn’s throwing motion has been affected by the injury to his right shoulder suffered last year. Now, with two damaged shoulders, how good can Wynn really be this year? These injuries just might be too much for him to overcome, both physically and mentally.”
    Wynn will be replaced by junior Jon Hays. He transferred to Utah this summer after the team he initially signed with out of Butte College — Nebraska-Omaha — dropped its football program.
    Hays has played in two games this season, playing out the fourth quarter of Utah’s rout of Brigham Young on Sept. 17 and playing the entire second half of last week’s loss to Washington. He’s completed 10 of 17 passes for 156 yards with a touchdown and an interception. His backup will be true freshman Tyler Shreve.
    The Utes (2-2 overall, 0-2 Pac-12) play host to Arizona State ( 4-1, 2-0) on Saturday in a key South Division game. They play at Pittsburgh on Oct. 15 and at California on Oct. 22.
    Texas forced to play nice
    Welcome to reality, Bevo.
    The remaining Big 12 schools have taken a major step toward staying together by agreeing to equally distribute Tier I and II television revenues, a deal that will be complete with all nine institutions’ individual approval, ESPN is reporting.
    The conference, after going through a second straight year of dealing with at least one defection from its membership, announced that its board of directors had adopted the plan Monday after discussing it over the weekend.
    The football and men’s basketball revenue from Tier I and Tier II contracts will take effect once each of the nine schools commit to a grant of rights for at least six years.
    Tier I includes nationally televised games on a broadcast network such as ABC, CBS, NBC or Fox. All cable football, ESPN basketball and Big 12 network games produced by ESPN Regional fall under Tier II.
    The deal doesn’t forbid schools from keeping their own network rights (Tier III), which would mean Texas can keep any revenue earned from the Longhorn Network, which is co-owned and operated by ESPN. All of the remaining schools have some sort of local deal, whether it’s a network or a web outlet or a locally syndicated package. However, the likelihood is that all but one or two football games per year will be Tier I or Tier II for Texas, limiting the extra dollars the Longhorns can generate from football.
    Once the remaining nine schools sign off on the grant in rights then the league will begin pursuing expansion. An expansion committee is scheduled to discuss possible teams. The Big 12 originally had a list of Arkansas, BYU, Pitt, Louisville and West Virginia when Texas A&M left before Oklahoma president David Boren said the Sooners would look at other options. The Sooners’ main option was snuffed out when the Pac-12 decided it would not expand.
    Arkansas has said it would remain in the SEC. Pitt is now off to the ACC in 2012 or ’13. For the Big 12 expansion pool, that leaves BYU, an independent in football with all other sports in the WAC; Big East teams Louisville, West Virginia and possibly Cincinnati and South Florida; Boise State and Air Force out of the Mountain West; and TCU, now in the MWC but bound for the Big East in 2012.
    The question that remains for the Big 12 though, is how many teams to add. That hasn’t been answered yet, according to sources. The ideal number is believed to be 10, assuming Missouri stays, with the possibility of going to 12. The TCU question will be an interesting one for Texas since adding TCU would open up the politics for Conference USA members in Texas such as SMU to push for inclusion.


    Originally posted by CU At the Game
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