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Pac-12 Notes

Discussion in 'CU Buffs Newsroom' started by RSSBot, May 19, 2013.

  1. RSSBot

    RSSBot News Junkie

    Jul 8, 2005
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    By Stuart

    [h=2][/h][h=2]Pac-12 Notes[/h]May 18th
    Arizona running back Daniel Jenkins transferring … back to Arizona.
    From CBSSports.com … Sometimes people just change their mind.
    After graduating from Arizona in December running back Daniel Jenkins announced he would transfer to Washington State for his final season of eligibility. Now, after being at Washington State since January, Jenkins has decided to transfer again.
    He’s now returning to Arizona.
    Jenkins would not have had to sit out a year at Washington State since he already graduated, and he will be eligible to play immediately this fall for the Wildcats.
    Jenkins rushed for 293 yards and two touchdowns for the Wildcats last season while serving as a backup to the nation’s leading rusher, Ka’Deem Carey. It’s a role he will resume in 2013.
    May 16th
    Arizona State still fighting to bring Notre Dame to Tempe
    From AZCentral.com … Arizona State continues to fight Notre Dame’s decision to pull out of a scheduled 2014 football game at Sun Devil Stadium.
    In a Tuesday interview on Arizona Sports 620, Vice President of Athletics Steve Patterson said both sides still are discussing the Fighting Irish’s recent decision.
    “I’m hopeful we’ll reach an accommodation that works for both schools that winds up having Notre Dame play here,” Patterson said.
    This has turned into a legal matter. According to the contract, Notre Dame doesn’t have much, if any, wiggle room to opt out of the 2014 game. The home-and-home series consisted of Notre Dame visiting Tempe in 2014, and the Sun Devils visiting Notre Dame in 2017. A penalty for breaking the contract was not included, but some sort of financial settlement is possible.
    The two universities agreed to play a home-and-home football series in 2007. The agreement was signed in February 2008.
    According to the series contract, “in the event that a game is canceled due to an act of God, a national crisis, or other events beyond the control of the host institution,” both schools agree to “exercise their best efforts to reschedule to a date and time that are mutually agreeable” to both schools. ASU officials said this doesn’t give Notre Dame much room to back out.
    “As far as ASU is concerned, Notre Dame is under contract to play at Sun Devil Stadium in 2014,” said Rocky Harris, ASU senior associate athletic director. “If Notre Dame chooses to unilaterally breach the agreement that they have signed over five years ago, it will negatively impact us competitively and financially. It is also unfair to our fans and student-athletes. Our expectation is that Notre Dame will honor the agreement they signed since the game is less than 18 months away.”
    ASU’s game against Notre Dame this season — played Oct. 5 at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas — is not in jeopardy. That contest is part of Notre Dame’s “Shamrock Series,” which allows the Fighting Irish to play home games in different parts of the country. ASU is scheduled, however, to travel to Notre Dame in 2017.
    May 15th
    Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl in CU’s future?
    Buffalo Wild Wings and the CU Buffaloes?
    Sounds like a good fit.
    From CBSSports.com … It appears the Big Ten will not be a part of the Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl starting in 2014.
    The bowl in Tempe, Ariz., is negotiating with the Big 12 and Pac-12 as yearly tie-ins, according to a source with direct knowledge of the situation. A deal is not done but appears probable.
    The bowl, which is run by the Fiesta Bowl folks and has been heavily subsidized in recent years, won’t garner a large payout compared to other bowls but still has several interested parties, including the Big Ten.
    And the Holiday Bowl may be ditching the Big 12 for the Big Ten
    From the Iowa Gazette … The Jell-O mold of the Big Ten’s future football lineup is taking formation by the minute.
    An industry source said the Holiday Bowl and Big Ten are close to finishing a six-year agreement. The bowl will pick second in the Pac-12 and third in the Big Ten after the playoff and access bowls make their selections starting with the 2014 season. Officials cautioned that no deals are final, but they are optimistic.
    “I think when the dust settles, you can speculate that the Big Ten is coming (to the Holiday Bowl), and you’ll be OK,” said the source with direct knowledge of discussions.
    “They really take care of the student-athlete experience, they make sure that’s a high level,” Iowa Athletics Director Gary Barta said. “Historically, they have a great brand because of the great football games that have been played over the years.
    “If that ended up being one of our bowls, I can speak positively to the experience there.”
    The Big Ten previously contracted a representative to the San Diego-based Holiday Bowl from 1991-1994. The Big Ten also sent teams to San Diego from 1986 through 1988. Iowa has appeared in the game three times, winning two games by one point each and tying the other game against BYU.
    “We have expressed interest in the Big Ten, and we’re looking at all of our options at this point,” said Bruce Binkowski, executive director of the Holiday Bowl. “I can’t really say anything until things are finalized.”
    Pac-12 Bowl tie-ins for the 2013 season …
    Gildan New Mexico MWC vs. Pac-12 Albuquerque, NM University Stadium Sat., Dec. 21 12:00 p.m. MT ESPN
    MAACO Bowl Las Vegas MWC vs. Pac-12 Las Vegas, NV Sam Boyd Stadium Sat., Dec. 21 1:30 p.m. MT ABC
    Kraft Fight Hunger BYU vs. Pac-12 San Francisco, CA AT&T Park Fri., Dec. 27 7:30 p.m. MT ESPN
    Valero Alamo Big 12 vs. Pac-12 San Antonio, TX Alamodome Mon., Dec. 30 4:45 p.m. MT ESPN
    Bridgepoint Education Holiday Big 12 vs. Pac-12 San Diego, CA Qualcomm Stadium Mon., Dec. 30 8:15 p.m. MT ESPN
    Hyundai Sun ACC vs. Pac-12 El Paso, TX Sun Bowl Tue., Dec. 31 12:00 p.m. MT CBS
    Rose Bowl Game BCS/Pac-12 #1 vs. BCS/Big Ten #1 Pasadena, CA Rose Bowl Wed., Jan. 1 3:00 p.m. MT ESPN

    May 14th
    Pac-12 recruiting heating up
    The Pac-12 is up to 31 verbal commitments from the Recruiting Class of 2014.
    Only Colorado is without a verbal commitment to date, though Oregon State and UCLA have only one apiece. The school with the most commitments is USC, with five, followed by Utah, with four.
    Surprisingly, of the 31 commitments, only one is from the ESPN Top 150, and that belongs to Arizona, which has a commitment from hometown athlete Cameron Denson.
    The full list of current Pac-12 commits can be found at ESPN’s website.

    UCLA loses defensive lineman
    From the LA Times … UCLA defensive end Owamagbe Odighizuwa could sit out the 2013 season after surgery on his right hip Tuesday.
    UCLA Coach Jim Mora feared he had lost the sophomore defensive lineman for the season, but doctors found that the damage wasn’t as extensive as previously believed. Owamagbe had a frayed rotator cuff in his hip, and Mora was unsure of the timetable for his return.
    Odighizuwa, who will be a junior this fall, underwent surgery on his left hip during the off-season and did not participate in spring practice. He started experiencing pain in his right hip before spring practice began.
    The loss would be significant, as Odighizuwa was ticketed to replace Datone Jones at defensive end. Jones was a first-round draft by the Green Bay Packers last month. Odighizuwa saw considerable time last season, finishing with 44 tackles. He had 3.5 sacks and recovered two fumbles.
    Odighizuwa’s injury hurts a defensive front that has struggled to remain healthy since the season ended.
    Nose tackle Ellis McCarthy sat out spring while recovering from minor knee surgery. Defense end Sam Tai was also limited, as he was still recovering from a knee surgery that forced him to miss the 2012 season. Nose tackle Brandon Tuliaupupu will miss the 2013 season after suffering a knee injury during spring practice.
    Defensive end Kylie Fitts, who enrolled this spring, and nose tackle Kenneth Clark, who arrives this summer, are expected to make contributions as freshmen.

    College*Football News: “Success at Colorado will not be measured in the standings”
    The CollegeFootballNews has put out its preview for the University of Colorado. It’s fair … but that doesn’t mean it’s flattering.
    The full article can be found here. Some highlights:
    New head coach Mike MacIntyre made a winner out of San Jose State. Anything is possible.
    MacIntyre took command of one of the nation’s worst programs in 2010, a team so bad that it was struggling to compete at the FBS level out of the WAC. Sound familiar, Buffs fans? Two years after arriving at a sure-fire dead end job, though, he’d guided the Spartans to their best season ever and a hard-to-fathom ranking in the final Top 25 poll. It was a textbook defying of the odds, which MacIntyre will now attempt to duplicate at Colorado.
    The Buffaloes are bad—like worst team from a major conference bad. They haven’t been over .500 since 2005, and last season’s 1-11 mark represented a low-point in the annals of Colorado football. This school currently resides at rock bottom. And a new staff, with all of its new energy and fresh ideas, has been tasked with gradually getting the team back to a more competitive level. It’ll be neither easy nor expeditious.
    Success at Colorado will not be measured in the standings, at least not for a while. This is a team that was outscored by an average of four touchdowns a game last year. No, this summer and fall is all about installing new systems, learning personnel and changing approaches to the game. True freshmen started 57 games in 2012, tops in the FBS, so at least the new staff will be preaching to a young squad, much of which hasn’t been spoiled by a decade’s worth of futility.
    The team will be much better if … the Buffs become a (much) better first-down team. A school is not going to win many games in the Pac-12 if it’s constantly operating on its heels. And that’s been the case at Colorado for the past few seasons. The offense averaged 4.2 yards to start a series, which is not awful. But the D yielded an average of eight yards on first down, an impossible hurdle to overcome. It’s no wonder the unit couldn’t stop anyone. Who could when the other team was constantly facing second-and-short situations?
    The season will be a success if … Colorado is more competitive than in the last two years, and captures momentum that can be taken into 2014. Forget the record. Wins and losses cannot define this Buffaloes team, especially with a new regime in charge. This is a two or three-year process, meaning 2013 is all about adopting new systems, improving conditioning and changing a dysfunctional culture. Win or lose, it’ll qualify as a good sign in Boulder if the team is playing better in November than in September.
    Key game: Sept. 1 vs. Colorado State. Of all the games on the perennial schedule, this one is by far the most important to Buffaloes fans. The Buffs lost to the Rams in Denver a year ago, setting the tone for what wound up being a miserable campaign. Colorado has no rivals in the Pac-12 yet, and might not for a long time. This is an intense rivalry game, one that Mike MacIntyre would love to bag in his debut as the Buffs’ head coach.
    2012 Fun Stats: – Average first down gain: Colorado 4.2 – Opponents 7.9 – Third down efficiency: Colorado 29.9% – Opponents 44.0% – Interceptions: Colorado 3 – Opponents 19

    May 9th
    Pac-12 Spring wrap up
    ESPN Pac-12 blog writers Ted Miller and Kevin Gemmell have put together an excellent review of spring practices for all of the Pac-12. From “What we Learned this Spring” to the “Best of the Pac-12″, there is good information on the Buffs’ competition this fall.
    The Pac-12 spring write-up can be found here.
    CU wide receiver Paul Richardson made the best of list:
    Best chance to join Pac-12 blog’s All-Interview team: Some quotes from Colorado WR Paul Richardson from a 15-minute interview:
    • “I expect nothing less than for people to sell us short or pick us to finish last. I even joked before in another interview that if there was a spot below last they’d pick us there as well. But you never know what will happen in the Pac-12.”
    • “I don’t think Coach MacIntyre is in a bad position at all. I think he was given an opportunity to move up to this coaching job at a really good time. We’re going to have some key players back and our young guys are going to have experience. To me, he came at a perfect time.”
    • “I was very upset to say the least [at coach Jon Embree's firing]. It was very surprising. I had a really good relationship with Coach Embree. It caught us all off guard. Some of us were pretty bitter.”
    • “I think we’ll be .500 or above. The best thing I can say is don’t sleep on Colorado football. We’re a work in progress, but it is progressing over here.”
    – Colorado was also (not surprisingly) listed last in the conference in the ESPN Pac-12 Power Rankings.
    Here is what ESPN had to say about the Buffs:
    12. Colorado: Colorado will be better in coach Mike MacIntyre’s first season than it was in 2012, mostly because it can’t get any worse. The Buffs were one of the nation’s youngest teams last season, and it showed. They figure to be bigger, stronger and smarter this fall. But probably not so much as to escape the basement here
    Arizona State changes mascot look … again
    From*Fox Sports Arizona *… In the latest chapter of the Sparky redesign saga, Arizona State on Wednesday revealed the latest update to the Sun Devil mascot, this version the result of an online fan vote.
    The new Sparky is an update to the version revealed to much criticism in a March 1 news conference. That version, designed in conjunction with Disney, was criticized most for the mascot head, which featured black horns and very large eyes. The backlash was so great that ASU leaders decided to scrap the design and let fans*decide on a new one.
    The latest Sparky is the result of the online vote that allowed select fans — ASU students, faculty, staff, alumni, season ticket holders and Sun Devil Club members and donors — to choose between four new versions of the mascot head. It will debut at the start of the 2013 academic and athletic year.
    The Sparky redesign also included a new Sparky logo, though it will not replace the old Sparky logo. The new logo will be used in comic books, children’s books, animated films and on select merchandise. The original logo was drawn in 1946 by Disney artist Berk Anthony and remains unchanged. The mascot, however, has changed more than a dozen times.
    The “Old” Sparky

    And the new Sparky …

    May 8th
    Two Fresno State players dismissed from team
    From NBCSports.com … Early last September, wide receiver Victor Dean and defensive back Davon Dunn were two of six Fresno State players suspended for various lengths of time for various issues.
    While both returned during the 2012 season, the same can’t be said for 2013.
    In a very brief press release sent out Tuesday evening night, the Bulldogs announced that both players have been dismissed from the football program for what’s described as “violations of Athletic Department policy.” Suffice to say, the specific nature of the issue or issues weren’t revealed.
    The release stated that each player was informed of their dismissals Monday morning, and that there would be no further comment from the team.
    Despite playing in just nine games because of a combination of the disciplinary issue and a season-ending injury, the 6-6, 209-pound Dean finished fourth on the team in receiving yards with 389 and fifth with 30 receptions. He added two touchdown receptions as a redshirt sophomore as well.
    Dunn played in 11 of the Bulldogs’ 13 games as a redshirt sophomore, with the two games he missed due to his suspension. He was credited with 16 tackles, 1.5 tackles for a loss and a half sack, as well as returning eight kickoffs for a 20.2 yard average.
    … From the Fresno Bee … Dean, a fluid 6-foot-6 receiver, always was an intriguing prospect and began to fulfill some of that promise last year before suffering a broken leg against Hawaii in the ninth game. He caught 30 passes, including a three-game stretch in which he had 22 for 235 yards and two touchdowns.
    He was held out of contact during the spring but otherwise was making a full recovery.
    Dunn played in 11 of the Bulldogs’ 13 games a year ago, recording 16 tackles — including 1.5 behind the line of scrimmage — and was credited with two pass breakups.
    The Bulldogs should be able to absorb both losses, given depth at outside receiver and in the secondary.

    May 7th
    Arizona only other Pac-12 school with a Hall of Fame Honoree
    Joining Bill McCartney from the Pac-12 in the Hall of Fame Class of 2013 is Arizona defensive tackle Tedy Bruschi. A lightly recruited player from Northern California, Bruschi went on to become a two-time All-American. Bruschi went on to win three Super Bowl rings with the New England Patriots and now works for ESPN.
    Other familiar names in McCartney’s Class … Three*legendary Heisman Trophy winners — stretching from Miami’s Vinny Testaverde in 1986 through Florida’s Danny Wuerffel in 1996 to Wisconsin’s Ron Dayne in 1999.
    The class also includes Nebraska quarterback Tommie Frazier, who didn’t win a Heisman but was 34-3 as a starter and led the Huskers to consecutive national championships in 1994 and ’95.
    May 6th
    Athlon writers pick Arizona State to win the Pac-12 South
    Athlon had four of its writer state their choice for which team will win the Pac-12 South this fall.
    While there were rumblings for UCLA, USC, and Arizona, the unanimous pick was Arizona State.
    Here is a link to the article at*Athlonsports.com … and some of the highlights:
    “Arizona State is primed for a run to the South division crown, and a Pac-12 championship appearance. The Sun Devils became the odds-on favorite for me when tackle Will Sutton eschewed the NFL draft … ASU put up a surprising 38.4 points per game — only Oregon was more prolific among Pac-12 teams. Perhaps most importantly, the Sun Devils look like the only South team without glaring questions marks: USC is still paper thin, UCLA must replace its record-setting running back, and Arizona is replacing star quarterback Matt Scott while trying to solve its defensive woes”.
    “UCLA is the back-to-back champion of the Pac-12 South and returns most of its core, so it’s hard to pick against the Bruins. However, I think UCLA will be dethroned this year, as Arizona State is my pick to claim the division title in Todd Graham’s second season in Tempe”.
    “Can UCLA make it two division titles in a row for second-year coach Jim Mora Jr.? The Bruins have the quarterback in Brett Hundley, but gone is running back Johnathan Franklin and several other starters on both sides of the ball. Then there’s the schedule, which is pretty brutal. Of the four South teams mentioned, UCLA is the only one that has to play both Oregon and Stanford from the North”.
    “USC is trying to pick up the pieces from last season’s debacle, but will have to do so without quarterback Matt Barkley and wide receiver Robert Woods, among others. Talent has never been an issue for the Trojans, but if last season showed us anything, it’s that talent’s not enough”.
    … In the article, Utah and Colorado were not mentioned …

    USC has yet to produce a Super Bowl quarterback … Why?
    From CBSSports.com … One of the great mysteries of both college and the NFL is that while other Pac-12 schools have historically generated Pro Bowlers and NFL Hall of Famers at quarterback — make that other schools, period — USC quarterbacks have mostly failed in the pros. Trojan quarterbacks have won 11 national titles, six during the Super Bowl era, but no USC quarterback has played in a Super Bowl.
    Numerous schools have produced Super Bowl quarterbacks. Ten have produced multiple Supor Bowl quarterbacks — Delaware, California, Maryland, UCLA, Alabama, Notre Dame, BYU, Stanford, Purdue and Washington State.
    USC? None.
    … This statistic is one of the more damning for the Trojans. At least 15 times that group of USC quarterbacks (Paul McDonald, Todd Marinovich, Rob Johnson, John David Booty, Carson Palmer, Mark Sanchez, Matt Leinhart, Sean Salisbury, Rodney Peete, Pat Haden, Vince Evans, Bill Nelsen, Matt Cassel and Pete Beathard) won either a national championship (outright or share), a Heisman or made a Rose Bowl appearance. None won a Super Bowl and only a handful made the playoffs. There may be no other programs in history that had such dominance on the collegiate level only to watch those players get atomized in the pros.
    Why have USC quarterbacks experienced almost unprecedented success in college while experiencing almost unprecedented futility in the NFL?
    A variety of college and NFL sources including several NFL scouts, team executives and assistant coaches, provide four main theories.
    The Spoiled Brat Theory
    It goes like this. Recent USC quarterbacks in particular grow up with a silver football in their mouth. Not all. But many. They grow up pampered both at home and in their sport. They only time they experience adversity is when the CD player on their dad’s BMW doesn’t work.
    This is part stereotype, part unfair but also part accurate, according to several NFL scouts. “The feeling is that some of them are coddled,” said the scout, “and mentally soft.”
    Then when they get to the toughest of sports leagues, their minds crumble under the weight. At least, that’s the theory.
    The Weather Theory
    “The sheer number of USC quarterbacks who have come to the NFL and struggled is alarming,” said Rob Rang, NFLDraftScout.com senior analyst who also writes for CBSSports.com. “Because many of these quarterbacks possessed the physical traits to be successful, some scouts believe the warm weather and big man on campus mentality makes Southern Cal passers less prepared for the rigors of the NFL.”
    The warm weather. This is the most believed theory by scouts. It contributes to making the quarterbacks soft, the theory goes. There are holes in this theory, of course, especially since Troy Aikman played in the same weather at UCLA but still made it to the NFL Hall of Fame.
    However, remember the list of schools that produced quarterbacks that appeared in multiple Super Bowls, maybe the toughest thing to do in sports — the University of Delaware, California, Maryland, UCLA, Alabama, Notre Dame, BYU, Stanford, Purdue, and Washington State. Five of those schools — Delaware, Maryland, Notre Dame, BYU, and Purdue — play in cold weather. Some brutally so. Washington State, located in Pullman, has averages in December of 24 degrees for a low and almost eight inches of snow.
    Not scientific but also far from insignificant.
    The Great Coaches Theory
    Two words: Norm Chow. He was an assistant at USC and throughout his college career helped to develop an army of quarterbacks, including Steve Young. He’s one of the brightest offensive minds in college football history. At USC, over the decades, the Trojan coaching staff has been loaded with assistants and head coaches like Chow.
    “USC has had so much coaching talent it’s become a system school,” said one NFL scout. “Then they have to leave that system.”
    The Uber-talent theory
    This is one of the most palpable theories. While many college quarterbacks were surrounded with great talent throughout history, USC took that to a level surpassed by few. Rob Johnson played with Keyshawn Johnson and Tony Boselli. Leinart played with Reggie Bush. Every USC quarterback seems to have had a fast 6-foot-8 wide receiver and elite running back. USC quarterbacks played with Heisman winners Charles White and Marcus Allen.
    The belief is that Trojan quarterbacks are surrounded by so many great players, and many times are drafted by the worst NFL teams, they don’t know how to elevate the players around them because in college they were always the ones being elevated.
    Now comes another USC quarterback to the NFL. Barkley went in the fourth round but the expectations aren’t so lessened. People will be watching not just to see if he can replace Vick, but witness if he can break a nasty curse.

    May 2nd
    Playoff selection committee will not be made up of conference representatives
    From CBSSports.com … The creeping fog surrounding that first playoff selection committee seems to have become a bit clearer.
    Four of the 10 commissioners who will decide the matter told CBSSports.com on Wednesday that the current committee model being discussed does not include a separate and distinct representative from each of the 10 FBS conferences.
    “We don’t want people on the committee representing a particular constituency,” Pac-12 commissioner Larry Scott said during his conference’s spring meetings here. “Then people are in there with a narrow interest. We want people in there who can take a broad view and do what’s right.”
    What’s right at this point seems to be — to coin a draft phrase — the 14-20 best available names on the board. We’re talking folks with big resumes and even bigger knowledge. The list could include retired coaches, current or retired administrators, even a retired media member, which continues to be a possibility.
    But not the Noah’s Ark approach, one from each conference.
    “My perception is there won’t be a representative [from each conference],” Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby said. For example, “because then you’ll feel like you represent the Big 12.”
    The 10 FBS commissioners left the BCS meetings in Pasadena, Calif., last week with the selection committee the last big piece to figure out before the playoff starts. BCS/College Football Playoff executive director Bill Hancock said then the commissioners will begin digging down further on the subject in the fall.
    For now, the commissioners want to eliminate one element of bias — conference affiliation.
    “That’s right,” Mountain West commissioner Craig Thompson said. “We’ve [BCS commissioners] now met for 10-15 hours on the topic. There’s so many cross-populated guys. Head Coach X, AD Y, he’s been at four schools. Who does he represent? Where did he go to school-type stuff?
    “How would you like to be the quote-unquote SEC rep when Georgia gets in and Alabama doesn’t?”

    SEC Network agreement with ESPN good for 20 years
    From ESPN … Southeastern Conference sports — including football and basketball — will have a 24-hour-a-day home when the SEC Network launches in August 2014.
    The SEC and ESPN announced a 20-year agreement and rights extension on Thursday. The deal includes a new television network and digital platform that will show SEC sports 24/7, including more than 1,000 events in the first year.
    Included in the programming will be 45 football games, more than 100 men’s and more than 60 women’s basketball games, 75 baseball games and selected events from the other 17 SEC sports. The network will also feature studio shows and coverage of special events such as signing day and football pro days.
    The digital network, which will launch nationally with AT&T U-verse, will show hundreds of additional events. Each SEC school will have the opportunity to produce and develop content for various platforms. The network will be based in ESPN’s offices in Charlotte, N.C.
    The extension means the SEC will have its games on ESPN’s family of networks, plus the SEC Network, through 2034.
    May 1st
    Texas A&M to add 20,000 seats to Kyle Field
    Hard to imagine the new stadium … Driving across the plains of southeast Texas, there is little to prepare you for the site of Kyle Field. All is relatively flat, then, allo of the sudden, you hit College Station. Other than the water tower, there is nothing in College Station which stands out more than Kyle Field.
    And it’s about to get bigger – much bigger.

    From ESPN … Texas A&M football stormed into the national consciousness during the 2012 season with a new conference, a new coach and a new Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback. Soon, the Aggies will have a bigger, better, newer Kyle Field to call home.
    The Texas A&M board of regents announced approval of the redevelopment of the Aggies’ longtime home with plans to expand capacity to 102,500, making it the largest stadium in the SEC and the third-largest stadium in college football.
    Only Michigan and Penn State have greater capacity, and A&M’s construction will just surpass Tennessee’s 102,455 capacity at Neyland Stadium.
    The project, which will cost $450 million, will begin after the 2013 football season concludes and is scheduled for completion in 2015.
    The Aggies will continue to play their home games at Kyle Field throughout the construction process, which will take place in two phases during the 2013-14 and 2014-15 offseasons.
    Kyle Field’s current capacity is 82,589.
    From the Texas A&M press release … “Today we celebrate Texas A&M and our many partners coming together to make history,” said John Sharp, Chancellor of The Texas A&M University System. “We have committed to making Kyle Field the premier college football stadium in the country, as well as an incredible facility to showcase our flagship university, our unique traditions and the incomparable spirit of the 12th Man. This stadium will reflect the dominant prestige and power of Texas A&M University.”
    A new façade will envelope the stadium, with new exterior plaza/mall areas that will enhance tailgating and stadium access and demonstrate Texas A&M’s core values and significant moments in Aggie football history. Inside the stadium, there will be increased chair-back seating and additional suites, loge boxes and premium seating with club areas, along with the elimination of virtually all sightline issues. Other amenities will include the latest gameday technology, wider concourses, additional restrooms and enhanced concession areas.
    “As we have seen with Texas A&M’s transition into the Southeastern Conference, athletics can play a key role in increasing the visibility of the entire university,” said Texas A&M President R. Bowen Loftin. “The Kyle Field project is yet another element of enhancing Texas A&M’s profile.”
    The project is a joint effort of the 12th Man – the 31,000 Aggie students who make the gameday atmosphere at Kyle Field one of the top in the country – the 12th Man Foundation and the Bryan-College Station community, with support of the A&M System and the Board of Regents.

    …. Current stadia which hold over 100,000:
    Michigan********* 109,901
    Penn State****** 106,572
    Tennessee****** 102,455
    Ohio State****** *102,329
    Alabama********* 101,821
    Texas************** 100,119

    SEC to debate nine-game conference schedule
    From The Sporting News*… While the Big Ten last weekend announced plans to expand to a nine-game schedule in 2016; while the ACC was committed to nine games beginning in 2014 but backed away only after partnering with Notre Dame; while the Pac-12 and Big 12 currently play nine league games, the last holdout of the five major conferences is still debating semantics of the eight-game schedule.
    “Needless to say,” says Florida athletic director Jeremy Foley, “there are a lot of moving parts.”
    The move to a nine-game schedule was initially an issue this time last year at the SEC’s annual spring meetings. But like most things in the uber-successful, tradition-first conference, change is slow.
    Last year’s meetings got bogged down in the same spot this year’s meetings – later this month in Destin, Fla. – likely will: the schedule format, not the number of games. Currently, the SEC uses a 6-1-1 format (six division games, one permanent crossover, one rotating crossover), with six years needed to rotate through the opposite division once.
    That means—and here’s where Alabama coach Nick Saban has a problem—some players will go a career without playing another team from the opposite division. So instead of expanding the rotation of the schedule when the league went to 14 teams, the SEC decided that longstanding rivalries (Alabama vs. Tennessee, Georgia vs. Auburn) and television-friendly games (Florida vs. LSU) were more important as the goliath of a league gets bigger and stronger year after year.
    In other words, why fix what clearly hasn’t even sniffed broken? Now throw that nine-game schedule idea into that meeting room later this month and ask Slive to mediate.
    And then there is this from ESPN … SEC coaches fielded questions about increasing the number of conference games during last week’s SEC coaches teleconference, and league commissioner Mike Slive addressed a nine-game conference schedule Monday.
    “Obviously the playoff impacts how we think about scheduling,” Slive said. “Strength of scheduling will be a significant component in the committee’s analysis. As far as I am concerned, I am open-minded about how we should schedule, and I anticipate continued discussions about how we schedule in the future.”
    Nine games is a tricky subject when it comes to the SEC. Coaches have made the argument that the league is tough enough, and adding another conference game makes the road to Atlanta — and the national championship — that much harder. Also, SEC championship teams would have to play 10 conference games. That’s a lot of wear and tear before heading into a four-team playoff.
    Then, you have a schools like Florida, Georgia, Kentucky and South Carolina who annually play nonconference rivals. Those certainly aren’t gimmie games, so think about adding another conference game to the slate.
    “We’re not for nine conference games because of our instate rival Florida State,” Florida coach Wil Muschamp said.
    Meanwhile … Bruce Feldman at CBSSportsline.com sent out a tweet – “One of the topics Pac-12 coaches will discuss this wk is trying to go to 8 conf. games (like SEC does it) down from 9″.
    … and so it goes …
    What would be best for CU? … While CU has about as much chance of being a part of the College Football Playoff as Hickory high had of making the state finals in Hoosiers, Buff fans should take an interest in whether the Pac-12 goes to an eight game schedule, or stays at nine.
    The first blush answer would be that an eight game schedule would be easier, with CU able to add a home game against a lesser opponent, and have one fewer conference game to worry about each fall. In the long run, though, an eight game schedule is only easier for schools which don’t have to worry about revenue – and that is not Colorado.
    As Buff fans recall all too well, Colorado, as a member of the Big Eight and Big 12, watched helplessly as Nebraska*scheduled an extra home game each year against Grand Valley State … and still drew 85,000. CU, meanwhile, had to go on the road to face the likes of Georgia, Ohio State, and West Virginia in order to help bring in revenue. Remember the disaster in Toledo a few years back? Remember how is was scheduled for a Friday night so that the game could attract an ESPN payday? Remember how that worked out? Think Nebraska is traveling to play in the Iron Bowl stadium any time soon?
    Yes, the idea of an extra non-conference game has its appeal. And yes, Colorado fans would be more likely to have games against high profile non-conference opponents in home-and-home series. And yes, an extra home game in most seasons would bring in extra revenue.
    But … CU wouldn’t be able to afford to schedule Central Arkansas every season like other schools with a greater financial base. The Buffs would have to seek out games which would be televised, which would mean taking on tougher opponents than other schools in the conference. This would translate*into going on the road while conference rivals played all of their non-conference games at home.
    So, do we want to see*Colorado taking on LSU in Baton Rouge, while USC and Oregon that same weekend toy with*Northern Arizona and Portland State at home?
    Not if we want CU to become a factor in the College Football Playoff system …

    Originally posted by CU At the Game
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