Time for 8 Team Expansion

Posted on December 18, 2016. Filed under: Football, NCAA Sports, Sports Business | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

How to Expand the College Football Playoff

December 11, 2016

PrezRo
compiled by Prez Ro
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As the subject states… it’s time to expand the College Football Playoff (CFP) from 4-teams to 8 like immediately!

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It’s the third College Football Playoff season rankings and Bill Hancock, the CFP’s executive director, reiterated that the system is working. “We are confident,” Hancock said Sunday, “that four is the right number.”

Is it? The Big Ten Champion is out of the playoffs… Big 12 leader is out… Undefeated Western Michigan is out…. but it’s working?

He went on to say “I don’t anticipate any discussion about expansion.” In a word, INTERESTING!!!!

So, wouldn’t you say eight teams would be much more solid as well as fun for the students! And it seems that the majority of fans want the playoff to expand! And every playoff in every major American sport has eventually grown bigger!

NOTE: FCS, Division-I, has been doing this for years

Speaking December 7th at the Learfield Intercollegiate Athletics Forum, Emmert said he prefers an eight-team format that includes automatic bids for champions of each Power Five conference.

And in case you didn’t know, NCAA Commissioner, Mark Emmert, doesn’t have control over the College Football Playoff format — the NCAA doesn’t run the Football Bowl Subdivision postseason and they always remind you of that — but “if” he did, he’d expand it to eight teams in a heartbeat.

However, as Big Ten commissioner Jim Delany noted on Wednesday, the field selection this year did not provide any movement toward an eight-team playoff. In so many words he shared ‘the tires have been kicked on an eight-team playoff, casually or otherwise, even before major college football had a four-team playoff. With the three-year-old postseason format paying out hefty sums of money, one can venture to guess expansion is coming at some point in the future.’

Why eight teams? Many believe, including the staff at Amateur Sports, eight is the sweet spot for the college football playoff: more national representation but not too much, and only one more round of competition. Even further…. win your conference (Big Ten, SEC, ACC, MAC, Big 12, PAC12, *AAC or *Sun Belt) and you are in – PERIOD!!! With one spot for a solid wildcard (highest ranked teams remaining including independent teams like Navy and Notre Dame, etc).

* best overall record between these two conference determines who’s in…

The case for expansion…

For the first two years of the playoff, one thing looked abundantly clear: winning your conference championship was important and all eight playoff teams in those two years were conference champs. But this year, Penn State messed things up by winning the Big Ten championship. Suddenly, the qualifying statements perpetuated by the “CYA” mission of selecting the “four best teams” began pouring in. Then came along the dialogue about the resumes between Penn State and Ohio State, which were not close but they won when they had to based on their schedule.

To be clear, this isn’t to say those statements are wrong. In many ways they’re right. But can anyone remember this much dismissing of conference titles last year? How about the year before? Funny how it emerges when it’s the team no one expects winning the conference.

And let’s not forget the efforts of Western Michigan who went undefeated including winning the MAC championship, and they are out too.

Additionally, two things fans love about March Madness take effect. There’s the Cinderella story, which would have been Western Michigan this year, and the team with the hot hand. No one denies that early-season losses by Oklahoma and USC matter, but it’s also true they aren’t the same teams now as they were in September. Expanding to eight at least allows for greater consideration of this.

The macro point here is that the first three seasons of the playoff have been filled with inconsistencies. Fans see this on a week-to-week basis with the mock rankings selection show. “Body clocks” is a pass one week and “game control” is a criterion the next. Flexibility is the beauty of having a human committee. It’s also what makes it extraordinarily frustrating. Having the Power Five conference champions as automatic bids absolutely takes away the drama, but it also takes away a lot of the frustration.

What would an eight-team playoff look like this season? This exercise is part reality and part subjectivity.

To acknowledge the selection committee members, we will use their top four: No. 1 Alabama, No. 2 Clemson, No. 3 Ohio State and No. 4 Washington.

Now, the fun part: we pick the next four!

They are as follows: No. 5 Penn State, No. 6 Western Michigan, No. 7 Michigan and No. 8 Oklahoma. Despite a 39-point loss at Michigan Stadium, Penn State is ahead of the Wolverines because of its overall profile (wins over Ohio State, Wisconsin, Temple and Iowa) and conference championship.

Unfortunately, the first four out would be USC, Wisconsin, Florida State, and Colorado. USC is very close to Oklahoma to us even though they didn’t win their conference or division but has two better wins — Washington and Colorado — than anything on Oklahoma’s résumé. Plus, outside of Alabama, USC is the team no one wants to play.

Here’s how our hypothetical eight-team playoff would look this year.

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NOTE: With the team with the higher ranking “host” to game on their home field.

No. 1 Alabama (13-0) vs. No. 8 Oklahoma (10-2)

No. 2 Clemson (12-1) vs. No. 7 Michigan (10-2)

No. 3 Ohio State (11-1) vs. No. 6 Western Michigan (13-0)

No. 4 Washington (12-1) vs. No. 5 Penn State (11-2)

college-bracket-2016

NOTE: Losers are then slotted to the “already” predetermined bowl games ~click here for details on that. Notice in the column of team selection how it states conference and place in the standings.

CONCLUSION
Now to be fair, there is a case against expansion expanding…

What do you want to reward? The best team in tournament play at the time of the tournament, or the best team in the land?

In the modern era of college football, championships have been won by teams with superior talent and excellent coaching. Each year, you could make an argument that only about 13-16 teams in the country will fit that description at the beginning of the year, and many of those teams will fall from title contention because of injuries or ill-timed poor play. If the playoff is expanded, you gain the element of postseason drama but risk losing a worthy champion because of a bad break. Often you hear let’s leave the “Cinderella story” to college basketball and let college football crown its king with the four best teams in the country.

I also think expanding the playoffs would require increasing the scholarship limit or cutting back on the number of regular-season games. Expanding the playoff would decrease the urgency for conference championship weekend for teams that were “locks,” like Ohio State was heading into Selection Sunday this season.

I’m not great at math, but scholarships cost money, cutting regular season or conference title games means less money, and there isn’t enough impetus for this current crop of conference commissioners to go through the headache or reworking the letter of the law without knowing more regarding the future of finances (media rights) in college football.

Regardless of the “so-called” obstacles, isn’t it about the “student-athlete” and their efforts on the field? And these athletes can only play who’s on the schedule and in front of them. We also believe the NCAA should “own” one floating week on ALL D1 schedules each year, which they can force teams to play a real, out of conference competitor, but that’s in an upcoming article – Stay tune. We digress…

In the end, we’re going to watch and debate, but respectively speaking, it’s time to reward overall achievement not what we think will happen.

For fun, here is a 16-team playoff by our friends at SEC country  – whew!… click here!

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2015 NCAA Championship Weekend

Posted on December 6, 2015. Filed under: Football, NCAA Sports | Tags: , , , , , , , , |

Championship Weekend is here…

December 5, 2015

It was a Saturday filled with conference championships, and Buckeye fans were hoping that a few minor miracles would help Urban Meyer make his way into the College Football Playoff yet again.

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Michigan State 16, Iowa 13

The Spartans and Hawkeyes engaged in a typical Big Ten battle Saturday night in Indy. With only nine points scored in the first half, both teams were able to find paydirt in the fourth quarter, but it was a familiar Ohioan who gave Michigan State the conference crown.

The true freshman rushed for 73 yards and the game-winner that capped of a 22-play, 82-yard drive that consumed nine minutes of the fourth quarter. Scott carried the ball fourteen times on Sparty’s final drive. Connor Cook completed 16 of 32 passes for 191 yards and one interception. The senior missed a few open wide receivers and still didn’t look anywhere near 100%.

The Hawkeye ground game struggled throughout the night, managing just 55 yards with no scores. Quarterback C.J. Beathard connected on 18 of 26 passes for 216 yards with a touchdown and an interception. On the first play of the third quarter—on a 2nd down and 20—the junior tossed one of the prettier passes of the season, connecting with Tevaun Smith for an 85-yard touchdown that put the Hawkeyes on top 13-9.

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Alabama 29, Florida 15

Florida only having lost one conference game in the regular season probably tells you everything you need to know about the SEC this year. I guess the positive for the Gators may be that high school quarterbacks have to see that early playing time is a real possibility in 2016.

The Gator offense was tough to watch on Saturday. The running game ended with 15 yards on 21 carries. They actually had negative yards rushing until quarterback Treon Harris scrambled for 23 yards late in the fourth quarter. Speaking of Harris, it wasn’t pretty for the 5-foot-11 sophomore. He ended the day 9 of 24 for 165 yards with one score and an interception. Jordan Kronkrite and Kelvin Taylor led the way on the ground as both finished with a whopping eight yards.

Derrick Henry all but secured the Heisman Trophy, rushing for 189 yards and a touchdown on 44 carries. He now holds the SEC record for rushing yards in a season (1,986) and his touchdown tied the SEC single-season record (23). Jake Coker threw for 204 yards and a pair of scores. True freshman wideout Calvin Ridley made a few ridiculous plays while hauling in 8 passes for 102 yards.

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Clemson 45, North Carolina 37

Lately, poor officiating has been a hot topic at both the college and professional levels. That trend continued Saturday in Charlotte, and for Larry Fedora and the Tar Heels, it may have cost them a chance to tie the game late in the fourth quarter. With a little over a minute left in the game, UNC recovered an onside kick near the 50-yard line, but the officials flagged the Heels for supposedly being offsides.

Deshaun Watson had himself a day for the Tigers. The sophomore signal-caller accounted for over 400 yards and scored five total touchdowns. Tailback Wayne Gallman rushed for 187 yards and a score as the Clemson ground game tallied 319 yards on the day. Artavis Scott led all receivers with seven receptions for 96 yards and a score. Gallman added 68 yards receiving and a touchdown reception.

Quarterback Marquise Williams once again led the way for the Heels. The senior threw for 224 yards and three touchdowns while adding another 81 and a score on the ground. Elijah Hood rushed for 65 yards and a score. North Carolina put up 382 yards of total offense while Clemson managed just over 600.

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Stanford 41, Southern California 22

If Derrick Henry all but solidified his Heisman status on Saturday, then I’m not sure what Christian McCaffrey did. The Reggie Bush comparisons have been out there throughout the season, but Stanford’s do-it-all sophomore truly did just about everything for the Cardinal.

McCaffrey tossed a touchdown pass, rushed for a score, and was on the receiving end of a touchdown from quarterback Kevin Hogan. He ended the day with 207 yards rushing, 105 yard receiving, 149 return yards, and the 11-yard touchdown pass. McCaffrey broke Barry Sanders’ single-season all-purpose yards record as the Trojans simply had no answer.

For the Trojans, Cody Kessler threw for 187 yards and a score. JuJu Smith-Schuster hauled in 11 passes for 87 yards while junior tailback Justin Davis added 99 yards on the ground. The Trojans fought back from a 13-0 second-quarter deficit and actually had the lead with five minutes left in the third quarter. The turning point came late in the third when Cardinal defensive lineman—and former Ohio State target—Solomon Thomas scooped up a Kessler fumble and returned it 34 yards for a score.

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Houston 24, Temple 13

Tom Herman is good at coaching football, and for the second straight season, he is a conference champion. The Cougars got off to a 17-0 first-half lead and their ground game and defense were able to hold off the Owls after the half.

Houston’s running game accounted for 233 of its 339 total yards. Junior quarterback Greg Ward led the way with 148 rushing yards and two scores. Ward chipped in another 88 yards through the air. Brandon Wilson added 70 yards rushing while sophomore Javin Webb was also able to find the endzone.

Temple quarterback P.J. Walker threw for 287 yards and a score. Senior wideout Robby Anderson was his favorite target on the day, hauling in 12 passes for 150 yards and a touchdown.

On Friday, Herman signed a 5-year extension with the Cougs; spurning a number of larger programs, including Georgia and South Carolina.

So things definitely did not go as we had hoped. Florida provided Buckeye fans about a quarter’s worth of hope as their defense kept them in the game early on. Stanford is simply a better team than the Trojans. And North Carolina had no answer for Deshaun Watson.

Obviously we don’t know if UNC would have scored and converted the two-point conversion to tie the game, but I have no idea what the officials were looking at to make that offsides call. Targeting calls are constantly being reviewed, so it seems a little strange that something so important is not a reviewable call. Perhaps there will be another rule change? Who knows.

It will be interesting to see where the Buckeyes end up. Personally, I will be content—or at least as content a possible without going to the CFP—with playing Stanford in the Rose Bowl or Notre Dame in the Fiesta. But will the committee have Iowa ranked higher than Ohio State? The Rose Bowl management committee suggested that the “strong presumption” is that they take the next highest-rated team.

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We shall learn our fate Sunday afternoon as the College Football Playoff show will reveal the final rankings between 12PM and 4PM EST on ESPN.

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College Basketball Watch List

Posted on November 18, 2013. Filed under: Basketball, NCAA Sports | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

We are watching….

As basketball tipped last week, we have compiled our “WATCH-LIST,” which consist of players from our coverage area here in Illinois, as well as national players we have gotten to know over the years on the circuit. During the season, we will be updating this blog every week as the season goes on until championship Monday in April 2014.

So be sure to bookmark this article, and come back each and every Monday morning for our weekly recap.

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Andrew Wiggins, F, Kansas Jayhawks 

Jabari Parker, F, Duke Blue Devils 

Aaron Gordon, F, Arizona Wildcats 

Noah Vonleh, F, Indiana Hoosiers 

Kendrick Nunn, G, Illinois Illini

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Julius Randle, F, Kentucky Wildcats 

James Young, G, Kentucky Wildcats 

Andrew Harrison, G, Kentucky Wildcats 

Aaron Harrison, G, Kentucky Wildcats 

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Ranking NCAA Football Conferences 2013

Posted on September 16, 2013. Filed under: Football, NCAA Sports | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Who’s the TOP College football conference?

August 28, 2013

10sunbelt

Who? Okay…. we needed a 10th conference…

9 confUSA

Louisiana Tech is fun to watch… next

8Mid-American

Northern Illinois dominates this conference every year and this year will NOT be any different but the rest of the teams struggle.

7MountainWest

There’s Boise State and a bunch of other teams… Next!

6AmericanConf

Louisville, Cincy and Rutgers are all gonna battle and that makes this conference tough.

5  acc

It’s all about Clemson and Florida State, but still nothing to sneeze at here.

4BigTen-Logo

Right night, it’s hard to imagine any team long-term outperforming The Ohio State this year, even though Wisconsin will try their best to keep things close since they are in the same conference (Leaders). On the other side of the division, Michigan, Nebraska and Northwestern will fight and scratch to the end in order to play the Buckeyes in the championship game December 7 in Indianapolis.

3Big12

This 10-team league is wide-open with contenders like Oklahoma State, Oklahoma, TCU, Texas, Baylor and Kansas State at the top. Who will prevail? See ya in December…

2  Pac12

Right away, when you think Pac-12 you think Stanford and Oregon, which is absolutely correct but don’t sleep on Arizona State and UCLA this season.

1SEC

As much as we would love to put another conference on top, the reality of it all is we can’t. Alabama, South Carolina, Georgia, Florida, LSU, Texas A&M, etc… would dominate any conference listed below – hands down. Thus, SEC again is the top football conference – PERIOD!

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2012-13 NCAA Players of the Week

Posted on January 16, 2013. Filed under: Basketball, Basketball, NCAA Sports | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

2013 NCAA Players of the week

care of U.S. Basketball Writers Association

ST. LOUIS (USBWA) – The U.S. Basketball Writers Association picks a top player, each week of the 2012-13 season, from both Men and Women’s basketball, and award them with the National Player of the Week. The USBWA’s weekly honor will be handed out each Tuesday through Feb. 19 this season. The Men’s award is named after Oscar Robertson, and the Women’s awards Ann Meyers Drysdale.

Here’s the winners of the Oscar Robertson National Players of the Week:

Week of Feb. 17: Michael Lyons, Air Force (Mountain West Conference)

Week of Feb. 10: Mason Plumlee, Duke (Atlantic Coast Conference)

Week of Feb. 3: Shane Larkin, Miami (Atlantic Coast Conference)

Week of Jan. 27: Darrun Hilliard, Villanova (Big East Conference)

Week of Jan. 20: Roosevelt Jones, Butler (Atlantic 10 Conference)

Week of Jan. 13: Elston Turner, Texas A&M (Southeastern Conference)

Week of Jan. 6: Trey Burke, Michigan (Big Ten Conference)

Week of Dec. 30: Shabazz Muhammad, UCLA (Pac-12 Conference)

Week of Dec. 23: Victor Rudd, South Florida (Big East Conference)

Week of Dec. 16: Doug McDermott, Creighton (Missouri Valley Conference)

Week of Dec. 9: Brandon Paul, Illinois (Big Ten Conference)

Here’s the winners of the Ann Meyers Drysdale National Players of the Week:

Week of Feb. 17: Keiera Ray, Pennsylvania (Ivy League)

Week of Feb. 10: Kelia Shelton, Louisiana Tech (Western Athletic Conference)

Week of Feb. 3: Khaalidah Miller, Georgia (Southeastern Conference)

Week of Jan. 27: Chiney Ogwumike, Stanford (Pac-12 Conference)

Week of Jan. 20: Stefanie Dolson, Connecticut (Big East Conference)

Week of Jan. 13: Brittney Griner, Baylor (Big 12 Conference)

Week of Jan. 6: Kayla McBride, Notre Dame (Big East Conference)

Week of Dec. 30: Karisma Penn, Illinois (Big Ten Conference)

Week of Dec. 23: Kelsey Bone, Texas A&M (Southeastern Conference)

Week of Dec. 16: Chucky Jeffery, Colorado (Pac-12 Conference)

Week of Dec. 9: Maggie Lucas, Penn State (Big Ten Conference)

This is the fourth season that the USBWA has selected a national player of the week. The weekly Oscar Robertson National Player of the Week will be considered for the Oscar Robertson Trophy watch list, which will be released at mid-season.

Since the 1958-59 season, the USBWA has named a National Player of the Year. In 1998, the award was named in honor of the University of Cincinnati Hall of Famer and two-time USBWA Player of the Year Oscar Robertson. It is the nation’s oldest award and the only one named after a former player.

And at the Women’s NCAA Final Four in Denver last April, the organization (USBWA) announced going forward that the Women’s national and weekly player award has been named for Hall of Famer and former UCLA All-American Ann Meyers Drysdale. At the conclusion of the regular season, the USBWA will name finalists for the award, which is voted on by the entire membership of the USBWA. The winner of the 2013 Ann Meyers Drysdale National Player of the Year will be announced and presented at the USBWA’s annual awards breakfast in New Orleans, site of the 2013 NCAA Women’s Final Four.

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At the conclusion of the regular season, the USBWA will name finalists for the award, which is voted on by the entire membership. The winner of the Oscar Robertson Trophy presented by Aflac will be presented by its namesake, Oscar Robertson, at the Devon Energy College Basketball Awards on April 15, 2013, at the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum in Oklahoma City. The Henry Iba Coach of the Year Award and the Integris Wayman Tisdale Freshman of the Year Award will also be presented at the gala to be held annually the Monday following the NCAA Men’s Final Four. At last season’s Women’s Final Four, it was also announced that former Tennessee coach Pat Summitt, who was the female recipient of the Most Courageous Award for her battle against early onset dementia, Alzheimer type, would have that award named in her honor.

The U.S. Basketball Writers Association was formed in 1956 at the urging of then-NCAA Executive Director Walter Byers. With some 900 members worldwide, it is one of the most influential organizations in college basketball. It has selected an All-America team since the 1956-57 season. For more information on the USBWA and the Oscar Robertson Trophy, contact executive director Joe Mitch at 314-795-6821.

Blue Ribbon College Basketball Yearbook, the most comprehensive college basketball publication in the world, returns for its 32nd season, bigger and better in 2012-13. Blue Ribbon – long-known as “The Bible of College Basketball” – gives its readers the most thorough, up-to-date and timely evaluations of every Division I team in the country. For more information about Blue Ribbon Yearbooks, visit blueribbonyearbookonline.com.

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2012 Illinois vs Auburn

Posted on December 29, 2012. Filed under: Football, NCAA Sports | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

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Fighting Illini defeat SEC’s Auburn Tigers…..

December 29, 2012

FINAL: Illinois 81, Auburn 79.

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The 12th-ranked Illinois team gets back on track snagging a victory today against SEC’s Auburn Tigers at the world-famous United Center.

Sophomore Tracy Abrams leads all players with 27 and 8 rebounds. What a difference a year makes? In last years’ contest here at the United Center, he didn’t have any points but this year, he’s hot 4-7 from the floor, 2-3 from behind the arc, and perfect at the charity stripe 6-6.

“I was pushing the ball more than I did in any other game of the season,” Abrams said. “We’ve been pushing the ball lately in practice. I wanted to start the game like that.”

His teammate, Brandon Paul added 13 to seal the deal.

“We have a lot more weapons and a lot more confidence,” said Paul after the game.

Auburn is led by the play of Frankie Sullivan who knocked down 18. One stat the Tigers dominate with in the first half was boards 20-12, of which they are beating Illini 8-3 on offensive grabs.

So, can the Illini hold off the stingy Tigers and get their first victory here at the United Center in their last three games? Stay tune….

The Fighting Illini come into this contest tied for tops in the nation with 9.8 3-pointers per game, and with leading scorer Brandon Paul (19.2) are focused to get back to their style of play and become more efficient from beyond the arc.

“We just have to get a little better with the execution stuff,” coach John Groce said.

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On the other side of the court, Auburn comes in 5-6 record, of which their last four games against Grambling, Furman, Tennessee Tech and Winthrop, limited them to a combined 17 of 83 (20.5 percent) from 3-point range in winning three of their last four.

“Illinois is a very talented team coming off a tough loss to Missouri,” Auburn coach Tony Barbee said. “The entire team is capable of making 3-point shots and can go off.”

Guard Frankie Sullivan, the team’s scoring leader (16.9), will try to build off a 22-point effort after nearly leading the Tigers to a comeback victory from 16 down.

“It is very exciting,” said Sullivan of playing the Illini. “We have an opportunity to put a good win on our resume. It is going to be a great challenge, and we will be up for the challenge.”

Chris Denson, another high-scoring guard, has given the team a boost after being academically ineligible the fall semester. The junior has averaged 17.0 points while shooting 57.5 percent from the floor in his first four games after finishing with 18 on 6 of 13 shooting against the Eagles.

This is the last non-Big Ten contest for Illinois before they open up conference play at Purdue on Jan. 2.

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FUN FACTS

Illinois defeated Auburn in the only other meeting between the teams, 107-103 in overtime in the championship game of the Illini Classic on Dec. 12, 1987.

While the Illini have dropped three straight and five of six at the United Center, the Tigers have lost eight straight overall against ranked opponents.

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2012 NCAA Football – Week 9

Posted on October 29, 2012. Filed under: Football, NCAA Sports | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Upset week… or just good football?

October 28, 2012

Week 9 action around the Big Ten -let’s recount all that happens…

INDIANA 31, ILLINOIS 17
This was out NCAA Game of the Week… For our game summary, click here.

MINNESOTA 44, PURDUE 28
Minnesota owned the Boilermakers in the game, scoring 44 straight points from the middle of the first quarter to the middle of the third quarter. Oh, and this was also the Gopher’s first Big Ten win this year.

MICHIGAN STATE 16, WISCONSIN 13 (OT)
With the loss, Wisconsin’s road to the Leaders division spot in the Big Ten title game goes through Indiana, who is the only team who can prevent the Badgers from going to Indianapolis.

NEBRASKA 23, MICHIGAN 9
Michigan quarterback Denard Robinson was knocked out with a second quarter elbow injury, and Nebraska’s defense took over from there, holding the Wolverines to a season-low 188 total yards, intercepting backup quarterback Russell Bellomy three times and keeping Michigan out of the end zone for the second consecutive week. Nebraska has defeated its two main rivals for the Legends crown in back-to-back weeks with victories over Northwestern and Michigan and now is sitting pretty in first place in their division. During the game, Nebraska celebrated the 50th anniversary of the beginning of its NCAA-record sellout streak, currently at 323 games in a row and counting.

NORTHWESTERN 28, IOWA 17
Northwestern ran for 349 rushing yards on Iowa and was in control throughout the entire game. Iowa looks average and their record would agree as they are 4-4 overall and 2-2 in the Big Ten.

OHIO STATE 35, PENN STATE 23
This game was coined the “IneligiBowl” which went in favor of Ohio State who remains one of six unbeaten teams. Ohio State isn’t allowed to win many things, but Braxton Miller can still win the Heisman and he is definitely one of the favorites. The sophomore rushed for 134 yards and scored three total touchdowns. Penn State quarterback Matt McGloin, who leads the Big Ten in passing, threw for a career-high 327 yards and two touchdowns but threw a costly third-quarter interception that was returned for a touchdown. With the win, Ohio State will most likely now win the Leader Division but will be removed from the Big Ten title game like a bad tattoo.

NOTE: Ohio State has now won three consecutive games at Beaver Stadium for the first time in the history of this rivalry.

In additional games during week 9, four Top Ten teams fell this week and five ranked teams suffered their first losses of the season. Meanwhile, Collin Klein and Manti T’eo boosted their Heisman chances while Alabama, Oregon, Kansas State and Notre Dame continued to make their case for a shot in the national title game.   Here are all highlights from a wild week in college football.

#1 ALABAMA 38, #13 MISSISSIPPI STATE 7
If Alabama was already looking ahead to next week’s matchup with LSU, you wouldn’t know it from their play. The Crimson Tide rolled up 38 unanswered points before finally surrendering a touchdown in the game’s final minutes. Once again, the Alabama defense was dominant, holding the Bulldogs to just 256 total yards, forcing three turnovers and holding LaDarius Perkins, the SEC’s leading rusher, to just 38 yards on the ground. Crimson Tide quarterback A.J. McCarron, who threw for 208 yards and two touchdowns, has now gone eight straight weeks without throwing an interception.

#2 OREGON 70, COLORADO 14
Colorado came into the game ranked next-to-last in scoring defense, and that stat isn’t likely to improve after the Ducks rolled up a season-high 70 points and 617 yards. Oregon led 56-0 at halftime, and most of the Ducks starters were pulled midway through the second quarter. Oregon running back Kenjon Barner rushed for 104 yards and two touchdowns while DeAnthony Thomas added a 73-yard punt return touchdown to go along with 97 rushing yards and a score. Colorado has given up at least 50 points in each of the last three weeks.

#12 GEORGIA 17, #3 FLORIDA 9 – UPSET!!!!
Georgia’s defense had given up 300+ yards in every game and at least 20 in all but one this season. But they picked a great week to turn things around have their best game of the season, holding the Gators to just 266 yards and forcing six turnovers. Freshman running back Todd Gurley ran for 118 yards and a touchdown to provide most of Georgia’s offense against a Florida defense that had another solid game (held the Bulldogs to just 273 yards and intercepted quarterback Aaron Murray three times) but was unable to overcome the Gators’ offensive miscues. This is just the fifth time Georgia has won in their last 23 games against the Gators.

#4 KANSAS STATE 55, #15 TEXAS TECH 24
Collin Klein threw for two touchdowns and ran for two more to keep himself squarely in the Heisman mix and the Wildcats in the national title hunt. The Wildcats got off to a slow start (just 19 yards on their first three drives) against a Texas Tech defense that came into the game ranked seventh in the nation, but exploded to score on eight straight possessions. Red Raider quarterback Seth Doege threw 15 touchdown passes in his previous two games, but was held in check this week, throwing for 331 yards and two touchdowns, but also a pick-six interception. This is Kansas State’s first 8-0 start since 1999.

#5 NOTRE DAME 30, #8 OKLAHOMA 13
Are the Irish forreal? Notre Dame running backs Cierre Wood and Theo Riddick each ran for 74 yards and a touchdown as the Fighting Irish became just the second ranked team to beat a Bob Stoops-coached team in Norman. And while Notre Dame had decent success running the ball, the Fighting Irish defense made sure Oklahoma couldn’t do the same, holding the Sooners to just 15 yards on 24 carries. Linebacker Manti T’eo continued his stellar season with 11 tackles (two for loss), one sack and an interception. After missing last week’s game with a concussion, Fighting Irish quarterback Everett Golson threw for 177 yards and rushed for the go-ahead touchdown in the fourth quarter. Notre Dame is the only team in the nation with four wins over Top 25 teams. This was just the second time in their last 35 games that the Sooners were held to 17 or fewer points.

#6 LOUISIANA STATE UNIVERSITY BYE LSU had a very well-timed bye to prepare for next week’s big showdown with #1 Alabama. R&R weekend….

WASHINGTON 20, #7 OREGON STATE 17 – UPSET
Oregon State quarterback Sean Mannion’s return from an early-season knee injury didn’t go well, as the sophomore threw a career-high four interceptions before being pulled midway through the fourth quarter in favor of backup Cody Vaz. The Beavers outgained Washington 427-293, but Mannion’s interceptions twice ended drives in Washington territory and set up the Huskies’ go-ahead touchdown. Washington is one of the most difficult teams in the country to figure out—they have now beaten two Top Ten opponents, but hey have also lost three games by 30 or more points.

ARIZONA 39, #10 SOUTHERN CAL 36 – UPSET
Arizona quarterback Matt Scott accounted for 469 total yards and four touchdowns, leading the Wildcats back from a 15-point deficit late in the third quarter to upset the Trojans. USC led 28-13 with four minutes left in the third quarter before Arizona rallied to score 26 unanswered points in the next 14 minutes. USC receiver Marqise Lee caught 16 passes for a PAC-12 record 345 yards and two touchdowns in the loss. Arizona’s win snaps a four-game losing streak to the Trojans.

#11 FLORIDA STATE 48, DUKE 7
Despite losing star running back Chris Thompson with a knee injury last week, Florida State’s offense showed little sign of slowing down, rolling up 560 yards and 48 points. Seminoles quarterback E.J. Manuel threw for 282 yards and two touchdowns while Thompson’s replacement, sophomore Devonta Freeman rushed for 104 yards and two scores. Florida State’s defense and special teams were equally impressive in the win, holding the ACC’s second-best passing attack to just 129 passing yards, forcing four turnovers and getting a 75-yard punt return touchdown. The Seminoles are now 18-0 all-time versus Duke.

#14 CLEMSON 42, WAKE FOREST 13
Clemson quarterback Tajh Boyd threw for a school-record 428 yards and five touchdowns, including one to receiver Sammy Watkins, who caught eight passes for a school-record 202 yards. After managing just 16 yards on its first two drives, the Tigers’ offense erupted to find the end zone on its next five possessions, jumping out to a 35-0 lead in the second quarter. The Tigers have now won four in a row in this series.

#16 LOUISVILLE 34, CINCINNATI 31 (OT)
Louisville outgained the Bearcats 524-353 but needed a field goal and an interception in overtime to keep its undefeated season alive. Cardinals quarterback Teddy Bridgewater threw for 416 and two touchdowns, twice rallying Louisville from 10-point deficits. Cincinnati quarterback Munchie Legeaux threw three interceptions, including one that ended the Bearcats’ only possession in overtime. On Louisville’s field goal attempt in overtime, the snap was fumbled. But Cincinnati had called timeout to ice the kicker just before the snap, giving Louisville’s John Wallace another attempt at the 30-yarder that he made for the win.  The win snaps a four-game losing streak for the Cardinals in this series.

#17 SOUTH CAROLINA 38, TENNESSEE 35
South Carolina held off a late Volunteers rally to secure the win, but the Gamecocks may have bigger concerns this week as star running back Marcus Lattimore had to be carted off the field after suffering a gruesome knee injury. Even though coach Steve Spurrier declined on Sunday to discuss specifics of his horrific injury suffered in the second quarter of Saturday’s 38-35 victory over Tennessee, he confirmed the junior running back had a dislocated knee, the same injury incurred by freshman defensive back T.J. Gurley earlier this season.

“The knee sort of pops out of place, a dislocation,” Spurrier said. “They got it back in place pretty quickly, though. Dr. (Jeffrey) Guy said it was back in quickly.”

But Spurrier added it “remains to be seen” how long Lattimore’s rehab from his second major knee injury will take, and didn’t rule out the possibility of his recovery extending into 2014.

“Dr. Guy said there could be a chance (of a 2013 return), but there could be a chance that it could be two years down the road,” Spurrier said. “It could be a full year of recovery. We’ll have to wait and see, that’s what he said. We’ll take it one day at a time and allow the doctors and Marcus and a lot of prayers to do their work.”

Since Lattimore didn’t redshirt as a freshman in 2010, he has two years of eligibility left to play his final season, or he could opt for the NFL.

“It’s going to take a while, obviously, to recover and rehab this,” Spurrier said. “But Marcus has a good attitude today. We saw him and talked with him. He knows what the road ahead is. We’re all hoping and praying he will be back.”

South Carolina rolled up 510 yards of offense en route to their highest scoring game since late September. Quarterback Connor Shaw threw for 356 yards and tallied four total touchdowns for the win.

In the short term, the ball-carrying responsibilities fall to Kenny Miles (149 yards) and Mike Davis (157), while the plans to redshirt Brandon Wilds could be scrapped. Miles, a fifth-year senior, ascends to the No. 1 running back slot for the Arkansas game on Nov. 10 at Williams-Brice Stadium.  The Gamecocks will have to dig deep without Lattimore moving forward.

KENT STATE 35, #18 RUTGERS 23 – UPSET
Rutgers quarterback Gary Nova threw six interceptions that set up 21 Kent State points, ending the Scarlet Knights hopes for an undefeated season. Rutgers came into the game ranked third in the nation in rush defense, but allowed the Golden Flashes to roll up 224 yards on the ground. This is Kent State’s first-ever win over a ranked team (0-22 prior to this weekend) and the victory gives the Golden Flashes their first six-game winning streak since 1940.

#19 STANFORD 24, WASHINGTON STATE 17
Stanford’s defense was the story of this game, holding the Cougars to minus-sixteen yards rushing, sacking quarterback Jeff Tuel ten times and forcing one costly interception that was returned for a fourth-quarter touchdown that put the Cardinal up by two scores. This is the third time this season the Cougars have been held to negative rushing yards. By comparison, the rest of the FBS combined has just five such games. Washington State has lost 19 straight games to ranked teams, a streak dating back to 2006, while Stanford has now won 14 straight road games against unranked foes.

#21 BOISE STATE 45, WYOMING 14
Boise State overcame a slow start and put up 31 unanswered points to move to 7-0 all-time against Wyoming. The Broncos defense was once again dominant, holding the Cowboys to just 270 yards of offense (54 rushing) and returning a third-quarter fumble for a touchdown. Broncos running back D.J. Harper rushed for 105 yards and two touchdowns in the win. Wyoming was playing without head coach Dave Christensen, who was suspended for one game following an obscenity-filled tirade at Air Force coaches after their Oct. 13 game. The Broncos have won 48 straight games in the month of October, a streak dating back to 2001.

#22 TEXAS A&M 63, AUBURN 21
The stats really speak for themselves: at halftime, A&M had outgained the Tigers 464-91. The Aggies had 28 points on the board before Auburn ever made a first down. The Aggies scored on seven of their first eight possessions and jumped out to a 49-7 lead before the starters were pulled early in the third quarter. Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel accounted for 350 total yards and four touchdowns in just over two quarters of play. Auburn is off to its first 1-7 start since 1952.

MIAMI (OH) 23, #23 OHIO 20 – UPSET
Ohio’s dreams of busting the BCS came to a dramatic end Saturday, as the Miami (OH) RedHawks took the lead with just 1:24 to go and then sealed the victory when Ohio quarterback Tyler Tettleton took a sack rather than throwing the ball away with just seconds on the clock. Miami receiver Nick Harwell caught eight passes for 138 yards and a touchdown in the upset win.

#24 LOUISIANA TECH 28, NEW MEXICO STATE 14
Louisiana Tech quarterback Colby Cameron threw for 292 yards and a touchdown while rushing for another score to lead the Bulldogs to their first-ever win as a ranked team. Louisiana Tech missed three field goals, but the Lobos were unable to capitalize, turning the ball over three times. This was New Mexico State’s seventh-straight loss.

#25 WEST VIRGINIA BYE
After back-to-back blowout losses, the Mountaineers got a much-needed week off to stop the bleeding and prepare for next week’s contest against fellow Big 12 newcomer TCU.

Our TOP 10

1. Alabama

2. Oregon

3. Kansas State

4. Notre Dame

5. LSU

6. Georgia

7. Florida State

8. Louisville

9. Clemson

10. Florida

Don’t discount… Oregon State, Texas A&M, USC, Boise State, Stanford. For a complete list of the BCS Standings, visit http://www.bcsfootball.org/

Our original, pre-season Top 10 can be found by clicking here.

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College-Football-Playoffs

Posted on June 29, 2012. Filed under: Football, NCAA Sports, Sports Business | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

College Football Playoffs are here

June 2012

The best way to determine a major college football champion seemed so obvious to so many for so long. Just have a playoff.

Now the people in charge of making that decision are on board, too.

Come 2014, the BCS is out. Playoffs are in.

Now it’s a reality.

No. 1 will play No. 4, and No. 2 will play No. 3 on Dec. 31 and Jan. 1. The sites of those games will rotate among six bowls. The Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California, is guaranteed a spot, and the to-be-determined site of the newly formed bowl created by the SEC and Big 12 is likely to be another.

To read further visit www.amateursports365.com/ncaa/2012-College-Football-Playoff.html

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NCAA Conference Realignment

Posted on May 14, 2012. Filed under: NCAA Sports | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

NCAA Conference Realignment

May 2012

Who is on the move?

Keep up with all the conference realignment developments with the Conference Realignment Grid.
The NCAA conference realignment refers to several conference expansion among various NCAA Division I, Division II, and Division III conferences, beginning in the 2012 academic year. Most of these changes involved conferences in the top Football Bowl Subdivision, with all of the current eleven FBS conferences, as well as the ranks of FBS independents, either gaining or losing football members. The realignment consist of mergers, school swamping conferences and others moving up to Division I.

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