The Big Roundup - May 28, 2010

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Dear Augie;
Please let our pitchers eat breakfast at the
Golden Dragon Chinese restaurant in downtown OKC.
Sincerely,
BDR

The Horns lost and have no chance to win the Big 12 tournament. But there are bigger issues. (Box score)

Right now Texas has bigger concerns.

The offense has struggled the first two games of the Big 12 Tournament, and regionals are right around the corner.

Texas also isn’t playing very good defense as they had multiple errors for the second consecutive game.


Deloss Dodds is confident that there is no ticket scandal in Austin.

Texas men’s athletics director DeLoss Dodds said Thursday he feels confident that the ticket scalping scandal at the University of Kansas did not reach his school.

Kansas officials revealed Wednesday that five former staff members and a consultant combined to scalp tickets valued at more than a total of $1 million to Jayhawks basketball and football games.

Texas tops merchandise sells for the conference.

Rush The Court has ten freshmen that should make an immediate impact on the basketball court.

Cory Joseph (Texas)- Joseph is everything a college coach wants in a point guard: lockdown defender, three-point marksman with the added quickness to penetrate and command of the position that makes his teammates better every single game. No longer will there be a revolving door at the position for Rick Barnes, and it’s possible Joseph is even more impressive than fellow Findlay Prep alum Avery Bradley was in burnt orange last season. Along with an innate passing ability and defense that isn’t extremely inferior  from Bradley (or even Dogus Balbay, who may be relegated to third guard duties), Joseph is a true point guard and can run the offense with the steadiness of a senior.

 

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Those 2 percenters, or whatever they call them...

Kyle Field and Texas A&M have an attendance problem, and the Aggies' dull non-conference schedule and mediocre play are the main culprits.

In 2009, Texas A&M opened its season at home against New Mexico, Utah State and the University of Alabama-Birmingham, before finishing the non-conference slate against Arkansas at Cowboys Stadium. In 2010, the Aggies are following a similar formula with FCS school Stephen F. Austin, Louisiana Tech and Florida International at home, leading into the annual Southwest Classic game with Arkansas. In their three home games last year, attendance hovered around 74,000, well below the Kyle Field capacity of approximately 83,000.

Mike Sherman visited the troops in Iraq.

"You don't make a trip like this and meet the people I met and not have some profound learning experience come out of it," Sherman said.

He's the third Big 12 Conference football coach to visit troops in the Middle East, joining Texas' Mack Brown and Texas Tech's Tommy Tuberville.

And he's the first Aggies coach of any sport to make such a goodwill journey.

Two Aggies were elected to the College Football Hall of Fame.

Al Davis will love him. Kellen Heard is trying out for the Oakland Raiders?

 

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Bob thinks a lot about life and, of course, the Sooners.

"I think a lot about life, very little stays the same forever," Stoops said before signing autographs and addressing more than 1,000 fans at the OU-Tulsa Schusterman Center during the second leg of the 2010 Sooner Caravan. "Nothing surprises me. Everybody's looking to improve in some way, improve their athletic department in one way or another. So it doesn't surprise me at all."

Two Sooners missed out on election to the College Football Hall of Fame.

Oklahoma linebackers Brian Bosworth and Rod Shoate and former Southeast High School quarterback Don Trull of Baylor were among the eligible candidates who were not elected.

Gosh Dru, maybe we feel the same way about OU getting the No. 1 nod from Phil Steele.

Dru in Oklahoma City, Okla. writes: Why are people giving Texas so much hype for next year? They have a quarterback who really hasn't proven anything, Texas lost most if not all of the major supporting cast for GG to throw to, and Texas has not had a running game since Jamaal Charles was in the backfield.

DU: The people giving Texas hype are the same ones looking at Mack Brown's track record, and not Texas' offensive depth chart. Nine consecutive 10-win seasons is tough to argue with, and he's had plenty of seasons with more turnover than the one he'll face in 2010. Part of the reason is how well (even if it's unfairly easy) Texas has recruited over the past decade. Texas doesn't have a lot of proven offensive talent, but they have guys you have to, at the very least, feel comfortable with, starting with Garrett Gilbert.

 

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Best thing to come out of The Commish's office in a long time. It is a great idea to have a bowl game in New York in an open stadium in the winter. (If it is anything like this...)

The best conferences? The SEC, the PAC 10 and then...The Big 12 is after the ACC?

All that said, the SEC remains top dog until proven otherwise by virtue of its ridiculous run of four straight BCS championships -- just as Alabama and Florida remain two of the most loaded teams in the country. But I don't see there being much difference, if any, between the SEC's next six teams and their equivalents in the Pac-10, which I'd rate a close No. 2, followed by the Big Ten, ACC, Big 12 and Big East. And to show you just how cyclical these things can be, note that as recently as two years ago, I would have had the Big 12 (at No. 2) and Pac-10 (No. 5) flipped.

Double T Nation wants everyone to think during the off-season.

Nebraska wants to expand their stadium.

Nebraska on Monday sent e-mails to an estimated 20,000 people alerting them of the possibility — and asking them to complete a survey that would help evaluate the interest level.

"What we hope is there is a large demand, and what we think is the case is reality," said Paul Meyers, NU's associate athletic director for development and ticketing. "We just felt it was important not to guess on something like this but get the facts."

An expended stadium, their own network...And a little more hate for UT.

The other thing Nebraska fans perhaps don’t appreciate? That, next to Texas, NU could be the Big 12 program to best start its own sports network, too.

The Red Raiders seem to be moving on from their break up with Mike Leach.

Texas Tech’s season ticket sales for the 2010 football season are already higher than last year’s total and are well on track to beat its all-time record before the first game this fall — and that’s about a month into sales.

Yes, Lubbock is fickle.

Both Welsh and Gerald Myers, Tech's athletic director, gave much of the credit to Tommy Tuberville, Leach's replacement.

"I think that Coach Tuberville has done a good job of getting everybody together and selling his plan for the program," Myers said. "I think our fans are excited about that. He's done a good job of promoting football and selling tickets."

Tommy Tuberville might get that title ring soon. (You thought I meant Tech would win a national championship? You have started celebrating Memorial Day early, haven't you?)

Jayhawk coach Turner Gil sees himself as a teacher.

The Jayhawk ticket scandal has OU connections.

A married couple who previously worked at the University of Oklahoma are at the center of a University of Kansas ticket scandal.

A KU report alleges Tom and Charlette Blubaugh, and two others with OU connections, "inappropriately" sold or used at least $1 million worth of men’s basketball tickets and football tickets for personal purposes.

Kansas alumni and fans are furious.

A 1976 KU graduate, along with his wife, Mary, Don Lamb is rethinking his commitment to buying season tickets and making the drives to Lawrence for games.

"Good tickets are getting harder and harder to get. That's what angers me," Lamb said. "I know it's about money. Every year they want you to give more and more, and even though you give more, your seats don't improve."

 

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If Martha can do it, anyone can dress up a cupcake and make it look great.

Why schedule cupcakes? It saves money.

Bottom line, Nebraska likely would have to pay an FCS opponent approximately half as much as it would have to pay a non-BCS team from the FBS. It should be noted non-BCS  teams from the FBS these days are getting mega-payouts — sometimes to the tune of $1 million — from schools in the SEC and Big Ten.

You can imagine Tom Osborne’s reluctance to pay a non-BCS team $1 million to come to Memorial Stadium.

Shocking. The BCS has a double standard.

There's a certain, credible strain of argument that the BCS power brokers shouldn't be under any obligation to provide small-conference teams with equal access to the postseason pie because the "Big Six" conferences that run the show are overwhelmingly responsible for making that pie; hence, the high double standard for entry favoring the teams that ultimately drive the revenue. But this is a different argument: Here, even after the WAC and Mountain West champions have overcome those barriers to entry, they've delivered higher TV ratings, better finishes in the final polls and better attendance in the big-money games themselves than the Big East or ACC ... only to leave with half the paycheck to split among not only their own conferences, but all the non-Big Six leagues, most of which have never even produced a contender for a BCS spot.

That's the business side of the equation. On the field, according to the the three-step criteria the BCS published for grading each conference's qualifications last month, the Mountain West ranked ahead of both the ACC and the Big East in two of the three criteria through 2008-09 – its highest-ranked team (Utah in 2008, TCU in 2009) has finished ahead of the highest-ranked team from the ACC and Big East, and it's placed a higher percentage of its teams in the top 25 of the final BCS standings. If the MWC manages to add Boise State in time for the 2011 season, it will be on par competitively with the East Coast leagues – at least by the BCS' standards – and not far behind the Big Ten and Pac-10.

Is the BCS supposed to be fair?

I’m serious.

What prompted the question was an email I received from Mr. Alan Fishel, whose law firm represents the fine people at the Mountain West Conference. In his email Mr. Fishel included a "BCS Revenue Discrimination Chart."

I did not make that up.

Mr. Fishel’s point was that over the past four years the Mountain West and the WAC, who do not have automatic qualifier status,  have outperformed the ACC and the Big East (who do get automatic bids) when it comes to BCS TV ratings, rankings, and attendance.

The NCAA just breeds corruption.

The media-propagandized facade that capitalism creates corporate institutions — regardless of their level of corruption — too big to fail and too profitable to police extends to the American sports world as well.

How else do we explain tolerance of the NCAA’s culture of corruption and support for the organization’s outdated rules?

Goldman Sachs has nothing on the NCAA, an organization that invites, breeds and rewards the kind of malfeasance we’re learning took place at the University of Kansas in regard to basketball and football ticket scalping.

The Sporting News put out their preseason top 100 college football teams.

Is Michigan a repeat offender?

Michigan, in admitting to four of the five major football violations the NCAA alleged during 2008-09 under coach Rich Rodriguez, this week revealed self-imposed penalties, including two years of probation, reduction of 130 hours in practice and training time the next two years and reduction of quality-control staff from five to three.

When the university goes before the NCAA Committee on Infractions on Aug. 13-14 in Seattle, the committee could accept Michigan's self-imposed sanctions as punishment.

The committee, however, could deem Michigan a repeat violator under bylaw 19.5.2.3 because of the men's basketball case that concluded May 8, 2003.

College athletes are not guaranteed a four-year deal. The scholarship is a one-year renewable scholarship.

The NCAA says its rules are clear. Athletic scholarships are one-year, "merit-based" awards that require both demonstrated academic performance as well as "participation expectations" on the playing field.

College sport watchdogs — and, occasionally, athletes themselves — tell a different story. They see unkept promises and bottom-line decisions at odds with the definition of student-athlete.

Those discrepancies apparently have caught the attention of the U.S. Justice Department. Its antitrust division is investigating the one-year renewable scholarship, with agents interviewing NCAA officials and member schools. A Justice Department spokeswoman declined comment because the probe, announced on May 6, is ongoing.

Do we grow oranges in Texas? The Orange Bowl could end up in Dallas?

The Orange isn't going anywhere in the BCS bowl rotation. The BCS power brokers love tradition, and the Orange is part of the fabric of the bowl system – and, specifically, the BCS system. The loss of FedEx – the bowl's title sponsor for 21 years – underscores the difficulty of selling advertising right now and the need for other revenue streams.

One BCS administrator told me earlier this spring, "We have to start looking at the Cotton Bowl." In other words, Jerry World generates too much revenue for the BCS to continue to essentially ignore it. The Cotton was the big loser when the BCS structure was implemented in the 1990s, going from one of the game's marquee bowls to a postseason game that can't land the elite of the BCS conferences.

We are not officially crazy about football in Texas. No way, not our state.

This is Allen High School, home of the Eagles and a study in bigness: a 5,000-student campus, with a 650-member marching band, the nation’s largest, supporting a football team that draws 8,000 fans to away games. And now — the pinnacle of the community’s collection of suburban spoils — Allen will break ground on an 18,000-seat palace of a stadium. Though only the fifth-largest high school football stadium in Texas, it’s the largest that will be occupied by a single team. Of course, it carries a big price tag: $60 million, approved as part of a $120 million bond initiative that also includes new performing arts and transportation service centers. Voters approved the measure 63 percent to 37 percent in 2009, a year after the Eagles won their first state football championship.

The Kansas ticket scandal are forcing schools to look at their ticket policy. Barking Carnival looks at how far this scandal could go. (This is great research by srr50 at BC.)

Dr. Saturday wants to watch college football in the freezing cold.

The Big East Conference is thinking about their own network.

Should the Big East kick out the Irish?

Poppa Joe weighs in on 16-team conferences.

The recent Supreme Court ruling in the American Needle v. NFL case has implications for the BCS.

 

And finally...

The Roundup will take Memorial day off and be back up on Tuesday, June 1. Have a safe holiday and take a moment to remember why we celebrate the day.

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