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post #1 of 58 (permalink) Old January 6th, 2008, 16:11 Thread Starter
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NCAA 2008 The ONGOING Season

Alabama to play Clemson in season opener at Georgia Dome

By CHARLES ODUM, AP Sports Writer
January 4, 2008

ATLANTA (AP) -- Alabama will play Clemson at the Georgia Dome on Aug. 30 in the 2008 season opener for both teams, their first meeting in 33 years.

In making the announcement Friday, Atlanta officials said the game is intended to launch a tradition of season openers at the Georgia Dome. The Alabama-Clemson game will be televised on ESPN or ABC and organized by Atlanta's Chick-fil-A Bowl staff.

The Chick-fil-A Bowl matches teams from the Atlantic Coast Conference and Southeastern Conference, and bowl president Gary Stokan said the plan is to select teams from those conferences for future season-opening games at the Georgia Dome, a neutral site.

Auburn beat Clemson 23-20 in overtime in the Chick-fil-A Bowl on Monday night. Clemson will return for its second consecutive game in the Georgia Dome and will play three straight games against teams now in the SEC for the first time since 1925. Clemson closed its regular season by beating South Carolina.

The last time Clemson played Alabama was 1975, and the 56-0 rout was the Crimson Tide's 11th straight win in the series.

"Do you happen to have the score from that last game?" Clemson coach Tommy Bowden said Friday. "It's not a rivalry."

Stokan said his committee initially worked to try to bring a second, smaller bowl game to Atlanta, but he said the goal turned to a season-opening game when the NCAA approved a 12th regular-season game.

He said a coin flip determined Clemson will be the home team. SEC officials will be used.

"For Alabama to be able to play in Atlanta is certainly something we look forward to," Crimson Tide coach Nick Saban said. "It's great for national exposure and great for recruiting."

Alabama and Clemson each adjusted its 2008 schedule to accommodate the game in Atlanta.

"This is a one-game stand, so it needed to be on a neutral site," said Alabama athletic director Mal Moore, who showed in 2007 his willingness to play a game at a neutral site.

Florida State beat Alabama 21-14 in Jacksonville on Sept. 29 before a Jacksonville-record crowd of 85,412.

Stokan didn't announce a guaranteed payout for each team but said it should be comparable to the $2 million earned by Alabama and Florida State for the game in Jacksonville.

Alabama and Clemson will each receive about 33,000 tickets, according to Stokan.

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post #2 of 58 (permalink) Old January 6th, 2008, 21:37
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Dateline Jan. 5 2008... Rivals' no.1 DB in the nation and no. 3 overall prospect, Patrick Johnson, flips off Miami and gives his commit to LSU!

Thanks Florida!!!


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post #3 of 58 (permalink) Old January 8th, 2008, 21:45 Thread Starter
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Georgia president: Schools need to regain control of postseason


ESPN.com news services

Updated: January 8, 2008

The president of the University of Georgia is calling for an eight-team playoff system for college football's top division, saying the Bowl Championship Series -- which left Georgia out of its championship game -- has become a "beauty contest largely stage-managed by the networks."



In a public statement and a letter to NCAA president Myles Brand, Georgia president Michael F. Adams, who is also chairman of the NCAA executive committee, called for an eight-team playoff to decide the national championship, with the opening rounds to be played in the four major BCS bowl games. He proposed the change be made as soon as the contracts that govern the BCS expire.


Adams was scheduled to hold a news conference Tuesday afternoon to discuss the proposal. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution first reported that Adams would support a playoff.

"This year's experience with the BCS forces me to the conclusion that the current system has lost public confidence and simply does not work," Adams said in news release. "It is undercutting the sportsmanship and integrity of the game."


Georgia did not win its division of the Southeastern Conference and did not play in that league's title game, but was widely regarded as one of the best teams in the nation as the college football season closed. The Bulldogs went to the Sugar Bowl instead of the BCS Championship Game, where some believed the team belonged.


Adams did not directly address that outcome in his letter or his statement. But he did claim that the BCS system suffered from built-in conflicts of interest involving the major sports conferences and the television networks.

Under his proposal, the schedule would return to 11 games from its current 12, with playoffs beginning at the major bowl games and extending two more Saturdays.

Under his proposal, a selection committee would seed eight teams to the four major bowls.

"If one of those bowls chooses not to participate, another game could be found to fill the void," he said.

Adams' announcement came hours after fellow SEC member LSU won the BCS championship by defeating Ohio State.

LSU coach Les Miles wasn't overly pleased with the timing.



"There's a time for proposals. There's a time for adjusting the schedule. It might not be today," he said Tuesday.


"Whatever the rules are is fine with me," Miles said of the plan. "I can tell you this, a year ago if we had an eight-team playoff, we might've fared pretty well. This might've been our second trophy. I look forward to whatever setup there is."



Even SEC commissioner Mike Slive, who essentially works for the university presidents, gave Adams a light slap on the wrist.



"I was disappointed that the story came out today. This is LSU's day and the Southeastern Conference's day," said Slive, whose two-year term as the BCS coordinator ended with Monday night's game.



Adams is the second SEC member president to advocate a playoff in the past year. Last year, University of Florida president James Bernard Machen -- whose Gators played in the BCS Championship Game and won the title -- said the time had come for a playoff system, but backed down from his position after conferring with his fellow SEC presidents.


Adams acknowledged that he has long opposed a playoff system, largely for academic reasons and because the season is already too long. However, he said in his letter to Brand that he was "troubled about the commercial influence over how the college football season is played out." He said it is time for the NCAA's member institutions to regain control over the college football postseason -- control he said is now concentrated in the hands of the television networks, the major conferences and the bowl commissioners.

"The television networks ... have grown too powerful in deciding who plays and when they play, and indeed, whom they hire to coach," Adams wrote in his letter to Brand. "The Bowl Championship Series has become a beauty contest largely stage-managed by the networks, which in turn protect the interests of their own partner conferences.

"The situation may not quite rise to the level of collusion, but it leaves an air of dissatisfaction with the fans of most institutions, even as they celebrate successful seasons," Adams wrote to Brand. "I believe the time has come for the NCAA to take control of the college football postseason, and in so doing to create a system that our players, coaches, friends and fans can support and appreciate."

"Colleges need to regain ownership of their football teams," Adams added in his letter to Brand. "While much has been made of the unique nature of the Football Bowl Subdivision [formerly Division I-A], the fact is that the networks and conferences exercise much more control over the football teams at this level then the institutions that sponsor them. Reorienting the national football championship is an important step in managing a model that benefits students, institutions and our constituents."

Adams said he would regret the football season extending into the spring semester, but noted that only four teams would be involved and before most schools return from the winter holiday break.

On Monday, Atlantic Coast Conference Commissioner John Swofford and SEC Commissioner Mike Slive said the ACC, SEC, Big East and Big 12 are open to a "plus-one" Final Four format in which the top four teams would be selected and seeded.

"In our conference, there's much more open-mindedness about the plus-one than there was two years ago. There's an interest in it ... and a willingness to discuss it in full," Swofford said.

The BCS is in the second of a four-year, $320 million contract with Fox that runs through the 2009 season and 2010 bowls. The BCS will begin negotiating with Fox on another deal in the fall. Fox has exclusive negotiating rights with the BCS.

The Football Championship Subdivision (formerly Division I-AA), Division II and Division III all have a postseason playoff.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this story.

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post #4 of 58 (permalink) Old January 9th, 2008, 07:04
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I am still convinced that an 8 team playoff is the perfect compromise. Especially if the first round was played in early December.

Only elite would qualify and the bowls can stay intact.

Its time for Delaney,B10/P10, TV contracts or whatever to step aside.
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post #5 of 58 (permalink) Old January 9th, 2008, 21:37 Thread Starter
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I am still convinced that an 8 team playoff is the perfect compromise. Especially if the first round was played in early December.

Only elite would qualify and the bowls can stay intact.

Its time for Delaney,B10/P10, TV contracts or whatever to step aside.

Utopia......it wont happen....

And dont mention Pat Johnson ... ANyone who turns down Miami.......



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post #6 of 58 (permalink) Old January 10th, 2008, 03:06
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cattus
I am still convinced that an 8 team playoff is the perfect compromise. Especially if the first round was played in early December.

Only elite would qualify and the bowls can stay intact.

Its time for Delaney,B10/P10, TV contracts or whatever to step aside.
I agree and here is what i would do:

Six conference champions: SEC, Pac 10, Big 10, Big 12, ACC and Big East.
Two more teams:
1. the 2nd best team from the top four conferences and it would've been Georgia this year.
2. team like Hawaii this year that went undefeated or an independent team like Notre Dame if they were ranked high.
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post #7 of 58 (permalink) Old January 10th, 2008, 05:52
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Just finished this book and it was a great read... even though I'm a Michigan/Big 10 fan and don't have much interest in Ole Miss, I really got into this book. It opened my eyes to how the recruiting process works. The access that Feldman provides is incredible, you see the coaches bicker and lobby for their own recruits and how dirty it gets. It shows you what a bizarre process recruiting has become and all the lies that go into recruiting a player... also it's interesting how most of the top rated recruits almost never live up to the hype. Did anyone know that Bob Sanders was only a 2 star recruit? Another interesting note is that Florida recruited one of the best QB's in the country a couple years ago to prevent him from going to a rival school by Urban Meyer telling the kid that Tim Tebow was recruited as a linebacker and would not play QB. A year later Florida wins the NT with Tebow and Leak, so now that kid (who was promised all kinds of things by Meyer) has to transfer (sit out a year) cause he was lied to and will probably never get any playing time at QB.

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post #8 of 58 (permalink) Old January 10th, 2008, 22:03 Thread Starter
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Illinois RB Mendenhall to enter draft

January 10, 2008
CHAMPAIGN, ILLINOIS (TICKER) --

University of Illinois tailback Rashard Mendenhall announced on Thursday that he will forego his senior season and enter the NFL draft.

The Big Ten Offensive Player of the Year, Mendenhall was a big reason the Illini (9-4) had a seven-win improvement from 2006-07 and reached the Rose Bowl for the first time since 1984.

"This was a very difficult decision because it means leaving the teammates who have meant so much to me the past three years," Mendenhall said.

The 5-11, 224-pound Mendenhall set single-season school records of 1,681 yards and 17 touchdowns, as well as overall TDs (19), all-purpose yards (1,999) and scoring (114).

He was the lone bright spot in Illinois' 49-17 loss to Southern California on New Year's Day as he carried 17 times for 155 yards and a TD against a tough USC defense.

"It has been a life-long dream to play professional football and I feel now is my best opportunity to take that next step," Mendenhall said. "This season has been a great growing experience and I am happy that I was a part of such a special year for Illinois football. I will always think fondly of my time at Illinois and I look forward to representing the Fighting Illini in the NFL."

Mendenhall twice surpassed 200 yards in a game this season, including a career-high 214 yards in a 27-14 victory at Indiana on September 22.

"Rashard had an amazing season," Illinois coach Ron Zook said. "His performance this year showed that he will be a very talented back at the next level. I am excited for Rashard as he enters this next phase of his football career. I can't thank him enough for his dedication to the Illinois football program and wish him nothing but the best in the NFL."

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post #9 of 58 (permalink) Old January 10th, 2008, 22:05 Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ambis


Just finished this book and it was a great read... even though I'm a Michigan/Big 10 fan and don't have much interest in Ole Miss, I really got into this book. It opened my eyes to how the recruiting process works. The access that Feldman provides is incredible, you see the coaches bicker and lobby for their own recruits and how dirty it gets. It shows you what a bizarre process recruiting has become and all the lies that go into recruiting a player... also it's interesting how most of the top rated recruits almost never live up to the hype. Did anyone know that Bob Sanders was only a 2 star recruit? Another interesting note is that Florida recruited one of the best QB's in the country a couple years ago to prevent him from going to a rival school by Urban Meyer telling the kid that Tim Tebow was recruited as a linebacker and would not play QB. A year later Florida wins the NT with Tebow and Leak, so now that kid (who was promised all kinds of things by Meyer) has to transfer (sit out a year) cause he was lied to and will probably never get any playing time at QB.
Its a JUNGLE out there brother !!!!! Its a frikken Jungle ... and then you go PRO and get a Pot Belly !!!!! :dielaugh:

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post #10 of 58 (permalink) Old January 15th, 2008, 21:51 Thread Starter
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Arkansas RB McFadden to enter NFL draft
Michigan's Manningham headed for NFL
LB Laurinaitis returning to Ohio State
8-team college football playoff proposed
LSU juniors Beckwith, Jackson to return
Virginia Tech's Harris reverses decision
Vols leading rusher Foster to return
Ex-Michigan QB Mallett mulling options

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post #11 of 58 (permalink) Old January 15th, 2008, 21:52 Thread Starter
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Division I board talks, then sends playoff proposal to committee

By TERESA M. WALKER, AP Sports Writer
January 14, 2008

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -- University of Georgia president Michael Adams presented his proposal for an eight-team major college football playoff to the NCAA Division I board of directors Monday in Nashville, and they decided to study the issue with others before making any moves.

Ultimately, though, the board would prefer BCS officials figure out what's best for the postseason.

James Barker, chairman of the board and the president of Clemson, called the talks candid and constructive. But he said the directors believe the discussion should include presidents at the conference level and the committee overseeing the Bowl Championship Series.

The board also wants a task force announced last month by NCAA President Myles Brand to study issues over the use of student likenesses' to expand its review and study commercialization as it relates to postseason football.

The task force hasn't been picked and there's no timeline for a report to the board.

Adams announced his proposal for an eight-team playoff for the Football Bowl Subdivision using the BCS games following years of opposition to a playoff. He unveiled his proposal on Jan. 8, hours after LSU won the BCS national championship game.

His playoff proposal used the Sugar, Orange, Rose and Fiesta bowls as the opening round, leading to semifinals and a championship game. Adams said he believes the study will result in additional tweaking to the BCS system.

"It's not just me that's talking about tweaking again," said Adams, who also is chairman of the NCAA executive committee.

"It's some of my colleagues. It's the people in the conferences. It's others. I don't know if we will all get to the exact same decision."

The Division I board did approve 45 of 47 proposals Monday, including scholarship protection for athletes dealing with pregnancies, injuries or other medical conditions. That protection will take affect immediately.

Both Divisions I and II allowed coaches to text message athletes who have signed letters of intent.

Division II also approved a program that would allow Canadian colleges to become members, and Division III upheld the ban on text messaging that took effect Aug. 1.

Division III placed limits on the use of male practice players in women's team sports, including allowing only one practice per week. Division III also will continue discussions about possibly splitting into subdivisions or creating a new fourth division. Division III membership is expected to reach 480 within the decade.

But it was Adams' proposal for an eight-team playoff that was most anticipated at this five-day convention, which ended Monday. He had said he wanted a special NCAA committee to work out the details.

Barker called the discussions positive, but that doesn't mean the D-I board will make any decisions on a major college football playoff. He tossed responsibility for changing the postseason back to the BCS.

"I don't think that there's a desire on the part of the board to do anything other than what the structure currently in place would yield," Barker said. "We don't have that preconception."

The 11 Bowl Subdivision commissioners who make up the BCS will meet in April in Miami and are expected to discuss the so-called plus-one format, which would create a four-team playoff.

The Division I board wants the BCS presidential oversight committee involved as well.

Adams said in a letter to Brand last week that the networks, conferences and bowls had too much control power over the postseason. Adams' Bulldogs were left out of the national championship game after getting passed by LSU in the final BCS standings.

"I think there's enough concern out there not just among the institutional presidents but among the student-athletes, among the fans, among people trying to pay for this among networks," Adams said. "There are broad issues that need to be looked at."

Asked if he still feels strongly about the eight-team playoff, Adams said he feels strongly that the major college football postseason can be tweaked.

"I've said all along that I don't know I immediately thought everyone was going to agree with me on just the specific," Adams said.

He also is concerned about commercialization and wants to get presidents more involved.

"That's one of the things we've got to work through," he said.



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post #12 of 58 (permalink) Old January 15th, 2008, 21:54 Thread Starter
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Central Florida: Kevin Smith -- Will Turn Pro

RotoWire.com Staff - RotoWire.com
Monday, January 14, 2008


Update: Smith, the nation’s leading rusher in 2007, changed his mind and will turn pro, he confirmed Sunday night.

Recommendation: Smith has done just about all a running back could do at Central Florida. Smith is pretty big at 6-1, 211, so coupled with his college accomplishments he could end up pretty high on the draft board with a good series of workouts for the pros.


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post #13 of 58 (permalink) Old January 15th, 2008, 21:55 Thread Starter
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NCAA agrees to continue playoff discussion

By Olin Buchanan, Rivals.com College Football Senior Writer

NASHVILLE – A proposal for an eight-team Division I-A playoff sparked a discussion Monday that resulted in a call for, well, further discussion.

In response to a plan submitted by University of Georgia president Michael Adams, the NCAA Division I Board of Directors opted for more talk and no action and suggested the issue should be brought to the individual conferences.

"The sense of the Board's deliberations was that the discussion should continue and be expanded to include presidents at the conference level," read a statement released by the NCAA.

Clemson president James Barker, the chairman of the Board of Directors, said no votes were taken and no timetable was set for the continued discussions.

Last week, Adams revealed his plan for an eight-team postseason playoff to replace the current BCS.

"I feel good about the discussion that took place," Adams said. "I felt affirmed by the discussion. I introduced important issues that needed to get before the Board and get the discussion going."

But Barker said Adams' proposed postseason format was a small part of the more than six-hour meeting at the Gaylord Opryland Resort. "I think the biggest thing that might surprise you is how little time was spent on the format," Barker said. "Most of the communication is on what is happening in sports commercialization."

Barker didn't specify what commercialization issues were discussed, but said the Board was concerned with student athletes' welfare and presidential control of postseason matters. Presumably, that could include postseason matchups, which was also a concern voiced by Adams.

While Adams has said he felt his proposal has had strong support, most university presidents seem to be against a playoff.

But there have been indications that the current system could be tweaked to add a "plus-one" scenario, in which a national championship game would be played after all the bowls. The outcome of the bowls would help determine what teams would play for the championship.

SEC commissioner Mike Slive – who served as the BCS coordinator this season – recently said he would be "open-minded" to a "plus-one" format. That would seem to at least be a step in the direction toward Adams' proposal.

"There are concerns out there among my colleagues, institutions and various entities," Adams said. "Some sort of tweaking is needed, but I'm not sure what form that will take."

Olin Buchanan is the senior college football writer for Rivals.com. He can be reached at [email protected].



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post #14 of 58 (permalink) Old January 15th, 2008, 21:58 Thread Starter
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QB Xavier Lee leaves Florida State, following departure of several other key players

By BRENT KALLESTAD, Associated Press Writer
January 14, 2008

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) -- Junior quarterback Xavier Lee has left Florida State and entered the NFL draft, the latest early departure for a program rocked by an academic scandal.

Lee was 2-4 in six starts during his Florida State career. He was suspended during the season for academic reasons and did not accompany the Seminoles to Nashville, Tenn., last month for their Music City Bowl loss to Kentucky.

The school said Monday that Lee had submitted paperwork to make himself available for the NFL draft in April.

Two of his junior classmates also chose that route: Linebacker Geno Hayes, the team's second-leading tackler, and Letroy Guion, one of the Seminoles' most talented interior defensive linemen.

Guion made 31 tackles in 12 games, including 6 1/2 for loss. His departure, along with senior Andre Fluellen, leaves the Seminoles without their two most experienced interior linemen going into the 2008 season.

Guion was among three dozen Seminoles players who missed the Dec. 31 loss to Kentucky for either being involved in a test-cheating scandal, poor grades, injury or violating team rules.

As a result of the scandal, more than a dozen players will be sidelined for the first three games of next season.

At 6-foot-4 and 235 pounds with a powerful throwing arm, Lee failed to reach the potential coaches and fans had hoped for during a three-year competition with Drew Weatherford.

The 22-year-old Lee completed 155 of 402 passes for 2,323 yards, 15 touchdowns and 11 interceptions. His best game came in a loss at Maryland in 2006 when he completed 22 of 36 passes for 286 yards and two TDs with no interceptions.

He replaced Weatherford in a scoreless game against Alabama on Sept. 29 to lead the Seminoles to a 21-14 victory, throwing for 224 yards and a pair of touchdowns.

Sophomore tight end Charlie Graham transferred to nearby Tallahassee Community College, where he hopes to graduate by August and later rejoin the team.

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post #15 of 58 (permalink) Old January 24th, 2008, 21:07 Thread Starter
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Rodriguez and W. Va Athletic department had long been at odds

By VICKI SMITH, Associated Press Writer
January 23, 2008

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. (AP) --


Even before the first snap at fall football practice, Rich Rodriguez and his agent were pursuing a promised "culture change" at West Virginia and a shake-up at the highest levels of the athletic department, e-mails obtained by The Associated Press show.

But by mid-November, Rodriguez's agent Mike Brown was threatening to take his client elsewhere, warning WVU the coach was being mentioned for possible openings at Texas A&M and Florida State.

Rodriguez resigned Dec. 18 for the head coaching job at Michigan, touching off a bitter and ongoing public dispute that has included a $4 million lawsuit over his buyout clause and allegations of broken promises and missing files from his athletic department office.

The gradual disintegration of the relationship is documented in a series of e-mails written over a five-month period and released to the AP under the West Virginia Freedom of Information Act. They show Brown fighting for more operational and marketing control over the football program and over money Rodriguez helped raise through a booster organization he founded.

In e-mails to WVU president Mike Garrison and his chief of staff, Craig Walker, Brown also complains of Gov. Joe Manchin interfering with the program.

WVU administration officials declined to discuss the e-mails, citing concerns about the lawsuit. Brown also declined to discuss the e-mails when contacted Wednesday.

But athletic director Ed Pastilong, whose department was not copied in on any of the correspondence, said Wednesday he was unaware of plans for a culture change or of conflict between his staff and Rodriguez.

"Rich and I got along very good. I was largely responsible for hiring him, and we had an open communication," he told the AP. "This is the first I've heard of it."

Pastilong, who is close friends with the governor, denies Manchin interfered, as did Manchin spokeswoman Lara Ramsburg.

"The governor and Rich were friends for 30-plus years, first and foremost, and their discussions throughout Rich's tenure were primarily as friends, with no intent on the governor's part of interfering in the WVU football program or its operations," she said.

Brown had been pressing WVU to act on new moneymaking ventures such as allowing advertising on the walls at Mountaineer Field and letting Rodriguez have his own paid-subscription Web site. The e-mails indicate WVU was proceeding slowly, researching legal and NCAA issues after learning of a controversy involving the Web site of Texas A&M coach Dennis Franchione.

But an Aug. 1 e-mail from Brown suggested a long-simmering tension between Rodriguez, Pastilong and key assistant director, Mike Parsons. That e-mail complained that "Pastilong is talking directly to the governor," and Manchin subsequently called Rodriguez to placate him.

Brown goes on to discuss the resignation of Whit Babcock, an assistant athletic director tasked with fundraising: "If you were to ask Whit Babcock why he was leaving, he would say 2 words, 'Ed Pastilong."'

Babcock said Wednesday he left WVU to become senior associate director of athletics at Missouri.

"It was not an Ed Pastilong issue. It was a job responsibility issue and a tremendous opportunity. At Missouri, I have the opportunity to be the number two guy and expand my role," he said. "Ed Pastilong and I parted on good terms."

Rodriguez was promised in December 2006, in agreeing to a new contract with WVU, that Parsons' "interaction, tactical and strategic decisions affecting football would be reduced and Whit Babcock's role in the AD would be increased. Whit's leaving not only affects WVU, but is a result of an unfulfilled verbal promise made to Rich," Brown wrote.

Pastilong said he was unaware of such a promise.

Forgoing a six-year, $12 million offer from Alabama, Rodriguez signed a new contract with WVU on Aug. 24. It included a pay raise from $1.05 million to $1.78 million, and a one-time increase of $100,000 to the assistant coaches' salaries.

WVU also created a retirement plan that gave Rodriguez tax benefits; promised to reduce his buyout clause from $4 million to $2 million in 2008; built a $2 million academic center for athletes; and agreed to a nearly $6 million renovation of the locker room facilities at season's end.

But Rodriguez had additional demands the e-mails show were being addressed throughout the fall, including free game passes for high school football coaches, control of the sidelines, an all-access pass for wife Rita and seats at WVU basketball games for his football recruits.

"Also of importance is the status of different initiatives we have discussed regarding increasing athletic department revenues," Brown wrote Nov. 14. "We both agree there is millions in revenue not being realized. Those revenues over time will allow WVU to remain competitive for Rich's services."

Brown said he had hoped new revenue streams would be in place by 2008 and that Rodriguez was "very concerned" a request for proposals hadn't been issued for revamping the athletics Web site, msnsportsnet.com.

"Why is this important?" Brown wrote. "There is a projected opening at Texas A&M this year and Florida State next year. Rich's name is being mentioned heavily."

From there, the relationship appears to deteriorate, with e-mails among Walker, Garrison and Rodriguez's financial adviser, Mike Wilcox, showing a united effort to exclude Brown from many discussions.

Wilcox appears to work amicably with WVU on a retirement package for the coach and praises Garrison for "convincing Rich and Rita that you and Craig and your administration will function in a much more effective and forthright manner."

Wilcox did not respond to a telephone or e-mail message Wednesday.

Former WVU president David C. Hardesty, who ceded operational control to Garrison Aug. 1, declined to discuss the nature of his relationship with Rodriguez when asked about the "culture change."

The e-mails show any harmony with the new administration was short-lived: On Sept. 6, Brown e-mailed Walker, complaining the athletic department had released the terms of Rodriguez's new contract to the media. The next day, he complained the contract itself has been released.

"Sure at some point in time through information requests the media can get a copy of the contract, but within 24 hours of announcing it has been signed!" he wrote. "... This is a major breach of the trust factor we discussed two weeks ago."

Walker defends the staff's action, citing requests from the AP and the Charleston Daily Mail that the university was legally bound to answer.

As late as the last week of November, Wilcox and Walker were planning meetings. Then, on Dec. 1, the No. 2-ranked Mountaineers fell 13-9 to Pitt, losing a shot at a national championship game.

Within days, there were signs of more trouble.

On Dec. 4, Wilcox tells Walker he has had "tough discussions with Rich and Rita," who were discouraged by the loss. He urges Garrison to meet with the couple: "I think it's REALLY important in light of Eddie's (Pastilong) remarks and the deteriorating relationship ... it's not good and getting worse."


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Source: 3 Penn State players off team
Rodriguez letter says WVU reneged deal
2 Texas A&M players indicted for robbery
Brennan auditions for NFL in Senior Bowl
New academic advisers for Seminoles
Ellis Johnson to run S. Carolina defense
WVU names Wake's Mullen off. coordinator
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Army Football Schedules, Past and Future - Part II, the 2008 Schedule

By Mike Belter, Special to GoBlackKnights.com – Rivals.com


Army fans finally got to see the 2008 football schedule this week when it was released on January 24th. As promised, I have repeated the analysis I did in the first part of this article about the scheduling of Army football since 2003, and applied it to the new 2008 schedule.

I will also say I have purposely not looked at GoBlackKnights.com to see what the comments have been about the newly released schedule. So if I strongly seem to agree with several of the opinions, or violently seem to disagree with some, it's an accident, I have not read or heard of any comments celebrating or proclaiming that the world is coming to an end. After I submit this article to Rob and AM, well, then I will look.

First, let me repeat a few things from the first article.

Scheduling Objectives

I previously digested the several comments made by the Army athletic staff, and to repeat them again, I believe their scheduling objectives were:

· Schedule opponents based upon the 3-3-4 Concept,

· Schedule six or seven home games a year,

· Play two or more home games in October, and

· Play one 1-AA opponent a season.

Reviewing the article from the Army website, I think that these objectives still stand, though I would add a few objectives that the article emphasized:

· Reduce the number of opponents who recently played in bowl games,

· Reduce the number of opponents from BCS conferences,

· Balance the schedule in order to provide a quality experience to our cadets,

· Appeal to the Army fan base,

· Play in Texas, 'cause it's important to Army recruiting efforts!,

· Play an in-state rival,

· Play a long-standing regional rival, and

· Be careful what game is played on Thursday/Friday (note – Air Force will be on Saturday folks, and lets lobby for Akron on ESPN weeknight game as we have a bye week prior to that game).

Clearly, I am not sure what the priority all those objectives are. Hopefully, somewhere in the bowels of the Army Athletic Department there are clear scheduling objectives, in a priority order.



3-3-4 Concept

On yea, lets review the 3-3-4 Concept. Army Athletic Director Kevin Anderson explained in an "Ask the AD" section on GoArmySports.com the desire to address the competitive balance by scheduling opponents on a 3-3-3 basis. As for opponents, schedule Air Force and Navy each year, plus three opponents that would be a stretch and difficult to win; three teams that Army should be competitive with and if the Black Knights played well, could win; and three opponents that Army would be very confident and should beat. I would add that with the current 12 game schedules, this 3-3-3 concept would also include a game against a 1-AA opponent. So let's call it what it really is, a 3-3-4 Concept.

Competitiveness Assessment of 2008 Opponents

The assessment I made in the first article was to look at win-loss percentages and power ratings from Jim Howell's website, classifying the Stretch opponents with ratings above 0.60, Competitive from 0.35 to 0.59, and Beatables below 0.35. 1-AA opponents are normally classified as Beatables. Of course, one does not exactly know when Army scheduled some of the opponents, so we will look at team records over a five to ten year period prior to the season to assess their 3-3-4 standing. I also looked at the win-loss percentage and power ratings of each of these teams for 2006 and 2007. So here is my assessment of their competitive status:

Akron – was Competitive when Army originally scheduled this game, and has played that way until the 2007 season, when it fell to the Beatable class. Still, the Zips are a Competitive (Minus) for 2008.

Buffalo – Army scheduled this game recently, and while the Bulls have been consistently in the Beatables class, last year's team was definitely Competitive. So classify them as Beatable (Plus).

Eastern Michigan – another team that Army recently scheduled, but the Eagles are a consistent Beatable.

Louisiana Tech – a recent addition to the Army schedule, the Bulldogs have been in the Competitive class for sometime, despite a poor 2006 season that they rebounded a little in 2007, so class them as Competitive.

Rice – has a track record of just making the Competitive class through the years, had a great 2006 bowl season, but fell down in 2007, so lets make the Owls a Competitive (Minus).

Rutgers – was clearly in the Beatables category when Army scheduled them, and while they have moved up to the Competitive class, the last two seasons have put the Scarlet Knights into Stretch mode, even if half the team turns pro.

Temple – the Owls have been consistently been a Beatable, despite high expectations.

Texas A&M – the Aggies have been Stretch per the power ratings, but Competitive when looking at win-loss records. Guess that is why they have a new coach this year. So let's make them Stretch (Minus) and expect the Cadets to be in this game.

Tulane – another team that Army recently rescheduled, I believe. The Green Wave have been generally Competitive, but the last three seasons they have been in the Beatables category, so lets rate them Beatable (Plus).

New Hampshire – normally, you would put a 1-AA team in the Beatables category, but after Appalachian State and Delaware took care of Michigan and Navy; any team that finished 15th in the 1-AA Coach's Poll desires at least a Competitive.

So my assessment is that Army has scheduled 2 Stretch, 4 Competitive, and 4 Beatables.

So What Does this Mean?

You might remember that I looked at Navy's scheduling, as well as Army's, from the viewpoint of competitiveness, and made several recommendations at the end of the article:

· Schedule more home games than the average of five since 2003,

· Schedule two 1-AA opponents, and

· Schedule competitiveness on Navy's 1-3-6 for a few years, then a 2-4-4 basis thereafter.

Well I am glad to see Army scheduling to a 2-4-4 basis for the 2008 season, rather than the more aggressive 3-3-4 Concept.

Army added Buffalo, Eastern Michigan, and Tulane, all three Beatables, plus Louisiana Tech (Competitive) in the last several months, replacing Stretch games with Georgia Tech & Boston College and strong Competitive opponents Tulsa and Ball State. So my compliments to Bob Beretta, the long-suspected chef of good Army schedules.

Army appears to have a 2008 schedule that meets all my digested objectives (six home games, one 1-AA, and two home games in October). And the schedule meets all the recently stated objectives – hey, I live in a business world and I constantly have senior managers wanting to restate objectives after the data is in.

Starting the Season with Three Straight Home Games

For those of you who remember any of my articles, I always love statistics. So to finish this one, let's look at the Cadet experience with starting the season with three home games.

In 1978, Army beat Lafayette (4-7) 24-14 at Michie Stadium. Lost a close game to Virginia (2-9) 17-21, and then tied Washington State (4-6-1) 21-21. Army ended the season 4-6-1, playing seven games at home with a record of 4-2-1.

In 1991, the wishbone Army opened the season at home against Colgate (4-7) winning 51-22 [Bob Sutton's first game as head coach]. A 12-20 loss to North Carolina (7-4) followed. The Cadets beat Harvard (4-5-1) next 21-20. Army finished the season with a record of 4-7 (3-4 at home).

In 2003, Army opened the season with four straight games at Michie Stadium. And Army had four straight losses to Connecticut, Rutgers, Tulane, and South Florida.

Well, at least Army only plays two home games in September this year.

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post #18 of 58 (permalink) Old February 2nd, 2008, 16:34 Thread Starter
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February 1, 2008

Title Traits: Trends reveal Teams to watch

Olin Buchanan
Rivals.com College Football Senior Writer

With a square jaw, prominent nose and jutting chin, Rich Rodriguez has a strong profile.
But his Michigan Wolverines do not.

Alabama coach Nick Saban also has a strong profile. And, surprisingly enough, so does his team.

The act of profiling – analyzing data to ascertain distinctive features in a given subject – can be a useful tool to identify job candidates, blood types or customers, but it's never a guarantee for success.


For example, a college-educated married male, age 30-40, who earns between $75,000 and $100,000 annually and enjoys outdoor sports may not necessarily be interested in purchasing a new set of golf clubs. Maybe he prefers mountain climbing.

So it is with profiling a potential national champion.

Even an experienced team coming off a successful season and having an advantageous schedule can't be counted on to win a championship because so many immeasurable factors – avoidance of injuries, weather, unproven players coming through, the benefit of a controversial call – come into play.

Still, the 10 national champions in the BCS era share many common characteristics. With that in mind, a five-step plan was devised to determine what teams for the 2008 season most fit the profile of the national champion.

Each of the 10 BCS national champions played in one of the "big six" conferences and posted at least seven victories the year before their championship season. In addition, in half the cases the national champion was coming off a bowl victory. In fact, the past four national champions won their preceding bowl game: '07 champ LSU over Notre Dame 41-14 in the Sugar Bowl, '06 champ Florida over Iowa 31-24 in the Outback Bowl, '05 champ Texas over Michigan 38-37 in the Rose Bowl and '04 champ USC over Michigan in the Rose Bowl. The other champion to win its preceding bowl game was '01 Miami, which defeated Florida 37-20 in the Sugar Bowl.

Another apparent key factor in winning a national championship is having a quarterback who has some experience as a starter. For instance, LSU quarterback Matt Flynn hadn't been considered a starter before '07, but he did start the 2005 Peach Bowl in place of injured JaMarcus Russell.

Tennessee's Tee Martin, who had backed up Peyton Manning, is the only quarterback of a BCS national champion who had no prior starting experience.

Finally, nine returned at least six starters from a defensive unit that ranked among the nation's top 40 in total defense the preceding season.

Only '98 champion Tennessee, with four starters returning from the 32nd-ranked defense of 1997, had fewer than half of its defensive starters back


PROFILE OF A CHAMPION
Trends during the BCS era indicate that the 2008 national champ will be a team that meets the following criteria:
1. Play in a "BCS conference"
2. Post at least seven victories the previous season
3. Win the previous season's bowl
4. Have an upperclassman quarterback with starting experience
5. Return at least six starters from a top-40 defense Several teams met four of the five elements of the profile, including Oklahoma, LSU, Texas and West Virginia among others, so they obviously cannot be ignored as 2008 national championship contenders. But there are six teams that fit all the criteria.

Here's a step-by-step profile for the 2008 champion.

1. Play in a "BCS conference": No team from Conference USA, the Mid-American, the Mountain West, the Sun Belt or the Western Athletic has won a BCS national championship. Neither has an independent, though Notre Dame certainly has been in the championship picture, especially in 2005 and '06. History shows that the 2008 champion will come from one of the six major conferences, so only consider the 57 teams in the six major conferences plus Notre Dame.
Fitting the profile: Teams from the Big Ten, Big 12, SEC, ACC, Pac-10, Big East and Notre Dame.

2. Post at least seven victories the previous season: Coming off a strong season is an obvious indicator that a team may be ready to contend for a championship. Six of the 10 BCS national champions managed double-digit victory totals the season before they won their title. Two – Oklahoma in 2000 and Ohio State in 2002 – were 7-5 the previous season. Consider all the BCS teams that posted winning records in 2007, but put a little more emphasis on teams that had at least 10 wins. In fact, six champions had at least 11 victories before their championship year, including three of the past four (LSU, Texas and USC).
Still fitting the profile: ACC: Boston College (11-3), Clemson (9-4); Florida State (7-6); Georgia Tech (7-6); Virginia (9-4), Virginia Tech (11-3), Wake Forest (9-4); Big East: Cincinnati (10-3), Connecticut (9-4), Rutgers (8-5), South Florida (9-4), West Virginia (11-2); Big 12: Kansas (12-1); Missouri (12-2); Oklahoma (11-3); Oklahoma State (7-6); Texas (10-3); Texas A&M (7-6); Texas Tech (9-4); Big Ten: Illinois (9-4); Michigan (9-4); Ohio State (11-2); Penn State (9-4); Wisconsin (9-4); Purdue (8-5); Indiana (7-6); Michigan State (7-6); Pac-10: Arizona State (10-3); California (7-6); Oregon (9-4); Oregon State (9-4); USC (11-2); SEC: Alabama (7-6); Arkansas (8-5); Auburn (9-4); Georgia (11-2); Florida (9-4); Kentucky (8-5); LSU (12-2); Mississippi State (8-5); Tennessee (10-4).



3. Win the previous season's bowl: Perhaps a bit surprisingly, only half the BCS champs won their preceding bowl game, but the past four champions did. So that trend suggests next season's national champion will be a team that won its bowl this season.
Still fitting the profile: ACC – Boston College, Wake Forest; Big East – Cincinnati, Rutgers, West Virginia; Big 12 – Kansas, Missouri, Oklahoma State, Texas, Texas Tech; Big Ten – Michigan, Penn State, Purdue; Pac-10 -- California, Oregon, Oregon State; USC; SEC – Alabama, Auburn, Georgia, Kentucky, LSU, Mississippi State, Tennessee

4. Have a junior or senior quarterback with at least some starting experience: The quarterbacks of all the national champions were juniors or seniors, and 90 percent had at least some starting experience. Matt Flynn, this year's LSU quarterback, was the backup to JaMarcus Russell in 2006, but he had started the 2005 Peach Bowl victory over Miami. The only BCS national champion quarterback without previous starting experience was Tennessee's Tee Martin. While a quarterback with starting experience isn't required, it certainly provides a big boost.
Still fitting the profile: ACC – Wake Forest (Riley Skinner), Big East – Cincinnati (Ben Mauk or Dustin Grutza) , Rutgers (Mike Teel), West Virginia (Pat White, Big 12 – Kansas (Todd Reesing), Oklahoma State (Zac Robinson), Missouri ([Chase Daniel), Texas (Colt McCoy), Texas Tech (Graham Harrell), Big Ten – Purdue (Curtis Painter), Pac-10: California (Nate Longshore), Oregon State (Sean Canfield), USC (Mark Sanchez), SEC: Alabama (John Parker Wilson), Georgia (Matthew Stafford), LSU (Ryan Perrilloux), Tennessee (Jonathan Crompton).

5. Return at least six starters from a top-40 defense: Nine of the 10 BCS champions returned at least six defensive starters, and seven teams returned at least seven starters. Only Tennessee, which had four returning defensive starters in 1998, had fewer than six. Eight of those teams ranked at least 39th the year before their championship season (the 1997 and '98 defensive rankings were unavailable). Therefore, it would seem there is a 90 percent chance the 2008 national championship team will return at least six starters from a 2007 unit which ranked 40th or better in total defense.
Still fitting the profile: ACC --Wake Forest (seven starters back from 27th ranked unit); Big East – Rutgers (eight starters back from 17th ranked unit), Big 12 – Kansas (nine starters back from 12th ranked unit), Pac-10: USC (seven starters back from second ranked unit), SEC – Alabama (six starters back from 31st ranked unit), Georgia (nine starters back from 14th ranked unit).

So according to these criteria, the Demon Deacons, Scarlet Knights, Jayhawks, Trojans, Crimson Tide and Bulldogs are the teams to watch next season.

Of course, more teams than those that fit the national championship profile can aspire to win it all in 2008. It's not out of the question for a team that had a losing record in '07 to bounce back and win a national title, though that would indeed be a high mountain to climb.

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Now ....................... Back to the REAL American Football Scene....The Universities of the USA .......

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Terrelle Pryor takes Ohio State-Michigan rivalry to another level

By LARRY LAGE, AP Sports Writer
February 4, 2008

ANN ARBOR, Mich. (AP) -- Terrelle Pryor lives in a small town near Pittsburgh, insulated from the Ohio State-Michigan rivalry.

The highly touted quarterback is about to make a decision, though, that might end up making him a pivotal player in one of the marquee matchups in sports.

Pryor is expected to announce Wednesday where he will play football next fall and many will be surprised if he doesn't choose to be a Buckeye or a Wolverine.

"He has no idea what the rivalry is about and how much he has added to the intensity of it," said Steelers quarterback Charlie Batch, a family friend and recruiting adviser. "I know all about it after playing at Eastern Michigan and for the Lions, so it'll be interesting to see how it plays out if he chooses Ohio State or Michigan."

The Jeannette High School star might stay closer to home to play for Joe Paterno at Penn State. Or, he could possibly stun everyone tuning in to hear what he says on national TV by picking Oregon, LSU or Florida. Or he could take some extra time to make up his mind. Wednesday is only the first day of the signing period. While most top players ink a scholarship that day, they're not obligated to do so.

"He's still unsure what he is going to do at this point," Batch said Monday night.

Only one thing seems clear.

The Ohio State-Michigan series has not been played out off the field quite like it has since Rich Rodriguez left West Virginia to coach in Ann Arbor.

Pryor told The Associated Press on Dec. 16 that Rodriguez called him at 10 a.m., saying he was going to coach the Wolverines. News of Rodriguez's move broke later in the day.

Don Nehlen, Rodriguez's coach and mentor at West Virginia, quickly raised the stakes.

"If that kid comes, he's probably more important that Rich," Nehlen joked six weeks ago.

Pryor, also an all-state basketball star, has been juggling recruiting visits and meetings with his basketball games. Ohio State coach Jim Tressel, Rodriguez and assistants from both schools were at Jeannette High's game Saturday night.

The 6-foot-6 Pryor is rated as the No. 1 recruit at any position by Rivals.com and Scout.com and was the MVP last month in U.S. Army All-American game in San Antonio.

"He's in a class of his own and he compares favorably to Vince Young and Randall Cunningham because he's a freak athlete that is a threat to throw or run," Rivals.com's Mike Farrell said.

In a dissenting opinion, Takkel.com ranks him 16th overall.

"Don't get me wrong, he's a brilliant athlete," said Bill Urbanik, a former coach and scout, whose evaluation contributed to Takkel.com's rankings. "But like other big quarterbacks such as Vince Young, Michael Vick and Steve McNair, he doesn't show the ability to throw the ball accurately."

Pryor is the only player in the rich history of Pennsylvania high school history to run for and throw for more than 4,000 yards, though he accomplished the feat playing smaller schools.

Unlike Hall of Famer Dan Marino -- or even Young -- Pryor's talents can easily be watched at Web sites such as YouTube, where a highlight-reel video of him that was uploaded five months ago has been viewed more than 200,000 times.

The accessibility of Pryor's highlights, the increased coverage from mainstream media, his delayed decision and the Ohio State-Michigan factor has contributed to Pryor's recruitment becoming a transcendent story.

Buckeye Sports Bulletin editor Mark Rea, who has been covering recruiting for 20 years, hasn't seen anything like it.

"My mother lives in Florida, and she doesn't know A.J. Hawk from James Laurinaitis, and she asked me the other day, `Where is Terrelle Pryor going to school,"' Rea said Monday. "I said, `Mom, you've got to be kidding me."'

The Wolverine editor John Borton said Ohio State and Michigan have been locked in recruiting competitions, but nothing compares to the pursuit of Pryor.

"What makes it different is he's the No. 1 prospect in the country and nobody knows where he's going until he puts the pen on the paper," Borton said. "Michigan and Ohio State always play in November, so this just puts the battle on the calendar a little earlier."



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