Tue Aug 03 07:54am EDT
Making the morning rounds.
• It's Jim Delany's happening and it freaks him out. Big Ten commissioner Jim Delany confirmed Monday that the presumed Big Ten Championship Game will indeed be going on in 2011, though the fight for hosting rights, naming rights and formatting – will the conference make one site an annual destination, a la the SEC, or rotate to a different locale every year? – is only beginning. The conference also hopes to finalize plans for splitting the new 12-team lineup in 30 to 45 days, hopefully with Michigan and Ohio State in the same division. [Associated Press]
Outside of his own conference, Delany said there were no hard feelings between he and his old friend, Big 12 commissioner Dan Beebe, for the Big Ten's successful poaching of Nebraska. But he did acknowledge giving Beebe some encouragement for navigating the turbulent future of the reduced Big 12: "I said, 'I don't know if it will all hang together for you or not.'" Thanks for the vote of confidence, man. [ESPN]
• When I heard "turkey insemination," I knew we'd found our man. Apparently all Vanderbilt is looking for in a head coach is a commitment and a little down-home showmanship: Two weeks after interim coach Robbie Caldwell stole the show with his folksy introduction at SEC media days, Vandy has removed the "interim" tag from his title, making Caldwell the full-time boss heading into the season. Of course, in the eyes of vice chancellor/de facto athletic director David Williams, they're all interim: “We evaluate every year. Even if you have a 20-year contract, we’re going to evaluate. ... I don't think anything changes in that whether you’re interim or not interim, or whether you're Robbie of Bobby (Johnson)." [The Tennessean]
• It's always nice to get together with old friends. Fresh from representing Oklahoma State at Big 12 media days, Cowboy defensive end Jamie Blatnik was charged with felony assault and battery Sunday for allegedly introducing former teammate Stephen Denning's face to a beer bottle in a Stillwater bar. Even as he was being interviewed by police while "bleeding profusely" from a fractured orbital socket and numerous cuts, Denning "saw Blatnik and forced his way through several officers in an attempt to continue the fight," picking up a jolt from a police taser and a misdemeanor assault charge before being shipped to the hospital. No word on discipline for Blatnik, a projected starter on a rebuilt defense that needs all the veteran bodies it can get. [The Oklahoman]
Quickly... A pair of Alabama signees are still waiting on eligibility answers for the fall. ... Notre Dame punter Eric Maust is denied a fifth year of eligibility in South Bend after failing to earn a minor league baseball contract. ... Mark Richt calls Georgia's quarterback youth, "a little bit scary." ... And a local TV report of assault charges against two Ohio State players may have been a little premature, or just wrong.
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Matt Hinton is on Twitter: Follow him @DrSaturday.