September 22, 2010
Making the morning rounds.
• OK then. Well, happy trails. Colorado's Board of Regents voted Tuesday night to leave the Big 12 for the Pac-10 in 2011, ushering in the new Pac-12 a year earlier than expected. The move will only cost CU about $6.8 million in forfeited conference revenue, way less than the $9 million-$14.5 million figure that had been floating around, and the Pac-10 still plans to front the smaller figure to keep the cash-strapped university from dipping into state funds. Now: The mechanics of partitioning the expanded league into divisions, finalizing schedules and setting up a championship game can begin in earnest. [Boulder Daily Camera]
Big Ten-bound Nebraska also finalized its exit fee from the Big 12, which will amount to almost $9.3 million in withheld payments next year – less than half what the 'Huskers expect to take home on their first check from the Big Ten in 2012. In all, the $17 million tab from both outgoing members is about half of what the Big 12 initially sought when the announcement of their departures nearly ripped the league apart in June. [Big 12, Columbia Missourian]
• A chip off the old block. Michigan State tight end Dion Sims was one of 10 people hit with felony charges Tuesday for receiving and concealing stolen laptops as part of a theft ring that allegedly lifted 104 computers from Detroit Public Schools last year for resale online. Sims was immediately suspended from the team and faces up to 10 years his prison. The other shoe: His father was already facing felony charges himself for allegedly embezzling money from the University of Michigan to buy $74,000 worth of computers over the last two years. [Detroit Free Press]
In more pleasant MSU news, coach Mark Dantonio is out of the hospital and recovering as planned from a heart attack he suffered after Saturday night's dramatic triumph over Notre Dame. [Associated Press]
• We have returned for your ACL tax. Iowa's annual Purge of the Running Backs has claimed it latest victim, Jewel Hampton, who suffered a season-ending knee injury for the second year in a row in Saturday's loss at Arizona. With Brandon Wegher's ongoing leave of absence and veteran placeholder Paki O'Meara recovering from a concussion, coach Kirk Ferentz said the Hawkeye backfield behind quarterback Ricky Stanzi currently consists of sophomore Adam Robinson and "anybody else who wants to volunteer." [Associated Press, Wichita Falls Courier]
• Well, at least we finally made a decision. BYU's struggling two quarterback experiment is officially over after one half of the platoon, junior Riley Nelson, was ruled out for the rest of the season Tuesday with a lingering shoulder injury he originally suffered last year. Nelson started the Cougars' first three games, but yielded the final three quarters of Saturday's 34-10 loss at Florida State to true freshman Jake Heaps, who completed fewer than half his passes and was sacked six times. Through three games, the proud Cougar passing game ranks 101st nationally in yards, 115th in efficiency and 110th in scoring. [Salt Lake Tribune]
• Badger down. Wisconsin linebacker Chris Borland, last year's Big Ten Freshman of the Year, is done for the season after re-aggravating a lingering shoulder injury in Saturday's win over Arizona State. He'll pursue a medical redshirt to get this year of eligibility back. [Associated Press]
• Sign of the times. One more minor detail to add to the misery of Georgia fans in the wake of the Bulldogs' 0-2 start in the SEC: Saturday's visit to Mississippi State is a pick 'em according to Vegas, except where MSU is listed as a one-point favorite. [Rivals]
Quickly... The MAC may be joining the expansion game, although I can't imagine why or with whom. ... The NCAA may be on the verge of allowing teams with losing records into bowl games. ... Maryland offensive lineman Justin Gilbert is out for the year with a torn ACL. ... Bryant Gumbel thinks the NCAA should start caring about other people's rules as much as it does its own. ... And Gary Patterson is probably being a little modest about TCU's chances Friday night at SMU.
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Matt Hinton is on Twitter: Follow him @DrSaturday.