September 21, 2011
Making the morning rounds.
• Where it's at. As of this morning, the Pac-12 is not expanding, the Big 12 lives on with nine members — Texas A&M is still bound for the SEC — and the hunt resumes in earnest for a tenth team to replace the Aggies. Initial buzz has the conference shifting gears to pursue BYU, TCU and/or Air Force to fill the gap, and "a source close to the situation" told BYU's Rivals site the Cougars are likely to accept — if they can be convinced the league's not going to find itself on the brink of collapse again next year. At this point, that seems almost impossible to guarantee. [DeepShadesofBlue.com, @johnehoover, @ChipBrownOB]
But while the Big 12 lives on, its commissioner may not: On the heels of Tuesday's rumors that Oklahoma is (or was) demanding Dan Beebe's resignation as a condition for remaining in the fold, Missouri chancellor Brady Deaton reportedly led the charge to notify Beebe the league members want a change in leadership. [Orangebloods.com]
• Meanwhile, in Henry Kissinger's suite… University presidents and athletic directors of the remaining seven members of the Big East met Tuesday night in New York, reportedly reaffirming their commitment to remain in the conference on the heels of the abrupt defection of Pittsburgh and Syracuse to the ACC over the weekend. (Commissioner John Marinatto reiterated his previous position that Pitt and 'Cuse aren't going anywhere for at least two years, telling CBS Sports, "They are with us until June 30, 2014. … There is no intention of granting them an early release.") Presumably, the united front includes UConn and Rutgers, which by all accounts spent the previous 48 hours throwing themselves at the ACC.
Marinatto also said the conference "will be aggressive" in pursuit of replacements for Pitt and Syracuse, possibly targeting Navy and Air Force as football-only replacements for the ACC-bound defectors. So, uh… let the Big 12-Big East bidding war over Air Force begin? [CBS Sports]
• In non-realignment news… Oklahoma receiver Trey Franks, come on down! You've been suspended indefinitely for an undisclosed violation of team rules! While coaches declined to elaborate, the suspension does come immediately after Franks — a regular starter in the Sooners' three and four-wide sets — took to his Twitter feed to politely register his dissatisfaction with play-calling that left him without a catch in Saturday's win over Florida State. [The Oklahoman, @TreyFranks2]
• Another one bites the dust. Arizona State defensive end Junior Onyeali, reigning Pac-10 Defensive Freshman of the Year, is set to undergo knee surgery that will keep him out for at least six weeks, and possibly for the rest of the season. With Onyeali's exit, the Sun Devils are down four defensive starters since the start of spring practice, three of them — Onyeali, linebacker Brandon Magee and All-Pac-10 corner Omar Bolden — to injuries and one (defensive end James Brooks) to a premature departure before his senior year. [Arizona Republic]
Quickly… On Marcus Lattimore's heavy workload. … Safety Jakar Hamilton is transferring from Georgia. … Washington loses backups at tight end and linebacker. … Da'Rick Rogers is ready to work even harder in Justin Hunter's absence. … Seantrel Henderson may be back on the field for Miami soon. … I would really like to see Bo Pelini in "panic mode." … And of course Luke Fickell had a plan for using his timeouts in the second half of Ohio State's loss at Miami. Miami just ran the clock out before he had a chance to execute it.