Options for Big Ten to consider as Texas, Oklahoma trigger college football conference realignment talks

Sports

CBS Sports 28 July, 2021 - 12:42pm 17 views

Pac-12 Football: If the Conference Expands, Which Teams are Candidates to Join?

AthlonSports.com 28 July, 2021 - 01:15pm

Similar to the ACC and Big Ten, the Pac-12 is certainly evaluating expansion and realignment in the wake of the SEC’s move to add Oklahoma and Texas. And new commissioner George Kliavkoff said as much during the conference’s media day on Tuesday. However, Kliavkoff also said something else that was important. The interest the Pac-12 has received from programs wanting to join was “significant.” However, the commissioner also indicated “we do not think expansion is required to continue to compete and thrive.”

Whether or not the Pac-12 decides to expand may take some time for the conference to deliberate behind closed doors. But what if the conference did decide to expand to 14 or 16 teams? Judging by Kliavkoff’s comments, expansion is a longshot and seems unlikely at this point. But let’s dive into the candidates to see where the conference could go if it expands:

PODCAST: The biggest news from Pac-12 Media Day

247Sports 28 July, 2021 - 01:00pm

50% off Annual VIP Pass first year

The Pac-12 recently hosted its 2021 College Football Media Day. New Pac-12 Commissioner George Kliavkoff spoke with the media for the first time as a working employee and shared a lot of news that was important for the league and its future. Oregon head football coach Mario Cristobal and starters Kayvon Thibodeaux (Defensive End) and Alex Forsyth (Center) also spoke at Pac-12 Media Day.

Matt Prehm and Erik Skopil of DuckTerritory.com have your full recap of the most important pieces of information we have so far and a lot more on this edition of the Autzen Audibles Podcast.

Make sure you like and subscribe to the Autzen Audibles Podcast with Matt Prehm and Erik Skopil on iTunes by clicking here or any other podcasting app. Visit our iTunes page for this podcast and other previous episodes by clicking here.

Please leave a review of our podcast on iTunes if you can! We record a podcast once a week during the off-season for football and then from the months of August to January we record two and sometimes three podcasts per week. Our podcasts are always heavy on Oregon football but we make it a point to also try and cover Oregon men's and women's basketball, recruiting for both sports, and any other major storyline in the world of Oregon athletics.

Matt Prehm has covered Oregon football, basketball, and recruiting since 2009 and during that time he's covered three different head coaching searches by Oregon football, a Final Four in basketball, two different national championship games for Oregon football, and 10 recruiting cycles for both football and basketball. Erik Skopil has worked for DuckTerritory since December of 2016 and has covered a head coaching search for football, while also covering Oregon football's regular season, basketball, women's basketball, softball, and recruiting for all those sports.

50% off Annual VIP Pass first year

These cookies are essential for the proper functioning of our Services. Essential cookies cannot be switched off in our systems. You can set your device to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the Service will not work.

These Cookies allow us to collect information about how visitors use our properties. Some examples include counting visits and traffic sources, so we can measure and improve the performance of our services. If you do not allow these Cookies we will not know when users have visited our properties and will not be able to monitor performance.

These Cookies enable the services to provide enhanced functionality and personalization. They may be set by us or by third party providers whose services we have added to our services. If you do not allow these Cookies then some or all of these services may not function properly.

These Cookies may be set by us or through our services by our advertising partners. They may be used by those companies to build a profile of your interests and show you relevant advertising on this and on other properties. If you do not allow these Cookies, you will still see ads, but you will experience less relevant advertising.

These Cookies are set by a range of social media services that we have added to the services to enable you to share our content with your friends and networks. They are capable of tracking your browser across other sites, building up a profile of your interests to show you relevant content and advertisements on the relevant social networks. If you do not allow these Cookies you may not be able to use or see these sharing tools.

Colorado linebacker Nate Landman 'close to 100 percent'

247Sports 28 July, 2021 - 08:04am

50% off Annual VIP Pass first year

In the first half of that 38-21 loss to the Utes, Landman’s right Achilles’ tendon ruptured, ending his season and putting his thoughts of going to the NFL on hold.

“The moment that happened, I could have told you I was coming back to CU,” Landman said at Pac-12 media day at the W Hollywood Hotel on Tuesday.

“This comeback was twofold. Obviously my injury, and obviously the love for CU. I could have gone and taken my chance in the NFL and seen what would have happened there, but building off the last year and even being blessed to have the opportunity to come back, it was kind of a no brainer to come back. You only have one opportunity to play college football, so I’m excited about having that one last year to play.”

Landman did not participate in spring drills as he continued his recovery, but is expecting to be ready to play when the Buffs open the season Sept. 3 against Northern Colorado at Folsom Field.

“I’m close,” he said with a smile. “You’ll have to see once game one rolls around.”

“His health report at this time, he’s close to 100 percent,” CU head coach Karl Dorrell said. “We do anticipate him being 100 percent by somewhere in the middle of training camp. He is way ahead of schedule. If you know Nate in terms of how he plays, he presses the envelope on everything he does. He doesn’t do anything half speed, half tilt, half assed – excuse me for saying that word. He’s going to go all out.

“He's going to be ready to play, there’s no question in my mind. If you ask him that today, he’ll tell you that. He’s a great leader for us. He’s a catalyst. He’s a guy that leads by not only what he says but also what he does. You wish you had 120 Nate Landmans on your team to have that mentality. He’s really one of those key pieces to our defense.”

Receiver Dimitri Stanley complimented Landman on how he led the team during a tough 2020, which included a sudden transition from former head coach Mel Tucker to Dorrell, as well as the COVID-19 pandemic.

“I think Nate has definitely stepped up as one of our best leaders on the team,” Stanley said. “Coach has definitely given him that role to be able to kind of make those decisions and be able to like tell other players, whether it be offense or defensive, what they’re doing wrong, what they’re doing, what they need to get fixed. Credit to him. He’s doing a heck of a job. And I think he’s definitely brought the competitive nature out of a lot of our teammates to make us better as a whole.”

A two-time first-team All-Pac-12 selection, Landman has already earned several preseason accolades. He’s on the watch lists for the Bednarik, Nagurski and Butkus awards.

“It’s cool but you know, it's a watch list right?” he said. “You can put anybody on the watch list. There’s probably 70 or 80 other guys on the list. It’s cool, but I’m not focused on it at all.”

His main focus is getting back to his normal self as a playmaker. He has led the Buffs in tackles the last three years, including 61 stops in less than four and a half games last year. He also had 10 tackles for loss, five sacks and made 13 third-down stops.

Landman is tied for 10th in CU history with 338 career tackles.

“This last year is huge,” he said. “I’ve tried to take steps ahead in each year that I played. But now having this injury, there’s maybe some doubts in people’s mind and some people may forget about the stuff I’ve done in the past, but that’s fine. That’s what makes this year so important is that I need to continue to be on that trajectory that I was before my injury.”

While Landman has made, by far, the most tackles in recent years, the Buffs have playmakers around him. Outside linebacker Carson Wells led the country in tackles for loss per game last year, there are three defensive linemen with starting experience returning, Jonathan Van Diest has starting experience at inside linebacker and CU has added talent through the transfer portal with Robert Barnes (from Oklahoma), Jack Lamb (Notre Dame) and others.

That should take some pressure off of Landman, but he said, “I would never call it pressure to be the guy. It’s kind of just the role I stepped in and that’s how it happened because of the way I play. I’ve always a had great supporting cast around me … and that’s kind of just heightened more now.

“I’m still predicting my same amount of production just because that’s the way I play the game.”

50% off Annual VIP Pass first year

These cookies are essential for the proper functioning of our Services. Essential cookies cannot be switched off in our systems. You can set your device to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the Service will not work.

These Cookies allow us to collect information about how visitors use our properties. Some examples include counting visits and traffic sources, so we can measure and improve the performance of our services. If you do not allow these Cookies we will not know when users have visited our properties and will not be able to monitor performance.

These Cookies enable the services to provide enhanced functionality and personalization. They may be set by us or by third party providers whose services we have added to our services. If you do not allow these Cookies then some or all of these services may not function properly.

These Cookies may be set by us or through our services by our advertising partners. They may be used by those companies to build a profile of your interests and show you relevant advertising on this and on other properties. If you do not allow these Cookies, you will still see ads, but you will experience less relevant advertising.

These Cookies are set by a range of social media services that we have added to the services to enable you to share our content with your friends and networks. They are capable of tracking your browser across other sites, building up a profile of your interests to show you relevant content and advertisements on the relevant social networks. If you do not allow these Cookies you may not be able to use or see these sharing tools.

Caple: As realignment speculation reigns, where does Washington stand? And where should it?

The Athletic 28 July, 2021 - 12:29am

Caple: As realignment speculation reigns, where does Washington stand? And where should it?

Reaction Out West: Realignment May Pose Challenges to CFP Expansion

Sports Illustrated 27 July, 2021 - 09:22pm

For two years, a group of CFP executives worked to create a model that they presented to decision makers and have disseminated across college football. Their 12-team proposal, largely celebrated across America, appeared on the fast track to approval in a September meeting, potentially within two years of replacing the current four-team model.

And then, in a seismic and stunning shift, the Big 12’s two biggest brands, Texas and Oklahoma, started the process this week of joining the SEC. Pac-12 leaders here at the conference’s annual media day say the move compromises the expansion model and will almost assuredly delay its approval, even potentially resulting in wholesale changes to its structure.

In fact, league administrators believe the SEC’s chess move, while calculated and cunning, will start a responsive chain of significant changes across the landscape of American college sports.

It’s the tip of the iceberg, says one. There will be more, says another.

The Realignment War of 2021 has begun, and this time, there is a particularly precious battleground: the expanded playoff model.

Conferences are scrambling and schools are jockeying, all of them tossed into a tizzy of action by the SEC’s bold play—stockpiling more of the nation’s richest college football programs.

It’s clear who the bad guys are this go-around: commissioner Greg Sankey and the Southeastern Conference, brandished by some here as the person and the entity that helped destroy a conference, pushed college football into a mess of disruption and compromised the expansion model.

Sankey was on the four-person working group that created the 12-team proposal, leading some around college athletics to question his motives as one of few who knew that his league could soon expand.

While some say the SEC wisely and secretly leaped ahead of everyone else in the next wave of realignment, others describe the move as unnecessary and harmful to college sports. The SEC burned already charred bridges and even ruined personal relationships, they say.

As a result, high-level decision-makers are contemplating a retaliatory move. Does the Pac-12, Big Ten and others form an alliance against the big, bad SEC?

“We will have a response,” says one Pac-12 administrator.

For now, the league’s new commissioner, George Kliavkoff, is attempting to preserve his own membership at a time of uncertainty, keeping together the group and its golden goose, USC, while also weighing the possibility of adding more. The Pac-12 is receiving significant interest from suitors about expansion, Kliavkoff told reporters here Tuesday. And while they’re listening, conference leaders are more than happy to remain at 12 teams, he says.

Some administrators believe that none of the remaining eight Big 12 teams offer value to the conference—they would not increase the league distribution. Others say programs such as TCU, in the Dallas-area hub, is attractive, as well as Kansas’ basketball program.

But how does this Realignment War really end? Some here believe the final chapter is a 30-plus team superleague, an exclusive club of grandfathered programs and college football bluebloods governing themselves in a structure that may even feature collective bargaining and their own postseason, completely separate from the NCAA system and operating on its own accord. The whispers have started to grow louder, and the SEC’s expansion is the start toward such an event, multiple college officials believe.

“That’s where we’re heading,” says one.

And so what next? Many decline to predict such a move. But they know one is coming.

The Realignment War is here. The battles are just getting started. And the dominoes are only beginning to topple.

“Two teams moving from one conference to another, that’s fine,” says Stanford coach David Shaw. “Now, what does that inspire other conferences to do? If it’s just two teams, good for them and let’s move on. But I don’t think it will just be two teams.”

Reaction Out West: Realignment May Pose Challenges to CFP Expansion

The Athletic 27 July, 2021 - 09:22pm

For two years, a group of CFP executives worked to create a model that they presented to decision makers and have disseminated across college football. Their 12-team proposal, largely celebrated across America, appeared on the fast track to approval in a September meeting, potentially within two years of replacing the current four-team model.

And then, in a seismic and stunning shift, the Big 12’s two biggest brands, Texas and Oklahoma, started the process this week of joining the SEC. Pac-12 leaders here at the conference’s annual media day say the move compromises the expansion model and will almost assuredly delay its approval, even potentially resulting in wholesale changes to its structure.

In fact, league administrators believe the SEC’s chess move, while calculated and cunning, will start a responsive chain of significant changes across the landscape of American college sports.

It’s the tip of the iceberg, says one. There will be more, says another.

The Realignment War of 2021 has begun, and this time, there is a particularly precious battleground: the expanded playoff model.

Conferences are scrambling and schools are jockeying, all of them tossed into a tizzy of action by the SEC’s bold play—stockpiling more of the nation’s richest college football programs.

It’s clear who the bad guys are this go-around: commissioner Greg Sankey and the Southeastern Conference, brandished by some here as the person and the entity that helped destroy a conference, pushed college football into a mess of disruption and compromised the expansion model.

Sankey was on the four-person working group that created the 12-team proposal, leading some around college athletics to question his motives as one of few who knew that his league could soon expand.

While some say the SEC wisely and secretly leaped ahead of everyone else in the next wave of realignment, others describe the move as unnecessary and harmful to college sports. The SEC burned already charred bridges and even ruined personal relationships, they say.

As a result, high-level decision-makers are contemplating a retaliatory move. Does the Pac-12, Big Ten and others form an alliance against the big, bad SEC?

“We will have a response,” says one Pac-12 administrator.

For now, the league’s new commissioner, George Kliavkoff, is attempting to preserve his own membership at a time of uncertainty, keeping together the group and its golden goose, USC, while also weighing the possibility of adding more. The Pac-12 is receiving significant interest from suitors about expansion, Kliavkoff told reporters here Tuesday. And while they’re listening, conference leaders are more than happy to remain at 12 teams, he says.

Some administrators believe that none of the remaining eight Big 12 teams offer value to the conference—they would not increase the league distribution. Others say programs such as TCU, in the Dallas-area hub, is attractive, as well as Kansas’ basketball program.

But how does this Realignment War really end? Some here believe the final chapter is a 30-plus team superleague, an exclusive club of grandfathered programs and college football bluebloods governing themselves in a structure that may even feature collective bargaining and their own postseason, completely separate from the NCAA system and operating on its own accord. The whispers have started to grow louder, and the SEC’s expansion is the start toward such an event, multiple college officials believe.

“That’s where we’re heading,” says one.

And so what next? Many decline to predict such a move. But they know one is coming.

The Realignment War is here. The battles are just getting started. And the dominoes are only beginning to topple.

“Two teams moving from one conference to another, that’s fine,” says Stanford coach David Shaw. “Now, what does that inspire other conferences to do? If it’s just two teams, good for them and let’s move on. But I don’t think it will just be two teams.”

Sports Stories