Uhoh, it’s back!

July 31, 2014 by Mike Casazza

Allow me to set your table today with a Tier 4 production. I’ll be back with more WVU and football stuff later, but I need to add this because I’ve only confirmed it after uploading the vlog:

No sign (yet) of Dontae Angus, Jacob McCrary, Jaylon Myers and Justin Scott. Dana Holgorsen will get into this with his 7:30 press conference this evening, but those four face odds right now.

And in addition to some additions we’ve previously discovered and discussed — Cullen Christian, Shaq Riddick, Demitrious and Chris Davis — get to know Darian Bryant. The Vanderbilt graduate walked after just three years and will be with WVU today. Formerly a defensive end, he’ll start out with the Mountaineers as that TE/FB type. Bryant will walk on and be immediately eligible with two seasons of eligibility remaining.

It’s about to jump off

July 25, 2014 by Mike Casazza

dana with ball2

As long as it’s not yet July 31, I’m still on vacation as I recharge and reload for the upcoming season. We have our first practice Thursday and this thing won’t end for another five months. I expect a lot of fun here and there and everywhere in between.

I’ll leave you with this post as a way to get by until we get started. Surely things will happen in my absence, because we’re so close to the beginning and not because I’m away.

I also have a request for you.

Believe it or not, I have most of my camp coverage planned. I have the story ideas I want to pursue and the players and coaches I want to profile, and I even have some of the days set. The Tier 4 studio has been dusted and the camera charged.

But I know better and I built in wiggle room for things that will change my plans and stories that pop up and demand my attention. Which leads me to this: I don’t work or live in a vacuum. I’m here for a reason. Early on, tell me about something or someone you’ like to see covered here or in the newspaper … understanding those are different animals.

See you soon.

 

Additions! And otherwise!

July 23, 2014 by Mike Casazza

Let’s reset the Gibson situation, which I did in a few subsequent tweets I won’t stack here.

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Are the Big 12′s bugaboos no big deal?

July 23, 2014 by Mike Casazza

Much was made this week, whether in Dallas or off in Greensboro, North Carolina, or even Bristol, Connecticut, of the Big 12′s scheduling nuances. It has nine regular-season games, but that means it has the high visibility’s only true round robin format.

That, though, doesn’t matter to some as it relates to crowning a conference champion. The other four highly visible leagues play eight or nine games, and this avoid some teams, often to a benefit, but settle it all in a conference championship game.

It’s a vivid variable right now as we begin to fret about and fixate upon the College Football Playoff. The Big 12 knows it and can’t and won’t hide behind the “One True Champion” sloga it paraded around the media days. Even Bob Bowlsby more or less admitted there was a method to “why we are promoting the difference between how we determine a champion and how other leagues determine their champions.”

That’s posture.

He knows and we all know push and shove will meet at one point and the conversation will occur: What does the selection committee make of the Big 12′s format when compared to another league’s format?

“From our perspective, we don’t care,” Hancock said. “We just take the champions the conference gives us. Conferences through the years have been helped by having championship games and have been hurt by having championship games. The Big 12 was helped some years and hurt some other years. It’s a conference decision and we stay on the sideline. They give us the teams they give us.

“Having said that, you can make a case for a championship game because it gives two teams another game against a quality opponent and a chance to enhance the quality of schedule. But I just don’t see it as being a big factor for the committee one way or the other.”

Oliver Luck has Bob Bowlsby’s back

July 23, 2014 by Mike Casazza

Naturally, right?

But as the backlash rises against the Big 12 commissioner — and I’m not sure which is getting more … the “cheating pays” or the “you’re going to hate” intercollegiate athletics — there are a few things we have to consider.

First and foremost, Bowlsby and the Big 12 support providing student-athletes the total cost of attendance … even as Bolsby concedes it will cause trouble. And that effect should not be overlooked. I don’t think it’s a media days talking point. Didn’t think that when we were talking about months ago.

Additionally, it seems clear that more often than not, Bowlsby is the smartest man in the room. He does not speak off the cuff. He prepares. He has things like data and precedent in his pocket. He worked at the mid-major level and also serves on the USOC’s board of directors, both important distinctions when the conversation includes dropping Olympic sports.

He’s also been spitting that line about cheating for a while now, and he told our Derek Redd the same thing last month when we did that series on reform. The idea that “enforcement is broken” is not new. It’s not. It’s easy to combat or attempt to dispel, but it’s not new. We’ve heard about this for years.

So the idea that budgets might bulge or burst while further accommodating these coming student-athlete welfare initiatives, that’s logical, right? And if that’s logical, and if we have merely a modicum of knowledge of expense vs. revenue, we can anticipate a pinch in the future, correct?

So why then is what Bowlsby predicts so obtuse? It really isn’t, and allow his compatriot in Morgantown to explain.

‘It’s time …’

July 23, 2014 by Mike Casazza

I buried the lead, I suppose, with regard to scheduling in the story I wrote about the WVU v. Tennessee game we first started writing about last year. But this ain’t the story. So let’s get to it, and, it turns out, as first reported by Mack …

How about opening with Tennessee in Charlotte and then playing the Wolfpack down the road in 2018? WVU has five Big 12 home games that season, which necessitated playing at home the following season — and, sure, that can change.

The future non-conference schedules are strong(er) now, and we’re going to see the final 2016 name in a week or so. But Tuesday was about 2018 with N.C. State and Tennessee, the latter bringing WVU somewhere between $2.5 million and $3.2 million. We just need to figure out who’s the home team by Feb. 1, 2018.

The home team will have the exclusive right to televise or distribute the game and the home team’s conference keeps the revenue. The home team also has the first choice for jersey color, though the contract allows the visiting team to wear its dark home jersey.

The home team has to provide a chain crew, a clock operator, replay equipment, a press box announcer and a public address announcer and is responsible for press box operations. The officials are to be from a neutral conference, “preferably from the Big Ten.”

Both schools agreed to buy 12,500 tickets from CSE and can sell those to their fans. Up to 500 tickets are allotted to each marching band. The schools will also work together to each set aside 2,000 for students. Student tickets that are unsold on June 1, 2018, will go to the school’s general allotment.

Come on, Clint!

July 23, 2014 by Mike Casazza

So I heard Tuesday Clint Trickett was in some hot water for a Tweet and I just assumed it was this one, which, seriously, was no big deal. I guess he could have devoted another 140 characters to it to provide context and explain he’s known Jimbo forever, but he didn’t.

And that’s fine.

Jokes and tweets are for the people who get them and not for the people to whom you must explain them. This isn’t calculus and you don’t have to show your work. I don’t need to stop proceedings to explain why I’m hysterical. I won’t.

But he nevertheless clarified his message and intent after the tweet became, for some reason, news and not just the product of a guy with Twitter and a sense of humor.

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Big 12 Media Days 2014: II of II

July 22, 2014 by Mike Casazza

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You are looking live as the Big 12′s bowl hardware, which, you know, we haven’t really seen, but is on display today in the hallway outside the media rooms here at the Omni in Dallas. The second and final day starts here soon with Walt Anderson, the coordinator of officials. Dana Holgorsen speaks at 11 a.m.

I’m here all day.

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They’re all playing for second today

July 22, 2014 by Mike Casazza

Though I’m still sort of new to this Big 12 experience, we all have seen a popularization of teams and coaches and players the past few years go in line with the proliferation of social media and marketing and simple personality. With the mass exposure available to college football entities these days, there is a need and there are means for visibility.

So we’re more than a little qualified to dip into what follows: I’m not sure anyone has ever had a better Big 12 media day than Baylor did Monday.

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The tough act to follow

July 21, 2014 by Mike Casazza

I’m a big fan of Baylor’s big defensive end Shawn Oakman. He’s a freak. He’s a problem. He’s a damn wrecking ball on the end and he’s probably only now coming into his own … which is frightening.

But he also happens to be the proprietor of the best quotes from the first day of our Big 12 media days.

I was watching his show Monday and I noted his reverence for teammate Bryce Petty, but also the plethora of questions about the star quarterback. I had a hunch he was bristling, albeit politely, beneath the surface.

“Shawn,” I asked, “have you ever gotten your hands on Petty? Practice? Scrimmage?”

His eyes opened as wide as his wingspan. Then he reached into his pocket and pulled out his cell phone.

“I’ll show you this,” he said. “This is the best picture ever.”

Who among us is going to argue with the man? Because that’s Oakman in spring practice and he’s fixing to swallow Petty whole.

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