Weekly Sports Replay VI: NCAA football superconference in the works

By Shawn Annarelli

So many schools have bolted from their current football conference for another that it is difficult to keep up, which is why three conferences are kicking around the idea of creating NCAA’s first superconference of 28 to 32 teams.

The Mountain West Conference, Conference USA and the Big East are the conferences discussing the possibility of creating a nationwide league. The Mountain West Conference currently has universities located as far west as San Diego, CA and as far south as Fort Wayne, TX. Conference USA has schools located as far southeast as Orlando, Florida and as far east as Greenville, NC. Finally, the Big East has five teams in the northeast and three more in the south.

But why the sudden desire to create a superconference?

Combining the three conferences means power in numbers, as a superconference would be at least twice the size of any other conference and all but guarantee an automatic BCS Bowl bid.

Also, these three particular conferences are free falling into obscurity. The Mountain West Conference, beyond Boise State, is relatively weak and inconsequential. Conference USA has 12 members, none of whom are leaving for another conference but their athletic programs lack relevance. Finally, the Big East’s football conference is falling apart. Pittsburgh, Syracuse and West Virginia are jetting, and only five teams will remain in the football conference in 2013, essentially rendering the Big East tiny and insignificant. Louisville may also leave the Big East for the Big 12, which would decrease the Big East’s size to four measly football programs in 2013.

There are a few issues, though. The MWC and C-USA have been trying to meet with Big East officials for the last week. Meetings have been scheduled, and the Big East continuously cancels them. They apparently have cold feet, but for good reason.

There is suddenly political involvement in the Big East, which may be the reason the shrinking conference has avoided face to face talks with its potential business partners in the west. West Virginia had all but signed on the dotted line to officially move to the Big 12 in 2013, but fellow Big East rival Louisville put in a last minute bid that has the Big 12 rescinding their interest in West Virginia until it decides which school they’d rather have. In response, West Virginia’s Sen. Joe Manchin and Sen. Jay Rockefeller held a press conference on Wednesday to vouch for an investigation into the Big 12’s actions over the last week. If an investigation is mobilized both West Virginia and Louisville will likely remain in the Big East until a resolution is met.

A federal investigation may ultimately turn what might be college football’s first superconference into an afterthought.

Terrell Owens tuned out by NFL

Terrell Owens’ ACL has recovered from offseason surgery in April, so Owens and his agent Drew Rosenhaus thought it would be a good idea to hold a televised open workout on Tuesday.

However, no NFL coaches, general managers, presidents, owners or scouts showed up to watch Owens run drills and catch passes from unemployed quarterbacks.

Despite this, Owens and Rosenhaus remained upbeat and confident with the cameras and voice recorders rolling. They believe they opened everyone’s eyes in the NFL and showed that the self-proclaimed T.O. is ready to make his comeback. Still, Owens was visibly drained throughout his drills and couldn’t go full speed at times. Owens attempted to explain this away by saying he was taking shorter breaks in-between drills and that teams should be impressed his performance.

Unfortunately, whether the workout was impressive or not, no NFL teams showing up probably means Owens isn’t a candidate to play football any time soon.

The polarizing player’s body may have recovered, but his bad boy reputation has not.

Stop trying and start moving

On Monday night the NHL’s Florida Panthers promoted their home ice in an unorthodox way. Florida’s website’s homepage feature an advertisement practically begging for their opponent;s fanbase in Montreal to buy tickets to the Panthers game.

That’s right, Florida’s attendance is so piss poor that they have given up on trying to get their own fans to buy tickets to hockey games. Instead, they felt a more productive form of promotion was to reach out to Canadians to buy a ticket to a game over 1,000 miles away from Florida’s home arena.

Recently, Quebecians have petitioned the NHL relocate one of its current teams to its city, which has not had a hockey team since 1995.

If the Panthers are going to try to get Candians to go to their home games they should consider Quebec’s offer and bring the hockey to them.

Sweet Play of the Week

Six months ago the New England Patriots drafted Marcus Cannon in the fifth round of the NFL draft despite Cannon undergoing treatment for non-Hodgkins lymphoma.

Now, he has recovered and is practicing with the Patriots for the first time in his NFL career despite being told he may never return to the field to play again.

Once considered a first round talent, Cannon plummeted down teams’ draft boards and was removed from most boards when his illness became public just weeks before the draft. At the time, the pick looked as if it were made out of good will.

However, head coach Bill Belichick has been talking Cannon up every opportunity he gets and expects Cannon to have a long NFL career.

Sour Play of the Week

There are a few things you just don’t do, and kicking a guy in the ball sack is one of them.

Minnesota Vikings’ defensive end Brian Robison kicked T.J. Lang’s crotch in the second quarter of a game against the Green bay Packers. At the time, the Vikings were winning 14-7. Afterward, the Vikings lost and Robison was fined $20,000 for the low blow.

Did You Know?

  • East Carolina QB Dominique Davis completed 26 consecutive passes against Navy, an NCAA record.
  • Cardinals outfielder Allen Craig recorded an RBI in each of his first three World Series at-bats, an MLB first.
  • NASCAR suspended three crew chiefs and three car chiefs for four weeks for their cars having illegal windshields. Oddly enough, the windshields were never used in a race, so the six suspended men technically never violated any rules.
  • Manchester City striker Carlos Tevez received the largest fine in sports history, $1.6 million, after refusing to play in a game off of the bench.
  • The New Orleans Saints scored 62 points in 47 minutes on Monday Night Football, which is more points than the St. Louis Rams have scored in six full games, 56.

Like it, Love it, Hate it? Email me at sma5189@psu.edu with any comments or topic ideas for next week’s Weekly Sports Replay. Have a good one, Shawn.

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