Chris Trotman/Jamie Squire/Rob Carr/Christof Koepsel/Mike Ehrmann, Getty Images
2011 was a wild year in the world of sports. Sadly, much of the drama occurred off the field and left many of us vainly searching for an answer to the question, “How could they have let this happen?” But
Over a year after the first allegations of improper benefits being given to Ohio State football players broke, the NCAA has finally issued its final report on the matter and handed down its punishment.
The Buckeyes will not be eligible to play in the Big Ten Championship or a bowl game next season, and they will lose a total of nine scholarships (three in each of the next three seasons). The school will also be on probation through 2014.
The college bowl season kicks off Saturday night and, while the next week of action doesn’t feature the biggest or most well-known bowl games, it does highlight some up and coming teams. Florida International and Temple are among them, as well as more prominent football powers TCU and Boise State. Here is what to look for this week as the bowl games get underway.
After leading Baylor to a nine-win season and its highest ranking in over two decades, Bears quarterback Robert Griffin III became the school’s first Heisman Trophy winner Saturday night. Griffin edged out preseason favorite Andrew Luck of Stanford for football’s most prestigious award.
In addition to his five-year stint with the Fighting Irish, Weis is best known for his work in the NFL, where he won four Super Bowl rings as an assistant coach, including three as the Patriots’ offensive coordinator.
While the big trophy will be given away Saturday night, Heisman finalists Andrew Luck, Robert Griffin III, Tyrann Mathieu and Trent Richardson won’t be leaving New York empty-handed. Each player won at least one of the other prestigious college football awards that were announced Thursday night.
After months of “will they or won’t they” closed door negotiations, the Big East announced Wednesday that Boise State, Houston, Southern Methodist, San Diego State and Central Florida will be joining the conference in 2013.
With the conference now stretching coast to coast, Big East Commissioner John Marinatto said the Big East will be the “first truly national college football conference.”
Stanford quarterback Andrew Luck was the preseason favorite to win the Heisman Trophy, so the fact that he got an invite to the award presentation shouldn’t be a surprise. But the fact that he’ll be joined by a defensive back, a track star in shoulder pads and a Wisconsin player not named Russell Wilson might be.
Junior cornerback Cliff Harris was dismissed from the Oregon football team, the university announced Monday afternoon. The talented but troubled player was a consensus All-American in 2010, but played in just six games this season due to two different suspensions.
The Southeastern Conference will take home its sixth consecutive national championship next month, as Louisiana State and Alabama will play a rematch in the BCS National Championship game. Despite a last-minute push by Oklahoma State in a 44-10 drubbing of then-#10 Oklahoma, Alabama edged out the Cowboys in the final BCS standings for the #2 spot and a shot at the national title. They will take on #1 LSU, which pounded #14 Georgia, 42-10, in the SEC title game to remain undefeated.
LSU defeated Alabama 9-6 in overtime in their regular season matchup on November 5th. While surveys show most people outside of Louisiana and Alabama do not want to see a rematch in the national championship game, the poll voters and computers gave the slight edge to the Crimson Tide, giving Alabama another shot.
In addition to the national title game, here is the schedule for all of this year’s bowl games.
LSU is in the national championship game, and Oklahoma State certainly made a strong case that they should be there as well. Now its up to the poll voters and the BCS computers to decide whether the Cowboys will get a shot at former coach Les Miles, or if the Tigers will indeed have a rematch with Alabama.
Elsewhere, Montee Ball and Robert Griffin III continued their late-season pushes for the Heisman. And the crazy season of upsets continued with Houston’s undefeated season coming to a halt and Clemson putting an emphatic end to Virginia Tech’s long-shot national title hopes. Here are all the highlights from this final week of the regular season in the AP Top 25.
According to CBS Sports’ Bruce Feldman, who first broke the story, Leach’s contract will be for five years and will make him the third-highest paid coach in the Pac-12 at more than $2 million per year.
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