Talking Bull: Idaho fighting for their lives

LINCOLN NE - SEPTEMBER 11: Nebraska Cornhuskers running back Rex Burkhead #22 tries to elude Idaho Vandals cornerback Kenneth Patten #2 and Robert Siavii #1 during first half action of their game at Memorial Stadium on September 4 2010 in Lincoln Nebraska. Nebraska Defeated Idaho 38-17. (Photo by Eric Francis/Getty Images)

Idaho and New Mexico State have it bad. They are the last remaining members of a conference that has been so beat up by expansion that three of its new members, and FCS upgrades, are leaving after this season. That's right the WAS is down to two football playing school and is in such a bad way that they cant even hold the likes of UTSA, Texas State, or Texas-Arlington for a full season. In 1997 this was a 16 member conference!

It's become more than slightly apparent that if the NMSU or Idaho want to stay at the FBS level they need to get out of the WAC but nobody seems to want them. Not even Conference USA or the MWC who themselves have been hurt by expansion.

So Idaho is going to try and go the Independent route:

Idaho Vandals hoping to leave WAC, turn independent - ESPN
School officials on Friday will make their case to the Idaho State Board of Education that playing outside of a formal conference is in the best long-term interests of the Vandal football team.

I honestly have reservations about how well BYU will do as an independent and like Notre Dame they are a religious school with a national audience and that is the key to being independent... A National audience. The service Academies have soldiers, vets, and family members all over the globe. The big name religious schools have Catholics and Mormons all over the nation. Who does Idaho have?

How do you schedule 12 games a year, and five or six at home, if you're Idaho as an Independent?

At this point I think the best move for Idaho and New Mexico is to approach the A10 or CAA and say "Who wants to be FBS". The down side is that the Vandals is that they will be a geographic outlier in their "new" WAC. The upside would be Bowl Agreements, some TV contracts, and scheduling sanity.

Appalachia State, Liberty, JMU, UD, and a hand full of other schools, maybe even some in the west, want to go up but can not get any interest from the more stable conferences.

But if the Vandals do go FCS they have a better shot at the playoff's now

The FCS playoffs are going up to 24 teams or about 19% of the league.

FCS playoffs expanding to 24 teams for 2013 - ESPN
The Pioneer League champion will join 10 other conference winners as automatic qualifiers for the Football Championship Subdivision playoffs, beginning in 2013.

EMU Still has their man:

Reports of Rob Murphy's charter flight out of Ypsi have been greatly exaggerated

Rob Murphy will remain Eastern Michigan basketball coach | The Detroit News |
"Sometimes the timing doesn't work out. I'm committed to Eastern Michigan. I've only been here one year and it's tough to leave for any situation at that time. The timing with the academic year just starting and the fact we've added seven new faces, four of them transfers. In the end, I just really wanted to be at Eastern Michigan and continue to build our culture. We're building something special here."

He is easily me favorite non Witherspoon coach, really glad he is staying in the conference.

Penn State Presidents are not out of the woods yet

Penn State Nittany Lions - Experts: say ex-president could still face charges - ESPN
More than a month after an explosive investigative report accused Penn State's ousted president of burying child sex abuse allegations against Jerry Sandusky, Graham Spanier has so far avoided criminal charges -- unlike two of his former subordinates. That doesn't mean he's in the clear, according to legal experts.

And one of our own, being form State College PA, was asked his take by the Buffalo News

State College native shows way for UB defense - UB Football - The Buffalo News
He attended two Penn State games as a senior, participated in the program's Senior Camp and was offered a spot on the roster as a preferred walk-on. Preferred walk-ons rarely blossom into anything more than glorified tackling dummies, and Way knew he could bring value someplace else. UB believed Way's potential suggested he could offer more.

Honey Badger is in rehab

Tyrann Mathieu in rehab center, will not play football in 2012, report says - ESPN
LSU coach Les Miles said he spoke Tuesday with Mathieu and told him "just to make a great decision. Do the right things. He'll do that."

I cant do anything but pull for a kid trying to right his life. Good luck to Mathieu and lord willing he will get clean and a second shot with LSU.

Profile of a Kicker

Clarke enters year as UB’s top kicker - University at Buffalo - The Buffalo News
A video showing highlights runs continuously in the hallway just outside the University at Buffalo’s football office, including clips from last season’s Northern Illinois game where the Bulls rallied from a 21-point deficit.

Conveniently omitted is the ending where place kicker Peter Fardon missed the extra point that would have sent the game into overtime. One game later, the Fardon Experiment was ditched and the kicking duties were handed over to true freshman Patrick Clarke.

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