1. Big 5
Talk of the five major conferences in college athletics forming a super group, giving athletes a stipend and bumping out the little guys in football is all the rage at media days. We've heard about it from Big 12 Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby, the SEC's Mike Slive is on board, the ACC/Jim Weaver approve, the Big Ten's Jim Delany voiced stipend support today and you know it'll come up when the Pac-12's Larry Scott hits the stage on Friday.
What the Big 5 hoopla boils down to is money. The major conferences make major dollars and they want to give athletes a little extra ($2,000) to help with the costs of college life. It's a measure the NCAA has routinely shot down. The conferences that can afford to do so are sending a message to the NCAA during their media days: Make changes or we'll take our football and walk away.
Leave it to resident SEC wordsmith Slive, "The current regulatory approach would be more at home in the era of Johann Gutenberg's printing press than in our current fast-paced technology-driven society and will no longer serve to functionally govern recruiting behaviors moving forward. As Albert Einstein once said, 'We can't solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them."
Conferences on the outside of the Big 5 -- the Mountain West etc. -- are not as jazzed about potential restructuring. At the MWC's annual gathering, commissioner Craig Thompson said, "I don't think a university can unilaterally say, 'We're only going to play schools from these five conferences. I think it's been overstated and overplayed that that's their endgame. It's something they might take a look at, but there's a lot of steps between here and a new division."
What a Big 5 would exactly mean for the University of Colorado is hard to say, but the Buffs are in the Pac-12 and the conference has a place at the big boy table. We'll find out later this week how Scott feels, but he's met with the other commissioners on the subject of a Big 5 and it would be a radical turn to oppose them. Massive realignment would cause a much larger financial hit up the road from Boulder in Fort Collins and Greeley. If the Mountain West were to get dropped to a lower division, Colorado State's budget would suffer. If major conferences stop playing FCS schools -- something the Big Ten has already planned to do -- such as the Big Sky's Northern Colorado, football programs will miss out on vital paydays that make up large portions of athletic budgets.
It's possible, but unlikely, that the Big 5 packs up and leaves the NCAA in its collective dust. One thing is for sure, the major conferences have a revenue-generating football machine and they're using it to get what they want. The Big 5 brings in the majority of the money and wants to shape the rules. Expect changes from the NCAA to keep them happy and a potential allowance for some conferences to pay stipends, or we might really see the formation of a Big 5.
2. Tweet, tweet
Colorado football coach Mike MacIntyre was the subject of tweets today as we amp up for Pac-12 media day, including these:
MacIntyre says former Texas transfer Connor Wood is his starting QB heading into fall camp.— Paul Myerberg (@PaulMyerberg) July 24, 2013
Colorado Coach Mike MacIntyre on what he learned from Bill Parcells: "Knowledge equals confidence equals playing fast."— Pete Thamel (@SIPeteThamel) July 24, 2013
MacIntrye on his old SJSU QB Fales: "He's the kind of guy you want your daughter to marry."— Pete Thamel (@SIPeteThamel) July 24, 2013
3. Pac-12 commitments
A couple of Pac-12 schools recently landed football commitments from players Colorado had reportedly offered scholarships to. Things are heating up for 2014 at Arizona State with the additions of four-star athlete, potential wide receiver Tyler Whiley out of Phoenix and three-star California quarterback Coltin Gerhart, brother of Toby and Garth. Gerhart plans to play baseball for the Sun Devils as well as football. Up in Eugene, Ore., the Ducks reeled in three-star defensive end and/offensive tackle Jalen Jelks. Many think the 6-foor-7, 250-pound Jelks will end up on the Ducks' O-line.
4. Nice run
Former track standout and current volunteer CU coach Jenny Simpson was named USA Track & Field's Athlete of the Week for her performance in the women's 1,500-meter race on July 19 at the Monaco Herculis Diamond League meet. Simpson won the 1500m in a blistering 4:00.48, her best time of the year.
5. Big 12's new logo
The Big 12 used its preseason hype fest to roll out a new logo. As you can see, the black, grey and red color scheme is retained, but the conference updated things for a new generation, which includes the addition of West Virginia and TCU. Look for the new logo in 2014.
Sidebar: Big Ten media guides
Purdue loses this year's design competition in Chicago.