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BWIN TIE-UP WITH FRENCH FOOTBALL CLUB
Big East split official; departing Catholic hoops schools to retain conference name
Commissioner Mike Aresco told The Associated Press on Friday the seven Catholic schools that are leaving to form a basketball-centric conference will get the Big East name, along with the opportunity to play their league tournament in Madison Square Garden.
The football members, most of which are newcomers to a conference that has been ravaged by realignment, get a cash haul of roughly $100 million. That group includes just one founding Big East member Connecticut and will have to find a name for what is essentially a new league.
Its been an arduous four months but we got to the right place, Aresco said in a phone interview. I think both conferences have good futures.
Aresco, who will remain commissioner of the football league, would not disclose the financial part of the settlement.
A person familiar with the negotiations told the AP earlier this week that the football schools will receive about $100 million from a $110 million stash the conference had built up during the past two-and-a-half years through exit and entry fees as well as NCAA mens basketball tournament funds.
Aresco said the football schools have not chosen a conference name and there are no favorites yet. We can get on with reinventing ourselves and re-establishing our brand, he said.
He also said they have not determined how the money from the separation agreement will be split among the members. The person familiar with the negotiations said the bulk of the money will go to holdover members Cincinnati, Connecticut and South Florida.
The split with the basketball members as well as a new TV deal with ESPN for the football schools still must be ratified by the school presidents. Aresco said that should come soon and without glitches.
Next up on the agenda for the football schools, Aresco said, is to find a 12th member and venues for future basketball tournaments.
The settlement will bring the Big East back to its origins. When it was formed in 1979, it banded together a group of mostly small, private schools located in and around Northeast cities.
The seven schools breaking away from the football schools include some of the Big Easts founding members and most recognizable teams: Georgetown, St. Johns, Providence, Seton Hall, Villanova, Marquette and DePaul. They are expected to sign a television rights deal with Fox, add at least two more schools and have the new league up and running by July.
We are grateful to Commissioner Mike Aresco for spearheading an agreement that truly represents the best path forward for each of our great institutions and the thousands of student-athletes who compete for our schools annually, the presidents of the seven basketball schools said in a joint statement.
The football conference now known as the Big East will consist next season of Connecticut, South Florida, Cincinnati, Temple, Rutgers and Louisville, along with incoming members Memphis, Central Florida, SMU and Houston.
Rutgers and Louisville likely will be playing their last seasons in the conference before switching leagues, to the Big Ten and Atlantic Coast Conference, respectively.
Tulane and East Carolina are scheduled to join the football league in 2014, and Navy comes aboard in 2015. Tulsa is being targeted as the next addition to the conference.
The Big East started playing football in 1991, when it added Miami, West Virginia, Virginia Tech, Rutgers and Temple, to go along with Pittsburgh, Syracuse and Boston College. The relationship between the football and basketball wings was always difficult to navigate, but Big East football was good enough to be a given a reserved spot in the Bowl Championship Series in 1998 and that gave the basketball schools access to millions of dollars in revenue they otherwise would not have had.
In 2004, Miami and Virginia Tech were lured from the Big East to the ACC and Boston College (a founding member), followed the next year.
Those defections looked as if they could kill Big East football, but the conference recovered by adding Cincinnati, Louisville and South Florida to rebuild football and DePaul and Marquette to bolster basketball.
That worked for a while. Big East football more than held its own and Big East basketball, both mens and womens, thrived.
But the conference fell apart during the past two seasons. Starting with Syracuse and Pittsburgh announcing in 2011 that they would join the ACC, 16 schools, including Notre Dame, have bailed on the Big East.
Notre Dame plans to join the ACC, but was expected to spend one more season in the Big East. The breakup could lead the Irish to expedite their move.
The Big East seemed to be on its way toward stabilizing this past fall. It hired Aresco, the former CBS executive, and had a plan to build a coast-to-coast football conference with Boise State anchoring a western division.
Then the Big Ten wooed Rutgers away and the ACC came for Louisville and the plan fell apart.
The basketball schools decided to take control of their future, with help from Fox, which will provide them a lucrative TV deal to help fill the networks new all-sports cable channels.
The football schools still will have a basketball league, with Connecticut, Memphis and Cincinnati as the headliners.
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FLORIDA STATE SEMINOLES (8-3) at FLORIDA GATORS (9-2)
Tip-off: Thursday, 7:00 p.m. EDT
Line: Florida -8.5, Total: 137
Texas vs. Oklahoma Betting Odds and Preview
Kickoff: Saturday, 3:30 p.m. EDT
Sportsbook.com Betting Lines: Oklahoma -3.5, Total: 45
With Texas embarrassing 34-12 home loss to UCLA last week, this year’s Red River Rivalry lost some luster. But other than its big win over FSU in Week 2, Oklahoma has struggled to an 0-3 ATS record against Utah State, Air Force and Cincinnati.
Texas has not looked sharp on offense all season, culminating with last week’s four-turnover first half. Highly-touted sophomore QB Garrett Gilbert has just four TD and four INT, and Fozzy Whittaker is the only Longhorns player averaging more than 35 rushing yards per game (45.5). And after giving up a total of 132 rushing yards in its first three wins, Texas allowed 264 rushing yards to UCLA.
Oklahoma has had no such trouble on offense, ranking 10th among FBS schools with 309 passing YPG. QB Landry Jones has nine TD and three picks, and WR Ryan Broyles is playing at the top of his game with a nation-leading 41 catches (with 482 yds and four TD). Speaking of stars, RB DeMarco Murray already has 547 total yards (436 rushing, 111 receiving) and eight total touchdowns. But none of these three players did much in last year’s 16-13 Red River loss. Jones threw 19 incomplete passes including two picks, Broyles had just two catches and Murray rushed for minus-3 yards (although he did rack up 116 receiving yards).
Texas has won four of the past five meetings with OU, including the ugly win last year where the teams combined for eight turnovers and 21 penalties. More importantly, Texas is also 4-0-1 ATS over that stretch.
Here are some NCAAF betting trends to consider before submitting your Red River Rivalry wagers:
Play On - Underdogs of 3.5 to 10 points (TEXAS) - after 1 or more consecutive straight up losses against opponent after 4 or more consecutive straight up wins. (77-33 over the last 10 seasons.) (70%, +40.7 units. Rating = 3*).
Texas head coach Mack Brown is 19-5 ATS (+13.5 Units) after a game with a turnover margin of -2 or worse as the coach of TEXAS. The average score was TEXAS 42.4, OPPONENT 16.8 - (Rating = 3*).
Brown is 22-6 OVER (+15.4 Units) vs. excellent passing teams with a completion pct. of 62% or better as the coach of TEXAS. The average score was TEXAS 39.4, OPPONENT 27.8 - (Rating = 3*).
Now that you have some of the key numbers for this Saturday’s game, head over to Sportsbook.com for your college football betting pleasure.
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