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Givens to Rutgers/Media day underway

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South Carolina media outlets are finally conceding Maryland corner Darrell Givens to Rutgers. It's not over until he steps foot on campus today, but signs are looking up. Let me reiterate: every word they uttered over the past 72 hours on this topic was about as reputable as Mark Sanford's tall tale about hiking on the Appalachian Trail. Major, major props go out to the Rutgers premium sites for actually getting this story correct (despite the flood of bad information elsewhere) from the start. I have not seen a single reputable source to indicate that Givens ever was a realistic possibility to attend South Carolina.

It's media day. That means A.D.s, coaches, players, and press are all having a ball in scenic Newport, R.I.; eating all the seafood that they can stomach, and playing lots of golf. Questions are abound; will Greg Schiano corner Doug Marrone and give that loudmouth an indian burn that he won't soon forget? Will anyone actually bother to point out that George Selvie is the most overrated player in the universe? AND, if anyone dares to break Brian Leonard's lobster record of nine, let that person surely perish immediately, incinerated into a pile of ash. Questions, questions. Be sure to check out the press blogs (and bigeast.org) throughout the day for up to the minute coverage.

John Marinatto is throwing down the gauntlet with the Gator Bowl.

Unless the Gator Bowl opts to commit to an agreement with the Big East exclusively and ditches its current hybrid Big East/Big 12 model, it's "doubtful" the league will remain affiliated with the Jacksonville bowl when the new bowl agreements begin in 2010, Big East commissioner John Marinatto said.

Please note: he said "doubtful", not "no". However, the hybrid model has to go, and I think the Big East has more leverage here. The Gator Bowl isn't going to lure a better tenant. Either way, always take all negotiations conducted through the media with a grain of salt. Now, please talk me down and tell me that I'm reading too much into this.

League officials are confident they'll end up with a good slot for their No. 2 team, which is the most important thing in this whole matter.

Not exactly. We need the full Gator Bowl bid, more pressing is finding a fourth quality bowl bid, and downgrading the Meineke if at all possible. Something like BCS #1, Gator #2, Liberty #3, Meineke #4 would be great.

Today would be a big day without those two storylines, with lots of alumni news coming out of NFL training camps. The Jets are collecting Scarlet Knight alumni, with Kevin Brock being their third in camp this year (not counting Mike Fladell, who failed a physical a few weeks back). They claimed him off waivers from Carolina. This is much better situation, for several reasons. It's closer to home, the Jets pass more than the Panthers, and have a much thinner depth chart at TE. What do they even have behind Keller, now that Chris Baker is gone? (BTW, M.A. Mehta also found some time to talk to Westy.) You'd think Brock has a great shot with the Jets, if they don't up adding anyone else.

Brian Leonard is only the 87th best North Country athlete of all time?

Awesome: Kenny Britt may be back sooner than expected. Kevin Devaney spoke with Courtney Greene as he was getting ready for Seattle's camp. Peter King also enjoyed that Ray Rice play described in yesterday's news update. Damn, Darnell Stapleton sat out yesterday with knee soreness.

Troy Nunes Is an Absolute Magician has has the seven essential rules that all BE media day press absolutely must follow.

Jeremy Zuttah: smart, but too nice?

Dr. Saturday points out that the Big East is getting squeezed from Thursday to Friday.

George Zoffinger's karmic chickens are coming home to roost, with Xanadu's biggest tenant officially delaying its arrival until late 2010, in the midst of the project's parent looking for $500 million dollars in new funding. Wait, so you mean no one wants another ugly mall built on a contaminated former garbage dump? It'd probably be a debacle in its own right, but Zoffinger's involvement makes the project's failure extra sweet. It's exactly what he deserves for crossing Rutgers. Xanadu has no future, just like EnCap.