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News and links roundup for 12/08

  • Kristian Dyer: a "significant shakeup" to Greg Schiano's staff is coming.
  • Big Ten expansion is officially dead. If Rutgers athletics could force Time Warner and Cablevision to carry the Big Ten Network they would have joined. I think the Big Ten punted and took the conservative path by adding Nebraska, which has guaranteed local carriage but little growth potential. Conference reshuffling seems to happen about once a decade, so perhaps the superconferences will make it another run at it down the line. Months ago, it didn't look like the Big East would invite TCU for all sports. Then their football teams had seasons from hell.
  • Darnell Stapleton thinks Rutgers is overusing the Wildcat. Join the club. Its overuse this year was more of a symptom than a cause of the offensive woes. Rutgers can't run out of conventional formations, so it turned to smoke and mirrors.
  • Kenny Britt may finally return this week, although not soon enough to save slumping Tennessee's season.
  • Due to injuries, Jeremy Zuttah has shuffled around Tampa Bay's offensive line. He played right guard last Sunday, and now their center Jeff Faine is injured again.
  • Courtney Greene was injured in Jacksonville's win over Tennessee, and is likely out this week. He had been starting this year.
  • Hey Santonio Holmes: Devin McCourty isn't your average rookie corner. After picking Mark Sanchez on Monday, is it too early to start the Pro Bowl buzz? And to think that the Pats were getting knocked for taking McCourty in April. His six interceptions (which don't necessarily have anything to do with coverage skill) are tied for second in the NFL. How crazy is it that people who had never seen Devin play were knocking both his selection, and his hands in college (because of a low interception total)?
  • Eddie Poole followed former Rutgers WR coach Brian Jenkins to Bethune-Cookman, where he turned into their team MVP.
  • Josh Margolin left the Star-Ledger for the New York Post. There's no love lost in Piscataway for Margolin, who published incorrect leaks, and slandered the Rutgers athletic department with innuendo and weasel words. Their cartoonist, who frequently took shots at Rutgers athletics, took a buyout as well.
  • A Rutgers athletics compliance lawyer is a candidate to be the next Binghamton president. Yes, I am furious that the article's author cited the Star-Ledger's erroneous reporting.
  • UMass plans to move up to Division I and the MAC conference. I think this has less to do with the Big East than some ongoing internal issues in CAA.
  • ESPN saw fit to publicly release the results of a Nielsen study on cable cord-cutting.
  • Speaking of ESPN, one of their journalists filed a FOIA request with Texas concerning its flirtations with other conferences over the summer. While they surely have a chinese wall in place between editorial and their business operations, ESPN as a network has a vested interest in maintaining the conference cartel instead of negotiating with a handful of superconferences. That would greatly reduce their negotiating leverage.
  • In the face of declining state support, the University of Oregon wants their state legislature to lock in aid payments so they can sell bonds. I don't know whether or not that would be feasible at Rutgers, but certainly every option should be on the table. UO claims that the bonds + new private fundraising would create an endowment that could actually outpace state aid.