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  1. Welcome to "Second Guess" Tuesday. It's just like two-for-Tuesday pasta specials, but the opinions are meatier. n There probably couldn't have been a worse time for Britton Banowsky to step down as Conference USA's commissioner. This is a crucial, cross-road year for the league. C-USA's television contract expires after this year and a new pact has to be negotiated. Banowsky's presence and acumen would be essential in those negotiations. But, now, it appears highly doubtful that Banowsky, who led Conference USA for nearly 13 years, will be around for those talks. Sure, Banowsky has said he wil
  2. Britton Banowsky’s impact on Conference USA has been well documented during the past 13 years. From bowl tie-ins, cost of attendance and conference realignment, including helping land Louisiana Tech in C-USA in 2013, Banowsky kept the conference afloat during chaotic times across the country. Conference USA presidents will have to find another leader this fall after Banowsky announced Thursday he is stepping down to focus on his charitable background and serve as the executive director of the College Football Playoff Foundation. A decision won’t likely happen until the fall when C-USA Board
  3. To hear league commissioner Britton Banowsky tell it, Conference USA finally has reached stability for the first time in several years. The past couple seasons have seen the exits of several longtime conference members. Gone are Memphis, SMU and Central Florida. Joining the exodus are Houston, Tulane, Tulsa and East Carolina. In their stead, last year Conference USA added Middle Tennessee, North Texas, Texas-San Antonio, Florida International, Florida Atlantic and Louisiana Tech to the football mix. This season, the league welcomes two more additions to the fold — Old Dominion and West
  4. It’s taken all the negotiating skills of Henry Kissinger for Conference USA to survive the chaotic realignment process that recently caused a seismic upheaval in college athletics. But who would have thought that nearly three years after more powerful conferences began feasting upon those with fewer resources that C-USA would improve its football TV profile and stabilize its postseason bowl contracts? That’s exactly what C-USA commissioner Britton Banowsky has managed to do for his oft-maligned, far-flung league. For that, Banowsky probably hasn’t received enough recognition. Banow
  5. In the new system, a mid-major team simply needs to be ranked higher than any team in the other mid-major conferences. "It's more open now," Banowsky said. "In the BCS, we could get a team in, but not only would they have to be our champion and be better than all the other champions, but it would have to be ranked in a certain place in the top-12 or top-16 and ranked above the other champions. With this, the best of our (mid-major) champions is in automatic. We need to find out a way to get a team to run the table, have a great season and be better than teams in our other peer conferences.
  6. IRVING, Texas -- Conference USA commissioner Britton Banowsky knows at least one thing won't change with autonomy for the five power conferences to make their own bylaws. "There's been a differentiator whether you call them BCS, non-BCS," Banowsky said Wednesday. "I'm not naive to think that there won't be some continued differentiation." Asked then what he'd like C-USA and similar NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision leagues to be called moving forward, Banowsky said, "Call us the second five, and note there's 32 (conferences)." Regardless of whatever labels and differences there are, B
  7. Conference realignment is over for now, but college athletics face major changes in the next few years, Conference USA Commissioner Britton Banowsky said. Old Dominion was among the last schools to move up to the Football Bowl Subdivision from the Football Championship Subdivision when it joined C-USA two years ago. Speaking at media day this week, Banowsky said his conference is set with 14 members and he doesn't foresee expansion for years. That's bad news for FCS schools considering a move, such as Liberty and James Madison. College administrators have turned their attention to pote
  8. RVING, Texas (AP) — Conference USA commissioner Britton Banowsky knows at least one thing won't change with autonomy for the five power conferences to make their own bylaws. "There's been a differentiator whether you call them BCS, non-BCS," Banowsky said Wednesday. "I'm not naive to think that there won't be some continued differentiation." Asked then what he'd like C-USA and similar NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision leagues to be called moving forward, Banowsky said, "Call us the second five, and note there's 32 (conferences)." Regardless of whatever labels and differences there are
  9. Conference USA commissioner Britton Banowsky, who was in Bowling Green last Tuesday to welcome Western Kentucky to the league, spoke recently with The Courier-Journal’s Michael Grant. What kind impact do you expect WKU to make in 2014-15? “I think about it in the long haul. I normally don’t think about it in a one-year increment. But I think they will make an immediate impact. They add a lot of history and tradition, particularly in men’s basketball. We expect them to give us a lift.” What does it mean for the league to have a Kentucky school back in C-USA? “We had a great experience
  10. When I read this article it is very discouraging and leads me to believe there is likely rampant cheating going on right now. North Carolina, Miami, Penn State -- to me there is still less risk in cheating and until they fix this with some steep penalties it will continue... read more: http://www.cbssports.com/collegefootball/writer/jon-solomon/24560341/all-quiet-on-the-violations-front-is-ncaa-enforcement-dead
  11. I think the concept of putting money aside that would be collected by the student athlete after they graduate and can be used for graduate school education etc is a pretty good one... Also it appears that the whistleblower Mary Wilingham at North Carolina is going to testify in front of Congress in regards to the NCarolina scandal and I expect her testimony to be pretty telling. It's an interesting controversy, on the one hand you have the greed of the power schools and their desire to separate legislatively. On the other hand, the LAST thing they want to do is move away from the student ath
  12. During his visit to Huntington for the UAB game, Conference USA commissioner Britton Banowsky discussed, among other things, his decision not to pursue additional C-USA bowl affiliations with two more football programs joining C-USA in 2015. “What I don’t want to do is get into a position where we have more bowls than we do teams and I have to pick up the phone and call a bowl and say, ‘I’m sorry I can’t bring you a team.’” From the looks of C-USA football this season, Banowsky was right to play the bowl scene close to the vest. The conference lacks depth, and the outlook at the bottom doe
  13. New television negotiations are on the horizon, with the birth of Fox Sports 1 providing a boost this season. "I am delighted with the way things have turned out," Banowsky said Saturday during his appearance at Joan C. Edwards Stadium. "The group we have is a good group, as we thought it would be. We've got some great programs that are showing up-side potential. We've got schools in Western Kentucky and Middle [Tennessee] that are a nice bridge to Marshall." With the bowl situation realigning just as radically for 2014 and beyond, C-USA officials saw the need to be proactive. Joining the
  14. Gotta give props to Commissioner Banowsky who secured 6 bowls for our conference today! Great job BB! AAC folks not too happy about it: 1. Why is CUSA getting it done before AAC? Legitimate question. 2. CUSA scored some bowl spots that would have fit nicely in an AAC bowl lineup--the Shreveport backup spot, the New Orleans Bowl. 3. The Montgomery Bowl, the Boca Bowl and the Bahamas Bowl make it less likely that the Marlins Park Aresco Bowl happens. 4. And it happens on the same day that the AAC gets games sublicensed from the ESPN Family to CBS-SN, flushing the "all our games are goi
  15. Conference USA endured more than its fair share of changes to arrive at the lineup commissioner Britton Banowsky spent a lot of time talking about during the league’s media day last week. SMU and Houston led a league exodus before North Texas joined along with former Sun Belt Conference members Middle Tennessee, Florida International and Florida Atlantic, not to mention Texas-San Antonio. Tulsa and Tulane will depart after one more year, leaving a void that Western Kentucky — another Sun Belt school — will help fill. Banowsky helped guide C-USA through those changes and said he couldn
  16. 1. Will there be more C-USA expansion? Banowsky: “We are clearly in a period of analysis going forward, but we are not in a period of active expansion. We put opportunities in front of our group in June and said, ‘How do you feel? What do you want to do? Here is our lineup, and here are our assets.’ They said, ‘Let’s stop and evaluate.’ Fair enough. I’m totally comfortable with that.” 2. C-USA has six automatic bowl tie-ins for the 2013 season. How are bids earned and negotiated? Banowsky: “We do things a little bit differently, and it’s worked out really well. A champion is dedica
  17. DALLAS — Conference USA Commissioner Britton Banowsky said when another wave of conference football realignment began building two years ago or so, he was concerned about a potential tsunami-like impact on the league. And while the roiling waters reshaped C-USA’s landscape, Banowsky said the conference not only has survived but continues to evolve much as it has since its birth in 1995. “I could not have imagined it turning out any better,” Banowsky said Wednesday during an impromptu roundtable at the Conference USA Football Media Day at the Dallas-Fort Worth Airport Marriott. Bano
  18. Dan McCarney - "This league is loaded with real talented head coaches. Real successful guys, you look at the resumes and their pedigree and they're really a great lineup of coaches...We're [uNT] just lucky to be there because we know there's lot of teams that would rather be in our shoes... We just hope we can be a factor in the race. We're in the process of trying to restore some dignity, some respect to North Texas football that's been missing for a long time. Bill Blankenship on who Tulsa is looking for in a player - "We're looking for the same player that the service academies are lo
  19. July 23, 2013 The Big Ten Conference extends its relationship with the Heart of Dallas Bowl presented by PlainsCapital Bank and enters into an agreement with the Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl to secure a commitment to have a conference school play in the postseason games, on a rotating basis, during a seven-year period following the 2013-2019 seasons. Starting in 2013, the Big Ten will place seven teams over a seven-year period in the Metroplex. The 2013 Heart of Dallas Bowl presented by PlainsCapital Bank will host the Big Ten on an ESPNU televised game. Their opponent will be a
  20. The MWC will have their collective ++++ in their hand come bowl season. IMO, if the MWC and CUSA are seamingly going to be paired up so often, perhaps it's a sign that "the alliance" isn't dead after all. I have always felt that UTEP and UTSA would eventually align with the Western side of The Alliance. And Banowsky has made no secret that he's open to taking two more teams. The Basketball in The Alliance may be worth it by itself. UNLV, UNM, SDSU, USU, UAB, WKU, ODU, UNCC, USM, UTEP... In the long run, Banowsky and Thompson seem to be keeping their synergy in play. Read more: htt
  21. From its founding in 1995, Conference USA has been a home for the upwardly mobile. Created by a merger of the Metro Conference and Great Midwest, it immediately became one of the nation's best college basketball leagues with national powers Louisville, DePaul, Marquette, Cincinnati and Memphis as charter members. Eventually, Houston, East Carolina, SMU and Texas Christian would join, making the conference something of a national player in not only basketball, but football. Monday morning, Old Dominion officially departs the Colonial Athletic Association to became a member of Confer
  22. IRVING The Heart of Dallas Bowl will continue a tie-in with the Big 12 as part of the conferences bowl lineup for 2014-19. We want to be good corporate citizens and community citizens, Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby said Friday on the final day of the leagues spring meetings. Im serving on the board and trying to help [Conference USA commissioner] Britton Banowsky to put something together to benefit the area. Big 12 spokesman Bob Burda confirmed that the Big 12s six-year bowl lineup will include the Allstate Sugar (New Orleans), Valero Alamo (San Antonio), Russell Athletic (Orlando, Fla
  23. RUSTON There are many challenges facing college athletic conferences, but none of them are keeping Conference USA commissioner Britton Banowsky awake at night. On a recent visit to Ruston to spend time with outgoing Louisiana Tech president Dan Reneau, Banowsky said pizza during the day is the only thing interrupting his sleep. I dont worry too much about the work. Athletics is difficult. Its challenging, but its athletics, Banowsky said in a news conference. Its not like were saving lives here, so we have to keep it in some degree of perspective. If we were trying to keep world peace, I
  24. RUSTON — Conference USA commissioner Britton Banowsky said Thursday he likes a 16-member football model, but he said he doesn’t know if the league will expand soon. Banowksy visited the Louisiana Tech campus to chat with outgoing president Dan Reneau, a long-time friend, and to meet other officials as Tech prepares for its official move to C-USA this summer. “People that know me know that I am comfortable with large models of conferences,” Banowsky said. “There are efficiencies that grow from a two-division model of eight in each division that’s beneficial. “I also know that we wan
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