Roundup: Mizzou QBs, K-State, Fiesta Bowl

April, 25, 2011
4/25/11
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For the first weekend in awhile, the Big 12 didn't have any spring games, but plenty happened over the weekend. Here's a look.

Franklin finishes spring on top

Missouri released its post-spring depth chart, and sitting at No. 1 quarterback: James Franklin.

[+] EnlargeMissouri's James Franklin
AP Photo/L.G. PattersonJames Franklin completed 13 of 21 passes for 116 yards and two touchdowns in the Missouri spring game.
Early in camp, the big mover was Tyler Gabbert, who finished the spring at No. 2 but took over the No. 1 spot at one point.

After the team broke for spring break, Franklin re-emerged as the team's best passer, especially in the spring game, when Gabbert had his worst outing of the spring.

Franklin completed 13 of 21 passes for 116 yards and two scores in the spring game, while Gabbert completed just 8 of 22 passes for 48 yards and an interception.

It was a nice rebound for Franklin, but the depth chart is hardly the declaration of a starter. This competition will resume during fall camp, and the lead Franklin has on Gabbert definitely isn't a big one. Franklin has the lead and the experience, but this is far from over.

It should be a fun August in Columbia.

K-State breaks even on trip to Pinstripe Bowl

Kansas State made just over $125,000 on its trip to the Pinstripe Bowl at Yankee Stadium, according to a report in the Wichita Eagle.
K-State spent $1,348,511 on the trip. That number came in under the expense allowance of $1,473,600 handed out by the Big 12 Conference, meaning the school profited $125,089 on the game.

Those numbers don’t factor in coaching bonuses that come with qualifying for a bowl game, though. Nor do they account for national exposure gained by the team. Figure all those in, and the bowl becomes essentially a wash.

Kansas State sold 3,200 tickets after being alloted 2,300 originally, but according to the Eagle, still had to absorb a hit of over $35,000 after it requested 1,200 more tickets and sold just 900 of them.

These days, with bigger traveling parties and increased travel costs, breaking even on a bowl game is a good thing when you start looking around.

Connecticut was this year's big loser, selling just 2,700 of 17,500 allotted tickets to the Fiesta Bowl and losing $1.8 million on the program's first BCS appearance. A Big 12 bailout helped Oklahoma make a few thousand dollars after selling 5,567 of its allotment to the same bowl.

Virginia Tech lost $1.6 million on its trip to the Orange Bowl this year and $2.2 million last year.

Auburn lost $600,000 on its trip to the national title game. Ohio State made just under $300,000 on its trip to the Sugar Bowl.

Fiesta Bowl meets with BCS review task force

The Fiesta Bowl, in hopes of keeping its spot in the BCS, stated its case in Chicago in front of a BCS task force on Saturday. The Arizona Republic has a pretty comprehensive account of the options now facing the bowl.

The options, for now, include removing the bowl from the BCS, keeping it in the BCS or "some things in between" said Graham Spanier, the Penn State president heading up the review.

The bowl detailed its changes in policy and tried to be transparent with the review board. Even still, the paper reported that the contract between the bowl and the BCS is private and leaves lots of questions unanswered.
It is unclear if the BCS has the legal authority to terminate the Fiesta Bowl's contract, which runs for three more years, and whether there is a "morals clause" to punish the bowl. And it is unclear if the BCS can intervene and break the Fiesta Bowl's contract with the Big 12 Conference, which sends its champion to play in the Fiesta Bowl if that school is not playing for a national championship.

BCS director Bill Hancock was unavailable for comment following this weekend's meeting.

A decision is expected by mid-May.

The Cotton Bowl likely has the most to gain if the Fiesta Bowl's status with the BCS changes, and the Big 12 would certainly welcome a BCS game to its geographic footprint. The league's offices are located in Irving, just minutes from Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, where the Cotton Bowl is played. For now, that looks unlikely, but the BCS could certainly make a strong statement to other bowls by handing down a heavy-handed punishment.

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BIG 12 SCOREBOARD

Saturday, 12/20
Monday, 12/22
Tuesday, 12/23
Wednesday, 12/24
Friday, 12/26
Saturday, 12/27
Monday, 12/29
Tuesday, 12/30
Wednesday, 12/31
Thursday, 1/1
Friday, 1/2
Saturday, 1/3
Sunday, 1/4
Monday, 1/12