Big 12: Ian McCaw

IRVING, Texas -- Despite the dissolution of the BCS, the Big 12 leadership decided during the first day of spring meetings Wednesday that it would keep the same formula for breaking three- and four-way ties.

[+] EnlargeBob Bowlsby
AP Photo/Tim SharpBig 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby addressed several topics during the first day of spring meetings, including a tiebreaker tweak and unlimited meals for student-athletes.
With one slight tweak.

The BCS standings previously determined the third step of the tiebreaker. Beginning this season, it will be the College Football Playoff committee that will do the tie breaking.

“The biggest change we made was we struck the places where it said BCS and inserted CFB poll,” Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby said. “So there really wasn’t much of a change to it.”

Going forward, in the event of a three- or four-way tie, the highest-ranked team in the College Football Playoff poll (that does not advance to the playoffs) will be the Big 12 representative in the Champions Bowl (aka, the Sugar Bowl) against the SEC.

Everything else in the three-way tiebreaker will remain the same, including the head-to-head clause that was added following the 2008 season.

That year, Oklahoma emerged out of a Big 12 South Division three-way tie with Texas Tech and Texas despite losing to the Longhorns earlier that season. The Sooners were ranked one spot ahead of Texas in the BCS standing and thus advanced to the Big 12 title game.

Spearheaded by former Texas athletic director DeLoss Dodds, the Big 12 amended the three-way tiebreaker to allow head-to-head to come back into play should the top two teams be ranked within one spot of one another. Had the clause been in effect in 2008, Texas would have played for the Big 12 title instead of the Sooners.

"DeLoss' lasting legacy," Kansas State athletic director John Currie joked of the amendment.

Currie added that the three-way tiebreaker would be on the agenda during the athletic directors’ meeting in August in case “something developed” within the College Football Playoff ranking system.

No momentum for early signing period

Two weeks ago, the ACC concluded it would recommend an early signing period in college football to the College Commissioners Association.

The Big 12, conversely, was far from reaching a consensus on the issue on Wednesday.

“I don’t perceive any extreme momentum for that,” Currie said of the Big 12 opinion. “For every argument for that, there’s a big stack of arguments against it. Whether or not the intended result of an early signing period would reduce chaos on the back end, does that really offset? Is an early signing period going to drive more early recruiting and more early decisions? I personally believe those decisions are being made far too early in many cases.”

An early signing period is on the agenda for the College Commissioners Association’s June meeting. The ACC wants the early signing period to begin Aug. 1.

“The biggest challenge we have is a lot of people are in support of it, but there are a multitude of different options out there,” Baylor athletic director Ian McCaw said. “The football recruiting subcommittee is going to gather feedback from high school coaches, student-athletes, coaches and try to make a determination on a date that makes sense. It’s something that will be looked at extensively.”

Texas Tech athletic director Kirby Hocutt is actually chair of the NCAA football recruiting subcommittee.

Feeding the monster

Last month, the NCAA's legislative council approved a proposal to allow Division I schools to provide unlimited meals and snacks to all athletes, including walk-ons.

A chunk of Wednesday’s meeting in Irving was spent discussing how the Big 12 would implement the new legislation, which takes effect Aug. 1.

“I was really surprised during the meetings at how much variance there was among schools,” Bowlsby said. “And yet there was a fairly high comfort level that although there were uniqueness, that institutions could deal with them in their own way without others thinking, ‘Oh gosh, they’re going to get an advantage on us.’

“It was an interesting discussion that we maybe we can move into an era where all of us don’t have to do exactly the same things.”

One possible area of variance? How much each institution might spend on the unlimited meal plan.

Currie said he expects Kansas State to spend somewhere between $700,000 and $1 million a year. Texas athletic director Steve Patterson, meanwhile, estimated Texas’ cost could soar “north of $2 million.”

While the details are still being worked out across the board, Currie said Kansas State would add a morning snack to its student-athlete training table, as well as “fueling stations” in different facilities for before and after practices. Currie also said inside Kansas State’s new $65 million Vanier Football Complex will be a “significant nutrition area” that will give Kansas State's student-athletes access to items like banana smoothies into the night.

“This is going to be very positive,” Currie said. “One of the best things we’ve done.”

Lunch links: RichRod comes full circle

September, 6, 2012
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Except Hurricanes are real, muchacho.

Fun with Big 12 AD salaries!

May, 24, 2012
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USA Today released its annual survey of athletic director salaries, noting that they're rising almost as fast as coaching salaries. How did the Big 12 stack up?

Here's how they ranked:
  • DeLoss Dodds, Texas: $1,095,756
  • Joe Castiglione, Oklahoma: $975,000
  • Bill Byrne, Texas A&M: $690,000
  • Mike Alden, Missouri: $659,775
  • Kirby Hocutt, Texas Tech: $580,000
  • Jamie Pollard, Iowa State: $450,000
  • Sheahon Zenger, Kansas: $450,000
  • Ian McCaw, Baylor: $423,449
  • John Currie, Kansas State: $412,500
  • Mike Holder, Oklahoma State: $387,560

I kept old Big 12 schools in this list because they were in the Big 12 when these numbers were taken.

For the new schools?
  • Oliver Luck, West Virginia: $405,600
  • TCU's Chris Del Conte was paid $115,639 for a partial-year salary. He took over in October 2009, and his full salary was not available on public tax returns.

The most surprising name on the list was Mike Holder, who is at the bottom of the list, despite holding the position since 2005. Oklahoma State's not exactly starved for money these days, either.

Kansas State's John Currie is a newcomer to the job, and a first-time athletic director who has helped K-State become the most profitable athletic department in the country. You've got to expect a raise is coming his way, even though he had a high-profile gaffe when hoops coach Frank Martin exited stage right all the way to South Carolina.

Not surprising to see Texas and OU at the top, but that's a pretty big gap between Dodds, Castiglione and the rest of the league, especially now that Missouri and Texas A&M are gone.

Dodds is only the fourth-highest paid AD, behind Vanderbilt, Florida and Louisville's athletic directors.

What else stuck out to you?

Baylor's McCaw nominated as top AD

March, 20, 2012
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Baylor athletic director Ian McCaw is among five nominees for Athletic Director of the Year in the SportsBusiness Journal's Sports Business Awards.

McCaw is joined by Temple's Bill Bradshaw, Michigan's Dave Brandon, Michigan State's Mark Hollis and Arkansas' Jeff Long.

Under McCaw, Baylor is one of just five athletic departments (Florida, Michigan State, Ohio, NC State) with a bowl win and a Sweet 16 appearance in the 2011-12 school year.

Baylor's football, men's basketball and women's basketball teams also won a combined 40 consecutive games from November to January.

The women's team is currently the top seed in the NCAA tournament and with its first national title since 2005, could be the first team to ever go 40-0 in a season.

Texas' DeLoss Dodds won the award last year.

New Baylor stadium moves toward reality

March, 13, 2012
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Baylor has taken the next step in building a new on-campus stadium.

The school received the biggest gift in university history for Baylor's new on-campus football stadium alongside the Brazos River, according to a release on Tuesday.

Elizabeth and Drayton McLane Jr. gave the gift for an amount unspecified by the school, but it's the lead step toward the fundraising necessary for a new stadium that Baylor hopes will open for the 2014 season.

"We believe strongly in the university's distinct and important role as a Christian institution dedicated to academic excellence at the highest level," McLane said in the release.

The school released several additional artist renderings of the stadium along with the announcement.

"We recognize that we are living in a remarkable time in the history of Baylor athletics, and we are blessed to have loyal, courageous and generous friends in Elizabeth and Drayton McLane, and their family, who have stepped forward to encourage all of us to take hold of a rare opportunity for our football program," Baylor president Ken Starr said in the release. "Their significant leadership gift will secure Baylor's position among the nation's elite collegiate athletics programs, while providing our alumni, students and student-athletes a game day experience like none other in Baylor history."

For more on this story, go here.

More thoughts from yours truly on Baylor's stadium are on the way on Wednesday, too.

Baylor advances toward a new stadium

November, 10, 2011
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Baylor announced its plans for a new stadium last weekend, and now, the process to make it a reality is underway.

The school unveiled its survey for fans to offer input on the possibility of the new stadium as part of its research before possibly beginning earnest steps toward building the new proposed venue.

From Baylor athletic director Ian McCaw:
Baylor has retained Plano-based Convention Sports & Leisure International to conduct a market and feasibility study to obtain your feedback, assess potential new seating plans and benchmark our stadium operations. With this information we are exploring opportunities to not only enhance our football game- day experience, but also generate additional resources to fund an on-campus stadium while positioning Baylor Athletics for continued competitive Big 12 Conference and national excellence.

Survey topics will include questions not only about our current football home, Floyd Casey Stadium, but premium seating, pricing and amenities that may be part of a new on-campus stadium.

We'd value your insight and opinions at this critical juncture as we assess Floyd Casey Stadium's future as well as the interest of Bear Nation to support a new on-campus football stadium.

Interesting stuff. This process will be fascinating to watch, and it's just now getting heated up.

Baylor proposes plan for new stadium

November, 7, 2011
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Baylor is the lone Big 12 team whose stadium is not located on its campus, but the university hopes to change that soon.

The school unveiled a proposal for a new riverside, on-campus stadium that it hopes will become a reality.

If so, wow. That's all I can say. What a spectacular venue that would be. Baylor already has one of the most picturesque campuses in the league, and if this stadium looks anything like the Bears hope it does, it would have the most picturesque stadium, too.

"This is the starting point of a process that will require very strong support from all of those who love Baylor football and want to bring the program back to campus," Baylor athletic director Ian McCaw said.

The school plans to undergo research surveys and a feasibility study. The stadium would be located adjacent to Interstate 35.

"This location will maximize the stadium's exposure," McCaw said, "given the more than 100,000 vehicles that travel the highway each day, while providing Baylor with an extraordinary branding opportunity."

That's definitely true.

With the Big 12's new television deal, there's lots of money flowing into every school, but a project like this will require a whole lot of support from a fan base.

It'd be a huge move for the school, but if it becomes a reality, you couldn't ask for a better venue.

DeLoss Dodds: Big 12's highest-paid AD

October, 6, 2011
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USA Today dug up the salaries for athletic directors at every FBS school, and in the Big 12, it's no surprise who came out on top.

Texas' DeLoss Dodds was one of six athletic directors making over $1 million.

Here's how the Big 12 ranked:

DeLoss Dodds, Texas: $1,095,756

Joe Castiglione, Oklahoma: $975,000

Bill Byrne, Texas A&M: $690,000

Mike Alden, Missouri: $659,775

Kirby Hocutt, Texas Tech: $580,000

Jamie Pollard, Iowa State: $450,000

Sheahon Zenger, Kansas: $450,000

Ian McCaw, Baylor: $423, 449

John Currie, Kansas State: $412,500

Mike Holder, Oklahoma State: $387,560

Big 12 country gets even shakier

September, 3, 2011
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Oklahoma has a decision to make, and OU president David Boren says he wants to make it within the next couple of weeks.
University of Oklahoma president David Boren says multiple conferences have shown interest in the Sooners recently and he expects to decide whether to leave the Big 12 or not within the next three weeks.

Boren said Friday that Oklahoma is seeking stability in its conference relationship with "partners that are both outstanding athletically and academically as well because a conference that's strong is not only stable but it's one in which there are multiple relationships, along with sports, between the university members."

If Oklahoma wanted, it could presumably become the SEC's 14th team, but the university turned down a reported invitation last summer and hasn't expressed much interest in joining the league since.

But the Pac-12? The Sooners' bags were packed last summer before Texas decided to stick with the Big 12 instead of heading west. But with the Big 12 down another big program -- Texas A&M is all but officially headed to the SEC -- the Sooners may not want to stay in a league that's been weakened significantly in the past year and a half.

Baylor AD Ian McCaw told reporters on Friday night that the Big 12 expansion plans are on hold until the Sooners make up their minds.

"I don't think there's anything that has to be, at all, and everything doesn't have to be done today. I mean, there's nothing that says the conference will collapse at nine," Boren said. "We have a full season to play and we'll have to go through.

"Obviously, I think if we could eventually -- and that doesn't mean in one year, maybe it's going to take two or three years -- if we were to eventually get back to 12, I would feel better about it," Boren said.

Boren said the bottom line is "I don't think OU is going to be a wallflower when all is said and done."

Lunch links: House Committee criticizes Leach

May, 25, 2010
5/25/10
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Rajon Rondo? Best player in the history of the world. The NBA: Where Overreaction Happens.

Also, Texas Tech completely dominated Monday's headlines for whatever reason.

Baylor-Wake Forest set for ABC/ESPN coverage

June, 4, 2009
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Posted by ESPN.com's Tim Griffin

Baylor officials announced today that the Bears' Sept. 5 opener at Wake Forest will be nationally televised by ABC/ESPN.

The game will begin at 3:30 p.m. ET. The Atlantic Coast Conference announced the game will be regionally broadcast on ABC, with a mirror telecast on ESPN2.

"Baylor football is on the rise and our television partners are excited about our program's bright future," Baylor athletic director Ian McCaw said. "Having the Wake Forest game televised on both ABC and ESPN2 affords our program tremendous exposure and we are thrilled with this opportunity."

Baylor's last appearance on ABC came in 1997, when the Bears dropped a 45-14 decision to 13th-ranked Miami, Fla., in Waco before a regional television audience.

Baylor also announced that kickoff for its Sept. 19 home opener against Connecticut will be at 5 p.m. ET and home contests against Northwestern State on Sept. 26 and Kent State on Oct. 3 will both kick off at 7 p.m. ET.

As of Thursday, here's the link to all of the games that are currently scheduled to be broadcast by the ABC/ESPN networks.  

Tech-Baylor moving to Dallas-Fort Worth for next two years

March, 25, 2009
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Posted by ESPN.com's Tim Griffin

Texas Tech and Baylor announced today they will be moving their 2009 and 2010 games to Dallas-Fort Worth-area stadiums.

Baylor will move its 2009 home game against the Red Raiders to the Dallas Cowboys' new stadium in Arlington on Nov. 28.

Texas Tech will move its home game in the Baylor series to the historic Cotton Bowl on Oct. 9, 2010.

The move makes sense in one standpoint, giving both programs exposure in the biggest recruiting area in the conference. It means that every Big 12 South team, except for Oklahoma State, will be playing a game in the Dallas area this season. And all but Texas and Oklahoma State will be playing at the Cowboys' new stadium.

Tech's switch to the Cotton Bowl isn't really a surprise, either. The Red Raiders' athletic hierarchy holds a tremendous amount of allegiance to former Tech player John Scovell, a power broker who helped ensure the Cotton Bowl's recent expansion. Additionally, Scovell's father, Field Scovell, was known as "Mr. Cotton Bowl" because of years of work with the bowl game over the years.

So it wasn't really a surprise that Texas Tech athletic director Gerald Myers was looking out for an old and familiar friend who needs a game or two at the renovated stadium while it seems that every other one was moving to Jerry World in Arlington.

Baylor athletic director Ian McCaw is excited about moving the 2009 game to Arlington.

"Baylor football is on the rise and we are excited about the opportunity to showcase our program in the Metroplex against a Big 12 rival for the next two years," McCaw said.

And McCaw is also intrigued with the ability to play in both locations over the next two seasons.

"Both Cowboys Stadium and the Cotton Bowl are attractive venues for different reasons," McCaw said. "The Cowboys' stadium has the finest amenities of any football facility in the world and the Cotton Bowl is rich in tradition and an ideal place to play during the State Fair."

It's also interesting that both schools have large alumni bases in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. Baylor has more than 41,000 alumni and Texas Tech has more than 50,000 alumni in the Dallas-Fort Worth area.

Myers said moving the game to the Dallas-Fort Worth area will provide an important presence for his school in the area -- particularly as the rest of the Big 12 South has gravitated to it.

"It's an opportunity to showcase Texas Tech and our football team to fans, alumni and prospective students," Myers said. "The exposure and media coverage of the games will greatly enhance Texas Tech's recruiting efforts in the area."   

The tickets for the game in Arlington are going to be a little more reasonably priced than some that have already been announced for this season. Club seating will be $100, tickets in the lower levels of the stadium will be $60 and those in the upper levels will be $40. Additionally, students from both schools can buy tickets for $25.

The Cowboys' stadium also will have Oklahoma-BYU on Sept. 5, Arkansas-Texas A&M on Oct. 3, the Big 12 football championship on Dec. 5 and the Cotton Bowl on Jan. 2, 2010, during its first season of operation.

Texas Tech-Baylor could move 2009 game to Dallas

January, 16, 2009
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Posted by ESPN.com's Tim Griffin

Texas Tech athletic director Gerald Myers told the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal that plans for moving the Red Raiders' game with Oklahoma State to Dallas are dead. But he left open plans to move Tech's game against Baylor in 2009 and beyond to the Dallas area

"We've been talking to Baylor, and they're interested in moving the game starting in '09,'' Myers told the Avalanche-Journal. "We're talking about maybe playing a couple of games (in the Dallas area) with the option to play more, but nothing's official on that yet.''

Myers said the proposed game could be played at either the Dallas Cowboys' new stadium in Arlington or at the Cotton Bowl in Dallas.

Moving the game to the Dallas area -- the most fertile recruiting area in the Big 12's footprint -- makes sense. Oklahoma will play two games there next season and Texas A&M and Texas will play one game each. The other two Texas-based Big 12 schools likely figure they need to play a game in the area to keep up. 

Baylor had informal talks about playing Notre Dame in Dallas, but that game was killed because it was a Notre Dame home game and could not be televised as part of the Irish's NBC television package.

It will be interesting to see how fast the two schools could move ahead and still stage the game for next season. It would mean both Myers and Baylor athletic director Ian McCaw will be very busy for the next several weeks.

Baylor season review

December, 16, 2008
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Posted by ESPN.com's Tim Griffin

New coach Art Briles wasted little time starting the Robert Griffin era. And for that, Baylor's long-suffering fans should be appreciative.

The Bears finished a 4-8 season with Griffin taking virtually every snap after being inserted early in the first game of the season. The nation's youngest starting quarterback oozed playmaking ability and confidence from the beginning. And most importantly, he provides hope for the future.

Close losses to Connecticut, Nebraska, Missouri and Texas Tech all could have gone the other way with some breaks for the Bears. So Briles really wasn't that far removed from taking his first Baylor team to a bowl trip, which would have snapped a 14-season bowl drought that is tied with Duke for the longest among teams in BCS-affiliated conferences.

Griffin was the starter on an offense that also featured talented skill-position players like wide receiver Kendall Wright and running back Jay Finley. Both will be back with more experience.

Briles' team was physical, ranking 25th nationally in rushing. And it was careful with the football, ranking third nationally in turnover margin.

They finished tied for the Big 12 South cellar, but beat Texas A&M and nearly stunned Texas Tech in Lubbock. The elusive bowl berth may be the next big hurdle to overcome.

Offensive Player of the Year: QB Robert Griffin. The 18-year-old Griffin was everything advertised -- and more -- in his freshman season. He finished by passing for 2,091 yards with 15 touchdowns against three interceptions. And he was the conference's top rushing quarterback, rushing for 843 yards and scoring a school-record 13 touchdowns.

Defensive Player of the Year: LB Joe Pawelek. Briles contends that Pawelek deserved All-America honors and it's hard to argue against it, considering his statistics. He led the conference in average tackles per game (10.67) and interceptions (.50 per game). And he has a knack for big plays, with two of his interceptions coming in the Baylor end zone. In short, he was one of the nation's most underrated defenders.

Turning point: Baylor's rousing 41-21 victory over Texas A&M was more than just a feel-good way to send 21 seniors out for their final home game. Considering that Baylor had a 41-7 lead after three quarters, it was a symbolic indication that the Bears had passed the Aggies and no longer should be considered the South's doormat.

What's next: With continued health for key players like Griffin, Pawelek, Wright and Finley, the Bears should challenge for a bowl berth in the next couple of seasons. It might be wise for Briles to convince Baylor athletic director Ian McCaw to tone down his ambitious nonconference schedule. A more moderate schedule might provide the Bears enough of a window to go bowling next season.

Briles believes, even when his family might not

July, 23, 2008
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Posted by ESPN.com's Tim Griffin

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- New Baylor coach Art Briles appreciates the concern of his oldest daughter, Jancy. But he's not always going to listen to her.

 
 AP Photo/Duane A. Laverty
 New Baylor coach Art Briles ignored his daughter's advice by taking the Bears job.

His daughter told him not to take the Baylor job shortly before accepting the immense challenge of trying to turn around the moribund program. Baylor has not made a bowl trip since 1994 -- the seventh-longest drought streak among Division I-A programs -- and has never won more three Big 12 games.

"I guess it's just a daughter being a daughter," said Briles, who directed Houston to four bowl games in the last five seasons before taking the Baylor job after last season. "I've got two of them. They are the only ones who like you as man. She's kind of analytical and there's not much grey in her. There is in me."

Briles said that the common perception that the Baylor program can't be fixed only made the challenge of resuscitating it that much more intriguing.

"That does inspire me," he said. "Is that stupid, dumb and ignorant? Probably it is. But it's also motivational and inspiring at the same time."

A new football facility and the forward thinking of Baylor Athletic Director Ian McCaw made the job tempting for Briles. But the biggest selling point was the excitement among Baylor fans.

"These people are hungry," Briles said. "There's something about going to a place where people aren't sitting back and yawning. I like people that are leaning forward and doing things. And that's the attitude that the Baylor people have."

The new coach understands that improvement might be measured in a series of baby steps. But he's still determined to start the progress sooner than later.

The Bears will have one of the most difficult nonconference schedules among Big 12 teams. They start the season with a nationally-televised Thursday night game Aug. 28 against Wake Forest and will also face Connecticut in another nationally-televised Friday night game on Sept. 19.

Those games will provide Briles with an opportunity he states is one of his most immediate goals for the program.

"What we've got to do is notch a couple of victories that make people look at the paper twice and say, 'That happened?,'" Briles said. "We've got to do something that's unexpected to gain a little credibility."

Baylor offensive tackle Jason Smith said Briles has inspired him like any other coach he has ever played for. And he's not betting against him in his turnaround plans.

"Coach Briles is very passionate and brings a different passion and demeanor than any leader I've had," Smith said. "I actually thought a coach couldn't motivate me to play football, but when he speaks I get chill bumps. My theory was put to the test and Coach Briles can motivate me to play football better."

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