Each week, Bob Asmussen fills a page with college football news and notes. Check out his latest chat here
FAR FROM OVER
Last week, Oklahoma president David Boren said his school received an invitation from the SEC. Here's a really good question: Why say it? Other than to make Oklahomans feel good about their status, there wasn't much of a point. And that tells you that instability remains in the Big 12. Boren let it be known that his school is wanted and that it has options. You wouldn't do that if you had great confidence in the continuation of your own league. While it appears the expansion is over for now in the Big Ten and Pac-10, don't be a bit surprised if the leagues take another run at the remaining schools in the Big 12. It's hard to imagine the 10-school league surviving into the distant future. Too many concessions made to Texas. While it is a great basketball league, the Big 12 just lost one of its traditional powers to a rival league. It will be difficult for the Big 12 schools to watch all the other conferences making big money on league title games.
WHAT'S IN A NAME?
When it comes to the Big Ten, everything. The league has lived with 11 teams for almost two decades without the hint of a name change. With Nebraska joining in 2011, and possibly others in the near future, those outside the league geographic footprint will suggest a name change. They will be wrong. The "Ten" signifies an ideal, a way of conference life, more than it suggests the number of schools in the league. A name change is unnecessary, just as the SEC will remain the same even if it adds a school from the Midwest. The Pac-10 is gaining two very un-Pacific schools in Colorado and Utah. Again, no name change needed. The fans are smart. They understand that the Big Ten has 12 schools and that the Big 12 has 10. If you listen to folks at ESPN on the subject matter, pay no attention to anybody who didn't grow up in the Big Ten. So, count on Desmond Howard and Stephen Bardo. Just turn the sound down when Mark May or Jay Bilas are talking about it.
BACKING THE WAC
The conference that at one time included Arizona and Arizona State (ask your parents) has decided to stick with eight schools. Of course, nine would have been better for the WAC, which is losing Boise State to the Mountain West, which is losing Utah to the Pac-10, which is losing Southern Cal to the NFL. Without is premier program, it's difficult to imagine the WAC breaking though the BCS wall now. Idaho has certainly improved and Fresno State has been a consistent bowl team, but neither school has the reputation or potential for disruption of the departing Broncos. We want to see the WAC continue as a conference. And maybe San Jose State or New Mexico State builds itself toward a BCS berth. But it's difficult to imagine it happening. Then again, who saw Boise State coming? That's right, nobody.
GOOD LUCK WITH THAT
No surprise, Southern Cal has appealed its two-year bowl ban, asking the penalty get cut in two. The school also asked to be declared national champion for the next five seasons, would like a new stadium next to Lane Kiffin's house (paid for by the BCS) and Tommy Trojan to be named the state's mascot (Imagine Gov. Arnold riding the horse while saying, "Welcome to Cal-eef-for-nee-ah.") Who are these people? Have they read the reports about what went on at their school? Here's a case where it might make the most sense to take the penalty, quietly move on and understand that you can't let players live in free houses. You can say the school officials didn't know what was going on. And we'll tell you that probably wasn't the case. Maybe there's a .0001 percent chance they didn't know. Oh, and Barry Bonds didn't take steroids either.