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College football

USF keeping eye on meetings for BCS conferences

By PETE YOUNG
Published October 15, 2003

The commissioners of the six major conferences will meet today and Thursday in Chicago to discuss their cash cow, the Bowl Championship Series.

South Florida is a member of a non-BCS league, Conference USA, but the Bulls are sure to pay close attention.

Big East commissioner Mike Tranghese, the BCS chairman, told the Newark Star-Ledger on Sunday that USF was his top choice to replace Boston College in the Big East. Also, USF athletic director Lee Roy Selmon has been in contact recently with multiple Big East athletic directors. The BCS commissioners are assessing their options for after the 2005 season, when the BCS's existing contracts expire. There has been heavy pressure from non-BCS conferences, including a recent hearing before the U.S. House of Representatives, to alter the BCS format. BCS status is worth millions in revenue and helps in numerous other ways, such as recruiting.

Among the options expected to be discussed the next two days are the Big East's future status in the BCS after its recent loss of three schools to the ACC, and whether a fifth bowl game could be added to the BCS that would incorporate the highest-ranked team from a non-BCS conference.

How the BCS is expected to take shape after 2005, especially regarding the reconfigured Big East and maybe C-USA, will be a major factor for USF to consider.

Central Florida athletic director Steve Orsini reiterated what most administrators of non-BCS schools have said: BCS status is vital. Orsini said he has been in discussions with the Big East about becoming a football-only member, with the intent of being an all-sports member a few years down the road.

"The BCS has become a factor we can't ignore in whatever decisions we make," Orsini said, "There's such a difference between BCS and non-BCS, the difference being resources."

Big East vs. ACC lawsuits fly again

HARTFORD, Conn. - Four Big East football schools filed a second lawsuit over ACC expansion, adding Boston College, its athletic director and four ACC officers to the list of defendants.

Connecticut, Pittsburgh, West Virginia and Rutgers allege in the suit that the ACC and Boston College conspired to weaken the Big East and reap a larger share of television broadcast revenue.

BC announced Sunday it would follow Miami and Virginia Tech to the ACC. BC officials called the allegations "unfounded and irresponsible" and struck back with legal action of their own, filing a complaint in Massachusetts Superior Court over the Big East's withdrawal provision.

ARKANSAS: The SEC's top referee said, after reviewing videotapes, he believes a receiver committed the holding penalty that cost the Razorbacks a touchdown in a 10-3 loss against Auburn. The league's coordinator of officials, Bobby Gaston, watched tapes at the behest of coach Houston Nutt as part of Gaston's weekly review of officials' work.

GEORGIA: The team's top receiver, Fred Gibson, who has missed one game and most of another with a hamstring injury, sat out practice with a bruised left knee.

ILLINOIS: Quarterback John Beutjer (back) will miss Saturday's game against Michigan.

MIAMI: Safety Sean Taylor will miss Saturday's game against Temple after minor arthroscopic surgery on his right shoulder. Taylor should be ready for a Big East showdown against No. 3 Virginia Tech on Nov. 1 because the second-ranked Hurricanes have a week off after playing the Owls.

The 6-foot-3, 220-pound junior is tied for the national lead with six interceptions. He picked off two passes Saturday against Florida State including one he returned 50 yards for a touchdown. He was Big East defensive player of the week.

Also, it was announced that the Virginia Tech game will be shown on ESPN at 7:45 p.m.

NEBRASKA: Placekick holder Kelly Huston was suspended one game for punching a Missouri fan after Saturday's loss. A fan claimed he was the person assaulted by Huston as people stormed the field after the game in Columbia, Mo.

OHIO STATE: Senior linebacker Robert Reynolds appeared with wife Jennifer at coach Jim Tressel's weekly media luncheon to apologize for choking Wisconsin quarterback Jim Sorgi on Saturday. Tressel suspended the two-year starter for Saturday's homecoming game against Iowa. Reynolds will be allowed on the sideline but not in uniform.

SOUTHERN MISS: Quarterback Micky D'Angelo returned to practice after missing more than a month. He has not played since sustaining a concussion Sept. 13 against Memphis.

STANFORD: Center Brian Head will miss the rest of the season with a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee.

WEST VIRGINIA: University security officials asked students to behave at the Oct. 22 home game against Virginia Tech. On Oct. 2 students set fire to couches, chairs, mattresses and garbage after WVU's 22-20 loss at Miami.

- Information from Times wires was used in this report.

[Last modified October 15, 2003, 01:33:50]


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