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As experts predicted, ESPN will pay $80m/year for the Champions Bowl per SBD this morning. Same...

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As experts predicted, ESPN will pay $80m/year for the Champions Bowl per SBD this morning. Same money as Rose Bowl.

From ESPN's Kristi Dosh It's odd to see ESPN's sports business reporter passing on a report on ESPN by the Sports Business Daily, but the big four-letter really does keeps its business and journalism sides separate. Anyway, this is a huge payday for just one bowl game. If the pot gets split up evenly all around, that's $40 million to each conference, $4 million to each Big 12 school, and $2.86 million to each SEC school. Incidentally, that kind of math is what argues against Big 12 expansion in the future.

'Big Ten, Pac-12 suspend plans for scheduling collaboration' - well, there's a disappointing email...

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'Big Ten, Pac-12 suspend plans for scheduling collaboration' - well, there's a disappointing email subject line.

From George Schroeder Remember the plan for Big Ten and Pac-12 to play each other in the regular season every year? It's off now. The Pac-12 began setting the stage for this a few weeks ago as the playoff was taking shape. With nine conference games, the Pac-12 has every team in the league committed to more tough games than any conference that doesn't have nine-game schedules. Adding this arrangement would basically mean a 10-game conference schedule (only one of them doesn't matter towards the league title). The Pac-12 only wanted to go forward with this if there was going to be a firm strength of schedule component to the playoff selection process. With this agreement being put on ice, it likely means that no such restriction will be put on the committee. They will consider strength of schedule, of course, but it appears that no independent SOS measure will compel them to do anything. Thus, the Pac-12 bailed. Here's your press release from both conferences. Each cites the Pac-12's nine-game schedule as the main issue.

"We didn't want the top four teams to just come out of the blue at the end of the season."

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"We didn't want the top four teams to just come out of the blue at the end of the season."

Swarbrick Speaks The college football selection committee will release a weekly top 20 ranking beginning in the middle of the season according to Notre Dame AD Jack Swarbrick. If they agree to televise its unveiling, then I will be very pleased. Swarbrick also revealed that only teams in the top 12 of the committee's ranking will be eligible for at-large spots in the four major bowls that are part of the semifinal rotation but that aren't hosting semifinals in that particular year. Tie-ins for conference champions that don't make the playoff will determine how many at-large spots are open.

From the NCAA infraction database "A SA received an impermissible extra benefit of a birthday card...

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From the NCAA infraction database "A SA received an impermissible extra benefit of a birthday card from an academic mentor."

Surprise! Today's reminder that NCAA rules are insane comes from Brad Barnes of Texas A&M's compliance department. You can't make this stuff up.

"Did I do it? Yes," Updyke said outside of an elevator on the second floor of the Lee County...

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"Did I do it? Yes," Updyke said outside of an elevator on the second floor of the Lee County Justice Center in Opelika.

There it is With this, Harvey Updyke has apparently confesed to poisoning Toomer's Oaks in an interview with the Auburn Plainsman. Not that there was any doubt, mind you, as a quick intervention from his lawyer is all that kept him from confessing live on Finebaum's show last year. He says he's concerned he's not going to get a fair trial. Perhaps, but confessing ahead of time when you're entering not guilty pleas can't help the cause.

Ole Miss AD Ross Bjork: "I think the SEC Network will be every bit as big as the Big Ten Network"

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Ole Miss AD Ross Bjork: "I think the SEC Network will be every bit as big as the Big Ten Network"

From CBSSports.com's Brett McMurphy Actually Ross, I think the SEC Network will be bigger. The new SEC will have a lot more people in its footprint, and you won't find a conference with a more rabid collective fan base than the SEC. Can you imagine how many people will be tuning into football replays over the off season? It'll be huge. And furthermore, I... Oh, wait. That's an AD saying an SEC Network "will" be coming. I don't see an "if" or a "possibly" or a "potentially" in that sentence. This doesn't constitute an official announcement, but it sounds like Bjork just confirmed that a TV network is on the way.

"I don't think [the Big 12] needs to expand," Dodds told CBSSports.com's Dennis Dodd. "It certainly...

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"I don't think [the Big 12] needs to expand," Dodds told CBSSports.com's Dennis Dodd. "It certainly can expand because there will be people that will want to be a part of it. That's another good thing." ... "We could expand to some number," Dodds said. "You name the number -- 12, 14, 16. We could expand but the question is 'do we need to expand?' In my mind 10 is perfect because you play everybody in football and there is a double-round-robin in basketball. "When we get into whatever system we get in for a championship, I think those coaches that play in a conference championship are going to say 'What in the world are we doing?' "

DeLoss Dodds talks to CBSSports.com No tea leaves to read here; Texas is plainly not in favor of expanding the Big 12. As long as that's the case, then there is a chance the Big 12 stays at 10 teams. Nothing is a done deal yet.

#Big12's Chuck Neinas told @1049TheHorn a colleague in the #SEC told him, "Don't expand beyond 12...

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#Big12's Chuck Neinas told @1049TheHorn a colleague in the #SEC told him, "Don't expand beyond 12 because 14 becomes unruly."

From Chip Brown This quote could mean something or it could mean nothing depending on just who this "colleague" is. Don't bet on ever finding out this colleague's identity, though. As much as anything, Neinas is probably just trying to keep the conference's expansion cards close to the vest. For one thing, he likely won't be making any real decisions because incoming, non-interim commissioner Bob Bowlsby should be taking the lead on the issue. For another, things can get out of hand quickly. The real lesson the conference has apparently learned from the SEC is to go slowly and do everything you can to make it look like your expansion targets approached you, not the other way around.

Bill Hancock on BCS scenarios: "I can officially say that the status quo is off the table."

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Bill Hancock on BCS scenarios: "I can officially say that the status quo is off the table."

From SI's Stewart Mandel There you have it folks. One more from the Chicago Tribune's Teddy Greenstein: "I can sum up these BCS meetings in two words: boundless optimism. All the impediments to a playoff are getting squashed." As for what will replace the status quo, the commissioners will hammer out two or three final proposals tomorrow and university presidents collectively will pick the one they like the best.

Breaking: AP source: Arkansas hiring former assistant John L. Smith as interim coach to replace...

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Breaking: AP source: Arkansas hiring former assistant John L. Smith as interim coach to replace Bobby Petrino next season.

From the AP Arkansas did go with an interim after all, just not one on the staff. I for one can't wait to see ol' Slappy in the SEC this fall. UPDATE Pat Forde at Yahoo! has sources agreeing that it's Smith.
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