The St. Petersburg campus of the University of South Florida is at a major crossroads. What does the future hold? Do we want to continue to grow to 10,000 or even 15,000 students? Or are we satisfied at our current student population (which, depending on whose numbers you use to [...]
My best friend from high school had a baby last month. I didn’t even know that she was pregnant. Out of touch? No....
It’s been a rough week for America — the bombings in Boston, the fertilizer plant explosion in West Texas...
Before he attacked the Boston Marathon, Tamerlan Tsarnaev, one of the suspected terrorists, wrote on the Internet that...
Last week, I went and saw the film “42” while on a date with my girlfriend. Aside from some minor historical inaccuracies, the film was fantastic. For those of you who do not know the movie is about Jackie Robinson who was the first Major League Baseball player in the [...]Read more ›
Outside of the welcoming arms of orientation leaders and the four-year bubble that follows, most of the country is freaking out about higher education. The degree you will be handed as you walk across the stage will be worth less than the one your mom and dad earned 30 years [...]Read more ›
Have you ever eaten nothing but fresh oysters for breakfast, lunch and dinner? I have. I traveled to Apalachicola, Fla. for my master’s project to interview locals about the myriad of economic engines the tiny town has seen over the past 200 years. The Apalach, as they call it, is [...]Read more ›
There’s no such thing as an easy A. You may think that asking around on Facebook groups, rummaging through sites like ratemyprofessor.com or searching course books for breezy leisure study classes about underwater basket weaving might be good for your transcripts. And you know what? You’re right. An easy course [...]Read more ›
My friend Sophie and I were discussing life and boys while sitting on the roof of my church a couple weeks ago when I first heard about the craft project of all craft projects. The memory jar. After seeing the idea plastered across Pinterest (where else?), Sophie had decided to [...]Read more ›
Earlier last week the remaining schools that play Division 1-A football in the Big East Conference announced the name for their new athletic league — the American Athletic Conference. In case you missed it, the Big East has been in a state of flux since 2005, leaving member teams uncertain about its future. A number of schools have exited stage right and stage left, culminating with the Big East basketball schools severing ties with Big East football schools. How did we get here? In 1979, a group of small northeastern universities decided to create what would become the greatest basketball conference in the history of college athletics — the Big East. Boston College, UConn, Georgetown, Providence, St. John’s, Syracuse and Seton Hall were the original members. Villanova joined in 1980 and Pittsburgh in 1982. In the 1990s, conference members decided to begin sponsoring football, which is where the real money was and still is. This allowed the league to compete in the new Bowl Coalition, which began in 1992. The job of that organization was to decide the No. 1 and No. 2 football teams on the field. The Big 8, Big East, Atlantic Coast Conference, Southwest Conference, Southeastern Conference and Notre Dame all participated. The Bowl Coalition was replaced with the Bowl Alliance in 1995, with the same affiliated conferences. For 1996 and 1997, the Big XII Conference replaced the SWC and Big 8. The Bowl Alliance was replaced with the Bowl Championship Series in 1998 after the Pac-10 and Big 10 finally agreed to join the party. The BCS will be in its last year as an organization for this season. It will be replaced with a four-team playoff beginning with the 2014-15 season. How does this affect the Big East and USF? Simple. The Atlantic Coast Conference raided our league in 2004 and 2005 when Miami, Virginia Tech, and Boston College left the Big East for Tobacco Road. They were replaced with Louisville, South Florida, Cincinnati, DePaul and Marquette. The amount of money that collegiate football makes via television contracts coupled with the fact that our league, since 2005, has been looked upon as the weakest of the BCS conferences made Big East universities prone to be picked off and bolt for greener pastures. Our rival, West Virginia, left for the Big XII in 2012 along with the newly acquired Texas Christian University, which never played a down in the Big East. Syracuse and Pittsburgh decided to both join the Atlantic Coast Conference beginning in 2013. Future members Boise State and San Diego State, which were supposed to join in 2013, decided they liked it better in the Mountain West Conference. That was countered with Central Florida, Southern Methodist, Houston and Memphis — all of which agreed to join the Big East beginning in 2013. Notre Dame left as an all sports besides football member for the ACC in 2013. Navy was accepted to join the league as a football member beginning in 2015. Rutgers then decided to bolt for the Big Ten in 2014. They would be replaced with Tulane in 2014 as well as East Carolina joining as a football school. Louisville accepted a bid to join the Atlantic Coast Conference beginning in 2014. The basketball schools saw their product being watered down and decided to leave the football side of the conference. Negotiations between them determined they would not only keep the Big East name, but continue to hold their tournament in the Mecca that is Madison Square Garden. Creighton, Butler and Xavier agreed to join in 2013. I know it is hard to keep all these schools straight, so here are the schools that will make up the American Athletic Conference beginning next autumn: South Florida, Central Florida, SMU, Houston, Memphis, Cincinnati, UConn, Temple, Rutgers and Louisville. In 2014, Louisville and Rutgers will leave and be replaced by East Carolina, Tulane and Tulsa. The United States Naval Academy will join in 2015 as a football-only school. If you thought that Raymond James Stadium was empty during the Rutgers or Cincy games, just wait until Tulane and Memphis come to town. The only positive in the new league is that we will be in the same conference as Central Florida, a team we beat for four consecutive years. The winner will represent the conference in the final year of the BCS. Beginning in 2014, the AAC will not have an automatic berth in any of new “access bowls” to the new playoff format. Instead, the winner will have to be “the best of the rest,” the non-automatic qualifying conferences, in order to make it into the top tier of the post season. The new conference will have to negotiate other bowl tie-ins, so it is unknown where our conference champion will play each year. What does this mean for us at South Florida? We missed the bus and got left in the dust. We failed to capitalize on our 2007 success when we were No. 2 in the country. If we had produced better results in years past we may have been one of the defectors and the tone of this column would be “good riddance Big East or AAC or whatever your name is, we’re going to the ACC, Big XII, or SEC.” But, sadly, that is not the case. The big dogs don’t want us, so we’ll have to prove our worth, again, as a mid major with the hopes of someday down the road getting sucked into one of the premier leagues. Until that happens, Go Bulls! firstname.lastname@example.orgRead more ›