Inside Marshall Sports

Bowls, realignment and other stuff

First, I did notice the agreement between the former Motor City Bowl and the Big Ten. Hmmm… the folks in Detroit liked having Big Ten No. 7 so much, it settled for Big Ten No. 8! With a back-up agreement with the Sun Belt, we can take a deep breath and cross that off our possible itineraries.

Don’t get me wrong, it was a good arrangement for the Herd, giving the program a boost when it needed it. And Ford Field is a pretty good venue.

But I still don’t care for Detroit, didn’t care for the bowl officials and really, really didn’t care for $30 wi-fi, even if it didn’t come out of my pocket. And I made bloody sure those didn’t care for me — you could say I didn’t bring my West Virginia hospitality with me.

Oh, well… on to other topics, like conference expansion… though I like this about as much as a conference search.

The Orlando Sentinel has put a full-court press on the topic, including an Andrea Adelson column urging Central Florida to gun for the ACC. Seems ludicrous now, but after the Big Ten makes the first move, who knows? But really, the ACC could get through the next round intact, which I think that league wants.

I figure the Big East will survive, but may have to reinvent itself on the football side. And South Florida may have to drop its obvious opposition to UCF entering the league. With its serious upgrade in facilities and all those students that school may be the top school in a position to gravitate to a BCS league — yes, ahead of Memphis, whose football facilities were exposed during the week of the Marshall game.

As for Marshall’s chances, I have to put it behind UCF, Memphis and East Carolina. Losing Donnie Jones and giving Tom Herrion $400K per year didn’t help, I figure.

Speaking of Herrion, we’re going to see what he bring on short notice. Really, if he lands one starter or two legitimate contributors, that will be a bonus. He knows what’s out there, yes, but it gets slim by now … and you figure he won’t waste a scholarship on any warm body.

You may see this again, but here is a recap of late recruits after a coaching change:
— Ron Jirsa: Nobody, if memory and a check of the all-time rosters doesn’t betray me. As you may recall, Jirsa came along after the spring signing period.

— Donnie Jones: Pierre-Marie Altidor Cespedes and Tirrell Baines, plus transfers Chris Lutz, Octavius Spann and Brandon Powell. DJ admirably filled some immediate needs, but really went 1-for-3 on the transfers. Spann did have the offseason injuries from a car wreck, but I’m not sure that pans out otherwise.

Another great day for spring practice: Sunny, high 77.