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Row12.com - A Community of Sports Writers and Fans!                                               ***Attention Writers***
College Football Week 10 Review
By Jonathan Hull

Isn't it amazing that a conference with the word 12 in its name can be so content with staying at 10? Apparently Big 12 schools don't want to be known for their math departments.

But all kidding aside, for a conference that has been on the verge of extinction the last two years, it might make some sense for the Big 12 to finally become proactive rather than reactive. In other words, stop sitting around waiting for other conferences to gobble up your schools and the other prime candidates to join your league, be aggressive and ensure the future of the Big 12 with further expansion.

It seems many of the conferences are in denial about the future of college football. For a couple years now, the idea of 16-team power conferences has been coming closer and closer to a reality. Eventually, it's going to happen and there are going to be schools and conferences left out in the cold.

The Big 12 has put up a high quality of play this season and is arguably the second best conference after the SEC West. (Let's face it, the East leaves something to be desired.) I applauded the Big 12's effort to replace Texas A&M with TCU. The natural rivalries the Horned Frogs have in the conference will provide for some decent TV revenue.

I will further applaud the addition of West Virginia to replace Missouri. West Virginia, as a whole, is a better representative of the conference than Mizzou. Forget about the geography. The Big 12 can't feel like it just lost out on any of the TV markets Mizzou doesn't really command. Particularly with Kansas City, which cares more about Kansas basketball than any other collegiate sport.
In fact, TV markets should no longer be the target of expansion. There are no significant TV markets to gain. I'll argue that adding West Virginia is actually more attractive for the Big 12's TV deal than Missouri was anyway.

In this country, football is the king of sports. There's no argument about that. Many football fans will watch just about any game, particularly college football fans. One of the biggest fears television networks have had recently is seeing the growing irrelevancy of commercials. With TIVO and DVR, many people record their favorite TV shows and fast forward through the commercials.

But it's not like that with sports. The one thing most people want to watch live on television is sports. They want to see it live as it happens and not have to hear about it from someone else. That makes commercials during sporting events even more important.

Now combine that truth with the fact that America is a football-crazed country and you get big money. Adding a program with a large, loyal following that both travels well and wants to see every one of their team's games on TV means bigger money. That's West Virginia.

The Mountaineers have a SEC-type of following. West Virginia alumni are loyal to the program and do an impressive job of supporting it on the road. Plus add the consitency of quality play for the football and men's basketball programs over the last 15 years or so and West Virginia only becomes more attractive. The Mountaineers are a great get for the Big 12.

But my question is this: Why stop there? Why not at least expand back to 12 teams and add two more schools? Louisville was considered along with West Virginia. Frankly, Louisville should have been added. That's a great basketball following, which replaces the loss of strong A&M and Missouri basketball programs, plus as we've found out when Kansas was playing good football, basketball schools can support football extremely well when the product on the field is worth seeing. Louisville isn't far off from having that type of product once again.

The Big 12 needs to once again become at least 12. There are two of the automatic-qualifying conferences in danger of becoming extinct and one of them eventually will -- the Big East and the Big 12. The Big East is actively trying to become larger and the recent addition of Boise State plus the armed service academies is a wise move, which plays into my loyal following theory.
Boise State, Air Force and BYU should have been considered by the Big 12, and maybe they still can be.

But until the powers that be in the Big 12 realize its still a very fragile league, there will be no true job security for any of them.

Week 10's Top 10 Performances

10. Jamie Collins, LB, Southern Miss
6 tackles, 1.5 TFL, 1.5 sacks, 97-yard INT return TD
Southern Miss' defense has been the main reason for an 8-1 season as the Golden Eagles collect more and more votes for the Top 25 each week. Collins, who plays the Bandit LB position in the Eagles version of the 3-4, had several big plays in the 48-28 victory against East Carolina, but none bigger than his 97-yard INT return TD. It was one of two INTs returned for TDs by the Golden Eagles and allowed them to defeat ECU comfortably.

9. Montee Ball, RB, Wisconsin
Rushing, 20-223, 3 TDs
Believe it or not, this was the first time in his career at Wisconsin that Ball eclipsed the 200-yard mark. The Badgers' junior RB averaged 11.2 yards per carry in the 62-17 shellacking of a Purdue. Ball currently ranks 12th in the nation in rushing yards per game and was key in the Badgers ending their two-game losing streak.

8. Joe Bergeron, RB, Texas
Rushing, 29-191, 3 TDs
Nice to see the power running game return at Texas. The Longhorns have bee synonimous with great RBs. Guys like Cedric Benson, Ricky Williams, Priest Holmes and Earl Campbell. But the Longhorns have run the football up to their tradition in recent years. But that's changing, and its for the better. Bergeron had just 18 carries heading into last week's game against Kansas. Since then, he's topped 100 yards twice and has five TDs. The freshman RB wasn't nearly as highly touted as fellow freshman Malcolm Brown, but has really emerged the last two weeks and was key in the Longhorns blowing out Texas Tech, 52-20.

7. Ohio State running game
Rushing, 46-403, 4 TDs
Three different Buckeyes surpassed the 100-yard rushing mark in their 34-20 victory against Indiana. Dan Herron led the way with 141 yards and one TD on 14 carries. Carlos Hyde had 105 rushing yards and a TD on 15 carries. And finally freshman QB Braxton Miller had 105 yards and two TDs on 14 carries. That's two straight strong performances for Miller as he continues to look like a promising player.

6. Tyler Nielsen, LB, Iowa
13 tackles, 2 TFL, 1 sack
The Iowa defense held Michigan QB Denard Robinson in check which is certainly no easy feat. Nielsen led the Hawkeyes charge in their 24-16 victory. Robinson was held to just 55 yards rushing and Iowa forced him to put the ball in the air 37 times. He completed less than 50 percent of those throws. This was an important win for the Hawkeyes, who haven't been playing a lot of confidence this season and haven't been nearly as strong on the defensive side of the ball.

5. Rodney McLeod, S, Virginia
7 tackles, 3 interceptions
Virginia is bowl eligible for the first time since 2007 following a 31-13 victory against Maryland. Virginia is the surprise team of the ACC, having won four of its last five games. McLeod had a career day. The senior safety, who is a converted CB, is the first Cavalier to have three interceptions in the game since 1997.

4. Matt Barkley, QB, USC
Passing, 24-39-1, 318 yards, 6 TDs
Barkley is the first USC QB to throw six TDs in a single game, leading the Trojans to a 42-17 victory against Colorado. Considering the recent run of great QBs at USC, that's a pretty impressive honor. Think about it. Such great college QBs as Rodney Peete, Carson Palmer, Matt Leinart and Mark Sanchez failed to accomplish that. While Andrew Luck is getting most of the love, Barkley has quietly posted a stellar season with 28 TDs and just six INTs.

3. Eric Reid, S, LSU
6 tackles, 1 TFL, 1 INT
With all the attention Morris Claiborne and Tyrann Mathieu receiver, Reid is often overlooked, but the sophomore safety has the play of the game in LSU's 9-6 victory against Alabama. Reid went up alongside Alabama's Michael Williams and then outwrestled him for the ball at the LSU 1-yard line. Without that play, Bama would have been set up on the 1 with four plays to get into the end zone. As we all saw, just one TD could have been the deciding factor in this one.

2. Collin Klein, QB, Kansas State
Passing, 22-38-1, 231 yards, 1 TD; Rushing, 29-144, 3 TDs
The Wildcats lost 52-45 to Oklahoma State, but Klein had the most impressive performance in the game. K-State's junior QB made a lot of fans with his gutsy performance as he kept the Wildcats in the game with both his legs and his arm. Klein has a Jake Locker or Tim Tebow type of feel to him. As long as he's on the field, the Wildcats have a chance to win every game.

1. Kellen Moore, QB, Boise State
Passing, 18-31-0, 219 yards, 5 TDs
These numbers are actually a bit modest compared to the type of performances Moore typically puts up. But his five TDs led the Broncos to a 48-21 victory against UNLV and made him the winningest QB in college football history, breaking a record Colt McCoy set at Texas just two seasons ago. Now Moore can only hope he can get a chance to lead the Broncos to a BCS championship should the voters deem them worthy.

Hull's Week 10 Top 25

Rk Team Record Pvs AP USAT BCS
1 LSU 9-0 1 1 1 1
2 Oklahoma State 9-0 3 2 3 2
3 Alabama 8-1 2 4 4 3
4 Boise State 8-0 4 5 5 5
5 Stanford 8-0 5 3 2 4
6 Oregon 8-1 6 6 6 7
7 Oklahoma 8-1 7 7 7 6
8 Arkansas 8-1 8 8 8 8
9 Clemson 8-1 12 9 10 9
10 Michigan State 7-2 16 13 13 17
11 Wisconsin 7-2 17 16 14 18
12 Georgia 7-2 15 14 16 15
13 Virginia Tech 8-1 14 10 9 10
14 Kansas State 7-2 13 17 22 14
15 Texas 6-2 20 21 20 16
16 Penn State 8-1 19 12 12 12
17 Houston 9-0 21 11 11 11
18 Michigan 7-2 11 22 21 24
19 Nebraska 7-2 9 19 17 19
20 Cincinnati 7-1 22 23 18 23
21 South Carolina 7-2 10 15 15 13
22 Georgia Tech 7-2 24 20 19 21
23 Florida State 6-3 25 NR NR NR
24 USC 7-2 NR NR NR NR
25 Auburn 6-3 NR 24 25 20
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Huan Vuposted 9 days and 7 hours ago

Big 12 should declare itself as Big 14 for 2014 and add 2 of the following sets

Louisville and Cincinnati, BYU and Boise State, or UCF and USF

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