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Texas Tech fined for field storming when Texas player shoved Pac-12 looking stronger at top after early-season losses CFP expansion talks head toward October after 7-hour meeting

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IRVING, Texas. Texas Tech was fined $50,000 and reprimanded by the Big 12 conference for fans rushing onto the field after an overtime win over a Texas opponent, during which video showed one of them shoving a Longhorns player.

A post on the official TX Athletic Division Twitter account included a frame from the video asking for help identifying the fan and said the case had been turned over to the school’s police department.

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“Texas Institute of Technology does not condone physical altercations between spectators and student-athletes. This behavior has no place at Texas Tech sporting events,” the school said in a statement.

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The video shows an older Texas extreme rusher. Ovi Ogufo he was pushed from behind by one of the fans who ran onto the field on Saturday after the Red Raiders scored a late field goal to win 37–34, their first home game in the series since 2008.

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“I wouldn’t call it a fan running over our player. I think the fan went and hit our player,” said the Texas coach. Steve Sarkisian said. “These are difficult situations. I love the spectacle of college football. When the fans rush around the field, it is dangerous for us as coaches on both sides. This is dangerous for the players. I give credit to Ovi. I thought he showed great poise and self-control. I thought it could turn into an ugly situation.”

Sargsyan said he did not blame the fans for being in such a hurry on the pitch to celebrate the victory, but said it would be good to find a better and safer way for everyone involved. He also acknowledged that some conferences are forced to impose significant fines to try to eliminate such situations.

The Texas Institute of Technology was fined and issued a public reprimand under the Big 12’s athletic conduct standards policy.

“We have an obligation to provide a safe gaming environment,” said the commissioner of the Big 12 conference. Brett Yorkmark said. “The Texas Athletics Department of Technology has a written event management policy that, while well thought out, has failed to ensure the safety of all visiting student athletes, officials, coaches, and staff. Any action that endangers the safety of the participants in the game is not allowed.

With Oregon being choked out by leading Georgia and Utah losing to Florida, it looked like the Pac-12 was headed for another college football playoff miss.

The week before the start of the season, the top two teams in the conference had already failed big early tests.

Fast forward three weeks and it looks like Pac-12 might be in good shape after all.

The Ducks and the Utes took the win with big wins, and the conference leader looks strong with four teams in the top 15 for the first time since 2016.

It’s still early, but Pac-12 is positioning itself to take the team to CFP for the first time since Washington in 2016-17.

Watch how the Pac-12 peak stacks up on the first weekend in October:

SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA

The No. 6 Trojans (4-0, 2-0 Pac-12) seem to have quickly returned to glory in their first season under Lincoln Riley. Former Oklahoma Coach Brought Quarterback Caleb Williams with him to Southern California and they did well in the first four games.

Williams threw for 1,054 yards and threw for nine touchdowns, adding 100 yards and two more scoring shots. USC’s defense was opportunistic, leading the nation with 11 interceptions and tied for the lead with 14 clearances.

The Trojans survived a panic against the bully Oregon State over the weekend and started 4-0 for the first time since 2012. USC is scheduled to play in Utah on October 15 but has avoided Washington and Oregon this season.

UTAH

12th-place Utes opened the season with a heavy road loss at The Swamp in Florida, but won three lopsided games in a row.

Short of a costly interception against the Gators, the quarterback cam height was sharp, throwing for 954 yards and 10 TDs. Utah (3-1, 1-0) has physical defense and is third in FBS with 132.8 yards per game.

The Cliff also has a veteran team that won the Pac-12 championship last season. Bad news: hard ending Brant Kuittheir lead wide receiver, out for the season with a knee injury.

Utah will play Oregon State this weekend and have tough games against USC and Oregon still on the schedule.

OREGON

The Ducks’ playoff chances plummeted after a 49-3 loss to defending national champion Georgia in the first game.

No. 13 Oregon (3-1, 1-0) bounced back with a decisive victory over a good BYU team and outlasted previously undefeated Washington State 44-41 last week.

The Ducks couldn’t match the Bulldogs in any way – there aren’t many of them – but they’ve averaged 51.6 points in their last three games. Oregon’s biggest weakness is his pass defense. The Ducks allow 72.5% of passes to be completed, the third worst in the country.

Oregon’s biggest test left this season will come in back-to-back games against Washington and Utah.

WASHINGTON

The Huskies quickly changed in their first season under a coach. Kalen DeBoer.

defender Michael Penix Jr. Now that he’s healthy, he’s been great, throwing a top 1,388 yards and 12 TDs with one interception. No. 15 Washington (4-0, 1-0) has a solid home win over Michigan State and has 15 sacks this season, including eight against Stanford last week.

On Saturday, the Huskies will play their first road game at undefeated UCLA before facing Oregon on November 12.

University of California at Los Angeles

After winning in Colorado for the first time since 2014 last Saturday, the Bruins (4-0, 1-0 Pac-12) have the longest winning streak since winning their first eight games in 2005.

UCLA had a hard time getting past South Alabama and opened its Pac-12 schedule with a victory over the struggling Buffaloes.

The Bruins will find out how good they are over the next three weeks, a brutal stretch that includes home games against Washington and Utah before heading to Eugene to play the Ducks on October 22.

ROSEMONT, Illinois. On Tuesday, the conference commissioners, who run the college football playoffs, spent nearly seven hours working on expanding the postseason system from four to 12 teams by the 2024 season.

There is still a lot of work to be done.

“We won’t be summarizing this week,” the CFP chief executive said. Bill Hancock said.

The CFP Steering Committee, consisting of 10 conference commissioners and the Notre Dame Athletic Director, is scheduled to meet again at the Big Ten offices for a few hours Wednesday morning. They are going to meet again in person in Dallas on October 20th.

“It will be important,” Hancock said.

Expansion talks have been reopened by university presidents and presidents who oversee the College Football playoffs last month.

By adopting a 12-team plan that has been on the table since the spring of 2021, the presidents pushed panel members to try to implement the new format before the current CFP contract with ESPN expires. This deal ends after the 2025 season.

The expansion from four to 12 in 2024 and 2025 will require rescheduling the semi-finals and championship games, for which dates and locations have already been set, as well as adding four new first round games in mid-December to be played on campus.

Squeezing it all in about a month and working with the NFL for TV is going to be tough.

Hancock said the idea of ​​moving the start of the college football season to a week before Labor Day was discussed to create more room at the end for the playoffs, but was discussed more after the 2025 season.

“I think most people see it as a subject for the future. As a long-term issue, not an urgent one,” Hancock said. “Remember, there are so many details here.”

Hancock said CFP officials have spoken to bowl partners and host cities due to host semi-finals and championship games after the 2024 and 25 seasons, but have not been given exact new dates.

Atlanta has already been selected to host the championship, which will take place after the 2024 season on January 6, 2025. If the playoffs grow from four teams to 12, the game will have to be rescheduled by about two weeks.

“(The Atlanta organizers) have a lot to work on because of other businesses in the community,” Hancock said. “Another business related to the organization of meetings, the hotel business and the conference center. It was great to work with them.”



Source: collegefootball.nbcsports.com

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