Big 12 title game staying at home of Cowboys through 2025

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ARLINGTON, Texas — The Big 12 championship game will remain at the home of the Dallas Cowboys through at least 2025, the season after Texas and Oklahoma are set to leave for the Southeastern Conference.

The contract extension announced Wednesday means the first nine games since the return of the Big 12 title game in 2017 will be at 80,000-seat AT&T Stadium. The announcement came during Commissioner Brett Yormark‘s first official week on the job.

The Big 12 didn’t have a championship game from 2011-16 after realignment reduced the league to 10 teams. The conference brought the title game back despite its round-robin regular-season schedule, believing the extra game would help get the league champion into the College Football Playoff.

If Texas and Oklahoma don’t leave early for the SEC, the Big 12 is set to include 14 teams for two seasons in 2023-24 with the additions of Cincinnati, Houston, BYU and UCF.

The Big 12 could expand again before then with uncertainty surrounding the Pac-12 following the defections of Southern California and UCLA to the Big Ten. Those schools are set to make the switch in 2024.

After the Big 12 launched in 1996, the first 13 championship games rotated among the home stadiums of the Kansas City Chiefs, Houston Texans and St. Louis Rams along with the former home of the Cowboys in the Dallas suburb of Irving.

AT&T Stadium has been the only site for the title game since 2009, an arrangement similar to the Big 12 basketball tournament and its Kansas City, Missouri, home. The men’s and women’s tournaments have been in Kansas City since 2010 and will stay at least through 2027.

South Carolina gives AD Tanner raise, two-year extension

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COLUMBIA, S.C. – South Carolina athletic director Ray Tanner received a two-year contract extension that ties him to the school through June 2026.

Tanner, 64, is a two-time College World Series champion as the Gamecocks’ baseball coach who moved to leading the athletic department in July 2012.

The new deal was approved by the school’s board of trustees Friday and replaces Tanner’s old agreement that was set to expire in June 2024. Tanner will receive a raise of more than $153,000 per season, increasing his total compensation to $1.175 million.

Tanner has had his ups and downs leading the department. He took over when football coach Steve Spurrier was in the middle of three straight 11-2 seasons with players like defensive lineman Jadeveon Clowney and receiver Alshon Jeffrey.

Tanner’s hire to replace Spurrier, Will Muschamp, lasted less than five seasons before he was let go in the middle of 2020. Muschamp’s replacement, current coach Shane Beamer, has had back-to-back winning seasons and been to a bowl game his first two yeas.

Tanner has also overseen the rise of women’s basketball under coach Dawn Staley, who signed a seven-year contract before the 2021-22 season worth $22.4 million. Staley and the Gamecocks won the national title last April and are favorites to repeat this season.

Michigan RB Blake Corum says he’ll be back by fall camp

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ANN ARBOR, Mich. — Michigan All-America running back Blake Corum said his surgically repaired left knee has gotten strong enough that he’s been cleared to run on an anti-gravity treadmill next week.

Corum said that he is “100%” sure he will play in the season-opening game on Sept. 2 against East Carolina

Corum tore a meniscus and sprained a ligament in his left knee against Illinois on Nov. 19. After playing sparingly against Ohio State, he sat out when the Wolverines won the Big Ten title and advanced to the College Football Playoff semifinals.

Instead of entering the NFL draft, Corum decided to stay in school for his senior year.

“Feeling great all-around mentally, physically spiritually,” Corum told The Associated Press.

The 5-foot-8, 210-pound Corum ran for 1,463 yards and 18 touchdowns last season and had 952 yards rushing and 11 touchdowns as a sophomore in 2021.

“I’ll be back definitely by fall camp,” he said. “I plan on doing everything in the summer workouts, depending on on what doctor says. He told me I shouldn’t be cutting until maybe June. I’m taking my time, but I will be ready by the season.”

Corum will be watching when his teammates face each each other in the Maize and Blue spring game on April 1 at Michigan Stadium.