Posted on 07 September 2012.
Posted on 24 October 2011.
CSF breaks down a wild week of the week that was. Week 8 had its share of upsets and surprises. Check it out, as CSF takes a look at five key highlights.
Bye-bye BCS Championship: Two teams that were not only expected to win their conferences, but also have a shot at a BCS National Championship saw their hopes flash before their eyes last weekend. Wisconsin–who needed a lot of help to get to a title game anyway, due to their weak out of conference schedule–lost on the last play of the game at Michigan State. Sparty presented a defensive front that the Badgers hadn’t seen in their marquee match ups like South Dakota and UNLV didn’t quite have.
Meanwhile, the Oklahoma Sooners saw their hopes of a BCS title and the nation’s longest home winning streak (39 games) dash away at the hands of Tommy Tuberville’s Texas Tech squad. Usually, when the Sooners lose a game they should easily win, it is because of poor QB play, but not this time. Landry Jones was sharp, throwing for 412 yards and 5 TDs, but the Sooner defense was scorched by TT quarterback Seth Doege for five touchdowns of his own (4 passing, 1 rushing). The Sooners will need a lot of help, including a win at Oklahoma State in December to sneak back into the BCS Championship.
Kansas State continues to roll: In the “Where did they come from” category, the Kansas State Wildcats improved to 7-0 last weekend as they play host to a pivotal match up this weekend against a thoroughly ticked off Oklahoma squad. You can’t say enough about head coach Bill Snyer who has brought this program from the brink twice now. How have the Wildcats come back from the depths of the FBS in such a short amount of time? The answer…the running game–on both sides of the ball. KSU ranks 19th in the nation in rushing offense at 213 yards per game, and they are 13th in rushing defense, holding opponents to just 93 yards a game.
Tajh Boyd getting some Heisman hype: Clemson keeps winning, and their quarterback continues to be the major reason why. The sophomore QB has passed for 2,379 yards with a whopping 24 touchdown passes with only 3 interceptions. Compare those numbers to Heisman front-runner Andrew Luck who has 1,888 yards and 20 TDs with 3 picks as well. Luck has played one less game, but Boyd has 4 more TDs on the ground, compared to Luck’s one, and Clemson has faced a much more competitive schedule. Luck, without question, belongs in New York at season’s end, but it’s time to give Boyd his due, as well.
A legitimate “Game of the Century” officially set: As expected Alabama and LSU rolled to huge victories last weekend, and each team has a bye weekend to prepare for the much anticipated Nov. 5 match up between these two powerhouses in Tuscaloosa. The “Game of the Century” cliche is so overused in college football, but this one actually fits the bill. Hope you like defense because this game has easily the best two defenses in the country. Bama and LSU are ranked #1 and #3 in scoring defense and total defense. Year to date, Bama is ranked #1 against the run, giving up just over 44 yards rushing a game. LSU isn’t too shabby, either, as they rank #4 against the run with only 76 yards rushing per contest. All eyes in the college football world will certainly be on this game, and the winner will be the clear-cut favorite to bring home the BCS Title.
Another Big 12 Little Brother is taking his ball and leaving: Texas A&M confirmed earlier this season that it will, indeed, make the move to the SEC, and last week, Mizzou laid all the necessary ground work to bolt for the best conference in college football as well. If you’re in Columbia, don’t worry about cleaning up any ticker-taped parades. The Tigers only won one–count it, one–Big 12 championship in any of their sports, and that did not come in football. Had they been in the Big 12 South instead of the weak North division, they wouldn’t have even sniffed a shot at a Big 12 title. In the end, the money the SEC brings is too much to turn away, but Mizzou will quickly find out that their mouths were bigger than their stomachs. Competing in the SEC will likely bury them into obscurity much faster than it took head coach Gary Pinkel to get them into the top 25 in the first place.
Posted on 20 October 2011.
Recap of Week 7 picks and highlights, Mizzou seeks new conference, BCS standings are out and one team there could be some good showdowns for the top spot, and our Week 8 picks.
Posted on 26 September 2011.
Week 4 of the College Football season is officially in the books, and the dominant players and teams are beginning to separate from the rest of the pack. CSF breaks down last weekends action in the Week 4 Recap.
Sooners fall out of #1 spot: Once a Heisman front-runner, Oklahoma quarterback Landry Jones has been very average the last two weeks, throwing for 4 TD’s and 4 picks. The Sooners still won, but they didn’t exactly get the payback they were looking for against Mizzou, who upset OU last season in Columbia. Wins against Florida State and Mizzou, who are both 2-2 with no big wins against major programs, along with LSU’s dominance against top-tier competition allowed the Tigers to jump ahead of the Sooners in the AP Poll. Luckily for Sooner fans, LSU and Alabama square off in Tuscaloosa in a month, so one of those teams will drop a few spots.
LSU’s Tyrann Mathieu may be the best DB in the country: LSU and Alabama have the two best defenses in the country–and it’s not even close. The Tigers have forced 12 turnovers against top-flight competition, all away from Death Valley. Their defense is full of elite talent that will be playing on Sundays in the near future, but the guy that always seems to make the biggest plays on the biggest stages is cornerback Tyrann Mathieu. In last weekend’s bigtime match up against West Virginia, the sophomore DB had a key interception and a forced fumble, in which he literally ripped the ball right out of the hands of WV wideout Brad Starks. That makes twice that Mathieu has brought his A-game to a national television audience–in week one, he stripped the ball from Oregon punt returner Kenjon Barner and promptly took the fumble in for a touchdown, and the Ducks never recovered.
Oklahoma State’s Brandon Weeden continues to light it up: We anticipated a shoot out, and that’s exactly what we got last weekend, when Oklahoma State traveled to Texas A&M. Weeden threw for 438 yards (a new school record) and two TDs against the Aggies. The senior quarterback completed a whopping 47 passes in 60 attempts and spread the ball around nicely–he had three different receivers with ten or more catches, led by dynamic wideout Justin Blackmon, who had 11 catches for 121 yards and a touchdown. Weeden currently leads the nation in passing yards per game with 398.0 per contest.
Florida could be back: After a disappointing 2010 season, first year head coach Will Muschamp has the Gators off to a 4-0 start, 2-0 in SEC play. Quarterback John Brantley looks much more comfortable in Charlie Weis’ pro-style attack versus Urban Meyer’s spread attack that made Tim Tebow a household name, although they didn’t need much passing last weekend against Kentucky, as both Jeff Demps and Chris Rainey rushed for over 100 yards a piece. More importantly, Muschamp has brought his attitude to the Gator defense, who created four turnovers last weekend. We’ll see just how far Florida has come very soon–the Gators host Alabama this weekend and travel to LSU next weekend.
The ACC is not good at tackle football: I’m not sure how the intramural flag football programs in the ACC are, but several programs proved their conference still isn’t ready for big boy football. After giving then #1 Oklahoma all they could handle, Florida State’s defense was gashed by the Clemson QB-WR combo of Tajh Boyd and Sammy Watkins. The ‘Noles gave up 455 yards to the Tigers, 366 coming through the air. FSU was supposed to be the ACC’s hope for a title-contender in 2011, but that’s not going to happen. Miami lost to Kansas State, NC State was destroyed by Cincinnati, and Maryland had the ugly knocked out of their uniforms by Temple 38-7. Until the ACC can beat quality out of conference opponents, they will not be taken seriously in the BCS title talk.
Posted on 13 August 2011.
The Big 12 Conference is looking more like a countdown for a space shuttle launch than it is a football conference these days. The 2011 season will be the first year since the inception that, despite still being called the Big 12, the conference will only have ten teams.
Over the last few days, there are more and more rumblings of Texas A&M moving to the SEC, which would likely be straw to break the dwindling Big 12′s back. But the move to college football’s most powerful conference won’t go through without the Big 12 Conference pulling out all stops to maintain the status quo (if there is one).
Regardless of what the Big 12 officials and the state of Texas choose to do, in the end, A&M would be crazy not to jump at this opportunity. The SEC has long been the best conference in all of college football, and with their recent contract with ESPN, their recent dominance of the BCS National Championships (an SEC team has won the National Championship in each of the last five years), and recent talk of courting Florida State or Virginia Tech to create two, separate 7-team divisions, the SEC shows no signs of looking back.
When the dust settles, we take a quick peak at where the other teams in the conference could end up:
Texas: The Longhorns should be kicking themselves for not jumping at the opportunity to join Colorado when the Pac 10 came calling last year. Instead, Utah jumped at the chance to get out of the BCS purgatory known as the Mountain West. Look for the Pac 12 to become the Pac 14 in an attempt to rival the SEC 2.0 version in 2012 or 2013.
Oklahoma: Like their hated rivals, Texas, there was a lot of talk last year of the Sooners joining the Pac 12, despite the fact that Texas and Oklahoma are nowhere near the Pacific coast, which was the original geographic concept of the conference when they were the Pac 8. You lost yet? Anyway, look for the Sooners and Longhorns to continue their rivalry within the same conference, which will likely be the Pac 14.
Missouri: Like the Huskers, the Big Ten courted the Tigers last season, but Mizzou opted to stay, especially once it was confirmed that Texas was staying. The Big Ten would love to bring on the Tigers and bring a great rivalry with Nebraska inside the conference. This would make the Big Ten’s thirteenth team, and maybe at this point, they really should think about dropping the “Big Ten” name, even though they have retained that name despite having eleven teams since Penn State joined the conference in 1993.
Oklahoma State, Baylor, Texas Tech, Kansas, Kansas State, and Iowa State will have to scramble to find a home. These programs have had flashes, but unlike Mizzou, Oklahoma and Texas, they haven’t quite been able to crack or stay in the Top 25 for more than a year or two at a time. And that will hurt them and possibly leave them with no choice but to join a new version of the Mountain West, but for basketball, Kansas may have to pull a Notre Dame and go independent. Confused yet?
Rumors and scenarios will run rampant in the coming months, but one thing is for sure. The Big 12 was already on life support, and A&M’s likely departure will be the death of the conference.