What I learned from the Big 12 (Oct 1)
Posted on: October 2, 2011 12:50 am
Edited on: October 2, 2011 12:51 am
Posted by Tom Fornelli
1. Mike Sherman should be ashamed of himself. For the second consecutive week Texas A&M blew a large lead in the second half. Last week the Aggies allowed Oklahoma State to come back from a 20-3 deficit at halftime, and on Saturday in Jerry World, the Aggies blew a 35-17 lead over Arkansas at the break. While the blame for last week's collapse could be spread around, I have no doubt where the blame for Texas A&M's loss against Arkansas should be placed.
Right on the shoulders of Mike Sherman.
In the third quarter while holding onto a 35-20 lead, Texas A&M faced a 4th and 2 at the Arkansas 39-yard line. The Razorbacks called a timeout, and during that timeout, Mike Sherman decided that the best course of action his team should take -- the team that averaged 7.1 yards per carry on the day -- would be to take a delay of game and punt. That decision resulted in a 19-yard punt and a 75-yard drive by Arkansas to cut the lead to 35-27 and firmly plant the momentum in Arkansas' favor. Then, making matters worse, Sherman once again faced a 4th and 1 at the Texas A&M 49-yard line in the fourth quarter with A&M still clinging to a 35-27 lead.
Did the coach learn his lesson from the previous 4th and short situation? Of course not, he sent the punt team out once again and Arkansas thanked him by going 86 yards in 100 seconds to tie the game at 35-35. Texas A&M would retake the lead with a field goal later, but it would prove to be too little too late.
If Sherman's March to Atlanta helped seal the Civil War for the Union, then Sherman's Laydown in Arlington surely helped lead to Arkansas' victory in the Southwest Classic.
2. Bill Snyder is a wonderful coach. Snyder already beat the odds once in his first go-round in Manhattan, turning the Kansas State program into a Big 12 power, and now it looks like he's on his way to repeating the feat in his second stint with the Wildcats. Kansas State's thrilling 36-35 win over Baylor on Saturday was a huge win for the program, and it's starting to look like the Wildcats could be a problem for the rest of the teams in the Big 12.
I'm not sure there's any other coach in the country who could do what Snyder has done in Manhattan, let alone do it twice.
3. Robert Griffin is mortal. I'm not jumping off my Robert Griffin bandwagon just yet, as he threw for another 5 touchdowns and 346 yards in Baylor's loss against Kansas State, but it was his first interception of the season that proved to be fatal. It was the first real mistake Griffin had made this season, and it couldn't have come at a worse time. He'll recover, though, I promise.
4. Ryan Broyles is a prolific receiver. Oklahoma didn't have a lot of trouble with Ball State in a 62-6 victory, and Ryan Broyles put himself into the record books on Saturday night. Broyles caught 4 passes to give him 304 receptions in his career, which is more than any other player in the history of the Big 12. He is also only 12 catches away from passing former Purdue receiver Taylor Stubblefield and becoming the NCAA's all-time leader in receptions. I have a strong feeling he breaks that record before the year is done.