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Keys to the Game: Alamo Bowl

Posted on: December 23, 2011 1:34 pm
Edited on: December 23, 2011 1:35 pm
 
Posted by Tom Fornelli

BAYLOR WILL WIN IF: This may be a perfect matchup for Baylor. Not only is the game being played only a few hours away from the school's campus, but the Bears will also be facing a defense that hasn't shown much ability to stop anybody this season. Against the top three scoring offenses in the Pac-12 (Stanford, Oregon and USC) the Huskies allowed an average of 46.33 points a game. Which is music to the ears of a Baylor offense that finished the season averaging 43.5 points per game and has the Heisman Trophy winner handling the ball on every snap. This could be Robert Griffin's final game in a Baylor uniform, and he's going to want to end his college career with a bang. Washington will present him with a great chance to do so. Of course, as is usually the case in Baylor games, if the Bears want to win then the defense is going to have to make some stops.

We know the Bears will score points, but while Washington's offense isn't on the same level as Baylor, it can put points on the board too. So a Baylor defense that has given up 35.7 points per game this season is going to have to play a bit better than that if the Bears want to finish the season with 10 wins.

WASHINGTON WILL WIN IF: The Huskies are going to need to have their best defensive effort of the season to pull this one off, or at the very least, force enough turnovers to keep themselves in the game. Facing a passing attack like Baylor's is not good news for a Washington pass defense that has allowed opponents to complete 62% of their passes at 7.5 yards per attempt. Which means that the best way for Washington to slow RG3 will probably be to get pressure on him, which won't be easy given Griffin's mobility and the fact that the Huskies haven't had a great pass rush this season. Further complicating things is the fact that the Huskies defense has allowed over 4.5 yards per carry to opposing running backs this season as well, so even if Washington can keep Griffin in check, it'll still have to deal with a Terrence Ganaway and a Baylor offense that averages 215 rushing yards a game.

So the best bet for Washington in this one may be to get into a shootout and hope it has the ball last. Scoring points is something that Washington has shown it's capable of this season, with both Keith Price and Chris Polk proving to be hard to stop. The problem is that while the Huskies averaged 35.6 points per game in their first 8 contests, they averaged only 23.25 points a game over their last 4, so it's no surprise that Washington lost 3 of those games. The good news for Washington is that Baylor's defense has a unique ability to make your offense look a lot better than it is.

X-FACTOR: Chris Polk. We've already gone over Washington's run defense, but the truth is Baylor's is probably worse. The Bears allowed nearly 200 yards a game on the ground this season, and gave up 5.18 yards per carry. This is good news for Chris Polk, who rushed for 1,341 yards and 11 touchdowns this season. The best thing Washington can probably do for its defense to slow down Baylor would be to keep Robert Griffin and company off the field as much as possible. The best way to do this will be to utilize Polk and sustain long drives.
Comments

Since: Dec 24, 2011
Posted on: January 6, 2012 11:16 pm
 

Keys to the Game: Alamo Bowl

Great game.  Congrats to Washington.  Porter was the player of the game.  Surprised Baylor was able to pull it out.  UW was the only school to really shut down RGIII.  It opened up the running game big time but they didn't get beat by RGIII.



Since: Dec 24, 2011
Posted on: December 30, 2011 1:03 am
 

Keys to the Game: Alamo Bowl

Congrats to Baylor! I don't believe in moral victories, but an unranked UW played a hec of a game without home field advantage...




Since: Dec 24, 2011
Posted on: December 29, 2011 5:50 pm
 

Keys to the Game: Alamo Bowl

You should really read the articles. The Pac-12 shunned Oklahoma, Texas, and OSU...not the other way around. If the Pac-12 would have agreed to their terms, those teams would be in right now. But the Pac-12 was not stupid. I already said that Pickens didn't agree to the move, but was 'onboard'. Losing Nebraska, Missouri, and Texas A&M is going to eventually be a big hit for the Big-12. They won't be able to recover from this in terms of being a 'strong' conference. Any teams added don't match the record and pristige of those three leaving.

Texas beat Cal...I wouldn't say they destroyed Cal. Texas defense did a good job creating 5 turnovers. However, their offense didn't show up seeing it was only an 11 point victory with a 5/0 turnover margin in their favor. This hardly constitutes 'destroyed'. Texas was ranked and it was a no-lose situation for Cal. UW beat Cal and now UW is in a similar no-lose situation for the Alamo Bowl. They lose, it was expected. They win, well we know how that goes. I am not going to say that UW will beat Baylor. In fact, Baylor has a huge edge by being only 3 hours away from home. But to call this a 'runaway' is just ESPN Heisman propaganda.

Notice that the recruiting has to be all the way from the midwest to southern belt to compete with California. USC will be the favorites next year and guess where MOST of their recruits come from?



Since: Dec 24, 2011
Posted on: December 29, 2011 8:42 am
 

Keys to the Game: Alamo Bowl

A very weak UT team destroyed Cal last night.  All of us here were surprised.  Cal may have saved Mack Brown's job.

Baylor's defense has been improving all year.  Look at the first 5 and then the last 5 for comparisons.  They do give up tons of yardage and like I said they are on the field so much as Baylor scores so quickly but they are very opportunistic.  Baylor doesn't win the last 5 games without a stronger defense. 



Since: Dec 24, 2011
Posted on: December 29, 2011 8:38 am
 

Keys to the Game: Alamo Bowl

Boone Pickens fought hard for this not to happen.  He may have predicted the Big 12 was going to collapse as it sure looked like it was going to but he knew the end result.  No way wither team does well in the PAC 12.  There were OU sports writers stupid enough to believe CA players would want to come Oklahoma to play.  OSU knew they were tied to OU and whatever they decided.  You need to read all of the articles as it progressed.  In the end Boren, the former Governor and President of OU, decided no and Boone Pickens was very glad.

The Longhorn network is still a huge issue and the reason why eventually UT will be part of the Big 12 except in football much the same way Notre Dame is with the Big 10.

The 50 mile area around LA may be the best in the country but there is no recruiting turf in the U.S. like Texas.  I cannot believe you would even suggest this.  Just ask the SEC, Big 12 and Big 10.  Sorry, but there it Texas and then CA and FL are way behind.

The PAC 12 tried hard twice to get Big 12 teams.  I mean hard.  After finally giving OU/OSU a deadline and not hearing from the (it was a Sunday night) the PAC 12 moved on knowing the inevitable.

I have a lot of respect for the history of the PAC 12.  I don't know why basketball has been down for so long.  Coaching?  Also, football is way down as well.  it is baffling to me.



Since: Dec 24, 2011
Posted on: December 28, 2011 1:09 am
 

Keys to the Game: Alamo Bowl

Enough said?



even mentions that the Longhorn Network is the reason behind the collapse. Pickens may not have agreed with the move, but he was 'onboard' at the time because of the Longhorn issue. Your mentioning above about the Longhorn Network doesn't contradict what I said they had to do to prevent the collapse. I may have been wrong in saying that they had to fully share Longhorn Network revenues, but the point is the network is the primary basis in the Big-12's collapse.  In fact, the Longhorn Network is still causing problems. The Big-12 has to in strong teams from weak conferences because the Big-12's current teams won't stay.

SI.com (amongst many news articles...google it) has an article about the Pac-12 shunning the Big-12...

  

Note that they continued talks to keep the Big-12 together AFTER they got shunned. They would have moved, but the Pac-12 wouldn't do it unless they shared ALL revenues.
 
An unranked UW solidly beat a ranked Big-12 Nebraska and made them look silly last year.

In football, the Big-12 conference is WEAK this year. Pac-12 got 2 bids to BCS, Big-12 got 1, OSU, and I see them getting beat by the 3rd best team in the Pac-12, Stanford.

The state of Texas does have a lot of recruits, but I'd hate to say it, they fight for 2nd-3rd with Florida. A 50 mile radius in Los Angeles has more top recruits than any state outside of California for football and basketball. I don't believe that moving to the Pac-12 would have killed OSU, Oklahoma, or Texas recruiting...they are still located in Oklahoma and Texas.

Basketball, right now, I agree is weak in the Pac-12. However, even in a so-called down year the Pac-12 does get a team or two in the Sweet 16...happened the last 3 years and wouldn't doubt it happens again this year. I admit that it will be tough, but the Pac always progresses throughout the season.
 
BTW...What's Baylor's record on the road this year? UW has a terrible defense, but you should check out Baylor's:

UW rushing Defense 55th
Baylor rushing Defense 109th

UW total defense 104th
Baylor total defense 114th

UW scoring defense 99th
Baylor scoring defense 109th

UW pass defense 116th
Baylor pass defense 112th

A 9-3 Big-12 team playing 8 games at home with those defensive stats shows how poor the Big-12 is...



Since: Dec 24, 2011
Posted on: December 28, 2011 1:08 am
 

Keys to the Game: Alamo Bowl

Enough said?



even mentions that the Longhorn Network is the reason behind the collapse. Pickens may not have agreed with the move, but he was 'onboard' at the time because of the Longhorn issue. Your mentioning above about the Longhorn Network doesn't contradict what I said they had to do to prevent the collapse. I may have been wrong in saying that they had to fully share Longhorn Network revenues, but the point is the network is the primary basis in the Big-12's collapse.  In fact, the Longhorn Network is still causing problems. The Big-12 has to in strong teams from weak conferences because the Big-12's current teams won't stay.

SI.com (amongst many news articles...google it) has an article about the Pac-12 shunning the Big-12...

  

Note that they continued talks to keep the Big-12 together AFTER they got shunned. They would have moved, but the Pac-12 wouldn't do it unless they shared ALL revenues.
 
An unranked UW solidly beat a ranked Big-12 Nebraska and made them look silly last year.

In football, the Big-12 conference is WEAK this year. Pac-12 got 2 bids to BCS, Big-12 got 1, OSU, and I see them getting beat by the 3rd best team in the Pac-12, Stanford.

The state of Texas does have a lot of recruits, but I'd hate to say it, they fight for 2nd-3rd with Florida. A 50 mile radius in Los Angeles has more top recruits than any state outside of California for football and basketball. I don't believe that moving to the Pac-12 would have killed OSU, Oklahoma, or Texas recruiting...they are still located in Oklahoma and Texas.

Basketball, right now, I agree is weak in the Pac-12. However, even in a so-called down year the Pac-12 does get a team or two in the Sweet 16...happened the last 3 years and wouldn't doubt it happens again this year. I admit that it will be tough, but the Pac always progresses throughout the season.
 
BTW...What's Baylor's record on the road this year? UW has a terrible defense, but you should check out Baylor's:

UW rushing Defense 55th
Baylor rushing Defense 109th

UW total defense 104th
Baylor total defense 114th

UW scoring defense 99th
Baylor scoring defense 109th

UW pass defense 116th
Baylor pass defense 112th

A 9-3 Big-12 team playing 8 games at home with those defensive stats shows how poor the Big-12 is...



Since: Dec 24, 2011
Posted on: December 27, 2011 12:40 pm
 

Keys to the Game: Alamo Bowl

Your information is wrong.  OU administration was split on joining the Big 12 but Boren in the end said no.  OSU was flat against it - especially Pickens.  OSU is strong today because 60% of their roster is Texans.  UT would continue to get Texas high school players as they play UT every year.  An OSU move to the PAC 12 would have killed their recruiting.  What happened to Arkansas when they left the SWC?  They lost all of their Texas players and it took two decades to get back to where they were.  Two years ago Nebraska had 5 of the top 100 players in Texas.  This year they have none.  Missouri has already had 3 Texas hgh school players decommit since they announced for the SEC.  it will kill them.  A&M will also find recruiting tougher.  Parents want to be able to drive to all of the games and that won't be possible for A&M recruits.

By the way, UT is not sharing their money from the Longhorn Network. Again, that is wrong information.  UT has agreed to drop the unbalanced payout that UT/OU was receiving over and above the smaller Big 12 schools.  In the end, several years down the road, UT will go independent in football and A&M will rejoin the Big 12 or whatever the conference is then.  A&M fans are extremely upset they are leaving although, like good Aggies they are, they aren't saying much publicly.  A&M President will be gone in 3 years.

PAC 12 is down in basketball and football.  It is honestly baffling.  By the way, UW played 4 ranked teams this year.  What was their record against those teams?



Since: Dec 24, 2011
Posted on: December 26, 2011 9:56 pm
 

Keys to the Game: Alamo Bowl

You should really look at the basis of . OK schools WANTED to join the Pac-12...BADLY. Not so much in 2010, but real bad in 2011 due to the Longhorn network not sharing revenues. The Pac-12 commissioner wouldn't let them because they didn't want a 14 team conference. OK schools wanted to leave the Big-12 because they weren't getting revenue sharing of the Longhorn Network...even Pickens was onboard. To prevent dismantling the Big-12, Texas agreed to share revenues of the Longhorn network when the conference was near collapse and it survived. The Big-12 is a 'good' conference, however any team at the same ranking in the Pac-12 is more likely to beat their equivalent ranked opponent in the Big 12. Its not hard to recognize this when a ranked Big 12 team is playing a unranked Pac 12 team in the Alamo Bowl. Also, the Big-12 got 1 bid and Pac-12 got 2 bids to the BCS. I'd be hard-pressed to think that OK St (the Big 12's best) will beat Stanford (the Pac-12's 3rd best team - USC 1st, OR 2nd). We'll see though...



Since: Dec 24, 2011
Posted on: December 26, 2011 6:47 pm
 

Keys to the Game: Alamo Bowl

I agree that Big 12 isn't the SEC but it is light year's ahead of the PAC 12 which is why OK schools didn't join. 

Washington had a great year but Baylor had serious momentum the last 5 games of the seasono why UW faded down the stretch when it counted.  Baylor is a team of destiny in this game and they will win by 3 TDs.


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