Posted on: October 9, 2010 11:36 pm
Posted by Tom Fornelli
1. Texas Tech really needs to stop trying onside kicks. Seriously, last week the Red Raiders attempted an onside kick late in the fourth quarter and trailing Iowa State by seven points. The kick was recovered by Iowa State and taken back 42 yards for a touchdown. So what did Tommy Tuberville learn this week? Nothing. He tried an onside kick in the first quarter of Tech's win over Baylor, and this one was returned 38 yards for another touchdown. Tuberville already faces the tough task of winning over Texas Tech fans after the firing of Mike Leach, and decisions like these aren't going to help.
2. The Big 12 North will be decided on October 30. There isn't much mystery to the Big 12 North this season. The fact of the matter is that Kansas, Colorado, Iowa State and Kansas State are terrible, and that the only two teams who have a chance to represent the division in the Big 12 title game are Nebraska and Missouri. What I know about those teams is that Nebraska has a couple impressive wins -- and one not so impressive win over South Dakota State -- and that Missouri hasn't really beaten anybody besides Illinois this season.
3. Jerrod Johnson will drive you crazy. Against Oklahoma State last week, Jerrod Johnson threw four interceptions, but aside from those mistakes he actually played pretty well. I mean, the Aggies had a chance to win that game. This week Johnson was the total opposite. He only turned the ball over once against Arkansas, but didn't take advantage of a defense that did a pretty nice job of stopping Arkansas after a terrible performance against the Cowboys. Johnson completed only 15-of-40 pass attempts, which is just, well, that's just awful. You're supposed to get better during your senior season, not revert to freshman form.
4. Taylor Martinez can bounce back. After the first three weeks of Nebraska's season, Taylor Martinez had Cornhusker fans comparing him to Eric Crouch. Then the South Dakota State game happened. Martinez had a nightmare performance in that game, but after a week off he bounced back big time against Kansas State on Thursday night. I'm not sure he's Eric Crouch just yet, but the Magic Man may be enough to get Nebraska one last Big 12 title before taking off to the Big Ten.
Posted on: October 4, 2010 12:54 pm
Posted by Tom Fornelli
You should never drink and drive. Seriously, it's just not smart. You could end up hurting yourself or anybody who happens to come across your hazy path. Of course, I know that saying that isn't going to stop people from driving drunk because let's face it, when we're drunk, we make dumb decisions.
So if you are going to drive drunk, here's a little bit of advice. If you end up getting pulled over by the police, try not to have an open beer in your car with you. It just looks bad.
Missouri defensive lineman Jimmy Burge was cited for drinking a beer while driving Saturday night in Columbia. Burge, 21, the Tigers’ top reserve defensive tackle, was pulled over by Columbia police at 11:45 p.m. after he made an illegal left turn from Clark Lane to Paris Road. He appeared intoxicated and smelled of alcohol, according to the police report.
Was the beer at least wearing a seat belt?
Burge was taken to the Columbia Police Department where he took a blood-alcohol content test and was actually found to be below the legal limit. So instead of getting a DUI Burge was charged for two misdemeanors: drinking intoxicants while driving and making an illegal turn. It doesn't seem he'll be so lucky with his head coach, Gary Pinkel, though.
While the team hasn't announced any disciplinary actions resulting from Burge's arrest, he is the team's backup defensive tackle, but as of Monday morning he does not appear on the team's depth chart for this week.
Posted on: September 30, 2010 1:28 pm
Edited on: September 30, 2010 5:11 pm
Posted by Adam Jacobi
The, um, "newly svelte" Big 12 announced yesterday that its members had approved a new nine-game, round-robin schedule for play, and the conference released its future schedules for play today. You can check out the full conference schedule by team here, courtesy of the Big 12's website.
Now, it's not saying much to say that a round-robin schedule is fair; round robins are inherently so, considering everyone plays everyone else, and any home/away disparities get evened out the next season. That's how football schedules are done, and this is no exception. There are a few points of elegance to the Big 12's new schedule, though, and they warrant mention:
1. Balance. This is obviously Texas and Oklahoma's league now; with Nebraska soon to be out of the picture, they're the two dominant programs, and nobody else really looks structurally capable of challenging them on a year-to-year basis. Thus, the other eight programs would generally regard UT and OU as their "toughest games of the year." And sure enough, nobody has to face Texas and Oklahoma back to back.
What's more, only Texas Tech and Baylor face both the Longhorns and the Sooners away in 2011; everybody else splits those games up home and away every year. And before Tech and Bears fans gripe about that, their teams are also the only ones who get both teams at home the next season and every other season thereafter.
2. No really, the balance. If there is a program which is set up to be the third power in the conference, it's probably Texas A&M. Sure, the Aggies haven't really had their act together on the field for the last decade or so, but that won't last forever. Commissioner Dan Beebe and the Big 12 know that, of course, so not only does nobody have to play Texas and Oklahoma in a row, only two of the seven other schools have to play any two of the Texas/Texas A&M/Oklahoma trio in a row: Baylor (again!) and Kansas, who each see A&M the week before playing Texas. That's it.
3. Rivalries. Probably our favorite aspect of this schedule is the final week, when every program has a traditional rivalry game. Sure, that's when Texas-Texas A&M has always been played, and other rivalries have often (but not always) taken place that weekend. Now, it's set in stone: Iowa State-Kansas State, Kansas-Missouri, Oklahoma-Oklahoma State, Texas Tech-Baylor and Texas-Texas A&M every final week. That's a good thing.
It's actually surprising the Big Ten didn't push harder for this type of setup; that conference divides up into traditional rivals just as easily, but only Michigan-Ohio State and Nebraska-Iowa are locked in for the final week in both of the first two seasons put forth by the Big Ten. Kudos to the Big 12 for realizing the value of Thanksgiving weekend rivalry games.
4. And finally, a way out. It's funny, the schedules are, according to the Big 12, set up in perpetuity; the 2013 schedule will be the same in 2015, 2017, 2019, etc. And yet, nobody actually wants that, right? College football's not boring by any stretch, but some variety in conference scheduling always helps. Similarly, nobody actually wants the Big 12 to stay at 10 teams forever, right? The Big 12 Championship game was way too much of a cash cow for the conference to just drop it forever, and there's significantly less charm in the whole "conference name doesn't match the number of members" situation when the actual number of members is lower. They'll be back to, uh, 12 members at some point. Count on it.
So, in about 2015 or so, when the conference members start getting a little tired of the schedule ("Wow, it's ISU-Texas to kick off the conference season AGAIN"), that'll be one more accelerant to the process of expanding the conference back to its previous 12. It's all quite perfect, really.