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Tag:Oklahoma State
Posted on: January 10, 2012 1:14 am
 

PODCAST: National Championship recap

Posted by Tom Fornelli

The confetti has hardly finished falling in the Superdome down in New Orleans, and the Alabama Crimson Tide aren't quite done celebrating just yet, but it's never too early to break down what we saw on Monday night. So in the latest episode of the CBSSports.com College Football Podcast, the Eye On College Football blog's Jerry Hinnen joins Adam Aizer to talk about Alabama's 21-0 victory.

Adam and Jerry talk about which team is better, and whether or not LSU should still be ranked #1 in the AP Poll after this one. They also discuss Oklahoma State's place in all of this, along with whether or not Les Miles and LSU were outcoached in this game. And, of course, we couldn't get through the podcast without talking about one of the greatest defenses we've ever seen in college football: the 2011 Alabama Crimson Tide.

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Posted on: January 7, 2012 7:01 pm
Edited on: January 8, 2012 11:51 am
 

Mike Gundy gets an 8-year extension

Posted by Tom Fornelli

What happens when you lead your team to its first conference title and first win in a BCS bowl game? Well, if you're Oklahoma State's Mike Gundy, you get an eight-year contract extension.

Sources tell CBSSports.com's Brett McMurphy that Gundy and Oklahoma State have agreed to a deal that will keep him on the sidelines in Stillwater through the 2019 season. The financial details of the deal aren't disclosed, but it's believed that Gundy will receive a raise that takes his yearly compensation from $2.1 million a year to $3.1 million.

That salary would likely put him among the top 15-to-20 head coaches in the FBS, and third in the Big 12 behind Mack Brown at Texas and Bob Stoops at archrivals Oklahoma.

Gundy has been at Oklahoma State since the 2005 season, going 59-30 in that time with six straight bowl appearances. However, in the last two seasons the Cowboys have gone 23-3 and won the Big 12 this season before beating Stanford in the Fiesta Bowl. Depending on how the BCS Championship Game shakes out, the Cowboys will likely finish the season ranked second in the country.

That would be a nice accomplishment for any program. At Oklahoma State, however, that kind of success is virtually unprecedented; the Cowboys haven't won an outright conference championship in any league since taking the Missouri Valley in 1948--and that league had only three members at the time. The past two seasons represent the only two 11-win seasons in school history, and Gundy's four straight 9-win seasons doubles the school's previous best streak of (you can do the math) two. (It's worth noting that the program's previous high-water mark, the back-to-back 10-win seasons featuring Barry Sanders in 1987 and 1988, ended with the school on severa probation that helped lead to eight consectuvie losing seasons between 1989 and 1996.)

It's that kind of lack of traditional success that's made the OSU job a stepping stone in the past. Gundy predecessor Les Miles never approached the heights Gundy has in Stillwater -- his best season of his four at the Cowboy helm was a 9-4 (5-3) mark in 2003 that ended in a Cotton Bowl loss to Ole Miss -- and still converted that meager success into an LSU job that ranks among the most plum in the country.

Which is why it's no surprise at all to see Gundy receive this level of commitment from the school. With Texas still looking for an offensive identity and Oklahoma still struggling to return their defense to a championship-caliber unit, there's no reason the Cowboys can't maintain a long-term perch near the top of the conference if they're ready to make the commitment ... and the presence of megabooster T. Boone Pickens ensure that that commitment should be there.

(It's worth noting here that Gundy has already had to rebuild the program on the fly, having been forced to replace record-setting quarterback Zac Robinson and Dez Bryant before the 2010 season, and then offensive coordinator Dana Holgorsen before this one. In Brandon Weeden, Justin Blackmon and Todd Monken, it's safe to say Gundy passed those tests with flying colors.)

Pickens is the other reason we can't be surprised even by the hefty nine-year price tag for Gundy's extension; T. Boone said via his Twitter account at the start of December that Gundy had earned a raise. And at Oklahoma State, when T. Boone Pickens says you deserve a raise, you're going to get a raise.

When asked for comment on his new contract, Gundy had this to say.



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Posted on: January 7, 2012 12:32 am
Edited on: January 7, 2012 12:33 am
 

QUICK HITS: Arkansas 29 Kansas State 16



Posted by Tom Fornelli


ARKANSAS WON. It wasn't the prettiest of games by any means, and the long layoff for both teams since the regular season ended no doubt had something to do with it. Arkansas was able to shake off the rust first, thanks to a field goal and yet another punt return touchdown by the amazing Joe Adams. The 10-0 lead quickly grew to 19-0 before Kansas State blocked an extra point and returned the kick for a safety and the Wildcats scored two more touchdowns to cut the lead to 19-16. Unfortunately for Kansas State, that was the end of any success on offense.

It wasn't his best performance of the season, but Tyler Wilson finished the night with 216 yards passing and 2 touchdowns, with Jarius Wright making 3 receptions for 88 yards, including a 45-yard touchdown catch in the second quarter. Collin Klein had a tough night for the Wildcats, finishing with only 41 yards rushing on 24 carries, though he did throw for 173 yards and accounted for both of Kansas State's touchdowns.

WHY ARKANSAS WON. The reason Arkansas won this game came from an area where you'd least expect it to: its run defense. Arkansas finished 9th in the SEC in run defense this season but somehow managed to stop a Kansas State rushing attack that finished the regular season 25th in the country averaging 193.7 yards per game. The Wildcats ran the ball 40 times on Friday night for a grand total of 86 yards, or 2.15 yards per carry. By making Kansas State's offense one-dimensional and forcing Collin Klein to throw a lot more than Kansas State wanted him to, Arkansas ensured its eleventh win of the season.

WHEN ARKANSAS WON. Kansas State had a chance in the final minutes of this one, but when kicker Anthony Cantele missed a 43-yard field goal with 6:43 left and the Wildcats trailing 26-16 it was pretty clear that there would be no late rally.

WHAT ARKANSAS WON. This was the finishing touch on what was a great season for Arkansas. The Razorbacks finish their season with an 11-2 record, with both of those losses coming against LSU and Alabama. The Razorbacks will also likely finish the season ranked in the top five setting them up for a possible title run in 2012.

WHAT KANSAS STATE LOST. This would have been a nice bookend to what was a spectacular and unexpected season for Kansas State, but it's hard to be disappointed in the year the Wildcats had. Kansas State finishes the season with a 10-3 mark and those three losses came against Oklahoma, Oklahoma State and Arkansas. Some very good teams.

THAT WAS CRAZY. I don't get why teams are willing to punt the ball to Joe Adams, but he burned the Wildcats once with a touchdown in the seocnd quarter. What was crazy, however, was that Kansas State continued to punt the ball to him. No, he never took another one to the house, but still, it's Joe Adams. If you play Russian roulette and survive you don't just keep pulling the trigger.

FINAL GRADE: B-. I was leaning towards more of a C here because I thought this game would be a lot better and more entertaining than it was, but it didn't quite live up to my expectations. That being said, both defenses put in some solid performances on the night, and in a bowl season where we haven't seen much of that, I have to give them some credit. Particularly Arkansas, who despite losing its defensive coordinator, still managed to have its best defensive performance of the season. Only Texas had proven capable of slowing down Collin Klein before tonight.
Posted on: January 5, 2012 4:31 pm
 

Next year's BCS title odds released in Vegas

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

The 2012 BCS national championship game is still four days away, which means it's entirely too early to start discussing the 2013 BCS national championship game, right?

Nonsense--particularly if you're the sort of college football fan who's paying attention to what Las Vegas is already saying about that 2013 championship. Blog Kegs n' Eggs has compiled the early national title odds released this week by the Caesars Palace sportsbook, and the favorite won't surprise anyone who's taken a look at their defensive depth chartLSU checks in at the top of the list at 3/1.

The Bayou Bengals are followed by USC, at 6/1 following the return of Matt Barkley. Alabama (7/1), Oregon (9/1), and Arkansas (12/1) round out the book's "top 5."

Here's the rest of the contenders as sorted by conference, with some commentary to follow:

ACC

Florida State: 18/1
Virginia Tech: 18/1
Clemson: 28/1
Miami: 90/1
North Carolina: 100/1
Virginia: 100/1
Georgia Tech: 100/1

BIG 12

Oklahoma: 18/1
Kansas State: 25/1
Texas: 30/1
Oklahoma State: 40/1
TCU: 50/1
Baylor: 75/1

BIG TEN

Michigan: 18/1
Nebraska: 30/1
Wisconsin: 40/1
Michigan State: 40/1
Penn State: 100/1
Iowa: 125/1

BIG EAST (WE THINK)

West Virginia: 50/1
Cincinnati: 75/1
Louisville: 100/1

PAC-12

USC: 6/1
Oregon: 9/1
Washington: 50/1
Stanford: 60/1
Arizona State: 75/1
Utah: 100/1
Washington State: 100/1
Cal: 100/1

SEC

LSU: 3/1
Alabama: 7/1
Arkansas: 12/1
Georgia: 15/1
South Carolina: 28/1
Auburn: 30/1
Florida: 35/1
Texas A&M: 60/1
Mississippi State: 75/1
Missouri: 75/1
Vanderbilt: 100/1

INDEPENDENT/NON-BCS

Notre Dame: 22/1
Boise State: 50/1
BYU: 100/1

The field is listed at 50/1. Comments:

-- Not that it's a surprise given that it's won five (and in four days, six) straight BCS titles, but still interesting to see the level of love for the SEC: four of the top six teams, half the 14-team conference at 35/1 or better, and only three teams (Ole Miss, Kentucky and Tennessee) are consigned to the field. (Incidentally, when was the last time Vegas offered national championship odds on Vanderbilt but not Tennessee? We're going on a limb to say "never.")

-- Is Michigan really going to enter 2012 as the Big Ten favorite -- Denard Robinson will be back, but there's major losses on both lines -- or is their status here just a result of the large numbers of Wolverine fans willing to bet on their favorite team? We're guessing the latter; of all the teams listed at 20/1 or better, they're the team we'd give the longest shot.

-- Other teams that might be overvalued: Alabama, who lose major chunks of their defense and offensive line; Notre Dame, because their schedule isn't getting any easier; and even at 75/1, Arizona State, because c'mon.

-- On the other hand, who might be undervalued? West Virginia should be even more explosive in year 2 of the Dana Holgorsen era, and the defense is young; TCU, who'll have the schedule strength to break into the BCS title game if they go undefeated again; and Virginia Tech, still with Logan Thomas at the controls and a cushy ACC slate. 

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Posted on: January 5, 2012 1:50 pm
Edited on: January 5, 2012 4:16 pm
 

VIDEO: Slive: 'We're going to see changes' to BCS

Posted by Jerry Hinnen



It was just before Christmas when SEC commissioner Mike Slive said -- regarding next year's BCS discussions and a potential new look for the system in 2014 -- he would "go to the table with the plus-one very much in mind."

When talking to Tony Barnhart on the CBS Sports Network Wednesday, however, Slive sounded even more firmly in support of a potential college football "Final Four"--and even more convinced that's exactly what's going to happen with the BCS.

"I do think we are going to see changes," Slive said, "and I don't think those changes are going to be tweaks."

When asked if the SEC's run of five (and soon to be six) national titles had changed his previous support of the plus-one -- Slive spearheaded the 2008 push to have it approved -- Slive essentially confirmed that it had not.

"For the past six years, two has been enough," Slive joked. "But I do think the plus-one has to come back to the table. I'm confident we will have a robust conversation."

Slive's full-on support for the plus-one could be the clinching factor in its passage for 2014; with the Big 12 throwing its support behind the proposal in the wake of Oklahoma State's BCS title game snub and Pac-12 athletic directors calling the plus-one "inevitable," Jim Delany and the Big Ten appear to be the only serious opposition. 

For the rest of Slive's interview with Barnhart, watch the video above. And for Mike Gundy's comments on the plus-one, watch his video interview with Tim Brando here.

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Posted on: January 4, 2012 1:12 am
Edited on: January 4, 2012 1:59 am
 

This Sugar Bowl was a bit sour



Posted by Tom Fornelli

NEW ORLEANS -- Before you read this column on the Sugar Bowl, I must implore you to watch this video, for you cannot understand what this Sugar Bowl was without seeing it.

Did you see the way that puppy fell down the stairs? It made you laugh, sure, but at the same time it was something adorable that failed. The puppy just wasn't big enough for the stage it was on, and although it got to the bottom of the stairs as it intended to, it didn't do so in the prettiest of ways.

That was the 2012 Sugar Bowl.

Two teams that probably weren't ready to tread down this flight of stairs did so anyway, with the rest of us waiting to see which team tumbled to the bottom first. Turns out it was Michigan, even if you were sure the Wolverines had broken 30 bones on the way down, there they stood at the end celebrating.

From the second this matchup was announced there were people complaining about the selection of both Michigan and Virginia Tech. There were teams more deserving of this chance, teams like Boise State and Kansas State. Unfortunately for those two schools, they don't carry the same national cache or brand that Michigan and Virginia Tech do. So this is what we were stuck with, and judging by all the empty seats at the Superdome on Tuesday night, that commercial appeal didn't do much to sell tickets.

There were also the stories about how each team was going to prove that it belonged in New Orleans and in a BCS bowl game. Virginia Tech would show us all, as would the Wolverines. Instead what we saw were two teams that ingested a bit too much sugar and suffered some kind of diabetic seizure on the field.

Lofting up wounded ducks that turned into 45-yard touchdowns, or running fake field goals that were botched entirely yet still somehow managed to work.

The Michigan Wolverines won this game despite being outgained by Virginia Tech nearly two to one. The Hokies had 377 yards of total offense in this game compared to Michigan's 184, yet it was the Wolverines who emerged victorious. While the Hokies routinely fell down to the bottom step and were on the precipice of winning this contest, they continually decided to take a step back every time victory was in reach. Meanwhile Michigan threw all caution to the wind and just flung itself down the stairs headfirst.

Had this game been an iPhone app, it would have been called Fiesta Bowl Lite and been available to download for free. Think about it, Virginia Tech jumped out to an early lead with two scores, but instead of touchdowns like Stanford had against Oklahoma State, the Hokies had to settle for field goals.

Then there was the second quarter comeback for the Wolverines just when you thought they had no chance.

In the end, much like Stanford before it, Virginia Tech managed to lose a game in which it seemingly dominated its opponent for most of the night, and on a missed field goal in overtime to boot. Of course, this was the lite version of the Fiesta Bowl, so Virginia Tech missed only one field goal, not two. Then, like Oklahoma State, Michigan rode a couple of touchdown catches by a wide receiver in Junior Hemingway and took advantage of Virginia Tech's overtime failure to win the game on a field goal.

The only difference was that the Fiesta Bowl was entertaining because it was an excellent story written with deep characters portrayed by great actors like Andrew Luck and Justin Blackmon.

The Sugar Bowl was essentially the movie "New Year's Eve." You assemble a big name cast and then hurriedly write a mediocre script and wing it while on the set. Then you hope enough people show up to see it before the word gets out about how terrible it is.

And in the end, the only thing either team convinced me of on Tuesday night was that this movie would have been a hell of a lot more entertaining had it starred Boise State and Kansas State.
Posted on: January 3, 2012 2:30 pm
 

PODCAST: Alabama beat writer Don Kausler

Posted by Tom Fornelli

We're less than a week away from the rematch between LSU and Alabama down in New Orleans for the BCS National Championship, so with that in mind the CBSSports.com College Football Podcast welcomes Don Kausler to the show. Don covers the Crimson Tide for The Birmingham News, Mobile Press-Register and the Huntsville Times.

Don joins Adam Aizer to talk about what adjustments the Crimson Tide will need to make in their second meeting with the Tigers. He also talks about whether or not Oklahoma State is deserving of a split-title with the Tide should Alabama knock off LSU.

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Posted on: January 3, 2012 2:05 am
 

Blackmon, Luck go out with a bang in Fiesta Bowl

Posted by Jerry Hinnen



Justin Blackmon 
hadn't even left the University of Phoenix Stadium field yet. But there wasn't any point to delaying the inevitable; when asked as part of his postgame television interview if he had just played the final game of his outstanding college career, he answered straightforwardly. 

"I think I am going to go ahead and enter the NFL Draft," he said, "and see what happens after that."

We already have some idea what's going to happen "after that"--Blackmon will be selected among the very top picks in the Draft, sign a contract worth millions, and very likely go on to become an excellent professional receiver. But nothing Blackmon will do "after that" will better the excitement of what he's accomplished before that at Oklahoma State, where heading into Monday's Fiesta Bowl he had already rewritten the school's receiving record book and won a pair of Biletnikoff Awards as the nation's best receiver.

Likewise, we can already write most of the "after that" for Andrew Luck. The two-time Heisman Trophy runner-up is about to go No. 1 overall in the draft and has a chance to follow in the footsteps of Peyton Manning -- maybe even at the same franchise -- as the kind of superstar pocket-passing quarterback NFL dynasties are built around. But before that, there was three seasons of pure All-American brilliance in which his Cardinal set a school record for scoring all three seasons.

For both players, the Fiesta was the final night of "before that," the final game in the collegiate careers of two of college football's most blinding stars. So it was only appropriate that with the rare chance to square off against a star of equal caliber -- in a bowl that employs the sun in its logo, no less -- both Blackmon and Luck went flat-out supernova.

Blackmon's team won, but no one would have blinked if Luck had been named the game's MVP. His numbers were phenomenal, of course:  27-of-31, 347 yards (11.2 an attempt), 2 touchdowns. He went 8-of-8 in the fourth quarter, expertly managing drives both fast (the 63-yard drive over the final 2:35 to set up Jordan Williamson's ill-fated 35-yard attempt) and slow (the 13-play, 69-yard TD march that ate up 7:21 of the final period). 

But most impressive was the 10.0 degree-of-difficulty throws Luck uncorked with regularity. Passes like the one delivered to Griff Whalen in the second quarter -- an over-the-shoulder "bucket" throw to a receiver sprinting down the sideline, made with Luck moving to his right -- are referred to as "NFL throws," but we're not sure half the League's starters could make them the way Luck does. You could say Luck showed off "the complete package" against the Cowboys, but that doesn't do justice to how expansive that package is.

And still, Luck might have been the second-best player on the field. Blackmon finished with 8 catches for 186 yards and 3 touchdowns, but again, the stats don't do justice to either his physical dominance -- one-on-one coverage was a lost cause for the Cardinal -- or his knack for making those catches at the best possible time. 

With the Cowboys reeling from a lost first quarter and a 14-0 deficit, it was Blackmon who pulled in a pair of lightning bolt scores (one 43 yards, the other 67) to get his team back in the game. Facing a 4th-and-4 at the Stanford 32 and his team down again late in the second quarter, it was Blackmon who caught a short pass and brushed aside two Cardinal tacklers to set up a first-and-goal (and eventual touchdown). Down seven again after a disastrous third quarter, it was Blackmon scoring to tie it (again) to start the fourth. And finally, 4th-and-3 on OSU's own 40 with under 3:30 to play and the Cowboys in "touchdown or bust" desperation mode, it was Blackmon who again abused his defender for 21 yards.

The 2012 Fiesta Bowl would have been remembered for a long, long time even without Luck's and Blackmon's fireworks; 41-38 overtime shootouts between two top-five teams decided by a heartbreaking field goal miss have a way of sticking around the game's collective memory. But what elevated the contest to stone-cold classic status was seeing two players of Luck's and Blackmon's historic talent both grab the same game by the teeth and refuse for 60 minutes -- and beyond -- to let go. It's maybe not fair to the excellent Brandon Weeden or Stepfan Taylor to reduce the game to a mano a mano battle between that quarterback on that side and that receiver on that side, but Luck and Blackmon didn't give us much choice.

And at the end of each of their respective times in college football, that's exactly how it should have been. "After that" will be interesting. But for a night, Luck's and Blackmon's shared "before that" was as good as it's possible to get.

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The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com