Posted on: October 16, 2010 11:02 pm
Posted by Tom Fornelli
1. T-Magic has a lot of tricks left to learn. Seems somebody left their top hat and magic wand back in the dorm room this morning, because Taylor Martinez had no answer for the Texas defense in Lincoln on Saturday. Martinez only had 21 yards on 13 carries and had completed 4-of-12 passes for 63 yards before getting yanked by Bo Pelini in favor of Zac Lee. The good news for Martinez is that Lee didn't exactly do anything to take away his starting job.
2. Texas' defense is still pretty good, the offense, however, is not. Hey, listen, the way things have gone for the Longhorns this season, they have no reason not to be thrilled after picking up a big win on the road against Nebraska. That being said, unless they start picking things up on offense, whatever slim hopes they have of winning the Big 12 are nothing more than a pipe dream. The good news is that the 'Horns finally found some semblance of a running game, as they did gash a stout Nebraska defense for 209 yards on the ground. The biggest surprise being Garrett Gilbert 's 71 yards and two touchdowns. Still, that 4-of-16 passes for 62 yards needs a lot of work.
3. I still don't know what to make of Missouri. I made a comment about this on Twitter on Saturday afternoon, and caught a lot of flak from Missouri fans over it. Listen, I don't think Missouri is a bad football team, it's just I don't know how good they are. I'm sorry, but beating Texas A&M just doesn't impress me all that much because the Aggies are horrible. So far the Tigers most impressive win is against an Illinois team that is 3-3. Other than that it's wins against teams like McNeese State, San Diego State and Miami (OH). Next week's date with Oklahoma will give us all a better idea of how good this Missouri team actually is.
4. Jerrod Johnson just isn't working. It's time for a quarterback change in College Station. I don't care what Johnson has done in the past, or what everybody thought he'd do this season, the fact is the kid has played horribly. Maybe Mike Sherman is just worried about losing his job and doesn't want to give the ball to another quarterback at this point in the season, but trust me, staying with Johnson at this point is only going to help ensure he's out of work at the end of the season.
5. More people need to learn about Justin Blackmon. The Oklahoma State wide receiver has been a monster this season, and his name should be thrown out there when it comes to Heisman talk. He has 48 catches for 748 yards and 11 touchdowns this season, including a 10-reception 207-yard performance against Texas Tech on Saturday. His worst game of the season (yardage wise) came in the Cowboys' opener. Blackmon only had 8 catches for 125 yards and 3 touchdowns that day.
Posted on: October 11, 2010 1:18 pm
Posted by Tom Fornelli
No matter what you feel about the BCS system that college football currently uses to help determine its national champion, the fact is that it is that we're all stuck with it -- can you guess how I feel? -- for the time being. We're also less than a week away from the first BCS rankings of 2010 to be released, as they'll come out on Sunday following this weekend's games.
According to some projections, chaos could be accompanying them. Well, more chaos than usual.
Jerry Palm runs the website collegebcs.com , and according to his calculations, at the moment the top team in the BCS rankings would be none other than the Boise State Broncos. Palm's ratings have the top five looking like this:
Granted, it's likely this will all change as Boise continues to play its WAC schedule. Still, the fact that Boise State is ranked so highly now has to make some members of the BCS a bit queasy.
Posted on: October 2, 2010 6:10 pm
Posted by Adam Jacobi
It's still "only" the third quarter, but if Texas wants to complete their comeback, they'll have to shore up the mental errors and force them on Oklahoma instead. And have there ever been errors.
After a delightful fake punt and a long pass, the Longhorns had a first-and-goal from the 9-yard line. Their drive petered out there, though, a fizzle punctuated by Garrett Gilbert and his terrible idea to roll out of his protection, then stand still; the resulting tackle sent Gilbert skyward, and he landed on his head. He's lucky to be all right, and he didn't miss any time. Texas settled for a field goal.
Worse, however, was on Oklahoma's ensuing drive: the Texas defensive line forced Landry Jones out of the pocket, where he was sacked and stripped. The Longhorns recovered deep in Oklahoma territory, and they looked to have a short field to get within one possession. Yes, that was good, except the Texas defensive end on the other side of the play was lined up offsides. 3rd and 2, Oklahoma.
After the Sooners converted, the very next snap got by Jones, who was forced to fall on the ball 10 yards behind the line of scrimmage. A 2nd and 20 would usually be a power position for the defense, but sloppy coverage by Texas let Jones find a wide-open Kenny Stills for 20 yards and the first down. The Sooners would punt, but not before getting to midfield and negating any field position advantage the Longhorns would have liked to gain.
All while this is going on, there's only 3 minutes and change left in the 3rd quarter. The Sooners would love to see this sloppy, undisciplined mess keep up at this pace; they're the ones with the 11-point lead here in the second half, after all.
Posted on: October 2, 2010 5:39 pm
Edited on: October 2, 2010 5:43 pm
Posted by Adam Jacobi
Fans hoping for an exciting, 60-minute game out of Dallas in the Red River Rivalry might come away from this one a little disappointed. No. 8 Oklahoma is leading No. 21 Texas by the score of 21-7 (follow our LIVE GameTracker here), and that's, well, just about right.
Landry Jones has 158 yards on 19-28 passing, and he's got two scores to no interceptions. DeMarco Murray has looked his best against Texas since his freshman year; today, he's at 14 carries for 59 yards and a score, and three receptions for 12 yards.
Texas is not a bad team, but they're not very good, and they're certainly not as good as Oklahoma. Thus, they're not likely to rally and win this game unless Oklahoma starts making plenty of mistakes -- forced or otherwise. 30 minutes is a long time, and we're not exactly turning this game off, but it's hard to muster any confidence in an offense that can't even muster four yards per pass attempt, as Texas' has done thus far.
Posted on: October 1, 2010 3:49 pm
Posted by Tom Fornelli
The Saturday Meal Plan is a helpful guide put together for you to maximize the results of your college football diet. Just enough to leave you feeling full, but not so much you spend your entire Saturday in the bathroom.
Main Course - Clemson vs. #16 Miami - Noon - ESPN2
Okay, so once again breakfast has a lot of weak sauce in it this week, but we promise you that lunch and dinner are going to be a lot better. Just remember what your mom used to tell you: breakfast is the most important meal of the day. So eat this up because you're going to need it to help prepare you for the rest of the day.
Just beware that while the Miami looks good using too much Jacory Harris in it can cause indigestion.
Side Orders: This morning we offer some sides that should fill you up, but will probably leave you hating yourself for eating it later. There's Ohio State steamrolling Illinois, and our "Ninth Place in the SEC" special, Mississippi and Kentucky. If you already hate yourself, try some of the Minnesota and Northwestern.
Main Course - #8 Oklahoma vs. #21 Texas - 3:30pm - ABC
Now that you've choked down your breakfast we can reward you with the real food for the day. We're offering our Red River Rivalry this afternoon which is chock full of red meat deliciousness. Just remember that the Longhorn can be somewhat tough and inconsistent.
Texas has a lot on their plate this week, as they are coming off a rather embarrassing loss at home to UCLA last week, and a similar performance against Oklahoma this weekend could destroy the rest of their season.
Side Orders: If you're not sure you can handle all the beef in our main course we do offer plenty of other options this afternoon. There's Michigan State hosting Wisconsin in a game that will give us a better idea of what either team is really about this season. There's also North Carolina State and Virginia Tech, or if offenses that set the game of football back 80 years are more your style, there's always LSU and Tennessee. My advice is to just watch Patrick Peterson in that game.
Main Course - #1 Alabama vs. #7 Florida - 8pm - CBS
We didn't lead you astray with our Alabama and Arkansas last week, and we promise you that this week's Florabama won't disappoint either. Alabama has already faced it's first real test of the season, but this week they are the test. Florida is 4-0 but didn't wow any of the critics until last week's Trey Burton-centric dismantling of Kentucky.
If the Gators can manage to get past the Tide they'll officially be back in the national championship picture.
Side Orders: It's not a bad night when your second choice features another two top ten teams. If fowl is more your taste, then try the Oregon and Stanford. The Pac-10 doesn't have a championship game, yet, but this game basically is just that. Two high-scoring offenses finally get to test two defenses that have proven sturdy thus far. If you prefer something a bit more old-fashioned we're also offering Iowa and Penn State.
Late Night Snacks
Nevada and Colin Kaepernick are two things you'll probably be hearing about quite a bit in the coming weeks, as they're essentially the last thing standing between Boise State and an undefeated season. So why not check them out when they travel to Vegas to take on UNLV?
Tags: Alabama, Arkansas, Clemson, Colin Kaepernick, Florida, Illinois, Iowa, Jacory Harris, Kentucky, LSU, Miami, Michigan State, Minnesota, Nevada, North Carolina State, Northwestern, Ohio State, Oklahoma, Ole Miss, Oregon, Patrick Peterson, Penn State, Saturday Meal Plan, Stanford, Tennessee, Texas, Trey Burton, UCLA, UNLV, Virginia Tech, Wisconsin
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.
Posted on: September 29, 2010 6:57 pm
Edited on: September 29, 2010 7:06 pm
Posted by Tom Fornelli
Beware of Twitter, everybody, because it's going to get you. It seems that the social-media machine has become self-aware and it's only a matter of time before it rises up against its human oppressors and uses us to deliver short messages to its friends.
On Wednesday Oklahoma announced that it had suspended wide reciever Jaz Reynolds indefinitely for some tweets he'd written after hearing the news about a gunman firing off an AK-47 on the Texas campus before taking his own life. Reynolds tweeted, "hey everyone in Austin tx.....kill yourself."
Which is incredibly mature and very classy.
Anyway, I then turned to my TweetDeck application to find the offending tweet from Reynolds. That's when I saw mankind's future flash before my eyes.
Prepare yourselves for the war, friends.
Posted on: September 27, 2010 7:58 pm
Posted by Tom Fornelli
The Red River Rivalry is one of the most anticipated college football games of the year. When you combine the atmosphere of the game being played at the Texas State Fair and the fact that it's Oklahoma, Texas and college football, well, it's huge. Gargantuan even.
Though with Texas coming off of that rather embarrassing "Oh my gosh" loss to UCLA in Austin on Saturday, a bit of the luster has been taken off the game. Oklahoma didn't exactly have the best game, either, struggling to hold on against a Cincinnati team that was 1-2 entering the contest and whose sole win came against powerhouse Indiana State.
So this game is statement maker for both schools, both in the Big 12 and just for their confidence. Though don't tell Bob Stoops that. According to the Oklahoma head coach the game isn't that big of a deal.
"Winning that game doesn't do it all for you. It also gets down to being able to finish the season and be a champion," Stoops said. "Three of the last four years, we've also been Big 12 champions.
Sounds like a coach who has lost four of the last five meetings.
Seriously, Stoops does have a point, as it is only the first game of an eight-game conference schedule. Win this one and lose the next two because you were too busy feeling good about yourself, and the victory doesn't amount to much in the end. Plus there's the fact that the last two times Oklahoma won the Big 12 -- 2006 and 2008 -- they lost to Texas.
So maybe he's right. Maybe the game isn't that big of a deal. Though I wouldn't want to be the one telling Oklahoma fans that should the Sooners make it five out of six losses.