Posted on: October 23, 2010 9:51 pm
Posted by Tom Fornelli
If you were expecting Missouri to get run out of the stadium against Oklahoma tonight, well, you're finding yourself pretty surprised at the moment aren't you? The Tigers head to the locker room at halftime with a 17-14 lead over the top-ranked team in the BCS.
Mizzou got started right on the opening kickoff when Gahn McGaffle returned the opening kick 86 yards for a touchdown, and since then, while the offense hasn't been spectacular, it's been good enough to hold a lead.
Though Oklahoma has offered Missouri some help. The Sooners have two turnovers in the first half, and both of them came while Oklahoma was inside Missouri's 20-yard line. The first came when Landry Jones was intercepted by defensive end Aldon Smith on a screen pass, which Smith took back 58 yards to the Sooners 28-yard line to set up Missouri's second touchdown of the night. The second turnover came on the next drive when Mossis Madu caught a bubble screen and coughed up the ball.
If not for those two turnovers, you have to think that Oklahoma would have at least a 20-14 lead right now.
Still, considering the mistakes, the Sooners can't be all that upset about being down three points on the road against a Missouri team that's proving itself to be pretty good on national television tonight.
Posted on: October 23, 2010 5:52 pm
Edited on: October 23, 2010 5:53 pm
Posted by Chip Patterson
Nebraska's defense has given Cornhusker fans flashes of the "Blackshirts" of old at times this season. Saturday's matchup with Oklahoma State is not looking like it is going to be one of those times. Nebraska's defense had not allowed more than 20 points in a game coming into the weekend, but the Cowboys have shredded the Cornhuskers defense and only trail 31-27 at halftime.
Oklahoma State wide receiver Justin Blackmon continues to build on his breakout season, and has already picked up 129 yards receiving, including an 80 yard touchdown reception from Brandon Weeden. But the Cowboys have been led by running back Kendall Hunter, who has rushed 17 times for 146 yards and a touchdown of his own. Unlike the defense, the Cornhuskers offense is chugging along as usual on the back of Taylor Martinez, who has picked up 68 yards on the ground and 128 through the air. Nebraska has also gotten some help from the special teams unit, with Niles Paul taking a kickoff 100 yards for a touchdown.
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Posted on: October 23, 2010 1:43 pm
Posted by Tom Fornelli
The last time we saw Texas play at home, it was shocking the world by getting its butt handed to it by a UCLA team that's proven to be pretty awful this season. Then the Longhorns went to Lincoln last week and knocked off the undefeated Cornhuskers, and for a moment we thought that order had been restored.
Maybe it hasn't.
At halftime in Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium the Longhorns find themselves trailing Iowa State 14-3. Yes, you read that right. Iowa State is beating Texas in Austin, and it's not a fluke. In fact, Texas might consider itself lucky not to be losing by more. Following the touchdown that gave the Cyclones a 14-3 lead, Iowa State opted for an onside kick and recovered it, but couldn't go anywhere against the Texas defense.
Which would be encouraging for Texas fans if they had an offense that could do anything. The Longhorns problems in the red zone continue today, as they had one drive stalled by a penalty and had to settle for a field goal, another that ended with Garrett Gilbert being picked off in the end zone, and then one finishing with a missed field goal just before halftime.
The way things look, Texas' defense should be able to keep Iowa State from running away with it, but unless the Longhorns offense gets its act together in the second half, an already disappointing season in Austin could turn plain ugly.
Posted on: October 23, 2010 12:24 pm
Edited on: November 13, 2010 6:13 pm
Posted by Adam Jacobi
Here's the weather outlook for all of today's important matchups. You like storms? We got storms. There's a front moving through the nation's heartland, and there's copious amounts of rain all the way from Chicago to Texas. Will this affect Missouri-Oklahoma? All times are Eastern.
Purdue at No. 11 Ohio State, 12:00, Columbus, OH: Upper 50s, clear
Syracuse at No. 20 West Virginia, 12:00, Morgantown, WV: Mid 60s, mostly cloudy
No. 8 Michigan State at Northwestern, 12:00, Evanston, IL: Upper 50s, rain
Ole Miss at No. 21 Arkansas, 12:21, Fayetteville, AR: Upper 60s, cloudy (storms later)
No. 10 Wisconsin at No. 12 Iowa, 3:30, Iowa City, IA: Upper 60s, chance of rain
No. 6 LSU at No. 5 Auburn, 3:30, Auburn, AL: Upper 70s, clear
No. 14 Nebraska at No. 17 Oklahoma State, 3:30, Stillwater, OK: Mid 70s, chance of storms
No. 7 Alabama at Tennessee, 7:00, Knoxville, TN: Mid 60s, partly cloudy
No. 3 Oklahoma at No. 18 Missouri, 8:00, Columbia, MO: Mid 60s, scattered storms
Air Force at No. 4 TCU, 8:00, Fort Worth, TX: Upper 60s, scattered storms
Late night kickoffs
Washington at No. 15 Arizona, 10:15, Tucson, AZ: Upper 60s, partly cloudy
Posted on: October 22, 2010 5:51 pm
Posted by Adam Jacobi
Every season, every month, every week, there are several outcomes and achievements that, frankly, nobody operating within reason would ever predict. Who could have predicted Nebraska would beat Florida for the 1995 title by 38 points, or that Boise State would pull off three late trick plays to knock off Oklahoma in the 2007 Fiesta Bowl, or that South Carolina would fail to score a point in the second half against Kentucky a week after knocking off the Tide? Nobody... until now. We're going to try capture that lightning in a bottle by making similarly absurd predictions every week. Are they at all likely to come true? No. Do we even believe the words we're writing? No. But if we make even one correct call on these, we will never stop gloating. Ever.
Washington State, a team that's deceptively frisky even at 1-6, picks off an unsuspecting Stanford team after Andrew Luck blows his knee out in the first half. Despondent at the loss of the game and their quarterback, Stanford drops its last five games and stays home for bowl season. Wazzu, on the other hand, uh ... OK, the Cougars lose the rest of their games too. They're still not very good. After the Cardinal finishes off its six-game losing streak with a loss to Oregon State, head coach Jim Harbaugh tells reporters, "Eh. No big deal. It's just, we win or we lose, whatever. Winning is pretty overrated."
Iowa State blows the doors off the Texas Longhorns in the first half, racing out to a 28-0 lead before hanging on for a 28-27 victory in Austin. In the ISU locker room, head coach Paul Rhoads tells his charges, "I AM SO PROUD TO BE YOUR FOOTBALL COACH," before quarterback Austen Arnaud reminds Rhoads, "Yes, we know. You told us that last year." Which Rhoads did, in fact, after the Cyclones' 9-7 win at Nebraska. Rhoads attempts the save with a "I'm still proud to be your coach," but even he knows the moment's pretty much over. The rest of the day is a pretty subdued affair for the Cyclones. Also, DKR is burned to the ground by rioting Texas fans.
Oregon loses its game against UCLA. By forfeit. Yes, that would be confusing, since the two teams already played on Thursday and Oregon dropped 60 on the poor Bruins' defense. However, Oregon head coach Chip Kelly commits the fatal error of "filling out his scorecard incorrectly" after Rick Neuheisel claims the zero in 60 looks like another six. With Phil Mickelson acting as guest commissioner of the Pac-10 , Oregon has no choice but to forfeit the entire game. Really, the main point here is that golf is stupid. Never watch golf. The end.
Posted on: October 21, 2010 11:22 am
Posted by Tom Fornelli
It's time to dump a bucket of ice-cold water over the heads of all those Kansas fans out there who would like to see Turner Gill fired following the season. Sorry, folks, but it's not going to happen. At least, not unless you all start one of the greatest fundraising campaigns in school history. Why won't the school fire Gill this year?
Because it would cost them $8 million.
See, when Lew Perkins signed Gill to a five-year, $10 million deal before the season, he didn't include a buyout clause in the deal. Why? Who knows. You would think that after the school was forced to pay Mark Mangino so much money after firing him, they might learn the value of the buyout clause, but apparently not.
Making matters worse, it's not like Kansas would have years to pay Gill the $8 million, it would have 90 days.
So get over it, Jayhawks fans. Gill isn't going anywhere anytime soon, and nor should he be. I know that Gill's first season in Lawrence has been an unmitigated disaster. Aside from an upset over Georgia Tech that gets harder to comprehend ever week, the season has been a nightmare.
Still, I feel the need to remind you that this is Gill's first year. It takes time to rebuild a program, and let's remember that it's not like the Jayhawks were in great shape when Gill got there, or else he wouldn't have been hired in the first place.
Posted on: October 19, 2010 11:55 am
Posted by Tom Fornelli
I've never had the honor of getting my mouth washed out with soap. It's not that I didn't swear a lot as a child, I swore like a sailor, it's just that I made sure not to do it in front of my parents. Though even if I had, I'm not sure either of them would have stuffed a bar of Ivory down my throat as much as they'd just tell me not to do it.
My parents were forgiving folk, which can't be said of Texas fans it seems. There was a bet between a Texas fan and a Nebraska fan over last weekends game that called for the loser to either pay the other $200, or eat a bar of soap. Upon seeing his team lose, Johnny Nebraska chose to go the bar of soap route. Thankfully people recorded the whole thing so that we could enjoy his incredibly clean embarrassment.
You can really taste the lye!
Hat tip: Wiz of Odds
Posted on: October 18, 2010 7:07 pm
Posted by Tom Fornelli
Now that we've reached the halfway point of the season, we have a lot better idea of which teams to take seriously, and which ones we can forget about. Of course, there's still a lot of football to be played this season, so in the Midseason Report we'll be taking a look at what each team has remaining in front of them, and what they'll have to do to call themselves conference champions. In this post, we'll take a look at the Big 12.
1. Missouri (6-0, 2-0) - Raise your hand if you thought that come the midpoint of the season Missouri would be 6-0, ranked 11th in the BCS and alone atop the Big 12 North. Now put your hand down and hang your head in shame, you liar. Looking at this Missouri team through six games it's hard to see a weakness. They have an offense putting up 34.5 points a game, and a defense that's only allowed 10.8 -- which is the second best mark in the country. The problem is that the Tigers are just now reaching the part of their schedule that will truly put them to the test. Over the next four weeks the Tigers will host Oklahoma, travel to Nebraska and Texas Tech, then return home to play Kansas State. If Mizzou comes out of that stretch unscathed it finishes up with Iowa State and Kansas. In other words, they wouldn't just be playing for a Big 12 title, but for a shot at a national title as well. Can they get there? My gut says no, but this weekend's game against Oklahoma will tell us all a lot more about how good this team is and can be.
2. Nebraska (5-1, 1-1) - If there was ever going to be a season in which Nebraska finally got the monkey that is Texas of its back, this was supposed to be it. It wasn't, though, and now there are questions in Lincoln about how good Taylor Martinez actually is. Personally, I'm not sure. One week he looks amazing, and then the next he looks anything but, and the fact of the matter is that how Martinez goes, so go the Cornhuskers. Nebraska's next two weeks will be tough as they head to Stillwater on Saturday before returning home to host Missouri. Unless they win both of those games Nebraska's swan song in the Big 12 will not end with a conference title. The good news is that even if Martinez does struggle, Nebraska has a defense strong enough to keep it in any game, but the defense can't win games on its own. Martinez simply needs to play well from here on out.
3. Kansas State (5-1, 2-1) - To me, Kansas State is one of those teams that is more a byproduct of their schedule than a real contender. It's 5-1 through six games, but those five wins have come against teams like UCLA (college football's answer to schizophrenia), Missouri State, Iowa State, UCF and Kansas. The one test the Wildcats had this season came two weeks ago when they hosted Nebraska. They lost that game 48-13. I just have a hard time believing that the team that got killed by Nebraska and struggled with Iowa State and UCF is going to beat Oklahoma State, Texas and Missouri in consecutive weeks. Maybe the Wildcats will prove me wrong, but I doubt it.
1. Oklahoma (6-0, 2-0) - If you're ranked first in the BCS rankings, then I guess you have to be the favorite to win your conference by default. Not that the Sooners don't deserve to be, as they've had a few impressive wins over Florida State and Texas already this season. Still, the Sooners don't exactly have an easy path to the finish line. Four of the Sooners first six games this season have been played in Norman, with another on a neutral site against Texas. Of its final six games, four will be on the road, including games against Missouri, Texas A&M, Baylor and Oklahoma State. The one time the Sooners hit the road this season they had trouble fending off a Cincinnati team that had no business hanging with them. Also, the Sooners went 1-3 on the road last season. There are no easy road games in college football these days, so Oklahoma's trip to the Big 12 title game is anything but a guarantee at this point.
2. Oklahoma State (6-0, 2-0) - There isn't much question that the Cowboys can put points on the board, as Brandon Weeden and Justin Blackmon have led Oklahoma State to the third-best passing attack in football, and the second-highest scoring offense in the nation as well. The concern with Oklahoma State is it's defense. A unit that is giving up 27.2 points a game is likely to cost the Cowboys a game at some point. Looking at the Cowboys remaining schedule, plenty of tests remain. The Cowboys host Nebraska this week and then have Kansas State, Baylor, Texas, Kansas and finish with Oklahoma. Aside from Kansas, there isn't a guarantee in the bunch. You have to think that either the Texas defense or Oklahoma's will figure out how to slow down Weeden and company, and if they do, do you trust the Cowboys defense to stop either? I certainly wouldn't write off Oklahoma State's chances to reach the title game, but its schedule and defense certainly doesn't do it any favors.
3. Baylor (5-2, 2-1) - Baylor is off to a nice start, being led by Robert Griffin III, but it has a lot of landmines to avoid if it wants to play for the Big 12 title. First of all, the Bears already have one more conference loss than either Oklahoma or Oklahoma State. The good news about that is that Baylor still has a chance to hand either of those teams its first loss. The bad news is that Baylor still has to play Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Texas and Kansas State. Yep, four of Baylor's last five opponents this season are in the BCS top 25. That seems like a lot more work than I think Baylor can handle.
4. Texas (4-2, 2-1) - Texas is the wild card in all things Big 12 right now. Following back-to-back losses to UCLA and Oklahoma there was plenty of doom and gloom in Austin, but following Saturday's win against Nebraska, the Longhorns aren't in as bad a shape as you'd think. Texas is still only one loss behind Oklahoma and Oklahoma State, and still gets to play the Cowboys at home. What could end up killing their chances, though, is that loss to Oklahoma as the Sooners would have the tiebreaker should the finish with an equal mark. So Texas needs to win out and hope that the Sooners lose twice, which isn't likely, but not all that crazy either. They have the defense to do it, but unless an offense that has been everything but impressive this season improves, I wouldn't expect it to happen.
Prediction: So who is going to be playing for the Big 12 title when all the dust has settled? It's a good question, and one that isn't all that easy to answer. Every team that remains in contention has question marks and some tough games remaining on its schedule.
Still, when it's all said and done I think Oklahoma and Missouri will meet at Jerryworld in December, though I don't think either team will get there without a blemish on its record. As for who wins, I'll go with Oklahoma as I believe they have more weapons on offense with Landry Jones, Ryan Broyles and Demarco Murray.