Tag:Big 12
Posted on: January 10, 2012 12:58 pm
Edited on: January 10, 2012 12:59 pm
 

Big 12 Recruiting Reset

Posted by Tom Fornelli

Now that the 2011 season has come to an end it's time to move on to the next phase of the college football year: recruiting. With the Big 12 Recruiting Reset we fill you in on what you may have missed in the Big 12 and what you should expect to see between now and signing day.

TOP THREE CLASSES

1. Texas - Texas always has one of the best recruiting classes in the country and the Big 12, but lately it hasn't done much for the Longhorns on the field. Though that could change with players like running back Johnathan Gray and wide receiver Cayleb Jones to help a struggling offense, and defensive tackle Malcom Brown to keep things rolling on defense. Of course, with Texas right now, you can't look past quarterback Connor Brewer who may actually see time in the 2012 season as the Longhorns continue to look for their quarterback.

2. Oklahoma - The Sooners have Landry Jones returning in 2012, but are losing his favorite target in Ryan Broyles. Not to worry, though, as the Sooners have added a few top receivers in their 2012 recruiting class. Players like Trey Metoyer, Derrick Woods, and Durron Neal may all see time on the field for Oklahoma next season. Though considering the problems the Sooners have had at running back and the transfer of Brandon Williams, you do have to wonder if Oklahoma would be better off adding another running back to its class to join the impressive Alex Ross

3. TCU - TCU will join the Big 12 next season, and it seems that the Horned Frogs have already got the recruiting aspect that they'll need to compete down. There aren't a lot of headliners in the current class, but it's deep. Quarterback Tyler Matthews could be the heir apparent to Casey Pachall, and players like defensive back Edward Pope, running back Daje Johnson and defensive end Devonte Fields will all make their presence known in the coming seasons. 

TOP PLAYERS AVAILABLE

1. Dorial Green-Beckham - At 6'6 and 225 pounds, when people compare this wide receiver to Randy Moss, they aren't blowing smoke. He's the top player in the 2012 class and he has offers from just about every school on the planet, including both Texas and Oklahoma. 

2. Stefon Diggs - Diggs is the best receiver not named Dorial Green-Beckham that is yet to commit to anybody, and it seems he's down to about eight schools right now, including Oklahoma.

WORK TO DO

1. Kansas - Considering how Kansas has looked on the field the last few years, it's not surprising to see the Jayhawks have one of the weaker recruiting classes in the Big 12. Which also may explain why the school hired Charlie Weis, who recruited well at Notre Dame. Weis has some work to do before signing day to add to a class that currently consists of only 9 players.

2. Kansas State - Kansas State's has 12 commitments for its 2012 class, and while Bill Snyder seems to have magical powers, he may need to use them to add a few more names to that list before February gets here.

Keep up to date with all the latest recruiting news leading up to National Signing Day with our Eye On Recruiting Blog with Bryan Fischer. 

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Posted on: January 9, 2012 5:48 pm
Edited on: January 9, 2012 5:52 pm
 

FWAA releases 2011 Freshman All-America team

Posted by Chip Patterson

On Monday, the Football Writers Association of America released the 2011 Freshman All-America Team. The group, selected by an 11-person panel of FWAA writers, is made up of the best true freshman and redshirt freshman from the 2011 FBS season.

The panel also names a first-year coach to the FWAA Freshman All-America team. This year's selection was West Virginia head coach Dana Holgorsen.

USC and Kansas State were the only schools to have two players named to the team, while the SEC and Pac-12 led the way in terms of conferences with five players apiece. Several players from the list below were also named to CBSSports.com's Freshman All-America team, though there are some noticeable differences in the two lists.

Let us know what you think about the group in the comment section below, hit us up on Twitter, or drop a line at the Eye On College Football Facebook page.

OFFENSE
QB - Sean Mannion, Oregon State
RB - Giovani Bernard, North Carolina
RB - Lyle McCombs, Connecticut
WR - Matt Miller, Boise State
WR - Marquise Lee, USC
WR - Sammy Watkins, Clemson
AP - De'Anthony Thomas, Oregon
OL - Reese Dismukes, Auburn
OL - B.J. Finney, Kansas State
OL - Chaz Green, Florida
OL - Kaleb Johnson, Rutgers
OL - Jake Smith, Louisville

DEFENSE
DL - Jadeveon Clowney, South Carolina
DL - Timmy Jernigan, Florida State
DL - Aaron Lynch, Notre Dame
DL - Marcus Rush, Michigan State
LB - Dion Bailey, USC
LB - A.J. Johnson, Tennessee
LB - Jeremy Grove, East Carolina
DB - Blair Burns, Wyoming
DB - Ibraheim Campbell, Northwestern
DB - Quandre Diggs, Texas
DB - Merrill Noel, Wake Forest
DB - Eric Rowe, Utah

SPECIALISTS
P - Brad Wing, LSU
K - Michael Hunnicutt, Oklahoma
PR - Scott Harding, Hawaii
KR - Tyler Lockett, Kansas State

COACH
Dana Holgorsen, West Virginia

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Posted on: January 9, 2012 3:26 pm
Edited on: January 9, 2012 3:29 pm
 

Texas A&M hires USF DC Mark Snyder

Posted by Chip Patterson

Kevin Sumlin added an important piece to his new staff at Texas A&M, hiring South Florida defensive coordinator Mark Snyder to the same position with the Aggies.

Early reports of the hire from CBSSports.com sources were confirmed by USF head coach Skip Holtz on Monday afternoon. Snyder served as the Bulls' defensive coordinator and linebackers coach for the last two seasons, mentoring All-Big East talents like Jacquian Williams, DeDe Lattimore, and Sam Barrington, among others. Prior to his time on Holtz' staff in Tampa, Snyder returned to his alma mater to be Marshall's head coach for five seasons from 2005-2009.

Kevin Sumlin's offensive reputation is well-known, but the Aggies will need an elite defense as well to compete immediately in the SEC West. Snyder has more than two decades of coaching experience under his belt, including four years on Jim Tressel's Ohio State staff highlighted by the 2002 national championship. He has been a defensive coach on the top level, and that is exactly what Sumlin will need at his first BCS head coaching opportunity.

For all the latest news and updates on Texas A&M, follow Brent Zwerneman and the Aggies RapidReports

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Posted on: January 9, 2012 11:40 am
Edited on: January 9, 2012 12:09 pm
 

Texas A&M going after the Denver Broncos

Posted by Tom Fornelli

On Sunday the Denver Broncos, and Tim Tebow in particular, were blowing the minds of football fans across the country while beating the Pittsburgh Steelers in the first round of the NFL playoffs. It was pretty much a wonderful day to be a Broncos fan, but it was also a day that may find the team in court soon.

That's because after the Broncos beat the Steelers in overtime there was this tweet from Texas A&M's Vice President of Marketing and Communications, Jason Cook.



Yes, before the game a man parachuted into the stadium waving a flag that said "12th man" and the flag was waved during the game. Which seems completely harmless and pretty much commonplace, but Texas A&M owns the trademark for it and is planning on getting its money.

It's not the first time that the school has gotten involved in something like this, as it filed a lawsuit against the Seattle Seahawks in 2006 for the same thing. Now any Seahawks broadcasts that mention the crowd as "the 12th man" also has to mention Texas A&M's trademark.

Seems pretty stupid, right? Yeah, that's because it is, though there's also an easy solution. Instead of referring to your home crowd as "the 12th man" just start referring to them as "the 12th player." Then Texas A&M will have to find a whole new way to waste everybody's time.

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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 5:29 pm
Edited on: January 5, 2012 5:46 pm
 

Sooner QB Landry Jones returning for senior year

Posted by Jerry Hinnen



2011 may have been a disappointment for the preseason No. 1 Oklahoma Sooners. But their chances for redemption in 2012 just took a major step forward.

Record-setting junior quarterback Landry Jones announced Thursday in a statement issued by the Sooner program that he would be returning for his senior season in Norman and postponing his chance to be a first-round NFL Draft pick. Jones had been rated the 22nd prospect overall by NFLDraftScout.com and had been projected by some to go in the first 15 picks if he had declared early. 

“I want to accomplish the goals that I set before I got here, and there is still a lot more to do,” Jones said. “I want to make sure I’ve exhausted every effort in that area.  And I want to be a senior.  I enjoy being at OU and with my teammates and look forward to graduating with the guys that were in my class when I got here.”

Jones is already Oklahoma's all-time leader in both passing yards (with 12,389) and passing touchdowns (89). He has started 38 games for the Sooners, posting a record of 30-8. Jones quarterbacked the Sooners to both Big 12 and Fiesta Bowl championships in 2010.

Despite those accomplishments, Jones' draft stock fell late in the 2011 season as both he and the Sooner offense struggled in the wake of All-American receiver Ryan Broyles' season-ending injury. In the final three games of the Sooners' regular season, all without Broyles -- and against Baylor, Iowa State and Oklahoma State, not exactly a defensive murderer's row -- Jones totaled no touchdowns and five interceptions, while averaging just 6.6 yards per passing attempt.

After those disappointments, the expectation was that Jones would return and attempt to solidify his draft stock with a better season in 2012. But Bob Stoops was nonetheless relieved by Jones' decision.

“We know the positive influence Landry has on and off the field with our team,” Stoops said.  “We’re excited that he’s coming back to build on what has already been an outstanding career.  We expect another great year from him, and like the fact that he’s determined to be even better.”

Despite linebacker Ronnell Lewis's decision to enter the draft earlier Thursday, Jones' return will no doubt have Oklahoma among the favorites -- if not the favorite -- to reclaim the Big 12 title in 2012. It's a role Jones sounds like he has no problem with the Sooners adopting.

“We hope to have another opportunity to make a title run,” he said.  “Most of the offensive line returns and we have several receivers and backs return too.  We’ve also got a lot of guys back on defense, so we’re confident that we can be a strong team.”

Get caught up on the early-entry announcements HERE, and all the latest rankings, mock drafts, and breaking news check out the NFL Draft Home.  

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Posted on: January 5, 2012 3:53 pm
Edited on: January 5, 2012 3:54 pm
 

Oklahoma's Ronnell Lewis is going pro

Posted by Tom Fornelli

Oklahoma's defensive line will be without one of its best players in 2012. Defensive end Ronnell Lewis announced on Thursday that he would forego his senior season at Oklahoma and enter the NFL Draft.

"After meeting with my family and coaches and gathering input from various resources, including the NFL, I’ve carefully weighed my options and have decided to forego my senior year at OU and enter the 2012 NFL Draft," said Lewis in a release. "My time at OU has produced many fond memories and I hope to keep close ties with my friends, teammates, coaches, football staff and everyone at OU who has helped me along the way. I’d like to personally thank the University of Oklahoma and Coach Stoops for giving me the opportunity to be a Sooner and play on Saturdays in front of the best fans in the country. Without the support of my coaches, my family and so many others, I wouldn’t be where I am today. I’ll definitely miss my time in Norman, but I’m looking forward to what the future holds. Boomer Sooner!"

“Ronnell leaves with our best wishes," said Bob Stoops. "He managed several challenges while playing here, but always worked hard and gave us his very best effort. He has the skill to be a successful NFL player and we feel he’ll do well there. As with any of our players who reach for the top level, he won’t have any bigger fans than those of us at OU.”

Stoops may wish Lewis well in the NFL, but his departure means that Oklahoma will be without both of its starting defensive ends next season, as Frank Alexander will graduate this spring.

CBSSports.com's Rob Rang has Lewis marked as an outside linebacker in the NFL, and he's ranked sixth among all outside linebacker prospects in the 2012 draft class.

Lewis had 60 tackles for the Sooners in 2011, including 13 for loss and 5.5 sacks. 

Check out where Lewis, and all the 2012 draft prospects rank on the CBSSports.com draft board, and follow all the news on early entrants here. 

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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