Posted on: September 4, 2011 12:20 am
Posted by Tom Fornelli
1. There's a reason the other conferences want the Oklahoma schools. Okay, so I knew that going into the weekend, but both Oklahoma and Oklahoma State showed why both schools began the year ranked in the top ten. Sure, the opponents weren't exactly the best college football has to offer, but the two Oklahoma offenses might be. Combined the Sooners and Cowboys outscored their opponents 108-48 and racked up 1,329 yards. That's getting it done when you have the ball.
2. Garrett Gilbert is improving. It's dangerous to rate a team or a player based on one game, but Texas fans had to be happier with the Garrett Gilbert they saw against Rice on Saturday night. In the season opener against Rice last season Gilbert completed 14 of 23 passes for 172 yards and no touchdowns. On Saturday he threw for 239 yards and a score, including a pretty little 56-yard bomb to Mike Davis with the Longhorns pressed against their own goal line. He didn't throw an inteception either, and while these might be baby steps, at least they're baby steps in the right direction.
3. Baylor is still one of the most entertaining teams in the country. Without a doubt, the biggest story of the weekend in the Big 12 so far is Baylor's 50-48 win over TCU on Friday night. Of course, while the Baylor offense showed the entire country why it's so fun to watch, the Baylor defense also showed the country why you can't turn a Baylor game off no matter what the score is. There are going to be plenty more shootouts to enjoy in Waco this season.
4. James Franklin needs some work. Missouri picked up a win against Miami (OH) to start the season, but James Franklin didn't do too much to erase the memory of Blaine Gabbert. Franklin averaged only 5.0 yards per attempt passing on Saturday as the Tigers offense struggled to get points. Most of the yards Franklin did complete came on screens, and even though the Mizzou defense still looks stout, Franklin is going to have to improve his downfield passing if the Tigers want to compete with the top-tier teams in the Big 12.
5. Kansas may not be the worst team in the conference. Remember last season when the Jayhawks started their season with an embarrassing 6-3 loss against North Dakota State? Yeah, well not this season. The Jayhawks handled McNeese State 42-24 on Saturday night while both Kansas State and Iowa State needed last-minute touchdown drives to escape their respective games against Eastern Kentucky and Northern Iowa.
6. Off-field distractions don't seem to be on-field distractions. There's a lot of talk surrounding the Big 12 these days about schools leaving and the conference ceasing to exist, but it didn't show on the field. Sure, teams like Kansas State and Iowa State struggled, but the Big 12 is 9-0 in its first nine games of the year. If Texas A&M can beat SMU on Sunday night, the conference moves to 10-0.
Posted on: February 3, 2011 5:04 pm
Posted by Jerry Hinnen
Here's some good news for the beleagured Indiana fans out there: your highly-respected new coach, Kevin Wilson, has shown a keen eye in assembling his first Hoosier coaching staff, hiring the kinds of hot up-and-coming coaches that bigger-name programs would be happy to have.
Here's the bad news: those bigger-name programs didn't even wait for the ink to dry on the new Hoosier coaches' contracts before proving exactly how happy to have them they'd be. Wilson was forced to spend part of his Signing Day press conference announcing that two more assistant coaches have taken other jobs, bringing the total up to three after new offensive coordinator Brent Pease returned to Boise State to take the same position following Bryan Harsin's departure to Texas.
One of the two new ex-Hoosiers we mentioned already today : cornerbacks coach Corey Raymond, who appears all but set to coach the secondary at Nebraska. The other is defensive tackles coach Jerry Montgomery, who will now coach the defensive line at Michigan instead.
Both are young coaches that appear to have bright futures, with Raymond a former LSU star and NFL veteran who'd coached the corners at Utah State the past two seasons; Montgomery is a former Iowa player who's gone from Northern Iowa to Wyoming to Indiana and now the Wolverines in just three seasons. But Wilson isn't wasting time mourning his losses, having already filled one of his vacancies with Air Force running backs coach Jemal Singleton, another with Nebraska program intern Brett Dierson, and not exactly shedding tears over the departures:
Wilson explained that he initially wanted Dierson from the beginning, while co-defensive coordinators Doug Mallory and Mike Ekeler liked Raymond.That's the right thing for Wilson to say. But more helpful than anything he says will be just keeping the likes of Michigan, Boise, and Nebraska away from what's left of his staff.
Posted on: November 16, 2010 1:31 pm
Edited on: November 16, 2010 1:45 pm
Posted by Tom Fornelli
Last we checked in with North Dakota State head coach Craig Bohl, his team had just upset Kansas 6-3 to start the 2010 season. Since then we've documented the epic hilarity that has been Kansas football this season, but the Bison kind of got lost in the shuffle. What has the team and its head coach been up to? Well, the Bison are 7-3 but will not be winning the Missouri Valley Conference this season, as that title belongs to Northern Iowa. As for Bohl, when he's not on the sidelines or in his office, you can likely find him pulled over on the side of any road in Fargo.
Since taking over as head coach at the school in 2003, Bohl has received at least 18 traffic violations. Ten of those being of the speeding variety. So when the Fargo Police Department needed to find a spokesperson for their new traffic safety campaign, who do you think they turned to? Why, Craig Bohl, don'tcha know!
Bohl provides the voice for a 30-second radio ad Fargo police began airing this week as part of a traffic-safety campaign dubbed, "Are you getting it now?" The ad details a string of crashes in Fargo that killed five people in less than three weeks this fall and is targeted at repeat offenders.If you ask me, this is an idea that probably should have gone in the woodchipper, but the Fargo police said they don't plan on making any changes to the campaign.
In other news, following his epic performance against the Washington Redskins on Monday night, Michael Vick has agreed to become the new spokesperson for the ASPCA.
Posted on: September 10, 2010 3:23 pm
Posted by Adam Jacobi
North Dakota State's ridiculous 6-3 win over Kansas last week may have been a killshot for the Jayhawks' football season. That much was immediately evident after the game, but what we didn't expect was to see NDSU head coach Craig Bohn continue to pule dirt on the Jayhawks' season, like he did during a teleconference earlier this week:
"I think the environment that we're going to play in Cedar Falls is going to be much more of a hostile environment than Memorial Stadium in Kansas," he said on the Missouri Valley coaches teleconference. "That was pretty docile. And the type of team that we're going to be playing is going to be a much more physical, aggressive football team than KU. And quite frankly I think we're going to be playing a better opponent. I know one school is in the Big 12 and the other one is in the Missouri Valley. I think that gives an indication on how we see Missouri Valley play and the respect we give Northern Iowa."
UNI is a pretty good team, to be sure; the traditional FCS power didn't make the playoffs last season, but they did put a scare into Iowa in week 1 before losing on consecutive blocked kicks. They're not pushovers in any sense of the term. But this is brutal talk from Bohl. Rappers get shot for less.
And yet, Bohl isn't necessarily wrong, either; it's easily possible that UNI beats NDSU, which will be more than Kansas can claim, and the UNI-Dome should provide a much louder noise level from fans than witnessed at last week's debacle in Lawrence.
But still. UNI over Kansas? That only happens in basketball, man.