Posted on: December 4, 2011 10:04 pm
Edited on: December 5, 2011 1:04 pm
Posted by Eye On College Football
On Sunday night the final BCS standings were released. Despite Oklahoma State's impressive victory against Oklahoma to capture their first Big 12 Championship in program history, the Cowboys were left on the outside looking in of the BCS National Championship Game. Now it's Game of the Century II in New Orleans to decide the top team in college football. Love it or hate it, that is the way the numbers added up.
You can check out a rundown of the Top 10 below, with some thoughts from our College Football Bloggers. For a full breakdown of the Top 25 teams in the BCS formula, you can check out the comprehensive standings.
1. LSU:How dominant was the season just put together by Les Miles's Tigers? This might be the first time in the BCS era that a team has clinched a share of the national title before they even play the national title game. Considering that the best BCS championship opponent Alabama can do vs. the Tigers head-to-head is a 1-1 record (with a home loss, no less), and that LSU has a wider collection of quality wins and the SEC title in their back pocket, we'd suggest that AP voters consider awarding their No. 1 ranking to LSU regardless of what happens Jan. 9. Of course, the way they've played thus far this season -- and how well they're likely to play in home-away-from-home New Orleans -- the Tigers may not need the charity. - Jerry Hinnen
2. Alabama: Lost in the controversy over whether the Crimson Tide should have slotted into the national title game over Oklahoma State is that now that they have, their selection caps an incredible four-year run for Nick Saban's program: three BCS bowls, two perfect regular seasons, two SEC West titles, a 47-4 overall record, and now a pair of BCS championship appearances. Of course, that also heightens the stakes even further for the Tide as they head to New Orleans; a second loss to LSU will only drive home the point that for all of those accomplishments, Saban would still be sitting on a single SEC title and lone national title to Miles's two. - JH
3. Oklahoma State: .009 points. That's all that separated Oklahoma State from a trip to New Orleans to face LSU for the national title. Or, in football terms, about 12 inches on a Quinn Sharp field goal attempt in Ames, Iowa. Still, as disappointing as it may be for Oklahoma State to miss out on a title chance, there's still plenty to be thrilled about this season. The Cowboys not only won their first Big 12 title, but they also did it by throttling Oklahoma to finish the season. Plus, the Fiesta Bowl against Stanford isn't exactly a terrible consolation prize, so while the sting will last a bit, it's going to wear off eventually. Tom Fornelli
4. Stanford:The Cardinal have back-to-back trips to a BCS bowl game thanks to finishing in the top four and snagging a trip to the Fiesta Bowl against Oklahoma State. It gives Andrew Luck a marquee chance to end his college career on a high note against a defense that has been a turnover-forcing machine. They lost out on a Pac-12 title game but the consolation prize of a trip to the desert and a shot at ending up in the top three would be part of a historic run for a school known more for their alumni off the field than on it. - Bryan Fischer
5. Oregon:The Pac-12 champions are making their way to Pasadena after winning the league's first ever championship game against an overmatched UCLA team. The Ducks come in on a mission: win their first BCS bowl under Chip Kelly and the Rose Bowl for the first time since 1917. Should be an interesting clash of styles as the fast-paced offense takes on a Wisconsin team known for efficiently moving down the field. - BF
6. Arkansas:On the one hand, who knows how high the Hogs could have flown this season if they hadn't been in the SEC West? Swap them out with Oklahoma State and maybe it's the Razorbacks who are bucking for second and the Cowboys licking their wounds from a pair of blowout losses and a third-place divisional finish. Then again, there's the little fact that the Hogs never beat a team better than South Carolina, defeated just two teams with winning records, and struggled more badly with Ole Miss than any other team in the conference. Maybe the Razorbacks were unfortunate they didn't do better than 10 wins and the Cotton Bowl. Maybe they're lucky they've gotten that far. - BF
7. Boise State: Another one-loss season for the Broncos ends in a series of "What If's" as the missed field goal against TCU has cost Boise State a spot in a BCS bowl. Unfortunately, the trends are beginning to mount for Chris Petersen's squad. While Boise State is proud to celebrate their sixth Top 10 finish in the last eight final BCS standings, this is fourth time the Broncos have finished in the Top 10 and NOT been invited to a BCS game. Instead it will be another trip to Las Vegas for the Maaco Bowl against Arizona State, their first showdown with the Sun Devils since 1996. - Chip Patterson
8. Kansas State:There's plenty to be happy about here, and also reason for Kansas State fans to be upset. You can easily argue that Kansas State deserves to be playing in a BCS game this season more than either Michigan or Virginia Tech due to the Wildcats finishing ahead of both schools in the BCS rankings. Unfortunately that's just not the way the BCS works. Either way, I think it's safe to say that if you had told Kansas State fans before the season began that the team would go 10-2 in the regular season and finish the year in the Cotton Bowl against Arkansas they'd have all jumped at the chance. - TF
9. South Carolina: One of these things is not like the other. Of the top 10 teams in the BCS standings, the other nine all earned either a conference title or serious consideration for a BCS at-large bid. And then there's the Gamecocks, well shut out thanks to ranking a distant fourth in the SEC pecking order. No one will claim this was a vintage year for the SEC, with claims the league was "top heavy" entirely accurate. But with four of the top nine teams in the final BCS standings, it's fair to say that top was heavy indeed. - JH
10. Wisconsin:The Badgers are the only team from the Big Ten to finish the regular season ranked in the top ten, though they aren't the only Big Ten team that will be playing in a BCS bowl game this year. Wisconsin is headed to the Rose Bowl after a thrilling victory against Michigan State in the inaugural Big Ten Championship Game, and going to the Rose Bowl in consecutive seasons is nothing to be ashamed of. Still, it's got to be hard to get past the fact that the Badgers are basically two last second prayers away from being 13-0 and headed to New Orleans. - TF
Finally, the luckiest teams in all of the land: Virginia Tech and Michigan. The Hokies and Wolverines fall at 11 and 12 in the final BCS standings, and will face each other in the Sugar Bowl on Jan. 3.
11. Virginia Tech: Not that the Hokies themselves have done anything to deserve it, but the haters of the BCS's current selection process just got a new poster program. Plenty of teams with questionable credentials have been granted BCS admission before (heck, the Hokies will be playing one of them in the Sugar), but it's been a while since a team without a single win over a top-25 team and so clearly second-best in a back-of-the-BCS-pack conference got this kind of preferential treatment. That's not to say the Hokies haven't had an outstanding season--those 11 wins didn't fall into their lap. But when compared to Kansas State or Boise State, it's just another signal that however much the BCS likes to blather that "every game counts", some things still count far more than the games. - JH
12. Michigan: It's crazy how things can change, isn't it? Michigan went from being a program that was routinely letting its fan base down back to the BCS in one season under Brady Hoke. If you had told Michigan fans they'd end the season in the Sugar Bowl back in August, would they have believed you? Of course, the argument can also be made that there were other teams more deserving than the Wolverines, but this is the way things ended up. You can't chastise the Michigan fan base for being so enticing to BCS bowl games who are just as interested in selling seats as they are compelling matchups. (Though you should probably send a thank you card to Jim Delany.) - TF
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Tags: ACC, Alabama, Andrew Luck, Arkansas, Auburn, BCS, BCS Rankings, BCS Reactions, BCS Standings, Big 12, Big Ten, Boise State, Brandon Weeden, Bryan Fischer, Casey Pachall, Chip Patterson, Chip Patterson, Clemson, Dabo Swinney, Dabo Swinney, David Wilson, Frank Beamer, Georgia, Georgia Tech, Houston, Jerry Hinnen, Kellen Moore, LSU, Mississippi State, Mountain West, MWC, Non-BCS, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Oregon, Pac-12, SEC, South Carolina, Stanford, Stanford, Tom Fornelli, Tom Fornelli, Virginia, Virginia Tech, Wake Forest
Posted on: December 4, 2011 2:00 am
Edited on: December 4, 2011 2:01 am
Posted by Tom Fornelli
So how do you celebrate your school's first Big 12 championship and first win over your rival in eight years? By doing the Gundy of course.
It's not the coach's best effort this season, but in his defense, he had a bucket of Gatorade poured on him in some cold, windy conditions on Saturday night. His muscles were probably a bit stiff.
Posted on: December 3, 2011 11:49 pm
Edited on: December 3, 2011 11:49 pm
Posted by Tom Fornelli
OKLAHOMA STATE WON. And man did it win. That 44-10 score is not quite indicative of how this game turned out. Oklahoma's only touchdown came late in the fourth quarter when it was trailing 44-3. That field goal came on the last play of the first half. Aside from those two plays, this was a game in which Oklahoma State dominated its in-state rival and did its best to convince the nation that it deserves a chance to play LSU for a national title.
Oklahoma gained 358 yards of offense against the Oklahoma State defense, but it also turned the ball over 5 times, helping Oklahoma State pad its lead as the team that has forced more turnovers than any other. Brandon Weeden didn't have a great game, throwing for only 217 yards and no touchdowns, but he wasn't needed. Oklahoma State did the most damage on the ground, gashing Oklahoma for 254 rushing yards. Joseph Randle led the way with 151 yards and 2 scores, while Jeremy Smith had 95 yards and 2 touchdowns of his own.
WHY OKLAHOMA STATE WON. Because it dominated this game in every facet. Offense, defense, special teams, desire, intangibles, any category you want to make up, Oklahoma State was the superior team on Saturday night.
WHEN OKLAHOMA STATE WON: When Joseph Randle scored his second touchdown of the day to make it 24-0 with 1:05 left in the first half, even though there was still an entire second half to play, there was no reason to think that Oklahoma was going to come back. It was obvious that Oklahoma State had come to prove a point.
WHAT OKLAHOMA STATE WON. A lot and maybe even more. First and foremost, Oklahoma State has its first Big 12 title, which means that it's at least going to the Fiesta Bowl. What we don't know yet is how this win will affect the BCS computers and Harris Poll voters who will help decide the two teams playing for a national championship. Will the performance be enough to push the Cowboys past Alabama in the BCS? We'll find out on Sunday.
WHAT OKLAHOMA LOST. The Sooners lost out on the chance to win another Big 12 title and go to a BCS bowl game. Which hurts enough as it is. What adds insult to the injury, however, is now Oklahoma may be solely responsible for seeing its in-state rival playing for a national championship. Not to mention that this performance could have an effect on which bowl game the Sooners wind up in.
THAT WAS CRAZY: Not really crazy, but a change in direction. Last week Oklahoma State head coach Mike Gundy said if it was up to him, Alabama should play LSU for the national title. Tonight? Tonight he changed his tune. "There's no question Oklahoma State should be #2 right now," said Gundy following the game.
Posted on: December 3, 2011 7:09 pm
Edited on: December 3, 2011 7:10 pm
Posted by Tom Fornelli
BAYLOR WON. Baylor took what had been a close game going into the locker room at halftime, and then completely blew the doors off of it in the second half. It was enough to make you wonder if Texas had picked up some kind of virus in College Station last week. Baylor rode a wave of Texas turnovers in the second half to outscore the Longhorns 24-3 over the final 30 minutes. Robert Griffin also got over a slow start in the first half that saw him throw his first interception of the season at home, and he finished the day with 352 total yards and 4 total touchdowns. Whether that will be enough to give him a push in the Heisman race we'll have to wait and see. Terrance Ganaway had another big day on the ground as well, rushing for 152 yards and 2 touchdowns.
Case McCoy finished the day with 356 yards passing and 3 touchdowns, but it was his 4 interceptions that killed the Longhorns in the second half.
HOW BAYLOR WON. With a whole lot of help from Texas. I don't think it's a coincidence that the Baylor offense didn't really get in gear until the second half when the Longhorns started giving the ball away like your grandma does candy. The Longhorns turned the ball over 6 times on Saturday, 4 of which came in the second half, and Baylor was all too willing to take advantage of them.
WHEN BAYLOR WON. Following another Texas turnover in the fourth quarter, Griffin found Terrance Williams for a 39-yard touchdown strike with 7:43 to go to make the score 48-24. Whatever hope Texas still had before that point was quickly snuffed out.
WHAT BAYLOR WON. Since Kansas State also won the chances aren't as great, but it's still possible that Baylor can get an at-large berth to a BCS bowl. I just wouldn't bet my life on it if I were you. Outside of that, it was Baylor's ninth win of the season which means that if it should win its bowl game it'll finish the season with 10 wins, a nice milestone for the program. Also, though they don't keep track of it officially, Baylor became the Texas State Champions of the Big 12 this season, finishing higher in the standings than Texas, Texas A&M and Texas Tech and let's not forget that win over TCU to start the season.
WHAT TEXAS LOST. This would have been a nice win for Texas for a few reasons. First, it's always nice to beat your in-state rivals in the conference, but a win also would have meant the Longhorns finished the regular season 8-4. Instead Texas has to settle for 7-5, and though that's better than last season's 5-7, it's not exactly the type of year that Texas likes to hang its hat on.
Posted on: December 3, 2011 5:27 pm
Edited on: December 3, 2011 5:27 pm
Posted by Tom Fornelli
KANSAS STATE WON. It was an incredibly important game for Kansas State, as a win would keep their BCS hopes alive, and the Wildcats did just that on Saturday. The game was delayed for nearly two hours thanks to some nasty weather in Manhattan, but the Wildcats rode both Collin Klein and John Hubert to victory. Klein finished the day with 244 total yards and two touchdowns. His rushing touchdown was the 26th he's scored this season, leaving him only one behind Ricky Williams for the most rushing touchdowns by a Big 12 player in a single season. John Hubert rushed for 120 yards on the day, and also scored the deciding touchdown late in the fourth quarter.
WHY KANSAS STATE WON. It wasn't the best performance we've seen from Kansas State's offense this season, but the Wildcats didn't turn the ball over and the defense made some key stops when it had to. Still, if you looked at the box score and not the final score, you'd think Iowa State won the game because it was better than Kansas State in just about every important category.
WHEN KANSAS STATE WON. John Hubert busted outside, broke a couple of tackles, delievered a nice stiff-arm and then tip-toed down the sideline for a lovely 25-yard touchdown run to put Kansas State up 30-23 with 3:29 left. Then on Iowa State's ensuing possession, the Kansas State defense stuffed Jeff Woody on a 4th and 2 at the KSU 31 yard line to put the finishing touches on this one.
WHAT KANSAS STATE WON. As I mentioned above, when you combine this Kansas State win with Houston's loss on Saturday, Kansas State's chances of securing one of the BCS at-large berths are greatly improved. In fact, at this point, you have to think that the Cotton Bowl is the worst that Kansas State can do.
WHAT IOWA STATE LOST. Iowa State had already secured a bowl berth before this game, but with this loss the Cyclones lose out on the chance to ensure that 2011 ends with a winning record. Other than that, the only thing the Cyclones really lose out on in this game is a chance to stick another feather in their cap after knocking off another one of the Big 12's best.
Posted on: December 2, 2011 2:47 pm
Posted by Tom Fornelli
Oklahoma State beat writer Gina Mizell of The Oklahoman joins the CBSSports.com College Football Podcast to break down Bedlam, talk about the National Championship picture, how Oklahoma State would match up against LSU and Alabama and much more.
Is Mike Gundy going to be the next Bobby Bowden? Can Oklahoma stop the OSU passing game? What is Justin Blackmon like off the field? How much will the weather affect Saturday's outcome? Gina has all the answers to this and more.
Remember, all of the CBSSports.com College Football Podcasts can be downloaded for FREE from the iTunes Store.
You can listen to the podcast in the player below, pop out a player to keep browsing, or download the MP3 right to your computer.
Posted on: December 2, 2011 2:28 pm
Edited on: December 2, 2011 2:29 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 Sunday in the bathroom.
It's the final weekend of the season, and therefore it's the final Saturday Meal Plan of 2011. It was a season that went by just a little too quickly for our tastes, but thankfully we have some excellent options on the menu for this weekend. There are some official conference championship games and then a few unofficial conference championship games.
All will leave you feeling full, and with fond memories of the last great Saturday of 2011.
#6 Houston vs. #24 Southern Miss - ABC 12pm ET
A BCS bid is on the line as Houston looks to capture the Conference USA title and pick up a school-record 13th win. Case Keenum also hopes to get plenty of Heisman consideration so expect big numbers against a solid Southern Miss defense. The Golden Eagles are ranked in the top 25 and might provide the Cougars their toughest test of the year. - Bryan Fischer
Cincinnati vs. UConn - ESPN 12pm ET
The Big East title race has come down to a noon kickoff between Connecticut and Cincinnati, because that's what kind of year it has been in the conference. With West Virginia's win against South Florida, they likely eliminated Cincinnati from earning the conference's one BCS berth. But the Bearcats can still win a share of the conference title win a win over the Huskies. Louisville is rooting for Connecticut, because a Bearcats loss would give the 7-5 Cardinals the tiebreaker edge over West Virginia and a spot in a BCS bowl game. The Mountaineers will likely win the three-team tiebreaker if Cincinnati wins. All of these scenarios are in the hands of Munchie Legaux, Jordan Luallen, Johnny McEntee, and Scott McCummings. Tune in for a show, with these four quarterbacks in the game. It'll be...something. - Chip Patterson
#17 Baylor vs. #22 Texas - ABC 3:30pm ET
Quite a bit on the line for both teams in this game, even if neither has a chance at a BCS bowl. There's Baylor's Robert Griffin who gets his final chance to impress a national audience and prove his Heisman case. Not to mention, a win here could possibly catapult the Bears to a Cotton Bowl appearance, and it would be Baylor's ninth win of the season. Meaning that it could finish the year with a double-digit win total. For Texas, following last season's 5-7 debacle, getting to eight wins in 2011 would be a nice turnaround for Mack Brown's program. Not to mention a chance to appear in a higher profile bowl game. - Tom Fornelli
#1 LSU vs. #14 Georgia - CBS 4pm ET
The Tigers might be going to the national championship game win or lose. But with an SEC championship and perfect season on the line in the annually electric atmosphere of the Georgia Dome, motivation is not going to be a problem. What might be: an underrated Georgia defense ranked in the top 10 in rush, total, and pass efficiency defense. Unlike Arkansas, the Dawgs are stout enough on D to make this a close game in the fourth quarter--and if they do, does Les Miles have yet another rabbit to pull out of his late-game hat? - Jerry Hinnen
#3 Oklahoma State vs. #10 Oklahoma - ABC 8pm ET
The Big 12 may not have an official championship game, but Bedlam will do just fine. Essentially the entire Big 12 season has been building up to this game, and it's a huge game for both schools no matter what the stakes. For the Sooners, it's obvious. Win yet another contest against their state rivals and they'll be Big 12 champions yet again and on their way to the Fiesta Bowl. For Oklahoma State there's even more on the line. It's the chance to finally get the Oklahoma monkey off its back and win its first ever Big 12 title -- and first for any school not named Oklahoma or Texas since 2003. Plus, while their chances may not be great, there's still the possibility that the Cowboys can get to the BCS Championship if their performance in this game is strong enough. So, in a way, there's more on the line in this game than just about any other Saturday night. - TF
#5 Virginia Tech vs. #20 Clemson - ESPN 8pm ET
Clemson finally was accepted as a "legitimate contender" after their 23-3 victory over Virginia Tech in Blacksburg. But the two teams have finished the season in very different ways. The Tigers are one last-second field goal away from a four game losing streak, and the Hokies are the hottest team in the ACC on a seven game winning streak. Clemson lost to NC State and South Carolina after locking up the Atlantic Division, while Virginia Tech rocked their in-state rivals from Virginia to win the Coastal Division last weekend. The Tigers are loaded with talent, and possibly as healthy as they have been since October. But can they regain momentum against a Championship Game veteran like Frank Beamer? Beamer has been to five of the last seven ACC Championship Games, and the Hokies are looking to win back-to-back ACC titles for second time in five years. - CP
#13 Michigan State vs. #15 Wisconsin - Fox 8:17pm ET
The inaugural Big Ten Championship promises to be a doozy. It's a reprisal of the conference's best game and best play of the year, a magical 37-31 victory by Michigan State where Keith Nichol caught a deflected Hail Mary pass at the end of regulation and briefly managed to twist across the goal line for the winning score. Montee Ball will make one last bid for Heisman legitimacy, and Kirk Cousins will look for an undisputed conference championship to put an exclamation point on his Big Ten career. A berth in the Rose Bowl awaits the winner, while it's likely going to be a Capital One or Outback bid for the loser. If this game's anything like its first iteration in East Lansing, there won't be a ton of defense in it, but there'll be plenty of points and drama. Don't miss this game. - Adam Jacobi
Tags: ACC, Arkansas, Baylor, Big 12, Big East, Big Ten, Bryan Fischer, C-USA, Chip Patterson, Cincinnati, Clemson, Frank Beamer, Georgia, Houston, Johnny McEntee, Jordan Luallen, Keith Nichol, Kirk Cousins, Les Miles, Louisville, LSU, Mack Brown, Michigan State, Montee Ball, Munchie Legaux, N.C. State, Non-BCS, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Robert Griffin, Saturday Meal Plan, Scott McCummings, SEC, South Carolina, South Florida, Southern Miss, Texas, Tom Fornelli, UConn, Virginia, Virginia Tech, West Virginia, Wisconsin
Posted on: December 1, 2011 6:57 pm
Edited on: December 1, 2011 9:56 pm
Posted by Tom Fornelli
CBSSports.com Texas A&M Rapid Reporter Brent Zwerneman is reporting that Texas A&M has fired Mike Sherman. The move had been rumored to be coming for the last few days, with reports of Sherman's dismissal first starting to appear on Thursday afternoon.
“Decisions of this nature are never easy, and I appreciate the patience of Aggies everywhere as we carefully evaluated the current state of our football program," said Texas A&M president R. Bowen Loftin in a statement. "I would like to thank Mike Sherman for personifying Texas A&M’s core values and instilling them within our student-athletes.”
Sherman spent four years at Texas A&M, going 25-25 overall with a 15-18 record in the Big 12 and appeared in two bowls.
Sherman's team failed to meet expectations in 2011, as the Aggies began the season ranked in the top ten of both major polls. With 19 returning starters from a 2010 team that finished the season strong and played LSU in the Cotton Bowl, some thought that Texas A&M would compete for a Big 12 title and BCS bowl appearance this season.
Instead the Aggies routinely found new ways to lose games, whether by blowing second-half leads or just giving games away on offense.
Odds are that with the school leaving the Big 12 to join the SEC next season, Texas A&M didn't want to go into a new conference and the toughest division in college football with a coach on the hot seat, so making this move now and starting fresh seemed like the best alternative.
As for who the school will look to replace Sherman with, Houston's Kevin Sumlin is said to be the top target.