Tag:Big 12
Posted on: December 1, 2011 4:22 pm
Edited on: December 3, 2011 7:17 pm
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Man vs. Woman vs. Machine: Week 14



Posted by Tom Fornelli


Man vs. Woman vs. Machine is a feature that runs every Thursday afternoon. It is here that Tom Fornelli fights against the rising tide of female empowerment and technology to ensure that men everywhere can at least claim that college football is still theirs. He does this by picking a set of games against the spread against his girlfriend, Lynn, and his Playstation 3.

This is it, the final week of MWM in the 2011 season, and it pretty much couldn't have gone worse for me. You see, heading into last week it was a two-horse race, and I was on the verge of losing a picks competition against my girlfriend. Well, then the Machine had to go 8-2 last week while both Woman and I struggled, and guess who is now in second place?

That's right, at the moment, I trail not only my girlfriend but my Playstation as well. Pretty much as embarrassing as embarrassing can be.

On the bright side, the race is closer than ever before, which is pretty much the ideal situation heading into the final week of any competition. Yes, I'm in last place, but I'm only two games behind Woman. Machine is a game behind. So any of us can win, which makes this week the single most important week of the MWM season.

Feel free to read our final picks of the season while I pool some money together and get to work bribing teams to help me out this weekend.

South Florida (Pick 'em) vs. West Virginia - Thursday, 8pm (All times Eastern)

Man - I was originally leaning toward South Florida because they're at home, and it's the Big East, so since you have no idea what's going to happen, leaning toward the home side is usually the best bet. But then the news that B.J. Daniels probably won't be playing came along, and, well, that changes things. Pick: West Virginia

Woman - "I want to pick the Bulls  - mostly so I can watch coach Dana Holgorsen figure out a way to blame West Virginia fans for the loss (start at minute 1:10 here to see his previous efforts) - but they're too banged up, so the mundane Mountaineers will squeak by." Pick: West Virginia

Machine - West Virginia keeps its slim BCS hopes alive with a rather easy 37-20 win over the Bulls. Pick: West Virginia

Oregon (-30 1/2) vs. UCLA - Friday, 8pm

Man - That is a very big spread. One that's big enough to make me think that maybe UCLA isn't a horrible pick because once Oregon gets up by a lot, it really has no reason to pile on, the Rose Bowl is its only possible destination. But then I realized I'd be putting my faith in Rick Neuheisel, and last game or not, no thanks. Pick: Oregon

Woman - "My prediction: At the start of his final game, fired UCLA coach Rick Neuheisel will rip off his shirt to reveal his 1984 SAN ANTONIO GUNSLINGERS JERSEY, SPRINT OUT ONTO THE FIELD AND, UNFAZED BY THE BAD BURRITO HE ATE FROM A TACO STAND ON LA CIENEGA, TAKE OVER AS QUARTERBACK, THROWING TO HIMSELF FOR TOUCHDOWN AFTER TOUCHDOWN UNTIL THE UCLA BOARD OF REGENTS REALIZES ITS GRIEVOUS ERROR, RUSHES TO THE SIDELINES AND ASKS, NAY, BEGS HIM TO STAY." Pick: Oregon

Machine - The Machine sees this one as a game that might be competitive-ish for a while on Friday night. It seems to think that the Bruins will experience some kind of Rick Neuheisel bump. They still lose, but only 41-28. Pick: UCLA

Houston (-14 1/2) vs. Southern Miss - Saturday, 12pm

Man - This game is odd for so many reasons, one being that both head coaches are being mentioned as candidates at other schools, which can be quite a distraction. I want to pick Houston because they're undefeated and torched a good Tulsa team last week, but then I started thinking about the BCS. Wouldn't it just make sense that in the final weekend of the season the undefeated team from the non-BCS conference fell due to some kind of BCS conspiracy? I'm pretty sure Bill Hancock is a Freemason....ahh, screw it. Pick: Houston

Woman - "Picking blind here cuz the only Southern miss I know got wasted on SigEp punch and woke up on the 50 yard line the next morning. Wait. That was me." Pick: Houston

Machine - The Machine sees Case Keenum putting the final stamp on a terrific regular season, as he throws for 414 yards and 5 touchdowns as Houston wins 45-28. Pick: Houston

Pitt (-10 1/2) vs. Syracuse - Saturday, 12pm

Man - Man, I seriously have no idea. Maybe it's the pressure of the situation I'm in getting to me, but I stare at this spread and it may as well be the equation on the chalkboard in Good Will Hunting. It's just a bunch of numbers and letters to me. Whatever, give me the Panthers. Pick: Pitt

Woman - "Syracuse is god awful but if there's one thing I learned watching last week's Backyard Brawl it's that every Orange defenseman should just yell "Boo!" while running towards Panthers QB Tino Sunseri, then wait for him drop to the ground and start weeping. That should keep the results within the spread, at least." Pick: Syracuse

Machine - The Machine nearly blew up after being forced to simulate two Big East games in the same week. Pitt wins 24-10. Pick: Pitt

Kansas State (-11 1/2) vs. Iowa State - Saturday, 12:30pm

Man - I think Iowa State has already had its big upset bid of the season, and I don't see them being able to stop Kansas State on the road this weekend. Plus, the Cyclones offense just did not look very good at all last week. Pick: Kansas State

Woman - "Game's not being played in Oklahoma? Check. Not against a team from Oklahoma? Check." Pick: Kansas State

Machine - Can't decide if this is good or bad news for Kansas State, but I'm pretty sure this is the first time all year that The Machine has picked the Wildcats. KSU wins 27-10. Pick: Kansas State

Baylor (-2 1/2) vs. Texas - Saturday, 3:30pm

Man - Robert Griffin is expected to play, and although the Texas defense has been outstanding, I just don't see the Texas offense being able to keep up with the Bears for 60 minutes. Especially on the road. Pick: Baylor

Woman - "Note to Mack Brown: A television network does not a football team make." Pick: Baylor

Machine - Sorry, Baylor, The Machine just isn't buying what you're selling this season. Texas wins 27-24. Pick: Texas

LSU (-12 1/2) vs. Georgia - Saturday, 4pm

Man - Here's how good LSU is: the Tigers could lose this game and then go on to lose the national title game, and I'd still probably put them at #1 on my ballot. Pick: LSU

Woman - "The only times I lost on LSU games this season were when I bet against you, Les. What was I thinking?  (And by the way, I've decided to start a "DRAFT LES MILES FOR PRESIDENT" Committee, if only to see the look on his face when other candidates do really dumb things.)" Pick: LSU

Machine - The Machine doesn't really see Georgia threatening LSU in this game, but it also doesn't see much offense, and Georgia gets the cover because of it. LSU wins 14-6. Pick: Georgia

Oklahoma State (-3 1/2) vs. Oklahoma - Saturday, 8pm

Man - You know that BCS conspiracy thing I mentioned with my Southern Miss pick? Yeah, well it applies here too. What's the best way to ensure that there's no debate between Oklahoma State and Alabama? Have Oklahoma beat Oklahoma State. Though I suppose that when you consider how the Sooners have dominated this rivalry through time, the conspiracy may not be necessary. Pick: Oklahoma

Woman - "This is it, Cowboys. Time to show all the naysayers why you belong in the BCS Championship. If you win, you've earned it (though it will have to be by thirty points to convince the myopic BCS voters)." Pick: Oklahoma State

Machine - The Machine sticks with the trends. Oklahoma wins 41-35. Pick: Oklahoma

Virginia Tech (-7 1/2) vs. Clemson - Saturday, 8pm

Man - Clemson has already beaten Virginia Tech by 20 earlier this season, and although the Tigers haven't exactly been a good team the last few weeks, I'm still confident that they can at the very worst cover that spread on a neutral field. Pick: Clemson

Woman - "Really? This could be the game that loses me the MWM season? Pass the Maalox while I puzzle through my choices. Yeah, they crushed Virginia last week, but I still have Hokie hesitation. I'm taking a deep breath and going with Sammy Watkins plus home field advantage. Your move, Sicilian." Pick: Clemson

Machine - The Hokies get revenge and quite a bit of it, as Tech picks up a relatively easy 27-7 win. Pick: Virginia Tech

Michigan State vs. Wisconsin (-9 1/2) - Saturday, 8:17pm 

Man - I think we've seen the best from Michigan State already this season, and now that they're facing a Wisconsin team that's once again gotten rolling on a neutral field, I'm liking the Badgers' chances. Pick: Wisconsin

Woman - "Next stop, Rose Bowl. (Hey, guys, thanks to you for reading and to Fornelli for coming up with this competition. It's been a lot of fun. Also, thanks to CBS Sports for finally shattering the glass ceiling last week, so I can now look forward to a continued future in football prognostication.)" Pick: Wisconsin

Machine - The Machine doesn't believe in God, and therefore it does not see any Hail Mary saving the Spartans this time. Wisconsin wins 31-23, but that's a cover for Sparty. Pick: Michigan State

Standings

Season Record (Last Week)

1. Woman 73-62 (4-6)
2. Machine 72-63 (8-2)
3. Man 71-64 (4-6)
Posted on: November 30, 2011 1:23 pm
Edited on: November 30, 2011 1:24 pm
 

PODCAST: Week 14 Preview

Posted by Tom Fornelli

It's the last weekend preview show of the season -- which makes me incredibly sad as I type that, where did this season go? -- and there are quite a few big games to go over. There's the SEC Championship, the Big Ten Championship, the ACC Championship, the Pac-12 Championship and the Conference USA Championship. In other words, there are a lot of championships on the line this weekend and the CBSSports.com College Football Podcast discusses what we can expect from all of them.

Adam Aizer and J. Darin Darst also go over what to look for in the jumbled Big East this weekend, along with a game taking place in Oklahoma that they call Bedlam.

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: November 30, 2011 12:40 pm
Edited on: November 30, 2011 1:02 pm
 

A&M associate AD calls school president a 'putz'

Posted by Tom Fornelli

While Texas A&M may still be trying to figure out what the future of Mike Sherman is at the school, odds are there may be some disagreements among members of the school's administration. After all, no matter where you work or what you do, you aren't going to agree with everybody you work with. You might even think your boss is an idiot, though you probably wouldn't say that to their face if you want to keep your job.

Well, we now know for sure that there's somebody in the Texas A&M administration who isn't exactly a big fan of school president R. Bowen Loftin. The school's athletics department chief financial officer and senior associate athletic director, Jeff Toole, recently went on a Texas A&M message board at TexAgs.com and called Loftin a "putz," though he did it under the anonymous username of UtayAg. 

Too bad his username wasn't as anonymous as he thought it was.
Jeff Toole, A&M athletics' chief financial officer and senior associate athletic director, admitted on Tuesday that he has disparaged A&M president R. Bowen Loftin on TexAgs — dubbing Loftin a “putz” and a “hopelessly underqualified puppet” — under the alias of UtayAg.

“I was posting what I thought was an anonymous opinion,” Toole said Tuesday.

Toole was ratted out on the website by a poster dubbed “iPanic” who searched UtayAg's posting history and found one from May 5, 2010, where UtayAg identifies himself as the Aggies' CFO for athletics.

“That slipped my mind,” Toole said Tuesday when asked why he thought he was posting anonymously when he already had identified himself under the handle.
Oops!

Loftin is aware of the remarks according to his spokesman Jason Cook.

“President Loftin is aware of the posts and discussed the situation with athletic director Bill Byrne (Tuesday) afternoon," said Cook in an email to the San Antonio Express-News. "At this point, we are handling this situation as a personnel matter, and we will decline to comment further, in accordance with our standard practice.” 

Toole has apologized and admits that his job may be in jeopardy because of this, and I'm inclined to agree with him.
Posted on: November 30, 2011 12:04 pm
Edited on: November 30, 2011 12:05 pm
 

Mike Sherman should be nervous

Posted by Tom Fornelli

There have been a lot of head coaches fired since Saturday, as there are openings now across the country in just about every conference. There have also been a lot of questions about Texas A&M head coach Mike Sherman's future at the school for most of the season, as the Aggies finished the year 6-6 suffering a number of collapses along the way. Still, to this point Sherman still has his job, though if he heard his boss talking on Wednesday, he can't be feeling very confident.

Texas A&M president R. Bowen Loftin talked to the Bryan-College Station Eagle and when asked about the future of the program and Mike Sherman, Loftin didn't exactly sound like he was committing to anything.

"I've been talking to [athletic director] Bill Byrne for the last couple weeks," Loftin said. "We're thinking hard about [the season and the future]."

Now while that comment doesn't sound totally damning given that Loftin speaks of a process that generally takes place at every school, compare it to what Loftin told the Austin American-Statesman last week before the loss against Texas.

"As far as I'm concerned, yes, [Sherman will return in 2012]" Loftin told the Statesman. "We don't want to make any hasty moves, and we look forward to him being our football coach in the future."

Quite a change in tone, no?

I've wondered about Sherman's status all season simply because the Aggies problems in 2011 seem to fall more on the coaching staff than the team itself. It's had injuries, yes, but at the same time the Aggies haven't done anything to correct the mistakes that have littered the team all season. Instead of making adjustments, it has felt like Texas A&M has just crossed its fingers and hoped it wouldn't happen again.

Combine that with the fact that the school is moving to the SEC next season, and it might want to go into a new conference with a fresh start rather than a coach who is on the hot seat.
Posted on: November 30, 2011 9:31 am
 

WVU files motion to dismiss Big East suit

Posted by Chip Patterson

The ongoing legal battle between West Virginia and the Big East entered the next phase of litigation this week, with the school filing a motion to dismiss the Big East's lawsuit against the university.

[PDF: Read the 133-page motion, obtained by the Charleston Gazette]

West Virginia fired first in this legal battle, filing a lawsuit against the Big East seeking an exit before the 2012-2013 academic year. The league then responded days later with their own lawsuit against West Virginia, filed in Rhode Island Superior Court.

The motion from West Virginia, filed this week to the Rhode Island Superior Court, makes four key points as to why the suit should be dismissed. The primary claim from the school is that Rhode Island's courts don't have jurisdiction over the state of West Virginia. The language in the motion clearly ties the university to the state itself, at one point referring to themselves as "an alter ego of the State of West Virginia."

Finally, the school's lawyers make reference to the "essentially identical" suit brought against the Big East by the West Virginia Board of Governors. The motion requests that if the Big East's suit in Rhode Island is not dismissed, it at least be put on hold until the resolution of the initial action from West Virginia.

As expected, there is no bright light at the end of this legal tunnel yet. As the conference and school will likely continue to wage war in court for the foreseeable. Unfortunately for the Mountaineers, the clock is ticking if they want to be able to get Big 12 conference play in 2012. If the Big East wants to hold the school for the 27-month withdrawal period in the bylaws, extended legal battles is one way to spend that time.

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Posted on: November 29, 2011 4:32 pm
 

PODCAST: The Doddcast, Week 14

Posted by Chip Patterson

The time for debate is nearing a close, and soon there will be selections. Who should/will be competing the BCS National Championship in January? Who should/will win the Heisman Trophy? CBSSports.com Senior College Football Columnist Dennis Dodd joins Adam Aizer and J. Darin Darst to wrap up the discussion on the two most heated races in college football. The group also breaks down Urban Meyer's hire at Ohio State and Dodd tells you what he's hearing about several head coaching vacancies around the nation. Finally, a few lucky reader emails get some responses.

Your emails could be read on the next edition of the CBSSports.com College Football Podcast, so send them in to podcast[at]cbsinteractive [dot] com.

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



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Keep up with the latest college football news from around the country. From the regular season all the way through the bowl games, CBSSports.com has you covered with this daily newsletter. | Preview
Posted on: November 29, 2011 2:56 pm
Edited on: November 29, 2011 2:58 pm
 

Free Bruce Podcast: Robert Griffin III

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

He's currently No. 1 with a bullet on the CBSSports.com Heisman watch poll and has all manner of postseason accolades and honors headed his way once his tremendous junior season is finished ... but before all of that, Robert Griffin III took a few minutes to join Bruce Feldman and Bryan Fischer on this week's edition of the Free Bruce Podcast. Griffin offers his thoughts on the Heisman, Baylor's impressive season, why he chose the Bears out of high school, and whether his track career is over for good.

Feldman and Fischer also kick the podcast off with a look back at rivalry weekend, at where Michigan-Ohio State stands in the wake of the Wolverines' win and the Buckeyes' hiring of Urban Meyer, at the Pac-12 coaching carousel, and more. To listen, click below, download the mp3, or pop the podcast player out in a new window by clicking here. 

Remember, all of the CBSSports.com College Football Podcasts can be downloaded for FREE from the iTunes Store.


Keep up with the latest college football news from around the country. From the regular season all the way through the bowl games, CBSSports.com has you covered with this daily newsletter. | Preview

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Posted on: November 29, 2011 12:50 pm
 

Keys to the Game: Baylor vs. Texas

Posted by Tom Fornelli

BAYLOR WILL WIN IF: The most important factor in this game will be the availability of quarterback Robert Griffin. Griffin did not play in the second half of Baylor's win over Texas Tech after taking a blow to the head and suffering a concussion in the second quarter. Ben Florence came in and did a very admirable job to lead the Bears to victory, but there's a giant difference between the Texas Tech defense and the Texas defense Florence would be facing this weekend. This isn't a knock on Florence, but the fact of the matter is that when you lose a player as dynamic and as special as Griffin, your chances to win a game do not increase. Still, whoever plays quarterback for Baylor in this game, the key will be finding a way to move the ball through the air against the best pass defense in the Big 12. Baylor has a balanced offense and is the only team in the country that averages over 300 yards passing and 200 yards rushing per game. Odds are it won't reach both of those totals against Texas, but the good news is that with the struggles Texas has had on offense, Baylor's offense won't need to be at 100% to win this game.

TEXAS WILL WIN IF: Texas is not going to stop the Baylor offense for 60 minutes. The unit is just too explosive and will find ways to put points on the board, so the key for Texas in this game will be the Longhorns offense. Texas isn't built to compete with Baylor in a shootout, but this offense has struggled to put points on the board for most of the season. The good news for Texas is that its best games on offense came against Kansas and Texas Tech this season, who just happen to be the two worst run defenses in the Big 12. Well, the third-worst run defense in the Big 12 belongs to Baylor, as the Bears are allowing nearly 200 yards rushing per game and 5.26 yards per carry. It's also allowed 24 rushing touchdowns this season, more than any other defense in the Big 12 aside from Tech and Kansas. So the Longhorns will definitely want to try and move the ball on the ground in this contest.

X-FACTOR: Case McCoy. McCoy took over the starting job against Texas A&M last week, and although the Longhorns won that game, McCoy didn't exactly light up the A&M secondary, completing 16 of 27 passes for only 110 yards and no touchdowns. The big difference for McCoy this week is that he'll go from facing a defense that has 43 sacks on the season to one that has only 17. Which means McCoy should have a lot more time in the pocket to find open receivers, and if McCoy can finally get the Texas passing game going in this contest, then the Longhorns are a lot more likely to pull off a win. 
 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com