Posted on: October 30, 2010 11:59 am

Game day weather updates, Week 9

Posted by Adam Jacobi

Here's the weather outlook for all of today's important matchups. It's most certainly fall across the land today, and while most stadiums are staying dry, the wind is a real factor in several of the games. Will it affect the passing games of the undefeated teams playing on the road today? All times are Eastern.

Noon kickoffs

Tennessee at No. 17 South Carolina, 12:00, Columbia, SC: Low 60s, clear

No. 20 Oklahoma State at Kansas State, 12:00, Manhattan, KS: Low 60s, clear

Afternoon kickoffs

Georgia vs. Florida, 3:30, Jacksonville, FL: Mid 70s, partly cloudy, breezy

No. 5 Michigan State at No. 18 Iowa, 3:30, Iowa City, IA: Low 60s, partly cloudy, windy

No. 7 Missouri at No. 14 Nebraska, 3:30, Lincoln, NE: Mid 60s, clear, windy

No. 15 Arizona at UCLA, 3:30, Pasadena, CA: Low 60s, rainy 

Evening kickoffs

No. 3 Auburn at Ole Miss, 6:00, Vicksburg, MS: Low 60s, clear, breezy

No. 25 Baylor at Texas, 7:00, Austin, TX: Low 70s, clear, breezy

No. 8 Utah at Air Force, 7:00, Colorado Springs, CO: Low 60s, partly cloudy, windy

No. 1 Oregon at No. 24 USC, 8:00, Los Angeles, CA: Mid 60s, cloudy, early chance of rain

Late night kickoffs

Colorado at No. 11 Oklahoma, 9:15, Norman, OK: Low 60s, clear, breezy

No. 4 TCU at UNLV, 11:00, Las Vegas, NV: Upper 50s, partly cloudy

Posted on: October 29, 2010 3:22 pm

The Saturday Meal Plan: Week 9

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.

Doctors have long said that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, but these doctors obviously didn't have the Saturday Meal Plan in mind when they came up with that load of poop.  I mean, the morning slate has been pretty light all season, but this week?  Wow, it's barren.  I wouldn't normally ever say this, but if there was ever a Saturday morning to get all those chores around the house done that you've been putting off, this would be it.  Besides, you're going to need some room in your stomach to eat all the candy you decide to keep from the trick or treaters on Sunday.

Still, if you insist on it, here are your options.


Main Course - Cincinnati vs. Syracuse - Noon - ESPNU

See?  I told you.  I wouldn't normally recommend the Big East to anybody, but this really is the most important game on Saturday morning.  Syracuse has been one of the bigger surprises of the season, and if you ever want to check them out without sacrificing better games, than this week is your best chance to do so.

Both the 'Cuse and Cincinnati are still very much alive in the Big East race, and the conference does still get that automatic BCS berth, so I guess that makes this game worth your time. 

Side Orders: I suppose that when Jacory Harris is playing quarterback for Miami there's always a chance that the Hurricanes could be upset, so I guess that's reason enough to tune into Miami and Virginia on Saturday morning.  Or you could go with Illinois and Purdue!   Oh how exciting that will be!  Though, truth be told, Illinois is one of those teams that may be a lot better than is record indicates.  I would have made Kansas State and Oklahoma State the main course, but since it's not being televised nationally, I just couldn't.  Still, if it's on in your area, I suggest finding it.


Main Course - #14 Nebraska vs. #7 Missouri - 3:30pm - ABC

Unfortunately, the two biggest games of the day will be played at the same time on Saturday afternoon.  It was tough to choose between the two for the main course, but since the winner of this one is basically a lock to win the Big 12 North, I chose this.

Missouri jumped out last weekend and showed the country that they are, in fact, a legit undefeated team by knocking off Oklahoma, but this game may be even tougher.  It's one thing to defend your home turf, it's another to go into a hostile environment and take down a strong Nebraska team.

Well, unless your Texas, but the Longhorns are stuck in some kind of bizarro dimension this season.

If the Tigers can win in Lincoln, then barring something crazy, they'll continue climbing the BCS rankings and reach the Big 12 title game undefeated with the conference and possibly a shot at the national title on the line.

Side Orders: Of course, if the Big Ten is more your thing, then you can't go wrong with Michigan State and Iowa.   This game is the last true roadblock between the Spartans and an undefeated season, as they don't have to face Ohio State this season.  Also, while the Hawkeyes lost last week, they're still in the hunt for the Big Ten title as well, but a loss in this game would wipe away all hopes.  Or maybe you'd prefer Georgia and Florida.   The game doesn't have the normal hype considering neither team is ranked right now, but whoever wins this game has a good shot to win the SEC East.  The loser is just about done.


Main Course - #24 USC vs. #1 Oregon

This is your best option on a Saturday night that is a little light compared to the last few weeks, but anytime you get a chance to watch Oregon play, you should take advantage of it.  This team is just fun, and considering the amount of smack that has gone back and forth between the Ducks and Trojans this week, it's that much better.

If the Ducks annihilate USC on Saturday night, they also have a chance to impress those computers and jump Auburn in the BCS rankings.   Also, since USC isn't allowed to go bowling this season, or win the Pac-10, they don't have much left to play for aside from possibly knocking the Ducks out of the title game.

Side Orders: ABC's other prime-time game this weekend is Ohio State and Minnesota.   Seriously, the only thing I have to say about that game is pray you get Oregon and USC in your area.  If you don't, flip on over to Ole Miss and Auburn because watching Cam Newton run over dudes is always a good time.  There's also Washington and Stanford, or you can check out Penn State and Michigan.   In other words, there's nothing fantastic, but there is plenty of quality on Saturday night.

Late Night Snack

Odds are that it won't be televised in your area, but if it is, take some time out to watch TCU and UNLV.   Believe me when I say that TCU is just as good as Boise State or any of the other undefeated teams in college football these days, they just don't get as much national television exposure.  So, if you can, do yourself a favor and find this one.  It might just change your mind about who should be playing for a national title, and who shouldn't be.
Posted on: October 26, 2010 12:19 pm
Edited on: October 26, 2010 12:24 pm

Stoops admits he quit on Mizzou game

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

Let's review what was at stake for Oklahoma on the road at Missouri last Saturday night: the Sooners' perfect record. The No. 1 spot in the BCS standings. First place in the Big 12 South. Down the road, potentially, a conference championship. An undefeated season. A national championship.

Those are some pretty high stakes. Giving up on a competitive football game would be frowned upon even if it was New Mexico taking on Akron , but quitting on a contest with that much riding on it ... it would be unthinkable, right? The coach who did so would be torn apart, lambasted, excoriated, raked over whatever coals the college football world could find, correct? 

So we're going to see if that happens to Bob Stoops , because he admitted Monday that he simply gave up at the end of his team's loss in Columbia:

Monday after practice, Stoops was asked to address a couple other curious decisions in the fourth quarter during the Sooners' 36-27 loss to the Tigers.

Notably, why down nine he elected to punt with almost two-and-a-half minutes to play and no timeouts remaining.

"You know what, in the end we weren't scoring twice with two minutes to go on our own 4-yard line," Stoops said.

"I just thought it was futile."

Stoops admitted keeping the score reasonable played into the decision, hoping that a nine-point loss might look better to pollsters than a 16-point loss.

With possession at the OU 4, the Tigers would have had an easy chance of punching the ball in the end zone.

"It's a long year. Who knows how poll people look at scores?" Stoops explained. "Had we had a reasonable amount, some kind of field position, had we shown any signs the previous three plays of making a play, we would have (gone for it). But I didn't see that.

"And I'm coming off three-and-out, interception, three-and-out, some of the prior possessions."

It's true: Oklahoma was facing some incredibly long odds of winning this game. A sputtering offense going 96 yards on the road against one on the country's better defenses, followed by a successul onsides kick recovery, followed by another drive for a field goal -- all in 150 seconds -- was all terribly unlikely.

But it wasn't impossible . Stranger things really have happened. Oklahoma still could have won the game. Stoops is right (sort of) that it was probably futile, that his team probably wasn't "scoring twice with two minutes to go on our own 4-yard line." But "probably" is not the same as "definitely." Stoops elected not to try to win a still-winnable game because he thought he would be embarrassed if he failed.

There's a word for that: it's called quitting. When you compare what the Sooners would have risked -- a small handful of pollsters docking the team a small handful of spots, if Missouri had elected to punch in that final score, itself hardly a sure thing -- against the potential rewards of the comeback, is there any defending Stoops' decision? Discretion isn't the better part of valor when it comes to football, especially not when that discretion is based on cravenly trolling for poll votes. Valor is the better part of valor, and Stoops showed none here.

In short: if Derek Dooley 's Volunteers are World War II Germany , Stoops has made his Sooners the Big 12 's France.

HT: Rock-M-Nation .

Posted on: October 25, 2010 6:57 pm
Edited on: November 13, 2010 6:11 pm

Davey O'Brien semifinalists announced; no Persa?

Posted by Adam Jacobi

The Davey O'Brien Award, given annually to the nation's top quarterback, announced its 16 semifinalists for the award today. The list is as follows, in alphabetical order:


  • Matt Barkley (Soph.), USC
  • Kirk Cousins (Jr.), Michigan State
  • Andy Dalton (Sr.), TCU
  • Blaine Gabbert (Jr.), Missouri
  • Robert Griffin III (Soph.), Baylor
  • Landry Jones (Soph.), Oklahoma
  • Colin Kaepernick (Sr.), Nevada
  • Andrew Luck (Jr.), Stanford
  • Ryan Mallett (Jr.), Arkansas
  • Taylor Martinez (Fr.), Nebraska
  • Kellen Moore (Jr.), Boise State
  • Cam Newton (Jr.), Auburn
  • Terrelle Pryor (Jr.), Ohio State
  • Denard Robinson (Soph.), Michigan
  • Ricky Stanzi (Sr.), Iowa
  • Darron Thomas (Soph.), Oregon


All in all, this is a pretty thorough list of the quarterbacks who might end up being the top quarterback in the nation once December rolls around, but it certainly does seem as if there was one glaring omission: Northwestern sophomore Dan Persa . Persa currently leads the nation in completion percentage, is eighth in passing efficiency  and is fifth in total offense . Oh, and Persa also leads his team in rushing yards (341) and rushing touchdowns (six) -- each by pretty substantial margins over the nearest teammate.

Of course, it certainly merits mention that Northwestern is currently on a two-game losing streak, and that the Wildcats hadn't really beaten anyone of merit before the streak either. But in the Wildcats' losses to Michigan State and Purdue -- neither of whom have lost a Big Ten game yet, for what it's worth -- Persa was hardly "at fault" for the losses; he averaged 281 yards of total offense in the two games and scored four touchdowns to just one turnover.

It's hard to say who should be bumped for Persa's sake, though; every one of the top 16 semifinalists has a legitimate claim to deserving some sort of accolade. It's also worth pointing out, however, that until Missouri and Oklahoma faced each other this past weekend, Dalton, Gabbert, and Jones were all quarterbacking undefeated teams, and that's probably the only reason they're on the list; Jones and Gabbert, in particular, aren't even close to the top 16 of passing efficiency in the nation (34th and 39th, respectively). None of the three are terribly gifted runners, either, while Persa's been forced to anchor the woeful Northwestern ground game.

Of course, the O'Brien Award probably wants to avoid the embarrassment of not being able to even nominate a title contender's quarterback as a finalist, and with two conference losses, it's extremely unlikely that Northwestern will represent the Big Ten in Pasadena, much less make a run at a spot in the Top 10. Persa and his Wildcats aren't high-profile, and that's enough to leave him off this list. Inclusion's academic either way, since this is clearly Cam Newton's to lose, but it'd be nice to see a quarterback like Persa rewarded for putting together one hell of a season so far even when he doesn't have the supporting cast to win 11 games in a season.

Posted on: October 25, 2010 12:29 pm

Injuries killing Colorado

Posted by Tom Fornelli

Dan Hawkins' grip on the head coaching job at Colorado is tenuous at best considering the lack of success he's had running the program, and he sure isn't getting any help on the injury front these days.  Earlier this season the Buffaloes lost their leading tackler, Anthony Perkins, to a torn ACL in a loss against Missouri.   It's the type of injury that certainly doesn't help you win games, but it is one that could be overcome.

The injuries that the Buffs suffered this weekend, however, may not be.  During it loss to Texas Tech on Saturday, Colorado lost quarterback Tyler Hansen for the rest of the season when he had to be hospitalized following the game thanks to a ruptured spleen.   Hansen will be replaced by former starter Cody Hawkins, who happens to be Dan Hawkins' son.

So, in other words, the fate of Dan Hawkins is on the shoulder of his son.  No pressure, kid!  You throw that interception and daddy will be fired, and there will be nothing under the Christmas tree for you this year.

Making matters worse, it looks like the Buffaloes may have lost their new leading tackler for the rest of the season as well.  Linebacker Jon Major suffered a sprained MCL in his left knee during the fourth quarter on Saturday.  While it's possible he may return before the season is over, it's just as likely that he won't.

"I`m not really sure on the big decisions on it right now," Major said. "Probably do that next week. So just icing it right now."

Hey, it could be worse.  You could have ruptured your spleen.  Or you could be Dan Hawkins.
Posted on: October 24, 2010 12:24 am

What I learned from the Big 12 (Oct. 23)

Posted by Tom Fornelli

1. Missouri is for real.   Okay, I'm convinced now, are you happy, Tigers fans?  Missouri proved something to me on Saturday night be beating Oklahoma 36-27.  Still, what impressed me the most was Missouri's defense.  Landry Jones was pressured by the front seven all night, and though they gave up some yards and 27 points, they made a play everytime they needed to and forced a couple of big turnovers.  I also learned that Gary Pinkel likes to go for the throat, because a lot of teams might have gotten a bit too cautious down the stretch, but not Pinkel.  Pulling out the hook and ladder, along with throwing the ball late in the fourth quarter, and converting.  Kudos to you, sir.

2. Bob Stoops makes some very questionable decisions.   It all started with Stoops' decision to go for two after the Sooners had cut Missouri's lead to 36-27 late.  Obviously, they didn't convert, but even if they had it's still the wrong decision.  There's no point in going for two so early because if you do convert it's still a one-possession game, and if you don't it's a two-possession game.  That affects your playcalling ability because you can't afford to run the ball anymore.  And don't even get me started on Stoops' decision to punt on fourth down, down nine, with three minutes left and no timeouts.  Just bust out the white flag and go home, why don't you.

3. Baylor is going bowling.  Congratulations to the Baylor Bears for beating Kansas State 47-42 on Saturday night.  The win means that Baylor has six wins already this season, and that for the first time since it joined the Big 12, Baylor will be going to a bowl game this winter.

4. Hi, my name is Texas and I'm a schizophrenic.
  What do we make of this Texas team?  One week it's losing at home to an awful UCLA team, then it's knocking off undefeated Nebraska on the road.  Then it follows up that win, which has us wondering if maybe the Longhorns have worked things out, by losing to Iowa State at home?  Iowa State!?  At least people in Texas have the Rangers to root for right now, because the Horns won't be providing much entertainment in November.

5. Oklahoma State's defense just isn't good enough.
  Okay, so I didn't really learn that this week, I've pretty much felt that way all season, but it finally bit the Cowboys in the butt on Saturday against Nebraska.  The Cornhuskers put up 51 points and 540 yards of offense on Oklahoma State.  Though the good news for Oklahoma State is that Oklahoma lost too, so they didn't lose any ground in the Big 12 South.
Posted on: October 23, 2010 9:51 pm

Mizzou up 17-14 on Sooners at halftime

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 12:24 pm
Edited on: November 13, 2010 6:13 pm

Game day weather updates, Week 8

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.

Noon kickoffs

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)

Afternoon kickoffs

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

Evening kickoffs

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

The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com