Posted on: October 31, 2011 11:18 am
Edited on: October 31, 2011 11:18 am
Posted by Tom Fornelli
Oklahoma State still has a lot to play for this season, but while Mike Gundy was talking to the media on Sunday night, the subject of next season came up. Particularly whether or not wide receiver Justin Blackmon would be returning to Stillwater for his senior season.
Well, Mike Gundy is no fool, he knows that he better enjoy the exploits of his receiver while he still can.
"If he wants to come back, he's certainly welcome. We will have a party," Gundy told the Tulsa World. "But I can't imagine that he would be back again. He has somewhat solidified himself as a top-five pick. If it were my son and he were a top-five pick, I would encourage him to move on."
"If somebody is looking for a wideout early in the draft. I can't imagine that he won't be the first one taken."
Blackmon is actually having a "down" year in comparison to the numbers he put up in 2010, but he's still been incredibly productive. Through 8 games he's caught 74 passes for 834 yards and 10 touchdowns. Not quite the pace he needs to match last season's totals of 111 catches for 1,782 yards and 20 touchdowns, but that's because the Oklahoma State offense and Brandon Weeden have been spreading the ball around a bit more.
Those numbers may improve over the final month considering the injuries Oklahoma State recently suffered in its wide receiving corps, particularly the loss of Hubert Anyiam for the season. I don't think it was a coincidence that in the game following Anyiam's injury Blackmon had his biggest game of the season, pulling in 13 passes for 172 yards and 2 touchdowns against Baylor.
Posted on: October 29, 2011 7:10 pm
Posted by Tom Fornelli
OKLAHOMA STATE WON. And it won in a fashion I don't think many people expected. The over/under on this game in Las Vegas was set at 81.5 points as the world expected a back and forth shootout, but only Oklahoma State provided the points on Saturday afternoon.
The Cowboys jumped out to a 14-0 lead early and then never looked back. Baylor was able to move the ball down the field against Oklahoma State, but it either turned the ball over or was just stopped anytime it approached scoring range. Joseph Randle was the star for Oklahoma State on offense, finishing the day with 152 yards rushing and 4 touchdowns. Brandon Weeden also threw for 274 yards and 3 touchdowns.
WHY OKLAHOMA STATE WON. I'm not sure where it came from, but the Oklahoma State defense was more than just opportunistic on Saturday afternoon. It's a unit that has led the Big 12 in takeaways all season long, and while it picked up 5 more against Baylor, it also smothered an offense that came into the game averaging 44.3 points per game. If the Cowboys defense continues to play this way for the rest of the season, then we'll be seeing Oklahoma State in New Orleans in January.
WHEN OKLAHOMA STATE WON. After stuffing Baylor at the goal line in the first quarter, Oklahoma State went 99 yards for its first score of the game. Baylor would then turn the ball right back over to Oklahoma State on the ensuing kickoff, and 18 seconds later the Cowboys were in the end zone again making it 14-0. This one was pretty much done right then.
WHAT OKLAHOMA STATE WON. The Cowboys are now the official top dog in the Big 12. With Kansas State's loss against Oklahoma, Mike Gundy's team is the only undefeated squad left in the conference and has the inside track for the Big 12 title. It won't be easy as some tough games remain on the schedule, but if the Cowboys win out they'll be playing for more than a trip to the Fiesta Bowl.
WHAT BAYLOR LOST. I'm not sure many people thought Baylor would win this game, but to be blown out of the water this badly from the get go? Nobody saw that coming. Nobody. The biggest loss of all in this game could be Robert Griffin's Heisman hopes, as his performance was less than stellar. Yes, Griffin finished the day with 425 yards passing and a touchdown, but most of that came when Baylor was already well behind. Plus, the 2 interceptions he threw didn't help matters either.
THAT WAS CRAZY. The Baylor offense ran 57 plays for 286 yards in the first half. The score at halftime was Oklahoma State 35 Baylor 0.
Posted on: October 24, 2011 3:23 pm
Edited on: October 24, 2011 3:52 pm
Posted by Tom Fornelli
We've reached the point of the college football season where those preseason watch lists we all remember from a few months ago start to whittle down to lists of semifinalists, and today we've got the 16 remaining contenders for the Davey O'Brien Award. The Davey O'Brien Award is given out annually by the Davey O'Brien Foundation to the best quarterback in the nation, and with all the great quarterbacks we've seen so far this season, it's not easy to cut this group down.
Though when you see the 16 names who made the cut below, you'll have a hard time arguing against any of them.
Matt Barkley, USC
Tajh Boyd, Clemson
Kirk Cousins, Michigan State
Seth Doege, Texas Tech
Robert Griffin III, Baylor
Landry Jones, Oklahoma
Case Keenum, Houston
Andrew Luck, Stanford
Kellen Moore, Boise State
Keith Price, Washington
Denard Robinson, Michigan
Ryan Tannehill, Texas A&M
Darron Thomas, Oregon
Brandon Weeden, Oklahoma State
Russell Wilson, Wisconsin
Tyler Wilson, Arkansas
It's a pretty nice group, and there isn't anybody in it who I'd argue should be taken out.
Tags: ACC, Andrew Luck, Arkansas, Awards, Baylor, Big 12, Big Ten, Boise State, Brandon Weeden, C-USA, Case Keenum, Clemson, Darron Thomas, Davey O'Brien Award, Denard Robinson, Houston, Keith Price, Kellen Moore, Kirk Cousins, Landry Jones, Matt Barkley, Michigan, Michigan State, Mountain West, MWC, Non-BCS, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Oregon, Pac-12, Robert Griffin, Russell Wilson, Ryan Tannehill, SEC, Seth Doege, Stanford, Tajh Boyd, Texas A&M, Texas Tech, Tom Fornelli, Tyler Wilson, USC, Washington, Wisconsin
Posted on: October 22, 2011 3:50 pm
Edited on: October 22, 2011 3:51 pm
Posted by Tom Fornelli
OKLAHOMA STATE WON. Yet another Big 12 unbeaten remained that way on Saturday, as Oklahoma State went on the road against Missouri and emerged with a 21-point victory. Oklahoma State used the same formula it had been all season, combining a very powerful offense with a defense that has a knack for takeaways. Brandon Weeden finished the day with 338 yards passing and 3 touchdowns, but he was not alone, as Joseph Randle paced the Oklahoma State rushing attack with 138 yards rushing and 4 total touchdowns on the day. The Cowboys offense finished with 533 yards of total offense on the day.
WHY OKLAHOMA STATE WON. The key factor in this game was turnovers. The Oklahoma State defense came into this contest leading the Big 12 conference with 20 takeaways on the season and it picked up 4 more thanks to Missouri quarterback James Franklin on Saturday. Three of the turnovers came at key points in the game as well and helped kill any momentum the Tigers had been building as they tried to get back into the game.
WHEN OKLAHOMA STATE WON. The back-breaking turnover came late in the third quarter. Missouri corner E.J. Gaines had intercepted a Brandon Weeden pass in the end zone and returned it to midfield to keep Missouri alive while trailing 31-17. A few plays later Missouri was inside the Cowboys' 10-yard line when James Franklin fumbled while faking a hand off to Henry Josey. Oklahoma State jumped on the ball and a few plays later Joseph Randle broke loose for a 59-yard touchdown run that sucked the life out of Faurot Field.
WHAT OKLAHOMA STATE WON. The computers used in the BCS rankings have been big fans of Oklahoma State all season, and I don't think that will change much following this win. The Cowboys may see a slight bump in their BCS ranking this week, but most importantly, they're still undefeated and control their own championship destiny for the rest of the season.
WHAT MISSOURI LOST. There's not much room for comfort left for the Tigers if they want to go bowling this year. Mizzou is 3-4 following this loss which means that it'll have to go 3-2 in its final 5 games to reach 6 wins. With road games against Texas A&M and Baylor, along with a date against Texas and a tough Texas Tech team still on the schedule, those three wins aren't going to come easily.
Posted on: October 20, 2011 3:48 pm
Edited on: October 20, 2011 5:25 pm
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 could be the week that makes or breaks all of us. After spending a month trying to catch The Woman in this race, she's pulled away the last few weeks and taken a two-game lead once again. I'd be concerned about this in any other week, but this week things are different.
The spreads this week are insane.
When they were first released there were 20+ point spreads everywhere I looked. I trimmed them down to the ten games that were the most, shall we say, sane, but still, there's not a lot of confidence between Woman and I in our picks this week. When the spreads are like this, you may as well be flipping a coin, but I'm not introducing that aspect until next season.
Syracuse vs. West Virginia (-13 1/2) - Friday, 8pm (All times Eastern)Man - The thing that drives me insane about the Big East is that every week the team that is supposed to be the best team in the conference loses to somebody they have no business losing to. Thankfully, I'm confident that West Virginia is a team that knows what it should be doing and will do it. Pick: West Virginia
Woman - "No way Syracuse is going to surprise West Virginia two years in a row. Not even a raised eyebrow." Pick: West Virginia
Machine - The Machine must be a big fan of Dana Holgorsen's skullet and Geno Smith, as the Mountaineers blow up the Carrier Dome 51-17. Pick: West Virginia
Missouri vs. Oklahoma State (-7 1/2) - Saturday, 12pmMan - I know that Oklahoma State's defense isn't exactly wonderful, but the Missouri offense has been so inconsistent this season that I just don't see any way that it can keep up with the Cowboys. Even if Missouri's defense can slow the Cowboys down a bit, I just don't think it'll be enough. Pick: Oklahoma State
Woman - "Yes, the Cowboys are playing stellar ball and you'd think this would be another step in their march toward BCS glory. But Mizzou is 3-0 at Faurot Field and its three losses have been close ones against good teams. Make assumptions about Missouri folk at your own peril." Pick: Missouri
Machine - The Machine sees a pretty close game for three quarters before Brandon Weeden and Justin Blackmon have a party in the fourth quarter and pull away late. Cowboys win 40-24. Pick: Oklahoma State
Clemson (-10 1/2) vs. North Carolina - Saturday, 12pmMan - Considering the way that Clemson has a habit of making things really close for three quarters before finally pulling away, this point spread does scare me a bit. That being said, North Carolina doesn't really inspire a lot of confidence in me, and since Clemson is at home I'll put my faith in the Tigers. Pick: Clemson
Woman - "To be honest, I know virtually nothing about Tar Heel football. I expect that will still be true on Sunday." Pick: Clemson
Machine - The Machine sees the annual rite of Clemson blowing up taking place this week as North Carolina wins 24-17. Pick: North Carolina
Kansas vs. Kansas State (-12 1/2) - Saturday, 12pmMan - Somewhat odd that Kansas State goes from being an underdog every week against teams it's better than to nearly a two-touchdown favorite, but Kansas has just been that bad. Also, let's not forget that Kansas State beat Kansas 59-7 last season and I don't think last season's Kansas State team is as good as this version. Pick: Kansas State
Woman - "I have created (and by created, I mean, found) a very special Sunflower Showdown Emo tribute for the Jayhawks to be played directly following the game. Enjoy." Pick: Kansas State
Machine - Game recognize game, and The Machine recognizes Bill Snyder's likely stoppable killing machine, but it won't be stopped in Lawrence. Kansas State wins 31-13. Pick: Kansas State
Purdue vs. Illinois (-5 1/2) - Saturday, 12pmMan - This spread seems a bit too easy to me. In my opinion, gamblers are overreacting to what Illinois did against Ohio State last week and what Purdue did against Penn State. Penn State's offense is terrible enough to keep Purdue in a game, and the Boilermakers have been beaten pretty bad this year by teams that spread it out. In Zook I trust! Pick: Illinois
Woman - "It's hard to shake the memory of the Illini's cringe-worthy outing last week but bottom line, they're a better team than the Boilermakers. Purdue will play the best game of its season and keep it close, but not that close." Pick: Illinois
Machine - The Machine seems to think that Ron Zook is going to have a lot of questions to answer this week as Purdue knocks off the Illini 21-3. Pick: Purdue
LSU (-22 1/2) vs. Auburn - Saturday, 3:30pmMan - I don't want to pick against Les Miles. I really, really, really don't. Still, without the Honey Badger and Spencer Ware, I'm just not as confident in LSU's ability to cover that spread. Will the LSU defense smother a quarterback making his first career start for the third straight week? Of course it will, but will the LSU offense cover more than three scores? Probably, because I'm picking against Les and must be punished for it. Pick: Auburn
Woman - "Yeah, LSU will win but given the news that three of its top players have been suspended, I think that line may be a bit stout." Pick: Auburn
Machine - The Machine is not a fan of three touchdown spreads for LSU offenses without its leading rush, as LSU wins 17-10. Pick: Auburn
Miami (-3 1/2) vs. Georgia Tech - Saturday, 3:30pmMan - I had been pretty high on Georgia Tech before last week, but man did the Ramblin' Wreck get exposed by Virginia last weekend. That plus the fact that Jacory Harris is actually playing pretty well for Miami makes me lean toward the home side here. Pick: Miami
Woman - "When I think of the NCAA and scholar athletes, these two schools leap immediately to mind, especially Hurricanes' DL Micanor Regis and his groundbreaking work on the physics of balls - please skip to minute five for Micanor's powerful research. Unfortunately, Micanor got so deep into his studies last weekend, he'll have to miss this game, which gives the 6-1 Wrecks a leg up." Pick: Georgia Tech
Machine - The Machine sees Miami getting up early, and a Georgia Tech playing from behind is not a very good Georgia Tech to bet on. Hurricanes win 28-17. Pick: Miami
Northwestern vs. Penn State (-4 1/2) - Saturday, 7pmMan - As I mentioned in the Illinois/Purdue pick, Penn State's offense is terrible. It's defense has been great, but it's also faced mediocre offenses all season save for Alabama, and we all remember how that went. So with Penn State going on the road I have to go with the team that's getting the points. Pick: Northwestern
Woman - "Northwestern stems the bleeding from three straight losses and Dan Persa gets to show his newly bald head around campus again." Pick: Northwestern
Machine - It's a clean sweep as The Machine sees Pat Fitzgerald's team getting its act together this week and beating Penn State 30-17. Pick: Northwestern
Michigan State vs. Wisconsin (-8 1/2) - Saturday, 8pmMan - We're nearly in November and Wisconsin is leaving Madison to play a football game for the first time all season. Wisconsin will also be facing an offense that I feel can move the ball on a defense that hasn't really faced much of a test this season. I don't know that Michigan State is going to win this game, but I do know that they're going to keep it closer than anybody else has against the Badgers this season. Pick: Michigan State
Woman - "Everyone's talking about how 'emotional' this game will be. After the third quarter, quietly emotional." Pick: Wisconsin
Machine - Well, we're going to have one less unbeaten to contend with after this weekend. Michigan State wins 24-20. Pick: Michigan State
Stanford (-20 1/2) vs. Washington - Saturday, 8pmMan - Every week I toy with the idea of picking against Stanford because the spread seems so large, and then every week I end up picking Stanford anyway and the Cardinal cover. So why change up a formula that's working? Pick: Stanford
Woman - "I get all excited about the Huskies impressive 2011 season and then I remember last year's game against the Cardinal. 41-0. 41-0. 41-0. Did I mention 41-0?" Pick: Stanford
Machine - Andrew Luck for President. Stanford destroys Washington 48-10. Pick: Stanford
StandingsSeason Record (Last week)
1. Woman 47-28 (6-4)
2. Man 45-30 (5-5)
3. Machine 38-37 (4-6)
Tags: ACC, Alabama, Andrew Luck, Auburn, Big 12, Big East, Big Ten, Bill Snyder, Brandon Weeden, Clemson, Dan Persa, Dana Holgorsen, Geno Smith, Georgia Tech, Illinois, Jacory Harris, Justin Blackmon, Kansas, Kansas State, Les Miles, LSU, Man vs Woman vs Machine, Miami, Micanor Regis, Michigan State, Missouri, North Carolina, Northwestern, Ohio State, Oklahoma State, Pac-12, Pat Fitzgerald, Penn State, Purdue, Ron Zook, SEC, Spencer Ware, Stanford, Syracuse, Tom Fornelli, Tyrann Mathieu, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin
Posted on: October 19, 2011 7:06 pm
Edited on: October 21, 2011 12:04 pm
The Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award, given annually to the top senior (or graduating 4th-year junior) pared its list of contenders to 10 on Wednesday. And look out: the field this season is absolutely loaded with deserving candidates. It really might be the best crop of candidates in the award's history. Here's a breakdown of all ten in alphabetical order, and whether we think each of them has a shot at taking this coveted award home.
Nick Foles, Arizona: Foles isn't going to win this award, not with Arizona struggling so badly, but his career's been better than you think. Foles is currently at 7,932 yards passing and 54 touchdowns on his career with an outside shot to hit 10,000 yards and 70 TDs before it's time for him to hang up his Wildcat helmet.
Robert Griffin III, Baylor: On statistics alone, nobody's having a better year thus far than Robert Griffin III; RG3 has gone for 142-182, 1950 yards, 22 touchdowns, and only interceptions, combining both production and efficiency better than anybody else in the field. Also, Griffin isn't just a fourth-year junior on track to graduate; he graduated after his third year at Baylor with a degree in political science, and is currently in grad school for corporate communications. Griffin is a strong contender for this award thus far.
Landry Jones, Oklahoma: It wasn't that long ago that Jones was thrust into the starting role for Oklahoma, taking over for Sam Bradford in 2009 after the returning Heisman winner suffered a major shoulder inury (twice). And yet even though Jones is slightly off his pace from his brilliant 2010 campaign, he's already over 10,000 yards on his career with 80 touchdowns (and a legitimate shot at topping triple digits there). Also, Oklahoma's undefeated with an inside track at another national championship bid.
Case Keenum, Houston: If Keenum's knee had stayed healthy in 2010 and he'd have set all those all-time career marks then, he probably would have taken home the Golden Arm award over Scott Tolzien. As it stands now, Keenum might not be a finalist for the trophy; the competition is that much better this year. Still, Keenum's on pace for more astronomical numbers, and if the voters feel like saluting a record-breaker, Keenum could definitely be in the mix here.
Andrew Luck, Stanford: It would sound pretty much derogatory to describe Luck as the pre-anointed No. 1 pick of the NFL draft, but being that some NFL fans want their teams to tank on the season in order to draft Luck (to his chagrin), it's clearly true -- and for good reason. The Stanford senior has his team undefeated and rolling thus far, and he's third in the nation in passing efficiency. If Stanford can make it to the Rose Bowl this year, look for Luck to be a finalist for this award.
Kellen Moore, Boise State: Moore has been so indispensable at QB for Boise State that it almost seems unfathomable that he won't be there next year. Moore has racked up a 44-2 record as a starter with the Broncos, and it would be a shock if he doesn't get to 50 wins for his career. Moreover, his QB play has elevated the BSU offense to judo in football form, able to skillfully counteract anything and everything a defense throws at it, and usually without undue exertion. Boise will likely need to run the table in order for Moore to have a chance to win this trophy.
Ryan Tannehill, Texas A&M: Tannehill's probably not even going to be a finalist without an insane last half of the season and a Big 12 championship under his belt, but even being on this list is a heck of an accomplishment for a guy who was playing wide receiver 52 weeks ago. Tannehill's numbers in the 13 games (essentially one full season) since taking over for Jerrod Johnson? 290-440, 3355 yards, 26 TD, 12 INT. Not too shabby, but not a game-changer in this class of candidates.
Brandon Weeden, Oklahoma State: The 28-year-old quarterback is back in Stillwater with his favorite target, Justin Blackmon, and as a result the Cowboys are undefeated and ranked fourth in the initial BCS standings, with wins over Texas, Texas A&M, and a surprising 6-1 Louisiana Lafayette already under their belt. Weeden's only ranked 17th in passing efficiency nationally (and sixth among Golden Arm Award candidates), so he's going to need to find a way to stand out from the pack.
Russell Wilson, Wisconsin: In terms of passer efficiency, Wilson leads the entire nation with a ridiculous 210.93 rating thus far. Sure, he's also got an offensive line full of mashers and an elite stable of tailbacks behind him, but numbers are numbers, and Wilson's numbers are phenomenal. It'll be interesting to see if the voters punish Wilson for his departure from North Carolina State and one-year shot with Wisconsin, but if he's on this short list of contenders, he's probably in good shape.
Tyler Wilson, Arkansas: Given the slate of competitors already mentioned above, it seems pretty clear that Tyler Wilson is not winning this award. He's been doing a fine job of helping Razorback fans adjust to life without Ryan Mallett under center, at least, and with any lucky he'll be back for his senior campaign to take another run at this trophy when the field isn't quite as crowded.
Tags: Adam Jacobi, Andrew Luck, Arizona, Arkansas, Baylor, Big 12, Big Ten, Big Ten, Boise State, Brandon Weeden, C-USA, Case Keenum, Golden Arm Award, Houston, Johnny Unitas, Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award, Kellen Moore, Landry Jones, MWC, Nick Foles, Non-BCS, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Pac-12, Robert Griffin III, Russell Wilson, Ryan Tannehill, SEC, Stanford, Texas A&M, Tyler Wilson, Unitas Award, Wisconsin
Posted on: October 18, 2011 11:10 am
Posted by Tom Fornelli
MISSOURI WILL WIN IF: Missouri needs to find consistency on offense. The good news is that against Iowa State, James Franklin had his best game of the season as he completed 71% of his passes and accounted for 373 total yards and 5 touchdowns. The problem is he also threw 2 interceptions, and against an offense as potent as Oklahoma State, you cannot afford to turn the ball over. Against this Oklahoma State defense, Franklin and running back Henry Josey should find plenty of room to work. However, the Missouri defense, which has been pretty good so far this season, faces its toughest test of the year and must find a way to create turnovers of its own and slow down one of the most potent offenses in the country. I just don't think Missouri can go touchdown for touchdown against this Oklahoma State team and expect to win.
OKLAHOMA STATE WILL WIN IF: Only the Oklahoma defense has given up less yards per game than the Missouri defense in the Big 12, so this will be the toughest test that Brandon Weeden and company have faced this year. Still, there's plenty of reason to believe Weeden will be successful on Saturday. The Missouri secondary has picked off 6 passes compared to the 7 touchdowns it has surrendered through the air, but it has only tallied 14 sacks on the season. Which means Weeden will get time to throw the ball, and when you give Brandon Weeden time, with this offense and his weapons, he can pick you apart. So if the Cowboys offensive line can keep Weeden on his feet, then Oklahoma State should emerge victorious.
X-FACTOR: Brad Madison and Jacquies Smith. These are Missouri's two defensive ends, and so far this season the duo has combined for 5 1/2 sacks. As I said above, both of these players will have to add to those totals against Oklahoma State in order for Missouri to win. If they can get consistent pressure on Brandon Weeden and force him into some throws he doesn't want to make, it could lead to key turnovers that will give Missouri a chance to win.
Posted on: October 18, 2011 10:20 am
Posted by Tom Fornelli
We've reached the midway point of the college football season, and we can't think of a better time to hand out some mid-season awards. I mean, giving out mid-season awards two-thirds of the way through the season would be pretty stupid, right?
So taking a look at what has been a pretty good season for the Big 12 as a whole so far this season -- save for Kansas -- it wasn't that easy to come up with people to give these awards to. Plenty of players, coaches and teams all deserved consideration, and I realize plenty of people will disagree. So feel free to leave your choices in the comments.
Offensive Player Of The Year: Robert Griffin, QB, Baylor. There are so many good offensive players in this conference, but from my perspective, there is nobody whom I enjoy watching more every Saturday than Robert Griffin. He has track speed, but unlike a lot of quarterbacks in college who can run, Griffin prefers throwing the ball and he has one of the most accurate arms I've ever seen. Which is why he's completed 78% of his passes in 2011 for 1,950 yards, 22 touchdowns and only 2 interceptions. He trails only Russell Wilson with an efficiency rating of 205.7, and he's rushed for another 295 yards and another 2 scores. The man can do it all. Also considered: Brandon Weeden, Oklahoma State; Ryan Broyles, Oklahoma; Ryan Tannehill, Texas A&M
Defensive Player Of The Year: Sean Porter, LB, Texas A&M. This wasn't the easiest of decisions, but after weighing a few options like Tony Jefferson and Arthur Brown, I went with Porter. Texas A&M's secondary may not be having the best season, but it isn't because Porter isn't doing his best to help out. The linebacker has 38 tackles this season, 9 1/2 for loss, and leads the entire Big 12 with 7 1/2 sacks. Also considered: Arthur Brown, Kansas State; Tony Jefferson, Oklahoma, Jake Knott, Iowa State
Coach of the Year: Bill Snyder, Kansas State. Okay, so this one was easy. Bob Stoops and Mike Gundy are doing fantastic jobs with their teams, but that doesn't come as much of a surprise. Now, Kansas State being 6-0 and being ranked eleventh in the initial BCS rankings? That was not expected, but maybe it should have been. After all, Bill Snyder has pulled this off in Manhattan before. Also considered: Bob Stoops, Oklahoma; Mike Gundy, Oklahoma State
Surprise: Kansas State. Obviously this is Kansas State. As I said above, the Wildcats are 6-0 and a serious contender in the Big 12. Before the season started, most pundits had Kansas State pegged to finish somewhere around sixth or seventh. Heck, I even picked them as my sleeper team before the season began, and even that just meant fifth place. Also considered: Nobody
Disappointment: Missouri. I thought about putting Texas A&M here, but the more I thought about it, Missouri is more disappointing to me than the Aggies. I didn't think Mizzou would compete for a Big 12 title this season after having to replace Blaine Gabbert, but I didn't expect the offense to look so anemic under James Franklin either. The good news is the Tigers and Franklin looked very good against Iowa State last week, and hopefully that trend will continue. Also considered: Texas A&M, Kansas
Game Of The Year (So Far): Oklahoma State at Texas A&M. We all knew that Oklahoma was going to contend for a Big 12 title coming into the season, the bigger question was which team would challenge them? Well, this game would give us the early indicator, and Oklahoma State came back from a 17-point deficit on the road in College Station and let the Big 12 know that it's a team that came to play in 2011. Also considered: Arkansas at Texas A&M, TCU at Baylor
Game Of The Year (To Come): Oklahoma at Oklahoma State. It's called Bedlam for a reason, people. As if the rivalry between these two schools didn't mean enough, there's a chance that when Oklahoma comes to Stillwater on December 3rd, not could these teams be undefeated and playing for a Big 12 title, but for a berth in the BCS title game as well. There's a long way to go before then, but I'd love to see it happen. Also considered: Oklahoma at Kansas State, Texas A&M at Oklahoma
Big 12 Champion: Oklahoma. Kansas State and Texas A&M will have something to say about it before it's over, but I think that this conference race will come down to the two schools from Oklahoma. So when I compare the two teams, I see two very strong offenses, but I only see one strong defense. Because of that, I have to go with the Sooners at this point, but I'm far from certain here. Also considered: Oklahoma State, Kansas State, Texas A&M
Tags: Arthur Brown, Baylor, Big 12, Big 12 Midseason Awards, Big 12 Midseason Report, Bill Snyder, Blaine Gabbert, Bob Stoops, Brandon Weeden, Iowa State, Jake Knott, James Franklin, Kansas, Kansas State, Midseason Awards, Midseason Report, Midseason Reports, Mike Gundy, Missouri, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Robert Griffin, Russell Wilson, Ryan Broyles, Ryan Tannehill, Sean Porter, Texas A&M, Tom Fornelli, Tony Jefferson