Posted on: October 5, 2011 5:34 pm
Edited on: October 5, 2011 5:34 pm
Posted by Tom Fornelli
This news does not come as much of a surprise considering that Garrett Gilbert lost his job as the starting quarterback job at Texas, and his season is now over thanks to shoulder surgery, but according to Suzanne Halliburton of the Austin American-Statesman, Gilbert is leaving Texas.
As I said already, this is one of the least surprising developments of all time. It's obvious that Gilbert is out of chances at Texas, as he's behind both David Ash and Case McCoy on the depth chart, and if he were to stay at Texas he'd spend the rest of his career on the sidelines. Instead he's decided he'd rather look elsewhere so he can get a chance to play and live up the the expectations that accompanied him when he first came to Austin.
A possible destination for Gilbert would be at SMU, as PonyPride.com reported on Wednesday that Gilbert was spotted at SMU practice.
Posted on: October 3, 2011 6:22 pm
Edited on: October 3, 2011 6:30 pm
Posted by Bryan Fischer
The latest college football polls are out and now it's time to rip them to shreds. Senior college basketball writer Gary Parrish has been calling out voters in the major hoops polls for thinking a little bit too far outside of the box when it comes to their AP ballots every week.
With the football season starting, I thought I'd steal take the baton on the idea from my colleague and keep all of the writers across the country who vote honest. I've come to know a good number of these people through time and twitter but relationships do not matter, bad votes do.
AP Poll Coaches Poll
(Details of AP ballots courtesy of PollSpeak.com)
Poll reactions: ACC, Big East, Big Ten, Big 12, Pac-12, SEC
Rodney Dangerfield "No respect" team of the week: West Virginia
Everybody saw West Virginia up close two weeks ago when LSU came rolling into town for a big primetime match up. They also saw quarterback Geno Smith set a school record with 429 yards passing on 34 completions against one of the best defenses in the country. Sure, turnovers doomed the Mountaineers against the Tigers but they were still able to move the ball and made it a game before Morris Claiborne's kick return. This is an explosive offense and a solid enough defense that should be the leading contender to win the Big East. Yet they sit behind fellow one-loss teams Arkansas, Nebraska and Auburn. Considering that neither of those three lost to the highest ranked team in the land, WVU fans are right to be upset that they're behind them.
Top 10 teams generally don't fall into 18 point halftime deficits. One could argue that top 10 teams come back from 18 down but I think that's counterintuitive because, of course, good teams should be up by that much, not have to come back from it. The offensive and defensive lines are a mess, partly due to injury. Tyler Wilson has shown the offense hasn't really lost a step at the quarterback position and Ronnie Wingo/Broderick Green are a nice one-two punch but none of that matters. We knew the offense was going to be good. Before the season Bobby Petrino said this was his best defense he's had since becoming head coach of the Razorbacks but the Texas A&M game proved they weren't that great after allowing five touchdowns in the first half. They're a good team but ranked too high to be in the top 10 right now.
A trio of voters from California (CSN Bay Area/CBSSports.com's Ray Ratto, San Jose Mercury News' Jon Wilner, LA Daily News' Scott Wolf) are an interesting voting block. Some would call them progressive, others would call them extreme and just about everybody else will call them crazy given their fluctuations in their ballots each week. All three are consistently in Pollspeak's group of "extreme voters" so we'll highlight the most baffling decision(s) out of each.
For the second week in a row, Wolf occupies this spot with his ballot. He's the only one to give Boise State a number one vote and has Oklahoma ranked lower than anyone as a result. Wisconsin is the lowest out of anybody too, they're 8th despite beating Nebraska 48-17. By the way, he had ranked the Cornhuskers 5th the week before so not sure how that works; beat a team you ranked in the top five by 31 and then put them behind Oklahoma State and Clemson? One loss Baylor is ahead of Texas and even 3-2 Notre Dame is in the top 25. All told he ranked five teams higher than anybody, had undefeated Illinois behind 10+ teams with a loss, included SMU in the poll but not Texas A&M and, oh yeah, had Florida State in the top 12.
What were you thinking? One vote teams
Dear coaches: I understand why you don't reveal your ballots for the poll from week-to-week. I know because one of you gave Ohio State a top 25 vote. You obviously have not watched the Buckeyes recently, since they're 108th in total offense, 91st in scoring and 104th in sacks allowed. They had 35 yards rushing against Michigan State last week. For the AP voters, there are plenty of one-vote rebels but at least we know their names. Here they are: Joe Giglio (Tennessee), Desmond Conner (Pitt), Ira Schoffel (Cincinnati). Three people also gave Penn State votes and four gave USC votes, proving they haven't seen the Nittany Lions on offense or the Trojans on defense.
Our tech team at CBSSports.com is pretty awesome and came up with this neat tool to take a look at team and region bias in the AP Poll. Check it out below, it's a fun thing to play around with.
Tags: ACC, AP poll, Arkansas, Auburn, Baylor, Big 12, Big East, Big Ten, Boise State, Broderick Green, Bryan Fischer, Cincinnati, Clemson, Coaches Poll, Desmond Conner, Florida State, Garry Parrish, Geno Smith, Illinois, Ira Schoffel, Joe Giglio, Jon Wilner, LSU, Michigan State, Morris Claiborne, Nebraska, Nebraska, Non-BCS, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Pac-12, Penn State, Pitt, Poll Attacks, poll reactions, Ray Ratto, Ronnie Wingo, Scott Wolf, SEC, SMU, Tennessee, Texas, Texas A&M, The Poll Attacks, Tyler Wilson, USC, West Virginia, Wisconsin
Posted on: October 3, 2011 5:24 pm
Posted by Jerry Hinnen
This week's polls have been released. Here's how the SEC fared, from the top of the polls to the bottom, and what it means.
Who says tough nonconference scheduling doesn't pay? The Tigers had arguably the least-impressive performance amongst the top three teams in the polls, getting precious little going on the ground in the first half against Kentucky and needing another Tyrann Mathieu defensive touchdown to crack 30 points ... at home ... against a Wildcat defense that had yielded 48 to Florida the week before in Lexington. The Tigers' Week 3 defensive lockdown of Mississippi State looked a little less impressive, too, after Georgia made Dan Mullen's offense look nearly as impotent and LSU had.
But the voters remained more concerned with the Tigers' nonconference scalps of Oregon and West Virginia than more recent results. The AP kept LSU a relatively firm No. 1 (40 first-place votes to Alabama and Oklahoma's combined 20) while the Coaches broke last week's second-place tie with the Tide in favor of the Tigers (if only by two points). It's not what you'd expect looking at this week's results, but judging by LSU's overall body of work and continued defensive dominance, their poll positions remain entirely defensible.
Let's get this out of the way: how the Tide managed to go on the road, beat a previously undefeated Florida team by four clear touchdowns, and somehow move down a spot in the Coaches Poll is the kind of mystery Robert Stack used to try and ask home viewers to help solve*. (Or not: as we'll find out looking at South Carolina and Auburn, sometimes the Coaches Poll is just like this.)
But at least the AP was paying attention, moving the Tide up another rung on the ladder to set up a potential 1-vs.-2 showdown against the Tigers if both teams stay undefeated through Nov. 5. And with all due respect to an excellent Oklahoma team, that's how it should be. 10-point wins over Florida State and Missouri are nice; 24- and 28-point wins over Arkansas and Florida are something much, much nicer. It doesn't make much sense -- and we're speaking to you directly here, coaches -- to anoint a team No. 1 in the preseason and then refuse to move them down when the only thing that made them No. 1 in the first place was sheer hypothetical guesswork.
The good news is that no amount of voting silliness will matter once the Tide and Tigers actually meet on the field; if Alabama wins out, it'll wind up where it deserves to be.
It's a flying leap forward for the Razorbacks as they vault eight spots in the AP and six in the Coaches from last week's consensus 18th. That's quite the reward for beating a Texas A&M team whose list of victims-to-date consists of nothing more than SMU and Idaho, not to mention giving up more than 600 yards of offense in the process. In this case, we'd actually side with the Coaches--with undefeated records and decent-to-quality wins under their belts, Texas and Michigan (Nos. 10 and 11 according to the Coaches) deserve the higher slots, even if we'd take the Razorbacks over either head-to-head.
Take a good look, folks: while the AP and Coaches always have their little differences, particularly early in the season, an eight-spot difference of opinion over an SEC team five weeks into the season is something you just don't see every day ... or year ... or maybe even decade.
But that's what we've got thanks to the Tigers' highly uneven 2011 season so far. On the good side of the ledger, there's the home win over a (still) likely bowl-bound team in Mississippi State and now the road victory over an undefeated, previously top-10 team in South Carolina. Those are two solid-to-excellent wins, though they have to be balanced against the narrow escape over Utah State, the decisive loss to Clemson (albeit one on the road to what appears to be a top-notch team), and the sleepwalk past FAU. Any particular spot between that No. 15 slot and the No. 23 slot would work fine.
But one thing we do know about the Tigers is that they ought to be ranked ahead of the Gamecocks, right? Team A beating Team B on Team B's homefield while both teams have the same record and Team A's only loss was to an unbeaten top-10 team makes this a very simple decision, doesn't it? Not for the Coaches; they somehow have Auburn nine spots behind the same South Carolina team they just defeated. Go figure.
After ranking 12th in both polls, the Gators slid five and six spots, respectively. It's a fair assessment for a team that still has a comfortable win over Tennessee and the resume, but didn't look all that sharp vs. Alabama after the game's opening 15 minutes and now could be without John Brantley for an extended period of time. With a road trip to LSU on the docket this week, the Gators could land the win that vaults them all the way into the top 10 ... or exiles them from the balloting until further notice.
18/14. South Carolina.
Thanks to the Gamecocks' wins over Georgia and Vanderbilt (not to mention a Navy team that should still make the postseason), Carolina certainly deserves to remain ranked, and probably even in the top 20. Just not ahead of Auburn.
*You know you want to hear the theme song. Here you go.
Tags: Alabama, Arkansas, Auburn, Clemson, Dan Mullen, FAU, Florida, Florida State, Georgia, Idaho, Jerry Hinnen, John Brantley, Kentucky, LSU, Michigan, Mississippi State, Missouri, Navy, Oregon, Poll Reactions, Robert Stack, SEC, SMU, South Carolina, Tennesee, Texas, Texas A&M, Tyrann Mathieu, Utah State, Vanderbilt, West Virginia
Posted on: October 3, 2011 11:59 am
Edited on: October 3, 2011 1:04 pm
Posted by Bryan Fischer
A buddy of mine was talking about how college football right now has a few elite teams and a bunch of others that could be grouped into a couple of classes. After a lengthy discussion, I decided to run with that after week five to see how everyone shapes up. Feel free to get angry at me in the comments.
(In no particular order)
Wisconsin: It's all Russell Wilson for the frontrunners in the Big Ten title race but this is a very good squad that has balance on offense and a very well coached defense.
Alabama: Best defense Nick Saban's ever had plus two great running backs and an efficient offense. The Tide will continue to roll this year.
Oklahoma: Another win, another week they lose some ground in the polls despite being the best team not playing in the SEC.
LSU: They have a Honey Badger so who cares how mediocre the offense has been?
Boise State: Kellen Moore and the offense get all the press but the defensive line is among the best in college football.
We're still not sure how good they are:
Stanford: They have the best quarterback in the country but haven't played anyone of note and lost their best linebacker to a knee injury.
Oregon: Still the class of the conference, they might be better on offense then they were last year.
Oklahoma State: Questions still remain about the defense but Brandon Weeden and company are legit.
Florida: They're a top 25 team but haven't played anyone besides Alabama and will trot out a true freshman in their first road trip against LSU. Yikes.
Notre Dame: The Irish have rolled up 500 yard games like they're no big deal but turnovers are the difference between 5-0 and 3-2.
Nebraska: The defense should be better than what they've shown so far but their struggles are reflective in the team as a whole.
Texas: Undefeated heading into the Red River Shootout, this young team will have their hands full this week but have come along nicely under their two young coordinators.
Clemson: An impressive victory on the road against Virginia Tech but there's no denying that everyone thinks Clemson will be Clemson at some point this year.
Virginia Tech: Many had pegged them as a national title dark horse but that is no more after losing to Clemson at home.
Kansas State: Bill Snyder is a miracle worker but the Wildcats haven't faced a big time opponent until this week.
South Carolina: They have a great running back, a great defense, a great wide receiver but the team itself is a giant question mark week-to-week.
Georgia Tech: The Yellow Jackets have an explosive offense that's difficult to prepare for but the defense remains questionable at best.
Arkansas: The stunning comeback this week proved one thing: the defense is average but the offense can carry this team.
Illinois: Ron Zook is their head coach so there is that but both the offense and the defense have responded when needed to keep the Illini undefeated.
Michigan: The defense does look better but they haven't really been tested by a good team and have yet to play a game outside the Big House.
Good not great group:
Arizona State: Injuries have hurt on defense but they're the class of the Pac-12 South.
North Carolina: Perhaps a little surprising at 4-1 but they've played solid football and bonded as a team with all that has gone on around the program.
Southern Miss: They've lost to Marshall which hurts them in conference play but this is an ok football team that could breakthrough.
Hawaii: Their offense gives everyone fits but it's really hard to comprehend how they lost to UNLV.
Washington: Perhaps the surprise of the Pac-12 North division, the defense isn't super but Keith Price and the offense are very dangerous.
SMU: A big win over a ranked TCU is a huge sign of progress under June Jones.
West Virginia: The loss to LSU was a setback but this is a very good football team that can score some points.
Baylor: They have a quarterback who's among the best at his position this year in Robert Griffin III but the defense has issues.
Auburn: They're winners, that's for sure, but the defense struggles every game and the offense has been inconsistent.
Michigan State: They've got the defense but the offense hasn't clicked like it should under Kirk Cousins.
Cincinnati: There's plenty of questions about this team but they're solid and can beat any Big East team.
Tennessee: They can't run the ball at all but they sure can throw it.
Texas Tech: Undefeated but have struggled in the first half just about every game they've played.
Georgia: SEC East is wide open and the Bulldogs are fighting hard each game so don't be surprised if they make a run for it.
Florida State: Injuries have made them thin but Jimbo Fisher should regroup them and turn them into a good team by the end of the year.
Houston: Best offense to watch in college football is good because the defense will allow points galore.
Looking forward to 2012:
UCLA, Oregon State, New Mexico State, East Carolina, Rice, Louisiana Tech, Utah, North Texas, Tulsa, Ball State, Ole Miss, Purdue, New Mexico, UAB, Troy, FAU, Louisiana-Lafayette, Memphis, Duke, FIU, Iowa State, Colorado State, TCU, USC, Arizona, Washington State, Colorado, Bowling Green, Virginia, Idaho, N.C. State, Ohio State, Maryland, Miami, UConn, Western Michigan, Louisville, Marshall, Nevada, Northern Illinois, Central Michigan, Miami (Ohio), Ohio, Akron, Eastern Michigan, Buffalo, Wake Forest, Boston College, Kentucky, Texas A&M, Navy, Air Force, Army, Tulane, Kansas, Northwestern, Temple, Toledo, Minnesota, Rutgers, Syracuse, Penn State, Indiana, Mississippi State, BYU, Utah State, USF, Pitt, UTEP.
Stat of the week
Via the blog Hustle Belt, the last time Michigan, Michigan State, Eastern Michigan, Western Michigan and Central Michigan all won on the same day: November 5, 1994. Add in the fact that the Detroit Lions won on Sunday and it's a pretty good weekend for football in the state of Michigan.
Stats of the week
- With four touchdowns against Nebraska, Wisconsin's Montee Ball now has 13 on the ground this season. That's halfway to the Big 10 record of 26 (by week 5) and his 14 total touchdowns leads the country. Ball has scored 14 points more than the next person on the scoring list.
- Oklahoma had the ball 15 times against Ball State and scored seven touchdowns. Wisconsin had the ball 10 times against Nebraska and scored seven touchdowns (via Brian Fremeau)
- USC has allowed 40 points in consecutive games for the first time in 119 seasons. Matt Barkley did set a school record for passing yards and total offense against Arizona however.
- Arkansas had nine plays of 20 or more yards against Texas A&M. At one point, receiver Jarius Wright had more yards of total offense than Penn State, Indiana, Minnesota and Kentucky as well as 80% of the Razorbacks' offense at halftime.
- Tyrann Mathieu has the LSU record for career forced fumbles with eight in 18 games (via Scott Rabalais).
- RussellMania is indeed here. Wilson's masterful performance against Nebraska really was something to behold as he made play after play. The knock on Wisconsin was that they haven't played anyone (they still haven't on the road). That question seems to have been answered with their resounding victory against Nebraska on Saturday however. Wilson was efficient once again, going 14-20 for 255 yards and two touchdowns. He had some beautiful throws, placing the ball perfectly into the hands of his receivers on a few big gains. Though Wilson doesn't look to run like other quarterbacks, he can and will if need be. That added dimension is what separates this Badgers team from previous iterations. On the other side, Nebraska's B1G moment - their first ever conference game - very much exposed them as a team with serious issues.
- Coming into their primetime game, both Florida and Alabama featured top 10 defenses and plenty of future NFL draft picks. Yet, you just got the feeling as Trent Richardson was running through players like a battering ram that the Gators were boys among men. There's plenty of talented four- and five-star recruits but they're still young and almost seemed overwhelmed by the big stage. The swarming Tide defense, meanwhile, was punishing Florida players left and right - including quarterback John Brantley. With a true freshman seeing his first significant game action, plenty of people on Twitter were calling for Charlie Weis to call plays that simply didn't get Jeff Driskel killed by an Alabama defender. Richardson ran for a career-high 181 yards and two touchdowns and was pretty much the offense. Good defense, good running game and a big, big road victory for Nick Saban's squad.
- Poor, poor Utah State. The team has been minutes from being 4-0 and likely ranked in the top 25 but instead they're 1-3 thanks to a last second loss to BYU on Friday. They lost to a backup quarterback who threw a pass that was deflected by an Aggie defensive back right into the hands of Marcus Matthews for the game-winning touchdown; which pretty much sums up what Utah State has gone through, coming close to a win before tipping it into the hands of the opponent. They nearly upset Auburn before a perfect onside kick and subsequent score and lost to Colorado State on a failed two-point conversion in OT last week. The Aggies might be the best, unluckiest team in college football.
- I'm still not sure how Arkansas pulled off that comeback other than to say Texas A&M allowed them to. Mike Sherman seemed to deflect some blame for the loss but one has to put this one (and last week's) solely on his shoulders. His first half play-calling has been great but it's like the Aggies go into the locker room and fail to make a single adjustment. They had great success rushing the ball but failed to go for it on a key 4th down in Arkansas territory and punted the ball instead. At that point, the momentum had fully shifted to the Razorbacks, who made play after play to rally from 18 down. A&M looked like they'd be fine in the SEC if you watched that first half but if you watched the second... they looked more like Ole Miss.
- Melvin Ingram had 11 tackles, 4.5 for a loss, 3.5 sacks and an interception but that just wasn't enough for South Carolina, who lost to Auburn thanks to an anemic offense that was actually playing one of the worst defenses in the SEC. I listened to part of the game on radio and I'm glad I did because it saved me having to see some terrible quarterback play on both sides. The Gamecocks' defense is good but the offense has been puzzling - not something one would expect with Marcus Lattimore and Alshon Jeffrey. But then again, they do have Stephen Garcia at quarterback.
- Michigan State's defense is well coached and the best in the Big Ten so far this year but that doesn't explain the offensive ineptitude of Ohio State on Saturday. The Buckeyes had negative yardage for most of the game before getting a 4th quarter touchdown in the final 10 seconds to avoid the program's first shutout in nearly 18 years. As much as people mocked Tresselball, Buckeyes fans would welcome a return to those days in a heartbeat.
- Notre Dame's win over Purdue is best summed up by two words: Michael Floyd. After grabbing just four catches against Pitt, Floyd grabbed 12 for 137 yards and a touchdown against the Boilermakers. As one would expect given the competition, the Irish were rolling on offense and racked up 551 yards with Cierre Wood running for a career-high 191 yards on 20 carries. Most importantly, there were no turnovers after 15 in Notre Dame's first four games.
- It's rare for an SEC team to leave the South so props to Ole Miss for traveling to Fresno State to play. Randall Mackey had an ok day but made the big play when needed, including an 88 yard drive to seal the win. This is the Rebels' first win over and FBS team and, with more SEC West play ahead of them, could be their last for a while.
- Playing so late, it's doubtful that many in the Eastern or Central time zones stayed up to catch Stanford crush UCLA 45-19 so here's a quick recap: Andrew Luck is really, really good. He had a Heisman highlight moment with a spectacular one-handed catch and somehow managed to stay in bounds. Just as impressive as Luck (23-27, 227 yards, 3 TDs), the Cardinal played before a sellout crowd and looked solid on defense against the Bruins' Pistol offense that looked like it had some life. Still, the story in this game was Luck, who surprisingly called his own plays on a couple of drives Peyton Manning-style. "He called better plays than me," head coach David Shaw said after the game.
Quote of the week
"I apologize to the fans of Nebraska because that was a joke."
- Huskers head coach Bo Pelini on his team's embarrassing loss to Wisconsin and the state of the defense.
4. Boise State
7. Oklahoma State
10. Georgia Tech
Where we'll be this week
Senior writer Dennis Dodd will head to Dallas for one of the best events you can go to, the Red River Shootout (or, if being politically correct, Rivalry) between undefeated Texas and Oklahoma. While he's trying the fried beer, Tony Barnhart will be in Baton Rouge for a LSU night game against Florida. Brett McMurphy will pack his bags for Manhattan (Kansas) to see Missouri play undefeated Kansas State and see first hand how good a coaching job Bill Snyder has been doing.
Leaning this way
Oklahoma vs. Texas
I have to imagine that Dan Beebe, from his comfortable Dallas home, will have this game on his television set rooting for both teams to end this in a tie. Texas offensive coordinator Bryan Harsin has done some very good things with some young talent and without a doubt has some surprises up his sleeve for OU. That said, the Sooners are the top team in the country and will be scoring enough points to keep the fans singing 'Boomer Sooner' well into the afternoon.
Florida at LSU
This will be the coming out party for true freshman quarterback Jeff Driskel with the injury to Jeff Brantley. And by coming out, I mean just that he'll come out. Having seen his film and him throw in person, I think Driskel will be a good quarterback but he's just going to be overwhelmed by the scenery in Death Valley. LSU makes several plays on defense to blow this one open and let the Tigers push the Gators around.
Ohio State at Nebraska
After both teams lost, I didn't really consider this game in this spot until I remembered this was a B1G game not only in terms of conference standings, but the fact that the Tattoo Four will make their return to the Buckeyes. Nebraska was embarrassed on the road but I don't think they'll allow that at home as the Ohio State returns several much-needed starters. In the end though, there's just been such a lack of execution by the Buckeyes as a whole to pick anyone but Nebraska by more than a touchdown.
Tags: Alabama, Alshon Jeffrey, Andrew Luck, Arizona State, Arkansas, Auburn, Ball State, Baylor, Bill Snyder, Bo Pelini, Boise State, Brandon Weeden, Bryan Fischer, Bryan Harsin, Central Michigan, Charlie Weis, Cincinnati, Clemson, Dan Beebe, David Shaw, Detroit Lions, Eastern Michigan, Florida, Florida State, Georgia, Georgia Tech, Hawaii, Heisman Trophy, Houston, Illinois, Jarius Wright, Jeff Driskel, Jimbo Fisher, John Brantley, June Jones, Kansas State, Keith Price, Kellen Moore, Kirk Cousins, LSU, Marcus Lattimore, Marcus Matthews, Marshall, Matt Barkley, Melvin Ingram, Michael Floyd, Michigan, Michigan State, Mike Sherman, Montee Ball, Nebraska, NFL, Nick Saban, North Carolina, Notre Dame, Notre Dame, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Ole Miss, Oregon, Peyton Manning, Randall Mackey, RGIII, Robert Griffin III, Ron Zook, Russell Wilson, SMU, South Carolina, Southern Miss, Stanford, Stehpen Garcia, TCU, Tennessee, Texas, Texas Tech, Trent Richardson, Tyrann Mathieu, UNLV, USC, Virginia Tech, Washington, West Virginia, Western Michigan, Wisconsin
Posted on: September 24, 2011 1:29 pm
Edited on: September 24, 2011 1:31 pm
Posted by Jerry Hinnen
One of the nation's best linebackers will miss the remainder of the year with an ankle injury--and a TCU defense that was already struggling with its rebuilding job will have things that much tougher.
The Fort Worth Star-Telegram reported Saturday morning that junior Tanner Brock's injured ankle has not recovered from a reaggravation suffered in the Frogs' openeing-week loss to Baylor, and after missing TCU's previous two games he will go on to sit out the rest of the 2011 season. Brock underwent ankle surgery early in the summer but practiced throughout fall camp was deemed healthy enough to start the opener.
Brock's absence won't make any difference today as the Frogs take on FCS Portland State. But it make a very big difference down the road, as Brock was TCU's leading tackler a year ago with 106 stops and came into the season on the Butkus Award Watch List alongside more celebrated teammate Tank Carder. Junior Kenny Cain is expected to start in Brock's place.
In a typical TCU season, even the loss of a potential All-American like Brock wouldn't be the end of the world. But after the 50 points given up in week 1 to Baylor and the surprising first-half success of ULM's spread attack last week, the Frogs would seem to need all hands on deck to handle opponents like Boise State or maybe SMU. In short, it's just one more reason TCU's 2011 looks like it just won't be there 2009 or 2010.
Posted on: September 18, 2011 7:04 pm
Edited on: September 18, 2011 7:42 pm
Posted by Adam Jacobi
The Pac-12 is in the advanced stages of a plan to bring Texas, Texas Tech, Oklahoma, and Oklahoma State into the fold, according to various reports. Though Texas has long been linked as a potential target of the Pac-12, the Longhorn Network has always been a stumbling block for negotiations... until now.
It appears a compromise on the programming of the LHN is in the works, as reported by the Austin American-Statesman, and perhaps the Longhorn Network won't be all Texas, all the time in the future:
Plans for the then-Pac-10 to bring Texas and a cadre of its mates from the former Big XII South to help form a Pac-16 crumbled in 2010 during the first round of conference realignment, with plans getting hung up on whether the four Texas schools in the Big 12 would be forced to remain together in a potential move or not. For as vocal as Baylor has been in trying to block Texas A&M's move to the SEC, it likely won't sit quietly this time around either, but so far there's been no public comment on this report by Baylor president Ken Starr or anybody else there.
As for football play in the hypothetical Pac-16, if the American-Statesman report is to be believed, talks are advanced enough that the conference is planning four four-team pods where each team would play its fellow pod members once, then two teams from each of the other three pods for a total of nine conference games. That would lead to a host of logistical questions in terms of tiebreakers and scheduling inequities year to year, but it's just about the fairest way to handle a 16-team football league without scheduling 15 conference games a year.
If the move goes through, and if Texas A&M does indeed join the SEC as it's been trying to do for a while now, the Big 12 would be left with just five teams: Iowa State, Kansas, Kansas State, Missouri, and the aforementioned Baylor. There will likely be a host of Big East football programs looking for a new conference to latch onto if the ACC continues siphoning programs away, so the Big 12 may see its footprint expand east. The provision mandating that a conference maintain a group of five members together for five consecutive years was removed on August 1, 2011 (thanks, @bylawblog), so the Big 12 isn't in any danger of outright disbanding unless it can't get eight eligible members together for a season. Considering SMU, Houston, and the suddenly vulnerable TCU are all viable expansion candidates right there in the state of Texas, to say nothing of programs like Louisville and Cincinnati who may be in danger of losing BCS conference status, disbanding seems exceedingly unlikely.
At any rate, Oklahoma and Texas (opens .PDF file in new window) both have Board of Regents meetings already scheduled for Monday afternoon -- with conference realignment on their agendas -- so nobody's going to be kept waiting about this report for very long.
Tags: Adam Jacobi, Baylor, Big 12, Conference Expansion, Conference Realignment, Dan Beebe, Houston, Iowa State, Kansas, Kansas State, Ken Starr, Ken Starr, Missouri, Mountain West, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Pac-12, Pac-16, Pac-16 Expansion, SEC, SMU, TCU, Texas, Texas A&M, Texas Tech, Texas to Pac-12, Texas to Pac-16
Posted on: September 11, 2011 4:52 pm
Edited on: September 11, 2011 4:53 pm
Posted by Tom Fornelli
This week's polls have been released. Here's how the Big 12 fared, from the top of the polls to its bottom, and what it means.
Oklahoma (AP:1/Coaches:1) - Much like a player shouldn't lose his job to injury, pollsters feel that a team shouldn't lose its spot atop the polls due to a bye week. While I would put LSU ahead of Oklahoma on my ballot at the moment thanks to that win against Oregon, it's hard to blame people for feeling otherwise. Of course, should the Sooners head to Tallahassee this weekend and hand the Seminoles a loss, it'll be hard to argue putting Oklahoma anywhere else but at the top of your ballot.
Oklahoma State (8/7) - The coaches are higher on the Cowboys than the media is at the moment, but either way, it's hard to be angry with a spot in the top ten if you're Oklahoma State. This offense has not disappointed through it's first two games, scoring 98 points and amassing 1,260 yards. What's more important, though, is that the Cowboys defense has proved capable through the first two weeks, and this team should be off to a 3-0 start after a trip to Tulsa on Saturday. The first true test of the year will come in two weeks, however, when the Cowboys travel to College Station to take on the Aggies. Speaking of Texas A&M...
Texas A&M (9/9) - Much like Oklahoma, the Aggies took the week off after playing a game last Sunday night. The Aggies' performance against SMU was strong enough to warrant this spot and keep them there, and that's not likely to change when Idaho comes to town this weekend.
Baylor (19/24) - I guess coaches have short memories. After a bye week Baylor sits at 24th in the Coaches Poll while TCU is at 23rd. I'm still trying to figure out what world we have to be in for that to make any kind of sense. At least the AP Poll was able to hold on to some semblance of credibility by putting the Bears at 19th, four spots ahead of the Horned Frogs team they beat last week.
Texas (24/21) - Much like last week, I'm not exactly sure what Texas has done to deserve to be ranked just yet other than being Texas. The Longhorns beat a Rice team that it should have beaten, but then struggled against BYU at home to eek out a 17-16 victory. Surely there are other teams in the country who have had a better start to their season than Texas. We'll have to wait and see if Texas can really earn this ranking when it travels to UCLA next weekend seeking revenge for that home loss in 2010.
Drop Outs: Missouri - I didn't think Missouri would be able to go into Tempe and get a win against Arizona State after a poor showing by the offense in Week 1, and Missouri didn't. That being said, the Tigers offense performed much better on Friday night. With a very winnable game against Western Illinois this weekend, it's possible that the Tigers can sneak back into the polls next week, though a date with Oklahoma in Norman looms after that.
Receiving Votes: Iowa State picked up a couple of votes in the Coaches Poll after beating Iowa in double overtime. Two votes that I'm happy to see the Cyclones get because beating Iowa hasn't been an easy task for anybody in recent seasons, but Iowa State doesn't deserve to crack the Top 25 just yet either. Though that could change with a winnable game on the road against UConn coming up, and then a home date against a Texas team that just hasn't impressed me much.
Posted on: September 8, 2011 12:44 pm
Edited on: September 8, 2011 12:45 pm
Posted by Tom Fornelli
Baylor has been one of the most vocal members of the Big 12 in recent days as the school does everything it can to keep the Big 12 together. It's a move that isn't difficult to understand because in all of the conference realignment talk, when it comes to the Big 12, Baylor is one of the few schools whom you don't hear mentioned as possibilities for other BCS conferences.
After all, in the Pac-16 scenario that keeps coming up, while Texas would want to bring Texas Tech west with them, you don't hear anything about the Longhorns being all that concerned about the Bears. As it turns out, however, Baylor may actually have a BCS contingency plan. According to a report by Yahoo's Jason King, Baylor is rather confident that if the Big 12 does dissolve, the school will find a home in the Big East.
“There haven’t been any guarantees,” a source with knowledge of the situation told King. “But [Baylor] feels strongly that that’s what would happen.”
Which is rather interesting to hear if it's indeed true. Like I said, I understand why Baylor wants to keep the Big 12 together, but their method in trying to do so seemed like a bit much. Instead of just stating the obvious, Baylor has been using a lot of rhetoric about preserving the sanctity of college football and the integrity. It's also talked about the best interest of the fans, and worrying about the effects that realignment can have on the states of the schools involved.
Which seems a bit funny to me because I seem to remember Baylor being one of four Texas schools that left SMU, TCU, Houston and Rice behind when they left the now-defunct SWC for the Big 12 when it formed in 1996. I guess it was okay back then.
Now this report about Baylor and the Big East?
Again, I don't begrudge Baylor for finding a safety net. It's what any institution in the Big 12 should be doing right now just in case. But don't try to pretend you're worried about the sanctity of college football and preserving tradition when your actions show that just like everyone else, the thing you're really worried about is yourself.