Tag:Missouri
Posted on: November 14, 2011 11:56 am
 

Big 12 Poll Reactions, Week 11

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 the bottom, and what it means.

(AP/Coaches)

2/2. Oklahoma State

Nothing changes for Oklahoma State this week as it stays at #2 in both polls. There isn't much to complain about with this ranking, though I suppose if you want to nitpick, you can mention that LSU got every single first place vote in the country. Are we really that sure that LSU is better than Oklahoma State at this point? I'm not saying LSU shouldn't be first in the rankings, as if I had a ballot they'd be first in mine, but I'm somewhat surprised that there isn't someone out there who would rank the Cowboys ahead of the Tigers. My only point is that I don't think the gap between what LSU has done this season and what Oklahoma State has done is as great as the polls seem to be making it.

5/5. Oklahoma

The Sooners receive a nice bump despite having the week off. Oklahoma moved up from 7th to 5th in both polls thanks to losses by both Boise State and Stanford. Nothing to complain about with this spot for the Sooners, though it does open some questions. Now that we have so many one-loss teams crossing their fingers and hoping they can sneak into the title game, will the Sooners jump both Oregon and Alabama in the traditional polls if it beats Oklahoma State to end the season? Both schools are ahead of the Sooners right now, which could be a roadblock for the Sooners in these polls and the BCS.

16/17. Kansas State

Kansas State didn't get much of a bump in the AP poll as it climbed only one spot to 16th, but it looks like the coaches finally noticed how this team has played since its loss against Oklahoma. The Wildcats move up from 22nd to 17th in the Coaches Poll following an exciting win over Texas A&M. I don't have any complaints about Kansas State's spot in either poll, but I do feel like if teams were ranked based on the exciting nature of their games, then Kansas State would be a lot higher. Every game this team plays seems to come down to the final quarter.

25/UR. Baylor

This is a ranking that confuses me, though not as much as Baylor being ranked 22nd in the BCS. Listen, I understand that Baylor has played one of the toughest schedules in the country this season, as have a lot of teams in the Big 12. But I also understand that in every game against strong competition -- Kansas State, Texas A&M, Oklahoma State -- Baylor has lost. In those two losses against A&M and Oklahoma State it has lost by an average of 31 points. It's strongest win is the opener against TCU, which looks better now, but other than that Baylor's best win has been 5-5 Missouri. Plus, are we going to ignore the fact that Baylor needed a 21-point comeback in the fourth quarter and overtime to beat Kansas this week? I'm sorry, but if you need overtime to beat Kansas then you shouldn't be ranked.

Others receiving votes

Texas (11 AP/27 Coaches), Missouri (0 AP/ 5 Coaches) 
Posted on: November 14, 2011 11:50 am
Edited on: November 14, 2011 11:55 am
 

Surveying the Field: Reviewing Week 11



Posted by Bryan Fischer


The build up wasn't quite as big as that tussle down in Tuscaloosa but there was no denying that Saturday's game between Oregon and Stanford was the biggest conference game in years. Two top six teams, a packed crowd at Stanford Stadium, a visit from GameDay, and even an appearance by the new Pac-12 championship trophy.

People who normally wouldn't be caught dead at a Stanford football game showed up in droves and ticket scalpers were quite desperate to talk to anyone who had tickets. Duck fans brought plenty of kegs and the Cardinal fans opened up a few more bottles of wine than they normally do. The atmosphere wasn't Autzen or Husky Stadium or the Coliseum but there was a noticeable buzz in Palo Alto.

And then Oregon came in and unleashed their familiar blitzkrieg on offense and literally and figuratively ran away from Stanford in a final score, 52-31, remarkably similar to last season's game in Eugene. Say what you want about Chip Kelly's struggles in bowl games or non-conference match ups but he owns the Pac-12 in a way that not even Pete Carroll did, winning his 19th consecutive conference game - all but three by double-digits.

The storyline Saturday during the game was the play of the Ducks' defense, who forced Andrew Luck to be a mere mortal by throwing into coverage most of the night, fumbling and tossing a pick-six. Credit longtime coordinator Nick Aliotti for several weeks of great game plans, shutting down Washington's offense with six sacks and two picks the game before. Breaking in several new starters this year, it took awhile for the unit to gel in the first half of the season but they've come on strong as of late. The secret to their success lies in part on the offense, who are so quick scoring that it forces opposing offenses to wear themselves out trying to play catch up. Mix in some pressure from the front seven, which Aliotti loves to do, and Oregon has more than a solid defense.

The storyline after the game (or, at least, beginning in the middle of the third quarter) was the sudden emergence of the Ducks back in the national title race. For all the talk of an Alabama-LSU rematch in New Orleans, suddenly that wasn't the only possible one on the table. As Dennis Dodd wrote after the game, for pure entertainment value it has to be the Ducks.

"I feel we should have a chance to play LSU again," speedster DeAnthony Thomas said.

Thomas, no doubt, wants some measure of redemption against the Tigers after fumbling in the opener and contributing to the lopsided 40-27 score. Were the Ducks closer than that margin indicated? Sure. The margin is what it is however and a great deal more than Alabama's three point loss in overtime.

As Kelly made his way to the post-game set for a television hit, plenty of Oregon fans had gathered in the section of stands near him to celebrate their beloved "Big Balls Chip." Euphoric after beating the Cardinal, everybody clad in green (or yellow or silver or lighting yellow or black…) was excited about the possibility - albeit slim if examined closely - of a rematch with LSU in the national title game.

Column after column was filed from the press box bringing up the same point. Plenty of Oregon fans on Twitter began discussing their resume. With the South division a mess, the win essentially gave Oregon the the conference title in what was the defacto Pac-12 Championship game.

Yet all anybody could talk about was the possibility of another trip to the title game. Two words I didn't hear from anybody affiliated with Oregon: Rose Bowl. Everybody and their mother were putting the cart before the horse or, to be more apt in this case, the Rose before the Mardi Gras beads.

Sure, everybody wants to play for the national championship. Ducks fans not only want a shot of redemption against LSU, but want one in response to the agonizing last second loss to Auburn in Glendale. Still, it's hard to fathom that no one is excited over playing THE bowl game against the weakest Big Ten opponent in years. Beating Stanford established Oregon as a likely double-digit favorite in the granddaddy of them all and yet that wasn't on anybody's mind this weekend.

Color me confused, especially when you consider the school has only been to 24 bowl games total and has a 9-15 record in them. Oregon has been to Pasadena only twice in 50 years and have just one trophy from the game - from 1917.

When USC went on their run under Carroll, there was plenty of talk coming out of Troy about being disappointed playing in "another" Rose Bowl. It seems like Ducks fans have the same mentality despite the lack of trips to the game or the wins.

BCS proponents often state, every week in the college football season is a playoff. The Ducks playoff game? They lost it. The Crimson Tide's playoff game? They lost it. The talk of a rematch needs to be saved for another day.

Is the Rose Bowl technically an exhibition/consolation prize? Yes, but it's the best consolation prize in college football. So forget about a rematch, Oregon should be excited about the possibility of a Rose Bowl win at the end of the year, not arguing their worthiness for the title game. That's the takeaway from Saturday's win people need to focus on.

Stat of the week

Vanderbilt's 38-8 win over Kentucky was the school's most decisive SEC win in four decades. The Commodores are now three point favorites over Tennessee, who they beat seemingly once a century. Strange times.

Stats of the week

- Every SEC team has scored a defensive touchdown this season. South Carolina has five alone while Alabama leads the country in all major defensive categories.

- Quarterback Connor Halliday set a Washington State freshman record after throwing for 494 yards and four touchdowns against Arizona State. The mark was the sixth most yards the Sun Devils have ever given up.

- Just some amazing numbers with Boise State's loss to TCU this weekend. The Broncos are college football's winningest team over the past four years (46-3) and all of their losses are by a combined five points (1, 3 and 1). The loss to the Horned Frogs was Chris Petersen's first at home as head coach and the team's first home conference loss since 1998. According to Brian Murphy, the last home conference loss was to Idaho, 36-35 on a 2-point conversion. Boise State lost to TCU 36-35 thanks to a 2-point conversion.

- Missouri held Texas to single digits for the first time since 2006, a span of 61 games. The last time the Longhorns scored just five points was a 5-6 loss to Sewanee in 1911.

- South Carolina held Florida to fewer than 14 points for the first time since 1939.

Tweet of the week

"We just had a marriage proposal at midfield during halftime. So at least one Red Raider is going to score today."

- Aaron Dickens, editor of RedRaiderSports.com during Tech's 66-6 loss to Oklahoma State. The Red Raiders have been outscored 159-33 in three losses following their upset of Oklahoma.

Fisch's Finest

1. LSU

2. Oklahoma State

3. Alabama

4. Oregon

5. Oklahoma

6. Arkansas

7. Stanford

8. Boise State

9. Clemson

10. Georgia

Where we'll be this week

Columnist Gregg Doyel will be in Columbus to see Ohio State's final home game against Penn State while Dennis Dodd will see Oregon again as USC travels up to Eugene. Brett McMurphy will be in Houston as SMU comes in with hopes of pulling a BCS-sized upset.

Leaning this way

Nebraska at Michigan

This an elimination game for the loser as both have an outside shot of going to the Big Ten championship game with a win and some help by Michigan State's opponents. Michigan has not been terribly sharp the past few games while Nebraska has been in back-to-back close games. This is at the Big House which might be the biggest advantage the Wolverines have.

SMU at Houston

A potential stumbling block for Houston as they continue to march their way to the Conference USA title game and a BCS berth. The best offense in the country has been rolling up points - 73 last week for the second time this season - but faces their stiffest competition yet with the Mustangs, who have one of the better defenses in the conference. Still, SMU isn't a special team and this should be a chance for Case Keenum to impress Heisman voters some more with a big spotlight game.

USC at Oregon

Is USC better equipped defensively to handle the Ducks? Yes. Do they have more talent on offense than anybody else Oregon has faced? Yes. But that still doesn't make up for the fact that the Trojans haven't won in the state of Oregon in years. Oregon continues their march to another conference championship in front of a raucous Autzen crowd.


Posted on: November 13, 2011 8:42 pm
 

Fozzy Whittaker's Texas career is over

Posted by Tom Fornelli

The news was somewhat expected after seeing the injury on Saturday, but Texas confirmed the worst for running back Fozzy Whittaker on Sunday night. The school announced that Whittaker had suffered a torn ACL and MCL in his right knee, which ends Whittaker's 2011 season and college career.

Whittaker suffered the injury during the first quarter on Saturday in Texas' loss to Missouri.

The impact of Whittaker was very evident in that loss, as the Longhorns offense seemed lost without him. Not helping matters was that Malcolm Brown and Joe Bergeron were both out of the game as well. Still, even when those two return, Whittaker will not be easy to replace.

As well as being a special teams threat on kick returns, Whittaker also runs the Wildcat formation for the Texas offense. A formation that Bryan Harsin's offense had been using with great results in the last few weeks.

Whittaker finishes his career at Texas with 1,233 rushing yards and 12 touchdowns. He had 386 yards and 6 rushing touchdowns this season. 
Posted on: November 12, 2011 11:31 pm
 

Big 12 Winners and Losers: Week 11



Posted by Tom Fornelli


A handy recap of who really won and who really lost that you won't find in the box score.

WINNER: Collin Klein's fantasy owners

I know that college fantasy football isn't as popular as the NFL version, but if you do play it and you don't have Collin Klein on your team, then you did something wrong earlier this season. Klein had another amazing game on Saturday as Kansas State beat Texas A&M 53-50 in four overtimes.

What was truly amazing, however, was how dominant Klein was. Kansas State scored 7 touchdowns in the game, 6 of which came courtesy of Klein as he ran for 5 (increasing his season total to 24 rushing touchdowns) and threw for another. The other Kansas State touchdown came when Klein fumbled at the goal line while going in, but luckily receiver Tramaine Thompson jumped on the loose ball.

Even more insane than the scoring? Kansas State had 411 yards of total offense in the game. Klein was responsible for 384 of those yards, or 93% of the Kansas State output.

LOSER: Mike Sherman's job stability

I've mentioned it here before in recent weeks, but Mike Sherman can't exactly be feeling too comfortable in College Station these days. Texas A&M came into the season as a top-ten pick in both polls, and now ten games into the season the Aggies find themselves at 5-5 on the year and 3-4 in the Big 12. When you're as talented a team as Texas A&M is and you keep making the same mistakes over and over -- though there was no second-half disappearing act this week, but A&M did blow a 10-point lead in the closing minutes -- then at some point the blame has to fall squarely on the coaching staff.

It's very possible that with the season's final two games, and hopefully a bowl game, Sherman is coaching to keep his job with Texas A&M. Either that or the Aggies will be moving on to the SEC and bringing in a new staff to go with its new conference.

WINNER: Brandon Weeden's Heisman Campaign

On Saturday we saw both Andrew Luck's Stanford team fall to Oregon, and Kellen Moore's Boise State team fall to TCU. You know what that means? That means Brandon Weeden is going to start climbing on a lot of Heisman ballots. Not that he really needed Luck and Moore to fall to start gaining the attention, as after Saturday's 66-6 romp over Texas Tech, Weeden now has 3,635 yards passing with 31 touchdowns and 9 interceptions. He also has two more games to add to those numbers, and while they're not as incredible as Case Keenum's numbers, Weeden's doing it against the Big 12 for the #2 team in the country.

LOSER: Texas Tech

I don't even know what to say at this point. I remember seeing Texas Tech beat Oklahoma earlier this season, I know it happened, I just can't fathom how it happened at this point. How does a team that played so well on that night go into such a devastating tailspin so fast?

It's not that Texas Tech lost to Oklahoma State, it's that Texas Tech never even had a prayer. This looks like a team that just doesn't care about anything anymore. It already won its Super Bowl, and now it's just trying to get through the year.

WINNER: This guy



Kudos to you, Texas Tech fan. Even during the worst of times, you do not abandon the GUNS UP attitude. Many of your fellow fans had gone home long before you fired your gun into the air. If only it hadn't been filled with blanks of despair.

LOSER: Kansas fans

You poor souls. You'd given up on your team this season already, and with basketball season now officially underway, you were ready to turn your backs to football and never look back. But then something strange happened.

Kansas not only took a lead against Baylor, but it held it. It even expanded on it. Suddenly, it's the fourth quarter and your Jayhawks are up 24-3 on Baylor! This team is going to reward you! They're going to thank you for sticking with them through all this pain!

And then suddenly Baylor scores 21 points in the fourth quarter to force overtime and then beat you 31-30 when Turner Gill decided to go for two but a terrible fade into double coverage fell incomplete.

The lesson here is never care, Kansas fan. Never. Care.

WINNER: Gary Pinkel's Big 12 Check List

With a 17-5 win over Texas on Saturday, Missouri beat Texas for the first time under head coach Gary Pinkel, and in the last time the two schools will meet as conference opponents. It was also the first time Missouri had beaten Texas in the last six meetings of the team, and only the second time in the last seventeen. Pinkel has now beaten every team in the Big 12 at least once, and what was looking like a disappointing season could be on pace for a respectable 7-5 campaign, including two wins over ranked teams.

Of course, it wasn't all good news for Missouri, and I'll get to that next.

LOSER: The knees of some of the Big 12's best

These are players that the Big 12 has lost in the last two weeks due to knee injuries: Oklahoma's Ryan Broyles, Texas A&M's Christine Michael and on Saturday Missouri's Henry Josey and Texas' Fozzy Whittaker.

We know Broyles and Michael are done for the year, and we learned on Saturday night that Josey, the conference's leading rusher, is also done for the year with a myriad of injuries to his left knee. There's been no official word on the status of Whittaker, but given how the injury looked and that he finished the game in street clothes and crutches on the sideline, I'm not expecting good news for Fozzy either.

Image of the Texas Tech fan courtesy of Mocksession
Posted on: November 12, 2011 9:04 pm
Edited on: November 12, 2011 9:05 pm
 

Mizzou loses Henry Josey for the season

Posted by Tom Fornelli

Missouri may have picked up a big win over Texas on Saturday, but it also suffered a huge loss. Running back Henry Josey left the game in the third quarter after suffering a knee injury, and it turns out the injury is just about as terrible as terrible can be. According to Mike DeArmond, Josey is done for the year with a ruptured patellar tendon in his left knee.



Though the injury may be even worse, as Missouri's football radio analyst says that it's not just a ruptured patellar tendon, but a torn ACL and MCL as well.

Josey came into the game as the Big 12's leading rusher with 1,149 yards and 8 touchdowns. The sophomore back had 19 yards before having to leave the game on Saturday.
Posted on: November 12, 2011 8:07 pm
Edited on: November 12, 2011 8:08 pm
 

QUICK HITS: Kansas State 53 Texas A&M 50 4OT

Posted by Tom Fornelli

KANSAS STATE WON. The Wildcats came back from a 10-point deficit in the fourth quarter to force overtime and then eventually knocked off the Aggies in the fourth overtime session. It was an incredibly entertaining game, though the final offensive numbers don't really reflect the amount of points scored in this contest. In fact, Kansas State only had 411 yards of total offense, and Collin Klein played a role in 384 of them thanks to his arm and legs, and he also accounted for 6 of Kansas State's 7 touchdowns. That seventh score? Yeah, Klein fumbled at the goal line and it was recovered by Tramaine Thompson.

WHY KANSAS STATE WON. It never stopped playing. Not that Texas A&M ever quit in this game, but the Aggies jumped out to a 14-0 lead in the second quarter but it didn't deter Kansas State as the Wildcats battled back to tie things going into halftime. Then the Aggies took a 31-21 lead with 6:38 left in the game and battled back from that deficit to force overtime.

WHEN KANSAS STATE WON. When Collin Klein was pushing his way through the defensive line for his fifth rushing touchdown of the day in the fourth overtime. Kansas State's defense forced Texas A&M to kick a field goal on their previous drive.

WHAT KANSAS STATE WON. Kansas State isn't going to win the Big 12, but with this win it did a lot of work to ensure that it could end up playing in the Cotton Bowl this January. By beating Texas A&M and with Texas losing earlier to Missouri, that means third place is Kansas State's, and if both Oklahoma schools wind up in BCS games, then the Wildcats should be heading to JerryWorld.

WHAT TEXAS A&M LOST. The Aggies will not look back upon their final season in the Big 12 and smile. A season that has been filled with disappointment merely added another one to the list on Saturday evening. With the loss Texas A&M is now 5-5 on the season and 3-4 in the Big 12. Not exactly what Mike Sherman and The 12th Man were hoping for when this season began.

THAT WAS CRAZY. We all know that Collin Klein is a running quarterback and that Ryan Tannehill is more of a thrower that can run when it's called for. Well, if you thought Collin Klein would outperform Tannehill passing in this game, you're lying. Klein did, though, passing for 281 yards while Tannehill threw for only 210.
Posted on: November 12, 2011 3:26 pm
Edited on: November 12, 2011 3:27 pm
 

QUICK HITS: Missouri 17 Texas 5

Posted by Tom Fornelli

MISSOURI WON. This was not the prettiest game ever played, and a lot of it had to do with the wind howling through Columbia, Missouri on Saturday. The difference maker was that Missouri was able to run the ball a lot more effectively than the Longhorns and used it to put points on the board. Though just because the Mizzou ground game was more effective than Texas', it doesn't mean it was that great. The Tigers averaged only 3.4 yards per carry on the day and finished with 151 yards on the day. Kendall Lawrence did most of the damage, as Henry Josey left the game in the second half with what looked like a knee injury. Lawrence finished the day with 106 yards and a touchdown.

WHY MISSOURI WON. Not to take anything away from Missouri in this game, but the entire game changed with the injury to Texas running back Fozzy Whittaker in the first quarter. The Longhorns came into the game already missing both Malcolm Brown and Joe Bergeron, and once Whittaker went down the Texas offense could get nothing going against this Missouri defense.

WHEN MISSOURI WON. As I said above, this game was probably over when Whittaker left the game. Still, things weren't officially over until Mack Brown and Texas decided to punt twice in the fourth quarter after there were only six minutes left in the game and they trailed by 12. It seemed as though the Longhorns were waving the white flag.

WHAT MISSOURI WON. Well, this is a huge win for Missouri for a couple of reasons. It's the first time Missouri has beaten Texas under Gary Pinkel, and the first time it's beaten Texas under anybody since 1997. More importantly for this season, however, the win improved the Tigers record to 5-5 on the season and leaves them only a win shy of bowl eligibility.

WHAT TEXAS LOST. The Longhorns had built up a nice amount of momentum the last few weeks behind their ground game, but with so many injuries to the backfield, this team will have a hard time winning games if it has to throw the ball. The Longhorns will have to get healthy in a hurry if they want to finish the season with a winning record in the Big 12.

THAT WAS CRAZY. There was a bit of a Blocked Punt Party in this game during the third quarter. Missouri blocked a Texas punt to set itself up with a first and goal at the 1-yard line, but only got a field goal out of it. A few minutes later Texas returned the favor by blocking a Missouri punt, sending the ball out the back of the end zone for a safety.
Posted on: November 12, 2011 12:50 pm
Edited on: November 12, 2011 12:50 pm
 

Texas loses Whittaker to knee injury

Posted by Tom Fornelli

The depth Texas has at running back is being severly tested on Saturday afternoon. The Longhorns were already without both Malcolm Brown and Joe Bergeron heading into today's game against Missouri, and now the Longhorns will be without Fozzy Whittaker.

Whittaker hurt his right knee while making a cut on a run in the first quarter. Whittaker immediately went to the ground clutching the knee and looked to be in a lot of pain. There is no official word on what the injury is, but according to sideline reports, Whittaker will not be returning to the game.

Which means that Bryan Harsin will have to rely on D.J. Monroe, Jeremy Hills, and Cody Johnson for the rest of the afternoon.

Texas came into this game rushing for more than 400 yards in each of its last two games, but it looks like it will have to rely on the arm of quarterback David Ash a bit more today.
 
 
 
 
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