Tag:Oklahoma
Posted on: November 28, 2009 6:38 pm
 

Boise State going to the Fiesta (tentatively)

It was like old times heading into Saturday: Oklahoma and Nebraska holding the key to the college football season.

For Boise State.

The Sooners came through for God, for country, for the Broncos who were down to their last BCS chance. Either Oklahoma beat Oklahoma State on Saturday or the Broncos might have been relegated to bowl purgatory.

For the love of all that is decent, Detroit? Really?

The BCS critics’ flamethrowers were at the ready before Oklahoma slogged through a somewhat boring 27-0 decision over Oklahoma State.

The result, though, meant a whole lot more in Idaho and in the Prairie Village, Kan. office of BCS executive director Bill Hancock than it did anywhere in Norman.
The Broncos are going BCS bowling for the second time in four years. Tentatively. The OU win knocked out Oklahoma State (9-3) and probably locked up a spot for Boise in the Fiesta Bowl against what looks like either TCU or Iowa.

Tentatively, because there is one more hurdle to clear. If Nebraska upsets Texas next week in the Big 12 title game then Boise’s spot in the BCS will be taken Texas. The Horns would most likely go as an attractive 12-1 at-large team.

For Boise, Oklahoma and Nebraska have become teams of the century. If form holds – Texas will be a prohibitive favorite next week – then all five current undefeated I-A programs would be in BCS bowls. (TCU, Cincinnati, Boise, Texas and the Florida/Alabama winner)

Relieved: BCS bosses were ready to take more hits if Boise had been shut out despite a second consecutive undefeated regular season by the Broncos.

Comatose: Oklahoma State which shouldn’t have bothered to get off the bus. With a Fiesta Bowl berth staring them in the face, the Pokes choked.

What else do you call it? Sure, quarterback Zac Robinson was banged up, but didn’t we see a former minor league pitcher Brandon Weeden rally Okie State against Colorado?

As we’ve learned, the BCS has different affects on different people.

Posted on: November 23, 2009 11:02 am
Edited on: November 23, 2009 12:11 pm
 

A case for cheating

A reader passed along some good points. At least they seemed reasonable at the time ...

It's the best interests of Oklahoma, New Mexico and Nevada this week to lose showdown games.

--An OU loss to Oklahoma State all but clinches a BCS berth for the Cowboys.

--New Mexico should lose to TCU to make sure it shares in the $19 million booty TCU and the Mountain West will collect for playing in a BCS bowl.

--The same for Nevada against Boise State.

The reader was missing one thing: That thing beating inside of every player. Imagine telling any Auburn Tiger that would be best for the school if they lost to Alabama this week. Although the Bedlam Series looks more like Bedtime this year, you better believe Oklahoma will want to kill the Cowboys.

The reader said the BCS incentivizes (if that's a word) "cheating". The BCS is a lot of things but it's not a stage for cheating.

Posted on: November 19, 2009 6:00 pm
Edited on: November 20, 2009 10:48 am
 

Son of Weekend Watch List

It's that insane time of year when we have been asked to pick the best players in the country -- before all the games are played.

Some awards are narrowing their lists of semifinalists to finalists after Saturday's games. That would be with two weeks left in the regular season. Those kinds of deadlines are particularly unfair especially at  quarterback and running back where there are multiple candidates.

(I never understood the whole semifinalist-finalist thing anyway. It’s just a way to string out and hype the award.)

The Heisman has always been a pet peeve for me. So much can happen in bowls that sometimes the winner is diminished (see Oklahoma’s Jason White in the 2004 Sugar Bowl) or the person who should be the real winner emerges (see Vince Young in the 2006 Rose Bowl).

But at least the Heisman gives voters enough time to wait until after all the regular-season games are played. Not so for most of the other awards, of which there are way too many.

A couple of pieces of information came across SOWWL's desk this week. The list of three finalists for the Davey O'Brien Award (best quarterback) are expected by 1 p.m. ET on Sunday. How, on Sunday, are we supposed to pick between Colt McCoy, Tim Tebow, Case Keenum, Kellen Moore, Jimmy Clausen, Andy Dalton and Bill Stull? Those are seven names that come to mind at the moment . There might be more.

Consider that McCoy and Tebow still have to play conference championship games. Moore is the nation’s most efficient passer working on an undefeated season. Dalton and Stull are among the most improved quarterbacks in the country.

I'm considering waiting at least another week to vote. If the O'Brien folks don't approve, tough spit.

The  Doak Walker Award’s list of the 10 semifinalists was released this week. The list did not include the nation’s fourth-leading rusher Bernard Pierce (Temple), the SEC's second-leading rusher Anthony Dixon (of Mississippi State, eighth in the country) or the Pac-10’s second-leading rusher (LaMichael James of Oregon).

It did include the nation’s No. 46 rusher, C.J. Spiller of Clemson who should be considered the best all-purpose runner in the country, not the best running back. 

Missouri’s Danario Alexader is fifth in catches per game and third in receiving yards per game after catching 10 balls for 200 yards against Kansas State. You won’t find him on the list of the 10 semifinalists for the Biletnikoff Award (best receiver). Three of the 10 players have been injured or left their team.

There is a safety net. Candidates can be written in, however voters are a group are traditionally lazy. They tend to vote for what is in front of them. One exception was 2007 when the Biletnikoff process was so off the mark in 2007 that Texas Tech’s Michael Crabtree won as a write-in candidate.

The main reason for these incredibly early lists is college football’s awards show. It airs the Thursday after the end of the regular season. If the awards committees want to be seen on national TV, then they have to cow tow to ESPN deadlines.

Here’s another idea: How about setting yourself apart and waiting until after the bowl season? Somehow I think some network or another would still televise the Heisman ceremony.

Etc: Cincinnati is one of the few teams that could afford having a quarterback in jail. No biggie, there’s always Tony Pike …  A loss to Ohio State would doom Michigan to its worst Big Ten finish since 1962 … Iowa (vs. Minnesota) and Penn State (at Michigan State) both need to win to stay in BCS consideration … Connecticut’s Zach Frazer has a chance this week to become one of the few players in history to play both for and against Notre Dame. Frazer transferred from ND in 2007 … Receiver Jordan Shipley will replace the suspended D.J. Monroe for Texas on kick returns this week against Kansas … Texas has scored 10 non-offensive touchdowns this season (defense and special teams). That leads the nation and is a school record … Miami’s Jacory Harris (at home vs. Duke) has thrown 16 interceptions, the most of the top 100 passers rated by the NCAA.

Posted on: November 17, 2009 10:56 am
Edited on: November 17, 2009 2:47 pm
 

Leach and Louisville

The latest from the coaching rumor mill is that there is a mutual interest between Texas Tech coach Mike Leach and Louisville.

It is almost a certainty that Cardinals’ coach Steve Kragthorpe will be relieved of his duties after this, his third season. Louisville is 4-6 with games left against South Florida and Rutgers. It needs to win those to have a chance to go bowling for the first time since 2006. Kragthorpe is 15-19 at Louisville.

The school is already assured of its first consecutive non-winning season since 1987. 

Leach just went through a bitter contract extension negotiation earlier this year. But he emerged with a who’s-your-daddy chip after a battle with AD Gerald Myers. Leach owes no buyout if he leaves. The Red Raiders are 6-4 which ties for their worst 10-game start since 1999, the year before Leach was hired.

The colorful coach is known to have a wandering eye. He interviewed with Washington last year and was reportedly interested in the opening at UCLA  before Rick Neuheisel took over in 2008.


"If there are communications [from Louisville], it's not been with us," said a Leach representative on Tuesday.

Louisville AD, Tom Jurich, is one of the more aggressive ADs in the country. He got Rick Pitino to coach basketball and moved quickly after Bobby Petrino left to coach the Atlanta Falcons after the 2006 season. At the time, Kragthorpe was one college football’s hottest coaching properties.

Such a move would make sense. Texas Tech is coming off its best season in Leach’s decade-long stay. It went 11-2, losing to Mississippi in the Cotton Bowl in 2008.

The Big 12 South Division is one of the most rugged in the game with annual powers Texas and Oklahoma in control. A move to the less competitive Big East would allow Leach better access to a conference title and BCS bowl.

Leach is in the first year of the extension which pays him $2.8 million this season. That includes an $800,000 bonus he will be paid on Jan. 1 if he is still at Texas Tech.

Posted on: October 21, 2009 10:24 am
 

The future of Sam Bradford

The rumors are flying ...

Sam Bradford is done with college. Sam Bradford will have surgery. Sam Bradford will return next year.

All we know for now is that Oklahoma's injured quarterback will adress the media at approximately 7 pm ET after practice on Wednesday. There has been speculation since he re-injured his shoulder on Saturday that Bradford might have played his last college game. He expressed his extreme frustration at being injured again.

A call to Bradford's father Kent was not immediately returned.

"I'm flying as blind as you into this thing," said one Oklahoma source when asked about the subject of tonight's media availability.

If this is it for Bradford it would be a tragedy. He was a deserving Heisman Trophy winner and a great kid. Make that "is" a deserving Heisman Trophy winner and a great kid. Bradford is still expected to be a first-round draft choice despite the injuries.

Bradford's latest injury came Saturday on Oklahoma's ninth play against Texas. He was sacked by Texas defensive back Aaron Williams. Bradford landed on the same shoulder he sprained September 5 against BYU.

It has already been announced that Bradford will miss Saturday's game at Kansas. Landry Jones will start for the fourth time in seven games. Going forward, Oklahoma has gotten a commitment Blake Bell, a highly sought after prospect from Wichita, Kan. Bell, 6-foot-6, 210 pounds, recently reaffirmed his commitment after Jones, a redshirt freshman, took over for Bradford.

Category: NCAAF
Posted on: October 15, 2009 10:22 am
 

Boise State stumbles

I want to see some attitude. I want someone pop off, demand that Boise get to the BCS championship game.

I want to see someone throw a punch at the system. Oops, been there done that.

You know what I mean. I want Boise State to own its struggle. I want it to pass out flyers door to door. Do infomercials. Something. Instead, all we get after games like Wednesday's middling 28-21 victory over Tulsa is the same old stuff. "We'll see how it shakes out." "We'll know at the end of the season." "Tulsa's a good team."

Tulsa's a good team but you should have blown them out, Chris Petersen. Oklahoma did. That's who Boise State fancies to be, or at least to play. Heck, it's already beaten the Sooners and OU beat Tulsa 45-40. The Broncos struggled. The problem is, they're willing to lay back and take their fate which is most probably the Fiesta Bowl. Not a bad end to the season but not what Boise deserves, at least not without a fight.

At least 50 percent of rankings are about what programs have done in previous years. My old line about 13 decades of football excellence counting more than 13 years still applies. That essentially is what Boise is fighting. It has the best winning percentage this decade. Only Oklahoma has won more games. Hell, the difference is Boise beating Oklahoma.

What we're left with is the same old week-by-week fashion show. Boise now goes on an awful slog during which it will play Hawaii, San Jose State, Lousiana Tech, Idaho and Utah State. Good luck coming out of that stretch still in the top 10 of the BCS.

The first set of standings come out this week. Boise will debut somewhere around sixth, which is about as high as it will get. I just want to hear some outrage from someone official within the program.

"We need to get better or we're going to get passed by," Petersen said after Wednesday's game.

Wow, that's a start. 
Posted on: October 5, 2009 11:43 am
 

Sam Bradford will play this year

The weekly grilling of Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops commenced by me asking him if there is a chance his quarterback will play at all the rest of the season.

"There's a chance that he might get hit by a bus walking over here today," Stoops said Monday on the Big 12 conference call. "That's not something I would anticipate, no [Bradford sitting out the rest of the year]."

I had to ask because Bradford might be better off draft-wise now that OU is 2-2 and out of the national championship race. Why put that injured right wing at risk anymore? I'm sure he's hearing some of that.

There is still no certainty that Bradford will be ready for Baylor this week. That presents the unsavory prospect that Bradford might come back cold against Texas. You think the Longhorns will be targeting that shoulder?

"The plans are the same as last week. Until he's fully capable that's what we will do [monitor him in practice]," Stoops said.
"[I want see him] making all the throws and making them comfortably, being able to execute the offense. That's no secret, I said that a week ago."

Stoops also confirmed a fracture in receiver Ryan Broyles shoulder blade that will keep him out two to four weeks. Broyles was OU's leading receiver when he was injured in the first quarter against Miami.


Category: NCAAF
Posted on: October 4, 2009 9:42 pm
Edited on: October 4, 2009 9:43 pm
 

Thoughts on a football Saturday

It’s becoming apparent that Notre Dame has to beat USC in two weeks to go to a BCS bowl. I told you in Sunday’s story how lowly regarded ND is in the polls.

Here’s why: It has plenty of competition. Notre Dame is currently one of 30 one-loss teams in Division I-A. Twenty-three of the other 29 teams are from BCS leagues. Ten of the 29 are ranked. Six of those 10 have a victory over a ranked team. That's something Notre Dame doesn't have.

That means ND is one of 20 one-loss teams in I-A that are unranked. it is in a group with the likes of Boston College, Georgia Tech, Nebraska, Baylor, Texas A&M, Michigan, Pittsburgh, UConn, Rutgers, West Virginia, Stanford and UCLA. Four of those teams are left on ND’s schedule – BC, Pittsburgh, UConn and Stanford.

Given that the Irish play only one more team that is currently ranked (USC), the Oct. 17 game becomes make-or-break for a BCS bowl the way I see it. It’s 11-1 or bust. The pollsters and computers simply won’t get ND high enough at 10-2 because of the quality of the remaining schedule.

 Oklahoma has lost a pair of games by a point in the same season twice. Both have come in the last four years – 2006 and 2009 following Saturday's 21-20 loss to Miami. That followed a 14-13 opening-night loss to BYU.

In 2006, OU lost to both Oregon and Boise State by a point. In its history, OU has lost 299 games. Only 18 have come by a single point. That’s a one-point loss for every 16 losses. Since Sept. 16, 2006, four of the Sooners’ last 10 losses have come by one point.

Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops had lost 26 games. Four have been by one point and two have been by two points.

  Which way LSU? All we can say is the that Tigers are still undefeated after sneaking out of Athens with a 20-13 victory over Georgia. Charles Scott’s game-winning 33-yard run with 46 seconds left was set up by A.J. Green’s excessive celebration penalty. You’ll read more about that from Tony Barnhart on Tuesday. My take? That kind of penalty should never decide a game. This one did.

“It was a want-to run,” said Scott who had been struggling this season. “I ran mad.”

He better run madder with Florida coming to town. I’ve trotted this out a bunch of times, but the winner of LSU-Florida has won the national championship in the last three seasons.

 All that stuff about USC slipping in the Pac-10? Maybe not. The 30-3 win at Cal re-positions the Trojans for BCS bowl No. 8 in a row.

 Anyone want to take a stab at the Florida State mess? One of the most trusted and knowledgeable beat writers in the South says it’s time for Bobby to go. For most of the BC game, it looked like Bobby Bowden had lost his team. Down 21-6, the Seminoles rallied to tie, only to lose late 28-21. That marks FSU’s first 0-2 start in the ACC. It is 2-3 for the first time since 1976.

--In the battle of point guards, Syracuse’s Greg Paulus had more turnovers (five interceptions) than South Florida’s B.J. Daniels. The former Duke guard lost to the current South Florida guard (they’re both quarterbacks, by the way) 34-20.

 Virginia Tech's Tyrod Taylor threw for a career-high 327 yards against Duke. Yes, you read that right.

 Stanford, 4-1, is off to its best start since 1995.

 Minnesota mascot Goldy Gopher stuck it to Wisconsin fans by wearing a Brett Favre jersey during the Badgers’ 31-28 victory in Minneapolis. Let’s hope Goldy is not on scholarship because that would be a waste of good polyester.

 

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