Posted on: February 17, 2009 9:59 pm
Edited on: February 17, 2009 10:00 pm

Mike Leach's job in danger?

They're going to fire Mike Leach.

At least it sounds that way after the cryptic statement released by Texas Tech AD Gerald Myers on Tuesday. Leach let pass a 6 p.m. ET deadline set by the school to sign a lucrative extension.

So now what?

"We will enter the decision-making process and should have some announcements by next week," Myers said in the statement. "Our decisions will be based on the best interest of Texas Tech and all of its supporters."

Decision-making process? What's left to decide? Myers himself said that Leach either signed the contract or that it would be pulled off the table and the coach would serve out his current deal through 2010. The only decision left to be made, it seems, is to keep Leach as coach.

The school and coach are now backed into a corner. Texas Tech can't keep a coach who 1) doesn't want to be there and 2) can't recruit if he did somehow stay.

The only resolution might be for both parties to start over.

Even if Leach decides to keep coaching going under his current deal, the school can't allow it. It can't allow the program to be run into the ground by a disgruntled coach looking for his next job. Let's not forget, in terms of staying power, Tech is closer to Big 12 South bottom feeders Baylor and Texas A&M than it is Texas and Oklahoma.

There already is a special Tech regents teleconference called for Friday, "including but not limited to the position of the football head coach." That doesn't sound like the regents are ready to discuss spring practice.

That's what is so stupid about this thing. The two sides have agreed to the money -- $12. 7 million over five years. The hang-up is basically over a buyout/termination clause. There has to be a number in the middle that both sides can agreed on. It isn't that hard, fellas.

This is a heck of a bluff to call on both sides. Leach has been unable to go elsewhere while employed at Texas Tech. It isn't because of his winning percentage. The Pirate was too crusty around the edges for Washington, Tennessee, Auburn and Miami, all jobs he coveted the past two seasons.  It may be that Lubbock is the only place in the country that tolerated Leach's shtick.

Some of that support is starting to wane. The only thing worse than being undesirable is being undesirable without a job. If he is fired, let's see how many offers Leach gets in February. All the jobs are filled. Let's say he sits out a year and comes back in 2010. He will be damaged goods and the short list of possible openings doesn't seem to fit: Notre Dame, Louisville, Virginia and Indiana.

Notre Dame: Please. The first tie Leach wears will be his first. (not counting clip-ons)

Louisville: AD Tom Jurich is about done hiring coaches with a wandering eye.

Virginia: See Notre Dame.

Indiana:  Bob Knight went to Tech for his rebound job. Leach to Indiana for his rebound job? Ain't happening.

Mike Leach will be able to get a job, just nothing on a par with Tech, a competitive program in a power conference that can afford to pay him $2.5 million per year.

Unless the sides -- Leach, his agents and the school -- can hammer out a deal soon, this situation has gone beyond the point of repair. There are too many egos, too much money at stake for everyone to walk away.

That includes Myers who will come out of this looking bad no matter what happens. He let it get to this point by not locking up Leach during the season. Even if a deal is struck, he is responsible for making Tech look like backward bumpkins.  Texas Tech has failed to realize that it is Texas Tech. Leach could be that once-in-a-lifetime coach for a program that hadn't done much before him.

There is no middle ground. Either a deal gets done, soon, or Leach is fired. Shortly after, Myers might follow him out the door.




Posted on: January 5, 2009 7:14 pm

BCS title game media day!

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. -- Just when you thought fingernails against a chalkboard were tolerable, a couple of hundred men and women gathered to talk to Gators and Sooners. Yes, there were more than a few stupid questions. Hopefully, none by me ...

Day 2 of the Dom Bomb brought the requisite reaction from Florida.

Oklahoma's Dominique Franks made trash talk news on Sunday when he said Tim Tebow would only be the fourth-best quarterback in the Big 12. Florida receiver Louis Murphy said it would provide more motivation for Tebow. The quarterback himself gave a non-answer. "I'll just try to have fun out there Thursday night."

"I don't have a reaction," Florida coach Urban Meyer said. "I've done this for a long time, and I'm sure that someone jammed a microphone in his face and he was having fun."

Not so much Urban. The kid brought it up on his own. Take my word for it. I was there.

 Bo Pelini didn't seem to be one of the central figures in this championship but he is, having helped both Oklahoma defensive coordinator Brent Venables and Florida offensive coordinator Dan Mullen.

Venables flew to Lincoln in mid-December to break down film and discuss how to beat Florida. Pelini, Nebraska's head coach, offered his help after getting a feel for the Gators during his time at LSU. Venables seemed surprised that I knew the two had met when I talked to him on Monday. He didn't admit to the skull session, saying the two are just "good friends."

Mullen talked to Pelini about juggling two jobs prior to a national championship game. Mullen is balancing his last days at Florida while taking over as head coach at Mississippi State. Pelini did a similar thing last year when he stayed for the BCS title game as defensive coordinator after taking the Nebraska job.

 Redshirt freshman quarterback John Brantley will be taking over for Tebow if the Heisman-winning quarterback leaves for the NFL after this season. Brantley is a five-star prospect from nearby Ocala. If Tebow does stay, Brantley wouldn't see the field as a starter until his fourth season as a redshirt junior in 2010.

 "It doesn't bother me," Brantley said. "Me and Tim are such good friends. I don't have hate against him at all. It would be another year of learning, I guess."

 Meyer was short with a reporter Monday who asked him about his controversial Notre Dame comment last month. Meyer said that Notre Dame remains his "dream job."

 Why, the reporter asked, is Notre Dame so special?

"Next question," Meyer said.

Florida AD Jeremy Foley said that Meyer's ND comment didn't bother him. Meyer seems to be a long-timer at Florida, or least until his nine-year-old son Nate is in college. That would be 10 years. Would you take another decade, Gators?

"I don't think he'll leave," linebacker Brandon Spikes said. "If he goes, I'm pretty sure he'll turn the program around. He did it here at Florida."

  One of the few connections between the two teams is Oklahoma defensive back Brett Bowers and Tebow.

 Bowers was a junior at Trinity Catholic Academy in Jacksonville, Fla. when Tebow was a freshman. Bowers played with Tebow's older brothers at Trinity.

 The redshirt junior "really didn't know who Oklahoma was" until seeing them play on TV against his favorite, Florida State, in 2000.

"I kind of followed Coach Stoops and his career, he beat my favorite team," Bowers said. "At the time, the Florida schools started rebuilding. Oklahoma was one of my offers. My mom is from Oklahoma City. I committed early."
Bowers has played mostly on special teams.

 Murphy recently graduated with his degree in Sports Recreation and Event Management. He will fondly look back at one of his internships on a butterfly farm.

 "I learned the state butterfly is the Zebra Longwing," Murphy said.

So at least there's that.


Posted on: January 3, 2009 6:06 pm
Edited on: January 3, 2009 6:08 pm

Parcells to OU. Stoops not to the Broncos.

FT. LAUDERDALE, Fla. -- Dolphins EVPFO Bill Parcells attended Oklahoma's Saturday practice.

EVPFO, that's Executive Vice President for Football Operations or fancy talk for general manager.

"He’s just evaluating our players I’m sure, but it was great to have him here. I’ve always been a big fan of the way he coaches and the way he handles you media guys too," Bob Stoops said. "I think it’s always important when you get a legendary figure and a guy that’s a hall of fame coach. I just like to have our players see and hear from those kind of guys and always he has a great message for them."

Stoops also shot down rumors about him and the vacant Broncos job. Denver owner Pat Bowlen is an Oklahoma grad.

"What situation? That’s a rumor that I have not heard and no one has contacted me about that so I don’t know anything about it," Stoops said. "We’re preparing for a national championship and that’s all my focus and all my concentration’s on so obviously I’m not a candidate. I’m sure someone might have told me other than you guys if I was a candidate."

 The early hypocrite of year award goes to Joe Paterno. The venerable coach complained about the media intrusion on himself and his team at the Rose Bowl.

 “People running around with cameras taking pictures of me," Paterno told reporters on Friday, the day after his team lost to USC in the Rose Bowl, "when I’ve got a team of guys bustin’ their butts to get themselves in this situation. And people are more worried about me than talking about guys like Daryll Clark and Derrick Williams and people like that.”

Hey, we'd love to talk to them coach but you closed the lockerroom after the game which is against BCS policy. You also stiffed ABC on a promised interview before the game.

“I just think there’s a limit to how much you can expose your football team to.”

Those two statements don't make sense together, coach. You can't complain about us not talking to your players, then in the same breath complain about how much we talk to your players.

The Rose and BCS are considering what action to take against Paterno and Penn State. There are apparently fines for violating terms of the BCS contract which states that lockerrooms must be open to media after all five games.

 There are some strong hints that Oregon offensive coordinator Chip Kelly isn't going to be a coach in waiting much longer. Mike Bellotti seems to be clearing the decks to become athletic director before next season. Bellotti has given two assistants permission to "explore other options." Those options apparently do not include staying at Oregon under Kelly.

  Pardon Utah if it felt slighted at the Sugar Bowl. First there were shirts being sold identifying Utah as being in the WAC (it is in the Mountain West). Before the game fans were given some novelties (clappers, etc.) that identified the Utes as being the "Uthes". 


Category: NCAAF
Posted on: January 3, 2009 7:36 am
Edited on: January 6, 2009 11:52 am

Utah is No. 1!

FT. LAUDERDALE, Fla. -- You expected a bit of a letdown for Alabama after losing the SEC championship game.

You didn't expect the Tide to be on Vicodin.

For those of you not up on your prescription pharms, that's what the dentist gives you before he removes your wisdom teeth. Yeah, it felt about like that for Alabama after one of the most humiliating losses in the program's history.

Louisiana-Monroe was bad. A two-touchdown beatdown by Utah in the Sugar Bowl is worse.

That first Bama team was rebuilding. This one was turning the corner.


Don't give me anything about a "rebuilt" offensive line. It was missing one player from arguably the best offensive line in the country. Left tackle Andre Smith was suspended.

Sure, the Tide were down to a third-string replacement for Smith. But let's call this what it was -- a choke. Alabama-did-not-come-to-play. For Utah, this was the biggest game in school history. For Bama, it was a consolation prize after losing what was  essentially a national semifinal loss to Florida in the SEC championship game.

Still, shouldn't Alabama be able to smack Utah on 364 out of 365 days of the year?  Sure, but it's a new year, some will say a new era.

This wasn't a fluke. Utah became the first non-BCS school to go undefeated in two seasons. You will begin to hear a cry for the Mountain West joining the BCS conferences. I can't disagree. The league was better overall than the Pac-10 in the regular season and just defeated a top-five powerhouse from the SEC.

There is some convoluted formula for "evaluating" the automatic qualifier status of BCS conferences. It won't happen any time soon but it should: Drop the ACC or Big East from the ACC and elevate the Mountain West. Now.

This should be more about Utah than Alabama. Saban and the Tide will have to deal with an enough taunts in the offseason ("Ute ought to be able to beat Utah!").

I'm looking for reasons not to make Utah No. 1. It has beaten four top-25 teams, two teams in the top 10 (TCU, Alabama). It beat the only team to beat USC (Oregon State). I will put Utah's non-conference schedule against Florida's and Oklahoma's.

Will Utah get the final No. 1 in AP? Not likely. Brand names still rule in the polls. Should the Utes be No. 1. One word: Undefeated. In this age of parity, there was only team in the whole land that can make that claim. It walked into the belly of the SEC beast and embarrassed Bear's boys.

I can't think of another team more deserving of being No. 1 right now. The Utes just took a small chunk of relevance out of that game they're playing down here in a few days.

What do they call it, the BCS title game? That sounds kind of shallow after what happened in New Orleans.

Category: NCAAF
Posted on: December 10, 2008 12:44 am

National notes

My Heisman ballot:

1. Tim Tebow
2. Sam Bradford
3. Colt McCoy

I can't give you a quantitative reason why Tebow is my No. 1. His numbers are down from '07. However, after watching him lead that fourth-quarter comeback against Alabama, it's more of a feel, an emotional reaction.

I go back to Sept. 27 when Tebow basically called his shot after the Ole Miss loss and then delivered! Nine wins in a row. Go back and at the quotes from that day. Tebow as Babe Ruth pointing his bad toward the Wrigley Field bleachers.

Until Saturday, Bradford was my guy. I had started hyping him for Heisman back when he was a freshman. How many players ever have led the country in pass efficiency two years in a row?

It's hard to vote Colt McCoy third when he took a team with a mediocre offensive line and led it in passing and rushing. The point is, I can't slide a piece of paper between the three of them.

The voters: John Adams, Knoxville News Sentinel; Tony Barnhart, CBS; Mark Blaudschun, Boston Globe; Kirk Bohls, Austin American-Statesman; B.G. Brooks, Rocky Mountain News; Jimmy Burch, Fort Worth Star-Telegram; Brian Davis, Dallas Morning News; Mike DeArmond, Kansas City Star; Dennis Dodd, CBSSports.com; Michael DiRocco, Florida Times-Union; Joseph Duarte, Houston Chronicle; Scott Ferrell, Shreveport Times; Anthony Gimino, Tucson Citizen; Herb Gould, Chicago-Sun Times; Teddy Greenstein, Chicago Tribune; Mike Griffith, Knoxville New Sentinel; Eric Hansen, South Bend Tribune; Matt Hayes, Sporting News; Tommy Hicks, Mobile Press-Register; Ron Higgins, Memphis Commercial Appeal; Mark Janssen, Manhattan Mercury; Todd Jones, Columbus Dispatch; Blair Kerkhoff, Kansas City Star; Ted Lewis, New Orleans Times-Picayune; Mike Lopresti, Gannett Newspapers; Tom Luicci, Newark Star-Ledger; Ray Melick, Birmingham News; Rodney McKissic, Buffalo News; Brett McMurphy, Tampa Tribune.

(Two voters did not want their names used)

The rest of the national awards, etc.

MVP: McCoy

There's a difference between the Heisman winner and MVP. McCoy did more with less. Texas wouldn't be in the conversation without him.

Best quarterback: Bradford

This is getting confusing so let's just drop it.

Best running back: Shonn Greene, Iowa

The nation's No. 2 rusher came on in the second half of the season to surpass Michigan State's Javon Ringer and UConn's Donald Brown as the most consistent ground force in the nation.

Best receiver: Michael Crabtree, Texas Tech

Do back-to-back Biletnikoff Awards do anything for you? An NFL star in waiting.

Best tight end: Jermaine Gresham, Oklahoma

This was tough. I recently shifted away from Missouri's Chase Coffman who was too injured at the end of the season to back up a spectacular first eight games of the season.

The 6-foot-6 inch Gresham gets opens, is hard to tackle and has speed. Need anything else?

Best offensive lineman: Andre Smith, Alabama.

He is what coaches look for when they recruit left tackles. A case can be made for Smith, the likely Outland Trophy winner, being Bama's MVP. Without him protecting John Parker Wilson and carving out holes for Glen Coffee, the Tide don't start 12-0.

Defensive player of the year: Rey Maualuga, LB, USC

From a troubled beginning, this voracious tackler became the foundation for one of the best statistical defenses in history.

Best defensive lineman: Jerry Hughes, DE, TCU

Ask BYU's Max Hall what he thinks of the nation's sacks leader In their October matchup, Hughes sacked Hall three times.

Best defensive back: Eric Berry, Tennessee.

Lane Kiffin should be at Berry's house right now making sure he's happy, comfortable and ready to take 20 snaps a game on offense.

Best special teams player: Kevin Huber, P, Cincinnati

You won't find many other All-Americans on the best Cincinnati team in history that won 11 games and the Big East. We'll give it to Huber who bombed 20 punts more than 50 yards and dropped 20 punts inside the 20.

Remember when Cincinnati used to be a basketball school?

Freshman of the year: Jacquizz Rodgers, RB, Oregon State

How did he get from Texas to Corvallis?

Coach of the year: Paul Johnson, Georgia Tech

Staff of the year: Penn State

The Broyles Award is doing a disservice to Penn State. The honor goes to the assistant coach of the year. Not only were there no Penn State assistants among the finalists, the Broyles folks didn't do the right thing and pick the entire Penn State staff.

With JoePa ailing, his staff basically took over and led the Nittany Lions to a Big Ten title. Big ups to defensive coordinator Tom Bradley, defensive line coach Larry Johnson and quarterbacks coach Jay Paterno. They were the glue.

Biggest disappointments: Georgia, Notre Dame, South Florida, West Virginia, Michigan, Tennessee, the ACC, the Pac-10.

Biggest surprises: Oregon State, Ball State, Alabama, Buffalo, East Carolina, Rice, Cincinnati, Pittsburgh, Texas Tech.

Sometimes you just live right: Charlie Weis almost got run out of town after a 6-6 season. His reward? A trip to the Hawaii where he can continue to recruit linebacker Manti Te'o. 

Don't give me any of this stuff about a dead period. Te'o will be a captive audience as the Irish take over Oahu.

Best games: Texas 45, Oklahoma 35, Oct. 11 in Dallas.

The winner usually wins the Big 12 South and competes for the national championship. Right? Right?

Texas Tech 39, Texas 33, Nov. 1 in Lubbock.

Not to pick on the Horns here but the reason they are playing Ohio State instead of Florida is Crabtree's game-winning catch with one second left.

UCLA 27, Tennessee 24 (OT) Sept. 1 in the Rose Bowl.

Tennessee's defense held UCLA's Kevin Craft to only four interceptions in the first half. Then, in his best performance of a long, long season, Craft rallied the Bruins in the second half.

Rick Neuheisel led a post-game pep rally.

Florida 31, Alabama 20, Dec. 6 at the SEC championship game.

The BCS was smiling as the closest thing to a national semifinal was played out in front of the largest Georgia Dome crowd in history.

Whine of the year: Pete Carroll and USC

You lost to a team you weren't supposed to (Oregon State). You paid for it in the polls. Deal with it. Maybe the difference between that and Florida losing to Ole Miss? Urban Meyer has made a habit lately of winning the big ones <em>and</em> the little ones.

Best stories:

Six teams ranked No. 1 during the season (the most since 1984)

Alabama arriving a year early (at least) under Nick Saban

Utah, TCU and BYU making a huge statement by the Mountain West: The BCS doesn't belong to the six power conferences.

Notre Dame's collapse from 4-1 and Weis barely hanging on for another year.

Oregon State beating USC and chasing its first Rose Bowl in 44 years.

Coaches in waiting.

Coaches waiting in line ("resigning" in the middle of a season).

The end of a Bowden (Tommy).

The continuation of a Bowden (Bobby).

The longing of a Bowden (Terry, to get back in the game).

Joe's hip.

Charlie's knee.

Nate Davis' gloves.

Jay Jacobs' "shock" over Tommy Tuberville's "resignation."

Tennessee goes from old school to youngest coach in the country.

The (sad) state of Washington. (Combined records of the Huskies and Cougars, 2-22).

Big 12 quarterbacks.

Big 12 offenses.

Big 12 top 10 games each week.

The Big 12 surpassing the SEC, if only for a moment, as the best conference in the country.

The tie in the Big 12 South.

The cry that followed.


Text messages.

The high road.

Running it up.

Calling off the dogs. 


"To me that's a little ridiculous," Bradford said.

That's a good way to end it, for now.



Posted on: December 7, 2008 3:25 pm
Edited on: December 7, 2008 3:35 pm

AP and coaches are out; Texas feels good

No, not for its BCS chances. But Texas has to be happy with the AP poll that was just released.

It is third, just 10 points behind No. 2 Oklahoma. To me, this sets up a realistic shot for the Longhorns to share the national championship. It would probably take an impressive victory by Texas over Ohio State in the Fiesta Bowl and Oklahoma struggling to beat Florida in the BCS title game.

Neither of those scenarios are out of the realm of possibility. Then it would be up to the voters to remember that Texas beat Oklahoma on the field and tied for the Big 12 South title. I'm sure the school will be reminding voters of that fact through the month and early next year. Next stunt, dropping leaflets from planes over Dolphin Stadium during the BCS title game.

You think I'm kidding?

Texas is a distant third in the coaches poll where Oklahoma moved from No. 2 to No. 1 after blowing out Missouri. Ths is getting confusing. Going forward, Oklahoma is No. 2 in AP and No. 1 in both the coaches poll and (probably) the BCS standings.

As for those BCS standings, it's over for Texas. The projections already have Oklahoma No. 1 and Florida comfortable at No. 2. Pay attention, though, to Texas' reaction to this as the day moves on. The politicking will begin again.


Category: NCAAF
Posted on: December 7, 2008 1:16 am
Edited on: December 7, 2008 11:08 am

2009 BCS bowls

One-hundred one days after it began, the 2008 season is over. I'm as exhausted as the 75,000 fans in the Georgia Dome on Saturday. Now onto bowl season.

A quick look at the BCS matchup:


BCS title game -- Oklahoma vs. Florida. The best shootout in bowl history? Florida has a more complete team. Will its D be able to shut down the nation's highest scoring team.

Sugar Bowl -- Alabama vs. Utah. We'll see how Nick's mental toughness holds up after a huge disappointment.

Fiesta Bowl -- Texas vs. Ohio State. Letters, e-mails, TV ads, flyovers. You'll see it all this month with Texas trying to get a share of the national title.

Rose Bowl -- USC vs. Penn State. You want excitment? See if JoePa ends up on the sidelines.

Orange Bowl -- Cincinnati vs. Virginia Tech. This isn't a BCS matchup, its an Astro Bluebonnet Bowl from 1984.





Posted on: December 5, 2008 6:21 pm

Latest from theSEC championship game

ATLANTA -- Florida receiver Percy Harvin remains questionable for Saturday's SEC championship game.

While Florida coach Urban Meyer said the Gators' biggest home-run threat would be evaluated after a Friday afternoon practice.
"We're going to hold him until everyone leaves (practice) then we're going to make an evaluation after that," Meyer said.

Harvin suffered a high ankle sprain last week against Florida State.  Harvin's health is the No. 1 subject around the SEC championship game which will determine one of the participants in the BCS title game. The often-injured star averages only 8.7 touches per game but leads the Gators in receiving and is second in rushing.

He was named to the American Football Coaches Association All-American team this week.

 Sometimes you have to find out what you don't want to do.

That's what happened to Steve Sarkisian who will be named the new Washington coach some time after Saturday's season ender at UCLA. It was just a short time ago when USC's offensive coordinator was Al Davis' No. 1 choice to become the Raiders coach.

I was sitting in his office shortly after his marathon interview. The crotchety Davis is thorough, if you consider thorough what the team is going to eat for lunch. That was one of the questions thrown at Sarkisian. It was at that point that he knew the NFL -- at least the Raiders -- was not for him.

His friend and fellow USC coach Lane Kiffin eventually got interested in the job. We know what happened from there.

Sarkisian's departure makes it four assistants that have left Pete Carroll's side in recent years.

Norm Chow -- left for the Titans in 2005 and was fired after last season. He will go against Carroll for the first time on Saturday.

Nick Holt -- left Louisville to join Carroll's original USC staff in 2001. Holt then left to become the Idaho head coach in 2004 and 2005 before returning as defensive coordinator in 2006.

Kiffin -- The son of Monte Kiffin left the staff in 2007 to take the Raiders' job. That unfortunate dalliance that ended earlier this season probably helped him get the Tennessee job last month.

By the way, the Sarkisian deal is done. Both Washington and Sark didn't want it to get out until after Saturday's game but, hey, we have to do our jobs.

Current receivers coach John Morton is reportedly a candidate to replace Sark. Great piece here by theL.A. Times Bill Plaschke regarding the situation.

 For the second consecutive year the nation's No. 1 team is an underdog going into a conference championship. Last year it was No. 1 Missouri losing to Oklahoma. This year it's Alabama giving up 9 1/2-10 points to Florida.

 Hoping for upset in the Big 12, Texas? Congrats, you're actually a part of the four biggest upsets in the Big 12 title game history:

1996 --Texas 37, Nebraska 27. James Brown (the one without the cape) hit Derek Lewis with a 61-yard pass on fourth-and-1 to help clinch it. The game allowed Florida to slip into the Sugar Bowl for a rematch with Florida State. Steve Spurrier won his, and the school's first national championship.

1998 --Texas A&M 36, Kansas State 33 (2OT). Purple people were on pay phones (10 years ago was before cellies) calling for tickets to the Fiesta Bowl at halftime. It looked even better when K-State was up by 15 with 12 minutes left. Sirr Parker's game-winning touchdown catch that his life story was made into a movie. 

2003 -- Kansas State 35, Oklahoma 7. Who needs a Big 12 championship when you're this solid in the BCS? In one of the great BCS fumbles of all time, the Sooners still played in the national championship game despite losing  by four touchdowns. USC got justice later with a split title.

2007 -- Oklahoma 38, Missouri 17 -- This one barely qualifies as an upset. Oklahoma was a three-point favorite but Missouri was No. 1 going in. The Tigers were coming off perhaps the biggest game in their history, beating rival Kansas. They had risen to the top spot but were underdogs  in a game in which Oklahoma rolled.  OU's was the first defense all season to hold Missouri to less than 31 points.

 How does this happen?  Texas quarterback Colt McCoy was named Associated Press' Big 12 player of the year. He was AP's second-team quarterback. Complicating matters further Heisman-wise: Sam Bradford was the first-team AP quarterback. Texas Tech's Graham Harrell was the AFCA first-team quarterback.


 The favorite at Auburn now seems to be Florida State's Jimbo Fisher.  If the school can come up with the money to fund Fisher's multi-million dollar buyout it might work. Fisher has a background at Auburn as quarterbacks coach from 1993-98.


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