Tag:Oklahoma
Posted on: October 29, 2011 6:35 pm
 

Oklahoma looks great but does it matter?

MANHATTAN, Kan. – Is Kansas State this bad or is Oklahoma this desperate for BCS love?

The Sooners, despite a blowout win here, is in full scramble mode. Oklahoma started the day No. 9 in the BCS. It needs help. Lots of it. That loss to Texas Tech still stinks like a varmint that crawled up into the attic and died.

The Sooners can say all the nice things about still pursuing a Big 12 title but even that looks like a risky proposition.

They may not even be the dominant team in the conference. That designation probably belongs to Oklahoma State which routed Baylor and remains, you may have noticed, undefeated. The Dec. 3 game that once looked like a national semifinal, now looks like a Cowboy steppingstone to New Orleans.

Oklahoma smashed K-State and impressed no one who saw the Texas Tech game.  It may have rebounded here from an inexplicable loss. Ryan Broyles may have set the Big 12 career receiving record. Landry Jones may have set the school passing record. The Sooners may have kept their slim BCS championship hopes alive but is it all too late?

These Wonder Cats saw their undefeated season end but not for lack of effort. They picked off Oklahoma’s Landry Jones twice. They rallied from a 14-0 deficit to score 17 consecutive points. They don’t have the athletes to match up with Oklahoma but it’s still a program with possibilities, with a future.

The coach is only in his third year. Never mind that he’s 72. Oklahoma won easily? Big deal. That’s what it was supposed to do. That Texas Tech loss remains an F on the Oklahoma season report card.

If we’re going to let go of K-State for this season, let’s remember them for how they got it done.

Take this slice of Wildcat life: In scoring 17 unanswered points to take a three-point first-half lead , Kansas State’s quarterback 1) lost a shoe while running for a first down, 2) a Flea Flicker turned into an Oklahoma pass interference penalty 3) a reverse netted 10 yards and 4) that shoeless quarterback imitated Michigan’s Shoelace.

Only his mother and college football sabermaticians know that Klein came into the game second in quarterback rushing to Michigan’s Denard Robinson. In starting a rally from 14 down, Klein swept around on left end for 11 yards but not before the quarter lost his left shoe while running out of bounds.

That’s in everyone’s playbook, right?

It was fun for a while, until Oklahoma woke up from the worst six quarters of its season and scored 44 in a row on the Wildctats. K-State isn’t all there yet. It got to 7-0 with a combination of pluck, luck, trick plays and Snyder’s magic. It was a victim of a better team on Saturday.

Based on Saturday more questions have to be asked: How did Kansas State get to 7-0? Also worth asking, how is Oklahoma not still undefeated?

Category: NCAAF
Posted on: October 27, 2011 12:08 pm
Edited on: October 27, 2011 11:19 pm
 

Three senators have been hammering B12 for weeks

The appearance that Louisville and Kentucky Sen. Mitch McConnell made a late push into the Big 12 expansion process this week is not accurate. A source told CBSSports.com that three senators identified Wednesday in national reports have been involved in the process for what was termed "weeks."

McConnell and West Virginia senators Jay Rockefeller and Joe Manchin had all been in contact with at least Oklahoma president David Boren before Wednesday’s messy expansion revelations, the source said. Manchin threatened a Senate investigation if it was proven McConnell was lobbying in Louisville’s favor against West Virginia.

CBSSports.com reported exclusively Wednesday that the Big 12 had a press release ready and at at least two high-ranking conference officials were scheduled to fly to Morgantown, W.V., for the announcement that West Virginia was being accepted into the league. That process hit a snag when Louisville’s prospects improved.

But it wasn’t a last-minute thing. Manchin and Rockefeller have been working for West Virginia while McConnell, a Louisville graduate, supports his university’s fortunes. The Big 12 is seen as brass ring for each to keep continued BCS status.

It is a logical assumption that all three politicos were seeking Boren’s influence in the matter. (A spokeswoman for Manchin's office said Thursday night: "Senator Manchin does not know, has not spoken to or been in contact with President Boren.") Before becoming OU’s president, Boren was Oklahoma governor and a former Oklahoma state senator from 1979-94. The New York Times reported that McConnell had also contacted Texas Tech chancellor Kent Hance, himself a former congressman, to push Louisville.

But Boren -- a political animal of the highest order -- now is central to the expansion discussion. According to a source and at least one report, Oklahoma wants the 10-year grant of rights and Louisville for the Big 12. Texas wants a six-year grant of rights and West Virginia.

The grant of rights is an all-in media rights agreement that the conference would own even if a school left for another league. In other words, if Texas and/or Oklahoma left the Pac-12, the Big 12 would still own its TV rights. The agreement basically bonds a conference together for as long as the grant of rights is in effect.

But the word “bonds” is seldom used in the Big 12. If Missouri eventually leaves for the SEC a huge reason will be the typical conference infighting described above. If adopted, the 10-year grant of rights may give Missouri pause. So may the inclusion of Notre Dame into the Big 12 win everything but football.

Texas apparently is sticking to its six-year preference. Three schools -- Texas A&M, Nebraska and Colorado -- have left the Big 12 since June 2010.

Adding to the incongruity, Missouri is supposedly leaving the conference because of instability. West Virginia/Louisville want in because of stability. Go figure.


Posted on: October 23, 2011 2:16 am
Edited on: October 23, 2011 1:29 pm
 

Finally, a meaningful upset; Tech over Oklahoma

And you thought Adam James was merely a character in a Mike Leach novel.

Turns out the son of Craig James is one son of a guns up in the clutch. When last seen on the college football landscape almost two years ago the privileged, mouthy Texas Tech receiver was getting “locked” in a “shed”, helping get his coach, Mike Leach, fired.

Turns out, Adam can wreck more than careers. His five catches helped bring down No. 1 Oklahoma (coaches’ poll) in the season’s biggest upset, 41-38. Who saw that coming? Not those of us who thought the defenseless Red Raiders could cover the four-touchdown spread. Not Oklahoma which watched its 39-game home winning streak end. Not Bob Stoops who had last lost at home in the 2005 opener. That loss to TCU was fallout from the Big Red Motors scandal.

This one just left the Sooners red-faced. It possibly wrecked Oklahoma’s national title hopes. The polls and BCS are not likely to view favorably a home loss to a team Oklahoma hadn’t lost to 15 years.

In the immediate aftermath, we have some drama at the top for the first time this season. BCS No. 3 (Oklahoma) and No. 6 (Wisconsin) BCS lost. The biggest beneficiaries seem to be Oklahoma State and Boise State. The Cowboys will likely move up to No. 3 in the latest BCS standings on Sunday. Okie State is Oklahoma Light no more. It remains in control of its own destiny after a convincing win over Missouri.

Meanwhile, Boise State – remember the Broncos? – could move up to No. 4 in the BCS. While Boise’s win over Air Force wasn’t convincing, there are only eight undefeated teams remaining with six weeks left in the season. Two of them are additional BCS hopefuls Clemson and Stanford, other big winners from Saturday.

It was quite a night – to reminisce – for Leach. Two of his former players helped knock off the Sooners, something he did three times in 10 tries. Adam James justified his scholarship catching five passes for 75 yards. James came into the game with seven catches all season and 41 total in his checkered career. If you have to be reminded Leach has three lawsuits active in the aftermath of his firing at Tech, all of them stemming from his alleged mistreatment of Adam James.

Swing  Your Sword? James would like to take a swing at Craig James.

Tech offensive coordinator Neal Brown had Leach as his position coach at Kentucky. The 31-year-old was hired away from Troy by Tommy Tuberville. Speaking of the  ol’ Riverboat Gambler, Tuberville got his biggest win since leaving Auburn. He was 5-2 against top five teams with the Tigers.

Perhaps Oklahoma could have used Keith Nichol. You know the former Oklahoma quarterback? That was sooo 2007 when Nichol spent a forgettable season in Norman before transferring to Michigan State where he once again became a forgettable quarterback.

Nichol, now a receiver, did what he never could at Oklahoma, score a winning touchdown. The fifth-year senior will go down as a Spartan for the ages after catching the winning touchdown against Wisconsin as time ran out.

“My heart,” said Spartan coach Mark Dantonio who recovered from a heart attack a year ago, “is racing.”

Michigan State’s win effectively took the Big Ten out of the national championship race but who cares? We’re all for a replay of this game which could come in the first Big Ten title game.

We also now have a more interesting national championship race. Someone is going to have to play the winner of LSU-Alabama. It is absolutely wonderful that we have less of an idea who that will be after Saturday.

 

 Early best guess on the BCS top five on Sunday

 

  1. LSU
  2. Alabama
  3. Oklahoma State
  4. Boise State
  5. Stanford
Category: NCAAF
Posted on: October 11, 2011 1:57 pm
 

National notes: Source of Missouri's indecision

We're starting to get a clearer picture of the momentous decision Missouri has to make.

The school could make as much as $12 million more per year in the SEC according to this Monday Associated Press story

The AP obtained the document that was shown to the school's board of curators last week. It contains details about academics but the juicy stuff is the money. As reported previously, Missouri would face a significant exit fee if it leaves for the 2012 season.  The document pointed out Missouri would make approximately $2 million less in revenue staying in the Big 12 compared to the average SEC school in fiscal 2012 ($19.25 million-$17.16 million).

The real money is in the future where the SEC is two years into its 15-year, $3 billion deal with ESPN and CBS. At issue seems to be how that additional $12 million could be made.

I talked to multiple TV sources who could come up with, at most, an $8 million-$10 million increase for Missouri. That includes the extra money gained from the SEC title game. Also, there is normal yearly escalation in the contract that is currently paying that $19 million per year to SEC members.

The document could be referring to the back end of that 15-year deal. Typically, long-term contracts are "back-ended" where an escalating amount of money is paid at the end of the deal. That's one of the reasons why CBS partnered with TBS and Turner on a new NCAA tournament basketball deal. It was easier to redo the deal than to pay the bigger rights fees at the end of the old contract.

The other possibility is a much-discussed "SEC Network". Technically, that's the description of the current ESPN deal that distributes the conference across multiple platforms. What's being speculated, though, is a new revenue generator -- a bundling of the conference's third-tier rights to form a new cable entity. That theoretically would include one non-conference game from each school.

Each SEC school gets the rights to that one a year to telecast on a pay-per-view basis. The conference would have to negotiate to reclassify those rights so that they could be bundled.

As far as a windfall for the SEC by merely expanding to 14 teams, slow down. I'm told that the increase in revenue would be negligible. Remember, that additional revenue from expansion would be a negotiation. If the parties (ESPN, CBS) can't come to an agreement with the SEC on a new number then the issue goes to arbitration.

ESPN and CBS will rightly argue that they're already in Texas, where the SEC already does well in the ratings. The SEC will counter that it has added value. Big 12 interim commissioner Chuck Neinas said Monday he doubted the $12 million figure, adding that Missouri will be a Big 12 member for 2012-13.

Neinas said for Missouri to gain an extra $12 million per year, the SEC would have to increase their TV revenue by $168 million.

Missouri never seems to be able to do anything privately when it comes to these matters. Remember, it was Gov. Jay Nixon who is blamed by many for touching off this latest round of realignment. There have been dueling "leaks" starting with an anonymous Missouri official last week saying that the Big Ten was the school's first choice.

Monday's AP story seems to counter that by stating how rich Missouri could become by moving. In the end, it points up how divided Missouri is on the subject. There is no clear consensus. Does the SEC want that?

Missouri is obviously concerned about the instability of the Big 12. The league is basically guaranteed to stay together for only the next six years. The SEC could be a lifetime decision.

The Big 12's newest head coach already has some advice for Missouri.

"Stay in the Big 12," TCU's Gary Patterson said. "It's a better fit. Same with me as far as [speculation about] taking jobs. I know what my plusses and minuses are here. Everybody thinks it's going to be a better place if they change conferences."

 


Is Texas soft?

The question has been asked so often -- accusingly -- over the years that it is part of the Longhorn hater's talking points. But the issue has come up again this week as the depth and breadth of Texas' loss to Oklahoma starts to settle in.

Saturday's 38-point win was the largest for Oklahoma in the Red River series since 2003 and the fifth-largest margin in the history of the rivalry. OU had eight sacks for 84 negative yards, 113 yards in tackles for loss. Texas' 259 total yards was three more than OU had in sacks, tackles for loss and fumble/interception returns.  Defensive end Frank Alexander had a career day with three sacks, four tackles for loss, a forced fumble, a recovered fumble, a quarterback hurry and six total tackles.

"This was my last one," Alexander said. "I wanted to go out with a bang."

"It's not like we were playing the Little Sisters of the Poor, right?" Bob Stoops said.

That's to be debated. Any encouragement Texas got from starting 4-0 had to be diminished as the Horns go into the Oklahoma State game. One Dallas columnist went back to a season preview magazine to one of those quotes from an anonymous coach sizing up Texas before 2011.

"The guys they are taking are good-character kids, and good for them. But they don’t' get a lot of kids who have overcome a lot of adversity. How tough are they?"

We're about to find out. Mack Brown is 13-0 in games immediately following Oklahoma.

 

 

Did the state of Florida just detach from the United States?

Seems that way. It's clear that something is wrong in the Sunshine State. There was no team from the state in the top 25 for the first time since 1982. But there are rational reasons. Miami and Florida have new coaches. Florida State has been on a downturn for a decade.

What's new? Nothing much in the SEC. LSU and Alabama continue to be two of the most dominant teams in the country. Florida just got done playing them back-to-back.

"You can't get any tougher than LSU and Alabama," former Auburn coach Pat Dye said.

Miami was hurt by suspensions. It will be hurt by coming NCAA penalties in the Nevin Shapiro case. Florida State is the biggest surprise, rather disappointment. After the hype leading up to the Oklahoma game, the Seminoles have been one of the biggest underachievers of the season.

It will get fixed. All three schools won't be down for long. Florida has tremendous injury problems at quarterback. Miami has lost to Maryland, Kansas State and Virginia Tech by a combined 15 points.

 


Mike Stoops can now be himself. Expect Arizona's just-fired coach to surface quickly as an assistant somewhere. His name has already been attached to Kansas which is dead last in total defense.

KU would owe sitting coach Turner Gill the $6 million left on his contract if it fired him after this season. In one of the biggest potential boat races of the season, Kansas hosts No. 3 Oklahoma Saturday night.

Bob Stoops said he would be willing to hire his younger brother: "Sure, if I got enough money to. He's going to have a lot of opportunities. I know that."

 

One more on Arizona: AD Greg Byrne got out ahead of the competition by making the move on Mike Stoops in midseason. If nothing else, he can pursue a successor with a clear conscience without sneaking around behind his coach's back.

That puts Arizona ahead of UCLA, among others, which has a decision to make on Rick Neuheisel.  

 


TCU AD Chris Del Conte admits that his program's inclusion into the Big 12 gives it a boost in recruiting against in-state big brother Texas. But as Patterson pointed out, the coach was already recruiting against Texas in some instances.

Del Conte, in a strange way, reiterated Patterson's ability to develop players.

"We overanalyze five-star recruits. The greatest player when I was growing up in Taos, N.M. was a giant," Del Conte said. "but he was 5-7 in eighth grade. I was the only guy [back then] who took my shower with my underwear on. It was like, 'Whoa guys, I'm not ready for that.' "

 

 

My Heisman top five this week:

1, Tyrann Mathieu, LSU -- Best in this category since Charles Woodson?

2, Andrew Luck, Stanford -- Plays like Peyton Manning. Now, in the NFL.

3, Trent Richardson, Alabama -- Never thought he'd be a workhorse like this.

4, Russell Wilson, Wisconsin -- Look for Russellmania to explode this week against Indiana. 

5, Robert Griffin, Baylor -- Legitimacy of candidacy should be decided this week against Texas A&M. 

Posted on: October 10, 2011 10:02 pm
Edited on: October 11, 2011 10:22 pm
 

Mike Stoops' temper was bad, losing was worse

It's a bit easier to be screaming, raving sideline madman when you win.

That was the lesson we learned from midseason casualty No. 2 on Monday night. Arizona's Mike Stoops was fired abruptly after 7 1/2 seasons. Ask Woody Hayes or Bob Knight about sideline demeanor. Sure, their personality flaws eventually led to each coach's downfall, but winning allowed them to be enabled for a long time.

Not so much with Mike Stoops. After starting 7-1 last season, he lost his next 10 games against FBS schools, twice to Oklahoma State. The capper came Saturday, losing to previously winless Oregon State.

Stoops maybe could have kept his job a little longer if he cleaned up his sideline act. There were those in the Arizona administration who were definitely upset about it. But the losing was primarily the thing.  Spectacular losing after Arizona went 1-10 since that 7-1 start.  A losing streak so long against FBS competition that the Pac-12 was still the Pac-10 when it started.

Nebraska's Bo Pelini learned. Even Stoops' more accomplished brother Bob learned a long time ago he had to be more corporate on the sidelines. But they won, and continue to win. Like Pelini and his brother, Stoops is a defensive coach at heart. But only five teams are worse defensively this season than this Arizona squad.

When he was hired, Mike looked like the new generation of Stoops brother. He had coached with Bob at Kansas State and Oklahoma. Mike was one of the up and comers when his screaming from the coaches' booth could be heard in the press box during his days at K-State.

Mike got his chance at age 41 in 2003.  Not many coaches get fired after leading their team to three consecutive bowls but it's obvious AD Greg Byrne, who wanted to his stamp on the program.  

Not telling Byrne what to do but he'll probably be looking for a defensive-minded head coach who would bring in a big-name offensive coordinator. Arizona's heritage is defense going back to the days of the Desert Swarm D.

Stoops is still a valuable commodity. In fact, his sideline antics would be more acceptable as an assistant (see Will Muschamp). No sooner had his situation become official Monday when Twitter blew up with Oklahoma fans wanting him back. For the record, there's no opening there. Brent Venables and his defensive staff are doing a fairly good job.

This is an early career-defining hire for Byrne, only 39. He's on a roll having talked hoops coach Sean Miller in off the ledge after Miller's flirtation with Maryland.

Posted on: October 6, 2011 4:05 pm
Edited on: October 6, 2011 5:13 pm
 

Texas gets credit and a league to play in

For a brief, fleeting moment we saw a glimpse of Texas' vulnerability Thursday.

If you blinked you missed it. A gust of wind caught UT's skirt and revealed some of its unmentionables

There was a time not long ago when TCU to the Big 12 would have been a dealbreaker for the haughty 'Horns. Why give little brother a chance to recruit against and -- gasp! -- possibly beat mighty UT?

And the thought of giving up on those Longhorn Network high school games? Never!

Turns out those issues were just bargaining chips. Backed into a corner, all-powerful Texas backed down. But it got want it wanted Thursday -- the Big 12 whole and the perception that Texas once again saved it.

You didn't even have to look closely during the rat-a-tat-tat of press releases. First, TCU was invited to the Big 12. The Frogs now have a chance to turn loose those Lone Star State recruits that got them to the Rose Bowl on Texas.

Then there were glowing recommendations from the power elite: Suddenly, Texas and Oklahoma cared about TCU's academic and athletic diligence in getting to this point. It was their joint resolution. Those two schools' names will appear in every story and on every TV report in the country. Shrewd. Smart. Even industrious TCU hasn't figured out how to do that. Yet.

The league also agreed to the much-discussed all-in media rights for six years. Texas said it didn't need to show those high school highlights on LHN. Remember, that damn high school television presence that caused Texas A&M to bolt? Suddenly, not a big deal.

A day of "salvation," and none of it would have happened without Texas. That's the image we're left with. Actually, none of it would have happened without some sizable pushback from interim commissioner Chuck Neinas and Oklahoma president David Boren.

Someone stood up to Texas, finally. The school's administration figured out to get rich, you have to exist in a conference. The Big 12 might not perfect, but it's a league and it's a hell of a lot better for Bevo than independence.

Going indy means a BCS bid becomes a lot tougher to achieve. It means scheduling problems.

How many noticed that the Big 12 got worse, in stages, over the past 16 months? Did we forget where Texas A&M, Nebraska and Colorado play now? Did you forget Missouri is on the brink? This time the league essentially traded Texas' sprawling land-grant giant (A&M) for a private school with an enrollment of 9,000.

As for Missouri, Thursday's actions told me that the Big 12 is ready to move on. If Missouri is going to stay, it's going to have to agree to all the new rules. Leverage shifts quickly, and suddenly, Missouri has less of it. The SEC thing is beginning to shaky with a report that there isn't exactly unanimous approval for the Tigers among SEC presidents.

Some dumb Missouri source also said that the school's first choice is the Big Ten. That can't sit well with SEC CEOs.

But it's a happy day in the Big 12, because the Big 12 continues to exist. Thanks, Texas. Wonder if Nebraska, Colorado and A&M would have voted for this?

Of course they would. This didn't have to happen. But these are desperate times that could be upon us against soon. Those grants of rights last only six years. That's plenty of time for the landscape to shift, for Texas to have second thoughts about sharing LHN with ... the Pac-12.

Meanwhile in Fort Worth, the week started with an ugly snit with SMU. It ended, for TCU, in football heaven.

One man's, well, strumpet is another man's industrious worker bee. TCU becomes the first school to leave a conference before playing a game in it. Thanks, Big East, we hardly knew you. No, really. The departure of the Frogs puts the Big East on life support.

Do you care? Texas doesn't. Neinas doesn't. TCU sure as hell doesn't. But the Frogs deserve the Big 12 if for no other reason than they didn't quit trying to get there. Left out of the original Big Eight/Southwest Conference expansion, the school then charted a course to make itself as marketable as possible.

"I think the best thing is, we won our way back," said author Dan Jenkins, a TCU alum and college football historian. "We made them take us. It's a good deal all around, including the time zone. Now people will know whether we won or lost on Saturday nights." 

Little did Jenkins or anyone know it would take 16 years and five conferences for TCU to get back to this point. The conclusion: The school didn't give up. The reality in this contentious climate: TCU is a warm body at the right time. And the Big 12 might actually be 12 soon again.

Boren: "There could be other additions in the future."

Posted on: September 30, 2011 12:40 am
Edited on: September 30, 2011 12:53 am
 

Source: Big 12 best to stay at 9

The Big 12 should not expand in order to maximize its earning power, a source intimately involved in the conference's TV negotiations told CBSSports.com on Thursday.

"If it were me I'd try to stay where I am," said the source. "Nine months ago they had the same money for 10 teams. Is anything going to change if they have nine?"

Texas A&M's formal departure to the SEC this week reduced the Big 12 to nine teams. Missouri is still contemplating whether also to pursue membership in the SEC. With nine teams, the source said, not only would the conference get an expected windfall for its primary rights fees following the 2015 season, it would provide nine more non-conference games as inventory.

"That's more attractive to the networks than BYU-Iowa State," said source who did not want to be identified because of his relationship with the league.

BYU is widely speculated to be joining the Big 12 should it expand. A nine-team league would allow the Big 12 to keep playing a round-robin conference schedule (eight games) while scheduling four non-conference games. The league currently plays a nine-game conference schedule with three non-conference games.

Both Fox and ESPN committed to saving the league in 2010 after the Pac-12 almost raided the Big 12 of half of its team. The 10 remaining schools were guaranteed approximately $20 million each when the conference's primary rights deal with ESPN expired after the 2015-16 academic year.

Fox began to fulfill that promise when the league agreed to a $1.13 billion deal for 13 years for its secondary rights earlier this year. The source said neither Fox nor ESPN were going pay less than promised in 2010 for the Big 12 at nine teams, or perhaps even eight teams. It's not clear if Fox or ESPN have a cancellation clause of their contracts if league membership falls below a certain number.

Staying at nine, said the source, would make it easier for conference schools to get to that $20 million per-team plateau. For example, with nine teams the new Fox deal alone is worth $9.6 million per team. In the latest round of conference realignment schools either are a "brand" or have markets. While more teams would bring more inventory (games) to bid on, the question is: Would each new school bring $20 million to the table individually?

The Big 12 has a long way to go before answering that question. It hasn't been determined whether the schools have committed their primary media rights to the conference for six years. That would essentially hold the conference together but no one is quite sure where that issue stands. Oklahoma president David Boren said a week all the remaining schools had agreed. Missouri chancellor Brady Deaton merely said the issue was being discussed.

The Missouri board of curators will reportedly meet on Tuesday. The board could merely empower Deaton to seek another conference although there is no indication which way the school is leaning.

Big 12 expansion speculation is all over the map -- from staying at nine to going to 16 teams.

 

 

 

 

Category: NCAAF
Posted on: September 29, 2011 10:54 pm
 

Son of Weekend Watch List

Starting with leftovers from the Friday Charlie Weis interview.

Florida's offensive coordinator takes on Alabama Saturday in his biggest college game since leaving Notre Dame in 2009. The knee he had replaced in June is no longer an issue. I began by asking him if walking around pain-free makes a difference in his job. 

"Absolutely no effect," he said.

All righty, then. Moving on. 

Question: You've coached at the highest level. Is the SEC, in some ways, like the NFL because it is a line-of-scrimmage league?

Weis: "It's not just a line-of-scrimmage league, it's how much speed there is. There's fast guys all over the place. That's a big testament to the conference. It's not just the linebackers and defensive backs. There's a bunch of athletic lineman running around too. You have to be on guard just to give yourself the best chance."

Question: When Urban Meyer came into the league one of the first things he realized is he had to have a fullback out there. Was there any surprise about coming into this league?

Weis: "I just came from the NFL so you're used to guys who can run real fast. You see it on a weekly basis. Now especially as we're getting ready for Alabama, I look at these guys on tape. This is what you're used to playing against."

Question: Have you snuck a look at the Chiefs this season?

Weis: "I know what's happened right there. We don't have time to watch any of their games or anything. Sunday is a very busy day for us."

Question: How is your son? (The reason Weis came to Florida was because he could be with his son Charlie Jr.)

Weis: "He's an intern for the head coach. I got him away from me, so he isn't like daddy's little tag along. That's worked out very nicely.

Question: What does he do for Will Muschamp?

Weis: "He's kind of the offensive liaison. He keeps Will [Muschamp] abreast of everything we do on offense. Will is always completely up to date with everything we do on offense. He brings him our daily grades and personnel. It's been a nice role for him."


Jordan Jefferson is back:
Now that LSU's quarterback has been reinstated, could it be that in a convoluted way, that bar fight might be one of the best things that happens to LSU?

Jarrett Lee (this week vs. Kentucky) probably never would have gotten the reps, or the starting job, had Jefferson never been suspended. Now, the Tigers essentially have two starting quarterbacks. If Lee slumps or loses the job, Jefferson is in the wings. Les Miles is already saying Jefferson will play in every game as a super-backup.

WWL would never advocate violence but in a weird way, this episode has worked out in LSU's favor. Jefferson is expected to see action against the Wildcats.


The gift that keeps on giving: The NCAA's top five passers this week all have ties to Mike Leach:

Oklahoma State's Brandon Weeden, Houston's Case Keenum, West Virginia's Geno Smith, Arizona's Nick Foles and Oklahoma's Landry Jones.

Weeden, Keenum and Smith are or were coached by Dana Holgorsen, Leach's offensive coordinator at Texas Tech from 2000-2007. Holgorsen has since coached at Oklahoma State and West Virginia.

Foles' offensive coordinator at Arizona, Seth Littrell, played at Oklahoma under Leach. Littrell was also Leach's running backs coach at Texas Tech. Prior to Litrell, Sonny Dykes was Foles' offensive coordinator at Arizona, before going to Louisiana Tech as head coach. Dykes coached with Leach at Kentucky and Texas Tech.

Connection to Jones: Oklahoma's co-offensive coordinator is Josh Heupel who was coached by Leach in 1999 as OU's OC.


This gets a WWL mention because we are a quarter of the way through the season and, well, it matters:
 Temple is No. 1 in scoring defense. The Fighting Addazios (3-1, hosting Toledo) have given up four total touchdowns playing an FCS (Villanova), a conference rival (Akron) and two BCS programs (Penn State and Maryland).


This week's Power Poll
1. LSU
2. Oklahoma
3. Boise State
4. Alabama
5. Wisconsin
6. Virginia Tech
7. Oklahoma State
8. Stanford
9. Nebraska
10. Oregon
11. South Carolina
12. Texas A&M
13. Clemson
14. Baylor
15. Florida
16. Georgia Tech
17. Michigan
18. Kansas State
19. Illinois
20. Michigan State
21. TCU
22. Arkansas
23. West Virginia
24. Arizona State
25. Ohio State



Piling on: George Barlow makes his head coaching debut for crippled, battered, embarrassed New Mexico. The Lobos, 2-26 under Mike Locksley, try to salvage some pride in a rivalry game against New Mexico State. Barlow was New Mexico's defensive coordinator before Locksley was fired on Sunday. That defense is 116th nationally having allowed 24 touchdowns, the most in the country ... Look who is the No. 1 running back in the country. After a slow start against LSU, Oregon's LaMichael James has 613 yards. James is coming off a school-record 288 yards against Arizona. The Ducks play Cal on Thursday ... We'll see how that K-State defense defends its manhood after defending the goal line last week against Miami. Baylor's Robert Griffin threw for 404 yards and four touchdowns last season against K-State in a 47-42 win ... Half of the Big 12 (actually five of 10 teams) are ranked No. 17 or higher in the coaches' poll ... Joe Paterno coaches his 700th game this week as a part of the Penn State staff (at Indiana) ... If South Carolina's Stephen Garcia doesn't get it going this week against Auburn he never will. Steve Spurrier's much-cussed quarterback is ranked second-worst among the 100 quarterbacks rated by the NCAA. Auburn's secondary has allowed opponents to complete almost 68 percent of passes ... LSU is No. 1 for the first time since November 2007.
 
 
 
 
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