Tag:Texas A&M
Posted on: October 10, 2010 11:24 pm
Edited on: October 11, 2010 10:44 am
 

The Day After In College Football

Les Miles is going to hell. The man has obviously traded his soul for football wins.

That's the only logical conclusion after what we saw Saturday night. A fake field goal led to the eventual winning touchdown for LSU at Florida. Not just any fake field goal. With less than a minute to go, holder Derek Helton flipped the ball over his head to kicker Josh Jasper. The ball bounced once and, amazingly, right into the hands of Jasper who ran for the first down.

There was so much wrong with the play that it seemed finally Crazy Les had outfoxed himself. First, there was the question of whether Helton's flip was a forward pass. By the slimmest of margins, it was ruled a backward pass which was a key distinction. A fumble on fourth down can only be recovered by the fumbler. But since the ball was ruled a backward pass it can be advanced. Helton, the holder, was not ruled down even though his knee was on the ground for the attempt. There is a special exemption on such plays for holders who can initiate a backward pass while still being on a knee.

Of course, Miles knew on this before extending his contract with the devil that promises his soul to Lucifer in exchange for some extremely good fortune on the field. Right? Is there room on Broadway for "Damn Tigers"?

**Nebraska is back in a familiar spot, No. 2 in national rushing. Most of the improvement is because of redshirt freshman Taylor Martinez who is quickly becoming one of the program's best quarterbacks. Here is a glimpse at Martinez' dramatic effect on the offense:

Nebraska's 21 rushing touchdowns have covered 668 yards, an average of 31.8 per run. That rushing yardage surpasses the team's total on all 36 scoring plays from scrimmage last season (555 yards).

Also last season, Nebraska had six touchdown runs of 10 or more yards. This season they have 15 TD runs of 10 or more yards, 11 of 20 or more yards.
 
Martinez as a passer: Last season three of Nebraska's 16 touchdown passes were of 33 yards or longer. This season, three of five TD passes have been that long. Those five TD passes have averaged 42.3 yards. The Huskers averaged 22.7 yards per scoring pass last season.
 
Also, Martinez is averaging 34.9 yards on his nation-leading 12 rushing TDs. Denard Robinson has nine rushing touchdowns have averaged 28.7 yards.
 

**Texas A&M has had at least four turnovers in four consecutive games. That's a staggering total of 18 for the season. Only New Mexico (20) has more. Last year, 25 teams didn't turn it over 18 times all season.

**In leading the country in total offense (567 yards) and scoring offense (54.33 points), Oregon is averaging more than seven touchdowns per game. There are still three teams that haven't accumulated seven touchdowns all season (Louisiana-Monroe, New Mexico State and San Jose State). At the current pace, the Ducks would surpass Oklahoma's modern-day record of 702 points in a season set in 2008. Oregon is on pace to score 706.2 points in one less game (13) than OU did in '08 (14).

Despite missing a game due to a suspension, Oregon tailback LaMichael James is leading the nation in rushing (169.6 yards per game) and is on pace to run for 2,000 yards. James is also the active career leader in yards per game (133).

**After losing to New Mexico State it's hard to find another victory on the schedule for New Mexico coach Mike Locksley (career record, 1-17). New Mexico (0-6) still has to play ranked teams Air Force and TCU in the Mountain West.

**Arizona State is the worst BCS conference team in the red zone. It has scored on only 22 of its 32 drives inside the 20. Only 15 of those have resulted in touchdowns.

**Army is the only team not to have thrown an interception this season.

**In the last two seasons, Boise State's Kellen Moore has thrown 53 touchdowns and only four interceptions.

**Texas (3-2) will be trying to avoid its first three-game losing streak since 1999 when it plays at Nebraska this week.

Posted on: October 4, 2010 12:46 pm
 

National notes

Before we begin, here is your daily dose of Les Miles. Actually, it's the only dose of Les Miles you need for this week. If you learn anything more from this postgame video about Saturday's Unlucky 13 vs. Tennessee, let me know.


**A warning going into Week 6 ...

There is a real chance almost halfway through the season of an unprecedented logjam at the top of the BCS -- six undefeated conference champions, four of them in BCS leagues.

It's early but there is some separation and definition to the season after five weeks. Alabama is clearly the class of the SEC. Nebraska and Oklahoma are undefeated in the Big 12, and can't meet until the conference championship game. Ohio State's trip to Wisconsin in a couple of weeks suddenly looks less daunting. Boise State is going to rush through the WAC. TCU and Utah are likely to decide the Mountain West head-to-head. Oregon looks like it is going to run away with the Pac-10.

If all that happens, here is one projection of how the final BCS standings might look. Is too early? Never. The first BCS standings will be released in two weeks.

1. Alabama: With all the talk about the Pac-10's strength this season, the SEC still rules. The Tide are all but assured of playing three more ranked teams -- South Carolina, LSU and Auburn.

2. Oregon: Pollsters are already falling in love with the Ducks despite a dicey strength of schedule to this point.

3. Ohio State: Like Alabama, likely to play three more ranked teams (Wisconsin, Iowa, Michigan). If you think the Big Ten's strength will carry the Buckeyes into the top two, think again. Oregon's offense is stronger and will make a stronger case, especially on the road where Jim Tressel seems to play conservatively.

4. Big 12: I am well aware that Kansas, Oklahoma State and Missouri are also undefeated making it five in this league. I'm also projecting that, regardless, this is where an undefeated Big 12 champion would end up if everyone else wins out. Among the five Big 12 undefeateds: Kansas State plays Nebraska, Oklahoma State and Missouri. Missouri plays Kansas State, Oklahoma and Nebraska. Nebraska plays  Kansas State, Oklahoma State and Missouri. Oklahoma plays only Missouri and Okie State. The Cowboys still have Kansas State, Nebraska and Oklahoma.

5. TCU/Utah: The Mountain West race will come down to the teams' Nov. 6 meeting in Salt Lake City. If either finishes undefeated it will most likely finish ahead of an undefeated Boise.

6. Boise State: There was bad, bad news for the Broncos on Sunday. They were jumped in both polls by Oregon for No. 3 in the rankings despite having superior accomplishments and super schedule strength to this point. Oregon has played a I-AA (Portland State) and a team that might as well be I-AA (New Mexico). Boise has played two ranked teams, one in the top 10 on the "road" (Virginia Tech at FedEx Field).

For the previous two weeks Boise, at No. 3, had gained on No. 2 Ohio State and pulled away from the No. 4 team. After one week of WAC play -- against admittedly horrible New Mexico State -- the voters have fallen in love with Oregon and are already damning the Broncos for their schedule.

There are 18 remaining undefeated teams. Five of those (28 percent) are in the Big 12. By the end of this week there will be 16 because of head-to-head meetings (Michigan State-Michigan, Nebraska-Kansas State). Also, by the end of the week a maximum of 11 teams will have the possibility of finishing undefeated because of assured head-to-head games. After this week only four undefeated teams will be alive in the Big 12; three in the Big Ten. Only one undefeated team (at most) will be able to come out of the Mountain West, Pac-10, SEC and WAC.

**Texas is out of the AP poll for the first time in 162 weeks (2000). The streak in the coaches' poll had lasted 192 weeks. Texas, 3-2, still has games left against Nebraska, Oklahoma State and Texas A&M meaning it could be headed for its worst season since before Mack Brown arrived in 1997.

**TCU posted its first road shutout of an opponent in Gary Patterson's 10 years as head coach, 27-0 at Colorado State. That's significant because Patterson is a defensive wizard whose teams have finished tops in total defense each of the last two seasons.

**Speaking of the Horned Frogs, the interest in the Big East is apparently real and reciprocal. TCU could join the league as soon as next season. One reason: There is no financial penalty to leave the Mountain West.

**Poor Jaime Hill. The BYU defensive coordinator was fired after Friday's loss at Utah State. You expect that in the SEC, but at BYU? Hill joined the staff from the CFL in 2006 and was promoted to defensive coordinator in 2008. BYU, 1-4, is off to its worst start in almost four decades.

Some other d-coordinators who might want to watch their backs:

Tyrone Nix, Mississippi. The Rebs got upset by Jacksonville State giving up 49 points and got beat by Vandy, 28-14. Had to hold off Kentucky 42-35 on Saturday. Rebels allowing almost 33 points per game.

Doug Mallory, New Mexico. Not really fair because his future is tied to embattled head coach Mike Locksley. The Lobos have allowed a I-A-most 35 touchdowns and 52.6 points per game.

Co-coordinators Keith Patterson/Paul Randolph, Tulsa. The Hurricane gave up 51 points at East Carolina, losing on the last play of the game. Oklahoma State put up 65 on Tulsa which is 106th in pass efficiency defense.

Ray McCartney, Wake Forest. His defense has given up 68 points to Stanford, 24 touchdowns in five games and 36.8 points per game.

**Team Schizo: Washington has lost to the worst BYU team in years, got run off its home field by Nebraska and now has beaten USC in consecutive seasons.

**Team Schizo II: Kansas lost to Baylor by almost seven touchdowns, 55-7, in Waco. Not even the locals care about Baylor, a Big 12 doormat. There were an estimated 15,000 empty seats at Floyd Casey Stadium. It's bad when your team is intimidated by the Bears.

"When I went out there, they were bigger than I thought,” KU linebacker Steven Johnson told the Kansas City Star. “I’m just like, ‘What in the world are they eating?’ ”

Posted on: September 9, 2010 5:29 pm
Edited on: September 10, 2010 9:37 am
 

Son of Weekend Watch List

(Overflow from Friday's Weekend Watch List)

How arrogant is LeBron James? You may have heard he is thinking about attending the Miami-Ohio State. Heaven help him if the Miami Heat star watches Miami win. It's 105,000-1. No matter what Jim Tressel says, there will be a much of hacked off Bucknuts ... San Jose State goes to Wisconsin with the distinction of having played more ranked non-conference opponents in the first two weeks of the season (two, counting Alabama) than the Badgers have in the last eight years (one). The Spartans are playing back-to-back home games in the Central Time Zone for the first time since 1999 ... Oklahoma has a nation-best 31-game home winning streak ... Texas A&M ran 99 plays against Stephen F. Austin, the most in the nation last week ... The Big 12 is back to being a running league. For a week. Three backs went over 200 yards last week for the first time since 1998 ... In Rick Neuheisel's 26 games at UCLA (hosting Stanford), he has beaten two with winning records at the end of the season -- Tennessee in first season and Temple in last year's EagleBank Bowl ... Part of an explanation, sort of, for the poor showing against Miami (Ohio).  Florida played 15 true freshman last week. That was the most of any team in the country ... The Boise State-Virginia Tech game was the most-viewed regular-season game in ESPN history (7.2 million viewers).

Posted on: August 20, 2010 5:22 pm
 

Big 12 ADs discuss starting cable network

Eight Big 12 athletic directors met with a media rights holder Friday morning to discuss forming their own cable network.

Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Texas Tech, Texas A&M, Iowa State, Colorado, Missouri and Kansas State had discussions Learfield Sports, a Plano, Texas-based company that manages the multimedia rights for more than 50 universities nationwide. Texas A&M AD Bill Byrne has talked and tweeted about the meeting publicly. The move is not related to any conference shifting, but is seen as a new revenue stream.

"[People are] interested in creating a cable network for the conference," Byrne told CBSSports.com. "It's something I'm quite interested in ... It's something that our fans are going to be demanding sooner rather than later."

This is the conference's last season as a 12-team league. Nebraska is headed to the Big Ten in 2011. Colorado is leaving for the Pac-10 in either 2011 or 2012. It wasn't immediately clear what Colorado was doing at the meeting if it is soon leaving the league.

Texas' rights are not handled by Learfield. The school has made it clear it wants to develop its own channel or network.

"If they can pull that off, my hat's off to them," Byrne said. "We're just having preliminary discussions right now to gauge the level of interest."

Experts have said the success of a college sports cable network hinge on the number of football and men's basketball games it can broadcast. Fox Sports, ESPN and ABC own those Big 12 rights. Byrne said there could be some flexibility in new negotiations. The Big 12 has been promised upwards of $20 million annually per team in the new round of negotiations which begin next year.

"That's what you have to have to have a successful cable channel," Byrne said. "You have to have football and a handful of men's basketball games."

Learfield played down the meeting.

"It caused a lot of questions [from media]," a spokesman said. "It was nothing out of the ordinary. It wasn't anything top secret."

Posted on: June 13, 2010 8:58 pm
 

Expand-O-Meter, Sunday, June 13

Days college athletics has been held hostage (since Big Ten announced expansion exploration on Dec. 15): 180
 

Having a good day: The guy who invented the Intensive Care Unit. That's where the Big 12 is right now. As of Sunday evening, the patient had a pulse. There were reports of a last-ditch effort to save the Big 12 that has 10 as opposed to the Big Ten that has 12. The 10 remaining Big 12 schools were trying to rustle up some TV numbers that would be agreeable to everyone. One problem: The current number being thrown out is $17 million per school. That's the same number the Pac-10 has figured for a 16-team league even before it goes out to bid.


Having the bad day: Texas is going to get paid one way or another in the big picture, but it won't be playing in the College World Series. Just like college athletics, Texas owns Omaha. The baseball Horns are one of the most frequent visitors to the CWS. Sunday's super regional elimination by TCU avoided a potentially embarrassing situation: Texas playing in front of Nebraska fans a few days after the Huskers left/were forced to leave for the Big Ten.


 
Quote of the day: "Contrary to a published report, TCU would not lobby against another institution possibly seeking membership in the Mountain West Conference." --statement from TCU after a report that the school was against the Mountain West adding Baylor. More than a few Froggies remember that Baylor was included in original Big 12 formation, rather than TCU.

 
Link of the day: You can track Pac-10 commissioner Larry Scott's tour of Utah, Texas, Oklahoma and Kansas here. Oregon booster and former AD Pat Kilkenny lent his plane to Scott and deputy commish Kevin Weiberg for what are reportedly campus visits to Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Texas Tech and Texas. At least. It is not known if any formal invites were issued. Still up in the air -- along with Air Scott -- was Texas A&M which, as of Sunday night, was still trying to decide between the Pac-10 and SEC.  According to flightaware.com, Air Scott landed Sunday night at Kansas City International. That would suggest that Kansas is next on the list. If A&M goes to the SEC then the thinking goes that the last invite would go to either Kansas or Utah.


On tap: Me, on vacation. See you in two weeks. Please have this realignment thing cleared up by then.

Posted on: June 11, 2010 3:53 pm
Edited on: June 11, 2010 6:47 pm
 

Nebraska trounces Texas, moves to Big Ten

LINCOLN, Neb. -- It was the worst beating Texas has taken in public in at least seven years.

That 65-13 loss to Oklahoma in 2003 was only a football game. Nebraska officials spent the better part of 40 minutes Friday putting Bevo in his place.

Nebraska didn't just leave the Big 12 for the Big Ten on Friday, it told the world why: That bully Texas. In the space of eight days, Nebraska transformed from happy member of the Big 12 to angry, rancorous new member of the Big Ten.

Nebraska chancellor Harvey Perlman and AD Tom Osborne both took turns hammering Texas during a comment period before the board of regents. When they got done, there was only one possible result. The regents' vote was unanimous. Nebraska is headed to the Big Ten. Unspoken: Because Texas forced it out.

The moment the news broke last week about the Pac-10's desire to take Texas and five Big 12 partners, Nebraska turned sour. Perlman, at one point, stared across a table during the Big 12 meetings at his Texas counterpart Bill Powers and asked him if he was willing to give up his media rights. In other words, start a Big 12 Network. Powers said no. At that point, Perlman knew it was over.

This league had a chance to survive seven years ago but a possible network was voted down, obviously not supported by Texas. Now, it's clear the Pac-10 is going to get Texas, Texas A&M, Texas Tech, Oklahoma State and Oklahoma.

Super conferences, start your engines.

The money quote from Osborne: "One school leaving a conference does not break up a conference. Two schools leaving a conference does not break up a conference. Six schools leaving a conference, breaks up a conference. We have not had a hidden agenda, we have not dealt with more than one conference."

T.O. intimated that Texas has been talking to the SEC, Big Ten and Pac-10.

It was a bad day for Texas' reputation. It was a good day for Nebraska's future.
Posted on: June 11, 2010 8:46 am
 

Rift in Texas

Your morning expansion line for Friday includes news that Texas and Texas A&M may break apart.

Call it an expansion micro-burst. First it was the Big 12 breaking up. Now the most powerful faction of the Big 12 could be drifting apart. We always thought that Texas and A&M were joined at the hip pads when it came to expansion. But a Thursday meeting produced no consensus between Texas and Texas A&M. I hear that A&M prefers the SEC while the league is a non-starter for Texas.

I also hear that Jim Delany is still trying like heck to get Texas into the Big Ten. But what about that "Tech problem"?

The dominoes figure to officially start tumbling today when Nebraska announces it is joining the Big Ten. I wrote the heck out of this issue this week but it bears repeating: The Big 12 cannot survive if Nebraska leaves. 1) The TV rights go way down; 2) What's to keep Texas, or any other school, leaving in two, three, four or five years? The Big 12 is a bad marriage that cannot go on.

The biggest issues on the table going into Friday:

a) What does Texas do?
b) What does Texas do?
c) What does Texas do?

OK, seriously:

a) Where do Texas and A&M end up and do they go as a unit?
b) Where does the Big Ten strike next (because it will strike next)?
c) Where does the Pac-10 strikes next (please don't believe his stuff about the Pac-10 stopping at 11)?
d) What are you doing at 5 p.m.? Remember when happy hour today was the deadline for Missouri and Nebraska? Nebraska is gone and Missouri has no idea where it stands.


Posted on: June 7, 2010 12:32 pm
Edited on: June 8, 2010 11:49 am
 

Introducing The Expand-o-meter

(With expansion news changing by the nanosecond, I thought it would be a good idea to introduce a new feature to Dodds and Ends. Welcome to The Expand-o-meter, a daily summary of expansion-related stuff. Think of it as the blog equivalent to a pair of Sansabelt slacks. It expands and contracts according to the size of the bloated belly of college football. The E-O-M will last as long as expansion does or until vacation, whichever comes first.)

Days college athletics has been held hostage (since Big Ten announced expansion exploration on Dec. 15): 174
 
Who is having the best day: Mountain West which might reap a windfall if it gets leftover Big 12 teams. The MWC was meeting Monday and was expected to invite Boise State to bolster its BCS chances. According to reports, Boise will have to wait as the Mountain West waits to see how the national landscape shakes out.
 
Who is having the worst day: Big Ten. Rapid Pac-10 expansion is forcing Jim Delany's hand. JD is desperately trying to force the Irish into his league with Texas now out of play. For a brief moment there, it almost looked like the big guy almost lost his leverage.
 
Quote of the day: "No wonder Baylor is fighting so hard not to get left behind by Texas,  Texas Tech and Texas A&M, they think this is the rapture." --a tweet from @Pac16Conference
 
Link of the day: End of the Big 12? Blame commissioner Dan Beebe for not pushing a playoff.  
 
What's on tap: Watch for formal invitations this week to Big 12 schools from Pac-10 commissioner Larry Scott.
 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com