Monday, December 31, 2007
Oklahoma City, OK (LTP) - A contrite DeMarcus Granger issued a statement today through his press agent, Jamelle Holieway, regarding his arrest for allegedly stealing a coat from the Burlington Coat Factory. As a result of various Fiesta bowl events that both teams partcipate in, he felt a special camaraderie with the West Virginia team. After reading reports on espn.com that WV would have to pay upwards of $1 million for tickets not purchased by Mountaineer fans, the Dallas, Texas native decided to take matters in his own hands.
“Being from Texas and playing football, stealing stuff is second nature. I just felt like doing this for a good cause.” As to why he would remove the anti-theft device from the coat and then walk out of the store WITH the anti-theft device in a bag, Granger said, “We go over this sort of things in drills all the time. With the practices leading up to the bowl game, though, the coaches give a lot of reps to the younger players and as a result I got sloppy with my technique. If I get back on the team in spring, I should be able to work through it and be ready for the offseason.”
Sunday, December 30, 2007
Blake Griffin is a stud.
The game was one of the more entertaining I'd watched in awhile (admittedly my college hoops watching has fallen off in the past few years), even after the 10-10 after 10 minutes start.
I was impressed by the Sooners resilience, coming back in OT and second OT to finally take the victory.
the big part of this was that the Sooners beat a quality for on the road, which should the Sooners keep playing this well, could get the Sooners back into postseason action.
Saturday, December 29, 2007
The Sooners toughest opponent in a hostile environment to date has been the trip to LA to visit Southern Cal, which resulted in a 66-55 loss. The only other pure road game the Sooners have played is in Fort Worth, against the TCU Horned Frogs.
To date I've been pleasantly surprised by the Sooners, so we'll see what happens later today.
Friday, December 28, 2007
BC is led by Matt Ryan
Three losses left his fans cryin'
But Up against Sparty
The Eagles will party
And the Big Ten will keep dyin'
Texas Bowl Limerick
Texas Bowl two dot zero
Will Dalton be the hero?
He can't run for ****
His passes don't fit
But the Cougs still fall below.
Emerald Bowl Limerick
This bowl game is for the mutts;
Both offenses are stuck in ruts.
They can't run or pass
Cashews give me gas
If you watch this game, you're nuts.
Thursday, December 27, 2007
Wednesday, December 26, 2007
Friday, December 21, 2007
Twelve Chizik Nickels
Eleven wins for Kansas
Ten Jammal Lords Leaping
Nine Coaches Staying
Eight Bowl Teams Playing
Seven Longhorns Pleading
Six Alert Levels
Three Coaches Leaving
Two Counts of Car Theft
and a Bass Fishing Championship!
Merry Christmas! We'll be back on Dec 26-27ish.
Wednesday, December 19, 2007
Mrs. Santa - Sooner women's coach Sherri Coale. If Santa wasn't gonna get off his butt and get the job done, she was.
Santa Claus - Merv Johnson, Director of Oklahoma Football Operations and longtime Sooner operative. Took belief in Sooner Magic just a little too far. He's the most paternal figure I could think of related to Sooner sports. Coach Switzer could be Santa, if Santa had a thing for coeds.
Snow Miser - Jim Tressell. Cold weather football is right up his alley. Don't need that blasted speed running through all that snow.
Heat Miser - Rich Rodriguez. RR is from the south, but will to bend a couple of rules if he can secure some northern territory.
Jangle Bells - Joe Dickenson, OU Offensive Coordinator, 1998, the last year of the Desert Era.
Jingle Bells - Larry Coker, former Okie State offensive coordinator and former HC of Miami Hurricanes. Jingle and his brother Jangle didn't seem to be the brightest bulbs.
Mother Nature - Those flashes of lightning to whip the Miser brothers into shape made me think of the McBride Electric Power Play of the game, hosted by the inimitable Bob Barry.
Southtown Dog Catcher - Paul Dee, interim Chairman of the Committee on Infractions and Miami-FL AD.
Mayor of Southtown - U of O President David Boren. Personality didn't match, but physically, give David a mustache and the two are twins.
Mr. Thistlewhite - Bob Stoops. Thistlewhite still believed in Santa. Stoops still believed those kids in 1999 could win football games.
Ignatius Thistlewhite - Sam Bradford. The boyish complexion of Iggy reminded me of the Sooner QB.
Blue Christmas Girl - Jessica Simpson. Clearly you could see the effects of a little Proactiv on that smooth complexion.
Tuesday, December 18, 2007
"The riot gear is scheduled to arrive on December 21st, the academy graduation is on the 22nd and the players arrive on the 23rd, so everything is going as scheduled. The first activity for the Holiday bowl teams will be a Navy and Marine Corps luncheon. We believe this will be a good transition event for new police officers, as there will be MPs nearby for reinforcements if trouble breaks out. The citizens of San Diego should be safe throughout the week."
"We believe we have made some errors in judgement. For example, extending the invite may have been a good to ensure a high quality football game, but it put millions of people in harms way. "
Landsdowne did extend an olive branch to the Longhorn football team. "Twelve years ago, Ricky Williams was known as a weird kid from San Diego. Now he's known as a marijuana addict that played football at the University of Texas and the NFL. We're grateful for them taking him off our hands."
Monday, December 17, 2007
A place I found today is West By God Virginia, and they are coping quite well with RR's departure. As an additoinal bonus, you'll find there that Saban's agent, Jimmy Sexton, allegedly contacted WV about the opening there. There appears to be some connection to Saban and West Virginia, and it'll be interesting to see how this thing plays out. IMO, I don't see Saban leaving for WVU, but I could certainly understand that a coach, regardless of how good they are, could land at a place like Norman, Tuscaloosa, Fayetteville, Baton Rouge, etc. - where they are dysfuncionally passionate about their fuball - and after a year say, "Huh? What did I get myself into?" I read an article earlier this year that Stoops wondered if he'd made a mistake after one year at OU.
Sexton is also the agent for many other coaches, including Fulmer, Tuberville, Spurrier and Houston Nutt, so this could be much ado about nothing.
Sunday, December 16, 2007
Rogriguez was asked whether he could win a national championship easier at Michigan instead of West Virginia. "You bet! Look, at Michigan, you have to beat Notre Dame, a couple of MAC schools, then cruise through the schedule until the Ohio State game. Once the NCAA catches up to the Sweatervest, that matchup will be a piece of cake. In the Big East, we have to go up against a national recognized opponent every week. Take our loss to Pittsburgh, for example. They have a great history there, with Curvin Richards, Mark May, and Tyler Palko. It's tough to beat them no matter where you play them."
Landthieves insider Drew Henson asked Rodriguez if he really met with a financial advisor while in Toledo. Rodriguez nearly broke down in tears. "I'm tired of answering that question. Look, I'll be honest with you...I suck at math. I knew WV was paying my $2.0 million, and Michigan offered me 2 and 1/2 million. I've never been good with fractions, so I flew to Toledo to talk with a friend of mine and see which one was the better deal."
Saturday, December 15, 2007
Some other time i'll get into my rant about Longar Longar and his development under Sampson vs Capel.
I wish him the best in Houston.
It should come as no surprise that the Sooners are expected to consider Moses for the job as co-coordinator opposite Kevin Wilson.
Personally, I think this is the logical choice. I expect Heupel to some day take over the reins of the Sooner program, if Stoops ever decides he's had enough.
Thursday, December 13, 2007
Utah plays Navy
In the Bowl's third edition.
Give me a playoff.
Wednesday, December 12, 2007
There's a nice article in Sports Business Journal about the money in the bowl system. Sponsors and ESPN are pouring a ton of money into the present system. As much as ESPN likes to drive debate about playoff, they are financing the present system and promoting it big time.
There's money in it for the schools...fundraising folks and university officials from the school entertain donors and alumni, it's a one week gig, and everybody has fun, and half the teams go home victorious with hope springing eternal for the following year.
With a playoff system, hope does not spring eternal. With a playoff system, every team but one is playing "shouldawouldacoulda" and finding something to complain about from Jan to Aug. It makes the "will you give us money?" discussions harder in that situation. Plus, potential travel for 2-3 weeks over the holidays to suck up to boosters wouldn't be much fun.
For teams, it's about the extra practice. It's a huge benefit to have that extra 15-20 sessions that you get between your final regular season game and the bowl game. If you read the articles in the local papers, you'll find the bowl prep teams are having a lot of the underclassmen and second and third teamers get more reps in the early practice sessions. It's like an extra spring schedule. Put in a playoff system and that's eliminated.
Coaches are competitive, and they want to win their games and all, but in reality, a bowl that's not giving you a MNC is basically an exhibition game after the season. In fact, way back when, the MNC was announced BEFORE the bowls.
If I may go off on a tangent (it's my blog, I can if I want) we say the present system is screwed up. Roll back the clock for the bowl system setup 15 years. Your big bowl lineup would be: USC v Ohio State in the Rose Bowl, Texas vs. West Virginia in the Cotton Bowl, LSU vs , and Oklahoma vs Virginia Tech or Georgia in the Orange Bowl. More chaos there than what we have today. In a twisted way, we're better off, but still not solved.
How do you choose?
The concept that "we'll just pick 8 or 16 teams and solve this" has lots of flaws...how do you get the teams?
The argument that "Division 1-AA, II and III do it" is valid, but flawed. The 1-AA playoffs picked 16 teams. They picked the top 16 eligible teams in 1-AA, per the coaches poll. The participants include Delaware, Delaware State (boy, I bet that's a heated rivalry), McNeese State, Wofford, etc. The average undergraduate population of the 16 schools, per my research at Wikipeida, is 10,798. The largest school represented in the 16 is UMass, which lists 19,934 undergraduates. Name the schools in the 1-AA finals this weekend.
On the other hand, I looked up the undergraduate population of the top 16 schools in the USA Today/Coaches Poll. The average undergrad population of these schools is 25,782. Twelve of the schools represented have larger undergrad bases than UMass. Why does this matter? When 1-AA announces their poll, and the State University of Central Kentucky gets the short end of the stick, not many people give a crap. When the 17th ranked Texas Longhorns (36,878 undergrads), or 18th ranked Tennessee Volunteers (2ok undergrad), are on the outside looking in, you not only have a ton of students and former alumni, but you have schools that the entire state identifies with.
The residents of Central Kentucky aren't even sure if they are in the Central, Northern, Eastern, Western or Southern part of the state. There's not nearly the allegiance. The schools aren't on CBS or ESPN family of networks every week. There's much less uproar. Have you seen anyone breaking down the 1-AA playoffs and stating that SUNY-Binghamton was screwed by not getting in? Exactly. Have you heard much uproar about the 5th ranked North Dakota State team, winners of two games this year against 1-A foes, getting left out of the playoffs because they're in a provisional year? No love for Grambling or Georgia Southern for being left out? I'm sure there were a couple of people upset outside of the immediate family, but they got over it.
One of the ways Grambling got over it was by cheering on LSU in the SEC Championship, and I'd venture that many Georgia Southern fans became huge Tennessee fans that week, pulling for the Georgia Bulldogs to get into the MNC game.
Think back to the Oregon-Okla game in 2006, the one with several officiating gaffes. The entire Sooner state was in disarray...the Sooner fans from being hacked, the Cowboy fans from laughing their butts off at their rivals misfortune. Fellow SHS alum and Sooner Pres David Boren even took a public stance of outrage. It was almost comical. If that's Eastern Washington playing the Ducks, no one cares.
That all being said, here's my proposal:
- Divide the D-1A into four tiers. There are 119 teams, with one provisional, in D1-A. Put 30 in each tier. You can call the tiers, Premier, Upper, Mid American and Boone State and Friends for all I care.
- Play 1 game at the first of the year as an exhibition game with a team out of your tier. Play 10 games within your thirty team tier.
- The top 4 teams start a playoff. How do you come up with the four teams in the playoff? That's a selection committee. You have a coaches poll, sportswriter polls, some computer rankings and some backroom posturing, just like NCAA Hoops. Coaches poll doesn't come out until week five, each coach has a vote, and every voter's selection is published.
- The bottom four teams are demoted to the tier below. The top four teams in the tier are promoted to the tier above.
The benefits of this: i) schedule is 13 games max; ii) aside from teams that fall way off the map (see Dame, Notre), the teams are playing peers and every week is a relatively competitive game - GameDay would have a smorgasbord to choose from every week; iii) there's new teams in the mix every year; everybody has a shot at a championship.
Why this doesn't make sense? i) it really blows up the bowls. But does that matter? Sure, the Rose Bowl has a tradition, and ditto for Orange, Fiesta and Sugar, own down to Cotton and the Holiday. Raise your hand if you will miss the Kotex Independence from Feminine Napkins Bowl. People don't remember childhood memories of the Meineke Car Care Bowl, or the Texas Bowl, or whatever; ii) it also doesn't make sense because left leaning bureaucrats would have to really tell North Texas and Louisiana-Monroe that they are in the D flight. Presently, they can be delusional at the first of the year that if all fell into place, they might make something beyond the New Orleans needs air conditioning bowl.
You may think my idea is wacked, but it's a better solution than this.
part of that is the fascination with BU coach Art Briles. I loved watching Stephenville play when Briles was a h.s. coach, and Houston's been a treat to watch with Briles at the helm. Today the Waco Trib posted a couple of interviews with Briles, and one comment caught my attention.
Jerry Hill asked, "What's the between our offense and the offense we'll see
under you?" Briles response was, "The difference is we finished 10th in the
nation in rushing this year (239.92 yards per game). That’s one of the
differences. But at the same time, we’ve thrown for over 3,000 yards every
season. Which isn’t great, but it’s not bad. It’s throwing it around a little
Being the investigative journalist that I am, I decided to look at the BU record book. The Bears have thrown for over 3000 yards in a season twice - in 2006 and 2007. Things could be looking up for the Bears.
Saturday, December 8, 2007
Thursday, December 6, 2007
In the press conference announcing his hiring, Sherman said in the press conference that announced his hiring that he wanted his players to be aggressive on both sides of the ball. Well, yesterday Aggie OL Yemi Babalola (no relation to Yogi Bear) and DE Brandon Joiner apparently demonstrated some of that newfound aggressiveness.
Allegedly, Babalola and Joiner joined forces to make their way into an apartment, bind the resident and a friend with tape and held them at gunpoint while taking several small items.
Sources close to the matter indicate that Interim Coach Gary Darnell updated several VIP Connection insiders on the matter early Wednesday via email, informing them that “We want to be better than Texas at everything.”
Tuesday, December 4, 2007
Join the LandThieves group over at espn.com. The group password is 'thieves'.
See you over there.
Monday, December 3, 2007
- The Bugeaters, as expected, hired Bo Pelini this weekend. I like the hire. He's familiar with the Husker cult, he has a good track record as an assistant, and I think he's already had a warmer reception than his predecessor.
- On a previous Sooner foe matter, UCLA fired Karl Dorrell. Frankly, I thought this was a four years too late. Punting to Antonio Perkins after he already had two punt returns for TDs and over 200 return yards, UCLA punts to him again. Result, another NCAA record for a Sooner wearing #28.
- The Great Pirate is considered a candidate for the UCLA job. This would be a great hire for UCLA, but I'd be sad to see Coach Leach leave the Big 12.
- Miracle of miracles - Tommy Bowden was extended and given a raise at Clemson. They complain about him every year.
- Charlie Weis drove down to Gainesville and assaulted Florida DE Jermaine Cunningham for wasting a perfectly good sandwich.
- Dr. Charles Johnson is affiliated with New Mexico State. Doc has Mizzou 6th, OU 9th and the 4-7 Pitt Panthers as 25.
- Lance McElhenny, former SMU QB, lists Hawaii as #2, and doesn't have Texas in the top 25.
- Craig Morton, former Cal QB who had a bit of sucess with the Cowboys and Broncos, voted the LSU Tigers 11th. A little bit bitter about that Super Bowl XII loss in nearby New Orleans, methinks.
- Dr. Terry Schmidt, affiliated with Ball State, and Paul Schneider, affiliated with Boise State, voted the LSU Tigers 10th.
- Bob Socci (Navy) voted Georgia 1st and Oklahoma 8th.
Overall, less blatant homerism or vengeance filled than the Coaches poll, in my opinion.
Original predictions are at http://landthieves.blogspot.com/2007/08/big-12-south-preview.html and http://landthieves.blogspot.com/2007/07/big-12-north-predictions.html
disclaimer: trying google docs and posting; this could be ugly...
|Big 12 north|
Upon further review
|Nebraska||Missouri||I expected the jrs and srs at Nebraska to carry the team. Apparently the Huskers did, too, as they fired Callahan. Also, the curse of Warren Powers appears to have been lifted.|
|Colorado||Kansas||I was close on this one, but not really. I had considered slots 2-5 interchangeable, and the gap between 2 and 3-5 in the North was huge.|
|Kansas||Colorado||Colorado was really inconsistent this year; upsetting the Sooners and shutting down Tech, then losing to Kansas State and Iowa State.|
|Missouri||Kansas State||I was a wee bit off on the Tigers. Hats off to them.|
|Kansas State||Nebraska||I don't think anyone saw the Husker collapse coming.|
|Iowa State||Iowa State||I know a cellar dwellar when I see it. They actually did better than I thought they would.|
|Big 12 South|
|Prediction||Actual||Upon further review|
|Travis County Jail||Oklahoma||Two things make the difference here: a) underestimated the o-line losses by the 'horns; and b) Sam Bradford rarely played like a freshman.|
|Oklahoma||Travis County Jail||see above.|
|Boone State||Tie||I used an excel function to predict 3-5, as I saw the teams as interchangeable. So I got that going for me, which is nice.|
|Dust Pirates||Tie||see above.|
|Cash Machine U||Tie||see above.|
|Baylor||Baylor||I know a cellar dwellar when I see it.|
Alternatively, the Sooners are 9th in scoring defense, but played #6 TxTech, #7 Mizzou twice, #10 Tulsa and #19 Texas.
Stats aside, I think this will be a good game. Slaton and White are fun to watch, and it'll be a good challenge for the Sooner D. According to Sagarin's predictor ratings, the Sooners should be around a 3 point favorite. Since the Sooners are followed around by some mad oil and native american casino money, it wouldn't surprise me to see the Sooners as a 5-7 pt favorite.
Some interesting things come out of the USA Today/Coaches poll…
- Oregon coach Mike Belotti voted the Sooners 8th. Missouri, whose two losses were to the Sooners, was ranked 5th.
- Clemson coach Terry Bowden tanked the Sooners 10th, four spots behind Missouri. He’s the only coach to not include the Sooners in the top 8.
- Florida State coach Bobby Bowden has the Sooners 7th, behind 5th place Missouri and 6th place Kansas.
- Louisville (and former Tulsa) coach Steve Kragthorpe voted the Sooners 8th. He at least had the good sense to vote Mizzou 9th.
- Boise State coach Chris Peterson voted the Sooners 7th. He’s apparently not a fan of the Big 12, as he voted Mizzou 9th and Kansas 10th.
- FAU coach Howard Schnellenberger voted the Sooners 7th and the Missouri Tigers 4th. Howie has a unique perspective on the college football landscape…he ranked Boise State 10th and Southern Cal 12th. He’s the only coach to not have the Trojans in the top 10. Given that the University of Washington nearly beat his 3rd ranked team, Hawaii, and beat Boise State, I’m stunned he doesn’t have the Huskies in the top 10.
- Landthieves would like to give a shout out to South Carolina coach Steve Spurrier for the #1 vote.
- It wouldn’t be fair if I didn’t mention Head Visor Bob Stoops voted the Sooners 1 and the LSU Tigers 6th.
- LSU/almost Michigan coach Les Miles voted Georgia 3, Va Tech 4, and Oklahoma 5, so it doesn’t look like he did much maneuvering, other than voting LSU #1.
I’m not foolish enough to believe that this would alter the final standings - I had mentioned earlier in the month that if a two loss team got in the championship game, that LSU would likely have the strongest resume of that group - it would have been much easier just to beat Colorado or Texas Tech, but apparently that wasn’t as easy as one would have hoped.
The Harris Poll has some interesting data points as well, but there's only so much one can do on their lunch hour.
Sunday, December 2, 2007
Saturday, December 1, 2007
- Tigers are 95/174 or 54.6% (2nd in nation)
- Sooners are 80/159 50.3% (6th in nation).
3rd Down conversion percentage, defense
- Sooners are 59/183 or 32.2% (13th)
- Tigers are 82/194 or 42.3% (85th)
In the October game:
- the Sooners were 10/14 on third down, punting three times and kicking one field goal. The Sooners lost two fumbles (one on a kickoff return).
- the Tigers were 9/16 on third down, punting four times, converting on fourth down once, and throwing two interceptions on third down passes (one on a reverse pass by Jeremy Maclin). Mizzou also had two other turnovers, and a drive to end the first half that concluded with a field goal.
All this to say I expect a Sooner W today, as a result of a better Sooner defense. Should be a fun game.
Friday, November 30, 2007
Thursday, November 29, 2007
On the offensive side of the ball, Missouri ranks 3rd in their ability to exceed the opponent's defensive points allowed, while the Sooners rank 7th in that area.
- Chase Daniel on the cover of SI. Worked well for the Jayhawks last week, didn't it?
- Missouri has opined that they "gave the game away" when the Sooner won in October in Norman. This seems to have riled Stoops and co, and Stoops is great at playing the disrespected role. Even if that disrespected team is the betting favorite and is ranked 9th.
- Last evening I saw Skip Bayless arguing with Todd McShay on the Budweiser hot seat about the Tigers/Sooners matchup. Bayless was incredulous that anyone could think that OU was the better team. I think that has to be in the Sooners favor.
TE – Brandon Pettigrew from Oklahoma State had 32 catches for 501 yards and 4 scored. Jermaine Gresham caught 32 balls for 450 yards and 10 scores. Mizzou TE Martin Rucker was named second team after catching 75 balls for 739 yards and 8 scores.
FB – Brody Eldridge, listed on the Sooner roster as a TE, was named all Big 12 fullback. We don’t have a fullback position in our offense. I can’t believe they even vote on one.
Aggie Athletic Director Bill Byrne was not available for comment.
Wednesday, November 28, 2007
I realized I hadn't finished my poll for the week. I know both of you were dying to read it, so here goes.
- Ohio State - the leader in the clubhouse.
- West Virginia - I'm a big Pitt fan this week. Love Bill Fralic and Tony Dorsett.
- Missouri - They're going down.
- Virginia Tech -
- Kansas - opponent's W/L ranking (45.7%) kills them in computer rankings.
- Boston College - opponents W/L ranking (60.3%) helps there computer rankings. Who'da thunk Notre Dame would be the worst team on their schedule.
- LSU - this is where computers don't do you justice. Two triple OT losses don't play well.
- Georgia - in the BCS rankings, it's almost possible for them to back right into the champsionship game. Which is my favorite scenario.
- Oklahoma - my evil plan for the Sooners to sneak back in to the BCS Championship game was foiled by Chan Gailey's Yellowjackets' loss to Georgia.
- Southern Cal - playing really well now.
- South Florida
- Arizona State
- Northern Iowa - fear the Pirates.
- Auburn - with the attack dogs on the sideline, they should be higher ranked.
- Texas - Longhorns tried to save Fran's job, but just like OU's loss to Cash Machine U in an attempt to save Slocum's job in '01, it didn't work.
- Penn State
Tuesday, November 27, 2007
Cale Gundy (90-93) - leading passer of the pre-Stoops era of Sooner football. Currently is third in career passing yards and third in career TD passes.
Paul Thompson (03-06) - QB for disastrous season opener in 2005 against the mighty TCU Horned Frogs. Benched and went to WR catching passes totalling 102 yards. After Cargate, Thompson assumed helm at QB and led the Sooners to Big 12 championship. 5th in career TD passes and 6th in total passing yards.
Curtin Fagan (98-02) - Fagan is 5th in career receptions at OU, catching 135 for 1,689 yards (also 5th). Also led the team in punt returns in 2001.
Justin Fuente (95-97) - QB with the misfortune of being at OU for the Desert Era. Transferred to Murray State and was quite successful there. Presently an assistant at TCU.
Mike Winchester (84-86) - punter on national championship team in 85.
John Hammond (63-65) - completed third longest pass in OU history, for 90 yards to Lance Rentzel in 1964.
Bobby Grayson (78-81) - Grayson led the Sooners in receiving in 1980 and 1981, catching 14 passes in 1980 and 12 in 1980. Those were the days.
by Cowboys Insider Dexter Manley
Stillwater, OK (LTP) - LandThieves has learned that Boone State has joined forces with Starbury shoes to release the first ever collegiate licensed football shoe for the masses. OSU President, Athletic Director and #1 Fan T. Boone Pickens lauded the move, saying, "This is the next step in collegiate athletics. So many programs suck up to Nike, but we wanted to make a statement with affordable shoes that our own athletes use on the field. This first shoe commemorates the heroic defensive effort we gave throughout the 2007 season."
Operators are standing by.
Monday, November 26, 2007
Some coaching carousel in here as well...
Colorado ran over the Bugeaters Friday 65-51. Nebraska celebrated the sixth time of giving up 40 points or more this season by firing head coach Bill Callahan. Some likely people to be considered are former Husker QB and assistant Turner Gill (presently HC at U of Buffalo) and LSU defensive coordinator and former Husker DC Bo Pelini. Husker faithful will tell you that Pelini was the interim head coach for the Alamo Bowl after Solich was fired. Pelini was only in Lincoln for a year. I saw no signs in the stands proclaiming John Blake as a candidate, but if Kevin Blackistone were still working at the Dallas Morning News, he would be proclaiming Blake as the front runner. Since Osborne is likely to be involved in the hiring, I would think that Gill would be a more likely candidate than Pelini, even though Pelini has been pretty high profile since landing in college fb in 2003. The guys at midwestcoastbias have a good handle of the situation, apparently there's a team meeting at 4 pm on Tuesday.
Cash Machine University defeated Travis County Jail 38-30 on Friday. Promptly after that, Aggie HC Dennis Franchione announced his resignation. This stunned Aggie faithful that had been trapped in a cave for the past four months. The loss eliminated Travis County Jail’s hopes to back into the Big 12 South championship while drinking and smoking doobies
Mike Sherman has been hired to replace Coach Fran at ATMU.
I actually like this hire. I follow the Packers as much as I do any NFL team. I thought he did a good job there, he won three division titles. It’s not like Callahan, who lost the locker room and was fired in two years at Oakland. He's experienced the cultish fervor of College Station before, so he knows what he's getting into.
On the Baylor coaching front, over the Thanksgiving break Singletary indicated he was not going to be the Baylor head coach. Lots of rumors around Houston Nutt (resigned from Arkansas today) or Art Briles (allegedly interviewing Tuesday). If I were Baylor search committee, I would add Jeff Bower, recently abrupty resigning from Southern Mississippi, to the mix. He was very successful there for a long time, and I don't believe Hattiesburg is luring people there by default. Based upon my four months of experience as a college fb blogger, I would rank them 1a) Briles; 1b) Bower; 3) Nutt.
Further analysis of those three: Briles - If I didn't enjoy watching Houston play fb so much, I would bump Bower to the top of the rankings. If you haven't watched a an Art Briles coached Houston game, I would characterize it as an entertaining combination of pass happy Mike Leach with the propensity for goofy trick plays of Chris Petersen. He will make the game entertaining, has demonstrated an ability to recruit serviceable talent to UH, and has loads of high school coaching connections via his long tenure at Stephenville; Brower - was very successful at Southern Miss for years. Allegedly passed on several different higher profile gigs a a few years ago. The folks at sundaymorningqb.com have a good analysis of what happens to coaches at mid-majors. You could do a lot worse than Bower. Nutt - I always thought Houston was underappreciated in Fayetteville and throughout the state. He's had some good teams there, and won three west division titles. On the other hand, he managed to get himself named as a candidate for darn near every major job the past few years, and between that and the soap opera around Arkansas fb the last couple of years, I think Nutt would be nearly radioactive to Baylor, unless you know more behind the scenes facts about his consistent flirting with other schools and how he managed to inspire fans to file Freedom of Information Acts requests around his phone and email records.
The biggest news around Baylor was that Senior Editor in Charge Red Andrews stepped down from BearMeat last week. Personally, this is more distressing than the B not hiring Mike Singletary. Red, we will miss you.
Finally, if you're wondering why I spent 344 words analyzing the Baylor coaching situation, I don't know either. It's helped dull the sting of work today, and is cheaper than drinking.
Allen Patrick had a huge day. A lot of folks were hard on Patrick for his fumble last week against TT, and it’s fair to say that he hasn’t been as productive this year as he was the past couple of years subbing for Adrian. In Allen’s defense, he started out the year with an injured ankle and wasn’t getting that many reps due to the years that Murray and Chris Browne were having. Today he showed no ill effects from the ankle and ran through the Boone State defense for over 200 yards.
Boone State just doesn’t have a good defense. The Sooners came out playing power football. While the Sooners haven’t blown anyone off the line this year (okay, maybe North Texas and Utah State), they were able to dominate the Cowboys in the run game.
Sam Bradford broke My Little Pony’s one year old record for most TD passes by a freshman quarterback. Bradford threw for 4 TDs, connecting on two to Joe Jon Finley, one to Allen Patrick and one to Quentin Chaney (Chaney made a great catch). Zane Zaslaw dropped a certain TD pass in the first half. Bradford followed it up with a TD toss to Finley. Bradford has 32 TDs for the year. It's the third highest total in Sooner history, behind both of Jason White's senior years, and he's 5th alltime. With three years to go.
The Sooner D had a great game. Much maligned after the TT and Baylor games, the Sooners shut down a Cowboy attack that was one of the higher scoring attacks in the country.
Overall this was one of the better performances of the year for the Sooners, and I would say their best performance since the Missouri game. With the power running game, the Sooners controlled the clock and the D played well for the most part.
Sunday, November 25, 2007
Tuesday, November 20, 2007
Monday, November 19, 2007
- #18 Tennessee, a 3 point underdog, beats unranked Kentucky this weekend.
- #10 Oklahoma beats Oklahoma State.
- #1 Ranked LSU (12.5 pt favorite) loses to Arkansas this weekend , or loses to Tennessee in the SEC Championship game.
- #2 Kansas- #4 Missouri winner loses to #10 Oklahoma.
- West Virginia (17 point favorite) loses to #20 Connecticut, or even less likely, is upset by Pitt the following weekend.
- #11 Southern Cal (3 point favorite) defeats #6 Arizona State.
- #7 Georgia, (3.5 pt favorite) loses on the road to Georgia Tech.
- #8 Virginia Tech ( 3.5 pt favorite), loses either at Virginia this weekend or loses in the ACC championship game to Boston College. Per the Sagarin predictor (also cited blatantly without permission), the Hokies would be a 3 point favorite or so in that game.
- #9 Oregon, a 2 pt favorite, loses to UCLA at home this weekend, or they lose to their 7-4 intrastate rival Oregon State the following weekend.
Here are the most unlikely elements of this, according to point spreads:
- should Tennessee upset Kentucky, they'll likely be a 14 pt underdog to LSU
- West Virginia is a 17 point favorite at home against #20 Connecticut.
The other on the field elements all involve games where the point spread is less than 4, and as a result, are quite possible.
The other big hurdle, in my opinion, would be the human poll voters. I perceive, through my crimson and cream colored glasses, a bit of bitterness toward the LandThieves for backing into the national championship game in 2003 and failing to show up at the Orange Bowl following the 2004 season. If a voter realized the Sooners were poised to be the two loss team to play the Sweatervests, they might "vote down" the Sooners and choose another two loss team as the #2 team. Looking at the other two loss teams at that point, you'd have:
- LSU, with losses at Kentucky and to Tennessee/Arkansas
- West Virgnia, with losses to Connecticut and South Florida
- Arizona State, with losses to USC and Cal
- Oklahoma, with losses to Colorado and Texas Tech
- USC with losses to Oregon and Stanford
- Texas, with losses to Oklahoma and Kansas State
Looking at losses only, LSU is the team that lost to the most formidable foes. Because of this, from a Sooner perspective, I think it's important for LSU to beat Arkansas then lose to Tennessee. A loss to Arkansas and then a victory at the SEC Champ game would probably leave poll voters putting LSU ahead of the Sooners.
Also, if Missouri beats Kansas, you'd have a one loss Kansas team - who didn't win their division and might not beat a team that ends the year with a record above .500 - that might be ranked higher than the Sooners. I don't think that's likely, though, as the Sooners would have at least beaten Texas (9-2 or 10-3), and Missouri (11-2 with both losses to OU), and I think Kansas will be punished severely if they lose to their one premier foe of the season.
Now, you can take this checklist with you on your Thanksgiving trip and you'll know just how to root for the games this weekend.
Sunday, November 18, 2007
- Ohio State - I would give you some insightful comments on the Ohio State victory over the Maize and Blue this weekend, but I lost consciousness watching it.
- LSU - they should falter with Les secretly campaigning for the Michigan job.
- West Virginia - Rich Rodriguez was up all night Saturday night, thanking God he didn't take the Alabama job.
- Kansas - the best undefeated team in the country. Missouri is playing well, it should be a good game Saturday night. check your local listing.
- Missouri - scores 38+ again.
- Arizona State - Dirk Koetter is now cleaning the Boise State locker room.
- Boston College - BC just keeps eaking out victories.
- Virignia Tech - Hokies would be higher if not for that near miracle comeback by BC a few weeks ago.
- Illinois - my favorite Big Ten team = any team that beats Ohio State
- Georgia - Dawg fans are big fans of the Kentucky Wildcats this weekend. A KU victory gives Georgia a berth in the SEC championship game.
- South Florida - don't look now, but South Florida is winning again.
- Oregon - who's a better QB? Brady Leaf or Joey Halzle? Discuss.
- Oklahoma - see above.
- Florida - the Heisman tropy winner plays on this team.
- Texas - if Boone State beats the Sooners, Texas will represent the Big 12 South in San Antonio for the Big 12 Championship.
- Virginia - eight victories by a total of 53 points (7 by 23) and a whupping of Miami-FL by 48. The battle with Va Tech should be a defensive snoozefest this weekend.
- Southern Cal
- Connecticutt - remember when beating Syracuse meant something.
- Northern Iowa
- Penn State
Well, we were all fired up when Dennis Dixon blew his knee out Thursday night. Then Sam attempts a tackle after a fumble by Allen Patrick and sustains a concussion. Personally, I don't think it's as much the Tech defender as it was Duke Robinson helping out on the tackle from behind.
The injuries ended up being huge. In the game, the Sooners lost Adron Tonnell (concussion), Alan Davis (knee), Bradford (concussion) , and DeMarco Murray (kneecap?).
Oklahoma needs to beat Boone State next week to win the Big 12 championship. If Bradford and Murray are unable to go, then it's a whole different ballgame.
Thoughts on the game: First of all, a big tip of the hat to Tech. They played well, and they were absolutely unstoppable in the first half, and their defense shut the Sooners down in the first half. On to other analysis. The o-line has been disappointing all year. They were supposed to be the nation's best unit, and I just don't believe we've seen that often enough this year. In the first half, we should have just been able to take the ball and run it and get control of the game, and for various reasons, we just didn't do that. Joey Halzle was rusty. He was awful in the first half. He improved in the second half, but missed some big throw in the second half. I know of at least two times on 3rd down where he threw outs to receivers to points that were 1 yard shy of the first down marker. Once Alan Davis went down with a leg injury, the Sooners played a lot more agressively defensively. In the first half, it seemed as if the Sooners were just always rushing 3 or 4 and sitting back in a zone. Harrell picked them apart. Crabtree was as good as expected. He is special. The botched fake punt didn't look like it was going to work. I thought it was poor time to even attempt it...your D hasn't stopped them, your on your 40, it's only 4 yards, you need some momentum. It was a time that the fake was obvious. The failed snap just put the play out of it's misery.
Overall, if you would have told me that Bradford was going to throw for 11 yards, Harrell would throw for over 400, and that we'd have two turnovers, I would tell you the Sooners got blown out. While they were definitely down 24 at one time, I was surprised the Sooners fought back into the game...they had two failed fourth down attempts in the red zone in the last six minutes of the game, and still got a score and had an onside attempt to get one more chance to score.
Oh well, I hate losing. But a W next week still gives us a South Division championship and a BCS bowl game.
Saturday, November 17, 2007
I decided this morning to be a little bit of "analysis" on the Red Raider game. Seems like Tech is always scoring lots of points, but those points don't translate into much against the Sooners. Let's take a look at the Leach era.
TT has yet to obtain their average points scored against the Sooners. In 5 of the 7 years, their score has been less than the average minus a standard deviation, with the exceptions being 2000 and 2006, the lowest scoring seasons for the Red Raiders. Now, look at similar data for the Sooners.
OU has exceeded their average points three of the seven years. The other four years have been within the standard deviation of the average score.
All this to say the Sooners have had more success defending the Red Raiders and been able to control the game. This shouldn't be a big shocker, the Sooners have been 6-1 against the Red Raiders since Leach left.
I expect this form to hold, that the Sooners will win 28-24.