- Cincinnati moved to 6-2 last night with a win over the 23rd ranked USF Bulls. The Bearcats have had three QBs this year, and petitioned to use Ben Mauk for a 6th year, but were denied. Oregon and Cincinnati have both done quite well this year in spite of having to start three different QBs.
- The Sooners haven't lost to the Bugeaters in Norman since 1996, when Nebraska beat OU 73-21. The game was not as close as the score indicated.
Friday, October 31, 2008
Thursday, October 30, 2008
As bonus coverage, Sam provided a link to an article on the game. Keith Jackson rushed three times for 136 yards and a TD. Not many teams deploy the TE reverse anymore, and on one of those instances, Jackson was supposed to pass but pulled the ball down and ran it.
The Sooners were 1-4 passing that day. My how times have changed. The article linked to above also have coverage of the Texas Longhorns ruining Baylor's chances of a Cotton Bowl berth.
Due to work and Halloween schedules, weekend preview coverage will be limited at best.
First, the Big XII...
Travis County Detention Facility at Dust Pirates: Texas Tech has lost the last two to Texas played in Lubbock. The last time the REd Raiders lost three in a row at home to Texas was 1962, 64 and 66. I expect TT to be able to move the ball against the Horns. What I'm not certain of is the ability of the Red Raider to stop Texas, as no one really has yet, with the exception of the Boone State Cowboys. And I've never typed that statement before in my life. While I'll be rooting for Leach and his Pirates to keep my Big 12 South championship hopes alive, I'm skeptical of the outcome. That being said, a TT is allowing fewer yards per play, and plays better 3rd down defense. Prediction: Texas Tech
Phog U vs Willie and Friends: This is a big game in Kansas. We're not in Kansas. End of preview. Prediction: Kansas.
Missouri at Baylor: The Bears have yet to beat the Tigers in Big 12 play. Missouri seemed to wake up a little bit against CU Later last week. While the B is improving, it's tough to see the Bears re-enacting their 1991 victory over Missouri in Waco. Mainly because Missou was 3-7-1 that year. Prediction: Missouri
CU Later at Cash Machine U: the Buffs are coming off a shellacking at the hands of the Tigers last week. TAMU has found a QB in Jerrod Johnson, and the receivers are performing. It's good to know the Aggies are getting their offensive groove in time for the Sooners to come to town. Prediction: Aggies.
Iowa State at Poor Man's Texas Tech: the Cyclones have won 3 of the last 4 vs Boone State. The Pokes are favored by 31 in this matchup, so look for the Cyclones to make it 3 of 5. Iowa State cemented its status as the worst team in the Big 12 with it's loss to TAMU last week. Prediction: Boone State
Now, other games of interest:
Tulsa at Arkansas - this game intrigues me because it's the closest thing to a real foe that Tulsa will play this year, since they backed out of playing TT. Arkansas may or may not be a real foe, however. This some sort of disfunctional grudge match element to this, with Gus Malzahn returning to Fayetteville, where he was paid to coach, but was not allowed to coach, for a year in 2006. And, the coach that left him hanging is gone. So maybe he's bitter about a text msg from a fan? I dunno. I'm interested to see how the Golden Hurricane fares against a BCS conference team, even if it's a weak one. Prediciton: Tulsa.
Florida at Georgia: Much ado about how the Gators will respond to the TD celebration the Dawgs did last year. Who knows. I do know the game will be a good one. The series record is 37-46-2 in the favor of Georgia, but Florida is 15-3 over the last 18. The last time Georgia won two in a row was 1988-89. The Florida coach for the 89 game was Gary Darnell, who was the interim coach after former Sooner coach Galen Hall left. Prediction: Florida.
Bucknell at Holy Cross: I may have to wear my Bucknell hat for this titanic matchup. Prediction: midterms.
Wednesday, October 29, 2008
- Interesting thoughts on the SEC West, sans Alabama.
- Houston, lawyer up! Absolutely stunning to me that a team would leave acrts surrounding the field.
- Some more info on TBP's losses
- Finally, one of the things I intended to do this week was a midseason review of the Big 12, since we're all 4 games in. I haven't done that. However, Hippo over at KJ-IBT did a pretty good one. The only changes I might have are: Def MVP to Orapko and the biggest "surprise" might be Texas. The alleged experts had them picked 3rd in the South, and they're holding onto the #1 ranking quite nicely.
- Jim McMahon is not in the BYU Hall of Fame. And Daddy's not happy. This is a travesty.
- As an additional bonus for the male readership, here's a link to pics of Colt McCoy's girlfriend.
I did a little number crunching today. The Big 12 is getting a lot of pub nationally for the awful defense we play here in the flyover states. If you isolate games played against the BCS conferences - so that we ignore most of the cupcakes, including Notre Dame and Western Kentucky - here is nonconference points per game allowed.
SEC - 19.64
Big 10 - 24.09
ACC - 25.65
MWC - 26.17
Big 12 - 26.21
Big East - 29.36
Pac 10 - 30.67
So, while the Big 12 is not that great, - 5th of the 7 - no one's complaining about the Big East and Pac 10 defenses. On the opposite side of the equation, let's look at the ppg allowed in conf play, and the difference between conf and non conference.
SEC - 22.4, +2.76
Big 10 - 23.68, -0.41
ACC - 21.10, -4.54
MWC - 24.33, -1.84
Big 12 - 32.35, +6.14
Big East - 23.05, -6.31
Pac 10 - 27.35, -3.32
Finally, an element to consider is the ppg scored in conference vs nonconference. Since conf points scored is the same as points allowed, below is ppg scored in nonconference games, and the increase/-decrease compared to conference games.
SEC - 21.91, -0.49
Big 10 - 28.73, +5.05
ACC -24.18, +3.07
MWC - 26.92, +2.59
Big 12 - 33.00, +0.65
Big East - 24.00, +0.95
Pac 10 - 24.33, -3.01
So, what do we learn from all these "figgers"?
- No one outside of the Big 12 conference could stop the Big 12 offenses either. In fact, Big 12 defenses deter Big 12 offenses better than non-Big 12 defenses. This includes reputable defenses like Cincinnati, Wake Forest, TCU, West Virginia, South Florida, Connecticut and Florida State.
- The SEC is horrible offensively, averaging 21.91 points per game in nonconference games. Of course, of the 12 SEC teams, they only managed 11 games against schools from these conferences.
- The Big East was the second worst offense. Amazingly, in spite of having the second worst defense, the in conference scoring average went down.
- The Pac 10 numbers are somewhat misleading courtesy of the awfulness that is football in the state of Washington now. However, Wazzuu's 2nd best defensive performance was against Big 12 juggernaut Okie State.
- The Big 10 offense is second under this point of view, which is just stunning. The Big 10 also only managed 11 games against these conferences, and only encompasses 8 of the 11 teams.
- We must extend special recognition to the schools that were unable to schedule anyone from the BCS conferences or MWC: Indiana, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Texas Tech, Air Force, San Diego State, Wyoming and LSU.
- There were 5 schools to schedule 3 games against BCS + MWC: Colorado, Baylor, Oklahoma, Connecticut and California.
Tuesday, October 28, 2008
Sunday, October 26, 2008
Nope. They fell. In the coaches poll, the Pokes fell from #8 to #10. Utah leap frogged 'em. Utah has an impressive victory over...no one. They had the week off. So Okie State loses by 4 to the top ranked team in the country, and these clowns look at that and say, "Wow, i forgot about Utah. They beat Oregon State a couple of weeks ago."Georgia leapfrogged Boone's team as well, but at least they had a decisive victory over a well regarded LSU team.
In the Harris poll, the Pokes had a 49 point lead over Georgia for the 8th spot in the polls. Georgia now leads the Pokes by 153 points. So relative to Georgia, they fell 202 points, for not beating the #1 team in the country.
I thought the computer polls might be different, but the BCS folks have neutered them, to where they must only consider win-loss and strength of schedule. The only difference in these polls is how they process this combo. Well, the Pokes fell hard. On a composite basis, they fell from 3rd to tied for 7th.
I hate to sound sympathetic for the Pokes and all, but that's just weird.
Saturday, October 25, 2008
The Sooners allowed Josh Freeman to go 29-51 for 478 yards. Freeman made a couple of unbelievable throws, so it really shoulda only been 378 or so.
The only thing that saved the Sooners was the 28 points in 6 minutes late in the second quarter. The Sooners took the ball at 8 minutes left, and took 1:34 to score, forced a fumble 3 plays later, scored in 1:33, got an interception 3 plays later, and scored 2 plays later in 1 minute. Then a three and out yielded a punt, which Ryan Broyles took to the house for a score. For the first half, the Sooners average field position at the start of the drive was their own 45.
Sam was an uncharacteristic 13-32 passing for 255 yards, but he did get 3 scores. It's only the second game in Bradford's career where he completed less than 50% of his passes, and it's the first one the Sooners won when he did so (the other was the 27-24 loss to CU last year). It's only the third time he's completed less than 60% of his passes (TCU 2008). Watching the game here on tape delay, I noticed several drops.
Demarco Murray is running with authority again, and completed the day with 17 carries, 104 yards and 2 scores on the ground. Murray added 2 more scores on 4 catches for 63 yards. Brown added 142 yards on 20 carries, as the Sooners amassed 273 yards passing overall. The Wildcats are one of the nation's worst at rushing defense, so one would have expected the Sooners to run the ball a lot today.
Travis Lewis was a monster on defense, with 15 tackles, 2 for loss, and 2 interceptions and 55 return yards. Austin Box looked a little bit lost at times.
The Sooners are going to have to figure this out if they expect to beat TT and OSU in November.
From 1960-2007, the Cowboys have had 19 winning seasons. In those periods, the market has returned on average a 2.11% return for the period, which equates to a 8.44% annual return. The best performance was 16.4% (1985) and the worst performance was a loss of 25% (1987).
Conversely, the Cowboys have had 28 losing seasons. In those periods, the market has returned on average a 4.81% return for the period, which equates to a 19.3% annual return. The best performance was 17.07% (1998) and the worst performance was a loss of 7% (1978). So when the Cowboys lose, maximum performance is better and losses were less. It's the best of both worlds, as Hannah Montana would say.
Further analysis shows that the Pokes have had 8 seasons where they won more than 65% of their games. Those seasons yielded an average return of 1,24%, while seasons where they won less than 65% of their games yielded an average return of 4.09%.
Clearly, a good Oklahoma State football season is harmful to the Dow Jones Industrial average. in 2008, the Pokes are 7-0, and the DJIA is down 22% since Sep 1.
Momma, don't let your babies grow up to be Cowboys.
Friday, October 24, 2008
Today we’re bringing you our Willie and Friends vs LandThieves preview, hopefully with the medication wearing off:
- Overall: The last time the Wildcats defeated the Sooners in Manhattan was 1996, when Snyder’s Cats beat Blake’s Sooners 42-35. K State was won 6 of the last 11, but that’s a little misleading. Stoops is 1-5 against K State, with the sole loss being that butt kicking in the Big 12 Championship game in 2003. Ron Prince has yet to coach against the Sooners.
- When OU has the ball: The Sooner offense is 3rd in points per game, and fourth in yards per game. The Sooners utilize their talented offensive weapons even more with the hurry up offense. The Wildcats are 82nd in points allowed and 106th in yards allowed. Their pass defense is bad (94th) but they offset that with an even worse rushing defense (101st). I look for the Sooners to throw enough to get Sam 300+ yards, but run the ball as well. At the end of the day, I think the Head Visor wants to just run the ball and control the clock, and the Wildcat defense is fertile soil for that theory. Advantage: Sooners
- When OU punts: tough to envision that. However, Mike Knall is one of the best actors in all of Big 12 special teams. K state has already blocked 4 kicks and returned them for scores this year. Look for Knall to get a couple of running into the kicker calls this week. Or for the Sooners to actually have one blocked. Advantage: Wildcats
- When Kansas State has the ball: The Wildcats aren’t completely unfortunately looking, but they could use some ball control (82nd in turnover margin) and some serious red zone conversions (54th). Josh Freeman, alleged NFL #1 pick, QBs the offense. He is 21st in the country in QB pass efficiency rating, which is 8th in the Big 12. His favorite target is Brandon Banks, who has 34 catches for 668 yards, and has caught 6 of Freeman’s 12 TD passes. The KSU rushing attack is Josh Freeman and Logan Dodd, and they have the 61st best rushing attack in the country. The Sooner defense is allowing big chunks of yards lately, but to highly competent offenses. Texas and Kansas have superior offenses to the Wildcats, so look for the Sooners to be able to slow the Wildcats down enough to pull away. Advantage: Sooners
- When Kansas State punts: not much happening here. K State is 77th in net punting and OU is 73rd in returns. Advantage: Even
- When OU kicks off: I close my eyes. Aubrey Quarles is Kansas State’s leading KR, at 22 yards per return. Look for him to improve upon that this week. Oklahoma is 110th in KR defense, beating out Syracuse, Illinois, Colorado State, Idaho, UTEP, Toledo, West Virginia, North Texas and Colorado for the bottom spot. Advantage: Wildcats
- When Kansas State kicks off: Most teams kick to Demarco Murray, who has not been up to par this year returning kicks. I was surprised to see him as ranking 43rd in the country, averaging 24 yards per return. The Wildcats are 4th in the country in KR defense, allowing a mere 16 yards per return. Advantage: Wildcats.
So, I guess in summary, the Wildcats should excel on special teams, but the Sooners offensive dominance should propel them to their second straight victory. I predict 52-28, Sooners.
Thursday, October 23, 2008
- We're having tons of fun here this evening at landthieves, and while I don't wish to go into details, I'll just provide you a hint. Or two. Second hint not suitable for family reading.
- Iowa State got a little too hazy last week. No humans were harmed in the filming of this video.
- This dude knows his football...he's got very informative posts...this one about line splits; adn this one about the spread offense.
- Nick Saban predicts the return of the wishbone. Hope I'm still a season ticket holder then.
During warmups, Harris was at safety. When the defensive starting lineup was announced, Austin Box was announced as starting middle linebacker. He didn't make a mistake all day, unless he drank too much water. Box never got on the field. Why isn't this just considered more misinformation? I will believe the Sooners are going back to the normal 4-3 alignment when I see it on Saturday, if I see it on Saturday.
Brian Bosworth is not walking through that door. Torrance Marshall is not walking through that door.
Wednesday, October 22, 2008
- Baylor at Nebraska - The last time Baylor won in Nebraska, Bob Barker wasn't on TV. the resistable force meets the movable object. The Bugeaters have lost two in a row at home, and Baylor is 0-2 on the road. Nebraska is mediocre at pass defense and Baylor is below average passing. I think the Ganz led Bugeater offense is too much for even my Art Briles man crush to ignore. Pick: Nebraska.
- Poor Man's Texas Tech at Texas - Boone State last beat Texas on Oct 4, 1997. To show you how long ago that was, if you'd invested $100 in a Dow Jones Industrial average index (8038.58) on the Friday before that victory, you would now have $106. Conversely, if you'd have invested $100 with Boone Pickens, he probably would have screwed you out of it and donated the money to Oklahoma State Athletics. But seriously, folks, Texas is really good. Okie State hasn't won there since 1944. Oklahoma State - for the first time since JJ was there in the early 80s - is making big plays in big games. Beating Missouri on the road opened my eyes. I'm interested to see if Boone State can break the code on slowing down Colt McCoy. But I don't think it will happen. Pick: Texas
- Cash Machine U at Baylor North - scary stat in the DMN this week...Iowa State has been outscored 108-30 since the halftime of the KU game. And their favored by 3 1/2 against TAMU. The Cyclones are 0-3 in the conference and haven't started out 0-4 since...last year. TAMU is 0-3 in the conference, and the last time that happened the Aggies were probably either distracted by the death of Jimi Hendrix or the birth of the Ford Pinto (1970). These Aggies are reeling, but so is Iowa State. I look for Sherman to pull of a W here. Pick: Aggies.
- Dust Pirates at Phog U - this game matches up Mike Leach and his successor as offensive coordinator, Mark Mangino. Leach's Red Raiders rank 1st in the country in passing yards per game. The Jayhawks are 100th in passing yards allowed per game. Kansas is 4th in passing yards and TT is 104th in passing yards allowed per game. This game should be as loaded offensively as the Sooners-Jayhawks tilt last week. Texas Tech is 9-1 against Kansas and has never lost in Lawrence. Pick: Texas Tech
- Colorado at Mizzou - Now that the Tigers national championship hopes have been crushed, how will they respond? How will Colorado respond with the QB shuttle between Coach's son and the true freshman? Will Chase Daniel go back to picking his nose on the sideline now that his Heisman chances are diminished? Colorado has the best passing defense in the Big 12 conference, which is like being the most conservative Democrat. Colorado last won in Columbia in 2002. I don't see that happening in 08, either. Pick: Tigers.
Tuesday, October 21, 2008
- First of all, as a Sooner, I'd like to apologize. We didn't know that Eastern Washington was a tougher draw than Washington in 2008. Plus, Texas Tech already had booked EWU.
- According to the Sagarin rankings, UMass would have been a more formidable foe than Washington. Maybe TT was prophetic in that regard.
- Baylor and Oklahoma State didn't realize that Washington State would suck when the series was booked.
- I just reviewed Arizona's schedule. I didn't know the 1-AA Idaho Vandals were such a formidable foe. Or Toledo. Michigan may believe otherwise, but most BCS schools are figuring on Ws when they play the Rockets.
- Oregon played Utah State. They haven't been good since John L Smith parlayed a 6-6 record in 1997 into a job at Louisville. The Ags have been near the cellar of the WAC ever since, so this isn't a surprise that they are awful.
- Cal played Mountain West cellar dweller Colorado State.
- Stanford played WAC juggernaut San Jose State.
- Arizona State played Big Sky superpower Northern Arizona. And UNLV. And lost.
- Washington State played Northern Arizona rival Portland State for their sole win.
Down / plays / yds / yds per play
1 / 37 / 371 / 10
2 / 23 / 83 / 3.6
3 / 12 / 39 / 3.25
The 3.25 yards per play on 3rd down here is a bit misleading, because on their last two third downs, while trailing 45-21 with less than 5 minutes remaining in the game, Todd Reesing completed passes of 47 and 17 yards to Dezmon Briscoe. On their first ten 3rd down conversion attempts, Kansas was 0-10 , with 3 sacks for -25 yards, a Reesing rush for no yards, an interception and five other incompletions.
A friend asked me Sunday how Kansas scored 31 points if they were so unsuccessful on 3rd down. I think the 10 yards per play on 1st down offers some insight.
Also, Jayhawk WR Dezmon Briscoe lit the Sooners up for 269 receiving yards. Let's look at his catches and receiving yards per quarter
Qtr / Catches / Yds
1 / 4 / 60
2 / 5 / 133
3 / 1 / 12
4 / 2 / 64
The two 4th quarter catches were the 3rd down receptions. Of his first 10 receptions, 9 of them were on 1st down, totalling 185 yards.
Monday, October 20, 2008
- Manuel Johnson's elbow dislocation was gruesome. Didn't realize how gruesome until I got home and checked out the game on the DVR.
- Demarco Murray ran much better...that was good to see.
- Lendy Holmes made several huge plays. The two picks in the red zone were part of that. I guess since he was named Big 12 Defensive player of the week others noticed that as well.
- Few teams have such a good pass rush and inability to stop people as the Sooners right now. The Sooners had 5 sacks for 33 yards lost, and still gave up almost seven yard per play (491 yards on 72 plays).
- For all their offensive firepower, Kansas was kinda feast or famine. They were 0-10 on third down conversions until the final drive.
- I didn't really think Sam Bradford played that well in the first half...until I saw he had passed for 300 yards in the first half. I guess tha tells you how good he is...I remembered seeing a missed open receiver (Murray on a failed 4th down) and he flat out blew a sure TD when he overthrew Gresham on a screen and go.
- Kansas is really good offensively. Reesing is fun to watch. From waht I've read, Meier is dinged up, but he made a great catch during the day. It's rare to see a position change like his (QB to WR) and be so good at the new position. Briscoe had a huge day, but we've allowed several huge days lately (Cincy receiver I'm too lazy to look up, Shipley, and Briscoe).
- We were in the opposite end zone from Chris Brown's TD run. It was truly amazing from that angle...as the CB closed, I didn't see anyplace for him to go. Obviously he did.
Sunday, October 19, 2008
- Bradford has passed for 1,227 yards in the Sooners three conference games. That total alone would put him with the 20th best yardage total in Sooner history.
- Sam has passed for 2,520 yards in seven games this season, which would be the 8th best total in Sooner history. The seven seasons ahead of him are all in Stoops tenure.
- The 26 TDs are the fifth highest season total ever, and he's got 5 games to go.
- From a career perspective, Bradford has throw for 5,641 yards, which is 4th alltime.
- Sam's 62 career TDs are 2nd alltime, behind Jason White's 81 TDs.
Saturday, October 18, 2008
Friday, October 17, 2008
- Baylor at Oklahoma State – Baylor trails in this series 12-14. Prior to the start of the Big XII, Baylor led the series 11-3. The last time Baylor won in Stillwater was 1939. The Cowboy loss drove a despondent Eddie Sutton to start drinking as an elementary student. He hasn’t stopped since. The Pokes appear to be the real deal after upsetting Missouri on the rode. Baylor is playing better than expected, and the Bears are hoping to catch the Cowboys basking in the glow of the Mizzou upset and looking forward to the Texas game next week. If this game was being televised by ESPN, they would tell you it’s a trap game. A trap game is a game in which one team has little chance of winning but the WWL hopes you tune in to watch anyway. An upset special is where a gambling “expert” tempts you to give away your money on an unlikely scenario where he looks like a genius if he’s right. I’m torn between whether this is an upset special, a trap game, or a whooping. Prediction: Boone State
- Missouri at Texas – Mizzou has beaten Texas once since 1917, during the Mackovic era of Texas football. The last time Missouri beat Texas in Austin, Grover Cleveland POTUS. In that game, the Horns were hampered by the loss of Colt Gardere Bowie, who was suspended for the game due to an unfortunate incident involving a cow stuck on a fence just north of campus. The charges were later dismissed, but not until the week following the loss to the Tigers. Missouri is coming off a loss to Oklahoma State, who allowed TAMU to score more points than Missouri. Let that sink in for a minute. Prediction: Texas
- Nebraska at Iowa State – The loser of this game has the inside track on finishing in the basement of the Big 12 North. These teams have played annually since 1896. Basically, they started the same year Missouri won in Austin. The Cyclones are 10-34-2 in the series at home. Will the team that nearly beat Kansas show up? Or the team that was drilled by Baylor? Inquiring minds want to know. This mind says it’s 10-35-2 after Saturday, and the Huskers cruise the west of the way toward a 5th place finish in the North. Prediction: Nebraska
- Texas Tech at Texas A&M – The Dust Pirates travel to College Station to play the Aggies, where they ask the question, “If This is Home, why does my home have bat residue all over it?” The Aggies can’t run, and can’t defend. RC Slocum was 7-7 against Texas Tech. Coach Fran was 1-5 against Tech. The recent games have been close in College Station and blowouts in Lubbock. I see the Red Raider making themselves at home with the Aggies and leaving undefeated. Prediction: Dust Pirates
- Kansas State at Colorado – I just realized the Wildcats play in Bill Snyder Family Stadium. I think this is because the only time his family saw him was when they came to the stadium. Ron Prince is 2-0 against Texas and Colorado. Hawkins is 2-0 against Texas Tech. Go figure. These teams are battling for third place in the Big 12 North. Hawkins benched his son at quarterback last week. Colorado is renaming the stadium Dan Hawkins Family Stadium, as he’s no longer welcome at his suburban Boulder home. Prediction: Colorado.
Ability to swallow players whole - this photographer captures Coach Mangino just before he expands his jaw to swallow the player in his entirety. Special fluids inside Coach Mangino enable him to digest a person of this size - and a helmet on! - with minimal damage to his neck, jaw or colon. Advantage: Kansas.
Some comments from my observations:
Andy Dalton has about two good throws / quarter in him. The coaches need to incorporate that into the play calling...if hits a receiver on the money for a gain - and it's not so hard it hits them in the facemask - you should go ahead and run the ball several times and let him cool off again.
Jeremy Curley was unstoppable in the first half from the WildFrog formation.
The D was amazing. That defensive performance against the Sooners was not a fluke. They got consistent pressure on Cougar QB Max Hall, and eliminated the cougar running game.
The Frogs now have allowed 87 points in 8 games - 35 against OU and 52 in the other 7 contests. Stanford was the only other team to hit double digits in the point column.
The Frogs now have the inside track on the Mountain West champsionship, assuming they can beat the Utes in Utah on Thurs, Nov 6. The powers that be managed to schedule TCU against the two best teams in the conference on Thursday after a road game.
We'll get back to the Sooner coverage very shortly.
Wednesday, October 15, 2008
Last week, 44 coaches voted to leapfrog Texas over the Crimson Tide of Alabama. I smelled a conspiracy, and did a little research. Following are real and imagined events that may have led 44 voters to pick the Horns over the Tide and Penn State this week.
- Frank Beamer, Virginia Tech; Still feels bad about Ron Weaver scandal effecting Horns Sugar Bowl performance.
- Mike Bellotti, Oregon; West coast Bias. Never even played an SEC team, how could he vote for one?
- Bret Bielema, Wisconsin; Part of Big XII voting bloc...Stoops raiding of KSU staff allowed Bielema out of Iowa City, saving him from possible sexual assault by his own players.
- Bobby Bowden, Florida State; Thinks he's coaching Texas.
- Tommy Bowden, Clemson; Applying for graduate teaching position in Austin.
- Art Briles, Baylor; Son played for Texas.
- Mack Brown, Texas; Still coaches at Texas.
- Neil Callaway, Alabama-Birmingham; Tide traitor who coached 12 years at Auburn.
- Gene Chizik, Iowa State; former D Coordinator in Austin. Wished he was still at Texas.
- Sylvester Croom, Mississippi State; Bitter about having to coach at Starkville; could have been fired from Tuscaloosa and retired by now.
- Mark Dantonio, Michigan State; Hurt Saban left him in East Lansing. Wouldn't you be?
- Butch Davis, North Carolina; Clearly has issues with Bama; turned down job in Tuscaloosa to work in Cleveland of all places. From what I understand, it's in Ohio.
- Todd Dodge, North Texas; Played QB at Texas.
- Phillip Fulmer, Tennessee; Once got food poisoning at Dreamland; big fan of the original Chuy's. Plus there's that lawsuit thing.
- Turner Gill, Buffalo; Grew up in Texas.
- Todd Graham, Tulsa; Joined Houston chapter of Texas Exes during his one year at Rice.
- Pat Hill, Fresno State; Fight over last piece of chicken at Cleveland Browns coaches dinner in 1992 still haunts Hill.
- Steve Kragthorpe, Louisville; Part of Big XII voting bloc - former Cash Machine U coordinator that was fond of orange.
- Mike Leach, Texas Tech; Part of Big XII voting bloc.
- Jim Leavitt, South Florida; Was assistant at K-State; also part of Big 12 voting bloc.
- Urban Meyer, Florida; Emmanuel Moody asked him to vote for Texas.
- Les Miles, LSU; Promised to vote Bama #1 when Saban wins with his own players.
- Hal Mumme, New Mexico State; Grew up in Texas.
- Rick Neuheisel, UCLA; Bitter towards Bama...Mark Gottfried completely wrecked his NCAA tourney pool one year.
- George O'Leary, Central Florida; Resume says he was once UT-Austin President.
- Gary Patterson, TCU; Thankful Coach Fran didn't take him to Tuscaloosa. Returns favor by voting for Horns.
- Bo Pelini, Nebraska; Texas is one of the few states he hasn't worked in; still holding out hope.
- Chris Petersen, Boise State; Any rival of Oklahoma is a friend of his
- Gary Pinkel, Missouri; Wants another crack at beating #1 team.
- Mike Price, Texas-El Paso; Clause in settlement prevents him from voting for Tide.
- Mark Richt, Georgia; Leads internet Bible study with Colt McCoy.
- Mike Riley, Oregon State; Sold his vote for right to recruit Jacquizz Rodgers.
- Rich Rodriguez, Michigan; Hopes to work there someday.
- Howard Schnellenberger, Florida Atlantic; Still bitter Bama regents wouldn't fire Bear and give him job in the 60s.
- Mark Snyder, Marshall; Formerly coached at Ohio State; also hates SEC.
- Frank Solich, Ohio; Strict DUI laws in Bama make him lean to the Longhorns.
- Steve Spurrier, South Carolina; Friends with Stoops and ringleader of Anti-Saban voting bloc.
- Bob Toledo, Tulane; Mercy vote in conciliatory gesture after the 1997 massacre in Austin.
- Dick Tomey, San Jose State; Former Defensive Coordinator at Texas.
- Jim Tressel, Ohio State; Hates all things SEC.
- Tommy Tuberville, Auburn; Like he's voting for Alabama.
- Charlie Weis, Notre Dame; Needs bathtub the size of Lake Travis, so he votes for Horns at every opportunity.
- Tyrone Willingham, Washington; Jealous of Saban; always wanted to coach at a place with the lofty academic standards of LSU and Bama.
- Ron Zook, Illinois; Coaching buddy of Fulmer - was D coordinator at Tennessee when Fulmer was O coordinator; hates Bama as a result.
1. Kerry Meier is the best former quarterback at Kansas since Nolan Cromwell. Discuss.
People often ask me where this Kansas team would be without Todd Reesing. And much to their surprise, I think the bigger loss is Kerry Meier at receiver. Todd is the right man for the job, no question. But Kerry Meier could run this offense very well, especially with his running ability. The biggest obstacle he'd have to overcome is not being able to throw to himself. Right now he's on track for over 100 catches and 1200 yards and over 60% of his catches go for first downs. Right now, he's irreplaceable and this is without even practicing with the WRs (though he does have a semi-serious hamstring injury, so hopefully he'll be healthy this weekend and the rest of the way).
2. Did you break anything during the first half of the Iowa State game?
I did not (because I was at a family member's house), but I did start drinking heavily. I still have no explanation for that display. All at once, the entire offense just seemed to forget what they do well and how they do it. And defensively, they just forgot to show up for the first two drives, and given ISU's field position that was plenty to take a quick 14-0 lead. It was a truly awful 30 minutes of football and I'm grateful they were able to regroup at half.
3. Nebraska is not what the many thought they would be, and KU got a tough draw on the Big 12 South side of the schedule. With two games completed in the conference schedule, how do you feel about the Jayhawks chances for a Big 12 North title?
A lot better since Chase s*** the bed against the Pokes. And if they lose again this week in Austin, I'll really be giddy. In that scenario, Kansas would only need to go 3-3 the rest of the way as long as one of those wins came at Arrowhead on Nov. 29th. Unfortunately, 3-3 won't come easy. Obviously beating Methzou will be tough, but even outside of the South teams (OU, UT, Tech), KU may also need to win in Nebraska. Down as they may be, the Hawks haven't won there since the sixties so I won't be guaranteeing anything until that one is in the books.
4. Kerry Meier is having a great year, as is Todd Reesing. Tell me who else the Sooners will watch run unabated through the middle of the defensive backfield.
Well the other receiver that's very similar to Meier is Dexton Fields. In fact, that duo is incredibly similar to Shipley/Cosby. So obviously I'm hopeful KU's coaches will find a way to match them up on your linebackers, much the same as Texas did. On the outside is probably the most talented receiver in Dezmon Briscoe. I'll be interested to see how he performs, because he sometimes has a tendency to disappear for halves at a time. You'll also see Johnathan Wilson, but ever since exploding in the South Florida game he hasn't been able to get a ton going.
5. What's the scuttlebutt on Mangino? Do you think he'll stick around at Kansas? Or try to go somewhere with a more consistent tradition? I would think if he would start drinking SlimFast and the Jayhawks go 10-3 or so he could land a big raise at some place like Clemson or Washington.
We all think he'll stay. They just opened the new football complex this year and that's pretty much his offspring. Also, like you alluded to, I don't think any big time programs want to take a chance on him, because of the long-term risks of his health. Plus, he's making $2.3 mil a year and while that's not at the Stoops/Saban/Weis level it's a pretty solid chunk of change that will only go up with prolonged success.
6.My limited research says the LBs are the heart of the Jayhawk defense. Tell us about them.
The linebackers are the heart of the defense. Or at least they should be. To this point, the true heart has come from SS Darrell Stuckey. But as a unit, they're what makes this defense go. When they're flying around, shedding blocks and making hits it's infectious because they're all the senior leaders everyone looks up to. In the middle, Joe Mortensen is an all-league player that's not having an all-league year. He struggles in pass coverage, but is great against the run. On the outside is Mike Rivera and James Holt. Mike is the most talented of the three and is one of the last guys you want to get hit by when he's running downhill. And while he's the least known, Holt has actually had the best year of the bunch. He's very undersized, but he's fast and a very sure tackler. You'll also probably see Arist Wright some, and he too, has been playing very good, assignment sound defense lately.
7. Kansas has had some intermittent success in football, dating back to Gale Sayers, John Riggins and Nolan Cromwell back in the day, some good years under Glen Mason, and now a resurgence under Mangino. What's the campus environment like on gameday? Have the Jayhawk faithful embraced football yet? Or is this something to do until basketball gets underway?
Campus on gameday is gorgeous if not crazy. The Jayhawk faithful have absolutely embraced football (see the sellouts v. FIU and SHS – that didn't even happen last year), but I'm not sure that they entirely understand it just yet. With campus on two sides and neighborhood housing filling out the rest, it's always a beautiful scene with the potential for much more. Don't get me wrong, the tailgating has increased dramatically and is always a great time. I'm just not the sure the vast majority have figured out that a home football game is an all day event, regardless of kickoff time.
8. Kansas was one of the top teams in the country in kickoff returns last year, and are awful year to date. Do you expect that the Sooner matador kickoff return coverage unit will get Marcus Herford back on track?
I sure hope so. Herford was a preseason All-American after averaging 25+ each of the last two years and now they've done almost nothing. After last game, Mangino said he was going to be evaluating all special teams from both a personnel and schematic standpoint. Combine that with the Sooners' struggles here and I'm hoping he can find something to get this thing going.
9. For the uninitiated, what's the backstory to "it's business time"?
I wish I had a cool back story, but we're just a couple of dorks that really like Flight of the Conchords. "It's Business Time" happens to be one of their funnier songs and so we threw it in the title. In fact, now that you ask, there's probably nothing less correlated with Kansas football.
10. What's your prediction for the game Saturday?
I really like the range of your score (42-28), but I think both teams may be forced to kick a FG or more (whether they make them is a different story). I'll say 41-30, but I have a hunch I'm being a tad too optimistic.
Tuesday, October 14, 2008
Record - 6-0
Record of opponents, excluding BYU - 12-19
Other teams who've played teams with fewer wins than BYUs' foes: Tulsa, Tulane, Florida State, Boston College, Fresno State, Boise State.
Margin of Victory over Washington: 1.
MOV of other teams playing the Huskies: 29
BYU MOV over New Mexico: 18 (at BYU)
TCU MOV over New Mexico: 23 (at wherever the heck New Mexico is located)
BYU Defense Rank: 31
TCU Defense Rank: 1
Here's looking at a Horned Lizard upset
Sunday, October 12, 2008
Poor Man's Texas Tech defeats Mizzou 28-23. This was stunning in several ways. First of all, Boone State allowed 23 points per game to their previous five opponents. Geeze, they allowed 28 to Texas A&M. I was certain they would give up 40+ to the Tigers. This ended up more of a defensive battle than anyone expected. There were a couple of times late in the game that I was certain the Cowboys were going to cough it up, but they ended up making plenty of plays on the defensive side of the ball to prevent a Heisman coronation ceremony for Chase Daniel.
Dust Pirates defeat the Bugeaters 37-31 in OT - the Bugeaters scored 21 points in the fourth quarter to tie the game, get the ball last in the OT session and throw a pick to end it. Tech ran for 100 yards again, which is as close to balance as they get. The Huskers dominated several facets of the scoreboard, but didn't come away with the W...they held the ball for 40 minutes and outgained TT 471-421, they ran 80 plays to Tech's 48. And Tech won.
Willie and Friends made themselves at home in College Station, defeating the Aggies 44-30. Jerrod Johnson threw for 400+ yards for the Aggies, but it wasn't enough. Josh Freeman ran for 95 yards and 4 TDs. Offensively, Cash Machine U rolled up 549 yards. Ryan Tanneyhill caught 12 balls for 210 yards. Their inability to stop the Wildcats hurt them, obviously. I read in the DMN today it's the first time since 1969 that TAMU opens conference play 0-2. TAMU just needs 4 more wins to become bowl eligible, but they play 3 top 10 teams, plus Baylor on the road, so they'll have to turn it around quickly.
Colorado lost to kansas 30-14. Don't care about big 12 north games. It's late. We're moving on.
Saturday, October 11, 2008
Next week is not a walk in the park with Kansas coming to town.
- 3rd and 10 from the Texas 24 - incomplete pass; Texas punt
- 3rd and 6 from the Texas 15 - 10 yard completion for a first down
- 3rd and goal from the OU 2 - McCoy completes a TD pass to Jordan Shipley
- 3rd and 1 from the OU 11 - incomplete pass (Lamont Robinson drops an interception); Texas FG
- 3rd and 8 from the OU 38 - 37 yard pass to Jordan Shipley for a first down.
- 3rd and 4 from the OU 26 - McCoy pass to Chef Boyardee for 10 yards and a first down.
- 3rd and 8 from the Texas 41 - Chef Boyardee run for 1 yard; Sooner punt.
For this last effort, the Horns were ahead 45-35 and just trying to keep the cclock moving. While the game was on the line, Texas was 4-6 on third down.
Thoughts during the day, while watching from Section 3.
- In the first quarter, Texas was called for running into the kicker during Oklahoma's first punt. Knall's punt was 32 yards to the Horns 39. While the penaltiy wouldn't give the Sooners a first down, I thought we would have a decent changes of a 27+ yard punt from 4th and 4.
- I was completely puzzled by the lack of deep passing game by the Sooners. We had good pass protection for most of the game, but rarely threw the ball farther than 10 yards down the field.
- DeMarco Murray is not healthy. He doesn't have his normal burst. He's not making good cuts. I love his attitude, and he's clearly a talented player, but he's just not back from the knee injury suffered during that TT game last year. The Horns kept kicking too him. While perhaps that is out of respect to Iglesias, Murray should have been able to punish the Horns, and wasn't able to capitalize.
- I thought the fake punt was a decent call, but the execution wasn't good. If Gresham makes a block, Knall converts it.
- The bobble by Gresham that Broyles converts into a score was very close to an incomplete pass, but we'll take it.
- The two roughing the passer calls on Travis Lewis were both questionable. Nonetheless, Sooners had many chances to make a play and negate the adverse calls, and didn't.
- With :45 seconds left in the first half, the Sooners force the Horns into a FG situation. I thought the Sooners should have called a timeout and had 38 seconds or so to see if they could make something happen. The Sooners didn't, and the clock wound down to 3 seconds left before a Texas FG.
- I don't know why the Sooners didn't try a fifth DB instead of raw LB Brandon Crow. The Horn passing game consisted of short throws to Cosby, and throws in the middle of the field to Shipley ALL FREAKING DAY.
- Colt McCoy does a great job of moving around the keeping the play alive. He's more athletic than you initially think he would be. Is that because he's white? Or because he looks like he still doesn't shave?
- Trailing 14-10, Jordan Shipley runs a kick back for a score. He was barely touched. I really felt like the score sucked the life out of the Sooner crowd, and put the Horns in the game.
- Wth a minute left in the third quarter, Lamont Robinson drops an interception in the end zone. The Sooners had McCoy on the run late in the third quarter, and he threw across his body toward the right center of the end zone. Robinson cut in front of ____, and caught the ball, but the ball popped out when Robinson hit the ground. The Horns kicked a field goal on the next play. As opposed to a momentum changing turnover and zero points, the Longhorns picked up a huge 3 points.
- With 11:42 left in the game, the Sooners incur an illegal procedure penalty on a two point conversion. The Sooners scored a TD to take a 4 point lead. Stoops was contemplating a 2 point conversion to go to a six point lead. An illegal procedure call sets up back to the 7, and the Sooners settle for the lone extra point. Here's how that plays out. The Sooners allow a score, and the Longhorns, leading 36-35, go for two and convert it to go aheard 38-35. A later score gives the Horns a 45-35 lead. Had the Sooners gone for and converted the two, the Horns would have kicked an extra point to take a 37-36 lead. When they scored again, we still would have been trailing 44-36, and only needed one score to potentially tie the game.
- Cody Johnson breaks two tackles on third and goal to close the gap to 21-17. A sweep toss from a jumbo formation results in the score.
- Jordan Shipley is left wide open - more alone than a Mormon in a Starbucks - for a 37 yard pas setting up a TD. Ryan Reynold's injury in the second quarter left a void for the Sooners in the middle of the field. Brandon Crow was inserted in his place, and the Sooners struggled defending the middle of the field from there out.
- With 4 minutes left in the third quarter, the Sooners attempt a fake punt and don't make it. Knall almost pulled it off, getting tackled a yard short. Frankly, I thought if Gresham makes a block they pull it off. Asking your punter to run it on a team with the speed of Texas is always questionable if you don't amke it.
Friday, October 10, 2008
Baylor hosts Baylor North - Iowa State has been rocked this week by second string QB Phillip Bates leaving the team. Iowa State is 93rd in rushing defense and 97th in pass efficiency defense. On the otherhand, they had Kansas on the ropes going into halftime last Saturday. Baylor had OU on the ropes as well, but they were ski ropes for waterskiing on the Brazos River. Robert Griffin will wow a few more folks today, and the Bears will win. Prediction: Baylor.
CU Later at Phog U - Kansas is 22-42-3 against the Buffaloes, but have won the last 2. I see this being three in a row. KU is better offensively and defensively, and their coach is a better sumo wrestler. The only chance the Buffaloes have is for the Jayhawks to be thrown off while searching for a new cheer during kickoffs. Prediction: Jayhawks
Cash Machine U hosts Willie and Friends - The most telltale sign of where the Aggie program is to date is that K State is 1-2 in it's last three games and has given up 133 points in those games, and they are favored by 3 while playing AT Kyle Field. That's amazing. Sherman seems to have awakened to the fact that it's a good idea to give Javorskie Lane the ball periodically. Kansas State is atrocious on run defense, allowing 300 yards in 2 separate games. The Dust Pirates even ran for 136, and North Texas ran for 102. TAMU should run the ball a lot and allow the QBs shoulders to heal. Prediction: Texas A&M
Nebraska travels to Lubbock to take on the Dust Pirates- this is Texas Tech's homecoming week. Normally you schedule an inferior foe for homecoming. I don't think the Huskers were homecoming fodder pre-Callahan. Bo may be reviving the program, but that sucker is still in intensive care presently. The bugeater D is 97th in pass yard per game and 79th in pass efficiency defense. They allowed Tyrod Taylor to go 9 for 15 a few weeks ago . Graham Harrell and his mates will have a field day.
Prediction: Texas Tech
Mack Brown blah blah blan
Colt McCoy is 2nd in the nation in blah blah blah
Will Muschamp led LSU's defense in attacking an immobile Jason White...blah blah blah
Sam Bradford is a Heisman blah blah blah.
Alright, let's play the game.
Thursday, October 9, 2008
The research was made painfully easy by the folks behind www.soonerstats.com.
Stoops is 20-2 when leading the AP ranked #1 team in the land. Losses were to #13 ranked Kansas State in 2003, and to unranked Texas A&M in 2002. It was all downhill for Reggie McNeal from there. Stoops record against ranked foes while being #1 is 7-1, and basic math tells us he's 13-1 when playing unranked foes.
That is all. Nothing else to see here.
Wednesday, October 8, 2008
Seems the Longhorns were all registering to vote. The article had a nice photo of Colt McCoy registering (he and the kicker are the likely McCain voters on the squad), which I've stolen and posted here.
However, with the troubles the Horns had last summer with the law, I wondered if they had anyone eligible to vote. With just a couple of minutes of google-facilitated research, I found that felons are prohibited from voting, unless they've completed the punishment phase, then they are welcome to vote again. Fortunately for the Horns, the DUI and marijuana charges are misdemeanors, so all systems are go.
We did do an informal poll of the Horns registering to vote, and found they are most likely to vote for the following things:
- Legalized marijuana
- Kinky Friedman
- Increasing blood alcohol limits
- Legalized dog fighting
Mack's gotta get this thing under control.
Tuesday, October 7, 2008
Anywho, the Sooners were picked #1 by the Big 12 coaches this week in a preseason poll, with defending national champion Kansas being slated for the 4th in the conference. Assuming the Brothers Griffin stay healthy, and no more ballers get stabbed at local nightclubs, the LandThieves should be in for an outstanding year. The fine folks over at stormingthefloor.com are also projecting big things for the Sooners.
Monday, October 6, 2008
Also, note to Wisconsin fan, if the answer to the question is a K State transfer, I don't want to know the question.