Great week to be on a bye- Three undefeateds and a top ten team lost, and two other top 10 teams struggled… And, as much as I hate to admit it, only one song came to mind for Monday’s soundtrack. Enjoy.
Of course we’re going to start off in Happy Valley, where Michigan’s Brady Hoke continued his longstanding legacy of struggling on the road. As excellent as the Wolverines have been at home under his tenure *coughhomecookingcough* he’s only 6-8 on the road, including a nailbiter of a win against something called a UConn this season.
Hats off to the Penn State coaching staff, who essentially nullified Michigan’s running game- Toussiant and Green had 30 rushes for 28 yards. And big kudos to the Lion’s Christian Hackenburg and Allen Robinson, who made big plays late to tie the game and send it into what would be four overtimes.
But “player of the game” award goes to that upstanding citizen Brendan Gibbons, who missed three of four field goals, including big shanks in overtime and a kick at the end of regulation that was just short. Penn State played to win, Michigan played not to lose and still managed to do so. The Lions will now have a bye week before heading to Columbus to face Ohio State in what’s sure to be a hard fought battle.
Because I’m a petty person, we’ll be enjoying visual reminders of this game throughout the rest of this post… but let’s talk about the other games of note.
We’ve talked before about “Big Game Bob” and the pass that Coach Stoops gets in spite of some collapses on the national stage; recently, though, his Sooners have made hay in the Red River Shootout at the expense of a down Texas program. So much so, in fact, that they even tried to make a clever graphic about it- it was assumed that yesterday’s game would be the final straw to lead to Mack Brown getting the Lane Kiffin treatment on the grounds of the Texas State Fairground. Funny thing about narratives, though…
Not only did Texas dominate the Sooners from the opening snap on their way to a 36-20 victory, they also gave us that greatest of college football gifts: a fat guy touchdown. Enjoy the majesty:
For some reason, I’ve had this song stuck in my head lately. And now, you will too. You’re welcome.
The story of the weekend certainly happened off the field… off the field, off the tarmac, and off the bus; as the leadership at Southern Cal had seen enough and decided that the Lane Kiffin Experience was overdue for termination.
According to reports, the decision was made at some point during the third quarter of the Trojan’s blowout loss to Arizona State (this time with no officiating issues!).
Again, this is something that had been coming for a while- after squandering what many believed to have been a top 5 team and Heisman Candidate QB last year, there was speculation that Kiffin’s leash was already shortened. Given his “career”, it’s completely understandable- Fell into failure with the Raiders, tried to turn Tennessee into Trojan East and left the program in shambles that they’re still recovering from, and sliding into mediocrity in Los Angeles… that doesn’t go over well for anyone who can’t remember Trojan football BC (Before Carroll).
To be fair, though- Southern Cal is suffering under the weight of recruiting restrictions due to the
arbitrary randomness wisdom of the NCAA; restrictions that were laughably upheld this week after a brief review in the strangest of circumstances. But to see other PAC12 teams strengthen themselves (Stanford, Washington, and cross-town rival UCLA), Kiffin’s inability to succeed at a program that has everything to offer ended up being too much to continue.
For more on the Southern Cal situation, I cannot recommend our friend Paragon’s take on this decision. As for me, I’m still a believer in Barkley’s theory and am confident that Kiffikins will land on his feet.
The short lists of replacements are already under consideration: Boise’s Peterson, Vanderbilt’s Franklin, Jack Del Rio from the NFL are among the common names. I posited this on twitter, but can only offer the most logical decision in this matter. Bucket not included.
Out west, among teams with an offensive philosophy that matters, it was “Fun With The Transitive Property!” day for pollsters, as #2 Oregon hosted Cal. Certainly voters could learn something about the Buckeyes’ rankings with a shared opponent in the Ducks… and what they learned is that Ducks don’t mind monsoons. Jared Goff was replaced early in the game, but the turnovers and wet conditions didn’t slow down the Oregon offense, even after LaMichael James left the game with a leg injury. Not sure what happened… perhaps he just got winged. Read More
Welcome to a special edition tBBC Round-table© where a few staffers decided to get together and come up with some admittedly absurd comments. We just went around the table looking for possible events this football season, be it on the stage of Ohio State, B1G or college football in general.
Disclaimer: this is presented in the spirit of pre-season ‘decompression’; no one here suggests that you use this information for possibly nefarious purposes.
Here we go, in no particular order… well, actually it’s in alphabetical order.
Q: How many times will the media try to justify Johnny Manziel’s actions?
A: Over for sure…..one a day for the remainder of the football season.
And I’ve already seen one!
Q: How many games will Ohio State win?
A: Well we aren’t losing any games so figure out the answer yourself!
Follow up comment by Eric
A: Set the bar at 11.5 games and you’ll have a tough bet. I might take the under on that.
(Eric may have his research methodology down pat, something to consider.)
I’m still basking in the glow of 12-0. And more importantly, I continue to cherish the win over Michigan and think about it every day. I didn’t realize how much the 2011 game impacted me until this week. To see them lose to TTUN after everything that happened to them in 2011, while playing maybe their best game of the season, was truly heartbreaking. But that memory can be suppressed, the undefeated Buckeyes have made it so. It’s Wednesday, let’s get ready to rumble!
Braxton and the Heisman
I was absolutely shocked when the Heisman trophy finalists were announced on Monday evening and Braxton Miller wasn’t amongst them. I realize he had “average” games against Wisconsin and Michigan to close the season, but his team did finish 12-0 and he put up some pretty gaudy numbers in leading them to that mark. I didn’t in any way expect him to win it, but in a year with no clear favorite how does the highlight reel quarterback of the undefeated Ohio State Buckeyes get left off the invite list?
Without further ado: The finalists are Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te’o, Kansas State quarterback Collin Klein and Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel. I know what you want to know now: Who should win it and who would I vote for?
If you’re looking for consistency then it has to be Klein or Te’o. If it’s the “story” that you’re looking for, it would have to be Te’o or “Johnny Football” Manziel. If it’s the guy who meant the most to his team, it’s Te’o spearheading one of the nation’s best defenses through a tough schedule and leading it to Miami and the national championship game. If it’s the statistically best player in college football, Klein has thrown for 2500 yards and ran for 900 more while Manziel has accounted for 4600 total yards on the season.
Who would I vote for? If Collin Klein’s team had finished undefeated, he would likely have been my pic. However they didn’t, so he’s out. I’m not giving the Heisman Trophy to someone simply based on what conference they play in. So while “Johnny Football” has ridiculous numbers and a win at Alabama, he can win it next year if he does it again. That’s provided he can hold off Braxton Miller and the run he will get just from having the Ohio State name and exposure attached to him. So that leaves Manti Te’o of the three finalists, and yes, he’d get my vote. I realize he doesn’t lead the nation in statistics, but if he were not on the Notre Dame defense, would they be in Miami challenging for the crystal football? I think absolutely not. He’s not only the best player on the number one team in the country; he is their heart and soul.
The Heisman used to be about awarding the best player in college football, regardless or conference, stats, position etc. A vote for Te’o is a throwback and I’d be “all in” for it. I’d have absolutely no problem checking the box to give the Heisman Trophy to Manti Te’o. Read More
Interesting Tuesday in college sports, to say the least. We’ll get to all the movers and shakers, but first a little traveling music.
Most of the frustration was aimed at the inclusion of Notre Dame’s Manti Te’o, who we’ve argued here before is only a finalist due to his team’s success, solid (but not great) numbers, and the great “story” that his season has been- both for him and as a heart of the awakened echoes of the Irish program. Tony Gerdeman from the OZone compared Te’o to AJ Hawk, the last linebacker to be seriously considered for the Heisman, and found that Hawk’s numbers eclipsed the Irish’ star. He, along with the guys at Land Grant Holy Land (check out the infographic) continue to compare his numbers to Ohio State’s Ryan Shazier- Gerd points out that, in the last three games of the season, Shazier outplayed Te’o and almost doubled his statistics, minus the interceptions. Given that Te’o plays in a variation of the Tampa 2 defense which requires more coverage, this might make sense- different roles for both players. But it does highlight the fact that Te’o is a debatable finalist… and as such, might have just as well been left home with Miller and Marquis Lee (who I believe is the best player in the country this season).
With no hope of a national championship, the Buckeyes saw excellence as its own reward—and achieved it. What better example of pure sportsmanship could there be? Next year, Ohio State will once again be jockeying for a high-profile bowl berth and all the cash that flows from it. This year’s team, by contrast, will stand forever as the one that played not for money but for pride.
You need to ask?
Don’t fall into Wisconsin’s revenge plans. It was a close run thing, but the Buckeyes definitely avoided the revenge trap. Deal with it Badgers. Deal with it.
Take two steps forward in the passing game. 10/18 for less than 100 yards is not 2 steps forward. There were some bright spots in the passing game, but the Wisconsin defense did a good job of stifling the offense.
Carlos Hyde with 150 yards running. He could have, if we had run them as often as the fans – and later Miller, Hyde, and Meyer – had wanted. Unfortunately, he only picked up 87 yards on 15 carries.
Etienne Sabino on fire. 6 total tackles and 4 solo isn’t exactly on fire (he had 12 against UAB), but it’s not a bad job for his first day back.
A Wisconsin loss. It’s great to see ‘em lose. Glad the Bucks made it happen.
New wrinkles. Seemed pretty plain vanilla all day long. Perhaps that was by design? Just random speculation after all.
Offense on speed. We definitely saw that in the OT when the Buckeyes carved up the Badger defense like it was standing still. The rest of the game was less than speedy.
Buckeye defense bringing the House of Pain. It’s doubtful that there is anything more painful than that forced fumble near the end of the game. They may have come back from it, but that had to be devastating.
20+ point victory. …Not so much.