I’m pretty sure that was the worst week of College Football picks for this crew in the five years of it’s existence. Maybe I’m over-exaggerating, but 75% of those who help me out with our Picks were at 0-5 as we headed into the evening on Saturday. Thanks to the Mustangs, I picked up some ground on everyone by a game! Beating those Horned Frogs like there’s no poison in their ummmm.. Bite.
It was Baylor this week that gave everyone a loss on their record. Thanks ESPN and RGIII for selling the hype on the clearance shelf. It was me digging in and looking for legendary 5 buck team.
Truth is Baylor still isn’t elite.
A team that is though is those damn Badgers. A huge win over Nebraska propels them into national contenders. As sick as it makes me to even think about a BCS championship scenerio with that team. What’s more disturbing to the mind? The Badgers holding the glass football, or Bo Ryan dancing on the court.
No Contest. I hate you Bo Ryan.
Anyways, we’re here to break down the games and talk about week six of the college football season. Let’s take a look at Week 5′s results.
Well, after a loss there really is only one choice for this week’s soundtrack… Just be thankful I didn’t go all Broadway on you. I know that there were exciting things on the field to talk about, but the big story brings us to…
This week in EXPAND-A-PALOOZA: Well, well, well- Saturday awoke to the ACC getting their big boy pants on, and Sunday it became official- Pitt and Syracuse would be joining the conference in all sports. This was a surprising move, since the ACC has been relatively quiet throughout this process, although last week the powers that be agreed to raise the conference buyout to $20 million (from $12-$14 mil). While it looks proactive in many ways, it’s got to be influenced by rumors that the SEC was looking to poach several schools (FSU/Clemson) from the conference. The addition of Pitt and Syracuse also effectively block the B1G; these programs were always in the minds of those who believed that B1G Commish Jim Delaney was looking to connect with the NY media market- that ship may have now sailed. As a reminder, the B1G is constrained, in a good way from my perspective, by the belief that the conference’s affiliations should transcend television dollars or “great matchups”, and include schools that are parts of the CIC or AAU to share research revenue opportunities.
Other rumors today are that TBPU, OU, UT, and TTU would head to the PAC-16 and be in a western division with Utah, Colorado, and the two Arizona schools. To solve the problem of “not playing in California” for recruiting purposes, the conference would move to a “pod” system that would have teams playing three other schools every year, and then two schools from the other two pods on a rotating basis. Yeah, it’s that complicated. Be aware, though, that UT folks were just in LA for the UCLA game (more later), and that UT and OU have board of regents meetings called for Monday, with Texas having “Conference Alignment” on the agenda.
Elsewheres, UConn has also been rumored to head to the ACC (holy cow, is that going to be a basketball powerhouse conference), while WVa is rumored to have submitted it’s petition to be the SEC’s #14. Where does that leave the B1G? Notre Dame/Rutgers/Mizzou are supposedly the next targets… although the CIC/AAU thing is still a strong draw for some who are connected to Longhorn Nation.
Oh, and if the insiders at a certain Northwestern message board are to be believed, ESPN is at the heart of this. Anyone else curious how media conglomerates became involved in the actions of institutions of higher education? And you thought the “coverage” of B1G sports by the four letter network had an agenda now… what do you think will happen when three of the four super-conferences have deals with Bristol’s network. Now THAT’s something congress should look into, if you ask me- particularly given the fact that the organization that was created to monitor and guide these matters is pretty much powerless on top of other issues.
Update: Well… huh. The SEC has stated that they’re not extending an offer to aTm at this time, bringing this whole shebang to a screeching halt.
Sources say that the argument over who might be the 14th team and Aggy counterpart was partially responsible for the decision.
No word yet on whether or not the Big 12-2 will just preemptively break up with aTm in response to their looking around at other suitors.
After last summer’s exciting adventures in conference expansion, it seems as there might be a nice refractory period for at least a couple of years.
Ah, but like an addict jonesing for the next hit, university administration, conference leadership, and sports fans across the nation couldn’t stay away from the possibility of becoming bigger and better, particularly where money and egos are involved.
Yup, I referred to Freud… since much of what is going on seems to also be impacted by a sense of fear and frustration; schools not getting the respect they deserve, so leaving for greener pastures becomes a bright, shiny option.
The major factor, as before, is TV money. Just like the BTN started this gunfight last year with it’s ability to pay programs more than they might have been getting from other conference revenue sharing agreements, network exposure and cash are also at the heart of this wave of rumors.
History: There is none. Sure, you can talk about all the great Cotton Bowls that have graced these sacred grounds, but that game has been moved to Arlington this year. The message: Jerry Jones is evil incarnate.
So, let’s talk about the locale- the Cotton Bowl is located right in the middle of the Fair Park, home to the Texas State Fair. Or, as I like to call it- “Mecca for all things fried and tasty“. And by “All”, I include butter and beer. Seriously-
At 5:27, dude eats a fried club salad. Wow. Well, my wife said I need more veggies in my diet… Luckily, this one’s on the Ocho (ESPNU or ESPN3), or else we’d have to be tormented by the booth team enjoying these goodies while they mumbled through the play by play.
About the sponsor; you guessed it, this is an online broker for all things ticketed. So, if you don’t have your Sugar Bowl ducats, here’s the link. In terms of the game at hand, there are plenty of tickets still available, to the surprise of absolutely no one. I’ve also heard that you get two free with every three orders of chocolate coated fried bacon. So, yeah… I’ve got some extra if anyone wants them- it’s Christmas, don’t you judge me.
I”m going to get this out of the way right now- I miss Cap’n Leach. Going from him to Tommy Tuberville is like getting excited for Greek food and being handed a slice of Wonder Bread.
All Big 12 defensive lineman Colby Whitlock anchors a defense that gained 22 turnovers on the year. Linebacker Brian Duncan’s seven sacks lead the team, and defensive back Jarvis Phillips’ four interceptions for 114 yards aren’t too shabby for a redshirt freshman.
Under Tuberville, the obscene passing numbers we’re used to from Red Raiders have dwindled, but not significantly. Taylor Potts is still finding 279 yards per game through the air, and 17 of his 31 TDs have gone to receiver Lyle Long. Baron Batch and Eric Stephens have managed 1347 yards on the ground; it should be noted that the Red Raiders’ losses have mostly come in the Big 12 south, where the only win they have is against Baylor.
TTU/Buckeye Connections: Ohio State is 2-0 against the Red Raiders, most famously (and recently) as the first major challenge in the 2002 championship season. Read More
As the recruiting wheel turns, what looked to be a lock for the Pac-10 is now on shaky ground.
As we’ve talked about before, rumors were that the Pac-10 was looking to grab Texas, TTU, aTm, Oklahoma State, OU, and either Baylor or Colorado to expand to 16. When Colorado jumped west, it appeared that this was a sure thing.
Now, however, we’re hearing that the Aggies will be moving to the SEC. Rumors are that this is due, in part, to former Alabama coach Gene Stalling’s place on the aTm board of regents.
What This Means- Who knows? But it does seem to indicate, if true, that the Texas legislature will be limited in their influence over the University of Texas, and may not pressure them to move in mass to a new conference with the other Texas institutions. The “Tech Problem” President Gee was speaking about.
Other Rumors to be Mongered- We’re also hearing that the Pac-10 may be interested in Missouri and/or Kansas. Nothing solid, so no linkage, but it’s out there.
Interesting Factoid: If Nebraska begins playing in the Big T1e2n in football for the 2011 season, it will leave the Big 12/10 without enough teams to automatically allow them to play a championship game (although, the NCAA may make an exception). So, there may be an additional revenue-based motivation for the other Big 12/10 teams to make decisions quickly.
Questions Remaining- If Texas goes to the Pac-10, who do they take to fill aTm’s spot- Utah? Baylor? KU? Mizzou? Do they try to stick it out in the Big 12 or add SMU, Houston, and TCU? Does this free Texas in a way that makes a move to the Big T1e2n more plausible? Also- Does the SEC stop with aTm, or do they push for Oklahoma and other schools?
Again, we’ll continue to enjoy the cornucopia of wonders as it develops.
And now, your “Conference Expansion” update.
This weekend was a big bunch of doin’s across the nation, as Pac-10, Big 12, and Big T1e1en staff all held their meetings. Understandably, expansion was the topic of discussion across the board.
We’ve heard what the Pac-10 has on the table: Among the options are take part of the Big 12 (UT, TTU, aTm, OkSU, OU, CU), take the entire Big 12 South (UT, aTm, TTU, BU, OkSU, OU), or take Utah/Colorado. According to sources, they have received approval to extend these offers.
The second option listed above is a recent development- Texas legislators who are concerned that UT make a move without aTm and TTU are also preparing to demand that UT’s move include Baylor and exclude Colorado. This is the same legislative ideology that demanded that TTU be included in the Big 12; their academic caliber may be one of the reasons that the Big T1e1n wouldn’t extend an invitation to them, and may be the heart of Dr. Gee’s “Tech problem” reference.
In Colorado, this was greeted with the idea that CU join the MWC. Expected this week is an offer to Boise State to join the MWC; Colorado joining as well would then have the conference’s membership including Colorado, Utah, BYU, TCU, Boise State, and would strengthen state rivalries with Colorado State and Air Force.
So, what does this have to do with Nebraska? Well, it’s like this- at the Big 12 meetings, conference members were asked to reaffirm their commitment to the conference. Three schools did not: Missouri, Colorado, and Nebraska. In fact, Mizzou and Nebraska have allegedly been given a timeline to make up their minds on their future with the conference, although what would happen if they declined to take a position has not been stated.
Nebraska’s role in the history of the Big 12 is an interesting one. During the original merger between the Big 8 and the SWC’s teams, there was contention surrounding the new conference’s perspective on “partial qualifiers”- Nebraska wanted to maintain the Big 8′s willingness to allow unlimited numbers of these students as a part of the program (what has been described as a key part of their famous ‘walk on’ program); Texas wanted limits on the numbers of these types of students that would be allowed. Texas’ opinion won out. Recently, Nebraska AD and former football coach Tom Osborne was the only “nay’ vote in regards to maintaining the conference championship game’s location in Dallas; he thought that it should be split between Dallas (Big 12 south) and St. Louis (Big 12 north) regions. Remembering his school’s last experience in Dallas, this is more than understandable. Check out the great work on Orangebloods.com for more details on Nebraska’s position in this discussion.
So, if Nebraska decides that it will forsake the Big 12, it a) opens the door for others in the conference to do likewise (either to the Big T1e1n or Pac-10) and b) makes the national landscape unstable enough to potentially push Notre Dame into joining the Big t1e1n as well.
The 11 school presidents and chancellors along with Notre Dame athletic director Jack Swarbrick met for about 4 1/2 hours, and Big Ten commissioner Jim Delaney said the majority of time was spent on expansion dialogue.
Wow- the “after Christmas events” are getting more and more interesting, ain’t they?
Allegedly, he made a player sit in an equipment bin during practice after the player wouldn’t play with a potential concussion. Because being careful with brain issues is for losers.
Bad enough, right? But, to take things further, the player was Adam James. As in Craig James’ son. As in the ESPN broadcaster initially assigned to do color commentary for the Alamo Bowl (he has since been reassigned).
However, if this is true, and given what we saw at Kansas, this does not look good for the Red Raiders’ commander.
Here’s this week’s soundtrack/music to piss off the people in the cubicle next to you.
Every season, there’s one or two weeks that just screw up everything. From the Vegas lines, to the “pundit’s choices”, to alumni plans for Bowl Game Tailgating, and even the coaching hot seats get impacted by what actually manifests on the fields of play.
Welcome to that week. Be it the weather, the injuries, the flu, whatever- some astounding and amazing stuff happened over the past few days.
The top teams all continue to cruise along, with the exception of Florida who lost their Heisman Trophy fullback that throws the ball to one of the poorest pieces of blocking I’ve ever seen:
Up 31-7 late in the third quarter, you have to wonder why Tebow (who also suffered with the flu all week) was even in the game. Sure, the Gators won, but at what cost? At least they’re not Baylor, who lost their all-amazing QB to injury on Saturday.
Alabama and Texas rolled, so there’s really nothing to talk about there. But number 4 Mississippi either completely spit the bit against the Old Ball Coach (emphasis on “old”, as in “formerly good”), or revealed that their ranking was based on the smoke and mirrors of a bowl win against a not very good TTU team.
Then, number 5 State Penn went down against Iowa for the second straight year. This time, at home in a game characterized by sloppy fourth quarter play:
The six possessions that PSU had in the second half included 4 turnovers, a blocked punt, and a blown field goal. What did we learn in unHappy Valley? Either 1) Scheduling cupcakes may not be a healthy diet, 2) The Hawkeyes have got the Lions figured out, 3) PSU might want to rethink the whole “white out” idea, since it’s not a guarantee and may add more pressure, 4) If you decide to go to the “white out” in a costume, be prepared to look like an idiot on national tv….
Rolling right along, number 6 Cal got absolutely worked by the Oregon Knights. As one Cal fan said to me on Saturday- “looks like we started our late season collapse a bit early… you know, to get it out of the way.” Good thinking, that. What’s ironic is that for once, the Ducks didn’t have the ugliest uniforms in the Pacific Northwet. Perhaps they should stick with the classic look; and perhaps the Seahawks should fire whoever came up with those monstrosities. Fire them with real fire.
Number seven LSU needed a late game goal-line stand to hold off Mississippi State, and number 8 Boise State cruised. Number nine Miami dropped an ACC tilt against Virginia Tech- I guess discussions of their resurgence were a bit premature, no? Number ten was idle, and we’ve covered number 11 VaTach. U$C took vengeance on all things Washington by pounding the ‘Cougs. We’ll get to lucky number 13 in a bit- fourteenth ranked Cincinnati and fifteenth ranked TCU both squeaked by their unranked opponents. Number sixteen TBPU destroyed the school of one of my favorite coaches, while Houston earned their number seventeen ranking with a win over Texas Tech (great coaching hire). Elsewheres in the top 25, Georgia held off unranked Arizona State in Tempe and North Carolina fell to Georgia Tech. Florida State… well, they’re Florida State.
Other “interesting” games- Notre Ame needed to rally to beat Purdue (!), Washington proved that it couldn’t keep the momentum going by dropping to Stanford, and Mich1gAAn needed some serious home cooking from the officials to ensure a victory over Indiana.
You read that right, the Hoosiers almost beat TTUN in Ann Arbor. I really hope their QB can hold up until November.
Soo… let’s talk a bit about the number 300. Saturday marked the three hundreth consecutive sell out at Nebraska, a feat that dates back to 1962. That’s a ton of games, as the Sullivans can attest. The Huskers/Bugeaters celebrated with cool throwback uniforms and by beating the andouille out of the Ragin Cajuns of Louisiana Lafayette. Best quote about the streak? “Congratulations, Nebraska fans, for preserving the lone streak Steve Pederson and Bill Callahan couldn’t destroy” Here’s to 300 more, Husker fans.
But that wasn’t the only 300 on Saturday- Ohio State’s Jim Tressel marked his 300th game as the Buckeyes squared off against the Fighting (kinda’) Zooks of Illinois, in the battle for the ugly turtle. Tressel entered the game 220-77-2 and left the game 221-77-2, after #13 Ohio State handed a 30-0 (300?) beating to the Illini. It was a game that saw a bit of everything- a tribute to Woody (0 passing yards in the first half), going for it on fourth and goal (late in the game, too…), and defensive lineman Doug Worthington attempting to fly. Major kudos for anyone who can send me video of the leap of doom. UPDATE- BuckeyeSki from Eleven Warriors with the assist! Thanks man-
Coming this week: Conference games continue, as LSU and Georgia kick off the SEC in earnest. Cal tries to rebound against U$C, and Indiana hosts the Buckeyes. The first annual “nicknames that make me giggle” game as Mich1gAAn and MAChigan State square off.
“It’s Ty Willingham’s Fault”- Washington travels to Notre Ame. War Tiger rolls into Rocky Top, and OU heads to the sunny beaches of Miami. Illinois hosts Penn State, Nebraska is off, and TCU welcomes SMU.
And here’s a friendly video from the Mich1gAAn Department of Tourism:
Back Thursday with a visit from June Cleaver’s favorite neighbor.