Posts Tagged ‘Oklahoma Sooners’

Oct
0

PigskinU Top 25: Unlikely Losses by Oklahoma and Wisconsin Screw Things Up

WR Ryan Broyles and his Sooners teammates likely won’t be playing in the BCS Championship game this year.

Well, just when you think you have it all figured out, unlikely losses by Oklahoma and Wisconsin screw things up.

First, let me apologize for my absence. I’ve been on vacation the past two weeks, mixing sports (Stanford and California games) and leisure (four days in beautiful Cabo San Lucas). When I returned on Friday, my Top 25 – at least the Top 10 – was pretty much how I left it.

But that changed Saturday night. I’m not sure what surprised me more – how Wisconsin lost or that Oklahoma lost at all.

The Sooners have been my No. 1 team since the preseason and I’ve been steadfast in my devotion to the Crimson and Cream. But the texas Tech Red Raiders went into Norman, OK, and defeated the Sooners, 41-38. It was the Sooners’ first home loss in 39 games. And if you look at the box score, how the Sooners lost seems mysterious. I mean, QB Landry Jones had 412 yards passing and 5 touchdowns. But then you look at texas Tech QB Seth Doege’s numbers – 441 yards passing and 4 touchdowns – and you get the picture. This was Wyatt Earp and Doc Holliday facing off against the Clanton Brothers at the OK Corral. Someone was going to lose. It just turned out to be Oklahoma.

Does this loss destroy Oklahoma’s BCS Championship game hopes? Not necessarily, though the Sooners can’t lose another game and must hope that both LSU and Alabama lose someone along the way, the latter of which seems unlikely.

But then I thought Oklahoma and Wisconsin both having a loss after Saturday being unlikely, too. The Badgers went down to East Lansing and played what looked to be a solid game. QB Russell Wilson wasn’t spectacular, but he and his running backs, Montee Ball and James White, had done enough to give the Badgers a shot at overtime.

Then Michigan State QB Kirk Cousins threw what may now be the most famous pass in Michigan State history, a 44-yard Hail Mary to Keith Nichol as time expired. I missed it because I was watching my texas Rangers get drilled by the St. Louis Cardinals in Game 3 of the World Series. And now that I’ve seen the replay, I’m still not quite sure Nichol got across the goal line. But that’s the call and the Badgers have to live with another season lost.

So, the losses of my Nos. 1 and 6 teams from my last poll after Week 5 necessitates some shifting around.

So, without further ado, My PigskinU.com Top 25 poll after Week 8:

Continue Reading…

Oct
0

You Want a True National Champion? Start a Playoff

Note: This series previously ran at RoadTripSports.com, but given the current climate of conference realignment, stoked by the Big 12, I feel this series of articles is as relevant now as it was a year ago. It will run every few days here at PigskinU.com. Check the PigskinU.com archives for Parts 1, 2, 3 and 4.

So in Part One I laid out an overview of building a better college game. In Part 2, we put our commissioner in charge with a mandate – change college football for the better. In Part 3 we re-drew conference lines, though not as radically as I originally intended. In Part 4 we talked about reducing the schedule to 11 games to allow all of our re-drawn conferences to participate in conference championship games.

But do you want a true national champion? Start a playoff. Here’s how.

Continue Reading…

Sep
0

The Walkthrough: Pac-12 Surprises Us All and Says They’re Just Fine

Pac-12 commissioner Larry Scott and his school presidents are off the expansion train, for now.

Matthew Postins files The Walkthrough twice a week during the season at PigskinU.com. Early in the week, it’s a wrap-up of last weekend’s action. Late in the week, it’s a preview of what’s coming up that weekend. And it call comes with news, commentary and Postins’ dry wit and opinion.

The Pac-12 surprises us all and says they’re just fine. The 24-hour news cycle is a double-edged sword. Sure, you get information whenever you want. But there’s only so much information to go around. In the world of search engines and SEO titles and blog tags, you need current content to keep your site relevant.

So what do we do? We speculate. We’re all guilty of it. Sure, we qualify it with information from “sources” and “reports from other agencies” but deep down it’s all just an educated guess. None of us can tell you for certain if team X is going to go to conference Y until team X says yes or no.

So for days I, as much as anyone else in our business, speculated that Oklahoma and texas would be moving to the Pac-12 because, well, who wouldn’t want to have those two teams in their conference?

Apparently not the Pac-12, which thumbed its nose at everyone Thursday and basically said, “You know what? We’re good.”

Continue Reading…

Sep
0

Pac-12 Says Not So Fast on Expansion

Your daily dose of realignment news, gathered from various sources around the Web:

The Pac-12 says not so fast on expansion. With all the talk about conference realignment, I guess we forgot to ask the Pac-12 if they actually WANTED to expand. The conference ended that speculation today, according to numerous news outlets. The Pac-12 is happy with 12 members, according to a news release, and doesn’t plan to expand. There wasn’t even a qualifying “at this time” in the release. Seems the Pac-12 is happy with its mammoth TV contract. Good for them. I’ve always though that 12 teams was the most any conference should be.

Beebe’s Bad Luck Growing. Yesterday officials at the University of Oklahoma related to local news outlets that there was a simple way to work toward regaining trust and allegiance in the Big 12 (and to keep OU) — fire the commissioner. Dan Beebe has come under great fire the past few days and now it seems the rancor is growing. The Tulsa World reported today that the Big 12 presidents will have a teleconference on Thursday to discuss keeping the league together and Beebe’s job is on the agenda. Now, this is a “sources” story, but the World reports that former Big 8 commissioner Chuck Nienas would be the interim commish if Beebe “resigned.” Sounds like Beebe might not get a choice in the matter.

Hey, we’re still with you Big East. It has been a stellar year for West Virginia AD Oliver Luck. Certainly, there’s the whole accelerated promotion of Dana Holgorsen to head coach and the controversy surrounding that. But he had to do a little PR work on Tuesday after he represented the Mountaineers at a high-level Big East meeting about keeping the conference viable for football. Luck said afterward that he was impressed with the conference’s plan to attract “top-level BCS caliber institutions.” He made no mention of whether West Virginia was still committed to the league. I’m sure that didn’t escape the league’s watchful eye. Still, the only schools I’m hearing being floated around are Navy and Air Force. Uh, you guys have a backup plan, right? Right?

Oddly enough, that’s all for now. We were all waiting for the Pac-12 to say yes to OU and texas and the chaos that move would trigger. Now that the Pac-12 has said no, we’ll have to wait for some other move to trigger the next great conference shift. Maybe I can go without writing one of these for a few days? Nah.

See ya then.

Sep
0

Is Missouri on its way to the SEC?

Here’s your daily update on all things college realignment. Don’t waste your time going to several different sites when you can get all the updates here.

Is Missouri on its way to the SEC? Remember last week when I wrote that Missouri‘s likely fit was the SEC, if the Big 12 disbanded? Well, according to CBSSports.com via the Kansas City Star, the Tigers are sitting on an offer to join the conference. Now, here’s the bad news. The Star’s source is a Missouri booster with says he’s spoken to a school official who has told him there’s an offer (the SEC is denying all of this). Isn’t that three degrees of Kevin Bacon or something like that? While I’m not exactly holding my breath on this report, I made clear Missouri‘s desirability last week — the Tigers have a quality program, own the state of Missouri and provide access to the St. Louis and Kansas City media markets.

Goodbye is the hardest part, except when it’s not. Brett McMurphy of CBSSports.com, one of the more reliable guys in the business, is reporting that West Virginia‘s overtures to both the ACC and SEC have been turned down. So the Mountaineers are stuck with whatever the Big East can cobble together once the big boys get their business straight.

Middies could have been a contender. McMurphy also reported today that before Pittsburgh and Syracuse did their escape act, the Big East was in serious talks with Navy to bring on the Midshipmen as a football-only member. Turns out Air Force was also on its short list. I still think this could be a good deal for Navy and the Big East, but this likely won’t happen until the Big East determines if it can merge with the Big 12. I know this — if Mizzou heads for the SEC, there’s a spot open.

Get Rid of Beebe. CBSSports.com had an interesting post via NewsOK.com. Oklahoma might actually consider staying in the Big 12. It’s condition? Get rid of commissioner Dan Beebe. Of course, this is a “sources” story, so take it as you will. But since OU’s real problem is how Beebe handled the whole longhorn Network thing, and it’s not going away, something tells me this is just a bunch of hooey.

Tuesday’s meetings. The Associated Press is reporting that the Pac-12 could meet as early as the end of this week to consider its options when it comes to expanding to 16 teams. The Big East has a meeting scheduled for tomorrow as well to consider its options.

Because the 16-team WAC worked so well. According to multiple courses the Mountain West and Conference USA are considering a merger that would inflate the combined league to 22 teams. It sounds insane, but there’s some logic to it. Remember the other day I wrote that a combined Big 12-Big East would reduce the number of BCS automatic conference title bids from six to five? Well, the idea here would be to combine resources and claim the last BCS berth. I’m not sure that works, but it might be the best plan the pair have to get into the party.

What? No WAC or Sun Belt news? Like you, I’m blown away they haven’t gotten into the act.

Until tomorrow…

Sep
0

Oklahoma, Texas get clearance to go to new league

So, it’s been another crazy day on the college realignment front. If you don’t feel like going to multiple sites to get your news, well, here’ we go:

Oklahoma, texas get clearance to go to new league. The board of regents for both the University of Oklahoma and the University of texas gave their respective athletic departments permission to seek new conference affiliation. Speculation, as you might expect, is on the Pac-12. Oklahoma has made it clear their only choices are to stay in the Big 12 or move to the Pac 12. texas did not mention where it might go if it leaves the Big 12. But the Austin American-Statesman reported on Monday that conversations between Oklahoma, texas, texas Tech and Oklahoma State are already happening with the Pac 12. Talks are not far enough along, though, for Pac 12 commissioner Larry Scott to involve the presidents of the other member universities or to call for a vote. All four teams must apply for membership before any vote can take place and the longhorn Network still has to be worked out.

What Could Have Been. The Statesman also reported that one of the schools texas was seeking to court in a revamped Big 12 was Pittsburgh. The Panthers‘ successful petition to join the Atlantic Coast Conference put an end to that.

Saving the Leftovers. CBSSports.com reported that there are conversations between the leftovers from the Big 12 and the Big East to merge conferences. That would be Missouri, Kansas, Kansas State, Iowa State and Baylor in the Big 12 and Cincinnati, Connecticut, South Florida, Rutgers, Louisville, West Virginia and TCU (in 2012) in the Big East. That would create a 12-team league capable of stretching from New York and Florida to texas and allow the league access to major media markets in New York City and Dallas-Fort Worth.

I find two things interesting. First, that merges two automatic BCS berths. Does the BCS provide a sixth automatic berth to one of the current non-AQ conferences or keep the automatic berths at five and expand the at-large berths. Second, what does the Big East do about the basketball problem? The basketball membership in this conference would swell to well over 20, which seems completely unmanageable.

Sep
0

The Walkthrough: ACC Sparks College Football’s Next Great Shift

Syracuse is on its way to the ACC Conference. There could be more teams to follow.

Matthew Postins files The Walkthrough twice a week during the season at PigskinU.com. Early in the week, it’s a wrap-up of last weekend’s action. Late in the week, it’s a preview of what’s coming up that weekend. And it call comes with news, commentary and Postins’ dry wit and opinion.

The ACC sparks college football’s next great shift. Perhaps the ACC wanted to get some pub before the craziness began. But the additions of Syracuse and Pittsburgh came out of left field. Most of the word the past week had been how the ACC was seeking to up its buyout fee to keep teams, not add them.

The fact that the two teams are a charter member of the Big East (Syracuse) and a Big East member since 1982 (Pittsburgh) underscores the new philosophy of college sports – find me the best deal. While there is no better conference for basketball than the Big East, the conference is No. 6 among the BCS conferences in football. And football pays the bills.

So the Orange and Panthers will migrate south in search of a better financial deal. The ACC gets access to upstate New York and Pittsburgh media markets, which will be handy at the negotiating table with ESPN. And, they’re now the closest to being the first “super conference” of the 21st Century.

At least for the moment.

Continue Reading…

Sep
0

PigskinU.com Top 25: Oklahoma is a worthy No. 1 team

Since the offseason, Oklahoma has been my No. 1 team. The game with Florida State, which OU won by 10 Saturday night, was the one trap game I saw before the mother of all Big 12 games this season against Oklahoma State. The win over FSU proves Oklahoma is a worthy No. 1 team.

The Sooners stay at No. 1 in this week’s PigskinU.com Top 25 poll, which is no surprise. But now that LB Travis Lewis is back, the Sooners could be dominating as they march to the end of the regular season and a potential BCS National Championship berth.

Who’s going to beat them?

texas? The longhorns are young and talented, and may be oblivious enough to the moment when they face each other in two weeks. But I don’t see it. OU has way too much experience and texas still has a lot of growing to do. It will be a closer game than I thought it would be a couple of weeks ago, though.

texas A&M? I’m still not totally sold and I expect the Aggies to lose to Oklahoma State this weekend, despite the fact that the game is in College Station. But the Aggies have enough firepower to make things very hard on the Sooners when they meet on Nov. 5.

Baylor? It SOUNDS enticing. But the Bears have already been exposed on defense (is everyone forgetting that TCU scored 48 points on them) and the Sooners have the talent to contain QB Robert Griffin III.

Oklahoma State, to me, is the one game that could ruin Oklahoma’s march to New Orleans. That game is Dec. 3 in Stillwater.

There’s a lot of football between now and then. But with Saturday’s win, everything is in Oklahoma’s favor.

So, without further ado, My PigskinU.com Top 25 poll after Week 3:

 

1. Oklahoma (last week: 1): Do you know what the Sooners did on Saturday night? Claimed their first road win against a Top 5 team in non-conference action since 1977. texas is now the Sooners’ only road block before their early November game with texas A&M. The Sooners could be No. 1 for a long time.

2. Alabama (last week: 2): Alabama did what it needed to do against North texas – get a win and stay healthy. The next two weeks will be testy as the Tide starts SEC action against two Top 25 teams – Arkansas and Florida.

3. LSU (last week: 3): The Tigers’ defense is just awesome. They made Mississippi State looked like it looked before Dan Mullen arrived. West Virginia should provide an interesting test, but the Tigers should be able to overcome it.

4. Boise State (last week: 4): You may not have looked at the game against Toledo as a trap game. I did, considering what the Rockets nearly did to Ohio State. But Boise State took care of business on the road. The Broncos are holding steady at No. 4, so someone has to falter.

5. Stanford (last week: 5): Stanford opened Pac-12 play with a nice victory over a pesky Arizona outfit with one of the nation’s most talented quarterbacks in Nick Foles. Next up is reeling UCLA and then Colorado, where I’ll get my first in-person look at Andrew Luck.

6. Nebraska (last week: 6): It was a scorefest against Washington, which was a bit surprising to me. The Huskers gave up 38 points to the Huskies. Don’t sleep on next week’s game, though. Wyoming is 3-0 and much improved. The Huskers better not be biding their time before Wisconsin on Oct. 1.

7. Wisconsin (last week: 7): I’m just impressed with how the Badgers have responded to the transition to Russell Wilson at quarterback. Plus, the defense is just playing lights out. Next up is a cupcake game against South Dakota before facing Nebraska.

8. Oklahoma State (last week: 8) : Oklahoma State had to wait three hours to play its game against Tulsa (more on that in the Walkthrough). Three games, three relatively easy wins for the Cowboys. Now, it’s texas A&M and we find out what OSU really has.

9. Virginia Tech (last week: 9): The Hokies’ relatively soft schedule continues next week against Marshall. After that, ACC play starts against Clemson. I don’t know, I look at this schedule and I see 12-0 and an ACC Title game berth, as long as the Hokies take care of business.

10. texas A&M (last week: 13): The Aggies leapfrog Oregon and South Carolina based on the quality of their wins this season. Oregon, of course, has a loss. South Carolina struggled with Navy. The Aggies look like they’re on the right track heading into next weekend’s game with Oklahoma State. Remember – I don’t drop teams that win, but I’m not opposed to moving them up in this fashion.

11. Oregon (last week: 11): After two sensational blowouts against relatively benign opponents, the Ducks start Pac-12 play against Arizona. This game’s in Tucson, so it’s a nice trap game for the Ducks, who need a long winning streak before they face Stanford in November.

12. South Carolina (last week: 12): C’mon, South Carolina – Navy? The Gamecocks needed a late touchdown to beat the Midshipmen, who are good, but shouldn’t be challenging an upper echelon SEC team. Of course, that’s assuming South Carolina is an upper echelon ACC team. Based on the first three weeks, I have some questions. Vanderbilt, now 3-0, may provide some answers.

13. Florida (last week: 16): The Gators have zoomed up in the PigskinU.com rankings the past three weeks and now have their sights on the Top 10. The offense has reacted well to Charlie Weis as offensive coordinator, QB John Brantley is playing much better and they took care of a game Tennessee team last weekend. The Gators warm up on Kentucky before a major test Oct. 1 against Alabama.

14. Florida State (last week: 10): The Seminoles have to drop after losing to Oklahoma. But they don’t need to drop that much. I still think they’re a Top 25 team and better than such teams below them as West Virginia, Arkansas and TCU. I don’t, however, think they’re better than Florida. The status of EJ Manuel is key to the Seminoles’ chances against an improving Clemson team.

15. West Virginia (last week: 15): I’m not terribly impressed with the Mountaineers’ 6-point win over Maryland. Something tells me the LSU Tigers won’t be impressed when they go to Morgantown this weekend.

16. Arkansas (last week: 17): Troy gave the Hogs a real good game, with Arkansas only winning by 10. It was a solid test and good preparation for the SEC opener against Alabama next weekend. A win would be huge for the Hogs, and debilitating for the Tide.

17. TCU (last week: 18): The Horned Frogs struggled a bit with Louisiana-Monroe before asserting themselves in the second half to claim their second win of the season. Portland State is easy pickings this weekend before hosting SMU to start October. There isn’t much standing in the Horned Frogs’ way of being a one-loss team heading into its trip to Boise State in November.

18. South Florida (last week: 19): The Bulls just overwhelmed Florida A&M. Not much else to say. The win’s worth a one-spot move, based on what happened above them. UTEP gives them a shot at a 4-0 start before starting Big East play with Pittsburgh.

19. Baylor (last week: 20): I saw Baylor’s rain-shortened 48-0 win over Stephen F. Austin and QB Robert Griffin III is the real deal. But more on that later this week. In the meantime, expect the Bears to be 4-0 after this weekend’s meeting with Rice.

20. Michigan (last week: 21): Michigan is 3-0 heading into a home game with San Diego State. The Aztecs are 3-0 and will be emotional, as Michigan coach Brady Hoke used to be their skipper. I think Michigan wins, but keep an eye on the emotions in this game.

21. texas (last week: 24): This texas team is getting younger and more dangerous. Joining redshirt freshman QB Case McCoy, freshman QB David Ash, freshman RB Malcolm Brown and freshman WR Jaxon Shipley is third-string TE D.J. Grant, who missed two seasons with redshirts and injuries and caught three touchdowns against UCLA.

22. Michigan State (last week: 14): To me, the Spartans have to take a steep drop after going into South Bend and losing to an 0-2 Notre Dame team. Any national title hopes the Spartans had likely went out the window with that loss.

23. Southern Cal (last week: 23): The Trojans handled Syracuse rather easily. They’re 3-0 as they get back to Pac-12 action against Arizona State in Tempe. I think this could be a trap game for the Trojans.

24. Illinois (last week: unranked): Hey now, look what Ron Zook is doing in Champaign. The Illini are 3-0 after beating a ranked Arizona State team. I’ll keep them at No. 24 for now, though Big Ten play will likely expose them as a middle-of-the-road team. But, for now, embrace the optimism Illini fans.

25. Clemson (last week: unranked): That was an impressive win over a ranked opponent for the Clemson Tigers and it allows them to sneak into our Top 25. Now, can they beat Florida State? If EJ Manuel doesn’t play, maybe. Otherwise, no.

Dropped out: 22 Arizona State, 25 Ohio State.

Outside looking in: Iowa State and Vanderbilt are two of the most surprising teams in the nation. Both are 3-0, but I don’t think they’re Top 25 teams. Florida International slipped by a solid Central Florida outfit to remain 3-0. Houston is out there too, but it struggled with Louisiana Tech before winning by a point. Wyoming is also 3-0 but isn’t ready for prime time. Notre Dame is out there, but I can’t put a 1-2 team in my Top 25.

 

Sep
0

Syracuse, Pittsburgh bolt for ACC; Texas, OU meet Monday

I awoke from a restful sleep on Sunday morning to find that the ACC is going to swell to 14 members. CBSSports.com reported that Syracuse and Pittsburgh will bolt the Big East for the ACC. Next up? texas and Oklahoma board of regents meet on Monday.

We may remember the next 48 hours as the hours that ushered in the era of the super conference. Or not. We’ll see. We thought that way about 15 months ago.

But it’s clear the ACC now has firepower if schools like Florida State or Virginia Tech bolt for other leagues, especially the SEC. If FSU and Va. Tech stay, then the league only needs two more members to become a 16-team league. ESPN was reporting on Sunday that Connecticut — another Big East charter member — is set to pursue a spot in the ACC.

If the ACC accepts Uconn, it will be interesting if they seek another Big East team or, perhaps, leave that 16th spot open for texas. Speculation is rampant that the longhorns, if they seek a new conference, would need a league that is open to allowing the school to retain its affiliation with the longhorn Network. That’s unlikely in the Pac 12. The ACC may be more likely to allow the agreement to continue. Of course, we’re talking about texas, so any league would be dumb not to at least consider the longhorns.

As for the Sooners, well that’s the worst-kept secret in college sports. If the Sooners elect to leave the Big 12, it will be for the Pac-12. And Oklahoma State would follow quickly.

And then the shakeup that we all saw coming a year ago will be at hand. And all bets are off.

Sep
0

The Walkthrough: Will the dominoes in conference realignment start falling Monday?

Matthew Postins files The Walkthrough twice a week during the season at PigskinU.com. Early in the week, it’s a wrap-up of last weekend’s action. Late in the week, it’s a preview of what’s coming up that weekend. And it call comes with news, commentary and Postins’ dry wit and opinion.

Could the dominos in conference realignment start falling as early on Monday? The University of Oklahoma board of regents will meet on Monday and on the agenda will be the school’s conference affiliation. That doesn’t mean a decision is coming on Monday, but it means that the board must feel there’s enough information at hand to at least start talking about what direction the school wants to head.

If you’ve been keeping up, you know that the rest of the Big 12 is waiting to see if the Sooners are going to stay in the Big 12 or, most likely, head west to the Pac-12. There have been plenty of rumors the past couple of weeks, and perhaps it’s time the Sooners laid them to rest so we could all get on with our college football lives. Continue Reading…