Posted on: November 5, 2011 11:44 am
Edited on: November 5, 2011 11:46 am
Posted by Tom Fornelli
That's an artist's rendering of a new on-campus stadium for Baylor football. Baylor has played its football games off campus since 1936 and for the last 62 years the Baylor football team has played at Floyd Casey Stadium, off-campus in Waco.. Well, as you can see in the rendering above, that's something that head coach Art Briles and many other people at Baylor would like to fix in the near future.
"Due to the strong interest expressed by Baylor Nation for an on-campus football facility, we have decided to share a rendering of the stadium," said athletic director Ian McCaw. "This location will maximize the stadium's exposure given the more than 100,000 vehicles that travel the highway each day, while providing Baylor with an extraordinary branding opportunity."
The rendering was done by a company called Populous, which has been hired to come up with the stadium's master plan.
Of course, this is just a drawing of a proposed stadium. Nothing's been approved of yet, but it's obvious that Baylor is serious about building a new home for its football team.
Posted on: November 2, 2011 11:54 am
Edited on: November 2, 2011 11:54 am
Posted by Tom Fornelli
Texas announced on Wednesday that wide receiver Chris Jones has been released from his scholarship and plans to transfer. Jones came to Texas in 2010 as a 4-star recruit, but after redshirting the 2010 season he was yet to see the field in 2011.
“This was a very tough decision, but I want to get closer to home for personal reasons with my family,” said Jones in a release. “I love Texas, and I’ve been with these guys for two years, and we’re family, but things don’t always go according to the plan that you make. I’ll still text them, joke with them, talk to them and everything we do now.”
“We appreciate everything Chris has done for the program,” head coach Mack Brown said. “He felt he needed to be closer to his family and we understand and respect that. We wish nothing but success for him in the future.”
It's not a huge blow to the Longhorns since Jones wasn't playing to begin with, but considering that Texas is still waiting for one of its receivers to step up and be a go-to guy, they now have one less option.
It isn't known where Jones will end up, but if he wants to be closer to home than Baylor -- which offered him a scholarship in high school -- is an option, or Jones could possibly join Garrett Gilbert at SMU.
Posted on: October 31, 2011 4:54 pm
Edited on: November 1, 2011 10:08 am
Posted by Tom Fornelli
When you look at the top three teams in the BCS rankings right now, LSU, Alabama and Oklahoma State, most people would tell you that the difference between those three teams is that LSU and Alabama have impenetrable defenses, which would make either one a favorite against Oklahoma State in a title game, should it come to that.
Well, that's not entirely fair to the Oklahoma State defense, because it's a unit that is a lot stronger than it looks. On the surface people will see a unit that is giving up 26.5 points a game, which is good for 62nd best in the country. Compare that to Alabama's 6.1 points against per game -- best in the nation -- and LSU's third-best 11.5 points against per game, and the comparison just seems silly.
Here's what you might not know, though. Yes, you've probably heard that the Oklahoma State defense leads the nation in takeaways (29) and turnover margin (+19). That's played a huge role in Oklahoma State's success this season, but the Cowboys defense does more than just take the ball away from you. Believe it or not, it keeps you off the scoreboard as well.
On the whole, Oklahoma State has given up 212 points this season. Which is quite a bit, but did you know that 110 of those points have come after Oklahoma State has already built a lead of 25 points or more?
That means 52% of the points the Cowboys have allowed this season have come after the outcome was essentially decided.
In the season opener, 31 of Louisiana-Lafayette's 34 points came after Oklahoma State had already built a 31-3 lead. Tulsa scored 27 points after Oklahoma State had built a 45-6 lead, and the Cowboys had a 35-7 lead against Kansas before the Jayhawks tacked on another 21 meaningless points in a 70-28 loss. This past weekend Oklahoma State was up 42-0 on Baylor before the Bears finished the day with 24 points.
So the majority of the points scored against Oklahoma State's defense has been when the Cowboys have called off the dogs and starting substituting for players on defense. In fact, there's only been two games this season in which a team scored more points against Oklahoma State in the first half than it did in the second half. Those two games were the epic comeback against Texas A&M and the win over Missouri.
In the first half of games opposing quarterbacks are completing 56.4% of their passes with 3 touchdowns and 7 interceptions for a QB rating of 103.96. In the second half those numbers grow to a 63.1% completion rate with 6 touchdowns, 10 interceptions and a rating of 126.38.
So, yes, the Oklahoma State defense does give up a lot of points. It's just too bad that most of those points have come after the game was already over. So you might want to reconsider the notion that this weekend's game between LSU and Alabama is a default national championship, because Oklahoma State isn't going to just step out of the way.
Posted on: October 31, 2011 2:23 pm
Posted by Jerry Hinnen
This week's polls have been released. Here's how the SEC fared, from the top of the polls to the bottom, and what it means.
Want a recipe for keeping the status quo in a team's poll position? Make them the clearcut No. 1 team in both polls, give them a bye week, and have the only team within shouting distance of them also enjoy a bye. Result: the Tigers didn't just stay a comfortable No. 1 in both the AP and Coaches, their point totals from Week 8 barely flinched.
Lather, rinse, repeat. No. 3 Oklahoma State's bludgeoning of Baylor did nothing to narrow the gap between the Cowboys and the Tide, despite Alabama having the week off.
The Razorbacks entered the week No. 8, then saw No. 6 Clemson lose and slip to 11th or 12th, depending on the poll. So why didn't the Hogs move up? Because Oklahoma leapfrogged them after going on the road and smashing previously-undefeated Kansas State. We've been championing the Hogs for the top spot among one-loss teams for weeks, based on their Texas A&M and Auburn wins and highly-understandable loss at Alabama. But the Razorbacks really can't have any complaints after a second straight underwhelming perfomance, this time escaping Vanderbilt solely on an unforced goalline fumble by Zac Stacy and a missed Commodore field goal. At this point, the No. 8 spot even looks a tad generous. Though nowhere near as generous as ...
10/10. SOUTH CAROLINA
... the Gamecocks sliding in at No. 10. No, Carolina's collection of wins isn't bad at all; at Georgia, at Mississipi State, now at Tennessee gives them three road W's over likely bowl teams. But that's no better than Kansas State's collection, and the Wildcats' loss to Oklahoma is much more understandable than losing at home to Auburn ... so why are the Wildcats a whopping 7 and 9 places behind the Gamecocks depending on the poll? Clemson's beaten Virginia Tech, Florida St. and oh-by-the-way the same Auburn team that beat Carolina; why are they behind the Gamecocks at all?
And all that is strictly looking at wins and losses--anyone who's seen the Gamecock offense sputter and flail the past two weeks can't be convinced this is one of the 10 best teams in the country. We'll buy Steve Spurrier's team as top-20 and even top 15 based on the resume, but slotting them 10th is just preseason-based laziness on the part of the voters.
The Dawgs get a four-spot bump in the AP after downing Florida but move up just one spot in the Coaches poll. Who's right? We'll side with the Coaches on this one; the Gators and previous Dawgs victims Tennessee and Mississippi State are all decent teams, but none of them are even on the right side of .500 and both of Georgia's losses have come at home. Why the AP took the Dawgs over a Wisconsin team that crushed Nebraska and lost both its games on last-minute Hail Marys on the road, we're not sure. Until/unless they handle Auburn at home in two weeks, 20th should be good enough for Georgia.
And speaking of the Tigers, they're now the only three-loss team in either poll after sneaking into the bottom of the AP. With all three of those losses coming on the road to teams in the top 11 and one of the Tigers' wins coming on the road at that No. 10 Carolina team, it makes sense, though we can't really blame the Coaches for going with Southern Miss (7-1, wins over surging Virginia and SMU). Texas, though, whose best win came either at home vs. BYU or at UCLA ... them, we're less sure about.
Posted on: October 31, 2011 12:19 pm
Edited on: October 31, 2011 1:01 pm
Posted by Bryan Fischer
As much as Saturday's classic battle between Stanford and USC was about Andrew Luck's Heisman hopes and the Cardinal's national title dreams, it was hugely important for the man pacing the home sideline with a laminated playcard.
Yes, USC lost, there's no denying what really matters and what the game will represent in the media guide years for now. But, when combined with the way the Trojans beat Notre Dame last week and their inspired-but-not-quite-good-enough play against Stanford, I think we can finally come to one conclusion about Lane Kiffin that we couldn't beforehand: he can coach. We're still not sure if he can win quite yet, but the question marks about his coaching abilities have been answered.
Given his record, 12-21 with the Oakland Raiders and at Tennessee, it was easy to be skeptical about Kiffin. His resume had an impressive collection of jobs before he turned 34 but he still couldn't shake the label that he was riding on the coattails of his father Monte and Pete Carroll. The NCAA violations and brash nature while with the Vols only enhanced negativity. Last season's 8-5, 5-4 in the Pac-10, record didn't answer any questions. He was blown out by Oregon at home and lost to a lowly Oregon State team in Corvallis on top of three losses by seven points. His offensive unit was good but struggled at times. Jokes about him firing his father for the Trojans' defensive woes had some truth behind them.
2011 wasn't a make or break year but it was important to Kiffin and the USC program as a whole to take another step back to where they were under Carroll despite being under the cloud of NCAA sanctions. The disrespect was evident when the Trojans were a nine point underdog in South Bend despite the Irish's penchant for turning the ball over in big games.
As celebrated as Brian Kelly was in his first season, he came into the game with a 12-7 record while Kiffin was one game better at 13-6 at USC. The tone was set early last week with an impressive opening drive to quiet the Notre Dame crowd and the Irish were never really back in the game after that.
Afterward, Kiffin was elated in the locker room and was extra happy to ruin a game Kelly had built up to be the Super Bowl for his team. He acknowledged it was the biggest win since he arrived in Los Angeles and he was right, in his second season he finally had a marquee victory.
Coaches and players vehemently dislike the term 'moral victory' because they understand the bottom line: you still lost. Still, there are plenty of positives in defeat and we learned a few about USC this week after the three overtime loss to Luck and the Cardinal.
The defense is not terrible like we thought it was. It's not great by any stretch but the defensive line can put pressure on the quarterback, the linebackers are quick enough to make plays in space and the secondary is young but rounding into form. On offense, Matt Barkley and Robert Woods have something special going on, the offensive line has exceeded expectations and the running game has come into its own the past few weeks.
USC didn't win on Saturday but they came close and that counts for something against a team that had reeled off 10 straight wins by 25 or more points. Luck, the best quarterback in the country by far, looked human at times and the USC offense looked like it was on the cusp of being great.
Lane Kiffin will still be thought of negatively, especially in the South, but he's answered a few of his critics' questions this season. He can coach and he can coach offenses that put up points. Now is the time to win the big, big game that his predecessor was known for. Kiffin's insistence after the game about calling out the referees for the final play of regulation - "They lied to me," he said Sunday - knowing that a reprimand from the Pac-12 was coming was taken by some to be whiny but I saw what some of his players did - that he'd fight for them until the battle could no longer be won, and even a little more. Even in retrospect, his play call of a tunnel screen to Woods doesn't look as terrible as it was when you consider he had two timeouts and the play was designed to go up field.
The last time USC lost a triple overtime game to a Bay area team they went on a historic run. No one is saying the same will happen under Kiffin, especially as the program begins scholarship reductions this season, but it's a good omen.
Last Saturday the Coliseum was rocking, the team was playing well and the coach wasn't a question mark. Kiffin can coach, now it's time to see if he can win big games.
Stat of the week
Via the Associated Press, Texas Tech is second team since 1989 (when the AP Poll expanded to 25), to go from no votes to ranked to no votes in three weeks. The other was Washington after they beat USC in 2009.
Stats of the week
- Five Big 12 teams are ranked 90th or worse in total defense, complete with Kansas being the worst in the country giving up 555 yards and 49.5 points per game. That might explain why three of the top five passers in the country are from the conference. The Jayhawks also only had 46 yards of total offense this week.
- Two candidates for most disappointing team of they year, Texas A&M and Notre Dame, are 110th and 118th respectively in turnover margin.
- Despite running so much, Georgia Tech is a third-down machine. They have the fifth-most third down attempts in the country yet are converting on 57.6% of them, best mark in the country by nearly 2%.
- The much maligned Michigan defense has taken a leap in several categories under Greg Matison but perhaps the most important: they lead the country in red zone defense. The Wolverines have only allowed 13 scores all year from inside the 20.
- If you had to guess who leads the country in time of possession, you'd probably start with a Georgia Tech or an Army. It's actually Texas, who holds onto the ball for over 35 minutes per game.
- After facing Oklahoma State, Baylor's defense dropped from 97th in total defense and 101st in scoring defense to 108th and 115th. Missouri went from 29th and 25th in the two categories to 51st and 46th. Texas went from 24th and 47th to 30th and 56th. Bottom line, your defense won't look too good in the stats after facing the Cowboys.
- Auburn is 289-4 all time when scoring 30-plus points. One reason why Gus Malzahn is being paid $1.3 million a year.
- This is the first time Georgia has beaten Florida and Tennessee in the same year since 1988. There are only three players on the Bulldogs' roster that were born before then. The Gators' four game skid is the first of any kind at the school since 1988 and first in the SEC since 1979, when head coach Will Muschamp was eight.
- It was only a matter of time before the Manhattan Miracle came to an end. Oklahoma had been shocked the week before by Texas Tech and Kansas State was the unwitting opponent they took it out on. Landry Jones threw for a school-record 505 yards and five touchdowns, impressive considering the quarterbacks that have been churned out under Bob Stoops recently. His favorite target, Ryan Broyles, also moved into first place on the Big 12 career receiving list. Not all was crimson Saturday however, as running back Dominique Whaley fractured his ankle on the very first play of the game. Though overwhelmingly a passing team, the balance that the running game had with Whaley will be missed unless the Sooners find someone to step up. Kansas State will have to regroup after the Big 12's previously top-ranked defense was shredded by Jones. They rallied in the second quarter but that was about the only time the Wildcats could get something going.
- Say what you want about Oklahoma State's 111th ranked defense but they bottled up Robert Griffin III, shutting Baylor out in the first half and allowing just one score in the red zone all game. The 622 yards allowed is concerning but they allowed a good chuck of the yards when the game was well out of hand. It seemed like the Cowboys were going to be locked in a tough one once the Bears drove down to the one-yard line on their first drive but the defense held and the offense drove 99-yards for a touchdown to set the tone early. After that, it was like Mike Gundy's squad was shot out of a cannon. Particularly impressive was running back Joseph Randle, who had 152 yards and four touchdowns to lead a rushing attack that rolled up over 300 yards for the first time in over two years. It's hard to look at the Cowboys and see anybody but Oklahoma stopping them from booking a trip to New Orleans.
- It seems to happen every game but it does seem concerning that Oregon led Washington State by only five points before taking care of business in the second half in a 43-28 win. The big news was the return of LaMichael James and Darron Thomas, who both started. James ran for 53 yards and wore a brace after dislocating his elbow a few weeks ago. Thomas was a little shakier, tossing two interceptions before being pulled for backup Bryan Bennett. Was it rust? Hard to say but you can't say it wasn't a factor after being limited in practices the week before. There's likely not much of a quarterback controversy but there's no question the Ducks need Thomas at 100% if they want to beat Washington, Stanford or USC. Freshman De'Anthony Thomas was a bright spot, perhaps extra bright in Oregon's yellow "bumblebee" uniforms, taking a kickoff 93-yards for a touchdown and scoring on a 45-yard pass.
- People joke about Case Keenum putting up video game numbers in Houston's offense but that's exactly what he did Thursday, throwing NINE touchdown passes as the Cougars routed Rice 73-34 despite the rainy conditions. It wasn't the start Keenum and the offense wanted, with an interception and having a fumble returned for a touchdown to put themselves in an early hole. But then the rain seemed to lighten up and the record-setting quarterback took over from there. His fifth touchdown toss moved him past former Texas Tech quarterback Graham Harrell to set the FBS-record for career TD passes and he proceeded to throw four more just for good measure. "Those are video game numbers, something we couldn't get stopped," Rice linebacker Justin Allen said. "The rain slowed down a little bit ... I wished it would have rained all game. It stopped, and they got things cranked up. There was no looking back for them." Keenum should set another record next week with 267 yards to become the FBS leader in career passing yards. Undefeated and somewhat untested, it looks like Houston is on their way to a special season. They have serious issues on defense but the offense will continue to put up eye-popping numbers.
- Tom O'Brien's hot seat status is fiery hot right now after losing to Florida State 34-0. The Wolfpack managed only 166 yards on offense and were shutout for the first time in three years. They weren't just beat by FSU, they were pushed around like they were Duke. T.J. Graham, one of the few bright spots for N.C. State this year, was bottled up and held to just 116 all-purpose yards. Given the way he handled the Russell Wilson situation and the way the season has gone, don't be surprised when there's a second coaching search going on in the triangle during the offseason (UNC being the other).
- It's time to give JoePa props for coaching Penn State to an 8-1 record. The defense, of course, is the story and the backbone of the team, shutting out Illinois for three quarters but the Nittany Lions had just enough on offense to get by with a 10-7 win. It was a sloppy affair for both teams but Joe Paterno picked up win No. 409 to move become the winningest coach in Division I. They are the ultimate Rodney Dangerfield "No respect" team right now.
- Is there a team more bipolar than Syracuse? A week after throttling West Virginia at home, the Orangemen looked terrible against Louisville, losing 27-10. They beat Toledo thanks to an officiating error, barely lost to Rutgers and barely beat Tulane, then have alternated between great and horrible the last two weeks. They certainly look like they're going to another bowl game this year but if you're Doug Marrone, you have to be concerned with the lack of consistency. On the other side, Louisville posted back-to-back Big East wins for the first time since 2006 and are still in the thick of things in the muddled conference race. Teddy Bridgewater continues to progress and this young team is making steady progress.
- As a few people joked on Twitter, Missouri proved that an SEC East team can beat an SEC West team with the Tigers 38-31 overtime win against Texas A&M. Any joy Aggie fans have over the move to a new conference is being ruined by their team's play on the field, blowing a 14 point lead at home this time around after doing the same against Arkansas and Oklahoma State. Missouri is better than their .500 record suggests and Henry Josey has been a revelation at the running back spot - so much so that he looks like the all-Big 12 pick at his position. James Franklin still makes a bone-headed play from time to time but the offense is still better than expected with the first-time starter running the show. Still, what once was a season of promise for Texas A&M has been anything but and doesn't get better with a trip to Norman.
- Impressive game by the Blackshirts as Nebraska muzzled Michigan State's offense in a 24-3 win in Lincoln. NU defensive backs turned in their best game of the season, being physical off of the line and forcing Kirk Cousins into missing all but four of his first 16 passes. He finished the day with just 86 yards a week after a 290 yard, three TD performance. Taylor Martinez and Rex Burkhead paced the Cornhuskers' offense and looked like they are finally earning their ranking with a dominating win.
- Iowa, really? Minnesota is one of the worst teams in the country and you lose 22-21? There's not much to explain really. The same goes for Texas Tech, getting trounced at home by Iowa State. CBS Sports' Bruce Feldman was in a state of disbelief everytime he checked the score of either game and that pretty much sums up what everybody else was thinking.
- Late in the World's Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party (which the politically correct will know is Georgia-Florida), SI.com's Andy Staples and I both turned to each other and said that the Bulldog's four point lead would be insurmountable for the Gators offense to overcome. Special teams was another story but the offense? It just couldn't move the ball for their life. The personnel just isn't there to give them any schematic advantage. Hats off to Mark Richt though, who has won six straight and certainly helped his cause.
- Was shocked to see that Texas ended a FIVE game losing streak at home against Kansas this week. It's not saying much against that Jayhawks defense but the Longhorns still rushed for an impressive 441 yards in a game that few people saw on the Longhorn Network.
- Welcome to the Pac-12 win column Utah, who beat Oregon State at home 27-8.
- Clemson finally pulled a Clemson against Georgia Tech. Tevin Washington, after a string of bad games, rushed for 176 yards and was the triggerman for the option offense that jumped out to a 24-3 lead thanks to several Tigers turnovers. It was an impressive showing by Georgia Tech's defense against the explosive Clemson offense, which had come into the game scoring points at will. Considering how shaky the Yellow Jackets had looked on that side of the ball coming in, only a few believed they could pull off the upset which ended any hope of the ACC putting a team in the BCS championship game.
- Go ahead Braxton Miller, take a bow. The true freshman sparked a last-second win that gives Ohio State some life after upsetting Wisconsin. According to reporters after the game, Miller apparently winked at head coach Luke Fickell before the final drive and said "We're all right." That's special. Coming out of high school, Miller showed he had enough talent and moxie that many people compared him to former Heisman winner Troy Smith. The 40 yard pass to Devin Smith with 20 seconds left had to be the play of the year for a Buckeyes team that had been through so much. One has to wonder if they had held on against Nebraska what our view of this team would be.
Tweet of the week
"How impressive was Texas vs. KU? UT had more total yards (590) than current subscribers to Longhorn Network."
- CBSSports.com Senior Writer Brett McMurphy.
3. Oklahoma State
5. Boise State
Where we'll be this week
Brett McMurphy will be in Stillwater to see BCS contender Oklahoma State host previously undefeated Kansas State. Dennis Dodd and Bruce Feldman will both be in Tuscaloosa for the game of the season, LSU-Alabama.
Leaning this way
Kansas State at Oklahoma State
It's almost unfair for one of the great stories in the first half of the season, Bill Snyder's Wildcats, to face the Big 12's two best teams on back-to-back weeks so all we'll say is good luck trying to stop the Cowboys offense. We have a feeling that Kansas State, which dropped 31 spots in total defense after facing Oklahoma, will struggle unless the offense plays keep away and doesn't turn the ball over.
South Carolina at Arkansas
On paper this is a top 10 match up but in reality both teams a bit overrated. Arkansas' defensive issues, especially in the first half, have contributed to closer than expected wins over Ole Miss and Vanderbilt. South Carolina has a good defense but the offense has struggled to score for six week outside of the Kentucky game. It's at home so the edge goes to the Hogs unless Alshon Jeffrey (finally) has a breakout game.
LSU at Alabama (CBS, 8 PM ET)
The showdown of the season is what everybody will have their eyes on Saturday night. The strength of both teams is clearly their defenses so this will come down to who can break open a big play on offense or special teams. There are more home run threats on the Tide and it's in Tuscaloosa but anybody picking against LSU has to know that doing so means going against Les Miles. Should be a great one.
Tags: ACC, Alabama, Alshon Jeffrey, Andrew Luck, Andy Staples, Arkansas, Army, Auburn, Baylor, BCS, Big 12, Big East, Big Ten, Bill Snyder, Bob Stoops, Boise State, Braxton Miller, Brett McMurphy, Brian Kelly, Bruce Feldman, Bryan Bennett, Bryan Fischer, Case Keenum, CBS, Clemson, Coliseum, Darron Thomas, De'Anthony Thomas, Dennis Dodd, Devin Smith, Dominique Whaley, Doug Marrone, FBS, Florida, Florida State, Georgia, Georgia Tech, Graham Harrell, Greg Matison, Gus Malzahn, Heisman, Heisman Trophy, Henry Josey, Houston, Illinois, Iowa, Iowa State, James Franklin, Joe Paterno, Joesph Randle, Justin Allen, Kansas, Kansas State, Kirk Cousins, LaMichael James, Landry Jones, Lane Kiffink Oakland Raiders, Les Miles, Longhorn Network, Louisville, LSU, Luke Fickell, Mark Richt, Matt Barkley, Michigan, Michigan State, Mike Gundy, Minnesota, Missouri, Monte Kiffin, N.C. State, NCAA, NCAA, Nebraska, Non-BCS, Notre Dame, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Ole Miss, Oregon, Oregon State, Pac-10, Pac-12, Penn State, Pete Carroll, Rex Burkhead, Rice, Robert Griffin III, Robert Woods, Rodney Dangerfield, Russell Wilson, Rutgers, Ryan Broyles, SEC, Stanford, Surveying the Field, Syracuse, T.J. Graham, Taylor Martinez, Teddy Bridgewater, Tennessee, Tennessee, Tevin Washington, Texas, Texas A&M, Texas Tech, Texas Tech, Toledo, Tom O'Brien, Troy Smith, Tulane, UNC, USC, Utah, Vanderbilt, Washington, Washington State, Week 9, West Virginia, Will Muschamp
Posted on: October 31, 2011 11:18 am
Edited on: October 31, 2011 11:18 am
Posted by Tom Fornelli
Oklahoma State still has a lot to play for this season, but while Mike Gundy was talking to the media on Sunday night, the subject of next season came up. Particularly whether or not wide receiver Justin Blackmon would be returning to Stillwater for his senior season.
Well, Mike Gundy is no fool, he knows that he better enjoy the exploits of his receiver while he still can.
"If he wants to come back, he's certainly welcome. We will have a party," Gundy told the Tulsa World. "But I can't imagine that he would be back again. He has somewhat solidified himself as a top-five pick. If it were my son and he were a top-five pick, I would encourage him to move on."
"If somebody is looking for a wideout early in the draft. I can't imagine that he won't be the first one taken."
Blackmon is actually having a "down" year in comparison to the numbers he put up in 2010, but he's still been incredibly productive. Through 8 games he's caught 74 passes for 834 yards and 10 touchdowns. Not quite the pace he needs to match last season's totals of 111 catches for 1,782 yards and 20 touchdowns, but that's because the Oklahoma State offense and Brandon Weeden have been spreading the ball around a bit more.
Those numbers may improve over the final month considering the injuries Oklahoma State recently suffered in its wide receiving corps, particularly the loss of Hubert Anyiam for the season. I don't think it was a coincidence that in the game following Anyiam's injury Blackmon had his biggest game of the season, pulling in 13 passes for 172 yards and 2 touchdowns against Baylor.
Posted on: October 30, 2011 2:22 pm
Posted by Tom Fornelli
This week's polls have been released. Here's how the Big 12 fared, from the top of the polls to the bottom, and what it means.
3/4. Oklahoma State
Oklahoma State doesn't budge an inch in either poll this week following a blowout win against Baylor. I can't help but think there were a lot of Oklahoma State fans staying up late to watch Stanford last night and rooting as hard as possible for USC to pull off the win. It didn't happen, so the Cowboys still have another team to compete with as they try and make their way to the top two of the BCS rankings, but as long as they keep winning, they should get there.
I said last week that as long as Oklahoma got back on a winning track, with their remaining schedule, each win would push them right back up the rankings. Well, after destroying an undefeated top-ten team in Kansas State, that's exactly what the Sooners did, moving up four spots in the AP poll and two in the Coaches. This is right where Oklahoma should be, though I might have them ahead of Oregon, but Oklahoma's loss is fresher in the minds of voters. Still, if the Sooners beat Texas A&M this weekend and finish the year by beating Oklahoma State, they'll remain a darkhorse candidate to be a 1-loss entry in the title game.
17/19. Kansas State
Remember the days when the Big 12 had three teams in the top ten and four in the top fifteen? Yeah, well those days are over, as there's quite the gap between the two Oklahoma schools and Kansas State in the polls. Which seems fitting considering Kansas State lost to Oklahoma by 41 points at home. Considering how bad things looked in the second half on Sunday, I have a hard time arguing with where the Wildcats are placed this week. Should there be a repeat performance against Oklahoma State next week then Kansas State may find itself out of the polls altogether.
Texas fell 8 points short of making the cut in the AP poll, but squeezed in on the bottom of the Coaches poll. I have no problem with Texas being ranked at this point, as it is now 5-2 on the season and both of its losses came against Oklahoma and Oklahoma State. Those aren't losses to be ashamed of. Combine that with the destruction of Kansas on Saturday, and it's easy to see why the Longhorns were on the minds of so many voters this week.
Others Receiving Votes
Texas A&M (25 AP/30 Coaches), Missouri (0 AP/1 Coaches)
Posted on: October 29, 2011 7:10 pm
Posted by Tom Fornelli
OKLAHOMA STATE WON. And it won in a fashion I don't think many people expected. The over/under on this game in Las Vegas was set at 81.5 points as the world expected a back and forth shootout, but only Oklahoma State provided the points on Saturday afternoon.
The Cowboys jumped out to a 14-0 lead early and then never looked back. Baylor was able to move the ball down the field against Oklahoma State, but it either turned the ball over or was just stopped anytime it approached scoring range. Joseph Randle was the star for Oklahoma State on offense, finishing the day with 152 yards rushing and 4 touchdowns. Brandon Weeden also threw for 274 yards and 3 touchdowns.
WHY OKLAHOMA STATE WON. I'm not sure where it came from, but the Oklahoma State defense was more than just opportunistic on Saturday afternoon. It's a unit that has led the Big 12 in takeaways all season long, and while it picked up 5 more against Baylor, it also smothered an offense that came into the game averaging 44.3 points per game. If the Cowboys defense continues to play this way for the rest of the season, then we'll be seeing Oklahoma State in New Orleans in January.
WHEN OKLAHOMA STATE WON. After stuffing Baylor at the goal line in the first quarter, Oklahoma State went 99 yards for its first score of the game. Baylor would then turn the ball right back over to Oklahoma State on the ensuing kickoff, and 18 seconds later the Cowboys were in the end zone again making it 14-0. This one was pretty much done right then.
WHAT OKLAHOMA STATE WON. The Cowboys are now the official top dog in the Big 12. With Kansas State's loss against Oklahoma, Mike Gundy's team is the only undefeated squad left in the conference and has the inside track for the Big 12 title. It won't be easy as some tough games remain on the schedule, but if the Cowboys win out they'll be playing for more than a trip to the Fiesta Bowl.
WHAT BAYLOR LOST. I'm not sure many people thought Baylor would win this game, but to be blown out of the water this badly from the get go? Nobody saw that coming. Nobody. The biggest loss of all in this game could be Robert Griffin's Heisman hopes, as his performance was less than stellar. Yes, Griffin finished the day with 425 yards passing and a touchdown, but most of that came when Baylor was already well behind. Plus, the 2 interceptions he threw didn't help matters either.
THAT WAS CRAZY. The Baylor offense ran 57 plays for 286 yards in the first half. The score at halftime was Oklahoma State 35 Baylor 0.