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Pete’s 12 Thoughts on Week 15 in the Big 12

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1. I feel badly for the Big 12. Then again, I really don’t. I truly believe that TCU is one of the best four teams in the Country. Baylor is 5th. But, the argument can be made either way. The point is, one of them should be playing in the College Football Playoff. But, they aren’t. As much as it isn’t fair … it is fair. The Big 12 knew they were taking a risk not hosting a Conference Championship game. On top of that, despite the “one true champion” slogan, commissioner Bob Bowlsby spent the past two weeks touting the “Co-Champion” concept. This isn’t Little League. There shouldn’t be multiple trophies. The Big 12 should be included in the Playoff, but the majority of the blame can be put on themselves.

2. On that note … I love how Baylor coach Art Briles spent some time on the field after the K-State game, likely questioning Bowlsby to his face. We will never know what was said to Bowlsby, but Briles said to the media in the postgame, ““If you’re gonna slogan around and say ‘one true champion’ and all of the sudden you’re going out the backdoor instead of the front? Don’t say one thing and do another.” Tough to argue there. Bowlsby has done plenty of good since taking over as commissioner, but his arrogance, or naivety, didn’t want to believe what happened on Sunday would actually happen.

3. I hate to be a pessimist, but is it possible that if Oklahoma and/or Texas had the resume of Baylor/TCU, they would be in the CFB Playoff? Baylor and TCU are small, private universities, with no national brand, and neither move the needle for TV ratings. OU or UT would. And Ohio State certainly does … a historical program, national name, Urban Meyer vs. Nick Saban, etc. Remember, part of having a human committee (which I admittedly prefer to the BCS), is that humans can be influenced and coerced … for better or worse.

4. By the way, how useless was our time spent watching the committee release their rankings every week since late October? It really turns out that was nothing more than “made for TV” nonsense, courtesy of ESPN. If TCU can go from #3 to #6 in five days, when all they did during that span of time was blow out their opponent by over 50 points, then there is no point in the Committee releasing the rankings prior to the final weekend.

5. Kansas hired a new coach last week… he was Texas A&M’s wide receivers coach and recruiting coordinator David Beaty. He had two stints as an assistant at KU, wide outs coach from 2008 to 2009, and co-offensive coordinator and receivers coach in 2011. While I would have supported a Clint Bowen hire, I like this move from Athletic Director Sheahon Zenger. Beaty has done a fantastic job recruiting under Kevin Sumlin (granted an easier pitch). But, KU needed someone who was a savvy recruiter, while understanding the difficulties of recruiting to Lawrence (for football). Beaty can do that. But, he’s never been a head coach before. Can he be the “leader of men” that I believe Clint Bowen was and is.

6. Here is out anti-SEC/pro Big 12 tweet of the week.  There’s no doubt Nick Saban was thrilled to see Ohio State at #4 over TCU/Baylor, who both possess offenses that have historically given Saban the most trouble.

week 15 pic

 

7. By the way, epic Bedlam game, huh? Not only did Oklahoma State come back to win the game, but unlike Oklahoma, they know who their quarterback of the future is. I’d like to give Mike Gundy and Mike Yurcich the benefit of the doubt, but with all the troubles the offense was having under J.W. Walsh and Daxx Garman, how did they not go to Rudolph earlier? Rudolph’s mobility and touch is more impressive than Garman’s ever was. After these past two games against OU and Baylor, I don’t see how Gundy could possibly go back to J.W. Walsh next season.

As for OU, their lack of faith in Cody Thomas was evident with the run heavy offense they ran with him under center. Maybe Trevor Knight comes back to full health in 2015, but even so, I’m not a huge fan of Knight’s ability to lead a team to a CFB Playoff. Should we say hello to Braxton Miller? He will likely be looking for a new home in a few weeks … count OU and Texas as in the hunt. Although, if I’m Miller, I’d rather be in Norman. He’d have a great running game (Perine, Ford, Ross), combined with, possibly, the top receiver in the country, in Dorial Green-Beckham.

8. … and with those final few minutes of Bedlam, the offseasons drastically changed for Mike Gundy and Bob Stoops. Gundy’s sour attitude will once again be put in the rearview mirror, covered up by only his second win over his biggest rival. While, Stoops, for what feels like the umpteenth offseason in a row, will be surrounded with questions about whether or not his program has “grown stale”.

9. Poor Trevone Boykin. The guy thought he would be quarterbacking the TCU Horned Frogs in a national semifinal in a few weeks… instead he’ll face Ole Miss on December 31st in the Peach Bowl. Maybe Boykin will get an invite to NYC as a Heisman finalist? He won’t win. But, after throwing for 460 yards and scoring five touchdowns on Saturday, he final stat line includes 3714 passing yards, 642 rushing yards, and 30 TD’s to 7 INT’s. That seems worthy to me.

10. For as long as Bill Snyder sticks around Manhattan, they will be a tough out for anybody in the Big 12. While K-State won (or should I say, was a co-champion), of the Big 12 in 2012, it has been proven time and time again, Snyder’s teams have had trouble with up-tempo, high flying teams like Baylor and TCU (their two losses this season). Their strength on the defensive line, led by Ryan Mueller, gets negated by the fast pace, and quick passes of Bryce Petty and Trevone Boykin. K-State needs more speed and athletes on that side of the ball.

11. Paul Rhoads will be back in 2015 as Iowa State’s coach. He deserves one more year. But, that’s it. Most coaches would be fire after going 0-9 in Conference play. But, Iowa State is not most places. It is a program with one conference winning record in the last 25 years. Mark Mangino has one year under his belt as offensive coordinator, and I expect that side of the ball to keep improving under his guidance. And Rhoads deserves the chance to get the defense back to the level it was at a couple years ago, when it carried the program.

12. The picks were 1-2 last week. As we close the regular season, the final record is: 34-22-1. If you told me that before the season, I would have taken it. But, I closed the season with 2 losing weeks in the final 3. I limped to the finish line, a la, West Virginia.

I will pick all the bowl games as well. Also, the current plan is to pick basketball games (likely starting in Conference play). How I go about it? I’m not sure just yet. But I will keep you posted.

12a. As we wrap up the college football regular season… it’s important to thank all of our readers and listeners for a great first season. We have seen our visitor hits increase a total of 100% from our first month of operation, September, to our third full month, November. The growth has been great, and we are looking forward to the basketball season as we inch towards conference play in the coming weeks!

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