1) The Oklahoma Sooners put together another dominant performance on Saturday, thrashing Oklahoma State 58-23. With that win, combined with Notre Dame’s loss, the Sooners are in the College Football Playoff. Who could’ve predicted this following their loss to Texas? By the way, have we mentioned that is still the strangest and most surprising loss in the college football season? Seriously, what happened? I’m guessing something along the lines of Space Jam, where the Nerdlucks steal the talent of the NBA stars to eventually take down the Monstars. By the way, I just looked it up … the movie came out 19 years ago (November 1996). So, you’re telling me there are kids in college who weren’t alive when Space Jam came out. Holy shit, I’m feeling old.
2) Right now, Oklahoma has the best resume in the country. Three quality conference wins, plus a non-conference win against an 8-4 Tennessee team on the road. If the committee is doing their job as they describe, you can make the case that the Sooners should be the #1 team in the country on Tuesday. I’m not saying they will end up with the number one seed, but this week, yes they should be. No, I don’t expect that to hold through the end of the season for obvious reasons. OU’s season is over, while Clemson, Alabama, Michigan State/Iowa have a chance at a quality win (although, is beating Florida really a quality win for ‘Bama? Debatable). But, this week … OU should be #1.
3) As for College Gameday, it was great to see the event in a frigid Stillwater. Frankly, Rickie Fowler did not do it for me. Sure, he was solid. But, his personality is lacking. I suppose he’s just a quiet guy, but he doesn’t have the presence of some pickers. Even Eric Church and Brad Paisley, who have both been guest pickers, are naturally quiet guys, but just brought more personality to the table than Fowler. That being said, Lee Corso bailed out the entire segment when he picked the Cowboys, put on the Pistol Pete head and starting blasting his guns all over campus. By the way, where were the PC gun protestors?? That sure was offensive.
4) Speaking of the Cowboys, on the field it was a mess. They ran into a buzz saw of a Sooners squad and the defensive looked especially worn down. On Sunday, The Oklahoman’s Jenni Carlson wrote about the insane amount of plays the Cowboys defense has been on the field for in recent weeks. OSU’s defense has been on the field for 435 snaps over the past 5 games, peaking with 110 against TCU. That’s more than a fair point made by Carlson and when you add in some of the OSU injuries on defense, it made Saturday against the Sooners even more difficult. That being said, what the last two weeks showed me was that the Cowboys were not a top-5 team. Never were. I’d put them in the 12-16 range, but not top 5. They were hard to judge due to their lack of a non-conference schedule, and the soft part of their Big 12 schedule earlier in the season. When the big boys came to town (minus TCU), it wasn’t nearly as pretty. But, it was still a fantastic season for the Cowboys and Mike Gundy deserves a ton of props for a job well done. Let’s just hope he’s still on the sidelines in Stillwater next fall…
5) So, the Iowa State Cyclones have their guy, it’s Toledo’s Matt Campbell who comes to town to be the new head football coach. He’s pretty much a clone of Iowa State’s last major hire, hoops coach Steve Prohm. Both are young guys who had success at a mid-major level as head coaches. I like Jamie Pollard’s style of going for younger guys who have had success at a lower level as head coaches, rather than taking coordinators from major programs who have never been head coaches. It’s kind of like how I prefer my presidential candidates: give me a governor who has overseen government, albeit on a smaller scale, over the senator or representative who has been involved, but never ‘run the show’ (All that being said, I’m bucking this trend by joining the Ted Cruz bandwagon). Campbell knows the midwest and in looking at the Toledo roster was heavily recruiting Ohio, Michigan, and Pennsylvania. While those are good areas for Iowa State to focus on, it will be interesting to see how Campbell and his staff does recruiting Texas and Oklahoma (where he can find more speed).
6) You know what was a horrible football game? Texas vs. Texas Tech on Thanksgiving night. Sure, it was exciting. But, if you enjoy a well-played game of football, that one was not for you. It was kind of like Jersey Shore. Mindless entertainment, it keeps you interested, but you kind of feel bad watching it because you know deep down, it’s not a very good product. Neither team could stop the run, as they racked up a combined 696 yards on the ground. Texas’ passing game is just an embarrassment, throwing for only 64 yards. Throw in a combined 6 turnovers and all of the sudden Jersey Shore reruns don’t seem so bad … yikes that was a tough watch.
7) Here is our tweet of the week. It comes from my favorite sports media personality, and the only semi-celebrity that follows my personal twitter account, Colin Cowherd.
8) So, TCU’s win over the Baylor Bears in the rain on Friday night was the gutsiest Big 12 win I’ve seen this season. The Horned Frogs had no business winning that game. None. They are as banged up as any team in the country, were matched up against a better Baylor team, and still were able to pull off the victory in overtime. Impressive… and credit to Gary Patterson, the best coach in the Big 12. Yep, I firmly believe that.
9) Speaking of great coaches … sure, Art Briles is right up there. But, as you may have seen the post game celebration when TCU fans began to rush the field, many ran up to Briles and started jawing at him. While I don’t necessarily condone the fans abusing Briles, who was just looking to shake Patterson’s hand, I do find it fascinating how intense this rivalry has become between the two private schools in the Big 12. Both programs had been irrelevant for most of their existence, but now both are nationally relevant and can’t stand each other. This leads me to my next point …
10) When you put together the Baylor/TCU rivalry, and throw in the fact that Bedlam has become a must watch game thanks to the success Oklahoma and Oklahoma State are having at the same time, the Big 12 is very healthy. But, there’s one missing piece that would really boost the conference: Texas getting back to national prominence. If that could happen, you would have half the conference as legitimate year in, year out Top 10 contenders, and that’s not even including Texas Tech, West Virginia, or Kansas State, who can get their on occasion. While I used to believe the Big 12 had to find an 11th and 12th team, I’m not seeing the obvious answers to help improve the conference. I’d rather see the Big 12 stick with 10 teams, and go for quality over quantity, the opposite of what the Big 10 did by adding Rutgers and Maryland. No thanks!
11) There’s no quick fix for the Kansas Jayhawks. None. Hell, there’s probably no 2-year fix to be had. This program is so far from being competitive it’s unreal. But, there is one player they could snag that would expedite the process about as much as one can: grabbing the number one recruit in the state of Kansas, who also happens to be a Lawrence native, Amani Bledsoe. He’s a defensive end who would give the program an immediate jolt. It may lead other in-state recruits (of which there aren’t many high end ones to be had), to take a closer look at KU. In recruiting, it can often times only take one to start the domino effect. Could you imagine being the guy that helps turn around this program? That would be something. Bledsoe has offers from anyone and everyone (OU, Baylor, UCLA), so I surely don’t expect him to land at KU. But, I would love to see it happen. The story has the opportunity to be tremendous.
12) This past week the picks went 2-3. My only regret is buying in the “win one for the gipper” that I thought Iowa State had a chance to do in Paul Rhoads’ final game. Yea, that didn’t happen. For the season, we are 36-27-2 heading into the final week of the season! A quick note: just like last year, we will provide bowl picks against the spread for all Big 12 teams.
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