Category Archives: Big 12
TALK TO THE PEOPLE DIRK.
Seriously, we have survived the dark depressing time that is the offseason, and now sweet, sweet football is back to cure all that ails us. Hell, we’re so excited Andrew came out of retirement to do a preview.
Check out his SEC Football Gambling Guide here.
Check out Chad’s Week 1 College Football viewing guide.
Then get hyped. We’re back in business.
Happy first game day of the season.
Love this? Hate it? Think I’m an idiot? Don’t just curse at me under your breath, head to the Dude You Podcast iTunes page, and leave a 5-star review to make sure I know it, and have your voice heard on the air. Follow me at @dpalm66.
Sweet Hosanna! Here’s hoping those with significant others have accomplished all of their husbandly/boyfriendly duties in preparation for this weekend, because it’s time for some college football!
The proliferation of neutral-site games has really gone a long way towards making Week 1 extremely watchable. Though the schedules normally hit a little bit of a lull the following weeks before conference play, we get a chance to establish new stars (Kenny Hill, anyone? …Oh. Oops.) and strong units (Ole Miss’ D) against solid competition before the FCS exhibitions and Vanderbilts of the world.
North Carolina vs. South Carolina, 6pm, ESPN: For the second time in three years, my alma mater opens with my least favorite SEC team, albeit this time in Charlotte and against a Cock team not expected to contend for the SEC title. Logical to assume that my nerves and energy are shot by about noon on the 3rd. It’s the first game of the season. Enough said.
#2 TCU at Minnesota, 9pm, ESPN: I’m not as high on TCU as most, but Gary Patterson’s defenses have always been a joy to watch. And that Trevone Boykin guy is pretty good. Turns out, Minnesota isn’t TERRIBLE, either. Let’s see how the Horned Frogs do after last year’s CFP snub and with the targets on their back.
See also: Alcorn State at #16 Georgia Tech is in Atlanta at 7:30 on ESPN3 for those interested. Most notably, friend of the podcast Patrick Dron. Also, Michigan at Utah on FS1 at 8:30, where we should all cheer for the Utes in order to avoid the “IS JIM HARBAUGH BETTER THAN JESUS” talks on the Worldwide Leader this week.
FRIDAY: WEIRD IN-STATE ROAD GAMES FOR TOP-5 TEAMS
A couple of “I didn’t read the iTunes terms and conditions” games here.
#5 Michigan State at Western Michigan, 7, ESPNU: I love the hype around some B1G QB’s, notably Sparty’s Connor Cook and Penn State’s Christian Hackenberg. A lot of “they have the tools to be top-10 picks” without the production to show for it.
#4 Baylor at SMU, 7, ESPN: Speaking of QB’s, Baylor’s Seth Russell can probably get a free trip to New York by being an average one this year at Baylor. Oh, and SMU is playing its first game under former Clemson OC Chad Morris. Queue the fireworks.
Washington at #23 Boise State, 9:45, ESPN: Another power-5 team on the road, but this one should lose. A lot of interesting things happening here– Chris Petersen’s return to Boise, the Pac-12’s return to Boise, where weird things happen.
SATURDAY: ENJOY GEORGIA AS AN APP, THEN GET READY FOR THE FEAST
The Dawgs are on the SEC Network vs. ULM at noon. Set your DVRs accordingly. Other games of interest for the noon slate:
The main dish is Louisville vs. #6 Auburn from Atlanta at 3:30 on CBS (Welcome back, Verne and Gary!). Storylines include: Bobby Petrino’s return to the Georgia Dome, JHC and Shaq “I need someone to let me be myself” Wiggins’ debuts for UL, Tray Matthews’ debut for Auburn…hell, let’s just call this the “Georgia Dismissal Bowl”.
For breaks in the action, I’m going to keep an eye on Virginia at #13 UCLA (3:30, FOX), because UVA’s D is sneaky good and going against a true freshman quarterback. UCLA, as a top-1o team last year, won at Virginia by eight. Additionally, we have Nice-Guy-Mike-Riley-Replacing-Jerk-Bo-Pelini’s debut at Nebraska, as BYU at Nebraska is on ABC at 3:30.
Both #25 Tennessee and #24 Mizzou open their runs at the SEC East at 4, both on the SEC Network, both in easy wins.
Evening, where there are three imminently watchable games:
Herein lies the strength of week 1.
#15 Arizona State vs. Texas A&M, 7, ESPN, from Houston: Probably the game where I have no dogs in the fight that I’m most excited to see. A&M can solidify itself as either a darkhorse or a week 1 overachiever, and ASU is my pick to win the Pac-12 South.
Texas at #11 Notre Dame, 7:30, NBC: Chances are, you DESPISE one (or both) of these teams. Schadenfruede accordingly.
#20 Wisconsin vs. #3 Alabama, from Dallas: This…could be problematic for a confusing Wisconsin team. However, a win means they’re 2-0 in 2015. Their wins? Auburn and Alabama. I so badly want to tweet something with the hashtag #WisconsinownsthestateofAlabama. Go Badgers. Go cheese.
To you dear readers who abandoned us because we had nothing to write about:
Welcome back! In case you missed it (going out on a limb here: you probably did), I wrote a WHOLE LOT of College Football Previews this summer. Some good, some bad, some destined to be woefully inaccurate.
Interested in the Big XII? Vanderbilt? The ACC COASTAL!?!?!?! Get a quick overview of all of them below:
6/30: The whole damn thing.
Tweet a link, and tag @Chad_Floyd, and I’ll give you a shoutout during next Monday’s DudeYouPodcast. Or tell me why I’m wrong in the comments section (HINT: I picked Stanford to win the Pac-12 North).
Over the course of the next few weeks, we’re going to get some previews on other conferences so I have something to cite in evaluating how wrong I was as the season goes along. First on the docket: the Big XII. Why start with the XII? A few reasons:
– I’m penalizing them for being the lone Power 5 conference for not having a playoff team last year.
– I plan on doing the rest of these division-by-division, and I don’t have the heart to start with the B1G West. That’d be EASILY top 5 in “ways to lose readership”. Since the XII lacks divisions, this should also should ostensibly make this the longest one.
– There’s so much shade within this conference (more on that later).
Let’s do it!
What Happened Last Year?
The Big XII, famously of 10 teams (although that number could be back at 12 by the end of this season) cost itself two potential playoff bids by its stupid “One True Champion” moniker last year. Baylor and TCU tied for the championship, and though Baylor won head-to-head 61-58 at home, the conference refused to name a champion. Oops.
10-8: Teams that won’t win it and thus I refuse to rank: Kansas, Iowa State, Texas Tech. I know two things about Kansas football: one, Charlie Weis is no longer there. Two, their starting quarterback tore his ACL in the Spring Game in a non-contact jersey. Kansas football, folks! Iowa State? Nothing, except the once-every-few-years random upset (hey, 2011 Oklahoma State!) Texas Tech? Kliff Kingsbury is an objectively attractive male.
7-4: Bowl teams, but not contenders:
7) Oklahoma State: He’s still a man, he’s older than 40, but Mike Gundy may be coaching for his job this year. If they were at home against Texas, I may have them higher. Hell, two of their conference road games are against doormats Texas Tech and Iowa State! But home games against Baylor, TCU, and Oklahoma? Ouch. Those would tough to win if T. Boone Pickens controlled gravitational pull in Stillwater.
6) Texas: I can’t shake that shellacking by Arkansas, man. Like, they got bludgeoned. 59 total yards? Visits to Notre Dame, TCU, and Baylor? Still no QB? Maybe a year or two away from being Texas again.
5) West Virginia: I was tempted to put them higher. They played respectably against teams I have some insight on last year (lost by 10 to Bama, 12 to Oklahoma, beat Baylor, and lost by 1 to TCU). Their 3-3-5 defense proved somewhat competent at stopping the league’s spread offenses last year. Holgo may be fighting for his job in his own right. I think I just talked myself into West BY GOD Virginia.
4) Kansas State: No real insight here, I just don’t bet against Zombie Bill Snyder. Do so at your own risk. Their regular season losses (and at-the-time rankings of said opponents) last year: #5 Auburn, #6 TCU, #5 Baylor. They return…well, not much, but at least their whole offensive line.
3-1: OOH LAWDY THE XII IS KINDA FUN
I like all of the teams ranked 4 through 7. Like, if everything bounces right for one of them, they could make things interesting. But they’re a gigantic step below the following:
3) TCU: Yeah, they’ll probably rank at least this high or higher in most national polls, but I have long stubbornly tried to not buy into post-bowl (a 42-3 shellacking of Ole Miss) hysteria, and am sticking to my guns (insert Texas guns joke here). They benefited from some close wins last year, namely by 4 against friggin’ Kansas. I’m calling slight letdown.
2) Oklahoma: One of those squads that exclusively over or underachieves, depending on where the expectations are. They finished 8-5 (5-4) last year, got SMOKED by Clemson in their bowl game…but return a good chunk of their D, brought in Air Raid OC Lincoln Riley from East Carolina, and shouldn’t play a ranked opponent until at least October 17 at Kansas State. If not then, then November 14 at….
1) Baylor: I think the Bears are a cut above. Seth Russell is the ‘system but legit Heisman contender’ new starter at QB, K.D. Cannon went over 1000 yards (18 per catch!) as a freshman, and Phil Steele ranks both lines #1 in the conference. That is a recipe for success. The only downside: they get ALL of their easy conference games out of the way in October and finish at Kansas State, Oklahoma, at Oklahoma State, at TCU, Texas. I think they’re up for it.
Top Five Games
Obviously, are going to be related to the picks above.
1) Baylor at TCU, Nov. 27: Fitting that two potential top 5 teams are going to get the national spotlight the day after Thanksgiving. Yes please.
2) TCU at Oklahoma, Nov. 21: More intriguing than #3 because if TCU wins, it sets up for the game above on a short week.
3) Oklahoma at Baylor, Nov. 14: See the pattern yet? The league is definitely trying to maintain its profile in November. Because that never fails.
4) Texas at TCU, Oct. 3: I mentioned shade above. This game is why. TCU scheduled homecoming against Texas! Fan-tastic.
5) Texas vs. Oklahoma, Oct. 10: If Mack Brown’s departure from Texas means no more ridiculous Oklahoma blowouts in the Red River Shootout (yeah we’re not taking your PC ‘Rivalry’ crap on this site. See also: World’s Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party), then that’s kinda sad. Except competitive noon games in classic rivalries are something everybody should be happy to embrace.
Ten Players to Watch:
See, this is where it starts to get tiresome with the longer preview. Oh well, here goes.
– Trevone Boykin, TCU: If I’m wrong about their finish, perhaps a Heisman frontrunner.
– Samaje Perine and Eric Striker, Oklahoma: Perine broke poor Melvin Gordon’s single game rushing record like, two weeks after it was set. As a true freshman. I’m interested to see if he can remain productive in the Air Raid. Striker has a perfect name for a linebacker, first of all. 9 sacks and 5 quarterback hurries last year make him an intriguing NFL 3-4 linebacker prospect.
– Seth Russell, K.D. Cannon, Corey Coleman, Baylor: All of the passing stats. Over/under on 70+ yard touchdowns for these three is set, conservatively, at 12.5.
– Malik Jefferson and Tyrone Swoopes, Texas: Jefferson was the nation’s top defensive recruit, has been called unblockable, and should start either at weakside end or Will LB for the Horns from day 1. Swoopes has been an abject disappointment to Longhorns fans, and is probably the most subject-to-scrutiny player in the league.
– Skyler Howard, West Virginia: Only played in the last four games last year, but had a nice 8/0 TD/Int ratio, and…remember this: THIS IS THE OFFENSE THAT MADE GENO SMITH A VIABLE QB TO THE NFL (or the Jets).
– Emmanuel Ogbah, Oklahoma State: Big ole (6-5, 270) junior defensive end. 11 sacks last year. And, again, great name.
So, that’s what I’ve got for the XII. Feel free to suggest other things (from numbers, to absurdities, to whatever else) you want to see in future previews. I’m going to try to get through the B1G next before moving on to the Pac-12 (fun) and the ACC (localish).
It’s been a slow couple of weeks for news by SEC standards since we last spoke. I mean hell, I
wrote paraphrased a whole article about imaginary rivalries in the AAC this week. We have some honest-to-goodness news finally, and I’m going to take a hot-takey stance on at least a couple of them.
The big one came from our Georgia Bulldogs, as redshirt freshman QB Jacob Park is leaving for Greyson Lambert-less pastures.
Florida bolstered its STELLAR offense by adding a grad transfer from Fordham. At 6’8 I’m sure he’s very nimble on his feet. He was previously committed to Old Dominion, so either way he was finishing his career playing D-1 ball!
Baseball? Sure, Let’s Get It Out of the Way
The SEC definitely proved its might in baseball in last week’s Super Regionals and this week’s MLB Draft. (Remember, we still have the defending champs in at least one sport!)
LSU, Florida, Arkansas, and aforementioned-defending-champ Vanderbilt will be heading to Omaha for the College World Series, and seven SEC players were drafted in the first round. This includes each of the top two, and four of the top eight. Making that number even MORE impressive is the fact that high school players are eligible for the draft and made up half the picks.
And Now, the Heavier Stuff- the Good
Mississippi State is doing something that every high school in America should do– required financial literacy for its athletes. The classes are being developed by financial superman Dave Ramsey, and this is just awesome.
On the other hand, our students are EXTRAORDINARILY prepared for the real world by our schools…
The Heavier Stuff- the Bad
Nick Saban is on his annual siege for bending the rules in his favor, and today we get to point and laugh at the Pandora’s Box little Nicky opened.
Saban’s argument can be summed up in the following way: he wants to see uniform rules amongst the Power Five conferences, following the NFL model.
So if those players were not allowed to play in the SEC they’d be playing someplace else. What I’m most concerned about, I just think that we should have the same rules in the SEC as all the other Big 5 schools have because now we’re not just talking about the SEC. We’re talking about having a playoff — no different than the NFL. One division in the NFL doesn’t have different rules, different salary caps, different anything because the league knows that parity is the best competitive balance that you can create.
So when we pass rules that other people that we have to compete against — and if that is really what’s best for the young people that we’re dealing with here, the student-athletes that we’re dealing with – then it should be best for everyone, or otherwise we shouldn’t do it. So I’m hopeful that some kind of way we’ll be able to get the Big 5 together — under the NCAA’s supervision — to try to create rules that we all see in the best interest of student-athletes, which I think we need to be thinking about here: Why do we do this? It is to benefit the student-athletes, to promote opportunities for the student-athletes.
This is in response to another great measure taken by the SEC: not allowing domestic abusers to transfer to its schools. Obviously, Saban was burned by former Georgia DT Jonathan Taylor on this rule. And he mad.
But let’s dig into what I put in bold face in that quote: Nick, do you REALLY want equality among the Power Five? Do you want…
– Revenue Sharing: that $31 million per school sure would be a nice coup for the ACC, Big XII, and Pac-12, who are lagging behind the SEC and Big 10 Networks.
– Uniform Academic Standards: This is more school-by-school than a conference matter, but does Alabama want to be on a level academic playing field with the likes of Stanford, Vanderbilt, Duke, and Cal? Methinks not. I’m sure his JuCo transfers would love that.
– (This one is admittedly a stretch, one posited by Buck Sanders on Inside Carolina)- Spending Caps: Last I checked, the NFL operates under a salary cap. Seven of the top 20 and nine of the top 30 spenders in college football last year were SEC schools– should we make that uniform as well?
My biggest beef here is Saban’s continued insistence that he’s doing what’s right for the game. And he’s using the SEC’s rules to not allow graduate transfers with academic issues (see: Everett Golson) and now domestic abusers to do so. Last year, it was an attempt to eliminate the no-huddle that his defenses have struggled, at times, to defend.
Your self-serving isn’t fooling anyone, Nick.
Satellite Camps Be Damned: SEC Still ‘Crootin Strong
It’s like when they used to play those Florida v. USA high school all star games. Pure, unadulterated, SEC dominance (or as the cynic suggests, pandering to the most invested fanbases).
So maybe Jim Harbaugh invading SEC country with his ghastly whiteness isn’t such a big deal.*
*’jim harbaugh shirtless’ is now a thing that is on my Google search history.
Finally, Au Revoir, Mike Slive
Mike Slive’s retirement became official on June 1, and let’s take a second to appreciate the best conference commissioner of all time. Greg Sankey is in position to do great things with the league going forward, but Slive made the SEC the envy of all other conferences, made shrewd additions to the league, and of course secured its financial future with the SEC Network.
Enjoy that retirement, Mike.