Category Archives: Big 12
A sick and hoarse Andrew Hall (@DudeYouCrazy on Twitter) croaks while Daniel Palmer (@DPalm66) recaps the BCS National Championship Game before diving into the coaching changes in college football. Was Charlie Strong a good hire at Texas? How on earth did Petrino get back to Louisville? What is James Franklin doing with his life? All of these questions will be answered.
As always, find the podcast on iTunes. Be sure to subscribe.
And, if you’re so inclined you can actually watch the making of this podcast. Quite appropriately, Andrew’s dog (whose name is Coach) makes an appearance as we continue to talk about coaches. His confusion is understandable.
Yesterday’s College Football News Today: Really Important Notre Dame News, Texas Booster Apologizes, Braxton Miller Back to Lose More Games
Notre Dame Steps Up in Apparel???
According to ESPN, Notre Dame is moving from Adidas to Under Armour. Is this a step up? Does Nike just not give a rip? I don’t understand. Under Armour is cool for me to workout in. At home. But in my mind the apparel manufacturer still lags the appeal of a more universally accepted brand like Nike.
And I know, Auburn and South Carolina wear Under Armour. That’s great. Prior to that and up untill 2009 (I think) Russell Athletic provided Auburn and South Carolina’s attire. That wasn’t a typo. Russell Athletic is legit though. When I was in middle school my team wore Russell Athletic. Russell Athletic hooked the Robertsville Middle School Rams up!
Notre Dame now joins the ranks of South Florida, St. John’s, Northwestern, Utah, Boston College, Texas Tech, Hawaii and Maryland as an “Under Armour” school. That’s pretty much a murderer’s row of athletic prowess right there. Including Auburn and South Carolina, the 10 Under Armour schools (not counting Notre Dame) in this article combined for 52 wins over FBS foes in 2013. That’s killer.
Texas Booster Boo Hoos
Red McCombs who said Charlie Strong would make a good position coach apologized for what he said and promised to help Strong at Texas.
Lost in all of this “controversy” is the fact that Charlie Strong would make a good position coach! He’s overqualified for that job, but Red was on to something there.
Braxton Miller Back To Lose
How many teams in the country are currently riding two game losing streaks? There can’t be that many, but Ohio State is one of them.
And, quarterback Braxton Miller has apparently grown fond of losing, so he’s coming back for another season of college football. God for you, Brax. Get that education.
That’s all I got/
The future is now.
With apologies to Alabama, Notre Dame, Oklahoma, Princeton, USC, and their combined 103 National Championships (quick, guess who has the most!), but none of it ever happened. Locally, Herschel Walker and Vince Dooley didn’t shock the world in ’80, Clemson never went undefeated back in ’81, Miami never had that great run in the late ’80s, Tech can shut up about ’90 forever, the Ol’ Ball Coach never got one at his Alma Mater, the SEC didn’t have the historic run over the past 7 years, and this play that won the game Monday?
If you listen to talking heads, basement dwelling bloggers, and even the casual fan, next year is when college football will finally be in the business of picking a real champion with the introduction of the much-anticipated playoff system in 2014. Following that line of thinking, the previous years of college football (1869-2013) were inadequately decided, and therefore this litany of false champions never happened.
The national nightmare is over.
I’m not going to sit here and defend the majority of the history of college football, because frankly, the sport doesn’t need defending. But, as of late, it has become popular to use the BCS as an example of all that is wrong with college football, when in reality it’s just the latest (and not the last) target for natural frustrations with the limitations of the postseason of an increasingly physical and time-consuming sport.
IN THE BEGINNING…
How did we get here? It’s a fair question, and one that is easily answered by visiting the BCS official website, and glancing at the history. Cliff notes version, prior to 1992 Bowl Games and their associated conference tie-ins were the defacto rewards for finishing at the top of your conference, and a regions fans could count on traveling to set destinations every year. In 1992, the Bowl Coalition took the first stance against the old guard, enabling flexibility in Bowl tie-ins, helping work towards the ‘best match-ups’.
In 1995, the Bowl Alliance further loosened the historical ties to Bowls, adding verbiage for at-large bids to the biggest games, shaking up lower Bowl tie-ins, all again with the stated intention of getting to the ideal match-up of top teams to cap the season. After the 1997 season, the Alliance negotiated with the Rose Bowl, the (then) Pac-10 and Big Ten to include “The Granddaddy of Them All” in the National Championship rotation, joining the Fiesta, Orange and Sugar. Thus was born the BCS.
Now, the BCS as we know it has changed and evolved from not just it’s inception, but year to year. According to the aforementioned BCS website, the stated goals are:
The Bowl Championship Series (BCS) is a five-game college football showcase. It is designed to ensure that the top two teams in the country meet in the national championship game and to create exciting and competitive matchups among eight other highly regarded teams in four other bowl games.
I think that there is little debate that the past 15 years have produced the top teams playing for the national championship, and exciting matchups in the rest of the games. A quick glance at the national title matchups bear that out.
|1998||(1) Tennessee 23||(2) Florida State 16|
|1999||(1) Florida State 46||(2) Virginia Tech 29|
|2000||(1) Oklahoma 13||(2) Florida State 2|
|2001||(1) Miami 37||(2) Nebraska 14|
|2002||(1) Miami 24||(2) Ohio State 31 (2 OT)|
|2003||(1) Oklahoma 14||(2) LSU 21|
|2004||(1) Southern California 55||(2) Oklahoma 19|
|2005||(1) Southern California 38||(2) Texas 41|
|2006||(1) Ohio State 14||(2) Florida 41|
|2007||(1) Ohio State 24||(2) LSU 38|
|2008||(1) Oklahoma 14||(2) Florida 24|
|2009||(1) Alabama 37||(2) Texas 21|
|2010||(1) Auburn 22||(2) Oregon 19|
|2011||(1) LSU 0||(2) Alabama 21|
|2012||(1) Notre Dame 14||(2) Alabama 42|
|2013||(1) Florida State 34||(2) Auburn 31|
Look at those games. LOOK AT THEM. Barring the occasional blow out of a team that truly didn’t belong (Notre Dame!), these were competitive games, and some of them downright classics. Even more importantly, year by year, I don’t see a place where another team has a legitimate claim to replace one of the two teams in the final (again, go home Notre Dame, you’re drunk).
The problem for most people, from what I can make out, has been with the process, not the results. Detractors didn’t like how ‘messy’ it was, or how it seemed to favor big conference teams, discounting that college football has always been and will always be ‘messy’, and has always and will always favor big conference teams.
Actually, an unexpected side effect of breaking automatic ties into Bowls was allowing of smaller division schools to play on the biggest stages afforded by the BCS. In the last 8 years, 8 teams from non-automatic qualifier conferences played in BCS bowls, while the previous 61 years had seen only 5 such teams play in one of the BCS Bowls.
|2005||Utah (then-member of MWC)||Fiesta Bowl|
|2007||Boise State (MWC)||Fiesta Bowl|
|2008||Hawaii (MWC)||Sugar Bowl|
|2009||Utah (then-member of MWC)||Sugar Bowl|
|2010||TCU (then-member of MWC)||Fiesta Bowl|
|2010||Boise State (MWC)||Fiesta Bowl|
|2011||TCU (then-member of MWC)||Rose Bowl|
|2013||Northern Illinois (MAC)||Orange Bowl|
LIES, DAMNED LIES, AND PLAYOFFS
Look, I get that people think that this new playoff season will cure all that ails, but the fact that college football isn’t college basketball is a GOOD THING to me. The bigger the playoff gets, the more it dilutes the importance of the regular season, and introduces more randomness, as opposed to recognizing greatness.
Don’t believe me? Check out college basketball ratings regular season vs. March Madness. Hell, how many college basketball games have you watched this year not involving a team you cheer for? Meanwhile, in college football, #MACtion Thursdays are a thing. Teams including, but not limited to, Ball State, Kent State, Northern Illinois and Western Michigan are must-see TV for college football heads, and for good reason.
The playoff will move bar conversations from who deserved to be in the National Title game (under the BCS, a specious debate) to who deserved to be in the playoffs. And we’ll all be back here in 2 years or 4 years or whenever the playoff expands, doing this all over again, especially since the playoff participants will be decided by a committee, not just computers.
Didn’t have faith in the computers? Search twitter for any committee member the first time a team gets snubbed, or we end up with a run of all-SEC National Title Games, and bask in the hate. Meanwhile, the most corrupt institution in sport (apologies to FIFA) continues to line it’s pockets on the backs and at the expense of unpaid labor. It’s fannnnnnnntastic.
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I was out on all weekend and only caught minimal football so in some ways, this is as much for me as any one. In any event, here’s what happened since Friday night.
I really don’t buy into bowl games all that much, especially ones that could be deemed a “consolation” for one of the teams involved. But weren’t Clemson and Ohio State equally disappointed to be playing in the Orange Bowl? Didn’t Clemson bring a 6-0 record and No. 3 ranking into the FSU game in late October thinking it would be one of only two major obstacles preventing a BCS National Championship Game? Did Ohio State not have the same mentality against Michigan State in early December?
I think both of these teams were on the same page and while that page may have simply read, “This sucks. We could have been somebody,” both teams were interpreting the same transcript.
In light of that, it’s absolutely hilarious that big, bad Ohio State lost to 12th ranked, two-loss Clemson.
The game was close, but neither team was perfect. This wasn’t “Clemson’s day” from the onset. Sure the Tigers jumped out to a lead, but Tajh Boyd did throw an interception from the six-yard line on third and three. Hell, Boyd tossed an INT with 105 seconds remaining and gave Ohio State the ball back at midfield.
But the five-point loss was delightful for me. Georgia played Clemson closer on the road. Florida State and South Carolina both defeated Clemson handily. As far as the transitive property is concerned, Ohio State was the fourth best team that Clemson played all year. And Clemson’s schedule did not crack the Top 50 ins Jeff Sagarin’s Strength of Schedule ratings.
You do you though, Urban Meyer. You. Do. You.
Strong Hire for Texas
A sect of the media is dwelling on the fact that Charlie Strong was not Texas’ first choice. That’s the dumbest thing I’ve heard in some time. Of course he wasn’t the first choice; Saban was. But why does Saban’s staying in Tuscaloosa diminish the hire of Strong?
I’m eating a slice of Marietta Pizza Company pizza right now. It’s good. Is the value of that slice diminished because it’s not as good as a slice from Patsy’s Pizzeria in NYC (the top-rated pizza place in the world according to Yelp.)? I don’t think so. Especially not when there is no realistic way that I’m going to get Patsy’s tonight.
A lot of folks thought Saban was going to Texas. I was one of them. The fact that he didn’t isn’t evidence of a failed effort by Texas, but rather of Saban being an immovable object. Accordingly, although Strong was not Texas’ first choice, he’s a far cry from a consolation prize or “also ran.”
Keep in mind that this is what Charlie Strong has done as of late:
- 2003 DC, Florida: 20.8 Points Allowed Per Game
- 2004: DC, Florida: 21.1 Points Allowed Per Game
- 2005: DC, Florida: 18.8 Points Allowed Per Game
- 2006: DC, Florida: 13.5 Points Allowed Per Game, National Championship
- 2007: DC, Florida: 25.5 Points Allowed Per Game
- 2008: DC, Florida: 12.9 Points Allowed Per Game. National Championship
- 2009: DC, Florida: 12.4 Points Allowed Per Game
- 2010: Head Coach, Louisville: 7-6 Record
- 2011: Head Coach, Louisville: 7-6 Record
- 2012: Head Coach, Louisville, 11-2 Record, Sugar Bowl Win
- 2013: Head Coach, Louisville, 12-1 Record
This is a proven coach with a strong defensive mind who just turned around a BCS Conference program at Louisville. I don’t care if he hasn’t recruited Texas, he’s recruited Florida very well and recruiting Texas is about as easy as saying, “Charlie Strong, head coach of the Texas Longhorns, we need defensive players like you.”
That’s all I got/
Jason Smith stops by to discuss Bob Stoops’ big win over Alabama. This post may seem a few days late, but I’m to blame for that. he sent it in much earlier but I was out on a boat somewhere.
There is a complex scientific phenomenon that serious scientists have recently scientifically confirmed while drinking in my living room: the Stoops-Time continuum.
Much like Einstein’s theory of relativity, which said something cool about space and time and e and mc with a square in it, the Stoops-Time continuum is a revolution to the game of made-up sports science. And while you’ll never see it on ESPN’s totally legit show Sports Science [sic], it’s real, people! Don’t be a hater.
In all seriousness, however, I have dire news to report: there has been a rupture in the Stoops-Time continuum.
Bob Stoops won a big game.
This massive disruption of the forces that govern our college football universe was caused when the reeling, anemic, and generally agreed turd of a football team that is Oklahoma beat Alabama in the Sugar Bowl.
As the double rainbow guy would say, “WHAT DOES THIS MEAN?!!!!”
Is God even real? If a tree falls in a forest with no one to hear does it make a sound? Does this reveal the meaning of life?!
All of those are good questions. And we’ll get to them in time. But first, a word on the former world, the world we knew before the continuum was so viciously torn asunder.
The Old World Order
Bob Stoops never wins big games. Never. Against any conference mankind has ever known.
This is a scientific fact of our universe. In fact, the startling thing about it, and the reason I deem it a subject upon which one ought to pontificate in this SEC-centered blog, is that the SEC was able to set their “National Title Watches” by this law.
It was like clockwork. Bob Stoops creates an elite regular season machine that obliterates with nuclear efficiency the hopes and dreams of powerhouses like Kansas and Iowa State. Then they play a game where everything comes to a head—whether it’s the Big 12 [sic] championship game, a critical regular season game during an undefeated season, a BCS bowl, or even [especially] a BCS national championship—and the Sooner bandwagon dies of dysentery.
But then Bob Stoops fell off his toilet at the New Orleans Microtel and drew up that fateful end around…
Up Is Down
Some might say, “Maybe Bob Stoops has a Delorean with a flux capacitor? He went to the future and watched how he won and then did it.”
Fools. If Bob Stoops had a Delorean with a flux capacitor he would take that new-fangled “spread offense of an engine” out and put in a ‘Murican Hemi that is definitely not from Texas cuz Texas blows.
The only plausible scenario is that Mike Stoops has the Delorean and pulled a Biff. He went to the future and got the sports books from the future that says Oklahoma wins.
So they have to win.
It’s a dream within a dream.
In all seriousness though, the top has to still be spinning right? 21 points off of turnovers? A “Florida-linemen-blocking-themselves-while-losing-to-Georgia-Southern-like” fumble? That end around?! And all of that in the first half.
How can anyone exist in a world where this is real?
Trevor Knight doesn’t make an incredible series of clutch throws against a defense that makes Emperor Palpatine want to take a cold shower. Alabama special teams don’t commit penalties that bring back touchdowns. Nick Saban doesn’t knowingly send Cade Foster out to kick field goals. A.J. McCarron doesn’t throw interceptions. When he does, the Alabama defense doesn’t give up touchdowns. Oklahoma doesn’t rattle the one quarterback in the universe that doesn’t scare. END AROUNDS DON’T WORK.
Bob. Stoops. Does. Not. Win. Big. Games.
But for a brief moment all of the laws of college football were suspended. Down was Up and Up was Down. And neither of them had any pants on.
Big Game Bob, the nickname that once was real but then became tragically appropriate, became true again.
The World To Come
Now that the Stoops-Time Continuum is no more, what of the world to come? Will our world float away into the deep reaches of space, lost to chaos and chance?
I am afraid, dear reader. I am very afraid.
I am afraid of a world in which a guy named Trevor Knight bests an SEC defense. I’m afraid of a world in which AJ McCarron fumbles in the last second and it doesn’t magically fall into Derrick Henry’s hands causing him to run for a double-secret touchdown that automatically wins the game. I am afraid of a world in which the final kick of the game bounces off a Bama player to ice the game for Oklahoma.
I am afraid of a world in which Bob Stoops can win big games.
I am afraid of a world in which Nick Saban loses big games.
Because the SEC always beats Bob Stoops. And when I lie awake at night and hold up a polaroid of the SEC era, like the McFlys, I see the images of dominance slowly fading away into non-existence.
Perhaps this truly is the end of the era of SEC dominance.
Think that can’t happen?
After all, Bob Stoops just won a big game.