Tag Archives: Oklahoma State Cowboys

Are There Any Good Football Teams in 2017?

There are three certainties in life: death, taxes, and Alabama.

Ok, maybe I made up that third one but since Nick Saban took over you can basically pencil the Crimson Tide into one of the top couple spots in the polls. Saban already has his team locked into the number one spot in the polls and everyone else is right on their heels… right?

The entire offseason has been filled with stories about how great other teams were going to be. That Texas was back (they aren’t) and that Josh Allen is the next big thing at quarterback (not so far).

So I guess that leaves us with the question… who’s actually any good? Three weeks in and I’m really not sure who’s any good. I know who I’m being told is good or going to be good but so far, the game has told another story.

Let’s start at the top of the polls.

You’ve got Alabama who took apart Florida State in week one. It’s hard to read into what they did against Fresno State and Colorado State too much but this is the one team in the polls that I’m willing to give the benefit of the doubt to. Why only Alabama? Well, because more than anyone, the Tide have a recent track record of excellence. Not a good few years in a row or a couple good years in the last decade, basically a decade of domination. There’s a reason you always see “We Want Bama” signs. 

Clemson is the only other team you can maybe convince me right now is any good after beating Louisville but dial it back a week and the Tigers only managed two touchdowns against Auburn. Auburn doesn’t seem to be very good (Sorry Bird) after only scoring 24 points against Mercer and turning the ball over five times. Louisville is a good win but the rest of the resume is lacking.

Then we’ve got the Sooners. How much can we read into the win over Ohio State? Everyone but Urban Meyer is calling for a quarterback change due to an anemic offense but Ohio State does have a good defense. We’re not going to find out if Oklahoma is any good until week nine when they play in-state rival Oklahoma State who is currently ranked sixth. The Cowboys have the offense but haven’t faced a dominant defense. That showdown is going to tell us a lot about both teams.

I know that I’m supposed to be the Big Ten guy but of the four Big Ten teams in the top ten, three of them are frauds. Both Michigan and Ohio State are downright anemic on offense. Wisconsin is only this high because of favorable preseason ranking and a weak schedule. Sure, the Badgers beat BYU but BYU is bad so all they’ve got is a name now. They’ve got a favorable schedule in their favor and at some point, Michigan’s defense isn’t going to be able to bail out the offense.

Penn State is the only legitimate Big Ten school in the polls. Trace McSorley and Saquon Barkley are absolute studs and the Nittany Lions return almost everyone from their Big Ten Championship season. I’m betting on Penn State until proven otherwise.

I actually forgot Washington was in the top ten. I’m not even kidding, I didn’t realize it because they’ve done absolutely nothing of note. Washington is that team that’s ranked highly because of achievements in the previous season. What happened when Washington played a good team last season? Alabama did what they do to everyone.

Then we’ve got what could turn out to be the most over-hyped team in the preseason in USC. All I heard was that USC was “back” and that quarterback Sam Darnold had already won the Heisman and put his team in the playoffs. Instead, they struggled with Western Michigan in their season opener and then had to use double overtime to beat what is not a good Texas team. Darnold doesn’t look like he’s holding up to the expectations either as he’s thrown seven touchdowns to six interceptions. I don’t care that the Trojans beat Stanford, right now this is not a good football team.

Who else is even left?

Georgia? The Bulldogs will start hot until their running back has a catastrophic knee injury like always.

Florida? They had a great hail mary win last week but we all know they’re bad.

Miami? Maybe, but that team has only played one game. There’s no way to tell.

Virginia Tech? I like what Justin Fuente did last season and so far but the Hokies only have a win over West Virginia. Going to need to see more than that.

Mississippi State? Don’t make me laugh. Dan Mullins’ team beat an LSU team with one good player in Derrius Guice.

Where’s this leave us then? Is anyone actually any good? Well at the moment, no.

But they will be. There’s a lot of good coaches out there in Harbaugh, Meyer, and Jimbo Fisher. At some point, one of these teams is going to start showing us that they belong up at the top with Alabama and probably Clemson. Or maybe not. Maybe we’ll get a hilarious year like 2007 where teams like Missouri, Kansas, and Hawaii were routinely seen near the top of the polls.

I don’t think we will but it’s something that college football could use. We’re so entrenched in the idea that there are basically only 25 or so programs that are actually any good according to the polls. Washington broke the mold last season but we need more of that. There’s more than these 25 to 30 out of over 100 programs that are good at football but because they don’t have the right name, they never even get considered.

But let’s be honest: 2017 is Nick Saban and Alabama’s season. We’re all just waiting for them to be crowned at this point unless something unexpected happens.

Image courtesy Flickr

E-mail Tim at [email protected] and follow him on Twitter @tbach84.

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Mike Gundy Has Oklahoma State’s Full Support

In 2016, there were 20 schools where the head football coach made at least $4 million in base salary. Bob Stoops has now retired (for now), Charlie Strong was handed his walking papers at Texas, and Les Miles was shown the door at LSU. That left 17 schools where the head coach was making bank.

What if I told you that the $4 million club has its newest member and his name is Mike Gundy? It’s true.

When I first heard this news, my first reaction was, What? But then I thought about it and my reaction changed to, Right On!

Gundy has been at Oklahoma State since 2005. In those 12 full seasons, his Cowboys have gone 104-50. His only losing season was his inaugural 2005 one and he won the Big 12 Championship in 2011. Some schools would consider building a statue for that sort of resume. Yes, I’m looking at you Missouri. Other schools would chase a coach with that resume out of town. Yes, I’m looking at you LSU.

But underneath that snarky comment is a slice of truth. Embedded within my snark is what the value of $4 million and a 67% winning percentage is.

Not all schools have the same set of expectations. Just look at LSU and Miles. Miles was at LSU for the same amount of time that Gundy has been at Oklahoma State. But you knew that since Gundy replaced Miles after Miles left Stillwater for Baton Rouge.

Miles was making $4.3 million at LSU and all LSU had to show for it was a record of 113-34. That 76% winning percentage included a national championship in 2007 to go along with a runner-up finish in 2011. Miles was considered over paid. Go figure. But that’s the difference between coaching at LSU and coaching at Oklahoma State.

Oklahoma State fans should be ecstatic that a long-term deal was agreed upon. There has always been grumblings that Gundy wasn’t happy at Oklahoma State. That Gundy didn’t get along with mega donor T. Boone Pickens. Signing a five-year contract extension should put all of that to rest. But college coaching is a flow business, so all of that could change by this time next year. Who knows?

What we do know is that Gundy is now one of the highest paid coaches in the Big 12. First-year Texas coach Tom Herman will be making $5.25 million this year.  Like I said, a coach’s worth depends on the school they’re working at and what the expectations are. Texas has money. Texas has ridiculous expectations. We all know that.

Oklahoma State is poised to have a terrific 2017 season. Expectations are high in Stillwater and for good reason. The Cowboys have what appears to be a loaded offense, a coach that the administration has committed to, and their two biggest rivals – Oklahoma and Texas – are breaking in new coaches along with Baylor. Suffice it to say, this can be a huge year for Gundy and Oklahoma State.

I liked Oklahoma State as the 2016 dark horse. This year they should be the outright favorite to win the Big 12. Gundy has nothing to prove at Oklahoma State. He wouldn’t have been offered the fat contract extension if he did have something to prove there. But he may have something to prove to all those fans and writers who don’t give a coach from the state of Oklahoma not named Stoops the time of day.

E-mail Seth at [email protected] or follow him on Twitter @SethMerenbloom.

Photo: Wikimedia Commons

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The Best and Worst of 2016: Big 12

The Big 12 Conference had a pretty forgettable year on and off the field in 2016. The conference was shut out from the College Football Playoff again and hit rock bottom in terms of conference prestige.

But not everything was a complete disaster. Here are some of the best and worst games in the Big 12 last season.

Best Games of 2016

Texas vs. Notre Dame

Texas is back” is what college football fans heard on the Sunday of Labor Day. The Longhorns kicked off the season with a thrilling double overtime win over 10th-ranked Notre Dame. It appeared very briefly that Texas would make some national noise, but finished 5-7 instead. And despite the game being fool’s gold because of Notre Dame also being highly overrated, it was still arguably the best game for a Big 12 team, especially in the non-conference schedule.

TCU vs. Oklahoma

This was a game many thought TCU could win, especially with Oklahoma’s early struggles. The Sooners ran away with the game in the first three quarters before TCU mounted a strong comeback. They had an opportunity to win in the end, but it ended up being an Oklahoma victory 52-46. The win was the beginning of some serious momentum for Oklahoma that propelled them into an eventual top-10 finish in the polls.

TCU vs. Texas Tech

This game may not have looked pretty, but it was highly entertaining. In what was expected to be a shootout, no one could have predicted the score to be tied at 17 at the end of regulation. The Red Raiders won on the road in double overtime 27-24 after the TCU kicker missed a short field goal on the first possession in double OT. In true Texas Tech fashion, they played conservatively and kicked a game winning field goal. A fitting end to one of the most surprising results of the Big 12 season.

Honorable Mention: Kansas State vs. Texas A&M and Oklahoma State vs. Colorado

It’s worth mentioning these two bowl games together because it’s always good for the conference when a team beats a former conference mate. Kansas State beating Texas A&M was a true shocker, and no one expected Oklahoma State to handle Colorado the way they did. These games really helped the perception of the Big 12 during the bowl season.

Worst Games of 2016

Oklahoma vs. Ohio State

The final score showed Ohio State winning 45-24, but anyone watching the game knows it was much worse than that. This was supposed to be the game to put Oklahoma and the Big 12 on the map. Instead, the Sooners got embarrassed by the Buckeyes at home. It capped off a rough start for Oklahoma, who eventually would win the conference. Which raises the question: just how far behind is the Big 12 when it comes to being nationally relevant?

Texas Tech vs. Oklahoma

This game was just purely embarrassing for the Big 12. With the final score of 66-59, how can you really claim either team won? The teams should have just rested their defenses and let the offense play against air. It would have been the same result. I have no problem with a high scoring game, but this one got out of hand. A big embarrassment for the conference, to say the least.

Kansas vs. Texas

Big 12 critics seem to think the conference won’t be relevant again until Texas and Oklahoma are both top-10 teams again. Texas proved they have a long way to go after losing to lowly Kansas. It’s easy to say this was the worst game of the Big 12 season, but you can’t take away that much from Kansas. You can. This was an awful game from start to finish. Kansas snapped their 23-game losing streak to FBS opponents and Texas finally hit rock bottom. No one truly won this game, and the conference took a huge hit to its reputation as a result.

Honorable Mention: Oklahoma State vs. Central Michigan

You may not have seen a wilder finish to a game than this one. The referees admitted a mistake on their part, which gave Central Michigan one last chance with an untimed down. They threw up a Hail Mary, which got lateraled back and ran across the field for a touchdown. Cowboys fans will want to forget this one forever.

Iowa State vs. Texas Tech

Overshadowed by Texas’ loss to Kansas, Texas Tech managed to lose 66-10 to Iowa State on the same day. I’m not even sure how that’s possible on either side of the scoreboard, but somehow it happened. As if anyone wanted to really watch this game anyway.

Well, there you have it. Time to close the book now on the 2016 Big 12 football season as being one to forget. But hey, look at the bright side, the conference can’t get much worse in 2017!

Or can it?

E-mail Chase at [email protected] and follow him on Twitter @chaseholik88.

Photo: Wikimedia

Missouri Tiger Football Fans Shouldn’t Forget Corby Jones

The proverbial “roar” had not been restored to Missouri football in 1997. At 7-5, the team was still just a blip on the radar of college football. That 3rd place finish in the Big 12 North gave hope to the Missouri fan base and provided a glimpse of what the program could be. And for that, Corby Jones deserves more credit that he gets even from Missouri fans.

A 7-5 record may not look like much to many, but it meant the world to a program that hadn’t enjoyed a winning season since 1983. For 13 long, cold, dark years, Missouri fans suffered through an average of three wins a season. And then Larry Smith struck recruiting gold with the local quarterback recruit from Columbia.

Jones was recruited by the best-of-the-best blue blood programs when Nebraska’s Tom Osborne tasked Turner Gill with bringing Jones to Lincoln. Smith had an ace up his sleeve, though. Jones’ father had been retained by Smith when Bob Stull and his coaching staff were fired after the 1993 season. It’s not a stretch to say that this relationship helped seal the recruiting deal that kept Jones in Columbia.

The Missouri fans who spin Tiger folklore consider Brad Smith to be the savior of Tiger football. Smith was as exciting a player as Missouri and college football had experienced in quite some time. Think of a 2001-2005 version of Lamar Jackson. Smith either held or holds countless Missouri, Big 12 and NCAA records. He was more electrifying than Jones had been but excitement only counts for so much.

 

Jones’ best win and one that is too often forgotten about was the 1997 game against Oklahoma State. Played in Stillwater, Missouri not only took the 12th ranked team in the country to overtime, but the Tigers beat that ranked Cowboys team on the road. That win meant enough to the program that I remember where I was as Jones hit Ricky Ross down the sideline to tie the game with 20 seconds left in regulation. I was at a friend’s wedding. I know. Who gets married on a football Saturday?

 

This is the game that truly put the Missouri program back on the road to recovery and it had everything to do with the quarterback who most thought was destined to go to Nebraska to be the heir apparent to Tommy Frazier. Later in the 1997 season, Nebraska would have first-hand experience of the impact that Jones’ athletic ability and desire to win could have on a football game.

It was that 1997 game against the top-ranked Huskers that made the nation really take notice of what was going on at Missouri. Moral victories aside, that 45-38 overtime loss to Nebraska was symbolic. For starters, Missouri had lost 51-7 to Nebraska in 1996. That was the kind of score that had become all too common in this series. Taking a Tom Osborne coached Nebraska team into overtime only to lose by a touchdown felt good. And the 38 points that Jones helped to orchestrate was the most points a Tiger team had scored against Nebraska since scoring 47 in 1947.

 

It’s this game against Nebraska that Missouri fans like to reminisce about when thinking about the 1997 season. The notion is that Missouri somehow won in losing. This game did mean something but not what so many Missouri fans think it meant. What playing Nebraska into overtime showed was that Missouri could be competitive against programs like Osborne’s Nebraska machine. I’ll still take that road victory over Oklahoma State as the crowning achievement of the 1997 season.

In beating Oklahoma State, Jones proved what Missouri football had become and Jones was the centerpiece of that tangible accomplishment. And in losing a heart-breaker to Nebraska, Jones offered a glimpse of what the future could hold for Missouri football.

That future became reality when, in 1998, Jones led Missouri to another winning season as the Tigers finished the year at 8-4. Unlike the 1997 season, there wasn’t that signature win over a ranked team. The four losses did include some near upsets of ranked Nebraska, Texas A&M and Kansas State teams. But 1998 was about the season in aggregate, not the individual games.

The 1997 season had been the first winning season in 13 years for the Missouri program to enjoy. Having experienced a 13-year drought of winning, expecting back-to-back winning seasons wouldn’t have seemed like a reasonable expectation. But that is precisely what the Missouri football team did on the back of Jones.

Missouri fans like to romanticize what Brad Smith meant to Missouri football. He filled up the stat sheet and in 2003 he was the first Missouri quarterback to beat Nebraska since 1978. The accomplishment of beating Nebraska was remarkable and one that I remember fondly. But again, it was just one game.

 

Brad Smith’s accomplishments were awe inspiring, but we shouldn’t allow Smith’s highlight reel to mask what Corby Jones meant to the program as a whole. Each of these quarterbacks deserves to have their Tiger legacy’s acknowledged. Including Jones.

 

E-mail Seth at [email protected] or follow him on Twitter @SethMerenbloom.

Photo: Wikimedia Commons

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Mock College Football Playoff 2016: Final Rankings

Welcome to the season finale of Campus Pressbox’s official mock playoff committee. Thank you to all the readers who kept up with our weekly rankings. Special thanks to all the wonderful people on this year’s committee. You can view the previous weeks’ results here.

The committee:

Tim Bach (@Tbach84)
Kristen Botica (@OGKristenB)
Damien Bowman (@damienbowman)
Mitch Gatzke (@GreatGatzke)
Cooper Goetz (@uf_goetz)
John Horlander (@John_Horlander)
Seth Merenbloom (@SethMerenbloom)
Evan Skilliter (@EvanSkilliter)
Ben Belden (@bbelden330), Founding Writer- Golden Domer Daily
Cole Hankins (@Cole_Hankins), Writer- SB Nation
Thomas Gardner
J.R. Goetz

The rules:

Each week, committee members will submit their top 10 teams and each team will receive points based on their position. The team’s will be ranked 1-10 based on which has the most points. Ties will be broken by which team has the highest votes in a specific position.

Points are assigned as follow: first place – 10, second place – 9, third place – 8, fourth place – 7, fifth place – 6, sixth place – 5, seventh place – 4, eighth place – 3, ninth place – 2, tenth place – 1.

Final Results:

Place Team Points First Place Votes
1 Alabama (1) 120 12
2 Clemson (3) 99
3 Washington (4) 94
4 Ohio State (2) 89
5 Penn State (7) 73
6 Michigan (5) 60
7 Oklahoma (8) 52
8 Wisconsin (6) 28
9 Western Michigan 21
10 USC (10) 16
Additional Votes: Colorado (9) 5
Oklahoma State 2
Florida State 1

(#)=last week’s position.

Playoff:

Bowl Matchup
Peach No. 1 Alabama vs. No. 4 Ohio State
Fiesta No. 2 Clemson vs. No. 3 Washington

New Year’s Six:

Bowl Matchup Tie In
Orange Florida State vs.  No. 8 Wisconsin ACC vs. Big Ten, Big 12 or SEC
Cotton No. 9 Western Michigan vs. No. 6 Michigan At Large vs. At Large
Rose No. 5 Penn State vs. No. 10 USC Big Ten vs. Pac-12
Sugar No. 7 Oklahoma vs. Auburn Big 12 vs. SEC

Notes and Observations:

  • It’s official. Alabama has completed a clean sweep of this year’s rankings. The Crimson Tide were the unanimous No. 1 team every week.
  • Penn State’s great showing in the Big Ten Championship allowed the Nittany Lions to steal a Playoff spot on many of our committee member’s rankings this week.
    • Penn State’s performance is also the reason for Ohio State’s drop from No. 2 to No. 4.
  • As Big Ten Champs, the Nittany Lions should absolutely get a bid to this year’s Rose Bowl.
  • Ladies and gentlemen, the boat has been rowed. Western Michigan, after being in the honorable mentions for multiple weeks, has at long last broken into the top 10.
    • Committee members had the Broncos ranked as high as 7th in the final rankings of the year.

Our Work:

For transparency, here is how each member of the committee voted this week:

final-ranks

E-mail Cooper at [email protected]or follow him on twitter @uf_goetz
Photo courtesy of Pixabay
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Mock College Football Playoff 2016: Week 13

Welcome to week five of Campus Pressbox’s official mock playoff committee. Every Tuesday I’ll be publishing the top 10 based on a group vote. You can view the previous weeks’ results here.

The committee:

Tim Bach (@Tbach84)
Kristen Botica (@OGKristenB)
Damien Bowman (@damienbowman)
Mitch Gatzke (@GreatGatzke)
Cooper Goetz (@uf_goetz)
John Horlander (@John_Horlander)
Seth Merenbloom (@SethMerenbloom)
Evan Skilliter (@EvanSkilliter)
Ben Belden (@bbelden330), Founding Writer- Golden Domer Daily
Cole Hankins (@Cole_Hankins), Writer- SB Nation
Thomas Gardner
J.R. Goetz

The rules:

Each week, committee members will submit their top 10 teams and each team will receive points based on their position. The team’s will be ranked 1-10 based on which has the most points. Ties will be broken by which team has the highest votes in a specific position.

Points are assigned as follow: first place – 10, second place – 9, third place – 8, fourth place – 7, fifth place – 6, sixth place – 5, seventh place – 4, eighth place – 3, ninth place – 2, tenth place – 1.

Week 11 Results:

Place Team Points First Place Votes
1 Alabama (1) 120 12
2 Ohio State (2) 101
3 Clemson (4) 99
4 Washington (5) 88
5 Michigan (3) 64
6 Wisconsin (6) 57
7 Penn State (8) 43
8 Oklahoma (7) 33
9 Colorado (9) 33
10 USC 10
Additional Votes: Oklahoma State 6
Western Michigan 6

(#)=last week’s position.

Playoff:

Bowl Teams
Peach No. 1 Alabama vs. No. 4 Washington
Fiesta No. 2 Ohio State vs. No. 3 Clemson

New Year’s Six:

Bowl Teams Tie In
Orange Florida State vs. No. 6 Wisconsin ACC vs. Big Ten, Big 12 or SEC
Cotton At Large vs. At Large
Rose No. 5 Michigan vs. No. 9 Colorado Big Ten vs. Pac-12
Sugar No. 8 Oklahoma vs. Auburn Big 12 vs. SEC

Notes and Observations:

  • I’m unsure whether or not there is a need to acknowledge that Alabama is the unanimous #1 for the fifth straight week.
    • I am also beginning to doubt my continued inclusion of the First Place Votes column in the Weekly Results.
  • Oklahoma and Colorado tied for total points this week. Normally, the tie breaker would be who received the most votes at the highest position, but both teams received a single vote at No. 6. Thus, the tie breaker came down to the seventh place votes, where Oklahoma received two more than Colorado, giving the Sooners the No. 8 spot over the Buffs.
    • Oklahoma, interestingly enough, had its total points drop 14 points (47 to 33), which is fairly substantial.
  • Despite Tim’s heroic attempt to get WMU in the top 10 by putting them at No. 9 in his rankings, the Broncos still fell a few points short of being ranked this week.
  • Michigan received a single tenth place vote.
  • In my mind, the winner of the Big Ten championship is all but guaranteed one of the two possible Big Ten New Year’s Six bowl spots.
    • The Big Ten Championship is being played by the third and fourth best Big Ten teams according to our panelists.
  • The winner of this year’s Bedlam Series will win the Big 12 and earn the conference’s bid to the Sugar Bowl.

 This Week’s Marquee Matches:

No. 9 Colorado @  No. 4 Washington (Friday 9 PM in Levi’s Stadium)

Oklahoma State @ No. 8 Oklahoma (Saturday 12:30 PM)

No. 6 Wisconsin @ No. 7 Penn State (Saturday 8 PM in Lucas Oil Stadium)

Our Work:

For transparency, here is how each member of the committee voted this week:

rankings

E-mail Cooper at [email protected]or follow him on twitter @uf_goetz
Photo courtesy of Sam Howzit – Flickr
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Mock College Football Playoff 2016: Week 12

Welcome to week four of Campus Pressbox’s official mock playoff committee. Every Tuesday I’ll be publishing the top 10 based on a group vote. You can view the previous weeks’ results here.

The committee:

Tim Bach (@Tbach84)
Kristen Botica (@OGKristenB)
Damien Bowman (@damienbowman)
Mitch Gatzke (@GreatGatzke)
Cooper Goetz (@uf_goetz)
John Horlander (@John_Horlander)
Seth Merenbloom (@SethMerenbloom)
Evan Skilliter (@Skilliter)
Ben Belden (@bbelden330), Writer- Slap the Sign
Cole Hankins (@Cole_Hankins), Writer- SB Nation
Thomas Gardner
J.R. Goetz

The rules:

Each week, committee members will submit their top 10 teams and each team will receive points based on their position. The team’s will be ranked 1-10 based on which has the most points. Ties will be broken by which team has the highest votes in a specific position.

Points are assigned as follow: first place – 10, second place – 9, third place – 8, fourth place – 7, fifth place – 6, sixth place – 5, seventh place – 4, eighth place – 3, ninth place – 2, tenth place – 1.

Week 11 Results:

Place Team Points First Place Votes
1 Alabama (1) 120 12
2 Ohio State (2) 100
3 Michigan (4) 100
4 Clemson (5) 86
5 Washington (7) 67
6 Wisconsin (6) 63
7 Oklahoma (8) 47
8 Penn State (9) 30
9 Colorado 23
10 Louisville (3) 9
Additional Votes: USC 7
Western Michigan 5
Oklahoma State 3

(#)=last week’s position.

Playoff:

Bowl Teams
Peach No. 1 Alabama vs. No. 4 Clemson
Fiesta No. 2 Ohio State vs. No. 3 Michigan

New Year’s Six:

Bowl Teams Tie In
Orange No. 10 Louisville vs. No. 8 Penn State ACC vs. Big Ten, Big 12 or SEC
Cotton At Large vs. At Large
Rose No. 6 Wisconsin vs. No. 5 Washington Big Ten vs. Pac-12
Sugar No. 7 Oklahoma vs. Florida Big 12 vs. SEC

Notes and Observations:

  • Alabama made it four straight weeks of racking up all the 1st place votes.
  • The first tie in points this season came this week, as Ohio State and Michigan both earned 100 total. Ohio State got the No. 2 spot because it received more 2nd place votes than Michigan.
  • Oklahoma received both a 4th place vote, as well as a 9th place vote, which is an extremely large range.
  • And somehow, Louisville is still ranked this week, coming in at No. 10.

 This Week’s Marquee Matches:

No. 3 Michigan @ No. 2 Ohio State (12 PM)

It’s Rivalry Week, boys! Every game matters!

Our Work:

For transparency, here is how each member of the committee voted this week:

week-4

E-mail Cooper at [email protected]or follow him on twitter @uf_goetz
Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons
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Mock College Football Playoff 2016: Week 11

Welcome to the third week of Campus Pressbox’s official mock playoff committee. Every Tuesday I’ll be publishing the top 10 based on a group vote. You can view the previous weeks’ results here.

The committee:

Tim Bach (@Tbach84)
Kristen Botica (@OGKristenB)
Damien Bowman (@damienbowman)
Mitch Gatzke (@GreatGatzke)
Cooper Goetz (@uf_goetz)
John Horlander (@John_Horlander)
Seth Merenbloom (@SethMerenbloom)
Evan Skilliter (@Skilliter)
Ben Belden (@bbelden330), Writer- Slap the Sign
Cole Hankins (@Cole_Hankins), Writer- SB Nation
Thomas Gardner
J.R. Goetz

The rules:

Each week, committee members will submit their top 10 teams and each team will receive points based on their position. The team’s will be ranked 1-10 based on which has the most points. Ties will be broken by which team has the highest votes in a specific position.

Points are assigned as follow: first place – 10, second place – 9, third place – 8, fourth place – 7, fifth place – 6, sixth place – 5, seventh place – 4, eighth place – 3, ninth place – 2, tenth place – 1.

Week 11 Results:

Place Team Points First Place Votes
1 Alabama (1) 120 12
2 Ohio State (6) 102
3 Louisville (5) 89
4 Michigan (2) 88
5 Clemson (3) 76
6 Wisconsin (7) 55
7 Washington (4) 47
8 Oklahoma (9) 37
9 Penn State (10) 23
10 West Virginia 12
Additional Votes: Western Michigan 4
Colorado 2
Oklahoma State 2
USC 2
Utah 1

(#)=last week’s position.

Playoff:

Bowl Teams
Peach No. 1 Alabama vs. No. 4 Michigan
Fiesta No. 2 Ohio State vs. No. 3 Louisville

 

New Year’s Six:

Bowl Teams Tie In
Orange No. 5 Clemson vs. No. 9 Penn State ACC vs. Big Ten, Big 12 or SEC
Cotton At Large vs. At Large
Rose No. 6 Wisconsin vs. No 7 Washington Big Ten vs. Pac-12
Sugar No. 8 Oklahoma vs. LSU Big 12 vs. SEC

 

Notes and Observations:

  • In a surprise to no one, Alabama received all of the first place votes for the third consecutive week.
  • Up until this week, Louisville had been in front of Ohio State by a single vote each week. This week, the Buckeyes jumped the Cardinals and have a secure 13 point cushion for the No. 2 spot.
  • In general, there was a lot less certainty following all the losses this past weekend. The standard deviation was definitely much larger this week compared to weeks previous.

 This Saturday’s Marquee Matches

No. 3 Louisville @ Houston Cougars (8 PM)

No. 8 Oklahoma @ No. 10 West Virginia (8 PM)

Washington St. @ Colorado (3:30 PM)

Our Work:

For transparency, here is how each member of the committee voted this week:

screen-shot-2016-11-15-at-10-51-48-pm

E-mail Cooper at [email protected] or follow him on twitter @uf_goetz
Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons
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Can the Oklahoma Sooners Crash the College Football Playoff Party?

Once the first 2016 college football playoff ranking was unveiled with all of the pageantry that ESPN could muster, college football fans had one more topic to argue about. Was Texas A&M deserving of its top four ranking or was Washington the more deserving team? It didn’t matter then and it doesn’t matter now. That fanatical argument doesn’t matter because there is still a lot of football left to be played this season and chances are good that one of the teams currently on the outside looking in will sneak into one of the playoff spots.

Oklahoma could be that sneaky team.

With two losses on its resume, Oklahoma may seem like a long shot that only a Big 12 homer such as myself (no, not really) could hold out hope for. But there are a few two-loss teams that are ranked ahead of the Sooners and some of those teams could realistically expect to lose another game or two. So please, hear me out on this.

Oklahoma’s loss to Houston no longer looks like the quality loss that it once did. Losing to Tom Herman is no longer the badge of honor that it once was considered. But how about that loss to Ohio State? I’ll tell you how that loss to Ohio State looks. It looks like a proverbial quality loss. That loss continues to look better and better if Ohio State continues to play like it did against Nebraska.

As for what Oklahoma can control? The Sooners control their own destiny to a large extent and it all starts this Saturday as Stoops and his Sooners end the season against Baylor, West Virginia and Oklahoma State. All of those teams are ranked so all of those wins would strengthen the resume of the Sooners.

The Big 12 and Oklahoma aren’t known for suffocating defenses, but that’s just fine. The Sooners have the offensive fire power to rip through the remainder of the schedule. Baker Mayfield is torching opposing defenses with the help of Dede Westbrook. If the Sooners hadn’t lost to Ohio State, both of those players would be in the Heisman conversation based on the statistics that each are producing.

If having players the caliber of Mayfield and Westbrook weren’t enough for opposing defenses to deal with, the Sooners will have both Joe Mixon and Samaje Perine available against Baylor. If Perine stays healthy and Mixon stops throwing temper tantrums at campus parking lot attendants, the Sooners should have all of the pieces in place to scare the rest of the conference.

The Big 12 has a bad reputation when it comes to comparing its teams to the upper echelon of teams from other conferences. I’m as guilty of that as everyone else. But if you’re a Big 12 fan and specifically a fan of Oklahoma, none of that should matter. What should matter to you is that the Sooners do have a puncher’s chance to slide into the playoff. Could the team win the championship? Get into the playoff first and then we’ll talk about that.

E-mail Seth at [email protected] or follow him on Twitter @SethMerenbloom.

Photo: Wikimedia

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Nebraska Has the Best Opportunity to Be the Man

Take a look at the Week 9 Top 25 ranking. There are lots of familiar faces in the Top 25, and the Top 10 teams have some shiny records. Does that mean that all of those Top 10 teams are worthy of those rankings? No.

As Ric Flair said, to be the man, you have to beat the man and there are two Top 10 teams that haven’t beaten the man. I’m looking at you, Nebraska and Baylor.

The voters must really like perfect, undefeated records because that eye candy is all Nebraska and Baylor have going for them. Nebraska is 7-0, but their best win has been against a 5-2 Wyoming team. One of Nebraska’s wins came against a Fresno State team that just fired its coach mid-season and the victory over Oregon was against a team that may be considering firing its coach.

What Nebraska does have going for it is that the level of difficulty increases the next two weeks. The Huskers play road games against Wisconsin and Ohio State. The high ranking will be justified if the Huskers can at least be competitive in each of those games.

As for Baylor, the road ahead of the Bears doesn’t look nearly as opportunistic as it does for Nebraska.

Baylor’s best win has been against a 5-2 Oklahoma State team. Other than that average looking win, the rest of Baylor’s resume is a big pile of “meh.” As for the teams that Baylor will play, the best of the bunch appears to be a December 3rd game at West Virginia. Sorry Baylor fans. That game against West Virginia is not the same as Nebraska’s back-to-back road trips against Wisconsin and Ohio State.

None of this is the fault of Nebraska or Baylor. The recipe is simple. Play the teams on the schedule and beat the teams on the schedule. Both Nebraska and Baylor have done this. The actual issue is not with these two over-ranked teams. The issue is with college football in general.

Outside of a handful of teams, I don’t believe there are many teams capable of playing elite level football on a consistent or inconsistent basis. And this is why teams like Nebraska and Baylor are ranked in the Top 10.

These teams are considered top-notch programs because the schedule makers for each team realized that all their teams had to do was win. So Nebraska and Baylor loaded up the schedules with either garbage opponents or opponents that had name recognition. But given how watered down college football has become, not just any team can pull off this magic act of legitimacy. There are plenty of teams that attempt this, but wind up looking like the 2016 Missouri team.

There is no solution to this. And, truth be told, I’m not sure it’s considered a problem by most people. Take the fans for instance. The watered-down product is attractive to the fans because it allows them to brag about cheering for an undefeated team. This sub-par, but winning product, lets the average fan stand around the water cooler at work and have bragging rights over the fans who cheer for the truly pathetic teams.

And having the appearance of parity is good for television. If people believe that there is equality in the Top 25, more people will tune in when Baylor plays Iowa State or when Nebraska plays Indiana. The networks know that we’ll buy anything if the product is effectively marketed, and the current state of college football is proof of that.

Maybe Nebraska will at least split its games against Wisconsin and Ohio State and prove that they’re worthy of a Top 10 ranking. Playing in a legitimate conference like the Big Ten will give the Huskers the opportunity to prove it. And maybe Baylor will go undefeated as a result of a mediocre Big 12 schedule. There are still a lot of “ifs” with each of these teams, but Nebraska has the best opportunity to be the man.

E-mail Seth at [email protected] or follow him on Twitter @SethMerenbloom.

Photo: Wikipedia

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