Jay Beck

After weeks of speculation, it finally happened. Mack Brown resigned as Texas' head football coach. Say what you will about how it went down, but it's done. Now Texas moves forward with what could turn out to be one of the most fascinating coaching searches we've seen, well, maybe ever.

The list of potential replacements is long, but keep this in mind; when coaching moves this big are made, rarely is there a time when a school doesn't have a replacement already targeted. Nick Saban may have been that guy, but from almost all accounts, he isn't going anywhere.

So who's next on the list? You're guess is as good as mine, but two coaches whose names keep coming up are Big 12 brethren, Mike Gundy and Art Briles. Would either of these guys make the move to Austin, if indeed, the Longhorns are interested?

Let's start with Briles.

This apparently is a lot of people's fear within the conference and for good reason. Briles just won the Big 12 title at Baylor. Ten years ago, Baylor would have won a vote of "least likely team to win a Big 12 title ever" in a landslide. Now they not only have a Big 12 title, but a Heisman trophy winner and have beaten Texas three out of the past four years and Oklahoma two out of the last three.

If he gets the Texas job, it might be game, set, and match. Are the Longhorns looking in his direction? Honestly, their search should start and end with him, not that anybody's asking me.

The guy is Texas football. He grew up there. He played high school football there and coached in the Texas high school ranks from 1979-1999 before becoming an assistant at Texas Tech. He coached at Houston taking the Cougars to bowl games in four of his five seasons there. And did I mention, he won a Big 12 title at Baylor?

If anybody is more suited for the Texas job than Art Briles, I'd like to see him.

Now would Briles take the Texas job? That's the million dollar question. Baylor just signed Briles to a contract extension that runs through the 2023 season in hopes of avoiding this very thing. They are also opening a brand new stadium that likely never would have been built had Ian McCaw not lured Briles to Waco six seasons ago. He'll be making a reported $4.5 million a year.

But let's face the facts. Nobody can compete with Texas when it comes to facilities and dollar signs. All a school can do to ward off the Longhorns is try to take care of your own and hope for the best. That's what Baylor has done, now they have just have to cross their fingers and hope for the best.

My personal opinion is that Briles would take the job if there's ever an offer on the table. I'd love to see him stay at Baylor, however, for purely selfish reasons. The Big 12 is better when there's another contender which Baylor will be as long as Briles remains in charge.

Texas is going to get a good coach one way another. They'll still be Texas and will still will get back to competing for Big 12 titles consistently before long.  Briles should be their guy but maybe they'll shoot for the stars looking for a bigger name.  They might get a bigger name, but probably not a better coach.

USATSI 7433826 117736234 lowresNow onto Mike Gundy.

What he's accomplished at Oklahoma State is equally impressive if only because his track record is longer and he's already made the Cowboys into a perennial Big 12 contender. They've won at least nine games the past six seasons which includes an 11, 12, and another 10 win season this year with a chance at 11 in the upcoming bowl game. He's won a Big 12 title and had Oklahoma State one miserable night in Ames away from playing for the national title.

The problem for Texas could come in the fact he's just 1-8 versus Oklahoma. If you didn't know, Texas doesn't like losing to the their friend from the north so that likely won't work in his favor. But (there's always a but, right?) beating OU with Texas type recruits figures to be a much easier proposition.

According to Rivals, Oklahoma State has landed exactly one five star recruit going back to 2005, Gundy's first season as the head coach. They've also averaged just 3.3 four star players per year over that time (just for comparison's sake, Texas had nine four-star players in their 2013 class).

What does that mean? Well, if you put any stock at all in recruiting rankings, Gundy has created a pretty salty track record of developing his players . He's been winning nine, 10, and 11 games a year with a whole lot of three star caliber recruits.

Texas over the past four seasons has done less with a lot more talent on the field. They've flat out missed on quarterback recruits in a major way. Gundy would likely change that within a season or two of stepping on campus. The Longhorns offensive lines have been subpar over that time. Gundy's teams have had some of the best in that category. See where we're going with this?

If what Gundy has shown in Stillwater is any indication, he could have a field day once he and his staff get their picks of the top recruits in the state of Texas.

So would Gundy make a move south to Austin? Maybe, but I'm leaning towards a no on that, for now. Some point to his flirtation with Tennessee as an example that he would indeed leave if given the right opportunity. Maybe there's some truth in that, but you know what?  He's still there and not in Tennessee so who knows how close he was to actually leaving.

He played at OSU and by most accounts, appears to like it there.  There may have been a disagreement of two with Mike Holder regarding the Cowboys' scheduling, but it looks as if that's water under the bridge. I almost get the impression he likes being out the limelight a bit which can happen in Stillwater. That won't be true in Austin, especially with what has happened at Texas over the past four years.

And if you haven't noticed, Oklahoma State isn't exactly hurting in the facilities department thanks in large part to some guy named T. Boone Pickens.  And maybe he likes dealing with one major booster rather than the many he'll have to keep happy in Austin. Just a thought.

None of this means, of course, Texas is going immediately after with Briles or Gundy. Right now, the list of candidates is long, but like I said before, the list is probably a lot shorter if you're standing in Steve Patterson's shoes. He (or whatever Texas boosters are calling the shots) likely know who they want to get.

Whether or not that short list involves Briles or Gundy will be vetted out over the coming weeks. Both guys have plenty of reasons to stay right where they are but if UT is truly interested in either guy, they'll likely give them even more reasons to make a move.

If that happens, it will no doubt upset the apple cart in the Big 12 coaching circles.

 

 

The Eyes of Texas very well may be on Mack for a while, but there also going to be on coaching search - along with everyone else in the country - clinging to every rumor that drops on random message boards.  Buckle up because change is coming. 

Friday, 13 December 2013 15:21

The vision for Kansas football

Since Charlie Weis arrived at Kansas two seasons ago, the Jayhawks have a recorded just four wins in 24 games. Impressive, no, but the silver lining comes in the fact KU won three of those four games in 2013 including a Big 12 league win that got the monkey off their back following 27 straight conference losses.

Nobody said the job of rebuilding Kansas football was going to be easy, but that's the job Weis embarked on and it obviously continues to be a work in progress.

The challenge remains scouring the country getting high school and junior college football players on campus and in order to that, you have to have something to sell them. That's not an easy job when your football team is losing far more than it wins.

But that doesn't mean the Jayhawks are going to quit trying. The Kansas athletic department put together a slick video highlighting Weis' vision for KU's for his football players while touting the Jayhawk's athletic facilities which are far nicer than you might expect given the struggles of KU football over the years.

If you're a guy considering KU, there's not much not too like as far as the facilities and living arrangements go.

The Vision

 

 

 As for Weis' message to his players, he highlights three areas that he says are of equal importance.

1. Trust. "The only way you can get the players to trust you and you can trust the players is if everybody is being honest.

2. "You are going to be pushed to get a quality education."

3. "You never have to worry about whether you're going to be developed into the best player you can be because that's going to be the case 100% of the time."

Weis goes onto to add - and I'm sure this applies to his current players as well as recruits, "I think that if you have anything burning inside and you're a competitor by nature, this challenge actually fires you up, because when everyone says no, you're saying yes."

"I'm going to make sure I'm here until the job is done."

There's still a long road ahead for KU to get back into contention in the Big 12, but maybe, just maybe, there is light at the end of the tunnel.

Mack Brown met the media on Thursday to discuss UT's Alama Bowl matchup with Oregon.  Of course, not many people are focused on the actual game at the moment with all that has gone on around Brown regarding his job status.

As expected, Brown didn't say much of anything about his situation other than he's looking forward to meeting with President Bill Powers (who is expected to retain his job) and new athletic director, Stever Patterson.

About the only good tidbits came following the press conference from Texas booster Red McCombs who held court with the media for a few minutes.

It sounds as if McCombs remains in full support of Brown, however if things were to change, he flat out indicated money is not going to be an issue in trying to lure Nick Saban away from Alabama.

 

 

 

 

Is a change inevitable?  From most indications, yes, although I suppose with Powers expected to remain in charge, there's a chance Brown could find a way back to the sidelines in 2014.

But if the likely happens, expect Texas to try and write whatever size check they have to in order to lure Nick Saban away from Alabama.

 

I know I'm a bit naive, but that's of course assuming Saban doesn't care about anything other than money.  It's not as if the guy is struggling financially in Tuscaloosa.  Whatever Saban's motives may be, it's obvious McCombs is a fan.

 

While it's not known when the meeting will happen between Brown and UT's administration, it's safe to assume it'll be going down soon, maybe as early as today. 

Once that meeting happens, we'll likely know whether Brown was able to work his magic for another season or if we'll continue tracking every plane that comes and goes from Tuscaloosa Regiona Airport, airport code TCL, by the way.

To finish, here's an old tweet but a good one considering the recent events. Say what you want, but it's a good thing to have friends in high places, right?  What do you say, will it be enough?

Wednesday, 11 December 2013 14:42

Mack Brown might not leave Austin quietly

As the World Turns could be a new reality series based on what's happened in Austin, Texas over the past four seasons. Those four seasons have led us to where we are today following five days of chaos after the Longhorns loss to Baylor to end the season.

Mack Brown is going. Mack Brown is staying. Nick Saban is coming. Nick Saban isn't coming.

Who knows what to believe, but it seems all but a foregone conclusion that by week's end, Mack Brown will no longer be Texas' head coach either by his own admission, or by those higher up the food chain.

All that seems to be happening now is those people in UT's administration trying to convince Brown everybody would benefit if he were to go quietly and with a smile on his face.

The chances of that happening still remain, although if you believe the latest reports, Brown may have other idea about how is potential ouster at Texas will go down.

According to ESPN's Travis Haney, who also spent time covering the Big 12 and Oklahoma prior to heading to ESPN, Brown might head to the exit kicking and screaming.

 

 

 

On one hand, it's hard to blame Brown if this is how he chooses to go out.  Even if he comes out and says that it was his choice to step down, nobody is going to believe him so if he wants to go out guns a blazin', more power to him.  The end result will be the same.

Texas isn't happy with the 18-17 record in Big 12 games since they lost to Alabama in the national title game following the 2009 season, nor should they be.  Brown misfired in a myriad of ways leading to the last four seasons of mediocrity and UT has every right to make a change if they see fit.  Brown also has every right to disagree with them.

As for UT's handling of the whole situation, it's been a complete train wreck.  Brown might no longer deserve to be the football coach at the University of Texas, but he at least deserves to be treated with a little bit of dignity.  Greg Doyle at CBSsports.com wrote a great piece on the situation so I'll save my brain cells trying to do the same. Whatever effort I might put towards the subject would fall well short of what Doyle already penned (I think that's why he's a professional, no?).

So, here we are.  Today is Wednesday.  Brown is set to meet the media on Thursday at 10:00 (CST) to discuss the Longhorns upcoming bowl game with Oregon. Assuming he's in attendance, I'll set the over/under on the number of questions asked about the actual game at two.

And if he is there, it may very well be the last time we see him wearing burnt orange, at least with the title of head football coach.

 

Tuesday, 10 December 2013 16:55

Kansas 2013 season review

Kansas suffered through another abysmal season that saw them finish last, once again, in the Big 12.

Are brighter days ahead for KU? Certainly. Does that mean there are brighter days ahead next season? Not necessarily.

Here's a look at some of the good and the bad for Kansas this season along with a quick outlook on what the future may hold for the Jayhawks.

2013 record 3-9, 1-8 in Big 12.    2012 record 1-11, 0-9 in Big 12

The good: Two more wins

Success is always measured in wins and losses and as bad as Kansas was for most of the 2013 season, the simple fact is they won two more games this season than in 2012 which included their first Big 12 win in three years. Call it what you'd like, but that's progress no matter how small it was. Of course, when you're at the bottom there's only one way to go and KU did move the needle no matter how small the steps.

The bad: the offense

The Jayhawks offense was anemic once again in 2013. In fact, Kansas actually took a couple steps back offensively, at least statistically, which was hard to do considering where they were in 2012. Kansas averaged just 15.3 points per game which was good for 118th in the nation ahead of only Purdue, South Florida, UMass, Miami (OH) and Florida International.

2013 Big 12 rank   2012 Big 12 rank
Scoring offense 15.3 10 18.2 10
Rush offense 154.1 6 211.2 4
Pass offense 140.4 10 148.7 10
Total offense 294.5 10 360.3 10

Whether or not Weis was to blame for the offensive woes, he has decided to turn the entire offense over to John Reagan next season who will return to Lawrence after spending the past four seasons at Rice. Time will tell, but is sounds as if Reagan will have full control of the offense and this won't be a "title only" position. The Lawrence World indicated he'll be free to bring the offense he was running at Rice with him to Lawrence rather than run what Weis what's him to run.

The good: defensive improvement

Even if it was modest in nature, the Kansas defense showed steady improvement in Weis' second season. Clint Bowen took over calling the defenses from Dave Campo and now will also have the title going forward.

2013 Big 12 rank   2012 Big 12 rank
Scoring defense 31.8 8 36.1 8
Rush defense 190.6 7 192.6 10
Pass defense 241.8 8 289.2 8
Total defense 432.3 8 481.8 9
Turnovers gained 24 6 20 8
Sacks 21 8 12 10

 

The Jayhawks improved in all the major defensive categories this season and outside of the Baylor and Texas Tech games, the KU defense kept the Jayhawks competitive in nearly all their games outside of a late season flop when they allowed a below average Iowa State offense to rack up over 500 yards.

The bad: the quarterbacks

For as much hype as there was surround the quarterback transfers of Dayne Crist and Jake Heaps, both turned out to be major disappointments. Crist struggled mightily last season and Heaps was nearly as ineffective in 2013. Heaps will have another season to redeem himself, but if 2013 was any indication, he'll have his work cut for himself just to earn playing time.

As a team, Kansas completed just 47.3% of their passes after completing only 46.8% last season. That simply isn't going to cut it.

KU has had plenty of issues at wide receiver over that time, but there's no question the Jayhawks have to find a way to be more competent in the passing game if they hope to win more than three games a season.

The good: James Sims

James Sims completed a phenomenal career in Lawrence rushing for 1110 yards and earning first team All-Big 12 honors. As bad as KU's passing attack has been, it's remarkable Sims has been able to accomplish what he has during his career. Teams knew what was coming and he still got his yards.

Sims finished his KU career gaining 3,592 yards while scoring 34 touchdowns. As good as he was for KU, it's easy to wonder how much more he could have accomplished had the Jayhawks had the ability to be more balanced on offense.

The bad: wide receivers

The Jayhawks quarterbacks weren't often on the mark, but they received little help from their receiving corps. Converted running back Tony Pierson had a few highlight plays but finished with just 24 catches on the year. After that? Christian Matthews had 11 catches, Rodriguez Coleman eight catches, Justin McCay and Tre' Parmalee nine along with Andrew Turzilli seven. That's it.

UPDATE: Here's another part of the problem.

 

Miami transfer Nick Harwell should help next season after sitting out this year, but until KU gets some playmakers opposing defenses have to respect, scoring points is going to remain a challenge.

Looking forward

It's no secret Kansas had a long road back to Big 12 respectability, but if there's a silver lining in all this, Charlie Weis isn't standing for the status quo. He already relinquished play calling duties during the season and then cemented that change by hiring a new offensive coordinator that will take over the reins next season so he can focus on the big picture within the program. That's in addition to handing over the defense to linebacker's coach, Clint Bowen, who also will have the official title of defensive coordinator to go with it next season.

That's all fine and dandy, but until Kansas can put more Big 12 talent on the field, it's hard to envision more wins coming KU's way. They've missed badly on the past two quarterbacks although there's a possibility freshman Jordan Darling could get himself into the mix (he redshirted this season) even with Heaps and Montell Cozart returning next season.

They also have a slew on underclassmen on the two deep depth chart that saw plenty of playing time this season - especially on defense - to go along with a handful of guys that redshirted this season that could make an impact next season.

Kansas 2014 schedule
Date Opponent
08/30/14 Open
09/06/14 SE Missouri State
09/13/14 @ Duke
09/20/14 Central Michigan
09/27/14 Texas
10/04/14 @ West Virginia
10/11/14 Oklahoma State                                
10/18/14 @ Texas Tech
10/25/14 OPEN
11/01/14 @ Baylor
11/08/14 Iowa State
11/15/14 TCU
11/22/14 @ Oklahoma
11/29/14 @ Kansas State

 

The schedule with be difficult as usual with KU rotating to five Big 12 road games next season. In addition, they'll face a tougher than originally expected road test from Duke who played in the ACC championship game last season.

Kansas athletic director Sheahon Zinger's decision to stick with Charlie Weis is probably a good one. After giving Turner Gill only two seasons, it probably isn't going to do anyone any good to try and bring in another coach only two seasons later. “I’ve been through rebuilding projects many times, and we’re going to stay the course,” Zenger said. “Wins and losses aren’t always indicative of the effort put in by this coaching staff and these players over the past couple of years," Zenger said. "I’m proud of their effort and their work ethic, and we’ll continue to chop away at this.”

What happens if they're 3-9 against next season?  That probably depends on how competitive they are among other things.  Either way, Kansas' climb back up the Big 12 ladder still has a long ways to go.  Some would even wonder whether they've yet to begin that climb, after all, they are still at the bottom of the Big 12. But hey, this season was better than last season so there's that.  I think they call that baby steps.

Monday, 09 December 2013 17:56

All-Big 12 team announced by AP

The folks covering the Big 12 have voted and released the 2013 All-Big 12 team.  Below is a rundown of who made the first team.  You can also take a look at the second team right here.

Offensive player of the year: Bryce Petty, QB, Baylor (Preseason selection was Lache Seastrunk, Baylor).

Defensive player of the year: Jackson Jeffcoat, DE, Texas (Preseason selection was Devonte Fields, TCU)

Offensive newcomer of the year: Charles Sims, RB, West Virginia (same as preseason selection)

Defensive newcomer of the year: Dominique Alexander, LB, Oklahoma

First Team Offense

Pos. Player School Class
QB Bryce Petty Baylor Jr
RB Lache Seastrunk Baylor Jr
RB James Sims Kansas Sr
WR Antwan Goodley Baylor Jr
WR Tyler Lockett Kansas State Jr
TE Jace Amaro Texas Tech Jr
OL Le'Raven Clark Texas Tech So
OL Parker Graham Oklahoma Sr
C Gabe Ikard Oklahoma Sr
OL Trey Hopkins Texas  Sr
OL Cyril Richardson Baylor Sr
All-Purp Tyler Lockett Kansas State Jr
K Anthony Fera Texas Sr

 

First Team Defense

DL Calvin Barnett Oklahoma State Sr
DL Jackson Jeffcoat Texas Sr
DL Ryan Mueller Kansas State Jr
DL Cedric Reed Texas Jr
LB Jeremiah George Iowa State Sr
LB Eddie Lackey Baylor Sr
LB Caleb Levey Oklahoma State Sr
LB Will Smith Texas Tech Sr
DB Aaron Colvin Oklahoma  Sr
DB Justin Gilbert Oklahoma State Sr
DB Jason Verrett TCU Sr
DB Ty Zimmerman Kansas State Sr
P Spencer Roth Baylor Jr

 

First team selections by school

School # of Sel
Baylor 6
Texas 4
Kansas State 4
Oklahoma 3
Oklahoma State 3
Texas Tech 3
Iowa State 1
Kansas  1
TCU 1
West Virginia 0
Monday, 09 December 2013 13:18

Big 12 bowl gift packages revealed

The bowl lineup is officially set and it wouldn't be bowl season without the annual unveiling of the gift packages that players will receive upon arriving at their respective bowl sites.

The Sports Business Journal tracked down the gift packages for each of the bowls and have the results posted on their website.  Bowls are allowed to provide gifts to 125 people per school not to exceed $550 in value.

For the Big 12, here's a rundown of what each of the six teams from the conference will be receiving from their respective bowl games ranked from one through six.  Hint: just becausee you're playing in a higher ranking bowl game doesn't mean you're getting the best gift package.

Note: the Cotton Bowl did not release what its gift package will entail so for ranking purposes, I'll use what they dished out last season and assume it will be something similar this year.

Christmas gifts1. National University Holiday Bowl; Texas Tech vs. Arizona State

  • $305 Best Buy gift card
  • Reactor Meltdown watch
  • Maui Jim Sunglasses
  • Cap

 

You can't beat a gift card to pick out your own electronics, can you?  Any Maui Jim shades? Very nice.

2. AT&T Cotton Bowl; Oklahoma State vs. Mizzou

  • Gift package unknown but based on last year's package↓
  • IPad Mini
  • Beats by Dre headphones
  • Fossil watch

 

An Ipad Mini and Beats by Dre headphones, a must for any music listening college student.

3. Valero Alamo Bowl; Texas vs. Oregon

  • IPad Mini
  • Apple Gift Card
  • Fossil watch
  • Panoramic photo
  • Schutt mini helmet

 

It's tough to complain with a new IPad mini and Apple gift card.  Very solid.

4. (Tie) Tostitos Fiesta Bowl; Baylor vs. Central Florida

  • Gift suite
  • Fossil watch
  • Ogio Cube backpack

 

4. (tie) Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl; Kansas State vs. Michigan

  • Gift suite
  • Fossil watch
  • Ogio Cube backpack

 

4. (tie) Sugar Bowl; Oklahoma vs. Alabama

  • Gift suite
  • Fossil watch
  • New Era 39Thirty Cap

 

Not to take the easy way out, but without knowing the contents of the "gift suite" it's tough to differentiate between the last three bowl packages. Also, the Buffalo Wild Wings and Fiesta Bowl are ran by the same people, hence identical bowl gift packages.

Here's a note from the SBJ on the gift suites.  Depending on what selections are available, this could shoot these right to the top of the list.  It almost sounds like an all emcompassing gift card of sorts.

Gift suites are set up as private events in which game participants, and often bowl VIPs, are given an order form and allowed to select a gift, or gifts, up to a value that is predetermined by each specific bowl, not to exceed the NCAA limit of $550 per person.

What do you say?  If given the choice, what would you go with?

 

 

 

 

The final coaches' poll of the regular season was released on Sunday and with it all the ballots from the individual coaches who participate in the poll were also revealed.

Outside of number one and two, it doesn't mean a whole heck of a lot, but it's always interesting to get some insight into how coaches view other teams around the country.

There is always plenty of talk about how the coaches don't have the time to follow closely enough to cast a vote for 25 teams and while there is probably some truth in that, don't think these guys aren't good judges of who's good and who's not.

Even so, it's probably safe to assume that some bias creeps into the process in regards to their own team and the team's within their own conference.

But anyway, here are the ballots from the five coaches in the Big 12 that had a vote in this year's poll with a few quick notes to follow.

Art Briles   Mike Gundy   Dana Holgorsen
1 Florida State 1 Florida State 1 Florida State
2 Auburn 2 Auburn 2 Michigan State
3 Alabama 3 Alabama 3 Auburn
4 Baylor 4 Michigan State 4 Baylor
5 Stanford 5 Baylor 5 Alabama
6 Oklahoma State 6 Stanford 6 Ohio State
7 Oklahoma  7 Ohio State 7 Stanford
8 Michigan State 8 South Carolina 8 South Carolina
9 Oregon 9 Missouri 9 Missouri
10 Ohio State 10 Oklahoma State 10 Oklahoma
11 South Carolina 11 Oregon 11 Oklahoma State
12 Central Florida 12 Oklahoma  12 Clemson
13 Missouri 13 Clemson 13 Oregon
14 Clemson 14 LSU 14 LSU
15 Louisville 15 Central Florida 15 Central Florida
16 Northern Illinois 16 Arizona State 16 Louisville
17 UCLA 17 UCLA 17 UCLA
18 LSU 18 Louisville 18 Fresno State
19 Fresno State 19 Wisconsin 19 Wisconsin
20 Arizona State 20 Georgia 20 Texas A&M
21 Wisconsin 21 Fresno State 21 Arizona State
22 Texas 22 Texas A&M 22 Miami
23 Georgia 23 Duke 23 Duke
24 Notre Dame 24 Northern Illinois 24 Vanderbilt
25 USC 25 USC 25 Bowling Green
Kliff Kingsbury   Bob Stoops
1 Florida State 1 Florida State
2 Auburn 2 Auburn
3 Baylor 3 Alabama
4 Stanford 4 Michigan State
5 Michigan State 5 Baylor
6 Alabama 6 Ohio State
7 Ohio State 7 Missouri
8 South Carolina 8 Stanford
9 Oklahoma 9 Oklahoma
10 Missouri 10 South Carolina
11 Oklahoma State 11 Oklahoma State
12 LSU 12 Clemson
13 Clemson 13 Oregon
14 Arizona State 14 Arizona State
15 Oregon 15 LSU
16 Central Florida 16 Louisville
17 Louisville 17 Central Florida
18 UCLA 18 UCLA
19 Duke 19 Wisconsin
20 Wisconsin 20 Duke
21 Fresno State 21 Northern Illinois
22 Texas A&M 22 Fresno State
23 Georgia 23 Cincinnati
24 Texas  24 Texas A&M
25 Miami 25 Texas 

 

All of the five voting Big 12 coaches had Florida State and Auburn ranked one and two except Dana Holgorsen who slipped Michigan State into the number two slot.

Holgorsen and Kliff Kingsbury were the two coaches who did not have Alabama at number three. Kingsbury ranked the Crimson Tide at number six behind the five conference champions while Holgorsen had them at number four.

As for Baylor - the Big 12 champs by the way - all of the Big 12 coaches had the Bears at number four or five except Kingsbury who had them at number three.

Art Briles had three Big 12 teams in his top seven including Oklahoma State and Oklahoma at number six and seven. Nobody else had either team higher than nine. Briles also ranked Oklahoma State ahead of Oklahoma even though the Sooners just knocked off the Cowboys. His reasoning? You would have to ask him, but it's probably not hard to figure out his thought process given the Cowboys were the only team to beat Baylor and did so handily.

Mike Gundy also ranked Oklahoma State ahead of Oklahoma.

Three of the five voting coaches included Texas in their top 25. The two that did not were Mike Gundy and Holgorsen. The Longhorns finished as the fifth team in "others receiving votes" or 30th overall.

You can see how all the coaches voted at USAToday.com and sort by either individual coach or team.

Sunday, 08 December 2013 08:34

Baylor celebrates first ever Big 12 title

Baylor is your 2013 Big 12 champion.

Let that think in for a second.

From not winning a Big 12 game in 2007 opening the door for Art Briles' arrival in 2008, to a conference championship six years later, it's been a remarkable run.

"This is a defining moment for our program and hopefully one we can repeat multiple times," Briles said. People said they can be pretty good, but not Big 12 champions. Well now they can stop that sentence because we are Big 12 champs."

Baylor beat Texas the same way they've been winning games all season. With a better-than-you-think defense to go along with an offense that never takes their foot off the gas pedal.

Baylor held Texas to 217 yards for the game while racking up 508 yard of their own. They did it with a solid ground game (221 yards rushing) and relied on Bryce Petty's arm for the rest (287 yards passing) in the coldest game ever played at Floyd Casey Stadium.

And what a way to close out The Case.

“I don’t think this is going to set in until I wake up and see that we’re Big 12 champs,” Baylor senior defensive end Chris McAllister said. “Who would have ever thought that Baylor would go to a BCS game?”

The Bears can now look forward to their first ever BCS game in the final year of the BCS era. They're headed to the Fiesta Bowl in Tempe to likely take on Central Florida winners of the American Athletic Conference.

"It was a tremendous crowd and a tremendous atmosphere--a lot of emotion, a lot of energy and a lot of support. When you're away from home for 30 days like we have been and you get the opportunity to come back home, it's a good feeling. Our guys and our Baylor family took full advantage of it. We're deeply indebted to all the support we've received all year."

Here's a video from Baylor Athletics that puts on bow on the Bears' Big 12 title.  Well done, Baylor, and congratulations.  Hightlights of the game are also below.

Oklahoma didn't want to hear anything about playing a spoiler role coming into Saturday's Bedlam game against Oklahoma State, but that's exactly what they did to the Cowboys Big 12 title hopes like it or not. And in the process, they threw themselves right into the BCS bowl game mix with most predicting an unlikely matchup with Alabama coming in the Sugar Bowl.

By virtue of their 33-24 come from behind win over the Cowboys, the Sooners forged a three way tie for second place in the Big 12 allowing Baylor to capture the conference title by knocking off Texas in the day's second game.

Oklahoma relied on Jalen Saunders 64 yard punt return for a touchdown in the first half to keep the game close as their offense struggled to get anything going early on.

Late in the third quarter, the Sooners needed the special teams, yet again, with Bob Stoops calling a fake field goal in which holder Grant Bothum rolled to his left and threw to kicker Mike Hunnicutt for a touchdown that tied the game at 17.

"I just thought a field goal wasn't going to be good enough," Bob Stoops said. "I knew we were going to need more than that, we had a numbers advantage out to that side and the way they were lining up and it worked out that way."

Oklahoma State wasn't done as they put together their most impressive drive of the day late in the fourth quarter going 89 yards on seven plays behind Clint Chelf's arm and capped by a one yard touchdown run by Desmond Roland putting the Cowboys back in front, 24-20.

Blake Bell wasn't having any of it, however. He in turn led OU right back down the field on a eight play 66 yard drive throwing the winning touchdown pass to Saunders in the game's final seconds. As good as Bell was on the final drive, he needed a little help along the way as Justin Gilbert dropped what would have been a game ending interception.

How close is this?

"Then on Gilbert's interception, I thought he caught the ball," Mike Gundy said. "He came down and he had it. I thought after he was on the ground that it rolled out, but again, I don't have as good as view as you guys did."  As close as it was, it was probably the right call, although it's one that easily could have went the other way just as easily.  Hey, everybody needs a little bit of luck, right?

Bell then threw the game wining touchdown several plays later with only 19 seconds remaining which was an absolute thing of beauty.  There's a reason they call this thing Bedlam.

"Blake went in and did a great job," Bob Stoops said.  "I'm really proud of his poise, he scrambled around and made some plays on his own. Jalen Saunders again was sensational."

The bowl games will be announced on Sunday night and it appears as if it will come down to either Oklahoma  or Oregon heading to New Orleans to take on Alabama in the Sugar Bowl.  Oklahoma State is likely heading to Dallas to take on an SEC team (Mizzou/South Carolina?) in the Cotton Bowl.

Oklahoma has now won nine of the last 10 meeting with their instate rival with the lone Cowboy win coming in 2011 when the Cowboys captured their first Big 12 title.  Saturday would have been the Pokes second in three years, but the Sooners simply weren't having any of it.

 

 

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Nebraska 2014 Schedule

Date Opponent Time
8/30/14 Florida Atlantic TBA
9/6/14 McNeese State TBA
9/13/14 @ Fresno State TBA
9/20/14 Miami 7:00
9/27/14 Illinois TBA
10/4/14 @ Michigan State 7:00
10/11/14 BYE  
10/18/14 @ Northwestern TBA
10/25/14 Rutgers TBA
11/1/14 Purdue TBA
11/8/15 BYE  
11/15/14 @ Wisconsin TBA
11/22/14 Minnesota TBA
11/28/14 (Fri.) @ Iowa TBA