Sunday, September 28, 2008
One last week of sanity in the Big XII
I’m starting to think I may have underestimated Alabama just a tad. But seriously, how good of a coach is Nick Saban?! Georgia may have been a bit over-rated (and I really don’t know what they’re trying to do on offense) but to go into Athens and win like that against even a good Georgia team would have been impressive. That was downright shocking.
The end result of yesterday’s upsets will almost assuredly land 3 Big XII teams in the top five (OU 1, Methzou 3, UT 4 or 5). Granted, this can’t last too long as OU and UT play in two weeks, with Methzou traveling to Austin the week after. Throw in Tech, KU and the possibility that OSU slides in and you have the makings of one damn good conference. Speaking of…
**EDIT** The rankings have been released. All three did make the top 5 and OSU did make it in, becoming the sixth ranked team in the league. As of these rankings, Kansas has games against 4 of the top 7 teams in the AP poll on their schedule. Yikes.
On a day full of surprises, could yesterday have been any more predictable in the league? I certainly would have been off on some scores, but as far as performance and end result, that could not have been any more foreseeable.
Texas destroyed Arkansas (52-10) and as much as I saw that coming, I really think people better start taking them seriously. I’m not positive they are national championship level, but they are damn good and (if they didn’t have such a tough schedule) could definitely win this conference.
OU hammered TCU (35-10) and it wasn’t nearly that close. They will without a doubt be the #1 team in the country entering conference play and even if USC had managed to win that game, they would have had to get some serious consideration. But in better news, he did finally get touched. Actually, even sacked, 3 times, to be precise.
Nebraska “hung tough” (35-30) with Virginia Tech, but were pretty much outplayed from the start. Without the late punt return it wouldn’t have been quite as close as the score indicated and perhaps even more worrisome for the Huskers is the nearly 400 yards allowed to a woeful VT offense. Have fun with Methzou next week.
Colorado went down to Jacksonville and, a week after Wake held them to three points, allowed the Noles to score 39 points in beating the Buffaloes soundly (39-24). As was suspected here, Colorado's win over WVU proved nothing more than Bill Stewart's incompetence. They're a fine team and they'll win some games, but they are by no means a top half team in the league.
Keeping with the poor performances, A&M was barely able to knock off Army (21-17) and have pretty much finished with their winning for the season (as predicted here). This pretty much says it all, "We had to take a big step today," Sherman said. "It didn't matter if we were playing Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, the Dallas Cowboys. We had to take a big step." (AP) Yikes.
KSU was similarly pathetic (though not quite as much so) in needing to convert a late fake punt to hold off Louisiana Lafayette (45-37). Freeman and the offense looked ok I guess, but as a team they were outgained by the Ragin Cajuns (507 to 490) on the way to allowing 335 rushing yards (second straight week allowing 300+). This team has a long way to go toward bowl eligibility, and actually, I think 4 or 5 wins is about their ceiling.
And in closing, in a revenge game v. Troy, Oklahoma State continued to play exactly as they have in every game this year (55-24). Their offense dominated (612 yards), but their defense did very little (416 allowed). My guess here is that they’ll make a little noise, especially with that offense, but still aren’t ready to really contend with a defense that can’t stop anyone.
So there you have it, the uber-predictable week in the Big XII conference. But as this week showed us throughout the country, this was about the only place predictability reigned supreme. So consider this your warning that we’re all in for a year a lot like last year, when no one has a fucking clue what’s going to happen from week to week. It should be a hell of a ride. Rock Chalk!