Category Archives: Big 12 Football

Thursday morning buffet

Plenty of nibbles this morning:

  • Big 12, this “One True Champion” stuff isn’t nearly as hard as you’re making it.
  • Steve Patterson continues the rebranding:  “Forty-five years ago China and the U.S. were at war. What opened the door? Ping pong? The same people that are going what the heck are you doing in Dubai were the same people who said why are you playing ping pong in China?”
  • NCAA to coaches:  sure, we’ll get you notice so you can’t complain about that, but input?  Naaaah.
  • Jerry Hinnen’s SEC East post-spring wrap up is here.
  • And here’s the one for the SEC West.
  • Athlon’s SEC head coach rankings list is, well… a little different.
  • So how good a job did Dan Mullen do with his 2011 recruiting class?  This writer wonders if it was the most underrated class ever.
  • Along those lines, check out this post at Team Speed Kills about program rebuilding.

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Filed under Big 12 Football, Recruiting, SEC Football, Texas Is Just Better Than You Are., The NCAA

“Do our strengths outweigh our weaknesses? I don’t think we know right now.”

When last we heard from the intrepid Bob Bowlsby, Jeff Long had spooked him into a state of panic over the Big 12’s lack of a conference championship game – something totally unnecessary for a conference with a round robin schedule, unless you really want to make your best team beat your second-best team twice in the same season for kicks:

“What we heard is if we don’t go to a championship game we’re at a disadvantage,” Bowlsby said. “All things being equal, 13 games are better than 12 games. That’s what we heard. So that gives us clear enough direction that we’re coming in at least at a modest disadvantage. We need to do whatever we can to mitigate that.”

Upon further review, Bowlsby mitigated, alright.  He mitigated into full retreat.

“I think we all believe that one year is not a long enough trial to draw any conclusions,” Bowlsby said. “We may find ourselves in better shape than some other conferences as a result of our model rather than in spite of our model.”

Bowlsby met with league athletic directors Tuesday morning and coaches Tuesday afternoon during the league’s spring meetings.

He was probably reminded of the times a conference title game screwed the Big 12 over during the BCS era.  Or heard this pearl of wisdom from Gary Patterson:  “The less games I play, the better off I am.”

So was he guilty of rushing to judgment?  Well, sure.  But that doesn’t make him a bad guy.

When asked if he overreacted to Long’s interpretation, Bowlsby said, “Maybe I did. I’m not immune to that.”

And he’s paid hundreds of thousands of dollars a year to run a major college athletics conference.  What a country.

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Filed under Big 12 Football

Bob Bowlsby, thinking inside the box

Nothing about this surprises me.

Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby entered the College Football Playoff meetings this week seeking definitive answers on how much a 13th game helped Ohio State get picked over Baylor and TCU. Bowlsby ended Wednesday with as close of a statement as he has ever made that the Big 12 will add a conference championship game.

Bowlsby wouldn’t definitively say the Big 12 will add a championship game in 2016 if a new NCAA rule allows 10-team members to do so. But given the knowledge he has now, Bowlsby said, “I surmise we would probably move in that direction.”

Bowlsby said he was told this week by CFP selection committee chairman Jeff Long that 13 data points are better than 12. Ohio State blew out Wisconsin in the Big Ten Championship Game on the final week last season while Baylor and TCU won their final regular-season games in round-robin play.

“What we heard is if we don’t go to a championship game we’re at a disadvantage,” Bowlsby said. “All things being equal, 13 games are better than 12 games. That’s what we heard. So that gives us clear enough direction that we’re coming in at least at a modest disadvantage. We need to do whatever we can to mitigate that.”

This is a dumbass move on a number of levels.  First, and most significantly, the Big 12 plays a round robin conference schedule.  It doesn’t need a playoff to determine a true champion; the regular season takes care of that.

Second, it’s like these guys have the shortest memories on the planet.

The Big 12 played a conference championship game from 1996 to 2010 and was hurt in the BCS era more than any conference by having a national contender lose that game.

And if there’s any cosmic justice, or if the football gods have a perverse sense of humor, that’s exactly what’ll happen in the first Big 12 championship game.

Along those lines, it ought to be a concern when Jim Delany gives you advice that makes sense.

However, Big Ten commissioner Jim Delany cautioned that conference championship games “cut both ways” – sometimes helping a league’s best team and sometimes costing it with an upset loss.

One of the lessons learned from the Bowl Championship Series Era was that the constant alterations to that ill-fated system eroded public confidence.

“We probably made some mistakes by tweaking, to be honest,” Delany said.

Of course, it’s only fair to note that Bowlsby is probably working from a lower bar in terms of public confidence than the BCS was at the start.

Now, this isn’t totally the fault of the Big 12.  Jeff Long’s hands have some dirt on them, too.

Bowlsby said he was convinced after the commissioners met with selection committee chairman Jeff Long, the Arkansas athletic director, that the Big 12’s champion might need to play a 13th game — a conference championship game — in order to be seen on equal footing with other playoff contenders. (Reached by phone later, Long declined an interview request.)

Again, never mind that the Big 12’s selection of its conference champion doesn’t require a championship game.  It’s all about the data points for the selection committee.

But Bowlsby still is playing the hand he’s dealt here.  His coaches like soft non-conference schedules.  His presidents like cutting the revenue pie into just ten pieces.  And a championship game will enlarge that pie a little more.  It’s a win-win.  Until the league’s best team loses.

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UPDATE:  Bill Connelly elaborates on the history repeating aspect of what’s coming.

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Filed under BCS/Playoffs, Big 12 Football

Wednesday morning buffet

Have some.

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Filed under Big 12 Football, Georgia Football, It's Not Easy Being A Mid-Major, Recruiting, SEC Football, Strategery And Mechanics

Wednesday morning buffet

Another day full of buffet goodness:

  • Art Briles says Baylor’s non-conference schedule had “zero impact” on his team not making the CFP last season.  He’s right, in that had Baylor not lost to West Virginia, it would have been in.  He’s wrong in that the non-conference schedule left Baylor with zero margin for error.
  • What do you get when some economics professors rank the intensity of college football rivalries?  This“Within a conference, the most intense two-way rivalry was between Central Michigan and Western Michigan…”  You might want to think about tweaking your measurements, fellas.
  • If Natrez Patrick stays at inside linebacker, at ten or so pounds heavier than Alec Ogletree, he’d be the biggest player ever to suit up at the position under Richt.
  • Nick Saban wants to be clear about satellite camps.  He’s agin’ ’em.  And you don’t want to offend Alabama on the recruiting front, people.
  • So, there was an inside guy on the Winston crab legs heist?  Steve Spurrier’s gonna have to come up with a new nickname for FSU, methinks.
  • It’s only April and the 2015 watch lists for awards march has started.  Wake me when it’s over.
  • It looks like Georgia Tech has landed its B-back for this season.
  • Year2 discusses the case for Nick Chubb’s Heisman possibilities.

131 Comments

Filed under BCS/Playoffs, Big 12 Football, College Football, Crime and Punishment, Georgia Football, Georgia Tech Football, Nick Saban Rules, Recruiting

“I’m a decision-maker. I make calls. I call plays.”

After reading some of the testimony from the depositions taken in the breach-of-contract lawsuit filed against Texas assistant Joe Wickline by Texas’ Big 12 rival Oklahoma State, it’s easy to see why the Longhorns finished 113th in the country in total offense last season.

And the paltry 43 plays against Arkansas? Who called most of those? For the record, Texas ran 18 times against Arkansas for 2 yards.

“I don’t want to remember that game, we were so bad,” Strong said.

Now that I think about it, it’s kind of surprising any of them want to take credit for the playcalling.

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Filed under Big 12 Football, See You In Court

Back to the “One True Champion” board

After being humiliated last season, Bob Bowlsby’s group decides to go with the common sense route.

It is too late to help Baylor, but the Big 12 athletic directors want one true champion to be more than just a slogan next season.

The conference ADs said Thursday they are in favor of using a head-to-head tiebreaker to determine their College Football Playoff participant after co-champions TCU and Baylor were skipped over by the selection committee last season.

When that approach flops, maybe they can just outsource the naming of a conference champ directly to the CFP selection committee.

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Filed under BCS/Playoffs, Big 12 Football