Richie Incognito has been in the news lately and for all the wrong reasons.
Unless you've been living under a rock, you know the one time Nebraska offensive lineman likely took things a bit too far with his treatment of teammate Jonathan Martin.
Without getting into the right and wrong of the whole situation, his former high school coach, Vic Eumont, had some interesting comments this week regarding the situation.
This snipet is from ESPN's Chris Mortensen in an article posted on Wednesday.
Martin's high school coach, Vic Eumont, told the Palm Beach Post that Martin's personality did not fit in with the Dolphins crowd.
"Before, he wasn't around Nebraska, LSU kind of guys," Eumont, a former Tulane offensive guard, told the Palm Beach Post. "He's always been around Stanford, Duke, Rice kind of players."
"In locker rooms full of Nebraska, LSU, Southern Cal players, Miami players -- they'll look at this as a weakness," Eumont told the paper. "If he makes it through all this, and if he was encouraged to come back, he'd come back with a vengeance."
Again, nobody is here to pass judgement on an obviously difficult situation, but aren't his comments off base, even just a little bit?
If I'm interpreting this right, the guy is basically saying that type of behavior is accepted at the Nebraska and the LSU's of the world. Maybe he doesn't remember that Incognito was suspended for his behavior at Nebraska before he left and went to Oregon where he didn't even make it to the first game of the season.
If Martin is indeed going to come back with a vegance - and I hope he does - I wonder exactly where he'll be doing it. NFL locker rooms aren't exactly crawling with Stanford, Duke, and Rice type of guys.
What Martin is facing is a culture in the NFL that probably isn't going to change overnight. That doesn't make it right, but however this plays out, let's hope he finds a situation that better suits him and he goes onto a successful career.
The Big released its football schedule for the 2014 season on Tuesday.
You can see the release at Big12sports.com, but here are a few of the highlights.
Texas Tech heads to Oklahoma State on Thursday, September 25th for the first conference game of the season. Both teams will have an open week the Saturday prior and each will have already concluded the nonconference portion of the schedule.
In total, the Big 12 has three Thursday games on the schedule, for now. They are:
Oklahoma's visit to Iowa State is listed as Thursday, October 25 OR Saturday November 1st, so there could be one additional Thursday night game, as well. (The Sooners should know better than to play a week night at Jack Trice, shouldn't they?)
The final weekend of the season, Saturday, December 6th, includes two and possibly three conference games to coincide with the other conferences hosting their championship games.
Iowa State will visit TCU along with Kansas State heading to Waco to wrap up the season. Bedlam will be played either on the Saturday after Thanksgiving or on the first Saturday in December. Why they wouldn't play that on the final weekend, I don't know, but it has yet to be officially decided.
The Red River Rivalry between Texas and Oklahoma will be played on October 11th next season.
Texas will have just six home games for the fourth straight season. There is of course the game with OU in the Cotton Bowl, but UT will also play UCLA in Arlington giving them two neutral site games, both of which are in their home state, however.
Baylor won't host its first Big 12 game in their new stadium until October 11th. The Bears travel to Buffalo with a bye week then preceding road games at Iowa State and Texas. Baylor will have only one conference home game before the calendar flips to November.
If you're looking for a fall day to get some yard work done, September 20th might be your day. Six teams will be enjoying an open date that weekend although Kansas State will host Auburn which should provide plenty of intrigue.
Also of note, Kansas State is still looking for one more opponent to complete their schedule. Texas-San Antonio backed out of their game originally scheduled for September 27th. The new opponent will likely fill one of the three open dates during September.
Here is a look at all 10 of the schedules for next season.
|09/27/14||@ Iowa State|
|10/18/14||@ West Virginia|
|11/29/14||vs. Texas Tech (in Arlington)|
|08/30/14||North Dakota State|
|10/04/14||@ Oklahoma State|
|10/30/14||Oklahoma (Thurs or Sat. 11/1)|
|09/06/14||SE Missouri State|
|10/04/14||@ West Virginia|
|10/18/14||@ Texas Tech|
|11/29/14||@ Kansas State|
|08/30/14||Stephen F. Austin|
|09/06/14||TBD (or OPEN)|
|09/13/14||TBD (or OPEN)|
|09/27/14||TBD ( or OPEN)|
|10/11/14||@ Iowa State|
|11/20/14||@ West Virginia (Thurs)|
|09/27/13||@ West Virginia|
|10/11/14||vs. Texas (in Dallas)|
|10/30/14||@ Iowa State (Thurs or Sat. 11/1)|
|11/15/14||@ Texas Tech|
|11/29/14||Oklahoma State (OR 12/6/14)|
|08/30/14||vs. Florida State (in Arlington)|
|09/13/14||UT San Antonio|
|09/25/14||Texas Tech (Thurs)|
|11/01/14||@ Kansas State|
|11/29/14||@ Oklahoma (OR 12/6/14)|
|09/13/14||vs. UCLA (in Arlington)|
|10/11/14||vs. Oklahoma (in Dallas)|
|10/25/14||@ Kansas State|
|11/01/14||@ Texas Tech|
|11/15/14||@ Oklahoma State|
|11/27/14||TCU (Thurs/Thanksgiving night)|
|09/25/14||@ Oklahoma State (Thurs)|
|10/04/14||@ Kansas State|
|11/22/14||@ Iowa State|
|11/29/14||vs. Baylor (in Arlington)|
|11/01/14||@ West Virginia|
|11/27/14||@ Texas (Thurs/Thanksgiving)|
|08/30/14||vs. Alabama (in Atlanta )|
|10/11/14||@ Texas Tech|
|10/25/14||@ Oklahoma State|
|11/20/14||Kansas State (Thurs)|
|11/29/14||@ Iowa State|
On Thursday night, Oklahoma's defense will be trying to do what only Kansas State has been able to do this season; keep Baylor's offense in check.
And if we're being honest here, "in check" is a relative term seeing how the Bears still scored on touchdown tosses of 93, 75, and 54 yards. Even so, Kansas State held Baylor to 451 total yards which was only the second time all season Baylor didn't crack the 700 yard mark in total offense.
So what did Kansas State do? "Held the ball on offense," Bill Snyder said. " We ran for about 330 yards so we had the ball on offense a great deal of the time and kept them off the field."
For the game, Kansas State nearly doubled Baylor's time of possession (39:24 to 20:36). Of course, going slow on offense doesn't do much good if you're not picking up yards and moving the chains and that's exactly what K-State did. The Wildcats had six drives of eight plays or more and five of those drives resulted in points (the sixth was a missed FG).
Daniel Sams rushed for 199 yards while John Hubert added another 100 providing the bulk of the offense as KSU only threw for only 118 yards in the game.
K-State's ability to pound out yards on the ground allowed Baylor to run only 58 offensive plays which is far fewer plays than in any game this season. Of course, what also affected that number were three Baylor scoring drives that all took less than 1:12 (and two took only :34 and :38 seconds), but take away those big plays/quick drives, and by and large, K-State played even with the Bears for the bulk of the game.
So the best defense in stopping Baylor is a good offense, but your defense still has to take the field at some point and for the Cats defense that meant corralling one of Baylor's best weapons. The Wildcats were able to slow the Baylor ground game to a halt giving up just 109 yards on 37 carries. Lache Seastrunk has topped 100 yards in every game this season except one. Kansas State held him to 59 yards on 12 carries.
How impressive is that? The Bears have rushed for at least 280 yards in every other game this season. Some of those stats might be skewed slightly since Baylor has had to run the clock in the fourth quarter of every game this season, but BU's ground game is every bit as good as their passing game.
"I thought we played well with our front seven against the run game," Snyder said. "I think that was first and foremost. It was probably the best game we have played with our front seven during the course of the year."
Based on the success Kansas State had against the Bears, will Oklahoma model their game plan in a similar fashion? If I'm Josh Heupel, you had better believe it.
The Sooners have a physical ground game that's proven throughout the season its one of the league's best. They'll rely more on the tailbacks more than Kansas State did, but whether it be Damien Williams, Brennan Clay, Roy Finch, or Blake Bell, OU has the weapons to pick up chunks of yards on the ground.
That's not to say they couldn't move the ball through the air, as well, but you're also playing with fire if they decide to go that route. If you're going to put the ball in the air, you had better be completing a high percentage of those passes. That is something Bell wasn't able to do in their lone loss against Texas when he completed just 46.2% of his throws (12 of 26).
The biggest question mark for OU will be their ability to slow Seastrunk with the same consistency K-State did. Texas was able to take advantage of the absence of Jordan Phillips (DT) and Corey Nelson (LB) who were lost to season ending injuries. Texas rushed for 255 yards against the Sooners which also opened up the throwing lanes for Case McCoy who had two long pass plays for scores of his own.
I'd expect Baylor to test the middle of the OU line with not only Seastrunk, but Glasco Martin as well, early in the game. If they can have success in stopping the run, it stands to reason the athletes in OU's secondary can do a better job of not letting Baylor's wide outs get behind them the way there were able to against KSU on occasion.
It sounds easy, right? The Wildcats did benefit from having Baylor at home, a luxury the Sooners will be without, but K- State laid out the plan. Now the Sooners just have to make it work.
Of course, having the game plan and actually executing it are two different things entirely especially against Baylor's arsenal of weapons. The Bears have made mince meat of everyone on their schedule but Kansas State. The Sooners have far better athletes overall than does K-State. Baylor is out to prove they are no joke. Yeah, Thursday night in Waco should be fun.
Who is ready for Thursday night?
1.(-) Baylor (7-0): The Bears are undefeated and piling up points at a record pace. Even so, there are plenty of people not drinking the green kool-aid just yet. Baylor isn't worried about all that, but they can certainly make a point with the country watching Thursday night. Up next: Oklahoma.
2. (-) Texas (6-2): The Longhorns picked up their fourth straight win although Kansas gave them more of a fight than some expected. Texas still has their sights set on a Big 12 title, but they shouldn't look too far ahead with a tough road test on the docket this weekend. Up next: @ West Virginia.
3. (↑1) Oklahoma (7-1): The Sooners have - to an extent - been a forgotten entity since falling to Texas in the Cotton Bowl. They can help jog some people's memory by knocking off Baylor Thursday night. Up next: @ Baylor.
4. (↑1) Oklahoma State (7-1): Speaking of teams being forgotten, nobody has talked much about the Cowboys after the disappointing performance in Morgantown. That should start to change with their impressive showing in Lubbock. They get a bit of a breather this week before a tough closing stretch that will define their season. Up next: Kansas.
5. (↓2) Texas Tech (7-2): Texas Tech has suffered two tough losses in back-to-back weeks and it won't be getting any easier over the final weeks of the season. Which direction is this going to go? From a 7-0 start to a ?-? finish? Up next: Kansas State.
6. (-) Kansas State (4-4): It shouldn't be any surprise the Wildcats are starting to play their best football of the season. They may not be in contention for a Big 12 title themselves, but that doesn't mean they won't play a part in who wins this thing over the season's final month. Up next: @ Texas Tech.
7. (-) West Virginia (4-5): The Mountaineers picked up a huge overtime victory against TCU and now have a chance to put a dent in Texas' chances at a Big 12 title. Who is Oliver Luck cheering for in this one? Joking, I think. Up next: Texas.
8. (-) TCU (3-6): It could be an extra long off season for the Horned Frogs this winter. TCU now needs to win its final three games if they want to be practicing as a team come December. Up next: @ Iowa State.
9. (↑1) Kansas (2-6): The Jayhawks may not be winning many football games, but give KU credit, they aren't laying down for anybody, either. Can they find a win over their final four games? I'm almost leaning towards saying 'yes'. Up next: @ Oklahoma State.
10. (↓1) Iowa State (1-7): The Cyclones are a beat up group and it showed Saturday against the Kansas State. That's not a good thing for a team that had little depth to begin with. I guess if there's a silver lining in being a 1-7 football team, plenty of one guys are getting an abundance of playing time which hopefully will pay off down the road. Up next: TCU.
Have you caught your breath yet?
Unbelievable. I'm not sure what else their is to say.
Following the loss to Minnesota, this is, well, exactly what the Huskers needed.
There was this huge play setting up Ron Kellogg's final touchdown heave.
There was a complete 180 done by the defense following the miserable first quarter.
There were injuries, a penalty filled drive, a couple ill-timed turnovers, and of course this.
How many times can one person watch this before it gets old?
We can all worry about Michigan and Michigan State another day.
West Virginia went for one heck of a see-saw ride Saturday afternoon in Fort Worth.
The Mountaineers trailed by 14 points in the second quarter before coming back to take a 10 point fourth quarter lead only to see TCU rally in the final five minutes to tie the game and force overtime.
After TCU missed a 62 yard field goal on its first possession in OT, Josh Lambert booted a 34 yard field goal for the West Virginia win giving the Mountaineers a boost they desperately needed following three straight Big 12 losses.
"We were up by 10 points in the fourth quarter and all of a sudden they come back and tie it up. We could have said, 'Here we go again,' but we didn't do that and we found a way to get it done," Holgorsen said following the game.
And by getting it done, West Virginia dramatically increased their chances of getting some extra practice time come December.
Coming into the game with TCU, West Virginia needed to win three of its final four games just to qualify for a bowl game. That number is now two of their final three games and with Kansas and Iowa State still on the schedule, that task all of sudden appears much more likely to happen than it did early Saturday afternoon when TCU jumped out to a 14 point lead.
Instead, the Mountaineers left the must-win games to TCU. The Horned Frogs now must win all three of their remaining games against Iowa State, Kansas State, and Baylor in order to keep their streak of nine straight bowl games alive.
West Virginia will play host to Texas next weekend and although it's no longer a must win for bowl eligibility, you can bet the Mountaineers would like nothing more than to put a huge black eye on the Longhorn's chances of winning the Big 12 title. Texas is now 5-0 in Big 12 play following their victory over Kansas on Saturday.
#12 Oklahoma State (6-1) @ #15 Texas Tech (7-1)
Oklahoma State and Texas Tech enter Saturday night's game in Lubbock each with one conference loss. Both teams, however, remain in control of their own destiny in the Big 12 title chase. Which ever team falters Saturday night may have to start thinking about second place, however, with Baylor and Texas still undefeated, and that's not to forget about Oklahoma who is sitting on one loss.
The Red Raiders will be trying to rebound from their first loss of the season after falling to the Sooners last weekend, 38-30. Up until last Saturday, Tech's run defense had been stout but the Sooners were able to gash them on the ground for 277 yards.
Was that a one game blip on the radar or were the Sooners onto something? We may have the answer to that question come Saturday with the Cowboys turning to Desmond Roland at the running back position last weekend against Iowa State. The junior ran for 219 yards against the Cyclones after seeing limited action for most of the season.
Logic would seem to indicate that OSU would attack Tech the same way given the Sooners' success, not to mention, the inconsistent quarterback play from J.W. Walsh and Clint Chelf may make it a necessity more than anything else.
Keys to the Game:
1. Turnovers. Here is some football 101 for you: turning the ball over doesn't help a team win games, especially against good teams0 Texas Tech turned the ball over three times against OU which is a big reason they suffered their first loss of the season. For the season, Texas Tech has turned it over 19 times and are -6 in turnover margin on the season.
Oklahoma State, on the other hand, has just 10 turnovers on the season and leads the Big 12 with a +9 margin in turnovers. Take away the four turnovers they suffered against TCU and they've turned it over just six times on the season.
Advantage: Oklahoma State.
2. Jones AT&T Stadium: There's nothing Oklahoma State can do about the venue, but you can bet the Jones will be rocking Saturday night. The Cowboys played their worst game of the season in Morgantown and can't afford to have a repeat performance on the road.
3. The Oklahoma State quarterbacks. The emergence of Roland helps, but the Cowboys quarterbacks are a combined 30 of 67 (44.7%) over the past two games. That might be good enoughagainst TCU and Iowa State but likely won't get it done Saturday night.
4. Jace Amaro. Nobody has been able to cover Texas Tech's tight end all season who has at least eight receptions in seven straight games. If the Cowboys can find a way to take away Davis Webb's safety net, that's a big plus in their favor. Of course, that's much easier said than done..
How about a coin flip? Oklahoma State and Texas Tech's season have nearly mirrored each other with both benefiting from a relatively easy schedule to date. Texas Tech's game against OU is the only game either has played against teams in the top five of the Big 12.
Texas Tech looks to have the more potent offense while the Cowboys likely have the defensive advantage. Neither team has ran the ball exceptionally well all season.
Here's the one big difference between the teams, however. Texas Tech knows who they are. While Kliff Kingsbury won't shy away from the running game, their bread and butter is playing fast and throwing the rock. Sound familiar Oklahoma State?
The Cowboys, meanwhile, have struggled to find an offensive identity for most of the season. At times, the passing game has gotten it done. Other times, they've turned to the running game like last week against Iowa State. But if you're being honest, what are they really good at? I'm not sure even Mike Gundy nor Mike Yurcich know the answer to that.
At this point in the season, you are who you are. Advantage, Red Raiders.
Texas Tech will throw for - let's say 350 yards - while the Cowboys offense will have trouble keeping pace. A couple turnovers will keep the game within reach, but Tech will be too much on their home turf. The Red Raiders keep their Big 12 title hopes alive. Texas Tech 34 Oklahoma State 27.
For nearly every game dating back to the 2004 season, the seats in the south end zone at Floyd Casey Stadium have been covered by a tarp because, well, they never really needed those seats. Now? That infamous tarp is a thing in the past. It's funny what a little winning will do for a program.
The final two games of the season against OU and Texas are expected to be complete sellouts which also happen to be the final two games ever to be played at Floyd Casey with Baylor set to move into its new digs along the Brazos River next season.
There's been plenty of jokes made about what actually may be hiding under the tarp, but the school confirmed on Thursday that it's all good. There's no rotting animals nor was Jimmy Hoffa anywhere to be found.
Baylor is also going to black out the stadium against the Sooners - uniforms and all - in what is shaping into one of the biggest games in the school's history, or at least the biggest in anyone's recent memory. So far, 700 of the additional 3,500 tickets have been sold with the remaining tickets expected to be gone by early next week.
Both Baylor and Oklahoma are off this weekend giving each a few extra days of preparation.
Thanks for stopping by and we'll have plenty more next week on the Baylor-OU tilt leading up to Thursday's game.
Thursday night football has become of bit tradition among college football fans with ESPN highlighting a game every Thursday night as an appetizer for what's ahead on Saturday. The NFL has also gotten into the mix with its weekly showcase of a Thursday night game, as well.
This Thursday night, however, could put some football fans into a bit of quandary - especially those with kids - with Halloween forcing football fans to make a decision.
Good thing we have an answer as that question happened to be the subject of this week's Discover Fan Loyalty Poll.
An overwhelming 49% of respondents indicated they'd try and do both, that is hand out candy while also taking in the game simultaneously. It might not be ideal, no, but it's doable nonetheless. That's not to say everyone would be so willing to multitask, however.
Twenty-two percent indicated trick-or-treaters would be out of luck as they would turn off the front lights and simply focus on the game. That would likely be option number one for those that don't have young children, I'm guessing.
There were also a few other options:
I'm probably with the majority trying to hand out candy while watching the game. If that's not an option, well, then the house is going dark. Going out-and-about while either missing or recording the game is out the question entirely. That might even be the case if it's not my favorite team, afterall, football is football, you know?
So where do you fall?
As for this week's Discover fan poll, it's not shocking to see Alabama continue to lead the way as the country's top team. The Crimson Tide received 45% of the votes with Oregon and Ohio State rounding out the top three. Apparently there weren't a lot of respondents from the state of Florida as Florida State remained outside the top three despite dominant victories the last two weeks over Clemson and North Carolina State.
The Discover Fan Loyalty Poll is conducted twice a month by Rasmussen Reports, a nationally recognized leader in polling, who gathers sentiment by phone from 1500 college football fans who follow games at least once per week on television, radio, in person or online. The Poll leads up to the 2014 Discover Orange Bowl. Discover’s commitment to college football includes relationships with ESPN and Notre Dame Football on NBC.
Disclaimer: I am a paid brand Blogger for Discover Products Inc. My views are my own and do not necessarily reflect the views of Discover Products Inc. and its affiliates.
There was some movement within this week's rankings, but the division between the top and bottom half remains clear as day.
Here's a look this week's edition of the Big 12 power poll as October comes to a close.
1. (-) Baylor (7-0): Another week, another easy victory for Art Briles and crew. At this point, what is left to say except the Bears final five games of the season are going to be amazing to watch. So who's excited for Oklahoma - Baylor a week from Thursday? Up next: bye.
2. (↑2) Texas (5-2): Well how about this? Almost everyone in American thought Texas was cooked following the losses to BYU and Ole Miss. Now? Texas has a legitimate shot at capturing the Big 12 title. Will Texas have enough left in the tank to finish it off? We'll find out but after four straight Big 12 wins, anything is possible. Up next: Kansas.
3. (↓1) Texas Tech (7-1): Some may say the wind is out of the Red Raiders' sail, but the fact is they lost to a very good OU team on their home field in a game they had a chance to win. There's no shame in that. How they respond this weekend will be the telltale sign as to what is to come. Up next: Oklahoma State.
4. (↑1) Oklahoma (7-1): As far as the Big 12 title goes, Saturday's game was a must win for the Sooners and they did just that. Now, they have 10 days to prepare for their new biggest game of the season. If the thought of Oklahoma-Baylor doesn't get your blood pumping, well, I don't know what to tell you. Up next: bye.
5. (↓2) Oklahoma State (6-1): The Cowboys didn't get much out of their passing game against the Cyclones, but they didn't need to after grinding out 342 yards on the ground. The Cowboys might appear to be the weakest of the Big 12 contenders to date, but it would also be a big mistake to count the Cowboys out of anything as the calendar flips to November. Up next: @ Texas Tech.
6. (-) Kansas State (3-4): The Wildcats continued their improvement over the weekend and now finally have a win to show for it. K-State may be out of the Big 12 race, but there also a team capable of ruining other's Big 12 title hopes over the season's final weeks (looking at you Texas Tech and OU). Up next: Iowa State.
7. (↑) 1West Virginia (3-5): Another game away from Morgantown and another loss for the Mountaineers. West Virginia is now 0-4 in games not played on their home field. Will WVU be bowling this holiday season? They need to win three of their final four in order to get there. The good news, Iowa State and Kansas still remain on their schedule. Up next: @ TCU.
8. (↓1) TCU (3-5): Even the return of Casey Pachall at quarterback wasn't enough to spark the Horned Frogs offense on Saturday. TCU now finds itself in the same position as West Virginia needing to win three of four in order to qualify for a bowl game. Oh, who's up next. You guessed it. Up next: West Virginia.
9. (↑1) Iowa State (1-6): Iowa State' misery continued on Saturday as they had no answer for OSU's Desmond Rolland who racked up 219 yards and four touchdowns. The game of musical chairs also continued at the quarterback position as they continue to look for somebody to put points on the scoreboard. Up next: @ Kansas State.
10. (↓1) Kansas (2-5): Well, it could have been worse. The Jayhawks were Baylor's latest victim as their Big 12 losing streak stretched to 24 games. I still think, maybe, somehow, KU will find a way to win one over their final five games. It just won't be this weekend. Up next: @ Texas.