Barry Sanders was back in Stillwater on Saturday to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the 1988 Oklahoma State football team. Sanders rushed for 2,628 yards and a whopping 37 touchdowns that season. Not surprisinly, he also won the Heisman trophy.
Following the Cowboys 42-6 victory over Kansas, Sanders stopped by the locker room to deliver the postgame speech.
You have to wonder when watching this if these guys understand how truly gifted he was. He was simply unbelievable.
Here's a video of Sanders speech via Oklahoma State's youtube channel. Enjoy.
With four weeks remaining in the regular season, the race for the Big 12 title is officially down to three.
Texas and Baylor remain undefeated in conference play with Oklahoma State right on their heels with one loss.
All three teams still control their own destiny but if you're handicapping the race down the stretch, here's what each of the contenders face over the season's final month.
The Longhorns have two of their final three games at home starting next week against Oklahoma State. If they can find a way to knock off the Cowboys, then the season finale at Baylor could very well be for the Big 12 title.
Texas also hosts Texas Tech in between, but given the Red Raiders recent struggles, that looks to be game the Longhorns should win.
Right now, the Big 12 race hinges on Oklahoma State but that is mainly due to the order of how the remaining games play out. The Cowboys are first up to play the other two contenders.
The biggest game of the season for the Cowboys happens next week in Austin. If they can beat Texas, then the Big 12 title will likely be decided in Stillwater because the Pokes will finish with home games against Baylor and Oklahoma.
If OSU falls to Texas, then the Cowboys will need a bunch of help due to their early season loss to West Virginia. The Pokes must beat Baylor and hope Baylor can come back and beat Texas to finish the season. They would also need Texas to lose to Texas Tech. And oh yeah, OSU would then also need to beat OU in their season finale to have any chance.
The Bears still have four games remaining and none of them will be easy. They play Texas Tech next weekend in Arlington then have to travel to Stillwater and Fort Worth before finishing up with Texas in Waco.
Baylor still has to take care of business against Texas Tech, but let the discussion begin about whether the Bears can win on the road in Stillwater the week following.
The Biggest games remaining:
November 16, Oklahoma State @ Texas
November 23, Baylor @ Oklahoma State
What happens in these two games could very well decide who will be hoisting the 2013 Big 12 trophy. If Oklahoma State wins both they would be in great shape but would still likely need to beat OU to earn at least a share of the Big 12 title and receive the Big 12's automatic BCS bid.
If they lost the season finale to OU, that would be their second conference loss and and would need Texas and Baylor to stumble somewhere over the final weeks of the season although they would still hold the tiebreaker over both.
If Oklahoma State loses either game (to Texas or Baylor), that turns all the focus to:
December 7th: Texas @ Baylor
As big as this game looks now, a lot depends on what each team does against Oklahoma State. If the Cowboys indeed split the next two, that opens the door for a two or three way tie atop the Big 12 standings. It also opens the door for either Texas or Baylor to run the table, of course.
If Oklahoma State loses both games, then Texas and Baylor will be playing for the Big 12 title assuming they take care of their other business.
The team that could throw a wrench into everything: Texas Tech
With Texas Tech's loss to Kansas State on Saturday, the Red Raiders now have three conference losses knocking them out of the race, but that doesn't mean they can't play a part in crowning the champion.
Tech's final two games are against Texas and Baylor. Win either of those games, and all bets are off in the Big 12 race. And heaven forbid if they won both, Oklahoma State would likely owe them a huge favor.
What does it all mean? The Big 12 race, as we sit here today, is clear as mud is what it means. Two weeks from now, and we'll have a much clearer picture of how this is going to play out.
In the meantime, it's probably not a bad idea to reintroduce yourself to the Big 12's tiebreaker rules.
Is anyone interested in heading back to college for a day? Apparently the answer is a resounding yes.
The Discover Fan Loyalty poll took to the streets this week to ask college football fans if given the chance, would they return to campus to relive one day of college?
Even though the majority would jump at the chance to return, not everyone would be so interested, however. Of those polled, 40% said thanks, but no thanks. Apparently life after college is treating them just fine.
It also appears the older you get - hence the further away from the college experience - the less you think about going back. Among 18-29 year olds, 76% would head back while 60% of 30-39 year olds would take the plunge.
I'd be in for heading back for day if there were some ground rules put in place.
If those three stipluations are met, count me in.
As for showing their fandom, most people are playing it safe with 79% or respondents indicating they've never done any of the below. For 17%, however, they've taken it to another level indicating they have done one of the following:
So, let's be honest here, have you done any of the above? And if it's worse, what exactly did you do?
Each week Discover also asks fans who they think is the best team in the country. Alabama continues to lead the way receiving 44% of the vote. Oregon (14%) Florida State (12%) and Ohio State (7%) round out the top four.
I'm guessing next week they'll be a shakeup in the poll with Oregon losing to Stanford on Thursday night. And should Alabama happen to fall to LSU on Saturday, well, there's no telling what will happen in the polls although Florida State figures to be the big benefactor. It also wouldn't be surprising to see Baylor crack the top five given their dominant performance over Oklahoma this week.
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.
Whatever questions remained about Baylor entering Thursday night's game should now be put to rest. The Bears proved - without a doubt - they're a team deserving of being in the national title conversation in their 41-12 victory over the Sooners.
Baylor's normally high flying offense sputtered early, but it didn't matter because the Bears defense turned in their most impressive performance of the season.
''We didn't really feel like us the first quarter and a half of the game, but that has a lot to do with who you're playing,'' Art Briles said following the game. ''We were playing a team with good tradition, and tradition doesn't die easily.''
Oklahoma absolutely played a part in slowing down Baylor's offense which was averaging 64 points a game entering the contest. But you know what, Baylor got tested, didn't flinch, and beat a good Sooner team by 29 points.
Predictably, there are those now saying, well, Oklahoma simply isn't very good. But like Briles said about his team's performance being affected by their opponent, Baylor had plenty to do with making OU look like an inferior opponent.
Baylor's defense held Oklahoma's offense to just 237 yards on the night. The Sooners ground game was supposed to be the team's strength - and Baylor's defensive weakness following the 327 yards they allowed to K-State - but Oklahoma managed just 87 yards on 34 carries. The passing game wasn't much better as OU completed only 42.8% of their passes on the night.
Outside of Oklahoma's 10 play, 71 yard touchdown drive in the third quarter, the Bears' defense came up with big play, after big play while keeping the Sooners at bay and allowing their offense to get on track.
As for Baylor's offense, if there's a better unit in the country, I'd like to see it. Baylor's passing attack wasn't nearly as efficient as we've become accustomed to, but it wasn't the show stopper it might have been for a lesser team. Why? Because Baylor can also run the ball.
The Bears rushed for 255 yards on 54 carries while attempting only 26 passes in the game. And given the fact the bulk of those yards came from third string running back, Shock Linwood (182 yards on 23 carries), makes it even more impressive.
What team in the country can afford to lose their top two running backs to injury, plus their top wide receiver to a broken wrist, yet still churn out 459 yards and 41 points? Not many.
"We finally have Big 12 quality depth and that's something I've been saying for about a year. It showed off tonight. When you lose Lache [Seastrunk], Glasco [Martin], and Tevin Reese, and you still maintain and are still effective, that's a good thing," Briles said.
I'd say so. Combine that with a defense that continues to get better every time out and what you have is the making of a national title contending team.
But make no mistake, the tests Baylor will face are only just beginning. They'll play Texas Tech next weekend in Arlingotn, then travel to Stillwater to play Oklahoma State in a game that will be anything but a walk in the park.
Then there is, of course, the season finale against Texas in Waco. There are no guarantees as Oregon found out last night, but after Baylor's victory over Oklahoma, the Bears have to feel confident about where things are headed.
Sometimes there are games you don't need a reason to watch, they're just that good. That's the case for Oklahoma visit's to Baylor on Thursday night. If you're a fan of college football, well, you'll be watching.
That doesn't mean, however, there aren't plenty of storylines to keep your eye as this plays out. This list could probably by 50 bullet points long, but here are 10 reasons you won't want to miss what's going on in Waco Thursday night.
1. Is Baylor for real? Oh, they're for real, but that doesn't necessarily mean beating OU is a slam dunk.
The Bears have dismantled nearly every opponent on the schedule this season but there are still plenty of doubters pointing to the lack of a marquee win. There's no doubt OU will - hands down - have the best talent Baylor has faced all season. How the Bears handle a team with the same, or better, athletic talent across the board will be on everyone's mind Thursday night.
2. The Blackout. Floyd Casey Stadium hasn't exactly been known for its intimidating crowds over the years, but you can bet it'll be an entirely different atmosphere Thursday night. As you all know, the tarp is gone and the Baylor faithful are planning to black out the stadium. With only two games remaining at The Case, you can bet they'll want to send the old stadium out in a big way before the move to their new digs next season.
3. Baylor on the big stage. What Art Briles has done at Baylor is nothing short of amazing. Even with the improvements over the past two seasons, it's been a long while - or ever - since Baylor has been on the national stage like they will be Thursday night. Oklahoma, on the other hand, is more than accustomed to playing in these type of games. Will all the hype surrounding the game affect one team more than the other?
4. Blake Bell. The Oklahoma junior finally has the keys to the Sooners' offense all to himself. He's played well since taking over for Trevor Knight, but also had his least productive game of the season against Texas in OU's lone loss of the season. Bell will need to be on top of his game in order to avoid loss number two. Of course, a couple runs like this would bode well for OU.
5. The Big 12 race. If Baylor wins, their march toward the Big 12 title continues. On the other sideline, an Oklahoma loss would all but knock them out of title contention. A Sooner win, however, throws even more chaos into what is already shaping up to be a hectic finish.
6. Bryce Petty. Baylor's first year quarterback has been nothing short of phenomenal through the first seven games. But keep in mind, those are the only seven games he has started in his career and he's yet to face a team with the type of defensive speed he'll see from the Sooners, at least as the starting quarterback. He's been throwing to wide open receivers all season but what happens if he has to consistently fit it into tight windows against the very good Sooner secondary?
7. The Oklahoma ground game. There's been plenty of talk of the improvement of the Bear's defense this season. While there's little doubt Baylor's defense is playing on a different level than they have in the recent past, in their biggest test of the season, Kansas State racked up 327 yards on the ground. Can the Sooners have similar success?
8. The fourth quarter. For the Baylor players, they barely even know the fourth quarter exists. Their starters have only played in the fourth quarter in one game all season. If Oklahoma is able to make this a four quarter game, does that experience give OU the advantage down the stretch? Is Baylor's conditioning a factor in such a scenario? Hopefully we are able to find out.
9. The first quarter. For the fourth quarter to even matter, what happens in the first 15 minutes of the game will set the tone for the rest of the night. Baylor will want to come out, strike first,, and get their offensive rhythm going before the Sooners even know what hit them. If the Sooners can weather the storm early, they should be in good shape. If not, the game plan can go out the window which would play right in Baylor's hands.
10. The prediction. What is there not to like about this game? Goodness, it's going to be fun. Baylor is in store for their toughest game of the season but they'll come out on top for one simple reason; they have the better team. Oklahoma's defense will have some success early, but the Bears offense is simply too much to keep down for four quarters on their home field. If Baylor's bandwagon isn't already full, it will be after Thursday night. Baylor 45 Oklahoma 27.
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.
|09/07/13||Southern Miss||W, 56-13|
|09/21/13||S. Dakota State||W, 59-20|
|10/12/13||@ Purdue||W, 44-7|
|10/26/13||@ Minnesota||L, 23-34|
|11/23/13||@ Penn State||TBA|
|12/07/13||Big Ten Champ.||TBA|