SI.com college football writer Stewart Mandel shares his commentary, analysis and random tidbits on the latest developments around the country.
11/10/2007 11:51:00 PM
Saturday Observations, Part III
Todd Reesing's scrambling ability Saturday night gave one individual flashbacks to the days of Doug Flutie.
Well, color me impressed.
As was presumably the case for a lot of folks, Saturday night’s Kansas-Oklahoma State game was my first chance to really watch the Jayhawks closely, and Mark Mangino’s team was every bit as advertised. In a tough road game against a Cowboys team that’s been competitive against every Big 12 foe it’s faced, Kansas raced to a 19-point lead, weathered an Oklahoma State comeback attempt and eventually pulled away 43-28.
QB Todd Reesing (28-for-41, 326 yards, three TDs, no INTs) showed what the hype’s about with his incredible scrambling ability, most notably on a 35-yard second-quarter completion that had Brent Musberger breaking out the inevitable Doug Flutie comparison. RB Brandon McAnderson (25 carries, 133 yards, two TDs) produced some solid, powerful running. And the Jayhawks’ defensive front, led by relentless DT James McClinton, seemed to be constantly swarming to the ball.
The Jayhawks’ secondary suffered some lapses on two second-half touchdown drives in which Cowboys QB Zac Robinson suddenly caught fire, briefly cutting Kansas’ lead to 33-28, but Reesing marched the Jayhawks right back down the field for another touchdown, and All-America CB Aliq Talib picked off Robinson on OSU’s ensuing series to put the nail in the coffin.
As has been the case all season, KU made very few mistakes – just three penalties (even lower than their national-best 3.8 average), one sack allowed and no turnovers (while producing four).
Barring an unlikely home loss next week to Iowa State, the Jayhawks are going to be 11-0 heading into their Nov. 24 showdown with arch-rival Missouri (9-1). Obviously, Kansas’ schedule strength still lags behind the other BCS contenders -- they’ve yet to beat a team with less than four losses. Hence, they will remain behind two more accomplished one-loss teams, LSU and Oregon, on my new AP ballot.
But no team in the country will play two tougher games down the stretch than the Jayhawks would if they beat the Tigers and face Oklahoma (9-1) in the Big 12 title game. This is a solid, if unflashy football team. If they manage to go 13-0, something’s going to have to give, because there would be no justifiable reason to leave Kansas out of the BCS title game.
• Have you ever complained to a co-worker or boss about having to "do the work of two people" because of some colleague who’s slacking? Tim Tebow could legitimately make the same gripe -– only in his case, it may be justification for a Heisman Trophy.
The Florida star once again put up numbers befitting two different positions Saturday night against South Carolina: 22-for-32 passing for 302 yards and two touchdowns; 26 carries for 121 yards and five touchdowns. That’s right: Tebow accounted for all seven Gators touchdowns in a 52-31 victory. That’s unbelievable.
• If you can figure out who’s going to win the SEC East, you’re much smarter than me. If you’re keeping track, Georgia (8-2, 5-2 SEC) is technically in first place, is the division’s hottest team following rousing victories over both Florida and Auburn and is the SEC’s highest-ranked team outside of LSU, but Tennessee (7-3, 4-2), which routed the Dawgs 35-14 on Oct. 6, currently holds the tiebreaker. Meanwhile, the Gators (7-3, 5-3) and Kentucky (7-3, 3-3) remain just a game behind in the loss column, and there are scenarios under which both can still win the division.
• At this point, it’s pretty safe to say there are going to be two Pac-10 teams in the BCS; the question is, who will be the odd man out? USC (8-2) kept itself in the hunt Saturday night with a rain-soaked 24-17 win at Cal, while 9-1 Arizona State pulled out an ugly 24-20 win at UCLA earlier in the day. Three upcoming games to keep an eye on: 8-1 Oregon’s road trips to Arizona on Thursday night and UCLA the following week, and the Sun Devils-Trojans Thanksgiving night showdown in Tempe.
• Two eyebrow-raising results in the ACC on Saturday night: Virginia (9-2), previously the king of 17-16 victories -- absolutely hammered Miami, 48-0, in the ‘Canes final game at the Orange Bowl no less. This, just two weeks after the Cavs lost to N.C. State. Try figuring out those teams. Meanwhile, 4-5 Maryland upended 8-1 Boston College, 42-35.
Most ACC followers have been anticipating a BC-Virginia Tech rematch in the Dec. 1 conference championship game, but at this point, it could just as easily wind up being Clemson-Virginia. The Tigers (8-2, 5-2 ACC) host the Eagles (8-2, 4-2) next week in a division-deciding game; the Hokies (8-2, 4-2) visit the Cavaliers (9-2, 5-2) in two weeks.
• Finally, here’s a very important question for you to ponder before you go to bed tonight:
Next week, 1-9 Notre Dame (which lost 41-24 to Air Force on Saturday) hosts 1-9 Duke (which lost 41-24 as well Saturday, to Georgia Tech). Who should be favored?
I wonder why Flutie and the ABC team keep saying Oregon State would be undefeated except for that one little fumble? Wouldn't LSU be undefeated except for that one little stop on 4th down in OT against Kentucky? Wouldn't a lot of teams be undefeated except for that one little play? But if you change one play why not change the plays that got your team the wins too? Let's look at strength of schedule and quality wins, then decide who the best one loss team it.
Is there really any chance that one of the top 3 Big 12 teams wins out and doesn't make it to the BCS championship? Given Oregon's lack of tough games here on out, it seems obvious to me that Kansas or Missouri beating the other, then Oklahoma -- or Oklahoma beating a top-7 Kansas or Missouri team -- would be plenty to vault them over.
As a Mizzou grad it pains me to say this, but KU really deserves to be #1 tomorrow.
No, I don't think KU is the best team in the country. Yes, their non-con schedule was a joke. But none of the one-loss contenders lost out of conference, so for now, let’s throw that out. KU played 4 middle-of-the-pack Big 12 teams, all on the road, and won them all. Of the 7 BCS one-loss teams, 5 of them (WV, Oregon, LSU, OSU, and Oklahoma) lost to middle-of-the-pack teams. The other two (Mizzou, ASU) lost to highly-ranked teams, but the teams that beat them also have one loss, so logically must be ranked higher. For that reason, KU should be #1.
If they lose either of the next two (or three, assuming that they and OU win out to the championship), they should drop. But for now, they are the #1 team in the land.
Well, to be fair, Oregon lost to then #2 Cal and only at the very last second. Had Colvin kept the ball or scored, there's no reason to think that the Ducks would not have kept moving the ball. Let's also not forget that Oregon played TWO top-10 teams in a row and beat them both handily. Oregon's schedule has not been soft, and despite Michigan's loss today--their win against Ohio State next week will improve the Ducks' victory over them in Week 2.
Kansas is damn good, and they are undefeated but comparatively untested. Yes, Oklahoma lost at Colorado but Kansas won. So what? Kansas has done what a good football team (that they are this year) should--beat the average to mediocre teams they've had to play up until now.
If they beat Mizzou and head to the championship game and then beat Oklahoma, THEN KU people can start talking about them being #1. They'll have been tested in a major way and they'd be undefeated. As it stands, they're likely the #3 team now and that is:
A) Awesome for their program B) Exactly where they should be
The best one loss team is undoubtedly LSU. The second best one loss team is Oregon. Both are stronger on their record and results thus far than Kansas.
The good thing for Kansas is that they control their destiny.
I pick Duke over Notre Dame as I believe that Georgia Tech is a better quality team than Air Force.
Anyway, Kansas should be rated number one until somebody beats them. All the voters who gave Ohio State a pass on weak opposing teams can't now claim that Kansas has only faced weak teams. The Big 12 is a lot tougher than the Big 10, so an undefeated Kansas should get the benefit of any doubts.
Oi, Kansas won't beat Oklahoma. Just like Missouri didn't beat Oklahoma. If Oklahoma was 10-0 by playing half their schedule against the kind of teams that Kansas beat, everyone would be whining about ranking inflation. Anyway, won't matter in a month.
If Kansas is #1 then Hawaii is #2. Kansas has not played three of the best teams in the Big 12 and their non-conf schedule is a laugh. They must work overtime to find so many powderpuffs. In Hawaii vs Boise St I doubt there has ever been a game played by such highly ranked teams with such lowly ranked schedules. Hammer a weakling and call it greatness. It used to be called bullying. Perhaps there should be a BCS bowl called the Bully Bowl where the top teams with the weakest schedules are matched.
I wonder what the spread is going to be on the ND/Duke game. I bet you it will end up being one of those crappy money line games on some online betting website. Where you know the odds are like 50-50 but the spread is going to be ridiculous. I bet ND comes in as the favorite in that game by 4. Vegas loves their ND, and Duke doesn't have much of a history of moving much money down on the strip.
Well, well, well. So Stewart *finally* watched a Big-12 game!
All year long, Mandel, you've been trying to force-feed us this SEC drivel, followed by the ACC drivel, and then the Big-East, and then Ohio State. USF the best team in the country? Boston College the best team in the country? Matt Ryan the best Heisman candidtate? See what I mean? Whay should *anyone* put any credit in what you write?
So now, when 60% of the top 5 teams are going to be Big-12 teams, you *STILL* stubbornly stick to keeping your SEC dreams alive.
At the end of the year., when yoiu look back at your performance (like an annual employment review) why would anyone keep you employed at your job?
Seems your proclivity to blind crowd following (or wishful thinking, to the point of denial of opposing facts) alone should put you out.
At least your performance has saved me money - I certainly don't consider you an 'expert' deserving of my dollars for what I now suspect is a similarly hbiased book.
Do you think it's in you to ever accept the Big 12? Or is that what's going to happen next year also? My bet is yes.
Hey, Ducklaw, didn't Cal have a 7 pt lead at that point? How would that touchdown have won the game? It ONLY would have given them a CHANCE to win the game.
But I do believe that if we start playing the take away one little play debate that LSU's wins had quite a few lucky plays, while the Ducks beat most of their opponents handily. With only USC and Cal finishing within 7 pts.
Ducklaw - had Oregon not fumbled and scored a touchdown they would have only tied the game and sent it to overtime. I think everyone has seen enough college football this year to realize that's not a guaranteed win no matter how well at team is playing at the end of a came. So saying that they would be undefeated had that fumble not occured is a bit presumptuous.
Oregon would be undefeated if not for one little fumble... just like Oklahoma lost on the last play of their game. And right now, Cal doesn't look a whole lot better than Colorado. At least OU was in Boulder. And LSU lost in 3 OT's on the last play of the game. On the road. Let's stop pushing the "last play of the game" angle for Oregon. Please.
But if we want to be consistent, KU should be #1. USF was given the bump for being unbeaten. So was BC. So was Ohio State. KU has won some pretty respectable road games, and they should be #1 until shown otherwise (which I believe Missouri will do).
Out of Kansas, Ohio State, OU and Mizzou, guess who has the weakest non conference schedule? Ohio State (going by the rating of their best opponent). And who was talking about their weak schedule? No one. In fairness, this would put MU's schedule as best while if you go by average ranking of non-con opponents then OU might just beat out MU. But. KU is undefeated and their non-Con schedule is better than your current (and now beaten) #1
For Jason - Kans played Cen Mich, SE Louisiana, Toledo & FIU. It's harder to imagine finding weaker opponents. In the Big 12 the best record of one of their opponents is 6 - 4, Tex A&M, which is hardly one of the better Big 12 teams. Combined their Big 12 opponents have lost more games than they have won. I see nothing to suggest that they are even a Top 20 team. Native Americans used to measure their greatness by the stength of their enemies. Kansas would be a laughing stock.
Last Year we had OSU, Mich & Wisc highly ranked. Mich had only a win over Wisc & Notre Dame. OSU had beaten Tx & Mich. This year we have OK, Kans and Missouri. OK has beaten Tx & Missouri. Missouri & Kans have no quality wins to their name unless you stretch the idea to include Illinois, a team unranked all season. If at this point in the season you have to beat a Top 25 team to be ranked only OK gets ranked.
Six or seven SEC teams have consistently been ranked in the Top 25 and have generally been taking turns beating each other when they played. The Big Ten has been lucky to have two teams ranked all season. See the difference or do we need to draw some pictures?
This season proves that people pull their rankings out of their asses because they have no idea who is actually the best team in the country.
Charles, is that the picture you wanted to draw? I hope not, because that's gross.
"The Big Ten has been lucky to have two teams ranked all season". Yes, they have been lucky, because rankings are based on some pretty bizarre credentials. If Wisconsin was ranked #19 last week, and lost to the #1 ranked team, should they lose spots in the rankings? Absolutely not, because it makes perfect sense for the #19 team to lose to #1...unless the people doing the rankings are idiots. I think the #19 team should lose to the #1 team without being punished.
You can draw all the pictures you want, but rankings still won't mean anything.
KU #1? That is almost as silly as when OSU was #1. Kansas is undefeated right now for three reasons: 1.) They are a pretty good football team, 2.) Their non-conference schedule was laughable, and 3.) Through a scheduling anomaly the three teams they miss in the Big 12 this year are Oklahoma, Texas, and Texas Tech. I agree with many of the above posters, that IF Kansas proves themselves against Mizzou and Oklahoma they should indeed play for the national championship. As of right now however, they have defeated two teams with winning records; Texas A&M (losers of 4 of their last 5 games) and Central Michigan. That kind of resume does not deserve a #1 ranking. I'm sorry, but if you award a team for going undefeated against a weak schedule (Kansas, OSU, Hawaii) you are essentially encouraging teams to have the easiest possible schedules instead os scheduling challenging games. Isn't this counter-intuitive? Shoudn't a great team want to play other good teams? Why should they though, if OSU and Kansas get a greater reward for beating I-AA and MAC teams? As of right now, Oregon and LSU should be the top two. Their resumes speak for themselves. Oregon has victories over Michigan, USC, and Arizona State. LSU has victories over Auburn, Florida, and Virginia Tech. I would take any of those six victories over anything Kansas has done. Wake me up when they beat somebody.
one thing that seems apparent now is that after all the posturing and complaining, it seems very likely that we're going to get it right in the national title game. there are now enough chances for various teams to prove themselves as well as lose that it's very likely that most people (but never all!) will feel good about whoever ends up in the title game.
1-9 Duke vs. 1-9 Notre Dame. Yes! I can't wait. OK. I won't watch it but I will read about it later.
While the game itself may be pathetic, the symbolism is very rich! I consider Duke to be the "Notre Dame" of college basketball. These teams are symbols of their respective sports: lucky, legendary, and both are at the same time universally admired and despised.
People like to call this CFB season the "year of the upset" but have how about the "year of the basketball U's"? They have out-shined football U's in football. As evidence, please see the new-found, though modest, respect for Kansas & Kentucky (2 of top-3 winningest Div 1 programs) and UConn (recent NCAA championships and Final Fours). Now contrast that to the disappointing performances of football powers Notre Dame, Michigan, Nebraska (3 of the top-4 winningest teams of all time, all had been relevant to national title races in the past 10 years) and Penn State & Florida State (winningest coaches in 1-A).
The trend seems to be that basketball universities are broadening their focus (and $$) to football and seeing the results. And vice-versa (Ohio State and Texas have made recent inroads in basketball). Florida stands out as having been in the elite group of both sports for many years running. Successful universities are becoming increasingly competitive in mutiple sports.
So I think that Duke vs. Notre Dame will be a contest between two 1-9 teams that not only symbolizes the superficial aspect of this trend (the rise of basketball U.), but also defies the underlying foundation of it (investing in both sports). Both these schools are still pretty much one-trick-ponies, i.e. Duke is still a basketball school and ND is still a football school.
And please remember, I am only analyzing their competetiveness in the two major college team sports. Other sports bring additional dimension to the picture of sports hegemony (baseball, women's volleyball & basketball, track & field, swimming) to where I would call the most well-rounded sports programs: Florida, Texas & Stanford (in no particular order).
PS. We should keep in perspective that the whole point of a university is not to be the "Mecca of sports" but rather the "Mecca of learning" and this is all supposed to be fun & games and a distraction from the real world.
for mjd - You are right that Kans has a lot of company in scheduling poor competition. But Cal, TN, Va Tech, LSU and a few others have at least one respectable non-conf game. Fla/FSU & USC/Nebr are not so great, but are better than the OSU/Wash game. I don't believe OSU should be punished for only playing Wash. But I don't think they should be rewarded either. When you try to schedule one good game, and it goes south, like with Wash, you don't get sympathy votes in the poll because of bad luck. Schools with quality wins still get voter higher than schools with none. That means you schedule at least two good prospects, as Aub and USC did, and give your fans some good games to cheer about. Two seasons ago all the excitement to start the season was OSU/Texas. That excitement was gone this season for both teams. Earlier this season it was Va Tech/LSU, but that excitement will be gone next season as LSU plays a Kans-type powderpuff non-conf schedule. I think fans should be complaining, not trying to claim that schedules were made ten years ago and Kans could not have known that Cen Fla, SE LA, Toledo & FIU would be weak. What is weak is that claim.
Looking at the first week's AP poll this season: USC was number 1, Michigan was ranked in the top 5, and Louisville was ranked in the top 10. Kansas and Missouri were unranked. In the middle of the season at various points, Rutgers reached the top 10, South Florida was number 2, and California was number 3. This brings up 3 questions: 1) how good were the early polls, 2) why should we believe the current polls are any more accurate, and 3) why would anyone consider the BCS, which counts polls as 2/3 of the consideration for a championship match-up, to be legitimate?
Hmm seems to me if OU fields a punt they remain unbeaten.....
Really we should all be realistic it takes a hell of alot of work to go unbeaten in college football. If Kansas is unbeaten in a major BCS conference seems to me they should be ranked clearly #1.
I completely understand all the arguments against their schedule, however they have played the schedule and won every game thus far which only Hawaii has done also.
But hey who am I? I say if UT shows up to play against K-State and Jamal Charles doesn't have a fumble UT is undeafeated. So let's keep it fair and bolt them to the top of the polls where we all know they should belong as long as we're making excuses for all these teams with a loss in their record!
Big10 has one 10-1 team. Four 8-3 teams, one 7-4 team and four 6 win teams.
The SEC has one 9 win, one 8 win, four 7 win, and four 6 win teams.
Just one of those things that make you go "hmmmmmm"
Stewart I think you might have been in the minority of "America" who didn't want to see tOSU in the championship game. Frankly I scoff at your pure disdain for the program, you haven't given them any props at all this year, and now when they lose you pile on. Thats a 15 yard penalty by the way.
All of this SEC love is going to make me vomit, aside from the fact that the team I like is 1-9. Yes that team.
The bias that occurs is really unreal, since if you lose in the SEC its considered a "good" loss. However god forbid you lose in the Big10 you sink like a stone.
Either way we are headed to a LSU, Oregon showdown anything else would be a travesty of justice, and that includes Kansas.
Bowl Predictions: NC- LSU vs Oregon Rose OSU vs USC Fiesta Kans vs Hawaii Sugar UGA vs OU Orange Clem vs WVA
I get sick of hearing, well my conference has 'x' number of rated teams so my conference is the best (yes I'm talking about you SEC fans). The ratings are based on perception. Football is a game of matchups. There is no such thing as a #1 team or a #10 team, it's a tiered system where you may have ten or fifteen teams that are all relatively equal. The only difference is the matchup for that week. That's why more than ever, we need a playoff. Quit using exams and missed class as an excuse D-IA presidents. A sixteen team playoff doesn't seem to hurt D-IAA, D-II, or D-III.
Check the Big 12 Standings. KU has not even played a team that has a winning Big 12 Conference record. How is that even possible? Mangino scheduled 4 wins to start the year in part to save his job, and knowing he wasn't playing UT, OU, or Texas Tech, has taken advantage of what has to be the easiest schedule in football history. They will end up playing a single team with a winning record in the Big 12, Missouri.
Kansas may play a lot of four-loss teams... but at least they beat them.
Oregon lost to a 6-4 Cal team. Oklahoma lost to a 5-5 Colorado team. LSU lost to a 7-3 Kentucky team that has yet to face Georgia or Tennessee.
This criticism of Kansas is all about preconceived notions. If this same resume was held by a Big 12 team with a red N or a burnt orange longhorn head on its helmet, they'd be undisputed #1, with all the pundits raving at their efficiency.
In fact, if a glamorous Big Ten team played a laughable non-conference schedule and then 4 of the 5 weakest teams in a league with an embarrassing non-conference record, they'd easily get to number one... at least until they lose to Illinois.
For lnghrn4life - Should Kansas and Hawaii both go undefeated I hope they end up in the Fiesta bowl playing each other. You enjoy that thrilling game between two great champions. I will watch something else. BTW I assume you are a Texas fan. I would love to see both Kansas & Hawaii play Texas, who you believe ranks lower than they do. Naturally I would enjoy placing large bets for Tx while you put your money where your mouth is an support Hawaii & Kansas.
If Reggie Smith fields a punt........Oklahoma probably beats Colorodo.
If LSU makes that 4th down run......they might beat Kentucky.
If WVU doesn't turn the ball over 7 times against South Florida.......???
Kansas IS undefeated. If they beat 2 top 5 teams in the next three games, which they probbly won't, and dont get their shot at the big game, it will just be another case of the sportswriters and coaches voting for the two most popular teams to play for the title.
Without a playoff, big time college football is a joke. Every other sport and every other division plays it out on the field, court, etc.....
Great discussion. I remember listening to the inputs comparing conference/non-conference schedules, difficulty of opponents, winning margin, etc. just as the "BCS" idea came to the fore in the mid-90s. I also remember Tom Osborne always answering the questions and the rankings by saying "let's just see how things shake out." That's the solution - when they're all played we'll know the answer. Don't worry too much about rankings, even now, back your team and let the chips fall. Good luck to all the teams...
for everettm1 - One sportswriter has already said the obvious. If Kansas gets to the championship with it non-conf schedule of powderpuffs it will only encourage other teams not to risk the OSU/Tex, Va Tech/LSU games. Evaluating who is best is difficult but some want to eliminate the thinking by saying a zero loss team is better than one with one loss. We can do better than that. If three teams go undefeated put their names in a hat and draw the two to play in the NC. If only one team is undefeated place the names of all one loss teams in a hat and repeat the process. No thinking, no bias. Fair to all but those who think the word champion should stand for something more. Take a moment to review the current Utah schedule. Whoever at Utah arranged that schedule was a winner before the season even began and still is. Likewise whoever arranged the Hawaii schedule was a loser no matter how the season goes. Sure I know. When Hawaii thought it might have a decent team it tried but failed to get Mich at the last minute. If that is not a true champion attitude I don't know what is. Right?
KU, congratulations. I respect any BIG 12 that has shown up this year, Jayhawks, Tigers and even ut. KU/MU should be a classic in K.C. Both teams do not like each other, the winner should play OU in the Big 12 title game. I am not overlooking Tech in Lubbock and OSU. We need UT to lose at least one more conference game, so go A&M in two weeks. I cant stand Oregon, who needed ref help to beat us, but I am not bitter. In fact, I want a rematch for the Title game and show how the BIG 12 will lay a smackdown on the Pac-10. If OU does not make it, then Ill pull for Mizzou. LSU is a good team in a great conference, but they will not beat Georgia. UGA is on a mission and may end up playing in a BCS game. Good Luck everyone
If Kansas can beat Missouri and Oklahoma, they deserve to play in the BCS game. Sure, Oregon and LSU are probably better. And, yes, this is an argument to schedule powder puffs for your non-conference games. Unfortunately, even that can come back to haunt you. Just ask Auburn how they got left out of the championship game despite an undefeated season. And to all you SEC-haters, well, you may be right. We can always argue the SEC is so tough, it's hard to get thru with zero or one loss. But if you do lose a couple, you can't say you're dominant. With only LSU with one loss, I have to say the SEC is no more dominant than the Big 12 or the PAC 10 this year. Let's discuss this the second week in January, shall we, after 8-11 SEC teams have played bowl games. I think this "best conference" argument is at a peak because we certainly did fear another undefeated and untested OSU team was going to play in the national championship and get blown out by LSU, Oregon or (insert Big 10 team here). I agree with Stewart, thank goodenss, it's not going to happen. Unfortunately, I think a very good one loss team is still gonna get screwed!
To Hank and everyone else out there, get off of KU's schedule PLEASE!! Yes it wasn't that good of a non-con schedule, FIU and SE Louisiana were rollovers, but the other two games did have some meaning to this team. Central Michigan was a 10 win team last year and has one of the best quarterbacks in America in LaFavour. Toledo, yes I know they aren't very good, but this was a payback game for KU. They beat us last year at their place, so we were returning the favor. Also how are you going to criticize a team over their conference schedule? You know good and well that KU does not make their conference schedule and you're going to ridicule them for the hand they were dealt? Are you kidding me? When it first came out this was going to be a pretty tough schedule. Going to Colorado (a place KU hadn't won in 15 or 20 years), to Manhattan (where they ever rarely win and when they do it's like an eclipse), Kyle Field (which is one of the toughest place in the nation to play when they have a decent coach) and Boone Pickens (which might be one of the loudest places ever other than Ann Arbor). Oh and by the way they won at all those places. If you ask alot of people they will be thoroughly impressed at the feat. PLEASE do not fault this team over the scheduling the conference did because every two years we switch Big XII South competition. Also for all you Tigger fans out there who think the KU/MU game is going to be a rollover you had better shut your mouths because it might come back to bite you in the butt. If KU does win the game I sure hope you guys will give them their due because knowing you people ya'll try and find some excuse to why ya'll lost (the refs, injuries, site of the game). Whatever the excuse will be creative because some of them are getting pretty old. You guys just can't except the fact that KU is having a good year in football and that we could be taking this away from you just like we took basketball. Good luck next weekend IN Mahattan. Hope you don't go out with your tails between your legs.
I'm a Sooners fan, but someone on here at one point suggested they had played a decent non-con schedule. That's ridiculous: they played North Texas and Utah State, two of the absolute rock-bottom teams in the league this year, and Miami, who's sitting at .500 and just got shutout by 50 points. The only decent non-con team they played was Tulsa, which is hardly a high-profile win.
OU's high ranking comes solely from its wins over Texas and Missouri. If Kansas wins out, they'll have a very similar quality-win resume. It would be unconscionable to deny them a title shot after that, considering that an undefeated OU team would be unquestioned at #1 right now.
I think any team that wins out from here in the Big 12 should probably get a shot. But unless Oregon or LSU lose again, or if Ohio State pulls it out against Michigan, we're going to wind up (again) with 3-4 teams making solid cases for the championship game. Since the BCS came around, it seems to be the common case that an obvious top-tier of 3-4 teams ends up forming. A full 16-team playoff seems a little overblown, but an 8- or 4-team playoff might be enough to make everyone happy.
Two years ago, if you were the athletic director of say Central Michigan, FIU, Toledo, or SE Louisanna, you would probably have thought, "Were are going to have a tough schedule, but at least we have a good chance get a win vs KU."
BTW, why did LSU wait play L. Tech this week. Need a break from all those last minute wins?
Should there be a playoff? Then we wouldn't have all this to banter about.
Is the SEC really all that? Why do we assume that LSU sqeeking out wins over everyone means the league is tough? Sure, a there are a lot of good teams but how good really? Tenn is still in contention and got pummeled by Cal. MSU keeps beating supposed powerful teams and got mauled by WV, so maybe the Big East is really better.
Of course, didn't Virginia beat UConn? The same Virginia that is kicking tail in the ACC and lost, at home, to Wyoming 23-3, a team lost to Utah last night 50-0. And Utah lost to UNLV badly.
And, okay, Kansas hangs on to edge OSU, in the mighty Big 12. But OSU got slaughtered by Troy--do any of you even know where this school is? And Colorado just lost to Iowa St, a team that lost to both Kent St and Northern Iowa. So how good could Oklahoma possibly be? And Arizona St made Colorado look like a high school team.
So maybe Pac 10 is best. I mean, Oregon went into Michigan and made a laughing stock out of the Big 10, stating "we could have scored 60 if we wanted." But Oregon lost to Cal. Okay, but Cal was #2 back then, proving themselves by scoring at will on one of those "fast" SEC defenses. But Cal lost to UCLA. And UCLA lost to Notre Dame, arguably the worst team in the country.
So, really how do we know Hawaii plays such a terrible schedule?
to clear the air.... both virginia and virginia tech only have one loss in the ACC... in his scenario Miami would still be in the hunt but they aren't. the winner of the VT/Virginia game goes to the ACC championship
I don't ridicule Kansas for its schedule. I do laugh at those who say that schedule should not be a factor in the voting and that all that counts is finding a way to win, even against powderpuffs. And I laugh when people say schedules are made up years in advance and can't be changed. Three teams move to the ACC and start playing ACC schedules. Three teams replace them in the Big East and start playing Big East schedules. I would think any true fan would cheer if OSU & Fla had cancelled powderpuffs in Week 1 or 2 and played each other this season. The money gained from advertising would easily have paid penalty fees to the pps and put even more money in Fla/OSU pockets. Ditto a Mich/USC rematch and ditto some PN St/Wisc /SEC re-matches from the bowls. That's excitement in my thinking, but no, I just read that Kans playing Cen Mich and Toledo had everything. If Kans fans support that statement it is no wonder they have been small so long because the thinking is small.
Given how the season has gone, Kansas fans should be HAPPY they're not in the top 2 this week. It will make their team hungrier and they won't be as susceptible to the #1-2 curse that has afflicted everyone else this year. I'm looking for Oregon to rest on its laurels and get shocked on Thursday at Arizona. Of course, now that I've said it, Oregon will blow out the Wildcats 50-3.
This season has been so crazy that I half expect the national title game to be Arizona State v West Virginia. Which could happen if Iowa State beats Kansas (LSU and Oregon also lose), then Kansas beats Missouri and Oklahoma to win the Big 12 but not enough to get back in the top 2.
Thanks Illinois and the Badgers! OSU and Michigan are over rated and finally it showed Saturday. Kansas should be #2 today but they won't finish unbeaten this season, neither will Hawaii because the Boise Broncos are going to win. As to Duke-ND doubt anybody other than ND alumni cares about 1-9 teams. ND is the laughing stock of the country after all.
I understand that LSU had a brutal middle of the season schedule, but I have to say I think KU deserves the #1 spot right now. I have no ]team or conference affiliation (I went to an NAIA school), so I believe I'm more unbiased than most. I've seen LSU play, and I'm impressed but not overwhelmed. As a coach's son, I'm very underwhelmed by Les Miles and think he'll get them beat before long (maybe at the SEC championship). KU is unbeaten and in a major BCS conference. If they're really not legit, Mizzou or Oklahoma should expose them and they can make the downward trip that USF, BC, and other pretenders have made. But, a 13-0 BCS team that doesn't make the championship game because they started off the season unranked? It shouldn't be a remote possibility in a year when no one else from a BCS conference is undefeated. And, how much is LSU, Oregon, or some other school going to resent getting dropped out of the championship game at the 11th hour like Michigan did last year? Give KU their chance at #1, and let someone prove that they DON'T belong on the field.
I think we should all remember that the Cal team Oregon lost to was not the same Cal team that we've seen play since playing Oregon. Key injuries have changed that team. Plus, Oregon lost on a last second fluke play. I'm not sure why everyone makes a big deal about KU beating a bad Oklahoma State team...is that really their defining win?
Why do you waste time talking about who has a better schedule. Wait until the BCS Championship game to find out who is the best, but even then someone will be crying about how their schedule was better than those who are playing for the title. if you look at each schedule each school has played atleast 3 soft teams LSU included.
No, Kans beating Ok St was not their defining win. A Kansas fan reminded us all that Toledo beat Kansas last year and thus became one of those special games this year. Mich circled OSU to start the season, OK circled Tx, Fla circled LSU, and Kansas circled, uh wait a minute, oh yeah, Toledo. Next year you watch. If Mich plays Appal St they won't be circling OSU, but Ap St. And SEC fans may not admit it but even they will be glued in their seats for that rematch.
Why is everyone talking about LSU playing and possible losing to UGA in the SEC title game? It isn't even for sure that UGA is going to play. Tennessee controls its own destiny right now, having beaten Georgia and holding the tiebreaker. Georgia is only technically in first place because they've played another conference game. Now, I'm not saying that Tenn. will win out, but I think their chances are good. They have Vandy and Kentucky left, and I think Phillip Fulmer enjoys his job too much to let either game slip through the cracks.
I'm really interested to watch it all play out. A lot of people are criticizing LSU/Oregon for having tought mid-season games and easy ends. But is it really better to go all season and play unranked teams, then have your last two be enough to vault you ahead of people who were consistently tested all season? I don't know.
As for Kansas not getting the respect OU or UT would get...I think that's wrong. If OU or UT had gone all season not playing the three toughest teams besides themselves in the conference, I for one would be just as skeptical, and I think most would agree. It would be the same as Ohio State. That's a huge-name, very talented team, and people still only ranked them first grudgingly.
In a wacky season such as this one, I'll give credit to any team that has somehow managed to remain undefeated, but in terms of rankings ... come on, let's be serious here:
Kansas non-conference schedule: Central Michigan, SE Louisiana, Toledo, Florida International. With EVERY ONE of those games at home.
Oregon non-conference schedule: Houston, Michigan, Fresno State. With the Michigan game on the road.
Kansas wins over teams in the BCS top 25: none.
Oregon wins over teams in the BCS top 25: THREE. Arizona State, Michigan, USC.
There's a lot of football left to play, obviously, and this has been the strangest (and most exciting) season in the history of the sport, so I'm not going to get too worked up right now. Hell, a West Virginia-Missouri matchup in the title game really wouldn't surprise me that much.
But if Kansas is somehow No. 1 or 2 in the BCS standings that are coming out in a few hours, then I'm going to be really worried about the state of the game itself over the next few seasons. Why? Because the message will be obvious: the schedule DOESN'T matter, so it's in everyone's best interest to schedule as softly as possible.
This was already the worst season ever in terms of interesting intersectional games ... beyond Cal-Tennessee, Michigan-Oregon, and LSU-Virginia Tech, there just wasn't a lot out there. But there will be no interesting games five years from now if Kansas is rewarded for its schedule this year. The coaches and ADs are too smart not to recognize the obvious: why take a chance on a road game at Michigan when a home win over the Nevada Girls School for the Deaf means exactly the same thing?
and by the way - let's put our money where our mouth is - rank KU #1 and if they stay, keep 'em - if they lose, boot 'em. Why wait and promise to move them up IF they win? Just to hope that you don't ever have to decide? Gut check, people.
Let me get this straight. Central Michigan is winning their conference. Kansas beat Colorado on the same field Oklahoma lost and Kansas plays 2 of the top 5 BCS ranked teams in the country.
By the way you idiots... Kansas does not control conference scheduling. Furthermore, Kansas plays one of the top 3 Big XII teams. They play Missouri on a neutral field. Texas is not a top 3 Big XII team. They were smoked by Kansas St., which, by the way Kansas beat at Kansas St. Using all of your fuzzy logic, Kansas smokes Texas, which just smoked Texas Tech. The three best teams in the Big XII are Oklahoma, Missouri, and Kansas. Missouri will play both. Kansas will play at minimum, one.
The non-conference schedule was better than some SEC teams. Yes it was weak, that is how you build confidence in a traditionally weaker program. But give me a break. They beat Oklahoma St. at OSU, they beat Colorado at Colorado, they beat Kansas St. at Kansas St., and they beat Texas AM at AM. Oh, and by the way, that is the same Kansas St. team that gave Auburn fits at Auburn, which subsequently beat Florida, which should have beaten LSU if not for ridiculous coaching.
So all this rederict is just hillarious. I can deduce and justify Kansas as number 1 easy. They have not lost. They have done what they are supposed to do. If you guys want to argue numbers, I will argue back, because it is a stupid system. Oh, if Kansas beats Missouri, and Missouri beat Illinois at Illinois, and Illinois beat Ohio St. at Ohio St., where are we then?
I mean my God, give Kansas, Missouri, and OU their due. They all smacked their out of conference opponents like rag dolls. Just like they were supposed to do.
For Richard - Kansas smoking its non-conf opponents like rag dolls was the best description of those opponents I have seen. In a perfect world Kansas would play Tx next week and I would get the chance to see just how much confidence you have in Kansas, money wise. Kansas is trying to build confidence in itself by playing those rag dolls, as you say, but I look for more when a team presents what it calls a resume worthy of the NC game. God help us when playing with dolls is a worthy accomplishment.
Interesting year. If Kansas wins out, what are people going to say? They beat two top 12 teams (taking into account ranking drops after loses). So the weak schedule isn't there anymore. They beat top teams. And they beat everyone else. Something LSU and Oregon can't say they did. So will people jump them up? Doubtful when you consider the machine like voting of the pollsters. When people say they will move them up afterwards is a cowards way out. They hope they are going to lose one of those and not have to make the hard decision.
And to say it would make people schedule more powderpuffs if you reward Kansas, that is idiotic. Who is LSU playing next year? Florida next year. All top teams do is schedule one major opponent and then powderpuffs. Thats one game diference between Kansas ooc and everyone else. And that 1 strong ooc game can turn on you. Ask OSU (Washington) or OU (Miami) or USC (Nebraska). And on top of that, conference schedule is rarely as friendly to the major 6 as it was to Kansas this year.
And scheduling conference games and ooc games are vastly different things. I am with you and would like them to schedule more quality ooc, but to say they should do it months in advance is impossible. That would take a giant shift by all of cfb in scheduling.
As a Kansas student, I really could care less what all of you think of who our team has played and where they deserve to be ranked. The fact of the matter is that they are ranked, they earned it, and neither they nor their fans care what any of you think about it. I thank God every day that I could be in Lawrence this year to see the town the way it is right now. Everyone is smiling from ear to ear every day, and I've never seen our students look prouder, and we're a campus that takes a great deal of pride in itself. As far as the OOC questions go though, when I got here, finishing with 7 wins was an awesome season, what then would compel a football program with that recent history to go scheduling games against Michigan and USC? That's just ridiculous. Papa 'Gino and Big Lew did what they could to help this band of outcasts gain confidence in themselves and each other and in turn they've taken that message to heart and are playing the game in a way that all Jayhawks can take pride in: they play hard, they play smart, and they play together. This season is already a victory for the crimson and blue and it will be a long, long while before the memories of this year leave me. That being said, it will be all the sweeter when we march past Mizzou and Oklahoma to the national title game. I love my Jayhawks, and I will always be thankful to this team for the fun I've had this year with my friends and fellow students at our gorgeous university. ROCK CHALK JAYHAWK!