The Big 12 is looking to expand and Jim Harbaugh’s Michigan Wolverines are a prime candidate for the league. Questions abound as to whether this would cause enough damage to Ohio State, Texas’ biggest rival in college football. This article will explore these questions and more, such as how Tom Herman has fared at Texas since joining the Longhorns (3-1 vs 3-2)
The “top 25 college football” is a ranking of the top 25 teams in college football. The rankings are based on a combination of polls and computer formulas.
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We’re 11 weeks into the NCAA football season, and only Georgia, Cincinnati, and UTSA remain unblemished.
This is exactly what we all expected at the start of the year.
On Saturday, Michigan defeated Penn State, Oklahoma’s quest for perfection was shattered by Baylor, a game-winning 62-yard field goal was kicked, and a crazy overtime game between Texas and Kansas finished with a spectacular two-point convert.
Overall, our correspondents decipher Week 11 and what comes next.
Steve Sarkisian requires immediate responses.
Steve Sarkisian’s Longhorns have been outscored 198-131 since building a 28-7 first-quarter lead against Oklahoma in October. Chuck Burton/AP Photo
The Texas-Oklahoma rivalry has a history of producing legends and defining coaches’ legacies. Texas led 38-20 at halftime in this year’s edition, as we all know, and Longhorns supporters were enjoying their new coach’s entrance on the scene.
Thirty-eight days later, Texas appeared to be on the verge of a freefall. Oklahoma came back to win, the first of four games in which Steve Sarkisian’s team has trailed at halftime. On Saturday, the Longhorns added a fresh historic footnote to their five-game losing streak, their longest since 1956, the year before Darrell Royal was hired, when they became the first Big 12 team to lose at home to Kansas since 2008. That’s not the legacy Sarkisian had in mind when he came in Austin in July and said, “We’ve got a team that is more than capable of competing at a high level.”
The first few months of a season are seldom predictable. In his first year at Alabama, Nick Saban went 7-6, falling to a 6-6 UL Monroe squad. Saban, on the other hand, has a track record, having won a national title at LSU. Unfortunately, Sarkisian does as well. In his first season at Washington, he finished 5-7, but he was taking over a squad that had gone 0-12 the year before, so there was reason for hope. Sarkisian has never lost less than four games in a complete season as the head coach of Washington or USC since then. Last season, Texas was dismissed after losing three games by a total of 13 points.
The Longhorns are rewriting history in the worst way. They were 79-0 as a favorite of at least 24 points since 1978 (Kansas was 0-100 as a 24-point underdog over the same time period), but the 31-point underdogs won in Austin. There’s also the soap opera component to consider: Off the field, there have been recent rumors about an assistant coach’s pet monkey, a starting wide receiver’s disagreement with Sarkisian and eventual departure, and players sharing footage of enraged coaches.
Texas has unquestionably reached rock bottom. This is a school that despises being humiliated. And it is right now. Dave Wilson is an author.
Oklahoma State defeated TCU by 46 points for their third consecutive win as the Cowboys chase the Big 12 championship. Brody Schmidt/AP Photo
Let’s perform a quick résumé comparison blind:
Team A is 9-1, with a 5-1 record (with a 12.2 point-per-game margin) versus FPI top-50 opponents and three victories against teams ranked at the time of the game. Its lone defeat came by three points on the road against a preseason AP top-10 squad. Its ESPN Strength of Record is ranked sixth in the country.
Team B is 9-1, with four wins over FPI top-50 opponents (averaging 10.6 points per game) and one victory against a team ranked at the time of the game. Its lone defeat came at home against a preseason AP top-10 team by seven points. Its ESPN Strength of Record is ranked ninth in the country.
So, which team would you have put higher on your list?
Most people would probably choose Team A, albeit it’s a tight call. However, when it comes to the AP poll, coaches’ poll, and, most likely, the College Football Playoff committee’s rating, Team B will be well ahead.
This has a lot to do with the things that we, as voters, viewers, and commentators, are most likely to notice. Oklahoma State is on Team A, while Ohio State is on Team B.
The Buckeyes seem to be quite impressive since they consistently score a lot of points. However, when playing excellent teams, their margin of victory is smaller than Oklahoma State’s. They’ve won by an average of 42 points per game against opponents like Rutgers, Akron, and Maryland. The Cowboys, on the other hand, blasted away TCU on Saturday but lost tight games to Tulsa and Boise State in September, bolstering the idea that they have been more fortunate than excellent.
We also tend to value offense above defense as a criterion for success, and no one outperforms Ohio State in this regard. The Buckeyes have the best offensive EPA in the country. Ohio State, on the other hand, is marginally better than the FBS average on defense. Oklahoma State, on the other side, boasts one of the top defenses in the country, having held every opponent to 24 points or less (Georgia is the only other team to do that). It’s the polar opposite of the Mike Gundy teams we’ve seen in the past, but that doesn’t mean it’s any less skilled.
None of this should be construed as a knock on Ohio State, which seems to be a very talented squad, maybe one of the few capable of actually challenging Georgia. However, we must equally evaluate the Cowboys’ achievements if we are to comprehend the Buckeyes’ potential. Only Georgia, Alabama, and Notre Dame have won more games against FPI top-50 teams through 11 weeks, and only Georgia has won more games against teams ranked at the time of the game.
Let’s not forget about Oklahoma State. The Cowboys aren’t winning in the manner we may have hoped, but they are winning, and they belong in the postseason discussion right now. They should be seriously considered for the top four spots on the committee. ‘David Hale’
Why aren’t more job listings related to Dave Clawson?
At Fordham, Richmond, and Bowling Green, Dave Clawson was a success. He’s now reviving Wake Forest. Getty Images/Grant Halverson
Wake Forest’s 9-0 start in the ACC, which included a 45-42 win over NC State on Saturday, has been the greatest surprise of the season. The Demon Deacons, who are one field goal away from becoming undefeated after a devastating loss to North Carolina, are 6-0 in the Atlantic division and on a collision course with Pitt in the ACC Championship Game.
Clawson, who has a history of establishing contenders at each of his prior locations, is no stranger to reshaping a team’s culture. He accepted his first head coaching position in 1999 at Fordham, where he brought the school from winless to Patriot League champions and a place in the FCS playoffs in 2002. He was also very well with Richmond and Bowling Green.
Now, at Wake Forest, he has instilled plenty of vigor in Winston-Salem, as the Demon Deacons prepare to play in their first conference game since 2006, when they upset Georgia Tech 9-6 to earn their most victories in team history (11). With a win against Clemson next week, they’ll have ten wins and a chance to equal the single-season win record.
This raises the question: why isn’t Clawson’s name tied to more openings with so many teams looking for their next coach? The Demon Deacons have won at least seven games every year since 2016, with the exception of a pandemic-shortened 2020 season. Jordan Reid, author
What happened to Ole Miss’ defense?
Ole Miss has kept five consecutive opponents under 27 points since giving up 51 points against Arkansas. Icon Sportswire/Chris McDill
A year ago, the only time anybody mentioned Ole Miss and defense in the same sentence was to speak about how awful the Rebels’ defense was. Coach Lane Kiffin was less than enthusiastic about Ole Miss’ defense after the Rebels beat Arkansas 52-51 earlier this year.
“We stopped them on one play in the second half, so that’s a nice thing,” Kiffin said after his Rebels surrendered 676 total yards and 37 points in the second half before the Hogs’ game-winning two-point conversion throw flew incomplete.
Since then, Ole Miss’ defense has been one of the best in the SEC, and the No. 10 Rebels (8-2, 4-2 SEC) are on their way to being the first Ole Miss team to win 10 games in a season, with games against Vanderbilt and Mississippi State yet to come.
Ole Miss’ defense has allowed 24 or less points in each of its last four victories, with the 31-26 triumph against Tennessee the week following the Arkansas game demonstrating D.J. Durkin’s defensive prowess.
After the game, Kiffin addressed his teammates in the locker room: “We’ve always stated that if you’re going on the road in a hostile atmosphere, you should bring your run game and your defense. The defense came out strong tonight and helped us win the game.”
Although no one is comparing this Ole Miss defense to some of the best in the SEC, the Rebels are tied for 66th in scoring defense nationally (26.2 points per game). That’s up from 117th place nationwide a year ago (38.3 PPG).
Prior to the season, Kiffin told ESPN that a top-70 ranking in scoring defense would satisfy him, and Durkin and company have delivered. In terms of turnover margin, the Rebels have been quite fortunate. They’re tied for second in the SEC with 19 forced turnovers and are tied for second in the country with a plus-12 rating.
The Ole Miss offense, led by quarterback Matt Corral, has been the team’s heart and soul, but the defense has performed well enough that the Rebels don’t feel like they have to score 40 points every week to win.
That’s a compliment to Durkin and his teammates for taking it on the chin a year ago (and facing some harsh criticism) and rebounding in Year 2 by helping the Rebels put themselves in a position to have a historic season. Chris Low (c)
Kansas is hoping to build on its historic victory.
Until Saturday’s exciting 57-56 overtime win over Texas, Kansas had lost 56 consecutive true road games in the Big 12. Chuck Burton/Associated Press
Lance Leipold had no idea Kansas hadn’t won a Big 12 road game since 2008. Before his team beat Texas in overtime on Saturday, he had no idea. The Jayhawks’ coach had just been a part of this season’s KU campaign and saw no use in looking back.
What Leipold understood was that a club that had dealt with a lot of transition was overdue for a triumph like Saturday’s. Kansas can take the result through the remainder of the season and into 2022, according to Leipold, when the club may fairly anticipate more.
On Sunday, Leipold told ESPN, “We made progress, we felt like we did, but it wasn’t showing up on the scoreboard.” “We’re still a long way off, but if we ever want to play games in December, we need to perform well in November. We’ve been pushing it since the K-State game and will continue to do so.”
Kansas’ historic victory included a number of unexpected performances, the most notable of which was quarterback Jalen Daniels’. The sophomore threw for 202 yards, three touchdowns, and no interceptions on 70% of his throws, while also rushing for 45 yards and a score.
Last autumn, Daniels started six games as a true freshman in a dismal position, despite the fact that he was just 17 years old for his first three starts. Only due of injuries to regular starter Jason Bean and reserve Miles Kendrick did he get the start versus Texas.
“He’s gone through a lot, and he took a lot of knocks last year,” Leipold said. “But he doesn’t flinch, and he plays with great intensity and confidence.” “That certainly piqued our interest. He may flush a terrible play, but he didn’t have many, and he did a lot of nice things for us statistically.”
In a long time, Leipold has been the finest coach to call Kansas home. Those in coaching circles were ecstatic with Kansas’ hiring on April 30th. Leipold is well-versed in both player and program development.
Kansas defeated Texas by passing to Jared Casey, a walk-on designated as a fullback but who is really Kansas’ fifth-string tight end (“since there aren’t many 5-9 tight ends in Power 5 football,” Leipold noted). There are legitimate reasons for KU supporters to be thrilled for the first time in a long time.
“This group has really embraced the structural and procedural changes that we demand,” Leipold added. “We’ve seen a lot of improvements in the tiny things we’ve been doing, but it hasn’t really translated onto the field.” I’m incredibly delighted and proud to see them grasp this and finish a game and find a way to win it late.
“It will also assist to maintain the program’s confidence in what has to be done on a daily and weekly basis.” Adam Rittenberg’s remark
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