Dallas Colleges: Kain Colter

Big 12 stock report: Week 5

September, 26, 2012
Acid tests! Balance sheets! Gross profits! Share capital!

Oh, that's right, I found a financial glossary and hit the motherload of terms I can throw around with little context or meaning. Which I just did.

Now, it's time to provide a few things across the Big 12 with context and meaning, but also with wildly fluctuating stock prices.

Rising: Bryce Hager

[+] EnlargeBryce Hager
Jerome Miron/US PresswireKeep an eye on Baylor LB Bryce Hager, as he's been a star through four weeks this season.
Baylor's new middle linebacker has quietly been one of the Big 12's breakout stars through nonconference play. The sophomore Austin, Texas native leads the Big 12 with 39 tackles in just three games, including 15 in last week's win over Louisiana-Monroe and a game-high 14 in the Bears' season-opening win over SMU. Hager, a 6-foot-1, 235-pound first-year starter has slid into a big role in the middle of the Bears' defense replacing stalwart Elliot Coffey.

Falling: Oklahoma's home prowess

You saw the history-making win on Saturday night when Kansas State became the first ranked team to beat Oklahoma in Norman under Bob Stoops. But could we be seeing the official end of a trend? Oklahoma lost two games in Stoops' first 75 games at Owen Field. After last week, the Sooners have lost two of their last five games at home, and one of those wins came over FCS Florida A&M. Oklahoma needs to flex a little at home late this season, or else that Owen Field mystique will officially be gone.

Rising: Kansas' strength of schedule

Jeff Sagarin's ratings are one of a handful of computer rankings that factor into the BCS rankings, and schedule strength is a big part of his rating. So far, Kansas has played the toughest schedule in the entire Big 12 by a long, long way. The Jayhawks, despite playing FCS South Dakota State, have the nation's No. 51 schedule. TCU has been the Jayhawks' toughest opponent to date, but KU also lined up against Rice and Northern Illinois, losing both games. The Big 12's next-toughest schedule? Kansas State, at No. 81. Those numbers will be rising soon as Big 12 play hits its full stride, but the numbers tell us what we already know: The Big 12's nonconference schedule is all kinds of sorry.

Falling: Texas Tech's strength of schedule

The worst offender for that schedule? Texas Tech. The Red Raiders travel to Iowa State this weekend after taking care of a rather scrumptious platter of nonconference cupcakes. Tech easily dispatched Northwestern State, Texas State and New Mexico before last week's bye, and Sagarin's ratings say that's the nation's 164th-toughest schedule. That's especially eyepopping considering there are only 124 FBS teams. Still, Tech's apparently been impressive enough in those games to be sitting at 18th in Sagarin's ratings, one spot ahead of West Virginia. That's what happens when you lead the nation in total defense and sit at No. 2 overall in total offense.

Rising: Nick Florence

Had enough of Florence's big plays yet? Get used to it. Florence has 11 completions longer than 30 yards this season, and he's done it in just three games. Only Arkansas' Tyler Wilson has thrown more, and Florence has two more than the next-best in the Big 12: West Virginia's Geno Smith.

Falling: The Big 12's 'No Interception' pool

There are officially only two quarterbacks left in the Big 12 pool: West Virginia's Geno Smith and Texas' David Ash. TCU's Casey Pachall threw his first interception of the season against Virginia last week, but get this stat: Smith, Ash and Pachall are the nation's three leaders in passer rating. The Big 12 continues to be the place where quarterbacks come to play. The Big 12 has two quarterbacks left in the pool, but there are only 14 starting quarterbacks left in college football who haven't thrown an interception. Outside the Big 12, only four of those are from BCS conference teams (Johnny Manziel, Texas A&M; Kain Colter, Northwestern; Cameron Coffman, Indiana; AJ McCarron, Alabama)

Instant analysis: Texas A&M 33, NU 22

December, 31, 2011

After a rough season that included the death of teammate Joey Villavisencio last week and the firing of coach Mike Sherman, the Aggies got a bowl win. It's been an emotional year at Texas A&M, but it will end in fine fashion with a good win over Northwestern.

The Aggies did it without top rusher Cyrus Gray, too. Gray missed his second consecutive game and the final game of his career with a stress fracture in his shoulder that he suffered early in a win over Kansas.

Here's some instant analysis.

How the game was won: Texas A&M was the better team and proved it for the first three quarters, but like we've seen all year, the team swooned in the second half. This time it came in the fourth quarter. The Aggies survived via two huge third-down catches from Uzoma Nwachukwu and Jeff Fuller to keep the ball out of Northwestern's hands in the final minutes. This season, the Aggies blew leads of 18 (Arkansas), 17 (Oklahoma State), 14 (Missouri), 13 (Texas) and 10 (Kansas State). They avoided a sixth loss in extravagant fashion this season with a clutch late drive to close out the Wildcats.

Turning point: Trailing 7-3, Texas A&M scored on its final three drives of the first half, highlighted by a vertical, 26-yard touchdown catch by Jeff Fuller from Ryan Tannehill. The Aggies took control and the Wildcats weren't able to get within realistic reach the rest of the game. The Aggies scored the first 10 points of the second half for a 30-7 lead.

Player of the game: A&M receiver Ryan Swope. Swope continued his tear this season with eight catches for 105 yards and broke a few tackles on a 37-yard catch-and-run to set up an early touchdown that put the Aggies ahead for good. Fuller had a huge catch late to seal the game, but Swope kept the A&M offense humming in the first half while it built the big lead.

Unsung hero: Northwestern quarterback Kain Colter. He spelled what looked like a gimpy Dan Persa and ran for 65 yards and a touchdown in a nice performance.

What it means: One epic bowl losing streak ended while another lives on. Northwestern had lost five bowl games going back to 1949 and made it a sixth. Texas A&M ended its eight-game bowl losing streak dating back to 2001. The Northwestern streak was represented on the sidelines by a monkey wearing a No. 63 jersey, the number of years since the Wildcats won a bowl.

Well wishes: Coryell Judie. The Aggies' kick returner and cornerback finally returned to full health against Texas on Thanksgiving after missing a handful of games with a hamstring injury. However, he suffered a fractured wrist during his final collegiate game. It's a rough break for a huge talent, but he'll hear his name called next April in the NFL draft.

Record performance: With his first field goal midway through the first quarter, kicker Randy Bullock broke Texas A&M's single-season scoring record set back in 1927. The Lou Groza Award winner surpassed Joel Hunt's record of 128 points and finished the season with 139 points after making three field goals and three extra points on Saturday.