NCF Nation: Oklahoma State Sooners
And, perhaps most importantly, Kiper has Floyd being taken 19th overall by the Chicago Bears in his first mock draft, writing:
If the Bears learned anything when Jay Cutler went down this season, it was that the offense wasn't very pretty without him. But Cutler also needs help. Last year, Chicago had to start up front because the offensive line was such a weakness. But as the Bears anticipate getting some healthy bodies back up front to start 2012, they now must find some help for Cutler at wide receiver. The current group has some speed, but he could use a big target, and Floyd can be that guy. He has a big frame, but Floyd actually dropped some weight for the 2011 season, and he managed to look quicker and more explosive in and out of his breaks without giving up much as a physical receiver. He'd be a nice option in this offense and a threat in the red zone.
It's important to note that the mock draft is different from the Big Board in that it factors in the drafting teams' needs and doesn't necessarily rank players in order of skill or potential.
2. Texas needs to upset No. 17 Texas A&M on Thanksgiving night to avoid its first last-place finish in the Big 12 South and keep alive Mack Brown’s streak of 12 seasons, 12 bowls. All of which should serve as a reminder to Oklahoma fans that when the Sooners have a down year, they still win eight games. If Oklahoma wins in Stillwater, Bob Stoops will coach in his eighth Big 12 Championship Game in 12 seasons. His record: 6-1.
3. No one outside of the Sun Belt Conference knows Western Kentucky junior Bobby Rainey. Time to meet him: he’s fourth in rushing average (135.4 yards per game), second with 1,492 yards, and first with 313 rushing attempts. Rainey has gained nearly half (48.4 percent) of the Hilltoppers’ offense. Before you do your non-AQ mocking, consider that Rainey rushed for 159 yards in the opener at Nebraska and had enough left in the tank to carry it 45 times for 248 yards last Saturday against Middle Tennessee.
2. If No. 14 Oklahoma wins at Baylor, and No. 19 Texas A&M loses against No. 8 Nebraska -- in other words, if the BCS standings are accurate -- then the Bedlam game, when the Sooners play at No. 10 Oklahoma State on Nov. 27, will be for the Big 12 South championship. But that’s a bigger if than it may seem. Oklahoma is 1-2 in non-neutral-site road games this year and only 14-10 in the opponent’s stadium over the past six seasons.
3. The Heisman Trophy has never emphasized character in its vote. The Doak Walker Award, however, has done so since its inception 20 years ago. The point is that I’m a lot more inclined to vote Oregon tailback LaMichael James higher on my Heisman ballot than my Walker ballot. That's because James was suspended for one game after he pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor harassment charge stemming from a fight with his former girlfriend. Of the 10 semifinalists, three will go to the ESPN College Football Awards Show in December. I voted James fourth.
STILLWATER, Okla. -- Houston cornerback Jamal Robinson's 26-yard interception return for a touchdown to have clinched a wild upset victory for Houston over No. 5 Oklahoma State.
The Cougars have a 45-35 lead and should be in good shape, considering the Cowboys have to score twice to earn the comeback.
Robinson's interception came after Zac Robinson's pass glanced off the hands of receiver Dez Bryant before falling into the Houston defender's hands.
It marked the fourth turnover of the game for the Cowboys after three earlier fumbles.
They appeared to have momentum after forcing a punt before Robinson's clutch interception.
Even worse for the Cowboys, Bryant has been sidelined with cramps.
Without Bryant and leading rusher Kendall Hunter, it will be difficult for the Cowboys to claim a wild comeback after already charging back from a 17-point deficit earlier in the game.
STILLWATER, Okla. -- Oklahoma State's offensive line is taking control as strong protection has helped the Cowboys reclaim the lead.
Zac Robinson hooked up with Josh Cooper on a 22-yard TD pass that gave the Cowboys a 35-31 lead with 11:22 left in the game.
Robinson exploited the gasping Cougars as he hooked up with three other receivers other than Dez Bryant on the scoring drive.
Houston had taken the lead on the ensuing drive on a short 33-yard, seven-play scoring drive capped by a fourth-down 1-yard scoring plunge by Bryce Beall.
Now, it will be up to the Cowboys' defense to put the game away.
They've played better in the second half, but Houston quarterback Case Keenum has exploited the Cowboys.
Considering the way that both offenses and both defenses are playing, I'm getting the idea that the last team to have the ball might end up winning this wild game.
Posted by ESPN.com’s Graham Watson
Before Houston fans get too excited about the Cougars 24-7 halftime lead over Oklahoma State -- and there’s a lot to be excited about -- remember that the Cougars led the Cowboys in the first half of last year’s contest as well.
Granted, it wasn’t a 17-point lead, but it was still a lead. Houston wasn’t playing nearly this well, but Oklahoma’s dynamic offense got back in the game and ended up outscoring the Cougars 42-21 in the second half.
Houston needs to keep its foot on the gas and keep a nice cushion between itself and the Cowboys. It has to be ready for Oklahoma State’s push and if they can weather it and continue to move the ball the way it did in the first half, this could be a major upset that should put Houston right in the thick of the BCS busting conversation.
Posted by ESPN.com's Tim Griffin
Here are some links to send you hurtling into the Super Weekend -- just like the Nebraska walk-on candidates are doing.
- About 40 Nebraska students showed up before daybreak on Thursday to chase their dreams as walk-on players for the Cornhuskers, Lincoln Journal Star reporter Brian Christopherson writes.
- Is coffee only for the closers? If so, Oklahoma quarterback Sam Bradford might deserve exalted status not just for his play on the field but also for his ability to recruit standout wide receivers, Tulsa World columnist Dave Sittler writes.
- Former Texas players Rashad Bobino, Henry Melton and Chris Ogbonnaya are still smarting from their BCS title game snub, the El Paso Times' Bret Bloomquist writes. All are in El Paso this week for Saturday's Texas vs. the Nation All-Star Game.
- The Tulsa World's Guerin Emig wonders where's the angst among Oklahoma fans after the Sooners' BCS title game loss to Florida?
- Georgia-Oklahoma State and Oklahoma-Miami make John Walters' list of 2009's five most intriguing nonconference games.
- Topeka Capital-Journal beat writer Austin Meek suggests a thorough examination of Kansas State president Jon Wefald's tenure. While some of his recent athletic decisions have been blasted, Meek still remembers Wefald's passion as a guest lecturer in his freshman history class.
Posted by ESPN.com's Ted Miller
No changes from last week.
1. USC -- Help me out here: Who does USC play this weekend? Ohio State? Wow. Why haven't I heard more about this one? Buckle up for this week's Game of the Century, though watching the Buckeyes struggle with THE Ohio University made many wonder if this one could transform into another Trojans romp.
2. Oregon -- There's nothing to learn from pounding Utah State. Guessing the Ducks will get tested this weekend at Purdue.
3. Arizona State -- All QB Rudy Carpenter needs to carve up up a defense is adequate time in the pocket. He'll get that this weekend against UNLV -- but will he get it in two weeks against Georgia?
4. California -- The Golden Bears bandwagon suddenly looks very appealing -- like they're offering a free seafood buffet and an open bar with business class seating. Might this trip to Maryland sneak up on them though as they, perhaps, start to admire their reflection in the mirror?
5. UCLA -- The Bruins probably weren't scared by what they saw out of BYU at Washington because they have the defense to slow the Cougars. But UCLA does have a pattern of ruining a great moment by going rear-end-over-tea-kettle shortly thereafter.
6. Arizona -- If the Wildcats turn in a third-straight beatdown, this time at a respectable New Mexico State program, then it's time to buy shares of that Mike Stoops stock that folks have been shorting the past few months.
7. Stanford -- The Cardinal is a much improved team, but Arizona State showed them how far they still have to go. No reason they can't take another step forward at TCU, though.
8. Oregon State -- I'm not going to type anything nice about the Beavers after singing about their upset potential last week earned me some mean, gloating e-mail from Penn State fans. Get back to me, Beavers, when that typical second-half surge takes place.
9. Washington -- The referees reminded Washington that there are no celebrations in college football. The officious officials need not worry, though, things are pretty dreary around this once proud program right now, and they don't figure to get better with Oklahoma headed to town.
10. Washington State -- Worst defeat in program history? It's going to be a long season in Pullman.
Posted by ESPN.com's Tim Griffin
A ticking clock on the Waco Tribune-Herald's home page reminded me that football season is just around the corner. As of Monday morning, it's only 31 days and counting until the Big 12's openers on Aug. 28 when Wake Forest travels to Baylor and South Dakota State faces Iowa State.
I bet most of my readers are as excited as I am. As such, here's a few Big 12 links to feed their college football appetite on this fine Monday morning.
- The Daily Oklahoman's Berry Tramel ranks the Big 12's games this season -- 1 through 96.
My take -- I basically agree with most of Tramel's rankings, although he might lean just a tad too much to tradition. Texas-Arkansas isn't going to be as good as he thinks -- unless Bobby Petrino is the second coming of Frank Broyles to the Ozarks.
- Tom Shatel learned at Bo Pelini's Football Clinic about the inspirational power of embroidered jock straps.
My take -- An even bigger story is that Shatel's bosses at the Omaha World-Herald finally have jumped into the current century. Finally, they will allow his must-read columns about the Cornhuskers to be read for free by Internet viewers. Stop the presses!
- Austin American Statesman columnist Kirk Bohls says that Bob Stoops still is the best college coach in the country not named Pete Carroll.
My take -- Stoops remains the major reason why Oklahoma is the overwhelming favorite in the Big 12 in the eyes of most observers.
- It's been a long time since last season ended for Nebraska's most devoted fans, according to Brian Christopherson of the Lincoln Journal-Star.
My take -- These fans better be careful what they ask for -- particularly if Nebraska's defense is torched for pinball-type numbers again this season.
- New Dallas Morning News Big 12 columnist Chuck Carlton breaks down the six burning questions facing South Division teams.
My take -- Hey Nebraska fans. I can't wait for the season to begin, either.
- Former Texas A&M kicker Matt Szymanski has resurfaced at SMU, the Bryan/College Station Eagle reports.
My take -- Maybe the new surroundings will help Szymanski, who never seemed to recover from his ill-advised decision to enroll in college a year early. SMU sounds like a fresh start, but what does a kicker/punter really have to do around June Jones?
- Oklahoma State coach Mike Gundy wishes that players like CB Jacob Lacey weren't rushed into the lineup too soon, according to Scott Wright of the Daily Oklahoman.
My take -- Gundy is right on this one. And maybe a slew of talented junior-college players might reduce how many freshmen have to play this season -- particularly on defense.
- The Lincoln Journal-Star's Steve Sipple writes that Nebraska offensive coordinator Shawn Watson is hinting at increased competition for playing time in the Cornhuskers' backfield.
My take -- Backup Roy Helu Jr. must be a stud. Because I still think that Marlon Lucky is one of the most valuable players in the Big 12, even though he tends to mope more than my 3-year-old when things don't go his way.
- Dave Matter of the Columbia Tribune scans the Nebraska media guide with a fine-toothed search engine. Bill Callahan appears mention on only two of the 208 pages.
My take -- Quite frankly, I'm surprised Callahan is even mentioned that much.
- Texas QB Colt McCoy had a few tips for Oklahoma QB Sam Bradford to avoid sophomore speed bumps. "Your freshman year, it's like you start driving a car ... you stop at every stoplight, put your blinker on, you never go above the speed limit," McCoy told Jake Trotter of the Daily Oklahoman. "In the second year, you have your driver's license, it's a little tempting, you pass on the double yellow line, you do some crazy things."
My take -- Bob Stoops better hope that Bradford didn't watch "Speed Racer."
- Air Force coach Troy Calhoun told the Denver Post that a potential Colorado-Air Force game would be a natural fit for both schools.
My take - Was Calhoun reading my blog post about dream non-conference rivalries the other day? I only hope that DeLoss Dodds of Texas and Mike Garrett of USC were doing the same.
- New Iowa State recruit Beau Blankenship broke his leg a few years ago in an ill-advised attempt to form-tackle a runaway tractor.
My take -- Iowa State coach Gene Chizik will make sure the 5-foot-8, 207-pound Blankenship's defensive forays are limited once he gets to college.
- Defrocked Kansas big hitter Tom Kivisto surfaced in Tulsa, Okla., over the weekend to read a statement about his removal as CEO and president of SemGroup. Interestingly, there was no mention of his donation to his old school for construction of a new football facility.
My take -- Considering Kivisto has only paid a quarter of his $12 million gift for the football center, Kansas athletic director Lew Perkins has got to be sweating just a little.
- And finally, here's an oldie-but-goodie from the You Tube vaults back when Mike Sherman was hawking cell phones in Wisconsin.
My take -- If Sherman is successful in Aggieland, they'll do more than just post his commercials on the Internet. More like naming buildings after him.
TOP 25 SCOREBOARD
Final 20 Duke 7 1 Florida State 45 Final 2 Ohio State 24 10 Michigan State 34 Final 5 Missouri 42 3 Auburn 59 Final 17 Oklahoma 33 6 Oklahoma State 24 Final 7 Stanford 38 11 Arizona State 14 Final 25 Texas 10 9 Baylor 30 Final 16 UCF 17 Southern Methodist 13 Final Utah State 17 23 Fresno State 24