5 Things I Think
1. I watched a little bit of the Kansas/Louisiana Tech game and it was just horrible. I hate myself for watching even 5 seconds of that game. You might remember Louisiana Tech and its amazing offense last year. Well, they lost 32 seniors and pretty much every explosive player from last year's squad. They are not a good team at all, and yet they almost got a road victory over KU. I think Kansas the past few years has even passed Baylor's early 2000's run in terms of stupor. They are just terrible. Of course, they kicked a game winning field goal as time expired to win 13-10, and ran on the field like they won the National Championship. All 20 fans that were left I am sure appreciated it. I have a feeling that is the last happy time for the KU football program in 2013.
2. I also watched the Texas/Kansas State game, and I have to admit I expected KSU to win, for like the 70th time in a row over UT. They always seem to beat them, even when they are the big underdog. But give UT credit, they won a home game against what is probably an equal opponent. They showed some real toughness in winning that game. Too bad for the longhorns that toughness is a surprise now, and not just the normal expectation.
3. It is just shocking how complete the Bears offensive attack has been this year. Just looking at the numbers, it feels like I am looking at statistics from a video game where they play on the easiest level; 9.8 yards per play, averaging 9.6 plays for every touchdown, 751.3 yards of offense per game. The Bears have outscored the opposition 91-13 in the first quarter. That breaks down to 30.33 points per game, which would rank 67th in the country ahead of Michigan State, Arkansas, Notre Dame, and about half of FCS teams.
4. But don't sleep on this Baylor defense. They are really starting to show me something. The disruption of the defensive ends and the linebackers has been outstanding. Sam Holl is playing the best football of his career, and Eddie Lackey and Bryce Hager have both been very solid all season. The Bears defensive ends have been the best part of the defense to me. Chris McAllister and Terrence Lloyd were both great against ULM at sealing the edge and containing the quarterback or ball carrier. Shawn Oakman though…wow. He is special and deserves more playing time, but tough to take those two seniors off of the field too much. Great play to be in for Phil Bennett.
5. I think this might be the coolest onside kick I have ever seen.
5 Things I Want
1. When will voters simply reward a team for dominating the opposition? The Bears have not just beaten the three teams they have faced off against, but have destroyed them. Take a look at Michigan, who is 4-0 with a nice win over Notre Dame, but the last two weeks they have beaten Akron 28-24 and Connecticut 24-21, both in the last minutes. According to RPI, Akron is ranked 113th, while Connecicut is ranked 108th. Compare that to Buffalo (95th) and Louisiana-Monroe (78th) and the Bears victories are much more significant and impactful than the last two weeks of Michigan football. In fact, RealTimeRPI.com has the Bears strength of schedule ranked 62nd compared to Michigan's at 126. But there they are 1 spot ahead of Baylor in both polls.
2. More and more and more bowl game projections are starting to move the Bears up the chain in terms of Big 12 position. Stewart Mandel from SI.com has the Bears in the Fiesta Bowl against Louisville. We will start to see more and more of these. And honestly, I can't wait.
3. Since Baylor lost to West Virginia last year 70-63, the Mountaineers are just 5-8 with their most recent loss to a rebuilding Maryland team 37-0. It was an embarrising effort and performance for Dana Holgerson's squad. Remember what they did two years ago in the Orange Bowl, and then to start the 2012 season? I thought they were the best team in the Big 12 after their win in Austin. But they went out to Lubbock that next week and have never regained their mojo. Another reason that I really want the Bears and Raiders to continue to play in Dallas; we don't have to go to Lubbock where strange things are always afoot.
4. I know that it is cliché to want to see how a team responds to adversity, but I really want to see how the Bears respond at least to a speed bump. Right now, things are as good as we could ask, barring a few injuries. The Bears offense is pretty much unstoppable. But what happens when someone takes our first or second or even third option away? What do we do and do we have the toughness to respond. During the first three games, it appeared at times like the Bears were doing their walk thru and just going through the motions of scoring. What happens when someone pushes back a bit? It might be a while before we figure that out, but I think our trip to Manhattan might be a good place to find out.
5. I want to see just who TCU is. I thought they would be one of the better team in the Big 12. They have two losses, both to ranked teams (LSU and Texas Tech) and a pretty meh win against Southeastern Louisiana 38-17. They host SMU this coming weekend in a game that might not only be a must win, but a must dominate. TCU has to get on course again to be the team that most people, including myself, thought they would be. The big game is the week after, where they go to Norman, OK to play the Sooners. If TCU doesn't correct their issues, they could be looking at a long season.
5 Things I Know
1. This was by far the worst weekend of college football looking at the schedules and it lived up to it. Just no real great games between two great teams. Stanford/Arizona State was the only game between two ranked teams to get any attention. There were a lot of bye weeks this week and even more patsies lined up to get the home school ready for conference play. One thing I am excited to see be impacted by the new "playoff" is the schedules of good and even great teams. Hopefully, teams will step up their non-conference schedules if they know that they have to have a harder schedule and also that a single loss can still get them into the playoff.
2. Josh Gordon made his debut this year for the Cleveland Browns after a 2-game suspension for violating the league's substance abuse policy. And boy did he make a splash. 10 catches for 146 yards and a touchdown. He is by far their best receiver, and with Trent Richardson now gone, their primary offensive weapon. The Browns also have a nice young tight end in Jordan Cameron as well. Those are two fine pieces to build an offense around. Gordon has always had the talent, we saw that at Baylor. It was the "stuff" around him that got in the way. If he does get that all cleared up, watch out.
3. On the flip side, Robert Griffin III and the Washington Redskins lost again, falling to 0-3. They were at least in this game, losing to a good Detroit team 27-20. RG3 had two very costly turnovers, one a terrible interception that he should have just thrown away. The other was while attempting to get down and slide on a scramble, but he fell head first, and lost the ball. It looked to me like he had never been coached how to properly slide or maybe he is uncomfortable doing it with that bulky knee brace on. People will point to RG3 as the main reason they are losing, but their defense has allowed the most yards in the NFL by far, and more than any team through three games in NFL history (1,464). They are averaging the worst starting field position of any team since 2006 (22.2 yard line). Has Griffin been good this year? Not really, but he is not the biggest thing wrong with Washington.
4. I know that I will probably watch this video a hundred or so times before the Bears play again:
5. Big 12 Rankings post week 5
1. Oklahoma State (3-0)
2. Baylor (3-0)
3. Oklahoma (3-0, 1-0)
4. Texas Tech (4-0, 1-0)
5. TCU (1-2, 0-1)
6. Texas (2-2, 1-0)
7. Kansas State (2-2, 0-1)
8. West Virginia (2-2, 0-1)
9. Kansas (2-1)
10. Iowa State (0-2)