Monday Morning Play Card

Big weekend of games has come and gone. We're now officially halfway through the regular season. The playoff committee is meeting, watching film, ordering room service, using highlighters. My fantasy is that all they really do is sit in a giant conference room and play Madden or NCAA 14 against each other whilst eating nachos and skittles. 

We've watered the big stories down to four. Put them on a play card. Call and audible and check them out. 

Nebraska

 Miss me yet?

Miss me yet?

Let this be a lesson to all of you programs who've gotten a little big in the britches, Nebraska got tired of winning nine games a year under Bo Pelini and now they're going to have to get used to winning significantly less under Mike Riley. At least for a while. 

Nebraska has done this before, remember when they got real sick of winning conference titles and fired Frank Solich so they could go out and bring in Bill Callahan. Good times. 

Now the Cornhuskers are living in the Big 10 with no natural link to recruits in Texas. Mike Riley is a nice guy by all accounts, but he was 20 games below .500 in the NFL and had a losing PAC 12 record while at Oregon State. Nebraska has gone from kings of the Big 12 North to 6th in the Big 10 West.

Pains in the Neck

 Jarrett Stidham

Jarrett Stidham

Baylor's season may have turned on the neck injury to Seth Russell on Saturday. Russell was having a typical "Art Briles Quartebackin' " season, i.e. putting up monster numbers and making everyone forget the previous starter. 

Jarrett Stidham is the guy now, with Russell out for the season. Don't go counting the Bears out just yet. Stidham may play so well we forget old what's his name.

The real gift of the Art Briles offense is its ability to allow quarterbacks to thrive. From RG III to Nick Florence to Brice Petty to Seth Russell, Baylor has yet to see a fall off in production. If anything this makes the Big 12 a bit more interesting down the stretch.

Kyler Murray the Musical

A&M found themselves being destroyed by Ole Miss and their starting quarterback doing his best impression of a guy who couldn't complete a pass. On the sideline? A five star quarterback, a legacy, named Kyler Murray and yet Kyler didn't play. Oh dear. 

 Oh Kyler, Sweet, Sweet, Kyler

Oh Kyler, Sweet, Sweet, Kyler

Crank up the rumor mill. Did Kyler cuss out Jake Spatial? Does Kyler not see the point in practice? (We talking about practice?) Is the locker room split? All these questions and more will percolate until A&M wins their next game.

Whatever happened, what would really help in the mean time is the development of a running game. Something A&M hasn't been able to bring to the table in 2015. 

Al Golden, we hardly knew ya!

Thanks for coming out Al. You took the U from abject mediocrity to pretty crappy. Well played Al. Gird yourself for the inevitable "We Need Someone to Return the U to the U" conversation. Ah, the U. The glory days of the 1980's and early 2000's. Bomani Jones said it best when he said tweeted out that the U has run away from its identity and not many organizations survive without one. He's right. 

Golden was 3-0 and planes were flying over head carrying banners that wanted him gone because he wasn't 3-0 at a high enough level I suppose. Miami fans are chasing documentary footage, not realistic results. Schellenberger and Johnson exploited a market inefficiency in scheme and personnel. Butch Davis was given time to take a broken program and build it back up with shrewd talent evaluation and by closing the taps on the escaping South Florida talent. Everyone recruits south Florida. Most of those schools have great facilities and a better game day atmosphere.  

So what to do now? Randy Shannon recruited the heck out of the State of Miami but never translated recruiting into wins. Al Golden look the part and righted the ship amidst NCAA sanctions but didn't get it done either. The 'Canes sit on a recruiting gold mine, but they don't have the money to pay a big time coach or support his staff. They also play in a cavernous pro stadium where the atmosphere is lacking.  

The names bandied about already include Mario Cristobal, Rob Chudzinski, Greg Schiano, and of course good old Butch. Maybe some of those guys excite the hard core Hurricane fans, but the bloom is pretty far off the rose at this point. Miami needs a serious rebuild and the fanbase may not have the stomach sit through it.