National Perspective: AKA Nobody Wants Bama.

After a great weekend of College Football, I was excited to write about it. Then I watched the Walking Dead, and that erased all of my thoughts about football. I am still reeling from what I saw. Basically we are all in trouble. The group started the end of last season just like UT started this season. Dominating their foe. Winning the big game. Having everyone else say “They’re back”. Then, just as UT met the rest of the season, Rick and his group met Negan, and everything that possibly could, hit the fan and shredded everything.

All that being said, we are ready to revisit Saturday and put Sunday night behind us, for now.

WINNERS

Alabama

There is only one way to beat this team. Only one. Now I am going to sound like Dilfer when I say this:

But if you hope to beat them, you can’t make ANY mistakes. Not one. Texas A&M proved this on Saturday. For some reason, every time I watch Bama, I feel like they are beatable. I can’t pinpoint it, but I have that feeling every time. Back to this in a bit.

Alabama is the front runner, and I am not sure there is a close second. A&M was their one big challenge of the season, and the Aggies couldn’t finish strong. Looking at the stats, there are many similarities (minus Bama with 200 more yards and half of penalty yards). Both QBs had similar lines. What was the difference; the Aggies made two crucial mistakes that led to Jonathan Allen scooping up a Trevor Knight fumble for a touchdown. Looking back, that was a huge difference in the game. Saban said after the game that was the turning point of the game. And we all know, if Saban said it, it is probably true.

So are they really beatable? I don’t think so. But in a the Ole Miss, Arkansas and A&M game, they looked like they could lose. A couple of mistakes and Bama capitalized. What does all this come down too? Better coaching and better athletes. Saban does not tolerate mistakes. You could be up by 4 TDs and he is going to tell you the 99 problems that you are having. We don’t see them slowing down anytime soon.

SMU

When I check Yahoo on my phone and saw this score, it was the famous double take that happened. The one where you look, and then look again, for longer. I actually stared at the screen and waited for the teams to switch and the scores to show what they should have been. I even thought Yahoo had a glitch. But turning to the game and watching Houston play, SMU probably should have scored more.

Houston had 2 turnovers in the first quarter which destroyed their momentum. They were outgained 100 yards by the SMU offense. Didn’t score until the second quarter.

SMU jumped to a 21-0 lead by the beginning of the second quarter. Houston answered with a TD, that was answered by a 28-yard Ben Hicks TD pass. After half, Houston scored to cut the lead to 14, but that was all they could do. They did not score until late in the 4th quarter, and a safety at that.

The players for the Mustangs were Ben Hicks, who played a near flawless game throwing 3 TDs and no interceptions. Jarvis Pruitt led defensive side with a fumble recovery and 3 sacks.

Houston could get nothing constant going. Whenever they would score and looked like they were mounting a comeback, the Mustangs would kill any sort of force they had. This was a HUGE win for the Mustangs and even got them (1) vote for the top 25.

Losers

Houston opponents

If you were in the hunt for the CFP at the beginning of the year and had Houston on you schedule, you were looking forward to that game. They had come off a big win over Florida State and then beat OU soundly at the beginning of the year. Now, with two big losses to teams where the Cougars were heavily favored, you aren’t feeling very good.

If you are the Sooners, you were outplayed by a team that couldn’t beat Navy or SMU. If Houston ran the table, the Sooners may have a case for making the CFP. Claiming that they were beaten by superior opponents. But in the last three games, your losses lost to Navy, SMU and Penn State. You have to win the Big 12, and even then, you may be the first or third out.

How about Louisville? After Clemson, their next big game was going to be the Cougars. With a loss to Clemson, they were hanging their hat on going in a beating a good Houston team. Now, they don’t have a quality team left to play. Or, at least a team the CFP committee will look at and put some validity behind

Charlie Strong

This is becoming a constant theme, at least after week 3. I know we will write about it more, but week after week, he keeps showing that he is diminishing. He is desperate and can’t do much. After making a change in the defense, which is his specialty, they have allowed 555 yards, 672, yards, 280 yards (ISU) and 405 yards. This does not bode well for your future Chuck. He is a good coach who was put in a losing situation.

Do they go after Herman? Do they go after Saban? No telling. But anyone other than Saban isn’t going to have much of a leash. Don’t worry, we won’t go the ESPN route

Questions

Ohio State Ranked?

Ohio state has proved that if you are going to lose, lose somewhat early and against a team that you are favored to beat (see Virginia Tech in 2014)

Somehow, they are ahead of Nebraska, Baylor and West Virginia. Baylor I understand, with a weak non-conference schedule.

Their big wins are against OU at the beginning of the year and to Wisconsin by 7 points in over-time. How much is their name keeping them up there?

Stewart Mandel says it great in his column

BYU Play Call

It is 4th and 19. You are only down by 4 in the first half against a top ranked team. You are pinned in your own end zone. Time to punt, right? Unless of course you are Kilani Sitake. You go with this move: 

After the game Sitake said they wanted to be aggressive in their play calling and come out a shock Boise State. I think there is a difference between aggressive and dumb.

The Market

West Virginia

There isn’t a better team in the Big 12. Hands down. You have Dana, whose mind is wrapped up in offense. Now their defense is catching up to them. I know they haven’t played a strong schedule yet, but they are dominating their opponents. Skyler Howard isn’t the best QB out there, but he works with the Mountaineer offense and Dana uses what he has.

Their defense is holding opponents to: 390 yards/game (230 passing and 160 passing). With these numbers, their offense is more than capable of producing more.

The meat of their schedule is coming up with OU and Baylor. But these games are in Morgantown. Watch out for burning couches.

Are we shaping up for Bama, Michigan, West Virginia and Washington in the CFP? Maybe Bama and WVU?

LSU

Can Orgeron pull another Trojan horse again? (get it) He has to play Bama and Florida. But since the Auburn game, the Tigers look like they have their stuff together. Players like to play with him. He isn’t Ole Miss-ing out and keeping his shirt on.

Is he a good coach, or is his gig a coach killer, savior and then goat.

Arkansas

If you don’t watch college football, then you don’t know why they are on here. 5 minutes into the game on Saturday, it was more than over. Auburn came out swinging and the Hogs tripped over their own flip flops before the fight even started and knocked themselves out.

They have Florida and LSU left and need 1 win to be bowl eligible. Yikes.

Would their name be next to “Team that rides the SEC coattails” in the college football dictionary?

BIG 12

As far as this year is concerned, their teams are playing well. It’s not so much this year that has them trending down, but if you were going to buy long-term stock, I would say you wouldn’t have anything left of your stock in about 6 years. Not sure what is going to happen, but every team, minus Iowa State, would bolt for another Power-5 conference for a box of thin mints if asked.

David Boren said he felt good about where the Big 12 is now, and they were united and ready to pay. If by where they are now he means “ready for 2024 when the contract expires and let the Big 12 disappear like a fart in the wind” then he is spot on.

Posted on October 25, 2016 and filed under Southwest Round-Up.