It’s not a surprise when Big 12 quarterbacks make headlines in NFL discussions, but for Oklahoma quarterbacks like Kyler Murray and Baker Mayfield, there’s an NFL trend that’s becoming quite alarming. When former Oklahoma quarterback Baker Mayfield declared for the NFL Draft, he was met with heavy criticism. Some analysts were discussing the drama surrounding […]Continue reading
Don’t be surprised if you see an NFL team take a chance and draft Kyler Murray in the 2019 NFL Draft. Would an NFL team really draft a player who was a top-ten pick in the most recent MLB Draft and got a cool $4.66 million signing bonus? Why would a franchise use a draft pick on a player who may not be playing for them?
The entire NFL Draft is one big gamble
The entire process is a crap-shoot. Each pick is a lotto ticket; you’ve got a chance to hit on a franchise changing player. You could either get a complete bust, hit for a solid player, or you could hit the jackpot and win an All-Pro Hall or Hall of Famer.
NFL teams have been preparing for the 2019 NFL draft since the last pick was announced in 2018, if not sooner than that. Most, if not all, of them, are looking for the best player available in this draft not playing this sport right now. Like Antonio Gates or Jimmy Graham who were college basketball players. It’d be unconventional for an NFL team to draft Kyler Murray who will be playing in an MLB team’s minor league system. But unconventional thinking is what often leads to brilliance.
When/if a team does take Murray, he’d be under contract with the A’s. So he would need clearance to sign with an NFL team. Next, if a team drafted Kyler Murray and wanted to hang onto him in the hopes of a return to football, they’d have to sign him to a rookie contract. If Murray didn’t sign by the 2020 Draft, his rights would become draft-eligible once again.
Like Bo, Kyler Knows
Look at Kyler Murray’s lone season as the starting quarterback of the Sooners, and you’ve seen a TON of brilliance. He led Lincoln Riley’s Oklahoma offense, which ranked #1 overall in the nation. Murray showed he is arguably the most electrifying athlete in all of college football. He did all of this on the gridiron AFTER hitting .296 for the Sooners baseball team, adding 10 HR, 47 RBI, and ten stolen bases. He can hit, play solid defense, absolutely fly, and he’s got a cannon for an arm. He’s an ideal fit in center field while batting at the top of the order. Think Mookie Betts for the Boston Red Sox.
Kyler Murray Wouldn’t Be the First
This situation played out in 1986-87 with Auburn legend, running back Bo Jackson. Like Murray is now, Jackson was a top baseball prospect while also a top football prospect. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers held the first overall pick in the 1986 NFL Draft and wanted Jackson. But, Jackson told Tampa Bay he didn’t want to play for them, wouldn’t sign with them. Jackson believed they intentionally got him to break NCAA rules which made him ineligible to play football at Auburn. So, he said he would play pro baseball if they selected him. Tampa Bay still went ahead and gambled on Jackson changing his mind, only to see him do exactly what he said he would, which was not sign and play pro baseball. The Buccaneers had nothing to show for their first overall pick in 1986, and the Raiders ended up drafting Bo Jackson in the seventh round of the 1987 Draft.
Another similar gamble would occur about a decade and a half later with Drew Henson. In 2001, he left college before his senior season, to sign a 6-year $17 million contract with the New York Yankees. Henson was most likely going to be a first-round pick if he were in the 2002 Draft, with there even being serious talk of him being a potential number one overall pick. In 2003, the Houston Texans used a sixth-round pick on the former Michigan quarterback and current struggling New York Yankees third base prospect. The Texans later flipped Henson for a third-round pick in a deal the following year, sending Henson to the Dallas Cowboys, who were searching for Troy Aikman’s replacement still three years after his retirement. That gamble, unlike for the Bucs, paid off for the Texans.
On the flip side, there’s one gamble that followed the same model just in reverse order. That would be Jeff Samardzija, a current major league pitcher and former two-time All-American wide receiver for Notre Dame. He was on track to be a first or second-round pick in the 2007 NFL Draft. But before any team in the NFL had a shot at a selecting Samardzija, he pulled his name from the Draft after signing with the Cubs in January of 2007. Today, Jeff Samardzija is in his eleventh season in the major leagues and according to Spotrac, has made approximately $88.6 million.
The predicament Kyler Murray finds himself in is a difficult one. There are guaranteed contracts in baseball and less wear on the body. Would he give up baseball for a chance to be ‘the next Russell Wilson,’? Wilson still gets the best of both worlds. Every offseason he attends spring training for the team that owns his right. This year, after having his rights traded to the New York Yankees he even played in a few games.
Kyler Murray is electrifying on the football field, and he’s good enough at baseball for a team to bet almost $5 million on him. The Oakland A’s have said they drafted Murray and signed him to the contract they did with the understanding that he’d play one last season of college football before turning his attention to baseball full-time. In a recent piece by Julian Williams of The Athletic, Murray was, when asked about his future in baseball and football, quoted as saying his “future is already decided as of now” but that he “would love to play (both professionally) if that was possible.”
We Know What Kyler Wants, as of Now
Teams have four months or so to decide whether or not to spend a pick on Kyler Murray. Murray, if selected in the fourth round, he’d be looking at a four-year deal worth (approx) $3-4 million and about a $700k signing bonus. In comparison, his signing bonus in baseball would be close to seven times as much as it would be in football. That’s a lot less money for a lot more damage to your body. But an NFL team could strike gold in Murray, and the possibility of gold could be too much for a team to pass up. Murray’s immediate future seems to be on the baseball diamond. But that is, in the words of Kyler Murray himself, “as of now.”
If you wait to bring people down in their in their shining moment, you are a predator.
Kyler Murray wins the Heisman, and on a night he is celebrated, the teenage twitter police wanted to tear him down. Y’all are going to have to stop trying to hold people’s feet to the fire for things they tweeted while 14-15 years old. People evolve and grow from stupid teens. Kyler Murray is now 21 years old. Consider the things did and believed to be true at 14 versus the things you did and believed at 21. Now stack that on top of the things you believe and do now. There was likely a ton of evolution of thought and maturity there.
Our need in society to tear people down in their greatest moments is sickening. Whoever unearthed Kyler Murray’s tweets from when he was 14 and waited to bring them out publicly should be embarrassed. The first click bait article about it 10 minutes after the Heisman ceremony was over. When somebody makes statements, tweets, or remarks that may be perceived as racist, sexist, or disparaging against someone’s sexuality it is fair for people to ask them about it. However, for someone to screenshot deleted tweets and hold on to them until your moment in the sun is wrong. Lying in wait to attack is predatory behavior. This is no different than showing up at someone’s housewarming and asking them about the time they got arrested for shoplifting or asking someone at their wedding reception about the time their child died.
After I said this on Twitter and Facebook a few people asked me would I feel differently if Murray’s tweets had been racist by a white person. I said no. In fact, this did happen multiple times in 2018. Buffalo Bills quarterback Josh Allen had racist tweets surface right before the NFL draft. Also, Milwaukee Bucks guard Donte DiVincenzo had tweets come out immediately after he was named NCAA Final Four Most Outstanding Player. I don’t know if either one of them is racist, but I realize that even if they were things could have changed from 14-21. They must be judged by their actions and character now. We cannot reasonably expect teenagers to tweet responsibly when adults find it a tough task.
When I was at Oregon, I played with a guy who grew up with the skinheads and Aryan Nation crowd. I knew him for years, and even though we weren’t particularly close, his racist perspective wasn’t obvious. During my redshirt sophomore year, we sat down and had a very real conversation. He told me about his past and how coming to college was the best thing for him. He saw how wrong the people were who taught him falsehoods about people of other races. His college experience with friends and teammates showed him there were two kinds of people: good and bad. He learned that character was most important, not skin color. I’m not sure if that moment was where his epiphany happened or whether he just wanted to share it.
So, I hate to give him the only true test of racism. I asked him would he have a problem is one of the “good Black guys” married his daughter would he be ok with it. His honesty was, and vulnerability was admirable. He said it would be hard because an interracial marriage would cause so much tension within his family and community. However, if he treated her great, I would be happy and accept him and defend him.
The entire time I was sitting there in shock at what I was hearing. At 20 years old, I would have expected to hear this from a kid from the south or middle America, but not a kid from the melting pot that is southern California. My conversation with him did teach me a valuable lesson. We have to allow people room to grow, mature, and change. Everyone must be accountable for their words and actions, but we cannot be shortsighted enough to permanently label them racist, sexist, and homophobic. Imagine if there were social media and smartphones around to capture the ridiculous things you did and said as a kid. I can raise my hand and honestly say I would have a lot of questions to answer. So why on earth would people try and hold someone’s teenage tweets against them?
Let’s be wary not to tear people down in their golden moments. We have to judge people for who they are, not who they were.
Oklahoma Sooners’ head coach Lincoln Riley has been named as a finalist for the Eddie Robinson Award.
Just two seasons into his first head coaching job, and Oklahoma Sooners head coach Lincoln Riley has certainly had an impressive run. And now, on the cusp of a back-to-back trip to the College Football Playoffs, Riley has been named a finalist for the Eddie Robinson Coach of the Year Award. The award is presented by the Football Writers Association of America in conjunction with the Allstate Sugar Bowl.
Lincoln Riley was one of eight finalists announced on Wednesday. The entire list includes Josh Heupel (UCF), Brian Kelly (Notre Dame), Jeff Monken (Army), Nick Saban (Alabama), Dabo Swinney (Clemson), and Jeff Tedford (Fresno State). Brian Kelly and Nick Saban are the only finalists named to have won the award in previous seasons.
Riley has taken the Sooners to back-to-back 12-1 seasons with back-to-back Playoff berths. Oklahoma has one of the nation’s top offenses behind quarterback and Heisman hopeful, Kyler Murray. Finishing at No. 4 in the College Football Playoffs final rankings, the Sooners had been a fringe team throughout the second half of the season. With a Texas Longhorns team that had been improving throughout the season, Oklahoma’s playoff implications rode on the Big 12 Championship.
In the Red River Rivalry–the Sooners’ only loss on the season–Oklahoma didn’t play as physically on defense, which raised some red flags as to whether the second year of the Lincoln Riley era was about to unravel. With the firing of defensive coordinator Mike Stoops, the defense was still an issue under interim defensive coordinator Ruffin McNeill. With the Longhorns on the schedule again for the Big 12 Championship, this was a must-win game for the Sooners for a Playoff berth, and the game to catapult Murray into the top of the Heisman discussion.
Not only did the Sooners, win, they became the first Power Five team to win four Conference Championships outright in a row for the first time since Florida in the mid-’90s. Moreover, the win showed that Oklahoma is capable of applying some defensive grit, as the Sooners shut UT out of the endzone throughout the entire fourth quarter.
Oklahoma is still 108th in the nation in total defense, but offensively, the Sooners are the No. 1 team in the country through 13 games. In 859 plays this season, Oklahoma has amassed 7,513 total yards of offense, averaging 8.75 yards-per-play. An even more impressive statistic is that the Sooners are averaging 577.9 yards-per-game. To draw contrast from other Eddie Robinson finalists, UCF is third in total offense, while Clemson is 5th, followed by Alabama at 7th, Notre Dame at 28th, Fresno State at 49th, and Army at 81st.
The No. 4 ranked Sooners will face Alabama in the College Football Playoff semifinal in the Capital One Orange Bowl on Saturday, December 29th. With back-to-back seasons where Lincoln Riley’s quarterbacks are turning pro, it will be interesting to see how he develops the Sooners’ new gunslingers in the future, which have helped Riley create a fluid identity during his head coaching career.
The 2018 Eddie Robinson Award will be announced on Thursday, December, 13, with the official presentation reception on January 5, 2019, in San Jose, Calif.
The Rules: No Bias, No Bull
There has been no more unbiased ranking out there than the Unafraid Show’s College Football Top 10 Rankings Week 14. I get criticized from time to time by people who only want to see the college football world through the lens of the AP Poll. However, if you go back and look at the rankings for each week, I guarantee you would now agree that I have been 100% right and accurate along the way.
The Unafraid Show College Football Top 10 Rankings Week 14 are not going to look like the AP Poll. Open your eyes to see a different view of evaluating the top 10. Most polls including the College Football Playoff Committee give college blueblood teams a massive “benefit of the doubt.” I don’t believe in that. The College Football Top 10 Rankings Week 14 teams are ranked by the correct criteria: quality wins, schedule played, and dominance. Only the games have played matter.
I re-rank the top 10 every week from scratch. The previous week’s rankings do not factor into the next week. So, the rankings will change, sometimes drastically every week because we will have new information.
Leave a comment or shoot an email: ImMad@unafraidshow.com… Yes, that is the real email address.
1. Alabama (12-0) Last Week: #1
Nick Saban should be extremely happy with the result of the Iron Bowl. Alabama had a dominant win but made just enough mistakes that Saban can chastise the team. Alabama overcame the emotion of the Iron Bowl and didn’t let Auburn have a real shot in the game. It took two trick plays for Auburn to get 14 of their 21 points. Tua Tagoviloa was sensational as usual. He stayed healthy, all but guaranteed a trip to the Heisman Trophy presentation.
As good as Alabama is, they cannot look past Georgia in the SEC Championship.
2. Clemson (12-0) Last Week: #2
The game against South Carolina was a lot closer for the first half than most people expected. But it’s rivalry week, and great teams always have to fade inspired performances from their rivals. Dabo Swinney is a legend for calling a goal-line toss to DT Christian Wilkins. Then he became lame for getting mad at Wilkins for striking the Heisman pose after the touchdown. How can you possibly get mad at a DT for doing that? That was probably the last time he will ever get a rushing TD.
3. Notre Dame (12-0) Last Week: #3
The Fighting Irish survived a test from USC in rivalry week. Ian Book proved to be the X-factor all season for Notre Dame. He converted so many big third downs running the ball and passing. They will ultimately get in the playoff at 12-0, and will likely be the #3 seed. The biggest question is how will they fare against their likely opponent Clemson? Notre Dame gets the benefit of the doubt as an Independent team that doesn’t have a 13th game. Even if the Fighting Irish doesn’t win their playoff game, it is critical they put on a good showing.
4. Oklahoma (11-1) Last Week: #5
With all due respect to Tua Tagoviloa, Kyler Murray should be the 2018 Heisman trophy winner. He is asked to do more than any other player in college football. The Oklahoma offense has to score 45+ per week to win. And he regularly has to be a magician to will his team to win. So many people bash the Sooners defense for seemingly giving up yards and points at will. However, it was Oklahoma’s defense that came up with two huge defensive scores against West Virginia. We have seen teams win championships in sports with defenses that don’t get a lot of stops but get timely ones. If Oklahoma defeats Texas in the Big-12 Championship, they should be a lock for the top four.
I’m praying we get to see an Alabama vs. Oklahoma matchup.
5. Ohio State (11-1) Last Week: #10
The Buckeyes put up 62 points on the #1 defense in all of college football. Ohio State has cheated playoff death against Maryland, Penn State, and Nebraska only to find themselves in prime position to make the top four. For weeks I have had Ohio State in the top 10 and their fans have said, “We are not a top 10 team, and don’t deserve to make the playoff.” I wonder if their tune will change this week?
It’s amazing how quickly Ohio State went from playing poorly to firing on all cylinders. If the Buckeyes do get in the playoff, they are a team to be feared.
6. Georgia (11-1) Last Week: 7
Georgia is one win away from making the College Football Playoff. That one game does happen to be against Alabama, but so what! Whether it is now or later, the road to the championship goes through the Crimson Tide. Jake Fromm has been playing his best football towards the end of the season. The Georgia running game and defense are extremely solid as well. Only a few will be giving Georgia a chance to win the SEC Championship. I am giving them a chance because I saw the 18-0 Patriots lose the Super Bowl to the Giants.
7. Central Florida (11-0) Last Week: #8
Another dominant win by Central Florida. But, UCF was dealt a devastating blow. They lost their junior leader and quarterback McKenzie Milton to a horrific knee injury. They will not be discounted in the rankings because Ohio State has proven that you can lose two quarterbacks in one season and still win the national championship. With the chaos that can ensue during conference championship games, we may actually see the Knights make the College Football Playoff.
8. Michigan (10-2) Last Week: #4
The revenge tour ran into a speed bump at the fourth stop. Michigan fans have to be frustrated with the performance against Ohio State. The only person to blame is Harbaugh. They were out schemed and outcoached by Urban Meyer. Jim Harbaugh is a late adopter to the idea that in this era of football great defense alone cannot beat great offense. Even Nick Saban had to adjust his offensive strategy. Harbaugh refuses to change. 0-4 to Ohio State should be enough to rethink strategy.
Michigan commits to playing great defense but doesn’t make the same commitment to explosive offense. That will need to change if Michigan intends on competing for the national championship in 2019.
9. West Virginia (8-3) Last Week: #9
West Virginia is a good football team but ran into a buzzsaw named Oklahoma. Their offense played extremely well, but two costly turnovers ultimately sealed their fate. Will Grier should end up with an invite to the Heisman trophy presentation. While 9-2 is a good season, it is not nearly what the Mountaineers fans expected in Will Grier’s senior season.
10. Washington State (10-2) Last Week: 6
Washington State played Washington in a virtual blizzard. I hate the fact that the game wasn’t played in good conditions. I would love to see how the SEC teams would fare if they had to play a game in a “white-out.” The Cougars playoff and Rose Bowl hopes are done. However, they still have a shot to make a New Years’ Six Bowl if things fall their way.
Penn State, Utah, Florida, Texas, Washington, LSU
I know some of you are steaming mad right now because your team is ranked too low or is unranked. Take a breathe and realize that your fandom is causing irrational thoughts. The College Football Top 10 Rankings Week 14 is accurate, unbiased, and unafraid.
With just two weeks left on the Big 12 Football schedule, it’s safe to say the finale is going to be pure chaos.
This weekend, Texas, Oklahoma, and West Virginia will decide their own fate as they’re all competing for a spot in the Big 12 Football Championship. With Kansas announcing a new head coach, and quarterback issues plaguing Texas Tech (a first), there’s plenty of chaos throughout the conference, and from every angle.
40-55 loss at Oklahoma
With Les Miles-to-Kansas momentum in the Jayhawks’ favor, they actually put together a valiant effort against Oklahoma. Kansas put up 524 total yards of offense and committed zero turnovers. Meanwhile, the Kansas defense did what it’s been good at all season, and came up with two turnovers. With a more defense-minded mechanism in place, Miles could already have a built-in identity come next Fall.
9-16 loss against TCU
Baylor special teams blocking a TCU punt was a highlight in an otherwise flat game. With just a solo touchdown by quarterback Charlie Brewer, the Bears just couldn’t get a lot going on offense, which could suffer even more against Texas Tech this weekend. Baylor’s special teams have had seven block kicks throughout this season, which is a PR since 1984, so look for that against Texas Tech this weekend.
19-6 win at Baylor
TCU has a severely depleted roster. But third-string string quarterback, Grayson Muehlstein, got the job done. He finished the day 11 of 15 with 137 passing yards and a touchdown. Additionally, running back Jalen Reagor put up rushing and receiving touchdowns. The Horned Frogs’ defense also held a struggling Baylor to just one rushing touchdown by Charlie Brewer and a field goal. TCU faces an Oklahoma State team this weekend that defeated West Virginia down to the wire. Momentum is with both teams, but TCU’s depth issues could become a major factor.
7. Texas Tech
6-21 loss at Kansas State
There’s no reason to sugar coat it, last Saturday against the Wildcats was a disaster for Texas Tech. On what started as such a promising run for Tech has fallen flat. Unfortunately, it’s in an area where Kliff Kingsbury has never had a problem: quarterbacks. When Alan Bowman was in, the offense looked like an entirely different unit, one that had the talent and momentum to compete for the title. Unfortunately, Jett Duffey’s turnover problems continue, which resulted in 6 points for K-State. It could have been worse, which speaks for the drive of the defense, but when you have the second-highest rated wide receiver in the nation in Antoine Wesley, the quarterbacking mistakes significantly minimize the effectiveness of Kingsbury’s play-calling style. Tech could be on its 4th string quarterback for Baylor. That is less than ideal, but with Bowl eligibility and a potential for a seven-win season on the line, Tech has to find a way to win.
6. Iowa State
10-24 loss at Texas
There isn’t a lot to write home about for Iowa State for this game. Quarterback Brock Purty averaged just 5.9 yards-per-pass and finished the day with a quarterback rating of just 17.1 percent. The Cyclones were without top offensive weapon David Washington for the first half. However, he only finished the day with 10 carries for 33 yards and a single touchdown. Defensively, Iowa State prevented a complete meltdown, which was assisted slightly with Texas’ backup quarterback Shane Buechele coming in for the second-half. Iowa State faces a Kansas State team that just beat Texas Tech, but a night game at Jack Trice should help add another tick to the win column.
5. Kansas State
21-6 win against Texas Tech
Like Texas Tech, Kansas State’s season hasn’t panned out as expected. But the Wildcats still found a way to get the win in a similar way that Texas was able to: quarterback exploitation. In a low scoring game, every point mattered. Kansas State struggled to get the football in the end zone, but they did put up points on turnovers and a safety on a blocked punt. Kansas State needs another win to become Bowl eligible. However, with Iowa State on the schedule for this weekend, that might be harder said than done, as ISU is looking for revenge, and 6:00 pm kickoffs at Jack Trice Stadium is a tough venue for anyone.
4. Oklahoma State
45-41 win over West Virginia
Oklahoma State managed to get the job done against West Virginia and might have disrupted the Mountaineers’ shot at a Big 12 title. In the Cowboys’ win last weekend, quarterback Taylor Cornelius had two turnovers but managed to connect with Tylan Wallace on a touchdown with just: 42 seconds in regulation. Cornelius put up five touchdowns in his final home game, which lifted the Cowboys to Bowl eligibility. With a TCU team that’s a little banged up and the Cowboys riding high having taken out the No. 7 team in the nation, Mike Gundy could still pull off an 8-win season–including a Bowl win.
3. West Virginia
41-45 loss at Oklahoma State
I know, “how can West Virginia be ahead of Oklahoma State when Oklahoma State beat West Virginia?” Easy. The Mountaineers might not be considered for the College Football Playoff, but if they beat Oklahoma, they play for the Big 12 title. A bigger picture to look at, however, is that in a came as crazy as last weekend’s game against Oklahoma State was, quarterback Will Grier managed to not throw a single interception. The West Virginia defense (which is one of the best in the conference) allowed 604 total yards of offense. But I guess by NFL standards now (see: Chiefs-Rams on Monday Night Football) that’s okay. The good news is, West Virginia’s defense is better, statistically than Oklahoma, so that could be the edge this weekend.
24-10 win over Iowa State
With Texas taking down Iowa State last weekend, they’re now second in the Big 12, with the only losses of the year against West Virginia, Oklahoma State, and Maryland. I think we can agree that Texas is back, but more importantly, the Longhorns’ defense only allowed 10 points against Iowa State. Moving forward, the issues lie in Sam Ehlinger’s shoulder, which was diagnosed as an AC contusion. In Monday’s teleconference, head coach Tom Herman said, “No broken bones, no separation, no ridiculous amount of damage, but it’s angry. It’s upset. The joint… the shoulder is inflamed.” Ehlinger missed the second half of play against Iowa State, and there’s no word on whether he’ll play against Kansas. But Shane Buechele was perfect, throwing 10/10 for 89 yards and a touchdown. More importantly, Texas receivers averaged 10.3 yards-per-play, so offensively, Texas should be fine the rest of the way.
55-40 win against Kansas
Oklahoma might still be in control of its destiny on not just a trip to the Big 12 Championship, but as a fringe team to the College Football Playoffs. However, just as the defense was an issue against Georgia last year, the problem continues. It could ultimately work against the Sooners when the Selection Committee makes its mind up. Against Kansas, the Oklahoma defense allowed 524 total yards of offense, allowing 25 first downs and 40 points. As for the Heisman race, quarterback Kyler Murray was 21 of 32 for 272 yards, two touchdowns, and one interception against Kansas. The expectations of him against Kansas were much higher. But thankfully for the Sooners, they have one more regular season game against West Virginia to bolster its standings.
In a weekend where the potential teams competing for the Big 12 Championship was supposed to emerge, they did, and it’s now a three-way race between the Oklahoma Sooners, West Virginia Mountaineers, and Texas Longhorns.
While some conferences have grown used to one or two teams vaulting to the top of the conference for a bid at a National Championship, the Big 12 has owned up to its moniker: Every Game Matters. With the Iowa State Cyclones knocking on the door last weekend in Austin at hopes for an upset over the Longhorns, that made things even more interesting, as the Cyclones had a pretty rocky start to the season. Now that Iowa State is out of the equation, a number of other things have to happen for each team to carve a path to the December 1 title game, and potentially a trip to the College Football Playoffs.
Texas did itself a huge favor in its dominant 24-10 victory over the Cyclones. Although, the bigger issue now is in the health of quarterback Sam Ehlinger, who sustained an AC contusion against Iowa State. Head coach Tom Herman said in the post-game that Ehlinger’s X-rays tested negative for breaks and that it wasn’t related to the injury he sustained against Baylor. Herman also revealed that backup quarterback Shane Buechele was the most involved backup, so the confidence shouldn’t be disrupted regardless of who’s a go come game time.
As for the three-way race? Texas defeated Oklahoma; Oklahoma plays West Virginia this week, and West Virginia has defeated Texas. Follow? Peak Big 12, I know. This is where transitive wins apply. West Virginia lost to Oklahoma State last weekend, so, therefore, all Texas needs to head to Dallas is a win over Kansas. Will Grier could use a championship game to bolster his Heisman standings… then again, so could Sooners’ quarterback Kyler Murray. In any event, if Texas wins, they play either Oklahoma or West Virginia for the Big 12 Championship.
I suppose you could say Texas is back and continues to control its destiny.
As for Oklahoma and West Virginia, both teams have had their share of defensive issues, which only seem to be getting worse. Since OU fired defensive coordinator Mike Stoops, few things seem to be clicking. For the Mountaineers, which have had a fairly stout defense all season, allowing 604 total yards of offense against an Oklahoma State team that has struggled this season isn’t a good look either.
Big 12 teams have earned bids in two of the four years since the Playoff took place of the BCS. And while it isn’t intangible for the winner of the Big 12 Championship to have a spot in the Playoff, several dominos will have to fall throughout college football in the next two weeks.
Most oddsmakers still have the No. 6 ranked Sooners as the fringe team for the Big 12 in the Playoffs if they were to win out. If Texas wins out, it’s hard to see a scenario where they play in any game outside the New Years 6.
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For weeks now, pundits, bloggers, and fans have been debating on which team would likely face Oklahoma in the Big 12 Football title game in December. With the Sooners winning Bedlam, Texas sealing a late win against Texas Tech, and West Virginia handling business at TCU, it should come down to those three teams. However, Iowa State has the same record as UT. So things could get interesting down the final stretch. With three weeks left to go, here’s how the Big 12 Football Week 12 Power Rankings stack up.
17-21 loss at Kansas State
Different week with the Kansas Jayhawks, but it’s the same story following its 17-21 loss to Kansas State last weekend. Kansas might not be the most attractive job in the country right now. But for athletics director Jeff Long to position the Jayhawks to be considered by a bigger (although, perhaps, disgraced) head coaching prospect the team needs to prove that they have a fight in them. After being down against Kansas State, they showed grit and determination. But they weren’t able to force those turnovers they’ve become so notorious for under coach David Beaty. With Oklahoma and Texas still on the schedule, the odds of things improving for Kansas this season aren’t high, but they have to keep fighting.
9. Kansas State
21-17 win over Kansas
Kansas State managed to squeak out a win over Kansas, but if anything, it highlighted just how much the Wildcats have struggled this season. The Wildcats had issues in all three phases of the game, and only seem to be improving on special teams. In a game that was decided on which team made the fewest mistakes, the final touchdown play by K-State on a 4th down conversion was as gritty as you could expect from a game like that. But it was just enough to get that fourth-quarter score to move K-State to 4-6 overall. The Wildcats host Texas Tech this week and cap the season against No. 22 ranked Iowa State. Both opponents are showing improvement throughout the season, so K-State must tighten things up this week.
10-47 loss at West Virginia
It’s crazy to think that TCU was ranked in the preseason, and chosen to finish near the top of the Big 12 conference. Following its 10-47 loss in Morgantown against West Virginia, it’s safe to say that a 4-6 overall TCU team will be facing a steep uphill battle trying to get to bowl eligibility with Baylor and Oklahoma State still on the schedule. While TCU held West Virginia scoreless through the first quarter, it was pretty much “game over” when TCU allowed three touchdowns in just 3:25 in the second quarter. The Horned Frogs scored just one touchdown in the second half and allowed three additional touchdowns and a field goal. They were held to a lowly 222 total yards of offense–a season low. TCU has faced several injuries this season, but so has everyone else. This is where depth plays a factor, and TCU just hasn’t been able to get great play from the “next man up”.
14-28 loss at Iowa State
Optimism started growing for Baylor following their win over Oklahoma State two weeks ago. But their loss at Iowa State indicated a step backward in more ways than one. On the one hand, Baylor struggled to score, putting up just two touchdowns in the second half. And on the other hand, while several Big 12 teams have proven to be better after the half this season, you can’t be effective if you lose players to ejections, which the Bears experienced with the loss of quarterback Charlie Brewer for a second unsportsmanlike conduct penalty. Thankfully for Baylor, Brewer will not miss game time against TCU, as the ejection rule only applies to fighting and for targeting penalties.
6. Oklahoma State
47-48 loss at Oklahoma
Oklahoma State is on a two-loss skid. However, with its nail-biting loss at Oklahoma last weekend, it showed that the Cowboys have the talent and drive to finish the season with Bowl eligibility. If their wide receivers continue working defenders as they did against the Sooners, they have a shot. Much like Texas Tech’s late heroics a few weeks against Oklahoma, the Cowboys were one two-point conversion away from pulling the upset. Regardless of the loss, it’s the motivation will certainly be there for the Cowboys with West Virginia on the schedule this weekend. But with a West Virginia team that’s emerged as one of the top defenses in the country, the receivers will be tested–perhaps more in this game than any other time this season.
5. Texas Tech
34-41 loss against Texas
With its loss against Texas, the Red Raiders are now 5-5 on the season, and 3-4 in the conference. The quarterback issue has been a revolving door of speculation and criticism since Alan Bowman’s injury. I think it’s fair to say that Jett Duffey’s 524 total yards of offense which included 80 rushing yards on critical conversions helped the Red Raiders stay in the game. Unfortunately, turnovers have been his biggest issue this season. Instead of losing confidence, though, Duffey had a monster 4th quarter, which included a two touchdown passes to Antoine Wesley and one to T.J. Vasher. Even in what’s perceived as a “down year” for Tech quarterbacks, it’s still important to note that Tech has one of the nation’s top offenses, and Wesley is second in the nation in receiving and leads all Power 5 receivers. Tech could still finish the season at 8-5 with a Bowl win. With Kansas State and Baylor left on the road, penalties and turnovers have to be the focus now.
41-34 win at Texas Tech
Texas is now ranked at No. 15 in the College Football Playoff. While a berth isn’t likely, the Longhorns are on the fringe of the Big 12 title game. If they can defeat Iowa State at home this week, and win on the road against Kansas in two weeks, they have a chance. With Sam Ehlinger’s 4th quarter heroics against Texas Tech in Lubbock last weekend, Texas has all the confidence they need to send Iowa State packing. If this is to happen, the Texas defense has to clean things up, considering they blew a 17-point lead at Texas Tech. Iowa State likes to control the clock, and the Longhorns defense will have to come up in a big way.
3. Iowa State
28-14 Win at home
The Cyclones earned their fifth straight win over Baylor to hit the 6-3 mark on the season, making them Bowl eligible. While the Cyclones blanked the Bears in the first half, they allowed 14 points and were shut out by Baylor in the 4th quarter. As we’ve witnessed this season, most teams have played better in the second half of play. So for Iowa State, which still has Texas, Kansas State, and Incarnate Word (6-4) on the schedule, that is an area where they need to address. The game turned south fast in the third quarter when running back David Montgomery and Baylor linebacker Greg Roberts were ejected. There was an altercation that subsequently almost cleared the bench in a full brawl shortly after. No word from the Big 12 on whether the incident will cause either player to face suspension. But Iowa State will need all hands on deck if they want to pull an upset and land a spot in the Big 12 title game.
2. West Virginia
47-10 win against TCU
I was most critical of the Mountaineers for the non-conference scheduling (minus the NC State cancellation due to Hurricane Florence). After the Iowa State loss at the always dangerous Jack Trice Stadium, I hammered them in the Big-12 Power Rankings. But West Virginia bounced back in a big way and have won three straight, with its most recent win over TCU last weekend. With quarterback Will Grier staying an easy frontrunner for the Heisman, I believe that Dana Holgorsen has a team that could easily go 2-0 in its final games at Oklahoma State, and against Oklahoma at home to finish the season. We can run statistics all afternoon, but the fact remains that West Virginia managed to score four touchdowns against TCU in under 1:30 each. That level of high octane efficiency is tough to defend throughout the conference. One statistic that WVU has a sizable advantage is in total defense, where the Mountaineers rank 37th nationally.
48-47 win against Oklahoma State
The Sooners have nine lives. In every close game, the pendulum seems to swing in their favor. And that was the case again this past weekend against Oklahoma State. Sooners’ quarterback Kyler Murray connected on 21 of 29 passes for 349 yards and a touchdown, with 66 rushing yards. These stats don’t exactly scream “Heisman front-runner,” but he is one. Running backs Kennedy Brooks and Trey Sermon accounted for 3 and 2 touchdowns on the ground respectively. In a league where the game is controlled on time of possession, a strong run game is important. Oklahoma certainly controlled the run game against Oklahoma State. The Sooners earned the No. 6 slot in the College Football Playoff standings this week. They are on the fringe of the top four. But if they can win out, it’s hard to deny their strength of schedule and quality of wins. The Sooners could help the Big 12 squeak in the College Football Playoff.
Want More? Check Out: Big Ten Power Rankings Week 12: “The Game” Is On The Horizon
There is certainly a lot to unpack in this week’s Big 12 Football Power Rankings Week 11. Unfortunately, it was one riddled with injuries and coaching moves we all saw coming. There’s a lot to get through, so without further ado, here’s how Big 12 Football teams stack up through 11 weeks of play.
3-27 loss against Iowa State
Kansas is now 3-6 following its 3-27 loss against No. 24 ranked Iowa State, and that’s not even bad part. Athletics director Jeff Long announced on Sunday that head coach David Beaty was OUT as head coach for the Jayhawks, but he will continue his role throughout the rest of the season. Kansas would need to defeat Kansas State, Oklahoma, and Texas in order to be Bowl eligible, but that’s unlikely at this point.
It’s hard to find a silver lining in this. And scoring just three points isn’t a highlight to write home about, which paved the foundation for social media to erupt with calls to cancel the program in its entirety. While nobody knows exactly what the future has in store for Kansas Football, there’s already chatter that Beaty could have a home as an assistant receivers’ coach in the Big 12. Stay tuned.
9. Kansas State
13-14 loss at TCU
With all that TCU has been experiencing in all three phases of the game this season, this was the game everyone thought could be the game Kansas State would win to get momentum into the final stretch. Unfortunately, in a battle between beleaguered teams, Kansas State came up short on a missed extra point to fall to 3-6 on the season. The Wildcats lost quarterback Skylar Thompson to an injury early in the game, but it didn’t take backup Alex Delton long to take command of the offense. Delton finished the day 15-25 for 155 yards and a touchdown. But defensively, the Wildcats just couldn’t hang on and allowed a third-quarter touchdown they couldn’t make up for.
Could this season mark the end for head coach Bill Snyder, who signed an extension this year? Perhaps, but Kansas State will have to win out just to become Bowl eligible, and with Texas Tech and Iowa State still on the schedule, it’s certainly anyone’s guess as to how the Snyder Legacy ends.
14-13 win against Kansas State
The TCU Horned Frogs finally got a win on account of defense and preventing a PAT following a fourth-quarter touchdown. Who knows, maybe if the Wildcats had gone for a 2-point conversion, these frames would look different, but in any event, it was a good “bounce back” win for TCU and certainly should give them some confidence as they prepare for West Virginia this weekend. The end of the season will decide whether a Gary Patterson coached team will make a 16th consecutive Bowl bid. But at 4-5 on the season, it’s going to be a tough uphill climb for the Horned Frogs, although, it is attainable.
One bright spot is quarterback Michael Collins’ cannon of an arm. He connected on a 67 yard touchdown pass to Jalen Reagor, so if TCU can improve on the consistency of throws, they should at least present a fight moving forward, but the key term here is “consistency,” which is kind of hit or miss in Big 12 Football, especially as injuries pile up.
7. Oklahoma State
31-35 loss at Baylor
Like TCU and Kansas State this season, things just aren’t going well for the Cowboys. Oklahoma State is now 5-4 on the season following its loss to a progressively improving Baylor team, and with Oklahoma next, followed by West Virginia and TCU, it’s still possible to become Bowl eligible, but Mike Gundy’s team has to become a more disciplined team and fast.
Against Baylor, the Cowboys amassed 12 penalties for 133 yards. Don’t expect to beat teams if you’re beating yourself up first. This cost them critical yardage in an already close game, where the Cowboys limited Baylor to just 158 passing yards. With Bedlam on Saturday against Oklahoma, it doesn’t give Oklahoma State much time to fix special teams issues, but Gundy has to adjust the game plan to more aggressive plays if they want a shot at another upset.
6. Baylor Bears
35-31 win against Oklahoma State
Having won just one game in Matt Rhule’s first season with Baylor, the Bears are now just one game away from Bowl eligibility following their win over Oklahoma State over the weekend. But the Bears did receive some assists from an undisciplined Oklahoma State team, so it minimized the interception and missed field goals to start the game.
Against a team like Iowa State this weekend, those mistakes will be costly, so it’s important for quarterbacks Jalan McClendon and Charlie Brewer to get in a rhythm early, regardless of who starts or finishes. Remember that Brewer was in concussion protocol last week. Thankfully for the Bears, Brewer was able to come in late and manage two touchdown drives for the win, but if Rhule goes with it again, a two-quarterback set should make things interesting against Iowa State this weekend.
5. Texas Tech
46-51 loss against Oklahoma
It’s unfortunate that Texas Tech lost starting quarterback Alan Bowman at the half to a re-aggravated collapsed lung. The Red Raiders were rolling, and winning several key battles against Oklahoma on defense, which included a record night from Vaughnte Dorsey where he intercepted two passes in the first quarter. Texas Tech would score touchdowns on both of those turnovers. Texas Tech’s defense has shown tremendous resiliency in the last few weeks, which shows that David Gibbs’ unit should be in business next season, as several backups have seen game time this season. It really makes you wonder what would have happened if Bowman had stayed healthy.
Texas Tech was pretty successful throughout the night on screen passes. However, lack of success on third-down conversions (Tech was 3-13 on the night) hurt. The run game, in particular, wasn’t up to par. Tech finished with just 107 to the Sooners’ 323 total rushing yards. If they can make that adjustment, they’ll have a big advantage over Texas this weekend. And it goes without saying that the Red Raiders are hoping to have some good news on the Bowman and Dakota Allen injuries this week. They need a few days to get the offense back in sync before Tech closes out the season in Lubbock on Saturday against the Longhorns.
41-42 loss against West Virginia
Texas dropped a nail-biter against–arguably–one of the most improved and dynamic teams in the Big 12: West Virginia. Although the game did come down to a 2-point conversion on a keeper by Will Grier, it wasn’t without its share of built-up drama. There was even a polarizing unsportsmanlike call, where David Sills flashed “Horns Down” after a touchdown.
Texas sustained some injuries, including the loss of Davante Davis (neck sprain), and Breckyn Hager with a dislocated radius. UT isn’t providing further information on those injuries, but giving up 578 total yards of offense doesn’t look good for a team that still has to get through a tough Iowa State team for a shot at the Big 12 Football title game.
3. Iowa State
27-3 win at Kansas
The Iowa State Cyclones keep rolling, and are now on a four-game win streak, and currently sit at 5-3 on the season. This team has had the biggest turnaround of all the Big 12 Football teams, and with weapons like quarterback Brock Purdy throwing for 263 yards and three touchdowns against a team that’s the best in college football in takeaways is impressive. Of course, the progressive improvement isn’t without continued speculation that head coach Matt Campbell could leave. Especially with his name being thrown around for head coaching jobs elsewhere. Iowa State still has a Baylor team that’s also improving, Texas, and Kansas State still on the schedule. The Cyclones need to stay focused on crashing the Big 12 Football Championship party.
51-46 win at Texas Tech
Oklahoma wasn’t as aggressive against a Texas Tech team the Sooners were projected to defeat by double-digits in Lubbock. Instead, the Red Raiders held a halftime lead. Few Oklahoma fans will argue that if it hadn’t been for Tech quarterback Alan Bowman missing the second half of play, we might be discussing a very different position.
Running back Trey Sermon picked up where Rodney Anderson left off. He racked up 206 yards and three touchdowns on the ground. That was an area of the play-calling where head coach Lincoln Riley knew they’d have an advantage, especially with Tech linebacker Dakota Allen out with an injury. As I’ve said all season, Oklahoma has been the top team in the Big 12 Conference. But, with the way West Virginia is playing, the Big 12 Football Championship game might be a repeat of the Sooners’ finale on Nov. 23.
1. West Virginia
42-41 win at Texas
With West Virginia’s win over the Texas Longhorns in Austin last weekend, it pretty much elevated their shot at facing the Sooners’ in the Big 12 Football Championship game. Quarterback Will Grier threw for 346 yards and three touchdowns and was responsible for the keeper on the Mountaineers’ 2-point conversion attempt, which not only helped his Heisman credentials but also padded his abilities enough to have NFL people discussing which offense he’d plug into on Sundays.
Texas is always a tough opponent, but the WVU Defense allowing 520 total yards of offense is something they have to work on.
Want more? Check out: Unafraid Show’s College Football Top 10 Rankings Week 11: No Margin for Error
There has been no more unbiased ranking out there than the Unafraid Show’s College Football Top 10 Rankings Week 11. I get criticized from time to time by people who only want to see the college football world through the lens of the AP Poll. However, if you go back and look at the rankings for each week, I guarantee you would now agree that I have been 100% right and accurate along the way.
The Unafraid Show College Football Top 10 Rankings Week 11 are not going to look like the AP Poll. Open your eyes to see a different view of evaluating the top 10. Most polls including the College Football Playoff Committee give college blueblood teams a massive “benefit of the doubt.” I don’t believe in that. The college football top 10 teams are ranked by the correct criteria: quality wins, schedule played, and dominance. Only the games have played matter.
I re-rank the top 10 every week from scratch. The previous week’s rankings do not factor into the next week. So, the rankings will change, sometimes drastically every week because we will have new information.
Before we get to College Football Top 10 Rankings Week 11, you can reference the Unafraid Show’s College Football Top 10 Rankings for Week 10.
Leave a comment or shoot an email: ImMad@unafraidshow.com… Yes, that is the real email address.
1. Alabama (9-0) Last Week: #2
Alabama is the class of the SEC and College Football. After week 10 I believe we can all agree that Bama is a juggernaut and the rest of the SEC is just like every other conference. Anyone can get beat on any given Saturday (with Clemson as the exception).
Alabama heard all the people saying they would to lose to LSU and told them to have a seat and be quiet. The Crimson Tide’s schedule has been extremely light this season. Playing tougher teams multiple weeks in a week out does fatigue a team mentally and physically. And Alabama has not experienced that, but I’m not sure it would have mattered who they played this season.
It feels like a foregone conclusion that the Crimson Tide will win the National Championship, but remember the New England Patriots looked unbeatable at 18-0, then proceeded to lose the Super Bowl. So, you never know.
2. Clemson (9-0) Last Week: #1
This is the time of year that teams jockeying for playoff seeding are trying to make statements. Clemson clearly made a statement by unmercifully beating Florida State, NC State, and Louisville over the last three weeks.
Dabo Swinney made the correct move when he made Trevor Lawrence the starting quarterback. The Clemson offense has been more dynamic and consistent since then. Winning the ACC is a foregone conclusion for the Tigers. Gearing up for what feels like an inevitable matchup with Alabama for the title has to be priority number one.
3. Notre Dame (9-0) Last Week: #3
If Notre Dame wins their last three games, there is NO chance they get left out of the playoffs. Oklahoma, Michigan, Washington State, West Virginia, Ohio State, and Georgia all have to be rooting for the Fighting Irish to drop a game. Ian Book continues his solid play and feels like the new prototype college quarterback. He is a terrific passer, but also adds a lot of value extending playing and picking up first downs with his legs.
In an interview on College Football GameDay head coach, Brian Kelly was already talking about the playoffs and a potential rematch with Alabama. I have to wonder if Kelly and his team could be looking past games against Florida State, Syracuse, and USC.
4. Michigan (8-1) Last Week: #6
I officially believe in Michigan. The Wolverines did horrible things to Penn State. Their defense is smothering, and unquestionably the #1 defense in the nation. This defense could absolutely slow Alabama’s offense down. The only question is will their offense be able to produce against Bama’s notoriously stingy defense.
The “eye test” tells me that Michigan is a better team than Notre Dame, at this point. However, the fact that Notre Dame beat Michigan week one cannot be ignored. If it came down to the last playoff spot could anyone in good conscience put Michigan over an undefeated Notre Dame?
5. Oklahoma (8-1) Last Week: #5
We have learned two things about Oklahoma this season. Their offense is unstoppable, and their defense can’t stop nosebleed most times. Unless the Sooners lose another game, they will 100% be in the top four of the CFB Playoffs. Chaos always ensues in November and the Sooners will be the beneficiary. It will be interesting to see if a team like Michigan or Alabama who is so good defensively can stop the most potent offense in college football.
Kyler Murray has to be a Heisman Finalist and could possibly win the award if he has more heroics over the last month of the season. Oklahoma is what Washington State would be with 4-5* athletes all over the place, except Washington State plays better defense.
6. Georgia (8-1) Last Week: 7
We have to give Georgia credit for wins against Florida and Kentucky though neither team is nearly as good as the hype that surrounded them. The Bulldogs are in a tight spot when it comes to making the College Football Playoffs. They already have one loss and have to play Alabama in the SEC championship. Anything but a win will keep them out of the top 4, but a New Years Six bowl is surely in Georgia’s favor.
The Bulldogs only need to guard against a let down versus Auburn or Georgia Tech over the next three weeks.
7. Washington State (8-1) Last Week: 9
Something special is brewing in Pullman, Washington. Mike Leach has turned one of the worst college football teams into a playoff contender. No one expected their success after they lost their starting quarterback Tyler Hilinski to suicide during the offseason. However, graduate transfer Gardener Minshew II has shown up and thrown for nearly 400 yards per game.
If one of nations top defenses cannot stop the Cougars, they should be able to finish their Pac-12 schedule unscathed.
8. West Virginia (7-1) Last Week: #NR
It seems Will Grier and the Mountaineers are peeks at the right time. They had ugly games against Kansas and Iowa State in the middle of the season, but have bounced back nicely. We appear to be headed for an Oklahoma vs. West Virginia Big 12 championship game. Dana Holgorsen has his opportunity to deliver on the expectations of West Virginia fans if he can get 3 more wins out of his team.
Just like every other Big 12 team, the only question about this team is their defense. Can they get enough stops against teams that want to run the football to win in the playoffs?
9. Central Florida (8-0) Last Week: #8
Central Florida is the Rodney Dangerfield of college football. They do good things but get no respect. The Knights have won 21 straight football games going back to last season, but have no hope of making the top four. Their schedule has not been good, but until last week had been better than Alabama and other teams in the top 12.
Central Florida is not doing themselves any favors by playing close games against Memphis and Temple. Neither of those teams is as bad as some of the cupcakes on other top 10 teams’ schedule. However, the other teams in the Unafraid Show’s College Football Top 10 Rankings Week 11 have been dominating their inferior competition.
10. Ohio State (8-1) Last Week: #10
The Buckeyes are sitting at 8-1, but they do not look good right now. They have struggled both offensively and defensively in three consecutive weeks against Minnesota, Purdue, and Nebraska. There is no lack of talent with this team, so their play of late has to be concerning for Ohio State fans. A one-loss Big Ten champion will likely end up in the College Football Playoffs, so there is still time for the Buckeyes to pull it together. Michigan is hot right now, and the last thing Ohio State wants is to be playing poorly heading into their most crucial game of the season.
I know some of you are steaming mad right now because your team is ranked too low or is unranked. Take a breathe and realize that your fandom is causing irrational thoughts. The College Football Top 10 Rankings Week 9 is accurate, unbiased, and unafraid.