After last weekend’s crazy upsets, at least we have one constant: No. 1 LSU wins again and will play for the SEC championship and a spot in the BCS national championship.
LSU dismantled Arkansas in the second half en route to a 41-17 win over the No. 3 Razorbacks. The win locks up the SEC West for the Tigers, who will play Georgia next Saturday in the SEC Championship.
After 12 games, what more can you really say about LSU? Les Miles‘ team has gone in to every test this season — the opener against Oregon, the road games against West Virginia and Alabama — and come out on the right side of the win column each time.
The idea of a team not winning their conference or division and still playing for the national championship has become insufferable because of the BCS, but even if LSU somehow, some way slips up next week against Georgia, could they really drop beyond No. 2 in the final BCS rankings after everything they’ve accomplished? Is a one-loss LSU any worse than a one-loss Oklahoma State, or Virginia Tech?
Just about anybody with a reasonable head on their shoulders would conclude LSU is the best team in college football right now, and the BCS is designed to pair the two highest rated teams at the end of the season based on their whole body of work. That’s where guys like BCS executive director Bill Hancock make laughable statements like “every game matters.” It’s laughable because even they know it’s not true. If Alabama beats Auburn on Saturday, “game of the century” part deux becomes a very real possibility.
Good thing they didn’t already decide it on the field on Nov. 5.
It’s not that I’m opposed to a rematch — Alabama is arguably second-best team in the country — I’m just opposed to a rematch as long as the BCS is involved.
If Oklahoma State can rally from their loss to Iowa State and beat Oklahoma next week, there’s a great chance they could find their way back into national title picture. Are the Cowboys really the second-best team in the country? I don’t know, we have a system in place that judges how great a team is based on when they lose. But, after watching LSU today, OSU — or, any team for that matter — may want to take a rain check on the national title this year.
The search for a new coach at Missouri continues, and apparently one candidate has backed away from the pursuit. The Philadelphia Inquirer reports Temple head coach Matt Rhule has turned taken himself out of the mix for the job at Missouri, which likely means Rhule will stay put in South Philly during this coaching carousel cycle.
According to the report, Temple is also in the process of negotiating a new contract for Rhule. Rhule has already signed a contract extension with Temple that runs through 2021. Rhule’s Owls are also preparing to take on Houston in this week’s American Athletic Conference championship game. Rhule does not believe this will serve as a distraction to his team as they prepare for the Cougars.
“I think our team is way too strong to be distracted about anything with me,” Rhule said. “I am honest with our players and tell them everything.”
Ironically, Houston also received some encouraging news this week when head coach Tom Herman said he has an agreement in principle to stay at Houston. Not only is that good news for Houston and Temple, but that is outstanding news for the conference as a whole, although Memphis did lose Justin Fuente to Virginia Tech.
For Temple, this should be encouraging news as a program. The two coaches before Rhule took the job each left to take on power conference opportunities once they came along. Al Golden took an offer to coach Miami (that, uh, didn’t exactly pan out nicely) and Steve Addazio bolted for Boston College. Who knows if Rhule will stick around for the long haul, but it would seem just being able to get him to return in 2016 would be a major step in the right direction for Temple.
Texas Tech may be getting ready for a bowl game, but they will do so without three defensive assistant coaches. Co-defensive coordinator and defensive line coach Mike Smith, cornerbacks coach Kevin Curtis and outside linebackers coach Trey Haverty have been cut from the coaching staff, head coach Kliff Kingsbury announced today.
“We appreciate all that Mike, Kevin and Trey have done at Texas Tech over the last three seasons,” Kingsbury said in a released statement. “All three are great Red Raiders and we wish them the very best.”
Texas Tech had the Big 12’s ninth-ranked total defense after allowing 540.2 yards per game. That was nearly 100 yards more per game than Iowa State’s eighth-ranked defense. Only Kansas had a worst defense, allowing 560.8 yards per game. Texas Tech’s defense ranked 126th in the nation out of 128 schools. The Red Raiders were torched through the air, allowing 268.3 yards per game through the air, which was ranked 113th in the nation.
Offense appears to be the key to success in the Big 12 and defense has tended to be a hurdle for the Red Raider program. This much appears to be clear though. Kingsbury is making moves with his roster to find a way to improve defensively and become a more well-rounded threat in the Big 12.
Forget about all of the talk regarding 5-7 teams going to bowl games or not, because teams that have actually qualified and deserved a bowl trip are starting to line up their postseason plans. Western Michigan confirmed today it will head to the Bahamas Bowl, where the Broncos will face Middle Tennessee of Conference USA.
There were three potential bowl destinations for Western Michigan. The two in addition to the Bahamas Bowl were the Boca Raton Bowl and the Poinsettia Bowl. There really wasn’t a bad destination here for Western Michigan, but a chance to go to the Bahamas seemed to be a crowd pleaser, and how could it not?
After the video revealed the bowl destination for the program, head coach P.J. Fleck went on to commend the Broncos for accomplishing a number of firsts for the program this season, including its first win over a top 25 team, a share of the division crown for the first time in over a decade, and the first time going to bowl game sin back-to-back seasons. Now, Fleck wants his program to put together an eight-win season, which would mark the first back-to-back eight-win seasons. Keep rowing that boat, Western Michigan.
The odds are pretty good East Carolina never would have received a bowl invitation as 5-7 teams wait in line for a rare bowl invitation to fill bowl vacancies. Either wayt, East Carolina is on the record now to say it would not accept any bowl invitation.
“While we understand there are still numerous programs with higher APR scores ahead of us who merit stronger consideration, we have already determined that we would decline an offer should one be extended,” East Carolina Director of Athletics Jeff Compher said in a released statement. “Our efforts should be centered on positioning the Pirates for future championships.”
With Nebraska and Illinois already reportedly ready to accept any bowl invitation they would receive, East Carolina was already going to eb locked out of the postseason as long as the Huskers and Illini stayed true to those reports. Missouri has publicly said it would turn down an ofer, but there are still other schools that would stand in the way of ECU, which is way down the order on the wait list.