Mike Gundy, Shelley Budke

Oklahoma State has earned a title shot they won’t receive


Whether you thought Oklahoma State deserved a shot at the BCS national title or not, you know the question is going to be asked for the next week leading up to the rematch between LSU and Alabama.

With the third-ranked Cowboys topping No. 4 Stanford 41-38 in overtime in the Fiesta Bowl, has Oklahoma State earned the chance to play one more game?

The question, of course, is rhetorical; OSU can’t do anything about the national title game now besides campaign for a few AP votes here and there, but there’s something to be said for winning what has arguably been the most complete conference in college football this season from top to bottom.

Yes, more complete than the SEC. Bowl records may be worthless to some, but it’s worth noting that the Big 12 is 6-1 in bowl games thus far. Regardless of the circumstances, the Big 12 has shown up in the postseason.

Regular season wins over Kansas State, Baylor, Oklahoma and now Stanford — all Top 20 teams — and Oklahoma State’s resume speaks for itself. Of course, so does its one loss on the road against Iowa State. It’s tough to be perfect, though, and college football’s current postseason format is one that demands either perfection, or the next best alternative. But we won’t travel down that road again. Y’all already know how we feel about the BCS.

What we have in the meantime is water cooler debate, especially if Alabama can find a way to knock off top-ranked LSU. The Tide, the Cowboys… perhaps even the Tigers still, or Oregon after tonight’s Rose Bowl win… could all lay claim they’re still the best team in the land. One thing’s for sure: whichever team really is the best will be decided next to said water coolers. And on message boards. And blog sites like this one, rather than the place it rightfully should be.

OSU may not be the best team in college football, but they managed to come from behind against Stanford and the best player in college football Andrew Luck, and come out on the right side of the W-L column. That has at least earned them a shot to compete. Heck, they earned that shot when they won the Big 12 by destroying Oklahoma. But it’s a shot they won’t get.

And this isn’t about doing what will benefit Oklahoma State.

This is about doing what will benefit college football.

Steve Spurrier discusses retirement; Gamecocks name Shawn Elliott interim coach

Steve Spurrier
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Odds are pretty good Steve Spurrier has coached his final game as the Head Ball Coach, but Spurrier let it be known he is not going to go away quite as easily as you might think. Spurrier addressed the media today as South Carolina made its transition between coaches official. Spurrier noted he is resigning as head coach, but he is not necessarily retiring. As previously reported, Shawn Elliott will take on the role as interim head coach of the Gamecocks effective immediately.

The first thing Spurrier wants to remind everybody is he is not retiring. This is simply a resignation from his current position. Spurrier left the door open to possible options down the road for him in his post-coaching career. The idea of Spurrier walking away from the football world never to be heard from again is a startling one, so it is good to know he is not going to let that happen.

“College football is a game of recruiting, as well know,” Spurrier said when assessing why it was right for him to leave his job now. “That’s another reason I need to move on. I don’t know if coaching is completely over or not. It is fun being on a team. I might be a consultant for someone. I doubt if I’ll be a head coach again, but who knows?”

Spurrier said he realized Sunday the time to walk away was now and explained he always knew he would need to step aside the moment he saw himself holding the program back. That echoes the sentiment he has shared over the years, especially when asked about coaches like Joe Paterno and Bobby Bowden as they each got up in the years. This season South Carolina is off to a 2-4 start, so the writing was on the wall for Spurrier, who also said it was in the best interests for all if an inevitable change was handled immediately.

“We’ve slipped. It’s my fault. I’m the head coach,” Spurrier said of South Carolina’s recent struggles.”We haven’t lost it. We’ve got a dang good team.”

“Our team is not in shambles despite what some might say,” Elliott said when he was given a chance to speak to the media. “We’re going to do everything we can to make the University of South Carolina proud of this football program.”

Elliott will now have the rest of the season to show what he can do as a head coach, and he knows this will be a bit of an open audition for the job as South Carolina starts searching for its next head coach.

Mark Dantonio quickly tosses aside South Carolina discussion

Mark Dantonio

Michigan State has become a national power under the coaching of Mark Dantonio. The grizzled and confident coach has put together a master plan in East Lansing and has taken the Spartans to the top of the Big Ten along the way, capturing a Big Ten title and victories in the Cotton Bowl and Rose Bowl as well as in-state dominance over the Michigan Wolverines. Danotnio is preparing his Spartans to take on the Wolverines this week, but with the new vacancy opening up at South Carolina following the sudden retirement of Steve Spurrier, Dantonio has already been presented with the question about his thoughts on coaching at South Carolina.

He did not seem all that interested in discussing the vacancy when meeting with Michigan State media this morning.

“Coach Spurrier’s had an outstanding career there, it’s alma mater, and we’re here to talk about Michigan,” Dantonio said when asked about it today. Video below from the Big Ten Network

Dantonio played defensive back for the Gamecocks in the mid 1970s, which helps make Dantonio an interesting name to mention in any coaching future discussion out of Columbia. While Dantonio may have played at South Carolina for Jim Carlen, Dantonio grew up in Ohio and has coached the bulk of his career within Ohio and the Big Ten. He is also one win away from picking up his 100th career coaching victory, 81 of which have come at Michigan State.