Understatement of the year, right? There’s nothing about a 63-21 loss to anyone, regardless of whether Oklahoma is No. 13 in the country or not, that screams “championship-caliber.”
Texas, at an apparently deceptive No. 15 ranking, clearly isn’t ready to compete for a Big 12 championship yet after dropping two conference games in the first half of the season. Oklahoma, Kansas State and perhaps West Virginia (though defense is a liability) are in that category. That part isn’t as surprising. As was noted in this year’s Big 12 preview, the Longhorns still seemed like they were a year away from being real contenders.
What is more surprising is that the Longhorns don’t look like they’ve made any progress in dealing with adversity. That’s amazing when you consider how much of it UT has faced over the past couple of years.
Every team gets hit in the mouth. Oklahoma did when it lost to K-State earlier this season, and the Wildcats have been in some close games too. Great teams respond to that and overcome it, but Texas laid down before the first half was even over, and that is a reflection on Mack Brown.
There are other problems too. Texas’ defense is clearly not what it was hyped to be before the start of the season. As a unit, the defense looks lost and can’t tackle. Get in a hole like the one UT got in today, and it’s impossible to expect the offense to do anything it wants.
Texas can still go on to have a good season, but it’s not a mature enough team to bring home another Big 12 title this year.
Navy has seen one of its most productive players on the defensive side of the ball play for perhaps the final time this season.
Kwazel Bertrand sustained a broken ankle in the win over Air Force last Saturday, head coach Ken Niumatalolo confirmed earlier this week. As a result, the defensive back will very likely miss the remainder of the 2015 season.
And, because he is a senior and has no other eligibility avenues to pursue, it would effectively end his collegiate career as well.
“I feel terrible for Kwazel. It’s really unfortunate any time a senior goes down with a season-ending injury,” Niumatalolo said. “Kwazel has been a really good player for us and we’re going to miss his presence out on the field.”
Bertrand started 27 games over the past three-plus seasons, including all four in 2015.
You know how I know we’re gradually creeping up on the end of another regular season? Watch lists are being whittled.
The first major honor to do so is the Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award, which is given out annually to the best quarterback who is a college senior or fourth-year junior. The preseason watch list was 30 quarterbacks strong; the newest list has been cut in half to 15.
The most recent list includes one of the top Heisman contenders (TCU’s Trevone Boykin) and the top two nationally in passing yards (Bowling Green’s Matt Johnson, Western Kentucky’s Brandon Doughty), as well as a quarterback who’s closing in on the all-time FBS record for rushing touchdowns (Navy’s Keenan Reynolds).
The Pac-12 leads all conferences with three watch listers, followed by two each from the AAC, ACC and Big Ten. The SEC has as many players (one, Mississippi State’s Dak Prescott) as the FCS (North Dakota State’s Carson Wentz).
Last year’s winner was Marcus Mariota of Oregon.
Trevone Boykin, TCU
Jacoby Brissett, NC State
Connor Cook, Michigan State
Brandon Doughty, WKU
Everett Golson, Florida State
Kevin Hogan, Stanford
Matt Johnson, Bowling Green
Cody Kessler, USC
Paxton Lynch, Memphis
Dak Prescott, Mississippi State
Keenan Reynolds, Navy
Nate Sudfeld, Indiana
Carson Wentz, N. Dakota State
Marquise Williams, North Carolina
Travis Wilson, Utah