Iowa State has been known to surprise ranked Big 12 teams at home when the weather starts to get a little chilly and the Cyclones are at least hanging around against a big time opponent in the first half.
No. 14 Oklahoma jumped out to an early lead and held onto it against a pesky Cyclones offense to head to the locker room up 28-17 after two quarters.
Sooners quarterback Baker Mayfield was naturally the focal point of his offense with tailbacks Joe Mixon (suspension) and Samaje Perine (injury) both not playing in the game, throwing four touchdowns and 244 yards to balance out an interception. Freshman Abdul Adams led the team in rushing with 54 yards on five carries after getting the start in the backfield.
Wideout Dede Westbrook was having a pretty quiet night until the final few minutes of the second quarter when he did what he has been doing to every Big 12 defense this season by hauling in a 65 yard touchdown pass to keep Oklahoma in the lead.
The Iowa State offense did take advantage of solid starting field position most of the half and were able to move the ball behind starting signal-caller Jacob Park. Receiver Allen Lazard is already up to 66 yards and a touchdown on the game while backup quarterback Joel Lanning briefly gave the team a lead with a 41 yard run that came on fourth down.
It should make for a fun second half with Oklahoma a little short-handed but needing style points for the College Football Playoff Selection Committee and Iowa State focused on another late season upset as they get the ball to start the third quarter.
After taking a little time off from the LSU football program this spring, Arden Key calmed the nerves of Tigers fans on Wednesday with a simple message on his Twitter account.
Key announced to his Twitter followers he will be on the field for the Tigers this fall. Back in February, LSU released a statement saying Key would be stepping away from the program “for personal reasons.” What those personal reasons were is unknown, but he did so with the support of head coach Ed Orgeron and the entire football program at the time.
Key earned second-team All-SEC honors last season after leading LSU with 14.5 tackles for loss and 12 sacks, a school record. With news, he would be stepping away from the program and the age of top NFL Draft prospects opting out of bowl games, the mere thought that Key might become the first potential NFL Draft pick the following season sitting out the entire football season was difficult to completely ignore. Fortunately, especially for LSU and not so much for LSU’s opponents, Key is choosing not to break that barrier at this time.
After being charged for allegedly exposing himself to tutors at Texas A&M, wide receiver Kirk Merritt is no longer an Aggie. Merritt has been removed from the Texas A&M football program, according to a report from The Eagle. Though there has been no official statement confirming such news, Merritt’s name has been wiped off the team’s online roster.
Merritt pleaded not guilty to a pair of indecent exposure charges against him stemming from an incident last October. Merritt allegedly exposed himself to female academic tutors. Merritt was suspended by Texas A&M head coach Kevin Sumlin a few days after the alleged incidents. The suspension was expanded to indefinite status following Merritt’s arrest on November 8. The suspension has since been lifted after the university’s conduct process wrapped up in January.
It has been a bit of a bumpy year for Merritt. Merritt left Oregon for Texas A&M last summer due to family reasons. He participated in Texas A&M’s spring practices but did not play in the spring game.
When it comes to revenues, the SEC and Big Ten continue to set the pace and leave the rest of the competition in the dust. That said, the Big 12 saw a second straight sizable revenue bump, according to recent tax returns.
As reported by USA Today, the Big 12 recorded a revenue of $313 million for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2016 on its tax return. The figure is up roughly $40 million from last year’s revenue, and the conference has now doubled its revenue since the 2012 fiscal year amid conference realignment changes. As for the revenue shares for each Big 12 program, the numbers ranged from $28 million to West Virginia to $28.9 million for Oklahoma. This marked the first time West Virginia and TCU were eligible to receive their full conference revenue shares as Big 12 members.
The biggest reason for the big jump in revenue came from increased bowl revenue. The Big 12 pulled in $114.5 million in bowl revenue in 2016, which was just $74.5 million in 2015. The 2015 season, which was included in the fiscal year outlined by this tax return, saw Oklahoma advance to the College Football Playoff and Oklahoma State be selected to play in a New Years Six bowl game (Sugar Bowl), which led to a larger bowl game distribution for the Big 12. The previous year saw no Big 12 team in the College Football Playoff (TCU, Baylor).
The Big 12 still lags well behind the SEC. Most will, of course. The SEC announced a revenue of $584.2 million for the 2015-2016 fiscal year, with each SEC member receiving a revenue share of $40.4 million. The SEC and Big 12 are the only conference revenue numbers currently on record for the 2015-2016 fiscal year, but expect the Big Ten to be a solid second in the pecking order, with the ACC likely to come in front of the Big 12 and the Pac-12 to be toward the bottom of the pack.
Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby had a pay increase as well. Bowlsby reportedly earned a little more than $2.6 million in 2015, earning more than $70,000 than the previous year.
After a couple of years away, Shaq Wiggins is back in the SEC.
The defensive back took to his Twitter account Wednesday afternoon to announce that he “will continue to finish my career at the University of Tennessee.” The move to Rocky Top comes a little over a month after he decided to transfer from Louisville.
As a graduate transfer, the defensive back will be able to play for the Vols in 2017.
The transfer to UT continues Wiggins’ well-traveled collegiate career.
In early May of 2014, Georgia announced that Wiggins had decided to transfer from the Bulldogs; later that month, he followed former UGA defensive coordinator Todd Grantham to the U of L. With Grantham departing this offseason for the same job at Mississippi State, it was thought that, after a successful appeal of an initial barring, the Bulldogs would be a potential landing spot for Wiggins.
Wiggins started at corner for the Cardinals in 2015, earning honorable mention All-ACC honors. Injuries plagued him throughout the 2016 season.