West Virginia helps hit reset button on Big 12 with upset of No. 4 Baylor


A week ago Baylor managed to come back from a 21-point deficit to beat TCU in the fourth quarter. This week was a different story. No. 4 Baylor (6-1, 3-1 Big 12) was shutout in the fourth quarter and West Virginia (5-2, 3-1) scored twice to pull away from the defending Big 12 champions. It was the second significant upset in the Big 12 that unfolded early Saturday afternoon that could reshape the way this conference now plays out the rest of the way.

West Virginia quarterback Clint Trickett out-dueled his counterpart from Baylor, Bryce Petty. Trickett ended his day with 322 passing yards and three touchdowns, including two in the fourth quarter as the Mountaineers broke a tie and ran away with the win. Petty was held to completing just 16 of 32 attempts for 223 yards and two touchdowns.

Talk all you wish about offense, but West Virginia’s defense deserves great praise for this one. West Virginia lost three turnovers, but the defense only allowed 10 yards to be scored off of those mistakes. The Baylor touchdown following a fumble came on a possession that started on the West Virginia seven, so blaming the defense for that hardly seems fair anyway. Baylor had over 700 yards of offense a week ago against TCU, but West Virginia held the BEars to just 318 yards of offense. West Virgina’s ability to get off the field on defense was magnificent as well. Baylor converted just three out of 16 third-down conversion attempts, and Baylor was 0-for-2 on fourth-down conversion attempts.

This game was polluted by penalties by both teams as well. Baylor was called for 18 penalties and 185 penalty yards. West Virginia was flagged 14 times for 138 yards. Neither Art Briles nor Dana Holgorsen can be pleased with that lack of discipline from start to finish.

Baylor was the Big 12’s final undefeated team. Now, in Big 12 play, Oklahoma State and Kansas State are the only undefeated teams in conference play (and Oklahoma State is off to a poor start at TCU). Baylor sis certainly not out of the Big 12 picture of course, but West Virginia has now made a push as well. At 3-1 in the Big 12, the Mountaineers are ahead fo Baylor in the standings. The Big 12 race is also going to be worth discussing as it relates to the College Football Playoff moving forward, although it is still too early to suggest the conference will be on the outside looking in. An undefeated Baylor team would have been the most likely to be a lock to represent the Big 12, although a one-loss Big 12 champion would likely still have a very good chance to be selected. This despite the conference having any real signature wins in out-of-conference play and no wins against top 25 competition.

Baylor will be off next week. Baylor’s next game will be November 1 at home against Kansas. Odds are the Bears will have little trouble with that one before heading to Norman, Oklahoma the following week to take on the Oklahoma Sooners.

West Virginia will go on the road next week to take on Oklahoma State. The Mountaineers have TCU at home the following week and then a road trip to Austin to play the Texas Longhorns before getting to a mid-November bye week.

Joe Moorhead on Rutgers vacancy: Not something that’s under consideration

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Rutgers is looking for a new head coach and Mississippi State head coach Joe Moorhead is supposedly the so-called frontrunner for the job, according to reports out of New Jersey. But would the Mississippi State head coach leave the SEC to take on the massive undertaking at Rutgers? For now, at least, the Bulldogs head coach is saying all the things you would expect a coach in a current job to say.

“It’s not something that’s under consideration,” Moorhead said to Paul Finebaum of SEC Network when asked about his potential interest in the job on Friday afternoon. “My focus is here at Mississippi State. This is where we want to be and this is what we want to do.”

Moorhead is in his second season as head coach of Mississippi State. Moorhead’s northeastern roots as a New Jersey native seem like a natural fit to take on the Rutgers coaching job. Whether Moorhead is leaving one program stuck in the bottom half of its own division in the SEC for a chance to be stuck in the bottom half of its division in the Big Ten remains to be seen. Moorhead is saying everything a current head coach should be expected to say, whether he genuinely means it or not.

Rutgers fired Chris Ash at the end of September after a 1-3 start capped by a blowout loss at Michigan. Tight ends coach Nunzio Campanile has been serving as the team’s interim coach while the search for a permanent replacement for Ash is found.

Alcohol at Boise State football games (and other schools in Idaho) is one step closer to reality

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As the trend of allowing alcohol at college football games continues to sweep the nation, the state of Idaho has moved one step closer to allowing schools like Boise State to potentially join the trend. According to a report from Idaho Press, the state’s education board has granted preliminary approval to allow universities to decide for themselves if alcohol will be permitted.

The Idaho State Board of Education previously stood in the way of schools within the state from allowing alcohol at collegiate athletic events, such as Boise State football games. Although certain battles have been won in recent years to allow for restricted alcohol availability under certain parameters, the state’s board of education is essentially preparing to step out of the way entirely.

This doesn’t mean Boise State or Idaho Vandal fans will be able to soak in the suds this season though. A revised policy from the board is tentative to be voted on in December for final approval to allow universities to decide for themselves. As it turns out, the decision to pass on the decision-making to university presidents may be more of a way to prevent the board from wasting time on the subject entirely.

“This Board needs to focus on strategic direction for education policy,” board member Andrew Scoggin said, according to the Idaho Press report. “We have very capable and competent chief executive officers at these institutions and there are very clear requirements for safety and security that they will have to meet in order to authorize these permits.”

If the refined policy to pass on the responsibility to individual institutions, that could pave the way for Boise State to have alcohol sales expanded at football games as early as next season if the university is interested in the trend.

Virginia Tech DT Rob Porcher throws name in transfer portal

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Virginia Tech is possibly about to lose a defensive lineman from its roster. Defensive tackle Rob Porcher has entered the transfer portal, a report with confirmation from Virginia Tech confirmed Friday afternoon.

Andy Bitter of The Athletic reported news of the transfer portal development, via Twitter.

Porcher is a redshirt sophomore, so he will have two more years of eligibility at another FBS program. Porcher would have to sit out the 2020 season at another FBS program, per NCAA transfer rules, if he does end up leaving the Hokies. Any player entering the transfer portal is free to have contact with any other college football program as they evaluate their options. A decision to remain in Blacksburg is always possible too, although the report from Bitter suggests that may not be the end-result for Porcher.

Porcher has appeared in five games this season. In that time, Porcher has recorded three tackles with one sack.

Michigan State TE Noah Davis is sixth Spartan to enter transfer portal this season

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The almighty transfer portal has added another college football player’s name to its database. Michigan State tight end Noah Davis has reportedly entered the transfer portal, according to Detroit Free Press reporter Rainer Sabin (via Twitter).

Davis appeared in four games for Michigan State this season, but he has not caught a pass this season. Three other tight ends on the Michigan State roster have contributed on offense this season. Senior Matt Seybert is Michigan State’s third-leading receiver with 15 receptions for 185 yards and three touchdowns. Matt Dotson and Trenton Gillison have also played a part in the passing game at times this season. Davis did not play in 208 due to injury. Davis will have one final year of eligibility in 2020.

By entering the transfer portal, Davis is free to have contact with any other college football program that may be interested in recruiting him to their program. Davis may also choose to stay with the Spartans.

Davis is the sixth Michigan State player to enter the transfer portal since the season got underway. Previous players entering the transfer portal from Michigan State include running backs Connor Heyward (HERE) and La’Darius Jefferson (HERE), wide receivers Weston Bridges (HERE) and Cam Chambers, and linebacker Brandon Bouyet-Randle (HERE).