AP Photo/LM Otero

Power 5 conferences dominate Sweet 16 field


Comparing college football and college basketball success can often be like comparing apples to oranges, but now that we have the Sweet 16 field set in Sharpie in men’s college basketball, we can see how the power conferences are stacking up on the hard court and compare that to what we witnessed on the gridiron last fall.

Of the 16 teams left standing in the men’s NCAA Basketball tournament, 14 come from a Power 5 conference. The ACC has two number one seeds still standing in North Carolina and Virginia and also has Miami, Duke, Notre Dame and Syracuse still competing. Not too shabby for the ACC, which also saw its football champion, Clemson, run the table last football season all the way to a spot in the College Football Playoff national championship game. Do not forget the ACC sent Florida State to the New Years Six, which may be as close as we have to an equivalent to the Sweet 16 in college basketball. The Sweet 16 will be a fun one for the ACC with matchups against Big East champion Villanova (Miami), top seed and Pac-12 champion Oregon (Duke), Big Ten blueblood Indiana (North Carolina), a second Big Ten opponent in Wisconsin (Notre Dame), Big 12 member Iowa State (Virginia) and born-again Cinderella Gonzaga (Syracuse). Could we see six teams from the ACC in the Elite Eight? Probably not, but there appear to be some favorable matchups in the bunch and you should never really count out Duke this time of year.

Despite some early exits in recent days, the Big 12 is still sitting in a decent position with three teams entering the second week of the tournament. Kansas (the complete polar opposite of its football program) is playing with its top seed in the south. Oklahoma is holding strong with its second seed in the west. Iowa State has prevailed as the four-seed in the Midwest.

The Big Ten took some big hits this weekend with Big Ten championship game participants Purdue and Michigan State bowing out early and Iowa getting rolled by Villanova on Sunday. The Spartans reached the College Football Playoff and NCAA tournament and never held a lead once in 100 minutes of combined competitive action. Wisconsin, a year after playing for the title, took down a strong Xavier team (Wisconsin would crush Xavier in football, a sport the Ohio-based school no longer plays). Indiana got by Kentucky and now prepares for the Tar Heels. Meanwhile, Maryland will look to take down Kansas in the South.

Texas A&M is the SEC’s last team standing after an improbable comeback in the final minute against Northern Iowa on Sunday. Should the Aggies make a title run for the first time in school history, it would give the SEC a championship double-dip in football and men’s basketball. The SEC was the last conference to pull off such a feat with Alabama winning the BCS national title in the 2012 season and Kentucky winning the men’s basketball tournament a few months later.

West No. 1 seed Oregon is the last team from the Pac-12 to continue playing. The Ducks may face the toughest challenges with Duke and the winner of Texas A&M-Oklahoma coming up this week.

Be sure to stay on top of all of the tournament madness with our friends over on College Basketball Talk.

Indiana QB Michael Penix could be a game-time decision again this week

Photo by Justin Casterline/Getty Images
Leave a comment

A week after being a game-time decision against Ohio State, Indiana quarterback Michael Penix appears to be heading to a similar fate this week. Only this time, the Hoosiers are hoping to get their starting quarterback on the field this week.

Indiana head coach Tom Allen the likely plan this week will be to leave a decision on whether or not to play Penix as a game-time decision, similar to last week. Just before the Hoosiers kicked off at home against the buckeyes, Penix was ruled out for the game. Peyton Ramsey took over the offense for the game. Ramsey would likely get the starting nod if Penix is ruled out for this weekend’s game against UConn. Jack Tuttle also played for Indiana against Ohio State and could be used as well.

“I don’t foresee it, hopefully, not being a day-to-day thing the rest of the season, but at the same time, for this Saturday’s game, we definitely aren’t going to know for several more days,” Allen said to reporters on Monday. “He probably will eventually be a game-time decision with him, but I don’t expect that to keep being the case every single week.”

The nature of the injury that has sidelined Penix has not been confirmed by Allen. Penix started the first two games of the season.

Texas Tech announces QB Alan Bowman to miss “several weeks” due to shoulder injury

Photo by John Weast/Getty Images
Leave a comment

As reports were swirling around about a possible injury to their starting quarterback, Texas Tech has announced Alan Bowan will be out for “several weeks” as a result of a shoulder injury. The injury occurred during Texas Tech’s road game at Arizona this past weekend.

Bowman was examined briefly on the Texas Tech sideline during a road trip to Arizona last weekend (which resulted in a loss to the Arizona Wildcats). Bowman did not miss any playing time, so news of a potentially lengthy injury comes as a bit of a surprise. Bowman was taken to the ground by a defender. No penalty was called on the play.

The Red Raiders will now likely go with Jett Duffey to lead the offense at the position. Texas Tech is off this week. While Texas Tech has not shared an expected timeline for Bowman’s return, prior rumors surrounding the injury were suggesting it could be anywhere from six to eight weeks before Bowman returns to the field.

If Bowman is out for six weeks, he would potentially miss games against Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Baylor, Iowa State, and Kansas. If absent for eight weeks, tack on a game at West Virginia to the mix (Texas Tech has another bye week between road games at Kansas and West Virginia. That would be quite a tough stretch for Texas Tech to be without its starting quarterback, whether for six or eight weeks.

Bowman has thrown for 1,020 yards with six touchdowns and three interceptions in three games this season.

FSU loses linebacker Kaindoh to season-ending ankle injury

Photo by Ryan M. Kelly/Getty Images

As if losing a game to Virginia was not bad enough for the Florida State Seminoles, head coach Willie Taggart announce don Monday linebacker Joshua Kaindoh will miss the remainder of the season. Kaindoh, a former five-star recruit and a starter for the Seminole defense, is out for the year due to a lower-body ankle injury, according to Taggart.

Kaindoh suffered the injury in the second quarter of Saturday’s loss at Virginia. He was carted off the field. Kaindoh has appeared in every game since his arrival at Florida State in 2017. Because he has only appeared in three games this season, he is eligible to use a redshirt season this year to preserve two more years of eligibility beginning in 2020. The NCAA modified the redshirt rule last season to allow players to save a redshirt season as long as they appear in four games or fewer during the season.

With Kaindoh out of action, that will likely lead to Florida State using Janarius Robinson on more plays, as the two had been splitting playing time this season. But depth on the defensive line has become a growing concern for Florida State, who has been dealing with all sorts of issues on defense to start the season.

Kaindoh’s season comes to an abrupt end with nine tackles and a sack.

Taggart also made note that left tackle Jauan Williams is now “week-to-week” while he bounces back from an ankle injury form Week 2, the severity of which is far less troublesome than the injury to Kaindoh.

LSU safety Todd Harris to miss rest of season with injury

Photo by Andy Altenburger/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images
Leave a comment

LSU safety Todd Harris will miss the rest of the 2019 season, head coach Ed Orgeron announced on Monday. Orgeron did not go into specifics regarding the injury to his junior safety. Harris was injured in the first half of Saturday night’s home win against Northwestern State, and he later returned to the field on crutches.

Orgeron only confirmed the injury was a season-ending injury, but he also explained Harris will be able to preserve a year of eligibility.

“We will use this year as a redshirt,” Orgeron said, according to The Advocate.

Because Harris did not appear in more than four games this season, he is allowed by the NCAA to use the 2019 season as a redshirt season, thus giving him two remaining years of eligibility beginning in 2020. The NCAA changed the redshirt rule last year to allow players to appear in up to four games without burning a year of their eligibility just for merely stepping foot on the field.

“It’s unfortunate. It was an unfortunate accident,” Orgeron said. “He just landed on the ground wrong.”

As for who replaces Harris on the depth chart, that job appears to be heading to junior safety JaCoby Stevens, who Orgeron noted was going to be used to fill the void.