5 Things...

With the Bears off this week, it was time for reflection and deep thought about the Bears. Oh, and a ton of non-Baylor related football. Can't forget about that one bit!

5 Things I Think

1. The Big 12 is worse this year than almost anyone thought. Another epic failure of a weekend for the conference, with Texas losing at home to Ole Miss, Kansas falling on the road to Rice, and Iowa beating Iowa State. The four teams that are ranked and carrying the Big 12 flag the best are all undefeated and collective 11-0 (Baylor, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, and Texas Tech). After those top 4 though, the rest of the conference is just 7-9. Even worse, they are 7-7 out of conference.

Only two of those losses are to ranked teams (TCU's loss to LSU and Texas's loss to Ole Miss). The other five losses; North Dakota State, Northern Iowa, Iowa, Rice, and BYU. Not exactly a murders row. Of the 7 wins, the best is probably…well, I don't know. Southeastern Louisiana, William & Mary, Georgia State, New Mexico State, South Dakota, Louisiana Lafayette, and Massachusetts aren't exactly the cream of the crop.

2. With the under-belly of the Big 12 being rather down so far, and no teams in the Top 10, you can make an argument that the Big 12 is the 4th best power conference. This year, the SEC and the Pac-12 are by far the best. I think the ACC has had a better year so far, with Clemson and Florida State both being better than anything the Big 12 has at least until now. The Big 10 is the only one that might be worse than the Big 12, and with Ohio State being a Top 5 team, you could give them the edge.

3. All of that being said, the Big 12 has a chance to improve itself in a few weeks, especially with Oklahoma taking on Notre Dame up in Indiana. That is a must-win for the conference and something that will at least solidify some level or respect for the conference. Outside of that though, the non-conference schedule's other best offerings are Maryland, Louisiana Tech, SMU, Tulsa, and Louisiana Monroe.

4. I love baseball, especially the last few years being a Texas Rangers fan. Looking at my childhood and teenage years, I have spent more time at the Rangers Ballpark or watching/listening to Rangers baseball than any other sport. Of course 162 games a year will do that to you. But man, this year's Rangers are tough to watch. Maybe it is the collapse last year, but I just could never really buy into this team. They went on that great streak in August, but since the calendar flipped to September, they have been dreadful. They were swept at home by the Pittsburg Pirates and the Oakland A's over the last week, but the worst part? They haven't even led a game since last Sunday. A full week of baseball and not even a single lead. Utterly ridiculous.

5. This might be my second favorite time of the sports year. September Is just lovely with college football and pro football getting going again, and baseball hitting its end of year awesomeness as well. It is a great time. However, nothing beats March to me. With college basketball, NBA, and NHL all going into the playoffs at the same time, that is my Christmas.

5 Things I Want

1. While driving to a friend's house to watch the Alabama/Texas A&M game, another buddy of mine asked me who I am rooting for. He is a Texas Tech grad, so we were safe and had a few numbers going into the hoard of Aggies. He said he was rooting for A&M. I said I didn't know, mainly because the only thing I want this year is it to end without another SEC national champion. I responded simply with, "whatever way it takes for the SEC not to be National Champion is fine with me". I stand by that. I think this is by far the best year to see that happen in the current run of dominance. I think Oregon, Stanford, Clemson and possibly Ohio State are as good as anything in the SEC.

I do believe that Alabama is the best team in the country right now, but look at their schedule? They don't play Georgia, South Carolina, or Florida. Neither do the Aggies. LSU though has to play Georgia and Florida. It is possible LSU destroys Alabama by 50, but loses two of their games with Georgia, Florida and Texas A&M, and gets sent to the Cotton Bowl while Alabama loses its toughest test and gets to go play the national championship game. Aggies have the same break with no Georgia, Florida or South Carolina. How convenient of the SEC with their unbalanced schedule.

2. Now, compare the 9 game SEC schedule Alabama has to play with Baylor in the Big 12:

Alabama – @ Texas A&M, Ole Miss, @ Kentucky, Arkansas, Tennessee, LSU, @ Mississippi State, @ Auburn

Baylor – West Virginia, @Kansas State, Iowa State, @Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas Tech, @ Oklahoma State, @TCU, Texas

Well, Bama plays just 3 ranked teams, same as Baylor. Their ranks are higher right now though with two Top 10 teams, while the highest Baylor plays is currently 11th. But Tennessee, Kentucky, Auburn and Arkansas are all bottom half SE C teams. Mississippi State was destroyed by Oklahoma State as well. That is not the juggernaut schedule that some in the SEC would try to convince you of. Pollsters and people worshipping at the altar of the SEC…please keep this in mind.

3. Blake Bell was known primarily as a rusher and really more of a battering ram in his first seasons in Norman. But he might have turned the corner and made himself a quarterback, as he absolutely torched Tulsa this weekend for 413 yards and four touchdowns. He was 27-37 for the whole game, but was even better just in the first half, completing 15-21 for 281 yards and two touchdowns. He threw the ball over the middle of the field, and did a pretty good job of going through his progressions. The Sooner rushing attack has been very strong to start the year, but previous starter Trevor Knight just could not complete enough of his passes to make the offense really go. Bell did that against Tulsa, and with the playmakers OU has on offense, they just need someone to get them the ball.

4. I am still unsure about Ohio State. Yes, they have a ton of talent coming back and have won all of their games, but they just seem off to me. I guess you can point to the suspensions they have had to open the year, and now the injury to star quarterback Braxton Miller, but their defense has already allowed

5. ESPN released its bowl projections. Brad Edwards has this as the Cotton Bowl Matchup:

Baylor vs. Texas A&M

Would that be the biggest ticket in Cotton Bowl history? I would have to imagine. Of course the other prediction has the Bears in the Fiesta Bowl against Clemson. Funny that the Fiesta Bowl against Clemson seems to be the lesser of the two games to me. Cotton Bowl is still what I think is most likely for the Bears, barring a conference championship. If only the Oklahoma State game was at home. So, if we are going Cotton Bowl (remember, OU played there last year, so they might not want to choose them two years in a row), who better to play than the Ags?

5 Things I Know

1. I know that some people out there think it is in the best interest to root for the Big 12 in non-conference play. That is something that SEC schools "pride" themselves on, the fact that they hate each other during conference and root and support each other during non-conference. You know, for the collective good. Going into the UT/Ole Miss game, I had that thought in my mind. So, I went to the LHN, parental unblocked it (I don't want my young child to see such inappropriate material such as UT football) and turned the game on.

I caught it just as UT was scoring on a Jonathan Gray touchdown scamper to go up 17-14. I wasn't mad about this by any means, so I faked some happiness and continued my traditional sports watching of games I don't truly care about by have upwards of 7 channels in a rotation and just keep going back to each. I flipped back quite a bit later as Ole Miss Quarterback (and one time Baylor and Texas JUCO quarterback love-affair) Bo Wallace was running in for the Rebels go-ahead touchdown 24-23. Now…this was happiness. I loved seeing the face on the young UT-coeds, who I am sure their daddy's told them we always win at home. I loved seeing Mack Brown tug at his headset annoyingly with the face of a man that was just utterly confused. I loved it all. I especially loved watching Ole Miss run it down Bevo's throat for 272 yards, featuring two very quick and agile running backs. And then I got really happy, just envisioning what Lache Seastrunk will do to that "run defense".

The SEC can keep their all-for-one façade of conference unity. I am fine with what I am.

2. Right now Alabama is the best team in college football. Their offense played better than I thought it would against the Aggies, but that is a terrible defense right now down in College Station. The Crimson Tide defense though was not as strong as I thought it would be. They played back off of Manziel quite a bit, and didn't rush him. That is the way you have to play someone with his level of escapability, but they could not cover Mike Evans one bit. Their secondary isn't as strong to me, and with their offensive line not being the dominating force it was last year, they are just not as strong of a team.

3. But there is no one better right now. Oregon is #2 right now, but they will have to travel to Palo Alto to play Stanford in early November. That is going to be a tough one to win, but if they do, watch out. I also have been very impressed with Clemson, but outside of Florida State, there is not much left on their schedule until the season finale at South Carolina. I think the eight top 10 teams in both the AP and USA Today polls are by far off to the best starts of the year, and deserve to be there.

4. I know that the Seattle Seahawks have the best home-field/court/rink advantage in professional sports. Watching the Seattle / San Francisco game last night (disclaimer – I am a 49ers fan) was just insane when the 49ers had the ball. The Seattle crowd set a new world record for loudness at a sporting event, passing some soccer arena and some soccer game in some other country. Doesn't matter now, Seattle has the record. All of that being said, I think Seattle has a team full of unlikeable players, outside of Russell Wilson. They play dirty, and goad the opposition into stupid fouls. Plus Pete Carroll is just annoying to watch coach to me. He just seems like a punk. But again…see the disclaimer above.

5. Big 12 Rankings after Week 3

1. Oklahoma State (3-0)

2. Baylor (2-0)

3. Oklahoma (3-0)

4. Texas Tech (3-0)

5. TCU (1-2)

6. Texas (1-2)

7. Kansas State (2-1)

8. West Virginia (2-1)

9. Iowa State (0-2)

10. Kansas (1-1)


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