5-Things: Bye Week Blues

The Bears are home enjoying their win over OU and their last bye-week of the Season. Here are some thoughts on the Bears, what they have left, and college football as a whole.

1. The Bears, coming off of their 2nd best win of the year, get to relax and enjoy a late week off. In the SEC, this is when the non-conference schedule gifts you a Tennessee-Martin or a Presbyterian. In the Big-12, it just a little old bye-week. With three games left on the schedule, and none being a true road game, the Bears will be seeing home quite a bit the next month. Outside of their trip to Arlington, TX to play in Jerry Jones' palace against Texas Tech, the Bears have home games with Oklahoma State and Kansas State. The Cowboys game will be November 22nd, and will be the primetime night game on Fox. It will also be the Bears "black-out" game, something that I am sure most fans wish we would have scheduled for the much larger game to end the year with the Kansas State Wildcats coming to town. If the Bears win their next two, and they should be heavily favored to do so, it will setup a game against one of the best Big 12 teams in a game that if Baylor wins, they are Big 12 champions.

2. But will they be champions by themselves or will they have company? Last year, the Bears entered the last game of the season hoping to simply get a piece of the Conference championship with Oklahoma State. The Bears would have been "Co-Champs" but it would not have been the same as everyone would have known that Oklahoma State deserved to be true champion. Now, the tables are flipped, with the Bears in the driver's seat and the head-to-head win over the challenger. This time though, the challenger is acting like they should be the true champion, based primarily on a win over a mid-tier Big 10 school. It is one thing for fans to act like that, we expect it. In fact, we probably demand it, or else be called a "hater" to irrationally support your team. When it is the head coach of your program though, that seems to me to be a little petty.

3. It also seems ridiculous that a conferences ENTIRE branding and slogan is built around a "One-True Champion" model, and yet you will refuse to state a true champion. The Big 12 has said that in the event of a tie, both teams will be presented as Co-Champions. To make matters even more confusing, Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby has said that he wants the College Football Playoff Committee to take head to head into account when evaluating schools. Why leave it up to the committee? Why betray the "One-True Champion" when you have the easiest and cleanest tie-breaker known to man. Team A beat Team B. Team A is champion. Not according to the Big 12, who would rather someone else decide versus them having to.

4. With the Bears win over Oklahoma, a resounding 48-14 win on the road, they announced themselves loudly that they should be considered a national title contender. Many were waiting for the Bears to do something on the road against a good or great team. Baylor could not do that against West Virginia, and were rightly punished for it. That lingering black-mark is no longer there for the Bears, unless Oklahoma keeps losing. The Sooners looked awful on Saturday. No doubt about, and their fans made it clear their opinions on the matter. Was the awful play by OU due to them being overrated or to the Bears simply being dominant for three quarters? That question will be answered on the field, with Oklahoma going to Lubbock to face a scuffling Texas Tech team. The Bears probably need Oklahoma to keep winning and get back into the Top-25 sooner than later. They also need Kansas State to bounce back and stay a Top-15 team until coming to Waco to close the year. The Wildcats have a tough test this weekend going up to Morgantown to take on a West Virginia team that has lost two in a row now.

5. Questions will be answered Tuesday evening. How does the committee view the Big 12 overall (and their placement of Alabama, Arizona State and Ohio State around the two Big-12 teams will tell us a lot), and how do they view the Bears and Horned Frogs. I still expect Baylor to be behind TCU this week, as they have one win that the Bears don't have yet; Kansas State. My expectation is still that the Frogs will stay ahead of Baylor until the last poll, the only on that matters in the end. That is, if chaos somehow takes a few weeks off, which I highly doubt. The stretch run is just beginning in college football, but the first turn has gone the Bears way. What they do during the next three corners, and how many other teams trip up on the curve, will tell us how that final poll will look.

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