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Posts Tagged ‘Big 12’

How the Conferences Rank, 1-12: Week 4

As an accompanying post to today’s re-ranking, here’s the entire F.B.S. conference breakdown in terms of average P.S.R. 1-124 ranking. It’s not entirely fair to include the Independent programs among the true conferences, seeing that there’s only four Independent teams, but it does give a slight slice-of-life taste of where that quartet stands in the big picture. The listings include the average ranking, highest team ranking and number of teams in the top 25 in parentheses. Without further ado:

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    How the Conferences Rank, 1-12: Week 3

    As an accompanying post to today’s re-ranking, here’s the entire F.B.S. conference breakdown in terms of average P.S.R. 1-124 ranking. It’s not entirely fair to include the Independent programs among the true conferences, seeing that there’s only four Independent teams, but it does give a slight slice-of-life taste of where that quartet stands in the big picture. The listings include the average ranking, highest team ranking and number of teams in the top 25 in parentheses. Without further ado:

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      How the Conferences Rank, 1-12: Week 2

      As an accompanying post to today’s re-ranking, here’s the entire F.B.S. conference breakdown in terms of average P.S.R. 1-124 ranking. It’s not entirely fair to include the Independent programs among the true conferences, seeing that there’s only four independent teams, but it does give a slight slice-of-life taste of where that quartet stands in the big picture. The listings include the average ranking, highest team ranking and number of teams in the top 25 in parentheses. Without further ado:

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        No. 8: Texas

        DeLoss Dodds and Texas are consistently painted as out of touch with reality, puttering along like money-mad oil barons as the F.B.S. continues to draw and redraw its borders through conference expansion. In the case of Mack Brown’s offseason contract extension, however, Dodds and Texas show that the program is far from out of touch, despite recent examples to the contrary. “I’ve been here 30 years,” Dodds told The Dallas Morning News’ Chuck Carlton in January, “and I’ve never been more committed to a coach than I am to Mack and the future of this program.” Dodds, through Carlton: “We’re poised to be back again. We just need the kids to be a little older.” Come the fall, Texas won’t just be more hip to how last year’s new coordinators do business on each side of the ball; they’ll be a year wiser and a year more experienced, which lends credence to the idea that Texas is simply days away from returning to the nation’s elite. Extending Brown’s contract only solidifies the idea that once the Longhorns do return to prominence, they won’t be dropping back out of sight anytime soon.

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          No. 9: Oklahoma

          Before Ryan Broyles was lost for the season, the Sooners’ lone loss came as a result of the worst 30 minutes Oklahoma had played since John Blake. After Broyles tore up his knee in the second half against Texas A&M, the Sooners lost to Baylor for the first time in program history and to Oklahoma State for the first time since 2002. Through nine games, Oklahoma was averaging 8.3 yards per pass attempt; extrapolated over the entire season, that total would have tied O.U. with five other teams for 13th-best in the country. Over their last four games, the Sooners averaged 6.6 yards per attempt; extrapolated over the entire season, that total would have tied O.U. with seven other teams — including Duke and Minnesota — for 85th in the country. The final month defined Oklahoma’s season; in a nutshell, the Sooners could only weather so many storms before the offense fell apart. As the offense went, so went Oklahoma. At least O.U. won’t have to worry about losing Broyles in 2012; he’s now healthy, making plays for the Detroit Lions.

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            No. 12: West Virginia

            West Virginia’s 49 points at halftime were the most in bowl history. Not Orange Bowl history: bowl history, as in every single bowl ever played. Likewise, West Virginia’s 70 points at the end of regulation was a bowl record – ever. Were the Mountaineers ready for the Big 12 after dousing Clemson in the Orange Bowl? The Mountaineers wanted to start the next day, if possible, and if that B.C.S. showing holds true, should fit the pass-happy conference like a glove. The real Orange Bowl winner — fitting in this age of conference expansion — might be the Big 12 itself, which saw West Virginia, its newest addition, cap its final season in the Big East in the grandest of grand style. “Our guys felt like they weren’t getting much credit, and they wanted to make a statement in this game,” Dana Holgorsen said after the game. “The victory caps a great season and helps us lay the groundwork for the future.” Future? The future is now. Just ask Clemson, which tasted West Virginia at its best, and just ask the rest of the Big 12, which knew when the clock hit zero that another title contender was about to join its ranks.

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              No. 17: Kansas State

              This was a team that won eight games by single digits: Eastern Kentucky by a field goal, Miami (Fla.) by inches, Baylor by a point, Texas Tech by a touchdown, Texas A&M in four overtimes, Texas despite gaining only 121 yards of total offense, Iowa State with a late score. This was also a team that was plus-15 in turnover margin, committing just a shade over one giveaway per game and returning three interceptions for touchdowns, scoring five non-offensive touchdowns altogether. As a result – because of the fact that this team won games, but not with style – it’s easy for some to make the case that Kansas State is due for a slide; you can’t rely on luck to keep winning games, goes the argument. The rejoinder to this argument can be found on the sidelines. There is no statute of limitations on coaching greatness, just as there’s no reason why the Bill Snyder-led Wildcats can’t continue to win close games, as they have for a generation, and continue to exploit every possible weakness it can find until after 60 minutes, K-State’s disciplined and opportunistic play makes your team just the latest notch in Snyder’s belt. It doesn’t take a miracle, and it doesn’t take luck; it’s just coaching, and Snyder’s been making your team look stupid longer than the Big 12′s been in existence.

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                No. 22: T.C.U.

                T.C.U. has won 47 games since 2008, the third-most in college football: Boise State has 50 wins, Alabama 48. T.C.U. has won 50 of its last 55 game overall, with losses to Oklahoma, Utah, Boise State, S.M.U. and Baylor joining wins over… I’m not writing out that list. T.C.U. ended its affiliation with the Mountain West with 24 straight league wins, the longest current conference winning streak in the F.B.S., and with three straight M.W.C. titles — the first team in the league’s history to have done so. T.C.U. has won at least 10 games in each of the last four years, matching the program’s previous tally of double-digit win seasons from its inception through 1997, the year before Gary Patterson’s arrival. Having hit the glass ceiling, having achieved all there is to achieve on the non-B.C.S. conference level, T.C.U. is about to hit the big time. The Horned Frogs are going from AAA to the majors, the Mountain West to the Big 12 — via the Big East — and it’s about time.

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                  The Countdown

                  A bottom-to-top assessment of the F.B.S. landscape heading into the 2012 season.