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Posts Tagged ‘Kliff Kingsbury’

This Must Be Rock Bottom, Houston Hopes

This is the bottom, I think – and Houston hopes. The most damning factoid that could be used to define a team is that it forced five turnovers yet lost the turnover battle, as the Cougars did on Saturday night. U.C.L.A. had five turnovers; Houston had six. What the heck is going on here? Through three weeks, there has be no more disappointing team in college football. No team has suffered a more inexplicable loss, with all due to respect to Pittsburgh, Arkansas and Wyoming, among others. Of the 27 teams that notched double-digit wins last fall, how many seem assured of not reaching that mark in 2012? I’ll say three: Arkansas State, Arkansas… and Houston.

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    No. 55: Texas A&M

    Mike Sherman didn’t lose his job by blowing a halftime lead against Oklahoma State. He didn’t lose his job by blowing another sizable halftime advantage a week later, when the Aggies lost to Arkansas in Dallas. It wasn’t Missouri that sealed his fate, even if that loss may have been worse, in a way; the Aggies followed up 17 unanswered points from the Tigers with a field goal to force overtime, only to lose in the first extra frame. Sherman lost his job because of two losses: Oklahoma and Texas. He’s not the first coach at A&M to be dismissed because of losses to the Sooners and Longhorns, mind you, but he will be the last. From here, A&M needs to remake its standards. Since the formation of the Big 12 — since the university first fielded a team, actually — the Aggies weighed success against Texas. Once Oklahoma caught fire under Bob Stoops, the university began judging its program against these two perennial powers. What does A&M use for a barometer now that it’s part of the SEC?

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      The Backfield Depth in College Station

      I can think of several valid reasons why Texas A&M’s running back situation has gone overlooked before, during and after Kevin Sumlin’s first spring with the program. One reason is Sumlin himself, who steps in for Mike Sherman at a crucial juncture in the program’s history; this juncture doubles as the second reason, with A&M mere months away from its SEC debut. Then there are more nuts-and-bolts reasons, such as Ryan Tannehill’s departure and the ensuing quarterback competition and the move from Sherman’s pro-style system to the Air Raid-themed offense favored by Sumlin and new offensive coordinator Kliff Kingsbury.

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        The Countdown

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