Thoughts from Arizona
Here are some general thoughts from Day 8 in the desert:
1. I still like Oklahoma in the Fiesta Bowl tonight. But if the Sooners lose, they have no one to blame but themselves. It’s one thing to lose three defensive starters for a bowl, but when only one is out with injury, that’s not bad luck. That’s bad preparation.
A reader emailed Monday morning, an OU fan from Utah, who said he never had seen a team with so much focus. I told him settle down; you never now how much focus a team has. Five minutes later, I got the call that DeMarcus Granger had been sent home for shoplifting. I would say the Sooners have shown a LACK of focus.
Still, I think they win. West Virginia is talented, and I love this interim coach, Bill Stewart, but the Big East is inferior to the other leagues, and the sooner we all admit it, the better.
2. Big 12 football is looking good in the bowls. With five bowls left, here are the standings among conferences:
Big 12: 4-2
Big Ten: 3-4
Big East: 1-2
A few thoughts.
* The Big East has not fared well. Its lone victory (Cincinnati’s) came against Southern Mississippi. South Florida got rolled by Oregon. UConn lost to Wake Forest. College football would have been best served if West Virginia, not Boston College, had joined the ACC, and the Big East had lost its automatic BCS berth.
* Michigan saved the Big Ten. Ohio State could, too, against LSU. But if the Wolverines hadn’t beaten Florida, the Big Ten today would be 2-5, with victories over Central Michigan and Texas A&M.
* The Big 12 has gotten about all the mileage it can get out of schedule so far. All victories except Colorado and A&M, two teams that just weren’t very good. Both put up a good fight, I suppose, but expecting victories from those two teams was a testament to hope.
* The Pac-10 had an easy bowl schedule. Two games against mid-majors (Air Force, BYU). An Oregon State matchup against a so-so Maryland. USC drew Illinois, a team that really was not Rose Bowl worthy.
* The ACC stinks and will do so until Florida State and Miami get their acts together. Virginia Tech can’t keep holding up its end of the freight. Here’s what the ACC is. Think Big 12 if OU and Texas start going 7-5, 5-7, 6-6.
* If LSU beats Ohio State, the SEC clearly has the evidence to back up its superiority complex. If Ohio State can win, the SEC looks no better in post-season than the Big 12. No better in regular season, either.
3. All I can say about Big 12 quarterbacking in 2008 is, wow. Zac Robinson looked fantastic in the Insight Bowl. Chase Daniel is a Heisman finalist. Colt McCoy was superb against Arizona State. Graham Harrell didn’t play great for Texas Tech against Virginia, but he’s got most of that offense back. Todd Reesing and Sam Bradford haven’t played their bowls yet, but both can play. K-State’s Josh Freeman looked great against OSU back in October, Cody Hawkins was just a freshman at Colorado and maybe an NFL coach (Mike Sherman) can rescue the career of Texas A&M’s Stephen McGee, who has one season left.
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