A look around the Big 12
A team-by-team look at the Big 12.
Why is Bill Callahan angry with Oklahoma's fans? Which Big 12 star quarterback's father claims his son is unhappy with the school's head coach and system? And what's the good news and bad news for Oklahoma star Adrian Peterson? These questions and more are answered in our Big 12 notebook.
Baylor, believe it or not, was the first team to really test Oklahoma's protection schemes last year in the second half of a 41-3 loss in which the Bears blitzed like crazy, sacking Jason White five times.
OU scored only one touchdown in the second half of that game, which might have served as the blueprint for Kansas State and LSU, which gave the Sooners back-to-back losses to end last season.
"We were pretty effective," Baylor coach Guy Morriss said. "(Kansas State coach) Bill Snyder called and we shared film with him as we do in the conference and then LSU followed suit."
"If someone exposes something, you have to make sure it doesn't happen again," Morriss said.
"I think he could be a big-time quarterback for us," Morriss said.
Well, look who's bowl eligible and in the thick of the Big 12 North race after a jaw-dropping 38-31 victory over Kansas State.
"It's about our players and the team they've become," Barnett said. "Every team goes through adversity. Ours was a little different. Our players survived it and achieved and we're still playing. That's what this is about for us."
Don't think coach Dan McCarney didn't pay attention to the preseason prognostications that had his team picked dead last in the Big 12 coming off a 2-10 season last year.
At 5-4 and with destiny control in the Big 12 North, McCarney recently refreshed his players' memories of those forecasts to let them know how far they've come.
"We started the season as an underdog at home against a Division I-AA team, Northern Iowa. That's a fact," McCarney said.
"This team, for as young as it is, has shown a high-level maturity," McCarney said. "We know if you want to be remembered, it's how you finish the season. That's what we're focused on."
"We had five receivers back last year, but it was still hard to hold him because we knew we had something pretty special," McCarney said.
Coach Mark Mangino lost his mind after last week's 27-24 loss to Texas in which the Jayhawks coughed up a 10-point lead in the final seven minutes. Mangino accused the Big 12 officiating crew of protecting Texas' BCS hopes with an offensive pass interference call against KU late in the game.
Mangino can't fly off the handle like that, no matter how emotional he gets, because it's a black eye nationally for the league not to mention himself and Kansas. The entire country saw Mangino on every sports news show Saturday night basically accusing his conference of rigging the system for one of its big boys.
The Wildcats will have a losing record for the first time since 1992 after suffering a heart-breaking 38-31 loss at Colorado on a last-second, 64-yard touchdown pass. K-State's string of 11 consecutive bowl appearances will also come to an end. Coach Bill Snyder, however, put a halt to any talk that the program is taking a turn for the worst.
"Does that mean we're not going to be a good football team again? That's not the case," Snyder said.
In any case, Snyder called it one of the most deflating losses he's had simply because of how it ended.
It was another eventful week for Missouri, even with a bye last week. Quarterback Brad Smith's estranged father, Phillip, who is trying to rebuild a relationship with Brad, contacted Kansas City Star columnist Jason Whitlock and said that his son is disenchanted with Tigers coach Gary Pinkel and his offensive system. Smith's father said Brad won't say anything publicly because he's a team player.
Forget about Nebraska calling timeout to kick a 39-yard field goal on the last play of the game to avert a shutout in a 30-3 loss to Oklahoma Saturday.
All the talk was about coach Bill Callahan's lashing out at OU's long-time tradition of allowing its student spirit group the Ruf/Neks to shoot off pop-guns near the end zone where the visiting team warms up. Callahan, who made a profane comment "(bleep) hillbillies" toward OU fans on the field after the game, also unloaded on Sooner fans for throwing oranges on the field and at Nebraska players on the last play.
|“||On the field I stick up for my players, and I don't think any team should be subjected to the type of treatment we were subjected to. . . .I am distressed when people are shooting off guns and throwing fruit at our players. ”|
|— Nebraska coach Bill Callahan, complaining about incidents last week after the 30-3 loss at Oklahoma|
"I'm an emotional guy and I'm a competitive coach," Callahan said.
"On the field I stick up for my players, and I don't think any team should be subjected to the type of treatment we were subjected to. & I am distressed when people are shooting off guns and throwing fruit at our players."
Nebraska officials issued an apology and wished the injured young man a speedy recovery. While apologetic for the incident, Callahan was also in disbelief that OU would allow students with loud guns to be on the field in the same area where opposing players warm up.
"It's a safety issue," Callahan said. "They're putting those students in harm's way. I wouldn't put my son or daughter where these guys are warming up."
Coach Bob Stoops was once again in the position of having to defend throwing into Nebraska's end zone late in a game with a 30-0 lead.
"Given the opportunity again, I probably would have done it differently," Stoops said. "But in the heat of the game, I unfortunately got caught between sportsmanship and BCS points. In my mind, I probably chose the wrong one."
Bad news: His Heisman Trophy campaign is probably over. Good news: After much deliberation, the SMU Athletic Forum decided to amend bylaws and allow a freshman to be considered for the Doak Walker Award, given to the nation's top running back.
Peterson was then promptly named one of eight semifinalists.
There's no shortage of talented running backs at Oklahoma State. After Vernand Morency, the nation's sixth-leading rusher, left Saturday's 49-21 victory over Baylor to have fluid drained from his knee, Seymore Shaw stepped in. Shaw ran 30 times for 172 yards and a touchdown. Les Miles, a pupil of Bo Schembechler at Michigan, knows the value of a strong running game.
Everyone can sense another BCS pratfall for Texas coach Mack Brown coming at the end of the season. Utah has moved into the top-six in the BCS and California is at No. 4. That leaves Texas, which is No. 5, on the outside looking in if the rankings hold for the rest of the season. The Rose Bowl would take California and the Fiesta would take Utah as the two at-large teams. UT would be picking Cotton.
Freshman running back Ramonce Taylor, the most electric player on the UT squad who averages 12 yards a touch, didn't get a single offensive touch.
And the defense, which has used the blitz effectively the last three weeks, hardly blitzed at all, getting no pressure on Kansas' third- and fourth-string quarterbacks who torched UT for 308 passing yards.
Just like he did against Oklahoma State, when UT fell behind by 28, Young threw two interceptions against Kansas as UT fell behind by 10 with seven minutes left. Young produced mind-boggling runs, including a 22-yarder on fourth-and-18, to lead two scoring drives, the final march capped by a perfect 21-yard TD strike to Tony Jeffery will rolling left with 11 seconds to play.
The Aggies' fourth straight game came down to the final play in a 32-25 victory over Texas Tech in College Station.
A&M went 2-2 in that stretch: Beating Colorado in overtime, losing at Baylor in overtime; losing to Oklahoma when a Hail Mary failed on the last play; and beating Tech in overtime. "I guess we're one play better or one play worse than everybody we've played for the last month," coach Dennis Franchione said.
The Red Raiders saw their three-game winning streak over Texas A&M come to an end with a 32-25 overtime loss in College Station. The A&M defense was able to confuse quarterback Sonny Cumbie, who threw three interceptions. Four of Cumbie's five multiple-interception games have come on the road: At New Mexico (two in loss); at Kansas (four in a victory; at Oklahoma, (three in a loss).
Chip Brown covers the Big 12 for The Dallas Morning News.
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