What a great weekend of college football. Too bad all that action was overshadowed by the Big 12's instability and speculation about further league jumping.
Back to the soap opera: “As The Conferences Turn.” Let’s let some experts weigh in:
Berry Tramel, The Oklahoman: “A&M is gone. Missouri, with those nifty uniforms and hard-core coach and untapped potential, will decide soon enough whether to do the same. Then the Big 12 can get down to, in the words of Gordon Lightfoot, pickin' up the pieces of its sweet, shattered dream. The illusion that 10 schools could work. That swimming upstream in the second decade of the century was the way to go. When even old-fogey conferences like the Pac-10 and Big Ten gave in to modernism and expanded to a dozen schools and instituted a championship game, the Big 12 believed it would prosper by going backward. Old school is fun to wear on a T-shirt. It's not any way to live life. Progress or regress. Those are this conference's options. And now that the schools in this Big 12 chain gang are stuck with each other, might as well make the best of it. Best is 12. Not 10. Twelve.”
Clay Travis, Outkick The Coverage: “The Big 12 is officially past the point of satire. The only people celebrating after today? Aggie fans all over Texas are building bonfires and rejoicing, their long Texas nightmare is almost over . . . But you can't say the same for Missouri. The Tigers have managed to be the biggest loser in conference realignment the past two years. First, they bungled a chance at the Big Ten. No one really knows what happened here, just that Missouri blew it. Second, the Tigers may well have blown all their chances at the SEC as well. Granted Missouri didn't know that the Pac 12 was going to Heisman the Oklahoma schools, but leaking the SEC invite really pissed the SEC off and titillated its own fan base with dreams of something brighter. Now just one question remains: will the Missouri fan base raises a stink over the administration's failure to make a move to the SEC? If I was a Missouri fan I'd be furious over this double failure. I'd fight for the SEC. Because the Big Ten isn't calling and at some point the Big 12 is still going to crumble as a major conference. We all know this. So if you're Missouri wouldn't you rather control your own fate rather than sink into the mid-tier abyss of college athletics? Mountain West on line one!”
Andy Staples, SI.com: “The security of the Big 12 boils down to this: If the schools sign that grant of rights deal, the league will stay together for at least as long as the deal is in place. If the schools don't sign that deal, we'll all be watching Realignmentpalooza again this time next year. If the deal gets signed, the Big 12 will be able to lure either one or three more schools to join. If the deal doesn't get signed, it might be hard to find a decent school that wants to join a group that has created such a toxic atmosphere in recent years.”
Sally Jenkins, Washington Post: “It’s a rich irony that Oklahoma is sweating the chaos caused by TV money, given that it set the chaos in motion in the first place. In 1984, Oklahoma, joined by Georgia, sought to break NCAA control over college football by suing all the way to the highest court for the right to negotiate its own TV deals, and won. Citing restraint of trade, the court stripped the NCAA of much of its centralized power. A quarter-century later, the Big 12 has been weakened, the entire college football structure destabilized, and Oklahoma is threatened because Texas, with its powerful Longhorn Network deal, is acting so rapaciously, running ‘roughshod’ and making its own rules. Well, where do you think Texas got the idea? It’s pretty entertaining that Oklahoma, which asked for this landscape, is crying for some sort of protection from it.”
Pete Fiutak, College Football News: “How bad are things for the Big East? TCU might see a Mountain West with Boise State, Nevada, Fresno State, Air Force, and San Diego State as a more attractive option than a Big East with West Virginia, Louisville, South Florida, and possibly the dregs of the Big 12.”
OFFICIATING BLUNDER OF WEEKEND
After Syracuse scored a touchdown to take a late 29-27 lead over Toledo, Ross Krautman missed the extra point.
But the officials on the field gave it to him anyway, as did the replay official in the Syracuse press box. The Orangemen went on to win 33-30 in overtime.
Of course, the game never should have reached overtime. This mistake prompted Big East Conference coordinator of football officiating Terry McAulay to issue this statement:
“After studying the videos of the Syracuse extra point attempt at 2:07 of the fourth quarter, we have concluded that the ruling on the field that the kick passed between the uprights was incorrect, and that the replay official made an error in failing to reverse that ruling. In reviewing the video, we have determined that the angle from behind the kicking team shows conclusively that the ball passes outside the right upright.
“Our review of the process determined that the replay official mistakenly focused his attention on the sideline angle, which proved to be distorted. We are confident that our officiating staff will learn from this situation in order to prevent a reoccurrence.”
That makes Toledo feel a whole lot better.
CRUMMY EFFORT OF THE WEEKEND
The Rams took a 37-7 pounding from the Ravens on their own field. Finding any positive St. Louis notes in this fiasco was nearly impossible.
Is it safe to get on that Detroit Lions bandwagon?
Does Alabama own Arkansas or what?
Is the human body really designed to withstand the rigors of football?
What, exactly, is Michael Vick crying about?
FROM THE TWEETDECK
Jim Rome: “Dwight Freeney can't beat the Steelers all by himself. But he came pretty damn close. Awed by this cat's motor. Stiil. #WHATAFREAK.”
Jon Morosi: “Replay indicates that J.D. Drew smiled after that home run.”
Ray Ratto:"Just once I'd like to an athlete tweet, "Big win yesterday. Now let's all lay down next week like the curs we are and throw us a ballgame"
Jeff Passan: “Didn't think John Lackey could be much more unlikeable. Then he filed for divorce from his breast-cancer-stricken wife.”
Funny or Die: “Did people have anything to worship on Sunday before all of this amazing television?”
FROM THE BLOG-O-SPEAR
Kissing Suzy Kolber summed up the first half of NFL action Sunday:
- Two Eagles defensive backs ran in to each other for everyone’s amusement. Eli Manning wound up with a 70 yard touchdown as a result.
- Kenny Britt was carted off with an apparent knee injury. I haven’t examined the patient myself, but if he ever walks again it will be will be with a dead guy’s knee parts.
- All it took to make Carolina/Jacksonville enjoyable was a second quarter monsoon. Then the sun came out.
- Mike Vick’s hand is broken.
- The Patriots blew a three touchdown lead.