The snapshot: A report from Action Network’s Brett McMurphy that the series that’s been running continuously since 1910 — which has survived numerous pandemics and world wars — will be discontinued when Oklahoma enters the Securities and Exchange Commission in 2025.
Stalker: Oklahoma State coach Mike Gundy calls a spade while reading from prepared notes.
“Bedlam is history,” Gundy told reporters. “We all know that. We knew that. Because the OU chose to follow Texas and the money to the SEC. Well.”
Gundy was a little self-serving in his receipt, but his general point stands: Oklahoma took the money and ran. Not speaking is another fact: The state of Oklahoma would surely have done the same if the same opportunity had presented itself.
Two things worth mentioning here. One is that if the states of Oklahoma and Oklahoma are like that truly Committed to the series, they can ditch their scheduling philosophies, cancel contracts with other schools, and play the game every September if they so choose. Of course, they weren’t the first schools to choose not to compete constantly.
In fact, McMurphy rocked a few, a group that included Texas-Arkansas (a longtime Southwest Conference rivalry) and Texas-Texas A&M (a much-worn Lone Star State rivalry since 2011). Both are a good bet to immediately resume when the Longhorns move to the SEC in 2025 with Oklahoma.
All this means is that there is some hope for Bedlam. It’s just one conference step from backup picking. It might be a decade or three away, but the ever-shifting tectonic plates of college sports could eventually bring them back together. One thing is for sure: money, not logic, will spur reunions.
After promising to implement a “new leadership model” that always seemed more suitable for an MBA candidate than a potential in the NFL, stumbled into hot water with the NCAA during the pandemic and seeing the coaching staff suffer from massive turnover, Arizona State split from Herm Edwards Sunday for a sin Loss to Eastern Michigan.
This development is the least precarious thing to happen in the Edwards period, which even as it began to sound like a curious lab experiment had the primary benefit that it had never been tried before from a truly logical approach.
But don’t take my words seriously in 2022. Take my words from 2018.
Let’s ignore news releases full of business jargon and mention the basics about Herm Edwards’ hiring: He’s 64 years old and hasn’t trained anywhere since 2008 and hasn’t worked in the college game since 1989. “Innovative” is the optimistic spin for hire. (Well, business jargon can’t be completely avoided.) “Unconventional” is perhaps the fairest assessment.
However, the Sun Devils are 67-60 over the past decade, and have slipped after 10 winning consecutive seasons in 2013 and 2014. Sure, it’s a risk. But sometimes a risk is necessary for a program that may need to be a little different to achieve evolving and sustainable success.
Arizona State has gone 6-7, 5-7, 7-6 over the past three seasons. It would be fun—and reasonable—if the Sun Devils ended up in this neighborhood again in Edwards’ first season.
Well, Edwards rocked 7-6 off the chute, then put on a pair of 8-5 seconds around the 2-2 pandemic season. The Sun Devils went 4-0 against Arizona (which is good) and 22-20 against everyone else (which is forgettable and includes a 1-2 start this year).
KS 3-0. Yes, KS 3-0. That’s right, KS 3-0.
It is really suitable. Arizona State is a program that defines what has been largely undistinguished since Jake Plummer’s college career ended. The Sun Devils have had four of the top 25 polls in an Associated Press poll in the last 24 seasons. They have reached the top ten exactly once in the last 15 years, the week of November 9, 2014.
Yes, there were 9-3 in 2004, 10-3 in 2007 and a 10-win streak in the 2013-2014 seasons. The Sun Demons have rarely flirted with being horrific in the past quarter century; The low tide was 4-8 in 2009. But they rarely proved all that interesting either.
The puzzle is the reason. It’s not like Arizona State is stripped of football history, even if it was its best days before it joined the Pac-10/Pac-12. It may not have immediate access to talent in Southern California, but it is located in a major metro area (Phoenix) in a rapidly growing state (although not quite as fast over the past decade).
Yes, college football is a zero-sum game, but the Sun Devils likely have had some higher – and more sustainable – peaks than they enjoyed. It doesn’t take a business school textbook to figure this out.
But who will face a gap. NCAA sanctions are likely to be forthcoming. Edwards literally went over the carriage gate amidst the turmoil of the program, so the current foundation is shaky. The same can be said for the Pac-12-Soon-To-Be-Minus-Two.
Arizona’s “new leadership model” is history. Her fondness for the struggle for traction in football may not be so. It would still be wise for the Sun Demons to be a little different going forward. just no who – which Different.
Five are most at risk
A look at some of the teams that have a chance to prove a lot in Week 4.
1. Tennessee. The 11 Volunteers (3-0) are the only SEC team to play in Alabama, Florida and Georgia every season, and they’ve dropped 16 straight Volunteers to those three since 2016. The first step for them toward taking seriously is hitting anyone from that group. Florida entered No. 20 (2-1, 0-1 SEC) in Knoxville for the opening of the Tennessee Conference this week.
2. Wake Forest. Back in 2008, Damon Deacons beat Clemson, 12-7, Thursday night in what proved to be the Tigers’ last in charge of Tommy Bowden. Since then, Wake Forest is zero versus Dabo. It’s no secret that the ACC’s final Atlantic League title will go through No. 5 Clemson. The 21st Deacon (3-0) saved Liberty last week, and he’ll need to do better for a strong position for a second consecutive coronation in the Atlantic.
College Football’s Best Bets: Clemson would be too much for Wake Forest
3. Arkansas. The No. 10 Razorbacks weren’t particularly sharp against longtime friend Bobby Petrino and the Missouri State last week. But they still head 3-0 on their annual date with No. 23 Texas A&M in Arlington, Texas. The Hogs play four out of five of their next team away from Fayetteville, and decoding the Aggies’ defense will be a welcome sign as October approaches.
4A. Southern California and 4B. Oregon. 7 Trojans head to Corvallis to face the Brave Beavers in a 3-0 tag team match. It won’t get many eyeballs off the West Coast thanks to its Pac-12 network, but it’s a tough competition for USC and a proven game in Oregon, which finds itself part of an impressive start in the Pacific Northwest to the season.
5. Minnesota. Gophers (3-0) are not a popular topic of conversation, at least not yet. The victories over New Mexico State, Western Illinois and the sad Colorado team won’t help anyone this year. They head to the Michigan State group after a lackluster show in Washington, and their win over the Spartans at East Lansing makes running in the Big Ten West title all the more reasonable.
A weekly look at the race for the favorite college football figurine.
1. QB CJ Stroud, Ohio State (941 yards, 11 TDs, 0 IQ). Toledo shredded for 367 yards and five touchdowns while the Buckeyes wrapped up play without a conference with a defeat. (last week: 2)
2. QB Bryce Young, Alabama (644 yards, 9 TDs, pass 2 INT; 144 yards, 2 TDs rush). He threw a few interceptions in a 63-7 baton attack on Louisiana Monroe. This knocks winning defender Heisman off the lead, but plenty of opportunities to accumulate big numbers still lie ahead. (LW: 1)
3. QB Caleb Williams, Southern California (874 yards, 8 TDs, pass 0 INTs; 73 yards, 2 TDs dash). He wasn’t quite as effective against Fresno State as he was in the Trojans’ first two games, but he still completed 25 of 37 for 284 yards and two touchdowns. USC would be fine if those were Williams’ little outings. (LW: 3)
4. QB Stetson Bennett IV, Georgia (952 yards, 5 TDs, pass 0 INTs; 31 yards, 3 TDs rush). Whatever trajectory there is for this nomination is tied to other notable QBs fluctuations (which it hasn’t yet) and Bennett has put up solid, bug-free numbers while the Bulldogs keep rolling (which it did). (LW: 5)
Georgia can break your spirits. Just look at the empty stands in South Carolina.
5. QB Michael Penix Jr. , Washington (1,079 yards, 10 TDs, 1 INT; 31 yards rush). Penix scored his best career success rating in 2019, when Calin Deborre was Indiana’s offensive coordinator. Now reunited with the new Huskies head coach in Seattle – more importantly, he’s healthy – he sliced Michigan State for 397 yards and four touchdowns last week. (LW: Uncategorized)
6. LB Will Anderson, Alabama (15 ball cuts, 4.5 TFLs, 2 bags, 1 wits). This is more like that. Anderson had had a day off against Texas, but returned a touchdown interception against Louisiana Monroe. Anderson was arguably the country’s best player last season, and could improve on Heisman’s fifth place from 2021.
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