Tag:Utah
Posted on: January 18, 2012 4:32 pm
Edited on: January 18, 2012 4:39 pm
 

Texas A&M, Notre Dame most overrated in 2011

Now that the 2011 college football season is finally completed – Bobby Hebert’s done ranting about Les Miles, right? – let’s take a look at how smart or, make that clueless,  the voters in the Associated Press poll were before the season.

I was one of the 60 voters that participated in the AP poll. Each summer we’re asked to produce a Top 25 out of thin air. And then come January, we discover we’re usually as accurate as a non-fiction piece from James Frey.

Surprisingly, though, this year we did a fairly decent job of predicting the future or, if you prefer, the teams did a decent job of living up to their preseason rankings.

First the good.

We nailed it! Of the AP’s preseason Top 25 teams, three schools – No. 7 Stanford, No. 14 TCU and No. 19 Georgia – finished with the same ranking in the final AP poll.

Missed it by this much: Of the remaining 22 teams ranked in the preseason, we were off by only three spots or less on six schools: Alabama (preseason No. 2, finished No. 1), Oregon (preseason No. 3, finished No. 4), LSU (preseason No. 4, finished No. 2), Boise State (preseason No. 5, finished No. 8), Wisconsin (preseason No. 10, finished No. 11) and South Carolina (preseason No. 12, finished No. 9).

At this point I’d like to mention of the preseason top 19 teams, nearly half (nine) finished within three spots in the final AP rankings. Not bad. Which brings me too …

Wow, were we wrong: Of the remaining 16 teams ranked in the preseason Top 25, nine schools finished in the final Top 25, but were nowhere close to their preseason rankings. No. 1 Oklahoma finished 16th, No. 6 Florida State finished 23rd, No. 9 Oklahoma State finished third, No. 10 Nebraska finished No. 24, No. 13 Virginia Tech finished No. 21, No. 15 Arkansas finished fifth, No. 17 Michigan State finished 11th, No. 24 West Virginia finished No. 17 and No. 25 USC finished No. 6.

That leaves seven schools that were ranked in the preseason Top 25 but plummeted out of the rankings by season’s end because (take your pick) they choked under the pressure of a preseason Top 25 ranking, didn’t deserve to be ranked, were overrated, underachieved or all of the above.

We/they totally blew it: Here they are: the not-so-Magnificent Seven teams that were ranked in the preseason Top 25 but ended the season outside the Top 25. No. 8 Texas A&M, No. 16 Notre Dame, No. 18 Ohio State, No. 20 Mississippi State, No. 21 Missouri, No. 22 Florida and No. 23 Auburn all finished out of the Top 25.

We never saw them coming: There were 48 schools that received at least one vote in the preseason Top 25 poll. Yet, there were four schools that did not receive a single preseason vote that still finished in the final top 25: Baylor (finishing No. 13), Kansas State (finishing No. 15), Clemson (finishing No. 22) and Cincinnati (finishing No. 25).

Three other schools received Top 25 preseason votes and were not in the preseason Top 25 but finished in the AP final poll: No. 12 Michigan, No. 18 Houston and No. 20 Southern Miss.

So who were the biggest surprises and disappointments of 2011? Look no further than the Big 12, which had the nation's two most pleasant surprises in Baylor and Kansas State and the nation's biggest disappointment in Texas A&M.

Based on their AP preseason rankings, the biggest surprises in 2011: Baylor, Kansas State, Clemson (yes, even with the Orange Bowl seal-clubbing), Michigan, Cincinnati, USC and Houston. The biggest disappointments: Texas A&M, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Mississippi State, Florida, Arizona State, Miami, Utah, Iowa, Florida State, N.C. State and Oklahoma.

Listed below are the 48 schools that received a vote in the preseason Top 25 and the difference of how many spots better (+) or worse (-) it finished in the final Top 25 rankings. Following the school is each team’s preseason and final ranking. If a school started unranked and finished unranked, it was considered starting/finishing at No. 49.

Diff School (Pre-Final ranking)
+36 Baylor (NR-13)
+34 Kansas State (NR-15)
+27 Clemson (NR-22)
+26 Michigan (38-12)
+24 Cincinnati (NR-25)
+19 USC (25-6)
+18 Houston (36-18)
+15 Virginia (NR-34)
+11 Southern Miss (31-20)
+13 Northern Illinois (41-28)
+10 Arkansas (15-5)
+7 West Virginia (24-17)
+7 Brigham Young (33-26)
+6 Oklahoma State (9-3)
+6 Michigan State (17-11)
+3 South Carolina (12-9)
+2 LSU (4-2)
+1 Alabama (2-1)
+1 Wisconsin (11-10)
0 Stanford (7-7)
0 TCU (14-14)
0 Georgia (19-19)
-1 Oregon (3-4)
-3 Boise State (5-8)
-3 Nevada (46-NR)
-3 Northwestern (46-NR)
-3 Washington (46-NR)
-4 Auburn (23-27)
-4 Texas (26-30)
-5 Arizona (44-NR)
-5 Maryland (44-NR)
-6 Penn State (27-33)
-6 Tulsa (43-NR)
-8 Virginia Tech (13-21)
-8 Missouri (21-29)
-8 Hawaii (41-NR)
-9 UCF (40-NR) 5
-10 Tennessee (39-NR)
-12 Pittsburgh (37-NR)
-14 Nebraska (10-24)
-14 Air Force (35-NR)
-15 Oklahoma (1-16)
-16 N.C. State (33-NR)
-17 Florida State (6-23)
-17 Iowa (32-NR)
-19 Utah (30-NR) 25
-20 Miami (29-NR)
-21 Arizona State (28-NR)
-27 Florida (22-NR)
-29 Mississippi State (20-NR)
-31 Ohio State (18-NR)
-33 Notre Dame (16-NR)
-41 Texas A&M (8-NR)



Posted on: July 12, 2011 6:08 pm
Edited on: July 12, 2011 7:08 pm
 

Mendenhall receives 3-year extension

PROVO, Utah - BYU coach Bronco Mendenhall will lead the Cougars into the unchartered waters of being an independent and he'll do so with a new contract. Mendendall said Tuesday that he signed a three-year extension through the 2013 season.

"I am absolutely satisfied with my job here and I have been treated more than fairly," Mendenhall said. "I am very realistic. There is a lot on the line going independent, so I want to ensure that I am worthy of my position. I want to give everything I have and lead the charge through independence."

Mendenhall is 56-21 in six seasons with the Cougars and has taken BYU to six consecutive bowl games. His 72.7 winning percentage is tied for seventh among the active FBS coaches with at least five years experience, trailing Boise State's Chris Petersen (92.4 percent), Oklahoma's Bob Stoops (80.6), TCU's Gary Patterson (77.8), Penn State's Joe Paterno (74.8), Utah's Kyle Whittingham (74.0) and Georgia's Mark Richt (73.9). Arkansas' Bobby Petrino is tied with Mendenhall for seventh.

Mendenhall, who took over the defensive coordinator duties midway through last season, also said he will again be BYU's defensive coordinator this season.

"Bronco is an incredible leader and one of hte best coaches in the country," BYU athletic director Tom Holmoe said. "He is committed to the program and we are committed to him as the leader of our football team. Bronco is loyal to this team and the university and does things the right way, on and off the field. We are excited for the future as we begin our journey as an independent."





Posted on: July 12, 2011 4:10 pm
Edited on: July 12, 2011 5:58 pm
 

BYU doesn't deserve automatic BCS access - yet

PROVO, Utah - Since BYU joined the indepedent ranks, should the Cougars now receive automatic access to a BCS bowl like Notre Dame?

BYU athletic director Tom Holmoe says not yet.

“I don’t think we deserve the same access as Notre Dame,” Holmoe said. “I don’t. I just have an incredible amount of respect for Notre Dame. What they have accomplished over decades and decades. I’m not talking 20-30 years, I’m talking about 100.

“The BCS folks brought them in at even keel and I agree with that. They belong. It’s their responsibility once they’re there to continue to be good.”

Leaving the Mountain West should give the Cougars a better shot at reaching a BCS bowl, though, Holmoe said.

“You have to start winning games,” Holmoe said. “TCU, Boise State and Utah – as hard as it is for me to say that – they’ve earned respect of the nation by going to BCS games and winning. I think if we play well – we’re going to have a better schedule now than in the Mountain West – if we can be undefeated with our schedule, we’ll be in a BCS game.”

The Cougars are one of only seven Football Bowl Subdivision programs to win 10 or more games in at least four of the past five seasons. But that won’t mean anything from here on out: especially with future schedules featuring games against Texas, Ole Miss, Utah, Oregon State, Notre Dame, Georgia Tech and West Virginia.

“If we win, we’ll get noticed and we’ll earn people’s respect and people will take notice,” Holmoe said. “I think we belong in a BCS conference, but I’m not going to kick anybody out and we haven't been invited. There’s reasons we haven’t been invited.”

Posted on: July 8, 2011 1:05 pm
Edited on: July 8, 2011 1:19 pm
 

Presenting NCAA's most frequent cheaters club

As our series on college football’s cheaters continues today, I looked at the most frequent cheaters – at least in terms of major infractions – since SMU received the Death Penalty in 1987.

It’s a neck-and-neck race between Alabama and Texas Tech, with three major infractions each.

There are also a dozen teams – Cal, Colorado, Florida International, Florida State, Illinois, Minnesota, Mississippi State, Oklahoma, SMU, Texas A&M, USC and Washington – with two infractions each

Here are the remaining 42 teams with one major infraction each: Arkansas, Arkansas State, Arizona State, Auburn, Ball State, Baylor, Central Florida, Cincinnati, Clemson, Florida, Georgia, Georgia Tech, Houston, Kansas, Kansas State, Kentucky, Louisiana Lafayette, Marshall, Maryland, Memphis, Miami, Michigan, Michigan State, Mississippi, New Mexico, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Oklahoma State, Oregon, Pittsburgh, Rutgers, San Diego State, South Carolina, Syracuse, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, UTEP, Virginia, Virginia Tech, Washington State and Wisconsin.

In all 56 of the 120 FBS programs have committed a major infraction in the past 25 years, including nearly two-thirds of the automatic qualifying BCS programs.

By the way, I loved a response on Twitter from @FGrimes1 – listed as Forrest Grimes – defending Texas Tech’s three major infractions. He wrote: “Most of Techs major infractions came around the same time, way to make Tech look like a contuinously dirty program a--hole."

For Mr. Grimes’ information, Tech’s violations were not at the same time – but spaced more than 10 years apart in 1987, 1998 and on Jan. 7, 2011 – during Grimes’ current semester as a journalism major at Tech

While our two-week series is looking at whether schools can win without cheating, I think it’s important to recognize the 23 AQ BCS programs that have not committed a major infraction since 1987 … so far.

ACC–Boston College, Duke, North Carolina, N.C. State, Wake Forest.
Big East–UConn, Louisville, South Florida, West Virginia.
Big Ten–Indiana, Iowa, Nebraska, Northwestern, Penn State, Purdue.
Big 12–Iowa State, Missouri.
Pac-12–Arizona, Oregon State, Stanford, UCLA.
SEC–LSU, Vanderbilt


 
 
 
 
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