UT Wildcatter asked me on Recruitocosm to rank the remaining teams in the Big 12, TCU,Boise St., and WVU in order based upon last year’s teams.
I thought about it a bit and it turned out a little tougher for one simple reason. Aside from Oklahoma State and Boise State I found myself thinking for most of the teams “they would have a great season if not for………” . Examples, OU would have had a great season if not for the loss to Tech at home and the injuries, UT would have had a great season if not for the injuries, Baylor would had have a great season had their been more competitive on the road, TCU would have had a great season had they slept walked for most of the season, etc…….Trouble was that a good record gets often confused for the quality of a team or more accurately a teams performance.
In putting together the list I decided to focus on results, biggest wins at home, biggest wins on the road, and if the team had moments that they wish they could have back. I tried not to penalize a team for having a bad week as much as if they really didn’t have say an impressive win away from their campus. Additionally, I tried to keep the moments a team had back to a game and not say a specific injury (I understandTexasfans could point to say Foz’ injury, but was that anymore catastrophic to the season than say Gilbert?).
Here is my list and some of the reasons I had for each, feel free to throw your stones, your list, or whatever you deem appropriate.
1) OklahomaState– I still am not convinced they were a great team last year as much a great offense with an opportunistic defense. They formula works well enough to win a lot of games, but I am still not ready to put them in the category of a great team and to be honest the last great championship team in my mind is the 2006Floridateam.
- Biggest Home Win – OU by 34 just for reasons of the mental roadblock, Baylor by 35, and the win over KSU in a game that the Cowboys had found a way to lose in the past.
- Biggest Road Win – at UT versus a focusedTexasteam and the bowl win versus Stanford. I don’t usually give too much emphasis to bowl games because we often times have seen lately that in the non title games one teams doesn’t show up. In this game both did and Stanford has got some talent.
- One That Got Away –IowaStatemost likely cost them a chance to play for the BCS title.
2) BoiseState– I realize I am going to catch crap for this one, but this isn’t a MWC
Conference decision, but as much an indication of how much any of the other teams really failed to distinguish themselves. My case for Boise is that outside of the OU win over FSU the Broncos win over UGA in the Georgia Dome was the biggest non-conference win of the year and while beating a Denny Erickson team in a bowl is not exactly a Heruclean task they absolutely beat the crap out of ASU in a game they could have just mailed it in after the TCU loss. The other thing to remember is that there was talent on thisBoiseteam. Not only did they have Kellen Moore and Doug Martin, but they have five defenders who are viable draft prospect (three in their defensive line).
- Biggest Home Win – here is the biggest argument against BSU. Aside from TCU they played no one of note at home. They did beatNevadawho beat them, but it would have been much bigger news had they not beat the crap out of them after 2011.
- Biggest Away Win – beating UGA in the Georgia Dome. Yes, defeating a Mark Richt team early in the year is easier than at the end, but they still went intoAtlantaand beat the Dawgs in what was a big opener for both.
- One That Got Away – TCU’s win cost them a BCS spot thought I don’t think they would have played in the title game. One thing to note however is thatBoisegot a huge break at the end of the game they even allowed them to try the field goal so this wasn’t quite like the loss toNevada. To be blunt, they flat got beat at home.
3) WVU – This is the start of six teams that might have played one or two great games last year, but played some really, really bad football. The Mountaineers did win their conference and their bowl which put them over the top, but they also somehow lost toSyracuseby 26 and the Orangemen struggled last year to beatToledo, Tulane, andRhode Island. The other thing that sticks in my mind is they were down 28-7 to LSU and it was going to be 34-7 if LSU doesn’t drop a sure touchdown pass. Yes, they came back and posted more yards, but LSU really took the fight to them in a game they had marked as a spotlight game inMorgantown.
- Biggest Home Win – Pitt because it is a rivalry game and what was at stake.
- Biggest Away Win – you could possibly say atMarylandor Cincy, but the one to me was at USF with the title at stake.
- One That Got Away – they outgainedLouisville, but special teams cost them.
4) OU – I know people are going to say I am crazy and I am sure Baylor fan would go nuts, but the Sooners have one thing that KSU or Baylor don’t have and that is a non-conference win on the road against a quality opponent. Yes, FSU might have been over rated, but they were far better than almost any of the schools played out of conference let alone on the road and the Sooners beat the crap out of them. The loss to Baylor inWacolast year took a great effort by RGIII to beat the Sooners and they just seemed to stop caring some time during the Bedlam game.
- Biggest Home Win –Missouriand A&M. They played their five most difficult opponents last year away fromNorman.
- Biggest Away Win –Texas,FloridaState, andKansasState. When the Sooners were good last year they did dominate and they did just that in these three games.
- One That GotAway-TexasTech was a strange game from the start and it really looked like OU never really was ready to play that game after the weather delay.
5) KSU – the Wildcats didn’t’ get a great deal of respect last year and I am still torn between were they just a really clutch team or a team that caught breaks last year. What I do know is they just didn’t have that impressive win on the road and playing Baylor away fromWacowas much different than inWaco. To be blunt, this is a team that got blown out at home by OU, should have never been in the game inAustin, and never really challengedArkansasin the Cotton Bowl.
- Biggest Home Win – A&M and Baylor though both teams were different on the road than at home.
- Biggest Away Win –Missouriwhich says all the needs to be said.
- One That Got Away - atOklahomaStatethough in the end they just couldn’t keep up with the Cowboys and I am not sure what else they could have done in the game.
6) Baylor – the Bears were tough at home and not very good on the road. In fact,
as impressive as they played at home they were equally unimpressive on the road having to come back from 20 down in the 4th quarter to a horrible KU team, losing by 27 at A&M and 35 at Okie State, and giving up 56 to a bad UW team that finished their last 6 games 2-4 in an underwhelming PAC – 12.
- Biggest Home Win – TCU, OU, and UT were all spotlight games for the Bears.
- Biggest Away Win – I refuse to say coming from behind by 20 in the 4th toKansas proves you are a great team
- One That Got Away – loss at KSU.
7) Texas– I was really torn between TCU andTexas. The deciding factor was that
played up to an 8-5 schedule filled with injuries and a disaster at the quarterback position against a tougher schedule than a sleepwalking TCU, but I am not sold that had they playedTexaswins that game. We all have gone over the UT season last year and the best part of it is that it is over.
- Biggest Home Win – BYU and that says all you need to know about the home schedule thoughTexasdid play their two best games (KU and OSU) at home.
- Biggest Away Win – sorry, but I can’t say at UCLA, but there is no doubt the A&M game for a variety of reasons. The bowl game was big, but they didn’t beat a very goodCalteam.
- One That Got Away - sorry, but you can’t say any quarterbackTexascould have signed in placed of Gilbert, Easily has to be KSU. They could have won theMissourigame they really didn’t respond well to the loss of Foz. They flat out dominated the Wildcat offense and actually had some offense that game.
8) TCU – Pat said early on he was worried about this team and was struggling to get a handle as to whether or not there was the leadership this team would need and the answered turned out to be no. The defense played terribly against Baylor and struggled all year, they slept walk through the much of the middle of the season, and even in winning the conference they ended up in the worse of the two bowl options available to them.
- Biggest Home Win – saying BYU inArlingtonsays all you need to know about the Frogs home schedule.
- Biggest Away Win –BoiseStatein easily their best game of the year.
- One That Got Away – losing to Baylor might have been disappointing, but losing to SMU at home in OT might be one of the worst losses by a CGP team in quite some time if not ever.
9) ISU – tougher at home than on the road and a team that isn’t great, but really aren’t bad anymore.
- Biggest Home Win – theOklahomaStategame gets the attention, but for pride purposes don’t overlook the win overIowa.
- Biggest Away Win – sorry but winning inLubbockover a bad Tech team or at UConn just isn’t too exciting.
- One That Got Away – winning at KSU really would have been a big step for the program.
10) TT – showed some promise early and then just imploded. That could apply to the Horns offense, OU’s title hopes, or Tech’s season. It would have been interesting had a couple of early games gone different.
- Biggest Home Win – it would beNevada, but this wasn’tBoiseavenging a bad loss in 2011 that cost them a BCS slot.
- Biggest Away Win – OU in one of the most bizarre games I have seen in a bit.
- One That Got Away – both A&M and KSU were games Tech could have won, but gave up touchdowns offer special teams and turnovers that turned both games.
11) WYO– yes I Know they went 8-5, but who did they beat? Heck, who was any
good they played close?
- Biggest Home Win – N/A.
- Biggest Away Win – feeling generous SDSU and Air Force can be a tough place to play, but both of those teams were down last year.
- One That Got Away – they came within 11 points of TCU thanks to 5 Frog fumbles, but did a game really slip away when your defense gives up over 600 yards of offense?
12) SDSU – Dear Brady, We miss you. Do I really need to say anything else?
- Biggest Home Win – Wazzu, but this isn’t exactly one of the Ryan Leaf teams or even the team that UT faced in the same stadium.
- Biggest Away Win – at Air Force.
- One That Got Away – Brady Hoke
13) AF – Dear Fisher DeBerry……………
- Biggest Home Win – nothing really to write about here.
- Biggest Away Win – at Navy when the Midship missed a 35-yard extra point.
- One That Got Away –Wyoming
14) KU - Dear Fat Man, oh wait………
- Biggest Home Win -McNeeseState, yeahMcNeeseState. How fun Charlie.
- Biggest Away Win – a 3 point loss atIowaStatewhen you consider their other road games resulted in 42, 42, 38, 43, and 54 point losses.
- One That Got Away – Baylor which is why I rated them #6. No one you should be down 20 in the 4th quarter to a team this bad.
The Rest – does it really freaking matter. When you are worse than a team that gave up something like 700 yards rushing you really need to consider dropping football. CSU’s biggest win at home was over Northern Colorado, UNLV somehow beatHawaiiand lost toNew Mexico, andNew Mexicobeats Vegas and gives up almost 500 yards rushing to Sam Houston while losing to them.