College Football 2011: Hello, Goodbye
By Cabrone D. Brewer
Fall is certainly a season of change.
Adding depth to a string of off the field changes that are emerging this season, Texas Christian University announced that they would be joining the Big 12 conference and snubbing the Big East before they ever had a chance to play a game in the league.
The move shifts the focus back to the realignment issue circulating college football this season, with the Big East left to ponder the fate of its conference following departure announcements by Syracuse and Pittsburgh earlier this year.
Arizona may have a solid relationship with the Pac-12, but coach Mike Stoops is searching for new employment opportunities after receiving his walking papers from the Wildcats earlier this week.
The firing of coach Stoops wasn’t completely unexpected — Arizona is currently sporting a 1-5 record six games into the season.
A first place battle has emerged in the Legends Division of the Big Ten, with No. 11 Michigan and No.23 Michigan State squaring off Saturday in East Lansing.
Michigan State brings the top-ranked defense in the nation to the table and is seeking a fourth straight win over their in-state rivals, but the resurgent Wolverine offense is on a tear — ranking second in the Big Ten with a solid average of 457.5 total yards per game.
No. 22 Texas will attempt to recuperate after last week’s demoralizing loss to No. 3 Oklahoma, but the healing process may be tough while fighting against a mighty No. 6 Oklahoma State squad in Austin.
The Cowboys boast the most potent scoring offense in the nation, averaging 51.4 points per game, and rank second in passing and total yards per game with averages of 431.2 and 577.4, respectfully.
Quarterback Brandon Weeden was pulled before halftime of last week’s 70-28 rout of Kansas, completing a record 85.7 percent of his passes and throwing for five touchdowns in the first two quarters alone.
Another Big 12 rivalry may be entering its twilight, as No. 20 Baylor takes the field against No. 21 Texas A&M in the 108th edition of the “Battle of the Brazos.” With Texas A&M headed to the SEC conference next season, the Aggies will face acclaimed Baylor quarterback Robert Griffin III in a curtain call for a rivalry that dates back to the days of the old Southwest Conference.
In the beautiful Pacific Northwest, No. 9 Oregon seeks their seventh straight victory over No. 18 Arizona State. Oregon’s speedy LaMichael James, the nation’s leading rusher, is probable following an injury sustained in last weekend’s match against California.
And, No. 15 South Carolina will face Mississippi State without quarterback Stephen Garcia, who was dismissed from the team after testing positive for alcohol and marijuana — a violation of a previous reinstatement agreement between him and the team.
Check our blog Monday for a review of the weekend’s winners and losers.
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