Still In The Playoff Picture?
After a wild weekend in College Football, the state of Texas really only has one true hope left…Baylor. Wow, who would have thought we would be saying that 10 years ago? However, the path to the playoff race is not an enviable one for Art Briles and the Bears.
Not only must they move forward without Heisman candidate QB Seth Russell, they also must go through three ranked teams in Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, and TCU, before ending the season against Texas.
There is reason for optimism in Waco, however, with a strong performance from Russell’s replacement, true freshman QB Jarrett Stidham. The Stephenville product completed 23 for 33 passes for 419 yards and 3 touchdowns. An impressive debut from Stidham helped solidify a seat in New York for Heisman hopeful Corey Coleman, who added 2 touchdowns to his jaw-dropping season, bringing his total touchdown receptions to 20 on the year.
The highly publicized TCU Horned Frogs were a sight to see last year, playing perhaps the most entertaining football by any, led by QB Trevone Boykin. This season had plenty of promise with Boykin returning to man another powerful offense. This team hit early speed bumps along the road from a barrage of injuries, mostly on the defensive side of the ball.
In the echelon of Corey Coleman, TCU WR Josh Doctson has had a stellar year, with over 1300 yards and 14 touchdown receptions. He ended up leaving the game against Oklahoma State with an apparent wrist injury, adding to the pile of injuries already existing in Fort Worth. That was probably one of the lesser problems that the Horned Frogs left Stillwater with. The Horned Frogs were pounced on by the Cowboys early and often.
Another WR stole the show in James Washington of Oklahoma State, racking up 184 yards and 3 touchdowns, essentially dropping TCU from the playoff picture. Looking at the lesser advertised programs in the state, it is not a pretty picture. The University of North Texas is 1-8, highlighted by a blowout loss, 66-7, to Portland State on homecoming night.
Even worse for the state in general, the one win on the season for UNT comes against another in-school state in The University of Texas-San Antonio by a score of 30-23. Texas Tech is on the verge of a return as a program, led by high profile coach Kliff Kingsbury. Patrick Mahomes is the guy in Lubbock, with a ton of playmakers surrounding him, such as WR Jakeem Grant and RB DeAndre Washington, among others. A promising future includes one of the the top player in the state of Texas in the 2017 class verbally committed in Frisco OL Jack Anderson. However, it is concerning that a promising season has severely faltered, especially within the Big 12 conference, holding a 2-5 in conference record. They average 45 points a game, however, they also average giving up 42 points a game. In a high powered offensive conference, a lack of defensive strength is the last thing that a team needs, and that problem has been highlighted in Lubbock this season.
The University of Texas always seems to show up for the Red River Rivalry Game, winning this year’s matchup 24-17. On the contrary, they seem to have forgotten to show up for the rest of the season. Youth on this Longhorn team is apparent. But something else became apparent in the Longhorn locker room. The upperclassmen and underclassmen of the team seemingly not getting along. That is bound to happen when the team has a less than stellar start, but having that drama spill over onto Twitter?
The world exposed to the personal problems of the players is not something the coach wants to have to answer at the podium. That kind of spells out the entire season for the University of Texas at 4-5 on the year.
A Kyle Allen-led offense impressed up until a meeting with Ole Miss, where they put up only 3 points. Cue the starting debut of former Allen QB and Texas High School Football legend Kyler Murray. Murray leads the Aggies with over 300 total yards to a close win over South Carolina, 35-28. And thus the Aggies found their stride. Or did they? A disastrous season by the Auburn Tigers, yet Jeremy Johnson leads them to a 26-10 win over Texas A&M.
All in all
Inconsistency is the name of the game in 2015 College Football in Texas. Baylor, the only remaining hope for a presence in the College Football Playoff, really hasn’t played anyone yet. The end of their schedule is stacked, and with a lack of strength in the schedule prior to this stretch leads me to believe that the Bears really aren’t prepared for this hellish finish to the end.
I don’t see them being able to go undefeated to end the year and punch their ticket to the Playoff. Many people argue that playing “cupcake teams” throughout the year and lack of schedule strength isn’t a problem, I see it being the biggest problem of the year for the Bears.