More Big 12 Problems. Team Nike has come undone. More Problems in East Lansing.
Dumpster Fires of the Week: Week Five
1. Texas defense
When a coach gets fired or demoted, you shoot to the top of this list.
This week, it appears as though Charlie Strong is making one last futile attempt to save his job. After back-to-back weeks of allowing at least 49 points, defensive coordinator Vance Bedford has been demoted so that Strong can take over play-calling duties. Strong really had no choice after the Keystone Kops effort by the UT secondary trying to stop the OSU's passing game. It was an abysmal showing, with a huge helping of quit at times on display.
Last year, Strong fired his offensive coordinator in the middle of the season and it sort of worked, but not really. Now he is putting his own rep as a defensive coordinator on the line to save his job. Based on some media reports, it may not be enough.
2. The state of Oregon
If there was a D-I state duo that had a worse weekend than Oregon and Oregon State, I’m not aware of it.
First, Oregon State has been terrible. The Beavers are competing with Kansas for worst Power 5 conference team in the country. They got completely trucked over the weekend by Dumpster Fire graduate Colorado.
Meanwhile, in the Palouse, Washington State was smashing an Oregon team that looks average on offense and terrible on D. Oregon’s defense is so bad that it allowed the Pirate's team to rack up more than 250 yards rushing.
Oregon’s reliance on transfer QBs appears to be a very bad sign about its talent level and development. Mark Helfrich's name is being added to every hot list article in the country. Is Team Nike ready for Oregon to be what Oregon was for so long before Mike Belotti and Chip Kelly took the program to unseen heights in the 2000s.
3. Vanderbilt versus Florida
Previous narrative would have dictated that Florida's 13-6 win over Vandy was a clear example of how tough defenses are in the SEC. Well, that’s propaganda.
This was a terrible game with two terrible offenses trying to outsuck each other. Vandy just gave up 38 points to Georgia Tech, which has been struggling to score. Meanwhile, Florida just gave up 30-plus points in the second half to Tennessee. Both offenses were anemic.
4. Defense in the Big 12
While the Vandy-UF game was setting back the concept of offense, two Big 12 games were destroying the illusion that the conference members know anything about defense.
Oklahoma finally put two quarters of football together in which the Sooners looked like a preseason top 10 team, grabbing a 49-24 lead going into the fourth quarter. OU then proceeded to allow 22 points and create some late drama.
While OU was losing, winning, then trying to lose in Fort Worth, Baylor, the Big 12's front runner due to a terrible non-conference schedule, was giving up 42 points to Iowa State. As a refresher, ISU scored three points against Iowa.
Just terrible defensive performances by OU, TCU, ISU and Baylor – or almost half the conference.
5. Michigan State
There are many choices for most disappointing team this season: OU, Notre Dame, Texas, Oregon, USC. However, Michigan State has moved into the pole position following its two-game losing streak.
MSU got dominated by Wisconsin two weeks ago. Now, this week, after going up 14-0 on Indiana, Sparty gave up three late touchdowns. That led to overtime, and after Michigan State missed a field goal on its first OT possession, IU won the game.
It’s the first time that Indiana has beaten Michigan St. since 2006. With scary games ahead against Ohio State and Michigan, Sparty is facing a tough season.