Star-Telegram staff writers Jimmy Burch and Carlos Mendez sound off on the issues of the day in college football on the weekly College Confidential video segment at star-telegram.com.
For a third consecutive week, No. 12 TCU (4-1, 1-1 in Big 12) plays a ranked opponent that is undefeated in Big 12 play. This time, it is No. 15 Oklahoma State (5-1, 3-0). How do the Horned Frogs match up with the Cowboys?
Jimmy: Because of injuries, Oklahoma State is inexperienced in the offensive line and at quarterback. A strong TCU pass rush should fare well against a Cowboys team that has allowed a league-high 16 sacks. That will be a key factor to monitor Saturday.
Carlos: After the last two weeks, I can see TCU matches up just fine with anybody. That’s not the problem. The problem for the Frogs is matching their own intensity from the last two weeks. Tough assignment.
It’s now midseason and we’ve seen the undefeated ranks in this week’s Top 25 poll thinned to six teams. How many of those six should be on upset alert Saturday?
Jimmy: One undefeated team is guaranteed to fall because No. 2 Florida State (6-0) plays No. 5 Notre Dame (5-0). The endangered list also should include No. 4 Baylor (6-0), which has to make a tough road trip to West Virginia (4-2) following an emotional win over TCU.
Carlos: Not that many. Mississippi State is off, Ole Miss has Tennessee at home. Florida State and Notre Dame don’t have to be told to watch out. I don’t know who Marshall is playing, but they won’t land in the playoff, anyway. Gotta be Baylor. Be careful, Bears.
We’ve reached midseason and two of college football’s top three programs in career victories have losing records: Michigan (3-4) and Texas (2-4). Will either make it to a bowl game and what will be the repercussions if those schools are shut out?
Jimmy: Based on remaining schedules, Michigan has a better chance to go bowling because the Wolverines play lesser teams on a weekly basis in the Big Ten. Michigan should get to 6-6, but a coaching change is imminent, regardless of the final record. Texas may not finish better than 5-7 but first-year coach Charlie Strong gets a pass on the record in a transition season.
Carlos: I’m going to say neither makes it to a bowl game, but I will say Texas is going to hurt somebody’s season down the road. Pretty good defense the Longhorns have put out. They, and only they, have gone unroasted by that Baylor offense.
Because of injuries, suspensions, disappointing performances and other factors, the Heisman Trophy race is far from clear-cut at this point. Who are the front-runners and who is the most likely player from a Texas school to wind up in New York for the ceremony?
Jimmy: My top three to track, at this point, would all be QBs: Dak Prescott (Mississippi State), Marcus Mariota (Oregon) and Jameis Winston (Florida State), despite Winston’s off-field issues. Also, let’s jump-start the Heisman hype machine for Baylor QB Bryce Petty, who is gaining ground after last week’s spectacular performance against TCU.
Carlos: Confession: I barely keep up with Heisman talk. Confession: I wanted to copy Jimmy’s answer.