Star-Telegram writers Jimmy Burch and Stefan Stevenson sound off on the issues of the day in college football in College Confidential at star-telegram.com.
Texas A&M is a Top 10 team with the reigning Heisman Trophy winner but with a loss. Baylor and Texas Tech are undefeated but ranked lower in the polls. So, which school really has the best college football team in Texas this season?
Jimmy: I’m going with A&M, primarily because the Aggies have the Heisman winner and a beastly offensive line. But I’m adding the phrase “thus far,” because a lot can change between now and bowl season. Baylor could overtake A&M by January and, to me, the argument about Texas’ best is between those two teams. I’d love to see them settle it on the field, either at the Fiesta Bowl or the Cotton Bowl.
Stefan: A season-ending bowl matchup would be really cool. I’ll go with Baylor because they are playing better defense. Much remains to be proven, but if the Bears’ defense is for real then Baylor isn’t losing many — if any — games in 2013. I’d take Baylor right now if those two teams played tomorrow.
It is almost midseason and TCU continues to struggle with consistency on offense. Can that trend be turned around in the second half of the season?
Jimmy: I have my doubts but anything is possible. The Horned Frogs already have faced the toughest opposing defense they’ll see in the Big 12 [Oklahoma], so improvement is likely. If they don’t improve significantly in Saturday’s game against Kansas, that is a bad sign.
Stefan: Yes, if the Frogs can’t get any offense going against the Jayhawks then they may struggle to win six games to earn a bowl berth. I think the offense will play better this weekend and show a little more life these final seven games. OU’s defense had a lot to do with TCU’s struggles, but there won’t be that excuse available the rest of the season.
What happens in the Red River Rivalry, where Oklahoma’s Bob Stoops and Texas’ Mack Brown will cross paths for the 15th consecutive year as coaching adversaries in the Cotton Bowl?
Jimmy: I can’t see Texas winning this game without an excessive amount of Oklahoma turnovers. And I can’t see Brown coming back in 2014 unless he beats Oklahoma. If this proves to be their final meeting, an OU victory would give Stoops a 10-5 edge in career matchups against Brown.
Stefan: A Longhorn win would be one of the biggest upsets in a long, long time. I can’t see it happening either. Texas has shown itself to be too flimsy on defense to stop the Sooners. And the Sooners’ defense is too talented not to negate much of Texas’ firepower, which is hit-and-miss anyway. Sooners roll ... again.
Organizers of the College Football Playoff are putting together members of their selection committee, with an announcement expected next week. How do you like the list of 13 individuals projected to serve on the committee?
Jimmy: I’m thrilled by the inclusion of Archie Manning and other independent voices who are not working for schools or conferences. But I see an awful lot of athletic directors who will have agendas to push behind closed doors to benefit their school or their league. I would prefer a lower percentage of sitting ADs in the mix for that reason.
Stefan: Hopefully those selected members still working in intercollegiate athletics have enough clout and ethics to keep it clean. I think they do. Five athletics directors are pegged to be on the committee, plus former Nebraska coach and AD Tom Osborne.