To celebrate their 150th remote “College GameDay” broadcast this Saturday at Williamston, Mass., for the Amherst College-Williams College game, Chris Fowler, Kirk Herbstreit and Lee Corso conducted a conference call Thursday. None of the writers on the call asked them about “GameDay,” but they had a lot to say about the Kansas-OSU game, which Herbstreit will broadcast for ABC on Saturday night. Herbstreit is expecting a shootout Saturday in Stillwater in the game that will go to 63 percent of the nation.
Kirk: Their offense (Oklahoma State’s) is good enough to win the Big 12. Oklahoma State scores. They are averaging 35 a game, close to 500 yards of offense a game. It’s pretty amazing that when you think we came into the year we all thought that Bobby Reid would be pushing for Big 12 first-team all-conference at quarterback. Obviously, that didn’t work out. This kid Zac Robinson has provided a spark with his ability to run the football and throw. He seems to be making pretty good decisions. The real key to them is (running back) Dontrell Savage. Now that he has been back the last six games, they are like a different team. They are probably one of the most balanced teams offensively that you are going to see. I think that’s what allows them to be so good is they keep defenses guessing. The problem they have is they are so beat up and so young on defense. They just can’t stop anybody. That’s why this game this weekend against Kansas, as Lee likes to say, “Pack a sandwich,” because it’s going to be a shootout. I think both teams will score a lot of points. It might be one of those games that who has the ball last might win.
Chris Fowler noted OSU’s 42-32 victory over Kansas last year.
Chris: That’s the craziest quarter of college football all last year, 57 points in a quarter and a half between those two teams last year.
Kirk: Remember (Adarius) Bowman’s game he had last year, 300 yards of receiving in one game.
Chris: So both defenses will be waving the white flag in the second half?
Kirk: I think so.
The three questioned whether the Big 12 deserved to have three of the top six teams in the BCS in 4. Kansas, 5. Oklahoma, 6. Missouri.
Chris: It says that Oklahoma hasn’t played Kansas and Kansas hasn’t played Missouri yet. A lot of the top teams have collided already and knocked each other off. You can’t sit there with multiple losses and be in the top six of the BCS. Certainly it’s surprising. I don’t know if those are three of the six best teams in the country.
Lee: I think you should give an award to the three athletic directors at those schools for the cream puffs that they play out of conference. Oklahoma played Miami, Tulsa, Utah State and North Texas. (Cough)
Chris: At least they played one team from a BCS league. Missouri at least played Illinois.
Chris: We’ve seen Oklahoma-Missouri. We were at that game. Both teams were very good. We came away very impressed with Missouri. It’s not a surprise to us that they’ve gone on and started clobbering people. I think a lot of people would be interested in seeing a rematch in San Antonio (for the Big 12 championship). I think a lot of us are looking forward to watching Kansas play Missouri on a neutral field. There are some exciting games coming up in the league. But there is no doubt that schedules have been a huge factor for why those teams are where they are right now. If you take a snapshot of the BCS, that’s a big factor. They are solid football teams. Are they three of the six best? I doubt that.
Lee: Central Michigan, Southeastern Louisiana, Toledo and Florida International (Kansas’ non-conference opponents). If they don’t make it (to the BCS final) and they’re undefeated and they lose out to a one-loss team, that’s why. And that would be public perception.
Chris: It’s very obvious that Kansas constructed its schedule to get bowl eligible, not to get BCS championship game eligible. I look at their future schedules and I don’t see a lot of big name teams either. I don’t blame the players. They’re just playing who is on their schedule. I just say the schedule is not in line with the quality of Mangino’s program right now. Maybe you say, who could have predicted that. It’s not their fault, but you have to judge them accordingly.
Herbstreit was impressed with Mark Mangino’s coaching job in leading the Jayhawks to a 9-0 record.
Kirk: What he has done is he has recruited guys who are team-oriented kids who come from high school programs where that is their mind-set. They’re selfless. He has put them into a system where they are running a version of the spread, which is kind of an equalizer if you have a quarterback who can run that offense, which he has in (Todd) Reesing, and has enough playmakers at receiver and running back. And he has a defense which is smart. They’re probably not going to the (NFL) combine and blow it up, but they are just smart within their system. Lee and I talked about this last week. When you look at a team that has a turnover margin which is second in the nation at plus-16, they lead the nation in kickoff returns, they are the least penalized team in all of college football. When you do little things like that, those all add up and allow you to have a very successful year. They are still being questioned because their schedule hasn’t been the toughest, but it will get tougher with Oklahoma State on Saturday and Missouri at the end of the year. It’s been fun to watch him get afforded the opportunity to get into his sixth year and show what he could do.