KC SportsNation’s Preseason Top 25 College Football Poll

TEAM (1st place votes)  Pts                          1. LSU (1)                      97 Key returnees: CB Tyrann Mathieu, S Eric Reid, DE Sam Montgomery, DE Barkevious Mingo, RB Michael Ford, RB Spencer Ware, WR Russell Shepard, P Brad Wing Key losses: CB Morris Claiborne, DT Michael Brockers, OG Will Blackwell, WR Reuben Randle Sure, LSU lost some talent in the offseason – nine starters – however their defense is still full of studs and the secondary still features Tyrann "the Honey Badger" Mathieu. And, with the addition of juco transfer Zack Mettenberger, the offense - which returns the running back combo of Spencer Ware and Michael Ford, the Tigers are improved on offense without the woeful quarterback combo of Jordan Jefferson and Jarrett Lee directing the offense, which was still good enough to go 13-1 and play the BCS National Championship Game. The Tigers will still be a run-oriented team, ball control team, but Mettenberger - who showed off a strong and accurate arm [Read more...]

College Football Playoffs!!! NCAA have you been reading my diary?

Yes it is true and it is officially here.  College football will now be settled by a 4-team playoff and while it won't totally eliminate all controversy, it definitely feels a whole lot better.  So here's what we know so far: The championship game will be bid on like the Superbowl or Final Four. The semi-final games will be rotated amongst the current BCS bowls. The 4 teams will be chosen by a selection committee. Like I said, this new playoff system won't eliminate controversy.  There will be plenty of years where the difference between the #4 and #5 teams is miniscule.  And watch all the critics cry foul when three SEC teams make it into the playoffs, which is bound to happen.  But that kind of controversy I can live with, because whoever wins that 4-team playoff will have earned it. *** LINKS SB Nation: College Football Playoffs Are Here: 4-Team System Begins In 2014 SB Nation: College Football Playoff Schedule Should Look Familiar SB Nation: New 12-Year Contract [Read more...]

Mizzou softball advances, will host Super Regional (links)

The Missouri softball team won its fifth regional title this weekend to advance to the Best-of-3 Super Regional, where they will host future SEC-foe LSU (Times and dates are yet to be determined) as they continue their quest for a fourth straight World Series. Chelsey Thomas dominated on the hill, allowing just one run in three games (22 IP, 11 H, 28 K, 3 BB, 305 pitches (208 strikes)), leading the Tigers (46-12) to 6-0 and 2-1 wins over Illinois and a dramatic 1-0, 9-inning win over DePaul that featured a Ashley Fleming walk-off HR. See highlights Here. Fleming now has 16 HR and 51 RBI on the year following a  5-for-11, 1 2B, 1 HR, 3 RBI, 2 R weekend. Thomas is the most decorated pitcher in school history. Last weekend in the season-finale series, Thomas pitched 19 1/3 scoreless innings over three games with Oklahoma State, giving up just five hits, all of them in the final game Sunday, while amassing 30 strikeouts. She broke a decades old record when she struck Kelsey Anchors [Read more...]

Big 12 Tournament Preview, Predictions

March Madness is here! The Big 12 Tournament starts tonight, with a little bit of dud as the league's four worst teams are playing in the opening night session, with 8-seed Oklahoma battling 9-seed Texas A&M in a rematch of Saturday's close 65-62 Oklahoma win in Norman, OK. No. 8 seed Oklahoma (15-15, 5-13 in Big 12) Coach: Lon Kruger Big 12 Championship history: 20-12; championships in 2003, 2002, 2001. Probable starters: Romero Osby, 6-8 Jr. F; Andrew Fitzgerald, 6-8 Jr. F; Sam Grooms, 6-1 Jr. G; Steven Pledger, 6-4 Jr. G; Cameron Clark, 6-6 Soph. G. You need to know: Texas A&M beat Oklahoma in overtime, 81-75, on Jan. 21 in College Station. … The junior trio of Steven Pledger, Andrew Fitzgerald and Romero Osby accounted for 64 percent of the team's points in Big 12 play (746 of 1,164) and 49 percent of its rebounds (277 of 567). … In its five Big 12 wins, Oklahoma held opponents to .390 field goal shooting. In OU's 13 Big 12 losses, opponents shot .475 from the field. [Read more...]

The Big 12 Today 3/3/12: The Weekend Slate (Previews and links) and the Week that was (links, highlights)

Its hard to believe it, but it is the last weekend of the regular season for the Big 12. It seems like it started last week. Next week at this time, we will be four and a half hours away from the Big 12 title game at Sprint Center. Mizzou-KU III? There isn't much to play for today, minus the exception of one game - 9 Baylor @ Iowa State. The 6 pm tip tonight in Ames is for the 3-seed in the Big 12 Tournament. Baylor won the first meeting in Waco, rather easily 79-64. The Bears have won three straight since losing three of four and looks to head into the Big 12 Tournament with some momentum. Iowa State, the surprise team in the Big 12 this season, had won six of seven and seven of nine before falling late, 78-72, at Missouri Wednesday. Former Iowa State great Fred Hoiberg has done a great turnaround job in Ames, registering their first 20-win season in eight years, the most wins (21) since 2001-2002 and their first six-game home winning streak in eight years. The Clones are 15-2 at [Read more...]

The Weekend that Was, The week that is, Conference Call, Rankings and Standings

Kansas claimed no worst than a tie for their 8th straight Big 12 Conference crown with its incredible, indescribable 19-point come-from-behind win over rival Missouri Saturday in what will forever be etched in lore in the great history of the greatest rivalry in college basketball. STANDINGS CONFERENCE OVERALL Big 12 W-L GB PCT W-L PCT STRK #4 Kansas 14-2 -- .875 24-5 .828 W6 #8 Missouri 12-4 2 .750 25-4 .862 L2 #10 Baylor 11-5 3 .688 24-5 .828 W2 Iowa State 11-5 3 .688 21-8 .724 W3 Kansas State 8-8 6 .500 19-9 .679 L1 Texas 8-8 6 .500 18-11 .621 W1 Oklahoma State 7-9 7 .438 14-15 .483 W1 Texas A&M 4-12 10 .250 13-15 .464 L3 Oklahoma 4-12 10 .250 14-14 .500 L1 Texas Tech 1-15 13 .063 8-20 .286 L4 EXPANDED AP 25 ESPN/USA HOME ROAD OVERALL Big 12 W-L W-L W-L W-L PF PA #4 Kansas 5-3 5-3 15-1 7-2 75.1 61.2 #8 [Read more...]

The Week That Was (links, highlights) and the Weekend Slate (Is there a big game this weekend?)

So there is a big game in Lawrence today, I heard. The rest of the conference will be second stage to that game, but it does not mean there are not some big games. Possibly the next biggest is in Manhattan, where K-State, who led by 12 at Iowa State in the second half Jan. 31 before losing. Today, the Cats, coming off back-to-back road wins over Top 10 teams, gets their rematch (12:47, ESPN3/Big 12 Network). Iowa State has 20 wins for the first time in eight years and is in a two-way tie for 3rd place with Baylor. The Cats could move into a game of ISU with a win today. K-State could make a claim for the league's 3rd best team - despite record - by winning out, and finishing 11-7. Other Games Oklahoma @ Baylor (12:47, ESPN 3/Big 12 Network): Baylor bounced back from its third loss in four games with a win Monday night at Texas. Now, Baylor host an OU team that ended its six-game losing skid with a surprisingly easy Beldlam win over Oklahoma State. Should be easy for Baylor. Then, [Read more...]

Big 12 Tonight: KU (links) hopes to avoid “Look Ahead upset,” Bedlam and Tech @ Iowa State

February 22nd, 2012 8 PM CST Who: Kansas Jayhawks vs Texas A&M Aggies Where: College Station Texas TV: ESPN2 Online: ESPN3 FirstRowSports Radio: Jayhawk Radio POINTS PPG FG% FT% 3PT% T. Robinson 17.7 .548 .684 .364 T. Taylor 16.6 .476 .662 .433 REBOUNDS REB OFF DEF BPG T. Robinson 11.8 2.7 9.1 1.1 J. Withey 6.6 2.3 4.3 3.4 ASSISTS APG SPG TO AST/TO T. Taylor 5.1 1.2 3.7 1.4 E. Johnson 3.7 1.6 2.0 1.8 POINTS PPG FG% FT% 3PT% E. Turner 14.0 .406 .810 .386 K. Middleton 11.8 .401 .667 .250 REBOUNDS REB OFF DEF BPG K. Roberson 5.5 2.1 3.4 0.2 R. Turner 5.4 2.6 2.9 0.4 ASSISTS APG SPG TO AST/TO D. Harris 4.4 1.6 1.9 2.4 J. Branch 2.5 0.4 2.2 1.2 There are three games on the Big 12 slate tonight, none is more important than KU @ Texas A&M. The Jayhawks [Read more...]

The weekend that was in the Big 12 (highlights, links), the week that will be, Standings & Rankings, Player of the Week, more

Its getting closer and closer to the de facto Big 12 Championship in Lawrence when No. 3 Mizzou heads to face No. 5 Kansas with the conference title, more than likely, on the line. Both teams won this weekend, Missouri with another gritty road win - their first in College Station since 2001 - and Kansas cruised, as expected against the worst team in league history, Texas Tech, 83-50. But first, the teams have obstacles to face this week before Hate Week can fully commence. Missouri gets its second revenge game of the year in hosting Kansas State tomorrow night and Kansas heads to head to A&M, which is becoming more and more healthy by the game, in what could be dangerous for the 'Hawks on Wednesday. "If you work your tail off all year long to put yourself in good position, how can you look past anybody when you can see the light at the end of the tunnel?" KU coach Bill Self said. "Everybody will talk about that game, but I guarantee we won't even mention it until Thursday or [Read more...]

Big 12 Basketball 2/18/12: The week that was and the Weekend slate

There are just three weekends left in the Big 12 regular season and its a two horse race - a race that could be decided next weekend in Lawrence as Mizzou heads to Allen Fieldhouse for the last time. This week, both won big games - KU at rival Kansas State and Mizzou in its first chance at revenge, rolling Oklahoma State. Here is a chance at the up-to-date standings: STANDINGS CONFERENCE OVERALL Big 12 W-L GB PCT W-L PCT STRK #3 Missouri 11-2 -- .846 24-2 .923 W6 #5 Kansas 11-2 -- .846 21-5 .808 W3 #10 Baylor 9-4 2 .692 22-4 .846 W1 Iowa State 8-5 3 .615 18-8 .692 L1 Texas 7-6 4 .538 17-9 .654 W4 Kansas State 6-7 5 .462 17-8 .680 L2 Oklahoma State 5-8 6 .385 12-14 .462 L2 Texas A&M 4-9 7 .308 13-12 .520 W1 Oklahoma 3-10 8 .231 13-12 .520 L5 Texas Tech 1-12 10 .077 8-17 .320 L1 EXPANDED AP 25 ESPN/USA HOME ROAD OVERALL Big [Read more...]