Rocky’s V: Bears, Ducks, Bulldogs and ‘Noles

11/01/2013

Rockys V

I. Baylor’s offense is historically good

The Baylor offense is set to shatter eight or possibly more college football records, including yards per game (currently averaging 717.3), points per game (63.9) and touchdowns per game (8.7). This is spectacular especially considering we thought the reason Baylor was so good a few seasons ago was because of the dynamic Heisman-winning quarterback Robert Griffin III. But now I’m starting to wonder if the true MVP of the program in the last few years is the coach, Art Briles. After RGIII left, everyone thought this offense would sputter out, but two seasons removed, they have instead gotten better. Briles is not a name often mentioned along with the coaching greats of college football, but he needs far more credit for the offensive system he has put in place and the athletes he has recruited. Baylor better treat him well, as just over an hour south in Austin there is a school that will probably have a coaching change at season’s end that has unlimited resources to woo him.

II. Most impressive win of the weekend

We saw another fantastic weekend of college football last week, and in my opinion the best win of the bunch was Oregon’s beating of UCLA by a final score of 42-14. This game was tied 14-14 with Oregon committing two turnovers and having a punt blocked in the first half. But head coach Mark Helfrich must have given some halftime speech because the Ducks came out in the second half and shut UCLA out, holding the Bruins under 100 yards after the break, and scoring four touchdowns themselves. I have to give it to Helfrich, he has coached brilliantly this season, this game being maybe his best performance at the helm to date. I feel that the best coaches are the ones who can make the best adjustments. Helfrich definitely did that and the Ducks showed they are a team that doesn’t just blow other teams out. They also can deal with adversity, adjust, and come out on top — the true mark of a great team.

III. Big 12 the best conference in the FBS?

They don’t have any teams in the BCS top five (Baylor is #6) but the Big 12 as a whole is the nation’s most competitive league, with four or five teams battling to win it. Alabama is the clear top dog in the SEC, Ohio State rules in the Big 10, and Stanford and Oregon are the top two teams to win the Pac-12. But the Big 12 has four teams win zero or one loss (Baylor, Oklahoma, Texas Tech and Oklahoma State) with the meat of the Big 12 schedule still coming up. That conference is going to be a dogfight coming down the stretch with collectively some of the best teams in the FBS in one singular division.

IV. Dan Mullen and Mississippi State continue to underwhelm

It took a late defensive stop for Mississippi State to beat a perennially bad Kentucky team last week, moving the Bulldogs to a ho-hum record of 4-3. Mullen is my under-the-radar coach on the hotseat because he hasn’t been able to move Mississippi State from an average team to anything better. He was brought in after a successful tenure as offensive coordinator at Florida with hopes he could push the Bulldogs’ program into the upper echelon. So far it hasn’t happened. It makes me wonder at what point does the administration and alumni get restless and a move is made?

V. FSU versus Miami matchup won’t even be close

Both Florida State and Miami are undefeated with both ACC and BCS title implications on the line, but while this may be an exciting game on paper, the Seminoles should blow this Hurricane team out. Miami has needed last-second touchdowns the previous two weeks to put away lesser teams while Florida State has surged. People are wondering why the Canes are coming up as 21-point underdogs, but it seems right on the money to me. FSU is the team in the country that compares favorably to #1 Alabama: powerful offensive and defensive lines, great running game and a ridiculous talent at quarterback in Jameis Winston. The only issue is that FSU has had a tendency in the past to lose games it shouldn’t, like the devastating loss to NC State last year. I say this year the trip-up game doesn’t happen, and the ‘Noles blow Miami out of the stadium.

– Rocky Boiman

Rocky Boiman is an analyst for WestwoodOne’s coverage of NCAA Football. Each week in “Rocky’s V,” the former Notre Dame captain and Super Bowl champion writes about five topics that have captured his interest from around college football. You can also follow Rocky on Twitter.

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