This Week’s Coach on the Hot Seat: Charlie Weis, Kansas10/10/2012
As that ancient philosopher Jim Croce once sang, you don’t tug on Superman’s cape. You don’t spit into the wind. You don’t pull the mask of that old Lone Ranger. And you don’t lose to Vanderbilt at home.
While it’s been shaping up to be a great week to be a Cyclone, Iowa State’s old Big 12 pals to the south, the Missouri Tigers, would love to push the reset button on a football season that’s turning into a 12-car pileup.
No one expected the Tigers — whom coach Gary Pinkel built into a solid, upper-division Big 12 middleweight — to set the Southeastern Conference on fire right out of the chute. By the same token, few expected Mizzou to open their SEC slate at 0-3, either. A 19-15 loss at home to Vandy’s Commodores last weekend drew looks of everything from scorn to disgust, as fans have come realize just how unforgiving the SEC grind can be to a newbie.
Case in point: A visit from No. 1 Alabama is up next on Pinkel’s dance card. And you thought Gene Chizik was having a rough week.
If this season’s taught us anything so far, it’s to expect the unexpected, although the tea leaves in Columbia don’t paint a pretty picture at the moment. Quarterback James Franklin strained his MCL against the ’Dores and isn’t expected back into the fold until the end of the month. And since 1991, Mizzou is 3-38 versus teams ranked in the Top 10. Tigers fans don’t regret leaving the Big 12 at the altar, but the SEC honeymoon is turned out to be shorter than anybody had originally planned.
THE BIG 8:
Ranking the best eight teams in the Big 12 and Big Ten, one through eight …
TEAM (RECORD) / UP NEXT
1. West Virginia (5-0) / vs. Texas Tech
2. Kansas State (5-0) / vs. Iowa State
3. Texas (4-1) / vs. Oklahoma (at Dallas, Texas)
4. Ohio State (6-0) / vs. Indiana
5. Oklahoma (3-1) / vs. Texas (at Dallas, Texas)
6. Texas Tech (4-1) / vs. West Virginia
7. Baylor (3-1) / vs. vs. TCU
8. Iowa State (4-1) / vs. Kansas State
ONE MAN’S RUNNING HEISMAN BALLOT:
1. Geno Smith, QB, West Virginia: Smith passed his first huge test — throwing for 268 yards, four touchdowns and zero picks at Texas — with flying colors. Heisman campaigns are about signature games versus signature teams, and Smith notched the double-whammy in Austin.
2. Collin Klein, QB, Kansas State: The biggest Wildcat had a mediocre day, by his standards, in a rout of hapless Kansas — running for two touchdowns and throwing for two more.
3. Braxton Miller, QB, Ohio State: For a team that’s going nowhere in the postseason, respect is everywhere the Buckeye wunderkind after he shredded Nebraska’s Blackshirts.
SET YOUR TIVO:
The games you won’t want to miss …
1. Oklahoma vs. Texas, ABC, 11 a.m.: This one’s usually for all the marbles in the Big 12 — but not this fall. After the Sooners lost at home to K-State and the ’Horns fell at home to West Virginia, the loser here can kiss its league championship hopes goodbye.
2. South Carolina at LSU, ESPN, 7 p.m.: The Gamecocks have lost 16 of the last 19 in the series. Still, a win Saturday would push Cocky from national-title-game dark horse to national-title-game contender.
3. Texas A&M at Louisiana Tech, ESPN U, 8 p.m.: At 5-0, Tech’s Bulldogs are threatening to crash the BCS party. And the name of their athletic director might ring a bell: It’s former Iowa State administrator Bruce Van De Velde.
THIS WEEK’S COACH ON THE HOT SEAT: CHARLIE WEIS, KANSAS
Fake punts. Fake field goals. The Wildcat formation. For a half-hour in Manhattan last weekend, Uncle Charlie looked like a genius. Turns out, all he did was make Bill Snyder mad. K-State outscored Weis’ Jayhawks 35-2 in the second half en route to a 56-16 laugher of a victory. In Lawrence, they’re counting the days until Midnight Madness. Again. CV
Sean Keeler is a columnist/blogger with FOX Sports Kansas City and FOX Sports. In 2011, the Iowa native was named one of the Top 10 sports columnists in the nation by the Associated Press Sports Editors. You can read him at FoxSportsKansasCity.com and at FoxSportsMidwest.com. You can follow him on Twitter (@seankeeler) and through his Tumblr blog: seankeeler.tumblr.com.