The Norman Transcript

Sports

July 28, 2013

It may be more than perception that has Big 12 defenses lagging behind

NORMAN — One after another, the Big 12 Conference’s football coaches all talked about the depth of the league last week at Big 12 Football Media Days.

Parity has spread to a level where over half the league feels it has a legitimate shot to win the conference title.

But the league has another issue it continues to grapple with, when scores like 70-63 (the score in West Virginia’s victory over Baylor last season), 56-50 (the score in Texas’ win over Baylor) or 50-49 (the finally tally in OU’s win at West Virginia) become common place.

Six of the teams scored at least 45 points in a game they lost. It’s hard to argue that the league’s defenses are at the very least trailing in terms of innovation and have a talent gap that needs to be closed.

“When you’re happy to win a game 56-50, things have changed. I mean, it’s just a different deal,” Texas coach Mack Brown said. “You walk out mad at your defense or happy with your offense. You walk out happy you won, and that’s it, or you lose a game 48-45.

 

There’s no doubt the Big 12 Conference has been ground zero for the up-tempo spread offense. Oklahoma State coach Mike Gundy believes the proliferation of them has helped level the league.

“I think it’s tremendous for college football,” he said. “I think that’s why college football has gone through the roof, and there’s so much interest. There’s been so many different people that are involved in college football now because of tempo and spread offenses.”

 

But every offensive innovation has eventually been met by a defensive counterpunch. The end of the wishbone era in college football came when defensive coordinator figured out they had to match speed with speed and began recruiting athletic defenders.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Sports
  • NASCAR Brickyard 400 Auto Racing Jeff Gordon wins at Indianapolis for record fifth time

    INDIANAPOLIS — With a tinge of gray hair at his temples, his hat on backward and his two young children by his side, Jeff Gordon celebrated as if he was 23 years old again. Gordon won a NASCAR-record fifth Brickyard 400 on Sunday, eight ...

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • Zac Selmon joins UNC as associate AD

    Zac Selmon, an associate director of athletic development with the Sooner Club since 2012, has been hired by North Carolina as an associate athletic director and special assistant to Tar Heel athletics director Bubba Cunningham....

    July 28, 2014

  • Italy’s Nibali cruises to Tour victory

    PARIS — Vincenzo Nibali put his lungs and legs to work one last time, marching up to the winner’s podium of the Tour de France and sighing deeply before the Italian anthem echoed over the Champs-Elysees....

    July 28, 2014

  • Bradford facing another year of scrutiny in newest season

    ST. LOUIS — It’s become a rite of training camp for Sam Bradford. Every summer, he deals with the oversized burden of living up to getting picked first overall in 2010. The St. Louis Rams quarterback is not surprised that once again, he’s ...

    July 29, 2014

  • Tang making a splash on state level

    The Sooner Swim Club has produced a long string of great athletes in Norman. Norman North has won back-to-back state championships and senior Justin Wu owns several state records and last week qualified for the U.S. National swim meet. The ...

    July 29, 2014

  • Judge rules against owner Donald Sterling, but lengthy saga far from over

    LOS ANGELES — Embattled Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling lost his attempt to block the $2 billion sale of the team to former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer....

    July 29, 2014

  • Big 12 could fill NCAA’s vacuum; make the discipline calls, too

    It doesn’t look good for Joe Mixon.  Though his attorney, Kevin Finlay, said the most ballyhooed prospect of the Sooners’ most recent recruiting class “instinctually defended himself against further harm,” it just doesn’t ...

    July 29, 2014

  • T-Wolves land guard Mo Williams

    MINNEAPOLIS — Mo Williams is on his way to Minnesota, which means J.J. Barea could be on his way out....

    July 29, 2014

  • LSU freshmen face misdemeanors

    BATON ROUGE, La. — Two LSU freshmen football players face charges, one for allegedly stealing a bicycle outside Middleton Library and the other for allegedly tossing firecrackers into a campus apartment....

    July 29, 2014

  • Fitzgerald says players’ push for union brought Northwestern together

    CHICAGO — No matter how this season unfolds, Northwestern coach Pat Fitzgerald insisted there is no more unified team than his Wildcats. For that, he credits the push for them to unionize....

    July 29, 2014

Facebook