Week 11's college football action is in the books, so we decided to fire up the Tuesday Tweetbag to tackle the burning topics on your mind this season, from top pro prospects to the best teams in the sport.
Feel free to submit your questions to @BryanDFischer on Twitter each Monday or early Tuesday morning to get them answered every week. Without further ado, let the smorgasbord of questions commence.
This has become the topic de jour in college football circles this week thanks to TCU's win over Kansas State and Baylor's emphatic statement in Norman against Oklahoma. As it stands now, both teams very much look destined to finish 11-1, with just a single loss in the conference, making them co-champions of a league that proclaims "One True Champion" in all of its marketing materials.
I actually saw this tricky situation popping up in July and I think it will continue to be a thorn in the side of the selection committee until the final set of rankings. Here's the thing, the 12 members are tasked with selecting the four best teams, and if forced to pick between TCU and Baylor, I think they'll go with the Horned Frogs.
"But they lost head-to-head!" Baylor fans will scream. Yes, that's true, TCU lost a road game by a last-second field goal, a game in which they led by 21 with 11 minutes to go. I think the Bears are a very good team that has a chance to beat anybody else in the top 10, with a prolific offense and a defense that's better than it's given credit for. Their win in Norman was super impressive, but I think it alters the impression of the team I saw struggle at Texas, look out of sorts at West Virginia and still has to play Kansas State. We don't even need to discuss how bad the non-conference slate is, but we can skip that debate altogether anyway.
TCU, on the other hand, might be playing as well as anybody in the country. The Horned Frogs scored 82 points on another Power Five team, beat the Mountaineers in Morgantown and also came through against Oklahoma earlier in the season when the Sooners were in rhythm. I think quarterback play has been slightly better from Trevone Boykin, and the run game has been much stronger for the Horned Frogs with Boykin, Aaron Green and B.J. Catalon all providing home run threats. Add in a stout defense that has only one forgettable game, and my eyes tell me Gary Patterson has a better team than Art Briles and would probably win if the two played again next week.
I'm sure we'll continue to debate the merits of one or the other the rest of the season. Our opinion of each can still change with three games remaining, but for the moment I would continue to give TCU the edge based on a better body of work.
Ha, no. In fact, if you Google "Texas schedule" the search engine will serve you the hoops version instead of the football version -- which tells you all you need to know about Texas' season.
But make no mistake, the Longhorns are an improving football team and are worth watching. After struggling to find some playmakers, the offense is starting to come around. The defense has been salty all season long and finally got a top-notch performance out of star defensive end Cedric Reed last week to go with a terrific season from tackle Malcom Brown.
This year reminds me of Charlie Strong's first season at Louisville: winning and losing close games with a young team, struggling to score at times but playing good defense. That Cardinals squad made progress from year one to year two and then had the huge jump in year three while winning a BCS bowl. I can foresee a similar path for the Longhorns, even if the fans want some instant gratification. I think Strong can turn Texas into a title winner once again, but he needs some time, and I hope fans recognize that and still support the team despite the losses.
If there's been one bright spot for Michigan's offense this season, it's been the play of Funchess, who is perhaps the only threat opposing defensive coordinators really game-plan against. He's slowed down as the season has gone on as a result, but most expect him to wind up as a mid-round NFL draft pick if/when he decides to declare.
At 6-foot-5, 230 pounds with some good speed, Funchess flexed out to wideout more this year for the Wolverines after playing mostly with a hand on the ground his first two years in Ann Arbor. I'm not sold on him being fast enough to be a full-time receiver at the next level, but I could see him being a flex tight end with some added weight who is an end-zone nightmare to cover for some linebackers and safeties. It will largely be dependent on which team he goes to, but given how popular receiving tight ends have become in today's game, he could fill that role nicely.
It's true, I hate (insert your favorite team/coach/player here). I also love (insert rival team/coach/player here).
In truth, I only root for one team: Hawaii, which needs to become as good as possible and loaded with NFL draft picks so I have an excuse to go to the islands for work.