2014 College Football Strength of Schedule – NCAA Method

Arkansas leads the NCAA SOS rankings. (Beth Hall-USA TODAY Sports)

The Arkansas Razorbacks have the toughest 2014 football schedule according to the NCAA’s strength of schedule method. The NCAA method is based solely on the opponents’ win/loss record from the previous season.

The SEC leads with four teams in the Top 10 of the rankings — Arkansas (1), Tennessee (3), Texas A&M (5), and Kentucky (6). The ACC is second with three teams — Virginia (2), Syracuse (8), and Wake Forest (9).

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Romo’s playing time in preseason debut not determined yet

Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo recently said that he’ll play in the team’s next preseason game, on Saturday night against the Ravens.  But how long will Romo play?

Typically, a starting quarterback who isn’t facing a challenge from an upstart rookie remains on the field for as long as the rest of the starting offense does.  So logic and common sense would suggest that Romo will play for as long as the No. 1 offense plays.

As we understand it, however, no decision has been made regarding Romo’s playing time on Saturday night.  It could be a drive, it could be a quarter, it could be the entire duration of the No. 1 offense’s time on the field.

The uncertainty underscores the tenuous state of Romo’s health.  Jerry Jones has declared Romo to be 100 percent, but the facts suggest otherwise.  And even if Romo is, or ever gets back to, 100 percent, Romo may not remain there for long once he starts getting hit.

The entire situation feels ominous, and the Cowboys seem to be ignoring what may be inevitable because, first, there’s not much they can do and, second, admitting to any concerns about Romo will serve only to make the decision not to draft Johnny Manziel more glaring.

Rangers catcher J.P. Arencibia tossed a scoreless inning

J.P. Arencibia has proven to be not much of a hitter with a career .208 batting average and .662 OPS, but last night the 28-year-old catcher/first baseman made his pitching debut for the Rangers and looked pretty decent.

Arencibia tossed a scoreless ninth inning with the Rangers down 10-1 to the Rays, recording three outs on just 10 pitches while working around a Logan Forsythe infield single. He threw all fastballs, averaging 72.6 miles per hour and topping out at 74.2 mph.

He’s the third position player to pitch for the Rangers this season, which in itself says a lot about how many times Texas has been blown out.

Oklahoma without second Class of 2014 recruit in fall camp

Oklahoma is without one more member of the Class fo 2014 this summer. Safety Vontre McQuinnie has been officially removed from the football roster this week, but he still plans on arriving on Oklahoma’s campus in the future.

According to The Oklahoman, McQuinnie had planned to enroll in a junior college and transfer to Oklahoma at the completion of his summer courses. That plan may be on hold as well, but time will tell how this all plays out. Tulsa World, first to report the roster news with a confirmation from Oklahoma’s athletics department, says McQuinnie never arrived in Norman this summer, opting to enroll at a community college to focus on grades.  McQuinnie is the second member of Oklahoma’s Class of 2014 not to make it to the fall, with offensive lineman Natrell Curtis choosing to enroll at a community college in Arizona. Curtis was a three-star lineman according to Rivals.com.

McQuinnie was a two-star prospect at safety according to Rivals.com. Recruiting by Mike Stoops, McQuinnie chose the Sooners over offers from SMU and Iowa.

Rangers place Yu Darvish on disabled list with elbow injury

 The long list of injured Rangers now grows …

As first relayed by Jeff Wilson at the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, ace Yu Darvish has been placed on the 15-day disabled list with inflammation in his right elbow. Darvish had a surprisingly-terrible start last Saturday in Houston — surrendering six runs on nine hits and four walks in a loss to the Astros — and then experienced discomfort in his pitching elbow at the beginning of a bullpen session on Monday.

Darvish will undergo further testing on his right arm later this week. Robbie Ross will start in his place on Thursday and Alex Claudio has been called up from Triple-A Round Rock to provide bullpen depth.

Darvish, 27, owns a 3.06 ERA, 1.26 WHIP, and 182/49 K/BB ratio in 144 1/3 innings this year.


Cowboys-Raiders Practice Brawl Features Helmet-Swinging Raiders Fan

by Rick Chandler


The Cowboys and Raiders had a joint practice in Oxnard, CA, on Tuesday, and it went pretty much as you expected — with a large brawl, including a Raiders fan who swung a helmet at a Dallas player.

Imagine what what have happened had this not be a non-tackling practice.

It all began when Cowboys CB Morris Claiborne leveled Oakland tight end Mychal Rivera near the sideline on a pass play (hey! Non-tackling practice!) which led to Raiders players retaliating, and then a big dogpile. One fan can be seen above swinging a helmet, with Cowboys CB B.W. Webb retaliating by taking a swing at the fan.

It’s definitely a dangerous situation,” Webb said. “I don’t know why fans would want to jump on this side of the fence. I don’t think they’d like it too much on this side.”

But even that brawl and a smaller one on the other field involving Cowboys running back J.C. Copeland and Raiders linebacker Justin Cole couldn’t mar the day.

“I don’t like the fights. I want to come out and practice football,” Raiders coach Dennis Allen said. “We don’t have any time for that, and we certainly don’t want to get anybody injured in fisticuffs. I thought both teams came out and competed and got a lot of good work in.”

Look at it this way — it’s the first skirmish in the new San Antonio-Dallas rivalry.


Oklahoma’s top tackler suspended for the season

Linebacker Frank Shannon is no longer a member of the Oklahoma Sooners. Shannon was suspended by the school for a year, according to a release from Oklahoma University president David Boren.

Shannon led the Sooners last season with 92 total tackles and helped solidify a defensive front seven which struggled in recent years.

The linebacker remained an active member of the Oklahoma football team, while the investigation into an alleged sexual assault continued. The university changed course after an internal investigation was completed.

Even with the university’s decision to suspend Shannon, this may not be the end of story. Shannon, a junior, retains the right to appeal the school’s decision.

“The University followed a very stringent process with both sides, and under the Administrative Procedure Act both sides have an ability to appeal any decision reached by the University to a district court,” Oklahom’s open records officer Michael Purcell told The Oklahoman‘s Jason Kersey last week. “The University takes very seriously its obligation in cases like this. Under federal law, since this matter is still pending, the University cannot release further information.”


Quick Take: Johnny Manziel makes strong starting bid

Johnny Manziel took center stage Saturday night in his preseason debut.

DETROIT – Advantage, Johnny Football.

The Cleveland Browns got their first game-action glimpse into the future of life with Johnny Manziel on Saturday night, and the train has gained some momentum.

It looks like Manziel is capable of making some magic in the NFL, too.

He flashed enough to advance the imagination.

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What lengths did Cowboys owner Jerry Jones go to Saturday to avoid the media?

For an owner who usually loves to talk to the media, Jerry Jones went to amusing lengths to avoid reporters Saturday.

Jones normally enters the practice fields through the tennis courts near the hotel complex. On this day, he entered on the opposite side of the complex through a dirt field where fans park. He then took his seat in the tower between the two practice fields.

Once practice was over and Jones descended the tower, a club official called head coach Jason Garrett over. Jones and Garrett walked across one of the practice fields and up a small hill to the training room. The two stopped and chatted in an area restricted to reporters.

A few minutes later, as fan began to chant “Jerry, Jerry,’’ Jones came back down and signed autographs before again leaving for the training room. He went out a side exit, far away from where the media is allowed, took his seat in a waiting car and left.

Jones hasn’t spoken to the local media since Monday night. While this amount of time between sessions in camp isn’t unprecedented, it’s uncharacteristic.

How funny it is. A billionaire, always blabbering about how good his organization is, how successful he is, reduced to a little old man afraid of the media.

How long can he hide?