DEL OLALEYE

Alabama continues to roll; Aggies still can't close out games

Nick Saban and Alabama continue to roll. Mike Zarrilli/Getty Images

Alabama dispatches LSU   

The only people who thought LSU had a chance to win Saturday night were fans of LSU. They showed up strong inside and outside of Tiger Stadium and with good reason if you’re a...lets just say exuberant(delusional) fan. Their favorite team was ranked 3rd in the first College Football Playoff poll and had already beaten a Top 5 Georgia team in Death Valley earlier this season. Tigers fans had dreams of ending their losing streak to Alabama and Nick Saban as LSU hadn’t beat the Crimson Tide since 2011. Unfortunately, Georgia isn’t Alabama and Jake Fromm isn’t Tua Tagovailoa. There are no positives to take away from getting shut out 29-0 at home. For all the anticipation going into the the game the gulf between the two SEC West rivals appears as large as ever. LSU coach Ed Orgeron says he needs better players on his offensive and defensive fronts to compete with Alabama. While that may be true, the difference in quarterback play can’t be overlooked. LSU has been deficient at the position for almost a decade. With a potential Heisman winner playing the position for Alabama, the lack of productivity for LSU at the position is only exacerbated. Great quarterback play beats the Tide. You are never going to out-recruit them in the trenches. Find that special one at quarterback LSU. It is the only chance you’ve got.

Closing out games remains a problem for the Aggies

The early season optimism from of all things playing Clemson to two points and beating Kentucky has evaporated for Texas A&M. In the last two weeks, themes that consistently plagued Kevin Sumlin’s tenure at Texas A&M have re-emerged. The Aggies can’t close teams out. The inability to defend a 3rd and 21 against Mississippi State deep in Bulldogs territory in the fourth quarter changed the complexion of that game. At the time it was a one-point game in Starkville. Jimbo Fisher’s team went on to lose that game by two scores. The misery didn’t end there. Leading by ten points in the fourth quarter over a scuffling Auburn team this past Saturday, Texas A&M missed a field goal, threw an interception and allowed a huge punt return. All three of those things contributed to a devastating loss that dropped the Aggies to 5-4. Losing to Alabama and LSU had come to be expected during Sumlin’s time in Aggieland. Getting beat by the likes of the Mississippi schools and Auburn drastically changed the complexion of Sumlin’s final seasons in College Station and eventually led to his dismissal. Fisher has all the job security in the world. You just don’t want to repeat the mistakes of the guy who you replaced. A loss to Ole Miss on Saturday would mean paying Fisher about $7.5 million a year resulted in not much changing on the field for the Aggies.

College Football Playoff Game of the Week

10 Ohio State vs 18 Michigan State

The Buckeyes need to be impressive if they have any chance of making people forget about the ass kicking Iowa gave them. Somehow the committee thinks a very average Michigan State team deserves a top-20 ranking. A win for Ohio State over a “quality” opponent keeps them in the race for a playoff spot. A matchup with No. 4 Michigan in The Horseshoe is looming.


 

TCU/Facebook

TEXAS LONGHORNS (14-11), (4-8)

Last week: (0-1): L - Iowa State 81-52

This week: Wednesday vs. TCU, Saturday vs. Kansas State, Monday vs. West Virginia

In one of their worst performances of the season, the Texas Longhorns dropped their fourth consecutive game in an 81-52 loss to the Iowa State Cyclones, despite a 21 point outing by Courtney Ramey. Texas defense was a no-show in the loss, as the Longhorns allowed the Cyclones to shoot 57.7% from the floor, to go along with 40.0% from behind the arc.

Texas will look to end their losing skid in a home match against the TCU Horned Frogs on Wednesday, before taking on Kansas State on Saturday.

TEXAS A&M AGGIES (12-12), (6-6)

Last week: (1-1): L - Florida 78-61, W - Georgia 74-69

This week: Wednesday vs. Alabama, Saturday vs. Mississippi State

After dropping a close game against the Florida Gators on Wednesday, the Texas A&M Aggies pulled off a much-needed victory against the Georgia Bull Dogs, Saturday afternoon, inside the Reed Arena in College Station.

Against one of the nation's top freshmen in Georgia's Anthony Edwards (6 points), Emanuel Miller shined in the Aggies' win with a career-best 21 points and 10 rebounds on the night. Texas A&M erased a 12-point halftime deficit, as the Aggies outscored the Bulldogs 45-31 in the second period.

Following the win, Texas A&M will take on the Alabama Crimson Tide on Wednesday, prior to their home match against Mississippi State on Saturday.

Houston Cougars (20-6), (10-3)

Last week: (1-1): W- USF 62-58, L - SMU 73-72

This week: Wednesday vs. Tulsa, Saturday vs. Memphis

After recording their third victory in a win over the USF Bulls, the Houston Cougars dropped a heartbreaking loss to the SMU Mustangs in a 73-72 overtime loss Saturday evening.

In the best performance of his collegiate career, Houston's freshman guard Marcus Sasser scored a career-high 26 points (8-15 FG, 5-10 3PT) in the loss. With the game on the line late in the second half, Sasser stepped to the charity stripe to hit three free throws to send the game into overtime.

Unfortunately, Sasser fell short of becoming the Cougars' unsung hero, as SMU's Emmanuel Bandoumel connected on an off-balance 3-point field goal to give the Mustangs the win. Up next, the Cougars will look to return to their winning ways on Wednesday, in a home match against the Tulsa Hurricanes.

RICE OWLS (13-14), (5-9)

Last week: (1-1): L- Old Dominion 73-70, W - Charlotte 70-54

This week: Saturday vs. UTEP

The Rice Owls longest winning streak of conference play came to an end in a 73-70 loss to the Old Dominion Monarchs.

In a loss, Ako Adams registered 22 points while shooting 46.6% from the field, as the rest of his team shot 32% as a whole. Adams would also be outshined by the Monarchs' Malik Curry, as the junior guard scored 25 points (8-19 FG, 8-11 FT), nine rebounds, five assists and three steals in the win.

The Owls would go on to bounce back in a blowout victory over the Charlotte 49ers. Rice will hit the road on Saturday to take on the UTEP Miners.

BAYLOR BEAR (23-1), (12-0)

Last week: (1-0): W - West Virginia 70-59

This week: Tuesday vs. Oklahoma, Saturday vs. Kansas

After a series of single-digit wins over the past two weeks, the Baylor Bears picked up an 11-point victory over West Virginia on Saturday. As always, sophomore guard Jared Butler led the Bears in the win with 21 points, five rebounds, four assists and two steals.

As the nation's top-ranked school, Baylor will put their 22-game winning streak on the line Tuesday, in a showdown against the Oklahoma Sooners inside the Lloyd Nobles Center in Norman, OKLA.

TCU Horned Frogs (14-11), (5-7)

Last week: (1-0): W - Kansas State 68-57

This week: Wednesday vs. Texas, Saturday vs. West Virginia

After dropping six games in a row, the TCU Horn Frogs ended their losing streak in a 68-57 victory over the Kansas State Wildcats on Saturday. TCU connected on 15 3-point field goals while shooting 45.5% from behind the arc.

Three players scored in double-figures with Desmond Bane leading the way with 17 points (6-14 FG, 5-10 3pt), eight rebounds and eight assists. Both RJ Nembhard and Jaire Grayer scored 15 points apiece shooting a combined 50% from behind the arc. TCU will return to action on Wednesday in a match against the Texas Longhorns.

Texas Tech Red Raiders (16-9), (7-5)

Last week: (0-1): L- Oklahoma State 73-70

This week: Wednesday vs. Kansas State, Saturday vs. Iowa State

Winners of four of their last five games, the Texas Tech Red Raiders suffered a three-point defeat in a road match against the Oklahoma State Cowboys.

In a surprising turn of events, Oklahoma State missed its final eight shots from the field, but made its free throws in the closing seconds to secure a 73-70 win over Texas Tech on Saturday. The Red Raiders' loss was a result of their rebounding issues, as the Cowboys outrebounded Texas Tech 37-22, as well as giving up 15 offensive rebounds which converted into 12 second-chance points.

Texas Tech will return to the court on Wednesday for a BIG 12 showdown against the Kansas State Wildcats, before taking on the Iowa State Cyclones on Saturday.

SMU Mustangs (18-6), (8-4)

Last week: (2-0): W - Connecticut 79-75, W - Houston 73-72 OT

This week: Wednesday vs. Tulane, Saturday vs. Tulsa

After recording a four-point win over the Connecticut Huskies, the SMU Mustangs survived a 73-72 overtime victory over the Houston Cougars, Saturday night, inside the Moody Coliseum in Dallas.

Despite a career-best performance by Houston's guard Marcus Sasser (26 pts), Tyson Jolly scored 20 points (5-7 FG. 10-10 FT) to lead the way for SMU. Emmanuel Bandoumel became the unsung hero for the Mustangs, as the sophomore guard connected on an off-balance 3-point field goal to give SMU the win.

Up next, the Mustangs will look to make it three straight wins on Wednesday, in a road match against the Tulane Green Waves.

LSU Tigers (18-7), (9-3)

Last week: (1-1): W - Missouri 82-78, L - Alabama 88-82

This week: Tuesday vs. Kentucky, Saturday vs. South Carolina

Following a 10 game winning streak, the LSU Tigers are in their worst slump of the season. After coming away victorious in an 82-78 win over the Missouri Tigers, LSU dropped their third loss in four outings in an 88-82 defeat against the Alabama Crimson Tide.

Down 40-29 at the half, the Tigers scored 53 second-half points and shot 56% as LSU tried to rally from an 18-points deficit. With 1:35 left in the game, LSU came within a point but was unsuccessful to slow down the Crimson Tide on the defensive end.

Up next, LSU will return to the court on Tuesday to face off against the Kentucky Wildcats.

SportsMap Emails
Are Awesome