How Many Ncaa Football Games In A Season latest 2023

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The Conundrum that is Brad Smith

As we reach the middle of the Big 12 season, the picture for the title game is crystal clear in the South, but still murky in the North. Until Saturday, most people agreed that Colorado and Nebraska were by far the Big 12 North class. Sure, Missouri was 2-1, but their wins came against conference bottoms Iowa State and Oklahoma State and now they had to face Nebraska! Many assumed Nebraska’s vaunted defense would end the Tiger’s offense and return to the top 25. But someone forgot to tell Brad Smith.

The sometimes remarkable, sometimes maligned senior quarterback decided to have arguably the best game of his career on Saturday. Throwing for 234 yards, plus a touchdown pass, and rushing for 246 and 3 touchdowns (setting Mizzou’s record for total yards with 480), Smith single-handedly moved Missouri into contention for the championship. North. The performance came after a week in which Smith’s replacement, rookie Chase Daniel, garnered support for the quarterback position. The much-touted Daniel entered Missouri’s game against Iowa State for an injured Smith and led them to a 27-24 overtime win, throwing for 185 yards on 16 of 23 passes. Yet this week, the only thing Chase Daniel did was disrupt Missouri’s momentum. After four straight drives from Smith to start the game, Daniel walked into the first drive of the 2nd quarter to see nothing materialize. The drive proved to be a major boost for Nebraska. Although it was a pre-designed maneuver that was meant to be one of 2 workouts in the game for Daniel, Smith’s performance dictated that he stay in the game.

Brad Smith’s years in Missouri had their major ups and downs, usually turning into results that fell short of expectations. As a true freshman in 2002, Smith replaced outgoing starter Kirk Farmer and the Tigers went 5-7. With heightened expectations for 2003, Smith lifted the team to an 8-5 record and an Independence Bowl berth (a loss to Arkansas), behind rushing for 1,310 yards, 28 total touchdowns. In 2004, Smith was getting a healthy dose of the Heisman hype and doing nothing about it. It was one of the biggest disappointments of the 2004 college football season. Many attribute his downfall to the mismanagement of coach Gary Pinkel, but the drop in his numbers has been severe. Although his passing count increased, his completion percentage went from 60.6 to 51.8 and his rushing yards dropped to 553.

Although it looks like Brad Smith will never leave Missouri, it’s now his senior season. 2005 is a year when Brad Smith can finally realize his enormous potential. By disregarding the once-top-ranked point defense in the nation on Saturday, Smith both solidified his work and put Missouri on the hunt in the Big 12 North. His performance made him the 6th player in NCAA history to throw for 200 yards and pass for 200 yards in a single game (the first since Indiana’s Antwaan Randle El in 2000). Additionally, he is currently the Big 12’s top rusher and the NCAA’s 10th leading rusher this season, already beating his 2004 total.

But serious obstacles remain on the paths of Smith and Missouri. This week they are visiting Kansas as part of the annual border war. Kansas has won the last 2 meetings and has proven to be a big problem for Smith. In the past two games against them, Smith has rushed for a whopping -8 yards on 30 carries and the Kansas defense he will face this season currently ranks No. 1 in the Big 12 against the run. If they can somehow shake the Lawrence demons out of the way, they still have road games with current North favorite Colorado and Kansas State that they won’t. haven’t beaten since 1992.

I’m hesitant to bet on Smith, who once showed flashes of absolute genius, rushing for 291 yards and 5 touchdowns in a 2003 win over Texas Tech. He’s been one of the most inconsistent players in college football over the past few years. The question is, did he turn a corner on Saturday against Nebraska or was it just another brilliant flash? You have to wonder if he will ever succeed in putting it all together.

As for Missouri, I don’t think they have a team capable of winning the North. Outside of Brad Smith, they’re still not that good. They currently rank 10th in the conference in total defense, giving up 375 yards per game, their schedule is going badly, and lame duck Gary Pinkel is still their coach. Missouri will only go as far as Brad Smith carries them. If he even plays 80% as good the rest of the season as he did in the Nebraska game, he could give Vince Young a run for the Big 12’s MVP and lead Missouri to their first. Big 12 championship game. But if he doesn’t, he could just as easily fade into oblivion after this season. Now is the time for Smith to establish himself as a great quarterback or become the mainstream version of Notre Dame quarterback Ron Powlus, a four-year-old starter who never got to reach his full potential.

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