Oklahoma Sooners: Pac-12
It’s almost certainly the biggest non-Thanksgiving Thursday in college football regular-season history and we know many of you will be working the remote and following social media during this titanic night. Keep Thursday Title Talk Live open throughout the evening – starting at 7:30 p.m. ET -- and we’ll bring you real-time reaction and analysis from ESPN’s stable of reporters, analysts and experts.
We’ll be watching these games and many more on Saturday afternoon and we’d like you to join in on the conversation. Head on over to Campus Connection at 3:30 ET and follow the action along with eight of our reporters. Post your comments and questions and we’ll include as many of them as possible.
The All-American wealth has spread across the land. The Pac-12 leads the conferences with seven, one more than the SEC. Dual-threat QB Marcus Mariota and RB Lache Seastrunk both originally signed with Oregon. Now that Seastrunk plays for Baylor, he and Mariota no longer have to share a backfield. Seastrunk and G Cyril Richardson make the Bears the only team with two on offense. Richardson is surely the first All-American named Cyril, but Lache is not the first body of water to make it. He joins 1939 Heisman winner Nile Kinnick.
Alabama has won three of the past four BCS titles with defense and placed LB C.J. Mosley and S Ha Ha Clinton-Dix on this team. Alabama and Oregon lead with three players apiece on the list. That's one more than the Big Ten and two more than the ACC and Conference USA. -- Ivan Maisel
View ESPN.com's 2013 Preseason All-America team here.
This is the last year of the BCS, and our writers look at its impact on college football:
From Ivan Maisel: The BCS has moved NCAA football forward in a way no system before it could and given it a national stage, but along with exposure comes greater pressure and expectations, which in the end the series couldn't overcome.
From Mark Schlabach: As we prepare for the final season of the BCS, let's take a look back at its highs and lows.
From Brian Bennett: Five of the last seven national champions have had at least one loss, and with a playoff looming, going undefeated will be harder than ever.
Simmons had a five-school tour planned from Thursday through Tuesday, and Oklahoma was the last stop on the itinerary. After committing to Stanford on his visit, Simmons said plans for the immediate future have changed.
“I don’t think I’ll be taking that visit now,” Simmons said. “I found everything I wanted [in Stanford].”
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Here's how they did it:
Our methodology was simple: We re-tallied the scores following signing day and ranked the schools based on total number of ESPNU 150 recruits (there have been 900) hauled in over the last six years. Of course, like success on the field, recruiting is cyclical -- and fans of programs both on and off this list might look back on Feb. 1, 2012 as the day their team began its rise (or fall) on the trail.
Here's the top-10:
5. Florida State
6. Notre Dame
T-10. Ohio State
Here's what it says about Oklahoma:
Top states: Texas (14), Oklahoma (seven)
Surprise state: California (three)
Oklahoma continues to reel in the relatively small amount of ESPNU 150 talent produced in the Sooner State, signing its top two 2012 recruits: WR Sterling Shepard (Oklahoma City) and RB Alex Ross (Jenks). That puts the Sooners at 7-for-13 since 2007. Bob Stoops also went into Florida (No. 2 OC Ty Darlington of Apopka) and Missouri (WR Durron Neal of St. Louis) for the first time in the past six years.
Bold prediction: The Big 12 championship game returns. Well, not exactly. But pretty much. It might as well be back. On Dec. 3 in Stillwater, Okla., Oklahoma State and Oklahoma, the nation's No. 2 and No. 3 teams (behind No. 1 Alabama) right now, play for a gigantic barrel of marbles.
They will also play for a Big 12 title and a spot in the national championship game. The Big 12 championship might not explicitly exist, and it might not be played in Cowboys Stadium, but this will be just as good. Two of the league's best offenses going head to head in a renewal of one of the best games of the 2010 season, when the Big 12 South was on the line. This will be a classic, and one of the best games in Big 12 history.
Who wins? (Who always wins?)
What I'm looking forward to: The Big 12 sorting itself out. I mean this both on and off the field. There's an inherent excitement in bringing new members into the league, and TCU is already on the list. Could BYU, Louisville, West Virginia or others be next? And what about Missouri? You'd have to think by season's end we'll know who's in and who's out with the Big 12. I'll be happy when it's over.
With that, I also want to know more about these teams. Just how good is Kansas State? How far can it carry this run without a loss? Will Texas Tech bully its way into the Big 12 title race with some late-season wins? Is Missouri actually underrated, or is this a 6- to 8-win down season in Columbia? How far back from 5-7 is Texas? Can Texas A&M get some help from above the standings and re-enter the Big 12 title picture? And what about Baylor? Can the Bears grab more than a bowl bid this season? We'll know before too long.
Top Impactful Games: Here are the dates you should look forward to most.
1. Oklahoma at Oklahoma State, Dec. 3: To borrow a phrase, this looks like the Granddaddy of Them All. This could be one of the most epic games in Big 12 history, and if the ball bounces the right way, it might even be a matchup of No. 1 versus No. 2 on the final weekend of the season. Unbelievable. And between two of the most fun teams to watch in the country. This will be must-see TV.
2. Texas A&M at Oklahoma, Nov. 5: This is the best opportunity for someone to muck up that dream game and change the face of the Big 12 title race. If Texas A&M wins this and doesn't lose beforehand, it likely vaults the Aggies back into the top 10, and might make season-ending Bedlam a different exercise than last year. Texas A&M had almost no chance to slip in the Big 12 title game despite sharing a division title, but if the Aggies win this one, an Oklahoma win in Bedlam might give A&M its first Big 12 title since 1998 in its last year inside the league.
3. Texas at Texas A&M, Nov. 24: The bad blood will be flowing in this one. The hatred in this rivalry helped fuel Texas A&M's decision to leave for the SEC, and it could be the last time we see this rivalry for a long while. Texas will likely be the underdog, but we all remember what happened the last time Texas came into a hugely meaningful game off the field as big underdogs ...