A guy from Lincoln, who would have known, asked a great question today on Tim Griffin's mailbag:
Brian Johannes from Lincoln, Neb., writes: Why doesn't the Big 12 Championship game come to Denver occasionally? Invesco Field is a very good stadium. Location can't be a factor because having it in Texas isn't fair for the North schools.
Tim responded saying that Kansas City and Dallas seemed to be more aggressive in their approach at getting the conference championship. He also says that the two stadiums offer the most seats which is attractive to the conference heads. First off, we aren't talking about a big hurdle here in terms of attendance. Invesco field in downtown Denver has 76,125 seats, Arrowhead on the outskirts of Kansas City has 79,451 and the new Cowboys stadium will have 80,000 seats upgradable to 100,000 in the future. I get the site in Dallas, four teams are located in the state with Oklahoma close. It is a good site for the year's the Big 12 South hosts (I don't know if that is the way it works but it should be) but their is no reason that Denver shouldn't get the opportunity to host every other year. I have made the trip to Arrowhead and it is junk, plain and simple it is a concrete rusty piece that is on the outskirts of Kansas City. The jumbtron doesn't match the sound system, the grass is spray painted green in the winter and the cracks in the concrete steep steps is a death trap. Yes, great tailgate and a loud stadium but being on the outside of town, it is not condusive to tourism and it not the proper showcase for a championship game based on the other options in the conference including Denver. Yes, Denver is cold in the winter, but it is not Kansas City cold. It isn't five below, it isn't ice storms and wind. Invesco Field is centrally located right downtown, great attractions like skiing, the mountains, a good downtown and Boulder within close proximity...sounds like a good option right?
Rather than complain on a blog, I think we should all write an email to the Denver Sports Commission asking them about the Big 12 Championship and what they are doing to get it in Denver. Here is the email address: firstname.lastname@example.org. You know Denver would support it well just like the NCAA tournament basketball games that were here two years ago, you put a good product on the field, it will sell out.
Cubuffs.com has put out a nice wrap up of all the intramural sports and what they accomplished this year if you are interested. Can I go back to take the fly fishing classes and trips even if I am not a current CU student?
Dave Matter of the Columbia Tribune (Missouri) put out his picks for the Big 12 North on Sunday, of course, with the homerism towards Missouri, picking them to finish second in the North, followed by Nebraska and then our Buffs. I think Kansas is the safe pick right now with Todd Reesing at the helm to win the North, if I had to pick today, it would be Kansas. All I have to say is the first four spots are up for grabs in my book. There is not a 2008 Missouri team in this year's crop that you can pretty much predict to win it.
Yesterday, Matter basically admits that he was going for some reactions by not putting Nebraska and Missouri higher, I didn't think you could move Missouri any higher than two:
Got to admit I'm surprised the inbox isn't cluttered with angry emails from Missouri and Nebraska fans after I put Kansas atop my Big 12 North projections in Sunday's Tribune. I thought I'd have to come on here and further explain the rationale behind my picks. Well, I guess I will anyway.
Matter does make some good points for Kansas being the leader in the pack right now considering the current state of the Big 12 is offense and that all starts with a quarterback and good wide receivers, something that most of the Big 12 North is unsure about:
Generally, I base preseason predictions on what we know to be true. We know that it's a quarterback's league. We know that defense statistics are across-the-board pretty crummy in the Big 12. (Texas had the Big 12's highest ranked defense last season. No 51 nationally.) Defense might win championships, but it's an offensive league right now. The four teams that didn't play in bowls last year - K-State, Iowa State, Baylor, A&M and Colorado - ranked No. 8, 9, 10, 11 and 12 in total offense last season. They also made up the five least efficient passing teams in the Big 12 last year. Coincidence? Don't think so. On the other hand, among the league's top six defenses last year were Colorado (5-7) and Baylor (4-8).
I am still a big believer in the offensive line and both Nebraska and Kansas have some holes to replace there. The Buffs have the talent to be the class of the league in the trenches but quarterback and wide receiver remain an issue. The moral of the story is 1 - 4 have question marks.
Kyle Ringo of the BDC says there is a lot on the schedule for athletic directors and other administrators when the Big 12 meetings kickoff this morning in Colorado Springs. On the docket will be budget issues and future bowl games for the conference in between breaks at the world famous Broadmoor Hotel.