1. A solid 10-2 showing for the Big 12 this weekend. Which of these wins was biggest for the Big 12 and why?
It has to be OSU over Georgia. The Missouri win was big and it showed (along with the A&M and Baylor victories) that this conference might be much, much deeper than we thought, but the Big 12 needed that victory over the SEC. After an extremely poor showing in last years bowl season, the conference had to have that win, otherwise we never would have heard the end of it from the SSSSSS EEEEEE CCCCCC.
2. Conversely, the Mountain West did its damage against Colorado and Oklahoma. What's more disconcerting -- a sleeper in Colorado coming unglued, or a power in Oklahoma getting knocked off?
As a Colorado website, I certainly have to say that the Buffaloes terrible performance was more than a bit unsettling. The OU loss hurts, but it was a neutral site game, with two big injuries, against a team that a lot of people around the country thought was going to be pretty darn good. Colorado lost at home and let THE OPPOSING TEAMS FANS storm the field. They looked unprepared and out of sync and all of Buff Nation is holding their breath that this was just a one game slip up.
3. Right now, the college football world is rotating around a shoulder that can't rotate itself. What does the Sam Bradford injury mean for the conference right now?
If Bradford and the Sooners cannot rebound, it most likely means that the Big 12 will need an undefeated team in order to reach the national title game. As Matt Hinton at Dr. Saturday mentioned yesterday, Texas (and OSU for that matter) needs to be crossing their fingers and hoping that the Sooners can march through the rest of non-conference play without a loss in order to keep the perception of the league as high as possible, and that could be tought to do with an upcoming game against a seemingly much-improved Hurricane team in Miami.
4. How, if at all, did your perception of your team change after week one, both for better and for worse?
My perception of the CU football team certainly did not improve after week 1. But I am willing to keep the faith and place this loss into one of two buckets.
1) It was a fluke. For some strange reason the Buffaloes were under prepared for the Rams, possibly looking ahead because this year's Rocky Mountain Showdown was in Boulder and CSU was expected to struggle. When the Rams came out firing on all cylinders it knocked the Buffs off of their game and they could not recover until the first half had ended.
2) Colorado State and Steve Fairchild are much better than we had expected. Stewart Mandel said it best in his mailbag yesterday:
Ah yes, the Week 1 hot seat.
With the obvious exception of Oregon (and possibly Illinois), no one delivered a more discouraging opening-week performance than Colorado. Hawkins pledged this would be the year the Buffs turned the corner, but they seem plagued by the same things as last year -- shoddy quarterbacking, lack of playmakers and an offensive line that got physically dominated.
As bad as it looked, however, I'm not giving up on Colorado just yet. For one thing, Colorado State may turn out to be pretty darn good.Steve Fairchilddid a heck of a job in his first season, improving the Rams from 3-9 to 7-6, capped by a bowl win over Fresno State. Last season, Colorado State lost by less than a touchdown to both TCU and BYU. You could be looking at a Mountain West contender, in which case the Buffs' loss might not seem so incriminating down the road.
A lot of Colorado fans have been dismissing this possibility and placing the blame squarely on the coaching staff at this point, even though most of them would trade Coach Hawk for Fairchild right now. But honestly, Colorado State might easily end up being a better team than West Virginia right now.
5. Give us your offensive player of the week, defensive player of the week, and coaching move of the week, including justifications for your selection. You ARE eligible to vote for your own program.
Offensive Player - Blaine Gabbert - I thought that he would eventually be pretty good, but game one? Against what most pundits thought would be a pretty damn good team from the Big Ten in a rivalry game? Impressive.
Defensive Player - Joe Pawelek - The Senior linebacker was all over the field for the Bears, finishing with seven tackles, one sack and one interception in the huge win over Wake Forest.
Coaching Move - Mack Brown getting some really solid rotations for his young guys and discovering the talent in Freshman running back DJ Monroe, who finished with 64 yards and 7.1 yards per carry. If the Longhorns have found a consistent threat out of the backfield they may not be tested this year outside of the matchup in Stillwater.
6. Big 12 Power Poll! Rank the teams from 1-12. (Again, the simple criteria for this is power, i.e. who would beat who on a neutral field?)
1. Texas Longhorns
2. Oklahoma State Cowboys
3. Kansas Jayhawks
4. Missouri Tigers
5. Oklahoma Sooners
6. Nebraska Cornhuskers
7. Baylor Bears
8. Texas Tech Red Raiders
9. Texas A&M Aggies
10. Colorado Buffaloes
11. Iowa State Cyclones
12. Kansas State Wildcats