So the guys or whoever at Big Red Network, a Nebraska Cornhuskers blog, had this Big 12 Conference Roundtable floating around on SBNation so we decided to jump in. Probably weren't invited but the Colorado Buffaloes are on a bye week and I love to steal from the Cornhuskers so why not. I probably could have come up with more pertinent CU Buff related questions but it provides me the forum to weigh in on a few oversights and exaggerations that are prevalent in the Big 12 landscape right now. Here we go.
What has been the biggest surprise of the Big 12 season so far? The home loss to Arkansas State by Texas A&M, the impressive scores by Kansas State and Iowa State, or something else?
Nothing has really surprised me. Did we really think Stephen McGee was the answer at quarterback? Has he been in the past? No one in the Big 12 conference has played anybody (I'll give Missouri the Illinois game but my mind is made up that the Big 12 can be divided into the Big 2 and the Other 10 so most of my commentary is related towards the majority, the Other 10) so it is really a question to answer in the next couple of weeks or when Nebraska ever leaves the state of Nebraska and plays somebody worth mentioning. I guess the Nebraska Cornhuskers are pretty excited that they got Southern Mississippi and Fresno State on the schedule in 2011...big powerhouses. I like the Griffin kid from Baylor. I still think Kansas State and Oklahoma State need to play someone worth a darn before we anoint them the next best thing since sliced bread (Eastern Washington would torch Washington State). Oklahoma looks like the class of the league followed by Missouri and everyone else is not in the picture right now.
Should the ankle injury to Jeremy Maclin concern Missouri fans and does it alter the Tigers chances at a division or conference title? Or do his 65 all-purpose yards and a touchdown (on just 6 touches) tell us that he's fine?
Jeremy Maclin will be fine. They don't have a hard enough schedule to worry about much. The next game they play that will be tough is against Oklahoma, after a perfect season, in the Big 12 Championship game. Greedily, I hope Maclin gets to 100% this week. He is my favorite player to watch in the Big 12 hands down with Bradford being a close second.
Many people thought this could be the year that Texas Tech finally breaks through and wins the Big 12 South or at least finishes in the Top 10. Do their performances after two games change your perception of them at all or does this look like a team that can get to a BCS bowl game?
I am not ready to judge Texas Tech because I think they probably have had the toughest schedule in the Big 12 thus far...that right, I said it. Eastern Washington and Nevada would pose problems for all defenses. Yes, I said it again, Eastern Washington is a legit team. Lets face it, who has a good defense in the Big 12 right now? Missouri has holes, I am not sold on the secondary for Oklahoma, Kansas has cornerback issues, Texas' defense is very much wait and see ...but I will put Texas Tech's offense against anyone and they will probably outscore you. Everyone is raising the red flag a little early on the Red Raiders just like everyone is overreacting on Kansas State and Oklahoma State being world beaters. Let's get some quality games and then assess.
Oklahoma has put together some strong performances so far and should be favored in every game they play. But Bob Stoops' teams have shown themselves to be vulnerable to an upset from time to time. Is this team going to go 13-0 (regular season plus BCS championship game) or will they get knocked off (and if they get upset, who gets ‘em)?
The Oklahoma Sooners are bound to trip up once in the season. They always do but that doesn't mean I don't think they will be in the National Championship race. The good thing for the Sooners is that they dominate at home and that is where they play the Texas Tech Red Raiders and Kansas Jayhawks. And they own the Texas Longhorns. On a personal note, I hope they beat the heck out of Oklahoma State on the last game of the year. Can you tell I am not sold on Oklahoma State Cowboys yet.
After two games, what can you say with confidence that you really know about your team?
I am confident that this spread offense the Colorado Buffaloes are currently running will have to be enhanced/opened up for the Buffs to win more than 3 games this year. I am confident the Colorado Buffaloes will win more than 3 games this year. I am confident that Darrell Scott will be a star in the Big 12 conference and that Texas Longhorn fans will continue to cry wolf, if not at an increased level. I am confident that if the Buffaloes don't start controlling the line of scrimmage and come out to play in the first half, they will not win 3 games this year. I am confident that the Buffs will win more than 3 games this year. I am confident that PR/KR/WR Josh Smith will not receive another kickoff again this year and if he does, he will make the Big 12 pay. I am confident that the West Virginia Mountaineer game is going to be a great atmosphere at Folsom Field.
With two games down, how would you re-rank the division?
This is how I think it will end up when it is all said and done with...remember this is conference rankings not total win loss rankings. That being said, I am having trouble putting Kansas in the #2 spot with Oklahoma, Texas Tech and Texas on the schedule. You could make the argument that Colorado has the easiest non-conference schedule besides Missouri in the North...just wish the Buffs had Baylor and not Texas: