Monday, November 12, 2007

Big 12

Even though there are basically only 3 teams remaining with a legitimate chance to win the conference, here's a quick breakdown of this past weekend. And let me preface this by saying, if Texas gets an at large BCS invitation – as many of the "experts" are predicting – this system is even more flawed than I had previously thought. **If you're uninterested in meaningless scenario breakdowns, you may want to skip down a bit**

Texas' Probable Bowl Resume: (10-2, 6-2) One loss coming to OU and the other in Austin to a K-State team that may or may not end up bowl eligible.

The competitors

Kansas (12-1, 8-0) Obviously this assumes that Kansas beats ISU and Missouri and loses to OU in the Big 12 Championship game. If this is the case, KU and Texas will have lost to the same team in OU, but Texas will have also lost a game in Austin to a KSU team that KU beat in Manhattan.

Missouri (11-2, 7-1) Again, this assumes that Missouri beats KSU and Kansas and then loses to Oklahoma in the Big 12 title. Missouri's two losses will have both been to OU, whereas Texas will have one to OSU and again one in Austin to a KSU team that Missouri will have beaten in Manhattan.

Oklahoma (11-2, 7-1) And finally, this assumes that OU beats Tech and OSU but falls short to either Kansas or Missouri. This would be the best argument as far as comparable losses as each will have one to a top tier team and one to a middle tier team. However, OU's middle loss came on the road and, oh yeah…Oklahoma beat Texas.

If you can make a case for Texas that is not based on reputation, I would love to hear it.


1. Kansas (10-0, 6-0). Won @ OSU 43-28. I know they have not played a top tier opponent yet, but they have won all of their games and generally in convincing fashion. They have had 3 single digit victories, but each was the result of a late score. Just need to avoid the obvious letdown this week against CY and get ready for the Border War in Arrowhead. And just one quick hitter here…I know Ohio State was not "well-received" as the number 1 team, but they still were the number 1 team. What possible defense is there that they were more deserving than Kansas? Their win at Penn State? Purdue? Against Wisconsin? Call me crazy, but I would say winning in Manhattan, Boulder, College Station and Stillwater is more difficult than any of those games. The possible red flag would be Happy Valley, but I don't know anyone who actually thinks Penn State has a decent team this year. (By the way, I like Kansas at #3 – I'm just saying.)

2. Missouri (9-1, 5-1). Won v. A&M 40-26. If Missouri was half as good as their fans think they are, they win this game by a much larger margin (see the 19 point spread). And actually, it was much closer than the 14 points would indicate. Their offense is superb, but their defense continues to flounder. More specifically, I feel like their run defense has improved slightly, but their pass defense looks worse each week. I would like to think they face a tough game this week in Manhattan as the Purple is now playing for bowl eligibility, but after watching Nebraska torch their secondary, I don't know how Chase Daniel can't dominate. A must win for Missouri too, as a loss would eliminate them from the Big 12 picture before the tilt against Kansas.

KSU (5-5, 3-4). Lost @ NU 73-31. Wow. When I said I thought Nebraska would win in a shootout, I did not see this coming. Talk about a team that has let the wheels fall off. On Oct. 20 they were in Stillwater at 4-2 and had just taken the lead with a minute remaining. Since they went on to blow that game, they have since only beaten Baylor and have been de-pantsed in the other games. And now, they are a win short of bowl eligibility with Missouri left and a road game at Fresno. It will be interesting to see if Prince can get enough Power Towels out to ruin Missouri's season a la the way they have Texas' the last 2 years.

Colorado (5-6, 3-4). Lost @ ISU 31-28. They led this game 21-0. Not much more should need to be said. I guess this was the best way to make their game against Nebraska interesting as each will be vying for bowl eligibility.

Nebraska (5-6, 2-5) Won v. KSU 73-31. Well I haven't scoured the record books, but I have to imagine that was the first time a team gave up 70+ points and responded by scoring 70+ themselves. Kudos to the Big Red Machine though. If anyone still doesn't agree with me that Ganz should have been starting all year (he is such a better fit for this style of offense), I don't know what else to tell you. Obviously this season will forever be a failure, but it will be interesting to see if they can continue this "roll" and knock off Colorado.

Iowa State (3-8, 2-5) Won v. CU 31-28. Thanks for making me look good by predicting this upset. Needless to say, I didn't feel too good about it when you were down 21-0 at the half. By the way, I think ISU winning these last 2 was the best thing to happen to Kansas. Sure, ISU has some confidence, but now that they have shown they are capable of playing football, Kansas will be much less likely to look forward to Missouri.


1. Oklahoma (9-1, 5-1) Won v. Baylor 52-21. They were probably taking a game off, but this is a rather pedestrian win for a team with aspirations past the Big 12. If Baylor can exploit their secondary like that, Missouri and Kansas should have absolutely no trouble scoring on this team. I can't imagine them losing either of the next two but I will be curious to see how OU handles the passing of both Tech and OSU.

2. Texas (9-2, 5-2) Won v. Tech 59-43. I said before the game that there was no reason to believe either defense would hold the opposing offense under 35 points and neither disappointed. For all the Greg Davis bashing, Texas seems to have found an offensive identity. Unfortunately, their defense seems to actually be getting worse. This team does not deserve to play in a BCS bowl. With that said, they shouldn't have much trouble with A&M in the finale.

Oklahoma St. (5-5, 3-3) Lost v. KU 43-28. Dantrell Savage is a great runner and OSU has a great offense. Not surprisingly I was also impressed with Dez Bryant who they should start using more, and will with Bowman out. Side note here – what is it with Brent Musberger and Oklahoma St.? I'm quite sure he would unzip his trousers and hold it for Boone Pickens as he urinates. And why was he always referring to their players by only their first name? (i.e. Zac drops back, Dez goes up for the ball) I realize they were on ABC the week before, but a first name basis?

Texas Tech (7-4, 3-4), Lost @ UT 59-43. It's really hard to believe that this wasn't the year they finally made the leap to the top of the Big 12. Although, Mike Leach doesn't think it's entirely their fault. Note to staff: You have an entire state of blue chip prospects – Find a couple that know how to play defense!

Texas A&M (6-5, 3-4) Lost @ MU 40-26. What's that? Is this another team that was supposed to contend for the Big 12 this year and is instead under .500 in league play? I'm not saying they would have won, but with a couple of halfway competent decisions by either the players or the coaches, they could have EASILY been in position to win this game. a) Had the ball, down 17-9 with under 2 minutes in the first half nearing midfield. What do they do? Chuck it up into double coverage 30 yards. Interception. 2 plays later, Jeremy Maclin went down the sideline 82 yards while 2 A&M "defenders" watched instead of pushing him out of bounds. b) They have fought back, down 31-26 in the fourth and are in the red zone. Bad play call after bad play call leads to the inevitable missed field goal and that was that. Goodbye Fran.

Baylor (3-8, 0-7). Lost @ OU 52-21. If they don't offer this job to Mike Singletary, they are silly ass Baptists.

**Note** teams only got numbers if they actually have a chance to win their division.

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