Monday, October 20, 2008

Big XII Week 3 RoundUp (No surprises edition)

Some scores may have caught you off guard this week. But I doubt any outcomes did. If one thing has become apparent in this conference season, it's that the north's one year reign as (possibly) superior has ended with a hammer drop. Things could even out a bit as the season goes on, but with four teams legitimately in the national title hunt, the South reigns supreme. For the week we went 6-0 TGS and 3-3 ATS. That won't pay the bills. On the year now we're 14-4 TGS and 10-8 ATS.

Another 11:30 start time - are you kidding me?! That makes 4 out of the first 5 conference games.

1. Texas (7-0, 3-0) – beat Methzou 56-31: And it wasn't nearly that close. There are maybe three teams (USC, Florida and maybe Bama) in the country that could beat the Horns when they're playing well and not one of them is in this conference. However, with their gauntlet of a schedule, they're bound to have an off-week some time. Here's to hoping its November 15th. Next up is a trip from the Cowpokes.

2. Oklahoma (6-1, 2-1) – beat Kansas 45-31: Racking up a meager 674 yards on the way. I guess that's what happens when your scoring drives cover: 84, 79, 69, 78, 53, 58, & 60 yards (not to mention missed FGs after 64 & 53). They didn't exactly bring KU to a screeching halt, but I do think they're onto something with Nic Harris at MLB. If the weakness of your defense is pass coverage over the middle, it makes a lot of sense to me to plug in a safety there. And while Kansas had success, much of it wasn't over the middle. One thing to keep in mind though is the decent success they had running the ball, which may be a side effect of this switch (though you'd think a guy at 230 could hold his own). Next up is a trip to Bill Snyder Family Stadium and I'm not willing to put a ceiling on the amount of yards they might gain there.

3. Oklahoma State (7-0, 3-0) – beat Baylor 34-6: I'm still not quite sold on them yet, but they've got a helluva chance to convince me this week. They have great pass/run balance on offense, but there passing offense consists entirely of Dez Bryant. And defensively, they've obviously got some athletes and holding Booger and Robert Griffin in check two weeks in a row is pretty impressive. But I'm just not there yet with them and could see them losing 4 of their last 5 games. And I have been right before. I think. Next up is a trip to Austin.

4. Texas Tech (7-0, 3-0) – won at A&M 43-25: And it was much closer (scored with 20 seconds left). There's probably not a worse week to move them up, but it's pretty hard to justify having any two loss team ahead of them at this point. Hopefully that will change in exactly 5 days. There defense is soft and while still scoring, their offense has really only had one huge game this year and that was against KSU so it has to be taken with a grain of salt. I'll get a firsthand look pretty shortly. Up next is their trip to Lawrence.

5. Methzou (5-2, 1-2) – lost at Texas 56-31: Booger got his numbers, but nearly all of them came in the second half. Their first four drives covered: 1, 13, -12, & -8 yards, all ending in punts. After that they moved it pretty well, but the damage was more than done. And their record over the last two years when he is pressured has now moved to 0-4. That 3rd quarter INT truly couldn't have been a worse decision. Lucky for them, the rest of their games are against the north (+ Baylor) so running the table is plenty doable and Arrowhead will almost surely be for the north. Up next is a visit from Colorado. No word yet on if they'll start their first, second or third string quarterback. Reasoning unknown.

6. Kansas (5-2, 2-1) lost 45-31 @ Oklahoma: I hate to drop them, because there's no shame in losing in Norman. But they'll have a chance to move up a couple with a win Saturday (I can't believe they opened as 2 point favorites, though). I've said plenty about where my disappointment stems from on Saturday, but the fact of the matter is; despite how much they did wrong, they had plenty of chances to win in Norman. That's major progress. If they come out and correct some of the many mistakes we saw last week, that's all you can ask for. And that's what I'm counting on. Next up is a trip from Mike Leach's merry band of pirates.

7. Nebraska (4-3, 1-2) – won @ ISU 35-7: After watching their "attempt" against Methzou, it's hard to admit that I've been legitimately impressed the last two weeks. Which should be expected any time you outgain your opponent by 330 yards on the road. And have a good chance to win in Lubbock. That's two weeks in a row they've absolutely dominated time of possession. Some think it's an over-rated statistic. Not me. And especially not when you have a defense like Nebraska's. I've never been overly confident about our trip to Lincoln and I'm becoming less so by the week. Next us is a visit from Baylor.

8. Baylor (3-4, 1-2) lost @ OSU 34-6: I'm keeping them this high mostly out of stubbornness. But right now I'm in now way convinced that any team below them could beat them (CU is the only possible exception). Unfortunately, their five remaining are: @ NU, MU, @ Texas, A&M (yay!), @ Tech, so anything better than 1-4 in that stretch will be a big surprise. If Baylor wins in Lincoln, I'll start feeling a little better about our trip.

9. Colorado (4-3, 1-2) – beat KSU 14-13: Fourteen points on this Wildcat defense? Really?!? And why are you playing Tyler Hansen? Are C-Hawk and Ballenger really that bad? Hansen and Hawkins combined to go 13-27 for 106 yards with a TD and an INT. Why even bother throwing the ball? Especially when you're gaining more per rush (4.3) than per pass (4.2) Not per completion; per pass. I know injuries have played a part, but this team has regressed from last year. Not good, Danny boy. Next up is a trip to Columbia.

10. KSU (4-3, 1-2) – lost @ CU 14-13: But more importantly, they held an opponent below 500 yards of offense. Now that's progress. Then again, Tyler Hansen ran for 86 yards. Robert Griffin would have some fun against this team. Their season is certainly not lost with ISU and Nebraska visiting to end the season, but the next three could be rough (OU, @ KU, @ MU). First up is a visit from the Sooners.

11. ISU (2-5, 0-3) – lost to Nebraska 35-7: What happened to that "we're totally different at home?" And where did the team I saw against KU go? Did that loss really demoralize everyone? Because it shouldn't have. Luckily, they get a visit from the Aggies for a right to see who will go winless in the league this year, because neither of these teams look like they're beating anyone else. And the opening line has ISU giving the three point home field penalty.

12. Texas A&M (2-5, 0-3) lost to Tech 43-25: I'm actually starting to think they're beter than ISU, but they've been just a little more pathetic to date. Had they not been so inept, they had a decent chance to steal one on Saturday. But alas, it was not to be. And now they need to win in Ames to have much of a chance for a conference win this year.

Worth mentioning before we go - Tim Griffin's Big XII helmet stickers this week. You'll notice an absence of one Dezmon Briscoe, despite his 12 catches for 269 yards and 2 TDs (all better than the included Dez Bryant). You'll also notice the inclusion of Dan Hawkins for semi-benching his son Cody. If that's a hard move to make because he's your son, you shouldn't be coaching him. Oh by the way, Colorado still only scored 14 points on a KSU defense that gives up 500+ yards and 30+ points like it's going out of style. He's a genius!

No comments: