It's that time again. Time for the Rock Chalk Roundtable. This week our contributors are Denverjayhawk from Rock Chalk Talk, DJ from Hawk Digest, and yours truly. Before we get going, I'l again direct your attention to Corn Nation as they've posted their first game preview (how they haven't used that Q&A yet is beyond me... Its gold, Jerry! Gold!) and I'm sure plenty more are on their way. On with the show.
1. If you had to guess, who is the next purple leader?
Denverjayhawk: I think the preferred choice would be Patterson out of TCU if it's not him I think they go back to old man Snyder for a couple of years...should be interesting to see how this plays out.
DJ: I'd say they'll do everything they can to get Gary Patterson.
HH:If I had to pick one guy, my money is on the old guy that started this current decline. Being fair, he obviously built it up from literally nothing, but I really don’t think they’re going to have much luck until they can start using private planes again. But considering the (justifiable) love they have for him there, that’s my best guess.
2. I was asked a very tough question by Corn Nation this week - if you can only have one, Jake or Kerry, who would it be and why?
Denver: Kerry Meier...Dual threat, Team oriented, hippie Jayhawk...Not saying sharp isn't those things as well but right now I don't know if the running game is consistent enough for me to say that Sharp is more important to this team than Meier.
DJ: Probably Jake because of lack of depth at RB.
HH:Like I said then, I have to say Kerry. I don’t want to sell short what Jake has been doing, but justified or not, I attribute as much of this recent success to the improvement of the offensive line and the schemes we’ve been employing. Whether or not they could replicate exactly what Jake has done, I don’t know, but I think Jocques and Angus could combine to make at least a semi-productive running game. On the other hand, I don’t think anyone could come close to replicating what Kerry has been doing so far.
3. Briefly, what do you think about all of the changes in the secondary?
Denver: At first I was concerned after the K-State game everyone seemed more comfortable and they are starting to grow on me...obviously the next 3 games will be a true barometer as K-State clearly had other issues going on that might have afforded the moves more opportunity to succeed.
DJ: Other than kicking it off against Tech, I'm doing all right with it. Big corners are an advantage and if Justin can handle it that's great. DP's height concerns me, but Charles Gordon did all right. You've got to like that speed. I'm surprised at the rough year Chris Harris had as a starter -- he really got turned around a lot in that OU game.
HH:It’s obviously way too early to tell, but I’m coming around on them. Moving JT makes complete sense and I can see him becoming a very good corner. What Daymond is lacking in experience and height, he seems to make up for in speed and ability, but we’ll see. I think Harris is a perfect fit as a nickel back, because he just doesn’t have the speed to cover one-on-one, but he never finds himself out of position or misses a tackle. And lastly, Strozier at safety seems to be a good fit, but we’ll see. Without actually verifying this, I feel like he’s susceptible to biting on play action and getting beat over the top. Hopefully I’m wrong about this, because I kind of feel like I’m making it up entirely.
4. Finish this sentence. Kansas will win in Lincoln for the first time since '68 if...
Denver: The defense has an equally effective scheme and gameplan as last week...Holt to end turned out to be a brilliant move and the zone blitzing scheme was very effective, I want to see equally effective moves in order for us to get a win.
DJ:...we can mount a pass rush.
HH: If they can force the tempo. Winning TOP would be ideal, but it’s not mandatory. They must be careful to not let Nebraska just play keep away. If they can’t do that, then on offense, they need to help the D out, grind a little clock of their own and convert their chances into touchdowns.
5. Going nationally, if both the Big XII and SEC champs have a loss and Penn State does not, who do you put in the MNC?
Denver: Sentimentally I say JoePa get's a shot and then maybe he'll finally retire. I don't know if they would stand a chance but since KU is out of it my dream outcome would be JoePa goes in against...I'll say Tech, because Kansas beats Texas and in the Championship PSU over Tech, Leach and Joe Pa retires on top. I know it's a bit far fetched but hey you never know.
DJ: Penn State vs KU. Okay, Penn State vs Big 12 if I had to pick today. That one loss team would come from the south and that would have to outweigh anything that Florida or Alabama can accomplish in the regular season.
HH:Big XII and SEC and I wouldn’t think twice about it. Without even trying, you could make an easy argument that Penn State has played exactly one tough game this year; in Columbus - and we all saw how that opponent looked against an elite team. Meanwhile, the SEC and Big XII have been occupying a majority of the top 10 all year long. Maybe it’s not fair, but I’d rather see a good game comprised of a couple teams that earned the right to be there; if Penn State is included, I don’t think we’ll get that.
6. Big XII picks... KSU @ MU, Baylor @ Texas, OU @ A&M, ISU @ CU, OSU @ Tech
Denver: MU, OU, Texas, ISU, Tech
DJ: MU, OU, Texas, CU, Tech
HH: MU, OU, Texas, CU, OSU