Last week was rough, and not just for the Cyclones. The entire Big 12 conference was exposed as nothing more then a mediocre conference. Remember all those things I said about the Big 12 being far superior to the Pac-10 (the Big 12 lost both those games) and how Texas Tech was a sleeper to win the conference (they could only manage three – THREE – points against TCU). Yeah, I was wrong.
There is the very good possibility
that the Big 12 – historically a power – isn't up to its former form. Big 12
teams have played in four of the last six national championship games, winning
twice (Oklahoma 2000 and Texas 2005). I'm guessing two other conferences are
going to be playing for that title this year.
That leaves us with a chance to
look at the Big 12 landscape on the eve of the conference schedule. So here's
what we know:
Texas and Oklahoma
Once again, these two teams are
the leaders of the Big 12 pack, although both teams have already proven they can
be beat. Texas lost early to Ohio State and by the end of the season when
they get their offense in sync will be a legitimate top-5 team. Oklahoma will also be
good by year's end, once their pass game catches up to the dominant running of
Adrian Peterson. The Sooners should be 3-0 right now but thanks to incompetent
officiating have ruined their dreams of a national championship (not that they
were very high, but at least Sooner Nation could have held onto that dream for a
couple more weeks). These two teams are head and shoulders above the rest of the
THE ABOVE MEDIOCRE MEDIOCRE
Nebraska – The Huskers are the frontrunner
for the Big 12 North title, but that isn't saying much. They laid down and died
infront of a USC team that they should have at least competed with. They will
roll through the Big 12 schedule (only possible losses against Texas, at Iowa
State and maybe MAYBE Missouri), putting up an
impressive record of around 9-3.
Missouri – The Tigers have looked impressive
so far this season, despite Gary Pinkel's best efforts. They have a real deal in
quarterback Chase Daniel and are knocking at the door of the top-25. The only
problem? Their undefeated record is a bit deceiving as they haven't played
anyone good yet and won't for another two weeks.
Iowa State – The Cyclones are a lot better
then they've shown. Their defense is giving up yardage like its going out of
style and the offense has never gotten rolling through three games. A brutal
schedule will hurt Iowa State's record over the next few weeks, but there are
games in there that can be won (Nebraska,
Northern Iowa, Texas Tech). If the Cyclones
want to win, their passing game has to get in gear.
Texas Tech – Tech was the trendy pick as an
upset special in the Big 12 South race. Then they lost 12-3 to TCU. The Horned
Frogs are good, but not good enough to hold the Red Raider's video game offense
to three points. This year was a perfect opportunity for Tech to make a run at
the conference title but they seem to have let that pass them
THE BELOW MEDIOCRE
Baylor – They are much better then their
1-2 record shows. For a team that needs to sweep their non-conference schedule
to have a chance at a bowl game, Baylor took a risk by scheduling TCU and
Washington State and seem to have lost on the gamble. The Bears are better then
years past, but not good enough to win four Big 12 games and earn a postseason
Texas A&M – The Aggies have a 3-0 record, but
have nothing to show from it. Their wins come over The Citadel,
Louisiana-Lafayette (the worst of the worst) and squeaked out a win over Army.
A&M should make a bowl this year but that's not because they're a good team,
it's thanks to a cupcake schedule.
Oklahoma State – Again, Oklahoma State is unbeaten early but that won't
last. Their wins come against Missouri
State, Arkansas State
and Florida Atlantic. Their next test comes this week when they travel to
Houston. How bad
do you have to be as Oklahoma
State (who, may I remind you was good
just two short years ago) to have to go on the road to play two of your
non-conference games against powerhouses such as Arkansas State and Houston? That's pretty
Kansas – The Fighting Manginos lost a
double overtime game to Toledo, making them the
ever popular BCS conference team that lost to a MAC team, and taking Iowa State off the hook as that BCS conference
team that almost lost to a MAC team. So thanks Kansas.
Kansas State – Kansas State is, without a doubt, the worst 3-0
team in the nation. Their game this week against Lousiville – even with
L'ville's backup quarterback in the game – will be an absolute
Colorado – I'd like to feel sorry for the
Buffalos….but I really can't. Colorado is awful. Just plain awful.
start their season 0-8 and there is the very real possibility they might finish
the year either 1-11 or 2-10. They are just bad.
And now for this week's
Iowa State at Texas
Opponents have rushed the ball 77
times for 75 yards so far this season. That's not good for an Iowa State team that hasn't found the ability
to throw the ball.
THE PICK: Texas
Louisville at Kansas State
I'm really afraid to see the
outcome of this game. Is there a mercy rule in college
THE PICK: Louisville
Colorado at Georgia
Both teams were excited when this
game was scheduled as a clash of titans…how did that work
THE PICK: Georgia
Middle Tennessee State at Oklahoma
I heard Oklahoma might pull out
of this game after it was announced that Pac-10 officials would be in
THE PICK: Oklahoma
Troy at Nebraska
Troy tripped up Missouri a couple years
ago when the Tigers were supposed to be good. Can they do it again? Probably
THE PICK: Nebraska
Ohio at Missouri
The Tigers move to 4-0 with what
should be a blowout.
THE PICK: Missouri
SE Louisiana at Texas
We'll see if the Tech offense can
get rolling again after their embarrassing three point showing against
THE PICK: Texas
Louisiana Tech at Texas
A final cupcake for the Aggies
before a tough conference slate begins.
THE PICK: Texas
If the Bears lose this game, their
slim bowl hopes are over.
South Florida at Kansas
One final win for Kansas before slim
pickings in the conference season. Wait, did I just use the word slim when
writing about Kansas? I can't believe
THE PICK: Kansas
Oklahoma State at Houston
How far have the Cowboys fallen?
This seriously might be their last win of the season.
THE PICK: Oklahoma State