Wall's World - Week Four

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:

 

THE GOOD:

 

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 Big 12.

 

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 by.

 

THE BELOW MEDIOCRE 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 bid.

 

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.

 

THE BAD

 

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 bad.

 

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 bloodbath.

 

THE REALLY BAD

 

Colorado I'd like to feel sorry for the Buffalos….but I really can't. Colorado is awful. Just plain awful. Colorado will 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 picks.

 

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 football?

 

THE PICK: Louisville

 

Colorado at Georgia

 

Both teams were excited when this game was scheduled as a clash of titans…how did that work out?

 

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 attendance.

 

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 not.

 

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 Tech

 

We'll see if the Tech offense can get rolling again after their embarrassing three point showing against TCU.

 

THE PICK: Texas Tech

 

Louisiana Tech at Texas A&M

 

A final cupcake for the Aggies before a tough conference slate begins.

 

THE PICK: Texas A&M

 

Army at Baylor

 

If the Bears lose this game, their slim bowl hopes are over.

 

THE PICK: Baylor

 

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 that.

 

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


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