Monday, September 17, 2007

Thoughts on the Rest of the Big 12...

1. Oklahoma

I was actually a bit shocked that a) they gave up a field goal, and b) they didn’t score 60. Sam Bradford even threw an INT! They stink!

Crimson & Cream Machine gives out the grades.

2. Kansas

They’ve done exactly what they should do so far, and sadly that’s enough to get them the #2 slot in the conference. Again, this isn’t any kind of prediction or ‘power poll’ or anything...this is simply a ranking of who’s proven themselves the most so far.

3. Missouri

I feel like I’m a homer for this—and I’m sure I am—but Texas has played two teams no better than Illinois or Ole Miss and sweat their wins out even more than we did. The defense is still a bit frightening, but the offense has an even higher ceiling than I thought. The O-line is horrid against Illinois, and we put up over 400 yards and 40 points. The short yardage game is poor, and receivers drop some passes against Ole Miss, and we put up over 500 yards and 38 points. Chase Daniel has his shakiest game since last year against Nebraska, and we put up over 600 yards and 52 points.

Every True Son with the Good, Bad, and Indifferent.

4. Texas

I’m still not all that worried about them, but I’m pretty sure recovering on-side kicks to clinch wins over Arkansas State and Central Florida really wasn’t in the cards.

Burnt Orange Nation hits 10 out of 10 on the Oklahoma Fear Factor.

5. Texas A&M

Bounced back after an poor performance versus Fresno State.

6. Nebraska

Nebraska appears to be a team that will take advantage of their opponents’ weaknesses but not create any weaknesses or mismatches of their own. That’s a strange, vague thing to say, but...that’s really the only way I can think to put it. Against a team with weaknesses—like Mizzou’s run defense, for instance—they’ll put up good numbers. However, if you have a solid front seven, they’re not going to run the ball well. If you have a solid pass rush or cover skills, they’re not going to throw the ball well. They’ll take what you give them, and nothing more. When they play a team with few weaknesses—like USC—they’ll get pummeled.

Oh, and in case you were wondering...those 389 yards Sam Keller passed for against USC? 169 of those came in the fourth quarter. He was 22-35-2-220 (0) the first three quarters (passer rating: a decent 104.22), and 14-19-0-169 (2) in the fourth (passer rating: 183.14), which started with USC up 42-10. Just so you know.

Husker Mike from Corn Nation is, shall we say, unimpressed with NU, Callahan, and everyone else involved.

7. Texas Tech

Poor Rice...they probably thought they were doing a good job in keeping up wth Texas Tech’s potent offense, as the score was 21-17 Tech halfway through the second quarter. Fifteen minutes later, however, it as 49-17. In other words, this was pretty much the typical Tech win.

Oh, and Michael Crabtree might be the real deal. The 6’3 redshirt freshman had 11 catches for 244 yards and 3 TD’s. He’s officially on pace for 152 catches, 2152 yards, and 32 TD’s this year. Pretty sure that would be, like, a record or something.

Double T Nation gives out the conflicted grades...

8. Kansas State

When I saw that Jordy Nelson had 15 catches and 200+ yards in KSU’s 61-10 win over SMS, the first thing I did was find the box score to see how many of those catches came in the fourth quarter, when he shouldn’t have even been in the game. To Ron Prince’s credit (I believe that’s the first time I ever typed those words), he only had one fourth quarter catch (for 2 yards).

Meanwhile, that Auburn loss keeps looking worse and worse.

TB from Bring On the Cats has a nice recap of both the KSU game and the Big 12's weekend as a whole.

9. Colorado

It took ESPN announcers almost a full two quarters to realize that all of the “great play-calling” by CU Coach Nick Nolte wasn’t putting points on the board, and that the fact that Cody Hawkins (sorry, guess that would be Cody Nolte) can “make every throw” doesn’t mean he can make every throw accurately, at the right time or place. I like how CU’s defense seems to swarm to the ball, though I was also encouraged by the fact that a lot of FSU’s success came when they spread the defense and, well, used quite a few plays that are also in the Mizzou playbook. Not sure why FSU didn’t do more of that, but whatever. Mizzou probably won’t run for very much at all when they play CU in Boulder, but the passing offense should click along just fine. laments missed opportunities.

10. Oklahoma State

During Friday night’s blowout loss at Troy, there was a point in the third quarter when Troy was stalling, and a big play from OSU could lead to a huge comeback. Zac Robinson—starting for a relatively ineffective and at least slightly injured Bobby Reid—threw an off-balance but gorgeous bomb to All-American Adarius Bowman, hitting him in stride for a sure TD...and Bowman dropped it. Ballgame.

I read article after article this offseason about how Bobby Reid had matured into the expectations set for him and was ready for a big year. Two games into the season, Reid lost his starting job to a mediocre-at-best Robinson, and OSU got massacred by Troy to fall to 1-2 on the season. I was ready to believe that OSU was prepped for a big season, but now they’re going to have to fight to win six games. Robinson’s got potential, but the offense has a much lower ceiling with him in the game, and since the optimistic predictions for OSU were based on the explosive offense...well...things don’t look good.

11. Baylor

After pummeling Rice last week, I’m pretty sure the Bears didn’t expect to have to fight tooth-and-nail to beat the former SW Texas State. To their credit, though, they responded to the relatively unexpected challenge and made the plays they needed to make. Blake Szymanski (a.k.a. Blizzle Szyzzle) has responded nicely after a horrid season opener against TCU to put up 823 yards, 11 TD’s, and 2 INT’s against Rice and Texas State. He gets one more tuneup before he has to face another real defense (ATM in College Station).

12. Iowa State

So I guess this means Northern Iowa is the #1 team in the state? Power to the ‘Clones for not completely folding on the season—they always play Iowa well—and for their sake, here’s to hoping they play well against Toledo this coming week.

Apparently the win was so big that it not only knocked out CrossCyed's Internet connection but also caused this fantastic (and extremely R-rated) meltdown.