This week's Big 12 Round Table comes thanks to our friends over at Big Red Network.
1. Will firing Steve Pederson help Nebraska's program long term or will they be as bad or worse off without him?
-- Whether or not Steve Pederson's departure helps Nebraska long term all depends on where the Huskers go from here. Do they bring in Tom Osborne and just immediately assume everything is going to be fine? Does Tom clean house and admit the program is rebuilding, or does Tom nitpick different people out and look for a quick solution. Contrary to popular belief, there's no easy solution here, especially if the next Husker coach faces the burden of immense expectations. Solich lost his job for a 9-3 season and letting the program "gravitate towards mediocrity." Does Big Red have the patience to deal with 6-6, 7-5, 8-4 seasons to rebuild the program, or will the kneejerk reactions continue to set them back? Stay tuned...
2. Can Kansas keep winning conference games, not just this year but on into the future?
-- I see no reason why not. Say what you want about the fan base, the history, the facilities, the "basketball school" reputation. Fielding a winner is all that matters, and things can snowball in a hurry. Take Missouri: the program suffers through decades of mediocrity, finds a decent coach, begins to turn around its fortunes little-by-little, puts a marquee player in the spotlight (Brad Smith), turns that spotlight into attracting other recruits, uses those other recruits to take "the next step" (whatever that may be) year-in and year-out. I still have questions about KU, but there's no reason those questions can't be answered and the Jayhawks can't keep winning, this year and in future years.
3. Is Sam Bradford at OU good enough to lead the Sooners to victories in all of their remaining games or will he meltdown again like he did late against CU?
-- No question, Sam Bradford is definitely good enough to help the Sooners win out. Bradford seems to be the most talented QB of the Stoops tenure and I don't believe what happened in Boulder is indicative of exactly what to expect from him. Bradford had his troubles, but don't forget that the Sooners likely escape CU with a win without a major special teams gaffe by Reggie Smith. Give the Colorado defense some credit as well - Jordan Dizon can make the best QBs look bad. But, to answer the question, Bradford is absolutely good enough.
4. Do the routs of ISU and Baylor mean Texas is firing on all cylinders or will this be another disappointing season in Austin?
-- It is one thing to fire on all cylinders against ISU and Baylor, it will be quite another to do it down the final stretch against Oklahoma State, Texas Tech, and Texas A&M (with OSU and aTm on the road). The Texas team we've seen since the Kansas State debacle is a far different ball club, but the 0-2 start may be too much to overcome. Even if the Horns win out, is 6-2 in the Big 12 a disappointment? I'd say so, as isn't any season that doesn't culminate with a Big 12 South and/or Big 12 title a disappointment in Austin? And how does 6-2 feel for the Horns if they have to watch a 7-1 Sooner team or a 7-1 Aggie team in San Antonio?
This week's conference rankings:
- Oklahoma - Scare in Ames doesn't scare me
- Kansas - Impressive road win in Boulder, but Kyle Field is a different animal
- Missouri - I think MU takes KU, but no longer can I justify keeping an undefeated team at No. 3
- Texas - May be coming together a few games too late
- Oklahoma State - Team is dangerous any time the D gets a stop or two
- Texas A&M - 2007 Buyout Bowl Champions!!!
- Kansas State - Get Baylor at home this week, a team Prince and Co. lost to in Waco last year
- Texas Tech - Still trying to figure out exactly what the hell happened last week
- Colorado - Like OSU, A&M, Texas, KSU, and Tech, you never know what to expect
- Nebraska - No need to pile on...
- Baylor - The Bears put up quite a fight against the Horns last week
- Iowa State - Chizek's gang starting to show signs of life?