his week's SB Nation Big 12 Roundtable Recap takes a look at some of the different thoughts expressed around the Big 12 blogosphere. This week's participants included Double T Nation, I Am The 12th Man, Clone Chronicles, a power rankings submission from Rock M Nation, Corn Nation, and Bring On The Cats.
1. This question was posed by Rock Chalk Talk's Denverjhawk in Rock M Nation's Live Thread on Saturday: Could a Big 12 North all-star team compete with and/or beat Texas?
It's a small sample size, but the group seems to agree that Texas would be beatable in this scenario. BracketCat of Bring On The Cats actually went through and created a two-deep for a North all-star team.
WR X: Jared Perry (MU) / Scotty McKnight (CU)
LT: Nick Stringer (KSU) / Tanner Hawkinson (KU)
LG: Alex Alvarez (ISU) / Keith Williams (NU)
C: Jeremiah Hatch (KU) / Wade Weibert (KSU)
RG: Ricky Henry (NU) / Kurtis Gregory (MU)
RT: Dan Hoch (MU) / Ryan Miller (CU)
TE: Riar Geer (CU) / Jeron Mastrud (KSU)
QB: Todd Reesing (KU) / Blaine Gabbert (MU) (if healthy)
RB: Alexander Robinson (ISU) / Daniel Thomas (KSU)
WR H: Kerry Meier (KU) / Danario Alexander (MU)
WR Z: Dezmon Briscoe (KU) / Brandon Banks (KSU)
LDE: Jeffrey Fitzgerald (KSU) / Barry Turner (NU)
DT: Ndamukong Suh (NU) / Curtis Cunningham (CU)
NT: Jared Crick (NU) / Daniel Calvin (KSU)
RDE: Jake Laptad (KU) / Aldon Smith (MU)
SLB: Sean Fisher (NU) / John Houlik (KSU)
MLB: Jesse Smith (ISU) / Will Ebner (MU)
WLB: Sean Weatherspoon (MU) / Phillip Dillard (NU)
LCB: Cha'pelle Brown (CU) / Joshua Moore (KSU)
FS: David Sims (ISU) / Tysyn Hartman (KSU)
SS: Darrell Stuckey (KU) / Emmanuel Lamur (KSU)
RCB: Chris Harris (KU) / Carl Gettis (MU)
Head Coach: Bill Snyder (KSU)
Associate Head Coach: Paul Rhoads (ISU)
Offensive Co-Coordinators: Ed Warinner (KU) / David Yost (MU)
Defensive Co-Coordinators: Vic Koenning (KSU) / Carl Pelini (NU)
Two things stand out to me when looking at this list:
1) It quickly becomes clear why Kansas and Kansas State basically will be playing for the Big 12 North title next week.
2) This team could give Texas trouble. It might not win, but Reesing throwing to his and Missouri's receivers would be a major threat. The big weakness is the offensive line. I'm not sure there are enough standouts to hold off the likes of Sergio Kindle.
But ohmygod, that defense. Fitz, Laptad and Suh teeing off on McCoy, while Jesse Smith and 'Spoon prowl the middle, and half a dozen NFL prospects man the defensive backfield? Yeah, that could make a statement. And Banks at returner would be the X-factor offsetting Jordan Shipley's contributions for the Horns.
Hell, Bill Snyder could win a national title with this roster.
2. Forget ACC Roulette. For our intents and purposes, the Big 12 North is now the most entertaining battle of supremacy in mediocrity. Handicap what happens with the division from here.
Taking my phrasing of using the word "handicapping," Mark from Clone Chronicles breaks it down into odds:
K-State: I think they win 1 more game at the most, but I could see them lose out. How funny/sick would it be if they went 4-4, had a share of the Big 12 North lead, yet were not bowl eligible? Remember, they played 2 FCS teams, so they need to get to 7 wins, not 6. I think they finish either 3-5 or 4-4. I'd put a 5% chance on them winning the North.
Iowa State: It all depends on how healthy they are. I look at their schedule and see a small chance at 4-0, decent shot at 3-1, but most likely going 2-2. That would put them at 4-4 in the conference as well. Due to tiebreakers, Iowa State could get to 4-4 with losses to Kansas, K-State, and Missouri, which would put them out of it.. I think they would have to win out to win the North, so I'd put a 5% chance on them winning it as well.
Kansas: I think they lose @ Tech and @ Texas for sure. That puts them best case at 4-4. Losing to Colorado doesn't hurt them too much in tiebreakers if they beat Nebraska, K-State, and Missouri. I'd give them a 35% chance of winning the North.
Nebraska: I would not want to be a Nebraska fan right now. If their offense plays like it has the past two weeks, they win 1 or 2 more games max (@ Baylor and either K-State or @ Colorado). If they can figure out whatever their problem is, all of their games are winnable except for Oklahoma. I think they beat Baylor and Colorado. K-State is a tossup right now. I think Kansas is a loss, if the Jayhawks offense gets going. I think they can get to 4-4, but I could be talked into 3-5 pretty easily. I'd give them a 15% chance of winning the North.
Missouri: Easiest schedule down the stretch: @ Colorado, Baylor, @ K-State, Iowa State, and Kansas (at Arrowhead). Can you find 4 wins from that group? I can. They could even rip off a 5 game winning streak and take this thing. I'd be interesting if Iowa State was at 4-3 and Missouri was at 3-3 the week they played. Since I think they have the only chance to realistically win 5 games, they are my favorite at this point. I give them a 40% chance to win it. Truth be told, if they can win 4 games including Kansas, I think they would win the tie-breakers. They can win 5 of these games, likely will win 3-4, but even at 4, they have a chance to win the North.
Colorado: I think they probably lose out, sorry Ralphie. 0% chance of winning the North this year.
3. Is Oklahoma back on track after taking care of business against Kansas? Their national aspirations are obviously done, but can we expect to see a fairly dominant Sooner team down the stretch?
Skin Patrol of Double T Nation still believes in Oklahoma, though not without a few good-natured barbs.
Er... well they beat Kansas, which means Oklahoma and Colorado have that in common now, I suppose. Cynicism aside, Vegas is still ruthlessly behind Oklahoma, and wise man say: When sinners are behind Sooners, general public should be too. OU politicking aside, the reality is that they've lost to some pretty good teams by some pretty slim margins, and are probably one of the better 4-3 teams in the country. A good rule of thumb for a team as talented and well-coached as Oklahoma is that if it looks dead, it's probably just sleeping.
4. Texas A&M, Texas Tech, and Kansas State managed to completely shred the transitive property. What did the games between these schools tell us about these teams?
Husker Mike of Corn Nation unofficially creates the "WTF" category for wins, a category that may or may not include at least 20 games at this point.
Taylor Potts will be transferring from Texas Tech at the end of the season? We knew A&M was bad, and Tech can be pretty good. But A&M's victory in Lubbock defies logic, unless you throw Potts under the bus. I think you've got to throw the A&M victory into the WTF category as the anomaly for now until A&M proves their mettle again. (Hell, even Colorado has managed to win a couple of games this season...)
5. Did Texas find its mojo in Missouri, and does Oklahoma State have enough to take the Horns down in Stillwater this week?
We are shocked -- shocked -- to learn that Beergut of I Am The 12th Man doesn't believe Texas found its mojo.
No, texas didn't find its mojo, they simply played a team that is tanking right now in Missouri. Missouri's leader is their QB, Blaine Gabbert, and with Gabbert injured right now, their offense is struggling. With no offense to lead them, they were sitting ducks for texas' defense. Missouri's defense is nothing to write home about outside of Sean Weatherspoon, so texas' offense looked better than they really are against them.
I do think texas will beat Oklahoma State in Stillwater, and I don't even think it will be close. OSU doesn't believe they can beat texas, and that mental edge will help texas. I do look forward to watching Joe Wickline's offensive line go up against texas' DL. If Oklahoma State can run the ball, they will make it a game, but I don't think that will happen.
6. Power Poll! Who wins on a neutral field?
Noteworthy: Double T Nation abstained from voting.
1. Texas -- unanimous decision at the top
2. Oklahoma State -- edges out No. 3
3. Oklahoma -- just narrowly misses out sitting at No. 2
4. Texas Tech -- voters appear to think the A&M game was an aberration
5. Kansas State -- Huge variation for the Cats, who varied from No. 4 to No. 10
6. Nebraska -- That defense is top three. That offense is bottom three.
T7. Kansas -- 'Hawks vary between No. 4 and No. 11 on individual ballots
T7. Iowa State -- The Clones are starting to feel the love
9. Missouri -- Tigers in desperate need of a win after rough stretch to open Big 12 play
10. Texas A&M -- Further proof of the lack of trust in the Tech/A&M result
11. Colorado -- Didn't get voted any higher than No. 10
12. Baylor -- Fare thee well, Hot Tub Griffin