Alright, folks ... going to need a nice contribution from the comments thread to avoid sure defeat this weekend ... let's just say you don't need to set aside time in your day to read through this one.
1 - You can choose to upgrade one unit (QB, RB, WR/TE, OL, DL, LB, DB, special teams) on your team. Which do you choose?
2 - So the Big East is evidently still thinking about bringing Boise State aboard for football. I want you to give this two ratings. From 1-10, tell me a) how absurd this is (or isn't) and b) how smart it is (or isn't).
3 - Never mind whether Missouri stays or goes -- should the Big 12 think about moving back to 12 teams with programs like Louisville and West Virginia on the table, or is a ten-team conference, with fewer teams around for revenue distribution?
4 - It's Homecoming at Ol' Mizzou this weekend. What would have to happen to make it better than last year's Homecoming?
The Beef: 1 - I would choose to upgrade the OL right now. The DL should be better, but they have not hurt us as much as I think the OL has. Special Teams is gaining ground though in a hurry.
Absurd – 8
Smart – 3
3 - I would think the B12, as a conference, would be smart to get back to 12. I can totally see why the big boys do not want&h llip;as the addition of a Championship game makes the path tougher. But I just think it makes more sense at this point to get the Champ game back with the money that goes with it.
4 - We unlose our other three games this year? Mike Slive comes out at halftime to lead the stadium in the MIZ-SEC cheer? (I keed…I keed)
Doug: 1 - Kansas needs a major upgrade on the defensive line, but they could also use a new defensive coordinator in the press box.
2 - Which way does the scale go? For absurdity, I'm saying 20. I'm willing to allow the Big 10 to keep its name, same with the Big 12, but, if the Big East stretches all the way to Idaho, they become a big school Sun Belt Conference. There's no shame in the Big East returning to it's roots and just be a great basketball conference, and not worry about football on a D-I level. If you have some members who play D-IAA, that's fine. But this trying to maintain a semblance of football, especially trying to add Boise State makes this a negative 20 on the smart level.
3 - I think the conference championship game is way too valuable to not have, plus forcing schools to play nine conference games a season, and only have three non-con games will get old. They should get back to 12, and consider splitting Oklahoma and Texas into different divisions, like the Big 10 did with Ohio State. You want those two to play each other in the regular season every year? Fine. However, since they are the two biggest football names, taking the chance of having them face off in the championship game every season is worth the trade-off.
4 - What happened last year? I'm going to say the second coming of Christ. Or free burritos for everyone, whichever we can make happen more easily.
Michael Atchison: 1. Probably the OL, and that has a lot to do with injuries. I thought about DB, but I’ve been fairly impressed with Jackson and Gaines. Still, some better play at corner sure wouldn’t hurt. And no offense to James Franklin, who has been good, but at some level, the answer to this question is almost always QB. Each time you get incremental improvement from even a good quarterback, it pays off much bigger than at any other position.
2. It’s completely absurd, but it isn’t dumb when you consider that they’re desperate. They want to remain BCS league, so adding a team with multiple BCS appearances makes a lot of sense. It continues the ridiculous NFL-ization of college football, but I’ve come to believe that the networks and the athletics administrators welcome the ridiculous NFL-ization of college football. That’s entertainment.
3. I like the ten-team format because it’s more like a conference in that you actually, you know, play everyone. I think 12 makes more sense from a stability point of view, but it only makes sense if those teams fit your league. You risk losing them later on if they’re a better fit somewhere else. The Big East learned that with TCU (and I think TCU would have made the jump even if the Big East weren’t disintegrating). Geography still matters. That’s why I never thought BYU made much sense for the Big 12.
4. Time travel.
ZouDave: 1 – I think I’ll go at this by process of elimination. I think our QB is fine, possibly better than fine. He’s a sophomore, and he’s making some first-year starter mistakes, but he’s been very good at times and I think he can be really good. RB…other than being healthy the only thing that needs to change about RB is that Josey just needs to get the ball more and more. WR/TE, I don’t doubt the talent here though I do wish we had a true game-breaking playmaker like we had with Maclin and Alexander. I know those guys are hard to come by, but we still need one. OL I think has played well. Our running game has a great ypc and some of the sacks Franklin has taken have been his fault. Linebackers are not a weakness on this team, they’re fine. Defensive Line…I wish we were getting better pass rush, because that would help the secondary immensely, but they’re really strong against the run. So…DB and Special Teams. Well our return game is non-existent. That’s an issue, and has been for 2.5 seasons now. We get absolutely nothing out of kick and punt returns, and it makes our offense have to get another first down on every drive based on the fact that our return went nowhere. That plays a bigger role than many realize in the lower scoring offenses of 2009 and 2010. Plus, there’s Ressel. Poor kid. But when it comes right down to it, a better secondary would have helped us not let Arizona State get out to a big lead that we had to come back against, and it would have been able to keep OU better in check when we were holding a 14-3 lead. So…I gotta go DB.
2 – I still live in a world where I think the names of conferences mean something. In what way is Boise State a "Big East" school? It makes no sense to me at all. I don’t want to see this patched together conference of schools from all across the country being sewn together as a ratty quilt but being run out for display as a tapestry work of art. So…8, absurd.
3 – See my answer in #2. Names mean something. The Big XII should have 12 teams. They should be getting back to having a conference championship game with divisions, etc. I still don’t like the WVU idea of sharing a conference with Texas Tech because, again, the geography sucks and it just reeks of things being patched together. Love the idea of Louisville, I think they’d make a great addition to the conference. I’m fine with TCU’s addition, while understanding that it really did nothing to expand the footprint it will certainly have the potential to add prestige in football. TCU’s football program could be on its way up, for sure, but they’re going to eventually get hamstrung by facilities. With aTm gone and assuming Missouri does leave, if I were the Big XII I’d add TCU (done), Louisville, and put the full-court press on for Boise State and BYU. BSU and BYU are a little far away from the conference center, but it’s not as bad as West Virginia (or BSU in the Big East).
4 – I’m not exactly sure, but I know it involves Jenna Haze. Haven’t pulled out that reference in FOREVER!
Michael Atchison: A quick look at the map suggests that Boise is a greater distance from most Big 12 schools than is Morgantown.
ZouDave: You and your "facts"
SleepyFloyd7: 1 - Yost. /kidding - Probably OL, which is strange due to that unit's experience and performance expectations coming in. But if you have a dominant OL, the rest of the offense works that much easier.
2 - It is Absurd (8) and Smart (8) of the Big East, and Absurd (8) and Dumb (2) of Boise. But do whachu want - there are no rules after the fall.
3 - I think the conference has to get back to 12 to be able to compete on the national landscape. They need the regular season champion to be able to get one more quality win in the B12 CG in order to validate winning a watered down conference.
4 - They name me the Homecoming Queen? I love parades.
(Two hours later...)
ZouDave: Lively group we’ve got here today…
ghtd36: Honeycrisp apples are amazing.
1- I think it's definitely got to be the offensive line, though I think a lot of that can be attributed to injury. Losing Elvis Fisher...I mean, we knew it was bad, but it's looking more and more devastating. Get well soon, Big E.
2- Absurdity is at about a 9 -- the idea of the Broncos playing conference games in Syracuse causes my head to be like that of a certain Breaking Bad character. [/dancing around spoilers]
Intelligence, aw hell, I don't know. Conference realignment has given me a severe case of tiredhead.
3- I think the Big 12 should stay at ten, if only because the round-robin conference play is starting to grow on me. And while the championship game is fun and an extra financial boost, I'm not sure that juice is worth the squeeze.
4- Tacos. For everyone.