This week's round table is brought to you by our friends at Midwest Coast Bias. Again, we encourage all members of Rock M Nation to post their own responses in diaries on the right.
1. If you could steal another coach at any level (head, assistant, etc.) from another school, who would it be and why?
-- Let it be stated that I have been, barring a few exceptions, extremely pleased with the Missouri coaching staff thus far in 2007. But one name immediately stands out at the top of my wish list: Pete Carroll. Carroll epitomizes everything I love about a good college coach: fire, intensity, passion, and a connection with his players that makes them want to fight not just for each other but also for the coaches. More importantly, he brings a ridiculously aggressive, attacking style of defense that avoids the "Bend but Don't Break" mentality of most teams in college football these days. I'd love nothing more than to see a defensive juggernaut at Faurot Field, and Carroll's attitude, and, of course, his pull with recruits, would be perfect in my ideal world. (And, by the way, I just chuckled when I re-read the phrase "defensive juggernaut at Faurot Field)
2. What two teams will play for the Big XII Championship and why?
-- You saw them in Norman last week. The Oklahoma Sooners and the Missouri Tigers will meet again in San Antonio later this year to determine the conference's elite. In past years, Missouri would have been demolished on the road in Norman. This year, the Tigers gave the Sooners a legitimate fight and arguably should have had the upper hand in the game if not for several back-breaking turnovers. But the Tigers proved that they can indeed play with the best the Big 12 has to offer. That confidence will carry over through the second half of the season.
3. What is the best bowl game your team has a realistic shot at and, if your team has a shot, who would you like to play in said bowl?
-- The best bowl game Missouri has a legitimate shot at is the Fiesta Bowl, assuming the Tigers take care of business for the rest of the year and bring their "A" game in the Big 12 Championship. Missouri would likely face the second-best team from the SEC or Pac-10, where I could see Florida, LSU, Cal, USC or Oregon ending up. While this is the best possible realistic scenario, I think it's a far more likely possibility that the Tigers end up in Dallas on New Years for the Cotton Bowl, taking on an SEC foe, possibly Auburn, South Carolina, or Kentucky.
4. If given the opportunity, would you keep the Big XII status quo or kick out a team and go to a Big 10-style conference play?
-- I know there has been and will continue to be "Mizzou to the Big Ten" talk, but, despite all the revenue issues and television discrepancies, I have few issues with the Big 12. Despite the "rise of the North" this season, the divisional system heavily favors Missouri and other North teams. Plus, for a team like the Tigers that traditionally struggle to find consistency, the team must really only survive their own division and then bring their best game to the conference title. Assuming the divisions are starting to balance out the way some pundits say they are, I have little issue with the championship game format.
5. Rank the Big XII teams
- Oklahoma - They're fallible, but no question, they're the Big 12's best
- Missouri - Firmly entrenched at No. 2 after an inspired effort in Norman
- Kansas - Facing Colorado in Boulder will be a tough test
- Texas Tech - Raiders have the capacity to knock anyone off OR get blown out on any given day
- Kansas State - Need to take care of business in Stillwater to remain in North race
- Colorado - Stretch of Kansas, Tech, and Missouri will tell a lot about the Buffs
- Texas - Starting to look like the Longhorns we expected, and playing Baylor and Nebraska next should only help
- Oklahoma State - The Cowboys are a different team with a healthy Dantrell Savage
- Texas A&M - The offense is simply anemic and the schedule is simply brutal
- Nebraska - The Big Red Panic Button is not exactly the Staples "Easy Button."
- Baylor - Get No. 11 spot because I think they'll lose to Texas this week by less than ISU did last week
- Iowa State - On the bright side, Todd Blythe is all man.