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Rock M Roundtable (and Open Thread)!

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It's Week Two of the Rock M Roundtable...feel free to include your own roundtable answers in the comments section...and if you feel like taking the conversation in another direction, go right ahead...

1 - What was the moment you knew Mizzou was going to lose Saturday night?  Pig Brown's dropped INT?  The Maclin-Daniel fumble?  I only ask because in previous years the answer would have been "When the game was scheduled."

2 - Did Saturday's result make you more or less confident in your team's 2007 prospects?

3 - On a scale of 1 (Baylor) to 10 (2005 Texas), how good is Kansas right now?  And for that matter, how good is Missouri?  Subquestion: is this Baylor's worst team yet in the Big 12 era?

4 - Who's closer to being fired in Saturday's Buyout Bowl...Bill Callahan or Dennis Franchione?

5 - Predictions for this week: TT @ MU, KU @ CU, KSU @ OSU, ATM @ NU, UT @ BU, OU @ ISU.

Click 'Full Story' for the rest.

The Beef: 1 - For me it was when my phone told me something strange had happened and that Daniel had run for -6 yards and scored a touchdown for OU in the 4th quarter.  I STILL have not seen a single play from that game, neither live nor on replay, so there is not much else I can say.  I really did not figure we would be close in the 4th...but we were, but I was not surprised by the finish.

2 - I am still as confident as I have been, but I think more of that is going to hinge on THIS week’s game than last week’s.  I feel we have had TTech’s number at home when we have played them, and they have run this same offense for all the years, but I still want to see us win and get us back on the right track.  I don’t fear ISU at all especially given the revenge factor, so I like us to rip off at least a couple of wins starting this weekend.

3 - I think ISU is still worse than Baylor THIS season....so there.  I think Kansas (and mind you that scale is LARGE) is probably 6-7 on there.  I think Mizzou is about an 8....I still believe Mizzou is better and I am still not totally impressed with kU, but to their credit they keep getting it done and in a nasty way.  I still believe some of their deficiencies will come out over the next few weeks as competition steps up, but they could certainly win me over by taking those games.

4 - Callahan IS fired, so I think he wins....I think Coach Fran has to win out or so...so I think HE is fired...so in Nick Bakay fashion, can we call this, "Advantage Push?"

5 - Wow...Ummm...MU 48 TTech 38, CU 27 kU 24, OSU 41 kSU 27, aTm 3 NU 2, UT 56 BU 3, OU 56, ISU 3

Zou Dave: 1 - I knew we were going to lose the second I felt comfortable.  Not long before the Maclin-Daniel fumble, I told the guys I was watching the game with that "No matter the result, Mizzou has proven they can play with anyone in the country.  We've got a lead in Norman in the 4th.  We're without a doubt a Top 15 team."  Seriously, I think the next play from scrimmage was that play.  Totally my fault, apparently, because I lost focus.  But seriously, that's the play where I knew we were cooked.  If that drive turned into points, we would have won that game.  But a huge swing in momentum as well as taking us basically out of the game mathematically, it was just going to be too much to overcome.

2 - I still firmly believe we're going to be just fine.  Saturday's loss didn't hurt as at all as far as the North goes.  A win would have been great, but the loss simply puts the Tech and aTm games as must wins.  I always felt those were must-win, because they were at home.  But this seals it.  I think the winner in the North is going to have to be at least 7-1, so that's where we are.  If we'd beaten Oklahoma but turned around and lost to ksu or something then that would have cost us anyway.  So...I still think we're looking at North Champions for Mizzou.  A rematch with Oklahoma could be a lot of fun.

3 - On that scale, kansas is probably a 6 or 7 and Mizzou is probably a 7 or 8.  I figure Oklahoma this year is probably a 9, in that I don't think they're as good as 05 Texas but they're still REALLY good.  That has to make Mizzou at best 8 which I think they probably are.  So I'll go ahead and say kansas is a 7.  They're obviously good, I just still have the faith that Mizzou is better.  A kansas poster on Tigerboard put it pretty well on Sunday or Monday of this week, saying if Mizzou had ku's schedule they would also be 6-0 right now and if ku had Mizzou's schedule right now they'd also be 5-1 right now.  I can't really dispute that, but I think the Illinois game for ku would have been a tough one.  At worst, ku would be 4-2 with our schedule with losses to 2 top 15 teams (Illinois probably would have been ranked around 12 if they hadn't lost to us in the first week).  And it's hard to tell if this is actually Baylor's worst team, or if they're just facing a conference that is really starting to spread the talent.  Seriously, the landscape of the Big XII right now is one where Nebraska is the 10th best team.  And it's not basketball.

4 - Callahan, because I think he's already done.  Fran could still save his season but he's basically going to have to get wins in the rest of his games except for maybe OU to do it.  Callahan is done, because he's not who Osborne is going to want there.

5 -
Texas Tech - 34
Missouri - 52

kansas - 27
Colorado - 28

KSU - 24
OSU - 41

aTm - 28
Nebraska - 10

Texas - 48
Baylor - 2

Oklahoma - 63
Iowa State - 7

Michael Atchison: 1 - The Maclin-Daniel fumble, no doubt.  I looked at my fellow revelers, and said "game over."  It’s nearly impossible to go on the road against a really good team and survive something like that.

2 - I don’t know.  My team showed me they are pretty good on Saturday, but I already believed that.  Mizzou’s game gave me less of a feel about the Tigers’ prospects than did the other games going on around the league.  There are a whole lot of teams in the Big 12 that are better than I expected, and that means virtually every week is an opportunity for a favorite to run off the rails.  I still feel good about what Mizzou can do, but virtually every game makes me a little uneasy.

3 - Kansas is still hard to figure because they’ve left home only once and they haven’t left the state yet.  But they’ve been better than I ever could have expected.  I’ll put them at 6.5.  And 2005 Texas went to eleven.  I’ll put Mizzou at 8.

But asking if this is Baylor’s worst team yet in the Big 12 era is like asking if Kind of Blue is Miles Davis’s best album.  On its face it seems an obvious selection, but there’s such a remarkable body of work to choose from.  I’d rank Steamin’, In A Silent Way and On the Corner (an odd personal choice, I admit) with Miles’s best, and I think you have to look back at 1999 (1-10 overall, 0-8 Big 12), 2000 (2-9; 0-8), 2001 (3-8; 0-8) and 2003 (3-9; 1-7) before making a call.  I might go with 2003.  That team lost to North Texas by 38 points.

4 - I’m going to go against the grain and say Franchione, but only by a hair.  Bringing in Tom Osborne released some of the pressure in Lincoln, and I think things can settle down there for a while.  And while I assume that Osborne will make a change at season’s end, he’s such a stoic, measured guy, that I don’t put it past him to be patient and wait a year.  After all, he was a guy who couldn’t quite live up to his fan base’s expectations for much of his career, and he personally benefited from an administration that stuck by him.  Steve Pederson was already sacrificed for Bill Callahan’s sins, but Bill Byrne isn’t going to take the fall for Coach Fran, who is suffering through both scandal and subpar play.  There’s blood in the water in College Station.

5 - Missouri 49  Texas Tech 41
Colorado 28  Kansas 27
Oklahoma State 31  Kansas State 24
Texas A&M 24  Nebraska 16
Texas 63  Baylor 10
Oklahoma 59  Iowa State 6

rptgwb: 1 - No doubt the Daniel-Maclin fumble. Watching Lofton run the ball back was the kick in the stomach I'd been expecting all season long. What is encouraging though is that the Tigers proved they could play with the Sooners, and had Missouri protected the ball better, could have definitely walked out of Norman with a win. I guess you could say that made the fumble return that much more difficult to take.

2 - Undoubtedly, it made me a whole lot more confident in this squad. Last year, Missouri was outclassed by Oklahoma and the Tigers fought to make it respectable. This year, Missouri went blow-for-blow with the Sooners. We saw on Saturday that Missouri has the talent, and (gulp) the coaching to play with most teams on a given Saturday. As long as this team doesn't shoot themselves in the foot against other good teams like they did against a very solid, very efficient Sooner team like they did last week, I love their chances from here on out.

3 - I'd put Kansas around a 5-6, and Missouri around a 6-7. Kansas can do a lot to solidify themselves as legit on the road in Boulder this weekend. I think Missouri solidified their position with its effort on the road last week, and the Tigers need to back me up here with a game that reeks of "letdown" this week. And as for Baylor, isn't picking their worst team like picking the worst Missouri moment - a lesson in futility because it all sucks equally?

4 - I'll say Callahan is out the door first but that's merely because TAMU AD Bill Byrne refuses to evaluate coaches and contracts during seasons, whereas I can see Osborne pulling the plug midseason if things get any worse. As a Texan with Aggie connections though, Fran has one foot out the door, especially if he "embarrassed the great state of Texas" (according to Byrne) with the VIP Connection stunt. It is amazing what both coaches have done to their programs in such a short time though.

5 - See below...

MU 44, TTU 34
CU 24, KU 20
KSU 31, OSU 20
ATM 17, NU 10
UT 55, BU 10
OU 45, ISU 7

The Boy: I'll throw mine in here before Doug responds and gives Kansas a 9.5...

1 - Like Dave, I take the blame.  When Missouri is playing a really good team well--in any sport--I sometimes begin to unknowingly think to myself, "You know, with the way we're playing right now against such a good team, this will make a loss pretty easy to take."  Without fail, something immediately happens that makes sure I'm super-pissed about the loss.  It happened in 2002 against OU (they run a fake FG, we cover it well, it works anyway), it happened in 2004 in basketball against Texas (AJ's defense is too good on the final possession, as he blocks a shot right to Brian Boddicker for the game-tying 3).  

In comparison, the Daniel-Maclin fumble wasn't nearly as bad--at that point, the crowd's nervous energy was making Owen Field the loudest I've ever heard a stadium, and I highly doubt we were going to go 80 yards to score on that drive--but it still stung.  We prevented the homerun, and we withstood OU's typical first-quarter surge, but we got pounded in the turnover battle, and it obviously made the difference in the game.

2 - I say a smidge less confident simply because it was a loss.  Even if it was an expected loss (by the exact margin I predicted), a loss always manages to knock a little of the confidence out of you.  That said, this is a good team.  It passed the Nebraska test, and with OU it passed the Big Game test...now it has to pass the Letdown Test.  Pinkel is doing everything he can to make sure the crowd is every bit as crazy as it was against NU (no way in hell, but I applaud the effort), and for good reason--a hyped-up crowd can do a lot to prevent a letdown.  But this test will be passed over the long haul--against Tech and ATM at home, against KU on a neutral field (thank GOD we're not playing in Lawrence), and against KSU and CU in a hostile environment.  We can afford to lose 1 of the next 6 (nobody's going 7-1), but probably not 2.

Oh, and I'd feel a whole lot better if KU were to go ahead and lose to CU.

3 - I'm with everybody else.  I say KU is a 6 and MU is a 7.  OU's an 8 or 8.5, but 2005 Texas was so good that I don't think anybody here is 9 or above...unless you use the 'Amps to 11' principle and upgrade Texas.

Oh, and Atch?  A Tribute to Jack Johnson is Miles' best album...that one sneaks up on you just like this Baylor team's wretchedness sneaks up on you.  I will agree, though, that comparing Baylor futility to other Baylor futility is impossible work.  It's all futile in its own way, and while the talent at BU may (or may not) have improved, it's obvious that the talent in the Big 12's middle and lower rungs have improved more.  I'm not sure how deep the conference is at the very top--obviously the SEC and probably Pac 10 are better--but at this point I'd match up our #6-10 against anybody else's #6-10.  And then, of course, we've got just about the worst #11-12 around.  Then again, ISU beat Iowa...who beat Illinois...yeah, nevermind.  They still stink.

4 - I actually say Franchione.  He's been on the hot seat since 2005, while Callahan's downfall-while completely predictable from the outside--was unforseen in Lincoln as recently as mid-September.  That, along with Osborne's aforementioned deliberative nature, makes him a bit safer.  I think Cosgrove's gone no matter what, but it wouldn't totally surprise me to see Callahan on the NU sidelines in 2008.  In fact, I long for it.  Franchione, on the other hand...yeah, a South title might not be enough at this point.  He's too tainted.

5 - MU 42, Tech 31.  CU 27, KU 24 (though Cody Hawkins' horrid game in Manhattan could have lasting effects).  OSU 35, KSU 21.  ATM 2, NU 1 (had to one-up The Beef).  UT 50, BU minus-2.  OU 51, ISU minus-3.

Michael Atchison: Jack Johnson is, indeed, a great record, though I’m always a little startled when James Earl Jones’s voice comes in from nowhere.  As a sleeper, I’ll nominate The Complete Concert: 1964, which combines My Funny Valentine and Four & More.  That band could do anything.

The Beef: Yes...but MY aTm/NU game score is at least possible...in your game, they would need to play in Canada somewhere I think...so you can take your, "One dollar Bob!!" crap somewhere else...

The Boy: Isn't somebody snippy this morning...you just don't like being one-upped.  ONE DOLLAR!

ZouDave: NOW it's a roundtable...

FIGHT FIGHT FIGHT FIGHT FIGHT FIGHT FIGHT FIGHT FIGHT FIGHT FIGHT FIGHT FIGHT FIGHT FIGHT FIGHT FIGHT FIGHT

The Beef: Look...I have expectations to fulfill, so if I am not going to fight Atch, then I may as well fight someone.  I have an edge man...AN EDGE!!

The Boy: I had to sit in the OU family section on Saturday.  If ANYBODY has an edge, it's me.

The Beef: Yes...but why don’t you tell all these died in the wool Mizzou fans what you were wearing that day...Benedict Arnold.

The Boy: No way, dude.  I'm taking this scarring memory to my grave.

Oh wait, I already told you about it, so the cat's out of the bag.  Nevermind.

WHY I WORE AN OU SHIRT ON SATURDAY.

Ugh...I developed an ulcer just typing that...okay, here goes.

First of all, I ALSO wore an MU shirt.  Just so you know.

Alright, so my best friend from high school has a younger brother who is a preferred walk-on at OU.  As such, he gets free tickets to each game.  He offered one to me and one to my wife.  Hey...50-yard line, 20th row...hells yeah.  And then around Tuesday of last week, he dropped a bombshell on me.  "Just so you know...you'll be picking up the tickets in the Bud Wilkinson Center...you'll be surrounded by friends and family of the program...it will be REALLY frowned on if you're wearing a Mizzou shirt."  

I pretty much immediately decided "Screw that...I can take the ridicule."  Then I realized that his family goes to every game, and will be doing so for the next 5 years (he's redshirting this year, and he's been told he'll be one of the main Joe Jon Finley replacements next year), and I probably shouldn't do anything to affect how he and his family are viewed by other OU friends and family members.  So after ridiculously over-thinking it, I caved and agreed to wear a damn OU shirt.  

I donned it as we were walking into the building, I took it off as soon as I could after the game, I never once clapped for OU (in fact, anybody who was paying attention knows who I was rooting for with the random "Holding!!" and "Oh come on!!" comments I couldn't help but make...not to mention the fact that I was the only one within a 300-foot radius standing motionless with his hands on his hips after the Curtis Lofton TD), and I got 16 "This is ur fault!" text messages from a friend every time something bad happened...but yes, I wore a goddamn OU shirt during the game.

Ugh.  Thanks a lot for making me re-live that.

The Beef: Now see...wasn’t that cathartic?

The Boy: Not in the least.

The Beef: Fine...moving on then.

Just to set something up.  In reading posts this week, it seems (and to be expected) TTech only sold about 500 of their allotment.  What is also being reported is that the expected crowd is mid to high 60’s.  A great weather day could get a good walk-up.  If all this is true, what you will see is the largest crowd of MIZZOU people in probably 24-25 years.

rptgwb: I'm surprised they aren't traveling well.

Any excuse to get out of Lubbock is a good one.

Michael Atchison: Chief, chief, chief, there’s a difference between "not wearing a Mizzou shirt" and "wearing an OU shirt."  Couldn’t you have gone with something neutral?  Perhaps a beige or a taupe?  I’m not sure you can come back from something like this.

The Boy: The only thing I had going for me was the fact that the family section was so unbelievably packed (the seats are the same size everywhere in the stadium, but if you're the family member of a football player, the odds are good that you're freaking huge and you take up 1.5 to 2 seats) that my wife was either standing directly in front of me or sitting on my lap the entire game, and I couldn't actually see the shirt I was wearing.  I was able to forget about it until I looked down after the game had ended.  At that point, I had a "What did I just do???" feeling a lot like Landry at the end of Friday Night Lights' season premiere...but I won't go down that road.  God I hate it when networks ruin great shows for ratings...and then ratings still don't improve.

Doug (finally): 1 - I saw the results of the fumble, (flipping around between college games and the ALCS) and that's when I was pretty sure MU had given it's last gasp.  The Tigers had done well moving the ball, it seemed, so to squander an opportunity to build a bigger lead is a back breaker against a team like Oklahoma.

2 - How about even-keeled?  KU faced a torrential rain storm delaying kick-off, another 40-minute delay in the 1st quarter, and did what they needed to do.  Sure, Baylor was having success throwing on occasion, but what matters is keeping them off the scoreboard, the Jayhawks succeeded quite well, while throttling the Bears up and down the field.  Should they have taken a knee in the last 20 seconds?  Probably, but I don't really have a problem with a running back seeing a hole and going for the endzone.  It shouldn't be that tough to stop a dive play.

3 - Okay, I'm going to claim homer-privileges right now, but I'm going to say KU is, at this point in time, a solid 8.  They've won every game they were supposed, in the fashion they were suppose to.  They went on the road in a rivalry game in a hostile environment, down in the 4th quarter and won.  This ranking could very well change based on Saturday's game, but I'm just enjoying the ride right now.

4 - Franchione.  Osborne should give Callahan every opportunity to save his job through the rest of the season, but I don't think A&M fans will be quite so forgiving with Fran.

5 - TT @ MU broken scoreboard , KU 30 CU 24 ,  KSU 17 OSU 27 , ATM NU... the rest of the Big 12 , UT BU  and OU ISU... should they really have to play these games?

To be continued in the comments...