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Big 12 Round Table: The End is Near

This week's Big 12 Round Table is being hosted by our potentially BCS-berth stealing friends over at the Texas blog Gabriel's Horn. As always, we invite you to respond in the comments or create your own diary on the right by signing up for a free account.

1. With only two or three games left, how are you feeling about your season? Disappointed, elated, surprised, a little violated?

-- It's a wonderful concoction of elated and overjoyed with a slight splash of relieved shaken and served over ice. Most expected Missouri to be around where they are at this point, but how many of those people truly believed it? I had my doubts, but at every turn and every corner (sans the 4th quarter of the OU game), this team continues to put my fears to rest and take care of business.

2. I have to ask, how do you feel about the (possible) buyout of Fran at Texas A&M?

-- As long as he's around long enough to keep the ball out of J-Train's hands this weekend like he's done all year, I'm absolutely fine with it. But, also, as the brother of an Aggie and the son of an Alabama alum, I know the rest of my family is ready to see him walk out the door with his tail between his legs. Even if each leg is worth $1 million per year in buyout terms.

3. We’ve picked coaches, players, stadiums and everything else from other teams. Now, we get down to something even more near and dear: mascots. If you could pick another Big 12 mascot other than your own - who would it be and why?

-- As a Texan (read: "Dallas Cowboys fan") whose high school mascot was the Cowboys, this one was a no-brainer for me. I'd take the name Cowboys over any other in the conference. But, it's hard to beat a team named after a Civil War regiment like the Tigers.

4. Unexpected Greatness, Unexpected Suckage. Who surprised you this year? Who did you get really excited about, only to be let down? (The first Roundtable asked who was the face of the franchise - do you still feel that way?)

-- Conference wise, Kansas surprised me like they surprised everyone outside of Lawrence. The Jayhawks continue to find ways to win as the pressure mounts. My great disappointment in the conference is Oklahoma State, a team I was expecting big things out of this year. Granted, the Cowboys can still do some damage in the South (unlike the conference's other great disappointment in Lincoln). I realized how much offensive talent there was in Stillwater. I just didn't take into account that they were still learning to win.

Within the Missouri border, unexpected greatness comes from the entire defense, notably Pig Brown, Carl Gettis, Stryker Sulak, and Tommy Chavis. The unit has been nothing short of outstanding since Matt Eberflus examined the system during the bye week, and the unproven commodities on that side of the ball are now a big reason why the team is ranked first in scoring defense during conference play. Unexpected disappointment? I'll go with Tony Temple, who has been decent, but nowhere near Sun Bowl form this season.

5. I told you there would be booze. Characterize your team by the beverage of your choice.

-- So many amendments in the constitution, but I can only choose one... Big Head, MizzouRobot, MC Boom of Doom, The Boy and The Beef can have some fun with this one.

Love ‘em.
-- Gary Pinkel: Was going to say Chase Daniel, but figured I'd give GP some love.
-- Jamaal Charles: The ONLY reason Texas is alive right now.
-- Dantrell Savage: OSU is a completely different team with him in the lineup.

Diss ‘em.
Since I'm assuming this is to be solely directed at the next opponent, I'll go with the following:
-- Coach Fran: $2 million per year makes Enron look like a solid investment
-- Stephen McGee: Effectively stopping Mike Goodson all year by stringing out options and pitching late.
-- Aggie receivers: I'd address you, but you're nowhere to be found this year.
-- Chris Harrington and Mark Dodge: You're actually kind of badasses. I'm not going to mess with you. (see 1:50 into clip)

Pick ‘em.
Colorado @ Iowa State - ISU
Texas A&M @ Mizzou - Mizzou
K-State @ Nebraska - K-State
Texas Tech @ Texas - Texas Tech
Baylor @ Oklahoma - OU
Kansas @ Oklahoma State - Kansas

Rank ‘em.

  1. Kansas - Will remain here until they lose. Preferably Nov. 24.
  1. Oklahoma - Poor, poor Baylor this week.
  1. Missouri - Shot at No. 1 approaching with shot at No. 2 in sight.
  1. Texas - Without Jamaal Charles, UT would just be another K-State.
  1. Oklahoma State - So amazingly inconsistent.
  1. Texas Tech - Still scraping Graham Harrell off of Faurot Field.
  1. Kansas State - See comment for No. 5.
  1. Colorado - See comment for No. 7.
  1. Texas A&M - The Bill Byrne giveth, the Bill Byrne taketh away.
  1. Iowa State - Wait, the ISU program is breathing...
  1. Nebraska - Can they play Baylor, just for fun?
  1. Baylor - Guy Morriss should steal the "Leaving Waco" sign on I-35.