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Rock M Roundtable!

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1 - What surprised you most about the Cotton Bowl?  (And if you're going to answer "Mizzou's defense", be more specific.)

2 - Moving on to 2008, we're going to hear a lot about National Title expectations for Mizzou when preseason mags come out this summer, William Moore or no William Moore.  What expectations will you be taking into the season (for your own team), and where do you figure Mizzou and Kansas (and Illinois) will be ranked in preseason polls?

3 - Aside from the pathetic OU performance yesterday, things have been shaping up perfectly for Mizzou in bowl season--Mizzou whomped Arkansas, while Illinois (and Hawaii, for that matter) got whomped by USC, every BCS game has sucked, and every sports radio person we heard on the drive home yesterday mentioned how Mizzou proved it got screwed by the BCS bowls.  Instead of asking whether or not we should have a playoff, I'm going to ask this: what changes would you make to the current system to both improve BCS games and make sure that deserving teams play in deserving bowls?

4 - Not that Mizzou fans will be rooting for Kansas tonight, but does it help Mizzou if KU wins?  A KU loss would finalize the "Mizzou got screwed, while undeserving teams made the BCS" storyline, but a KU win would both help the Big 12 look a little better and allow Mizzou to step into the Top 5 even if USC hops them as I expect they will (as long as KU or WV doesn't hop them too, which would be at least a tiny possibility).

5 - Prediction time: what happens tonight in the chilly Orange Bowl?

Click 'Full Story' for answers, and leave your own in comments!

Michael Atchison: 1 - The ease of it.  The Tigers just took chunks of yardage on the ground at will.  At one point in the second half, when Daniel was struggling to hit a receiver, a guy in my section yelled "just run the ball!"  I thought "it’s been a long time since I’ve heard a Missouri fan say that."

2 - I think the Tigers ought to be the favorites to win the Big 12 North again, for sure.  I have high hopes for the conference title, too (we need to win one of those), but Oklahoma – despite the enormous egg they laid in Arizona – should be really, really good.  I’ll just say this: I’m planning to be someplace warm watching the Tigers in the first week of January 2009.

As for preseason rankings, I’d expect all three teams to be between 5 and 15.  They’ve earned the respect.

3 - Here’s the thing.  You can’t make it perfect.  It seems like every year, something in the BCS that causes mass consternation, and they tweak the system, and then the next year some problem emerges that they’ve never even contemplated.  You just can’t mandate good games.  They either happen or they don’t.  Last year, Boise State gave a performance for the ages.  This year, Hawaii had its chance and got humiliated.

I didn’t take in many games on TV because of my travels to Dallas, but in the past, my big problem with the more recent bowl slate has been how it drags out.  When I was a kid, New Year’s Day was a perfect orgy of football, and I’d take it all in from morning till night.  Now, I’ve pretty much had my fill before the games come on January 2, 3 and 7.  I’m all for having the championship game a day or two later, but I’d like the rest of the schedule to be more compact.

4 - We’re talking about miniscule things here.  Ultimately, it probably means nothing at all beyond a spot or two in the final polls, and even that doesn’t mean much.  The Tigers did what they did – won 12 games, beat four teams that played in New Year’s Day/BCS bowls, took their first Big 12 north title, got a guy to the Heisman presentation, solidified their coach’s standing at the University, invigorated their fan base, and gave recruits a reason to believe.  All the other stuff is esoterica.

5 - I would expect something close.  Va Tech’s defense is good, but their offense probably isn’t good enough to put a lot of points on the board.  Wouldn’t shock me at all to see Kansas win.  I was going to pick Virginia Tech, but I talked myself out of it as I was typing this very sentence.  Jayhawks, 21-19.

The Beef: #1 – I will say the Arkansas offensive line was my biggest surprise.  Littered with highly acclaimed people, there were never many times I can remember them shedding a Mizzou DLineman and getting to the second level.  Not only did our D-line make more than a handful of great plays/sacks, but our LB’s owned the game because they could approach the line and running back with no one trying to chip or block them.  I cannot wait to see the number of tackles and "good plays" in The Boy’s review because I think it will just be staggering.  I assumed ARK would get their yards, and considering what they normally do on the ground, they really did not.  As a 2nd, I will say I was surprised by the play of our QB and WR’s.  I will go ahead and attribute it to a perfect storm of everyone being a little off and some wind on the field making it look worse, but it was very concerning at times.  I will now operate and believe that Chase will use his last two games of this season as motivation for the off-season, but he seemed locked in yesterday on either Rucker in the first or Franklin all game, never giving Coffman or Perry or Saunders many looks at all.

#2 – I think the talk of national title talks are a bit premature, but also a product of the fact that a two-loss team is playing for the national title and all of a sudden, everyone believes anything can happen.  I think in a normal season, you have the one unbeaten team and some 1 loss teams lining up for their shot.  I look at the schedule and see a good game against Illinois (though I do not know what their defense will look like and I still believe (and hope) Mendenhall will be gone) and a road game at UT which should be a good one.  The rest I feel are very winnable, and so from here I see us being favored in 11 of the 12 (UT being the only one where I think we will be a dog).  This year, we were favored in 12 of 14 and won 12 of 14.  I am still not ready to say I expect 11-1 of a Mizzou team.

As for rankings to start the year, I see Mizzou just inside the top 10, with Illinois likely around 15 and kU probably just behind them.

#3 – The changes I would make would be to wipe out the "conference tie-ins" to the BCS bowl games and remove the caveat that no more than two teams from one conference can make the BCS.  I know this likely screws the little guys, but I don’t much care, and I am still fine with them going if they get into the top 10.  The thing that struck me the most was that no one from teams 3-8 played each other in a BCS game.  Take the top 2 (if you are not changing the "and 1" system) and then take 3 vs. 10, 4 vs. 9, 5 vs. 8 and 6 vs. 7 and play the matchups regardless of tie-in.  You can even use the bowls to potentially make the matchups more regional to the BCS games (play a Mizzou/UGA game in New Orleans instead of AZ or something).  But I think Atch is right...it is never going to be perfect...but I just want to see some better matchups and this year’s crop just was not doing it for me.....or anyone else it would appear.

#4 – Tough call there.  I know most Mizzou fans cannot ever root for kansas in any sense, but I also see the conference tie-in.  In the end, I probably really wont care who wins or loses the game tonight.  I still feel pretty good about Va Tech in this one since a lot of what wins or loses bowl games is bowl prep and having a system that works.  Beamer will obviously have a lot more experience with his bowl prep than will Mangino (though he certainly should have learned some from OU before he left and they started stinking in bowl games).  It will be interesting to see how the final polls shake out and who ends up where.

#5 – I think in a chilly game, Va Tech is able to do enough on offense and control with their defense and special teams.  I think this could be one of those games where the score is closer than the game, but I do see Va Tech coming out on top.  Now, whether anyone actually watches the game will be an interesting question.  I am with Atch...the bowl season has moved around so much in the past couple of years, and got SO heavy on the 31st and 1st that stretching out these BCS games into the following days takes the shine off of them for me.  I know they do not want them overlapping (or cannot since they are almost all FOX games), but I too miss the ridiculous amount of football and having the Fiesta opposite the Rose and Orange opposite the Sugar into the evening.

ZouDave: 1 - The weather!  Ok, no, not really...but I will say that it was an absolutely perfect temperature for football.  Perfect.  Would not have changed it at all.  There wasn't a cloud anywhere over Texas, I was seated in the sun in the upper deck, 6th row, 50 yard line, and had a perfect view of a beautiful day.

I have to say what surprised me the most was Chase Daniel's bad day.  That was as bad as I've seen him look in his 2 years as a starter, and I would not have believed anybody if they'd told me before the game he was going to complete under 50% of his passes and have no touchdowns.  That's shocking, because Chase Daniel is freaking GOOD.  Our run defense being able to dominate the line and keep McFadden and Jones was very surprising, but when you have only one aspect of an offense to prepare for because the other (Arkansas' passing game) is so putrid that they just simply can't beat you with it unless you line up 9 guys on defense then you should be pretty good against that aspect.  Shutting it down the way we did was very surprising, but not out of the question before the game.  And Temple's big day was just a thing of beauty, but after his performance in the Sun Bowl a year ago and a handful of other games over the past 2 years I think we at least thought it would be possible for him to do something like that.  I didn't think he would, but that's because I figured Chase Daniel would have 400 yards and 4 scores and Temple would get his normal 12 carries for 80 yards.  Very surprised it didn't go that way, but this shows you how truly good this team was.  One side of our offense basically disappeared for this game, and we won by 31.

2 - I think Missouri will be ranked anywhere from 4 to 8 starting next season.  We're probably going to finish anywhere between 5 and 7 this year, depending on how much credit USC gets for beating Illinois, how much credit WV gets for beating OU (and how far OU drops).  I think if William Moore returns, Missouri's defense is going to be a talking point going into next year because we return 9 starters from the bowl game (or is it 10?  Did Terrell start?) and we really could be a pre-season Top 5 team.  Without him, we'll drop a little bit but I just don't see people taking Mizzou lightly at all next year.

As for my expectations for next year, right now I'm setting them only slightly higher than I had them this year.  For 2007, I had a minimum expectation of 9-3 and the Big XII North.  That was reasonable, in my opinion, and it was exceeded.  For 2008, I'm going to expect absolutely no less than 10 wins and we once again have to be in the Big XII Championship Game.  I can't sit here and say I expect us to win the Conference or it's not a good season, because that's really pinning the entire season on one game.  If we get there, then we have a shot.  And if we get there and win it, we have a shot at playing for the National Title (even if we did have 2 losses, right LSU?).  So for me, nothing short of 10 wins and another shot at the south champion (read:  Oklahoma) will be an acceptable outcome* (* - injuries to key players next year, of course, changes everything).

3 - To me, the changes are simple since it's obvious that we're not going to see a playoff anytime soon (certainly not for the 2008 season).  People have been talking since the BCS Bowls were announced that all the BCS is designed to do is make sure there's a #1 vs #2 National Title game.  Fine, then do that and throw out the rest of the rules.  You can still have a BCS ranking, because after #2 it's just another poll, but anything beyond #2 shouldn't be taken into consideration.  Don't throw out the conference tie ins, but throw out the rules that require a BCS bowl to take Hawaii and restrict only 2 teams from a conference going.  I can't guarantee the Sugar Bowl would have taken Missouri over the other teams available, but I don't think they would have taken Florida because you don't want to see a Georgia vs Florida bowl game.  The Rose Bowl would have taken Illinois anyway, so nothing changes there.  We might have ended up with different matchups, but I think if the Sugar really had the option they would NEVER have taken Hawaii over Missouri.  If you fixed those two things, this year would have seemed a lot more fair.

The problem, I guess, is that you run the risk of the top 3 or 4 SEC schools getting into BCS bowls every year because they're the SEC.  The Big Ten could also easily get 3 into BCS bowls (including National Title) because of the perception that the Big Ten is so great.  The Big XII would be the least likely in most years to get more than 2 in BCS bowls, but this year we would have gotten 3.  And that's what it should have been, we had 3 worthy teams.

And it wouldn't bother me, though I could see it bothering a lot of people (most importantly the bowl sponsors) if we had an independent committee deciding the bowl matchups.  We have that with the NCAA Tournament, and they're basically untouchable.  They may make mistakes, they may snub people, but in the end it's not about lobbying from a school and it's not about creating the best matchup.  It's about them picking the 34 (or whatever it is) at-large teams and seeding them properly so the tournament is (in their eyes) as balanced as possible while rewarding the best teams.  If there were a group like this for bowl games, and they were given criteria to put certain conference champions in certain bowls, etc., and they chose the matchups based solely on where everyone finished (ie, if a bowl takes the #4 Big XII team, then they get the #4 Big XII team) I think it would remove a lot of the controversy.  But it would also create new problems.

4 - As I've said all season, nothing good comes from kansas winning.  Normally I say this simply because they're the hate arch rival and I want them to lose every game they play for the next 18 seasons, and then go on a losing streak.  But this year it took off to another level.  People kept saying all through October and November that "we" should want kansas to keep winning so they can be ranked as high as possible when we beat them, with the thought process there being that a win over a top 5 team will help us get a better bowl game.  I was against that thought process all season, and look how it ended up?  Missouri getting screwed in the BCS selection has very little to do with kansas, overall.  It wasn't ku's choice to screw Missouri (though I'm sure they would, given the chance).  The BCS screwed us with their rules, and kansas was the main beneficiary.  Once we pounded Arkansas into the ground, it was clear to everyone that this was a team deserving of playing on as big a stage as they could get to.  Illinois losing and Hawaii losing further proved it, because it's just simply a fact that Mizzou is far better than both of those teams yet they got to be on bigger stages because of some obscure stupidity.  So it's already done:  everyone will recognize Mizzou, probably for a few years until the next big controversy, as the best team not to get in a BCS game (maybe ever).  But having said that, I'll go back to "nothing good comes from kansas winning."  This is still very true.  If ku were to win, they would very likely finish ahead of us in the polls (although it will probably be a #5 and #6 kind of thing) but more importantly they'd be able to say they were Orange Bowl Champions.  They'd have a 12-1 record, they'd have a boat load of positive media attention, and all of that helps them in recruiting.  Missouri has taken care of itself here.  We've beyond any shadow of a doubt proven we're a Top 10 team this year, maybe Top 5, and we will be remembered as such.  The rest of the Big XII has nothing to do with that; Mizzou did it on its own.  So to hell with the rest of them, I don't want them getting any legs up on us of ANY kind when it comes to positive media attention and recruiting tools.  kansas getting absolutely pasted on national television would be a perfect and deserved ending to their season.

5 - Virginia Tech's defense will frustrate kansas all night, and their offense will be balanced enough to prevent kansas from getting a foothold.  This will be the most competitive BCS game of the year (including the national title game, which LSU will win by 3 scores), and the Hokies will never trail and walk away winners 27-17.

And kansas fans will still claim that Miami was a FAR better destination than Dallas because of the weather, despite a 10 degree difference in kickoff temperature whereas we had sun and almost no wind and they'll be facing rain and wind.

Mizzourobot: 1 - I was going to give it to the pressure up front, but that would neglect the offense. So I'll go with the focus Mizzou had.  I think everyone expected us to play a little flat due to disappointment and bitterness from our BCS exclusion.  Even if we could out-talent Arkansas, I thought it would be tough because I didn't know how this team would react from going from no.1 in the country at the door to the national title game to out of the BCS.  And again, I should have more faith in Pinkel.  On both sides of the ball we were prepared (that's p-r-e-p-a-r-e-d, OU. You might want to look it up), focused, and primed to beat the tar out of them. A great way to end the season.

2 - The BCS. I'm not sure we'll ever get the nod that we need to get into the title game, but getting to the BCS consistently would be a great step.  Now, with the fact that we don't play OU next year and Texas is losing playmakers left and right? Yeah, I'm thinking national title. But it won't be an expectation until we beat OU. Honestly, I just want us to continue building as a national powerhouse. Now, for the first time in my life, I have an interest in preseason rankings. I still think it's an asinine process that punishes good teams for things that have nothing to do with reality (pollster bias), but I've come to accept how important it is to BCS and title runs.  And I honestly feel we should be top 5, at the lowest. We're returning a ton of talent, have great young talent developing, and are coming off a whupping of an SEC team with the Heisman runner-up in the Cotton Bowl. Which of course means we'll get ranked 8th, because everyone refuses to listen to the possibility of us actually being good.

3 - Eliminate preseason polling. I honestly think that a lot of voters take every opportunity to prove that they were right at the beginning of the season. And it gives some teams too much credit and some teams not enough. Let's wait till conference play, then you can put out rankings. USC stomped Illinois. Good for them. The still lost to Stanford, for God's sakes. But everyone wanted to feel justified for believing in them so much. Other than that, I really do believe the option should be there for a conference to send more than 2 teams. If they're that good, they've earned it.

4 - No. Kansas winning only makes it seem like more of a fluke season. We're not longer concerned with strength of schedule for this year, and pollsters will probably rank kU pretty high anyway, just based off the "aw, shucks, aren't you cute" factor. Everyone will want to be the guy that says "look out for this Kansas team. They may have lost their last two games, but they're returning a ton of talent and are Dan-Ger-Ous!"...Until we smack 'em around Arrowhead again. I'd rather they lose so everyone is forced to go, "Okay, we screwed up. Mizzou really was that good, they just didn't matchup against OU at all. "

  1. Here's my answer:

Also, I'd just like to say, it doesn't matter how the Big 12 looks. Yes, we're all in the same conference, yada, yada, yada. But it's become apparent that the media, pollsters, coaches, and BCS system don't give a crap about your conference, it's how you perform on the field. We have a Big 10 team in the national title game, and the no.1 team in the country in preseason next year, AGAIN, is going to be a Pac-10 school that lost to Stanford.  Let's just enjoy the fact that OU really isn't that good, they just match up well against us. That's honestly what I think at this point. Fact is, we go undefeated, score 30 points a game like we did this year, and beat all our opponents by two scores like we did this year, next year? We're in the title game. That should be the focus. Gone are the days of "Oh, man, I know we're going to lose to Texas, but can we scrape by KState?" We may end up losing a few, but the possibility is also there of us going undefeated next season. Did you ever think you'd say that about MIZ-ZOU?

Doug: 1 -Hey, who was that guy named "Temple" in the Missouri backfield?  I know he wasn't Tony Temple, right?  For a team that built it's reputation passing the ball all season long, I was very surprised to see Missouri go to the ground game early and often.  Though when it's obvious the opposition hasn't game planned a run defense... that's what you should do.  So, kudos to Pinkel for realizing that.

2 - I see MU being the second Big 12 school in the top 25, probably in the top 10 if not five, behind OU, who would be my choice for #1.  KU will probably be somewhere in 11 to 20.  I think my expectation would be a another undefeated non-con... made difficult by the road trip to South Florida, but they still need to go 4 and 0.  I'd also like to see wins over the North side of the schedule (shocking, right?)  And, wins over at least Texas and Tech, since both are in Lawrence.  A loss to Oklahoma... a respectable loss... I would understand.  Oh, yeah, Illinois?  I think they'll get voted down for the Rose Bowl performance, and may only be listed in the "Also Receiving Votes" category.

3 - Well, that would seem to be obvious, do not allow the BCS bowls to make their own selections.  Get rid of the conference tie-ins and have a selection committee put together the match-ups based on BCS rankings while taking in to account worthiness and the attractiveness of the match-ups.

4 - A KU win in the Orange Bowl probably hops the Jayhawks about the Tigers in the top 5, but both would probably in there at 4 and 5.  Look, I get that MU fans are only happy when they're miserable about something, but, if the argument all off-season is going to still be "We got screwed from the BCS," then by God, Kansas needs to win.

5 - I'm sticking with my original prediction, Kansas wins, but I don't have a point prediction.  I'm going to go throw up.

rptgwb: 1 - What surprised me the most was Arkansas' complete stubbornness on both sides of the ball. When Colorado tried the Cover 1 against Mizzou, the Tigers torched them in the air but eventually CU began to adjust, albeit it WAY too late. Arkansas seemed content to say "we will take away your four receivers in man coverage, so please run Temple off tackle or up the middle for 7+ yards on each play." I was also surprised at how fast the Mizzou defense looked in pursuit and in plugging gaps and running lanes.

2 - Bare minimum expectation is a Big 12 North championship, but in all honesty, Mizzou SHOULD enter the Big 12 title game undefeated next year. Mizzou should enter the season in the 6-7 range nationally, with Kansas and Illinois hovering in the 9-12 range. The Tigers get K-State, CU, and Oklahoma State at home and KU in KC. A focused Missouri team should have no issues in Lincoln, Ames or Waco. The big challenge on the Big 12 schedule (Kansas notwithstanding since the Border War will be big anyway) will be facing Texas in Austin, but I really don't buy into Texas' greatness like most of America. Mack Brown is one HELL of a recruiter but an average coach. But Mizzou hung with the Big 12's best in a FAR tougher environment in Norman last year, and if Missouri brings at least its B-game, the Tigers win Austin. From there, what happens in the Big 12 title game (OU again...) and in the bowl game, I really don't know, but good god I'm excited.

3 - I still stand behind an 8-team playoff with the four BCS bowls as the quarterfinals. The BCS rankings alone should determine the seeds, with the rankings adjusted to put heavy emphasis on human polls and strength of schedule (to avoid teams from poorer conferences like Hawaii and Illinois). Obviously, none of this would ever happen without guaranteed money for the conferences, but it'd be a step in the right direction.

4 - A KU would help Mizzou's perception, but at this point, is Mizzou's perception hurting THAT bad that we should pull for KU? Mizzou has gotten all kinds of coverage (including the front page of 3 sections in The Dallas Morning News yesterday, including the front page, nearly all of the front of the sports section, and 3 pages inside) and public sympathy as a result of stomping Arkansas. At this point, I think Mizzou has made its case regardless of what KU does. If KU wins, Mizzou gets credit for beating a 1-loss, BCS-game winning team. If KU loses, Mizzou will have defeated two teams who had no business in the BCS. The elephant in the room is recruiting. Do we want recruits looking at KU against Missouri and thinking "well Kansas DID win a BCS bowl..."

5 - I'm stepping out on a limb here, but I predict that Kansas will continue to be lame. For actual football matters, I think VT has the defensive speed to contain the KU offense (a la OU/MU), and as long as Glennon and Taylor can get ANYTHING going offensively, Va Tech wins by 7-10 points.

The Boy: 1 - Honestly, the most surprising thing is that what should have happened, happened.  We were the #6 team in the country playing an unranked team, and we crushed them.  We were faster than they were, we were stronger than they were, and we hit harder.  Much, much harder.  As in, "hardest-hitting team I've seen this year."  The Hogs sure didn't have a good gameplan, but they were psyched up at the beginning of the game, and we punched them in the mouth repeatedly until they didn't punch back.  They did a fantastic job of slowing down Jeremy Maclin and the passing game, and we beat them by 30 anyway.

And I'd say the most surprising thing from the Cotton Bowl's point of view was, of course, Tony Temple.  We knew he could have a big game, but...jeez.  Before the game, they showed a list of the Cotton Bowl's 200-yard rushers, obviously in reference to the game they expected McFadden to have, and somebody in our section made a "Wow, they sure do think Temple's going to have a big day!" joke.  And hey...maybe they did...

2 - I'm sure this will change as winter changes into spring, spring to summer, etc...but right now I have no expectations whatsoever.  I know injuries happen, I know we could still unexpectedly lose a big player to the draft, I know every bounce of the ball could go against us next year...but if things play out as they should, we're going to have another unbelievable season, and that's a comforting thought.  Normally, my preseason thoughts revolve around "If this, this, and this go right, we could have a good season."  Now it's "Only this or this could prevent us from being a Top 5 team," and I love that.

As for national expectations (which obviously don't matter much), I expect us to start somewhere between #6 and #8.  USC will be #1, and after OU's latest BCS debacle, I fully expect Florida (who wouldn't deserve it) or Georgia (who would) to be #2.  Those will be the Top 4 in some order, though, and I'm sure some trendy pick will be #5 (I thought Illinois might be the sexy pick because of nationwide Juice Williams love, but that won't happen after the Rose Bowl).  We'll be in the #6-8 range, Illinois will be #12-14, and Kansas could be anywhere between #10 and #20.  Not sure what people will think of them...probably has a lot to do with tonight's game, as people always always always take bowl game results into consideration way too much.

3 - I LOVE Dave's idea of a 'bowl committee' picking all the matchups, but the bowls would NEVER let that happen.  I would settle for a 'BCS committee' picking the BCS games, and while that would also never happen (the major bowls just have too much sway considering how little they actually watch college football), it would solve a lot of problems, and it would avoid an overreaction.  You can ditch the "2 conference teams" rule, but keep the formula the same, keep the conference tie-ins the same, keep the "undefeated mid-major conference team" tie (Hawaii was an exception to the typical undefeated mid-major team--they squeaked by with smoke and mirrors in about 6 games this season and shouldn't have been undefeated...most undefeated teams won't be as good as '06 Boise, but will be much better than '07 Hawaii).  Just basically say "Here are the 10 teams that will be playing in BCS games...now fight it out."  KU probably would have still made it, but MU would have been picked over Illinois, and we'd have ended up with matchups like LSU-OSU, USC-Georgia, and some variation of OU-WV, KU-Hawaii, and VT-MU, which might not have been any better (as has already been said, sometimes you just can't keep a game from sucking), but nobody would have gotten screwed.

4 - I think being able to associate the words "Top 5 finish" with this season is pretty huge.  Whether that means VT losing to KU (I really don't see KU hopping us since nobody seems to respect VT as truly the #3 team in the country anyway), us hopping the LSU-OSU loser, or us somehow staying ahead of USC in the polls, I don't care, just as long as it happens.  I just know that we were easily one of the top 5 teams in the country, and while knowing it is the most important thing, seeing it on paper would be nice too.  Nothing will take away from this season's accomplishments, and nothing will change that even if we end up #6, but it would be a nice garnish.

5 - I think VT's the better team, but they're not an explosive team, and they're not going to kill a team as good as KU.  If they win, it will probably be by less than 14 points even if it seems like a total domination, and that being the case, a big gain or turnover could swing things quickly.  I'm going to pick VT simply because they're too fast for Brandon McAnderson, but I do see this being in the 21-16 range, and KU wouldn't need much to overtake them.

rptgwb: I'm in complete agreement with ZouDave about forming a de facto "tournament" committee. A bipartisan BCS committee would do wonders more than the $100 handshake-style proceedings between the bowls and the conferences the way it is now.

The Boy: I love this idea...who would be on the committee?  University presidents?  Athletic directors?  Bowl committee members?  Media?  The basketball selection committee consists of a couple conference commissioners, a university president, and a handful of ADs.  Would that (plus at least a couple bowl people...otherwise this idea, which has about a 2% chance of ever coming to fruition, would have a 0% chance) suffice?

ZouDave: As long as the rules like the basketball selection committee has are still followed.  Like when a Big XII school is being discussed, Alden can't be present.  That would have to happen.  Otherwise, Dan Beebe is going to be sitting up there making sure Oklahoma and Texas get the Big XII bids and unless a north team is #1 or #2 they'll get ignored.

It's either that, or some completely non-football organization (like Ernst & Young) getting hired by the NCAA and BCS to do the work for them.

Michael Atchison: You guys think the bowls are going to let someone else select the teams for them.  That’s funny.

The Boy: They seem like pretty reasoned, thoughtful people...why not?

ZouDave: We never once thought it was going to happen.  The question wasn't what we thought would be done to change the BCS/Bowl selections.....

Michael Atchison: Well, Dave, that’s how you answered, but then The Boy started to act like the little girl who thought she really might get that unicorn for Christmas.

Mizzourobot: I have the most reasonable solution to his problem, of course.

We put all the Bowl Presidents in a cage with weaponry and hang a big bag of cash and a contract at the top. The winner gets to decide the Bowls.

Oddly enough, it'll still be more fair than the system we have now.

The Boy: Ahem, "I LOVE Dave's idea of a 'bowl committee' picking all the matchups, but the bowls would NEVER let that happen."

ZouDave: I see you didn't set a New Year's Resolution to not pick fights in the Roundtable.....

The Boy: What fun would it be if he did?

Michael Atchison: Pick fights?  I’m just talking ‘bout unicorns.

ZouDave: So...did you get a unicorn for Christmas?

Mizzourobot: So there's a street intersection. And there's someone standing at the end of each street. In the middle is a crisp $100 bill. There's Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny, a sensible Bowl selection system, and the BCS. Who gets the $100?

ZouDave: The man-hating dyke.

The Beef: I do...and Bill and Dave know why.

ZouDave: You’re a man-hating dyke?

The Beef: No.....but one other quality that may lead to my ability to pick up money in the street faster than most

The Boy: J-O-O!!!!

ZouDave: Btw, if any of you are lost...

NOT SAFE FOR WORK: LANGUAGE.

The Boy: God bless Kevin Smith movies...I can watch one of those and always feel like I'm a sophomore in college...

ZouDave: What’s a Nubian?