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Rock M Roundtable!

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1 - What did last week's string of upsets tell you about the current state of college football?

2 - A month into the season, where do you think Joe Ganz ranks among Big 12 QBs?

3 - For those who have seen Nebraska play at all this year, what do you think gives Nebraska the best opportunity of stopping the Mizzou offense enough to win?

4 - Big 12 Picks!

Texas @ Colorado
Kansas @ Iowa State
Texas Tech @ Kansas State
Oklahoma @ Baylor
ATM @ OSU

And finally...

Mizzou @ Nebraska

5 - Finally...on average, which game do you usually see as a bigger game in football: MU-NU or MU-KU?  (For Doug, change that to KU-KSU or MU-KU)  I think I've asked a question like this before, but...screw it.  I'm asking it again.

The Beef: 1 - It tells me people in the media and people watching the games at home have NO memory what-so-ever and for reason go into each season believing that a handful of teams are going to run the table. It just NEVER happens. So I saw last weekend as just another weekend of football…one of the two (or three) weekends when there will be a number of upsets.

2 - I have not seen NU play a single down this season (being in STL I got to watch the white-out at PSU instead of the NU/VT game) so I don’t think I could really rank him all that well. Behind Daniel, Harrell, Reesing, McCoy (these are in no order by the way), Bradford at least. Is so totally different than Freeman…might be on par with the Okie State QB…so I guess I put him towards the middle…just under it probably. Still not too shabby given this league.

3 - See answer #2

4 - Texas @ Colorado – UT…though I will be curious to see what type of game CU answers with. I don’t think UT wins 52-10 like they always do, but likely by 14-20 points

Kansas @ Iowa State – kU will win this one, but I still don’t see them being pleased with where their running game is.

Texas Tech @ Kansas State – Ttech will score…a lot.

Oklahoma @ Baylor – So will OU

ATM @ OSU – So will OSU

Mizzou @ Nebraska – So will we…I feel very good about this game. I think NU can score some and Ganz can make some plays, but I do not fear their running game (given our rushing defense so far this year) and I do not fear his WR. I think our defense gets back to basics and does it well. And I also think a strange group of MU is just TRYING to create bulletin board material where, a: there is none and b: the players don’t care. Not sure why they are…just I just slap my forehead at some of the stuff I see on the chat boards.

5 - Finally...on average, which game do you usually see as a bigger game in football: MU-NU or MU-KU? (For Doug, change that to KU-KSU or MU-KU) I think I've asked a question like this before, but...screw it. I'm asking it again. – MU fans are a bit strange…we have a LOT of rivals. I think on the whole kU is still our biggest, but I think NU is right there. And so too was kSU at times….and now OU will be as well (but on a different level)

rptgwb: 1. More than anything, it drilled home an old cliche: Any given Saturday... I think it'd be easy for Missouri fans to forget this. The exact theory that helped propel Mizzou to national prominence last year is the same one that can just as easily trip them up this year. I could get into the implications of scholarship limits, television exposure and all of that but I'm not breaking any new ground there. College football has gotten deeper. The question is how the "favorites" respond in adverse situations.

2. Power Rankings:

1. Daniel
2. Bradford
3. McCoy
4. Reesing
5. Robinson
6. Harrell
7. Griffin
8a. Hawkins
8b. Ganz
10. Freeman
11. Arnaud
12. McGee/Johnson

I think Ganz and Hawkins are interchangeable at No. 8, and I admit I may have Robert Griffin a little high. I just wonder what he could do with more talent around him.

3. I've seen VERY little of Nebraska so far this year, so I may not be the most qualified to answer here. Just like every opponent Missouri plays, the number one factor is the defensive line. If they get after Daniel rather than sitting in their nice little 8-man zone from last year, then the MU offense may stumble a bit. But there are very few defenses capable of completely derailing this unit, and I don't think Nebraska is one of them.

4. Picks:
Texas over Colorado by 14
Kansas over Iowa State by 20
Texas Tech over Kansas State by 20
Oklahoma over Baylor by 28
Oklahoma State over Texas A&M by 24
Mizzou over Nebraska by 17

5. Generally speaking, I would have leaned toward MU/NU. I don't have the historical background of some (read: any) of you guys, but it seems fair to say that last year's MU/KU game was an extreme outlier. With NU, I think it's important for two reasons: A) To keep Nebraska for ascending to "powerhouse" status again and able to hoard recruits, and B) to shut up their fans. With KU, I think there's added pressure on football from my vantage point, because I feel like Kansas "should" win basketball and thus Missouri needs to dominate the football series.

The Boy: 1.  Actually, teams sometimes DO run the table as expected (2004 and 2005, for instance), but it hasn't happened in a while.  What last weekend proved is that we're still playing by 2007 rules.  Anybody can beat anybody at any given time.

All the hinted-at reasons apply--scholarship limits, etc.--but I was talking to a friend of mine in OK the other day about it, and he had an obvious explanation I'd never thought about: high school football is simply better at all levels than it used to be.  Just 10-15 years ago, you couldn't really find many high school teams who threw the ball proficiently.  Now it seems like everybody is running some variation of the spread.  Hell, my buddy's 6-year old kid is throwing passes in flag football!  The best players in the country are still the best for a reason, but the average D1 recruit, I think, is better than he was a decade ago.  So if those top teams fall asleep, like USC always seems to do, they will get beaten.

It also left me more encouraged about Missouri's chances because, quite simply, does any other top team have as much veteran leadership as we do?  Daniel, Weatherspoon, Moore, Coffman, the entire D-line, even guys like Gettis and Maclin.  They're all battle-tested, and most of them around for the sudden-lapse failures of 2006 (Iowa State) or even 2005.  They're not immune to being upset by any means, but they're less likely than some.

2.  I put Ganz at #7 for now, behind Daniel, Bradford, Harrell, McCoy, Reesing and Robinson.  Ganz isn't nearly as dynamic as the top 6 there, but he's more talented than Hawkins, Arnaud and McGee/Johnson, has better footwork than Freeman, and has actually played a Big 12 game unlike Griffin.  He looked far from amazing against VT--it seems like when he falls out of his rhythm, it takes him a long time to get it back--but he's solid.

3.  Honestly, I think turnovers are their biggest hope.  Until Mizzou comes out and doesn't fumble three times in their opponent's territory, it's going to weigh on my mind a smidge (not a lot, but a smidge).  I think they've got a solid DE in Zach Potter, but I've just been so impressed with Colin Brown and Elvis Fisher to date, that I think they can handle him just fine.  And I just don't think NU has a prayer of covering MU's WRs/TEs for the amount of time it will take to cover them.

4.  Texas 27, Colorado 24 (I go back and forth between "Texas has a letdown" and "Texas bludgeons and embarrasses CU"...for now I'm saying it's going to be close.)

Kansas 31, Iowa State 21 (KU's running game has to show me something before I believe they can easily win a road game against a team with a salty-but-not-extremely-

talented D.)

Texas Tech 56, Kansas State 35 (Tech stinks on the road, but KSU just stinks.)

Oklahoma 44, Baylor 20 (Baylor's done okay against OU recently, and I figure OU will get caught looking ahead a smidge.)

OSU 52, ATM 17 (ATM just doesn't match up well at all in this game.  Oh yeah, and until further notice, they just plain stink.)

Mizzou 45, Nebraska 24 (I do think NU will play well against us...it's just that they're going to need a solid +3 turnover advantage to beat us, and while that's plausible, it's not likely.)

5. Let's put it this way: when the new schedule comes out, I still look for when the MU-NU game is before I look at when the MU-KU game is.  Granted, I know when the MU-KU game is now that it's Thanksgiving weekend, but the point still applies--10 years of aiming for Nebraska hasn't completely worn off for me yet.

Doug: 1 - That college football is starting to become as wacky as all get-out.  Also, that running the table is tougher than it ever was before.  I think we could be seeing the first season where there are not two undefeated teams, but several one-loss teams with a claim to the BCS Title game... and the BCS simply implodes on itself, creates a giant black hole and swallows the earth.

Oh, and something else last weekend taught me: Having a "Black Out" makes your stadium look empty.

2 - I haven't really watched Nebraska play either, though last year against KU, he did seem like a passable candidate for the Heisman.  Now?  I think if you were to remove Daniel(s) and Reesing and place Ganz, Freeman, Hawkins and Arnaud in a hat and asked a coach to pick one blindly, I think the only they would probably be dissappointed about getting would be Josh Freeman.  No matter what Kevin Keitzman says about Freeman being a first round pick.

3 - Ummm... flat tire on the team bus?

4 - UT - Although I think it will be one of those crazy, close Boulder games
KU - The line is at -13 for Kansas, and I think that sounds about right
TT- If this one is as bad as I think it's going to be, Prince watch should be back on in full force
OU - Sam Bradford... now there's a high draft pick for the NFL
OSU - Holy crap, a home team wins one this weekend

And, yes, I'll go with MU - There's just too much unknown about Nebraska for me... since I don't spend every weekend scouting, plus, I think Bo Pellini showed why he may not make it in Lincoln last weekend with that unsportsmanlike from the sidelines.

5 - Well, last season going into Manhattan I would have argued the K-State was the biggest, but then we got to Arrowhead, and the MU eclipsed anything else in either series before that.  That said, I certainly don't mind beating K-State after watching the previous decade of games.  But in terms of the "rivalry" game of the year, no matter what's happened in the previous, the KU-MU game is the one where you know both teams will be ready to go.

The Beef: Yes…but in saying a handful, I meant a handful…like three or more. 2004 was the only year to give us that…05 was the perfect two that everyone wants. This year, everyone just seemed to believe that someone out of the SEC would do it, the Big XII, lots of people talking up Penn State PLUS the BCS buster…so four. That is what I was referring to by handful

The Boy: SOMEBODY's snippy this morning...

The Beef: Just proving/restating my point…ala DANIEL DANIEL DANIEL DANIEL DANIEL DANIEL DANIEL DANIEL DANIEL DANIEL DANIEL DANIEL DANIEL DANIEL DANIEL DANIEL DANIEL DANIEL yesterday….

The Boy:

The Beef: I was thinking the same thing watching the Chi-Sox game last night (congrats UribeAuction on that one)…but kudos to UGA for the full FULL Commitment and blacking out the letters in the endzone

Doug: Eh, Penn State probably won't go undefeated, and if they were sitting there with one loss versus a Big 12 champ and SEC champ with one loss apiece as well, I don't think anyone could make the argument to put State in the title game.

The Beef: And also not what I was saying…..seems to be going around this morning

Doug: Yeah, but where's the fun in actually responding to what your saying?

The Beef: Leaves no opportunity for pictures, that’s for sure

ZouDave: 1 - Nothing that we didn't also learn last year, but it at least put me even more aware that I really, REALLY, need to enjoy all of the hype we're receiving right now because it could all be gone in a single bad game.

2 - At absolute best, 6th. He's behind Daniel, Bradford, McCoy, Reesing and Robinson without any question. I think you can make a case for Freeman, Ganz and Hot Tub all to be #6.

3 - A bus accident.

4 -
Texas @ Colorado - Texas by 21
Kansas @ Iowa State - kansas by 17
Texas Tech @ Kansas State - Tech by 13
Oklahoma @ Baylor - Oklahoma by 24
ATM @ OSU - OSU by 24

Mizzou @ Nebraska - Mizzou 44, Nebraska 24

5 - Before last year, this shouldn't really have been a question. I mean, we would still be really, really anxious about the kansas game because they're our real arch rival but Nebraska is the team we had to dismantle if we wanted to become the premier program of the B12 North. In that respect, this is still the biggest game probably until after Saturday when we beat them in Lincoln and prove we've passed them in the present. However, on gameday, I will never be more jacked up to play a team than I am when we're facing kansas.

ZouDave: Holy Christ I forgot about Harrell in my Ganz answer.

Change 6th to 7th. No way is Freeman, Ganz or Hot Tub better than Harrell.

15 minutes later...

ZouDave: Where'd everybody go?

The Beef: Anyone know if Atch is already down at Disney?

ZouDave: I don't remember him saying when he was leaving, just that he would "be there this weekend".

Michael Atchison: Sorry I’m late to the party here. I’ll respond to the questions first and then scroll through all the old man/Jenna Haze jokes that I’m sure have been made in my absence.

Last week just reminded me that the regular system is a mine field. It also made me aware that college football is both a meritocracy and a caste system. No matter who you are, you have to win to succeed. But depending on who you are, you can lose one and not suffer too much. If you’re Florida or Southern Cal, and you have heaps of tradition and a national title this decade, you can lose to an inferior opponent and have it written off as just one of those things. If you’re Missouri and you lose to one of those teams, it becomes who you are – a not ready for prime time player. That’s why Mizzou has to be sharp every week, including against the bottom half of the league. I think they can go to Texas, lose by three, and stay in the national title hunt. But if they go to Ames or Waco and lose by any margin, it’s over.

2 - Honestly, I have no idea where Joe Ganz ranks. Haven’t seen them play yet. I’m confident that he’s somewhere behind Daniel, Bradford, McCoy, Reesing and Harrell.

3 - As noted in question two, I’m not qualified to answer question three.

4 - Big 12 Picks!

Texas beats CU by 17.
Kansas beats ISU by 16.
Texas Tech beats KSU by 19.
Oklahoma beats Baylor by 31.
OSU beats ATM by a number too big for me to fathom.

Mizzou 41 Nebraska 24.

5 - Mizzou-Kansas is always the bigger game. Rivalries matter.

ZouDave: It's at least somewhat interesting that between all of our predictions, only The Boy and The Beaker picked ANY games to be within 1 score. This is truly a top vs bottom kind of week in our conference.

The Boy: Yeah, but the bottom team is the home team in some of those games (ISU, KSU, BU, CU), and it really wouldn't at all surprise me to see an upset. I was leaning most toward picking ISU, then I realized that would be pretty dumb.

ZouDave: Yeah, but I just don't see how ISU or Baylor can even remotely be predicted to pull the upset. CU isn't out of the question considering they beat OU at home last year, but this is a team that just got flattened by an average FSU team last week and Texas looks pretty good so far.

That leaves KSU, who can't play defense. I guess the biggest weakness for KSU's defense has been rushing defense, and even knowing that Leach still will throw 64 passes so maybe KSU has a chance but unless they come out as a different team Tech is just going to completely overpower them by the 4th quarter.

I just really can't see any upsets this week. Of course, if I could see them, would they really be upsets?

The Boy: Here's how ISU can be predicted to win: KU can't run, and if there's any wind at all it seems to multiply exponentially while whipping through Jack Trice Stadium...which could make it hard to throw. Again, I couldn't make myself pick it, but there's obviously a scenario there...

ZouDave: Yeah, I can see that I guess. Forecast for Ames, IA, on Saturday calls for a high of 67, 0% chance precip and wind from ESE at 10 MPH. I'm not sure that's going to get it done.

I'm not gonna lie and say I won't be rooting for the Cyclones, because they are going to upset someone this year so I'd rather them do it now than in November, but I think in combo with ku not running well that ISU would have to have success on the ground. kansas' run defense is pretty good, so I'm not sure even under the best case scenario ISU would have the strength to put it away. They could maybe make it closer than it should be, but without some very uncharacteristic Reesing turnovers I just don't think ISU matches up well at all.

The Boy: I'm just trying to set myself up well to where if KU wins, I picked it, and if ISU wins, I can convince people I saw it coming.

Michael Atchison: Got back from Disney on Sunday. While there, what little contact I had with the outside world consisted primarily of seeing parts of the USC-Oregon State, Florida-Ole Miss and Georgia-Alabama games. Also, I gather that while I was away, the economy exploded, Paul Newman shuffled off this mortal coil, Sarah Palin did an interview that became a Saturday Night Live sketch with only minor tinkering, and the Kansas City Chiefs beat a previously undefeated football team. A lot can happen in four days.

ZouDave: and...AND.....The Beef saved a bunch of money on his car insurance by switching to Geico.

Michael Atchison: So easy The Beef can do it.

The Beef: And all while sitting there drinking on the coach and doing laundry

ZouDave: you're a housewife?

The Beef: Yep…she works two jobs to support my sitting on the couch habit

ZouDave: A Sugar Momma. I gotta get me one of those.

Doug: Wear this for a while...

I'm sure they'll come a runnin'.

ZouDave: To Finance My Extravagant something To something something

The Beef: Among other things

Doug: Day to Day Habits.

You know... the booze and whatnot.

ZouDave: mine was better

The Boy: And in other news, Saturday also marks the 1-year anniversary of the merger of Every True Son and Mizzou Sanity into what we all know as Rock M Nation. Anybody doing anything in observation of such a momentous occasion?

ZouDave: I promise to drink a lot on Saturday. Is that enough?

Doug: I'll be spending the day creating more logos that SB Nation can dismiss as being close to copyright infringement.

The Beef: I can probably make the same commitment…and laundry…will do a lot of laundry

ZouDave: how much freaking laundry do you have? Are you living with a squad of midgets we're not aware of?

I usually spend about 6 fractured hours on laundry every Sunday and I'm good for a week, sometimes two.

Doug: Yeah, but you turn your underwear inside out so you're good for at least two wearings apiece.

The Boy: Midgets come in handy. That's all I'm going to say.

The Beef: Well…like you, I only do laundry one day a week…Saturday or Sunday…and the wife goes through a good amount of clothes since she will teach, then coach or have a game and then also works on the weekend…

ZouDave: and then turn them around, making it 4. Then since Friday is Casual Day, I usually go Commando.

ZouDave: so you're saying you do her laundry for her?

You truly are a housewife.

The Beef: Yes…doing my own laundry and leaving hers there would seem…well…more like roommates

ZouDave:

Ridiculous Matt: 1 - Honestly, nothing I didn't already know. Was it surprising the way it went down? Yeah. But I knew USC would slip up against a weak ass team. This is a squad that lost to Stanford for God's sake. STANFORD.  Say that out loud. "I think a team that lost to Stanford last year will go undefeated this year."  The Pac 10 sucks, which inflates USC every year. Ohio STate sucks this year, and that created a perfect storm for them to get built up even more. But every year this team fails.

On the flip side, as opposed to USC being inferior, it just shows that the SEC is consistently stacked fro mtop to bottom. It shows a little bit that Florida is not the team they were supposed to be.  But even then, no SEC team is going undefeated. Not Bama, not LSU, nobody. It's like dropping five guys dwon in the middle of a field with no cover with automatic paint guns. Everyone's firing at everyone, and eventually you're going to get hit.

Let me put it this way. EAch season, a friend and I pick two teams to go to the national title game. Not win, just go. If both of us get at eam there, the winner wins 3-1 on the money. I didn't take USC because I knew they'd crap the bed. I didn't take the SEC because I knew they'd throw their poo at one another. My friend took Clemson and Florida. Easy money.

2 - Saw the VT game last night and went through it. Here's how I rank them.

1. Golden Watermelon Balls of Fury
2. Bradford
3. Reesing
4. Harrell
5. McCoy
6. Robinson
7. Griffin
8. Ganz
9. Freeman
10. Arnaud
11. The crap at A&M

3 - Man, I was expecting to watch the game on DVR last night and be concerned about their defense and offense and have some worry spots. I got done watching that game and felt great about our chances. VaTech esssentially played catch against them. They have a good up front push, but our O-line is superior to anything they've seen. They don't pursue well to the corner. They have huge gashes in their zone. They have problems with recievers getting behind their coverage. Their kick coverage is questionable. Ganz can move the ball, but he also get wigged out and makes bad plays. They essentially are going to have to sell out to get to Chase. And our receivers are just too fast, and our blocking too good. I can also see Washington having a huge game. He's the guy we need to worry about fumbling. Because that's really the only way they can keep up with us, is if we shoot ourselves in the foot.

4 -  Texas @ Colorado: Texas beleives the hype right now. It'll be another week before reality smacks them in the face: They're not that good. Texas 31 CU 17
Kansas @ Iowa State:
Kansas 17 Iowa State 10
Texas Tech @ Kansas State: Tech 41 KState 38
Oklahoma @ Baylor: OU 38 Baylor 17
ATM @ OSU: OSU 34 ATM 13

Mizzou 40 NU 17: They hold us to some field goals early and give themselves a chance, and then the second quarter happens. They get 10 points in the fourth in garbage time.

5 - I think for Mizzou fans, it's KU. I think for me, being married to a Nebraska girl that went to Mizzou, it's NU. I hate their "We have been good for a long time so we'll always be good and you'll always be Mizzou" attitude. I hae their stupid mascot. I hate their wretched shade of red. I hate their arrogance. I hate their stupid blackshirt tradition. I hate, hate, hate, hate this team. I want us to run it up. I want to leave that stadium with their money, their jewelry, the keys to the place and the front gate. I want to destroy this team.

Ridiculous Matt: Are we actually going to have a properly attended game thread this week?

The Boy: Oh it's gonna be ridiculous.

ZouDave: I'll be at my dad's screaming at the TV and drinking copious amounts of Guinness. I will go ahead and say right now I will be nowhere near the game thread.

But I'll be thinking of you.

The Beef: You could attend the pre-game thread…I will probably be around for that…but likely not the game thread…though I might…you do never know…depends on whether my wife lets me or not…

I KEED…..I KEED…..

Ridiculous Matt: By the way, barring injury (knock on wood), Maclin IS returning a kick for a touchdown in this game. Their coverage has big gigantic gaping holes.

And if we're going to run, we need to run the fake slant counter. Trying to run the straight draw may not work well. They keep their lanes well on those. Unless our O-Line obliterates them. Which could happen.

Also, if we run a bunch formation on the right side, Coffman's going to score. Easily.

ZouDave: yeah, I don't know what time I'm heading over to The Captain's to watch the game. Need to figure out what we're going to do for dinner, I guess. I know I will start getting nervous around halftime of the first set of games, which means I need to start drinking, which means I should probably already be over there.

The Beef: Hey….per others on other websites….you are giving away too much information and their coaches could see that sort of thing

ZouDave: "Also, if we pass to Coffman, Coffman's going to score. Easily."

I fixed your last comment for you.

ZouDave: I'm pretty sure Pellini's seen it and can't do a f---ing thing about it since there's no athlete to keep up. Their strong safety essentially knows how to tackle a big running back and how to run around in circles.

Five hours later...

ZouDave: Ok...5 hours later I just want to say:

I HOPE WE BEAT NEBRASKA SO BAD THEY HAVE TO GET A NEW SCOREBOARD! I HOPE WE BEAT THEM SO BAD THE PELINI CHILDREN ARE CRYING IN THE STANDS! I HOPE WE BEAT THEM SO BAD GARY PINKEL LAUGHS ABOUT IT IN THE POST-GAME PRESS CONFERENCE! I HOPE WE BEAT THEM SO BAD THAT STUART SCOTT FINISHES A SHOW WITH NEBRASKA. FREAKING. SUCKS.

Ridiculous Matt: I'm a little disappointed in their rational approach.

The Beef: Well…I think that should be the last line of the roundtable….not much left to say

Michael Atchison: Biases have a habit of melting away when there’s money on the line.

Doug: I do appreciate: "Include both team names - if you do not include both team names it will be assumed that Nebraska is the higher of the two."

Bad week to miss that caveat.