The "Week of Roundtables" continues! The first edition of the Big 12 Roundtable is once again being spearheaded by Matt over at Crimson and Cream Machine.
1. There has been lots of talk this pre-season about scheduling. Colorado has arguably the strongest schedule but who do you think has the weakest and which cream puff on your teamʼs schedule do you wish wasnʼt there?
RMN: I don't think there's much question that Colorado has the toughest slate, but everyone is overlooking solid non-conference tests for Baylor and Oklahoma. The Bears will have their hands full with Wake Forest, Washington State and UConn in what could be a very rough intro to Baylor life for Art Briles. Oklahoma, after its cupcake date with Tennessee-Chattanooga, could be tested by either Cincy or TCU, and gets a front row seat to the Jake Locker experience on the road in Washington in between. Kansas State's slate would have been up with the best, but the dumping of Fresno State in favor of Montana State plummets their schedule near that conference cellar.
The weakest schedule, outside of a small argument for Kansas State, is far and away Texas Tech. Now, I'm not about to go condemning them for the schedule, as it seems most outlets ripping Tech completely ignored the extenuating circumstances. The Red Raiders slate of Eastern Washington, Nevada, SMU, and UMass should provide little to no threat to Leach and Co.
As for Missouri, I'm in the process of pretending that the Southeast Missouri State isn't going to happen. Feel free to join me.
2. As a whole the Big 12 has the best quarterbacks in the country. Make a case for your quarterback being one of the conferenceʼs top signal callers and tell us which other conference quarterback you would pick to replace him if you had to.
RMN: I shouldn't have to make too much of a case for Chase Booger "Great Watermelon Balls of Fury" Daniel. You can start with his Heisman invite last year. You can continue with his 62 career touchdowns, 143.82 passer rating and nearly 9,000 total yards. You can look past the stats and go on intangibles alone. You can end with the short, undervalued gunslinger from Southlake leading Mizzou to heights not seen in a generation. There's no doubt the Big 12 is stacked with a ridiculous amount of talent at the quarterback position, but in my humble yet biased opinion, the controversy starts at No. 2 behind Daniel.
Replacing Daniel is a tough task, but that has a lot to do with personal biases. Graham Harrell puts up huge numbers and has a gun of an arm, but he is neither mentally nor physically tough. Ditto for Colt McCoy. Sam Bradford is extremely efficient, but I wonder what he would do if he wasn't behind the impenetrable force known as the Sooner O-Line. I love Todd Reesing's grittiness, but, come on, this is a Missouri site - I'm NOT taking Reesing to replace Daniel. Can I cop out and make a hybrid? I'll take the leadership of Reesing, the arm of Harrell, the composure of Bradford, the legs of Texas backup John Chiles and the cojones of Stephen McGee. I just created the Tim Tebow of the Big 12.
More questions after the jump...
3. Going into the season which unit for your team are you most confident in, offense or defense?
RMN: Oddly enough, I enter the season more confident in the defensive unit. To those who follow the program closely, that may not come as much of a surprise. But to the national passerby who only knows Daniel-to-Maclin, this may be a bit of a shock. The defensive has apparently been dominating in fall practice, capitalizing on its 10 returning starters and its growing depth on the D-Line and in the secondary. Ziggy Hood appears primed for his quantam leap. William Moore continues to be, well, William Moore. Gettis and Bridges appear to be a formidable 1-2 punch at corner. Sean Weatherspoon continues to be one of the most underrated players in the Big 12.
On the flip side, I don't think there's a whole lot of concern about the Missouri offense, but I still have my worries about the offensive line. Elvis Fisher and Tim Barnes will have a lot to prove in the season opener against an Illinois front four that will be less than welcoming.
4. Who is the new guy on you squad that will be a household name among your fan base before the season ends.
RMN: I'm not sure who the fan base knows and doesn't know. Brian Coulter sends Tigerboard into frenzies and Jerrell Jackson has gotten some major PowerMizzou love, but I really don't know of a "new guy" that the fan base may not know. I can come up with five or six guys that other fan bases may not know, but for our own fan base, I'm assuming most people know what I know.
I will take the time to reiterate, though, that I'm all about Gahn McGaffie. I think part of me will die inside if he gets less than 20-30 touches this year.
5. Prediction time! Tell us how the north and south divisions will wind up.
RMN: Prepare for failure:
1. Missouri (12-0, 8-0)
2. Kansas (9-3, 5-3)
3. Nebraska (7-5, 4-4)
4. Colorado (7-5, 4-4)
5. Kansas State (4-8, 1-7)
6. Iowa State (4-8, 1-7)
1. Oklahoma (12-0, 8-0)
2. Texas Tech (10-2, 6-2)
3. Texas (9-3, 5-3)
4. Oklahoma State (6-6, 3-5)
5. Texas A&M (6-6, 3-5)
6. Baylor (1-11, 0-8)