This is the sixth installment of the 2009 edition of the SB Nation Big 12 Roundtable. This week's host is Corn Nation, which have a recap post of the different responses around SBN later in the week.
On to the questions!
1. I'm sure everybody had preseason predictions for their team. Now that we're a few games in, revise your predictions with your best and worst case scenarios (being reasonable on both sides), and then revising your prediction for the season result.
Before the season, everyone seemed to be straddling the line between 7-5 and 9-3, with everyone seemingly defaulting to 8-4. Of course, most predictions for the season included at least one loss in non-conference play. WIth Missouri escaping non-conference play unscathed, you begin to wonder what this means for Missouri's best and worst case scenarios.
Even four games into the season, Missouri is still a bit of an enigma as far as consistency is measured, which is why there's such a discrepancy in the best and worst case scenarios.
The best-case scenario centers around the fact that Missouri will likely be favored or pick 'em in five or six of their conference games. Missouri is almost assured to be underdogs against Oklahoma State and Texas, and will probably be within three or four points on either side of the line against Nebraska and Kansas. The best-case is to win them all, but the realistic best-case scenario is a split of these games, putting Missouri at 10-2, 6-2 in conference and, presumably, Big 12 North champs.
The worst-case scenario means not only an 0-4 record in those games, but the chance of dropping a few games in which Missouri is favored. Dropping those four plus one or two more would sink Missouri under .500 in conference, putting Missouri at 7-5 or 6-6 overall.
2. In 2010, the Big 12 will send it's 7th place team to play in a new bowl game to be played at Yankee Stadium, replacing the Independence Bowl in Shreveport. What's your take on this move? Is it a good move for players? Is it a good move for the conference? Is it a good move for fans?
My official response: meh.
Isn't replacing Shreveport with anything, by definition, an upgrade?
I'm not totally sure putting a game in the northeast in December is a great way to get Texans and Midwesterners to show up in droves. I presume the exposure of the Yankee Bowl and its relative novelty will be an upgrade from what the conference had in Shreveport. In all, I think it's a good move for the conference and for the players, but I find it hard to believe it's good for the fans unless they're just itching for a time to the Big Apple.
3. Oklahoma is now 2-2, with one of those victories coming against a winless 1-AA team. Will all be well in Soonerland once Sam Bradford returns?
I'd say yes, but now there seems to be a wave of discontent rolling down the coast of Stoopsville. All of the sudden, even Oklahoma fans are starting to buy into the theory of Big Game Bob's failures in big games. I guess three consecutive Big 12 championships don't count as big games?
Line problems or no line problems, I really do think Oklahoma will be fine. They lost two games to two solid teams by A TOTAL OF TWO POINTS. Plus, it's not like they won't have a shot at national public redemption in Dallas in two weeks.
4. This week, Missouri and Nebraska face off on an ESPN Thursday night broadcast at 8 pm. Last Thursday, Colorado lost to West Virginia. Missouri and Colorado both have played Friday night road games. What's your take on non-Saturday games?
It's both a blessing and a curse. From an exposure standpoint, I don't have much of a problem with Thursday games. Those games have become the marquee weekday game, despite the fact they appose the best night of television of the week. We're finding out that they're a logistical nightmare on campus, but a fantastic showcase for the city and for the university.
I have more of an issue with Friday games, as the main benefit of weekday games is exposure to recruits, and playing games on Friday nights effectively limits your exposure to those very recruits.
5. It seems everybody is in agreement that the bottom three teams in the North are the bottom three teams in the conference. Is the gap growing, and which of these teams is going to break out of the cellar first. Or is it hopeless?
With the injury to Robert Griffin, there's a very real possibility that Baylor could infiltrate that cellar once gain and reclaim its place among the conference's bottom quarter. To put it bluntly, though, I'm not totally sold that's going to happen. I think Kansas State, Iowa State and Colorado have proven themselves to be the worst three teams in the league, in no particular order. I won't say it's hopeless, but I certainly won't say it's likely.
6. Rank all of the division 1 football conferences from top to bottom. Not just the BCS conferences (ACC, Big 12, Big 10/11, Big East, Pac 10, SEC), but the others (MAC, Conference USA, WAC, Mountain West, Sun Belt) as well. Who's the strongest conference, and who's the pretender?
Ugh. The SSSSS-EEEEE-SEEEEE culture has made me despise any and all conference rankings, but just for giggles, here we go:
1. SEC (Still on top)
2. Big 12 (Not wholly sold on it at No. 2)
3. Pac 10 (Better depth than it's given credit for)
4. Big 10 (Who's elite here?)
5. ACC (Incredibly deep and entertaining, just not top heavy)
6. Mountain West (Top half is very solid, bottom half is VERY suspect)
7. Big East (See comments about ACC)
8. Conference USA (Really undervalued as a conference)
9. WAC (Boise alone keeps it out of a double digit ranking)
10. MAC (Sorry, you don't have Boise)
11. Sun Belt (Congrats to Nebraska on its Sun Belt title)
You can make a case for rearranging No. 2-6 in ANY order you want and I wouldn't have a problem with it.
7. PowerPoll time. Rank 'em 1 to 12 based on who you think would be the victor on a neutral field.
3. Oklahoma State
7. Texas Tech
8. Texas A&M
10. Kansas State
11. Iowa State