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Rock M Roundtable!

1 - Missouri 27, Bowling Green 20: Cause for alarm, or a good lesson learned?

2 - Fun with small sample sizes: who's better, Kendial Lawrence or De'Vion Moore?  (Doug, you can just talk about how great Toben Opurum is instead.)

3 - Picks!

Texas Tech at Texas
Nebraska at Virginia Tech
UConn at Baylor
Kansas State at UCLA
Wyoming at Colorado (tough one!)
Tulsa at Oklahoma
Duke at Kansas
Rice at OSU
Utah State at Texas A&M
Iowa State at Kent State

Furman at Missouri

4 - The Beef and I debated this yesterday, so why not rehash it in the roundtable? Tony Kornheiser says Roger Federer is "done".  Agree?

Michael Atchison: 1 - Probably some of both.  I was a little distressed at how Bowling Green managed to drop eight in coverage and still get pressure on Gabbert, and I was a little concerned at how Gabbert seemed to panic in the pocket in the first half, but I was heartened to see both of those things worked out in the second half.  It’s better to face some adversity (and overcome it) now than to find yourself in a mess in a conference game with no idea how to get out of it.  I would have liked to have seen them dominate, but there’s definitely value in a game like this.

2 - I’m going to say Lawrence because he looks so good so soon.  David Yost needs to find ways to use Kendial and Washington at the same time.

3 - Missouri wins by 40.  Most other Big 12 teams win.  Some lose.

4 - Depends on what "done" means.  Will he again bestride the tennis world like a colossus, winning two or three majors a year?  Probably not.  Will he win another major or two?  Probably so.  Lots of great players – Connors, Agassi, Sampras – have shown that they have the occasional great tournament in them even far past their prime.

It’s worth noting that some thought that Federer’s reign ended a year ago at Wimbledon when he fell to Nadal, and since then he has won three grand slams and come within a couple of points of winning a fourth.

The Beef: 1 - A bit of both, but I am more encouraged than discouraged by it.  Certainly the offensive line has some work to do, though I fear they were built up too much (in my own head and by others I guess).  In the end, Gabbert has only been sacked a couple of times and we did run the ball much better in this game.  They have just not been as dominating as we all hoped/believed/opined they would be.  But I like most of what I see from the defense and to have someone play like they did in the first half lead that sort of comeback in the second half at this young stage has to be very encouraging.  I still don’t hold Nevada (or Furman) in that high of regard, so my goal of being 4-0 with stuff to work on for Nebraska is still on pace.

2 - I need to see a little more from each to make that decision.  My first inclination is to say they are something of the same, but I do forget that Lawrence appears to be a little stockier than Moore.  Either way, both are nice change-of-pace backs compared to Washington and I see both contributing in different times in different ways.  Perhaps Moore becomes more the 3rd down back with his pass-catching abilities.

3 - Texas Tech at Texas – UT by a bit, I think they break out this week and Tech has not done much to impress me yet

Nebraska at Virginia Tech – Wow…am torn on this one.  Tech has played Bama already, and rebounded well with a thumping of Marshall last week. NU has dominated, but not yet been tested.  If this was in Lincoln, I’d say NU, but I have to give Va Tech the slight edge here with the home field.

UConn at Baylor – Baylor, as I believe UCONN is both banged up and demoralized after losing that lead/game against UNC

Kansas State at UCLA – UCLA in a game which might set college football back 50 years

Wyoming at Colorado (tough one!) – I have to say CU…but that is only because I don’t know what sort of offense or talent Wyoming runs or has.  If they have ANY ability to go vertical with their passing game, then I take them, since CU could not stop anyone from going vertical

Tulsa at Oklahoma – OU by a lot

Duke at Kansas – kU by probably just as much

Rice at OSU – OSU, but I don’t know what to expect from them at this point

Utah State at Texas A&M – The Sherman Tank keeps right on chugging

Iowa State at Kent State – Oh god…um…I will say the Kent State keeps the "Big XII is down" talk going

Furman at Missouri – uh huh.

4 - I cannot wait to see what sort of responses this question elicits.

Doug: 1 - Probably a little of both. From what I hear, and believe me, it's not like I've researched this exhaustively, but the offensive line got started slowly, the return game allowed one big run-back and obviously the defense had trouble with Bowling Green early on. Of course, I don't know how similar BG is to other Big 12 offenses, but obviously there was a let down coming off the Illinois game.

2 - Coming into the season the greatest thing about him was his name (Seriously, "Toben"? It's like Tolkien named him.). Now, his name is like third or fourth on the list. He is a huge improvement over the two "bruising" running backs KU tried last year and a great-of-a-pace back to pair with Jake Sharp. Granted, his performances have come against UTEP and Northern Colorado, but you still get a good feeling watching him play.

3 - Texas (Vengeance is mine sayeth the Longhorn)
VaTech (What the hell am I sayeth the Hokie)
Baylor (We sayeth sayeth all the time sayeth the private the school kids)
UCLA (Mmmuprp mmurthp sayeth Kevin Prince)
Wyoming (How great is it we scheduled a cupcake sayeth Dave Christensen)
Oklahoma (Maybe we don't need Sam Bradford sayeth the Stoops)
Kansas (Basketball anyone sayeth Mike K.)
OSU (Wait isn't Rice in Houston sayeth Mike Gundy)
The Aggies (Figure it out yourself sayeth the Doug)
Kent State (What the hell did I get myself into sayeth Paul Rhoads)
Missouri (Damn this sayeth stuff is hard sayeth the Doug)

4 - I think for men, the drop-off in tennis is not nearly as quick and dramatic as it is for women. I don't know that he's completely done, but, the slams are such grueling tests, if Federer is going to keep contending for titles, he may have to cut back his play to only appearances in the slams.

The Beef:

RPT: 1. Both. The first half was probably a fantastic wake up call for a team that looked utterly dominant the week before. Again, blessed are those who can learn without losing.

2. I think they're about even. Kendial seems a little shiftier and more elusive, but he lacks De'Vion's straight line speed. I agree with Atch that we should see more of the two-back sets. Furman would be a nice time to test drive a Gun Two Back triple option, especially with Washington being your option up the gut and Moore being your option on the perimeter if Gabbert pitches.

3. Texas Tech < Texas: I don't trust Tech outside of Lubbock

Nebraska > Virginia Tech: Nebraska continues to grow on me

UConn < Baylor: Be interested to see if UConn can score enough to keep up

Kansas State < UCLA: Shouldn't KSU be playing an FCS team?

Wyoming > Colorado: I'm not picking Colorado until they get in the win column

Tulsa < Oklahoma: I like Tulsa, but I think OU is back on track enough for the Golden Hurricanes

Duke < Kansas: Can Dick Vitale call the game?

Rice < OSU: Wish Clement and Dillard were still at Rice

Utah State < Texas A&M: Big

Iowa State > Kent State: Not as big

Furman < Missouri: Bring on the Paladins

4. Yeah, a guy who has made 20+ straight semifinals in Grand Slams is "done." Give me a break. He may not be as dominant as he once was, but he's still one of the elite in men's tennis.

(An hour later...)

Bill C.: This roundtable:

ghtd36: Bill, I'm really happy for you. I'll let you finish, but George Stephanopoulos had one of the best roundtables of all time! One of the best roundtables of all time!

1 - Good lesson learned. I think Mizzou got caught napping by a team that's better than its perception and by a great defensive gameplan (make the young QB make good decision after good decision instead of just letting him bomb it). That said, if you think Pinkel/Yost/Steckel is going to let that happen again -- let a team sneak up on Mizzou -- you're insane. Sorry, Iowa State, but your chances of catching Mizzou looking ahead to the Kansas game just went out the window.

2 -

Change we can believe in. And terrorize opponents with.

Side note: I watched the Mizzou-BGSU game at the Mizzou Alumni Association's get-together in Dallas. Needless to say, it was a room full of old angry men for a while, which made for a jovial evening. But when KendiAllah ran for that 30-yard touchdown (before it was called back on a questionable hold), I didn't even react. I just sat there, nodding, while everyone else jumped up and cheered.

I imagine it was a lot like when Thomas Edison invented the lightbulb and showed it off for the first time. One of those "I KNOW, right?!?" moments.

3 - Texas Tech at Texas -- Texas. Would like to pick Taylor Potts & Co., but in Austin? Not likely. But hey, look at the bright side: Michael Crabtree's career is off to a oh yeah nevermind.

Nebraska at Virginia Tech -- Va Tech. It's not that I think Nebraska's not that good. It's just that You Don't Just Walk Into Blacksburg. Oh, and Nebraska's not that good.

UConn at Baylor -- Baylor. BURNED MAHSELF!

Kansas State at UCLA -- UCLA. Because five-year extensions for ex-coaches after one, four-point win at home over a middle-of-the-pack team in the Colonial Athletic Association are brilliant.

Wyoming at Colorado -- Wyoming. The Hawkins Death Spiral (still copyrighted!) continues.

Tulsa at Oklahoma -- Oklahoma. Fun fact: did you know that the only currently undefeated FBS team in Oklahoma is Tulsa? I think we all saw that one coming.

Duke at Kansas -- Kansas. PLAY SOMEBODY.

Rice at OSU -- The Oklahoma State Hype Machine. Though with special-teams-specialist-and-nothing-else Dez Bryant as the No. 1 receiver, you never know.

Utah State at Texas A&M -- Texas A&M. And heeeeeeeere comes the hype.

Iowa State at Kent State -- Kent State. I'll refrain from making a joke.

Furman at Missouri -- Mizzou. I like Gabbert to go over 400.

4 - Are we really to the point where we're debating Tony Kornheiser's crap? Dude's Monday Night Football career is comparable to Gary Pender, Paul Maguire, Joe Namath, Lynn Swann, Dennis Miller and Boomer Esiason.

If Roger Federer's done, then why don't we consider Tiger Woods done? After all, HE LOST A TOURNAMENT ONCE OMG.

Bill C.: I was waiting for someone to diss Mr. Tony and get resoundingly massacred by The Beef.  Wait for it...wait for it...

RPT: If we need to spice up the roundtable, someone say negative things about Kornheiser and Paterno while talking up the virtues of one Mr. Ron Prince.

And when I say "someone," I mean someone other than me.

Bill C.: I was in until the "virtues of Mr. Ron Prince" part.  What virtues?

Then again, the man clearly has pretty good business sense, considering how much money he managed to extort for sucking at his he's got that going for him, which is nice.

ghtd36: Rock M Nation: United In Wanting Ron Prince To Catch Swine Flu

ghtd36: Allow me to poke the bear further:

I would rank Tony Kornheiser in my least-respected 10 percent of sportswriters. He's Colin Cowherd on television (well, with a long-running television show, that is). He says things for the express purpose of being a contrarian. Please remember: he wrote for the single biggest sports journalism failure in American history. That's not a coincidence.

Bill C.: Okay, you compare him to Colin Cowherd, and that gets ME riled up.  Mr. Tony is at least funny and likable.

The Beef: I was fine with the opinion on Kornheiser…but don’t DARE make fun of The National.  I used to walk every morning to our corner store to get that paper before school…that thing was AMAZING…and a stat-nerd’s dream

ghtd36: And that glorious time that The National was in circulation was the best 3,192 hours of The Beef's life.

Bill C.:

The Beef: Sorry you were not around for it there kiddo  :-)

Doug: If anyone is Colin Cowherd on television... that would be Cowherd.

And I think if you're going to peg the failures of The National on anyone there are a lot of names on the list: Lupica, Mariotti, and the guy from the Wrestling Observer Newsletter (?!?!?) that would rank higher than Kornheiser.

ghtd36: Well, I was 4 1/2 years old when it debuted, and it was at the top of my list for my 5th birthday. Problem is...

Bill C.: Nothing to do with nothing, but...I'm really enjoying this meme.

RPT: Honestly, I'm sick of hearing about it, but Colbert's take on it was great:

The Colbert Report Mon - Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c
Kanye West Interrupts Taylor Swift at the VMAs
Colbert Report Full Episodes Political Humor Health Care Protests

Bill C.:

: Someone needs to put the shades on the Paper Clip.

By the way, why do I get the feeling that Beef learning of the Daily's demise looked eerily similar to 30 Rock's Pete Hornberger learning of Carter's boycott of the Moscow Games?

ghtd36: Greatest. GIF. Ever?

By the way, raise your hand if you are FIRED UP for Thursday night's CONSECUTIVE PREMIERES of Community, The Office and It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia.

/raises hand

The Beef: Could be OK/never liked it/never seen it

/hand going up, only to surely defend himself against all the other hipsters on this email

ghtd36: /reads Beef's response
/part of self dies

RPT: I'm hoping Community is solid, because I can't decide if Joel McHale is underrated or if The Soup is just the perfect/only forum for him in the same way that Celebrity Minute was the only forum for David Spade.

Sunny lost its consistency last season. Don't get me wrong, when it's funny, it's hysterical. But there were a couple of episodes last season that were flat out AWFUL.

(An hour later...)

RPT: More of this?

Doug: For Greg:

ghtd36: God, if you look closely, you can actually see the douchey coming out of Cowherd's ears.

Oh, and I always knew Kanye had bad taste.

/turned around and pwned