This week's SB Nation Big 12 Roundtable Recap takes a look at some of the different thoughts expressed around the Big 12 blogosphere. This week's participants included Corn Nation, Rock Chalk Talk, Rock M Nation, I Am The 12th Man, The Ralphie Report, Burnt Orange Nation, Clone Chronicles, and Crimson and Cream Machine.
1. The game between Texas Tech and Texas got the Big 12 in the national eye early in the season. If your team was approached with this opportunity (or for Tech and Texas, approached again), would you accept and reap the benefits of the exposure, or decline because of the potential pitfalls of playing a conference foe so early in the season?
All of the respondents seem to agree that the benefits of moving a conference game to earlier in the season is heavily weighted upon the opponent. GhostofBigRoy of Burnt Orange Nation looked at the states of Texas and Texas Tech this season and what the early game meant in that regard:
I think it probably depends on the complexion of the team that season. With an experienced, seasoned team like Texas has this season, it's not as much of a concern -- in fact, facing a new Texas Tech quarterback in his first road start was probably a big advantage for the Longhorns. And that's not a dig at Taylor Potts, who was outstanding during the game, but the Longhorns could have had much more trouble with a battle-tested Red Raider squad at the end of a tough four-game stretch later in the season.
If ESPN comes along next season with a similar plan, though, when the Longhorns will be breaking in their own first-year starter, it would probably make more sense to decline and play the game later in the season. A school like Texas doesn't need the exposure nearly as much as, say, some of the teams in the North Division, so it's probably not worthwhile to risk a conference loss early in the season that has a much better chance of being a win later in the year.
2. Some of the Big 12 teams are starting to become known quantities, but there are still a few teams that most of us can't quite measure. Which team in the Big 12 do you consider the biggest enigma right now?
It was a surprising array of responses here, with votes being cast for Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Kansas, Missouri, Texas A&M, and according to I Am The 12th Man, Colorado:
As strange as it sounds, the biggest enigma in the conference may be Colorado. Are they the two who were drilled in two straight games against Colorado State and Toledo? Or are they the team that may be figuring things out after shutting out Wyoming, 24-0? I think Colorado's defense will be a weak spot because of poor safety play, but if they can get their running game going (45 carries for 151 yds isn't going to cut it), they could become a decent team.
Whereas we don't have enough information on most teams to make judgements, Jon of The Ralphie Report is dealing with the fact that we all have conflicting information on Oklahoma State:
Oklahoma State. I'm really torn about this team, as well as two of the teams that they have played. It will be a few weeks and a few more games before we have a good idea how strong Houston (we should know much more about the Cougars after this weekends game with Texas Tech), Georgia (who looked MUCH better against South Carolina) and the Cowboys are.
3. What did you learn about your team in Week 3, and what questions has your team failed to answer at this point of the season?
Husker Mike of Corn Nation was able to erase any doubts about tailback Roy Helu the Husker D after a heartbreaker to Virginia Tech, but now has some questions at quarterback and receiver:
Husker fans think that Nebraska has one of the best running backs in the conference in Roy Helu and one of the best defenses in the conference, an end of game breakdown notwithstanding. However, a very impressive passing game disintegrated in Blacksburg. Whether that's due to Tech having another stout defense or whether Saturday's game exposed Nebraska's quarterback and receivers as frauds remain to be seen. Certainly Jason Worilds disrupted Zac Lee and forced him to make plays. He did ok in the second quarter, but dismally in much of the second half.
4. There aren't exactly a whole lot of marquee matchups in Week 4. Which Big 12 game this week not involving your team piques your interest the most?
While most of the conference's eyes are understandably on Texas Tech's trip to Houston, Clone Chronicles has its eye on Kansas' first decent test of the season:
Southern Miss vs. Kansas. On the surface it doesn’t seem like a great game, but I think Southern Miss has the talent of a Top 25 team, and this game is going to tell me a lot about this team.
5. Give us your Offensive Player of the Week, Defensive Player of the Week, and Surprise (team, individual, coaching decision, etc. Whatever you want it to be...) of the Week.
Defensive Player of the Week nominations were FAR more diverse. Three Longhorns -- Sergio Kindle, Rodderick Muckelroy, and Emmanuel Acho -- each earned one nomination. Other single votes were cast for Texas A&M's Von Miller, Nebraska's Ndamukong Suh, Oklahoma State's Donald Booker, Oklahoma's Ryan Reynolds, and the entire Oklahoma defense.
The Surprise of the Week category resulted in some rather interesting responses. Most of the responses centered around either Colorado's blanking of Wyoming or Texas Tech's feistiness in Austin. Rock Chalk Talk had this to say of the Raiders performance on Saturday:
In the first half, Tech looked the part of last year. They had a good-enough defense, a bunch of firepower on offense and a Pirate calling the shots. And considering how everything went to the tank last year, this year's team may end up with a similar record. Tech's D played excellent in the first half, and while they dropped off in the second, they were still passable. Bravo.
6. Power Poll! Rank the teams from 1-12 based on which team would win on a neutral field.
1. Texas (8 first place votes) (Average ranking: 1.000)
2. Oklahoma (2.500)
3. Kansas (4.375)
T4. Oklahoma State (4.500)
T4. Nebraska (4.500)
6. Missouri (5.250)
7. Texas Tech (5.875)
8. Baylor (8.375)
9. Texas A&M (8.625)
10. Iowa State (10.375)
11. Kansas State (11.250)
12. Colorado (11.375)