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 Clone Chronicles, Corn Nation, I Am The 12th Man, Crimson and Cream Machine, Double T Nation, Rock Chalk Talk, Bring On The Cats, and Rock M Nation.
UPDATE: The Ralphie Report checks in.
1. Everyone knows the national talking points for each Big 12 team by now (Oklahoma has new linemen! Bill Snyder's back at Kansas State! Baylor might upset somebody!). Give us a storyline for your team that isn't quite getting the attention it should.
Is Texas A&M athletic director Bill Byrne is trouble? I Am The 12th Man thinks he might be:
I think a storyline the media may be ignoring is that this football season could possibly be a litmus test for Bill Byrne's career at A&M. Despite success in many non-revenue sports, including three national championships in the 2008-09 school year, football has struggled under Byrne's leadership, with three losing seasons in only six years. With the athletic department struggling to control spending despite record revenue, and the economic downturn causing cuts in the budget, the importance of the success of this football season can't be overstated where it regards Byrne. A&M is now looking for a new president, and new leadership might not look so kindly on the areas of poor performance in the athletic department.
2. The Big 12 continues to be derided by other conferences as a pass-happy, no defense, made-for-TV free-for-all. The question must be asked, how accurate is this description, and is the perception something of which the conference should be ashamed?
Corn Nation puts it bluntly:
And frankly, what do people want to watch? Texas and Oklahoma putting 80 points on the board in the Red River Rivalry, or Oregon State and Pitt combining for 3 points in the Sun Bowl.
I stand by my response here at Rock M Nation:
I hear all the complaints, and to their credit, they have very valid points. But here's the kicker:
I don't really care.
Does the Big 12 need to apologize for adapting itself to the current landscape? Does the conference take blame for taking advantage of the proliferation of offensive talent and the prevalence of certain systems in its geographical recruiting area? Are the 12 programs to be faulted for putting out a product that, at the very least, can be incredibly entertaining?
All in all, the arguments really don't bother me much at all. But the one argument that does bother me is one that centers around the idea that the quality of certain players/positions in a conference is dictated by how those players are perceived by the NFL. Consider me a college football snob, but I could care less about how players from a conference perform at the next level. Danny Wuerffel was a spare in the NFL, but that didn't matter much in the Sugar Bowl against Florida State. Graham Harrell may only be good enough to start in Saskatchewan, but he was good enough to propel his team to the best season in his program's history. The task that matters is the task at hand.
Skin Patrol of Double T Nation adds to the chicken or the egg debate about Big 12 offenses and defenses:
Maligning the Big 12 defenses might explain some of this discrepancy, but I doubt it explains all of it. Whatever can be said of Big 12 defenses, I think it is an established fact that in the 2008 CFB season, the Big 12 had the best offenses relative to the other conferences. That perhaps helps to explain why our defenses weren't so hot. Am I drunk because I drank 15 beers or because I have a low tolerance? At what amount of beers does tolerance cease to be relevant? Twenty? Twenty five? How about 40-51 beers every Saturday?
3. Over the summer, ESPN's Tim Griffin compiled a list of the Top 25 moments of the Big 12 era that stirred up a bit of internal debate. Which moments for your program were either overrated or underrated?
Just to prove my clamoring for the 2007 Border War wasn't blatant homerism, Rock Chalk Talk says Armageddon at Arrowhead was definitely underrated:
Happy memory or not, Armageddon at Arrowhead should have been a Top 10 moment in league history. Probably even Top 5. I mean, compare it to Tim Griffin's Number 2 item on the list, Texas Tech's win over Texas last season.
- Kansas (#2) and Missouri (#4) had a combined ranking of 6. Texas (#1) and Texas Tech (#7) had a combined ranking of 8. According to the rankings, at least, Kansas and Missouri were better teams relative to that year's competition. ADVANTAGE: ARMAGEDDON at ARROWHEAD (AA)
- Kansas vs. Missouri took place the Saturday after Thanksgiving. TT-UT took place on November 1st, a full 4 weeks prior to the Saturday after Thanksgiving. A DVANTAGE: AA.
- None of the four teams ended up playing in the MNC game, so no bonus points added there.
- KU vs. MU was the biggest game in school history for BOTH schools; it was only the biggest game in Texas Tech history, diminishing the impact.
The only things that would lead you to believe the Red Raiders' win is superior is that (a) it ended on a last-second play and (b) it was at Texas Tech, prompting a rushing of the field and such. Fine. Maybe put it a spot-or-two ahead of Armageddon. But a Texas man like Tim Griffin, or anybody that grew up/lived in the Kansas or Missouri area, doesn't really understand what that game meant. It's one of my favorite Kansas football memories/moments of all time -- just because of what it meant, and all of the pregame hype.
The game was huge. The atmosphere was electric. It's a joke, an absolute joke and a travesty, to have it ranked at #23. I couldn't tell you anything else about the list, because I stopped reading it after that.
4. We've seen no less than 30-40 "Best Big 12 Coaches" power rankings in the offseason, but rarely is there the same press for the coordinators. If you had to replace your offensive coordinator and defensive coordinator with coordinators from within the conference, who are you poaching and why?
As expected, there was a significant amount of love for Oklahoma's Kevin Wilson on the offensive side of the ball, with Texas' Greg Davis and Oklahoma State's Gunter Brewer getting a few nods.
Clone Chronicles was the first on board to claim an under-appreciated pick at OC in Kansas' Ed Warriner, but not without first getting in a shot at their old coach:
First off, I want to stay away from Major Applewhite. We already went the Texas "Golden Boy" route with Chizik
Crimson and Cream Machine was the only blog to stray from the Venables/Muschamp/Young trifecta on the defensive side of the ball:
Give me Carl Pelini from
. There seems to be a defensive revival going on in Nebraska and Pelini is making believers out of his players by squeezing every bit of talent out of them. Lincoln
5. Time to start our weekly Big 12 Power Poll. Rank the Big 12 teams from 1 to 12. (Note: This IS a power poll and isn't intended to account for schedule)
For the sake of the composite rankings, the multiple votes from Bring On The Cats were averaged into one vote so no blog's entry carries more weight.
Week 1 Composite Rankings:
1. Texas Longhorns (Average Ranking: 1.5) (5 First Place Votes)
2. Oklahoma Sooners (1.6) (3)
3. Oklahoma St. Cowboys (3.0)
4. Kansas Jayhawks (4.4)
5. Nebraska Cornhuskers (5.0)
6. Texas Tech Red Raiders (6.0)
7. Missouri Tigers (6.8)
8. Baylor Bears (8.4)
9. Colorado Buffaloes (9.0)
10. Texas A&M Aggies (10.3)
11. Kansas St. Wildcats (10.3)
12. Iowa St. Cyclones (11.75)