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Rock M Roundtable!

1 - Clearly the spread isn't actually dead, but as defenses adjust, how do you see spread offenses adjusting to survive?

2 - This is obviously more of an MU question, but Doug...feel free to answer it with KU in mind too.  Now that the word is out that the Big East would have probably saved the "Forgotten Four" from non-BCS ignominy, be honest ... which would you have preferred for your team moving forward: a) rolling the dice, staying in the Big 12, and hoping either it becomes stable or you still end up in the Big Ten someday, or b) moving to the Big East, causing great basketball matchups, possibly losing football TV money down the line, and forfeiting any hope of a Big Ten move for the vast, foreseeable future?

3 - Favorite summer show: Louie or Next Food Network Star?  Why are you looking at me like that?  Stop looking at me like that.

4 - I'm feeling sorry for myself, so...quick: give me something more annoying than your back randomly seizing up for no reason and causing you to miss work (and spend 30 minutes working up the motivation to sit at the computer to type this e-mail).

Michael Atchison: I liked last week’s questions better.

1 - I think the evolution of the spread is going to depend on the evolution of offensive linemen, and I think that’s coming.  For the last few years, the emphasis has been on guys who can operate in space.  Now those guys also are going to be able to be badasses at the point of attack.  There are times when you need to play power football.

2 - I think I prefer the Big 12 scenario ever so slightly, and it may be because it’s the devil we know, instead of the devil we don’t.  I laid out my thoughts on the Big East pretty extensively during Expansionpalooza, and I think it’s a workable idea, but the geographic sprawl, though manageable with a little creativity, is still a concern, as is the ultimate stability of the Big East – if this thing starts to tip, the Big 10 and the ACC are going to look to cherry-pick some Big East schools.  There’s also the ever-present concern about how it affects football’s ability to recruit Texas.  All that said, I could be pretty content if it actually happened, especially during basketball season.

3 - Haven’t seen either one.  Been catching up on The Best Thing I Ever Ate.

4 - Try being a PTA president at back to school time.

ZouDave: 1 - Well, I'm not actually an offensive coordinator (I don't know if you know that about me or not) but as defenses adjust to the spread the most obvious statement is that offenses will adapt to the adjustments.  Defenses are getting a bit smaller and quicker to matchup with the speed and agility that's being put on the field by the offense, so spreads will probably look to employ some bigger backs, perhaps some larger receivers, to counter the defensive personnel decisions.  I think Missouri's spread is going to adapt this year to see even more and more downfield routes as opposed to the quick-hitting crossing routes, so if defenses are committed to playing the short routes you might see some big downfield plays.  The end result is that with the right coaching and right personnel, any offense can be successful.  Offenses and defenses adapting to each other isn't a new thing in college football.

2 - I think given those choices, I'd rather have what we have right now.  While the prospect of that basketball conference is enough to get you at least a bit of a chub going, I just don't know about being matched up with teams from halfway across the country every week.  Part of what makes college sports so fun is interacting with opposing fans out in the world.  What are the chances I'm going to run into a Syracuse fan while I'm at Target?  I think it would have been unbearable for the non-revenue sports, I don't think it would have been that bad for football honestly, but I just don't like how geographically spread out that league would be.  Besides, I'd already be sick of hearing what inbred hicks we are from the east coast schools.  The bias towards the actual "east" schools in the Big East would have been a lot to take.

3 - Next question.

4 - I had a whole paragraph typed about the BS I'm dealing with at my job this week, but it just sounded like extreme whining.  Suffice to say this will probably be 1 of maybe a max of 3 emails you'll get out of me today.  Sorry your back sucks.  Maybe you should be less old?

ghtd36: This is where I'm going to write my clever intro. No, this isn't dummy text that I forgot to correct; that's how I'm starting my responses. Deal with it.

1 - I think two major developments will happen over the next couple of years, and they're both tied together. First, I think you're going to see a move toward the Texas Tech style of offensive line play, namely the enormous splits they utilize (or, at least, utilized under Mike Leach). With teams figuring out that speed rushers win championships, especially against spread offenses, I think you're going to see the spread get spreadier in that sense.

Secondly, I think the next step is for someone to really figure out how to effectively run the ball out of the spread. I think Nevada's pistol offense is as close to a legitimately great running attack out of a spread that we've seen (with the exception, of course, of the zone read run by Texas in '05, but that's only if you have a super-mobile quarterback). Someone needs to turn the run into a legitimate threat out of the spread rather than a tactic to keep teams off-balance.

2 - Contrary to the overwhelming "AW MAN, THAT WOULD HAVE BEEN AWESOME" sentiment in the comments, I have mixed feelings about this. Sure, it would make basketball a lot of fun, but the travel would be insane and the football program (I think) would ultimately suffer. I think Missouri remaining in the wreckage of the Big XII is its best move; that said, it's nice to know that if this ever happens again, there's another possible safety net.

3 - Louie is still mildly underrated greatness, and I love NFNS (though I'm behind this season). But you know what I've been enjoying recently? Master Chef, alternatively titled Gordon Ramsey is Surprisingly Nice to Amateur Cooks. I recommend.

4 - Planning on making turkey burgers, only to find that ground turkey can go bad, leaving you to open the three-months-expired package of turkey only to be welcomed by the perfume of a thousand asses. MAKE YOUR EXPIRATION DATES BIGGER, JENNIE-O.

Michael Atchison: Decaying animal flesh can go bad?  Who knew?

ghtd36: I put it in the fridge!

Doug: 1 - The spread can still survive much better in college than the pros. In fact, it was the one offense that could negate or at least even the playing field against a speedy defense... until defenses like Texas or Oklahoma got smarter and faster. Now, that defenses are spreading out more themselves, it'll be incumbent upon any spread offense to have power running plays to take advantage of larger-than-normal holes in the defensive front 7.

2 - Hmmm... I refuse to believe the Big East would have taken all four remaining Big 12 North teams, I really just don't see what advantage K-State offers any major conference currently, if we're talking about the economics of TV contracts and the like. But, I also refuse to believe the Big East would have survived the sure-as-hell-coming next round of conference expansion. I always thought the best chance was for the remaining four schools to grab a mix of schools around them: from Memphis and Louisville to TCU and Houston to Utah and Boise State, and get the number back up to 12, and hopefully, ride the tide out.

3 - I'm sorry, but after Guy Fieri, there is not "Next Food Network Star," they're all terrible.

4 - Dealing with a TV station sales staff.

(Two hours later…)

ghtd36: This is the Justin Bieber of roundtables.

In that it sucks.

ZouDave: you suck

ghtd36: You really couldn't tee up a "ZouDave's Sister" joke any more, dude.