The Big 12 went 10-2 on sink-or-swim Saturday, writes Chip Brown of the Dallas Morning News. Colorado fell to Arizona State while Iowa State continued to make its case as worst BCS Conference team in America (losers to 1-AA Northern Iowa), but everyone else earned a passing grade.
That success, Brown writes, is in large part due to the improved play of young quarterbacks across the conference. Oklahoma redshirt freshman Sam Bradford extended his school-record consecutive completions streak to 24 against Miami before finally missing on a pass. For the season, he's connected on 40 of his 48 attempts, with 8 touchdowns against 0 interceptions.
Colt McCoy had another rough first half but rebounded to help spark an outstanding second half for the Longhorns. Elsewhere, Chase Daniel threw for nearly 400 yards in leading Missouri to a convincing win over Ole Miss, while A&M's Stephen McGee (still struggling to complete passes) rushed for 124 yards in helping the Aggies survive Fresno State.
Before the season began, I noted that I thought Quan Cosby could be a candidate to challenge the single-season receptions record at Texas, but as the Houston Chronicle's Joseph Duarte points out, it's Nate Jones who's on pace to rewrite the books. Through two games, Jones has 17 receptions, a pace which - if sustained - would give him 102 on the season, 2 ahead of Kwame Cavil's school record 100 (1999).
I doubt Jones can sustain that kind of reception pace throughout the season, but the very fact that he's become such a versatile weapon speaks volumes about Texas' incredible depth and talent at the position. Even with both Jordan Shipley and Billy Pittman on the sideline, the receivers have been superb. And that's before we even get into the young studs who just can't crack the field right now because of the overload of upperclassman talent.
The Statesman's Suzanne Haliburton writes that the Longhorns think they've found a team identity after the impressive second half against TCU. Perhaps, and as excited as we all are after seeing this team finally play good football, we do have to note that we've yet to see a four quarter performance.
Getting back to the first note about the improved play in the Big 12, Texas won't be able to survive the conference slate unscathed if it's not playing good football from kickoff to cannon.
Perhaps more importantly, Texas didn't exactly fix the running game the way it's been suggested by some we did. As Barking Carnival points out, a large chunk of our yardage came on two plays and some Colt scrambles.
As much improvement as there was from week one to week two, we must remember it's a relative term. It's safe to say we still have a ways to go.