Hosted this week at Clone Chronicles, BON jumps in a little late to the Big 12 Roundtable.
1. The Big 12 has looked more unimpressive than impressive thus far. Do you attribute this to early season struggles, or does the conference look to have regressed from '08? Please explain.
Probably a little bit of both. First of all, the Big 12 last year featured an unprecedented collection of experienced talent at the quarterback position -- Harrell, McCoy, Bradford, Robinson, Ganz, Freeman, Reesing, Daniel -- and good performances from the newcomers, Johnson and Griffin. Arnaud and Hawkins had their moments. Missouri, Texas Tech, Kansas State, and Nebraska all break in new quarterbacks this year; Oklahoma lost five of their top six linemen, Bradford, and Gresham; and Oklahoma State lost the best tight end in the country. I think some of the early struggles are transition issues.
That said, the conference was, top-to-bottom, probably the strongest it's ever been. It's still strong this year, but the dropoff is not insignificant.
2. When looking at our team's schedule, sometimes it's hard to get excited about non-conference portion of the schedule, except for maybe 1 game. In general, are you content with your team's non-conference scheduling? Is there an opponent you'd like to see on a regular basis, that you currently do not?
Uh... With the caveat that Utah and Arkansas bit Texas a bit, there's little to be said for Texas' non-conference slate. But I can't say anything more about it; we've beaten it to death. I'm excited Texas has renewed its series with the UCLA Bruins. I think it's a great competitive opponent and an ideal opportunity to showcase ourselves in the fertile recruiting grounds of California.
3. Over the years we've seen a fair share of teams lose the week they appear on the SI cover. Does the "SI Curse" exist, is it a coincidence, or is it something that we only take notice of when it rings true (but forget when it does not)? Explain.
I dunno -- I guess it's possible that seeing themselves on the cover has some psychological effect on teams. More likely, it's just a cultural fixation.
4. What is the biggest question your team has to answer heading into Week 3?
Can Colt McCoy and Texas make teams pay for sitting back on the passing game?
5. Choose an Offensive Player of the Week (non-QB to make it a little more interesting) and Defensive Player of the Week from Week 2.
On offense I'll go with Niles Paul of Nebraska (1 rush for 30 yards and a TD, 6 catches for 69 yards and a TD in Nebraska's 38-9 win over Arkansas State). My defensive nod to Missouri's Sean Witherspoon and his 14 tackles in the comeback win over Bowling Green.
6. Big 12 Power Rankings! Rank the teams 1-12 (remember, this is based on power i.e., who would win on a neutral field).
- Oklahoma State
- Texas Tech
- Texas A&M
- Kansas State
- Iowa State