A bit early, perhaps, but here comes Double T Nation's Big 12 Roundtable, hosted at Rock M Nation later this week. I reason that the sooner I get this post up during the week, the more time you will have to fix my wrong answers. Enjoy a teaser and the rest of the questions follow post-jump:
Rock M Nation: This question was posed by Rock Chalk Talk's Denverjhawk in Rock M Nation's Live Thread on Saturday: Could a Big 12 North all-star team compete with and/or beat Texas?
Skin Patrol: I say the answer is yes. UT is the toast of the Big 12, but that does not make them some kind of unbeatable behemoth. In stranger years, like 2006 and 2007, barely or not bowl eligible Kansas State teams have beaten Texas with something approaching ease. Whether or not those versions of Texas were comparable to this year's is certainly debatable, but Texas of 2009 has not looked unbeatable in the same way that Texas v.2005 did. I think my answer is likely to change as the season progresses, because I have a hard time believing that Texas will continue to play as lackadaisically on offense for the remainder of the season as it has at times thus far. The UT offense will click, and then we'll start seeing fewer, if any, truly close games.
RMN: Forget ACC Roulette. For our intents and purposes, the Big 12 North is now the most entertaining battle of supremacy in mediocrity. Handicap what happens with the division from here.
SP: Uhm, you guys bloody the hell out of each other for a few more weeks and the winner happens to be that crafty devil who managed it this far without looking too much like a crash test dummy. Kansas State is going to win this thing, or my name ain't Nathan Arizona. I had no faith in Colorado or Iowa State (although only a tiny bit in Kansas State) and whatever misplaced faith I had in Missouri or Nebraska or Kansas has same-wise skedaddled. Hot Potato always ends with a winner, and it is K-State.
RMN: Is Oklahoma back on track after taking care of business against Kansas? Their national aspirations are obviously done, but can we expect to see a fairly dominant Sooner team down the stretch?
SP: Er... well they beat Kansas, which means Oklahoma and Colorado have that in common now, I suppose. Cynicism aside, Vegas is still ruthlessly behind Oklahoma, and wise man say: When sinners are behind Sooners, general public should be too. OU politicking aside, the reality is that they've lost to some pretty good teams by some pretty slim margins, and are probably one of the better 4-3 teams in the country. A good rule of thumb for a team as talented and well-coached as Oklahoma is that if it looks dead, it's probably just sleeping.
RMN: Texas A&M, Texas Tech, and Kansas State managed to completely shred the transitive property. What did the games between these schools tell us about these teams?
SP: My logic circuit is fried so I have no answer to this. It tells me that we don't live in a just world, because in that place Texas Tech scores 1,000 points against A&M, I don't get swine flu (cured by oinkment, I'm told), and it isn't raining outside. We're all bad? For the record, if Sticks had been in, we would've thrown Texas A&M over them mountains, not withstanding the 950+ feet we gave up on the ground.
RMN: Did Texas find its mojo in Missouri, and does Oklahoma State have enough to take the Horns down in Stillwater this week?
SP: First half answer: No, Austin Powers taught us that mojo is not something to be lost and later found but rather something eternally with us all. No Sooner or one-half against Wyoming or Colorado can steal from us our mojo anymore than Dr. Evil can do the same by sending secret agents back in time. Sometimes great teams play poorly, but most of the time they play really, really well. Texas played really, really well against Missouri. The difference between great teams and elite ones (think Texas '05) is that elite teams always plays really, really well. Perhaps Texas is just a great team?
Oklahoma State does have enough to take the Horns down. But they probably will not win.
RMN: Power Poll! Who wins on a neutral field?
SP: I refuse. Last week I pleaded that Tech be considered by all as the clear #2 best team in the Big 12, and was rewarded with furious anger from the football gods, who smote me bad. DTN readers: This is perilous stuff, and I urge you to stay away from auguring neutral field champions from among twelve still largely unknowns. In a universe where Iowa State beats Nebraska in Lincoln for the first time in a million years, what do we really know about who beats who on neutral field?