Thanks to Matt at Crimson and Cream Machine for getting the first Big 12 roundtable up and running. Here's my answers to his questions.
There has been lots of talk this pre-season about scheduling. Colorado has arguably the strongest schedule but who do you think has the weakest and which cream puff on your team’s schedule do you wish wasn’t there?
I think a pretty solid argument could be made that it's Texas Tech's non-conference schedule, although I'll make two quick points: 1) Eastern Washington and Massachusetts aren't pushovers, they are relatively high ranked FCS teams, UMass is #5 and Eastern Washington is #8; 2) EWU was a replacement for Tulsa that bailed on Texas Tech.
Still, it's Texas Tech. Guilty.
As far as the team that I wish wasn't there, give me EWU because I wish Texas Tech still had Tulsa, I think that would have been a pretty intriguing game as both teams an offensively gifted, would have been a nice test for the Texas Tech defense.
As a whole the Big 12 has the best quarterbacks in the country. Make a case for your quarterback being one of the conference’s top signal callers and tell us which other conference quarterback you would pick to replace him if you had to.
Well, aside from Graham Harrell leading the nation in total offense (individually) and passing offense (as a team). Not to mention leading the Big 12 in yards per game at 438.8, touchdowns and completion percentage. Harrell only trailed Sam Bradford in overall passing rating, however, Harrell did have 372 more attempts than Bradford, which makes Harrell's 157.31 that much more impressive, plus the offense's complete reliance on the quarterback.
Another signal caller . . . I'm tempted to pick Daniel, but I'm going to go with Bradford, who has a more typical quarterback's body and I'd have him for three years.
Going into the season which unit for your team are you most confident in, offense or defense?
My confidence is growing in the defense as the fall practices continue, but without question, it's the offense. This may be a tough question for most programs, it's not at Texas Tech.
Who is the new guy on you squad that will be a household name among your fan base before the season ends.
I'll give both an offensive and a defensive player:
Offense: Detron Lewis did see some time last year, however, he was the primary back-up to Danny Amendola, which means that his time on the field was somewhat limited. Not this year. Lewis will be an all-conference performer should match, but will probably surpass, Amendola's numbers. Lewis is a Mr. Crabtree starter-kit and they're both going to be anchored on that right side, which will be a tough matchup for most teams.
Defense: I believe that the coaches are determined to get Brandon Sesay on the field, in some form or fashion. Recruited to Texas Tech as a defensive end, he has the size (6'6"/280) to play defensive tackle an the coaching staff is looking to get him on the field, whether it be at end or tackle. Sesay is going to have a baptism by fire for the first 4 weeks of the season and if he performs, he's going to see a lot of time in conference play.
Prediction time! Tell us how the north and south divisions will wind up.
2. Texas Tech
4. Texas A&M
5. Oklahoma State
5. Kansas State
6. Iowa State