This is the fifth installment of the 2009 edition of the SB Nation Big 12 Roundtable. Husker Mike is serving as this week's host, and as such, we will have a recap post of the different responses around SBN later in the week.
On to the questions!
1. I'm sure everybody had preseason predictions for their team. Now that we're a few games in, revise your predictions with your best and worst case scenarios (being reasonable on both sides), and then revising your prediction for the season result.
I think that most fans were predicting between 9 and 10 wins for the year as a best case scenario. Although there was plenty of reaction, I don't think it was a stretch to say that the two early games against Texas and Houston were going to be problematic, but the problem has been the steady stream of injuries and suspensions that have pushed Texas Tech back a bit.
Right now, I'd say that that most fans are being a bit more grounded when it comes to predictions in that 7 or 8 wins is more appropriate, which is probably not what most folks expected.
Right now, I think Texas Tech should win against Kansas St., Texas A&M, and Baylor. That's 6 wins. Nebraska, Kansas, Oklahoma St. and Oklahoma would be toss-ups in that there's a good argument that Texas Tech could win or lose either game.
2. In 2010, the Big 12 will send it's 7th place team to play in a new bowl game to be played at Yankee Stadium, replacing the Independence Bowl in Shreveport. What's your take on this move? Is it a good move for players? Is it a good move for the conference? Is it a good move for fans?
To be honest, I sorta forgot about the Independence Bowl and I'm a short 3 hours away from good times in the great state of Louisiana. I suppose the possible media attention would be good, but it is the 7th place team. I do have concerns about the benefit/burden of playing in New York (I hear it's expensive).
3. Oklahoma is now 2-2, with one of those victories coming against a winless 1-AA team. Will all be well in Soonerland once Sam Bradford returns?
The loss of Bradford has been a big deal, but it seems as if the injury situation is mounting and the offense is missing some key cogs to make things run. I'd like to think that Bradford is the medicine the Sooners need, but I think the problems are a little deeper than that. Bradford will help and the fact that those pesky non-conference games are out of the way will help tremendously, although Texas looms in two weeks. If Bradford plays, I would recommend that he make a mental note about the placement of Kindle for most of the game.
4. This week, Missouri and Nebraska face off on an ESPN Thursday night broadcast at 8 pm. Last Thursday, Colorado lost to West Virginia. Missouri and Colorado both have played Friday night road games. What's your take on non-Saturday games?
I like it, but just not all of the time. It's like playing early in non-conference in that there's the idea that your team will receive additional exposure (keep in mind that Texas Tech parlayed playing Texas early to ensure that the Houston game would be on television the next week), but I think it's tough on the staff to get ready for a game so early in the week.
5. It seems everybody is in agreement that the bottom three teams in the North are the bottom three teams in the conference. Is the gap growing, and which of these teams is going to break out of the cellar first. Or is it hopeless?
Of Iowa St., Kansas St. and Colorado, I think I have the most faith in Kansas St. trending upward. I think the problem with Colorado is that at some point Hawkins' presence will start to affect recruiting and although I don't follow Iowa St. as closely, I think it's going to be a long haul for Rhodes to pull that program back up, but I do think he's the right guy for the job. With KSU, I don't think that Prince was awful in recruiting and there's something to be said about hiring a quality staff that helps Snyder coach his players up.
6. Rank all of the division 1 football conferences from top to bottom. Not just the BCS conferences (ACC, Big 12, Big 10/11, Big East, Pac 10, SEC), but the others (MAC, Conference USA, WAC, Mountain West, Sun Belt) as well. Who's the strongest conference, and who's the pretender?
I'm awful at subjective ranking of things because I continually talk myself in and out of a ranking every 5 seconds. I'll still give it a shot, but I realize this is just crap.
2. Big 12
3. Pac 10
5. Big 10
6. Big East
7. Mountain West
8. Conference USA
11. Sun Belt
7. PowerPoll time. Rank 'em 1 to 12 based on who you think would be the victor on a neutral field.
1. Texas Longhorns
2. Missouri Tigers
3. Nebraska Cornhuskers
4. Oklahoma Sooners
5. Oklahoma St. Cowboys
6. Texas Tech Red Raiders
7. Kansas Jayhawks
8. Texas A&M Aggies
9. Baylor Bears
10. Kansas St. Wildcats
11. Iowa St. Cyclones
12. Colorado Buffaloes