We get the pleasure, or burden depending on which way you look at it, of hosting this week's conference roundtable discussion. I did my best to come up with some questions that addressed some of the issues within the conference without totally focusing on the Sooners and Longhorns this Saturday. Feel free to share your own thoughts and answers in the comments section.
1. What is the biggest Big 12 game this weekend not involving OU and Texas? Why?
I'm going with Missouri at Oklahoma State or Texas Tech at Nebraska here. After losing to Nebraska last week the Tigers could possibly be out of the race in the North with a loss in Stillwater. Meanwhile a win for the Cowboys would put them a game ahead of either Texas or Oklahoma depending on what happens in the Cotton Bowl. Oklahoma State won't provide the type of defense that Nebraska used to shut Missouri down but even with the absence of Dez Bryant their offense will pack more punch than Nebraska's.
Texas Tech is in the same position that Missouri is in heading to Lincoln. The Red Raiders dropped their conference opener at Texas and another loss would pretty much eliminate from the South race. The Huskers are in control of their own destiny and can stay that way with a win at home. Texas Tech scored 66 points against Kansas State on Saturday and should be the strongest test of the year for the Black Shirt defense.
Both should be fun games but I'm going to give OSU/Missouri the nod here.
2. Sam Bradford has been hurt, Colt McCoy is throwing picks (6 Ints/10 TDs)and Dez Bryant has been suspended by the NCAA. Does the Big 12 have a legit Heisman contender left?
This is a big, fat no! At this time the Big 12 does not have a legitimate Heisman contender but what conference really does? The fact that no one has really stepped up to take the lead in the Heisman Race means that there is still time for Colt McCoy, Dezmon Briscoe and possibly even Sam Bradford to get some momentum and get in it.
3. Its pretty much a consensus of opinions that Dan Hawkins is already standing with one foot out the door at Colorado. Who has the better chance of getting off the hot seat this season, him or Bobby Bowden?
Bobby Bowden helped turn Florida State from an all-girl's school into a college football powerhouse. Unfortunately he's been around for a gazillion years and is now overseeing the demise of said powerhouse. However, with longevity comes privilege and with all that Bowden has for Florida State he deserves to go out on his own and not be forced out.
Dan Hawkins has no privilege in Colorado because he has no longevity and no accomplishments. He may be out the door before the season ends.
4. We've got one full weekend of conference play under our belts. Who can you say, with confidence, is out of the North and South division races already?
Out In The South
Baylor - They weren't going to win it anyway but the injury to Robert Griffin eliminated them sooner than they should have been.
Texas A&M - Still waiting to see the Wrecking Crew make a return but doubting that it will be soon.
Out In The North
Colorado - A new coaching era is just over a month away.
Iowa State - Cyclones have been surprisingly competitive which should bring some hope for future seasons.
Kansas State - A quick look at the standings shows KSU holding the 3rd place spot in the North but there is no chance of that holding very much longer.
5. Which race is going to be better in the North, the race to win the division or the race to stay out of the cellar?
The way that Missouri was exposed in the 4th quarter against Nebraska leaves me with the impression that the North is really going to be a two team race. However, the race to stay out of the cellar is going to remain a three team race. Kansas State's 24-23 win over Iowa State has already gone a long way seeing as how that's the sole reason that the Wildcats are sitting in 3rd place right now. However, Colorado could possibly be a spoiler here or, and more realistically, be the team that gets beat down by both KSU and ISU. The other thing to watch is that both KSU and ISU have first year coaches which means that there is no chance of having a "lame duck" head coach. That's something that Colorado should keep an eye on.
6. OU/Texas - Who ya got?
I'm not ready to go there yet.
7. Big 12 Power Rankings - Let's see 'em!
A recap of this week's roundtable will be posted here on Friday but make sure you visit the other SBN Big 12 sites to see the opinions of the conference bloggers.