I'm back! Pardon my absence from the blogosphere but until running the Crimson And Cream Machine pays the bills I have to work the real job which requires traveling to Central/South America from time to time. I'd like to say thanks to dishingoutdimes for carrying the torch for me while I was gone. Great job!
Now, on to this week's roundtable discussion and you know the drill. Add your thoughts in the conversation by using the comments section below. Thanks to I Am The 12th Man for hosting this week!
1. We are three-fourths of the way through the season now, with either 2 or 3 games remaining for your respective teams. What players have surprised you, what players have disappointed you this year?
Offensively, I've actually been surprised with Ryan Broyles. We saw what he was capable of doing last season but didn't know how he would handle being the go-to guy. Its safe to state that he's been the lone bright spot on Oklahoma's this season. Especially when you consider how bad the other receivers have been.
As far as disappointments go for me let's just sum it up by naming every other offensive player other than Broyles.
Defensively Jeremy Beal has been amazing to watch. With all the talent and pro-stock on this unit he has been the shinning star on what has been the best defense in the conference. That doesn't mean that there haven't been disappointments though. I'm pointing my finger at Dominique Franks who has been very solid but has also made his share of, "What the heck was he thinking!" plays.
2. Name a player on another Big 12 team who you think has underachieved or been a disappointment this season (I don't consider someone getting knocked out by injury a disappointment, so no references to Robert Griffin, please).
This one is easy for me! My pick goes to Sergio Kindle of the Texas Longhorns. I actually received emails in the preseason about how Kindle was going to be unstoppable and all Sooners should beware. Of course I wasn't scared because my football playing days are well behind me and therefore I had a better chance of Kindle hitting me with his car than I did of him hitting me on the football field. As it turns out, I'm not the only one as Big 12 offensive players have seemed to elude Kindle's wrath like competent driving skills have eluded Kindle himself.
He's not among the Top 10 sack leaders in the conference and he isn't found among the To 50 leading tacklers in the conference (and there are actually 65 players on that list). I even bought into the hype and placed him our preseason Twelve Players To Watch In The Big 12 list. Turns out that his shining moment of the season so far has been a illegal hit on Texas Tech's Taylor Potts.
3. What player on another Big 12 team has surprised you or surpassed your expectations this season?
Kansas State's Daniel Thomas is the only running back in the Big 12 to crack 1,000 yards so far and he's also the only back to average over 100 rushing yards per game. Who would have thought?
4. Nebraska's Ndamukong Suh is the most dominant defensive tackle I have seen in years. Who do you think is the last dominant defensive tackle you can compare him to at the college level? Is there one to compare him to for the last 10 years?
Tommie Harris comes to mind but I just don't know. Suh is such a dominant player who makes things happen in just about every defensive phase of the game. You need a quarterback pressure/sack? He's your man. A run stopper? He's on it! How about an interception returned for a touchdown? Got it! A blocked field goal? Yep!
5. Right now, who is your pick for Big 12 Offensive Player of the Year, Defensive Player of the Year, Newcomer of the Year, and Offensive and Defensive Freshman of the Year?
Offensive Player of the Year: Jerrod Johnson, QB Texas A&M
Defensive Player of the Year: Ndamukong Suh, DT Nebraska
Newcomer of the Year: Daniel Thomas, RB Kansas State
Offensive Freshman of the Year: Landry Jones, QB Oklahoma
Defensive Freshman of the Year: Cody Davis, DB Texas Tech
6. Power rank the teams, 1-12.
2. Oklahoma State
3. Texas Tech
4. Kansas State
7. Texas A&M
10. Iowa State