Big 12 Quoteboard: Its Game Week!

NORMAN OK - SEPTEMBER 11: The Oklahoma Sooner Schooner carries the American flag on the anniversary of September 11 at Gaylord Family Oklahoma Memorial Stadium on September 11 2010 in Norman Oklahoma. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

Does Texas A&M actually have an opponent this week? The schedule says they're playing SMU but here we are just five days away from their Sunday match-up against the Mustangs and SBN's A&M blog is dominated by talks of defecting to the SEC. Nah, it won't be a distraction at this season. 

Reports are now out that Texas A&M president R. Bowen Loftin has notified Big 12 board chairman Brady Deaton in writing that Texas A&M intends to withdraw from the Big 12. This is yet another step in the process of A&M leaving the Big 12 and joining the Southeastern Conference. Once A&M has formally withdrawn from the Big 12, we can then formally apply for membership in the SEC. The next step is a vote by the SEC presidents to accept our admission, although it is not clear what the timetable is for the application for membership and the vote to happen. This is a process where protocol has to be adhered to. - I Am The 12th Man    

The Pokes are talking football, giving us Louisiana. 

Monken's Playcalling

Will the offense fire on all cylinders and score on every possession leading up to halftime? That is what I'm expecting but we'll have to watch it play out.  In addition to the overall "flow" of the offense, What will the Run/Pass ratio be? What will the rushing philosophy be?  How many TD's will the W2B combo have at halftime? Who stands out on offense? What is the pace? - Cowboys Ride For Free

The Cyclones make their case for 2011. 

Alright, so it's officially season preview time in Blogfrica. Which means that I'm supposed to write an article about how great we're going to be or something. But we all know the score here. We are the Iowa State Cyclones, we're about to play the nation's 2nd hardest schedule, and we may not even have a conference to call home next year. We seem to be the perpetual punchline to the sad joke that is the Big XII's death rattles.

But you know what? I'm not worried about all that. We'll get to that in due time. I'm here to tell you why you should have faith in this team. Why it just might be okay to get a little excited about the Cardinal and Gold again. Why Iowa State might just be able to surprise the hell out of a lot of people this year. - Clone Chronicles

The Jayhawks are throwing out some preseason grades. The good news is that it is the preseason and it really can't get much worse than what they're already dishing out. 

Overall - D+  

It hurts to give the team such a low grade, but let's face it, that's where we are today.  The good news is that this is an incredibly young team, and by the end of the season they may well be miles ahead of where they are Saturday.  Make no mistake: there is talent here.  What Turner Gill and his staff do with it will ultimately determine their fate in Lawrence.  Unfortunately, these talented young players are still a little too young to expect results this season.  I hold out hope that at the end of the year, I can give out a higher grade, but given the combination of inexperience and last year's lackluster results, I have to rate this as a below-average football team. - Rock Chalk Talk

The Longhorns are trying to rationalize having Garrett Gilbert as a starting quarterback. I just scratch my head at this and hope they'll learn some humility but deep down inside I know that they wont. 

To begin with, this is not a Zac Lee 2010 situation, in which the team appears just a quarterback away from BCS Bowl contention. Perhaps that's true with Texas in 2011, but it seems more likely to be a building year towards runs in 2012 and '13. As such, the penalty for missing on the quarterback decision isn't as severe as it would be in a season in which the position may be the only missing piece. Even if Gilbert is disastrous out of the gates and Texas drops two or more of its first three against Rice, BYU, and UCLA, the losses aren't likely to be the difference between Texas winning a conference championship and/or making a BCS Bowl.

Instead, a poor start by Gilbert mostly means a definitive pivot to David Ash and Case McCoy, the rest of the season an ongoing competition between the two to emerge as the leader of teams that will be positioned to compete for titles. Moreover, there is some benefit in making such a pivot after a Gilbert stumble, as opposed to right from the get-go, when the pressures of a blank slate, full season ahead, and eager fan expectations would put UT's younger signal callers under enormous pressure.  Whereas early-season struggles by Gilbert would simply close a disappointing chapter, with Ash or McCoy such struggles could derail a promising future. - Burnt Orange Nation

The Red Raiders held a press conference in which they're apparently very excited about playing Texas State. Meanwhile I'm pretty sure Texas State held a press conference announcing that they're very excited about a huge pay check coming their way. 

It's interesting to see Tuberville get so excited about the young players and have such confidence in some of these young players.  Even a player like Kenny Williams, who will most likely redshirt or players like Dees, Robertson and Eguavoen, who were not highly recruited. 

I also thought it was interesting that Tuberville is pulling back and just implementing about 50% of what he would normally put in for the game against Texas St., or this is how I read this statement: - Double T Nation

Things could get real ugly, real fast for the Tulsa defense Saturday night against Oklahoma. 

Often times in a game like this, see OU @ OSU circa 2010, it's about the defense that can make just enough stops to give their explosive offense the edge they need to come out ahead.  Unfortunately for Tulsa fans, this is not that defense.  At least not against on Oklahoma offense, that despite likely to be missing Kenny Stills, will be one of the most explosive in the entire country.  Tulsa does have some talent returning, primarily at linebacker and in the secondary which lead the country in INTs last year.  New defensive coordinator, Brent "That" Guy is installing a more traditional 4-3 scheme after Tulsa spent a majority of last year in a 3-3-5 defensive formation.  The biggest concern with the switch is the perceived weakness of the Tulsa defense which is their front four.  Switching from a three to four man front may seem simple, I mean it's just one more guy, but it actually involves a very different technique and style of play from the d-linemen.  Additionally, defensive tackle play is key (as OU fans are well aware) and TU looks to be pretty thin at DT heading into the opener. - Crimson And Cream Machine

The Missouri Tigers pretty much agree with the grades given out by the Kansas Jayhawks. 

2010 was an unmitigated disaster for the Kansas Jayhawks. We'll pause one moment for you to smirk appropriately.

When he was head coach of the Buffalo Bulls, Turner Gill was known for milking every last ounce of talent out of his players, teaching conservative, fundamental football. His teams forced fumbles, created breaks for themselves, and won a surprising MAC title in 2008. It was easy to look at his profile and think, "Just imagine what he could do with a higher level of talent!" Well, when he took the Kansas job last winter, he inherited a squad that seemed to have less talent than most of the rest of the conference by far. They had a decent young back that wasn't as good as everybody else's young backs. They had a couple of solid linebackers who weren't as solid as everybody else's. Their offensive line was decent but not good enough to account for the lack of skill position talent. - Rock M Nation

 Kansas State is talking defense. 

I originally planned this entry as the final countdown post of 2011, since there is no No. 1 on the roster this season (or since Bill Snyder came back, for that matter.

But it occurred to me that tomorrow's press conference likely will serve as the "unveiling" of the first depth chart, which sort of defeats the purpose of trying to predict said depth chart four days later.

So follow the jump for my best guess at what the defensive rotation might look like Saturday - a difficult task, because several player groups have been among the most hotly contested position battles of the fall.

That's good to hear when your defense was as bad as ours was last season. No job should be safe if we ever hope to bring back even a shadow of the Lynch Mob in the next few seasons. - Bring on the Cats

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