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Big XII Round Table Recap!

I thought the first Big 12 round table was a successful endeavor, so much so that we'll definitely look to do it as often as we can throughout the season. In all 11 blogs checked in but the Machine was the only one representing the south this go around. Burnt Orange Nation, The 12th Manchild, and Double-T Nation I'm calling you guys out!

All of the responses were insightful and thought provoking but some were just down right entertaining. Here's a brief synopsis! For links to all the blog responses check here.

Pick a team (other than the one you blog about) from the north and south divisions and explain why they may be the best team in the division.

This question sparked some great thoughts comments and even a little mud slinging. In the south OU and Texas got most of the votes but there was one who thought that maybe it would be the Oklahoma State Cowboys who had a chance.

In the South, I'll go with Oklahoma State as a team that MAY be the strongest team in the division.  They have an exciting offense with playmakers galore in Bobby Reid, Adarius Bowman, Dantrelle Savage, and Keith Toston.  The defense may not be spectacular, but it should be adequate with returnees such as Marque Fountain, Nathan Peterson and Andre Sexton.  This team is my darkhorse to win the South, although a road schedule that includes Georgia, Texas A&M, Nebraska and Oklahoma may doom this pick. Bring on the Cats

Since choosing between OU and Texas is a toss-up at this point some of our fellow bloggers tried to use some simple logic.

As for the South...OSU and ATM could both be darkhorses, but their road schedules will prevent them from contending...as will Texas Tech's front seven. That leaves, of course, UT and OU. I go back and forth on them, so let's look at things this way:

QB: UT
RB: OU (though this one's a tossup)
WR/TE: OU (simply because they're healthy...otherwise, tossup)
OL: OU
DL: UT
LB: UT
DB: OU
Special Teams: OU
Coaching: OU

That's a 6-3 advantage for OU. So naturally I'm picking UT. I trust my own predictive abilities that much. - Mizzou Sanity

The picks for the north was almost a two team race between Nebraska and Missouri but there was also one vote tossed in there for Kansas. That's right I said Kansas!

Down South I'll take Oklahoma. There's a mutual respect between Sooners and Huskers that I simply can't foster for Texas, but I think Oklahoma's big trump card is Bob Stoops. Mack Brown killed his albatross by beating USC but Stoops has proven again and again how valuable that space circumscribed by his visor truly is. Sam Bradford was named the starter this week which simply allowed columnists nationwide to return to talking about how awesome the Sooner running game will be without the obligatory QB situation mention.

I can't take Nebraska in the North and I won't take Missouri in hopes of fostering further animosity leading up to the Battle for the Bell on October 6 so that leaves, gulp, Kansas. Given the events of this week, Ron Prince might be playing 8-man with an overweight quarterback by the time the season starts and Colorado and ISU don't seem ready yet. Kansas returns eight starters on defense and led all North teams with three preseason all-conference selections. They play all four non-conference games at home, don't have to face Oklahoma or Texas and don't have to go to Lincoln or Columbia. It still might not be enough to overcome the fact that they're Kansas, but they have a punchers chance. Hi-Plains Drifter

When it came to using other conference schools as punch lines there was plenty of ammunition for division rivals.

North - ...You're kidding, right? Missouri would have to be the obvious choice as Iowa State's biggest event lately involves uniforms, Colorado is still questioning their manhood over losing to Montana St., Kansas no longer has three linebackers a'leaping (although they do have Aqib Talib) and Kansas State has the second coming of Jared Lorenzen only not as accurate. - Midwest Coast Bias.

Of course by the best I meant best football team but one blogger to the word "best" and went his own direction and even insinuated that there was a some homage paid to the Dark Lord himself down in Norman.  

In the North, Colorado is the best at sucking. They finished 2-10 last season, got beat by a Division IAA team that then lost to a Division II team.  Things aren't likely to improve much this season, although they'll win more than two games.

The liberal influence around Boulder tends to suck the brains out of coaches who go there. They care a lot more about losing but find themselves unable to do much about it. Instead of practicing football, they go paintballing. Then they visualize themselves playing well. Then they lose again. It's too bad, really, because I like Dan Hawkins.

It's sad that Colorado sucks this much. They're supposed to be our rival. It's no fun pummeling them when they suck. It's much more fun pummeling them when they're good. I don't think they care much either way. Too bad they don't have glaciers they that they could stand on in the nude, it would help them pass the time while saying something about the environment.

In the South, Texas A&M is the best at traditions. They have something like three hundred of them (that we know about) and they control every aspect of life in College Station. There are so many I wonder what happens to people when they go there. Are their lives so regimented there's a secret tradition about breakfast on Wednesday? What if you accidentally kiss your girl at the game when the other team scores? (I don't want to know.)

Oh, hell, with regards to football, Oklahoma will win the Big 12 because long ago they all sold their football souls to the devil. So they don't have a quarterback. Their version of "Little Nicky" will just turn one of their other guys into a quarterback.  I don't understand how people haven't picked up on that. How else could they continue to be so good? Clearly some evil juju happening in Norman. - Corn Nation

If the Big 12 Conference had a Heisman trophy candidate who would it be and why?

The majority of our Big 12 bloggers feel that if a player from the conference wins the Heisman than it'll be Colt McCoy. However there was a vote for Sam Keller and Chase Daniel. Then there were a few who thought that there were no candidates in the conference.
 

I don't think the Big XII really has a Heisman trophy candidate this season. If one emerges, it will likely be a surprise, and I'll throw a couple of darkhorses. Nebraska QB Sam Keller was considered a darkhorse last season before his former teammates revolted. If Keller masters the West Coast Offense, he has the capability to post huge numbers if his receivers can get themselves open in big games, unlike at the end of last season when they went AWOL at key times. That's a big "if". Another name to keep an eye on is Oklahoma State's Adarius Bowman, who was named a preseason all-American by ESPN.com. - Husker Mike's Blasphemy

If you had to place a $100.00 bet on a current Big 12 head coach being fired at the end of the season who would you pick and why?

While there was mention of Missouri's Gary Pinkel and Coach Fran at A&M the overwhelming consensus is that Baylor's Guy Morris is as good as gone.

Mark Mangino or Guy Morriss. Kansas has an easier schedule and Baylor just simply cannot accept the fact that they're going to suck forever in football, so they'll probably fire Morriss. $100 bucks on Morriss being gone.  It'll be seen by most people as a sign of mercy. - Corn Nation

The one non-conference game, not involving your school, you would pay money to see would be?

Big 12 bloggers love the Miami Hurricanes! While a few wanted to see OSU/Georgia and there was strong mention for TCU/Texas and USC/Nebraska, Miami was the school most us wanted to see. The OU/Miami just edged out the Texas A&M/Miami game in votes.

Which of the four Big 12 schools currently ranked in the AP Top 25 doesn't belong there?

Texas A&M was almost unanimous here but then came this comment about Nebraska.
 

Nebraska - They tend to be overrated and this year is no different. Although the BigXII as a whole looks to be overrated in general quite often. I tell you one thing. The whole conference has not looked great in its bowl games recently. - Buffs.tv

Make a case for one of the 8 Big 12 schools not ranked as to why they should be.

Missouri was almost unanimous here, and I agree they should be in, but Oklahoma State did get one vote.

Prediction Time:
Tell us the offensive and defensive players who are going to make the biggest impact on the conference this season.

Offensively Colt McCoy, Sam Keller and Bobby Reid all shared two votes each. Chase Daniel and Sam Bradford were also mentioned.
Defensively Reggie Smith got the most votes but Aqib Talib made a strong showing while Steve Octavien and Ndamukong Suh got honorable mention.
How difficult was this question? Well, maybe this'll help explain.
 

- Offense: Sam Keller. Whether positive or negative, his performance will have the biggest impact on the conference as a whole. If he's the All-American that Husker faithful make him out to be, Nebraska could return to the national scene in a hurry. If he's the fluke that got kicked off of Arizona State's squad, then all hell breaks loose in the North, and Missouri may break the will of God by qualifying for the Big 12 Championship.

- Defense: Reggie Smith: My gut feeling was Kansas CB Aqib Talib, but I doubt teams will have any reason to put the ball in the air against the Jayhawks this year. Smith is the impact defensive back on a loaded DB unit, and will likely see a lot more passes head his way because of Oklahoma's overall stength of the DB corps across the field. - Every True Son


Then there were those who couldn't just pick two players.
Offense

Biggest numbers: Chase Daniel or Graham Harrell
Best pro prospect: Adarius Bowman
Best newcomer: Demarco Murray or (gag) Sam Keller
Could make difference between good season and great: Jamaal Charles, Marlon Lucky, Tony Temple, Michael Goodson
Most overrated: Martellus Bennett. Sorry. I'm not letting this one go just yet.

Defense

Biggest numbers: Alvin Bowen (tackles), Ian Campbell (sacks)
Best pro prospect: Frank Okam
Best newcomer: just because I love his name, Tang Bacheyie
Could make difference between good season and great: Bo Ruud (he was fantastic in about 3-4 games last year, disappeared entirely in others), Stryker Sulak, Chris Collins
Most overrated: Until he brings it every game, Bo Ruud. - Mizzou Sanity

A big thanks goes out to everyone who participated!