On Friday I posted the first Big 12 Roundtable of the 2008 college football season and with the aid of some of our other Big 12 brethren hosting we’ll continue to see them pop up throughout the season. As for the current roundtable, nine blogs participated (Rock M Nation, Double-T Nation, Husker Mike’s Blasphemy, Bring On The Cats, Big Red Network, The Ralphie Report, Corn Nation, Rock Chalk Talk and the Machine.) Here’s the best of the responses.
There has been lots of talk this pre-season about scheduling. Colorado has arguably the strongest schedule but who do you think has the weakest and which cream puff on your team's schedule do you wish wasn't there?
The consensus is that Texas Tech has the most embarrassing non-conference schedule in the entire Big 12. While other conference teams would rather see Chattanooga, Southeast Missouri State, San Jose State, Louisiana-Lafayette, New Mexico State, Eastern Washington and Sam Houston State not on their schedules there were some who have no problems with the cupcakes if nothing more for the experience and the guaranteed win.
Double-T Nation does their best to defend the schedule of the Red Raiders and then goes on to tell us which one of the teams on their schedule they would like to see removed.
I think a pretty solid argument could be made that it's Texas Tech's non-conference schedule, although I'll make two quick points: 1) Eastern Washington and Massachusetts aren't pushovers, they are relatively high ranked FCS teams, UMass is #5 and Eastern Washington is #8; 2) EWU was a replacement for Tulsa that bailed on Texas Tech.
Still, it's Texas Tech. Guilty.
As far as the team that I wish wasn't there, give me EWU because I wish Texas Tech still had Tulsa, I think that would have been a pretty intriguing game as both teams an offensively gifted, would have been a nice test for the Texas Tech defense.
As a whole the Big 12 has the best quarterbacks in the country. Make a case for your quarterback being one of the conference's top signal callers and tell us which other conference quarterback you would pick to replace him if you had to.
Both Missouri’s Chase Daniel and Oklahoma’s Sam Bradford got love on this question but there was also mention of Kansas’ Todd Reesing and Stephen McGee from Texas A&M.
The best answer, however, came from the Missouri Blog Rock M Nation.
Replacing Daniel is a tough task, but that has a lot to do with personal biases. Graham Harrell puts up huge numbers and has a gun of an arm, but he is neither mentally nor physically tough. Ditto for Colt McCoy. Sam Bradford is extremely efficient, but I wonder what he would do if he wasn't behind the impenetrable force known as the Sooner O-Line. I love Todd Reesing's grittiness, but, come on, this is a Missouri site - I'm NOT taking Reesing to replace Daniel. Can I cop out and make a hybrid? I'll take the leadership of Reesing, the arm of Harrell, the composure of Bradford, the legs of Texas backup John Chiles and the cojones of Stephen McGee. I just created the Tim Tebow of the Big 12.
Going into the season which unit for your team are you most confident in, offense or defense?
With this question we find out where the confidence lies among our teams. Obviously we learn which side of the ball our bloggers think their team strengths are on and why.
Then there is Corn Nation who went out of his way to tell us why the Nebraska defense wasn’t his choice.
Nebraska’s problems in 2007 on defense are well-documented. While Bo Pelini is a defensive-minded guy, he is not a miracle worker, so it will take more than one season to turn it around. Until I see them turn at least one quarterback into a sandwich, I have zero confidence in our defense.
That obviously leaves the offense. The offensive line will do well this season, we’ll re-establish the running game, we’ll control the ball and in doing so will keep fast-paced offenses off the field.
The thing is - on our offense we have a fair number of proven performers, i.e. Joe Ganz, Matt Slauson, Marlon Lucky. On defense, we have nothing proven. Lots of hope and potential, but nothing I’d bet on.
Who is the new guy on you squad that will be a household name among your fan base before the season ends?
When I came up with this question I never dreamed that a punter would make this list but it appears that Rock Chalk Talk has an amazing player to keep an eye on.
Jocques Crawford is the obvious answer, but I would say he is already well-known enough, both by the MSM and our casual fanbase, to be disqualified from selection. And so, I'll go with Daymond Patterson, I guy I absolutely love. He is really short, only 5'9", but he is dynamite out of the slot and, as a true freshman, figures to see plenty of action. He is also the starting punt returner, and figures to be a large improvement over the guys we threw out there last year.
He is turning more heads in practice than anyone else, and has solidified his status, even as a true freshman with only a couple weeks worth of practice. I can't wait to see him out there.
Prediction time! Tell us how the north and south divisions will wind up.
Missouri and Oklahoma were the unanimous selections to win the north and south divisions but Corn Nation put a stipulation on it.
2. Texas Tech
4. Oklahoma State
5. Texas A&M
NORTH ----> If Missouri wins in Lincoln
5. Kansas State
6. Iowa State
NORTH----> If Missouri loses in Lincoln
4. Kansas State
6. Iowa State
Many thanks go out to all the blogs who participated!