Monday, October 27

Big 12 October Rankings

Done with October, most teams have played eight games and we're starting to get a pretty good guage on everybody. It's been a great season for the Big 12, lacking for one thing though: the marquee nonconference victory. Oklahoma giving TCU their only loss may look big if the Frogs finish 11-1, but right now we're not willing to put a lot of weight on that. OU blowing out Cincinnati? Looked good until the Bearcats were run out by UConn last weekend. Missouri over Illinois? The Illini tanked and would need to beat Ohio State to restore legitimacy. Colorado over West Virginia? We'll get back to you on that one.

The writers, voters, and computers all like what's going on in the conference, and I guess that affirms it. But really, you'd have to watch the games to tell either way whether the conference is strong or if this is a case like the 2006 Big Ten. (well, that seems logical enough. I mean of course that the numbers alone could tell a story of strong offenses or weak nonconference opposition for most of the top teams) Speaking of which, I can't wait to see these teams playing in some bowl games.

But that's for December and January. Let's talk about November. The Big 12 boasts five of the top six offenses, and when you consider that #1 is Tulsa, that's gotta make people a little suspicious that something's in the Great Plains waters. On the other side of the ball, we don't see anyone in the bottom ten defenses, but there are three teams in the bottom 11-20. At #29, Texas boasts the strongest scoring defense in the country. We now direct all Pac 10 fans to turn around those jeers they've heard from seasons past.

How does this league of crazy offenses and crazy QBs line up?

1. Texas (8-0, 4-0)
Look at the four teams below them, and Texas has already beaten three of them. That's why they're sitting at the top. Colt McCoy is arguably the best quarterback in the conference... also arguably #4. (#5 if Cream had an offense) Yes it's that kind of season and that level of talent on the teams competing to deny Mack Brown his second BCS title. It doesn't matter though, Texas has been finding ways to win. Hook em.

2. Texas Tech (8-0, 4-0)
I'm iffy on this one, but damn if it doesn't set up a conference #1 vs #2 next weekend. Also damn if they aren't the only other unbeaten teams in the conference, which has to count for something. If TTU really did find their spark last weekend in Kansas, it couldn't have come at a more opportune time. Texas, Oklahoma State, and Oklahoma are their next three games.

On another note, if TTU upsets UT, I'm fully on the Red Raiders 2008 National Championship bandwagon. Who doesn't want to see Mike Leach dispense more dating advice before the biggest game in school history? Or maybe he'll just unveil the secret to nuclear fusion.

3. Oklahoma State (7-1, 3-1)
There's not a lot separating #3 and #4, and really this team could be #2. Yikes. Yeah, where did this team come from? Oklahoma State was supposed to be rebuilding after losing Savage and Bowman. (how did anyone beat them when they had this team plus those players??) Instead, the Cowboys could have the best defense in the conference, and certainly they have the best ground game. Amazing season.

4. Oklahoma (7-1, 3-1)
Don't worry, if manliness still has any value in this conference, OU will be climbing the rankings by beating the short-throwing Red Raiders and the medium-throwing Cowboys. Sam Bradford correctly recognizes that 6 yard completions are worthless and first and goal means the line had better take a holding penalty to give him room to throw. He's the toughest quarterback to stop when the offense is in the red zone, and by "in the red zone" I mean "on the field."

5. Missouri (6-2, 2-2)
Missouri was supposed to have an easy schedule they could get to the B12CG 12-0 with. And we're 95% sure they'll play in the B12CG, but the question is with how many losses? The Tigers have already dropped two games to stiff opposition as both Texas and Oklahoma State are way better than they looked in the preseason, and the Tigers still face arch rival Kansas.

6. Kansas (5-3, 2-2)
Kansas is the first team in the conference who's really had a disappointing season - you can't blame Missouri for losing to teams that are just good. KU has dropped three already and they're looking at a 7-5 season after getting run out by Tech.

7. Nebraska (5-3, 2-2)
The Red Carpets were rolled out for Virginia Tech in an embarassing loss, but everything else has been either a result of NU being way overmatched or far outclassing their opponent in completely predictable results. November is an interesting month as they face the team above them and the two teams right below them.

8. Colorado (4-4, 1-3)
This is why I refuse to care about Colorado football. Since joining the Big 12, the ONLY thing CU has done is to screw up the 2001 season and then get blown out in the Fiesta Bowl to start the Oregon quackfest. Oh, sure, they start the season 3-0 with a win over West Virginia. Where are they now? Sitting at .500.

9. Kansas State (4-4, 1-3)
Below Colorado because of a 1 point road loss, and as much as I hate it, it looks like they'd wipe up the Cream now. KSU does boast the sixth-most productive offense in the conference, and this year that's actually saying something. Then again, that could be saying that they're still scheduling teams like Bill Synder had never left. I dunno. Yay Kansas State!

10. Baylor (3-5, 1-3)
Reality hit His Creamness like a truck as Baylor couldn't get anything going in the second half against the Nebraska Red Carpet defense. Apparently, you do need those 21 other guys to contribute something in order to win, and Baylor will watching bowl games from their living rooms once again. Not implying anything, but Colt McCoy has just one year left of his eligibility, so if Griffin transfers in 2009... (*envisions the Cream-Brown dynasty unfolding... so wrong yet so right*)

11. Texas A&M (3-5, 1-3)
Gig em! Gig Iowa State! And get gigged by everyone else! You're not fooling anyone, Aggie.

12. Iowa State (2-6, 0-4)
They didn't just lose - they got KILLED on defense by Texas A&M. And they've already lost to Baylor. There's nothing to say.