Here we are again, back for our third session. For all previous weeks, click here. Again, this features KJ-IBT and Hawk Digest, both of which contain some of the best Kansas content in the internets.
Here are this week's questions, with all of our answers after the jump.
1) What are our chances of beating Oklahoma? Give me the Number One reason why we can win.
2) What is your take on the DE situation? Have Jake Laptad and Max Onyegbule "emerged", or was it merely a one-week-showing?
3) With Missouri's loss, what are our realistic chances of winning the Big 12 North? Now, we are essentially guaranteed going into Arrowhead with a chance at winning the North, as long as we win the games we should (@ Nebraska and vs. Kansas State). Give me a perecentage number as to our likelihood.
4) Is Texas the best team in the country? And, in a related question, is Colt McCoy the best QB in the country? If either answer is no, who is?
5) If you were to construct a Big 12 Power Rankings right now, what would it look like?
6) And, finally, Big 12 Picks!
Missouri @ Texas
Texas Tech @ Texas A&M
Nebraska @ Iowa State
Kansas State @ Colorado
Baylor @ Oklahoma State (I really want to see this game; sucks that Tech @ A&M is on TV instead...)
Again, the actual answers are after the jump. You have to click a button to get there. Please do.
1) I'll put our chances at winning at 20%. The Number One reason why we can win is that OU has to find a way to replace the production of Ryan Reynolds, generally considered one of the most complete linebackers in OU history (earlier this season he apparently graded out at 100% for an entire game- an unprecedented achievement). Losing your best player always hurts, but the MLB must be the core of your defense. KU will attack the middle of the field with crossing routes, shovels, and screen passes to try to take advantage of a less experienced replacement.
You didn't ask, but my #1 biggest concern in this game is keeping Todd Reesing healthy. Before they played Texas, Oklahoma had knocked out every starting QB they had faced- many of whom have been out for several weeks afterwards. Get down, Sparky!
2) Emerging, baby. What I noticed is that we're starting to get a lot better penetration from the defensive tackles, which is only going to help the DEs be more productive.
3) 45%. They still should be considered the favorites, but we're right there. They currently have the #114 ranked passing defense in the FBS. We have Todd Reesing and a gaggle of talented receivers. In a pass-happy league like the Big 12, Mizzou is ripe for disaster if they can't get their ship righted.
4) Colt McCoy is the best quarterback in the country, because he's the most complete. I'm not sure if this Texas team is the best yet, simply because I haven't seen them win in more than one way. If someone finds a way to contain McCoy, could they still beat you? Can they grind out a 14-10 type victory? I don't know. For now, I'll give the edge to Alabama, just because they've proven themselves to be more complete up to this point.
3. Oklahoma State
6. Texas Tech
10. Kansas State
11. Iowa State
12. Texas A&M
Texas over Missouri
Tech over A&M
Nebraska over Iowa State
Colorado over K-State
Okie State over Baylor
1) I'll say 20%. I do think we'll be able to put up some points against them. But I'd be surprised if we could get any more than about 35. And since that is their season low, it's a lot to ask to hold them even lower than that on their home field. The #1 thing that would give us a chance to win would be to run the ball well. But since that's unlikely, the #1 reason we can win is Todd Reesing. He's never rattled or intimidated and it can be infectious; they'll need a whole lot of that to deal with this team and environment.
2) I don't think it was a one-week showing. Jake is now up to 5 sacks on the season and frankly, that pace is not only acceptable, it's actually pretty solid. What we need to start seeing though is consistent pressure every series, rather than just getting free for a sack per game. I don't think Max is anywhere near Jake's level, but I do think he's showing signs of being a good third down end. Overall, I don't expect anyone to have much success this week, but even more than the ends I think it would benefit the Hawks to get a push in the middle so Bradford can't step up.
3) They're sure as hell a lot better than they were. Though I think everyone assumed they were better also, the biggest reason I thought they'd take the division was the schedule disparity. By losing one they shouldn't, they'll really open the door if they can't get by Texas either. Do that, and like you said, we'll only have to win the games we're favored in to have a chance to beat them for the North. I'll say 45/55 : KU/MU.
4) Neither is decisively the best, but they've both played that way through the first half of the year. As well as Colt has played, aside from beating him head-to-head, you can't say that he's been any better than Sam Bradford. Similarly, Texas has looked great, but they've only beat one good team and one decent team. Alabama has done the same (though they did take a couple games off as well), so it's hard to guarantee Texas is any better than them. All that being said, neither has done anything to dissuade me from thinking they're the best and/or being surprised if it ends up looking that way at season's end. The Heisman is Colt's to lose and from what I've seen so far, there's no reason to believe UT isn't capable of hoisting the crystal football.
Texas over Methzouri (I'm a lot more split than I thought I'd be though, got a weird feeling about this one)
Tech over A&M
Nebraska over ISU
Colorado over KSU
OSU over Baylor
1) I give us a 25% chance to win this game and the number 1 reason is Todd Reesing...it's a quarterbacks world and we are all just living in it. Kansas has to play a complete game this week, whistle to whistle. If they do that and keep it close we have the guy under center who might just be able to pull it off.
2) For me it might still be a little premature to say they have arrived but we've seen a few games now out of Laptad so maybe I'll call it a trend. Out of the two Laptad is clearly the one who is closer to putting it all together but Onyegbule has a ton of potential if and when it does click. This week against the OU line will be a true test for our entire d-line so ask the question again if they show up this week and I'll probably give you a different answer.
3) I give us a 90% shot at playing for the title when we fact Missouri at Arrowhead and a 50/50 shot at winning it because it will take a win in a rivalry game to do it. Missouri on paper is probably a better team on paper but you can throw all that out the window when you play a rival and after last year all bets are off...man that is going to be a great game to be at this year...if anyone's going I'll be there and we should say hello.
4) I know it's too easy to say yes but I'm going to go ahead and do it. They have the most impressive win in my opinion this year and Colt McCoy and the Texas offense are a complete and balanced package. If I had to pick a runner up I'll go a little out of the ordinary and say Penn State is the 2nd best team and at Quarterback...Todd Reesing? =D
6) Tech over A&M
Nebraska over ISU
CU over KState
OSU over Baylor
1) With Mangino, Reesing and a defense that looked pretty cohesive, I say our chances for a win are good as always. The number one reason to me is Todd Reesing and his competitive fire. He's out there to win and has always played that way. The more intense he gets the more it rubs off on the rest of the team.
2) My take is steady improvement on the Max and Jake show. I think they can go to another level, but they're not quite there yet. A good performance against OU will have people talking.
3) I think the North is very available. I think we'll get confirmation on Mizzou's suspect defense Saturday night and I'm liking our chances at Arrowhead if they are what I think they are. I want to be careful about KSU and NU though. Based on our tendency to take teams lightly that we've had recent success against, I'm watching both of those squads carefully as they both have QBs that have shown the ability to score quickly. Those games actually concern me more than the ones nobody is giving us a chance in.
4) Currently yes, but they'll be the worst team in the country if they lose to MU. Todd Reesing is the best QB in football.
6) Texas over Missouri
Texas Tech over Texas A&M
Nebraska over Iowa State
Colorado over Kansas State
OSU over Baylor
1) 30%. We will probably lose, but we certainly have enough offensive firepower and defensive playmakers to make a game of it. Don't underestimate our LBer corps; their pretty abysmal running game figures to have little chance of actually showing up for once against us, and teams get into trouble when they are forced to be one-dimensional. Still, that one dimension is pretty amazing. If we do win, I'll go out on record and say it will be because of turnovers. I know, way to actually provide something original, but turnovers, the great equalizer, will be our best chance, by a large margin, to get back into the game. Promise. If you are looking for creativity, I'll say that Angus Quigley will have to have a big day. Sharp will likely be largely negated, forcing us to go to a more physical, McAnderson-type that can run up the middle. Or Quigley, in other words. If he shows up, we could win the game.
2) Not to be negative or anything, but I think it was more of a one-game sort of thing. I think they will, eventually, emerge as legitimate starting options, hopefully by the beginning of next year at the very latest, but not yet. Not right now. I hope I'm wrong, but I think we will see very little of #91 and #47 in the backfield. Which doesn't bode well for our chances.
3) Again, even if we lose three times over the next five games, we will have a chance to win the North going into Arrowhead as long as the Tigers lose this weekend. So, let's basically assume that we have a shot. So, basically, it comes down to what are our chances of defeating Missouri. Which, I'll put right at 48%. We should still be underdogs and all that stuff, and they are the more-talented team, but it is a rivarly game, we'll be pissed after last year, all that fun stuff.
4) A healthy Georgia is the best team in the country, but their offensive line is so ravaged by injuries they aren't going anywhere. An Oklahoma team with Ryan Reynolds is likely #1 in the country right now, and I think they would be even better than Georgia. And then, of course, you have the most NFL-ified team in college football; the University of Southern California. All have more talent than the Longhorns, and all are more 'dominant' football teams. But, right now, I'll give the nod to the Longhorns as the best team in the country. It could change in about 48 hours, certainly, but I'll give it to 'em right now. As far as the QB question goes, I'll take Bradford, still, as far as NFL-style QBs go. Best QB in college, probably Colt McCoy right now but, again, this could change in 48 hours.
5) These are tiered, so go off the spaces and stuff.
Baylor (It is likely irrational, but I absolutely love Robert Griffin)
Texas over Missouri (by only a FG, though; should be a tremendous game)
Tech over A&M (28+)
Iowa State over Nebraska (upset?)
Colorado over K-State
Baylor over Oklahoma State (Upset x 2; Again, I have a serious mancrush on Robert Griffin; I guarantee this is wrong, by the way)
Some more KU vs. OU content upcoming...