Peter Bean, he of the greatest blog in the history of college athletics, more commonly referred to simply as Burnt Orange Nation, has been the one assigned to do the honors this week for the Big 12 Roundtable. If you want to see the original post, head over there and check it out. The color takes a while to get used to, but as long as you focus on the actual words in the middle of your screen, you're good.
1. We start with a review of your team's non-conference performance. Take the format of my Week 5 Big 12 Report (North Division post here, South Division here) and give us your Offensive MVP, Defensive MVP, and Projected Finish. (Limit 125 words max on each.)
Offensive MVP - Todd Reesing QB :: Easy. Simple. Hot Toddy, Sparky, Heisman candidate; whatever the hell you wanna call him, Todd Reesing has destroyed all comers thus far this year. Sure, we have had to fend off three "cupcakes" while losing the other game, but he has looked tremendous in all four games. He is the thing that makes the whole team work.
Defensive MVP - Chris Harris CB :: Harris is, by no means, the most talented player on this defense. That would be a linebacker (pick one) or Darrell Stuckey. However, it has become painfully obvious that we aren't exactly deep at corner, making Harris' good-to-great production incredibly important. Without Harris, we have all of zero legitimate, healthy starting CBs available. That's no fun.
Projected Finish - 5-3, 2nd in Big 12 North :: And that, in my opinion, is being generous. I'm still not convinced we aren't better they we were last season, but combining the loss already with a devastatingly tough slate upcoming (we face four of the current Top 7 teams in the entire country the rest of the way) is not a way to pile up victories. Winning 8 games this season would be a monumental achievement.
2. Oklahoma State is one of two Big 12 teams not represented by bloggers. Don your oversized Cowboy hat for a day and give us your take on Mike Gundy's team. Are they same old same old (above average offense, putrid defense)? Or something else?
Yeah, I would say so. Their offense is really, really good, especially under the tutelage of tough-enough, non-Mama's-Boy Zac Robinson. Last year, they were the most balanced team ever, and they figure to bring much of the same to the table even without Dantrell Savage. But their defense can't really compete with the rest of the upper echelon teams. Essentially, they are pre-2008 Texas Tech. Just with a less awesome coach.
3. Your team has reached the Big 12 title game, but in a cruel twist of fate, your coach is declared ineligible and you have been asked to select among the other 11 coaches in the conference your team's game day maestro. Who do you select and why?
Just for a game, right? So, recruiting has no impact. OK, scratch Gary Pinkel and Mack Brown off the list. Both awesome recruiters and decent choices were you to have to find a long-term replacement within the league, but aren't the cream of the crop in the three hours on Saturdays. The rest either aren't very good coaches (Mike Sherman, Ron Prince and Mike Gundy) or are relatively untested, at least in the Big 12 (Art Briles, Bo Pelini, Dan Hawkins and Gene Chizik). That leaves you with the only two real options in Mike Leach and Bob Stoops. Stoops is the obvious choice, and the choice I'll make, but Leach would be an interesting selection. However, without his set-system, he likely would be lost, prompting me to go with Stoops.
4. Same situation, but different replacement: Assume this time that it's your quarterback who can't participate in the Big 12 title game. Which other quarterback from the conference would you select to lead your team for that game?
It's no fun to say, but I would have to say Chase Daniel. I am becoming convinced that Sam Bradford is the best QB in the Big 12, and probably the country, but he doesn't really fit the spread mold, and he wouldn't be all that successful in our offense. Graham Harrell is a spread QB, obviously, but I like Chase Daniel more. Colt McCoy has looked awesome thus far, but not quite as stellar as Mr. Daniel.
Daniel has composure, incredible accuracy and quite a bit of understanding of how the spread works and where to go. Obviously, each spread is different, but I think that ours is closer to Missouri's than Texas Tech's or, for that matter, anybody else's spread.
5. Imagine it is July 2008 and you receive an email from the conference's director of public relations, who informs you that the Big 12 has officially partnered with Austin City Limits Music Festival 2008. To promote the partnership, the conference has asked you to choose one of the festival's participating bands as metaphor for your football team and explain it. Go.
Yeah, I'll just go with what KJ-IBT said. Can't really say I could answer this question intelligently.
6. Answer all of the following in no more than two sentences:
(A) Conference's best quarterback?
(B) Conference's best offense?
(C) Big 12 South winner?
(D) Big 12 North winner?
(E) Big 12 champion?
(F) Big 12 team you would adopt as your favorite if forced to abandon your own?
(G) One prediction that might surprise the rest of us?
(A) - Sam Bradford. Chase Daniel is an ever-so-close second, but Bradford narrowly edges him out. Just a gut feeling, I suppose.
(B) - Missouri. Texas Tech's offensive unit has looked somewhat human thus far, at least compared to their usual output, and Missouri's is unreal.
(C) - Oklahoma. Again, they are still my pick, as they have been since mid-August, to go 14-0 and take home the Crystal Ball. Obviously, winnoer of Tech-Texas is #2 in the South, but I'll take the Red Raiders.
(D) - Missouri. Clearly the best team. We should give them a run for their money, and could conceivably have a chance to sneak in and win the Division entering the Border War, but the Tigers are quite a bit better.
(E) - Oklahoma. Again.
(F) - Baylor. I am a sucker for underdogs, and they are clearly at the bottom rung of Big 12 programs. Iowa State, for the aforementioned reasons, would be Choice #2.
(G) - Baylor beats one of the South's Power Trio (OU, UT and Tech). That Robert Griffin is a player, baby.
Rock Chalk Roundtable coming Thursday, along with some initial Iowa State content.