Here we are, back again. After a one-week hiatus, the festivities are back at my personal favorite college blog (evar!), Rock M Nation. So, go visit. With that said, here are my answers.
1. The game between Texas Tech and Texas got the Big 12 in the national eye early in the season. If your team was approached with this opportunity (or for Tech and Texas, approached again), would you accept and reap the benefits of the exposure, or decline because of the potential pitfalls of playing a conference foe so early in the season?
I don't know why not. In fact, I probably would rather do it, because they the gauntlet down the stretch in October and November could be infused with an easier game. Like Kansas-Duke in early November instead of a trip down to Austin. Plus, it gets your name out there early -- even though the Techers lost, they have generated a bunch of talk for being so competitive for so long in the game.
Despite an 'L', they are receiving positive pub. Texas is too, obviously, because they won. So, as long as you aren't breaking in a million, billion new starters, I don't see why not. I would be all for it. I'll take the exposure and the easier schedule down the stretch for little-to-no cost.
2. Some of the Big 12 teams are starting to become known quantities, but there are still a few teams that most of us can't quite measure. Which team in the Big 12 do you consider the biggest enigma right now?
This is a really good question. I could go a lot of different answers, and thought about just about all 12 teams.
I'll go with Oklahoma State, though, after careful consideration. They have the talent and the home win over Georgia to be a legitimate BCS contender, but they also have the, uh, qualities and home loss to Houston that may leave them in the Holiday Bowl, where they seem to end up every year (even though they don't). They have enough talent and offensive genius behind them (not to mention spiked, gel hair and ridiculously overplayed rants) to compete for a BCS game, but not quite enough defensive power (despite Bill Young, who was the Genius of the Hour opening weekend) to be certain of it in any capacity. In short, let's put it this way -- I have no freaking clue what kind of team they are.
I wouldn't be surprised if they win out the rest of their schedule (yes, that includes against Texas and in Norman) and make a BCS bowl. It would be unexpected, but not shocking. Of course, if they stumbled along, lost another game-or-two they probably shouldn't have, and get shipped out to San Diego with an 8-4 record, I would not question it for a second.
There are a bunch of enigmas in the NFL, but none quite as large as the Cowboys.
3. What did you learn about your team in Week 3, and what questions has your team failed to answer at this point of the season?
In Week Three, there were a couple of questions answered. One was a ridiculous one, whether Todd Reesing and the passing game could get "back on track". Whatever the heck that means. In any case, I'd say it qualifies.
The more pressing question, and one that isn't entirely answered yet is the pass rush. It's been good so far this season, great even. 5 sacks against UTEP, 4 against Duke. That's awesome production. That's just about how many the Chiefs had all season (as a Chiefs fan, I'm obligated to mention that). But still, we don't know just how much of that is 'for real'. Also worth noting is that a vast majority of those have been on third down with our 4-DE lineup of Jake Laptad and Maxwell Onyegbule on the inside and Jeff Wheeler and Steven Foster on the outside. That's all well-and-good, but it's only a matter of time before people realize the massive running lanes that are open and start calling draws and screens to pick up the first down.
So, it might be unfair, but I'll go with that one. The pass rush has been excellent so far, but it's yet to be seen just how good or great or excellent or anything it really has been.
4. There aren't exactly a whole lot of marquee matchups in Week 4. Which Big 12 game this week not involving your team piques your interest the most?
Texas Tech @ Houston. Definitely Red Raiders @ Cougars. For a couple of reasons, really. On one hand, my opinion of the Red Raiders is quite different after their performance last Saturday night in Austin, so I want to see how their defense fares against (another) elite offense in Houston's attack. And on the other, since I didn't get to watch Oklahoma State-Houston, I want to see just how good Case Keenum is. If Houston wins this game, they would appear to have a relatively easy path to a potential BCS game, while a loss by the Red Raiders would probably seem worse than it really would be.
One of my top games of the weekend, really. Really looking forward to it.
5. Give us your Offensive Player of the Week, Defensive Player of the Week, and Surprise (team, individual, coaching decision, etc. Whatever you want it to be...) of the Week.
Offensive POW -- No real thought, necessary. Boomer Sooner Landry (Warden?) Jones threw for a school record 6 TDs against Tulsa. That'll get you the honors most weeks.
Defensive POW -- Oklahoma's D. Two straight shutouts needs to get you some form of accolades, right?
Surprise -- Texas Tech's Defense. In the first half, Tech looked the part of last year. They had a good-enough defense, a bunch of firepower on offense and a Pirate calling the shots. And considering how everything went to the tank last year, this year's team may end up with a similar record. Tech's D played excellent in the first half, and while they dropped off in the second, they were still passable. Bravo.
6. Power Poll! Rank the teams from 1-12 based on which team would win on a neutral field.
- Nebraska (they looked good in defeat, although I'm going to assuredly regret this later)
- Oklahoma (even without Sam, they are getting the hang of it)
- Oklahoma State (looked pretty bad against an absolutely terrible Rice team)
- Texas Tech (nearly bumped them up more, but they gave up yards in bunches the second half)
- Texas A&M
- Iowa State
- Colorado (showed signs of life)
- Kansas State
There is going to be a bunch of debate, I'm sure. #2 is a crapshoot, no other way to look at it. Oklahoma State had one off week, okay, but having two in a row (and yes, a 17-point win over Rice at home definitely counts as an off week) may mean this is closer to who they really are than opening weekend. Baylor-A&M was tough, but I still gotta go Robert Griffin III. Even though K-State lost on the road to a BCS team by 14, the other two bottom-dwellers won, and looked doing it. And K-State didn't even dream of looking good.
Let's hear it, though. Where do you disagree?