Rock M Nation, again, is hosting. Make sure and say please and thank you while you are off visiting.
We're back. Hopefully better than ever. Probably not, though.
1. A solid 10-2 showing for the Big 12 this weekend. Which of these wins was biggest for the Big 12 and why?
Now, there is a difference between 'biggest' and 'most impressive'. I think that is a given, but it is still worth pointing out. With that said, the biggest win was clearly Oklahoma State's victory over ESSS EEEE SEEE power Georgia. Now, yes, Georgia will likely have a down year, after losing two Top 12 picks, the QB and RB no less. Still, a lot of people were taking the Dawgs, and Oklahoma State stepping up and winning is a big feather in the cap for the entire conference.
More importantly, they won a defensive battle. Again, Joe Cox is the starting QB, but still, the Pokes did quite a bit to dispel that silly notion that the Big 12 really has no defense at all. The Big 12 owes Bill Young a nice steak dinner, or something.
2. Conversely, the Mountain West did its damage against Colorado and Oklahoma. What's more disconcerting -- a sleeper in Colorado coming unglued, or a power in Oklahoma getting knocked off.
The power getting knocked off. Colorado was only a sleeper to some, and it isn't like the North was depending on them to be respectable. It could be the greatest year in the history of the Big 12 North, with three legitimate Top 25 teams in Nebraska, Missouri and Kansas. They are all way at the bottom of the rankings right now, but all of the talent to scoot on up.
On the other hand, Oklahoma did not look good on Saturday night. Even when Sam Bradford was alive and kicking, their offensive line couldn't handle BYU's blitzes, and their defense was bailed out by a couple of timely turnovers from a much larger loss. And depending on how long the injured shoulder takes to heal, Oklahoma couldn't be done losing -- Miami looked really, really good on Monday night, certainly good enough to beat a Sam Bradford-less Oklahoma. Hell, even if Bradford comes back for that game, I bet it won't be a blowout. The Sooners certainly disappointed Saturday night, and it might take awhile before they recapture all of the mojo they lost.
3. Right now, the college football world is rotating around a shoulder that can't rotate itself. What does the Sam Bradford injury mean for the conference right now?
It isn't the same place. Oklahoma State's big step up early in the afternoon doesn't mean nearly as much, anymore, because there rise was shortly followed by Oklahoma's fall. Right or wrong, Oklahoma was expected to roll BYU. When Sam Bradford left the game, just seconds before intermission, the game was tied, with the Sooners trotting out a field goal kicker. BYU had just turned the ball over at the goalline, and for all intents and purposes, had outplayed Boomer Sooner in the first half.
Remember, this was with Sam Bradford in the game. And then Landry (can we call him Lance?) Jones came in, and was just really bad. So, it will be up to Stoops and Company to get him ready to at least not blow it against Tulsa. As long as Bradford comes back quickly, and plays just as well, there won't be a whole lot of damage done to the conference. But if you are just interested in the Big 12, you want him back as soon as possible and putting up some more 60-point games.
4. How, if at all, did your perception of your team change after week one, both for better and for worse?
Basically, it didn't change at all. It is quite difficult to obtain too much knowledge through playing a 1-AA team that has won 3 teams in 3 years. I don't mind a cupcake to start off the non-conference schedule, Mark, and even a 1-AA team doesn't give me the shivers. But at least make it a competitive 1-AA team, please.
If there was anything to be gained, is that we can run the ball more effectively. Yes, again, terrible 1-AA team, but we eclipsed 300 yards. On the negative side of the ledger, our defensive line (outside of Jake "Stud" Laptad) got minimal push, while Anthony Davis and Calvin Rubles, the two corners that split time opposite Daymond Patterson, combined for 4 pass interference penalties. Now, they were silly penalties, and ones that can be easily corrected, but it is still disconcerting.
So, like I said, it basically stayed the same. Some parts slightly more positive (like Branstetter's leg!), and some slightly more negative (Jonathan Wilson, where did your hands go?), and in reality it is just one game. We should learn a whole lot more Saturday in El Paso.
5. Give us your offensive player of the week, defensive player of the week, and coaching move of the week, including justifications for your selection. You ARE eligible to vote for your own program.
Umm. How about for Coaching Move, I give it to Dan Hawkins for getting Darrell Scott only one carry. It's always crucial to keep your best playmaker on the bench as much as possible, in case he makes your son look bad. Good call, Dan. That's why this ain't Intramurals.
In all seriousness, I didn't watch the game closely enough to really analyze a specific Coaching Move (stupid Big 10 country...nobody cares about Western Michigan-Michigan, especially when it's 31-0 in the 4th quarter), but I'll give it to Bill Young of Oklahoma State just for being awesome. And having an entirely aces performance.
Offensive Player of the Week -- Blaine Gabbert. Easy. Blaine is a stud, and is already the #1 pick in the 2011 NFL Draft. He might be the best quarterback I've ever seen. Well, except that Jeff George. Seriously, though, kid's a really good quarterback. I wouldn't be surprised to see some picks once they face a real defense, but he has a stronger arm than Chase Daniel and just as much mobility. If he can master the offense as well, he will probably turn out even better. That means the onus is on Kale Pick.
Defensive Player of the Week -- Von Miller. Just a quick perusual of statistics over the weekend, and 3 sacks stands out. I kind of wanted to homer it and give it to Laptad, but 3 > 2, and New Mexico > Northern Colorado. Sorry, Jake.
6. Big 12 Power Poll! Rank the teams from 1-12. (Again, the simple criteria for this is power, i.e. who would beat who on a neutral field?)
Uh, yeah, I already did this earlier this week. But I want to change it. That's allowed, right? And just for reference's sake, I'm acting as if I had to play Oklahoma on Saturday, which means everyone's favorite shoulder will still be in a sling. Just sayin'.
EDIT: Yeah, uh, next time I should probably read the actual directions. I missed the neutral field aspect. I feel like an idiot. The crossed out names were my original poll, with the new teams my "real" Power Poll!
- Oklahoma State
Iowa StateTexas A&M
Texas TechIowa State
- Kansas State
EDIT CONT.: That better?