1. This question was posed by Rock Chalk Talk's Denverjhawk in Rock M Nation's Live Thread on Saturday: Could a Big 12 North all-star team compete with and/or beat Texas?
I think it would beat Texas without a doubt. I'm not going to get into all the positions, but if you had an offense with a solid Offensive Line, Reesing at QB, with receivers like Dez Briscoe, Brandon Banks, Kerry Meier, and Marquis Hamilton, combined with a RB rotation of (healthy) Alexander Robinson, Roy Helu, Jake Sharp, and Daniel Thomas, they'd put up a ton of points. Combine that with a defensive front led by maybe the best college football player in the nation in Suh..... I think you get the point here.
The Big 12 North has some good individual players, despite not having the strongest teams in the conference.
2. Forget ACC Roulette. For our intents and purposes, the Big 12 North is now the most entertaining battle of supremacy in mediocrity. Handicap what happens with the division from here.
K-State: I think they win 1 more game at the most, but I could see them lose out. How funny/sick would it be if they went 4-4, had a share of the Big 12 North lead, yet were not bowl eligible? Remember, they played 2 FCS teams, so they need to get to 7 wins, not 6. I think they finish either 3-5 or 4-4. I'd put a 5% chance on them winning the North.
Iowa State: It all depends on how healthy they are. I look at their schedule and see a small chance at 4-0, decent shot at 3-1, but most likely going 2-2. That would put them at 4-4 in the conference as well. Due to tiebreakers, Iowa State could get to 4-4 with losses to Kansas, K-State, and Missouri, which would put them out of it.. I think they would have to win out to win the North, so I'd put a 5% chance on them winning it as well.
Kansas: I think they lose @ Tech and @ Texas for sure. That puts them best case at 4-4. Losing to Colorado doesn't hurt them too much in tiebreakers if they beat Nebraska, K-State, and Missouri. I'd give them a 35% chance of winning the North.
Nebraska: I would not want to be a Nebraska fan right now. If their offense plays like it has the past two weeks, they win 1 or 2 more games max (@ Baylor and either K-State or @ Colorado). If they can figure out whatever their problem is, all of their games are winnable except for Oklahoma. I think they beat Baylor and Colorado. K-State is a tossup right now. I think Kansas is a loss, if the Jayhawks offense gets going. I think they can get to 4-4, but I could be talked into 3-5 pretty easily. I'd give them a 15% chance of winning the North.
Missouri: Easiest schedule down the stretch: @ Colorado, Baylor, @ K-State, Iowa State, and Kansas (at Arrowhead). Can you find 4 wins from that group? I can. They could even rip off a 5 game winning streak and take this thing. I'd be interesting if Iowa State was at 4-3 and Missouri was at 3-3 the week they played. Since I think they have the only chance to realistically win 5 games, they are my favorite at this point. I give them a 40% chance to win it. Truth be told, if they can win 4 games including Kansas, I think they would win the tie-breakers. They can win 5 of these games, likely will win 3-4, but even at 4, they have a chance to win the North.
Colorado: I think they probably lose out, sorry Ralphie. 0% chance of winning the North this year.
3. Is Oklahoma back on track after taking care of business against Kansas? Their national aspirations are obviously done, but can we expect to see a fairly dominant Sooner team down the stretch?
Yes, they are back on track, and yes they will be somewhat dominant down the stretch. They've only lost 3 games by 5 points combined! If they had scheduled only cupcakes, they'd be where Oklahoma State is right now in terms of record and perception. They will win out and go to the Cotton bowl. They're the 2nd best team in the conference with maybe the best defense in the conference.
4. Texas A&M, Texas Tech, and Kansas State managed to completely shred the transitive property. What did the games between these schools tell us about these teams?
All they showed us is that these teams are inconsistent. I don't know what happened with K-State and A&M at all, but I think Tech slept on A&M after seeing that A&M got rolled, and they got bit. I think the Tech team that showed up against K-State was more indicitive on what kind of team they are. I also don't think Tech is as good when Taylor Potts is playing for them.
5. Did Texas find its mojo in Missouri, and does Oklahoma State have enough to take the Horns down in Stillwater this week?
It seems like it takes almost half the season for McCoy to really get going. It seems like they start slower, although I've never really researched it. I think the game against Oklahoma State will play similar to the Texas-Texas Tech game. It will be somewhat close, but Texas will win by 2 scores and pull ahead late.
6. Power Poll! Who wins on a neutral field?
Without a doubt, the hardest team to do it. I just showed how 5 teams in the North could go 4-4. Who's to pick the better team, and how do we relate the North to the South? Here's my best shot at it, assuming the teams would play this week:
- Oklahoma State
- Texas Tech
- Iowa State
- Texas A&M
- Kansas State