Another week, another roundtable. This week hosted by Corn Nation.
1. I'm sure everybody had preseason predictions for their team. Now that we're a few games in, revise your predictions with your best and worst case scenarios (being reasonable on both sides), and then revising your prediction for the season result.
I had ISU at 6-6 before the season started. I thought we would be 4-1 at this point, and we very much could have been. With that said, we are at 3-2. I had thought before the season had started that our passing game would be the strength of the team. When you look at ISU right now, you'd think I was crazy, but it absolutely was the strength last year, and most of the guys returned.
Because our offense has had some issues, and because I think Alexander Robinsion may be bothered all year by his injury, I'd put best case scenario at 5 wins, worst case at 3 wins, and I think we will win 4 games.
Kansas, Nebraska, A&M, and Missouri are all road games against teams better than us. Pretty hard to say that we will win those. That puts us at 6 losses right there. Oklahoma State is talented, even without Dez Bryant, and even though we are their trap game, they still have a good running game and a good QB. Probably another loss. A lot would have to go ISU's way (and OSU would have to embarrass themselves). That puts us at 7 losses
Baylor, and Colorado are winnable games, as the teams aren't that good, and they are being played in Ames. I could see us winning both, losing both, and splitting those.
At the end of the day, winning 4-5 games isn't too bad, but the way we are playing some of these games is killing me.
2. In 2010, the Big 12 will send it's 7th place team to play in a new bowl game to be played at Yankee Stadium, replacing the Independence Bowl in Shreveport. What's your take on this move? Is it a good move for players? Is it a good move for the conference? Is it a good move for fans?
For the players: It's a good move probably. I could see a lot of guys being excited to travel to a fun city for a game.
For the conference: It has to be a good move right? Otherwise why switch? More $$ right?
Fans: It has to suck big time. This game will be played between December 29th and Jan 2nd. Hotels will be hard to come by/expensive due to all of the New Year's fesitivities. Who wants to pay $250-300/night for a hotel, to watch the 7th in the Big 12 vs. The 4th in the Big East? Plus, no one in NYC is going to care about this game. If no one in Houston cared about the Texas Bowl, why would such a pro town like NYC care about two mediocre college football teams?
My take: If ISU made it to this bowl, I'd really want to go, but the cost of the trip would probably price me out of it. I'd pay an arm and a leg for a Cotton Bowl, Holiday Bowl, or something like that, as those would be historic games for ISU. A Yankee Bowl bid would be good for the program potentially, but not good for fans.
3. Oklahoma is now 2-2, with one of those victories coming against a winless 1-AA team. Will all be well in Soonerland once Sam Bradford returns?
Oklahoma's issues are at OL and WR, not QB. Sam Bradford alone can't fix what's up with the Sooners. Plus I think the Sooners should be applauded for actually playing a compelling schedule. Oklahoma is probably the 10th-15th best team in the nation, even with their woes. This is a case of people punishing them for playing a tough non-conference schedule.
4. This week, Missouri and Nebraska face off on an ESPN Thursday night broadcast at 8 pm. Last Thursday, Colorado lost to West Virginia. Missouri and Colorado both have played Friday night road games. What's your take on non-Saturday games?
I love them, especially if my team is playing in the game. I get to go to the game (or watch it on TV), and not miss any of the other action. When I go to an ISU game, I miss almost everything else going on in the college football world, from spending the whole day tailgating, going to the game, etc.
5. It seems everybody is in agreement that the bottom three teams in the North are the bottom three teams in the conference. Is the gap growing, and which of these teams is going to break out of the cellar first. Or is it hopeless?
I don't think the gap is growing. Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Texas Tech, and Baylor are all down from last year. A&M isn't the power they were eariler in the decade either. I think Kansas, Nebraska, and Missouri are all pretty good. The bottom three teams are really bad, but I think Nebraska is a recruiting class or two away from competing against the South, and I think Kansas,Nebraska, and Missouri could play close to 4 of the Big 12 South teams (possibly all of them).
As far as the woes with the North teams, they need to be seperated:
Colorado: It should not be a tough place to win. They have an attractive campus, and a program with tradition. All they are showing is that it takes one bad coaching hire to destory a program. Once they get a good coach there, they should be able to get back to where they were, I'd think.
ISU/Kansas State: Are in similar shoes. Both are places that are difficult to recruit to, and don't have a ton of tradition (ISU has none, Kansas State has very little). Kansas State had a great run earlier this decade, but recruits forget about that. Both programs are going to be fighting an uphill battle for a long while. They will not be able to outrecruit the other programs without cheating, so they will have to be good at developing talent and will have to get lucky with some recruits as well.
6. Rank all of the division 1 football conferences from top to bottom. Not just the BCS conferences (ACC, Big 12, Big 10/11, Big East, Pac 10, SEC), but the others (MAC, Conference USA, WAC, Mountain West, Sun Belt) as well. Who's the strongest conference, and who's the pretender?
SEC - 3 legit National Contenders. Hard to argue
Big 12 - Might send the most bowl teams.
ACC - VA Tech and Miami are very good now. Boston College, Florida State, Clemson, and Georgia Tech are not a bad middle tier at all
- Pac 10 - No great teams but a bunch of solid teams. The bottom isn't as bad as in years past.
- Big 10 - Biggest pretender. No legit National Champions, yet a handful of ranked teams. Still get a lot of hype and attention. Once they play each other, mecriocity will show
Big East - They are very close to the Big 10. Cincy and South Florida have been impressive thus far. At the same time, teams like Syracuse are bringing the conference down.
Mountain West - BYU and TCU are still really good. Utah is down compared to their more recent successes, and the rest of the conference just isn't that good.
- CUSA - Gunslinging conference. They have some talented offenses, but it's more of a gimmicky kind of a conference
MAC - Have decent teams like Central Michigan (who beat Michigan State earlier in the year), but also have crap teams like Kent State
WAC - Boise State, a little bit of Fresno State, and nobody else
- Sun Belt - .... Yeah
7. PowerPoll time. Rank 'em 1 to 12 based on who you think would be the victor on a neutral field.
- Oklahoma State
- Texas Tech
- Texas A&M
- Kansas State
- Iowa State