Another installment of this weekly feature. This week, we are hosting the results, but these are Clone Chronicles' answers. Either Wednesday or Thursday, I will post consolidated answers from the rest of the Big 12 bloggers.
1. The Big 12 has looked more unimpressive than impressive thus far. Do you attribute this to early season struggles, or does the conference look to have regressed from '08? Please explain
I think the conference talent has dropped off a bit. Right now it looks like Texas and everybody else. Everybody else looks vulnerable, and we aren't going to see three 10-1 teams in the South again. Overall, I still think it's a tough conference. From an ISU perspective, every conference game is going to be a challenge. Perhaps some of us had too high of expectations for some of the teams after having a special year last year.
More questions on the next page!
2. When looking at our team's schedule, sometimes it's hard to get excited about non-conference portion of the schedule, except for maybe 1 game. In general, are you content with your team's non-conference scheduling? Is there an opponent you'd like to see on a regular basis, that you currently do not?
Overall, I think it's OK. We haven't been winning a ton, so it makes sense to schedule less than exciting opponents in those seasons. At the same time, they don't schedule like basketball. With basketball you don't schedule too much out in the future, because you want to make a schedule based on the team you have. With football, ISU has the non-conference schedule set until 2017, with 1 open date in 2018, 2019, and 2 open dates in 2020, and we have NO idea on how this program is going to be over the next 10 years.
A school I'd like to see ISU play regularly is Minnesota. It really makes a lot of sense on so many levels. There are a lot of ISU students and alums from the Twin Cities. The University of Minnesota is only 3 hours away from Ames. The Gophers now have an awesome new stadium, and it would be a really fun series to take part in. I suppose that as a Big 12 team, you do not want to have two Big 10 teams on your schedule every year, however.
3. Over the years we've seen a fair share of teams lose the week they appear on the SI cover. Does the "SI Curse" exist, is it a coincidence, or is it something that we only take notice of when it rings true (but forget when it does not)? Explain.
In some ways I think it's more than a coincidence, but I'm not saying it's a spiritual curse. Sometimes a team has to play a opponent better than themselves, so perhaps then it's just a coincidence. But when you have a good team, play a game they should win at home, lose, then I start thinking. For the most part, I could just see it getting to a lot of player's heads. They think they've arrived, are all that, and that hunger and drive decreases that week. Also your opponent just saw you make the cover, and that puts a big target on your back, making them hungry with the drive for success.
I think Oklahoma State is not used to being a cover story in the national media, and it got to their heads a little bit. Houston is a good team that plays a shoot-out style game, and they probably had a little extra juice to knock this team off.
4. What is the biggest question your team has to answer heading into Week 3?
Can ISU win on the road? That's basically it. We haven't won on the road since 2005, and hold the longest road losing streak in the nation at 17. It'd be nice to see the streak end, especially in a game where ISU is favored.
5. Choose an Offensive Player of the Week (non-QB to make it a little more interesting) and Defensive Player of the Week from Week 2. Provide solid arguments for each
If we were picking QBs, it'd obviously be Taylor Potts and it'd probably be unanimous.
Offensive POW: Ryan Broyles, WR, Oklahoma - 7 catches, 155 yards, 3 TDs. Broyles is emerging as a big target for OU. They did not play a tough opponent, but to be able to step up receiving-wise is huge.
Defensive POW: David Sims, SS, ISU - 11 tackles, 2 INTs for 41 yards. ISU did lose badly, but not because of Sims. I just think he had a good individual performance and deserves some recognizition for it.
6. Big 12 Power Rankings! Rank the teams 1-12 (remember, this is based on power i.e., who would win on a neutral field)
- Oklahoma State
- Texas Tech
- Texas A&M
- Iowa State
- Kansas State