This post is sponsored by EA Sports NCAA Football 2011.
I've read some fan expecatations, and they are all over the place. I'll keep it short because I was hoping to delve into this more, as I continue to research our opponents. I also like to simulate (in my mind) the Big 12 week by week, so that I can come up with records for teams that are feasible.
But I'll put it like this. It's going to be a hard season. Possibly brutal. But in short, I think those that are picking Northern Illinois over ISU are just hating. Northern Illinois will be a good mid-major, but come on. Every year we go through this exercise, and every year some punks try to say teams like Northern Illinois, North Dakota State, etc., are going to win. It may be a close game, as the first game of the year is usually sloppy, but a night game at home, and a fired up crowd will result in a win.
I'm also not all that impressed with Utah. They will be solid, but they're beatable too. Everyone should reserve judgement on Texas Tech until we see if Tubberville utilizes the offense properly. I think it's possible to get 6 wins again, but realistically I'm thinking 4-5 wins out of Northern Illinois, UNI, K-State, Utah, Texas Tech, CU, K-State, and Iowa if we get overlooked. Even though it's a probable loss, I have a hard time thinking Nebraska will be better this year than last year to be honest. It's really hard to get a feel for any of the North teams, and about half of the South teams in my mind. What I really want to see is us being respectable. With this many upperclassmen, you want to start seeing meaningful wins, but the schedule is just really stacked against a team that just isn't on the same level right now.
No matter what happens, if they play hard, never say die, and give it all they got, do it the Paul Rhoads way, it'll be a successful season in my mind. Building a program takes some time, and if we get to a bowl game, great, if not, not a shocker to me.
What about you guys? What are you hoping for? I'm definitley going to revisit, as I'm finishing researching the teams. This is just a gut feel in early July on what I'm thinking.
This concludes our discussions. Please get your comments in by 5pm Central Time if possible. Tonight, I'll announce the winner of the game, and tomorrow we'll have an open thread for those of you that purchased NCAA Football 2011!