This is the latest installment of the 2009 edition of the SB Nation Big 12 Roundtable. Our hosts this week are the folks at Iowa State's Clone Chronicles.
1. Other than Texas most likely winning the South, and Baylor likely going o-fer in the conference, there's a lot of uncertainty with teams jockeying for position in the Big 12. As the teams head into this 3 or 4 game stretch, what concerns do you have about your team? What would be considered a good season, and what would be considered a bad season? If you've already decided it's a good season or bad season regardless of what happens down the stretch, what's the storyline you're looking for as we head into the final month of the regular season?
Anybody who's watched the Huskers in their televised games knows the concerns revolve around the offense..or lack thereof. At the end of the Baylor game, Nebraska was down to their fifth string I-back, a true freshman quarterback, and playing a redshirt freshman and sophomore juco transfer at wide receiver. That's a whole lot of inexperience on the field. But Nebraska's record is 5-3, which is where they were at this point last year. Finishing strong like last season would be the litmus test at this point. Road games at Kansas and Colorado look like they might be winnable, as the Jayhawks and Buffaloes have their own problems. Kansas State is much improved in recent weeks, but the game is in Lincoln. Win those three games, and the Huskers might still win the North division, and that would make it a good season. Maybe not as good as we would have hoped a few weeks ago, but still pretty good.
2. We haven't had a chance to talk a lot of about of the individual players. Some have performed as expected, others have had breakout seasons, while others haven't had the greatest season in 2009. By now, you're probably seen a handful of other Big 12 teams play. Pick one player on each side of the ball from another Big 12 team that you've been the most impressed with, and what about them has caught your attention.
Missouri's Danario Alexander has caught my eye throughout the season after a couple of injury plagued seasons. He's got the complete package; he's got great hands, great size, and great speed. Whenever he catches the ball, it has the potential to become highlight reel material. He's a sure early-round NFL draft pick in my book. I had to stop and think about a defensive player, but I'm going to go with Missouri's Sean Weatherspoon. He's definitely the leader of the Missouri defense. He even looks tough in his Snuggie.
3. What is your take on the Big 12 TV situation? It seems like every week, we have at least one Big 12 game that gets zero TV coverage, while many games are on stations that not every cable company/satellite carrier picks up (like Fox College Sports and Versus). As a Big 12 fan, do you think a change of some sort is needed, or are you happy with the coverage? Does it hurt the Big 12 that not every game is televised?
Fox College Sports is probably the worst deal of all; as far as I know, it's only available via satellite sports packages. Those games might as well not be televised for all practical purposes. But I actually like the Versus package. Even with DirecTV being complete morons for dropping Versus, Versus still appears in 20 million more homes than the Big Ten Network, NFL Network, or ESPNU. When you consider that FSN frequently pre-empts Big XII games for baseball (in September) and the NHL and NBA in many markets outside of Big XII territory, the Big XII could do far worse. I don't know what the solution is, but unless the Big XII can talk TBS to come back to carry the Big XII, I'd stick with Versus. And no, when you consider how poorly the Big Ten and NFL Networks are doing in households, the last thing the Big XII should do is consider starting their own network. (Some might argue that's what Fox College Sports is...)
4. Let's say you had a friend that's been living under a rock the past few months, and they want to know how your team's season has gone. You only want to spend a few minutes on it, you don't want to get into the game-by-game details, so you decide to play the song that best describes your team's season thus far. What song are you playing?
Wow...this one's out of left field. I finally settled on "Black Hole Sun" by Soundgarden. Let's face it, this season seems to be black, between the outstanding play from the Blackshirts and the horrible play by the offense over the last few games. (Not to mention all of the rain down at Missouri...)
5. Power Rank the teams! If you find it too difficult, or don't want to participate, rank the teams based on your projected Bowl Selection Order (just make sure you designate what you are doing. Also keep in mind that K-State is the only team in the conference with 2 FCS wins, so they need to get to 7 in order to be bowl eligible)
- Texas Tech
- Kansas State
- Oklahoma State
- Texas A&M
- Iowa State
Kansas State gets a bump-up by making it a game against Oklahoma in the 2nd half. Nebraska's defense keeps them above much of the rest of the North division.