I was in charge of the questions this past week and normally a round-up is supposed to be posted on Friday/Saturday, so I'm at least a full day behind and it's important to realize that these answers cover the week before yesterday. It might make for an interesting comparison of the weekly up/down nature of being a fan, though.
We finally had participation from a Texas blog, Gabriel's Horn. Obviously most of them were too nervous about their season opener to join the rest of us. Perhaps after beating TCU they may become more talkative this week.
If you'd like to host the roundtable, contact Matt at the Oklahoma blog Crimson and Cream Machine.
1. What did you learn, if anything, about your team on opening weekend? More specifically, did you see anything that brought complete elation or utter disappointment?
Alex at the Iowa State blog Clone Chronicles is aware that last week's loss to Kent State was the first game under a new regime and that these things take time. This weekend's loss to Div IAA foe Northern Iowa can't make him feel any better.
Kansas State blogger Bring on the Cats feels like Josh Freeman is much improved over last season. He was happy with the defense, but concerned about a lack of discipline resulting in many penalties against Auburn.
Nebraska blog MidWest Coast Bias mentioned was happy with the Husker defense. I wonder how he feels this week, after watching Wake Forest and some of the mistakes we made in that game. They were happy with Husker back Marlon Lucky.
Husker Mike mentioned the offensive line as a positive, as did I, as something to be happy about. After the Wake game, I'm still happy with the offensive line, as Wake's starting defensive line is much better than Nevada's.
Kansas' Rock Chalk Talk was happy that he was wrong about Mark Mangino's choice of a starting quarterback.
Mizzou blogger Every True Son said Missouri's opening game brought back memories of last year's Sun Bowl, and was happy with the Tigers offense, but concerned about their performance in the red zone. Pig Brown is a playmaker on defense, and the Tigers certainly need all of that they can get.
Texas Tech's explosion of last week made Double T Nation happy in that Red Raider fans no longer have to worry about the offense. Tech fans worry about their offense? Wow.
Crimson and Cream Machine, along with the rest of the country, learned that Oklahoma's offense is explosive. It was true last week about North Texas, and they certainly exploded again against Miami yesterday. Do the Sooners have a weakness?
12th ManChild has this to say about the Aggies:
Thing I Did NOT like:
* A Div.I-AA team putting up 400+ yards of offense on the Wrecking Crew
* The secondary's regression to 2005 abysmal play
* That McGee still refuses to protect himself. Every defensive player on our schedule is gunning for him.
* Our Wide Receivers were wide open, but not doing much receiving.
He's probably summed up the Aggies season with that post.
2. 20 years from now, someone will ask you "Where Were You When Appalachian State beat Michigan?". Describe what you were doing at the time, your reaction.
Disproving the myth that Mizzourans and Oklahomans know nothing of new-fangled technology, Crimson and Cream Machine followed the game on a cell phone, as did Every True Son.
12th Man Child mentions that he was on his way to tailgates, and then watched the highlights on "12th Man TV". I can only assume that that is the big screen at Kyle Field. Perhaps he was drinking a 12th Man cola, while wearing his 12th Man shoes. I love the Aggies.
txhny at Gabriel's Horn was at the Texas tailgate at the time and for some reason recalled the song 'All Out of Love' by 'Air Supply'. I'll never understand women, and I've been married 17 years.
Husker Mike and Midwest Coast Bias found out simultaneously with thousands of other cheering Husker fans at Memorial Stadium. I followed the game events online.
Only Rock Chalk Talk mentioned watching the game on the Big 10 Network.
I happened to turn to the Big Ten Network just in time to see Dexter Jackson scamper 74 yards for a TD to tie it at 7. This sheer display of speed most likely encouraged me to believe that Appy State could, in fact, stay competitive for a half or so. So, I kept it there (with a couple of commercial-flips mixed in), and was planning on watching it "until Michigan pulled away".
Yes, I assumed that it was inevitable that Michigan would, at one point or another, realize that they were the #5 ranked team at home, not the other way around, and begin to impose their superior talent. Not to say that my hopes weren't raised every time Appy State drove down in scored, but I never considered it a real possibility until Armanti Edwards dove into the end zone to make it 28-14.
Moving ahead to the final play of the game, as soon as the FG made contact with flesh I began to scream and yell quite loudly, all while jumping up and down. The reaction was very similar to the one I had following Boise State's hook-and-ladder on 4th and 18 in last year's Fiesta Bowl, and similar to that of the Appalachian State radio color guy.
3. Given the big event of this past weekend, what's the worst you've ever felt about your team?
Clone Chronicles isn't doing well, answering that the year 2000 was the only year he's ever felt good. Tech blogger Double T Nation brought up the first half of last year's bowl game against Minnesota, which is interesting, because I followed that game on his game day thread, and kept telling him that everything would be okay in the end. See, I was right (I have to point that out - it goes along with being married 17 years).
Bring On the Cats brings up the 2003 Marshall loss. I remember that loss because I felt like KSU embarrassed the Big 12. I'm sensitive like that.
Gabriel's Horn recalls the 65-13 loss to Oklahoma, even after heckling Sooner fans. It's nice to see Every True Son bring up Missouri's loss last year in Lincoln as a low point. Crimson and Cream Machine has taken in some bad Sooner losses, but none made him feel as bad as the opening loss to TCU in 2005. Aggie 12th ManChild brings up the entire 2003 season.
Telling his age, Husker Mike recalls the '91 loss to Georgia Tech. The Yellow Jackets went on to split the national title, but we were helpless in that game after starting quarterback Mickey Joseph got tackled out of bounds into a bench in the Oklahoma loss, and we didn't have an offense.
The best answer goes to Midwest Coast Bias:
The worst I ever felt about Nebraska was when I, along with several other THOUSANDS of spectators, could call Frank Solich’s plays for him. I really don’t care about the "energetic, young staff" of 2003. You don’t keep a coach around whose fans can guess a play and be correct 95% of the time with a 5% margin of error. 2002 was the worst and 2003 Texas-Nebraska was the last straw.
He's right. That did suck.
4. Take a classic - like Homer's Odyssey, Lord of the Flies, Little Women, or, heck, even the latest Simpsons Movie and tell me how it relates to your team this season.
This was a hard question for everyone. There were a fair number of non-answers. Shouldn't I win a prize for that?
Clone Chronicles went with 'SuperBad" as an apt description of the Cyclones. Midwest Coast Bias used "300", a good war movie, something I considered.
Gabriel's Horn went with Beowulf, providing a list of characters and associations.
Bring on the Cats went with Ayn Rand's book "The Fountainhead". Compare that to Crimson and Cream Machine which chose "The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie:
I'm going to pick the classic movie Sponge Bob Square pants. In the movie King Neptune loses his crown and some unlikely heroes (Sponge Bob & Patrick) go on a quest to Shell City to retrieve it.
In real life King Stoops needs another trophy for his case and Oklahoma's unlikely heroes (Sam Bradford & DeMarco Murray) are on a quest that will lead them to San Antonio to retrieve it. However, unlike the movie they won't need David Hasslehoff's assistance because they have a supporting cast of Allen Patrick, Malcolm Kelly, Reggie Smith and Nic Harris going along with them.
I'll let you draw your own conclusions here.
The best answer in this category went to 12th Man Child, who brought up a classic story that I also considered using (although it doesn't really fit Nebraska football this season), "The Little Engine that Could", although 12th Man Child changed the story a little:
5. It wasn't just by accident you got here. Somewhere, some time, there was someone who influenced you to become a fan of your team. Tell that story.
Most of us are products of our environment, myself growing up a native Nebraskan, Clone Chronicles was influenced by his family. Rock Chalk Talk's parents were both KU alums, although Double T Nation's family is Aggies. He doesn't mention whether or not they still talk to him after getting a degree at Tech.
Husker Mike also mentioned his parents as a strong influence, with his dad taking him to the 1978 Nebraska-Oklahoma game (you know, the one in which Tom Osborne finally beat the evil Sooners). Midwest Coast Bias and Crimson and Cream Machine both mentioned winning teams as a strong influence.
12th ManChild was clearly the most conflicted. His father a KU alum, mother a KSU alum, he tells a great story about how he went to Texas A&M because he didn't want to write an essay. Includes a nice picture of his young self with his dad.
Those don't explain Bring on the Cats, a native Nebraskan attending Kansas State, nor native Texan Every True Son attending Missouri. Every True Son's father is a 'Bama grad, his brother is an Aggie. He chose to attend the journalism school at Mizzou, something I find interesting because a good friend's daughter is looking to go there next year.
Best Answer, though, goes to Gabriel's Horn, who relates this story:
If you would have asked me the Fall before college, I was going to Rice University. When a friend of mine’s mother did ask, she was having no part of any discussion about Rice, where apparently "Fun" goes to die. She bought me my first burnt orange T-shirt and proceeded the indoctrination.
Convinced I was made to be a Longhorn, she took me to Austin on a rainy weekend to go to a Texas Exes luncheon and then to see the Iowa State football game. The entire car ride up, Mrs. S told me all about Texas: rated one of the best colleges in practically any category of measurement. I was excited to be going, but in my mind I was still set on going to Rice. Did I want to be a Longhorn? A huge state school? No thanks.
The Texas Exes luncheon was at the Texas Exes center. To someone from a small town in East Texas, sitting with so many welcoming alumni and listening to the President of the University speak was amazing. After dinner, the entire room rose, turned towards the tower, horns up and sang The Eyes of Texas. Awesome. Did I want to be a Longhorn? Texas made it to the list of schools to apply.
Game Day: In the rain, with these scraggly looking Orange wigs on, I saw the Longhorn Hellraisers march down 21st Street. We listened to the March Grandioso on the CD player in the car. I saw the crowds of Longhorn faithful, decked out in orange, tailgating despite the weather. Did I want to be a Longhorn? Even in the rain, it sure looked like fun.
That game I watched Cedric Benson rush for 199 yards, injured. I felt the reverberation from the crowd yelling Texas! Fight! 80,000 strong in DKR. Did I want to be a Longhorn? You bet your ass I did.
So, the bottom line for txhny was that she was kidnapped, taken inside the Texas Longhorns cult environment and kept there until she agreed to attend Texas. Does "Room 101" ring a bell with anyone? Now you know how Texas gets all those kids to attend school there.
Big 12 Offensive Player of the Week:
Most of the votes went for Marlon Lucky, Nebraska running back. Maybe that's because there's more Husker bloggers and we're very influential. OU quarterback Sam Bradford got some votes, as did KU quarterback Todd Reesing and OU running back DeMarco Murray.
Big 12 Defensive Player of the Week:
Cornelius "Pig" Brown, Missouri - 5 tackles, 1 for loss, 2 fumble recoveries with 1 for a touchdown, 1 pass breakup, got the most votes, although the guy I voted for, Jordan Dizon of Colorado with 20 tackles (15 solo), 1 forced fumble and 1 pass break up.
Marcus Watt of KSU got one homer vote from Bring on the Cats.