This is the latest installment of the 2009 edition of the SB Nation Big 12 Roundtable. Our hosts this week are the folks at K-State's Bring on the Cats, who are still celebrating their p3ning of the Aggies.Though not true of everyone -- Texas continued its "just take care of business" approach -- Saturday shook a lot assumptions we had about some teams. What, if anything, can you say with confidence about your team?
Well, we realized our offensive troubles weren't just a perception, they are reality. But we do know the defensive line is one heck of a force. The defensive line had Texas Tech's offensive line in full retreat most of Saturday, holding the Raiders to one of their lowest offensive outputs in years. The Raiders did get a few yards on some misplays in the secondary, but the front four did their job and then some for most of Saturday's game.
Two weeks ago, we discussed whether the divide between K-State, Iowa State and Colorado and the rest of the conference was widening. After the North's total faceplant in "referendum" weekend, do we need to ask if the gap between the divisions is continuing to widen?
The gap between the bottom and top of the South is becoming even bigger. I must say that that the biggest shocker of Saturday was Kansas State's blowout of Texas A&M. We knew the gap between the North and the top teams of the South was large, and last Saturday did little to change that perception. We hoped it was closing...and it's not at t his time. The North will keep trying.
But my goodness, is Texas A&M in a free-fall mode or what? Baylor has an excuse, at least, with Robert Griffin on the sideline and Iowa State showing improvement.
Speaking of that question two weeks ago, does yesterday's 3-0 showing by the three teams originally discussed -- K-State, Iowa State, and Colorado -- change your answer to that question, or was it just a random weekend where those three teams beat teams who weren't as good as we thought?
I think it's obvious that while you have to give the Wildcats, Cyclones, and Buffaloes credit for the win...their opponents this weekend aren't nearly as good as we thought. Remember, K-State is one week removed from their own 7 score blowout loss, and Kansas nearly lost to Iowa State the week before. I still think Iowa State is a lot better than people give them credit for, and if Nebraska doesn't get something figured out on offense this weekend, the Cyclones could pull off a shocker.
Next weekend, we see an interesting matchup of suddenly desperate teams in Lawrence, Kansas. Which team needs that game worse? Oklahoma, to show that they're not going to pack it in and have a disastrously bad season, or KU, to show that they are still in the running for the North division?
I'm not bagging on Oklahoma yet; they've lost three games by a total of FIVE points, fer cripes sake. Kansas, on the other hand, is going to need to play their best game of the year in order to merely keep it close. I really doubt the Sooners just mail it in the rest of the way.
After a low-scoring, fumble-ridden -- I seriously think the guys on the sidelines handling the footballs were eating fried butter from the Texas State Fair, thus greasing the pigskin -- win in the Red River Shootout, Texas has continued its "just win, baby" season. You're on the spot, right now: Do the Longhorns play for the national title in Pasadena this January?
Nope. At some point, the Longhorns are going to need to turn it up because at some point, somebody will get the Longhorns...especially in this upset crazy season. It's not a question of if...but when.
Power Poll -- Rank 'em according to who you think would win on a neutral site
- Oklahoma State
- Texas Tech
- Kansas State
- Iowa State
- Texas A&M
I'm giving Kansas State the benefit of the doubt on their victory over A&M. Also, after watching Iowa State nearly knock off Kansas (if they only had a kicker), I'm going to give them the bump as well.
And yes, I still think Oklahoma is the 2nd best team in the conference. The Sooners should be rewarded for playing tough competition, not criticized for coming up five points short.