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SB Nation Big 12 Roundtable - The Hot Tub Goes Cold


Another week, another Big 12 Roundtable by the Big XII bloggers in the SB Nation blog network.  Our host this week is Rock M Nation.

This week's questions revolve around Robert Griffin and Nebraska's perceived national weaknesses.

Is it time for the Big 12 to collectively pour one out for the departure of Baylor quarterback Robert "Hot Tub" Griffin? Even if your team benefits from his injury, are you sad to see one of the conference's premier playmakers done for the season?

Absolutely!  Certainly that Halloween date with Baylor in Waco looks a lot less scary now that Griffin is sidelined.  He caught my attention last season as the real deal both running and throwing.  But the downside of Griffin's injury is that an up-and-coming star is off the table, and that hurts the conference's national reputation this season and next.  Baylor might have been able to fight for a bowl game slot, and a bowl eligible Baylor adds to the Big XII's resume by pointing out the depth of the conference.  It also hurts going into next season since there won't be another season of Griffin highlights for the media to reflect on in the offseason.

Play the role of Mythbusters for us. If you could dispel one national perception of your team, what would it be?

At first, I struggled with this question.  Nobody's really talking about Nebraska, and then I realized it:  that's the myth.  Nebraska is ranked 23rd in the AP rankings this week, and many voters aren't even ranking the Huskers.  Dave Matter of the Columbia Tribune is one, saying that he doesn't want to reward "three home wins over Sun Belt teams."  I'm not picking on Matter individually, because I'm sure that his opinion is shared by voters nationwide.  But then he and the rest of the voters rank Virginia Tech at sixth nationally, you have to wonder what they are thinking about that 16-15 score.  Certainly Matter gives the indication that by voting Miami twelfth, it's better to lose by 24 than one point.  If that's not the point and it's really a vote against the playing less-than-stellar competition in the non-conference portion of the schedule, then how does he justify Florida at #1 (Charleston Southern and Troy) or Texas at #2 (Louisiana-Monroe, Wyoming, and UTEP)?  Heck, he even ignored his home town Tigers schedule (Illinois, Bowling Green, Furman, and Nevada who have combined to defeat one Bowl Subdivision foe).

In the end, this is a temporary issue.  Once Nebraska begins playing conference games, the Sun Belt championship will be forgotten.  If Nebraska plays against Missouri and Texas Tech like they did against Virginia Tech, the Huskers will be taking a fast elevator ride up the rankings in October.

Give us the name of one player on each side of the ball on your team that everyone else in the conference may not know about or fully appreciate.

On defense, it would be cornerback Prince Amukamara.  He's third on the team in tackles, and is stout on both pass defense and on run support.  And when he comes on the blitz, look out.  On offense, it's Curenski Gilleylen.  He's the deep threat who's averaging nearly 32 yards a catch.  Last year, he had the dropsies.  This year, he's made some great catches on some huge gainers.  Worry too much about the short stuff, and Gilleylen will beat you deep.

OU vs. Da U: Who ya' got?

Ohhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh-klahoma where the Wind gets stopped on the Plains!  (Sing that line like you are Gordon Macrae... and yes, I know this game is in south Florida.) I'm not impressed with much of the ACC outside of Virginia Tech at this point, and I think the talk about "Miami is back" will be completely finished this weekend.

Give us your Offensive Player of the Week, Defensive Player of the Week, and Storyline of the Week for last week.

Offensive player of the week is Danario Alexander.  Looks like he's finally healthy from that knee injury, and he had some absolutely sick catches to keep Missouri alive against Nevada.  Defensive player of the week, well, is tough to come up with.  The league office named Earl Thomas of Texas, and that's probably as good of a choice as I could find.  Thought about nominating Larry Asante for his 74 yard interception return, then injuring himself on the touchdown return.

Power Poll! Rank the teams 1-12 based on who would win on a neutral field.

No change from last week.

  1. Texas
  2. Oklahoma
  3. Nebraska
  4. Oklahoma State
  5. Kansas
  6. Missouri
  7. Texas A&M
  8. Texas Tech
  9. Baylor
  10. Iowa State
  11. Kansas State
  12. Colorado