Sunday, October 12, 2008

Big 12 Observations

Just a few random thoughts on day after a great day of college football.

1-The Big 12 is the best conference in college football

Top to bottom, the Big 12 is the best and deepest conference in the country.

The SEC has been commonly referred to as the top conference for the last few years and does boast the last two national championship winners. In 2008, it’s all about the Big 12.

Half of the Big 12 teams are ranked in the top 16 teams in the national rankings, as of October, 12. Texas, Texas Tech, and Oklahoma State all are 6-0 while Oklahoma, Missouri, and Kansas are 5-1.

Nine of the Big 12 teams are averaging over 32 points a game. The level of quarterback play this year is what separates the Big 12 from the rest of the country.

Texas and Oklahoma State are battle tested while Texas Tech boasts the top passing offense in the country.

OU and Mizzou lost to Texas and Oklahoma State and Kansas’ blemish was a wild 37-34 road loss to South Florida in September.

The depth of the conference is shown in the lower tier. Nebraska, Kansas State, and Colorado have the ability to step up and pull an upset at any time and young QB’s Robert Griffin (Baylor) and Austen Arnaud (Iowa State) are giving a glimmer of hope the immediate future of their teams.

Texas A&M is the worst team in the conference so far but is in total rebuilding mode under first-year coach Mike Sherman.

2-A Big 12 quarterback will win the Heisman Trophy

Prediction – The quarterback on the Big 12 conference champion will win the Heisman Trophy.

Right now, the Heisman Trophy is Colt McCoy’s to lose.

The junior has been dominate all season and has played like the most valuable player in college football. McCoy has thrown the ball well and is capable of picking up big chunks of yards on the ground.

Graham Harrell (Texas Tech), Sam Bradford (Oklahoma), and Chase Daniel (Missouri) all have jaw-dropping stats that Heisman winners are made of.

Harrell leads the top passing attack in the country and if Tech is able to win the Big 12 South, Harrell will be the one leading the way.

For a player to drop from Heisman consideration, it typically takes a poor performance in a loss to do it. Bradford was sensational against Texas in the loss and definitely will take a backseat to McCoy unless the Longhorns stumble and McCoy plays poorly.
Daniel wasn’t great in the Oklahoma State loss and he threw three interceptions. He’ll drop from the contenders list for now but has time to move his way back up.

OSU’s Zac Robinson is the sleeper in the mix as is Kansas’ Todd Reesing. Both will have their opportunities to make a name for himself on the national stage.

3-The Big 12 won’t have any unbeaten teams, but it’ll have a team in the national title game.

The conference is just too tough and too deep to expect anyone team to run the gauntlet.

Because of the depth and balance of the Big 12, a one-loss conference champion will be rewarded with a spot in the national title game. The SEC champion has been afforded the same respect the last two seasons (LSU had two losses) so there is precedent.

Unbeatens Texas, Texas Tech, and Oklahoma State all still have to play each other. It is very possible they take turns knocking each other off. All are capable of beating the other two teams.

Oklahoma and Missouri still must win-out and get to the Big 12 title game. Missouri is in the better spot as the North Division isn’t as deep as the South. Mizzou still has this week’s road trip to Texas but the Tigers will be favored to win their remaining games.

Oklahoma was ranked number-one until the Texas loss. The Sooners are as good as any team in the country and have all the ingredients necessary to get back up in the polls.

Prediction – It is too early to project possible tiebreakers for a Big 12 South tie. There is an intense desire to pick Cinderella Oklahoma State…. but I’ll go with Oklahoma to beat Missouri in the Big 12 title game.

I picked Missouri at the start of the year but the Tigers showed they are not ready to be prime-time players with the loss to Oklahoma State. Missouri looked like a team not capable of embracing the lofty national status they had achieved.

Oklahoma will go on to play USC in the Orange Bowl for the national title.

1 comment:

Jennifer Elizabeth said...

Remember John Reagan - BCHS '89, Syracuse? He's now an offensive line coach (or something like that) at Kansas.