Blog Entry

Big 12 schedule analysis

Posted on: March 8, 2010 9:37 pm

(This is next installment of a continuing series analyzing the 2010 schedules of the BCS conferences)

You thought the Big 12 has been good lately? Year 15 of the conference kicks off with three familiar names at the top. At least two of the three are familiar.

Even with the loss of Colt McCoy, Texas never rebuilds (or is never allowed to). Oklahoma is over the loss of Sam Bradford as Landry Jones begins his first full season as starter. Nebraska is a fallen power making the long, slow slog back to the top. It hopes. But the Huskers are all the buzz coming off a 10-win season and sporting one of the nation's defenses -- even without a boy named Suh.

Elsewhere, there is depth throughout the Big 12. Missouri has established itself as a top 25 team every year. Texas Tech can only get better under Tommy Tuberville after Mike Leach's conduct going out the door almost ripped the program apart. Oklahoma State isn't going away with the Boone Pickens pipeline still running and Texas A&M is making strides, at least offensively. Baylor gets Robert Griffin back trying to end that pesky 15-year bowl-less streak.

Expect another national championship run, by some league team or another. A Big 12 team has been in five of the last seven BCS title games.

Game of the year: (non-conference) Florida State at Oklahoma, Sept. 11. In a sense, the suspense has been building for a decade. These teams last met in the 2000 BCS title game. Florida State is a shell of itself. Oklahoma not quite as strong as in the past. Watch for a rare Stoops vs. Stoops matchup. This time it's Oklahoma's Bob against FSU's Mark, the Seminoles new defensive coordinator. But there's so much more at stake here. This is essentially Jimbo Fisher's first real test (the opener is against Samford). It comes on the road in one of the game's most revered temples. We know FSU can score with Christian Ponder and other significant weapons. But for the Seminoles to get back to the top, it must start stopping people. God bless Mickey Andrews, but his final defense stunk. It's up to you, Mark.

Game of the year: (conference) Oklahoma vs. Texas, Oct. 16. As goes the Red River Shootout, so goes the Big 12. Or so it seems. The winner of this game usually has the inside track to the Big 12 South and national championship contention. Texas is a roll having won four of the last five. Included in that streak is two Big 12 titles, two national championship berths, one national championship. Or as they call it in Austin, "Doing pretty good lately."

Team on the spot: Nebraska. After a 10-win, Holiday Bowl-winning season in Bo Pelini's second year, we're all wondering if the Huskers are truly back. The Flying Pelinis will go into 2010 as favorites to win the North. At least. The next step is to win the Big 12 for the first time since 1999. Nebraska was one playmaker on offense -- one -- away from beating Texas last season. Armed with a fearsome defense, the only question for Pelini is whether his offense can score enough to make 10-2 a reality. Nebraska almost pulled off the upset last year. The toughest games (Texas, Missouri) are at home. Oklahoma is off the regular-season schedule.

Toughest non-conference schedule: Colorado. No surprise here. The Buffs haven't backed off in the non-con since the Bill McCartney days. Good for building a program, not good for keeping your job. Dan Hawkins starts a win-or-else season with Colorado State, Cal, Hawaii and Georgia outside of the Big 12. That's a blood rival, a Pac-10 team that tied USC for third in the Pac-10 and a Georgia team on the rebound. The only game you'd feel confident of putting in the win column is Hawaii and even that might be a stretch. CSU has split the last four meetings. CU has split the last four against the Pac-10 on the road but hasn't won in a Pac-10 stadium since 2004. Georgia is an SEC powerhouse coming off a down year but will be favored in Boulder. A 3-1 start is recommended. A 2-2 beginning might not be enough for Hawkins who has to play Missouri, Oklahoma and Nebraska on the road.

Easiest non-conference schedule: Missouri. The Tigers have beaten Illinois five consecutive times. McNeese State has never beaten a team from a current BCS conference. San Diego State last beat a team from a current BCS conference in 1999. Miami (Ohio) has lost 23 of its last 26. Throw in a home game against Colorado after that and the Tigers don't have to leave the state of Missouri to start 5-0.




Since: Dec 8, 2008
Posted on: April 12, 2010 1:23 am

Big 12 schedule analysis

There is only one big red, and it sure as shit isn't Oklahoma. Cool

Since: Aug 15, 2006
Posted on: April 10, 2010 12:57 pm

Big 12 schedule analysis

I think Mizzou_82 is right on with his analysis of Nebraska.  Our offense was bad last year, and we lose the best player in the game on defense.  He's right.  We dont really know how this team will react.  But here's my take on that. 

Nebraska was 4 points away from being a one loss team.  They return 10 starters on offense to go along with a defense that we know will fly to the ball and by all accounts will be deeper and more athletic than last year.  Although I agree the loss of Suh is huge and its hard to imagine the D-line being nearly as dominate.  

But all that said, all the analysis in the world doesn't account for gut feelings.  I've watched a lot of football and you get that gut feeling about a team or program.  In '99 my gut told me OU was back.  In '01 my gut told me USC was back.  In '02 my gut told me Nebraska might not be the same team we were used to...and as good as Pinkel has done I dont know if I've ever had that gut feeling about Mizzou.  I think they've had some great players though.  Kind of the same feeling I have about Georgia under Richt.  It's like there's just a little mental toughness missing. 

After last season I have that gut feeling about my cornhuskers.  It's the way they've been playing, the way they carry themselves.  The swagger and intensity is back and at championship levels. 

But we'll see.  Good luck to all of the Big XII teams. 

Since: Aug 15, 2009
Posted on: April 9, 2010 6:18 pm

Big 12 schedule analysis

Mizzou_82, did you watch the same NU-Mu game I did last year?   The tigers lead in the game untill the rain stopped, then Nebraska took control

Since: Sep 3, 2006
Posted on: April 9, 2010 6:01 pm
This comment has been removed.

Post Deleted by Administrator

Since: Sep 22, 2009
Posted on: April 9, 2010 2:13 pm

Big 12 schedule analysis

I like Coach Pelini, but the commenter who said he is an overturned tortise shell away from going on a killing spree had me laughing out loud.  That was funny.

I'm glad Mizzouri and Nebraska are competative, and it will be interesting to see how all the teams shape up with a lot of new faces, and a couple of new coaches on the field and at the helm.

I hope the season is good for all Big 12 schools, and obviously I want OU to win it all Tongue out, but regardless, I'm happy when the Big 12 is strong and competative.

Since: Sep 14, 2008
Posted on: March 10, 2010 1:21 pm

Big 12 schedule analysis

OU AD Joe Castiglione deserves props.  His scheduling philosophy is great for Sooner fans who appreciate good football and are eager to play other national powers.  Fans still talk about the home & home series with Bama a few years ago.  Future schedules include:  Notre Dame, Tennessee, Ohio State, and LSU.  Too bad Michigan doesn't travel anywhere OOC 'cept South Bend...I'd luv to see a Big Blue/Red series!

Since: Nov 22, 2007
Posted on: March 10, 2010 11:37 am

Big 12 schedule analysis

Personally, I would hold out until after the Washington game to see where NU's defense is at.  I agree that NU and MU will be the two favorites in the north, but don't completely sleep on KU next year.  If they come out and look pretty good against GTech, I wouldn't rule out KU being the darkhorse because we get the easy half of the south next year with Baylor, A&M, and OSU.

Since: Dec 3, 2007
Posted on: March 10, 2010 10:45 am

Big 12 schedule analysis

Bad weather favors the defense.  The major advantage any offense has is that it's unpredictable and the defense is forced to react.  Wet, rainy conditions favor the run which means a defense will tend to cheat towards the run.  When the qb loses mobility due to an injury, it further reduces what the offense is capable of and allows the defense to tee off on him.  That's pretty much why Mizzou only scored 12 in the first half (and Nub much less than that) when the rain was coming down the hardest.  I want to see them play in good weather on a good field with everyone healthy.  That will give a much better indication of how the two units stack up against each other.

Since: Jul 1, 2008
Posted on: March 10, 2010 7:39 am

Big 12 schedule analysis

Wasn't it the Blackshirt defense that in fact INJURED Gabbert in that game? A team that can overcome the weather should give you a true impression of a team.

Since: Dec 3, 2007
Posted on: March 9, 2010 11:26 pm

Big 12 schedule analysis

This is what I'm talking about with Nub fans.  You think saying "We're back!" automatically makes it so.  As they say, past performance is no indicator of future success.  I don't know how the game is going to go, I obviously think Mizzou can hang with the Nub defense, but that's why they play the game.  I will tell you this, though, just as opposing defenses have started adjusting to Missouri's spread offense, opposing defenses will start adjusting to Nub's defense.  No unit is invincible and screaming "BLACKSHIRTS" in every post won't change that.

The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or