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: Aug 15, 2009
Posted on: March 9, 2010 9:36 pm

Big 12 schedule analysis

Always interesting to read up on a Mizzou fans take about Nebraska.  You are right you are a homer, especially if you think Mizzou is hang around on NU with Gabbert.  I have said this once and I will say it again, the Gabbert boys will never beat NU, get ready for it it is coming and it will be coming for a few years.

Since: Sep 20, 2009
Posted on: March 9, 2010 6:56 pm

Big 12 schedule analysis

This year more than many others in the past offers alot of unknowns with the loss of star power of Suh, Bradford and Mccoy and no coach Leach in the Big 12. Some key areas that will play out this year 1. can Texas play the same without McCoy they did well in the NC game can they do that all season? 2. Will Oklahoma's O-line finally be injury free where they do not have to play their forth team players.#. Will Nebraska defense play as well without SUH and will they get a offense? Can Texas Tech and Kansas rebound from all the  drama and do well in a first year coach? Can Mike Sherman get Texas A&M out of So So seasons and last be one of the Biggest questions will one of the teams jump ship to another conf??????

Since: Jul 20, 2008
Posted on: March 9, 2010 6:52 pm

Big 12 schedule analysis

Nebraska played like ass, and still beat up on the Tigercats last season. Now that Bo & Co have figured out Mizzou's offense it won't matter if its rain, snow, or sun. Or how wobbly Gabbert's legs are. In other news.... nobody should be sold on Landry Jones just yet. Griffin won't be enough to get Baylor into a bowl game. Not with the heavy defensive losses from last year's squad. Or course there is no surprise about Colorado's schedule. They always over-schedule to take away any pressure of going undefeated and becoming a national power again like they were 20 years ago. Betcha they still won't sell out more than a couple games in that tiny, though picturesque stadium.

Since: Dec 3, 2007
Posted on: March 9, 2010 6:24 pm

Big 12 schedule analysis

Call me a homer, but I'm not ready to crown Nebraska just yet.  Their offense was terrible last year, it's unknown how the loss of Suh will affect the defense, Mizzou will have the best qb in the conference next year, and Bo Pelini is overturned tortoise away from going on a killing spree.  While I certainly don't want to discount what they've accomplished, I like a lot of the attention they're getting has as much to do with tradition as with what they did last year.  In other words, it's easy to say "Nebraska's back", it's another thing to actually be back.  I hope the weather is good for the Mizzou-Nub game this year.  Given the rain and Gabbert's injury last year, I don't think we really got a good impression of how the Mizzou offense stacks up to the Nebraska defense.

Since: Dec 9, 2008
Posted on: March 9, 2010 3:14 pm

Big 12 schedule analysis

i think the big 12 may have a conference championship game that i think the sec may have. case in point. bama and fla are scheduled to meet in regular conf play, and there is a good chance that they will meet in atlanta again. neb and texas play a reglar scheduled game and they also have a good chance at playing each other in big 12 champ. probaly even money on both happening.

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