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 21, 2006
Posted on: April 23, 2010 12:31 pm

Big 12 schedule analysis

Iowa St will be a better team and is probably the equivalent of Oklahoma St in the south.

North-I'm guessing Nebraska defensively will be just a shade down from the way they ended last year but offensively, they are a good unit but not a great unit but should be good enough to win the North without a problem.   I'm actually picking the Iowa St/Nebraska game the game of the North.

Missouri loses some play-makers and Gabbert suffers from Jason White/OU syndrome-he can't stay healthy enough.    K-State with Snyder gives them an edge in fundamentals and intangibles, but do they have enough talent?   K-State is the Texas Tech of the north.

Right off Colorado and Kansas; Kansas lost their key playmakers so Gill has some work and Colorado just has a cloud following it.   The swing is how healthy Iowa State stays with their brutal schedule and lack of talent (but great team work) to upset the North.   I think Nebraska comes out on top if they perform consistently.

The South-Oklahoma St is the swing team (like Iowa St) and how they perform against Nebraska, K-State, and Kansas will determine how the conference shakes out - and if they can beat Tech in Lubbock to break the home team winning the series.   OSU winning 2 out of 3 and beating Texas Tech (IMHO) would mean the Big12 is severly down; if they beat Nebraska, then it is up to Texas or OU to represent the conference again and probably hurt recruiting for the North again.    

Texas has their one marquee game in UCLA (and props their continued California spot recruiting)   - otherwise, outside of Nebraska, they have a favorable season with Tech being down and OU is the major game.     OU has Florida State but the rest are beatable so it hinges solely on the Texas game after that.   OU will be able to better protect Landry, but defensively will be down - I think that makes me lean toward Texas winning the conference but the Nebraska game is the tough one.    Oklahoma State and Tech are dead even for the 3rd spot but Tech has the advantage with the home game between the two - but can Tubberville get them cohesive enough?   Tech has a great system and has the ability to create role players but doesn't appear to have much left on defense nor a standout offensively.   Can OSU find playmaker receivers for Weed?   OSU will have an improved defense but offensively, doesn't have visible playmakers to replace Robinson, Okung, and Bryant.

Sorry-but I'm writing off A&M (although a ton of talent, just can't seem to put it all together and until they prove it on the field, just can't see them competiting yet) and Baylor.   Griffin is a playmaker, but Baylor needs to get him support and against better balanced teams, Baylor games are just a matter of attrition due to overall talent.

So yes, same song, 7th verse - it's Oklahoma or Texas (Texas I'm guessing by a hair) and Nebraska fans have a shot at BCS dropping Oklahoma to Cotton (or mix the 3 around in any configuration will be just as appropriate at this stage).     Holiday?   I'll go out on the limb and say Tech right now but we'll see as the season progresses.

Since: Mar 26, 2008
Posted on: April 23, 2010 11:42 am

Big 12 schedule analysis

Big 12-bias b.s.!  You cite one or two RARE, isolated examples where, for a change, a "name" SEC/Big 12 program actually had to face a halfway decent opponent from the opposite division of their conference.  If you research the back history carefully, you'll find that happens only too rarely. overall--researching past years quickly shows that, in general, "name" mega-conference teams--in most years--avoid facing tough teams from their own conference's opposite division just as a result of the chicken shlit, mega-conference, split-division format.

Also, your presupposition is that 2010/2011 Nebraska will actually turn out to be a high-caliber opponent for Texas is as yet unproven.

I strongly suspect that, in 2010/2011, both Stanford and Nebraska will both proven to've been very, very overrated.

 By contrast, UCLA is playing at 2010/2011 Texas team that--in spite of a new qb--will be a very, very strong opponent.  I cannot stand Texas's program, but wow--their recruiting, year-in, year-out, is better than 'SC's was at their peak a few years back.  Texas is loaded with great returning talent along with whatever transcendent, 5-star studs will be unleased from redshirt status this year.  Texas reloads, period.  

Pac-10 teams have  voluntarily schedue way more  tough teams--then either the Big 12 and SEC do--not even close.

Since: Apr 23, 2010
Posted on: April 23, 2010 11:38 am

Big 12 schedule analysis

Iowa State finished the season 7-6, only one less win than the 8-5 Sooners.  They finished ahead of Baylor (1-7), Kansas (1-7), and Colorado (2-6) in conference wins and tied Texas A&M (3-5).  They also beat Nebraska in Lincoln without their starting QB or 1000 yard RB.  This resume is far from the worst in the Big 12.

Since: Apr 23, 2010
Posted on: April 23, 2010 11:22 am

Big 12 schedule analysis

I disagree with Colorado having the toughest non-conference schedule and would like to argue for Iowa State instead:

Northern Illinois at home: Decent MAC team with 1000 yard rusher Chad Spann returning.
Northern Iowa at home: Perennial FCS playoff fixture that nearly ruined Iowa's season a year ago.
@ Iowa: potential preseason top 10 and in everyone's Rose Bowl discussion.
Utah at home: 10 win team that beat Cal by 10 points in the Poinsettia Bowl, with 1000 yard rusher Eddie Wide returning.

I would also lobby for the Cyclones to have one of the toughest schedules in the Big 12.  Following the Utah game they play Texas and Oklahoma in consecutive weeks on the road, and also play a resurging Nebraska team that will be looking for payback after that ever so sweet 9-7 win in Lincoln last year.  Combine all that with a Mizzou home game at the end of the year and ISU is looking at quite a gauntlet.

Since: Sep 1, 2006
Posted on: April 21, 2010 1:57 pm

Big 12 schedule analysis

Nebraska fans are delusional

Since: Aug 15, 2009
Posted on: April 18, 2010 4:33 pm

Big 12 schedule analysis

yes NU lost to Iowa State, but we did beat OU, so who is removed from what?  Be careful what you say when OU lost to the real big red.  Huskers win the BIg 12 and restore the order of things. 

Since: Nov 22, 2007
Posted on: April 13, 2010 11:41 am

Big 12 schedule analysis

We all know how this going to turn out. In the south with colt mcoy and jordan shipley gone texas is going to take a back seat to oklahoma this year. Which sadly i do have to say that. Yes oklahoma lost bradford and greshambut they didnt really play last year anyways. I believe the south will as follows... Oklahoma, Texas, texas tech, oklahoma st, texas a & m, baylor.  As for the north, im going to do this from head not my heart. Mizzou is always a top 25 team and with gabbert having a couple yrs under his belt and a top 25 ranked recruiting class mizzou is in definite contender for the north title. but they do have nebraska standing in there way. Suh is gone and he was a big part of there black shirt defense, but it wasnt the team. if nebraska can figure out a better way for zak lee to use the ball i think the offense could improve. What nebraksa has on its side is a schedule that works in there favor. I have the north standings as follows.... Nebraska (man i hate to say that), mizzou, k state, kansas, colorado, iowa st. i do however disagree with the game of the year in the big 12, i believe mizzou at nebraska will be the game of the season in the big 12. and ho knows that game might decide the north chompion.

Since: Nov 22, 2007
Posted on: April 13, 2010 11:05 am

Big 12 schedule analysis

Once again the Big 12 is going to turn out the same results as it did last year. Oklahoma will control the south. Losing Bradford really isnt any big deal the the Sonner nation, laundry jones pretty much played most of the season anyways. I like Texas but the loss of mccoy and shipley will hold to be not enough to keep up with oklahoma. oklahoma state will end up behind texas. As for the North, kansas wont really surprise to many people they will finish behind k-state who is still rebuilding. The north will be decided by who wins the nebraska mizzou game. weather its the cornholes or mizzou i hope the big 12 champs comes from the north this year.

Since: Sep 17, 2009
Posted on: April 12, 2010 1:53 pm

Big 12 schedule analysis

You said it Mizzou_82, you are a homer, and I do agree that the Nebrask offense was not up to par in 2009.  Now, beyond that your post was a bunch of baloney.  Zac Lee proved in the Holiday Bowl that with a little rest, even injured he was much better than during the rough Big 12 schedule.  That being said, the Nebraska offense will be a much improved unit in 2010 even if Lee is not the starter.  The running game will be hard to stop, with everyone back that gained even a single yard last year.

I almost choked when I read you comment regarding Blane Gabbert being the best QB in the Big 12 in 2010.  You are really drinking the Kool-Aid on that topic.  Gabbert will have even less time to throw against NU this season and he has fewer targets.  Plus, there are three or four other QB's as good if not better.  (Robert Griffin - Baylor, Landry Jones - Oklahoma, etc.)

The NU defense even without Suh will be more than the Tigers (and most everybody else) can handle.  Jared Crick will have people saying, "Who was that guy that played on NU's defense last year?"  He and the rest of the Blackshirts will be dominate.

As for Nebraska being back and how tradition plays into it, without tradition what would you have to be back to.  Anyway, what does Mizzou have for tradition.  In the last decade, Missouri is tied with Notre Dame with 70 wins, but that tie is at 40th place, while Nebraska (even with the Callahan years) ranks 19th with 84 wins.  Go back 15 years and Missouri is still tied with some pretty good company, Alabama and Mississippi with 97 wins, but they are tied for 48th, while Nebrask over that same time period is fifth with 141 wins.  The gap only widens as you go back any further.  That is your tradition.

Since: Sep 13, 2006
Posted on: April 12, 2010 11:42 am

Big 12 schedule analysis

How far is Nebraska removed from a home loss to the worst team in the league, Iowa State?

Oh, that's right, they're not even one year removed... keep dreaming, children of the corn.

Oklahoma will win their 7th Big XII title this year.

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