You know, I always wondered how people could find time to write an entry every day. Now I realize it's because they likely have internet access at all times, whereas I only have it from 8 to 4, and I have to do other stuff (like my job) during that time. I've wanted to write about a ton of stuff this week, but unfortunately it's been pretty hectic. I wish the bastards at Qwest would get my internet working at home.
Anyways, looking around the Big XII this week, a few things came to mind:
- First off, what an embarrassing opening loss to Kent State for ISU. With all the optimism coming out of Ames after the hiring of Chizik, that had to be a sobering dose of reality for this downtrodden program. They obviously have some talented players there in guys like Meyer, Blythe, and LB Alvin Bowen, but that might not matter this season. That new staff has a daunting rebuilding project, and the level of difficulty may have been revealed to them this past Saturday.
- While on paper it may not seem like a big win, Colorado's victory over decent rival Colorado State was a nice way to open the season for the Buffs. For the Big XII north to gain any legitimacy, we need CU to have a good season, otherwise we will continue to be ridiculed. Cody Hawkins had a solid debut, completing 58% of his passes with a 2-to-1 TD/INT ratio. While this wasn't a huge game, it was an important step to rebuilding in Boulder.
- Mizzou's opening win wasn't near as convincing as many Big XII fans had hoped for. It'd be one thing if Illinois had had their gamebreakers (Juice Williams, Benn at WR), but Williams was out a large portion of the game and the Tigers still had a lot of trouble stopping the perennial Big 10 doormat. Hopefully Mizzou shores up it's defense, or they won't be living up to any of the preseason hype that has been given to them.
- Baylor still sucks. No, really, they do. I don't care if it was against a really good TCU team, they suck.
- Apparently God wanted to play some NCAA Football 2008 and decided to control the OU/North Texas game. People aren't supposed to run up those kind of stats in real life, not with an inexperienced QB. The previously unheralded Sam Bradford threw for 363 yards on 20 of 22 passing, and new tailback sensation DeMarco Murray didn't fail to live up to they hype he generated in spring, rushing for 5 TDs in an a**-raping of Biblical proportions. The Sooners just keep on rolling, no matter who they have in the backfield. We'll see how they play against Miami's ballhawking defense this weekend. If Oklahoma were to lose this game (which they shouldn't), it would continue the downward spiral the Big XII has been on the past couple years. It's key that the Sooners win this game.
- In one of the conference's bigger games this past weekend, OSU was defeated by a strong Georgia team, 35-14. I was really hoping the Cowboys would step up and win some respect for the Big XII, but it wasn't to be, particularly when the time of possession was stacked so far in favor of the Bulldogs. Oklahoma State's strength isn't on defense, its the offensive unit that rushed AND passed for 200 yards each per game last year, and Georgia managed to keep Ried, Bowman & Company on the sidelines for nearly 2/3rds of the game. I still think OSU can be a really good team, but if there's anything to keep in mind, it's that this Cowboy team was inconsistent last year and had a gift when it came to blowing close games.
-Texas played uninspired and Colt McCoy struggled as the Longhorns squeaked by Arkansas State, 21-13. Texas should be glad they weren't playing a marquee team the first week, such an effort would not have sufficed against a more talented team. I'm hoping Texas continues to play well only because it makes NU's game with them that much more important.
-In a very important game for the conference, K-State nearly beat a sloppy Auburn team before the Tigers escaped with a pair of late touchdowns. It's almost embarrassing how poorly the Big 12 has played other conferences the past couple of years, which is why it is so important that we win games like this. It may have been sloppy, but a win over a highly ranked SEC team is not an opportunity you want to see slip through your fingers. Despite outgaining Auburn, KSU managed to shoot themselves in the foot with 16 penalties for 141 yards and three turnovers. You might be able to get away with that against the creampuffs you used to schedule in the Snyder era, but not against Auburn.
-Texas A&M and Kansas both rolled in their openers, and nothing of any real significance happened which is why I'm not going to write a whole paragraph about it.
As far as this weekend goes, I see every Big 12 team winning with these exceptions: -Colorado, who will struggle against a decent Arizona State team. If the Buffs were to win, that'd be a big step toward having a good season
-Iowa State, if last week is any indication, will struggle against Northern Iowa (which wouldn't be the first time)
While a few other teams will have interesting games on their hands, I think all the other Big 12 teams will win. One thing to watch for though: Miami has a tough defense and could take advantage of Sam Bradford's inexperience, and Texas has to play better this week against TCU than they did last week, or they are in trouble.
My random thoughts from last weeks games:
It absolutely made my weekend that both Michigan and ND lost last week. I reserve a special hatred for both teams, and to see the Wolverines choke against Appalachian State was high drama. That App State guy that blocked the game-winning kick will be getting so much ass for the rest of the season, it's not even fair. As far as ND goes, its going to be a blast watching them limp to 5 or 6 wins this season (if that). Unfortunately, douchebag of the century (Jimmy Clausen) is taking the reins this weekend. What sucks is that the media is going to devote waaaaaay too much time to a rebuilding program that nobody wants to hear about.
Anyways, I'll write my Husker/Wake preview later today.