July 26, 2006

Big 12 North Preview

I can't believe I missed media day.

Damnit..what better source of material do I have for a blog like this when Husker players are this confident, this arrogant and this sure that they'll be able to "handle the pressure". (Uhhhh...playing against your own team in scrimmages is NOT pressure. If I hear that one more time, I'm gonna lose it.)

Anyhow, one constant theme in the hate mail is the overall state of the Big 12 North in general. For the most part, Nebraska fans seem completely sure of themselves, not because their team is so great, but because the North is so bad. Oh don't get me wrong...the North is still in a "downward" cycle, but that's not to say that just because the Huskers won two games they had no business winning at the end of the year that they are some sort of juggernaut.

Next week we're going to take a look at NU's schedule and breakdown who they're going to slaughter by 50 points each and every Saturday. (chuckle). But in the meantime, let's take a look at the competition for that coveted title of "Who gets to get ass-blasted by Texas or OU at Arrowhead". Oh, and before you go bitching to me about how "uninformed" I am and how I'm not a "credible source for information", please take into account that I really don't care for a lot of these teams...and thus am not going to waste a big portion of my morning researching. I only have room to hate one team at the moment...so you're just going to have to wait. This is how I <--- Key word...see it.

Kansas - 50 to 1 winning the North. 6 Projected wins. Kansas football reminds me a lot of Nebraska basketball. They're constantly in the shadow of another program at their own school. They have semi-accomplished coaches coaching less than average talent. KU went to their first bowl in 300 years last year....a gigantic win over...uhhh...somebody. Anyhow, the fat man is going to have to find his way through a moderately easy schedule to find his six wins. Barman at QB is pretty solid, but the defense loses a ton of talent. Don't be surprised if KU has a bowl game on the line when they visit Mizzou on November 25th. Hopefully a riot will start and we'll finally get to settle that whole civil war Bushwackers/Jayhawkers thing. Better late than never. Either way, no way in hell do they have enough to win the north.

Kansas State - 20 to 1 winning the North. 6 Projected wins. I'm going to try and avoid pissing off my loyal KSU readers...but hear me out. Starting over with a new coach is never easy, especially when the talent is as young as KSU's. Snyder won so many games, because he developed a swagger...an arrogance if you will, that is absolutely necessary to stay on top. KSU used to beat up on people because not only their talent was good, but they had that mindset that they knew they were going to beat you. (Different than the blind, soybean-fueled myopia of Husker fan, which I'll get to in a second.) To me, that's the BIGGEST thing Prince has to install and as quickly as possible. Their schedule ends with a killer stretch, including Texas, Colorado, Iowa State and @KU...which is always an interesting game. As many agree, beat Louisville and you're on your way to a good season and a good building block...fall to them and/or lose to Baylor...and you're in serious trouble. I think Prince will be a good coach down the line, but this year, you're gonna take some lumps.

Missouri - 9 to 1 chance of winning the north ?? Projected wins. If I've taken one thing from being a Mizzou fan for 30+ years..it's this. NEVER EVER EVER expect to be good. This year..(thank god) due to the loss of Brad Smith, most national experts and idiot Nebraska radio hosts pencil Mizzou in as North bottom dwellers. However, there is still a LOT of returning players on this team, and Daniel has the POTENTIAL (I hate that word) of being a decent to good QB. Unfortunately, there are still too many question marks at DB and RB to make them a serious threat to win the North. However, If they can beat New Mexico and Ole Miss early and pick up some momentum...look out...they could surprise. If they don't, it'll be the same old same old, and http://www.firegarypinkel.com/ will be hopping again. It wouldn't shock me if this team won 8-9 games. It wouldn't shock me they lost 8-9 games. Seriously..I have no idea.

Iowa State - 3 to 1 chance of winning the North. 8 projected wins.
ISU returns ten...yes TEN starters on offense, including one hell of a QB/Wingback combo in Blythe and Meyer. The problem for ISU is,they're starting to fall into Mizzou complex. IE - they've convinced themselves that they're so snakebit, that at the slightest bit of adversity, they'll fold like a deck of cards. The more years that go by with ISU choking at the finish line, the harder it will be. I have absolutely NO DOUBT this is the team to beat in the North on paper. They're very well coached and they have experience. However, the trio of death in Texas, OU and Tech on the schedule is just too much to overcome I think. And yeah..they're going to bitch-slap the Hicksters this year something good.

Colorado - 2 to 1 chance of winning the North. 8 projected wins.
Every single bone in my body says NOT to pick CU to win the North. Their schedule is killer. They have a new coach. But how many times have pre-season prognosticators picked CU to finish 2nd or 3rd, and they sneak up and win it. There's a reason they play killer non-conference games...and that's to prepare themselves for the stretch run...something they do better than anybody else in the conference. Also, am I the only one who thinks that Dan Haskins is going to turn this team into an absolute monster in the next couple of years? I'm shocked by how little fanfare his arrival in Boulder is getting. Seriously, those Boise State teams were wicked scary...and throwing that system with the experience and tradition of CU in recent years....and it's frightening. All it's going to take is for CU to win a few of those difficult early games, and they'll move way out in front for the race for the North. Tech coming to Boulder on 10/14 is gigantic.

Nebraska 538,105,303 to 1 chance of winning the North. 1 projected win.
Ok...maybe not...but here's what I'm thinking. I've explained up and down in this blog why Nebraska is the most overrated, over hyped, overanalyzed, overplayed band of mediocre misfits ever to take the field. Yes, I understand Zach Taylor is Joe Montana. YES, I understand your Big 12 schedule is a cakewalk (in your eyes.) YES, I understand you call your defense the "Blackshirts" and put really scary Pirate decals on yourselves to make yourselves feel mean. YES, I understand you pass the ball more than 6 times a game and YES, I understand you have a new GIGANTIC video board that can be seen from outer space. YES, I understand you have FIVE national titles, and used to be good. (2 and 3 halves actually). But there is one thing you have brushed aside that is going to kill you. EXPECTATIONS. Bill Callahan is the poster child of how NOT to handle pressure. When his Super Bowl runner up team a few years back ran into problems early on..what happened? The team wanted to literally kill him on their way to 4 wins. Against OU, AP started running all over on them...what did Callahan do? Made a physically threatening gesture. (nice). He also called OU fans "fucking hillbillies"...something uber-ironic when you consider his own school's mascot has a fucking ear of corn in his pocket.

Bottom line...Bill Callahan handle's pressure about as well as I handle astro-physics. Now, throw in the fact that you corn-fed idiots are going to EXPECT him to win the north, and the guy is going to implode on a monster scale. Is everything set on the table for Nebraska to make a bunch of new t-shirts with catchy phrases? Or are a couple of losses to Iowa State, Mizzou and K-State going to derail the Clownahan express? All it's going to take is ONE..just ONE bad loss to a team you're supposed to beat..and the wolves will be on him and Pederson like nothing you have ever seen. So can NU win the north? Absolutely. Are they the best mediocre team in the division? Probably. Can they handle the pressure of winning with over hyped and unachieving-except-at-some-high-school-in-South Dakota talent? I'm guessing no. I'm also guessing I'm going to laugh my ass off when it happens.

So here it is....

1- Colorado
2- Iowa State
3- Nebraska
4- Mizzou
5- KSU
6- KU

And in the South...
Either Texas or Oklahoma and who gives a shit about the rest.

Big 12 Champ - Texas
Dark Horse - Iowa State
Most overhyped - Nebraska

I'm on vacation for the next few days. I look forward to reading the hate mail.


PS - Is it bad when your head basketball coach is looking to leave his own program for a staff job in the HORIZON league? Holy shit, this is so good, you can't make this up. Too bad none of you care as you line up for Creighton tickets


Blogger Sam said...

Winning the Big 12 North is right up there with winning a Democrat nomination for office in the state of Confusion.. er, I mean Nebraska.

Sure you get some recognition, but it's really just an invitation to your own personal ass-whooping.

3:31 PM  
Anonymous David Crowe said...


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For the past few months I have been working on my site www.writeonsports.com. It is still in the process of being developed and will be finalized in the next month (or so). The premise of the site is to provide a centralized area where independent people, who like to write on sports or read about sports, are able to find articles/authors they enjoy. As part of my website, I am going to provide a "sportsblog library". This will provide readers a searchable data base to find the sports teams that they enjoy reading about. I would like your site to be part of the sportsblog library. If someone searches for Nebraska football they would be able to find a link to your blog.

I am not looking for a straight listing of all the blogs that relate to each team; I am looking for a place where someone can go and find a well written blog that offers information to the knowledgeable reader. I think your site provides such a quality. As such, I would like to invite you to be listed in the sportsblog library.

Anyway, I look forward to your response and I hope you will accept my invitation.


David Crowe
Write On Sports LLC

8:48 PM  

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