July 25, 2007

Return of Ralphie - 2007 Big 12 North Preview

Ahhh yes, fall is in the air. A new crop of crappy reality TV shows will hit your flatscreen in a matter of weeks. The Royals are 16 games out. Back to school commercials are about to fill the airwaves and yet another Big 12 preview is ready to hit cyberspace.

Let the record show that I certainly would not take the picks to Vegas. Thanks to the quitters at Iowa State last year, my sexy dark-horse pick ended up being quite possibly the worst selection of the year. (Unless you count the Troy over Nebraska prediction a few weeks later.) With that being said, I've turned a corner and I shall give you the spin-free breakdown of what REALLY is going to happen this year in the mighty Big 12 north:


********************************************

Kansas - 200 to 1 winning the North. 4 Projected wins.
I'm not sure why everybody is saying that Kansas has the easiest schedule in the nation. Central Michigan and Toledo are MORE than capable of knocking Mark Mangino's club in 2007. It seems like I can cut and paste the same preview for KU just about every year. They have a couple of nice players. They'll play somebody tough, but they'll get bludgeoned by everybody else. Home games against Iowa State and Baylor might be their only saving grace to a respectable season, but even that isn't a given, since Iowa State still has some expiernece on their team. Kerry Meier was one of the worst QB's I've ever seen in my life last season. Perhaps he's improved? Probably not.


Iowa State - 199 to 1 winning the North. 4 Projected wins.
Something tells me ISU isn't going to be as bad as people think this year. Unfortunately for them...like last year...their schedule is brutal and they've continued to develop their very Missouri-esque "woe is us" complex that allows them to melt down during games. Bret Meyer is still a pretty good QB and 8 starters return on defense..but who the hell are they going to beat? They struggled with Toledo last year, as the Rockets should be improved. Mighty Northern Iowa is also on the schedule, so there's another dogfight. However, surely the prospect of having a new head coach won't help either right? This team isn't going to be real good...but something in the back of my head says they have way too much talent to be 5th place in a crappy division like this.



Nebraska - 75 to 1 winning the North. 6 Projected wins.
Yeah, that's right, I said it. All this hype about "getting back to where they belong" blah blah blah is nothing but a front to the cold-hard fact that Nebraska doesn't have a damn thing going for them. Yes, the greatest hype machine since Joseph Gerbles is telling you that everything is in place behind an unproven cancer of a QB, a running back who's never been a feature back and a wide receiver who can't stay out of the back of police cars. And that's not to mention a mediocre defense that lost their best 4 players last season. Husker fans are in for a rude awakening this season if you've got visions of a made-up trophy once again dancing through your hollow skull. The thing is, I'm not doing this to be funny. I'm dead serious. this is going to be a train wreck of epic proportions, with the wheels coming off right around the 7th of October. Don't say I didn't tell you so. Order restored indeed. Remember, they're not saying, "Ruuud", they're booing.


Kansas State - 99 to 1 winning the North. 7 projected wins.
I know the chic thing to do these days, if you're not a Gopowercat.com subscriber is to bash the hell out of Ron Prince for being in way over his head. Truth be told, the cupboard wasn't THAT bare when old man Snyder left two years ago. Granted, things are a far cry from the late 90's, where K-State was the pride of the division. However, the bottom didn't fall out quite as much as people think, as proven by the cat's trip to a bowl game last season. Unfortunately for Texas, K-State didn't piss away the game with a late fumble, as KSU showed definite signs of improvement. Josh Freeman is the real deal, but this team is still a couple years away from getting back into the fold. If the running game can keep Freeman from getting killed, KSU is going to surprise some people. Oh, and my upset of the year special? K-State over the Hicks in Lincoln. Book that.



Missouri - 3 to 1 winning the North. 9 Projected wins.
I'm not stupid. I'm well aware of what Gary Pinkel can do to an offense. With that being said, there are so many weapons for Chase Daniel to choose from, even Pinkel can't mess it up. (At least I don't think). The key for Mizzou is not the Nebraska game on 10/6 (which they will win by double digits), but the trips to Manhattan and Colorado. Pinkel and company have proven to be deadly at home when facing teams not named Oklahoma. However, late games on the road have been the death blow to this team, and this season is no different. Look for the Tigers as usual to win a game they shouldn't, and blow a game or two they should win. Early candidates are the trips to Oxford and Texas A&M at home, who has proven that power running is the way to beat Mizzou. (Not swing passes and fake punts). Mizzou's defense may have lost 5 starters, but two of those five starters missed significant time due to injury, thus allowing backups to get lots of playing time. This is the most confident I've ever been about a Mizzou team in my lifetime, and that scares the shit out of me. However, I'm well aware of the fact that God hates Mizzou and their fans like no other. Someday I'll be wrong. Someday the Lord above will say, "They've had enough". Will this be the year? You would think so, but only fate will tell. An early November afternoon in Boulder will tell the tale.



Colorado - 2.5 to 1 winning the North. 9 projected wins.
OK, I realized Colorado won 2 measly games last year. I know they lost to Baylor and Montana State at HOME, but hear me out. For the exact same reasons Nebraska fans blow off their horrible play against Maine, I shall explain to you that Dan Hawkins is one hell of a coach. CU's problem last year was scoring points, especially early on. But did you realize their three biggest scoring outputs of the year were their last 3 games? Did you know the Buffs lost 4 games by 5 points or less? Did you know their defense remains nearly intact and they get both Missouri AND Nebraska at home? Crazier shit has happened than a 2-10 team winning the division the following year. But if anybody can do it, it would be the Big 12 North's most successful school over the years. If they can settle on a QB early enough in the season, look out and don't forget I told you so.

So in order:

1. Colorado 9-3
2. Missouri 9-3
3. Kansas State 7-5
4. Nebraska 6-6
5. Iowa State 4-8
6. Kansas 4-8


South Champion: Texas
Big 12 Champion: Texas
Bowl teams: Texas, Oklahoma, Texas Tech, Texas A&M, Oklahoma State, Colorado, Missouri, Kansas State, Nebraska.

Dark horse: Texas A&M
Coach of the Year: Dan Hawkins, Colorado
Newcomer of the Year: Patrick Gates, Colorado
Hate E-mail from Husker fans: 153,330

10 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Keep sucking on the crack pipe, AJ.

JP

5:31 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

North
Missouri (5-3) 10-3
Kansas State (5-3) 8-4
Nebraska (5-3) 7-5
Iowa State (2-6) 6-6
Colorado (2-6) 4-8
Kansas (1-7) 5-7

South
Oklahoma (7-1) 11-2
Texas (6-2) 10-2
Oklahoma State (6-2) 10-2
Texas A&M (6-2) 9-3
Texas Tech (3-5) 7-5
Baylor (0-8) 3-9

I don't think Colorado will improve all that much. They should have been a lot better last year and somehow only won two games. I think Dan Hawkins might be another Dirk Koetter.

I see a three-way tie in the North. Nebraska will lose to Missouri, Texas, and Oklahoma State. Missouri will lose to Oklahoma, Texas A&M, and Kansas State. Kansas State will lose to Texas, Nebraska, and Oklahoma State. Missouri will go to the Big 12 championship game by either having the highest BCS ranking of the three teams or best overall record. They will shock the world and beat the Sooners in the championship game. The last two times the North won, it was an upset, and it's bound to happen again.

I think Iowa State will win their first four games, lose their next six, then beat Kansas and Colorado to close out the season.

Coach of the Year
Gary Pinkel, Missouri
Offensive Player of the Year
Chase Daniel, Missouri
Defensive Player of the Year
Reggie Smith, Oklahoma
Newcomer of the Year
DeMarco Murray, Oklahoma

C&G Cy

6:04 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

AJ:

You have got be one drugs or something to make such predictions.

Well one thing is for sure. Football season is just around the corner and we will soon see if you really know your s&*t or if you are just full of it.

But just the same "It must really suck to be you!"

GBR

6:57 PM  
Blogger AJ said...

JP you should be happy, considering how my predictions went last year.

8:03 PM  
Anonymous bigredfred said...

AJ,

Hope you are right somewhat, about Colorado. For some reason, the buffs are one team us Husker Fans love to Hate, and it just ain't the same when they don't have a team like they didn't have last year.

I won't even mention the fact that Bill Callahan had to use 6 trick plays to beat last years 2-9 CU team, 1 touchdown behind going into the 4th quarter..

Besides, they have the coolest maskot in the Big 12. Wonder if they feed it corn?

11:45 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"JP you should be happy, considering how my predictions went last year."

So here it is....2006

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

I wonder why nobody is worried about your predictions for this year. What a stool sample.

1:09 PM  
Blogger AJ said...

Good point Fred. (Never thought about the corn thing).

Obviously picking CU is a bit of a stretch...but despite how bad that Baylor and Montana State loss looks...you and I both know they'r enot that bad.

They may not win the North..but I certainly don't feel comfortable playing them...especially in late November.

1:27 PM  
Blogger JGerardi said...

AJ,
As a CU fan, and constant reader of your sight, I hope you are right. I see/hope that we may have a season similar to Okie State, and I see a comparasin between us and them two years ago. In 05, okie state was arguably the worst team in the conference, with a new coach, and a completely new pass oriented system. Nobody picked them higher than 5th coming into the season and they were just a handful of plays away from winning the South (4 losses by less than 7 points to OU, A&M, Tech and KState). That being said, I see us winning at most 7 at worst 4 or 5.
A few corrections in your post:

1) PT gates has not qualified and word is he most likely will not.
2) Colorados 3 highest scoring games last year came against Baylor (Week 6, 31 points), TX Tech (week 7, 30 Points) and week 11 Iowa State 33 Points) Our last three offensive outputs were 21, 33 and 14 against KSU, ISU and NU.

Jeff

and BTW I still think deep in your heart of hearts you think MO will win the division and are just trying to keep your hopes low by spouting this CU nonsense :)

3:04 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nobody's ever said AJ knows anything about sports.

JP

3:47 PM  
Blogger AJ said...

Jeff, thanks for stopping by. Why on earth would I pick Missouri? Everybody here bombards me 24/7 with how bad they suck...I have no choice but to believe them. (What are the odds I pick NU to win?...not that they will)

My mistake on the last 3 offensive outputs. When I was in columbia for the MU-CU game, they looked pretty damn tough to me.

6:23 PM  

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