A Tiger Tale - The 2008 Big 12 North Preview Column
So with that, it’s time for my favorite part of the year….the 4th annual Big 12 North prediction column. In case you’ve been marooned on a desert Island with Tom Hanks and a volleyball for four years, it isn’t going to look very familiar.
Finally a word of caution: The following are ONLY predictions. This is not meant to be a betting guide, nor is it going to decide the 2008 presidential election. It is not going to help regulate black market diamond trade in Zambia. It is not going to kick the Mullah’s out of power in Iran. It is not going to make Rosie O’Donnell’s new variety show suck ass any less.
It is simply the way I see it.
With that, let’s get the season started and let the name-calling, pissing and moaning begin:
Nebraska – 500,000 to 1 winning the North. 4 projected wins. (Western Michigan, San Jose State, New Mexico State, Baylor)
* If you want me to explain this pick for the 9,000,000th time…then fine. Despite the idiotic ramblings of many of you…including my good friend Husker “Nick” who SWEARS the Huskers are going to compete for the North…you are in fact, going absolutely nowhere. Of all the lessons you’ve learned over the past few years, the one you have FAILED pick up is the one that is the hardest to take; and that lesson is….it takes a lot longer to pick yourself back up than it does to fall down. Somehow a brand new coach with ONE whole game of experience is going to make a 114th ranked defense improve significantly just by making them “try harder”. And yes, that is just as butt ass stupid when you read it as when you actually say it. More to come live from the North basement as your season progresses.
Iowa State - 1,000 to 1 winning the North. 5 projected wins. (SD State, Kent State, Iowa, Baylor, Nebraska)
* It’s awful trendy to bury a team like Iowa State and leave them for dead. And don’t get me wrong…they suck almost as much as the Huskers. However, with the poor record in 2007 and the early season humiliating losses…people tend to forget that ISU actually played pretty decent ball down the stretch. Starting with one hell of an effort against Oklahoma, the Clones hung tough with Mizzou in Columbia, and then beat K-State and Colorado. Not a super thing to hang your hat on, but certainly not the “slam dunk win” people are counting on. Since the game for the North toilet against Nebraska is played in Ames this year…look for the Clones to escape the cellar and send the Hick nation into despair and panic. (yet again).
Kansas - 100 to 1 winning the north. 6 projected wins. (FIU, La Tech, Sam Houston St, Iowa State, Colorado, Nebraska.)
* That’s right you redlegged beaker scumbags…I said 6 wins. Not since Napoleon fooled the world in thinking France was some sort of power in the late 18th century, the Jayhawks used their weak size and weaker strength of schedule to back into one of the greatest fraud seasons in the history of organized sports. Oh don’t get me wrong…the fat man can coach (as I say every year) and I actually think Reesing is decent because he doesn’t make a lot of mistakes. But even you arrogant bastards have to admit the whole thing was done with smoke, mirrors and magic wands. Look for the cold wind of reality to smack the beaks upside the head when they find out their plastic Orange Bowl trophy was actually sold at a garage sale by Lew Perkins for a handful of magic beans.
Kansas State - 75 to 1 winning the north. 8 projected wins (North Texas, Montana State, Louisville, Louisiana-Laff, Texas A&M, Kansas, Nebraska, Iowa State)
* I have absolutely no reason to, but I really think KSU is going to be the surprise team of the North in 2008. Oh don’t get me wrong…they’re still decent on talent and somewhat short in the coaching brains department. (19 juco guys? Come on Ron). But still, as they showed at times last season at Auburn and Texas, the Cats have the ability to cause problems. And ok fine…Josh Freeman called himself one of the best QB’s in the league…but dude does have some skills and dude is now a 3 year starter. And ok fine, they gave up 900 points to a Nebraska team that was trying to save the job of a guy they hated. But still….some team almost always jumps up to shock the world. Call me crazy, but I think it can happen.
Colorado – 20 to 1 winning the north. 7 projected wins (Colorado State, E Washington, Kansas State, Texas A&M, Iowa State, Oklahoma State, Nebraska)
* I’ve been riding the Dan Hawkins bandwagon for quite some time now. And yes, although I’ve been a bit short on my predictions, I’m not about to give up on my second favorite North fan base. Cody Hawkins struggled at times as a freshman, but with a year under his belt, can build on three fairly good offensive performances to end the season last year. The Buffs lose 2 big names on defense in Jordon Dizon and Terrence Wheatley, however they do return a fairly salty front line, but don’t have a whole lot in terms of rushing the passer. With all that, you’ve got to figure that building on the bowl game of last season, as well as a killer non-con stretch will favor the Buffs in the end. Look for the game in Boulder vs. K-State to be a grudge match for Big 12 North runner up.
Missouri - 9 to 2 winning the north. 11 projected wins. (Illinois, SEMO, Nevada, Buffalo, Nebraska, Oklahoma State, Colorado, Baylor, KSU, Iowa State, Kansas.)
* If any of you have been here a decent amount of time, you’d know how much it kills me to actually predict Mizzou will win the north..let alone win 11 games. However, I’ve studied the numbers…I’ve watched the tapes and looked at the games from week to week. And with all that, I’ve come to the conclusion that it would take a collapse of biblical proportions to keep Mizzou from winning the North. Even if Chase Daniel and Jeremy Maclin were to go down in week one (knock on wood), the Tigers would still have enough talent to lap the rest of the division. I understand things happen, and a loss to Illinois in week one could derail the whole damn thing. But seriously…LOOK AT THE SCHEDULE. Look at how much offense they have back. Look at how they return 10 guys on defense. They have an all conference kicker too for Christ’s sake. I’m sorry…I tried…but there is no way on God’s green earth Gary Pinkel can blow this. (At least I don’t think).
So in order:
1. Missouri 11-1 (7-1)
2. Colorado 7-5 (5-3)
3. Kansas State 8-4 (4-4)
4. Kansas 6-6 (3-5)
5. Iowa State 5-7 (3-5)
6. Nebraska 4-8 (1-7)
South Champion: Oklahoma
Big 12 Champion: Oklahoma
Bowl Teams: Texas, Texas Tech, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Missouri, Colorado, Kansas State, Kansas.
Dark horse: Kansas State
Coach of the Year: Ron Prince
Ok boys…there you go. Let the hate fly.