What do I mean?
No other sport is so condensed and yet so spread out. Each weekend brings a battle on the field, followed by 2-3 days of hard-core analysis. Then by Tuesday or Wednesday, the next big weekend starts to come into view and you start all over again. It’s sometimes maddening, oftentimes frustrating, but every time, it’s a beautiful thing. Ask any Missouri or Oklahoma fan this week if they're pissed off about their team's performance last week and well...you won't hear much because they're too busy worrying about this Saturday. (Well, except for OU who has Kansas at home. They can probably afford to look back a bit longer)
So now that we’re ½ way through the regular season, what have we learned about our good friends from Lincoln? What have we learned about the Big 12? What have we learned about college footbal in general? What are we still trying to figure out?
Obviously it’s lame…but it oftentimes is appropriate once or twice a season to step back and take a look at where we are. So with that, I give you the first half:
WHAT WE KNOW:
- We know that Bo Pelini is a horrible coach and Nebraska is no better than they were a year ago. Ok, it’s far too early to call him a horrible coach and this weekend will go a long long way in telling us about your future. But this much we do know: Pre-season predictions of 9-3 seasons, fully stocked cupboards and warm-weather bowl dreams were..and always were a complete and total figment of your wildly red-clad over active imagination. You weren’t going to win 9 games. You were never going to win 9 games. You should feel butt-ass ridiculous for even DREAMING of winning 9 games. Win 6 first..then worry about 9.
- We already knew that the Pac-10 and Big 10 have ruined many a college football season with their lame Rose Bowl tradition, and their championship game-less invitations to the BCS title game time and time again. But what we didn’t know, was how pathetically awful both conferences really are. Ohio State lays another gigantic egg on a big stage: Michigan is about to go 2-10 for the first time since Jesus was in Pampers: Wisconsin, Illinois, Oregon and Cal are all over-hyped shams who wouldn’t finish in the top half of the Big 12 or hell, even the Mountain West. But rest assured, we also know that either USC or Ohio State will somehow find their way to Miami. You can count on it and you know I'm probably right.
- We knew the Big 12 was tough but Good Lord…. McCoy? Bradford? Daniel? Ganz? (Ha, just kidding), Harrell? Robinson? (I don’t care how good his numbers are or how good he looked against Mizzou…I’m not sold on that kid yet.) Did you see how fast Texas and Oklahoma looked? Did you see how much speed Okie State has? Did you see how Mizzou could have a HORRIBLE game, and still go for 460 yards of offense? Either way, the conference is as strong as it probably has ever been. Even in the middle, Kansas, Colorado and hell…even Baylor are keeping their heads above water enough to have dreams of making noise in late December.
- We know the Heisman is the most over-hyped…over-analyzed…over-discussed piece of junky hardware on the planet. I know it’s a big deal…but the second Eric Crouch won that thing (opening the door for a cascade of future copier salesmen to win) it lost it’s luster. The entire award has more to do with ESPN and ABC than it does with the player who actually is the best in the country. Who's going to win? McCoy? Bradford? Nate Swift? Who knows...who really cares. We'll watch. We'll find out who won. We'll forget in 2 weeks. Happens every year.
- We know Nebraska still can’t win a big game. 19 straight games against a top 20 team without a win? Only Duke can say that with you. Wow, that’s really saying something.
- We know Kansas is still made of smoke and mirrors. Now hear me out Beakers…your QB is very good and even your coach can outwit his foes with the best of them. But your lack of a running game and zero speed on defense is finally catching up with you. SERIOUSLY, did you think you were REALLY that good when Kerry F’ing Meier is your best big-play weapon? You should take it as a compliment if anything; no team has done more with less over the past 2 seasons than Kansas. Props to you, it sure beats sucking.
- We know Nebraska fans will STILL whine, piss and moan about ANYTHING when they lose. Seriously…4 straight days of outrage because some QB who hates you called you dirty? You think Conrad Dobler got all pissed and bent out of shape because people called him dirty? How bout Bill Romanowski? Truth be told, you people will flip out about ANYTHING and I mean ANYTHING if it allows you to not think about how bad you suck. Whether it’s demonic fans in Boulder or some punk in Pennsylvania stealing your lucky red giant foam cowboy hat…you people have set a new standard for whiny ass crybabies everywhere. I’d hate to see what you’d do if you really had something to whine about. Frick’n babies.
WHAT WE DON’T KNOW
- We STILL don’t know if Missouri can get over that hump…but we will real soon. Lose to Texas this week in Austin and the Big 12 dreams are still alive…but kiss any chance at a Cinderella season for the ages goodbye. (With the most talent in school history to boot). That's how it goes though. It's nearly impossible in this day and age to go undefeated. Take the time to enjoy it when you have a shot at it.
- We still don’t know how the hell Marlon Lucky is the Big 12's leading returning rusher from last season. Seriously…how did he do that? He looks like a 40 year old man running at times out there. Now granted, I did think he looked much better this past Saturday..but it should be a crime to hold that much talent and not tap into it on a consistent basis. Then again, I'm guessing being a seasoned vet and having to share with two underclassmen isn't exactly thrilling him with confidence to do better on the practice field or the weight room.
- We still don’t know who is going to win the South this year…or even who the front-runner. Texas of course took a huge step forward with their win over Oklahoma. However, you and I both know that the horns have a letdown or two or three still left in them. Obviously they hold the inside track right now…but lets see if they can put up that second half effort the rest of the year.
- We still don’t know why everybody pleasures themselves over the SEC. I’ve seen Georgia, Alabama, Kentucky, LSU, Florida, Vandy and South Carolina all play on TV this season. Georgia pisses all over themselves, Alabama has one good receiver and a QB with 6 names, Kentucky sucks and South Carolina looks like they can’t move the ball at all. Tennessee? Are you kidding me. Florida loses to Ole Miss. Vandy looks great and then loses to Miss State? And don't even get me started with Auburn....Yuck. I realize they’re normally the best conference 9 years out of 10…but let’s call it for what it is…ESPN’s lapdog with an allergy against scoring points. Oh well, at least they have a championship game, unlike a few other conferences I know.
- We still don’t know why Texas Tech isn’t just stomping people these days. They have TONS of talent. They won a New Year’s Day bowl last year. Yet an overtime game with Nebraska? Struggling with Nevada? And why the hell are they running the ball so much this year? You have the best damn receiver in the country and your school’s all-time leading passer. (Which is saying something at that place.) Leach always tries to get cute, and it’s going to catch up with him soon.
Oh well, enough of that filler. On to the Power Poll.
1) Missouri (5-1, 1-1) at Texas: Mizzou’s entire season boils down to one hell of a challenge in Austin. Sure, conference and division titles are still very very real, but the one-in-a-lifetime shot at a National Title is slipping away. My gut says the game will be decided in the first 5-10 minutes. If Mizzou can take the first few punches, they have the horses to compete. If UT comes out and punches them in the mouth early, it’s going to be a long long day.
2) Kansas (5-1, 2-0) at Oklahoma: Welcome to the first day of the rest of your life Beakers. Now you get to take on a really really pissed off OU team in their backyard. Psssst – They’re better than Virginia Tech. Just a warning.
3) Colorado (3-3, 0-2) vs. Kansas State: I don’t care what you say…who else are you going to put 3rd in the division? CU has lost three straight and has had lots of trouble scoring points of late. A good effort in Lawrence last weekend was lost by giving up two rushing touchdowns to the KU waterboy. Oh wait, that was Jake Sharp and apparently he really is on the team.
4) Kansas State (4-2, 1-1) at Colorado: It’s kinda chic to rip on KSU of late. They were lit up by Tech..thumped by Louisville and gave up 30 points to A&M. Yet somehow, they’re still two wins away from being bowl eligible with Nebraska and ISU still on the schedule. Josh Freeman is quietly having a fairly decent year; he’s 10th in the nation in passing efficiency. Unfortunately, that’s only good for 6th in the conference. Yeesh.
5) Iowa State (2-4, 0-2) vs. Nebraska: The Clone’s Super bowl is Saturday against a team that has absolutely zero respect for them. ISU looked absolutely putrid in Waco last weekend, but has scored 31 or more points in 4 of their 6 games. Nebraska is looking at this game as a scrimmage. Tell me you don’t see this coming.
6) Nebraska (3-3, 0-2) at Iowa State: The Huskers lead the nation in moral victories with 3 so far this season. Texas Tech played a game so bad, they would have lost to 99% of the teams in the country..yet somehow Hick nation found another way to piss into the wind against a Tech team that obviously doesn’t think much of them. Despite all the feel good vibes, NU ranks 100th in passing defense, 84th in total defense and 85th in scoring defense. Yup…order restored. (Cue the speech about playing the “toughest schedule in the country” because San Jose State beat up some WAC teams)
1) Oklahoma (5-1, 1-1) vs. Kansas: I don’t’ care what you say or what neutral field saw them lose. I still say OU has more talent, more speed, more playmakers than anybody in the league. One thing Bob Stoops teams do well is play well really really pissed off. God have mercy on you Todd Reesing.
2) Texas (6-0, 2-0) vs. Missouri: Don’t get me wrong…UT is still absolutely loaded with a filthy defensive line and linebackers who can fly all over the field. However, they still have some glaring weaknesses in the running game and the defensive backfield. Texas hasn’t had to handle the pressure of being #1 in the regular season since the 1984 season. With a giant bullseye on their back, I simply see too many opportunities to slip up. Maybe I’m wrong..but I don’t think UT would win 5 more times if they played OU 10 on a neutral field.
3) Oklahoma State (6-0, 2-0) vs. Baylor: Yes, OSU is fast. Yes, OSU has an underrated QB, big tall wide receivers and a pretty physical defense. But it took a horseshit call on the final drive, and every break available to beat Missouri..and yet they still almost pissed it away by taking a knee with too much time remaining. Reading OSU propaganda this week, the Pokes are feeling pretty good about themselves, and I guess for good reason. But you and I know that team won’t play a perfect game every weekend. Now that they’re top 10, the pressure is just beginning.
4) Baylor (3-3, 0-2) at Oklahoma State: This team reminds me so much of the early Brad Smith-led Mizzou teams. Robert Griffin is ridiculous to watch, and probably has better touch on the short ball than Smith did. Unfortunately, he’s not surrounded by very much talent (hmmm..sounds familiar) and still makes rookie mistakes. They’re going to get clocked most likely this weekend, but teams like this are scary the deeper you go into the season.
5) Texas Tech (6-0, 2-0) at Texas A&M: Do I honestly think Tech is worse than Baylor? Hell no, but you can’t give a half-assed pathetic effort like that and not expect to drop a ton in my eyes. Like I said before, this team has more offensive talent than almost anybody, but you can see it in their body language that they are going through the motions. Maybe they’re just waiting to play a good team in the spotlight…I dunno. But that team looked BAD against a horrid Nebraska program that hasn’t done jack shit in 7 years on Saturday. They better get things fixed before the schedule gets ugly later on.
6) Texas A&M (2-4, 0-2) vs. Texas Tech: They should let that Collie coach a game. Could he really do that much worse of a job than Mike Sherman?
I will be out of town this weekend, and will not be able to approve your smart ass comments, homophobic propaganda, rusty logic and booger jokes. No real reason to tell you, other than don’t bitch at me all day Sunday when nothing shows up. Husker/Tigers win, Husker/Tigers loss, I’ll be right shortly after. You’ve been warned in advance.