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Football Around the Big 12

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A few thoughts on our past/future opponents:

Texas Tech is in revolt after Leach blew the smart play to kick a field on 4th and 1 with a five point 4th quarter lead against UH.

Brandon Carter has been stripped of his captaincy and suspended from the team indefinitely. He announced it via Twitter and then immediately canceled his account along with his Facebook page. These game suspensions mean a significant cut in mascara sales for the Lubbock Piggly Wiggly. Marlon Williams expressed his discontent via Twitter too. They'll have a chance to get things right and make Everybody Love Everbody against New Mexico and Kansas St before embarking on a Nebraska road trip.

Baylor's season is effectively over. With Griffin gone, Baylor hands the reins to Blake Szymanski - when he gets well. Right now he's week to week with a bruised shoulder. Szymanski was Baylor's starter pre-Griffin and he has 13 career starts, but Baylor's offense is now transformed from a multi-dimensional spread attack with run/pass options into a conventional - and second rate - spread attack. They also lost a starting cornerback. Those bowl hopes look slim.

The biggest beneficiary of these developments is Texas A&M and their minor bowl aspirations. The Aggies still don't have the components they need on defense (though Von Miller leads the nation in sacks), but Jerrod Johnson is coming into his own as a QB (he's running a lot more now and not treating the pocket as an invisible fence) and they have a stable of good RBs. The Arkansas game will be highly entertaining and is likely to be played in the 30s/40s. The Thanksgiving game is getting interesting.

Kansas won't get the credit it deserves for the tough victory over Southern Mississippi. Kansas will have a quality year - perhaps even win the North against a prohibitive conference schedule - but this is a team that, unfortunately for them, Texas was designed to pummel. They're having trouble protecting Reesing and stopping the passing game. Not a good combo when you play the Longhorns.

Missouri's Illinois win continues to look weaker by the week, but you can't fault a team for winning convincingly in their opener and then reeling off three more. This is not looking like the 6-6 Mizzou squad I anticipated. Blaine Gabbert is the real deal (leads the league in passing efficiency and has yet to throw a pick in 144 attempts) and although their inability to blow out Nevada by their margin of dominance on the field puzzled (as well as Pinkel overcoaching 80% of the game) these guys are shaping up to be a pesky road thorn in our lion's paw. WR Danario Alexander is as good as advertised. After their bye, their schedule goes: Nebraska, @ Okie St, Texas. We'll know what's up soon enough.

Colorado is still a disgrace, but some fans are still hoping for ten wins. What CU will do for us is give us a good look at a two back offense, play action, and a downhill running game before we play Oklahoma. Think of them as an upgraded scout team. That serves a very useful function for us as we've seen very little traditional running game and I don't want our first two quarters in Dallas to look like us trying to tackle Beanie Wells. Because Colorado is so very Colorado, we also have a good chance to game plan Oklahoma specifically for at least half of our bye week. CU takes on West Virginia this week and the team is still unsettled on the OL. If I were CU, I'd be doing whatever I could to replace their safeties - these guys run like parking meters.

OSU proved the depths of their racism by pummeling Grambling by 50. They didn't play Bryant or Hunter and found a new RB star in freshman Jeremy Smith.
Despite the mismatch, Grambling still forced four turnovers and OSU had nine penalties. Gundy is an old Cherokee word for "sloppy." They now have a two week bye before heading to Aggieland.

The Sooners are starting to get right, but is it illusory? Landry Jones is getting comfortable in the offense and the defense is still stout. The question is how does one phase in Bradford when and if he's recovered sufficiently to play. And if he can play, is Sam Bradford at 75% better than a healthy Landry Jones? And is this all moot when OU plays a real defense (read: Texas) that can take away Ryan Broyles, gang up on the running game, and make someone else beat them? This is why no Gresham is such a crippling blow for the Sooners. He made defenses more honest than Jimmy Stewart.

The Unsavory Bowl between OU and Miami should be absolutely fascinating. There's no game I want to watch more because the loser likely ends up in a dramatic tailspin while the winner is reinvigorated and energized. It's like watching fire ants battle killer bees - I'm pining for mutual destruction.

What's on your mind? Any thoughts on the Big 12?