Tuesday, December 1, 2009

December 1, 2009

Holy crap...its officially December. Where O where does the time go??? Much to talk about today and we'll dive in with the usual Tuesday Blog.


1. Nebraska/Colorado Grade Outs
2. Big 12 Rankings
3. New Top 25

1. Well Nebraska went into last Friday's game as 10 point favorites and came out what looked like a poor 8 point win. It wasn't glamorous, and just was another reason why rivalry week gives soo many teams fits. Especially playing rivals that were 3-8 with nothing to lose. Nebraska fans seem to think that we'll just roll up 50+ points on poor teams, but in reality the way this season has gone Nebraska really just isn't at the level to just show up and roll over opponents. We'll get there soon. To The GRADE OUTS:

Offense: C+
Defense: B-

Offense: It wasn't a great day for the offense. Early in the first half Nebraska had a prime opportunity to drive the ball deep on Colorado and poor blitz pick-up on back to back plays left Nebraska to punt the ball early in the first quarter. The very disappointing aspect of Nebraska's offense playbook was their inability to take shots down the field via the pass. Colorado came into last weeks game having one of the worse pass defenses in the country. Nebraska didn't attempt one pass of over 30 yards. Colorado had surrendered 25 passes of over 30 yards this season. The lone bright spot of this offense came when it decided to feed Rex Burkehead the rock late in the game. Rex ran 8 times on that drive scoring the winning touchdown that put the game out of reach for Colorado. He alone was the lone bright spot, when this team goes back and looks at the tape...they'll have to make major corrections if they are to have a game-plan ready for Texas this weekend.

Defense: It was just ugly for the defense. They surrendered the most yards they had all season and simply let a very mediocre Buffalo team feel as if they could pull of the huge upset. What was concerning that after Nebraska had missed a field goal, Colorado got the ball back and drove 50+ yards and scored a touchdown. The defense looked out of place, sloppy, and unmotivated at times last week. That was very evident on the final play of the game where Dennard gave up on covering Scottie McKnight who then caught a meaningless touchdown pass from Tyler Hansen. That one play pretty much summed up the play of the defense...they took plays off and were just sloppy. No doubt some butts were reamed in the locker room after the game. I expect them to come out with plenty of emotion on Saturday, but the way they played in the last game of the regular season is cause for concern.

2. Big 12 Rankings (Week 14)

1. Texas (12-0) (8-0)
The Longhorns are just one game away from getting a shot at the National Title. The pressure is squarely on their shoulders to deliver a win after getting snubbed last season. A&M exposed a few areas of weakness on this team and how will Texas respond when they are pressed for 4 quarters? We shall see on Saturday how they respond.

2. Nebraska (9-3) (6-2)
Nebraska didn't look pretty on Friday, but really how many top teams really looked that good last week. Nebraska has a healthy 5 game winning streak and comes into Dallas with nothing to lose. Win and you go to the Fiesta Bowl, lose and your in the Holiday Bowl....both seem like great trips for Husker fans after being 1-2 in the conference before Halloween. Suh likely will go down as the Big 12 best defensive lineman that the conference has ever had. 10 wins is a nice star to put on this season.

3. Oklahoma State (9-3) (6-2)
The Cowboys just can't seem to get over the hump of beating Texas and Oklahoma. Gundy is a miserable 0-10 against those team. Cotton Bowl appears likely, but how confident are the Cowboys playing a fast speedy team from the SEC. OU showed what speed can do to this team...a bowl slaughtering looks likely if the Cowboys don't fix their mistakes.

4. Texas Tech (8-4) (5-3)
Mike Leach didn't live up to the lofty expectations that his seniors wanted but going 8-4 after losing Harrell and Crabtree is something to be proud about. The Alamo Bowl appears likely for the Red Raiders along with a big win over any slow 10 opponent they play. With talent back next season, could next year be the year Texas Tech rises to the top of the division??

5. Oklahoma (7-5) (5-3)
Injuries killed whatever high goals were on the board at the beginning of the year. Sun Bowl appears likely for the Sooners. Bob Stoops appears to be staying in Norman, and won't be bolting for Norte Dame. Maybe he should with the talent and questions this team will likely have next season. Another 7-5 season could possibly happen next year....Getting a nice win over OSU on Senior Day is all this team has to hang it hat on this season.

6. Texas A&M (6-6) (3-5)
Jerrod Johnson returns next season along with a core group of talent on offense. The questions will come if this team can stop anybody next season. Mike Sherman may have saved his job this season, but go 6-6 when you might be the best team in the South next year and Aggie fans will scream for a change. Texas Bowl looks likely to take A&M and draw it's fan base to Houston to play Navy.

7. Missouri (8-4) (4-4)
Unimpressive was their win over Kansas on Saturday. Missouri proved why it has struggled most of the season, they can't stop anybody's passing game. The tigers relied on KU's mental downfall to irk out a 2 point win over KU. Hopes were high for this team, but 8-4 is something Tiger fans must get back to being use to. Just make a bowl game. Insight Bowl looks likely with a possible big win over another slow 10 team.

8. Kansas State (6-6) (4-4)
Teams are punching their bowl tickets and K-State has put away it's equipment for the year. Bigger questions appear imminent now that all of Ron Prince's junior college talent has all but left the program. Rebuilding looks likely for Snyder. How long do you think he'll stick around to rebuild this program? Not long, so he better work miracles quickly at 70 years old.

9. Iowa State (6-6) (3-5)
Bowl Eligibility is nice for a program that was 2-10 last season. Iowa State appears all set to go to the Independence bowl and play a bottom level SEC team. Hmmmmm think they can handle the speed of an Arkansas, Auburn, Kentucky, or South Carolina. I don't think so...so a losing season appears imminent for the Cyclones....not a great recruiting tool if you can't get winning seasons in Ames.

10. Kansas (5-7) (1-7)
Seven straight losses have Jayhawk fans sick to their stomach after they were all but certain of being Big 12 North champs. Its shocking how much this team quit early in the year, change is coming. Mangino appears to have worn out his time at KU and losing Reesing, Sharp, Meier, and Stuckey look like huge holes that KU simply won't fill in one season. Another dark and losing season appears likely unless the right head coach is found....and quickly.

11. Baylor (4-8) (1-7)
The Bears are just banking the Robert Griffin can return next season and be healthy. If he is, they quickly become the sleeper in the Big 12 South. 15 years is an awful long time to go without a bowl game...but hope is on the horizon.

12. Colorado (3-9) (2-6)
Dan Hawkins gets to keep his job for another year, but likely won't keep his head afloat if he has another season like this one. Maybe it's best if you keep your "10 wins no excuses" statement to yourself this time. His leash is the shortest of any coach in the Big 12....Tyler Hansen was decent this year, but may not the be savior that the Buffalo faithful want....get back to being .500 should be the top goal in 2010.

3. My New Top 25 (Week 14)

1. Florida (1)
2. Alabama (2)
3. TCU(4)
4. Texas (3)
5. Cincinnati (6)
6. Ohio State (7)
7. Oregon (9)
8. Penn State (10)
9. Houston (13)
10. Nebraska (15)
11. Georgia Tech (5)
12. Miami (18)
13. Pittsburgh (8)
14. Stanford (24)
15. Oregon State (22)
16. BYU (14)
17. Virginia Tech (UR)
18. West Virginia (UR)
19. Oklahoma State (12)
20. Boise State (19)
21. Clemson (11)
22. LSU (17)
23. Wisconsin (16)
24. USC (UR)
25. Iowa (UR)

Its a wacky top 25 this week as upsets sent North Carolina, Ole Miss, Utah out and Georgia Tech, LSU, Pittsburgh, Clemson, BYU, Texas sliding. USC, Iowa, West Virginia, VT all make the new top 25 this week. Biggest game of the week is Florida vs. Alabama with the winner going to the BCS title game. Texas/Nebraska should be a very good one with Georgia Tech and Clemson doing battle in the ACC title game. Pittsburgh/Cincinnati tangle for the Big East Crown this week.

Back tomorrow.....

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