September 10, 2009

Notes from Around the League

Boy, time sure flies when you get old and you don’t really care all that much anymore. With the slew of games spread out over the past week, it’s hard to tell when one week ends, and the next week begins. But, even after 60 minutes of football, we at least have some semblance of insight into how the rest of the season will play out. Since it’s already Thursday, I’ll wait on the Power Poll, but for the most part, here’s how I see it. Here’s what I know so far:

* Missouri
OK, maybe may have had it right on Gabbert. Maybe the Hick nation was right to cream their overalls every time a new highlight video hit Youtube back in 2007. But, thanks to the ghost of Bill Callahan, NU’s loss is Mizzou’s gain. The Tiger receiving corps looked pretty strong, and the defense looked athletic and fast. How will they handle adversity? That is the real key…but for the most part, Gary Pinkel and company gave a gigantic middle finger to all those who figured it was the early 90’s all over again. Now it's time to see how they do as the favorite in front of 70,000 home fans.

* Kansas
Seriously, is Northern Colorado even 1AA? I figured they were still division two or even slipped into JUCO levels. KU has playmakers on offense yadda yadda yadda. Let’s see how you do against linemen that don’t weigh 220lbs. Stupid redlegged beakers.

* Kansas State
Rough days ahead I think for my good friends in Manhattan. Bill Snyder has pulled magic out of his ass before, and he’ll have to do it in equally difficult circumstances now as well. As long as Missouri and Kansas are good..and Nebraska suffers from self-delusionalism…the pickings will be slim for Bill Snyder, or whomever replaces him. Could they pluck Brent Venables out of Norman after a while? Will it even matter at that point? Don’t know…hard to speculate since they did get Bob Huggins once. Then again, Bob Huggins might have a better shot at connecting with today’s kids than Snyder does. Too early to see if his hands-on ways will resonate with the players, but it’s not looking good. But on the bright side, you’re 1-0!!!

* Texas A&M
Apparently I owe the Aggie fans an apology. After blasting them during the summer previews, A&M did what a good team should do…wallop a hapless, bottom-dwelling opponent from a decent league. Jerrod Johnson went apeshit with better numbers than Blaine Gabbert or Colt McCoy, but let’s not get crazy here…New Mexico went 4-8 last season, although they did beat the Aggies by 6. Perhaps Mike Sherman does have a clue as to what he’s doing? Probably not, but again...1-0 is all that matters.

* Baylor
When you play poorly, and still beat a decent-but-not-really-good Wake Forest team on the road, you’ve got things headed in the right direction. (Especially if you haven’t been to a bowl in 14 years.) BU still had 10 penalties and had to hang on for a win. But if you’ve got 1/100th the crappy history Baylor does, you’ll take what you can get. I’m still not sold on them being a bowl team, but they’re off to a good start.

* Texas Tech

In a normal year, is it just me, or would Tech have rolled up 800 yards of passing and beat North Dakota by 90? Granted, the game was never really in doubt, and Taylor Potts still had over 400 yards passing…but 38 points probably isn’t a good sign for the future..especially if you only ran the ball 19 times for 40 yards. I think Tech is at a place where they’ll never be terrible, but if their system guys aren’t up to par, they’re going to get passed by Baylor. They’re already looking up at OSU and there isn’t much further to drop.

* Colorado
Oh man. I was talking to my good friend Husker Mike about this, and I still don’t understand why Dan Hawkins never really got things to click. Sure, it’s still early, and the Buffs were taking on a team who looks forward all year to beating their ass…but still. No fire…no rhythm…no energy. Nothing. However, I’m not completely sold on a 7 or 8 loss season for CU as others seem to be (ahemHuskerbloggeresahem), but the LAST thing Colorado needs is a confidence problem early on in the season. Friday’s game at Toledo is absolutely gigantic in terms of forging an identity and keeping the heat off of Dan Hawkins. They lose that game...let the rebuilding begin.

* Iowa State
With Iowa looking like crap, the clones suddenly find themselves in a position where 5-0 isn’t really that far off of a possibility. Austen Arnaud was able to move the ball a bit against an undersized but scrappy NDSU team. If something wacky happens against Iowa this week (and let’s face it…Iowa didn’t look like world beaters), ISU is looking at Kent, Army and KSU in their next 3 games. As bad as ISU is, it would be a great momentum boost going into their red-hot buzzsaw induced bloodbath in Lawrence on October 10th.

* Oklahoma
I tried to tell you guys last year, but nobody listened to me. Sam Bradford is a good but not great QB. Sam Bradford with last year’s offensive line however is a GREAT quarterback. I fully expect OU to be back in mid-season form by later on in the year..but until that offense looks better than it did on Saturday, the Sooners are going to be staring squre into the face of a conference that really hates their guts. Miami is the first legit shot, and don’t think South Beach won’t be rocking..especially if Miami has some success with their killer schedule between now and then. The lulls in talent don’t come often for Bob Stoops…but OU is extremely close to slipping into the pack if something doesn’t change.

* Texas
Not much you can take out of a 39 point bludgeoning of ULM…especially when it’s 38-10 at the half. Don’t buy the hype regarding ULM’s ability to put 20 points on the board. 10 of those were scored while UT’s starters were sitting on the sidelines. Thing that blows me away is the attendance: 101,096 people to watch a stomping of a Louisiana directional school? Yeesh…good luck to anybody who has to walk into that nightmare anytime this season.

* Oklahoma State
I didn’t get to watch much of OSU’s win over Georgia, but it’s pretty apparent that the Pokes will go as far as Dez Bryant takes them. Zac Robinson had a crappy day in terms of numbers, but was at least able to hang in against a nasty Georgia defense that although I feel is overrated…is probably better than anybody in the Big 12 not named Oklahoma. Saturday’s matchup with Houston will be a good indicator if OSU really is for real, or if Georgia’s defense was just that tough. Regardless, feels an awful lot like the 2008 Mizzou team if you ask me. Beware folks…those expectations are hard to hold on to.

* Nebraska
It’s extremely odd to watch a Husker team blow out a Sun Belt powerhouse by 46 points, and still not be “satisfied”. OK, I realize they used to win National Titles (at least I think I can remember back that far), but have things REALLY improved enough to where you can be critical over a 7+ TD win over ANYBODY? I mean, it wasn’t that long ago Ball State came within a ball to the face of beating the Huskers at home. Perhaps it was the 380 yards given up that has folks a bit nervous? Perhaps it was Florida Atlantic’s key penalties? Perhaps who cares because it was because it was Florida fucking Atlantic? Nobody will know ANYTHING about this NU team until 9 minutes into the Virginia Tech game, when the Husker offensive machine is melting like a bomb-pop on a radiator in front of a rabid Blacksburg crowd. By then…we’ll know exactly what I’ve been telling the rest of you for so long…same old, same old.

Hate weeks starts 2 weeks from Sunday.

Prepare yourself.
(Photo Credit: AP, Los Angeles Times)


  1. Wow, thanks Beno Cook. Skers are going to cursh Misery this year, and the day after is going to be great on your little blog

    Idiot Tigger fans

  2. Thanks for that Nostradamus. I'll assume you're the same one who said the very thing last year, and the year before?