>Wednesday Lunch: Big 12 Weak and Top Five Teams

Posted: April 14, 2010 in Uncategorized
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Hi everyone, and welcome to this week’s lunch. Since the Big 12 South has won the last six Big 12 titles and ten out of 14 total, it’s safe to say that the North has been lacking. Out of the four titles that the North has won, two have been by Nebraska. So that means in 14 years of play, the five other schools in the Big 12 North have combined for two conference championships. The North has only won two BCS games ever, and one of those was by Kansas in 2006, a team that didn’t even win the division (yet another reason the BCS sucks. That year Missouri beat Kansas and didn’t make the BCS, even though they had the same number of wins and won the division they shared. They also had a more difficult schedule, playing Oklahoma twice.) What I’m trying to say is that this division is weak; therefore, I will be calling them the Big 12 Weak. Conversely, I will refer to the South as the Big 12 Strong, or something along those lines. All of this is leading me to not caring at all about this division, so this week’s predictions are going to be short and not so sweet, kind of like Matt Smith (that was a joke for the two people who know Matt Smith and read this blog) To make up for that I’ll be having an extra-long top five list. Let’s get into the predictions, which I’ll be doing in the traditional, boring way, because that’s all this division deserves.

1. Nebraska 10-4 (6-2 conference)

Yes, this team lost Ndamukong Suh, but they have a capable replacement in Jared Crick. It’s yet to be seen if Crick was actually good, or if he just got a lot of room because Suh got triple teamed every play. The offense that looked atrocious against Texas exploded against Arizona in the bowl game, and should be decently improved this year. No team in the Big 12 Strong looks particularly dominant this year, so I could see them sneaking into a BCS bowl before being trounced by a team that’s actually good. Most likely a loss to Texas or Oklahoma is in the works.

 

2. Iowa State 7-6 (3-5 conference)

A couple years ago, this team won two games, but they have rapidly improved under Coach Paul Rhoads and this is my surprise team for 2010. They won seven games and went to a bowl game last year. Their defense was very good and should improve to a potentially dominating unit. If the offense does anything, they should get back to a bowl again this year. This shows how weak this division is this year; Iowa State could potentially pull off an upset or two and go to the championship game to be this years’ sacrificial lamb.

 

3. Missouri 8-5 (4-4 conference)

This team took a few steps back after losing Chase Daniel, Jeremy Maclin and Chase Coffman to the pros, but Blaine Gabbert has the talent and even thought leading receiver Denario Alexander is gone, he should put up big numbers. I know nothing about the defense, but if they’re ok this year, the Tigers could challenge Nebraska for sacrificial lamb status.

 

4, 5, 6 Kansas State 6-6 (4-4 conference), Colorado 3-9 (2-6 conference), Kansas 5-7 (1-7 conference)

Two of these teams will be awful and one may make some noise with a few early wins before settling for 7 wins and a shitty bowl, but I don’t know or care enough to figure out which one will be which. The only way things could be worse for this division would be if this guy were involved.

Basically, I care nothing about this division and the Mountain West Conference will be much, much better this year.

Now, I’ve decided to switch it up just a little this week with my top five. Since I gave you absolutely nothing in terms of college football news or insight about this year so far, I thought I would give you a little insight into the past years. This top five list will be shown in its entirety today. That’s right, all five will be revealed today. Aren’t you excited? AREN’T YOU? This week’s list will top five teams of the past 15 years. Let’s do this.

 

5. 2000 Oklahoma – The defense was incredible, only allowing 20 points to an opponent three times the entire year. The offense was good when it needed to be and the schedule was a monster. They played the number one and two teams in back to back weeks and played five top 11 teams all year. They culminated the season with a ridiculous 13-2 beat down of favored Florida State in the title game.

Notable Players: Mark Clayton-WR, Quentin Griffin-RB, Rocky Calmus-LB, Teddy Lehman-LB and Roy Williams-DB.

 

4. 2002 Ohio State – This team won 14 games, something that is almost impossible without a conference championship game. The defense allowed 20 points only twice all year, and one of those was in double-overtime against Miami. They allowed less than 14 points per game, and the offense was solid when it had to be. The thing that stands out about this team is its will. It won seven games that were decided by 7 points or less. That’s half of their games for the whole year! They beat a fearsome Miami team that was looking to etch itself as possibly the best dynasty ever, and even though they got fluke call in overtime, they did dominate for most of the game and should have won before then. This team was truly great.

Notable Players: Craig Krenzel-QB, Maurice Clarrett-RB, Chris Gamble-WR/DB/KR/PR, Michael Jenkins-WR, Santonio Holmes- WR, Nick Mangold-C, Shane Olivea-OL, Will Smith-DL, Bobby Carpenter-LB, A.J. Hawk-LB, Mike Doss-DB, Nate Salley-DB, Will Allen-DB and Mike Nugent-K

 

3. 2005 Texas – Vince Young. That’s pretty much all you need to know about this team, but there’s much more. They beat Ohio State and USC by 3 points each, but they won the rest of their games by an average of 36 points per game. They won the Big 12 championship game by a score of 70-3. Yeah, 70-3. They defeated USC in one of the greatest games ever played to solidify the greatest year in Texas history, and their place among the greatest teams ever.

Notable Players: Vince Young-QB, Colt McCoy-QB, Ramonce Taylor-RB/WR, Selvin Young-RB, Jamaal Charles-RB, Ahmard Hall-RB/FB, Brian Carter-WR, Limas Sweed-WR, Billy Pittman-WR, Quan Cosby-WR, Jordan Shipley-WR, David Thomas-TE, Kasey Studdard-OL, Justin Blalock-OL, Bryan Robison-DE, Tim Crowder-DE, Bryan Orakpo-DE, Rodrique Wright-DT, Frank Okam-DT, Aaron Harris-LB, Roddrick Muckleroy-LB, Robert Killebrew-LB, Cedric Griffin-DB, Aaron Ross-DB, Michael Huff-DB, Marcus Griffin-DB and Michael Griffin-DB.

 

2. 2001 Miami – If this were a best-NFL-players-on-a-college-team contest, this team would win hands down. With that being said, they were absolutely incredible on the field in college. They had one close game all year, a two-point win over ranked Virginia Tech. They had no other single digit victories all year and they capped it off with a domination of Nebraska that wasn’t as close as the score indicated.

Notable Players: Ken Dorsey-QB, Najeh Davenport-FB, Clinton Portis-RB, Willis McGahee-RB, Andre Johnson-WR, Antrell Rolle-DB, Mike Rumph-DB, DJ Williams-LB, Ed Reed-DB, Sean Taylor-DB, Phillip Buchannon-DB, Frank Gore-RB, Jarrett Payton-RB (not a great player, but he is Walter Payton’s son, so I put him on this list), Jonathon Vilma-LB, Vince Wilfork-DL, Bryant Mckinnie-OL, Kellen Winslow-TE, Roscoe Parrish-WR, Kevin Everett-TE and Jeremy Shockey-TE.

 

1. 1995 Nebraska – This team was scary, and by the end of the year, it was like they were playing a video game. They scored at least 35 points every game. At least 40 in 12 games. At least 49 in 8 games. Their smallest margin of victory was 14 points. They averaged 30 points in the first half and 53 points per game. They won by more than 38 points per game. Basically, they could score a lot. The triple option run by Tommy Frasier that year was a remarkable sight; I’m trusting people at this point because I’ve only seen bits and pieces of this team. They averaged 7 yards per rush and allowed no QB sacks the entire season.

Notable Players: Tommy Frazier-QB, Ahman Green-RB, Lawrence Phillips-RB, Grant Wistrom-DE/OLB, Kris Brown-K and Mike Minter-S.

 

I also thought of adding the 2004 USC Trojans, but then I realized they didn’t play Auburn who went undefeated out of the SEC that year, so I had to penalize them for that. I also dislike USC. In addition, this happened later. As you can see, NFL talent has a fair amount to do with success in college, but it’s not everything. That’s all the time we have for today, but check back in next week for a more in-depth look at the Big11 and another top five list.

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