Posted February 6th, 2009 by Mike
Filed under: Basketball, Feature

Varez Ward and the entire Texas team struggled against Missouri

Varez Ward and the entire Texas team struggled against Missouri (TexasSports.com)

Texas had not lost at home since February of 2007; they’ve now lost twice at the Frank Erwin Center in the last seven days. [tag]Kansas State[/tag] came in and won in overtime thanks to Denis Clemente’s 44 points. Then on Wednesday [tag]Missouri[/tag] came in and outlasted the Longhorns to capture sole possession of third place in the conference.

Texas had won three straight since dropping a game in [tag]Oklahoma[/tag]. But even with those wins it was obvious something was missing on this team. Against OU, Tech, and [tag]Baylor[/tag] Texas failed to score over 30 points in the first half. Against Kansas State it got even worse as the Longhorns scored only 22 points in the first 20 minutes of the ball game.

Rick Barnes’ team just can’t get it all together at the same time. One game [tag]Damion James[/tag] will go off, next game [tag]AJ Abrams[/tag] can’t miss, and in another [tag]Dexter Pittman[/tag] looks like an unstoppable force in the paint. A week ago it looked like [tag]Dogus Balbay[/tag] was finally going to be the answer at point guard, flash forward to the Missouri loss and Balbay only registered two minutes of play.

Basketball is all about confidence, and right now as a team Texas has none. Early in the season the Longhorn defense put fear in opponents, especially on the ball. Now it looks like Texas is lost. They let a marginal player in Clemente take over a game, and then on the key play of the Missouri game Texas’ best on ball defender, [tag]Justin Mason[/tag], allowed a Missouri guard to get all the way to the paint for a game winning bucket with 5.5 seconds left on the clock. No big guy came over to help on the play.

Everybody knows Barnes is a great coach, so it is hard to understand the lapses in mental judgment by this team. There is no doubting their effort, this team plays hard, but at times the fundamental flaws on this team are just mind boggling. If it isn’t poor rotation of defense it is a bad block out on the defensive boards, if it isn’t a horrid fast break attempt it is the lack of passes on the offensive end.

This season has shown how important a point guard is in college basketball. Texas doesn’t have a player, like in past seasons, that can sense when the team needs a bucket and has the ability to go get it. Texas went scoreless for the last 5:01 of the first half against Missouri, erasing what was a 12 point lead at one time, because nobody on the offensive side can create for themselves or other people. James has become a one on one player, [tag]Gary Johnson[/tag] wants to be a jump shooter, [tag]Connor Atchley[/tag] looks lost, and Abrams is only effective when he running off screens.

Fortunately it will take a mega meltdown to miss out on the tournament. With wins over [tag]UCLA[/tag], [tag]Villanova[/tag], and [tag]Wisconsin[/tag] it is a safe bet that Texas will get in there. Especially considering it is a down year in the Big 12. Unfortunately it doesn’t look like there are any answers to what ails this ball team. Something about them doesn’t seem right, and I’m not sure even Rick Barnes knows what is going on.

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Lance Zierlein of the Houston Chronicle has posted his list of the five best and worst underclassmen decisions of 2009 draft and I think they’re pretty dead on. He’s one of the few guys out there that really knows his stuff regarding the [tag]NFL Draft[/tag] and Big 12 football.

Zierlein thinks Texas linebacker/defensive end [tag]Sergio Kindle[/tag] made the right call by returning to Texas for his senior season. Right now Kindle is still relatively raw at both linebacker and as a pass rusher, and with another year of seasoning under [tag]Will Muschamp[/tag] he could explode in 2009. I also agree completely with his thoughts on the decisions by players such as USC’s Mark Sanchez, OU’s Sam Bradford, and Kansas State’s Josh Freeman.

The relevant notes from Zierlein are posted below:

Best

3. Sergio Kindle, DE/OLB, Texas – Staying In: Kindle opened up many scouts eyes as a pass-rusher this year at Texas. Will Muschamp recognized that Kindle’s top potential wasn’t at LB but as a pass rusher. Kindle has good straight line speed but needs to become a more fluid athlete and he has a chance to do that with another year at Texas.

Worst

2. Sam Bradford, QB, Oklahoma – Staying In: I say this is a bad decision, but as long as he plays well next year, he’ll be a top 3 pick next season. The problem is that he is losing almost his entire offensive line as well as two of his top targets. Injury is the only real concern for me here, but he probably would have been a top 3 pick this season and maybe the top pick.

3. Josh Freeman, QB, Kansas State – Coming Out – What are you thinking, Josh? You have the size and arm strength that NFL teams would salivate over if you could just put together a big year on the collegiate level. Why not go back and improve on your numbers and then become the hot name in the 2010 draft?

Source

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In the first week of conference play every team that was supposed to win did just that. [tag]Iowa State[/tag] gave [tag]Kansas[/tag] a heck of a run so they move up one spot even after a loss, but no one else moves. This week should be much more interesting as four of the top five teams in the conference go head to head.

Check out this week’s Big 12 power rankings below:

  1. [tag]Oklahoma[/tag]
    Oklahoma
    LW: 1

    The Sooners throttled an overmatched Baylor team and ended the game quickly by putting up 28 first quarter points. Baylor QB Robert Griffin ran well against them so maybe [tag]Colt McCoy[/tag] can do the same this week when the Sooners and Longhorns face off.

  2. [tag]Missouri[/tag]
    Missouri
    LW: 2

    Mizzou wins in Lincoln for the first time in thirty years in a rout. The Tigers’ defense continued to give up big yards (particularly through the air) but only gave up 17 points to the Cornhuskers. This week the Tigers face Oklahoma State.

  3. Texas
    Texas
    LW: 3

    The Horns took care of business easily against CU in their conference opener. The offense wasn’t perfect but the defense nearly was in the team’s win. This week the Longhorns will try to take down rival and top ranked Oklahoma.

  4. [tag]Texas Tech[/tag]
    Texas Tech
    LW: 4

    Tons of points for both Tech and Kansas State. The game was never in doubt for the Red Raiders but the team’s defense still is. The team faces a good passing offense this week in Nebraska and we’ll see if they’re up to the test.

  5. [tag]Oklahoma State[/tag]
    Oklahoma State
    LW: 5

    The Cowboys whooped the Aggies and at 5 – 0 are climbing up the national rankings. The team advantage of five Aggie turnovers and won easily despite giving up a lot of yards. The Cowboys face a big time defensive test this week against Missouri and I don’t think they’re up for it.

  6. [tag]Kansas[/tag]
    Kansas
    LW: 6

    Uh oh. I was tempted to drop Kansas even after squeaking by with a win against Iowa State. They had to rally from a 20-point halftime deficit to the Cyclones but surprisingly held their #16 national ranking. Should be an interesting game against Colorado this week.

  7. [tag]Colorado[/tag]
    Colorado
    LW: 7

    Colorado coach Dan Hawkins desperately needs to find offensive line help or he’s going to get his own son killed. The line was completely dominated by the Longhorns and therefore couldn’t get anything started on offense. They travel to Kansas this week for a battle to be the North’s second best team.

  8. [tag]Nebraska[/tag]
    Nebraska
    LW: 8

    They ran their mouth during the week and then spit on Missouri QB Chase Daniel before the game but got blown off the field once the game started. They make way too many mistakes (penalties and turnovers) to be a good team. Up this week is Texas Tech.

  9. [tag]Baylor[/tag]
    Baylor
    LW: 9

    They’re still Baylor, in case you were wondering. Despite looking like an improved team early in the season they didn’t put much of a fight against Oklahoma. The defense surrendered nearly 600 total yards and 49 points in game that would have been much worse if OU hadn’t started taking it easy after just one quarter. This week the Bears have a winnable game against Iowa State.

  10. [tag]Iowa State[/tag]
    Iowa State
    LW: 11

    The Cyclones move up one spot despite losing. They jumped out to a big halftime lead but just couldn’t hold onto it once KU got going in the second half. The game could have been either a sign the team is getting better or a backbreaking loss that sends them into a tailspin. We’ll find out Saturday against Baylor.

  11. [tag]Kansas State[/tag]
    Kansas State
    LW: 10

    The Wildcats put up some yards against Texas Tech but were bad on third downs and couldn’t put up nearly enough points to make up for their defense. KSU needs to win their next two games against A&M and then Colorado if they hope to pull themselves up from the bottom tier of the conference.

  12. Texas A&M
    Texas A&M
    LW: 12

    As predicted, the Aggies got their butts kicked against Okie State. The offense did put up a ton of yards but turned the ball over five times in the first half. This week they face a pretty average Kansas State at home so we’ll find out if they’re as bad as we think they are. Should be fun(ny).

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Posted October 7th, 2008 by Brian
Filed under: Basketball

With the Horns and Sooners set to do battle at the Cotton Bowl on Saturday, there’s another reason for fans of the two teams to argue and spit at each other. The Big 12 has released the men’s basketball preseason coaches poll and Texas is at number two right behind [tag]Oklahoma[/tag].

The Horns lost their best player in [tag]DJ Augustin[/tag] but returns a ton of talent and depth everywhere but point guard. With defending conference and national champs [tag]Kansas[/tag] losing so many players the conference is wide open this season. If either [tag]Dogus Balbay[/tag] or somebody can step up to man the point the Longhorns should have another shot to win the conference and make a deep tourney run.

2008-09 Big 12 Preseason Poll

See how the coaches think the league will turn out below:

Team Points
1 Oklahoma (3) 109
2 Texas (4) 107
3 Baylor (2) 103
Kansas (3) 103
5 Texas A&M 79
6 Oklahoma State 69
7 Missouri 51
8 Kansas State 50
9 Nebraska 49
10 Texas Tech 39
11 Iowa State 20
12 Colorado 13
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Posted October 2nd, 2008 by Brian
Filed under: Feature, Football

There were several of teams off last week in the conference but there was still a lot of movement in the power rankings. Losses by Colorado and Nebraska and a shaky home win by Texas A&M sent all those teams down a bit. Meanwhile Oklahoma State continues to win in impressive fashion. The Cowboys are undefeated and putting up big offensive numbers so have moved up three spots to number five. Conference play starts Saturday so things should be much clearer in next week’s rankings.

Check out this week’s Big 12 power rankings below:

  1. [tag]Oklahoma[/tag]
    Oklahoma
    LW: 1

    The Sooners jumped to a huge first quarter lead against [tag]TCU[/tag] and then just road that through the end of the game. QB Sam Bradford threw for a ton of yards but had by far his least accurate performance of the season. More troubling for OU is the complete ineffectiveness of the running game. They tried to force the issue but manage to only rush for an abysmal 25 yards on 36 carries.

  2. [tag]Missouri[/tag]
    Missouri
    LW: 2

    Bye week. The Tigers face Nebraska this weekend to open Big 12 play.

  3. Texas
    Texas
    LW: 3

    Another week and another 52 – 10 win for the Longhorns, this time over SEC rival [tag]Arkansas[/tag]. The Texas offense has been impressive all season but for the first time all season the defense was dominant. The front seven was able to sack the Razorbacks’ QBs seven times and the Horns are now top five nationally with 16 sacks on the season. Texas faces Colorado Saturday at 6pm on FSN.

  4. [tag]Texas Tech[/tag]
    Texas Tech
    LW: 4

    Bye week. Red Raiders open Big 12 play against Kansas State.

  5. [tag]Oklahoma State[/tag]
    Oklahoma State
    LW: 8

    Okie Lite put another 50 spot on the scoreboard this past weekend against Troy. The Trojans aren’t exactly a national power but [tag]Ohio State[/tag] struggled to get past them while the Cowboys racked up 612 total yards. They host the Aggies Saturday at 7pm.

  6. [tag]Kansas[/tag]
    Kansas
    LW: 7

    Bye week. KU opens conference play with a virtual bye against Iowa State.

  7. [tag]Colorado[/tag]
    Colorado
    LW: 5

    Colorado didn’t show up well in a surprisingly thorough loss to [tag]Florida State[/tag]. QB and coach’s son Cody Hawkins was inaccurate and inefficient and the running game didn’t do enough to pick him up. The FSU offense wasn’t much better but thanks to terrible kick coverage was able to play with a short field on several possessions. The Buffaloes face the Longhorns Saturday.

  8. [tag]Nebraska[/tag]
    Nebraska
    LW: 6

    Nebraska fans may be disappointed in a home loss to [tag]Virginia Tech[/tag] but Bo Pelini’s team fought hard till the end and almost came back and won it. This week Nebraska has a tough one when they host #4 Missouri.

  9. [tag]Baylor[/tag]
    Baylor
    LW: 10

    Bye week. Next up are the number one ranked Sooners.

  10. [tag]Kansas State[/tag]
    Kansas State
    LW: 9

    Another shaky week for the Wildcats, barely beating a 1 – 3 Louisiana-Lafayette team in Manhattan. QB Josh Freeman and the offense again looked solid but the defense looked like swiss cheese. The Ragin’ Cajuns ran all over them to the tune of 335 total rushing yards in the game. Not good. Up this week is Texas Tech.

  11. [tag]Iowa State[/tag]
    Iowa State
    LW: 12

    Bye week. This week the Cyclones face off against Kansas.

  12. Texas A&M
    Texas A&M
    LW: 11

    Just how bad are the Aggies? Army wasn’t just winless but they were winless against mediocre competion, and at Kyle Field the A&M needed a fourth down stop to escape with a win. Their match-up with Oklahoma State Saturday night will be an interesting one to watch (but not actually watch because it’s embarrasingly not being televised).

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No movement at the top but the teams in the bottom half of the rankings are starting to drop games. Last weekend Kansas State, Baylor, Texas A&M, and Iowa State all had losses. The most impressive team last week may have been the Colorado Buffaloes, who if they keep the running game going might be able lay claim to be the best team not named Missouri in the Big 12 North.

Check out this week’s Big 12 power rankings below:

  1. [tag]Oklahoma[/tag]
    Oklahoma
    LW: 1

    Off week before facing number 24 [tag]TCU[/tag] this weekend.

  2. [tag]Missouri[/tag]
    Missouri
    LW: 2

    Tigers made a lot of mistakes and let lowly Buffalo hang in there for a long time. Chase Daniel’s career day eventually allowed them to pull away in the second half. The Tigers are off this week in prep for Big 12 play.

  3. Texas
    Texas
    LW: 3

    The Horns clobbered an overmatched [tag]Rice[/tag] squad with another near perfect performance from [tag]Colt McCoy[/tag]. The defense wasn’t great but may have turned a corner when they put up an epic goalline stand. This week Texas hosts former SWC rival [tag]Arkansas[/tag] in their last non-conference outing.

  4. [tag]Texas Tech[/tag]
    Texas Tech
    LW: 4

    The Red Raiders put on a good ol’ thumping of Division 1AA UMass. They have off this week but their real season will finally begin when they stop playing Pop Warner teams and start playing Big 12 foes.

  5. [tag]Colorado[/tag]
    Colorado
    LW: 5

    Impressive overall performance for the Buffs on national television against top 25 ranked West Virginia. He might not get the pub his fellow freshman running back does but the miniature Rodney Stewart looked lightning quick while rushing for 166 yards. Next up is another tough one against Florida State.

  6. [tag]Nebraska[/tag]
    Nebraska
    LW: 7

    Bye week for Nebraska before they face Virgina Tech this Saturday.

  7. [tag]Kansas[/tag]
    Kansas
    LW: 8

    Not exactly impressive but the win over Sam Houston State was never in doubt either. Former car detailer and OU quarterback Rhett Bomar threw for 340 yds but was also picked off three times. Kansas is off this week.

  8. [tag]Oklahoma State[/tag]
    Oklahoma State
    LW: 9

    Oklahoma State was off last week. This week they get Troy State.

  9. [tag]Kansas State[/tag]
    Kansas State
    LW: 6

    First real opponent of the season and Kansas State didn’t look good against a Louisville team that isn’t of the caliber of recent years. It was only a nine point loss but the Wildcats never stood a chance. Up this week is Louisiana-Lafayette.

  10. [tag]Baylor[/tag]
    Baylor
    LW: 11

    UConn isn’t some chump team and the Bears played them very tough on the road. Losses like this would be wins at home and might lead to future wins from freshman QB Robert Griffin. Baylor has an off weekend to prepare to attempt a huge upset of OU on October 4th.

  11. Texas A&M
    Texas A&M
    LW: 12

    Aggies got blown out of the water by the Miami Hurricanes and it could have been much worse. If they had wanted to the Hurricanes could have ran off tackle every play for 300 yards and never attempted a pass. This week they host Army.

  12. [tag]Iowa State[/tag]
    Iowa State
    LW: 10

    I thought head coach Gene Chizik might have turned things in the right direction in Ames but maybe not. Iowa State has now lost 13 straight road games and unless they beat Baylor in a few weeks they might not win one away from home this season either. The Cyclones have a much needed bye this Saturday.

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Outside of [tag]Kansas[/tag] against South Florida not an exciting week of games in the [tag]Big 12[/tag]. None of the top six teams moved but losses by KU and [tag]Iowa State[/tag] means some movement in the bottom half of the rankings.

Check out this week’s Big 12 power rankings below:

  1. [tag]Oklahoma[/tag]
    Oklahoma
    LW: 1

    Another week, another dominating win. The defense gave up a little more this week though, especially through the air as Washington QB Jake Locker passed for 249 yards. OU QB Sam Bradford was nearly perfect in the win, passing 304 yards and 5 TDs on 18 of 21 attempts.

  2. [tag]Missouri[/tag]
    Missouri
    LW: 2

    The best offensive performance of the season by the Tigers. Chase Daniels passed for 405 yards and four TDs as the offense put up 69 points against Nevada. The backup quarterbacks added 114 more yards for a whopping total of 519 yards through the air. Up this week is another easy one against Buffalo.

  3. Texas
    Texas
    LW: 3

    Unexpected bye week thanks to Hurricane Ike. Next up the Horns face Rice in what should be a gimme.

  4. [tag]Texas Tech[/tag]
    Texas Tech
    LW: 4

    The Red Raiders defense picked off five passes from SMU’s Bo Levi Mitchell and the offense had nearly 700 total yards. Tech is going to give up yards, but if they can become a big play defense that creates turnovers that might make them a legit Big 12 title contender. This week on their gauntlet of a non-conference schedle is Division 1AA UMass.

  5. [tag]Colorado[/tag]
    Colorado
    LW: 5

    Colorado had last week off before a nationally televised Thursday night game against West Virginia.

  6. [tag]Kansas State[/tag]
    Kansas State
    LW: 6

    Off last weekend in preparation for an mid-week game against Louisville.

  7. [tag]Nebraska[/tag]
    Nebraska
    LW: 8

    A solid win over a New Mexico State team playing their first game of the season. The Huskers jumped out early and stayed up throughout. The defense wasn’t dominant but didn’t allow any long scoring drives. This week they face their first half decent test against Virginia Tech.

  8. [tag]Kansas[/tag]
    Kansas
    LW: 7

    The Jayhawks fell in a close one on the road against South Florida. They were up at halftime but were completely dominated in the third quarter as they coughed up the lead. KU won’t be a contender in the North unless they can run the ball better and do a better job defending the pass. This week they face Sam Houston State.

  9. [tag]Oklahoma State[/tag]
    Oklahoma State
    LW: 10

    Not exactly a game that tells us much about the Cowboys but the rushing offense did impress. Against Missouri State three different players topped 100 yards on the ground and the team averaged eight yards per carry. They’re off this week.

  10. [tag]Iowa State[/tag]
    Iowa State
    LW: 9

    They didn’t get blown out against rival [tag]Iowa[/tag] but the Cyclones’ offense couldn’t put the ball in the end zone. They actually outgained the Hawkeyes 325 to 244 but turned the ball over three times and gave up a long punt return for a TD. Head coach [tag]Gene Chizik[/tag] has them headed in the right direction but I’m not sure he’ll be around long enough to reach the destination. This week: UNLV.

  11. [tag]Baylor[/tag]
    Baylor
    LW: 12

    I love me some Robert Griffin. After throwing the ball in his first start, against Washington State the Baylor quarterback ran all over the place. He rushed 11 times for 217 yards, which is nearly 20 yards per carry. This week the Bears face UConn on Friday night.

  12. Texas A&M
    Texas A&M
    LW: 11

    No game as the Aggies get two weeks to prepare (to get blown out) for the Miami Hurricanes.

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After a second week of games the [tag]Big 12[/tag] pecking order is starting to clear up just a little. The conference won all 12 games last weekend but not every team played well. Even in victory, several teams (including Texas) were outgained by their opponents. There’s some shuffling in the rankings this week, including near the top as Mizzou hopped ahead of Texas.

Check out this week’s conference power rankings below:

  1. [tag]Oklahoma[/tag]
    Oklahoma
    LW: 1

    The Sooners looked nearly as good as in week one, this time against a much better opponent. It was close at halftime and for a while in the third quarter but QB Sam Bradford led a 24-0 run to put the game away. They face a Washington team this week who got screwed Saturday and might not be up for another top 25 opponent.

  2. [tag]Missouri[/tag]
    Missouri
    LW: 3

    After playing a tough opponent last week Mizzou had a virtual bye this week against Southeast Missouri State. The Tigers rolled to a 48-0 lead by halftime but did give up 334 yards. The FCS Redhawks put together three long, sustained drives in the first half but came away with no points. After two games the defense has to worry Tigers fans at least a little.

  3. Texas
    Texas
    LW: 2

    After two straight weeks of pass defense resembling 2007 the Longhorns drop behind Missouri this week. There’s time for the secondary to improve and I still have faith in [tag]Will Muschamp[/tag], but for now the Horns just aren’t playing as well as the Tigers. Texas is off this week after the Arkansas game was postponed.

  4. [tag]Texas Tech[/tag]
    Texas Tech
    LW: 4

    Another win but another troubling game for Tech fans. The Red Raiders were outgained 488 to 421 by Nevada and QB Graham Harrell completed only 41% of his passes and threw two interceptions. I looked for a team to move ahead of them but despite the struggles no other Big 12 team really has earned this spot either.

  5. [tag]Colorado[/tag]
    Colorado
    LW: 5

    The Buffaloes barely survived a scare at home versus Eastern Washington. They were down by 14 at halftime and down by a touchdown with only two minutes left in the fourth quarter. They scored with two minutes left and then less than 30 seconds later picked off a pass for the gamewinning score. Big game hosting West Virginia this week.

  6. [tag]Kansas State[/tag]
    Kansas State
    LW: 6

    A big blowout win for the Wildcats against FCS Montana State. I’m not sure exactly what they’ve proved in the first two weeks but both games have been incredibly easy for KSU. QB Josh Freeman was again impressive.

  7. [tag]Kansas[/tag]
    Kansas
    LW: 8

    KU jumps Nebraska after a shutout win. The defense shut down the Louisiana Tech offense and QB Todd Reesing threw for a career high 412 yards. The Jayhawks get their first test of the season this coming Saturday when they face #19 South Florida on the road.

  8. [tag]Nebraska[/tag]
    Nebraska
    LW: 7

    As is a common theme this week in the conference, the Cornhuskers were underwhelming in a win and were outgained by their opponent. The score is deceiving but Nebraska was only up 14-12 in the fourth quarter before returning a kickoff for a touchdown and opening up the game.

  9. [tag]Iowa State[/tag]
    Iowa State
    LW: 9

    Another week and another solid win for the Cyclones as they made the most of turnovers and big plays. Iowa State had five scoring drives less than 25 yards, including three under 10 yards. Rivalry game up this week against [tag]Iowa[/tag] is their first real test.

  10. [tag]Oklahoma State[/tag]
    Oklahoma State
    LW: 10

    Wide receiver Dez Bryant put up incredible numbers in a big shootout against Houston. He had nine catches, 236 yards, and three touchdowns and RB Kendall Hunter chipped in 210 yards rushing as Okie State put 56 on the board. The Cowboys have a couple of “easy” games before starting Big 12 play in October.

  11. Texas A&M
    Texas A&M
    LW: 11

    There’s definitely a quarterback controversy brewing in College Station. After Stephen McGee went down with an injury sophomore Jerrod Johnson filled in and tossed three touchdown passes. It got sketchy for a while against New Mexico in the fourth quarter but they held on. The Aggies may be in for a world of hurt against Miami this week.

  12. [tag]Baylor[/tag]
    Baylor
    LW: 12

    Coach Art Briles gets his first win as Baylor coach as true freshman QB Robert Griffin looked great in his first career start. Griffin completed 79% of his passes for 294 yards and three touchdowns against Northwestern State. He also rushed for 42 yards and another score. I’m feeling a big win coming this weekend against Washington State.

Last week’s rankings

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Posted September 4th, 2008 by Brian
Filed under: Feature, Football

Finally some football. After one week of games the top 5 in the weekly Big 12 power poll stays the same but there were a few changes in the list. [tag]Kansas State[/tag] looked good and jumps a couple of spots and meanwhile the Aggies drop big time after their loss to Arkansas State. Check out the rankings below:

  1. [tag]Oklahoma[/tag]
    Oklahoma
    LW: 1

    Not that you can really learn a lot when you play a team like Chattanooga but the Sooners were about as dominant as you can be. They were a perfect 7-for-7 on drives to start the game and were up 50-0. Amazingly they outgained Chattanooga 343-to-10 in the first half and 487-to-36 for the game. Dominant.

  2. Texas
    Texas
    LW: 2

    The Longhorns played a much tougher opponent than OU and were pretty much just as dominant, certainly on the offensive side of the ball. Quarterback [tag]Colt McCoy[/tag] was near perfect and the offense could have and did do whatever they wanted to against FAU. The pass defense looked eerily familiar to last season, let’s hope that was an aberration or the offense may have to put up 52 every week to win once in Big 12 conference play.

  3. [tag]Missouri[/tag]
    Missouri
    LW: 3

    The Tigers had easily the toughest opening week opponent and for parts of their game against Illinois looked like a national title contender, but their defense made Juice Williams look like Dan Marino to the tune of 451 yards and 5 TDs. Kick returner Jeremy Maclin was electric but left with an ankle injury, Missouri fans better have their fingers crossed he stays healthy all year or they’re not going to be able to outscore every team on their schedule.

  4. [tag]Texas Tech[/tag]
    Texas Tech
    LW: 4

    That improved defense sure looked good giving up 17 points in the second quarter to Eastern Washington. Just as troubling is that the offense “only” had 35 points after the end of three quarters. They sure looked like the same Red Raiders team who drops 4 or 5 games per season.

  5. [tag]Colorado[/tag]
    Colorado
    LW: 5

    The Buffs looked pretty solid in a rivalry game against Colorado State. They played well on offense, defense, and Josh Smith had a 93-yard kickoff return for a score. Things are going get a lot tougher starting with West Virginia on 9/18.

  6. [tag]Kansas State[/tag]
    Kansas State
    LW: 8

    Great first win for the Wildcats and QB Josh Freeman against North Texas. Freeman was efficient and error-free throwing the ball and added two scores on the ground, an impressive game that could give him confidence for the rest of the season. The KSU defense completely shut down Todd Dodge’s spread offense attack whose only score came on a 15-yard drive.

  7. [tag]Nebraska[/tag]
    Nebraska
    LW: 6

    The Bo Pelini era starts off with a win but not an overly impressive one. The Huskers’ offense looked good but the defense gave up over 340 yards through the air to Western Michigan quarterback Tim Hiller. I think NU needs to control the game with Marlon Lucky and the running game in order to improve on their 5-win 2007 season.

  8. [tag]Kansas[/tag]
    Kansas
    LW: 9

    The Jayhawks were in complete control of the game by halftime and cruised to an easy opening week win against Florida International. Todd Reesing threw 52 passes in a very busy and effiecent performance. The KU defense looked goosd as well, giving up only 139 total yards.

  9. [tag]Iowa State[/tag]
    Iowa State
    LW: 10

    San Diego State isn’t a big time opponent but Gene Chizik’s Cyclones did what they’re supposed to do against this caliber of an opponent. Last year started with losses to Kent State and Northern Iowa so a win is a win for this program. They finished the season pretty strong last year so they should be gaining confidence and a win over Kent State would give them good momentum going into the Iowa game.

  10. [tag]Oklahoma State[/tag]
    Oklahoma State
    LW: 11

    Good start for the Cowboys. Washington State is a middle-of-the-road Pac 10 team but they’re better than a lot of the other Big 12 opponents and OSU won easily. They were in control throughout the game and their return men twice set the offense up for easy points.

  11. Texas A&M
    Texas A&M
    LW: 7

    Uh oh. I didn’t expect a huge season from the Aggies this season but not only did they lose to Arkansas State but they looked terrible doing it. Mistake-prone and average in all three phases of the game. QB Stephen McGee didn’t play well but that might have something to do with offensive line and the fact that his top two receivers in the game were the second and third string quarterbacks.

  12. [tag]Baylor[/tag]
    Baylor
    LW: 12

    I thought they’d give Wake Forest more of a fight than they did but it wasn’t a terrible opening week showing under a new head coach. Best news for Baylor fans is it looks like they may have found their quarterback for the next 4 seasons in true freshman Robert Griffin.

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No games have been played since our spring power rankings so there’s not much movement in our preseason big 12 power rankings below. [tag]Baylor[/tag] kicks things off for the conference and the entire country Thursday night when they host Wake Forest and everybody else finally gets underway Saturday. A week from now in our first regular season power rankings things will begin to clear up, but here’s our preseason conference rankings:

  1. [tag]Oklahoma[/tag]
    Oklahoma
    LW: 1

    The Sooners are on many lists as a top national title contender and until at least October will likely remain the class of the conference. We won’t learn a thing about them in week one against Chattanooga .

  2. Texas
    Texas
    LW: 2

    Muschamp fever is spreading and I’ve definitely caught it. The Texas defensive depth chart is incredibly young but with Muschamp calling the shots there could be a big improvement over last year.

  3. [tag]Missouri[/tag]
    Missouri
    LW: 4

    Mizzou moves up because I’ve got less and less faith in Texas Tech as we get closer to kickoff. The offense will be great, can Gary Pinkel and the defense hold up their end of the bargain?

  4. [tag]Texas Tech[/tag]
    Texas Tech
    LW: 3

    Improved defense? Where? The Red Raiders played four good teams after the coaching change and gave up 41, 59, 27, and 28 points. They’ll be good but they’ll fade again when they hit the tough stretch.

  5. [tag]Colorado[/tag]
    Colorado
    LW: 6

    I’m not the biggest Darrell Scott fan after his recruitment but I think he’s going to make a big difference for CU starting this season. They’ve got an incredibly tough schedule starting with week one so I wanted to give them some love now because they might drop fast.

  6. [tag]Nebraska[/tag]
    Nebraska
    LW: 5

    I like Bo Pelini but I’m starting to get a bad feeling about his tenure in Lincoln. It’s just incredibly quiet up there and with a program with the history and prestige of Nebraska I don’t think that’s a good thing.

  7. Texas A&M
    Texas A&M
    LW: 7

    With the way they’re “recruiting” for 2009 Aggie fans better hope they overachieve this year or Mike Sherman is a coaching god because it’s going to get worse before it gets better. I like Stephen McGee, can he remember how to pass now that he’s in a real offense?

  8. [tag]Kansas State[/tag]
    Kansas State
    LW: 8

    Something is still missing about this team, I thought they’d have turned a corner by now. I’m still glad they’re off our schedule this year. Can Ron Prince and Josh Freeman lead them to any upsets and get them in a bowl game this year?

  9. [tag]Kansas[/tag]
    Kansas
    LW: 9

    I thought I might be alone on my opinion of the Jayhawks return to the bottom third of the league but I haven’t really seen too many national experts expecting them to come close to repeating this season. We won’t know anything about them till week three.

  10. [tag]Iowa State[/tag]
    Iowa State
    LW: 10

    Probably the easiest schedule of any Big 12 team. They play Iowa in non-conference play but they manage to avoid Texas, Oklahoma, and Texas Tech. Gene Chizik is thanking the scheduling gods every morning.

  11. [tag]Oklahoma State[/tag]
    Oklahoma State
    LW: 11

    I don’t know what happened to Oklahoma State… oh wait I do: Mike Gundy. As much as I thought Les Miles was a dufus he had the Cowboys headed in the right direction before he left.

  12. [tag]Baylor[/tag]
    Baylor
    LW: 12

    Art Briles looks like he’s going to put things in true freshman QB Robert Griffin’s hands early and reports are he’ll be a good one. I think Briles’ has the offensive mind to take advantage of his great size and speed.

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