Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Big 12 North Predictions

By HeadThief, Senior Editor-in-charge

1 – Nebraska – even though the Big 12 media folks and the great Phil Steele picked Mizzou for the top post, I am going with the Bugeaters. Why the Bugeaters will win: a) I have friends that are former Bugeater players; b) N has returning 46 letterman that will be juniors or seniors, so it’s an experienced bunch; c) they were very close to a 11-3 season last year, losing narrowly to a ‘horn team with a healthy colt McCoy and they were a rectal cranial inversion away from beating Auburn.; and d) Mizzou has never recovered from firing Warren Powers in 1984. Why I could be wrong: They play Mizzou in Columbia. If the more informed pundits are right, this could be the difference in the conference.
2 – CU Later - frankly, I feel like spots 2-5 in the Big 12 North are a tossup, and I would be lying if I pretended to have some level of insight into college football north of Norman. I used the RANDBETWEEN function in Excel to make these picks. Why would Bill Gates pick the Buffaloes #2 after having a miserable season last year? They have nine returning starters from last year. The Buffs offense was anemic, so that may not be a good thing. Cody Hawkins, Coaches boy, has had about 18 years in the system, so he should be an improvement over last year. Most of the other offensive “weapons” return. CU Later has six returning starters on defense. The D will be a bit better this year just by virtue of having an offense that is capable of a sustained drive or two. Why they won’t improve: C’mon this is Division 1 football! If Cody Hawkins can’t play, Dan gets to bench his son or lose the team. After seeing how well Dirk Koetter did at ASU, and how Boise State struggled so mightily after Hawkins left, we may find that present BSU coach and former assistant Chris Peterson and the Boise players were the reason the Bronchos were good, not the coaches.
3 - Kansas – Fear the Shamangino. Why the Jayhawks will improve: Kerry Meier has a year of experience under his belt. Why Phog U won’t improve: Mangino hasn’t seen his belt in years.
4 – MissouriWhy the Tigers will improve: They’ve got 9 returning offensive starters, and will roll through Illinois, Ole Miss, Western Michigan and the vaunted Redbirds of Illinois State. They host Nebraska and play Phog U in Kansas City. Why the Tigers won’t improve: The Tigers have not demonstrated the ability to close the season under Gary Pinkel. The first two conference games are against the Bugeaters and at my beloved LandThieves. That two game losing streak will leave them gasping for air and they will limp down the stretch. Back to the Warren Powers curse…I’m not really into that sort of karma/curse thing, but name another school that has had the raw deal with the Zebras like the fifth down game against CU Later and the Bugeater Ben kick for a touchdown catch. If Gordon Reese returns to the replay official booth, ten bucks says Missouri is playing.
5 – Kansas State – I don’t know why BG picked this team fifth, but I’m sticking with him. I think his philanthropic efforts have taken away from his prognostications. Why BG may be wrong, and KSU is higher: Willie the Wildcat and his friends return several key spots on offense, including versatile QB Josh Freeman. Why Willie and Friends could nudge Iowa State for the 5th spot: Take away the freakish W against Texas, and their most impressive victory was a 31-27 victory over Boone State. Wildcat fans are still trying to erase the memory of the Texas Bowl beating by Rutgers last year. Thank goodness that was on the NFL Network and most people didn’t see it.
6 – Iowa State – I have a lot of respect for new Cyclone Gene Chizik, but I think the cupboard is pretty bare here right now. Coachkiller Bret Meyer returns as QB for the Cyclones but they lose their two top RBs. Chizik’s defensive prowess should improve the D some, but it won’t get them out of the Big 12 North basement.

Miss Cleo contributed to this report

1 comment:

Red Dawg said...

Fear the Illinois State Redbirds!
Thanks for the props.