Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Big 12 Roundtable--Huskers and Jayhawks Heading in Opposite Directions

This week's Big 12 Roundtable is being hosted by our friends over at the Big Red Network.

1. Will firing Steve Pederson help Nebraska's program long term or will they be as bad or worse off without him?
First of all, some disclosure: I called for Pederson's termination after the Missouri game. So you can guess my position on this. Since then, we've learned more about Pederson's management issues that Harvey Perlman cited in his dismissal. The football program continues it's freefall. So not only did Pederson alienate many boosters, fans, and former players, he also alienated most of the staff. In that light, it's very unlikely that Pederson's termination could make things much worse long term. Tom Osborne immediately calms the furor and gives just about everyone hope that things will turn around long term. Of course, that's making the assumption that (a) Osborne is going to fire Bill Callahan and (b) Osborne can find a qualified, quality head coach.

2. Can Kansas keep winning conference games, not just this year but on into the future?
Missouri fans will disagree, but I think Kansas is definitely improved this season. I've felt that the big guy was the best coach in the Big XII North, and this season does nothing to change my opinion. It seems that Mangino is now upping the talent level down in Lawrence as well, which bodes well for the future for Kansas football. That being said, we're seeing EVERYBODY (except Nebraska, of course) improving in the North, so questions about the long term viability of the Jayhawks will remain. Mangino could improve the Jayhawks, yet have them remain near the middle of the pack.

3. Is Sam Bradford at OU good enough to lead the Sooners to victories in all of their remaining games or will he meltdown again like he did late against CU?
Bradford's a freshman, remember. Ok, so he's struggled when he's played outside the state of Oklahoma, but he's been generally solid for the most part. We'll see how he finishes the last two games (against Tech and Oklahoma State), but I wouldn't bet against him. If I had to put my money on anything, I'd rather bet on Bradford and the Sooners than against him in any of these games.

4. Do the routs of ISU and Baylor mean Texas is firing on all cylinders or will this be another disappointing season in Austin?
Ummm....Texas only led Baylor 17-10 midway through the fourth quarter last Saturday before pulling away late. That's not a rout in my book. Looking at Texas, they seem to alternate between "Good Texas" and "Bad Texas". "Good" played TCU, Rice, Oklahoma, and Iowa State. "Bad" played Arkansas State, Central Florida, Kansas State, and Baylor. Bad news for the Huskers...that means "Good Texas" is scheduled to appear this Saturday. But this schizophrenic habit has to be disappointing for Texas fans this season.


AJ said...

Only Hawaii has a worse SOS than Kansas. The two wins they've had were over a 2-10 team from last year (by 5) and a team from their own state (by 6).

When Texas A&M is done trashing them Saturday, this kind of nonsense will stop.

Brandon said...

I'm pulling for KU to win the north only because I despise Mizzou and Colorado. That said, I think AJ is right. A&M is going to stomp KU.

After listening to Callahan this week I'm thinking he is gone. The guy just sounds and looks so defeated. I know there's no chance of it, but I think Nebraska should target Dan McCarney. (I'm sure he's content at sunny South Florida and ejoying not having the pressures of a head coach) At first glance it might not sound good. But consider...if there's a guy that knows how to inspire players and fans, rebuild a program...and Big 12 experience, no less, that would be the guy to have. I always wondered how well he could have done had he been coaching a team with a bigger tradition, more fans, more money, better facilities, and recruiting power. Dan's got fire and passion...everywhere he has coached. His players always love him and he's good with the fans in up and down times. Huskers would do well to find a guy like that.