Tuesday, September 04, 2007
New contract, new year, new post
The opener was quite a surprise for me. It's been quite sometime since we've seen a Nebraska team "lean" on another and impose their will -- if you will -- against an opponent. The guess here is that Nebraska continues to work on their running game, such that they can keep high-powered offenses off the field this year.
Hey, that helps the Blackshirts, too. (A side note: I think the black polo from Kevin Cosgrove is a super touch this season.) That crew on Saturday was well aware of the challenges presented by a "different" offense and they defended "The Pistol" quite well. The linebackers are as good a group as Cosgrove has had, the secondary displayed their depth and the line was better than advertised.
Great to see Marlon Lucky in the backfield getting all of that work. What an impressive display he put on. One senses that Callahan may give his horse another game play this Saturday similar to the one we just saw in Lincoln. The Huskers will try to milk the clock in Winston-Salem and the thought here is that they won't go too far in their bag of tricks if they don't have to to get another victory. It's also nice to know that Sam Keller didn't have to do too much last weekend, as my guess is Callahan will call on him more than once during the season to win one by himself.
The contract extension was the right move for Pederson. I think most on the outside looking in can see the program moving the right direction. I know some won't call 23-15 the right direction, but Callahan deserves the new contract to continue the great recruiting and another year or two to coach them and compete for the national championship. If he can't coach them, we won't need to worry about January 31, 2012 -- he'll be gone long before that.
That said, let's take a look at the Big 12 and rank them 1-12.
1. Oklahoma (1-0). They've got the best coach in the league and arguably the most talent. I don't think you need to say much more than that. The game with Miami (FL) this weekend will be a good test.
2. Texas (1-0). Wowsers, what a scare in Austin. I think Mack has there attention as they prepare for the Horned Frogs.
3. Nebraska (1-0). Is this the West Coast Offense or the Pipeline. 70 rushes? Surely we are seeing things. A more experienced line than ever before in the Callahan era, gives the Huskers the second half edge against opponents that they haven't had since 2001.
4. Texas A&M (1-0). A pretty simple opener for the Aggies. Stephen McGee may be the best quarterback in this league come the end of the season. We'll see how much help he gets along the way.
5. Texas Tech (1-0). The Red Raiders were better than expected in their opener, dismantling an SMU team that supposedly had made big strides. I can nearly guarantee no one wants to defend Graham Harrell and this offense.
6. Missouri (1-0). Just barely over Oklahoma State. If we saw the Big 12 North champs on Saturday in St. Louis, they shouldn't have a championship game.
7. Oklahoma State (0-1). A disappointing opener in Athens, but the guess here is that Mike Gundy will get his troops to rebound quickly.
8. Kansas (1-0). I think it's pretty easy to overlook how good the Jayhawks were in there dismantling of Central Michigan last Saturday. The Chippewas will be in a bowl in December and we know the Jayhawks always beat Missouri in November -- this time in Kansas City.
9. Kansas State (0-1). It says here that Ron Prince can coach and that the 'Cats will get better. In fact, this guy doesn't think it's a long shot to put them second in the North by the end of the year and that November in Lincoln could mean more than we once thought.
10. Colorado (1-0). A very nice come from behind win at Mile High Stadium. They need to show me one or two more before they move up from this spot.
11. Baylor (0-1). Hey, it's Baylor. I don't know what else to say.
12. Iowa State (0-1). Poor Gene Chizek was going to lose a bunch of games in his first year, but no one thought one of them would be against Kent State.
Projected Big 12 Final: Oklahoma v. Nebraska
My National Top Ten
USC, LSU, West Virginia, Oklahoma, Florida, Louisville, Cal, Wisconsin, Georgia, Virginia Tech.