I lied yesterday. The Big 12 Roundtable is not gone, it was just in the hospital. Go over to Crimson and Cream Machine and wish Matt well.
This week, the Roundtable comes from Big Red Network, a fine Husker blog...and one among many.
1. Will firing Steve Pederson help Nebraska's program long term or will they be as bad or worse off without him?
That's hard for me to say until they name a permanent athletic director. It's hard for me to imagine they could do worse than Pederson, but I've been amazed before (see: KU football this season).
What will be most interesting to me is to see who interim God Tom Osborne brings in to coach the Huskers--as if anyone really believes Bill Callahan will still be around next year. As I recall, Osborne was the one who handed the reigns to Frank Solich--who was no Ron Prince--and gave his blessing to Pederson as athletic director. If he hires Turner Gill, color me skeptical. Either way, it's going to take a while to get things turned around.
There has never been a more optimistic group of fans of a 4-4 team on a three-game losing streak than the Huskers.
2. Can Kansas keep winning conference games, not just this year but on into the future?
I have no reason to bet against them, but I'll believe it when I see it. That's not because I think that 'beaker fans will fail to get behind the football program, but it takes a while to make winning a part of the culture. Considering that K-State briefly considered abandoning football before Bill Snyder arrived, I will never say never to any program turning things around. Given Jabba the Coach's last few years at KU--7-5, 6-6, and now 7-0--I would have to say they are moving in the right direction.
Is this the only way KU's hopes could go up in flames this year?
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?
For whatever reason, Bradford doesn't seem to play very well in road games. Let's look at what Bradford has done away from the comfy confines of Red Dirt Central:
@ Colorado: 8/19, 119 yards, 1 TD, 2 INTs
@ Iowa State: 16/28, 183 yards, 0 TD, 1 INT
On the positive side, he played well against UT in Dallas. But you can't just chalk those poor performances up to playing good teams. Colorado has a pretty good defense, but Iowa State does not and Bradford played at an extremely average level against them. It's probably just freshman inconsistency, but I see a loss somewhere among Texas A&M (unlikely), Texas Tech (most likely) and Oklahoma State (in the middle).
4. Do the routs of ISU and Baylor mean Texas is firing on all cylinders or will this be another disappointing season in Austin?
No, it really means very little. After Texas rammed Rice, most thought all was well in Austin...and then K-State put a 41-21 loss on UT the next week. The big win over Iowa State was fairly impressive, but the win over Baylor was not. Texas is 6-2 right now, I see them finishing 9-3 with one loss among the games against Oklahoma State, Texas Tech and Texas A&M. I guess that consitutes a disappointing season in Longhornland, but in the spirit of this Roundtable hosted by a Husker blog, I would caution any program against freaking out about going 9-3.