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How the North is Won - Week 8 Edition E-mail
Written by Gideon   
Wednesday, 28 October 2009 10:27

First, zee schadenfreude:

That was fun! Despite the Tigers reenacting the 2008 trip to Austin, Mizzou walked away from week eight in better shape than before the loss to Texas. We'll get to the North outlook as quickly as a Husker fumble, but first some comments on the weekend that was:

You all know the story by now - Nebraska drops their second game in a row, both at home. The Huskers committed an amazing eight turnovers with four coming in the red zone. And of course, the loss came to the 'Clones, an 18.5 point underdog playing without their two best skill players. I watched the entire game and truly thought Nebraska would win in down to the final drive. I've never seen a team so summarily beat themselves. I told my buddy during the game, "the Huskers get a win no matter what, the issue is which team takes the loss". The Huskers did. This must have been an excruciatingly painful loss for the Big Red Faithful. I'd offer condolences but this is just the cosmic ledger balancing after the 4th quarter that shall not be named.

KU lost as well, but this was expected. What these two losses add up to is a major break for the Tigers. In last week's North analysis I speculated that a 6-2 record could secure the division. Well, 5-3 is the new 6-2 and 4-4 is a real possibility. We'll start at the theoretical bottom and work our way up:

 

Colorado

The Buffs sit at 1-2 in Big 12 play with Missouri, A&M, Iowa State, OK State and Nebraska remaining. At best Colorado leaves that slate with a 5-3 record, which would make them a serious threat to win the division. What will happen in the real universe is a 1-4 record the rest of the way to land at 2-6. The win comes at A&M (looking less likely) or at Iowa State with an outside shot at taking down the Huskers or Tigers at home.

Iowa State

Congratulations 'Clones! Every week one North team earns a Victory Lap Dance courtesy of (not from) MizzouRah. Colorado enjoyed a back room romp last week for upsetting the Jayhawks, but this week the glory is yours.

Lap dance

Sadly, this is may the final Big 12 win for Iowa State. At best they take one from their remaining four of A&M, OK State, Colorado and Missouri for a respectable 3-5 in Big 12 play, considering the off season in Ames. Enjoy the dance and keep your hands to yourselves!

Kansas State

How long can I keep the Mildcats in the middle of the pack? Manhattan is buzzing with the 3-1 Big 12 start. As I predicted last week, the Cats handled the Buffaloes this past weekend. As I also wrote last week, this may be their final Big 12 win. In the unpredictable North, however, anything can happen. With losses in Lincoln and Norman, can Snyder steal a victory at home from the Tigers or Jayhawks? I don't see it happening - I'll stick with my 3-5 projection.

Kansas

Like K State, my projection hasn't changed since last week. The Jayhawks beat the Huskers and win a roller coaster in Manhattan, but losses to Tech, Texas and Mizzou doom them to a 3-5 record. KU can get right back in the mix with a win at Tech, though, so stay tuned.

Missouri

What can we conclude from the Texas game? Gabbert still isn't healthy, the running game isn't hopeless, our secondary hasnt' solved all its issues - not much more. Texas is a vastly superior team. We move on. If the Tigers can win out they have a shot to play in Dallas with a 5-3 record. We said as much last week and we'll say it here again. Its sudden death from here on out - keep your eye on the reclamation project in Boulder this weekend.

Nebraska

The Huskers still control their own destiny, even with the brutal loss to Iowa State. If they win the games they should (at Baylor and Colorado and versus K State), they have a good shot at winning the division with a 4-4 record. As far as I can remember, the only time that has happened is 2004 when Colorado took a 4-4 conference record to Arrowhead for a 39 point rectal exam courtesy of Oklahoma (42-3). If the Huskers lose even one of those games they should be favored in, they're all but done. If they win one they should lose (KU or Oklahoma), they recover as the heavy favorite.

In most scenarios, the situation still favors Nebraska. The issue is that after the past two weekends we may have to reevaluate who and what these teams are. Missouri and Nebraska remain the enigmas. We'll know more about each after this weekend.

Hey Baylor - how badly do you want that dance?



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written by Mr. Bump, October 29, 2009
Damn you! The pain that picture creates is excruciating!

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