Tuesday, July 15, 2008

FRD's Entirely Too Early College Football Preview: Big XII

Maybe Again, Bob?
This year's edition of the Big XII should actually be an improvement on recent years.  I'd say the conference firmly places second to only the SEC in terms of quality.  Unlike past years, we shouldn't see a big drop off after just two teams.  

Despite getting absolutely run over in their bowl game I think big things are in store for Oklahoma this year.  Right behind them and a possible national title contender is Texas and Missouri, but I wouldn't bank on either of these teams.  Following that group at the top are a fair amount of teams that could play a spoiler role in the conference (A&M, Texas Tech, Kansas, Oklahoma St).  

Team Projections

Oklahoma- 12-0- I really love the balance they have on offense.  Stoops can prove he is still a great coach with this group.  
Texas-10-2- I get the feeling Mack Brown kind of softened up a bit after winning the national title.  He needs to stop that and crank it back up.  There is too much talent here not to compete for the national title every year.  This team should be better than last year, but not quite elite.  
Missouri- 10-2- I tend to think this group is a little overrated and headed for a crash, but the schedule is easy enough that they will be on the cusp of a BCS bowl again.  
Texas Tech- 9-3- Perhaps the best chance to crash the BCS party.  Offensive numbers might be even bigger than usual, but the defense is still no where near championship level.  
Texas A&M- 7-5- Interested to see what Mike Sherman can do here as the cupboard wasn't left totally bare.  Tradition rich program needs a shot in the arm.  
Oklahoma State-7-5-  Mike Gundy has done a good job of keeping up with what Les Miles started.  I'm guessing he turns 41 this year.  
Kansas-7-5- They played perhaps the easiest schedule in the country last year, but did win their bowl.  My guess is they lost too much on defense and take a major step back.  Should still have enough to make a bowl and maybe win the north division.  
Nebraska- 6-6- Pelini should be able to get things back on track here, but it's going to take some time.  Easily enough talent to make a bowl game so that should be the goal.  
Colorado- 5-7- The schedule is really tough so it's going to be hard for them to make a bowl, but I really like what Dan Hawkins is doing here.  In two years they should be able to contend for the conference title.  
Kansas State- 5-7-  Interesting squad and I like Ron Prince as a coach as well as QB Josh Freeman.  Will have to fight to make a bowl game but always a fun team to watch.  
Iowa State- 4-8- Not really sure where this program is headed.  Would keep expectations low this year.
Baylor- 2-10- I'm a huge Art Briles fan and he'll improve this program, but if he can get this team in a bowl this year or next that's an amazing coaching job.  

All-Big XII Team

QB- Graham Harrell, Tech DE- Ian Campbell, K-State
RB- DeMarco Murray, OU DT- DeMarcus Granger, OU
RB- Marlon Lucky, Neb DT- George Hypolite, Col
WR- Jeremy Maclin, Missou DE- Zach Potter, Neb
WR-Juanquin Iglesias, OU LB- Ryan Reynolds, OU
TE-Chase Coffman, Missou LB- Sergio Kindle,UT
OL- Jon Cooper, OU LB- Sean Weatherspoon,Missou
OL- Duke Robinson, OU CB-Lendy Holmes, OU
OL- Cedric Dockery, UT CB- Jordan Pugh, A&M
OL- Ryan Miller, Col S- Nic Harris, OU
OL- Phil Loadholt, OU S- Jordan Lake- Baylor

Top Newcomers:
  1. Darrell Scott-RB-Col
  2. Cyrun Gray- RB-A&M
  3. Robert Griffin-QB-Baylor
  4. Aaron Williams-DB- UT
  5. Joshua Jarboe-WR-OU

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