College Football 2011 – Big 12 Preview
The Big 12 has 10 teams and the Big Ten has twelve teams. Does that make sense to anyone? We waved hasta la bye bye to Nebraska and Colorado and it appears the Aggies will be gone at the end of the year. Heck, we don't even have North and South divisions anymore. If I click my heels three times, will we go back to the glory days of the Southwest Conference? Regardless of the disarray the Big 12 is in, here's my preview of the upcoming season.
Iowa State is coming into the season with a new QB and RB and their defense is decent at best. The only redeeming quality to this team is that their colors resemble USC. Unfortunately, they don't have the talent that USC normally recruits.
The Jayhawks enter this season with a freshman QB and he's the best on the team that finished dead last in the Big 12 last year in scoring, rushing and scoring defense. The bright side to KU's season is...
Let's start off with the bright spot about Kansas State...they're not Kansas. OK, they also have one of the nations best running backs in Bryce Brown, who transferred from Tennessee. Aside from that, they will struggle and I mean struggle big time. Their defense stinks worse than my bathroom on game day. As long as their offense can stay on the field, they have a dang good chance of winning...against a junior college team.
So, Mizzou enters the season with 16 returning starters. Sounds great, right? The bad part is that the starters that left were the true talent on the team. If they can figure out who the QB will be then we should see a potent offense returning for the Tigers. T.J. Moe will be a deep threat yet again and tight end Michael Egnew is a man among boys and will surely have another great year. Many anticipate the defense to be improved. I, however, haven't quite admitted that yet.
Tech has always been synonymous with offense, primarily passing offense. However, this year they come in with no experience at QB, WR, or RB. Not to mention another inexperienced defense. The Red Raiders will anchor their season on an offensive line that has 5 returning starters. Cross your fingers and hope Tommy Tuberville can pull something out of his magic hat. Tuberville knows how to make it to bowl games.
The Pokes could actually be the surprise of the Big 12 this year, but it's gonna take some strong defensive performances to do so. They'll enter the year with a seriously potent offense guided by QB Brandon Weeden as he throws to star Justin Blackmon and hands it off to Joseph Randle. Many think of Blackmon as one of the best (if not the best) wide receivers in the nation. Better use him wisely this year because I'm sure he'll run after that NFL money next year.
Well, Texas failed to make it to a bowl last year and it's still stinging down in Austin. Coming into this season, Garrett Gilbert is fighting for a starting job with Connor Wood and Case McCoy. Let's face it, Colt is gone and is never coming back. Someone needs to step up and take over the team down in Austin or Texas may be the laughing stock of college football. No wait, they were that last year. Look for Fozzy Whitaker and Malcolm Brown to lead the offense and the defense to be dominant with explosive playmakers.
The Bears looked great last year and I see them doing even better this year. Behind the arm of Heisman hopeful Robert Griffen III, the Bears look to return to the glory days they once knew with legendary coach, Grant Teaff. Speaking of coaches, Art Briles is running the show in Waco and those around here may remember him well from his days in Sweetwater. He's one of the smartest and most disciplined coaches in all of football so you can bet he'll have his Bears ready to win this year.
Knowing they'll be leaving the Big 12, 10, 9, whatever it is, the Aggies will do their best to leave their footprint in Big 12 history books. They return 18 starters from last year, including one of the most potent pass-rush combos in all of football with QB Ryan Tannehill and RB Cyrus Gray. The 12th Man is going to have a great year down in College Station.
Sooners QB Landry Jones enters the year as one of the leading Heisman candidates and he'll be looking to WR Ryan Broyles a lot this year. The Sooners have never had a problem scoring, but this year could be a record breaking year in many offensive categories. That is, if they get their running game together. Will the Sooners play for a national title? Probably so, because I highly doubt there will be any undefeated teams in the upcoming college football season.