Friday, August 24, 2007

2007 Preview: Big 12

The slogan game, brought to you by the Big 12:

-Oklahoma: Where have you gone, Adrian Peterson; Rhett Bomar?
-Texas: No, no, the other Heisman-caliber Quarterback named Colt.
-Baylor: We still play football, we swear.
-Nebraska: What else would you do in this state?
-Iowa State: At least we are letting people pick our helmets.
-Colorado: We play in Colorado and still have no air offense.

I'm not going to keep going because any jokes about Kansas State will go right down the Ell Roberson road, but you get the point: the Big 12 is, except in a few choice areas, a joke.

The good news is that this should be one of the easiest predictions around. Texas has a great receiving class and Colt McCoy under center, which will be enough to carry them through the South. As it is every year under Mack Brown, winning the Red River Shootout is probably the biggest hurdle to keeping the Longhorns out of the Big 12 championship.

In terms of the North, arguably the only collection of football teams that rivals the bottom of the Big East, Nebraska should have absolutely no problem scooting through the table and into the Conference game. This is Bill Callahan's third year and he may not need to do better than 9-3 to make a repeat appearance in the Alamodome. The front seven is stacked behind a mammoth D-line, but they will need every ounce of that to beat Mizzou's experienced offense in Columbia.

My favorite team to pick on, at least outside of the I-84 Corridor, is definitely the boys at Boulder and Dan Hawkins. This was supposed to be a rise-from-the-ashes moment for the team after the mockery Gary Barnett had become. The former Boise State coach watched his team beat a Big 12 in what was one of the most exciting moments in college football history while coach the Buffs to a 2-10 record.

To Whom It May Concern: Stop letting Nike design your uniforms. This will not help the Buffs either.

I've tried to mention at least one sleeper for each conference, and the best chance anyone has is Kansas in the North. Not to win the whole shebang, but at least let them have a shot for the conference title. In the 12-team conference, it matters more who you don't play, and the Jayhawks don't have the Sooners or the 'Horns. They get the Huskers at home and only have to deal with a road trip to Kansas City to face the Tigers at Arrowhead. It's a long shot because they don't have the greatest talent in the world, but schedules mean the world.

Final prediction: Texas over Nebraska. What can I say. It's the easiest call out there.

Big East over the weekend, the great Heisman formula all next week and then, finally, the ACC preview early Thursday morning. I promise to be as unbiased as possible, but I really want to give the Atlantic to BC...

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