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The Fiesta Bowl is turning into a winter retreat for the Sooners, but they will gladly accept another BCS bid, which will be within reach in 2012.
Landry Jones helms an offense that likely retains four offensive linemen, play-making wideout Kenny Stills and 2011 breakout tailback Dominique Whaley. The defense loses big names like Ronnell and Travis Lewis but will have plenty of talent and be coupled with the coaching prowess of the returning Mike Stoops. Helping OU's chances is the fact that Oklahoma State loses Justin Blackmon and Brandon Weeden, Baylor will be without Robert Griffin III and Texas is still reloading.
Meeting the Sooners in the desert will be the Michigan State Spartans. Despite losing Kirk Cousins and several receivers, tailback Le'Veon Bell, as well as four starters on the o-line, should return. Defensively, eight starters will be back.
Behind Michigan, the Big 10 is wide open next season, but expect Mark Dantonio, fresh off an Outback Bowl victory over Georgia and his second straight 11-win season, to have the Spartans motivated to come out strong. They will face an interesting schedule, with an opener at home against Boise State, followed by the traditional matchup with Notre Dame and conference bouts with Ohio State, Michigan, Wisconsin and Nebraska. MSU will face plenty of competition and opportunities to show if it's the real deal. Look for Bell to thrive behind a seasoned offensive line.