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Big 12 Football: 5 Teams That Will Be Counting on Freshmen in 2013

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Big 12 Football: 5 Teams That Will Be Counting on Freshmen in 2013
Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Remember when Oklahoma, Texas and Texas Tech were each ranked inside of the Top Five of the BCS standings?

The Sooners had the services of an able-bodied Sam Bradford, complimented by an able-bodied Demarco Murray. The Red Raiders were flying high with the likes of Graham Harrell and Michael Crabtree, and UT was flying banners in protest of tie-breakers.

C'mon, you remember. The Longhorns beat OU in October of '08, only to watch as the Sooners passed them on the leaderboard in November. Mack and the boys were so angry that they didn't lose another game until Colt McCoy's arm went dead in the 2009 BCS National Championship.

As it happened, McCoy's throwing shoulder merely served as a microcosm for the entire league—stamped out by the impact of an Alabama defender.

Nebraska left the league shortly after finding out that football game clocks measure in tenths of seconds—who knew? Colorado left because, well, even terrible ideas seem better with a little herbal assistance.

Next thing we knew, Texas A&M was taking the college football universe by storm with a redshirt freshman neglected by UT, and Missouri was verbally writing checks that it couldn't physically cash. The former development, shocking; the latter, not so much.

Oh, yeah, and both schools now play in the SEC.

Big 12 Country has been turned on its ear of late. Big Game Bob can't seem to win the big game. Texas has been so bad that it scarcely even registers as a big game on the schedules of its opponents. New additions, West Virginia and TCU, fell painfully flat, and Oklahoma State—yes, the Cowboys—have been the league's most consistent team.

To make matters worse, all 10 teams are in desperate need of reinforcements, yet only Oklahoma and Baylor managed to avoid embarrassment on National Signing Day. The absence of incoming impact freshman within the league has little to do with stacked depth charts and much to do with anemic recruiting classes.

At best, no more than five teams are likely to see noteworthy contributions from first-year players. At worst, the Sooners and Bears could be the only squads with fish of any relevance.

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