With the mess of conference realignment behind us, it is good to be able to focus on the field once more and see what everyone is saying about the Big 12 South race.
It seems that no one seems very confident of the outcome of this year's Big 12 South division.
Whether you're looking through your favorite preseason magazine or at the Vegas odds, the Sooners and the Longhorns appear to be neck and neck with one another going into 2010.
One thing is for sure, no one, outside of a few Texas A&M fans, is picking a dark horse to break the Red River Rivals stranglehold on the division.
However, almost all of the major publications as well as the NCAA Football odds makers are having trouble choosing between the rivals.
The Preseason Magazines
A look at the big four preseason magazines does little to show you how the pundits are picking.
The Sporting News which merged with Street and Smith's, show the Longhorns winning the division but by the slimmest of margins as it has Texas at its preseason No. 9 and the Sooners at No. 10.
However, TSN has both of them behind the Cornhuskers at seven and though they never say that Nebraska will win the Big 12 their rankings certainly suggest so.
Athlon has OU taking the south and Texas coming in second. OU is ranked 5th and Texas is ranked 8th in their preseason poll.
Lindy's seems to be much more sure of their pick for the Longhorns by having Texas ranked No. 4 in the nation with the Sooners ranked ninth.
While maybe the most peculiar of the preseason picks also comes from the historically most accurate, according to Stassen.com, preseason magazine, Phil Steele's.
Steele has the Sooners number 1 and the Longhorns just outside the top 10 at No. 11. Steele has the Longhorns not only losing to the Sooners but also Nebraska leaving both teams to be undefeated when they meet in the national championship game.
So, the preseason magazines do little to help decide who is better, with two magazines having the Longhorns winning the south and two having the Sooners.
I guess if you had to split hairs you could give a slight edge to the Sooners for being picked No. 1 in at least one and never being picked outside the top ten in any magazine.
Actually, if you look at the rankings among all four magazines, the Sooners get a slight edge in average ranking being barely above 6 at 6.25 and the Longhorns being just about 8 at 7.75. However, the vast majority of the disparity is the result of Phil Steele's rankings.
Playing the odds does not un-muddy the waters either.
Most odds makers have the preseason odds around the same for both schools.
Many in Vegas have the rivals close as well. On many sites, the Longhorns have the slightest of edges over the Sooners, at +1400 to Oklahoma's +1500 to win the 2011 BCS National Championship.
If you prefer "to one" odds, I have seen quite a few sites give Texas 14-1 odds and have seen OU as high as 15-2 or 7.5 to 1.
So even Las Vegas does not have a clear Big 12 South champion going into the season.
If you are looking for some great insight ito who has the upper hand in this year's Big 12 South race, no one outside of Phil Steele has any kind of definitive answer.
If you are a Longhorn fan you may not want to take the time to read what he says about the two teams and pick up a copy of Lindy's instead.
Please visit soonersnews.com for more Oklahoma articles.