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Common Sense College Football Part VI: Big Time Quarterbacking In The Big XII

Nicholas PardiniCorrespondent IAugust 25, 2008

 The Big XII conference historically has been known for tough football and the running game. However, there might be a change in identity this season. Four All American caliber Chase Daniel, Sam Bradford, Todd Reesing, and Graham Harrell lead four of the nations top passing offenses. As a result, quarterback play will ultimately determine who wins the Big XII.

Winner: (Missouri def Texas Tech) With the return of their quarterback and Heisman candidate Chase Daniel, their top wide receivers, and a relatively easy conference slate (being in the Big XII and not playing Oklahoma) Missouri has a chance at a national title.

Surprise: (Nebraska) The ousting of Bill Callahan may spark Nebraska to the top of the Big XII. With Bo Pelini at coach, he can retool the strategy tighten up the Big XII's worst defense (and the worst rush defense in the nation) to at least mediocrity. Nebraska also returns its quarterback Joe Ganz and star rusher Marlon Lucky to lead a high scoring offense. If Nebraska can hold opponents under thirty points per game, the Cornhuskers can make a surprise run.

Disappointment: (Texas) First Texas loses star running back Jamal Charles and top receiver Limas Sweed, leaving an already interception prone quarterback Colt McCoy without his top weapons. Texas also retains only one starter from one of Big XII's worst secondaries. With Texas playing against the potent passing offenses of Oklahoma, Texas Tech, Missouri, and Kansas Texas may have a down year.

Key Matchups:

Oklahoma vs. Texas Tech This game will determine the Big 12 South championship. Can Texas Tech repeat last year's victory in Norman?

Kansas vs. Nebraska This game can dictate the direction of both of these programs. Will Kansas sustain its success from last season or can Nebraska find its way back to respectability?

Missouri vs. Kansas After Missouri thwarted Kansas national title hopes last season, can Kansas return the favor?

Oklahoma vs. Texas The Red River shootout is always a big game in the Big XII. Can Texas prove its doubters wrong and beat Oklahoma?

Projected Big XII Standings:

North

1) Missouri 12-0 (8-0) BCS Title Game

2) Kansas 8-4 (5-3)

tied 3) Colorado 7-5 (4-4)

tied 3) Nebraska 8-4 (4-4)

5) Kansas State 4-8 (1-7)

6) Iowa State 2-10 (0-8)

South

tie 1) Texas Tech (win head-to-head game versus Oklahoma) Sugar Bowl

tie 1) Oklahoma 11-1 (7-1) Fiesta Bowl

3) Texas 8-4 (4-4)

4) Texas A&M 7-5 (3-5)

5) Oklahoma State  5-7 (2-6)

6) Baylor 2-10 (1-7)

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