College Football at a Glance: Big 12

Bleacher Report Analyst IAugust 9, 2009

Disclaimer: These are abridged outlooks for the common fan. If you don’t like what I have to say because I panned or didn’t mention your team, that’s fine. But save your breath.

I inhaled through my nose this morning, and it smelled like college football season. A plethora of previews are on the way, including the grand finale, which will reveal my BCS Championship match-up and victor.

But there are plenty of other things to talk about, including BCS bids, busts, and contenders. So, let’s dive in with last year’s most controversial conference, the Big 12. And, I’ll start by saying; it’s still going to be complicated.

Oklahoma stuck with Florida for half of last year’s National Championship game, and then Florida’s defense absolutely stole the show.

While I’m not sure that any team in the Big 12 can match Florida’s defensive speed, Oklahoma has a much bigger problem to worry about.

As the defenses of nearly every Big 12 South team returns more experienced, Oklahoma brings back almost no experience on the offensive line.

The good news is that if Oklahoma drops a game early, the BCS usually disregards an earlier season loss.

The bad news is that if Oklahoma finishes with the same record as Texas, Oklahoma will under no circumstances get the better bid (even if they beat Texas.  Hooray for last season).

We have learned that the BCS hands out a ton of IOUs, and Texas has to be No. 1 on the list (with USC right behind them, but that’s a different conference). In addition to that, Texas is bringing back nearly very impact player (sans standout WR Quan Cosby) from last season’s big run.

I do think that Sam Bradford is the better Quarterback long term, but the multi-dimensional game that McCoy brings to the table has been enough to take out Oklahoma in the past.

My one concern about Texas is their lack of a serious running threat (as McCoy led the team in rushing yards). But it wasn’t that someone stopped their running game. It’s more that Mack Brown for whatever reason, passed significantly more last season.

If you are looking for some honorable mentions outside of the big two, I’ll say the following: Don’t sleep on Texas Tech. Yes they don’t have Harrell or Crabtree anymore. But under Mike Leach, Texas Tech’s passing offenses have been absolutely incredible.

Also, I love Mark Mangino. And in a rebuilding year for Mizzou, I would expect Kansas to come out of the North and play for the Big 12 championship. Maybe even the rapidly improving Cornhuskers can make a cameo. I do enjoy corn.

Bottom Line: Texas beats Kansas in the Big 12 Championship game. Texas gets the automatic BCS bid. Oklahoma gets an at-large. Texas Tech, Kansas and Nebraska make it into respectable bowls.

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