Thursday, August 28, 2008
College Football Projections: Big XII
Last, but definitely not least, is the Big 12.
The Big XII last season saw a slight shift in power from the South to the North. Oklahoma won the conference title, but Kansas and Missouri both finished in the top 10 in the nation. KU won the Orange Bowl over Virginia Tech, while Missouri should have been in a BCS bowl ahead of KU based on their head-to-head win and North division championship. Oklahoma and Missouri should be good once again.
In the North, many observers believe that Missouri may have their best team ever. This is Missouri we’re dealing with here, so anything could happen. But, they have a good chance to be favored in every game they play, including road trips to Nebraska and Texas. Plus, if they make it that far, the Big XII championship game is on the frozen tundra of Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City.
Nebraska begins the Bo Pelini era four years too late. But, it’s better late than never. The Huskers will be vastly improved.
Kansas caught lightning in a bottle last year and went 11-1 with a win in the Orange Bowl. This year, the Jayhawks should be pretty good, but they will be hardpressed to top last year’s success.
Colorado is the victim of a brutal non-conference schedule, with matchups against West Virginia and Florida State. Good luck with all that. The Buffs will probably have a better team this year with a worse record to show for it.
It’s really hard to predict Kansas State or Iowa State. K-State is pining for the days of Bill Snyder. They could finish anywhere between 4-8 and 8-4. My guess is the former. ISU is in the second year of a rebuilding project under Gene Chizik. It’ll be another long year in Ames.
In the South, Oklahoma is the team to beat until notified otherwise. The Sooners look strong on offense and will be favored in every game. With a break or two, they could be in Miami for the BCS National Championship Game. They will outlast the Texas schools.
Another team looking to have a breakout year is Texas Tech. The Red Raiders return a load of weapons on offense and have a favorable schedule, including Texas at home. Tech has a chance to be undefeated before visiting Oklahoma in November.
The Texas Longhorns will win 9 games on talent alone. Problem is, they will play at least three teams that are better than them. 9-3 would be an awesome season in a lot of places, but it won’t be good enough in Austin.
Texas A&M hired former Green Bay Packers coach Mike Sherman to lead the Aggies to more delusions of grandeur. The Aggies fashion themselves as a national powerhouse. In reality, they’re the fourth best program in the Big 12 South. That is where they will remain this year.
Speaking of delusions of grandeur, the Oklahoma State Cowboys move into freshly renovated Boone Pickens Stadium this year. While the stadium will be state of the art, it’s still OSU, and it’s like putting lipstick on a pig. OSU is lucky Baylor is in this division. Still, the Cowboys should finish at or over .500 and make it to a bowl game.
Taking their traditional place in last place are the Baylor Bears. Art Briles is the latest coach to try to make the Bears successful. Good luck with all that.
Missouri 11-1, 7-1
Nebraska 9-3, 6-2
Kansas 7-5, 4-4
Colorado 5-7, 3-5
Kansas State 4-8, 1-7
Iowa State 3-9, 1-7
Oklahoma 12-0, 8-0
Texas Tech 10-2, 6-2
Texas 9-3, 5-3
Texas A&M 6-6, 4-4
Oklahoma State 7-5, 3-5
Baylor 3-9, 1-7