Big 12 Introduces Bi-Numerical Logo; Keeps Same 10 Teams
The calander says July, and for many, that means college football is right around the corner.
Big 12 fans are among them.
With the whole summer for things to change, it still looks like Oklahoma and Baylor will fight it out for the league championship and, hopefully for one of them, a berth in the first college playoff.
Oklahoma, which finished 11-2 last season, is coming off a stunning 45-31 victory over Alabama in the Sugar Bowl.
The Sooners are hoping quarterback Trevor Knight can play all season at the level he did against the Crimson Tide. If he does, Oklahoma could be taking a big bite at the post-season cherry. Keith Ford will be one of the best rushers in the conference, and the Sooners' defense is always good. It will be strong again this season, keeping in mind that strong is a relative term in these days of spread systems generating pinball scores.
This season, the Bears must travel to Norman to face the Sooners, so they're happy that quarterback Bryce Petty has returned to school for his senior season. The Bears' defense needs to improve, especially in the high-scoring Big 12. Baylor is also excited about opening their new stadium, which they'll do on 31 August against buy-a-win Wofford.
Texas had a chance at the title last year, even though the Longhorns were 8-5 overall. But they lost to Baylor in their last game and waved a messy goodbye to Mack Brown afterward.
This season, Charlie Strong takes over as head coach, and he's hoping against hope that quarterback David Ash can finally play up to his potential. Ash will be backed by a good running game and a decent defense, which should keep them in games. What they offense does after that is anyone's guess.
Kansas State and Oklahoma State are in the middle of the pack, but both teams have their quarterbacks returning. Michael Brewer and Davis Webb return at the helm for Texas Tech, but the Red Raiders need to play some defense -- for once -- to contend. TCU thought they'd be better when they moved to the Big 12, but the Horned Frogs have been hit by the injury bug for the past two years. Iowa State keeps saying they're going to contend, but 3-9, 6-6, and 5-7 just doesn't cut it. West Virginia is only 11-14 over the past few years, so many couch-burners -- who know a thing or two about firing -- say this is a make-or-break year for Coach Dana Holgorsen, who's been overrated so far.
He'd better hope the hype is right for once:
Then there's Kansas and coach Charlie Weis. Except for his first year at Nôtre Dame, when the Irish contended for the national title with Tyrone Willingham's players, Weis has been in a downward spiral at the college level. First, the Irish got de-shamrocked, and now the Jayhawks are 4-20 in Weis's two years. Kansas actually thinks they can get to at least 5-7 this season, so they're hoping that their running game and defense will improve to attain that level.
But they're probably already counting the days until hoops season in Lawrence.