2010 Big XII Season Preview Here is a look at the four user controlled Big XII teams: #9 Nebraska Cornhuskers - Nebraska enters this season still stinging from a bitter defeat in last seasonâ€™s Big XII title game. They were able to get there relying on the strength of their defense, which was the number one scoring defense in the nation allowing only 10.4 points a game. However, their offense was lacking as they ranked 99th nationally in total offense and 75th in scoring offense. If the Huskers hope to return to the national stage, they are going to need more production from their offense. They return ten offensive starters from last season, perhaps the most important of which are senior running back Roy Helu, Jr. and senior WR Niles Paul. Nebraska hopes that Helu will be able to build upon the success he had last year and re-establish Nebraskaâ€™s historically strong running game. Paul will provide the Huskers a solid option at WR, but will be most influential in the return game. He has demonstrated his playmaking ability in the past and with such a pedestrian offense field position will be critical. Another weapon to help Nebraska win the field position battle is kicker/punter Alex Henery who is arguably the best in the nation at what he does. Henery led the nation in punts inside the 20 last year. Having their opponentsâ€™ backs against the wall will allow the Blackshirts to be more aggressive. Exactly how effective the Blackshirts will be is still left to be seen. Replacing all-World defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh will be no easy task. Ultimately, in order for Nebraska to have a successful season they are going to have to do something they havenâ€™t done since 1999, beat Texas. #2 Texas Longhorns - As the defending Big XII champions, Texas will be in the crosshairs of the rest of the conference. Yet, they have their sights set on the national stage. Especially, after their humbling defeat last year at the hands of Alabama. The Longhornsâ€™ season depends a lot on the play of sophomore QB Garrett Gilbert. Gilbert is replacing Colt McCoy, who won 45 games as a starter. With this transition, Texas is looking to re-establish a ground game that has been in decline over the last few years. This should help in Gilbertâ€™s development as a quarterback. His potential is there as was demonstrated against Alabama in the national title game last year. Despite being a freshman at the time, Gilbert fought to keep Texas in the game against a very tough Crimson Tide defense. The true strength of Texas this year will be on the defensive side of the ball, especially in the secondary. With as many as three pro prospects at cornerback it will be tough to pass on the Longhorns this year. With the recent success of the Longhorn football program, itâ€™s tough to expect any less than 10 wins from this team this year. The standard at Texas is high and anything less than a return to the Big XII title game should be considered a disappointment. However, Iâ€™m sure most of the Longhorn faithful are setting their sights on more than a Big XII title and have circled January 10th on their calendars. The talent is in place, the only real question is if the coaches can help the young players develop and perform to their potential. Texas A&M Aggies - Last yearâ€™s season was a disappointment for the Aggies. After an impressive win against Texas Tech, A&M went on to lose four of its last six games. The offense has talent but it comes down to whether or not the defense can stop someone. Last year, the defense gave up 65 and 49 points in their losses to Oklahoma and Texas, respectively. It shouldnâ€™t take a complete turnaround on defense to make the team a success, just slow them down. The reason being is that the offense is capable of putting up points of their own. Part of their up and down season could be contributed to A&Mâ€™s youth. Last year, at least 18 freshmen saw significant playing time. One position the Aggies donâ€™t lack experience is at QB where Jerrod Johnson is ready to catapult onto the national scene. He is surrounded by young playmakers and this could prove for a very exciting football team. Another reason for hope is that the early schedule should allow a lot of time for the team to grow up. After which the schedule picks up and gets brutal, with games against Arkansas, Texas Tech, Oklahoma, Nebraska and Texas. How far A&M can go this year is up to them. If theyâ€™re able to build some early momentum, they could carry that into Big XII play and perhaps beyond. Texas Tech Red Raiders - The Red Raidersâ€™ season ended in a very ugly public break up between them and former coach Mike Leach. This is something that they would like to put behind them and the best way to do that is by winning. To replace Leach, Tech has brought in former Auburn coach Tommy Tuberville. Despite what happened off the field, Leach was able to bring talent to Lubbock and Tuberville could reap the benefits of it. Tech has two talented quarterbacks and the only real question is whether or not they can stay healthy. In addition to this, Tech features a very talented group of running backs and will opt to use the running game more under the new administration. Yet, they still plan on passing just as much. The only way to squeeze in more running plays while keeping the number of passing plays the same is to pick up the pace. The Red Raiders hope to force tempo on opposing teams. This should help establish a frantic pace to keep opposing defenses on their toes. On the defensive side of the ball, they hope to keep up the aggressiveness by switching to primarily a 3-4 alignment. This will allow for the linebacking corp to attack opposing offenses. This transition will have to happen fast because the Longhorns come to town in week 3. The result of this matchup could set the tone for the rest of the season. *I would like to thank Athlon sports and College Football News, as they proved to be very valuable resource in writing this preview.