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Big 12 Preview

Discussion in 'Thread Archive' started by MileHigh Hitman, Mar 21, 2009.

  1. Big 12 Preview

    BIG 12 North Preview

    [​IMG] Colorado Buffaloes (MileHigh Hitman)
    The early buzz : First year, disaster. Second year, bowl game. Yes, expectations are heightened in MileHigh Hitman's first year, but more importantly, the excitement around the program is back for the first time since Gary Barnett was taking his controversial teams to Big 12 title games. Add one of the nation’s top running backs in this year’s recruiting class (Darrell Scott) and the positive buzz is as loud as it’s been since 2001. It didn’t look good a few years ago after the Buffs lost to D-IAA Montana State, but the Buffs are light years away from the program Hitman inherited.
    The big question is : Can any running back gain a foothold on what’s going to be Scott’s position? The Buffs haven’t had a recruit of Scott’s caliber in a while. Scott will set the campus on its ear when he arrives in the fall, but the on-campus options can pile on the carries this spring, getting a head start on the Chosen One.
    The most important position to watch is : Cornerback. Terence Wheatley was a big popping All-Conference performer who was one of the only positives in the secondary. Finding capable cover corners is a must when facing Chase Daniel, Todd Reesing, Josh Freeman, and this year, Colt McCoy, Stephen McGee and Zac Robinson. Gardner McKay backed up Wheatley last year, so he’ll get first crack this spring, and while he won’t be the same caliber of performer, he has to prove he can at least be competent.
    Attitude : This is Big 12 football, brother. Hitman is starting to get all his pieces in place, and landing a Darrell Scott could be the catalyst to take the program from good to great. Now it’s time to take the next logical step and compete for a Big 12 North title. The North isn’t the walk-in-the park conference that it was years ago, but there’s no reason to shoot for anything less than a championship.

    [​IMG]Iowa State
    The early buzz : Head coach Gene Chizik’s era struggled out of the gate, but improved mightily over the second half of the season (other than the 45-7 lambasting from Kansas). The KU loss obviously wasn’t the performance that Chizik was hoping for, but the last five games showed that the Cyclones can compete, and more importantly, that the staff can make chicken salad out of chicken shit. Do most expect a return to a bowl game this year? Not quite, but this is a program that’s trending back upward. It just may take another year.

    The early buzz : For the first time in a long time, the football program is actually worth paying attention to, even as Bill Self and the basketball team look to make a big run in the NCAA tournament. Lose in the first or second round again, and the football team will quickly get all the attention (after the hoop screams die down). 2007 Coach of the Year Mark Mangino wasn’t nearly as fortunate as Missouri head man Gary Pinkel, losing a number of key underclassmen to the NFL Draft. This Jayhawk team, with tackle Anthony Collins and cornerback Aqib Talib, would be a top-15 team, but without them, KU has to fill these huge holes to vie for Big 12 North honors. However, Mangino has had to deal with much bigger obstacles before.

    [​IMG]Kansas State
    The early buzz : After a strong first year under Ron Prince, and a good first half of the 2007 season, the bottom fell out in the final four games costing the Wildcats a second consecutive bowl trip. Now, spring ball will be a stark contrast to last year’s when the team was considered by some to be a sleeper to win the Big 12 North. This year? The Wildcats barely register on the championship radar. At the moment, the buzz is dead, but that might not be a bad thing considering now the team can sneak up on everyone.

    [​IMG]Missouri (Mazzman56)
    The early buzz : The Tigers proved in the Cotton Bowl that they were just as worthy of making an appearance in a BCS bowl as anyone. When Chase Daniel, Chase Coffman, William Moore and several other draft-eligible juniors all decided to come back to Columbia for their senior seasons, Mizzou went from Big 12 North heavy to potential national championship contender. Head coach Mazzman56 will need to temper expectations, but anything less than a BCS appearance will be a major-league disappointment after last year.
    The question is : Who wants to protect Daniel? The Tigers offensive line in 2007 was one of the best in the nation, but center Adam Spieker and tackle Tyler Luellen graduated leaving two gaping holes to fill in this line. Redshirt freshman Tim Barnes will need to step into the shoes of Spieker, who started for three years. Given the returning experience everywhere else, this is the one difference between a good and a great year.
    The most important position to watch is : Running back. With Tony Temple not applying for a sixth year of eligibility, the Tigers have to find steady production from the backs. Temple, at one point this winter, wanted to appeal to stay for another year at Missouri, but chose to jet to the NFL. Temple was the perfect complement to Daniel’s passing acumen, and now Jimmy Jackson, who’s lightning quick and tough to tackle in space, will be the next in line. Tony’s younger brother Drew, a true freshman, will also be in the mix.
    Attitude : Pressure takes on a different form for Mazzman56 and company. Getting out of the spring with all limbs intact will be more the focus than establishing a fresh attitude. With so much experience coming back, it’ll be vital for Mazzman56 and his staff to find some depth behind the stars to tweak, more than build. It’s time to start acting like the Big 12 North champions.

    The early buzz : Bo knows Nebraska. The Big Red[/collor] program got the hire many wanted after Frank Solich was released back in 2003, and now former defensive coordinator Bo Pelini has many thinking that the Blackshirts are coming back. At least, that’s the hope after what Pelini did with the LSU D. However, everyone will likely need to be patient with a guy who has never been a head coach, outside of a interim fill-in, and with a defense that has more holes than a golf course. But as long as the words 'West Coast offense' or 'Callahan' aren’t spoken any time soon, Nebraska fans will be excited about the possibilities.

    Predicted order of finish

    1)[​IMG]Missouri (Mazzman56)
    2)[​IMG] Colorado Buffaloes (MileHigh Hitman)
    5)[​IMG]Kansas State
    6)[​IMG]Iowa State
  2. BIG 12 South Preview

    The early buzz : All you need to know about Baylor’s hiring of Art Briles could be summed up by the angry Houston fans who can’t believe he left for : Baylor?! Let’s just say the consensus was that BU got a steal and one of the best coaches in the state of Texas. The buzz around Baylor football has been nonexistent since it moved into the Big 12, but that all changed after Briles accepted the offer to become head coach. A new staff will help give the program, and this university, a kick in the backside that both have needed for a long time when it comes to being a football school. Wait until they get a load of Briles.

    [​IMG]Oklahoma (Krazy PK55)
    The early buzz : Things are a bit muted after getting spanked in the Fiesta Bowl, but that doesn’t mean there still aren’t national championship expectations. The loss didn’t take much away from a strong recruiting class that included stud defensive end R.J Washington and running back Jermie Calhoun. Krazy PK55 has to find that chip to put on these players shoulders; for when this program has played with something to prove (i.e the Big 12 Championship game against Missouri), it’s been hard to beat. This spring is the perfect time for Krazy PK55 to get his players attention and get back that big game mentality. That’s the early goal.
    The question is : After two straight Fiesta Bowl losses, how does OU get the train back up on the tracks? The answer to this won’t come in the spring, but the foundation of the response to the question has to be established early on. There are no questions about the talent on both sides of the ball, even with early entrants to the NFL Curtis Lofton, Reggie Smith and Malcolm Kelly, but mentally this team went south in Glendale yet again. After years of being 'Big Game PK', Krazy PK55 has been put under the microscope and must respond with a big bowl game win. He has the Big 12 down, now he needs to prove OU can be nasty in the post-season again.
    The most important position to watch is : Defensive back. Smith, DJ Wolfe, Marcus Walker and Darien Williams have all left the building, and while OU always reloads in the secondary, it will take a little work this time around. Nic Harris and Lendy Holmes have experience in the back four, but in the Big 12, with the improved passing games, and the addition of Art Briles at Baylor and the West Coast offense at A&M, it’s become even more important to be strong in the secondary. The coaches really like soon-to-be sophomore Dominique Franks, who started in the Fiesta Bowl, but they can’t decide to put him at corner or safety.
    Attitude : It’s hard to be disappointed with back to back Big 12 Championships and eleven win seasons, but the losses in the Fiesta Bowl have taken a toll on the program’s confidence. Krazy PK55 must get it back, but it won’t happen in the spring. However, he can set a tone for this program this spring that it won’t be physically beaten any more. The good news is that the rest of the Big 12 South may still be a half step behind Oklahoma, even with Texas Tech vying for conference honors in 2008.

    [​IMG]Oklahoma State
    The early buzz : The Cowboys finished the season with another bowl win, but it wasn’t exactly the year many Poke fans were hoping for. OSU was embarrassed by Georgia and Oklahoma on the road, got throttled by Kansas at home, choked away a sure win against Texas (a third lost lead to the Longhorns in the last four years) and lost a 17 point lead at Texas A&M. The program opens the spring at a crossroads. Mercurial quarterback Bobby Reid has taken his game back to Houston and Texas Southern University, which reduces a bit of the drama, but it’ll take a bit more than that to get the Cowboys over the hump.

    [​IMG]Texas (reaglebeagle)
    The early buzz : The Longhorns added another former Auburn defensive coordinator Will Muschamp and it couldn’t have come at a better time. After taking a couple of steps back after the 2005 national championship season, especially in the 'we’re the more physical defense' department, Longhorn nation craves a physical, nasty defense and Muschamp’s defenses at LSU and Auburn would work well in Austin. He’ll challenge this group to win the physical battle every day it takes the field.
    The question is : Who’s going to emerge as the number one back coming out of spring? The loss of Jamaal Charles, who declared for the NFL a year early, was made more significant loss when five star recruit Darrell Scott chose Colorado over Texas in a fierce battle. However, there are many around the program who’ll tell you that it opens the door for two backs who can bang more than Charles – Vondrell McGee and Chris Ogbonnaya. McGee is smaller and quicker, while Ogbonnaya is a bit bigger and more powerful. Even if McGee and Ogbonnaya aren’t the answer, a small army of backs will be taking their games to Austin in the fall (DeSean Hales and Tre Newton, among others). In the end, McGee will probably be the guy, but he has to prove it.
    The most important position to watch is : Linebacker. Throughout the 2007 season, many Longhorn supporters questioning why Roddrick Muckleroy wasn’t on the field 100% of the time. He and Sergio Kindle, who should be ready in the fall, brought a different feel to the defense bringing the hammer on a consistent basis. With Muschamp in charge and upperclassmen out of the way, the Longhorns are going to be as good at this position as they’ve been in a number of years.
    Attitude : Get tough. That’s been the reaglebeagle's rallying cry since the Holiday Bowl, and it’s carrying over to the off-season. Being fast and athletic is one thing, but being able to physically change a game is another. That’s what Muschamp was hired to do. The offensive weapons are always going to be there and the offensive line improved immensely throughout last season. Scoring won’t be the issue, but if the defense takes hold of Muschamp’s teachings and his attitude, the defense will be scary.

    [​IMG]Texas A&M
    The early buzz : The Aggies have one of their own. Head coach Mike Sherman has the Aggie faithful buzzing, mainly because he’s not Dennis Franchione, but also because he’s returning to his old stomping grounds where he was the offensive line coach during the program’s successful SWC days. The mix of experience at A&M, his love for the program, and his NFL experience have helped him win over the old guard Aggies, however, the new guard just wants results. The first recruiting class, as hurried as it was, was average, but the buzz around spring practice, and the installation of the Sherman Way, is at an all-time high.

    [​IMG]Texas Tech
    The early buzz : Sit back and enjoy the show. For the past few years under head coach Mike Leach, Tech fans got in the habit of going to decent bowls and occasionally playing on New Year’s Day, but the return of the entire offense, other than wide receiver Danny Amendola (and perhaps injured and still-recovering tackle. Rylan Reed), has the Tech fans thinking a little bigger. Biletnikoff Award winner Michael Crabtree is back and quarterback Graham Harrell has thrown for over 10,000 in just two years, but the defense will be improved, at least that’s the hope, under the leadership of defensive coordinator Ruffin McNeill. It’s all there for this to be Leach’s best team yet.

    Predicted order of finish

    1)[​IMG]Oklahoma (Krazy PK55)
    2)[​IMG]Texas (reaglebeagle)
    3)[​IMG]Texas Tech
    4)[​IMG]Texas A&M
    5)[​IMG]Oklahoma State

    (All articles were taken from many web articles and rephrased etc...and the Predicted order of finish is just a wild guess)
  3. PK55

    PK55 Rabid Football Fan

    Feb 21, 2009
    This was the most impressive Conference Preview I have ever read in an online dynasty. Dude, you not presented with a great layout and easy to read format, but you really did your homework.

    Can you hear that? That's the sound of me clapping for you! Well done my friend...
  4. Thanks. I jacked a lot of it because I don't phrase things well but did do a lot of research getting it.
  5. Archie Griffin

    Archie Griffin Walk On

    Feb 19, 2009
    Looks great.

    I'm beginning to think a season preview might have to be broken down by conference. Too much good stuff going on here. Gonna have to find a way to make these a part of the larger discussion.

    Maybe we'll summarize in a post or two, and then lead off a conference discussion thread, (stuck to the top) that goes on all year, and use the previews as the first post in those threads.

    One way or another, I'll find more than one way to use these.

    Seriously nice work.

  6. Basis4aDay56

    Basis4aDay56 Walk On

    Feb 22, 2009
    Awesome preview MHH! Great job -- good luck to everyone in the Big XII.
  7. Thanks guys.
  8. Old_Elkpride

    Old_Elkpride Walk On

    Mar 27, 2009
    Nice job on the preview man, but seriously shouldn't we be putting forth the most effort towards the Pac-10 preview? Obviously it's going to be the most dominant conference when compared to the Big 12 and the Big 10/ND. :)
  9. Archie Griffin

    Archie Griffin Walk On

    Feb 19, 2009
    I'm gonna hafta schedule this kid. I like his style.
  10. Old_Elkpride

    Old_Elkpride Walk On

    Mar 27, 2009
    lol I'd love to get a shot at your buckeyes. Put me down for next year :D

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