Onward to part III of Mighty's 2010 Better know a conference. Up next the Big 12
Burning Question: End of the line for Texas v. Nebraska so who will win their last grudge match? The Big 12 was built on unstable foundations. Nebraska was supposed to balance Texas and it never materialized. Instead Texas and OU dominated the conference for the past decade and while there are material reasons for the ending of the Big 12 as we know it the Nebraska-Texas rivalry was part and parcel of the end. So who will get the last laugh?
Biggest Non-Conference Games: FSU v. Oklahoma, Texas A&M v. Arkansas, Nebraska v. Washington, UCLA v. Texas
1. Nebraska -
While Nebraska's d loses Suh, they have have another star in the making Prince Amukamara - possibly the nation's best CB and definitely the nation's best named CB. The only question is QB. Senior QB Zach Lee is back but I'm not sure if anybody is thrilled. He showed off some skills in Nebraska's Bowl win but he has yet to be named starter which probably hints that the coaches aren't sold yet
Missouri has one of the better returning QBs (Blaine Gabbert) in the Big 12 as well as 15 other returning starters. So there's every reason to think they'll be competitive. However they have to play Nebraska on the road so I'm giving Nebraska the edge.
New Coach, New QB, no chance
4. K State
I still don't have a clue where K-State is located. Far side of Endor?
Last year for The Buffalos in the Big 12...unclear if anybody notices/cares
6. Iowa State
For those that don't follow the college magazine preview business (and there's no reason you should) Oklahoma is the darling. A number of magazines have tabbed OU as not a national championship contender but the predicted national champion. Close call losses, abnormal number of injuries, green QB, meant OU did less than it should have (think pythag in baseball terms). In essence a reversion to the mean for OU should make it sky rocket past last year's 8 win season. While I'm not picking that I am expecting RB Ryan to have a break out year and OU to win the Big 12.
Garret Gilbert got the surprise of a lifetime last year when he played his first real game in the national championship. In hindsight I think Hitman was right and it'll serve in his development. That said he only has 1 game of experience and Texas lost a lot talent up front. While they have an outstanding secondary I'm not sure if that will be enough v. OU's ground game.
3. Texas A&M A&M used to be a respectable team. Occasionally they'd even challenge and beat Texas. They are getting the big payoffs for the New Big 12 next year (only Texas, OU, and A&M get the elevated payouts) so perhaps it is time A&M show that it's a legitimate team. Oddly enough Mike Sherman leads a potent passing attack so it's possible. Not likely. But possible.
Tommy Tubberville takes over for Mike Leach. I really have nothing more to say about them
5. Ok State
Complete rebuilding job here. Ok State has the fewest returning starters really of any school in the BCS. Look for Ok State to fall and fall hard this year.