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  • Big 12 Preview, By Jeff Zell

    Big 12 Preview

    By Jeff Zell
    Inspin.com Contributing Writer

    Will the national champion come from the Big 12 for the second consecutive year. Odds are against it, but if so look for the two usual suspects.

    Big 12 Predicted Order of Finish

    1. Oklahoma: (2005: 8-4, 6-2)

    Coach: Bob Stoops

    Key Players Lost: Dusty Dvoracek (DT), Clint Ingram (LB)

    2006 Key Players: Adrian Peterson (RB), Rhett Bomar (QB), Rufus Alexander (LB)

    Key Games: @ Ore (9/16), vs. TX (10/7), @ Texas A&M (11/04)

    Summary: The Sooners welcome back their leading passer (Bomar), rusher (Peterson), receiver (Malcolm Kelly), tackler (Alexander) and sacker (Calvin Thibodeaux) from a season ago that saw 20 first-year players see action. Bomar should have the tools to excel with preseason Heisman favorite Peterson looking to be 100 percent along with three experienced wideouts returning. On defense, Alexander, Thibodeaux along with 2005 Big 12 defensive newcomer of the year C.J. Ah You (DE) should stop most opponents' running attack. Cornerback D.J. Wolfe and safety convert Reggie Smith (CB) look to man the secondary.

    Prediction (12-0): Peterson’s nickname is AD, meaning “all-day”. I’m going to add an ‘E’ and an ‘S’ onto the end of that nickname to stand for “All-Day-Every-Saturday.” Peterson will be instrumental in taking pressure off of Bomar, ultimately allowing him to throw to single coverage downfield. The defense has a year of experience under its belt from when it ranked No. 4 against the rush and No. 13 in total yards. The rematch of the 2005 Holiday Bowl in Week 3 will be a good indicator of how good this team is. It’s a good wager to see OU in a BCS game this year.

    2. Texas: (2005: 13-0, 8-0)

    Coach: Mack Brown

    Key Players Lost: Vince Young (QB), Michael Huff (CB), Aaron Harris (LB)

    2006 Key Players: Jamaal Charles (RB), Frank Okam (DT), Michael Griffin (S)

    Key Games: @OSU (9/9), vs. OU (10/7), @ Nebraska (10/21)

    Summary: The Longhorns look to defend their national title in 2006 with a quarterback controversy the size of Texas and thus the odds are against them. Neither quarterback battling for the starting job -- Colt McCoy or Jevan Snead -- has taken a collegiate snap. The success for the Longhorns will rely heavily on running back Charles, who will see the brunt of the carries after Ramonce Taylor was dismissed from the team in the spring. Texas returns receivers Limas Sweed and Billy Pittman and welcomes a sure-handed freak athlete in redshirt freshman TE Jermichael Finley. Texas lost three of their starting five on the offensive line but welcomes back senior Justin Blalock, who will anchor the boys up front. The Longhorns have four defensive players on the Bednarik Award (best defensive player) watch list -- Okam, Tim Crowder (DE), Griffin (S), Brian Robison (DE) -- and look to be one of the strongest units in the country. A big question will be finding replacement for the two senior DBs who are now in the NFL.

    Prediction (10-2): Much of Mack Brown’s season rides on the showdown on Sept. 9 against Ohio State. If Texas can come out of that game alive, it should breed confidence for whichever QB wins the job. Two tough road games against Nebraska and Texas Tech and the annual Red River Shootout should prevent the Longhorns from repeating as national champions. However, if Texas can gain a lead in any certain game, it will be able to control the clock with one of the best running games in the nation.

    3. Nebraska: (2005: 8-4, 4-4)

    Coach: Bill Callahan

    Key Players Lost: Cory Ross (RB), Daniel Bullocks (S)

    2006 Key Players: Zac Taylor (QB), Adam Carriker (DE), Matt Herian (TE)

    Key Games: @ USC (9/16), vs. UT (10/21)

    Summary: The Cornhuskers return 15 starters (eight offense, seven defense), including senior quarterback and Maxwell Award candidate Zac Taylor who set Nebraska’s single-season record for passing yards (2,486), completions (233) and attempts (399) in 2005. Taylor will utilize Callahan’s West Coast offense with receivers Terrence Nunn and Nate Swift, who combined for 88 receptions, 1,136 receiving yards and 14 touchdowns. Running backs Cody Glenn and Marlon Lucky looked good in spring practice running behind Outland and Rimington candidate Kurt Mann and will look to revitalize a Nebraska running game that averaged just 2.7 yards-per-carry. Herian looks to be a threat in 2006 after his recovery from a fractured leg that occurred in 2004. The Huskers return a defense that led the NCAA in sacks (50) in 2005. Both DEs, Carriker and Barry Turner, return with a combined 15.5 sacks between them. Three linebackers have recovered from season-ending injuries a year ago, and with Corey McKeon look to be one of the best units in the nation.

    Prediction (9-3): Taylor felt more comfortable in the pocket at the end of last season with the Huskers holding onto a 32-28 victory over Michigan in the Alamo Bowl. Callahan travels to USC early in the season and could look to give USC its first regular season loss since 2003. Two tough roadies with Iowa State and Texas A&M followed with a home game against UT will determine the season. Nebraska is a good bet to win the Big 12 North and play for a shot at a BCS title game.

    4. Texas A&M: (2005: 5-6, 3-5)

    Coach: Dennis Franchione

    Key Players Lost: Reggie McNeil (QB), Jaxson Appel (DB)

    2006 Key Players: Stephen McGee (QB), Red Bryant (DT), Justin Warren (LB)

    Key Games: vs. OU (11/4), vs. Neb (11/11), @ Texas (11/24)

    Summary: The Aggies finally have a leader at quarterback in McGee. He had a breakout game in their final contest against Texas when he rushed for 108 yards. His supporting cast includes a quality trio of healthy receivers, four offensive linemen returning and running backs Courtney Lewis -- provided he meets academic requirements -- and Jorvorskie Lane. The Aggies have a new defensive coordinator, Gary Darnell, whose defensive schemes can only improve the nation’s worst passing defense (304.6 yards per game). Bryant and Warren are expected to make significant impacts at the defensive tackle and linebacker positions, respectively.

    Prediction (8-4): The defense can only improve, and the offense will get much-needed leadership with McGee under center. The Aggies road schedule is as follows: Kansas, Oklahoma State, Baylor and Texas. If Franchione can use the “12th man” and win a tough home game against Texas Tech on Sept. 30, the Aggies could realistically be undefeated into November. I don’t mean to get the Aggies faithful excited, but this season could shock the nation.

    5. Texas Tech: (2005: 8-4, 4-4)

    Coach: Mike Leach

    Key Players Lost: Taurean Henderson (RB), Cody Hodges (QB)

    2006 Key Players: Keyunta Dawson (DE), Joel Filani (WR), Graham Harrell (QB)

    Key Games: @ TCU (9/16), vs. UT (10/28), @ OU (11/11)

    Summary: For the first time since the Kliff Kingsbury era, Leach will not start a senior or will he name a starter. Harrell, a sophomore, is the favorite for the job but freshman Chris Todd is on his heels. Shannon Woods will be replacing Henderson, but he doesn’t compare to the versatility Henderson had. The receivers are exactly what you’d expect from a team that has led the nation four consecutive years in total offense … fantastic. The defense has only four scholarship players ,led by Keyunta Dawson, who is on the Hendricks Award watch list (best defensive end). McKinner Dixon, Tech’s other promising DE, has academic issues that need to be solved before he can hit the field.

    Prediction (7-5): The Red Raiders are tough at home, having won nine straight at Jones AT&T stadium, their longest streak since 1974. Having a quarterback under center that had not previously taken a snap hasn’t been a problem for Leach the last couple of years, but those quarterbacks had versatile running back Henderson. No such luck for Harrell, and he will struggle on the road. The offense will pack a punch like always, and it’s almost a lock that the Red Raiders will lead the Big 12 in offense for the seventh straight season.

  • #2
    Where's the rest of the article? I'm interested to see where they rank CU...
    fight u dwn the fied..cu must win.. fight fight fr Victoy..cu knows no defet! so roll up the mighty score, Never Give in!!...shouler to shulder we will FIGHT..FIGHT ... FIGHT FIGHT FIGHT!!

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by broncofan303
      Where's the rest of the article? I'm interested to see where they rank CU...
      Who cares.....he lost his credibility after listing the fuskers as 3rd........


      ...though should they be, I get to watch the Sooners spank them in December......
      "It does not take a majority to prevail, but rather an irate,
      tireless minority keen on setting brushfires of freedom in the minds of
      men."

      -- Samuel Adams

      sigpicJacks RULE!!!!!!

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by rcsodak
        Who cares.....he lost his credibility after listing the fuskers as 3rd........


        ...though should they be, I get to watch the Sooners spank them in December......
        I disagree...that's my arguement!
        Go Huskers.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by rcsodak
          Who cares.....he lost his credibility after listing the fuskers as 3rd........


          ...though should they be, I get to watch the Sooners spank them in December......
          haha, funny I was thinking the same thing and aTm at 4th? I don't think Texas will be that high either...they lost the guy that carried their team to half their wins..
          fight u dwn the fied..cu must win.. fight fight fr Victoy..cu knows no defet! so roll up the mighty score, Never Give in!!...shouler to shulder we will FIGHT..FIGHT ... FIGHT FIGHT FIGHT!!

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by broncofan303
            haha, funny I was thinking the same thing and aTm at 4th? I don't think Texas will be that high either...they lost the guy that carried their team to half their wins..
            That Freshman QB for Texas A&M showed some promise against Texas last year, but didn't they lose a WR, or two?

            I think they failed to recognize that OU lost their two best O-lineman, one of their better WR's and AD's lead blocker.
            Go Huskers.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Nick7
              That Freshman QB for Texas A&M showed some promise against Texas last year, but didn't they lose a WR, or two?

              I think they failed to recognize that OU lost their two best O-lineman, one of their better WR's and AD's lead blocker.
              Yep they sure did...

              and you're right... J.D. Runnels was awesome, he's going to make an excellent pro.. and I'm not sure that their "best" O-lineman made a difference, that entire O-line as a unit was terrible...it was amazing to watch A.D. earn all of his yards with guys on his back and contact before he even reached the line of scrimmage... I would say that OU is favored to win the Big 12, but who honestly can say that they can't lose one to Texas, Oregon, or Colorado ( )..
              fight u dwn the fied..cu must win.. fight fight fr Victoy..cu knows no defet! so roll up the mighty score, Never Give in!!...shouler to shulder we will FIGHT..FIGHT ... FIGHT FIGHT FIGHT!!

              Comment


              • #8
                http://www.inspin.com/expert-columns.cfm?column=694

                There's the full article for those interested. CU is predicted at #6. Sadly, I live in Manhattan, Kansas, and the Wildcats are predicted to go #10, which shows this guy's incompetance. He has KU finishing higher, which isn't going to happen. If Prince doesn't get us to a bowl game this year, he's in hot water. The K-State team is better than they played last year, and to say they're going to finish behind KU is silly. It's like predicting K-State to finish ahead of KU in basketball: not gonna happen for a good long while.
                RIP Darrent Williams

                Comment


                • #9
                  Thanks for the rest of the article! CP towards you...

                  But wow, that's some respect for CU...some other ones I've seen had CU finishing 11th and even some 12th...

                  I'm not so sure about K-state and Kansas though... I think with Schnieder out of the way, its gonna be real difficult to win without his persuading of JuCo players..he was notorious for getting those trouble players... but I thoguht recruiting was going to be down, but they did steal away that QB who committed to a BCS team (can't recall his name)...defintely going to be an interesting Big 12 this year..
                  fight u dwn the fied..cu must win.. fight fight fr Victoy..cu knows no defet! so roll up the mighty score, Never Give in!!...shouler to shulder we will FIGHT..FIGHT ... FIGHT FIGHT FIGHT!!

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by The_Roses_Thorn
                    http://www.inspin.com/expert-columns.cfm?column=694

                    There's the full article for those interested. CU is predicted at #6. Sadly, I live in Manhattan, Kansas, and the Wildcats are predicted to go #10, which shows this guy's incompetance. He has KU finishing higher, which isn't going to happen. If Prince doesn't get us to a bowl game this year, he's in hot water. The K-State team is better than they played last year, and to say they're going to finish behind KU is silly. It's like predicting K-State to finish ahead of KU in basketball: not gonna happen for a good long while.
                    I think it's pretty logical considering how horrible K-State was last year.
                    Go Huskers.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Man, all the crap talk set aside, I cannot freakin wait for September 2nd!!!!!!!



                      sigpic


                      Myself, Shawn (a chefs fan) and Mike on our way home from the Sand Trap in June '06. (Mildenhall AFB)

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by rcsodak
                        Who cares.....he lost his credibility after listing the fuskers as 3rd........


                        ...though should they be, I get to watch the Sooners spank them in December......
                        Sooners are horrible and won't be #1 anyways. The only offense they have is the RB and that will not get them the #1 spot in this conference.

                        The Huskers did pretty good last year with and 8-4 record and that was playing with a lot of freshman and sophmores. The seniors where all the option offence players that are now gone and the young guys that run the offense the coach uses are now all going to be playing and a lot of them now with a season or two of experience. I would say you underrate them quite a bit.

                        In all though I'm not sure the Huskers will hit #3 either just from the strength of schedule. Texas and USC shouldn't be nearly as good this year after losing everyone so if they end up sucking then it won't be so hard.

                        But until the sooners learn to pass a football, since they don't run the option, I would hold off on saying undefeated and 1rst in the conference.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by jhns
                          Sooners are horrible and won't be #1 anyways. The only offense they have is the RB and that will not get them the #1 spot in this conference.

                          The Huskers did pretty good last year with and 8-4 record and that was playing with a lot of freshman and sophmores. The seniors where all the option offence players that are now gone and the young guys that run the offense the coach uses are now all going to be playing and a lot of them now with a season or two of experience. I would say you underrate them quite a bit.

                          In all though I'm not sure the Huskers will hit #3 either just from the strength of schedule. Texas and USC shouldn't be nearly as good this year after losing everyone so if they end up sucking then it won't be so hard.

                          But until the sooners learn to pass a football, since they don't run the option, I would hold off on saying undefeated and 1rst in the conference.
                          husker dude i really want to crack you real hard here!i'm going to keep at this.i hope you guys play alot better this year than you have in the past four or five.so we can meet in the big 12 champ. game.at that point the huskers will find out how horrible they are.just like last year,which was just like old times only both teams weren't as good as in the 60's 70's 80's,but OU came in smacked you around got a big lead and took the second half off.go ahead keep your al davis reject head coach it's fun to watch.keep sharp objects away from this guy at all times or he'll do harm to himself like he almost did on the sideline last year at the game. your qb who has not learned to hit the broad side of a barn he needs a little healp also.you think ol' pecker red head tom could stop taking bribes long enough to lend callahan a hand.i'm going to sleep now i suggest you do the same and sat. i'll come back to this post to see more hillbilly husker logic.please stay off the crack pipe.just say no!i know it's a tired saying,but it will be better for you in the long run.SOONERS RULE!
                          elway going to save the broncos again.yes!

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by cybsnke
                            husker dude i really want to crack you real hard here!i'm going to keep at this.i hope you guys play alot better this year than you have in the past four or five.so we can meet in the big 12 champ. game.at that point the huskers will find out how horrible they are.just like last year,which was just like old times only both teams weren't as good as in the 60's 70's 80's,but OU came in smacked you around got a big lead and took the second half off.go ahead keep your al davis reject head coach it's fun to watch.keep sharp objects away from this guy at all times or he'll do harm to himself like he almost did on the sideline last year at the game. your qb who has not learned to hit the broad side of a barn he needs a little healp also.you think ol' pecker red head tom could stop taking bribes long enough to lend callahan a hand.i'm going to sleep now i suggest you do the same and sat. i'll come back to this post to see more hillbilly husker logic.please stay off the crack pipe.just say no!i know it's a tired saying,but it will be better for you in the long run.SOONERS RULE!

                            Dude, seriously? Is your 3rd grade teacher letting y'all use the computers?

                            What makes you think you were much better last year? You may've been better, but not enough to consider us horrible.

                            Considering Taylor had a higher completion percentage last year (than Bomar), you're in no position to say he inaccurate.

                            Zac Taylor was also 29th in the Nation in passing, as opposed to Bomar's 78th.

                            RC and Solo are more than respectable people, don't give them a bad name. Besides, I think ma' needs some help in the barn...
                            Go Huskers.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              how can anyone go against the sooners?

                              no more vince.


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