Friday, August 1, 2008

Big 12 Preview

See? That's where the Big XII is.

This year's Big 12 is far and away the most unique Big 12 of all time, pretty much because the North division is heavily favored against the perennial juggernaut South. Anyways, out here in middle America, several teams have become serial-killer types. They're quiet, brooding, steaming with some hatred that could boil over at any point. For instance, remember when Nebraska was amazing? Well they haven't forgotten, and now that they have a team that could potentially win a few games against big opponents, nobody wants to go to Lincoln anymore. Colorado dares people to come play them in Boulder. Kansas State holds a winning streak against Texas. Repeat, WINNING STREAK against Texas. Anyways, without further ado...

It's widely rumored that the best part of Waco is leaving it. That being said, it takes a special type of person to stay there for four years and play for such a terrible team while there. New coach Art Briles (formerly of Houston) has come in to attempt to change this losing stigma. It'll definitely be an uphill battle, since Baylor ended up last in the Big 12 in 2007, with a record of 3-9. Just hope that none of your team's good players get hurt playing them, and forget about Baylor all together.

People often forget about Colorado, but the Buffaloes aren't bad. They're certainly weird, but not bad. On paper, they don't look bad. They have an interception-prone coach's son of a quarterback, but they also scored a recruiting coup with California's Darrell Scott, who chose the Buffs over virtually every other school in the country. They also play in a different time zone, at about a mile high, in sometimes snowy conditions. They'll beat a few people, depending on the progress of Cody Hawkins, and how good Scott actually is. An underrated strength of theirs is Defense, by the way. Fear the Rabid Goldfish.

Iowa State:
This one's easy enough to pick, since they were 3-9 last year, and are only returning four starters. Is the grass greener Gene Chizik? Didn't think so.
Look for the Cyclones to never appear on national TV, and maybe beat one or two of the middling teams in the conference.

Aha! A good team! Last year the Jayhawks took the nation by storm, jumping out to an incredible beginning of the season, scoring almost at will with a fantastic showing from Austin, TX native Todd Reesing. Here's the crazy thing. Though they went 12-1 last year, they're only losing 16 players, and are coming back to an easier schedule. If they don't start out 6-0, consider them corn-fed choke artists. Of course, after those first six games, they have to play six top-25 teams. The difference between the Big 12 and other conferences? Big 12 teams trade off of their playing ability, other conferences have teams that trade off of their names. Scared to play Alabama? Then you haven't watched football in ten years. Scared to play UCLA? Give me a break. Scared to play Florida State? You get the idea.

Kansas State:
The boys from the little apple are a little hard to get a handle on. They had a losing season, but for some reason whomped Texas in Austin, and very nearly beat Kansas. QB Josh Freeman looks a lot like Kentucky QB Andre Woodson. You know, if Andre Woodson was good at playing football. They will return four starters, but have picked up a bunch of Juco transfers that are lumped into two groups: Stupid fat guys, and stupid fast guys. What this means is that they will have several new names that may in fact be the rainmen of football. Look for KState to suck, but beat someone of note.

You can pretty much say the same thing about Mizzou that you can about Kansas. Except Chase Daniel is the quarterback and he's from Dallas. Coming off a 12-2 miracle of a season, the Tigers will return virtually everybody of importance, and enjoy a cake-eater schedule to boot. Their toughest two teams will be Texas in Austin, and the border war with Kansas to finish off the season. If they for some reason squeak by everything unscathed, they should be a legitimate national championship contender assuming they win the Big 12 championship. That's a lot of assuming, though.

With a name derived from one of the worst Bruce Springsteen songs, Nebraska has already a chip on it's shoulder. Another one of the conference's middling teams last year, Nebraska has a revamped defense, a great athlete at QB (Joe Ganz), and two offensive stars with adjectives for last names (RB Marlon Lucky and WR Nate Swift). They'll still probably suck, though.

With a name derived from one of the more notable musical's of all time, we already know that Oklahoma is a fan of alternative lifestyles. Not the kind you might find in an urban setting, mind you, but probably more like one of the guys in Deliverance. You know which ones. I get a sick feeling in my stomach when OU is good. Like when someone misquotes the Big Lebowski or farts when I'm eating, or something other abhorrent. They're gonna be good, and every single one of their players (except for half-cherokee and choctaw QB Sam Bradford) is from Texas.

Oklahoma State:
Is located in Stillwater, Oklahoma, USA. It is a public research university founded in 1890 as a land-grant university under the Morrill Act. Originally known as Oklahoma Agricultural and Mechanical College (Oklahoma A&M), it is the flagship institution of the Oklahoma State University System. The campus had a total enrollment of 23,307 students for the 2006–07 academic year.[3]
That is to say, I'm not wasting my time with two teams from that place to the north.

Well, I would love to write something glowing about this great beacon of grace and beauty, but in truth, I'm still suffering from the Vince Young hangover. And this Colt McSimms (I mean, McCoy) remedy just isn't working. They'll win some games based purely on superior athleticism and talent, but in reality, Texas can probably look forward to another three-loss season and weak ass bowl. Of course, seeing Chiles run for a few five-yard gains might be cool to see again. Almost as cool as the way things were.

Texas A&M:
Still have Stephen McGee, still have a fake army, still have a daunting home field, still suck.

Texas Tech:
Has already been reviewed on this website.

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