Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Fearless Predictions - Big XII

NORTH:
1) NEBRASKA - Returning quarterback, increase in offensive talent to fit the system, and potentially dominant front 7 on defense make 'Huskers odds-on favorite in weakened North.

2) IOWA STATE - Possibly the best overall offense in the North, but questions on defense and special teams and a brutal schedule leave the Cyclones as the bridesmaids again.

3) KANSAS - Jayhawks come off strong finish to the '05 campaign, but graduation leaves too many holes to fill. A win in Lincoln early in the conference season could catapult KU to something special.

4) MISSOURI - Tigers again have a lot of talent and a coach who will mismanage it. One of the great miracles of life is how Gary Pinkel remains employed.

5) COLORADO - Down year learning the new system and recruiting, but Hawkins will build a winner in Boulder soon.

6) KANSAS STATE - Cupboard too bare in Manhattan to compete. Test for Prince will be in '07 and '08 when KSU gets his players in.

SOUTH:
1) TEXAS - The pick of the South before Bomar's creative timekeeping. With OU losing their starting QB, Texas becomes the prohibitive favorite in the South.

2) TEXAS TECH - High scoring offense as expected, but improved Red Raider defense makes TTU take the next step. A win over the Longhorns in Lubbock puts Tech in the title game.

3) OKLAHOMA - Stout defense makes Sooners formidable, but question at QB lets teams stack the line and take Peterson away. Sooners drop from great to good.

4) OKLAHOMA STATE - Second year in new offense shows progress for the Cowboys. Still a year away from making serious noise.

5) TEXAS A&M - Possible make-or-break year for Franchione leans towards break in loaded South.

6) BAYLOR - Not your father's laughinstock Bears, but Baylor still doesn't have enough to get out of the cellar in the South.

CHAMPIONSHIP GAME: Texas over Nebraska

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