My tour of college football is almost done. This entry examines the SECOND best conference in college football. Yes, it is still behind the SEC because of last year's national championship game. It will have to beat the SEC in a national championship game before it is considered the best conference in college football. The conference does, however, have some very good offensive players, especially in the South. The North is still waaay behind the South in this conference. Here is how I see it:
Big XII North
Missouri- Well, Gary Pinkel has earned his keep. He has brought back a program that was dormant basically after Kellen Winslow left. He will have a tough job to do this year after losing Chase Daniel and his offensive coordinator to Wyoming as the head coach. They will still have a shot in this division, as almost everyone does.
Nebraska- Way to go, Bo!!! Bo Pelini brought Nebraska back to a bowl game last year after being named the Nebraska coach several years too late. Bill Callahan did too many crazy things to stay the head coach at Nebraska. His teams had too many bad performances. Bo Pelini should have been named the coach after Frank Solich was fired. Steve Pederson did not agree with that statement. Unfortunately, that cost him his job as athletic director. Tom Osbourne is back at Nebraska after being in Washington for a few years as Senator. Yea, like he really had to do a whole lot to get that job. Anyways, he is the AD and should be much better than that blowhard Pederson. They should not hire the "other" Nebraska blowhard who is slumming down in Omaha as athletic director at Nebraska-Omaha after Osbourne. That would be Trev Alberts, if you are not familiar. Anyways, Nebraska should compete for the division title again this year.
Kansas- Mayor Kringle is alive and well. Alright, you have to be really good to get that one. Mark Mangino looks like Mayor Kringle who died of a heart attack very early in the movie "Mouse Hunt". The guy who played him also had a small part in the Phil Collins music video "I Can't Dance". Well, Mangino has proven that Kansas can dance on the big stage. He has brought Kansas to two straight bowl games for the first time in school history. Todd Reesing should be very good again and have them in the hunt for the division title.
Colorado- This could be a big season for Dan Hawkins. Boise State has not really missed a beat without him as his pupil, Chris Peterson, seems to be just as good, if not better, as a head coach. He has not done as well at Colorado. He could have to make a very tough decision regarding his son, Cody. If he is not effective, does he bench him to try to save his job? He might have to do it. It would be hard on the entire family, though. Colorado will be very fortunate to make it to a bowl game.
Kansas State- Can Bill Snyder play the part of Anne Sullivan again? Ron Prince was out after just three years probably because he did not recruit the way that Snyder did when he was a miracle worker in restoring a program that had never had sustained success. He will have to again go the JUCO route to get the good players. A bowl game would be a great accomplishment.
Iowa State- Maybe Dan McCarney was not so bad. The Gene Chizik era ended on a really bad note with a 2-10 season. I don't think that anyone outside of Ames, Iowa can blame him for leaving to go to Auburn. It is an almost impossible place to win. They just better pray that they never move to the South. Paul Rhodes takes over after being at Auburn for the past few years under Tommy Tuberville. A bowl game would be amazing here.
Big XII South
Oklahoma- This is the time for Bob Stoops. He has proven that he is among the top ten, if not top five coaches in the country. However, the past few years have shown that when he goes against the best coaches, he does not necessarily win. Oklahoma responded well after losing to Texas last year. That was part of the reason that they were in the Big XII Championship Game as well as the National Championship Game. Sam Bradford is back and will probably be in contention for the Heisman Trophy again. Their biggest games are against Texas and Oklahoma State. If they win both of those games, they will be right there in contention for the national championship.
Texas- This is also the time for Mack Brown. Texas was one play away for probably playing for the national championship last year. Unfortunately, Michael Crabtree had other plans. Colt McCoy is back and so is his best friend Jordan Shipley. Texas will be right there with Oklahoma until the Red River Rivalry. The winner of that game might very well play for the national championship.
Oklahoma State- This is the team that could challenge Texas and Oklahoma. Zac Robinson and Dez Bryant are right up there with the best quarterback-wide receiver combos in the country. They need to beat Texas or Oklahoma to be in the discussion for the national championship. Don't forget about the first game with Georgia, either.
Texas Tech- Well, Mike Leach decided to stay. He got his contract done with Texas Tech for five more years and put to rest the rumors that he could leave. Tech might not be as good this year losing Graham Harrell and Michael Crabtree, but they should get to a bowl game and that is always a good thing at Texas Tech.
Baylor- This could be the surprise team of the year. Art Briles did a wonder job his first year at Baylor getting them to four wins. Robert Griffin is an underrated quarterback that could breakout this year. A bowl game is not out of the question and would be a great thing for a this school which does not get to bowl games very often.
Texas A&M- What has happened here? The Coach Fran era left this team in shambles for last year. Mike Sherman should get this team back to a bowl game eventually. Jerrod Johnson will be the starter. A bowl game could happen, but they are building more for 2010.
One more conference left. You can figure out which one that is, hopefully.
Posted on: August 31, 2009 11:39 pm