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Picking the Big 12

Posted on: June 29, 2009 3:01 pm
Edited on: June 30, 2009 12:09 pm

The Big 12 South Division race, the Big 12 title game, the Heisman race and the national championship hinged on the conference's three-way tiebreaker. We found out about the 11-year-old rule when Texas, Oklahoma and Texas Tech each tied at 7-1 in the South Division.

Oklahoma "won" the tiebreaker because it finished the regular season as the highest-ranked team in the division  -- by .0128 of a point in the BCS standings. Instead of reliving the Austin angst, let's just say that one Longhorn suggested that if the tiebreaker rule wasn't changed in the offseason his school ought to pull out of the Big 12.

What's changed? Not much. The rule wasn't changed and Texas is still in the league. At the spring meetings, the Big 12 ADs accepted the coaches' vote that the tiebreaker remain the same. Why?

 One theory is that Texas probably doesn't get much sympathy from the other coaches because ... it's Texas. The school is perceived to have the best of everything so it didn't get much sympathy from schools that don't. Yeah, jealousy sucks.

 There is nothing to be gained for schools like Missouri, Iowa State, Colorado, Baylor, etc., so why change? Hey, the league got two teams in the BCS. To the other schools it doesn't matter who plays in those games as long as the money keeps rolling in.

 The tiebreaker makes sense. Why wouldn't you want your highest rated BCS team to win the tiebreaker? There was some feeling that the SEC tiebreaker is fairer.

In a three-way tie, the SEC drops the lowest-ranked team and decides things head-to-head. But since you're chasing a BCS title, the SEC tiebreaker potentially keeps the highest-ranked team out of a title shot.

The tiebreaker would have been a footnote on the national scene had not Texas and Oklahoma been involved. The rivalry was bitter enough without having to explain why the Horns lost out when they beat the Sooners on the field. Yeah, Oklahoma's fortune might cause a bit of consternation in Austin.

"They got a huge break," Texas' Colt McCoy said.

Like I said, nothing has changed. Texas and OU still hate each other. There is a good chance we could have another tiebreaker train wreck at the end of this season. Only the teams will change.

Texas, Oklahoma and Oklahoma State could all start the season in the top 10. The Red River Shootout on Oct. 17 shapes up as one of the most intense in the history of the rivalry. Just for controversy's sake let's assume the Horns win in Dallas, they still have to play in Stillwater on Halloween. If the Cowboys win they could win out until a Nov. 28 date in Norman. If the Sooners win that one, we're looking at another three-way 7-1 finish.

Who wins it in the BCS tiebreaker? In that scenario, you'd have to like Oklahoma again. The Texas loss would be six weeks old by then and beating Oklahoma State impressively would be the emphatic final statement for the computers the pollsters. That same thing happened last year when OU blew out Texas Tech.

Closer to the field, for the second consecutive year the Large Dozen remains the conference of quarterbacks. It sports a Heisman winner (Sam Bradford), a runner-up (Colt McCoy) and well as 2009 Heisman candidate Todd Reesing of Kansas. You can add Oklahoma State's Zac Robinson, Baylor's Robert Griffin and Texas Tech quarterback du jour Taylor Potts as difference makers.

Just giving you a fair warning, Texas fans. Grow your hair out now. You might be pulling it out in December.

Picking the Big 12 ...

North Division

1. Kansas -- If this were Miami, Dezmon Briscoe, Kerry Meier and Reesing would be on the cover of every preseason mag in the country. Meier is the leading returning receiver in catches per game (10.8). Briscoe is second in receiving yards per game (108.2). Reesing already has led the Jayhawks to an Orange Bowl and is in line to become the school's best quarterback ever. Mark Mangino already has proven he can coach. If a new set of starting linebackers can tackle and if KU can beat either Oklahoma, Texas or Texas Tech (he is a combined 0-9 against the three) this could be a special season. The Jayhawks get the slight edge in the North because the Nebraska game is at home.

2. Nebraska -- Bo Pelini is slowly building Huskerville back to its usual standards. Slowly is the key word because defense is Pelini's thing and the D showed astounding lapses last year. Slowly, because Nebraska has not had a first-team All-American on the defensive line in 12 years. Tackle Ndamukong Suh could break the streak. Some draft boards already have him in the top five. There is little room for error where Pelini is a turned ankle away from having real problems at quarterback. Zac Lee is the guy after Patrick Witt, who was being counted on, left before the spring. A lot of folks think Nebraska has the advantage in the North because of its schedule. I see road trips to Missouri, Baylor, Kansas and Colorado, plus a home game against Oklahoma. Please tell me how that is favorable?

3. Missouri -- The Tigers will take a dip after back-to-back Big 12 North titles. Missouri knows it. The fans know it. The league knows it. The key is trying to make an 8-4 season seem like a success. Six-foot-five Blaine Gabbert takes over for Chase Daniel, only the greatest qb in Missouri history. He would be wise to spread the ball out to 1,000-yard rusher Derrick Washington and receivers Danario Alexander and Jared Perry. The Tigers will score, just not as often. If the defense is shored up at all this team could be on the fringes of contending in the North. At times, the secondary looked like a fire drill. Linebacker All-American linebacker candidate Sean Weatherspoon passed up the draft and will chase the school's career tackles record as a senior.

4. Colorado -- Has Hawk Love turned into Hawk Doubt? Entering his fourth season in Boulder, Dan Hawkins has won only 13 games. The pressure is on to produce (hint: Big 12 North contention and a bowl game). Hawkins isn't backing down, saying this at the senior banquet: "Ten wins, no excuses." The quarterback situation is unsettled with son Cody Hawkins and Tyler Hansen maybe sharing the job again. Freshman tailback sensation Darrell Scott was upstaged by fellow freshman Rodney Stewart who led the team in rushing. Here's the scary thing: In a league with unrelenting offenses, CU has lost six of its top 10 tacklers.

5. Kansas State -- This isn't the old Big Eight for Bill Snyder. Back in 1989, he was taking over Kansas State from a zero position. This time he is chasing his own legacy. Not to diminish what Snyder accomplished, but back in the early 1990s, Missouri and Kansas were jokes and Oklahoma was sliding. There was no Texas to play two out of every four years. The Big 12 has more depth and strength than the Big Eight as Snyder tries for Miracle In Manhattan II. Snyder got K-State from dregs to the brink of a national championship game in nine years. Will the 69-year-old have that much time this time around?

6. Iowa State -- Iowa State swapped coaches with Auburn. Gene Chizik went. Paul Rhoads came. Rhoads, from nearby Ankeny, seems like he wants to stay awhile. He'll be looking up at the rest of the Big 12 North for a while. Ripping Wally Burham from South Florida to be his defensive coordinator was a huge get for Rhoads. The offense will have a chance with dual-threat Austen Arnaud at quarterback

South Division

1. Texas -- Mack Brown smiled when I told I had his pregame speech ready for the OU game. "We beat the Sooners last year, boys. Now let's go out and get some revenge!" Yeah, it's about that and a lot of things for Brown and the Horns. Except for perhaps some suspect running backs, Texas is loaded. Brown has his best team since the 2005 national championship crew. Hybrid defensive end/linebacker Sergio Kindle should be this season's Brian Orakpo. McCoy is driven not only by the tiebreaker but also his second-place finish in the Heisman. Still, it all boils down to Oct. 17 in Dallas.

2. Oklahoma -- Sam Bradford won the Heisman, became the first quarterback to win back-to-back Big 12 titles and got the Sooners to the national championship game. What is there left to accomplish? Plenty for Bradford who listened to family and advisors and put off the NFL. His body can fill out a bit and it doesn't look like there will be a Matthew Stafford to compete with in the draft this year. Oklahoma's questions are at offensive line and receiver. If this were anywhere else but the Big 12 South, the Sooners would be prohibitive favorites to repeat. With a break here or there, they still might end back up in the national championship game.

3. Oklahoma State -- With apologies to Texas and Oklahoma, this could be the best offense in the Big 12, if not the country. Returning are a 1,500-yard rusher (Kendall Hunter), an All-American receiver (Dez Bryant), and a 65 percent passer with 25 touchdowns (Robinson). The problem remains defense. New defensive coordinator Bill Young is the Cadillac of his profession. Okie State will be better just because of his presence. Perrish Cox is developing into an NFL talent at corner and is one of the nation's best returners.

4. Texas Tech -- The Red Raiders slip back to the 8-4 level this season. You know the drill: Potts will throw for eight million yards. There will be a 1,000-yard receiver or two. Mike Leach will be his usual quote-machine self. However, last season was a once-in-10-year event. There is payback waiting at Texas, at Oklahoma State and at Nebraska.

5. Baylor -- Does any Big 12 school have more upside? Joe Pawelek is an All-Big 12 linebacker. Center J.D. Walton anchors the offensive line now that Jason Smith is gone. But let's be honest, the moment quarterback Robert Griffin followed coach Art Briles to Baylor (from his commitment to Houston), things took off. A sprinter with Olympic aspirations, Griffin gave up the Big 12 track season to concentrate on what should be his breakout season in Waco. If there is a one-man team in the league, this is it. Griffin also was the team's No. 2 rusher. With more weight and more knowledge, Griffin should become the most elusive dual-threat in the Big 12 since Vince Young. At stake is a 14-year bowl drought. That ties for the longest active streak among BCS schools.

6. Texas A&M -- One former Big Eight coach said it during the offseason: This is A&M. It should be able to go over to the Houston high schools and scrounge up a couple of defensive linemen. In Mike Sherman's second season, d-line is a good place to start. The one-time Wrecking Crew was Charmin soft as one of the worst defensive units in the country. After the non-conference games, the Aggies gave up less than 35 once. Once! Nineteen players had surgery in the offseason. The Aggies better get fat early. The season ends with Oklahoma, Baylor and Texas.


Since: May 9, 2009
Posted on: July 1, 2009 1:05 am

Picking the Big 12

Glad to see your so confident about Texas but remember the longhorns play OSU in stillwater on halloween and we played them mighty tough last year in austin. Just a prediction Texas will lose to oklahoma and OSU this is what I think will happen and if it does Texas will probably finish 3rd in the south. I'm thinking its possible that OU and OSU will face each other the last game in norman and if both are still undefeated it will be one hell of a game as this may be a #1 vs. #2 matchup.

Since: Dec 10, 2008
Posted on: July 1, 2009 1:00 am

Picking the Big 12

What's hilarious is seeing the Cheaters, errrr Aggie Farmers picked last again!!!!!!!!!!!!

I mean it's absolutely ungodly hysterical to see the farmers picked once again where they belong (at the bottom) even with their ususal top recruiting class. LMAO (Laughing My A*# Off)!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

this is a funny statement i couldnt resist this one at all. ttech fans answer me this you dislike a&m alot(i know this since i lived in college station) but you must have forgotten that Ttech STILL HASNT BEEN TO THE BIG GAME YET. Im not defending tamu but ttech outside of last year miracle run last year the only thing the raiders can brag about it is having a winning season every year since being in the big12. last i check they dont give awards for that all, so until ttech goes to a big game and win one(notice how tamu has a big12 title) one you really cant talk to much. hate the aggies all you want they still have some trophy hardware than ttech doesnt have.

Since: Dec 10, 2008
Posted on: July 1, 2009 12:47 am

Picking the Big 12

I gotta  couple of question for kansas fans:

1.Do you really think you can beat OU or TX
2.Do you really think you can possible split with OU/TX
3.Do you really think you can win the north if you still lose to OU/tX

everyone is giving kansas the edge because of the fact the game will be at kansas, which is reasonable but have you looked at kansas schedule. OU early in the big 12 schedule which means a loss(same for neb), but the home stretch in nov is brutal with all of kansas rivals. K-state will upset some in the big12 next yr(dont know who tho), nebraska, texas and mizzou to end the schedule.

Now nebraska could lose the game and it not hurt them because KS will most likely lose to OU/tx and will still have to beat bitter rivals k-state, mizzou in the last 4 games of the year. Nebraska schedule tho is alittle easier outside of the mizzou/ttech sandwich, OU, and kansas and thats it for the huskers. OU will be a loss, but if nebraska beat mizzou/ttech kansas is the only possible loss till the CU game.

We can talk about the homefield advantage for kansas getting the nod over nebraska but if no one sees them beating OU/Tx thats an automatic 2 losses. nebraska can lose to kansas and still win the north if it doesnt lose more than 2 games, because chances are kansas will loss prolly slip up 3 times esp during that brutal Nov month where mizzou/nebraska/texas are all lurking back to back. honestly for kansas to win their gonna have to split the big south powers, which pushes nebraska to have to win that game or play catch up the rest the way and hope kansas loses 2 more times. Kansas has a good team but they dont have the schedule this year, gone is the ducking of the big powers and sneaking up on teams.Kansas will have their hands full with mizzou/neb/ou/tx, and have a trap game in k-state.

im not saying nebraska has the north on lock, but they have an easier road with KS having a double date with the big south powers. if KS doesnt split with nebraska, the huskers can lose to KS and still lock up the north if they dont get no more than 2 losses. oct 24, nov 14, nov24 are all must wins for kansas if they want to get to the big game.

Since: Nov 3, 2008
Posted on: July 1, 2009 12:14 am

Picking the Big 12

Bradford has many accomplishments, but he's never beaten Texas. And he never will.

Hook 'em
Ladies and gentlemen I give you, a Texas fan. This is an ongoing problem with Texas fans. They hyperventilate at the thought of the Oklahoma Sooners. They lay in their bed's at night and dream of things to come and things that could have been. They wake up and move along with their day replacing reality with the dream they had the night before.
You see "Rosey Bowl", in Sam Bradford's first year as the starting quarterback for the Oklahoma Sooners, the freshman beat the then sophomore super star Colt McCoy at the Cotton Bowl.  Yes that's correct, Sam Bradford is a year younger than McCoy.  Yes Sam Bradford is 1-1 against your darling McCoy and yes he should have been 2-0 against him. I'm sure Bradford will be fine with his soon to be 2-1 record against Colt McCoy but, he would have liked a clean sweep of 3-0 before going on to be the #1 pick in the NFL draft, far in front of McCoy. 
You may also recall, Jason White was 2-0 against Vince Young. Vince Young (your proclaimed best player ever) was 1-2 in his career against Oklahoma.  It will be fitting for your second best player ever, to finish with the exact same record against OU as his predecessor and mentor.

Since: Dec 5, 2008
Posted on: July 1, 2009 12:09 am

Picking the Big 12

Looks like the gator haters are out in force. Awesome, welcome boys, we've missed you!! :D

Regarding the Big 12, all I ask is that you send an undisputed conference championship to the big game. Texas, OU it really doesn't matter.... what am I saying? Of course it matters! We'll happily take Choklahoma if given the choice. Who wouldn't?!?!

Personally, I could not be any more pleased with the two Gator football and two basketball championships in recent years.  I was there back in the Charlie Pell and Galen Hall days, just before Spurrier arrived. The Gator Nation knows how cruel and punishing the football gods can be... we suffered long, endured much. So sue us if we've been rather overzealous this year.

Surely Florida would be hard pressed to top 2008 but that's exactly their mission this season. Last year, the Ole Miss game and Tebow's speech following the debacle -- I was in G'ville listening to it -- had everyone doing a collective WTF?! WTF?! His was a bold Namath-like performance prediction and despite the criticism, pressure and naysayers he and the team brought home the crystal. Beating the most prolific offense made it all the sweeter, thank you OU, appreciate that.

You can hate us all you want, but I would expect that everyone on this board would agree on one point, mainly, to not underestimate Florida -- especially this year. We've never had an undefeated season, never had a better shot at repeating and these seniors can go out on top like no others in Gator football history. The talent and motivation is there, now we just need that special spark. Ole Miss, thanks for the wake-up call last year!

Again, you can criticize Tebow all you want, but last year Tebow had his eyes set on an undefeated season. He and the team came up one short. Now he has another chance and with Florida's schedule this year, they have an excellent shot. Tebow may not be pretty, sometimes his playing is downright ugly, but he's a winner and finds a way to elevate those around him. The pressure will be intense but look for the spark around the 3rd quarter in the Tennessee game. Welcome to SEC football Kiffin!

Bama fans, you all were awesome in the SEC championship. I was surrounded by you and never had more fun at a game. I fully counting on a rematch this year and may the best team represent!

Since: Feb 18, 2008
Posted on: June 30, 2009 11:59 pm

Picking the Big 12

The Big12 is ranked again as last year with the same one game at their neutral site again. OSU might just beat them both. I loved watching Mac Brown on the sidelines screaming to his horns you better hold on against OSU. All the talk about Utah and Alabama is a joke. How many losses did Utah have? How many losses did Ole Miss have with a 1st year QB and a 1st year coach. They made Tech Tech look like a pewee team. That team led Texas most of the game and won it in the end(putting up 585 yards on a really awful defense). Just like all the offenses in the Big12 against those awful defenses. Texas and Oklahoma had defenses ranked in the 100's. McCoy won by a field goal(Ohio State from the charmin conference) against a team Florida and LSU made look sick. Be very glad they played a lousy offense and a slow team. Texas would have lost badly to Florida by the way they played Ohio State.

Nebraska has never been the same since the lottery was disbanded in that state, which gave them the best player from every county. The North has been awful. Once in a blue moon they get someone to play like crap and win one. Tech won the fist time in how many years against Texas in the South. OU every year has a great team and they get outplayed and outcoached by the Boise State's(Yeah your version of Utah) you keep throwing up to Alabama fans. It was funny watching the small guys whip the big boys with no defense. 

The bowl season for the Big12 was as expected. The high powered 60 point offenses suffered playing defenses. Tech Tech scored 20 plus under their average. OU even worse. Texas also scored 20 plus under their average. Six QB's throwing for 400 plus every week on those Big12 defenses got a lot of high rankings. It came crashing down especially against Ole Miss with six losses and  against Florida.

You may want to see how many Football National Championships the SEC has won in the last few years. You may also want to revist the national championship LSU won against Texas in baseball. Then revisit the SEC national championship in football over OU. That is two sports you guys always get the most talent in those schools and you lost. You play no one all year and all your teams were ranked. they all exited early except Texas in baseball. Kind of like the football season. When they all started playing somebody ranked outside the Big12 they lost.

My team under performed giving a first time preseson number one. Many injuries to key players and playing in a balanced conference. We also play a team that has beaten us 19 out 22 times. Texas and Oklahoma enjoy that with every team except they are on the good side. We travel to another state for our neutral game 100's of miles further than OU or Texas. Then again we don't average 60 points on the whole conference.

I see a three way tie. I hope OSU goes. We will have a hard time staying in that game with no Moreno, Stafford or Masaquoi. If we win it will be real embarrasing for the Big12 playing at Oklahoma State. They do owe us since we hung 34 points on them and held them to 24 yards rushing. That was a hell of a lot better than Texas played them.

I called it last year and heard all the crap from the Big12 on how we could not score and the SEC's defenses were not that good. All the Big12 crap on how the SEC was having a down year with Auburn and Tennesse. Even in a down year they beat the best year the Big12 ever had. Two of the three heisman hopefuls went down and the third held on by a field goal. I loved watching OU go 0-5 in BCS games and they are the Longhorns claim to fame in the Red River capgun. They cannot win a BCS game and you think beating them makes you better! I see another Boise State on the horizon.

It really does not matter how many 1000's of yards and heisman hopefuls you have. It still comes down to meeting the SEC. We won the last two head to heads in baseball and football. Tech beat Texas and Ole Miss killed them with six losses!!! Come get some. We all knew you would be in the top five again. When have you not been. When have you not had 10 win seasons last? Be very glad Alabama lost to Florida. One of you would have had Utah.  When will you get a Conference Championship. You guys play your third stringers and come in healthy and rested and still get killed. If the SEC had your championship we could let everyone rest and double our national titles. Who cares if any Big12 goes, unless it is another school who plays and dominates their conference every year(USC). We could get another defensless exciting come from behind 45-42 mistake ridden, bad called game. I have to admit it was exciting knowing who had the ball last would win. Vince was awesome. I just hope we get to see Mc Coy run in our SEC bowl game. I hope you have a good backup with expirence. The Lake Travis kid looks awesome.  

Since: May 29, 2009
Posted on: June 30, 2009 9:52 pm

Picking the Big 12

Haha, ya.. you know, its actually been a while since A&M was actually good... What the hell has happened, Kansas used to be the punch line of the Big 12! Ah, those were the days!

Since: Nov 9, 2008
Posted on: June 30, 2009 9:41 pm

Picking the Big 12

What's hilarious is seeing the Cheaters, errrr Aggie Farmers picked last again!!!!!!!!!!!!

I mean it's absolutely ungodly hysterical to see the farmers picked once again where they belong (at the bottom) even with their ususal top recruiting class. LMAO (Laughing My A*# Off)!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Since: Sep 7, 2007
Posted on: June 30, 2009 9:30 pm

Picking the Big 12

You might wanna keep worrying about OU...

Since: Nov 9, 2008
Posted on: June 30, 2009 9:25 pm

Picking the Big 12

You mean like Utah totally throttling and destroying Bama?

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