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Big 12 Football Preview
Odds Favor Texas and Oklahoma to win the BIG 12 - 2009
In the Big 12 Football Conference, one need only look to the South Division to find the eventual champion. Texas and Oklahoma are both loaded. Texas, perhaps more so. The Longhorns return 9 on offense and 7 on defense from a team that was 12-1 a year ago. Circle September 19th on your calendar as that's the date Texas gets a chance to avenge their lone defeat, to Texas Tech, a year ago. Look out!
Over in the North Division, there's not much to talk about. Keep an eye on Colorado though. They are ready for a big year. Dan Hawkins has made the Buffalos a competitive team that can compete with anyone. Look for them to at least have a winning year and perhaps win the North. But compete with Texas or Oklahoma? Nah. Not yet.
Here is a look at the Big 12 conference for the 2009 College Football season complete with odds to win the conference and a team by team analysis. The Odds presented here are a compilation from Top Sportsbooks.
Texas Longhorns - Odds to win Big
12 1.5/1 - If not for a late game loss to
Texas Tech last year, the Longhorns couldíve been the national champ.
Instead they finished 12-1 and won the Fiesta Bowl with a late drive over
Ohio State. Colt McCoy returns to lead the team along with 6 starters from
last yearís offense. McCoy is a versatile player and an excellent
passer/scrambler. He led the team in rushing and completed 76.7% of his
passes in 2008. He has an excellent weapon in WR Jordan Shipley. Malcolm
Williams is also a threat at WR. The offensive line should be very tough
with 4 returning starters. The defense brings back 8 members of last yearís
team. Sergio Kindle had 10 sacks last year at LB but will be changing to DE
this season. Lamarr Houston is poised for a big year at DT. The Longhorns
secondary looks strong. Once again the season will come down to their game
against Oklahoma. If they can win that game they might be headed for the
history books, but if not then they will have to settle for second fiddle
Oklahoma Sooners - Odds to win Big 12 1.5/1 - If not for a few costly mistakes I would introducing the defending BCS Champions. Unfortunately for Bob Stoops and company, the Sooners fell just short of beating the Florida Gators. Despite that they still had an excellent year and won the Big XII Championship Game over Missouri by a score of 62-21. The Sooners became just the fifth team in the history of college football to score over 700 points last year. The offense brings back 5 starters, including Heisman Trophy winner Sam Bradford. He has plenty of options with WRs Ryan Broyles, Adron Tennell, and Mossis Madu. TE Jermaine Gresham is also a threat. The defense brings back 9 members of last yearís team. They should do a better job of limiting big plays this year. The Oklahoma Sooners have all the pieces they need to make it back to the BCS Championship Game.
Oklahoma State Cowboys - Odds to win Big 12 8/1 - Mike Gundyís team started off very fast in 2008 but petered out to finish with a record of 9-4 and a loss in the Holiday Bowl. Expect bigger and better things this year from a team that could fly under the Big XII radar. The offense brings back 8 starters, including the four most important scorers from 2008. Zac Robinson has put on some muscle and should do even better at the QB position. Dez Bryant caught 87 passes for a total of 1,480 yards and 19 touchdowns. They are one of the best QB-WR tandems in all of football. Kendall Hunter is a stud at RB, and racked up 1,555 yards last year. The defense returns 6 starters. Bill Young will be starting his first year as defensive coordinator. He has a great company of LBs returning, but has to replace players in the secondary and on the defensive line. Perrish Cox should do well at CB for the Cowboys. I expect big things from an Oklahoma State team that arguably has the best offense in the entire nation.
Kansas Jayhawks - Odds to win Big 12 3/1 - While they played formidable against Oklahoma last year, the Jayhawks are still winless against all three of the South big shots in the Mark Magino era. Last year Kansas ended up with a record of 8-5 and a win in the Insight Bowl. They return 8 offensive starters this year. Todd Reesing is back for his senior year and has great targets in WRs Dezmon Briscoe, Kerry Meier, and Johnathan Wilson. They wonít have any problems putting points on the board. The defense returns 7 starters and will be using the 4-2-5 alignment. DE Quintin Woods comes in from the JUCO ranks. He was a former Michigan signee, but he didnít have the grades. While Kansas has a stellar team, it wonít be easy for them to compete with the best that the Big XII has to offer. They must play Texas Tech and Texas on the road. Things could go either way for the Kansas Jayhawks.
Texas Tech Red Raiders - Odds to win Big 12 12/1 - Things went great for the Red Raiders last year. Their overall record checked in at 11-2 and they got to play in the Cotton Bowl. They lost playmakers Graham Harrell and Michael Crabtree, so itís likely that they will regress in 2009. The offense brings back 5 starters. Taylor Potts is a big boy at 6í 5Ē and will be taking over at QB. The senior has a strong arm and a plethora of WRs to catch his passes. The defense returns 7 starters. Their focus will be on putting pressure on opposing QBs. It wonít be easy because they lost both DEs from last yearís team. It wonít be easy for the Red Raiders to compete with Texas, Oklahoma, and Oklahoma State. However, it is not impossible for them to rival the success they had last year; just donít think that it is a given.
Nebraska Huskers - Odds to win Big 12 3/1 - Last year resulted in a record of 9-4 and a win in the Gator Bowl for this team. They should regress in 2009. The offense returns 4 starters and losses all of its skill position players. QB Zac Lee has thrown just two passes in his career. Roy Helu Jr. will be starting at RB. He has a good offensive line to work with. Calling the Huskers offense inexperienced would be an understatement. The defense returns 6 starters from last yearís team. Coach Bo Pelini thinks they will do well against no huddle offensives this year. NT Ndamukong Suh won all Big XII honors last year and will be a huge threat as a senior. An early season game at Virginia Tech should let us know if this team can hang with the likes of Texas and Oklahoma. The likely answer is no.
Missouri Tigers - Odds to win Big 12 8/1 - This team did well under coach Gary Pinkel to finish the year at 10-4 and with a win in the Alama Bowl. They will return 5 offensive starters. Blaine Gabbert will take over at QB in his second year with the Tigers. The 6í 5Ē sophomore has the skills to pay the bills, but has to prove he can get the job done when it counts. The defense returns 4 members of last yearís team. Sean Weatherspoon is a bright spot at LB, but on the whole the Tigers defense must improve. They gave up way too many points last year. If Blaine Gabbert does well at QB, the Tigers could be headed for another good season.
Baylor Bears - Odds to win Big 12 20/1 - Itís hard to sugarcoat the 4-8 season the Bears put together under Coach Art Briles last year. Briles believes that Baylor is headed for bigger things, but they will have to prove it on the field first. The offense brings back 8 starters. Robert Griffin will be starting at QB. The sophomore should be much better this season. The defense also returns 8 starters. The linebackers are tough, but I have my doubts about the line. The Bears start the year at Wake Forest, and then play Connecticut on the road. They need to win both of those games in hopes to ride the momentum into Big XII play.
Colorado Buffalos - Odds to win Big 12 15/1 - It looked like the Buffalos would have a big year after starting 3-0 and beating West Virginia, but they fell apart to finish 5-7. The offense brings back 10 starters, but is relatively weak. The offensive line has replaced two starters at C and RG with sophomores. The defense brings back 4 players from 2008. The defensive is completely new, and could struggle out of the gate. The Buffs have to win their games at home and possible steal some on the road.
Texas A&M Aggies - Odds to win Big 12 30/1 - This team returns 9 starters on offense and 7 on defense after finishing 4-8 last year. Jerrod Johnson and Ryan Tannehill are competing for the QB position. The offensive line is inexperienced but could start to pick up with the arrival of LSU transfer Matt Allen. The defense will be improved. While it wonít be easy, the Aggies could put together a good season if they play their cards right.
Kansas State Wildcats - Odds to win Big 12 30/1 - Bill Synder is back to coach K-State after leaving in 2005. He will be turning 70 years old during the season. He has his work cut out for him, as the Wildcats finished last year with a record of 5-7. The offense brings back 6 starters and is lacking in size. Brandon Banks is a bright spot at WR. He racked up over 1,000 yards in 2008. The defense returns 8 starters. They were one of the worst in the entire nation, but could improve. Snyder has his work cut out for him.
Iowa State Cyclones - Odds to win Big 12 75/1 - The higher ups thought it was time for a change after finishing 2-10 last year. Coach Paul Rhoads was a defensive coordinator at Auburn and Pittsburgh and was also a position coach for the Cyclones several years ago. Iowa State will be operating from a spread offense this year. Austen Arnaud should do a good job at QB. The defense was horrid last year and must improve for this team to be successful. They would be lucky to finish .500 on the season.
Check out all of our 2009 College Football Conference Previews!