And tomorrow they release the Preseason All Big 12 Conference Team (which should be good for some chuckles) and July 26th-28th, Big12Sports.com will carry live press conferences from coaches and players.
College football is coming...
2010 Big 12 Football Media Preseason Poll
1. Nebraska (26) 156
2. Missouri 125
3. Kansas State 79
4. Kansas 70
5. Colorado 61
6. Iowa State 55
I agree that it's a two team race. The North hinges on the Nebraska-Missouri game in Lincoln and, as always, on the each team's respective South slate. NU gets Texas at home, OSU on the road, and A&M on the road. Missouri gets OU at home, and Tech & A&M on the road.
So Nebraska not only has the more favorable direct match-up at home (Mizzou is 1-15 in Lincoln all-time, though they did win in '08), but also a more favorable South opponent draw.
Nebraska is the safe pick.
The drop off from NU/Mizzou to the rest of the North is steep. #3 in the North will likely be secured with a 3-5 conference record. I think an equal case can be made for all four of these teams and I don't see KSU as the clear #3 at all. Colorado actually has a decent shot here if they're hardened, rather than traumatized, by their ambitious non-conference. I don't expect much from the Jayhawks in Gill's first year with their current QB and Iowa State will be competitive in every North game they play.
1. Oklahoma (16) 146
2. Texas (10) 140
3. Texas A&M 97
4. Texas Tech 68
5. Oklahoma State 53
6. Baylor 42
Surprise, it's a Texas-OU battle.
Whoever wins this game is the prohibitive favorite to take the South though OU has legitimate road upset possibilities @ Mizzou and @ A&M while Texas faces the same @ Tech and @ Nebraska. However, if you like to keep your race simple, focusing on October 2nd in Dallas keeps things tidy.
Picking #3 isn't easy as I think Tech and A&M are roughly equivalent while Baylor is a notch below. However, with a healthy RGIII at QB, the Bears are fully capable of getting an upset over either of the aforementioned in Dallas (Baylor's last two losses to Tech were 35-28 and 20-13 in games they could have won) or at home in Waco against the Aggies (home team is 6-1 in L7).
Unlike the media, I believe that Oklahoma State is the worst team in the South. I have them inked for a 2-6 conference record.
So it all boils down to Missouri-Nebraska and OU-Texas, right?
Or does it?
Is there a Big 12 dark horse worth saddling?