Corn Blight over at Corn Nation tipped me off to BurntOrangeNation's Preseason Big XII Blog Predictions. Here's how I voted:
Order of finish
North: Huskers, Missouri, Kansas State, Kansas, Iowa State, Colorado
Most folks have the Huskers and Tigers 1-2. I was impressed with Ron Prince last season, so I'll put them 3rd. As for why Iowa State gets ranked above Colorado, it's simple: they play in Ames, not Boulder.
South: Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Texas, Texas A&M, Texas Tech, Baylor
Bob Stoops is the best coach in the Big XII, and his defense is stacked. His offensive line might be the best in college football. Yes, he has to find a quarterback, but he converted a wide receiver to quarterback two days before fall practice started last year and brought home a title. Meanwhile, Oklahoma State might just have the best offense in the Big XII.
All conference units:
BON wants us to rate units, not individuals...so here's my choices:
QB: Missouri, Texas
I'm probably in the minority, but I think I'll take Chase Daniel over Colt McCoy. I'm not ready to put Sam Keller in this mix based on his 2004 numbers.
RB: Texas A&M, Oklahoma State
Watching Jovorskie Lane rumble down the field is fun...and he's their second best back behind Mike Goodson. OSU's Dantrell Savage isn't bad either. Since we're looking at units, I almost put Nebraska on the list, but the health of Nebraska's best returning I-back (Cody Glenn) is still in question.
WR: Texas, Oklahoma
Might be unfair, but with Oklahoma's quarterback questions, I think that Texas' receivers will have bigger years. Missouri's tight ends would have earned a mention if they were a seperate category. Oklahoma State might have bumped the Sooners if not for Artrell Woods back injury. Nebraska's might be the deepest, but they disappeared in games at the end of the season against Oklahoma and Auburn.
Offensive Line: Oklahoma, Texas A&M
Oklahoma's might be the best in the country, and A&M's is plowing the road for their backfield. Nebraska would probably be 3rd on my list though, as they've improved every year and are growing deeper each season.
Defensive Line: Texas, Oklahoma
The Texas defensive front was their strength last season, and the key pieces return. Oklahoma's defensive front is solid as well. Nebraska has to replace EVERYBODY.
Linebackers: Nebraska, Texas
With a new defensive line and a leaky secondary, Nebraska is going to need a HUGE impact from their linebackers. Their depth will allow Nebraska to experiment with a 3-4 this season at times. I see the rest of the bloggers love Bo Ruud...wish our fans did as well.
Secondary: Oklahoma, Oklahoma 2nd String, Kansas State
Oklahoma's secondary is light years ahead of everybody else. As I started to look around the Big XII, I realized that Nebraska's really isn't that bad. We'll see how Zack Bowman recovers from his assorted injuries, but the key with the Husker secondary is how the defensive line rebuilds.
Offensive Player of the Year: Chase Daniel. If Missouri is really going to challenge for a Big XII title, Daniel will need to have a huge year.
Defensive Player of the Year: Reggie Smith. Best player on the best defense.
Best Offense: Oklahoma State (#2: Missouri)
Best Defense: Oklahoma
Best Conference Matchup: Bedlam-Oklahoma vs. Oklahoma State . BON says we can't vote for our games involving our team, so I've got to go with the best defense versus the best offense.
Best Nonconference Matchup: Again, NU-USC is off the board for me, so I'll go with Miami-Florida vs. Oklahoma. I almost went with Kansas State at Auburn or Kansas State at Fresno State, though. (Bill Snyder is obviously not in charge of scheduling anymore!)