The 1B to the SEC's 1A. The Big 12 has turned itself into a powerhouse conference -- last year's BCS Championship game notwithstanding.
The South division is absolutely stacked. Texas (#2), Oklahoma (#3) and Oklahoma State (#9) are all ranked in the pre-season AP top ten. Texas Tech will still be dangerous this season, despite the loss of Michael Crabtree and Graham Harrell.
Texas and Oklahoma are the class of the South, and the conference, however. The pre-season media poll highlights how even these two teams are heading into the season. Texas and Oklahoma tied for first place in the poll, despite Texas receiving two more first place votes than Oklahoma. Get excited for the Red River Rivalry game.
The North division has experienced a bit of a resurgence the last few seasons. Nebraska is climbing its way back into national prominence. Kansas has completely revived a previously non-existent football program at a basketball-crazy school. Missouri and Colorado have also seen spates of success the last decade.
Nebraska was tapped to win the North division this year. The Cornhuskers received 17 of the possible 32 first place votes. Second, was Kansas with 12, and third was Missouri with three.
- Nebraska (17)
- Kansas (12)
- Missouri (3)
- Kansas State
- Iowa State
- Texas (17)
- Oklahoma (15)
- Oklahoma State
- Texas Tech
- Texas A&M
Find a TV for these games:
- Oklahoma State vs. Georgia - Sept. 5: Big 12 vs. SEC bragging rights and huge win on the resume at stake here. Are the Cowboys legit? The Dawgs will let them know.
- Nebraska at Virginia Tech- Sept. 19: Tough game in Blacksburg.
- Missouri vs. Nebraska - Oct. 8: Is Nebraska back as the class of the Big 12 North? Traveling to Columbia and beating the Tigers will go a long way to answering that question.
Oklahoma vs. Texas - Oct. 17: This will be one of the most hyped games in the college football season this year. As long as Florida does not lose, this game should be #2 vs. #3, with a trip to the Big 12 Championship on the line, and likely the inside track to the BCS title game.
- Oklahoma State vs. Texas - Oct. 31: Quite the Halloween treat. And possibly the biggest threat to Colt McCoy and Texas' BCS dreams.
- Oklahoma vs. Oklahoma State - Nov. 28: Bedlam. I can't wait.
Kansas vs. Missouri - Nov.28: Bitter does not begin to describe this rivalry. The showdown in Arrowhead could be for the right to play in the Big 12 Championship Game.
Like the ACC, the Big 12 has nine bowl game tie-ins. Eight will actually be chosen because the Gator, Alamo and Sun Bowls rotate, and the Sun and Gator Bowls have the option of selecting Notre Dame.
BCS (Fiesta Bowl)
- Cotton Bowl
- Holiday Bowl
- Gator Bowl
- Alamo Bowl
- Sun Bowl
- Insight Bowl
- Independence Bowl
- Texas Bowl
Look for the Big 12 to be just as exciting this year, as last year. Colt McCoy and the Longhorns were one play away from playing for the National Championship. That still stings in Austin. Sam Bradford leads one of the most high powered offenses at Oklahoma, who are looking to get back to the BCS Championship Game. Oklahoma State, Nebraska and Kansas are going to be a tough draw all year. The Big 12 is no joke, and the SEC may want to take notice. I will give the SEC the sliiiiightest of edges right now, but only because Florida beat Oklahoma head-to-head last year. But, if there was a conference-wide gap between these two conferences before, it has now closed.
Come back tomorrow for the Big East preview.