Oklahoma is the reverse of last year, when they had Sam Bradford, but little experience elsewhere and were overrated from the start. This year, with vets everywhere, but no quarterback, they are a good candidate to be overlooked in August. Through the rest of the South Division, Texas A&M is the best bet to challenge the Big Two, with most of the defense back, plus explosive quarterback Jerrod Johnson. The future has to be considered bright at Texas Tech with the arrival of new coach Tommy Tuberville, who produced consistent winners at Auburn, including a perfect season in 2004.
Up North, Nebraska is back as the odds-on favorite, so long as they can replace star defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh. They are the one program that can compete with the powers of the South. Kansas State looks to be moving back to respectability under Bill Snyder and Kansas is beginning a new era with Turner Gill replacing Mark Mangino, and quarterback Todd Reesing having graduated. Colorado’s Dan Hawkins is facing make-or-break time. The imbalance between the two divisions isn’t good for a conference, but it works great for Nebraska’s national title hopes.
Be back Saturday with a look at the Pac-10.