The Skinny: Normally you don't like to see a program go into a year with a QB controversy, but Texas Tech has put in a new quarterback every year for the past 2 years and has still improved every year. The defense improved from 110th to 46th, and should be better this season, but they need to show it.
|9/17||Sam Houston State||W|
|11/12||at Oklahoma State||W|
QB: 3 - It doesn't really matter who starts
RB: 5 - Taurean Henderson is the second-best all-purpose back in the nation behind Reggie Bush
WR: 5 - Double-cover Jarrett Hicks and Joel Filani will burn you
IR/TE: 4 - Even if Cody Fuller sticks to baseball, this unit will be great at keeping drives alive. Bristol Olomua will throw some blocks on running plays.
OL: 3 - They are younger than last year, but they will have 3 games to gel before their first big test
DL: 4 - Even with Kenyuta Dawson stepping in for the graduated Adell Duckett, the line should get some heat on the QB
LB: 3 - Will Fletcher Sessions be the answer next to Brock Stratton and John Saldi?
CB: 4 - Khalid Nadruzzin and Antonio Huffman are experienced corners with speed.
S: 4 - Vincent Meeks is a playmaker and Dwayne Slay could be a future one.
Kicking Game: 3 - Alex Reyes is also a Ray Guy candidate, but either Alex Trlicka or kickoff specialist Keith Toogood must be more consistent on field goals
Return Game: 4 - Danny Amendola could be the next Wes Welker
What the Red Raiders must do to win:
1. Show more improvement on defense - 46th in the nation is an improvement for Texas Tech under Mike Leach, but it has to take the next step and become a dominating unit.
2. Get the field goal situation straight - Missed kicks have cost Tech in the past
3. Protect the QB and open holes for Henderson - The offensive line has 3 easy games to get it's act together.
Projection:If they could get over the mental blocks of Oklahoma and playing Texas in Austin and hold court against A&M like they have before, they could be a force in the Big XII. As it stands, they are still a notch below Oklahoma and Texas. 9-2 overall, 6-2 conference, tied for 3rd with A&M, and a Cotton Bowl berth.
The Skinny: Texas A&M, like Texas Tech, is improving every season. They are a team on the rise in the Big XII, and many think they could be a surprise team this year because Dennis Franchione's teams have always improved in their 3rd year. And everyone likes Reggie McNeal However, closer inspection reveals some questions that must be answered before the Aggies can enter the top tier of the South
|10/22||at Kansas State||W|
|11/5||at Texas Tech||L|
QB: 5 - Reggie McNeal is what makes this offense go.
RB: 4 - Courtney Lewis will provide some balance
WR: 2 - Loss of Terrence Murphy hurts this unit as none of the returning receivers have more than 200 yards receiving
TE: 4 - Boone Stutz and Joey Thomas are decent safety valves.
OL: 3 - Must provide better pass protection.
DL: 3 - Huge run stuffing line, but need to get to the QB
LB: 4 - Solid but not spectacular
CB: 2 - Probably the only weakness on the defense is it's corner depth
S: 4 - Jaxon Appel is a run stopper, Japhus Brown should help in coverage.
Kicking Game: 4 - Todd Pegram is a consistent kicker and could win the Groza award and Reggie Bean should improve the punting position
Return Game: 1 - Not only are there no game breakers, but the kick return team averaged 15 yards per return, good for 118th out of 119 D-1 teams, and the punt return team was 97th in the nation!
What the Aggies must do to win:
1. Get more out of the pass rush and blitz - Those corners need help from the front seven.
2. Improve their pass coverage - If they want to finally get over the Lubbock hump, they need to be better against the pass
3. Better coverage teams and return teams - They must start winning the field position game in close matchups.
Projection: No one would who knows would look at you funny if you pick this team to win the South, but it just isn't going to happen. 8-3 overall, 6-2 in conference, tied with Texas Tech for 3rd and going to the Holiday Bowl
The Skinny: Everyone says that Vince Young is all-world. Everyone says that Texas is going back to the Rose Bowl this year.
Why is everyone saying this? Vince Young ran roughshod over Michigan in last season's Rose Bowl. What they forget is that Michigan did just as good a job against Texas's defense and the game was decided by a field goal.
What everyone forgets is that Vince Young had the now-graduated Cedric Benson in the backfield and no help at reciever. Now Benson's gone, replaced by a trio of backs that are not as good, and that the recieving corps is still shaky. Still, the offensive line and defense are good enough to make them a repeat BCS team. They just won't be a national title contender until they win the Red River Shootout.
|9/10||at Ohio State||W|
|10/29||at Oklahoma State||W|
|11/25||at Texas A&M||W|
* - Cotton Bowl, Dallas, Texas
QB: 4 - Vince Young is good, but there's only one backup if he gets hurt.
RB: 2 - Selvin Young is still recovering from injury, not a whole lot of experience behind him
WR: 1 - Too young and inconsistent to help VY out
TE: 5 - David Thomas is the team's most consistent possession reciever.
OL: 5 - One of the best in the league with 4 NFL prospects.
DL: 5 - Basically the same as last year and just as good with 2 tackles who are all Big XII
LB: 4 - Aaron Harris is solid, but who will replace Derrick Johnson
CB: 5 - Should be fine, provided they aren't playing Braylon Edwards
S: 4 - Michael Huff is a good all-around safety
Kicking Game: 3 - Richmond McGee returns, but Kicker David Pino must prove himself
Return Game: 4 - Depends on Selvin Young's overall health
What the Longhorns must do to win:
1. Get a passing game going - Selvin Young and Vince Young can't carry this offense. One of the recievers has to show they can make plays.
2. Get rid of the mental blocks - They can outhink themselves at times and get intimidated at others.
3. Outside linebackers must step up - They have to get good pass rush and coverage on TEs and backs out of the backfield
Projection: They will be back in the BCS, but they won't get over the OU hump. 10-1 overall, 7-1 in conference, a first place tie with OU (tie broken by the Red River Shootout), and an at-large BCS bid
|Oklahoma||7-1||11-1||The team to beat until someone knocks them off|
|Texas||7-1||10-1||Good, but can't win the Red River Shootout|
|Texas Tech||6-2||9-2||Bill Snyder is embarrased at that schedule|
|Texas A&M||6-2||8-3||Need help from WRs|
|Oklahoma State||2-6||4-7||Taking a huge step back|
|Baylor||0-8||3-8||Like every single year|
Big XII Summary
Big XII Championship Game: Oklahoma over Colorado
Offensive Player of the Year: Adrian Peterson, Oklahoma
Defensive Player of the Year: Charles Gordon, Kansas
Special Teams Player of the Year: Todd Pegram, Texas A&M
Coach of the Year: Bob Stoops, Oklahoma
|Reggie McNeal||Texas A&M|
|Taurean Henderson||Texas Tech|
|Jarrett Hicks||Texas Tech|
|E.J. Whitley||Texas Tech|
|Todd Pegram||Texas A&M|
|Danny Amendola||Texas Tech|
|Kenyuta Dawson||Texas Tech|
|Le Kevin Smith||Nebraska|
|C.J. Ah You||Oklahoma|
|Sean Coffey||Missouri||OLB||Nick Reid||Kansas|
|Quentin Chaney||Oklahoma||MLB||Jordon Dizon||Colorado|
|Joel Filani||Texas Tech|
|Brock Stratton||Texas Tech|
|Cody Wallace||Texas A&M|
|Manuel Ramirez||Texas Tech|
|Vincent Meeks||Texas Tech|
|Alex Reyes||Texas Tech|