OK, I've been slogging through my predictions for the upcoming season the past month or so, and now that we're closing in on kickoff, I've got a reconsideration to make.
The Big 12 - I am not standing by my conference blast. Most of it centered around how disappointing I feel Oklahoma will be and how improved I thought Texas will be. I mean, Stoops did earn the sarcastic "Big Game" Bob monicker somehow, right? And, I got burned by picking them to make it to the BCS Title game last year. And then there's Texas. They dominate recruiting in the most talent-rich state and Mack Brown's no slouch. How can we possibly expect them to be that bad two seasons in a row? So, I picked the 'Horns over the Sooners in the RRR, which led me to picking them as league champs.
In retrospect, I might have been wrong here. Now, I'm not gonna jump on the Boomer Sooner Wagon and pick OU for the BCS Title game...but I will pick them to knock off Texas and win the Big 12. I see the Sooners dropping their game at FSU and a conference game somewhere on the road; that 8-1 league mark will still be enough to take the crown outright. Meanwhile, the Longhorn Kool-Aid I apparently pounded last month has worn off. Texas has lost a D-lineman and a speedy wideout for the year and were already facing breaking in two new coordinators. I see three losses, at least two of those in the Big-12. So, even a RRR win might not be enough to win the conference. Lost in my shuffle here was Texas A&M. The Aggies actually have everything lined up to win the conference outright..except for two big things: 1. They play what will probably be a very pumped up Sooner team in Norman, and 2. While they seem to be returning a billion starters, they're still from the A&M talent pool, which has been pretty shallow compared to the big boys the last decade or so. Call it two losses - one OOC to Arkansas and one at Oklahoma.
So, my new top-3 in the predicted Big-12 pecking order looks like:
1. Oklahoma 10-2 (8-1)
2. Texas A&M 10-2 (8-1)
3. Texas 9-3 (7-2)