Well, since there isn’t a whole lot to talk about dealing with Iowa State, I’ll summarize what is going on with the other Big 12 football teams as they being or wrap up Spring Football. Today, I’ll break down the old Big 12 North (and West Virginia).
The Jayhawks enter 2012 with a new coach, Charlie Weis. Reuniting with Weis is QB Dayne Crist, who he recruited while Weis was at Notre Dame. Crist didn’t pan out at Notre Dame, but we’ll see how he does in Lawrence this upcoming season.
Charlie Weis will have to completely rebuild the Kansas football program, so don’t expect a lot of success from the Jayhawks in 2012. On the bright side, Weis is left with a decent group of running backs. James Sims, the leading rusher for KU for the past two seasons, is back along with the quick and shifty Tony Pierson.
The running backs are about the only bright spot for Kansas fans. Like I said, I would expect a similar amount of success that Turner Gill had for Weis in his first year.
Heading into next season, Oklahoma is the favorite by many to win the conference. However, there are a lot of teams who can realistically challenge for a Big 12 title and K-State is one of them. Mr. Everything, Collin Klein, is back for the Wildcats. The Wildcats can be really good if Klein develops as a passer. Last season, you could see him becoming more accurate as the season ended. To help, he has his leading receiver (Tyler Lockett) coming back along with Chis Harper and Tremaine Thompson.
Kansas State will have a new defensive coordinator, but it will have one of the better defenses in the Big 12 this year led by Arthur Brown.
Kansas State should have a better team than last year’s, but I don’t know if they can be as lucky as they were last year (won nine games by a possession or less).
Besides Kansas State and other contenders, West Virginia might be the biggest threat to Oklahoma. In his first year at WVU, Dana Holgorsen won ten games including the Orange Bowl. Can Holgorsen adjust to the Big 12? No reason to think he couldn’t as he was offensive coordinator at Oklahoma State and Texas Tech.
The guy leading Holgorsen’s powerful offensive attack is QB Geno Smith. Smith is an athletic QB who threw for 4300 yards and 31 TDs (only 7 INTs). Smith will have his two favorite targets again in Tavon Austin and Stedman Bailey. I wouldn’t be shocked if Geno Smith ended up winning the Heisman trophy next year, he is that good.
The offense should be set, but there will be some transition on the defense. The Eers will have to replace a lot of talent on the defense. Besides replacing players, a new defensive coordinator enters Morgantown who is bringing a more traditional defensive scheme.