Big 12 Preview: The Mediocre

The teams you don't normally want to read about or hear about but since there's no football there's nothing you'd rather do than read this. Please. Not that I'm begging. Although I may be willing to bribe.

NEBRASKA CORNHUSKERS

Big Red hasn't been so big lately, although they're certainly a little red (in the face) after the embarrassing collapse last year that led to the termination of coach Bill Callahan.

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Like a stiff prairie wind legendary former coach Tom Osborne arrived, taking the athletic director's job and replacing Callahan with former Nebraska assistant Bo Pelini. With him comes promise of a tough defense and a commitment to returning to what makes Nebraska, Nebraska. In-state recruits are getting more favored looks, the walk-on program is being dusted off and hopes for some return to glory are proffered.

That's all well and dandy but Nebraska right now is just another team in the Big 12. Pelini's a winner and has the graces of Osborne, but contending football isn't likely this very moment. Quarterback Joe Ganz showed something last year and we all know about back Marlon Lucky, so there is promise for the offense. Let's just not kid ourselves about a Big 12 Championship quite yet.

Bill Callahan's nationwide recruited boosted the overall athleticism of the program, but Nebraska still has a ways to go at various position groups. Give this one some time.

COLORADO BUFFALOES

This is a team I actually have in the fringe of my preseason top 25, but I'm smart enough to realize there's very little consensus about that opinion.

It appears Colorado should take a decent step forward this year, just not enough of one to challenge a combination of Oklahoma, Missouri, Kansas, Texas and Texas Tech. The Buffaloes have an intriguing defensive interior and loads of young skill talent on offense along with a respectable recruiting class that should pay immediate dividends.

A few extra wins this year and the confidence they bring, and another above average recruiting class and we're looking at possible contenders out of the Buffs.

OKLAHOMA STATE COWBOYS

AKA T. Boone Pickens' team (the man with a legit energy plan for America, but that's for another forum). When we last saw Oklahoma State, their coach was defending his quarterback, re-asserting he was 40 years old and a man. Said quarterback later left the program and threw the coach under the bus, making for an interesting series of events.

On the field Oklahoma State put together another explosive offense and matched it with a sieve-like defense. Awesomely named offensive coordinator Larry Fedora left to take over Southern Miss, and was replaced by awesomely named Trooper Taylor, formerly of Tennessee.

Quarterback Zac Robinson is a fine dual threat on offense and has the soon to be famous Dez Bryant as his top target. Speedy Perrish Cox is a nice piece on the defense but there's little else to write home about.

This is a competitive football team, but has never quite figured out how to reach the elite of the Big 12. It's doubtful that changes this year.

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