The Big XII should be interesting this season due to the competitiveness of four or five teams. Bob Stoops had a reason for saying what he did about the SEC. He knows southern talent as he saw it during his time with Florida. He and the Sooners are out to prove something this season.
RB Lache Seastrunk made a bold prediction saying he would win the Heisman in 2013
At the end of last season Baylor RB Lache Seastrunk made a bold prediction that he would win the Heisman in 2013. I disagree. BUT, Seastrunk is a very, very talented back. In fact, I think he will have a big season. Not enough to carry the Bears, though. They lack the unstoppable player duo. RGIII was great at BU, but he had Kendall Wright and Terrance Ganaway. The fact they won’t be a top team in the country come seasons end is reason enough that the voters will write him off. QB Bryce Petty comes in to 2013 having completed seven of his 10 attempts in 2012. Not bad, but it’s hard to see whether he will be a good fit for them. If he is, they could make my prediction way off. He will have depth on a line that will give him plenty of protection and returns a monster TE target in Jordan Najvar. The defense will be anchored down by three good athletes in LB’s Bryce Hager and Eddie Lackey, and S Ahmad Dixon.
TE Ernst Brun could be a hidden gem for NFL teams
Iowa State is a team that within the last few seasons, has continued to improve despite having a solid, productive QB. Steele Jantz has departed, not that it hurts them at all, and opens the door for sophomore QB Sam Richardson or R-Fr Grant Rohach. Whoever does take over will have a couple of decent and reliable WR’s to throw to in Jarvis West and Quenton Bundrage. On the other side of the ball, DE Willie Scott, LB Jeremiah George, and S Jacques Washington will be the foundation. Washington finished 2012 tied for the team lead in INTs. They will be competitive but I think several close games don’t go their way.
RB James Sims looks to show the Jayhawks still have a solid run game
When Charlie Weis took over KU he had nothing. I don’t think he’s the coach everyone gases him up to be, but now is the time to show some improvement as he snagged 15 JUCO transfers this season. He did have a great RB last season as James Sims rushed for over 1,000 yards and scored nine TDs. Fellow RB Tony Pierson could end up providing a nice compliment to Sims. BYU transfer Jake Heaps will be taking over at QB. In the last season he played (2011), he seemed mediocre as he threw only more TD than INT in his time. A key transfer this season is a WR from Miami (OH), Nick Harwell. He was a go to guy for the Redhawks and has the ability to finish his college career in a much better conference. One way the Jayhawks D will be exposed is the youth of the secondary. They will learn as the season goes on but expect many big plays to be given up.
S Ty Zimmerman will keep WR’s heads on a swivel this year
The leader of last season, Optimus Klein, has moved on leaving a void for Bill Snyder’s offense. Last season the Wildcats started off real hot as they averaged about 36ppg over the first four games. The last four made it seem like teams started to figure it out as they averaged 24ppg. This season’s offense has two very speedy and talented WR’s with Tyler Lockett and Tramaine Thompson. The bad news with them is they are 5’11 and 5’8 respectively. They lack a big-sized experience WR for new QB Daniel Sams, who does have a lot of upside with his speed and arm strength. Opponents offenses will absolutely love playing the Cats this year as they must replace their top five lineman from last season. On top of that, they must replace three of four at LB, and three out of four in the secondary. S Ty Zimmerman needs the other DB’s to come in ready and learn quick if they want an immediate impact for a conference title. They will score points, and lots of them. But they will give up a lot as well.
The Belldozer is back and takes over full time with the loss of Landry Jones
These guys are going to pound the rock. Every game. I watched Blake Bell in the Under Armour All-American Game a couple of years ago, and he definitely has the arm strength. If his accuracy has improved and he is ready to lead a big time program, this offense is going to be scary. FB Trey Millard is going to blast open a lot holes for the returning RB duo of Damien Williams and Brennan Clay. Other than the two RB’s expect to see The Belldozer run up the middle, outside, everywhere. The Sooners won’t be afraid to utilize him in different ways. They lose the deadly WR Kenny Stills, but replace him with a faster Jalen Saunders. The defensive line isn’t proven, with the exception of DT Jordan Phillips, but if Stoops knows anything, its defense. The LB’s are tough with returners Corey Nelson, Frank Shannon, and Aaron Franklin.
Tracy Moore wants to show the QB situation is nothing to worry about if he gets the ball
Mike Gundy and his Cowboys made a bit of news this offseason as Gundy limited the schools his former QB Wes Lunt wanted to transfer to. Three QB’s saw time last season. Other than Lunt, it was J.W. Walsh and Clint Chelf. Losing RB Joseph Randle could be a factor, but if whoever is under center puts together a solid passing game, look for WR’s Tracy Moore and Blake Jackson to be the main pass grabbers. LB’s Caleb Lavey, Shaun Lewis, and Alex Elkins accounted for about 20% of the teams tackles last season, and all three return. They may have even bigger numbers as new DC Glenn Spencer has said he wants to implement a stronger blitzing scheme into the defense.
Welcome back QB Casey Pachall, now use a DD
Last season the Frogs were hit hard with the arrest of QB Casey Pachall who was well on his way out of Andy Dalton‘s shadow and creating his own. He got the Toads off to a 4-0 start throwing for 10 TD’s and almost 1,000 yards, after leading them to an 11-2 year in 2011. Trevone Boykin took over in his absence during 2012 and play somewhat respectable, though he was good for almost an INT a game. If Waymon James didn’t get hurt last season, he would have been one of the top backs in the conference. This year, he will be top three. They stopped the run in 2012 pretty well and had a horrific secondary. They will end up having the best D-Line in the Big XII. The secondary, though, will need someone (or two) step up and take on a leadership role. They will make some noise this season and possibly run at the conference title. Hey Pachall, use DD man. Seriously. You’re in a position many would kill to be in.
QB’s will be pissing themselves when they see DE Jackson Jeffcoat chasing after them
QB David Ash threw for 2,900+ yards last season and looked to be like the better of the two between he and Case McCoy. One stat many people overlook is that he was sacked 10 times last season. At least six of those were from Ash not making quick enough decisions. Returning lead rusher Johnathan Gray (698 yards, 3 TD) could have a big year if Ash opens up the ground game by making defenses respect his ability to get the ball to WR’s Mike Davis and Jaxon Shipley. Defensively, Mack Brown‘s unit is in for a big year. DE Jackson Jeffcoat is going to maul opposing QB’s and could possibly win these guys a close ball game at some point this season. Along with Jeffcoat, eight other starters return on a very solid defense.
WR Eric Ward looks to be a menace for secondaries in 2013
Just how responsible is Kliff Kingsbury for the emergence of Johnny Manziel? He was Johnny Football‘s OC at TAMU. We will find out this season as he takes over for the Red Raiders. Tech has been known for their air-it-out offense over the last several seasons, but Kingsbury uses a 50/50 run/pass scheme. Junior RB Kenny Williams, who ran for 824 yards and five TD a year ago in the pass happy offense, returns and will be a crucial part of Kingsbury‘s offense. Michael Brewer will be taking the reigns of the offense since QB Seth Doege graduated. He’ll have a speedy and sure target in WR Eric Ward, but he will need his defense to keep them in games. The D will be vulnerable to the run and have a very young secondary that will experience growing pains.
WR Jordan Thompson has a big void to fill with Tavon Austin and Stedman Bailey gone
Well, if the draft hurt any offense more than West Virginia‘s, I have yet to find them. Geno Smith, Tavon Austin, and Stedman Bailey, gone. No more. So who will be under center? FSU transfer Clint Trickett, who completed 65% of his passes in his career? R-Fr Ford Childress? Or what about last year’s number two Paul Millard, who went nine for 19 in mop up duty last year? Either way, they have two talented WR’s that could fill the void the NFL left them with; Jordan Thompson and Ivan MCartney. The defense is why the ‘Eers lost at all last season. The only way to go for them is up because they couldn’t get much worse. Look for steady improvements on D from 2012, with returning leader Karl Joseph.
|Big XII Conference Final Standings|
Big XII Football Champion:
Big XII Football Games to Watch:
Sep. 7: West Virginia @ Oklahoma
Sep. 21: Kansas State @ Texas
Oct. 5: TCU @ Oklahoma
Oct. 12: Baylor @ Kansas State
Oct. 12: Oklahoma v Texas
Nov. 9: Oklahoma @ Baylor
Nov. 9: TCU @ Iowa State
Nov. 16: TCU @ Kansas State
Nov. 30: Texas Tech @ Texas
Nov. 30: Baylor @ TCU
Dec. 7: Texas @ Baylor
Ninja Sports Preseason All Big XII Football Team 2013
|WR Mike Davis, Texas||DE Jackson Jeffcoat, Texas||K Edwin Arceo, ISU|
|WR Jalen Saunders, OU||DE Devonte Fields, TCU||P Kirby Van Der Camp, ISU|
|TE Blake Jackson, Ok St||DT Calvin Barnett, Ok St||KR Tyler Lockett, Kan St|
|T Spencer Drango, Baylor||DT Ashton Dorsey, Texas|
|T Daryl Williams, OU||LB Eddie Lackey, Baylor|
|G Cyril Richardson, Baylor||LB Steve Edmond, Texas|
|G Trey Hopkins, Texas||LB Bryce Hager, Baylor|
|C Dominic Espinosa, Texas||CB Justin Gilbert, Ok St|
|QB Casey Pachall, TCU||CB Aaron Colvin, OU|
|RB Damien Williams, OU||S Karl Joseph, WVU|
|RB Lache Seastunk, Baylor||S Ty Zimmerman, Kan St|
Big XII Football Offensive Player of the Year: Casey Pachall, QB TCU
Big XII Football Defensive Player of the Year: Ty Zimmerman, S Kansas State