Can't wait to see these things this fall

Updated: May 11, 2007, 2:49 PM ET
By Ivan Maisel and Mark Schlabach |

Three Things I Can't Wait To See This Fall In The Big 12
Ivan Maisel
Mark Schlabach
1. No other conference has more interesting stories at quarterback: Sam Keller taking over at Nebraska, Cody Hawkins possibly trying to resuscitate his father's offense at Colorado and Stephen McGee and Colt McCoy coming into their own at Texas A&M and Texas, respectively. Offense will be fun in the Big 12 this fall.

2. Oklahoma freshman DeMarco Murray ran so well this spring (four carries, 103 yards, one touchdown in the spring game) that he made Sooner fans stop weeping over the loss of Adrian Peterson. You never know how that type of performance will weather the trip from spring to fall, but Murray has shown nothing but promise.

3. Iowa State forced only 15 turnovers last season, last in the league. Texas forced 32 turnovers last season, tied for first in the league. Now that Longhorns defensive coordinator Gene Chizik has taken over as head coach of the Cyclones, we should find out how much difference an emphasis on takeaways can make.
1. Few coaches have gone through tougher transitions than what Colorado's Dan Hawkins endured last season. With a second spring practice under their belts, will the Buffaloes be more adept at running the spread offense Hawkins brought from Boise State? Will Cody Hawkins, the coach's son, resurrect the offense? Can last season's quarterback, Bernard Jackson, become Colorado's do-everything player on offense?

Colt McCoy 2. The Big 12 was loaded with young quarterbacks last season: Colt McCoy at Texas, Josh Freeman at Kansas State, Stephen McGee at Texas A&M, Kerry Meier at Kansas, Graham Harrell at Texas Tech and Chase Daniel at Missouri. Which quarterback avoids the second-year slump in 2007?

3. Can Sam Keller win the quarterback battle at Nebraska? He bolted Arizona State after then-coach Dirk Koetter pulled an abrupt about-face and went with sophomore Rudy Carpenter. That decision ultimately cost Koetter his job when Carpenter faltered. Can Keller fill the shoes of Zac Taylor, and will the Cornhuskers have enough of a ground game after Brandon Jackson left for the NFL?

Ivan Maisel | email

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Mark Schlabach | email

College Football and Basketball