Can't wait to see these things this fall

Originally Published: May 13, 2008
By Ivan Maisel and Mark Schlabach |

Three Things I Can't Wait To See This Fall In The Big 12
Ivan Maisel
Mark Schlabach
Colt McCoy1. Texas may be trying to figure out who will run and catch the ball this fall, but the offensive line will be deep, deep, deep. That's great news for quarterback Colt McCoy, because the Longhorns finished next to last in the Big 12 in sacks allowed last season with 25. The line is a year older, stronger and smarter.

Dez Bryant2. Michael Crabtree, despite what you may have thought, didn't have the only breakout year among Big 12 freshman receivers. Dez Bryant of Oklahoma State caught 43 passes for 622 yards and six touchdowns. Bryant is big (6-2, 210) and will be the go-to guy for Zac Robinson now that Adarius Bowman is gone. That is, if the Cowboys find someone who will do for him what he did for Bowman -- keep the secondary honest.

3. Kansas has three issues to overcome this season, in ascending order of difficulty: self-satisfaction after going 12-1 and finishing No. 7; being the hunted instead of the hunter; and a schedule that includes South Florida, Texas Tech, Oklahoma and Texas, four bowl teams that the Jayhawks didn't play on their road to 2007 glory.
Sam Bradford1. Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops wants his offense to play faster. It's hard to believe the Sooners can get much faster after leading the country with 80 touchdowns last season. But QB Sam Bradford will operate out of a no-huddle offense this coming season after throwing 36 TDs and only eight interceptions in 2007.

2. Kansas and Missouri came out of nowhere to contend for the Big 12 title last season. Will both teams be able to keep pace without several of their star players? The Jayhawks lost tailback Brandon McAnderson, All-America cornerback Aqib Talib and tackle Anthony Collins. The Tigers lost RB Tony Temple, center Adam Spieker and tight end Martin Rucker. Which team will adjust faster?

Michael Crabtree3. With QB Graham Harrell and WR Michael Crabtree returning, Texas Tech might be even better on offense than it was a year ago. Red Raiders coach Mike Leach believes a handful of juco transfers will make his defense up front, giving them a legitimate chance to compete for a Big 12 South title.

Ivan Maisel | email

Senior Writer,

Mark Schlabach | email

College Football and Basketball