Nebraska returns 16 starters off of last year's 8-4 team that tied for second (4-4) in the North and beat Michigan in the MasterCard Alamo Bowl. The Huskers led the Big 12 in red zone defense in 2005, holding the opposition scoreless 33.3 percent of the time it penetrated the 20-yardline while also recording an NCAA-leading 50 sacks.
Iowa State was chosen to finish second in the North, followed by Colorado, Kansas, Missouri and Kansas State.
Oklahoma welcomes back 13 starters from its 2005 squad, including Adrian Peterson who became the first running back in OU history to amass 3,000 rushing yards (3,033) in his first two seasons. The Sooners finished 8-4 overall and 6-2 in the Big 12 last year while ending the season with a win over then-No. 6 ranked Oregon in the Pacific Life Holiday Bowl.
Defending national champion Texas was picked to finish second in the South, followed by Texas Tech, Texas A&M, Oklahoma State and Baylor.
The winners of the North and South divisions will square off in the 2006 Dr Pepper Big 12 Championship Dec. 2, at Kansas City's Arrowhead Stadium. The game will be telecast nationally by ABC at 7 p.m. CT.
Big 12 teams will be in Kansas City Monday-Wednesday for the annual Big 12 Football Media Day. The 2006 season opens with a full slate of non-conference games beginning Aug. 31.
2006 Big 12 Preseason Football Poll (Media Vote)
|2.||Iowa State (5)||128|
First place votes in parentheses