Debuts Highlight Big 12 Openers

On the schedule this week for the Big 12 is a healthy diet of creme puffs waiting to be devoured.

North Texas at Texas

The defending National Champion Texas Longhorns begin a new era in Austin on Saturday. Redshirt freshman Colt McCoy beat out true freshman Jevan Snead to replace Vince Young. Coming off a 2-9 season, North Texas will provide a nice tune up for McCoy and Snead before Ohio State comes calling next weekend. Look for the Horns put this game away early and get plenty of work for both quarterbacks. While outcome of this game was all but settled when the schedule was set, something to keep an eye on will be how long it takes Lee Corso to say "Colt McCoy, how about that name for a Texas quarterback, Kirk" on College Gameday.

Louisiana Tech at Nebraska

Week one of Nebraska's pre-season begins with a visit from the Louisiana Tech Bulldogs. Coming off a Alamo win over Michigan, the Huskers face a Bulldogs' team who's top returning quarterback, Zac Champion, completed two passes for 16 yards last season. Their leading returning rusher, Mark Dillard, has been moved to defensive back. Welcome to Lincoln, Bulldogs fans!

Montana St. at Colorado

The Dan Hawkins era begins in Boulder with a visit from mighty Montana State from the Big Sky conference. Earlier this camp, Coach Hawkins named Senior James Cox as the starting quarterback of the Buffalos. Juniors Brian White and Bernard Jackson could also see time in this game. The Buffalos return 2005 leading rusher, Hugh Charles, but look for Wayne State transfer Mel Holliday to make a big impact on the Buffs' ground game this year.

UAB at Oklahoma

With Rhett Bomar off to a car dealership somewhere near Sam Houston State, Paul Thompson once again takes the reigns of the Sooners offense. Thompson actually beat out Bomar to start the opener last year, a game in which TCU came to Norman and shocked the Sooners. Can UAB pull a similar upset this year? With a healthy Adrian Peterson, a more experienced offensive lin,e and the premier defense in all of college football, two opening day losses in a row seems unlikely.

TCU at Baylor

Coming off an 11-1 2005 season, TCU is a popular choice to make it to the BCS this year. The Horned Frogs opened last season by going to Norman and beating the Sooners on their home turf. For the Frogs, it's another year and another trip to a Big XII South school, this time it is a trip down I-35 to Waco to face the Baylor Bears. Baylor returns Shawn Bell at quarterback and Paul Mosley and Brandon Whitaker at running back and could prove to be a tough test for TCU.

SMU at Texas Tech

Earlier this week, Tech coach Mike Leach announced that sophomore Graham Harrell had won the quarterback position, beating out freshman Chris Todd. Harrell, who owns the Texas high school career record for yards passing, will have plenty of opportunities to throw in the coach Leach's offense. His favorite target will likely be senior Jarret Hicks, who will be competing with Jeff Samardzija, Dwayne Jarrett, Calvin Johnson and Ted Ginn for the pecking order among wide receiver prospects in the NFL Draft. SMU ranked 89th in the nation against the pass last year, so expect Harrell and Hicks to get off to a fast start.

Other Games on the Big XII Schedule (and not worth mentioning):

Murray St at Missouri
Missouri State at Oklahoma State
Northwestern State at Kansas
Illinois State at Kansas State
The Citadel at Texas A&M
Toledo vs. Iowa State
Hopefully nobody will get hurt. Top Stories