Texas can go undefeated if, and this is a big if, the quarterback Colt McCoy plays well. He must also make big plays and cannot afford to make negative plays and turnovers putting pressure on their defense.
Up Next: North Texas (Saturday, Sept. 2)
After being able to see the type of talent and personnel that Oklahoma has, they can go 11-1. The offensive line could be the key to winning the south. But overall, I have to give the nod to Texas. But I think the best thing to happen to them was the loss of the quarterback, because now they're the hunters instead of the hunted.
Up Next: UAB (Saturday, Sept. 2)
#3 Texas Tech Red Raiders
Graham Harrell is going to have to go against good defenses in the south, like Oklahoma and Texas, and a good offensive team at Iowa State. I believe Texas Tech will be 9-3 or 8-4.
Up Next: SMU (Saturday, Sept. 2)
The Cornhuskers will be the same way — 9-3 or 8-4. When I look at Nebraska, I am split between them and Iowa State for positioning. But the reason I am leaning toward Nebraska is because of their defense. Nebraska has a very outstanding defense.
Up Next: Louisiana Tech (Saturday, Sept. 2)
#5 Iowa State
The Cyclones are one of those teams where offensively they have the runners, the chunkers and the catchers. You can't count them out of any game, but what we really don't know is their defense. If their defense is as good as it has been, then they could be really good because they forced a lot of turnovers last season. They have great corners and other pieces on the defense that could make them tough on defense.
Up Next: Toledo (Thursday, Aug. 31)
#6 Texas A&M
The Aggies, offensively, are going to score points. They really have a very good recruit out of Houston — running back Michael Goodson — and he is the real deal. When you look at them defensively they are a big question mark. Do they have the talent on defense to improve defensively? I think heir new schemes and new defensive system will be a plus. But I don't know if they have the personnel on defense to be in the same breath as Oklahoma, Texas and Nebraska.
Up Next: The Citadel (Saturday, Sept. 2)
The Tigers have some players, like quarterback Chase Daniel. Also, look at their tight ends — Martin Rucker and Chase Coffman. Defensively, Missouri has a chance to be pretty good. Up front they have defensive end Brian Smith, as well as good linebacker play from Marcus Bacon and Van Alexander. I think they have a chance to be better than they were last season and they could end up with a record of 7-5.
Up Next: Murray State (Saturday, Sept. 2)
I think it's a good marriage between Dan Hawkins and the Buffaloes, because of what Colorado has gone through the last couple years they needed some relief. And Dan Hawkins will bring them the relief they need on and off campus. He will also bring new excitement and I believe the players will get into it. Look for Colorado to be a 7-4 or possibly a 8-5 team this season.
Up Next: Montana State (Saturday, Sept. 2)
#9 Oklahoma State
When you look at Oklahoma State, it all comes down to the quarterback. If Bobby Reid steps up to be the player he can be after being such a highly-regarded recruit, Oklahoma State's offense will be so much better. Reid has great wide receivers to the throw to, like D'Juan Woods. But the one receiver that caught my attention and stood out in my eyes was this receiver Adarius Bowman. He is a man. He is going to have a lot of defensive coordinators' attention. On defense, they have to replace a lot of people and they have a way to go.
Up Next: Missouri State (Saturday, Sept. 2)
#10 Kansas State
I think Kansas State will be the surprise team in the north. I think they will be better than most people have picked them. It will take them a while to learn the nuances of Ron Prince's new offensive system. I don't think they will finish at the bottom, but they do have a lot of work. But I assure you they will be better than last season.
Up Next: Illinois State (Saturday, Sept. 2)
Mark Mangino's Jayhawks will be on the border line of going back to another bowl game because of their defense. Now, they have recruited very well offensively and that should be their strength in getting to another bowl game.
Up Next: Northwestern State (Saturday, Sept. 2)
Baylor could really surprise a lot of people. The opening game with TCU, they could possibly win and that will help their team come along in the beginning of the season and going into conference play. They were on the edge of going to a bowl game last year. Confidence will be the key for the Baylor Bears.
Up Next: TCU, (Sunday, Sept. 3)
* Coach Sherrill's Updated Power Rankings will appear every Monday right here on OUInsider.com throughut the seasn.
Sherrill's Big 12 Power Rankings: Week 1
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