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Big 12
Gene Menez
August 21, 2006
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August 21, 2006

Big 12

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A year after their epic in Columbus, these heavyweights with national-title hopes meet again. This time look for the Buckeyes to make a statement, turning the tables on the Horns, who will find out how much they miss Vince Young.

OCT. 7

TEXAS VS. OKLAHOMA

Last year the Longhorns ended a five-year drought against the Sooners with a 45-12 win in Dallas. With Oklahoma's offensive line in disarray, Texas should make it two straight, though this victory won't come as easily.

OCT. 7

NEBRASKA AT IOWA STATE

Last year the Cyclones led the Cornhuskers in the fourth quarter before losing in double overtime. Nebraska will be looking to pick up a big road victory in this early North Division showdown, but the Huskers haven't won in Ames since 2000.

EXTRA POINTS

With seniors at quarterback and the receiver positions, BAYLOR has had a smooth transition to the Texas Tech-style offense of new offensive coordinator Lee Hays. Quarterback SHAWN BELL capped a strong spring with a 239-yard, three-touchdown day in the Green and Gold game. The new offense and last season's resurgence (Baylor's 5-6 record was its best since 1995) have the Bears thinking bowl game. "Baylor can beat anybody now," says one Big 12 coach.... The quarterback situation at KANSAS was expected to be unsettled going into fall camp with four players vying for the starting job, but Kerry Meier, a redshirt freshman from Pittsburg, Kans., was so impressive during spring practice that coach Mark Mangino named him the starter. Jayhawks players have already dubbed the 6'3", 210-pound Meier "the man" and "franchise." ... Coaches at OKLAHOMA STATE expect a big season from junior wideout Adarius Bowman, a transfer from North Carolina. Two years ago Bowman was the second-leading receiver for the Tar Heels through six games before he was suspended because of a marijuana possession charge. (The charge was dismissed, but Bowman never returned to the team.) The presence of the 6'4" 220-pounder should force opponents to stop double-covering All-Big 12 receiver D'Juan Woods, who last season caught 56 passes, eight for touchdowns.... Who has the fastest set of receivers in the conference? KANSAS STATE. Jordy Nelson, a 6'2" 213-pounder, runs a sub-4.4, and 5'11", 173-pound senior Yamon Figurs clocks in at 4.29.

[This article contains a table. Please see hardcopy of magazine or PDF.]

HOW THEY'LL FINISH

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