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.
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.
NEBRASKA AT IOWA
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.
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.
contains a table. Please see hardcopy of magazine or PDF.]
HOW THEY'LL FINISH