Big 12 Key Questions

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In our continuing look at the upcoming 2012 NCAA Football Season, let's examine Five (5) questions regarding the Big 12:

Q: Okay, so besides the Oklahoma vs. Texas showdown on October 13th, what's the single-biggest game on this Big 12 sked?
A: Believe it or not, it's quite possible that the season-ending December 1st tilt between Oklahoma at new Big 12 member TCU could decide who gets the conference's automatic berth in a BCS Bowl Game (and do keep in mind that the Big 12 does not have a conference championship game again because it doesn't have 12-or-more teams). There's a good chance that TCU might have just one league loss while heading into this battle against the OU Sooners and wouldn't that be a kick if a TCU team that was originally supposed to be headed to the Big East instead rose up, won the Big 12 and wound up playing someone like Michigan in this year's Fiesta Bowl? Just sayin'!

Q: Will West Virginia -the Big 12's other new member this year -knock off any of the league's big-name teams?
A: It's quite possible that the WVU Mountaineers -who averaged a haughty 37.6 points per game a year ago -could win at Texas come October 6th (yes, the week before the Oklahoma-Texas game, folks) and beating the aforementioned Sooners in Morgantown on November 17th is also very possible but let's see how the 'Neers fare in a tough league on a week-to-week basis because the former Big East tough guys might get a bit of a comeuppance in this pass-happy conference.

Q: What off-the-radar quarterback in the Big 12 might have a really big year?
A: Hey, should anyone really be surprised if Baylor QB Nick Florence has a bust-out season? The heir to Heisman Trophy-winning Griffin III did start seven of the Bears' final nine games back in 2009 when Griffin was sidelined with a knee injury and pass-happy head coach Art Briles won't pull any punches with the senior Florence who has a big arm and has an abundance of high-quality pass-catchers at hand even if WR Kendall Wright took his game to the NFL.

Q: Who could be a sneaky-good pointspread side from the Big 12 this season?
A: Watch out for Texas Tech. True, the Red Raiders are just a collective 11-13 versus the vig in the first two years of the Tommy Tuberville Era but, after T-Tech missed out on a bowl game for the first time in more than a decade, look for spunkier efforts by the Lubbock lads and home dog dates against the likes of Oklahoma, West Virginia and Texas. The Techsters could be ready/willing/able to cha-ching the cash register with a couple of outright wins possibly tossed into the mix here.

Q: Finally, what coach will impose his game strategy skills the most in big 12 land?
A: Who else but Kansas State's Bill Snyder whose 2011 squad pumped out a 9-4 spread mark that includes -get this -six outright upset wins! Snyder is a master planner but he often times does not get enough credit for his in-game decisions and maneuvers and he's outwitted more than a few Big 12 coaches in the day. Let's just say Snyder is worth at least one point more than any other Big 12 head coach out there (and he might be worth 3-to-5 points over a handful of Big 12 coaches).

NOTE: There's more NFL News & Notes from this 2012 Preseason in the very next edition of Jim Sez.


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