2010 Big 12 College Football Preview: Oklahoma reclaims top spot

MIAMI GARDENS, FL - OCTOBER 3:   Quarterback Landry Jones #12 of the Oklahoma Sooners hands the ball off to teammate runningback DeMarco Murray #7 in the first quarter against the Miami Hurricanes on October 3, 2009 at Landshark Stadium in Miami Gardens, Florida. (Photo by Doug Benc/Getty Images)

Here’s a quick and dirty look at how I see things playing out in the Big 12 this season:

#1 Oklahoma
In Sam Bradford, Gerald McCoy, Trent Williams, Jermaine Gresham, Keenan Clayton, Brody Eldridge and Dominique Franks, there’s no doubt that the Sooners lost a ton of talent from last year. However, this season is all about two names: Landry Jones and DeMarco Murray. Jones filled in admirably when Bradford went down last season, throwing 26 touchdown passes and gaining valuable experience throughout the year. Murray’s health history is a major concern, but if he can stay upright he’s scary good. He’s more versatile than Adrian Peterson was in that he can catch the ball out of the backfield or beat teams as a rusher. He’s big, he’s fast and he can get north and south in a hurry. He’s also going to get a ton of opportunities to shine this year as both a runner and a pass-catcher and again, if he can stay healthy he has the ability to be one of the best backs in college football. Defensively, Bob Stoops’ team has good depth and while the loss of McCoy hurts, don’t forget that Jeremy Beal was fifth on the team in tackles last season and first in sacks with 11. The linebacker corps has a chance to be special thanks to redshirt freshman Tom Wort and sophomore Ronnell Lewis. I know many pundits still like Texas in the South, but with Landry, Murray and nine starters returning on offense, I think Oklahoma reclaims the conference this season.

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Colorado upsets No. 21 West Virginia in overtime

Cody HawkinsThe West Virginia Mountaineers dropped out of the top 10 two weeks ago when they lost to East Carolina and will no doubt drop out of the top 25 entirely after losing to Colorado 17-14 in overtime Thursday night.

On WVU’s first and only possession in overtime, senior kicker Pat McAfee missed a chip shot field goal from 23 yards out. The Buffs didn’t waste the opportunity to claim victory, driving the play to the Mountaineers’ 13-yard line in just four plays. On a 3rd and three from the 13, Aric Goodman booted a 25-yard field goal to give CU the victory.

Pat White (19 carries, 149 yards, 2 TDs) and Noel Devine (26 carries, 133 yards) were excellent, but penalties, the lack of big plays in the passing game and poor clock management at the end of regulation killed the Mountaineers in the end. It also didn’t help that Bradley Starks badly under threw Jock Sanders on a trick play in the fourth quarter. Sanders could have waltzed into the end zone and with the way their defense had been playing in the second half, WVU probably could have walked away with a 21-14 victory.

It was nevertheless a gritty performance by Colorado and more specially, freshman RB Rodney Stewart, who carried 28 times for 166 yards. He single handedly got the Buffs into field goal range to win the game in overtime. With Stewart and sophomore quarterback Cody Hawkins (179 yards, 2 TDs), Colorado is building a young, productive backfield.

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