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Big 12 Pre-Spring Preview - The Concerns
Oklahoma State RB Joseph Randle
Oklahoma State RB Joseph Randle
CollegeFootballNews.com
Posted Feb 9, 2012


2012 Big 12 Pre-Spring Preview - Why Every Big 12 Team Should Be Grouchy

2012 Pre-Spring Preview   

Why To Be Grouchy - Big 12


Baylor | Iowa State | Kansas | Kansas State | Oklahoma
Oklahoma State | Texas | TCU | Texas Tech

2012 Big 12 Pre-Spring Preview
- Big 12 Pre-Spring Rankings
- Why Every Big 12 Team Should Be Excited
- Why Every Big 12 Team Should Be Grouchy
- What Every Big 12 Team Needs To Work On 
- Big 12 Recruiting Rankings
 
Baylor

There might be good prospects on offense waiting to show what they can do, but you don’t get better after losing Robert Griffin, Terrance Ganaway, and Kendall Wright. In those three, the Bears lose the nation’s No. 2 player in total offense (Griffin), the nation’s No. 7 leader in catches (Wright), and No. 10 rusher (Ganaway). The line should be fine, but center Philip Blake was a good one and the other Robert Griffin, the right guard, was a big, solid veteran. The defense that was so woeful at times has to find two new defensive tackles and has to replace leading tackler Elliot Coffey at middle linebacker.

Iowa State

The Cyclones might have a strong team returning, but they lose some very, very important players. Leonard Johnson is an NFL starting cornerback, and left tackle Kelechi Osemele will start on somewhere on someone’s offensive line. Key targets Darius Reynolds and Darius Darks have to be replaced, while the defensive line has to replace Stephen Ruempolhamer on the nose and Patrick Neal on the outside. There’s little margin for error, and one or two games the other way will mean the difference between a bowl season and an ugly record. Last year, two of the wins came in overtime and five of the six victories came by a grand total of 17 points. Iowa State won five games by six points or fewer.

Kansas

It’s not like Charlie Weis did anything with Florida’s offense last year, and the Gators actually had talent. The Jayhawks have light years to go to get to average on either side of the ball. Seven players are back on defense, but the players aren’t in place to expect a major improvement. Offensively, it’s asking a lot for Dayne Crist to be able to survive a whole season healthy on his creaky knees. Even if he’s healthy, he doesn’t have a slew of weapons to work with. The depth isn’t there on the offensive line, and the backfield doesn’t have a ton of options to take the heat off the passing game.

Kansas State

The Wildcats always fill in the gaps with JUCO transfers and big performances from players who come from out of nowhere, but it’ll still hurt to lose three offensive linemen including both starters on the right side. The bigger problem, though, will be the hype that Collin Klein gets. Teams are going to be ready now for the Wildcat star quarterback. Nose tackle Ray Kibble was an unsung key to the run defense, and linebacker Emmanuel Lamur and corner David Garrett, two of the top three tacklers, have to be replaced. Tysyn Hartman was a tone-setting leader at free safety.

Oklahoma

There’s no Adrian Peterson to carry the workload. Running back is a big question mark with injuries and defections leaving the cupboard a bit bare. OU can beat almost everyone on the slate by winging it around the yard, but if the plan is to win the national title, it needs a more balanced attack and has to get more from the ground game. The defense might have a tremendous core to work around, but as always, it loses a few excellent players to the NFL including top pass rusher Frank Alexander, linebacker Travis Lewis, and corner Jamell Fleming.

Oklahoma State

The offense has good prospects waiting to show what they can do, but Brandon Weeden and Justin Blackmon were special. The passing game that was so good last year should put up big numbers, but can things click like they did with a old veteran passer and a two-time Biletnikoff winner? The offensive line that was such a rock loses left tackle Levy Adcock, left guard Nick Martinez, and center Grant Garner. Lost in all the fun on the offense was a defense that was among the best in the country at forcing mistakes, and now it has to replace key ends Richetti Jones and Jamie Blatnick. Strong safety Markelle Martin will start in the NFL last year.

Texas

Texas should be back to being an elite team able to beat anyone in America, but it had more talent than just about everyone on its schedule for the last two years, too. The offense has the firepower and the experience, but can David Ash make the passing game go, and will there be a fight for the quarterback job? Can Malcolm Brown hold up for a full season? The offense wasn’t bad, but it struggled to put points on the board in the finishing kick and has to prove it can produce at a high level against the top teams.

TCU

TCU, you’re not in the Mountain West anymore. The Horned Frogs didn’t beat a BCS league team last season – it only played one – and while this year’s team should be good, coming up with another 11-win season will be next to impossible. The offensive line loses three starters including both tackles, and considering how pass happy the Big 12 is, losing three good starters in the secondary is a problem. Tank Carder was a true team leader and great all-around playmaker. TCU always gets production out of its middle linebackers, but Carder was special. On special teams, kicker Ross Evans is gone after nailing 56 of 68 career field goals.

Texas Tech

Ten starters might return on defense, but the group has a long, long way to go to be merely decent. The Red Raiders were 110th in the nation in total defense in 2010, and was even worse last year. Will experience make a difference? It should, and the D can’t help but be at least a little bit better, but the same players are back from the nation’s worst run defense. The same secondary that struggled on deep balls, even with a good pass rush to help the cause, has to prove that time equals production.

West Virginia

The defense is going to take a bunch of hits from graduation. Linemen Julian Miller and Bruce Irvin, LB Najee Goode and defensive backs Keith Tandy and Eain Smith all played as seniors in 2011. And all but Miller, who’s a solid pass rusher, earned a spot on either the All-Big East first or second team.

Baylor | Iowa State | Kansas | Kansas State | Oklahoma
Oklahoma State | Texas | TCU | Texas Tech

2012 Big 12 Pre-Spring Preview
- Big 12 Pre-Spring Rankings
- Why Every Big 12 Team Should Be Excited
- Why Every Big 12 Team Should Be Grouchy
- What Every Big 12 Team Needs To Work On 
- Big 12 Recruiting Rankings