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Big Ten Preview 2006 - Unit Rankings

CollegeFootballNews.com
Posted Aug 9, 2006


CollegeFootballNews.com 2006 Big 10 Preview Unit Rankings


Big 12 Preview | All-Big 12 team and top 30 players | Top 5s | Unit Rankings 
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Baylor Preview | Colorado Preview | Iowa State Preview
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Kansas Preview | Kansas State Preview | Missouri Preview
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Nebraska Preview | Oklahoma Preview | Oklahoma State Preview
- Texas Preview | Texas A&M Preview | Texas Tech Preview

 
Offens
es

1. Texas
The offense was unstoppable last season averaging over 50 points and 512 yards per game with only one outing (the 25-22 win over Ohio State) with fewer than forty points. The backfield is loaded with talented backs, there's plenty of experience and next-level ability in the receiving corps, and the line will once again be among the best in the country despite losing All-Americans Jonathan Scott and Will Allen. It all comes down to the quarterbacks where Colt McCoy and Jevan Snead will try to combine to take over for the irreplaceable Vince Young. Expect the Longhorns to run, run, and run some more until the new signal-callers get their feet wet.
2.
Texas Tech
3.
Oklahoma
4. Iowa State
5. Missouri
6. Texas A&M
7. Nebraska
8. Colorado
9. Oklahoma State
10. Kansas
11. Kansas State
12. Baylor

Quarterbacks  
1. Nebraska
There's no question Zac Taylor is the star of the offense, but who's the number two going to be? Harrison Beck is the likely backup to be groomed for the 2007 starting job, but he has had issues with his shoulder and has come along slowly. Joe Ganz isn't the answer unless there are some major problems. Taylor should blow up statistically and be in for an All-Big 12 season now that he knows what he's doing.
2. Iowa State
3. Texas Tech
4. Missouri
5. Colorado
6. Kansas State
7. Texas A&M
8. Texas
9. Oklahoma State
10. Oklahoma
11. Baylor
12. Kansas

Running Backs  
1. Oklahoma
Adrian Peterson is the best back in college football and should be a threat for 2,000 yards if he can stay healthy. The backup situation is a question mark needing to see what top recruits DeMarco Murray, Mossis Madu and Chris Brown can bring this fall. Allen Patrick was the number two back throughout spring, but the former defensive back should quickly get pushed aside by the young stars. Longtime starting fullback J.D. Runnels will be replaced by 242-pound Dane Zaslaw.
2. Texas
3. Texas A&M
4. Oklahoma State
5. Iowa State
6. Kansas State
7. Nebraska
8. Missouri
9. Kansas
10. Colorado
11. Texas Tech
12. Baylor

Receivers
1. Texas Tech
It'll be among the most productive groups in America with the return of the top four wide receivers. Robert Johnson, Joel Filani, and Jarrett Hicks are all going to be on All-Big 12 teams and a few All-America squads. There's speed, talent, and size with enough options to go around for two good receiving corps. Each of the top receivers will have a fair share of 100-yard games.

2. Iowa State
3. Texas
4. Nebraska
5. Missouri
6. Oklahoma
7. Colorado
8. Oklahoma State
9. Texas A&M
10. Kansas State
11. Baylor
12. Kansas

Offensive Lines
1. Texas
The line loses All-Americans Jonathan Scott and Will Allen, but has more than enough returning talent to be among the best front walls in America thanks to the return of tackle Justin Blalock, center Lyle Sendlein and guard Kasey Studdard. This is Texas we're talking about, so there are more than enough talented players ready to fill in the holes and provide strong depth. Can this group allow a mere 14 sacks and pave the way for 275 rushing yards per game? No, but it's not going to drop off too much, if at all.
2. Missouri
3. Texas A&M
4. Texas Tech
5. Colorado
6. Kansas
7. Oklahoma
8. Iowa State
9. Nebraska
10. Oklahoma State
11. Baylor
12. Kansas State

Defenses
1. Texas
Lost in the dominance of the 2005 offense was how good the defense was finishing tenth in the nation and eighth in scoring D. There are only four losses, but safety Michael Huff, corner Cedric Griffin, linebacker Aaron Harris and tackle Rodrique Wright were All-America caliber players. The cupboard is hardly bare with a tremendous end tandem of Tim Crowder and Brian Robison sure to be among the best in the country and more than enough talent in the back seven to fill up the All-Big 12 team. The big question marks are at tackle next to Frank Okam and at middle linebacker, where Rashad Bobino and Roddrick Muckelroy will battle it out, but there's not a lot to be worried about.
2. Oklahoma
3. Nebraska
4. Missouri
5. Colorado
6. Iowa State
7. Texas Tech
8. Kansas
9. Kansas State
10. Baylor
11. Texas A&M
12. Oklahoma State


Defensive Lines
1. Nebraska
Not only does the Husker D line have six All-Big 12 candidates, it has six solid pro prospects led by ends Adam Carriker and Jay Moore. Speed rusher Barry Turner isn't as big as the two starting ends, but he'll be every bit as dangerous when he gets on the field. Ola Dagunduro, Ndamukong Suh and Barry Cryer are soon to be Big 12 household names; the NFL scouts certainly know all about them. There won't be a better front four in America at getting into the backfield from all positions.
2. Oklahoma
3. Texas
4. Missouri
5. Iowa State
6. Colorado
7. Texas Tech
8. Oklahoma State
9. Texas A&M
10. Kansas
11. Kansas State
12. Baylor

Linebackers
1. Nebraska
This is one of the Big 12's deepest and more productive corps with six players all able to start without a problem. Bo Ruud is an All-Big 12 performer who'll have a hard time getting a starting spot with the return of Steve Octavien from a broken leg. Phillip Dillard is a rising star in the middle, but he'll have to battle leading tackler Corey McKeon for time. With Stewart Bradley back after suffering a season-ending knee injury, the coaching staff has envious problem of trying to find time for all the talent.
2. Oklahoma
3. Texas
4. Colorado
5. Missouri
6. Kansas State
7. Iowa State
8. Texas A&M
9. Texas Tech
10. Kansas
11. Oklahoma State
12. Baylor

Defensive Backs
1. Texas
Texas was eighth in the nation in pass defense and fourth in pass efficiency defense, but that's partly due to not playing too many teams that threw the ball on a regular basis. Texas Tech put up 369 yards (albeit in a blowout) and Matt Leinart cranked out 365 yards in the national title game. What gets lost is how well this group tackles. Tarrell Brown and Aaron Ross might be the best hitting corners in the country, while Michael Griffin could follow Michael Huff's lead and win the Thorpe Award. There's good depth with the luxury of having backup corners in Ryan Palmer and Brandon Foster who are faster than the starters.
2. Oklahoma
3. Colorado
4. Baylor
5. Kansas
6. Nebraska
7. Missouri
8. Texas Tech
9. Iowa State
10. Kansas State
11. Oklahoma State
12. Texas A&M

Special Teams
1. Colorado
Mason Crosby is one of the best kickers in college football, and now he'll handle the punting game as long as he doesn't slip as a placekicker. Stephone Robinson will be the main kick and punt returner again, but he needs to use his elite quickness to do more after averaging 18.2 yards per kickoff return and 9.9 yards per punt return. 
2. Texas
3. Baylor
4. Kansas
5. Nebraska
6. Oklahoma State
7. Oklahoma
8. Missouri
9. Texas Tech
10. Kansas State
11. Iowa State
12. Texas A&M