July 29, 2009
Part of the Doc's Big 12 Week.
The assembled Big 12 media, summoning its Pavlovian response to decades of conditioning, voted Nebraska the "official" favorite to win the Big 12 North earlier this week, a move that nevertheless left the Huskers rather unimpressed. Ditto the nation's purveyors of fine and mostly overpriced preview magazines, which broke strongly in favor of Kansas to win the North for the first time after two years at the doorstep. And, of course, ditto Missouri, defending champion and standard bearer for the entire division in the last two conference championship games.
Whether it not it can hang with the South, this year's North division remains one of the most compelling in the country precisely because of its lack of clarity and the potential logjam at the top. The Doc sizes up the contenders after the jump ...
With apologies to Nick Bakay, it's all so simple when you break things down scientifically: Kansas has the most returning starters in the division, a quarterback who's actually taken meaningful college snaps and in all likelihood the most prolific offense north of the Oklahoma line. Nebraska may have a higher ceiling, but the known quantity of Reesing to Briscoe/Meyer is more compelling at the start of the year than the Huskers' largely untapped potential.