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DMN Big 12 preview not kind to Texas Tech

Hat tipped Burnt Orange Nation's way for Chip Brown's Big 12 preview. He's big on Oklahoma State and makes a compelling case in their favor, though ultimately he settles on OU to win the Big 12 in a three way tie breaker. Here go his South rankings:

  1. Oklahoma Record: 10-2, 6-2
  2. Oklahoma State Record: 10-2, 6-2
  3. Texas Record: 10-2, 6-2
  4. Texas A&M Record: 7-5, 4-4
  5. Texas Tech Record: 7-5, 3-5
  6. Baylor Record: 3-9, 0-8
On Tech:
League losses: at Okla. St., Texas A&M, at Mizzou, at Texas, OU

Bottom line: Tech has only four starters back on offense and only five back on defense. If Mike Leach hasn't been recruiting well, it will show. A typically soft nonleague schedule should ensure Tech remains the only Big 12 team without a losing season since the conference was formed.

That my blood is red demands I scoff at this ranking, despite it being fair, in my opinion. I don't think we finish 2nd to last in the south, but the concerns mentioned are very real and ones that could keep me up at night. I think much of that concern is offset by an offense that improves substantially in Harrell's 2nd year at the helm, as history has told us as much (with Kingsbury).

The good news is that I think Chip Brown has accurately identified that the top of the south is more open then it has been in year's past. OU has to break in a new quarterback, Oklahoma State could upset either of the big two, and UT still has to resolve their pass defense. Our BCS hopes run through a Big 12 championship and that means catching both OU and UT on off years. We've met half that burden a few times though have been incapable of making lightning strike twice. I don't think either OU or Texas are soft this year, but I also don't think it's impossible that we knock one or both of them down in the '07 season. Depending on how the rest of the conference games shake out...

Regarding our losses, I'll grant Chip that we've got our work cut out for us at Ok. State, Texas, and Missouri. I think we beat A&M at home. Admitting that much has changed with both programs in the past 5 years, the Aggies have had a very difficult time in Lubbock recently: Total margin of our past two home games is 115-45. I am not looking past them by any means, but we always play the Aggies tough and this year's home game should be no different. I'd say that we have a good chance of upsetting at least one of these games: OU, @ Miss, @ OSU, though that will be offset by our annual loss to a team we should beat. UTEP? Colorado? If we want to really hate ourselves, Iowa State? I'll let readers speculate on this year's trap in the comments section.