Longhorns do it the old-fashioned way, with defense and a strong running game.
2. West Virginia
Newcomers have more firepower than any team in the league. They’ll need it to overcome suspect defense and stronger competition.
Still formidable, but Sooners have more questions than usual in the trenches and at receiver.
4. Kansas State
Can Wildcats win close games the way they did last year? We wouldn’t put it past them with so many key pieces coming back.
5. Oklahoma State
A top-notch running back and playmakers on defense should keep Cowboys from falling too far.
6. Texas Tech
Red Raiders might surprise ... if they finally click at defensive coordinator ... if their team surgeons batted 1.000 ... if their young talent pans out. ... That’s a lot of ifs.
Horned Frogs living the good life: A quality quarterback, a megabucks stadium makeover and — most important — a spot in a better conference. Now they just have to win games.
Strange how Baylor, of all programs, might have lost more talent than anyone. Stranger still, there’s enough left to give Bears shot at another winning season.
9. Iowa State
Don’t be deceived by the next-to-last position. The Cyclones will be competitive because their most important figure returns: Paul Rhoads.
Why did Charlie Weis want this job? He says if the programs nearest his are winning — that’s Kansas State and Missouri — he figures he can, too. We’re not holding our breath on that.
Compiled by Don Williams