Florence poised to replace Griffin at Baylor
Published: Thursday, August 16, 2012
Updated: Thursday, August 16, 2012 12:08
Stepping in for the Heisman Trophy winner is no easy task, but Baylor senior Nick Florence has been waiting to do just that. Florence has been Robert Griffin’s backup since arriving at Baylor in 2009. When Griffin has gotten hurt, Florence has stepped up, appearing in 18 games and starting seven, while throwing for 1,992 yards and nine touchdowns. Florence, veteran guy with that much experience, gives Coach Art Briles confidence.
"I have a tremendous amount of confidence in the passion, the energy, the drive, the fearlessness that he’s going to bring to the table for us," Briles said at Big 12 Media Day.
Cyclones loaded with defensive star power
It is clear that the Cyclones aren’t the offensive juggernaut that the majority of the teams in the conference are. Iowa State’s best players are on defense with linebackers Jake Knott and A.J. Klein. Last season, Klein piled up 116 tackles and two sacks, while Knott had 115 tackles and two interceptions.
Their head coach Paul Rhoads knows these are the guys who will take the program to the next level.
"They’re prototype. They’re 6-foot-2, 6-foot-3, 245 pounds. They can run, and they’re intelligent, and they are tough, and the expectations are high for good reason," Rhoads said.
Kansas ready for first year under Weis
What a change in culture for the players at Kansas. Going from Turner Gil to an established big name coach in Charlie Weis, it has to be a little bit of a whirlwind. Weis feels that Lawrence, Kansas is a perfect place to start building a winner.
"You get offered this job (KU job), so what do you do?" Weis asked. "You look at your two closest competitors – proximity-wise, your two closest competitors. So you look at Kansas State and you look at Missouri. How are they doing?"
Kansas State underrated heading into 2012
Everyone in the Big 12 was shocked that Bill Snyder’s Wildcats were picked sixth in the preseason poll. This is a team that had ten wins last year. Snyder’s Cats will be out trying to prove people wrong like they did last season.
Snyder said, "I think you look back at last season and we moved up maybe six slots. I just hope that we can do something similar to that."
Sooner QB Jones poised for historic season
Senior quarterback Landry Jones has the most career starts at the position in Sooner history, and this season will most likely become the leader in wins at Oklahoma. He’s only three shy of the leader Steve Davis. Jones has all the weapons around him, including the eight other starters who return on offense. Jones should be able to go out prove that he is one of the top players in the country.
True freshman leads Oklahoma State into 2012
Replacing former Cowboys standout Brandon Weeden is true freshman Wes Lunt. Having enrolled early at Oklahoma State, spring played huge for Lunt as he won the starting job over junior Clint Chelf. In high school, Lunt threw for 3651 yards and 31 touchdowns, en route to being named the Illinois All-State Quarterback.
Halfway through the Cowboys’ training camp, Coach Mike Gundy said, "He’s doing fine. He’s progressing well. He’s got a better feel for the offense now than he did in the spring. We’ve been out there now (during camp), and he’s ahead of where I thought he would be."
Texas boasts one of deepest defensive lines in the nation
Alex Okafor and Jackson Jeffcoat combined last season for 15 sacks. These two are as good a defensive end combo as any in the country. With Okafor at 6-foot-5, 265 pounds and Jeffcoat at 6-foot-5, 245 pounds, the Longhorns have dueling speed rushers on the edge. Add the fact that Texas brings in five-star recruit Malcolm Brown to add some size on the interior at the defensive tackle spot, the Longhorns will be imposing for an opponents’ offensive line to handle.
TCU’s Maponga Can Play With the Best
Defensive End Stansly Maponga had nine sacks and 13.5 tackles for loss wreaking havoc in the backfield. The standout defensive end can get to the quarterback at any given time. Maponga dominated competition in the Mountain West. The true test for Maponga will be if he can do it against the bigger offensive tackles in the Big 12.
About facing the competition, Maponga said, "I’ve watched a lot of film on the Big 12 teams, and it’s going to be a lot of fun; I’m ready to prove everyone wrong. I’m ready to go out there and make some moves."
Veteran QB Doege looking for consistency
Having come a long way since replacing Graham Harrell following the 2010 season, senior Seth Doege will be the leader of the Red Raiders entering 2012.
Doege has had some big wins, like the upset last season against Oklahoma, but also some ugly losses, like a 60-point blowout loss to Oklahoma State. Doege has been in the middle of it all – some good like the four touchdowns against the Sooners and some bad like the three interceptions against Kansas State. Needless to say, he’s looking for consistency.