Nebraksa on the one hand and Kansas on the other wrecked everyone's guesses in the Big 12 North, but even considering that transposition, I think the ledger in forecasting the conference was particularly bad. From the preseason consensus of 18 publications at Stassen.com, from most underrated to most overrated:
|Kansas||4th North||T-1st N. (7-1)||+ 3||J. Feist (3rd)||SureFire (6th)|
|Colorado||5th North||3rd N. (4-4)||+ 2||SCS, SureFire (3rd)||SportsForm (6th)|
|Texas Tech||5th South||T-3rd S. (4-4)||+ 2||TSN, SportsForm (3rd)||Thirteen 5th Place Picks|
|Missouri||2nd North||T-1st N. (7-1)||+ 1||Five 1st Place Picks||SureFire (T-3rd)|
|Oklahoma||2nd South||1st S. (6-2)||+ 1||Five 1st Place Picks||SureFire (T-3rd)|
|Okla. State||4th South||T-3rd S. (4-4)||+ 1||SureFire (T-3rd)||TSN (5th)|
|Baylor||6th South||6th S. (0-8)||-||All||None|
|Iowa State||6th North||6th N. (2-6)||-||All||None|
|Texas A&M||3rd South||T-3rd S. (4-4)||-||Eight 3rd Place Picks||SureFire (2nd)|
|Kansas State||3rd North||4th N. (3-5)||-1||SCS (T-4th)||SureFire (2nd)|
|Texas||1st South||2nd S. (5-3)||-1||Four 2nd Place Picks||GoldSheet (3rd)|
|Nebraska||1st North||5th N. (2-6)||-4||Five 2nd Place Picks||Thirteen 1st Place Picks|
Nebraska and its atrocious defense bit the dust in historically bad fashion, but the biggest loser in the Big 12 in retrospect was SureFire Scouting, the only mainstream outlet that picked Texas A&M or Kansas State second in their respective divisions, much less both, the only mainstream outlet that had either of the eventual division representatives in the conference championship game in a tie for third, much less both, and, worst of all, the only mainstream outlet that picked eventual Orange Bowl winner Kansas last in the North, behind Iowa State. I mean, what kind of frothing idiot do you have to be to pick a sleeper off a 6-6 season and facing a favorable schedule behind a team enduring a coaching transition after going 3-9? Seriously, you have to have really, uh, really lost...your...umm...
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Damn, coach, I know, but see...it was July, and...
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Ahem. I was only a little less wrong about Kansas State overall - again, like everybody else - but had to throw in this specific line of doubt re: the Wildcats (following a recounting of KSU's six double-digit losses in 2006, one of them to Baylor) to ensure maximum foolishness:
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I thought Sam Bradford would suck, Missouri didn't have the defense to challenge Nebraska for first place in the North and Texas would play for the mythical championship. In short, I did an atrocious job of forecasting the Big 12. In fact, there are only two teams I placed correctly: Baylor, which was obvious, and Oklahoma State, which was less obvious. The best I can say of my Big 12 South predictions is that I was right about Texas A&M re: OSU and Texas Tech - the Aggies were overwhelmingly predicted in front of both, but I dropped A&M to fifth with the caveat all three were likely to be in a dead, indecipherable heat in the South. All three finished 4-4 and beat one another, round-robin style (A&M > OSU > Tech > A&M). After that, I hope you hung on to your money.