** Texas coach Charlie Strong is in no way adverse to starting a freshman at quarterback. He did so with Teddy Bridgewater at Louisville. That’s good news for Longhorn signal-caller Shane Buechele, a true freshman who excelled in spring practice after graduating from high school early.
** Oklahoma is an overwhelming favorite to win the conference this year.
** The Big 12 returns four quarterbacks who threw for more than 3,100 yards in 2015:
. Skyler Howard Sr West Virginia 3,145 yards
. Patrick Mahomes Jr Texas Tech 4,653 yards
. Baker Mayfield Jr # Oklahoma 3,700 yards
. Mason Rudolph Jr Oklahoma State 3,770 yards
** # – Mayfield’s a junior for a second straight year because of an off-season change in Big 12 rules. I’m sure he’s not arguing.
** The Big 12 also sports four returning 1,000-yard rushers from 2015, half of whom play for a team known for its passing prowess – the Baylor Bears. Here are the Big 12 ground experts:
. Shock Linwood Sr Baylor 1,329 yards
. Johnny Jefferson Jr Baylor 1,000 yards
. Samaje Perine Jr Oklahoma 1,349 yards
. Mike Warren So Iowa State 1,339 yards
** In 2015 Kansas became the first Big 12 team to play an entire season without winning a game.
** Jim Grobe, 64, is Baylor’s head coach…for now. He has only a one-year contract, so 2016 could be considered an audition for the permanent job.
** New Iowa State coach Matt Campbell is the youngest head man at any Power Five conference school. He’s 36. He was at Toledo last year, so he does have head coaching experience.
But MAC-to-Big 12 is a big step up – at any age!