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HOW THEY'LL FINISH
This is an article from the Aug. 20, 2007 issue
|Conference championship game: Dec. 1 in San AntonioTexas over Nebraska|
PLAYERS TO WATCH Top performers from unranked teams in the conference
Alvin Bowen,LBIOWA STATE
Though undersizedat 6' 2" and 216¬†pounds, he was a big surprise as a junior, averaging12.9 tackles per game. Bowen should thrive in new coach Gene Chizik's attacking4-3 scheme.
Chase Daniel, QBMISSOURI
Replacingdeparted star Brad Smith, Daniel set school records for passing yards (3,527),touchdown passes (28) and total offense (3,906) as a sophomore.
Graham Harrell,QB TEXAS TECH
Some shrug offhis stats as merely a by-product of Mike Leach's wide-open attack, butHarrell's 4,555 passing yards and 38 TDs as a sophomore would have been a greatyear in any offense.
Bernard Jackson,WR COLORADO
The versatile6-foot, 200-pound senior moves from starting quarterback to roles as a widereceiver, running back and returner--and might still take some snaps undercenter.
Marcus Watts, DBKANSAS STATE
A second-teamAll-Big¬†12 selection despite missing four games with a broken right hand,the 6' 1", 189-pound senior provides tight coverage and excels in runsupport.
TOP OFFENSIVEPLAYER Adarius Bowman, WR, Oklahoma State A North Carolina transfer, the 6'4", 220-pound senior caught 60 passes for 1,181 yards and 12¬†TDs andwas named All-Big 12 last year.
TOP DEFENSIVEPLAYER Ian Campbell, DE, Kansas State One of two sophomores to be selectedAll-Big¬†12 in 2006, he finished with 111‚ÅÑ2¬†sacks and 17 tackles forloss.
TRUE FRESHMAN TOWATCH Ryan Miller, OL, Colorado The 6' 8" 310-pounder out of Columbine Highin Littleton, Colo., turned down Notre Dame and USC, among others.
COACH ON THE RISEMike Gundy, Oklahoma State His creative offense moves the ball out of thespread and the I.
COACH ON THE HOTSEAT Dennis Franchione, Texas A&M The Aggies' road schedule is daunting,which means folks in College Station may soon forget last year's 9-4finish.
SLEEPER MissouriWith their explosive offense the Tigers will challenge Nebraska in theNorth.
Oklahoma Statewas one of only two teams in the nation to average at least 200 yards rushingand 200 yards passing per game last year (Boise State was the other), but theCowboys' defense ranked 72nd against the run and 84th against the pass. TIMBECKMAN, formerly the secondary coach at Ohio State, takes over as defensivecoordinator. . . . To make things easier for sophomore quarterback KERRY MEIER,Kansas coach MARK MANGINO and new offensive coordinator ED WARRINER aresimplifying progressions and adding outlet options so Meier doesn't have to goto a third or fourth read down the field. . . . In his first year as defensivecoordinator at Texas A&M, GARY DARNELL installed a 4-2-5 scheme that helpedthe Aggies improve from last against the pass among 117 Division I-A teams in2005 to 44th in '06. This year Darnell has added wrinkles and blitzes designedto free potential stars such as linebacker MATT FEATHERSTON.