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2009 Talent Analysis Part V- The Conferences #3 BigXII

The Big XII had a rough go of it recruiting this year and as a result slipped from #2 to #3 just behind the ACC. This is mostly due to conference bottom feeders like Iowa State and Kansas State putting together a couple of particularly brutal classes, but averages are averages. The Big 12 is generally thought of as a two horse race as of late but in addition to Oklahoma and Texas there are a couple of teams that have better kids than most probably realize as well as a few teams that use good coaching and well executed spread offenses to even the playing field.

Elite Talent
Oklahoma at 9- Chock full of great talent and highly regarded coaches the Sooners have struggled of late in big games but overall perform at a level consistent with elite players.
Texas at 9.8- The Horns consistently stockpile great talent and have also enjoyed equally outstanding on field results.

Great Talent
Nebraska at 18.4- Surprised? Coaching and Program Health were not good under Bill Callahan but the man did recruit pretty well. As a result Bo Pelini has a good base to work with while he corrects the other two deficiencies. Expect these guys to be right back in the Big 12 title chase under Pelini.

Good Talent
Texas A&M; at 23- Now I know you’re surprised. Franchione was a decent recruiter and just terrible at everything else. Fran owes LaDainian Tomlinson half his money on general principle. Mike Sherman so far gets a one year pass. If he fails to get TAMU competitive again in short order he’ll join Fran in the doing less with more club.
Oklahoma State at 29.8- Mike Gundy has the Cowboys trending up in all three facets. What else would you expect from a guy that used to hand off to Barry Sanders and throw TD passes to Hart Lee Dykes. He’s a man!

The Rest
Missouri, Colorado, Texas Tech & Kansas at 36.2 to 40.8. These four teams are all very similar. For that matter Oklahoma State is cut from the same cloth as well they just have slightly better kids. All of these teams coach up offenses laden with 3 star talent to execute their variations of the spread which is a great equalizer. Every one of them lacks in the defensive coaching and execution category, and all of them seem to have pretty good program health.

Colorado at 37.2- Dan Hawkins is getting out coached thus far by his peers. Talent is on par with most of the other teams in the conference and program health seems good for now.
Kansas State at 48.8- At this point this is a train wreck. Manhatten has long been a JUCO pipeline which prevents the program from ever really establishing an identity of any kind. Program health is poor and they play like individuals. It will take a complete change in philosophy to fix it.
Baylor & Iowa State- Both in the 60’s but going opposite directions. Dan McCarney did pretty well at Iowa State with these kids, Gene Chzik not so much. Good luck Auburn! On the opposite end of the spectrum Art Briles is coaching his kids up and they were actually decent in 2008.