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Big 12 South bowl predictions
The 2009 edition of the race for the Big 12 South title wasn't quite as entertaining as last year in college football.
No three-way tie or endless debate about who deserved to play most for the Big 12 Championship.
This year, Texas was clearly the premier South team. The Longhorns went undefeated and at 13-0; they will face the Alabama Crimson Tide for the BCS Championship on Jan. 7.
After UT, though, the South wasn't as deep this past year. Injuries plagued Oklahoma, and Texas Tech wasn't as good. Oklahoma State was solid, but unspectacular. Baylor's season ended the same week Robert Griffin's season ended. Texas A&M was probably the most inconsistent team in the country.
How will the South do in their upcoming bowl games? For my predictions, check out the latest episode of ConferenceChatterTV below (Note: A separate video will be recorded for Texas-Alabama):
I wanted to close this entry with a lightning round of awards that sum up the Big 12 South this season. Feel free to provide your own answers as well.
Big 12 South player of the year: Earl Thomas, safety, Texas
Easy answer here would be Colt McCoy, but he had a better year as a junior than he did as a senior.
Thomas was filthy good this season roaming the field at safety. He picked off eight passes, which led the Big 12 and was second in the country.
Two of those interceptions he returned for touchdowns. And it's not like the two scores came against easy non-conference opponents; they both came in Big 12 play. One pick-six was against then-No. 13 Oklahoma State, the highest-ranked team Texas faced all season.
In fact, Thomas had an interception in five of UT's eight conference games.
Thomas was also one of the main reasons Texas ranked third in the country in total defense, with only 251 yards given up per game.
Big 12 South coach of the year: Mack Brown, Texas
This one's easy.
Brown has now won 10 or more games at Texas in nine straight seasons. The 12th-year coach has won five straight bowl games, and three of those have been BCS bowls.
Texas has only been unbeaten one other time under Brown. The last time that happened (2005), the Longhorns won it all.
Early Big 12 South favorite for 2010: Texas
This is tough. No more Colt McCoy at Texas or Sam Bradford at Oklahoma. They'll likely be replaced with Garrett Gilbert and Landry Jones, respectively (fun fact: Gilbert attended Lake Travis High in Austin, the same high school of KU's Todd Reesing).
Jones and Gilbert will be sophomores next season.
But the answer has to be Texas or Oklahoma. One of the two bitter rivals has won the Big 12 South in 12 of the 14 years the conference has been around.
I'll go with Texas for now. The Sooners and Longhorns will both lose a slew of critical pieces.
Darkhorse pick would be Texas A&M, which should return quarterback Jerrod Johnson, who led the Big 12 in touchdown passes this season, and a ton of freshmen and sophomores who saw the field this year. My guess is it's a bit too early, but you never know.
Big 12 North bowl projections can be found on KUSports.com on Tuesday.
That should be all for now, friends.
As always, discuss.