1. Is Nebraska hands down the best team in the north? No! The Huskers will have a new quarterback running the show this year in Lincoln and both of them have questions surrounding them.
Sam Keller, a transfer from Arizona State, had enough issues in the desert that his team was willing to walk away when he was named starter forcing Dirk Koetter to call an audible with his starting quarterbacks resulting in Keller sitting out last season in Nebraska.
Zac Lee is a promising JUCO transfer who has shown the ability to run Bill Callahan's offense but he has never taken a snap at the Division I level.
Nebraska's defense is a big question mark as well but the good news is that they play in the north. Missouri is the one team that could dethrone the Huskers. Not only are they returning a 3,500 yard passer at quarterback from last season they are also returning big targets at tight end (Chase Coffman and Martin Rucker), along with a strong rusher in Tony Temple.
However, the Tigers have the same problem as the Huskers in a less than stellar defense. In fact when Nebraska comes to Columbia on October 6th the final score could be more reflective of a basketball game rather than a football score.
2. Are Texas and Oklahoma the conference's front runners? Yes, they are 1 and 1a by a long shot. While OU, Texas, A&M and Texas Tech could all win the north if you were to move them over there, only OU or Texas have the roster talent to win the South along with the defenses to shut down a champion from the north.
They both have blazing speed on offense and punishing defenses. While last year was a good example of why not to put all of your stock in the Red River Shootout the winner of the annual game in Dallas will posses the inside track to the conference championship and will have an opportunity earn a trip to New Orleans for the BCS Championship.
3. Who will be the surprise team in the conference this season? The Missouri Tigers. Their schedule sets up perfectly for them to have a 10 win season. Nebraska, Texas Tech and Texas A&M all come to Columbia making their toughest game of the season at Oklahoma on October 13.
The runner up could be Oklahoma State. As much as it pains me to say this if the Cowboys get a few lucky bounces they could easily be sitting at 8-4 or 9-3 at the end of the season but they are going to have to win on the road (Big Road Games: Georgia, Troy, Nebraska and Oklahoma) including a possible trap game at Troy.
4. Who is the conference's next Heisman Trophy candidate? The popular choice is Texas quarterback Colt McCoy but I believe he is going to suffer from the effects of an inexperienced offensive line.
My frontrunner for the conference would be Chase Daniels from Missouri. Playing the likes of Illinois, Ole Miss, Western Michigan, along with the watered down defenses of the north will allow him the opportunity to pass for over 4,000 yards this season. If he does that and the Tigers beat Nebraska at home look for Daniels to not only make a trip to the Big 12 Championship game but to New York as well.