Big 12 lunch links: Can Cornhuskers overcome loss of Castille?

Posted by ESPN.com's Tim Griffin

Here are some lunch links from a busy weekend across the Big 12.

The Omaha World-Herald's Tom Shatel explains why the dismissal of Quentin Castille by Nebraska coach Bo Pelini hurts the Cornhuskers so much. And Lincoln Journal-Star columnist Steve Sipple discusses Nebraska's I-back void as Castille leaves.

How does Texas stack up with the last four national championship teams? The Austin American-Statesman's Kirk Bohls makes the comparisons.

Baylor center J.D. Walton promises to the Sporting News' Dave Curtis that this year's offense with Robert Griffin will be "amazing."

The Denver Post's John Henderson ruminates on his 1,300-mile road trip across the Great Plains to check out Big 12 preseason practices. I'm surprised we didn't see any references to Sonic Drive-Ins.

Kansas coach Mark Mangino is optimistic about his current team, but still a little edgy as the Jayhawks approach the upcoming season, Tully Corcoran of the Topeka Capital-Journal reports.

The Tulsa World's Bill Haisten wonders why Mike Gundy locked the gates of his program to the outside world for the next week.

Bob Stoops (as a defensive back) and Mack Brown (as a running back) were selected to Richard Cirminiello of the College Football News' All-Coaches playing team.

New Iowa State offensive coordinator Tom Herman tells the Waterloo and Cedar Falls Courier's Kelly Beaton how his "underdog offense" could thrive in the Big 12.

New Kansas State co-defensive coordinators Chris Cosh and Vic Koenning are bracing for the challenge of their careers as they prepare for the pass-happy Big 12 Conference, Cole Manbeck of the Manhattan Mercury reports.

The Oklahoman's Jake Trotter breaks down Oklahoma's lack of depth at middle linebacker after Tom Wort's season-ending knee injury and Mike Balogun's iffy status in the future.

The Charlotte Observer's J.P. Giglio explains why he was one of two AP voters who thinks that Texas will be hoisting the AFCA Coaches' Trophy at the end of the season.

Nebraska, Colorado and Texas A&M are among Big 12 teams that are listed "at the crossroads" by Associated Press national college football writer Ralph Russo.