- David Ubben, College Football
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We've already looked at the league's biggest surprise teams and biggest disappointments, but what about the more tangible categories?
Who will have the Big 12's best offense? Scoring or total offense, it doesn't matter. Which will be best? Cast your votes. (Note: We can only have five candidates in our poll, so I had to trim it to five.)
The Sooners were third in the Big 12 last year in total offense, and the task now is finding the same production without Ryan Broyles to serve as a constant. Quarterback Landry Jones has the most experience of any quarterback in the league, and he's got a young set of receivers to get used to this season. Will a banged-up offensive line stay together long enough to keep Jones on his feet and productive?
The Mountaineers have the most firepower on this list, and probably the league's best offensive mind, but the only big question is how they handle lots of new faces and spaces as a Big 12 member. There's no reason to believe Geno Smith won't be even better this season, and the same is true for spark plug Tavon Austin and fellow receiver Stedman Bailey. The running game isn't amazing, but it might not have to be.
The Bears led the Big 12 in total offense last year, but can they do it again without the league's leading rusher, receiver and a Heisman winner? There are lots of great pieces in place to replace all three, but they're still unknowns. There's a crowded backfield that will be productive with three great backs, and receivers Terrance Williams and Tevin Reese could both top 1,000 yards with senior Nick Florence leading the way.
The Pokes won the Big 12 title and finished second last year in total offense, but there's a lot of work to be done. True freshman Wes Lunt steps in for Brandon Weeden, but the Cowboys still aren't quite sure who will emerge as his top target, the biggest piece of a handful of guys who'll replace the production for two-time Biletnikoff winner Justin Blackmon. The good news: Running back Joseph Randle and Jeremy Smith will be running behind one of the league's best offensive lines.
Texas Tech has a ton of really good players on its offense, but none that are truly elite. Might that change this season? Receivers Alex Torres, Eric Ward and Darrin Moore all have plenty of potential, and Seth Doege is great, even if he's not as good as guys like Landry Jones and Geno Smith. Eric Stephens sounds like he'll be back this fall and gunning for a 1,000-yard season on the ground.
5dJake Trotter, Brandon Chatmon and Max Olson