Sooners in line for another Big 12 title

ESPN.com analyst Jim Donnan predicts the Big 12 conference champion, award winners and more:

And the winner is ...

The Sooners will have too much firepower for Big 12 North champion Missouri in the conference title game. Quarterback Jason White should have another big year while the OU defense will simply reload to replace all those players departed to the NFL.

But I wouldn't be surprised ...
If Texas won
It would not be a shock if the Longhorns find a way to get it done after four years of dominance by Oklahoma in the Red River Shootout. Texas quarterback Vincent Young and running back Cedric Benson may be the best 1-2 punch in the nation, and the schedule is lined up in the Longhorns' favor. Home games against Baylor, Missouri, Oklahoma State and Texas A&M and the absence of Kansas State and Nebraska make for a favorable slate, so once again everything should come down to what happens in Dallas versus OU.

Most Valuable Player ...
Brad Smith, QB, Missouri
It's hard to pick against returning Heisman Trophy winner Jason White and a pair of great backs in Benson and Kansas State's Darren Sproles, but Smith is simply electrifying. His running ability and leadership in the clutch earn Smith the nod, and he has developed nicely as a passer.

Most Important Player ...
Joe Dailey, QB, Nebraska
New coach Bill Callahan has brought the West Coast offense to Lincoln -- the biggest change at Nebraska since Bob Devaney brought in the power-I over 40 years ago -- and the eyes of every Big Red fan will be on Dailey to see if he can master the new offense. His success in making the transition will have a lot to do with how far Nebraska goes this season.

Coach of the Year ...
Bob Stoops, Oklahoma
Stoops and the Sooners should continue to dominate the conference with another big year. He has his players ready to go week-in and week-out and is helped by a high-powered coaching staff that added former Nebraska defensive coordinator and interim head coach Bo Pelini during the offseason.

Assistant You Should Know ...
Bob Elliott, defensive coordinator, Kansas State
Elliott combines great teaching skills with terrific game-day adjustments to supplement the offensive attack of head coach Bill Snyder. Elliott is the man who came up with the brilliant scheme that confused Jason White and helped the Wildcats knock off Oklahoma in last year's Big 12 championship game.

Player I'd pay to watch ...
Vincent Young, QB, Texas
Young has excellent athletic skills and is one of the most elusive quarterbacks we've seen in recent years, and his continued development as a passer could push the Longhorns into the national championship picture. Young rushed for 998 yards last season while passing for 1,155 and is extremely quick for a 6-foot-5, 225-pounder.

Toughest Place to play ...
Kyle Field, Texas A&M
College Station has a great atmosphere with 82,000 fans packing the stadium and the student section standing throughout the entire game. The Aggies had a down year in 2003 but look to be on the rebound, meaning Kyle Field will easily be one of the most difficult places in the nation to play.

Game of the Year ...
Texas vs. Oklahoma, Oct. 9 in Dallas
OU has come out on top in each of the last four years, and despite all the success Texas has had outside the Red River Shootout the Longhorns must find a way to get over the top by beating Oklahoma. Should the Sooners beat Texas again, though, they won't have time to savor it. They have to be ready the following week for Game of the Year: Part II, a Big 12 championship rematch at Kansas State.

ESPN.com college football analyst Jim Donnan takes part in chats and makes observations on Saturdays as part of College GameDay Live.