We restructure the college sports landscape by drafting new four new conferences
Welcome to the 2012 NCAA (National Conglomerate of Athlon Authorities) conference realignment draft.
Our esteemed conference commissioners -- Mitch Light, Braden Gall, Steven Lassan and David Fox -- will put an end to the conference realignment madness, which stretched into yet another summer this year, with the first (and hopefully, only) conference alignment draft.
How did the Athlon Sports preseason All-Big 12 team rank as high school prospects?
The 2012 college football season is just around the corner, and Athlon continues its countdown to kickoff with a look at all-conference teams from across the nation. But where did all these tremendous all-league performers come from and how did they get where they are today?
Can Geno Smith lead the Mountaineers to the Big 12 title?
Landry Jones might have been a first-round pick in April’s NFL Draft. Instead, he’s still a Sooner, giving Oklahoma an elite quarterback and the inside track to the Big 12 title. Jones already owns 13 school passing records and must be considered a Heisman candidate.
Mike Stoops is back at Oklahoma - and that's a good thing for the Sooners.
The college football coaching carousel wasn't just busy among head coaches, as the assistant ranks saw plenty of changes as well. Changing coordinators or hiring a key positional coach can have a big impact on any team.
Athlon takes a look at the top coordinator hires for 2012:
Kenny Stills will be Landry Jones' No. 1 receiver in 2012.
The Oklahoma Sooners check in at No. 5 in Athlon's college football 2012 top 25 countdown. Here's a look at our predictions for the most valuable players, games to watch, breakout candidates and other key categories for 2012.
Can Landry Jones lead Oklahoma to a national title in 2012?
Athlon's College Football top 25 countdown for 2012 continues with No. 5 Oklahoma. The Sooners suffered some losses in the receiving corps, but the passing attack should be in good hands with quarterback Landry Jones and receiver Kenny Stills returning. The defense will have a revamped front seven, but remains one of the best in the Big 12.
The powerful Texan played in 10 games, starting five, at guard last year as a redshirt freshman. Interior linemen like Ben Habern, Gabe Ikard and Tyler Evans are more known, but the sky is the limit for Shead. A knee injury slowed him at the end of last season, but the rising sophomore – whose father played at Nebraska – looks primed to become the Sooners next great run blocker.
The Oklahoma middle linebacker had 71 tackles last season with 4.5 behind the line of scrimmage. Wort also added two interceptions and a fumble return for a touchdown. The Sooners defense lost some key players but has a chance to be excellent in 2012, and the tackling Texan should be one of the leaders for new coordinator Mike Stoops.
The speedy linebacker from Dallas had 59 tackles with 5.5 sacks in 2011. Nelson really started showing his potential in last November when he had back-to-back nine-tackle performances against Baylor and Iowa. Besides excelling on the gridiron, the rising junior also made Academic All-Big 12 first team.
The Owasso native is the team’s leading returning tackler, with 84 stops in 2011, including 4.5 behind the line of scrimmage. He also added six pass breakups and two fumble recoveries. Colvin has shown versatility during his first two years in Norman, playing cornerback in 2010 before starting at safety a year ago.
The physical fullback is one of the most valuable players on the Sooners roster. He’s known more for lead blocking than getting touches (169 yards rushing, 127 receiving yards and three total touchdowns), so his 61-yard TD run versus Kansas State was a true highlight. Millard also led OU with 14 special-teams tackles and was voted first-team All-Big 12 by the league’s coaches for his all-around play.
The California native should take the reins as OU’s top pass catcher and be one of the best receivers in the country. Stills had 61 catches for 849 yards and eight touchdowns last season, and he will assume Ryan Broyles’ role as the leading target for quarterback Landry Jones. The junior has started all 25 games he’s played at Oklahoma and is a definite All-America candidate in 2012.
The 2010 Big 12 Co-Defensive Freshman of the Year continued his consistent and productive play as a sophomore last season. Jefferson totaled 74 tackles with 4.5 sacks, while also adding a team-high four interceptions and a forced fumble. The San Diego-area product is definitely an All-America and All-Big 12 candidate for the 2012 campaign.
The senior signal caller is already Oklahoma’s s all-time passing leader with 12,379 career yards, and he owns 13 school passing records. In 2011, Jones threw for 4,463 yards with 29 touchdowns, but he also tossed 15 interceptions. Backup quarterback Blake Bell’s running in the red zone may hurt No. 12’s statistics, but this is still Jones’ offense and his play could determine if OU returns to winning the Big 12 title.
After starting 12 games as a freshman in 2010, the Oklahoma City native became a star last season. Ikard earned All-America and All-Big 12 honors as a sophomore, playing both left guard and shifting to center when starter Ben Habern was injured. Look for more of the same for the star junior, as he paves the way for a team that averaged over 500 yards per game and scored over 500 points a year ago.
The senior cornerback has played in 40 games during his career, and his leadership will be a key for the OU defense in 2012. Hurst had 55 tackles last season with four behind the line of scrimmage. He also compiled two fumble recoveries, a forced fumble and an interception return for a touchdown against Texas. In the pass-happy Big 12, veteran corners like Hurst give the Sooners a major advantage.