2010 Big 12 Championship Preview
On Saturday, two of the most storied programs in college football history will meet for the 2010 Big 12 Championship game. The No. 9 Oklahoma Sooners, coming off a big win over Oklahoma State, will play the No. 13 Nebraska Cornhuskers. The game will be the last for Nebraska in the Big 12 as they prepare for their jump to the Big 10 next year. Both teams enter the game with an identical record of 10-2. The winner of this game will receive the Big 12’s automatic BCS bid to the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl in Glendale.
Nebraska and Oklahoma are both led by their young quarterbacks, although they have very contrasting styles. Landry Jones, Oklahoma’s sophomore quarterback, is a big (6’4″) pocket passer with a strong arm. Jones has thrown for 3,947 yards and 34 touchdowns this year. Freshman quarterback Taylor Martinez, has burst on to the scene this year for Nebraska. Martinez has only thrown for 1,435 yards this year, but he has been dangerous running the ball with 974 yards and 12 touchdowns. Martinez did not play last week in Nebraska’s win against Colorado due to an ankle injury, but he is expected to play in the Big 12 Championship.
The different styles of quarterbacks leads to two very different offenses in this championship game. Oklahoma is the 4th best passing team in the nation averaging 336 yards per game through the air. Nebraska on the other hand is the 8th best rushing team at 269 yards per game on the ground. Both teams have been solid on defense this year, but Nebraska has been especially stingy allowing less than 17 points per game.
Oklahoma and Nebraska did not play each other during the Big 12 regular season but they did have 5 games against common opponents. Both teams had games against Texas, Texas A&M, Missouri, Colorado, and Oklahoma State. The Sooners and Cornhuskers both managed victories over Colorado and Oklahoma State. Both Nebraska and Oklahoma lost to Texas A&M this year.
Big 12 Championship Game Prediction
Saturday’s Big 12 Championship Game is going to be a great game to watch. Both teams will put it all on the line for a chance to play in a BCS bowl game. The game is being played at a neutral site, Cowboys Stadium, and fans of both teams will definitely make the trip, so neither team has a home field advantage.
One important factor in this game could be the magnitude of Taylor Martinez’s ankle injury. Martinez is a running quarterback and an ankle injury could limit his ability to cut and run up field. Landry Jones has been throwing the ball really lately and his play should lead the Sooners to victory. I fully expect a hard fought, physical football game from these two old foes, but I give a slight edge to Oklahoma in this match up.
Prediction: Oklahoma 31 – Nebraska 27