Take Two: What are we most looking forward to?


This morning, we examined the 100 things in college football we can't wait to see in 2015.

Below, we debate the one thing (can't be an individual game) we're most looking forward to seeing this season:

Take 1: Brandon Chatmon

I’m looking forward to seeing which February signees start making major noise during their first season of Big 12 football. Last year, Samaje Perine became the centerpiece of Oklahoma’s offense on his way to 1,713 rushing yards and 21 touchdowns as a true freshman running back.

Several top signees could become major contributors on their teams this fall. Texas linebacker Malik Jefferson immediately comes to mind after a strong spring showing as an early enrollee. Texas Tech defensive tackle Breiden Fehoko looks like he’ll have a role as David Gibbs tries to revamp the Red Raiders' defense. Kansas State quarterback Alex Delton has made enough of an impression that he looks like the future under center in Manhattan, Kansas, and could become the guy as early as this fall.

And that’s just the early enrollees who stepped on campus this spring and made a strong impression. The main wave of February signees are starting to arrive across the Big 12, so this summer could feature even more buzz about true freshmen ready to make an immediate impact.

Perine took the Big 12 by storm in 2014. Who’s next?

Take 2: Jake Trotter

I'm curious to see whether the conference flagships take a step forward in 2015. Or, whether they float back even further behind the likes of Baylor and TCU.

Either scenario seems possible.

At Texas, the pressure is beginning to ramp up on Charlie Strong after a subpar debut season. The Longhorns continue to have major quarterback questions. And several key parts of Strong's vaunted defense last year are gone. Texas recruited extremely well over the past year. But will newcomers like Malik Jefferson be ready to make an impact?

The Longhorns face a brutal schedule, which includes an early trip to Notre Dame. So the opportunity is there for the Longhorns to surprise. But if they get off to another rocky start, a losing record wouldn't be out of the question, either. That would make for a tense setting in Austin heading into 2016.

Things have already gotten tense in Norman, which resulted in the offseason removal of offensive coordinator Josh Heupel. Coach Bob Stoops brought in Lincoln Riley to re-establish Oklahoma's offensive identity. But Riley faces a quarterback challenge, too, with Trevor Knight coming off a sophomore slump season and Baker Mayfield having sat out the year. The Sooners also took a major step back defensively last season, finishing with the ninth-ranked pass defense in the Big 12. Eric Striker, Zack Sanchez and Charles Tapper are still around. Can they form the core of a defensive resurgence?

It won't take long to find out. The Sooners head to Tennessee in Week 2. A tough road win there could catapult Oklahoma back into being a true Big 12 power again. A loss, however, could be the sign of another long season in Oklahoma's recent decline.

Storylines abound in the Big 12. Nowhere more compelling than in the homes of the Red River rivals.