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2011 Big 12 Football By The Numbers

The college football season is almost upon us. Here is a fun, light-hearted look at the upcoming Big 12 football season by the numbers.

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Big 12 Football
Big 12 Football

The NFL labor contract negotiations still remain unsettled, but in a couple of weeks that may not matter as the college football machine gets revved up and ready to go for another season.

With summer still sizzling, the players will begin reporting at the beginning of next month on college campuses in the Big 12 and around the country for the start of dreaded two-a-days and preseason conditioning drills. If there is a void created by the shutdown of pro football preseason camps, it will quickly be filled by the proliferation of college football fever here, there and everywhere.

I don't see the wiser heads in the NFL contract dispute allowing that to happen, but we'll just have to wait and see.

Meanwhile, to whet your appetite and shake the cobwebs loose from the left side of your brain, here's a fun numerical view of Big 12 football heading into an all-new-look 2011 season.

1 - College football's top receiver a year ago was an Oklahoma State Cowboy. Then a freshman, wide-receiver Justin Blackmon led the country in pass reception yards with 1,782 and 20 touchdowns. His outstanding performance earned him the Biletnikoff Award.

2 - Number of conference wins by Texas in 2010, the Longhorns' worst Big 12 season since 1997.

3 - Where Baylor's dual-threat sophomore quarterback Robert Griffin III ranked in the conference in total offense - 4,136 yards (635 rushing, 3,501 passing) - behind Landry Jones of Oklahoma and Brandon Weeden of Oklahoma State.

4 - The jersey number of Tennessee transfer Bryce Brown, who Kansas State is counting on to help feel the big void left by the loss of All-Big 12 running back and rushing champion Daniel Thomas.

5 - The number of Big 12 schools expected to break in new quarterbacks in 2011 (Missouri, Texas Tech, Kansas State, Iowa State and Kansas).

6 - Minimum number of wins required vs. FBS opponents to become bowl eligible, something Texas Tech has done for the past 18 consecutive seasons.

7 - Oklahoma's average final ranking in the Associated Press college football poll in the 75 years the poll has existed.

8 - Number of Big 12 players who are candidates in 2011 for the prestigious Maxwell Award, presented to college football's most outstanding player. On the watch list from the Big 12 are wide-receivers Ryan Broyles of Oklahoma, Justin Blackmon of Oklahoma State and Jeff Fuller of Texas A&M, quarterbacks Robert Griffin III of Baylor, Landry Jones of Oklahoma, Ryan Tannehill of Texas A&M and Brandon Weeden of Oklahoma State and Texas A&M running back Cyrus Gray.

9 - Where Sporting News has Texas A&M ranked in the publication's preseason top 10.

10 - The number of teams that remain in the new-look Big 12 following the departures of Nebraska (to the Big Ten) and Colorado (to the Pac-12).

11 - Oklahoma State recorded 11 wins last season, the most in a single season in the school's history.

12 - Where Kansas ranked in the Big 12 last season in both scoring offense and scoring defense. The Jayhawks averaged 17.1 points per game, but their defense yielded twice that much to their opponents.