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John Rohde: Big 12 North coaches are sure their day will come

JOHN ROHDE Published: August 22, 2009
ach (Bill) Snyder coming back will make them better instantly."

Kansas State should be better with the return of Snyder, but it figures to take awhile.

Nebraska was the Big 12 media’s preseason pick to win the North, yet starting quarterback Zac Lee has just two career pass attempts.

Baylor, which is a measly 13-91 all-time in conference play, might be better than the preseason favorite in the North.

The Bears have awakened from their slumber, and under difficult circumstances.

"We feel like, without argument, the Big 12 South is the toughest division in college football today," Baylor coach Art Briles said.

OU, Texas and OSU are slated for double-digit victory totals, which potentially won’t come with a loss to a North foe.

"I don’t see a lot of SEC football, Pac-10 or anybody else," Cowboys coach Mike Gundy said, "but one thing that people don’t talk about is the ‘lower half,’ whoever that may be depending on preseason polls. You’d better be careful playing those teams, because they have guys that make plays."

The Big 12’s North-South see-saw has been cyclical.

"Trends go up and down, like the old saying, ’What goes around, comes around,’ ” Snyder said. "It makes sense that the Oklahomas, the Texases, the A&Ms ... there’s a hotbed of high school football that surrounds those programs, tradition with those programs beginning in the Southwest Conference.

"There are a lot of different things. You look at great coaches (at those places), the kind of recruiting they’re able to put together. It leads to being able to say that they’ll continue to do well."

When will the North rise again?

"I don’t think there will ever not be dominant programs in the U.S.," Snyder said. "The North will probably rise to the occasion. It will go back and forth, would be my guess. That’s kind of the history. I would suggest that it will probably remain that way."

John Rohde: 475-3099. John Rohde can be heard Monday-Friday from 6-7 p.m. on The Sports Animal Network, including AM-640 and FM-98.1.