Nebraska→What they said: "That’s all I talk about (the Nebraska tradition). We embrace the tradition, we celebrate the tradition. It’s about putting on the pads and representing that end the right way, and the only way to do that is go to work every day and do what you’re supposed to do.” — Nebraska coach Bo Pelini →Reality check: The Cornhuskers finished with a flourish in Pelini’s first season last year, winning six of their final seven games, but they are nowhere close to being the Old Nebraska — offensively, defensively or special teams.
Oklahoma State→What they said: "We’ve worked hard over the last few years (to improve defensively) because of all the notoriety that our offense has gotten. Defensively, we’ve acquired more speed, more athleticism and our leadership that we’re getting this year from Perrish Cox, Andre Sexton, Derek Burton, Pat Lavine and those guys helps us to alleviate the split between an offense and defense.” — Oklahoma State coach Mike Gundy →Reality check: If the Cowboys’ defense is half as good as their offense, their fourth 10-win season awaits.
Iowa State→What they said: "I think my vision is developing a championship program and developing a team of winning football and winning players and quality young men. I think that vision takes place one day at a time and one season at a time and certainly has no win-loss expectations that are placed upon it from day one.” — Iowa State coach Paul Rhoads →Reality check: Good thing the Cyclones’ new coach is in no hurry. It’s best to take it "sloooooooow” in Ames. As for a wins and losses, we’re guessing a 3-9 overall record with zero Big 12 victories.
Texas A&M→What they said: "I think the biggest improvement I’ve seen is in the most important room on campus in my mind, is in our locker room. I see a greater chemistry, a brotherhood, so to speak, a unity on being on a mission all together.” — Texas A&M coach Mike Sherman →Reality check: Chemistry, brotherhood and unity are great commodities, but so is talent. The Aggies stink, and they play in the Big 12 South. That’s a mission no team wants. Good news: A&M gets to play Iowa State in College Station. It will be the only conference game the Aggies win. Compiled by John Rohde