Predicted order of finish according to the Big 12 preseason media poll:
1. KANSAS STATE
The expectations for the Wildcats are rivaled only by those for Darren Sproles, the team's 5-foot-8 running back who made himself a Heisman hopeful by rushing for 1,986 yards last year.
Only four starters return on offense, but one of them is junior quarterback Brad Smith, an all-American candidate who last season led the Tigers to their first winning record since 1998.
First-year coach Bill Callahan plans to implement the West Coast offense with, probably, run-oriented quarterback Joe Dailey behind center.
After a summer filled with allegations of rape and misbehaving recruits, the Buffaloes are eager to start playing football, even though they return only 11 starters.
The Jayhawks snuck into a bowl by winning six games last year, but they enter the preseason without a definitive starting quarterback or running back.
6. IOWA STATE
The Cyclones are talking about rotating quarterbacks Austin Flynn and Bret Meyer, which would be an appropriately gutsy response to losing 10 consecutive games to end the 2003 season.
Perhaps the biggest moment of the Sooners' season came several months ago, when 2003 Heisman Trophy winner Jason White decided to return to college at quarterback for one more season.
Quarterback Vince Johnson is a known playmaker, but the Longhorns' success will hinge more on their new defensive coordinator, former NFL coach Greg Robinson.
3. Texas Tech
With four of their first five games on the road, the Red Raiders spent much of the offseason griping about a bad schedule.
4. Oklahoma State
Here's about all you need to know about the Cowboys this year: Cole Farden might be their best player, and he's a punter.
5. Texas A&M
Coach Dennis Franchione enters his second year, giving him as much game experience as quarterback Reggie McNeal, who started most of last season.
Free safety Maurice Lane and linebacker Justin Crooks are potential all-Americans, but the Bears will play seven teams that made bowls last season.