As the start of the college football season continues to march forward, I likewise continue in my series of previews on the conferences. For installment #3, I’ll be looking at the Big 12 that now has 10 teams and no championship game, which is sure to make the conference feel a bit touchy. With no plans to immediately expand, the conference is in uncharted waters, or maybe it’s the Red River.

Check out my Big Ten and Pac 12 previews.

1) Oklahoma
The Sooners have 7 Conference titles in 12 seasons under Stoops and there is no reason to think they can’t get another one. QB Landry Jones is a top flight passer who has WRs Ryan Broyles and Kenny Stills as outlets with a strong and stout offensive line to keep him upright. The defense will be no less talented then the offensive and has the conference’s best defensive player in OLB Travis Lewis and best corners in Demontre Hurst and Jamell Fleming. The D-line can rush the passer, but there are concerns about stopping the run.

2) Texas A&M
The focus lately, the Aggies have a good chance to challenge Oklahoma. They have the best running game with RBs Cyrus Gray and Christine Michael and QB Ryan Tannehill made big strides last season. He could take another step with the help of WRs Justin Fuller and Ryan Swope. The key to the offensive might be the line who would need to reduce sacks allowed in order to vie with the Sooners. Losing Von Miller will hurt, but their are several good pieces to take up the slack, including DE Tony Jerod-Eddie, LB Garrick Williams, CB Coryell Judie and FS Trent Hunter.

3) Texas
After a thoroughly disappointing 2010, don’t think that Mack Brown will let his players repeat last season’s mistakes. QB Garrett Gilbert has alot to prove, but hyped freshman RB Malcolm Brown will help. Mike Davis is the only credible receiving threat and the O-line has its share of troubles. However, with Mack Brown at the helm, the offense will be just fine. LBs Keenan Robinson and Jordan Hicks will have big seasons and a strong defensive line and secondary will help cover any offensive deficiencies.

4) Oklahoma State
After a breakout season, the Cowboys are looking to take the next step. They will have to replace RB Kendall Hunter, but retain QB Brandom Weeden and WR Justin Blackmon. The strength will be the O-line, which returns all 5 starters and gave up the fewest sacks in the Big 12. The defense will need several players to have big seasons in order to succeed, most notably in the front seven. The secondary had the most interceptions in the conference last season, but gave up a ton of passing yards. It also doesn’t help that they play Texas, Texas A&M, Missouri and Texas Tech on the road.

5) Missouri
QB James Franklin will have a tough time replacing Blaine Gabbert but has TE Michael Egnew and WR TJ Moe as passing targets. The O-line returns 4 starters and will pace a running back by committee approach to the ground game. DEs Jacquies Smith and Brad Madison are among the best in the nation and the rest of the defense has loads of potential. New CBs Kip Edwards and EJ Gaines have a chance to shine and the linebackers will be solid.

6) Texas Tech
QB Seth Doege and RB Eric Stephens are underrated players who will carry the Red Raider offense as the receiving group is not as deep as usual, but has a strong front line, led by T LaAdrian Waddle and G Lonnie Edwards. Newcomer DE Leon Mackey will be a playmaker along the D-line, which will have to carry the defense because of inexperience at linebacker and a secondary that ranked at the very bottom in pass defense.

7) Baylor
The Bears broke a 15 year postseason drought last season, and look to make it back this season. Paced by big play QB Robert Griffin III, the team ranked 13th in the nation in total offense. WR Kendall Wright leads an experienced receiving core and an underrated offensive line will give Griffin the time to make plays. The defense has more questions then answers. The DTs look to be solid, but the rest of the front seven has something to prove, having only gotten 21 sacks all last season. CB Tyler Stephenson and S Ahmad Dixon have potential, but the rest of the secondary is unproven.

8 ) Kansas State
This season doesn’t look bright for K-State as they have to replace 7 starters on offense, but QB Collin Klein and former top prospect RB Bryce Brown will help fill those holes. The defense ranked second to lats in run defense last season and must be improved, but the rest of the defense looks to be solid. Miami transfer Arthur Brown immediately upgrades the linebackers. The secondary looks to be among the best in the conference, led by CB David Garrett, FS Tysyn Hartman and All-Big 12 SS Ty Zimmerman

9) Kansas
Ranking 113th in total offense and 111th in scoring offense, there is no place to go up but up for the Jayhawks. QB Jordan Webb, RB James Sims, WR Daymond Patterson and TE TIme Biere are talented but could improve. The O-line will have to step up in a major way to set up the playmakers. The defense was porous last season and with the LB trio of Huldon Tharp, Darius Willis and Steven Johnson being the only bright spots.

10) Iowa State
The perennial cellar dweller of the big 12, the Cyclones have major questions at QB and RB and injury concerns at WR. Whoever does get those starts will have a solid offensive line to lead the way, led by T Kelechi Osemele, considered one of the best offensive tackles in the nation. All Big 12 LB Jack Knott and fellow LB AJ Klein are the strength of the defense that has a solid set of CBs but little talent elsewhere.