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Welcome to the Big 12

As West Virginia joins a league stretching from Morgantown to Lubbock, Texas, Mountaineer fans will have a slew of new rivals.

Here is a look, from a football point of view, at the schools WVU will face in the Big 12, including undecided Missouri, which has designs on the SEC. For each team, next game is Saturday, unless noted.

Baylor Bears

  • Coach: Art Briles (fourth season, 19-24; ninth season overall, 53-52)
  • Current record: 4-2, 1-2 Big 12
  • Next game: At Oklahoma State
  • Home site: Floyd Casey Stadium (50,000), Waco, Texas
  • Average attendance, 2010-11: 40,282
  • Highest final AP ranking since 2000: None
  • Notable alums currently in NFL: K Matt Bryant (Falcons), P Daniel Sepulveda (Steelers)
  • Top underclassmen: QB Robert Griffin III, DB Mike Hicks, WR/PR Levi Norwood, DL Gary Mason Jr.
  • Season to date: Griffin is not only giving the Bears some rare star power, he's likely to land a prime seat at the Heisman Trophy banquet. He leads the nation in passer rating with these outrageous numbers: 142-of-182, 1,950 yards, 22 TDs, two interceptions.
  • The skinny: Conference USA fans remember Briles as the coach who transformed Houston from years of losing to winning a league title and becoming an offensive powerhouse. He's not doing a shabby job, as the Bears are coming off a seven-win season and are now averaging 44.3 points a game.
  • Iowa State Cyclones

  • Coach: Paul Rhoads (third season, 15-17)
  • Current record: 3-4, 0-4 Big 12
  • Next game: At Texas Tech
  • Home site: Jack Trice Stadium (55,000), Ames, Iowa
  • Average attendance, 2010-11: 48,731
  • Highest final AP ranking since 2000: 25th, 2000
  • Notable alums currently in NFL: QB Sage Rosenfels (Dolphins), QB Seneca Wallace (Browns)
  • Top underclassmen: QB Steele Jantz, RB James White, LB Jake Knott
  • The skinny: Celebrations broke out in Ames after the Cyclones beat Iowa in triple overtime. But after a road win against Connecticut, this team has been getting mopped up in league play.
  • Kansas Jayhawks

  • Coach: Turner Gill (second season, 5-14; sixth season overall, 25-44)
  • Current record: 2-5, 0-4 Big 12
  • Next game: At Texas
  • Home site: Memorial Stadium (50,071), Lawrence, Kan.
  • Average attendance, 2010-11: 44,372
  • Highest final AP ranking since 2000: 7th, 2007
  • Notable alums currently in NFL: CB Aqib Talib (Buccaneers)
  • Top underclassmen: QB Jordan Webb, RB James Sims, P Ron Doherty, WR/KR D.J. Beshears, LB Steven Johnson
  • The skinny: The Jayhawks play Nov. 15 at Kentucky. Oh yeah, that's in basketball. That's all you really need to know, but if you're morbidly curious, this team is giving up at least 42 points to every FBS opponent so far.
  • Kansas State Wildcats

  • Coach: Bill Snyder (20th season in second stint, 156-80-1)
  • Current record: 7-0, 4-0 Big 12 Next game: vs. Oklahoma
  • Stadium: Bill Snyder Family Stadium (50,000), Manhattan, Kan.
  • Average attendance, 2010-11: 49,751
  • Highest final AP ranking since 2000: 7th, 2002
  • Notable alums currently in NFL: CB Terence Newman (Cowboys), RB Darren Sproles (Saints), QB Josh Freeman (Buccaneers)
  • Top underclassmen: QB Collin Klein, WR Chris Harper, DL Meshak Williams
  • The skinny: Snyder is engineering his second miracle in Manhattan, aka "The Little Apple." The season didn't start well, with a 10-7 win against Eastern Kentucky, but the Wildcats have won in Miami, nipped Baylor and won at Texas Tech. And, yes, they re-established themselves as the Sunflower State bully by whacking Kansas 59-21. The next four weeks will determine if K-State is the real deal. 
  • Missouri Tigers

  • Coach: Gary Pinkel (11th season, 80-53; 21st season overall, 156-93-3)
  • Current record: 3-4, 1-3 Big 12
  • Next game: At Texas
  • A&M

  • Home site: Faurot Field (71,004), Columbia, Mo.
  • Average attendance, 2010-11: 62,618
  • Highest final AP ranking since 2000: 4th, 2007
  • Notable alums currently in NFL: QB Blaine Gabbert (Jaguars), DE Ziggy Hood (Steelers)
  • Top underclassmen: RB Henry Josey, P Trey Barrow, QB James Franklin.
  • The skinny: Should the Tigers prowl away to the SEC, former Toledo coach Gary Pinkel will find the going a little tougher than in the old Big 12 North, where he won three titles in four years before his team was sacrificed in the league title game. An overtime loss at Arizona State may ultimately keep Mizzou from bowling.
  • Oklahoma Sooners

  • Coach: Bob Stoops (13th season, 135-32)
  • Current record: 6-1, 3-1 Big 12. Next game: At Oklahoma
  • Home site: Memorial Stadium (82,112), Norman, Okla.
  • Average attendance, 2010-11: 84,936
  • Highest final AP ranking since 2000: 1st, 2000
  • Notable alums currently in NFL: QB Sam Bradford (Rams), RB DeMarco Murray (Cowboys)
  • Top underclassmen: QB Landry Jones, RB Dominique Whaley, K Mike Hunnicutt
  • The skinny: If you paid attention to the NFL last weekend, you know that Murray, not Emmitt Smith or Tony Dorsett, now holds the Dallas Cowboys' single-game rushing record. The Sooners are no less explosive this year, by land or by sky.
  • Oklahoma State Cowboys

  • Coach: Mike Gundy (seventh year, 54-29)
  • Current record: 7-0, 4-0 Big 12
  • Next game: vs. Baylor
  • Home site: Boone Pickens Stadium (60,218), Stillwater, Okla.
  • Average attendance, 2010-11: 52,375
  • Highest final AP ranking since 2000: 13th, 2010
  • Notable alums currently in NFL: WR Dez Bryant (Cowboys), K Dan Bailey (Cowboys)
  • Top underclassmen: RB Joseph Randle, WR Justin Blackmon, DB Broderick Brown, K Quinn Sharp
  • The skinny: See this offense, tallying 550 total yards a game? This is what Dana Holgorsen has tried to bring to Morgantown, to a large degree. At least Holgorsen won't be seeing Brandon Weeden in his first trip to Stillwater.  
  • Texas Longhorns

  • Coach: Mack Brown (14th season, 137-36; 28th season overall, 223-110-1)
  • Current record: 4-2 ,1-2 Big 12
  • Next game: vs. Kansas
  • Home site: Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium (100,119), Austin, Texas
  • Average attendance, 2010-11: 100,730
  • Highest final AP ranking since 2000: 1st, 2005
  • Notable alums currently in NFL: QB Colt McCoy (Browns), TE Jermichael Finley (Packers), CB Quentin Jammer (Chargers)
  • Top underclassmen: RB Malcolm Brown, WR Mike Davis
  • The skinny: This is the program with the Longhorn Network, which has been the top asset (or poison pill) in the latest round of the conference realignment craziness. That hasn't exactly translated to the field, as the Longhorns have been crushed by the Oklahoma schools 93-43.
  • Texas Christian Horned Frogs

  • Coach: Gary Patterson (11th season, 103-30)
  • Current record: 5-2, 3-0 Mountain West. Next game: vs. Brigham Young, Friday
  • Home site: Amon G. Carter Stadium (44,358), Fort Worth, Texas
  • Average attendance, 2010-11: 39,081
  • Highest final AP ranking since 2000: 2nd, 2010
  • Notable alums currently in NFL: QB Andy Dalton (Bengals), RB LaDainian Tomlinson (Jets)
  • Top underclassmen: QB Casey Pachall, DL Stansly Maponga, RB Waymon James, WR Josh Boyce
  • The skinny: The Horned Frogs are a two-point loss to Baylor and an overtime loss to SMU from being the BCS-busting talk of the nation again. Patterson's team hasn't slipped much from the Rose Bowl squad of last season.  
  • Texas Tech Red Raiders

  • Coach: Tommy Tuberville (second season, 13-7; 14th season overall, 123-67)
  • Current record: 5-2, 2-2 Big 12
  • Next game: vs. Iowa State
  • Home site: Jones AT&T Stadium (60,454), Lubbock, Texas
  • Average attendance, 2010-11: 55,826
  • Highest final AP ranking since 2000: 12th, 2008
  • Notable alums currently in NFL: WR Michael Crabtree (49ers), WR Wes Welker (Patriots)
  • Top underclassmen: QB Seth Doege, WR Eric Ward, WR Alex Torres
  • The skinny: Another Holgorsen reunion game looms in Lubbock, and Tuberville hasn't tinkered with the Red Raiders' formula - run, gun and outscore the other team. Scores of games this year include 35-34, 45-34, 45-40, 41-34 and 41-38.

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