One thing that's in Colt McCoy's favor going into the 2008 season is that the national spotlight isn't shining so brightly on him.
Oh, make no mistake ... the Burnt Orange Nation kliegs are all trained on him, but the rest of the country won't be as interested. After his freshman year, Colt was on all the watch lists. As a sophomore honing his skills and learning to take chances, he matured a lot, but he also threw 18 INTs.
So, the national sports pundits were distracted by other shiny objects and are now looking elsewhere in the Big 12 to bestow their QB crown.
And what a royal court it is!
Chase Daniel, the Heisman finalist from Missouri last season, is the odds-on favorite this year to ring up obscene numbers and be crowned king, but who's that over his shoulder? Tech's Graham Harrell has been dubbed "QB in Waiting" by many pre-season "experts," but I suspect he'll rack up higher statistics than Daniel.
And Colt is fifth on many people's list of Big 12 quarterbacks - behind OU's Sam Bradford and Todd Reesing of Kansas.
The pressure to "prove himself" to his teammates, coaches and fans is always on a player who is the leader or "go-to" player on that team. That's a good pressure, and Colt thrives on it.
The pressure to finish first in an auxiliary - as it were - quarterback race is the type of pressure that detracts from team success and individual growth.
It'll be a lot of fun to watch all those gunslingers in the Big 12 this season. Some of them will not live up to last year's potential and some of them will surpass what they did in 2007.
Look for Colt to be part of that second group.