Oklahoma State 7-2 10-2
Oklahoma 7-2 9-3
Texas 7-2 10-2
TCU 6-3 9-3
West Virginia 6-3 9-3
Kansas State 5-4 8-4
Baylor 3-6 5-7
Kansas 1-8 4-8
Iowa State 1-8 3-9
Texas Tech 1-8 2-10
3 Bold Predictions:
No Playoff Party
I think the Big 12 is the deepest league in college football. There are legitimately six or seven teams who have a real chance to end up winning the league. West Virginia came in sixth in the preseason media poll, and I think the Mountaineers could make a run at the Playoff.
On the other hand, the league lacks a true dominant force. Oklahoma lost too many skill players, not to mention its longtime head coach. Oklahoma State’s defense is a leaky pipe. Texas and TCU are coming off losing seasons. It’s hard to imagine anyone in the league going 11-1 or 12-0 in the regular season. Even after adding a championship game, I don’t see the Big 12 winner making it to the Playoff this season.
Herman Makes Splash Early
Here’s the most incredible stat I’ve seen in a long time…
As an underdog, Tom Herman is 5-0 STRAIGHT UP as a head coach. He has never lost a game where he wasn’t favored. That’s incredible! He may be the best motivator in all of college football already. No one gets up for big games like Herman’s Houston Cougars did the past two seasons. I’m betting he brings that magic with him to Austin, and Texas stuns an overrated USC team in Week 3.
Kingsbury Gets the Axe
There’s no coach in America who’s more sizzle and less steak than Kliff Kingsbury. Don’t let his charming smile fool you, Kingsbury has been a complete letdown at Texas Tech. He’s 24-26 in four seasons with just two bowl appearances. In the six years before Kingsbury took over, the Red Raiders averaged 8.3 wins per season. That’s dropped to six under Kingsbury. His defense has allowed more than FORTY points per game each of the last three seasons! It’s hard to see the offense being potent enough this season to make up for yet another awful defense. Kingsbury’s fifth year in Lubbock will be his last.
Player of the Year: Mason Rudolph, QB Oklahoma State
Newcomer of the Year: Will Grier, QB West Va
Conference Champion: Oklahoma State
The Cowboys have the most offensive firepower of anyone in the conference, and that’s enough for me to pick them to win the league. Remember Brandon Weeden and Justin Blackmon? Zac Robinson and Dez Bryant? Mason Rudolph and James Washington will bring back memories of those duos this season. I like Rudolph’s chances to be a Heisman finalist, and Oklahoma State will win the Big 12 championship, but miss the Playoff.