The Big 12 was the worst of the Power 5 conferences last year, but that will most likely change in 2017. Oklahoma and Oklahoma State will look to represent the Big 12 in the College Football Playoff (CFP). Baker Mayfield and Mason Rudolph could be the quarterbacks to lead the Big 12 to the CFP and potentially a national title. The Big 12 will be better, but by how much? The Texas schools look to be a complete toss up with Baylor, Texas, TCU and Texas Tech all stuck in mediocrity. Kansas State and West Virginia will be solid, and then there is Kansas and Iowa State… Not much needs to be said there, but every conference has their cupcakes. The Big 12 reintroduces the championship game for the first time since 2010. This should solidify a Big 12 team playing in the CFP, as Oklahoma and Oklahoma State will likely be battling for the right to the Big 12. Here’s a preview for each team in the order I think each team will finish in the standings come bowl season, and their records from last year.
Oklahoma State 10-3 (7-2)
The Oklahoma State Cowboys return the dangerous tandem of QB Mason Rudolph, and WR James Washington. The connection should have been split up by the NFL, but they decided to come back, and give Baker Mayfield a run for his money with a new established championship game.I think that this team is salty, and loves to pass in an offense-heavy Big 12.
They can score with anyone in the country and they just need the defense to be good enough to get by. I think this team may lose to Oklahoma on November 4th, but get revenge for the Big 12 Championship. I think that this offense can be special, and the big question lies with sophomore RB Justice Hill. If he can take enough pressure off of Rudolph and the passing game, and keep defenses honest, Mason and James could be a problem.
Mike Gundy’s mullet. That’s the real reason I like Oklahoma State for the Big 12.
Oklahoma 11-2 (9-0)
Lincoln Riley takes over for Bob Stoops, and he could not have picked a better team to lead. This team was loaded last year at skill positions, but they are up for grabs as WR Dede Westbrook, RB Samaje Perine, and RB Joe Mixon all went on to the NFL. I think that this will be a potential problem down the stretch for the Sooners, but I could be proven a fool. This team is good enough to win the Big 12, and is expected to by a lot of people.
Last year the D struggled early, but got better as the year went on. There are a lot of returners, which should help, but the linebacking corps is a question of concern. They have talent at the position, but do not have a set 3. Once the season starts, this issue will come to rest.
They just don’t have Mike Gundy, or his mullet.
Teams to Watch
Kansas State 9-4 (6-3)
Kansas State is going to be sneaky good, as they return their youngest team in Bill Snyder’s tenure. Bill Snyder has a talented, duel threat QB in Jesse Ertz. The 6’3, 212-pounder is the key for the Wildcats’ success. It will be interesting to see who emerges as the every down back as sophomore Alex Barnes was a stud in his limited role last season.
Never count a Bill Snyder team out of a game. With as many young starters returning as they have, the Wildcats could be a team to watch heading into bowl season. it could make the Wildcats a team to watch heading into bowl season. The defense simply bends but does not break. If K-State can run the ball efficiently and control the clock, they will win a lot of football games.
West Virginia 10-3 (7-2)
West Virginia adds Florida transfer Will Grier at quarterback, which will help tremendously. RB Justin Crawford will be special running the ball if they can create a balanced attack. These weapons will help keep the trend Big 12 trend of keeping their big names on offense and having just enough defense to stay in games.
TCU 6-7 (4-5)
The inconsistency hurt TCU last year, but QB Kenny Hill should be a stud, and TCU always has athletes.
Texas 5-7 (3-6)
TEXAS IS BACK… Maybe. We say it every year, because why not? The year they explode, everyone can finally say, “I told you so.” Tom Herman, and their new locker room, could inspire a team full of talent. Like every year, they are a team to watch in the Big 12.
- Baylor 7-6 (3-6)
- Texas Tech 5-7 (3-6)
Not worth Mentioning
- Iowa State 3-9 (2-7)
- Kansas 2-10 (1-8)
Offensive Player of the Year
- QB Mason Rudolph – Oklahoma State
Defensive Player of the Year
- DB Jordan Thomas – Oklahoma
- Oklahoma @ Oklahoma State (Nov. 4)
- Oklahoma @ Texas (Oct. 14)
- Oklahoma @ Kansas State (Oct. 21)
Notice… There is a pattern in the schedule. These games determine who will win the Big 12. Oklahoma plays a lot of teams on the road.
The Big 12 will have a bunch of offense and a little defense. But what is new? It should be a fun year to watch the Oklahoma schools battle it out, but there could be some surprises that happen along the way.
Big Ten East
Pac 12 North
Pac 12 South