The Big 12 is soon going to be a very different league, and this year is kind of the last year it stays like how it's been for about 10 years now. If you're an outsider (or just a Texas or OU diehard) you might think this league won't be competitive this year. OU, Texas, Baylor for Top 3 Football, and KU and Baylor then the field for basketball. I'm here to tell you you're wrong and to stop it. That's right folks, the Big 12 is gonna be super competitive this year both for the title race and for the national championship in both major men's sports. Below I have devised a list of who I think will be at the top of the class, who will be bottom feeders, and who will be somewhere in between, along with a brief explanation about each. I'm gonna start with football first, as the season is a bit closer than basketball, but fret not, I will do basketball in a future article. I welcome any thoughts and opinions on the matter, as this is just my opinion and is open to (constructive and fair) criticism.
Surprised? Don't be, Baylor made it all the way to the Big 12 title and a Sugar Bowl victory on the back of stellar quarterback play and explosive offense (very on brand for the Big 12) They've only gotten better this year, and I would expect to see them near the top again this year as they defend their title.
That's right, guess who's gonna prove the critics wrong and come out swinging this year? Though Oklahoma lost quite a few assets when Lincoln Riley left, overall they've stayed the course in terms of recruiting talent and depth. Their new coach Brett Venables is not a bad hire by any stretch either. Expect them, like every year, to compete for that top spot, but I would not be surprised if we see them fall flat, much like the next team on this list...
It pains me to put them here, as I know Texas fans will say they're too low while the sane folks will say they're too high. I think 3rd is just right, best to set expectations high for SUCH a prestigious program that has SUCH a great recruiting class and this, that, and the other thing WOWEE FOLKS Texas is BACK. Texas will win some games this year, shoot maybe even win the whole thing, but I won't be surprised if they do the same old song and dance and laughably underperform (and lose to Kansas in football HORNS DOWN BOZOS JARED CASEY HAUNTS YOUR DREAMS)
4. Oklahoma St.
This one was a tough one, as OSU has a force of a defense coming into this year. They could very well win the Big 12 just like the previous 3, but it will take some doing. They did lose a few key secondary pieces as well as their Defensive Coordinator, but Spencer Sanders seems to be coming into his own at QB and like I said, this defense still looks stout, given the fact they were college football's top defense last year. Defense wins championships...isn't that what they say?
5. Kansas St.
This one was a tough pick, as I think these next 6 spots are anyone's game (Yes, that includes Kansas) However I chose Kansas St. because of their transfer portal success (Adrian Martinez was HUGE) and their run game. What concerns me about them though is their young O-Line and a pretty depleted secondary. If they can fill those holes, they can absolutely be competitive for a top spot in the Big 12.
Yes, they have a new coach. Yes, their defense is lacking. HOWEVER, I really don't see anyone else being better than them in the Big 12. They're returning a lot of starters, especially on an offense that ranked 2nd in the conference in total production, and the problems on defense are fixable. The big question here is: Do those problems get fixed? If so, TCU could shine this year. If not, these next 4 teams could supersede them easily.
BOTTOM FEEDERS NO MORE. That's right folks, I am making my hot take right now and saying that Kansas could be a contender in the Big 12 if the momentum from last season continues. Top that with the highest amount of returning starters out of the entire Big 12, along with transfer portal success, and we could see the Jayhawks make a bowl game for the first time in 14 years. I'm not saying it's bound to happen, however things are pointing in the right direction for Kansas to have their best football season in over a decade.
8. Iowa St.
This team is being highly overrated and I have no idea why. They lost their best player in Brock Purdy, basically their entire defense, their tight end, running back Breece Hall (and other running backs too), and a few offensive lineman. They don't really have that great of a recruiting class, they underwhelmed last year, and they don't have a history of riding highs let's just say. Really don't see how Iowa St. musters up a bowl game, let alone Big 12 contention this year.
9. West Virginia
JT Daniels will provide great quarterback play, other than that West Virginia looks basically the same as they did last year only a bit worse on defense with multiple transfers out. Maybe the lack of defense will be overlooked by excellent offensive play? That's a big maybe, but will be interesting to watch how this team bounces back from a disappointing campaign last year. Could be good, could be terrible, we'll see.
10. Texas Tech
First year head coach, a terrible defense, patchwork O-line, and other missing pieces on offense. They've got a good quarterback in Donovan Smith, and we could see some key wins, but Tech is another team that I just can't see an upside to. They could very well prove me wrong, but as of now they're last.
Again, let me know your thoughts and apologies for the super late article. Father's Day weekend was a blast and I'm very happy I got to see Dad and give him a hug. Hug your dads folks, any time you see them not just on Father's Day. Let me know your thoughts in the comments below!
Burn Notice: 8/10 KU is gonna win it all watch it happen.