Yes, Nostradamus is back and will be reviewing my preseason picks. Not only that, but I will also be performing the miraculous feat of predicting with 1oo% accuracy how the rest of the Big 12 season will shake out to be. Daring, I know, as the Big 12 is probably the widest open we've seen it in quite some time, or perhaps even ever. This conference is anyone's game now, so let's go through each team and review both their previous rank and current projection I have for them. This list will go in order of preseason ranking.
Boy, was I wrong about this one. Baylor is off to a 3-3 start, a far cry from what I predicted them being. They're in the middle of the pack, they don't look all that great, the QB play has been lightyears different than last year's, and the defense can't stop a thing (Yes I know, common place in the Big 12 but Baylor's is looking a little rough.) If they don't turn it around in the next couple of games, and with Kansas, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Kansas State, TCU, Texas, and an unranked but still solid Texas Tech squad still to come, the Bears could be in a lot of trouble. We may see a 1st to worst, folks.
Predicted Final Record: 4-8 (2-7 Big 12)
Predicted Final Ranking: 9th
Welp, looks like the critics may have been (at least partially) right about this one? Oklahoma is off to a 4-3 start, with defensive struggles and the injury bug taking its toll on the Sooners. Backup QB General Booty (Yes that is, in fact, his real name. His parents must've hated him right?) looked completely out of place after the starter Dillion Gabriel got hurt against TCU. The two games he played looked absolutely abysmal, getting trounced after coming in for the TCU game and shut out by Texas 49-0 in his first ever start. The good news? Gabriel is back, and showed out in a big way in OU's 52-42 shootout win against Kansas. Expect that upward trend to continue, as OU's offense looks to be back in full force. If it can make up for the lack of defense (of which OU generally has a lot of) then they'll cruise through the remainder of the season, with their only real true test against Oklahoma State in Bedlam November 19th. Expect the Sooners to be bowl eligible once again barring another major setback.
Predicted Final Record: 8-4 (5-4 Big 12)
Predicted Final Ranking: 4th
Ah yes, everyone's favorite fanbase and football team. Good to have Quinn Ewers back huh? Though Hudson Card was at least serviceable, Ewers was the guy that almost beat Alabama, so I'm sure it's a relief to watch him beat the snot out of OU in Red River then proceeding to get a close dub against a very underrated Iowa State squad. The rest of the schedule though only gets tougher from there. Texas hasn't even began to face the bulk of the Big 12. OU without Gabriel, WVU, Tech, and ISU were merely just the lower echelon, it's time to face the big boys now. Barring Baylor, Texas faces a top 5 Big 12 team every game for the rest of the season, which will truly be a test to see how good Quinn Ewers actually is. The defense is there, as are the weapons on offense, but can it get past this year's heavy hitters? The dreaded question must also be asked, can the finally overcome their demons in the Crimson and Blue? Lots of questions still remain about this Texas team, but I think they're on the right track. Are they back though? Absolutely not.
Predicted Final Record: 7-5 (5-4 Big 12)
Predicted Final Ranking: 6th
4. Oklahoma State
These Cowboys are the true "Dem Boyz" that those pesky Dallas fans always talk about. A stellar start to the season, with the only blemish being against another surprise breakout in TCU, an absolute barnburner that went into overtime and could have gone either way. In my opinion, the best Big 12 game of the season thus far. The Pokes can air it out with QB Spencer Sanders absolutely punishing opposing secondaries. The potential first round talent has racked up the yardage, and even racked up some Heisman votes, in what seems like a warpath to go back to the Big 12 Championship game. I personally think their winning ways will continue, as the rest of their schedule has tough, but easily winnable games. This squad will keep on rolling, and I expect a potential repeat championship bid to be in the cards.
Predicted Final Record: 10-2 (7-2 Big 12)
Predicted Final Ranking: 2nd
5. Kansas State
Kansas State is off to an incredibly hot start. The only team to not throw a single interception this year hot. Adrian Martinez has proven to be worth the hype as he has torched opposing defenses in tandem with arguably the best running back in the country in Deuce Vaughan. A lethal combo paired with excellent coaching, a bend, but don't break defense, and a solid cast of supporting characters on offense make this team a force to be reckoned with. They had the hiccup against Tulane, which definitely hurt I'm sure, but barring any major setbacks this squad can easily make a run at the Big 12 title (Expect that to be a common theme, if you haven't gathered already.) They look slick, poised, and ready to take on the conference's and nation's best, all they have to do is stay healthy and limit any mistakes, which they've shown they can be good at given that interception mark.
Predicted Final Record: 9-3 (7-2 Big 12)
Predicted Final Ranking: 3rd
Here we have the pinnacle of Big 12 football thus far. TCU has outperformed expectations by a country mile, and they are most certainly not done. Max Duggan and his receiving corps have been the best passing attack TCU has seen since the Red Rifle Andy Dalton was a Horned Frog (He was good at one point I promise) I do not expect this squad to slow down any time soon, with impressive wins over Kansas, Oklahoma State, and OU. They do still have a healthy amount of competition ahead of them, Kansas State coming to Fort Worth next weekend, and playing visitor to Texas on November 12th, however other than those 2 games, it really is smooth sailing for the Frogs. Iowa State is really the only other team I can see giving them any sort of trouble, but I think the passing attack will be too much even for that defense. These guys are title contenders, and may very well run the table on the way to a potential CFP spot.
Predicted Final Record: 12-0 (9-0 Big 12)
Predicted Final Ranking: 1st
WAS I RIGHT???? DANG RIGHT I WAS!!! BOTTOM-FEEDERS NO MORE, in fact, far from it. Kansas has perhaps been one of the biggest surprises of the college football season so far. The offense is the most efficient we've seen from a KU team since the days of Todd Reesing, the defense (apart from last game) has shown they can hang and be resilient, and the Hawks have shown they can at least be competitive through adversity, losing starting QB and Heisman hopeful Jalon Daniels for 2 games with a shoulder injury. Now that Daniels looks to be back in the next game or two, we could see Kansas go on another streak. This being said, the road really doesn't get any easier. You have Baylor this coming Saturday, which I believe will be a Jayhawk victory, but then you have Oklahoma State, Texas Tech, Texas, and then the Sunflower Showdown against K-State. This will be a true litmus test to see if KU are legit contenders or pretenders, and I believe they'll at the very least show that they can contend once again. Leipold has certainly shown he is Coach of the Year material, but can he lead the Jayhawks (Barring a couple teams ahead of them taking some losses) to a potential Big 12 Final?
Predicted Final Record: 8-4 (5-4 Big 12)
Predicted Final Ranking: 5th
8. Iowa State
A stout defense, a decent offense, and good coaching define this team. This team is just EXTREMELY unlucky. Missed field goals, the random big play, and sometimes it coming down to not having the ball last also defines this team, you could certainly call them cursed. This team could EASILY be undefeated if just one or two more things just went their way, but alas, the entire Big 12 is cursed with good competition. No excuses, the results speak for themselves. Clean up the miscues, learn from your mistakes, buy some rabbit feet, 4 leaf clovers, pray, SOMETHING to turn their luck around, and Iowa State could easily be bowl eligible. Right now though, the odds are against them.
Predicted Final Record: 6-6 (3-6 Big 12)
Predicted Final Ranking: 7th
9. West Virginia
A tough season so far for the boys from Morgantown. Inconsistent offense, a defense that is far too susceptible to the big play, and overall what looks like to be a lack of solid chemistry have plagued this team from the get-go. JT Daniels has been good, but not great, and lots of fairly close losses with a lot of the time WVU giving up a lead show for that. Their story is much like Iowa State's, only this team has really only mediocre to kind of decent everything. Lady Luck has nothing to do with it, just inconsistency. I don't see that changing anytime soon, as the rest of the schedule is still pretty tough. We shall see what WVU squad shows up though, however.
Predicted Final Record: 3-9 (1-8 Big 12)
Predicted Final Ranking: 10th
10. Texas Tech
Texas Tech is deceptive. They've hung tight with good teams, and have even beaten one in Texas. Their defense and O-line is not as bad as I thought they would be, but could still use some work. Donovan Smith has kept this team above water, along with some key performances from his offensive weapons. They're very much a team that could still make noise and even get to a bowl game if the wind is right, they will have to have at least one underdog win though in order to do that. With the likes of TCU, Kansas, ISU, and OU still to come, they'll have a big weight on their shoulders. I feel like it's a weight they can carry though, and perhaps even overcome. Only time will tell though however...
Predicted Final Record: 5-7 (3-6 Big 12)
Predicted Final Ranking: 8th
I'd love to know where you think any of these teams will end up in the final rankings. Any surprises? Perhaps one of the lower echelon teams make a run? Could we see Kansas in the Big 12 Title Game? Best comments and opinions are welcome and will be featured in the ScorchCast. Let's enjoy the 2nd half of the college football season folks, it's shaping up to be a really exciting finish.
Burn Notice: 10/10 Big 12 Barnburner