2013 Big 12 Conference Football Season Preview & Predictions
The Big 12 has been in a conference in a state of flux over the last couple years, but they do have ten solid teams in the league now. The conference appears to be on much better footing than they did this time a couple years ago.
The big names of Texas and Oklahoma are still in the conference, and there are several up and comers who are trying to wrestle away the position of leadership in the Big 12. The Big 12 is about as deep as anyone in the nation. Outside of the Kansas Jayhawks, there doesn’t appear to be any easy game on the schedule in conference play. This really is the definition of a wide open league.
BangtheBook is going to be looking at several of the major college football conferences in the next couple weeks. We’ll look at teams that have a chance to be in contention for the conference crown and make a selection at the end of each preview. All odds listed are from WagerWeb. Let’s take a look at the top contenders for the Big 12 crown.
Oklahoma State (+265)
Mike Gundy’s team returns a lot of talent from a squad that was very good last year. They walloped Purdue 58-14 in their bowl game last year. They hope to be playing in a much bigger bowl matchup this season. There are 18 starters returning from last year’s team. Oklahoma State is loaded with tons of depth at quarterback. The defense has taken steps toward becoming much better of late. The secondary still has plenty of room for improvement. Josh Stewart is a great play maker for this Cowboys team. Mississippi State is a tricky first game for the Cowboys, and they’ll end the season with a home date with rival Oklahoma.
Mack Brown’s Texas team actually has a losing record in the Big 12 in the past two years, and this program isn’t going to put up with that very much longer. Expectations are much higher in Austin this year, and this Longhorns team better come through. There is tons of talent on this roster. Jackson Jeffcoat is a beast on the defensive line. Jordan Hicks is quickly becoming a great linebacker. Malcolm Brown and Johnathan Gray are a great tailback tandem. Can David Ash become more consistent at the quarterback spot? That likely holds the key to this team’s season. The non-conference schedule includes a tough game at BYU in week two. Their home game on November 16 against Oklahoma State will be huge.
TCU got a bid of a raw deal last year. The national media said this team couldn’t handle the Big 12 because they finished just 7-6. What most people forgot to mention was that TCU had the youngest team in the conference and they dealt with tons of key injuries. Gary Patterson’s team is still very dangerous. Casey Pachall will be back, and he’s a very solid quarterback. The front seven is great against the run. If they can pressure the quarterback a little more, this defense will be great. They must travel to Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, and Kansas State.
Bob Stoops’ team is always in contention for the Big 12 crown. The Sooners weren’t quite as dominant as normal last year, but they still were co-champs in the Big 12 with Kansas State. Losing Landry Jones hurts the team a lot, and Blake Bell will have to step up in a big way. The non-conference schedule is actually pretty tough. ULM is no cupcake as they showed last year, and Tulsa is a solid team as well. Oklahoma must also travel to South Bend to take on Notre Dame. Oklahoma has a tough schedule inside the conference too. I think this team is too young to be at the top this year.
Art Briles has done a tremendous job taking this Baylor football program to the place it is right now. Lache Seastrunk appears ready to be the next big star at Baylor. Look for some huge numbers out of him this season. The offensive line is a major area of strength. The defense has been a problem in the last few years, but they should be a bit better this year. The quarterback position is a question mark. They probably don’t have enough to win the Big 12, but they’ll be a solid team.
Kansas State (+1,500)
Bill Snyder continues to get more out of his team than any other coach in football. Snyder’s teams are so great fundamentally. Without Collin Klein it will be difficult to duplicate the success of the last two years, but never count out this team. John Hubert will get a ton of carries this year, and Tyler Lockett will be one of the league’s best play makers.
Big 12 Conference Pick: Texas (+280)
This conference is a very tough one to pick, but I think Texas has the deepest team in the conference. The Longhorns are due for a breakout season, and I think it comes this year.
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