The Big 12 has been dominated by Oklahoma the last two seasons behind the play of quarterback Baker Mayfield. But Mayfield is in Cleveland now and thus the Big 12 looks to be up for grabs with the changing of the guard coming with the quarterbacks. Can anyone knock the Sooners off of the top and will the champion represent the conference in the playoff?
2018 Big 12 regular season win total
Oklahoma State 8.5
Kansas State 7
West Virginia 7
Iowa State 6
Texas Tech 5
Odds courtesy of BetDSI Sportsbook.
Mayfield is out and there is a little bit of a question on who will be in for Oklahoma in 2018. Kyler Murray looks to be the favorite, but Austin Kendall is waiting as well after playing a bit his freshman year before begin redshirted last season.
Oklahoma State Cowboys
Much like their in-state rival, the Cowboys are replacing a quarterback to the NFL Draft, and while Mason Rudolph is no Mayfield he was very good in his own right. There is more of a battle for this position between Dru Brown from Hawaii and true freshman Spencer Stevens. With less surrounding talent at Oklahoma State than Oklahoma, could be a drop off coming for the Pokes.
TCU Horned Frogs
The top three teams are all replacing quarterbacks with Kenny Hill’s time done at TCU. Shawn Robinson should be the guy to lead the Horned Frogs, but a true freshman Justin Rogers was one of the top rated dual threat quarterbacks in this year’s recruiting class according to ESPN.
Kansas State Wildcats
While the top three teams are all losing starters, Kansas State has two returning quarterbacks who saw about equal amount of time and put up equal numbers in Skylar Thompson and Alex Delton. Typically when a team has two quarterbacks it’s said it has no quarterbacks. Regardless who is behind center, the Wildcats return a lot to the offense and shouldn’t any drop off on that side of the ball.
West Virginia Mountaineers
Looking for an early favorite to Big 12 Player of the Year, look no further than Will Grier. Grier was right behind Mayfield and Rudolph in all of the passing categories in the Big 12. West Virginia has a lot of pieces coming back as well so if you’re looking for a sleeper, don’t sleep on WVU.
Again with the two quarterback system. Texas features Sam Ehlinger and Shane Buechele to go along with most of its returning offense. The Longhorns lose a bit on defense, but they had one of the best recruiting classes that featured many defensive players. The Longhorns are young, but have talent.
Iowa State Cyclones
Iowa State was the conference sleeper a season ago and handed Oklahoma its only Big 12 loss in two seasons and followed it up with a win against TCU. The Cyclones are back and should no longer be a sleeper. They are listed at six wins, so somebody is still sleeping on ISU.
Texas Tech Red Raiders
What’s a dark shade of red, the Red in the Red Raiders color scheme or Kliff Kingsbury’s head coaching seat? There will be a new quarterback at Texas Tech, which hasn’t been Kingsbury’s issue, but the issue is putting the season together. Texas Tech is loaded with experience defensively, so look for the Red Raiders to climb the defensive stats categories, but does that mean they climb the standings?
Quarterback Charlie Brewer was Co-Offensive Freshman of the Year, Baylor has experience back in plenty on both sides of the ball and the Bears had a good recruiting class at No. 24 according to ESPN. The Bears could take a step up in 2018, but how far a step?
Last season had Kansas faithful counting down the days to tip-off before in early September. While it really can’t get much worse for the Jayhawks, it looks like they could improve a bit with experience all over the field.
Outlook & Prediction
If you’re looking for teams to take the overs on, checkout West Virginia, Iowa State and Texas. At 10.5, the over looks tough for Oklahoma and in fact, look under for the top three teams. Kansas State, Baylor and Kansas all look to be right on track and Texas Tech looks to be under as well.
It’s going to be a new Big 12 with the likes of Mayfield, Rudolph and Hill all gone as well as a lot of talent outside of quarterback. So who has the most returning? West Virginia and Iowa State, look for two new teams in the Big 12 championship game.
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