Mason Whitlock | August 5th, 2019
While the Big 12 may not be the strongest all-around conference, it’s still very exciting. What this conference lacks on the defensive side of the ball, it more than makes up for in offense. The Big 12 is full of high-scoring offenses, and two quarterbacks who could be in the discussion for the Heisman trophy. In this article, I will predict how this conference shakes out, and who ends up with the Big 12 crown.
Who Finishes Last?
Sorry Kansas, even with your hiring of Les Miles and your nice JUCO quarterback transfer, you finish last in the Big 12. Thomas MacVittie is a nice add at quarterback from the JUCO ranks, but him and Pooka Williams aren’t going to be enough to not finish last. We all know the Big 12 doesn’t have the best defenses. I just don’t see anyway the Jayhawks score enough points to compete with the rest of the conference. Yes, I know they scored 40 on Oklahoma, but honestly…who didn’t score a lot on Oklahoma last year? While I think the Jayhawks will be slightly better than last year, they still finish last in the Big 12.
Teams With a Chance, But Fall Short
Let’s start with Iowa State. While I love Matt Campbell as a head coach, they lost David Montgomery to the NFL. Brock Purdy will do just fine at quarterback, but I don’t think he has enough weapons to score lots of points, which is a must in the Big 12. The bright side for Iowa State is the defense. They have two guys on the defensive line in JaQuan Bailey and Ray Lima who have the ability to cause chaos up front for opponents.
Oklahoma State also has a chance to win the Big 12, but with the opposite problem of Iowa State. The Cowboys are going to give up a lot of points on defense, which is the going trend in the Big 12. The Cowboys will have more offensive power than Iowa State, with guys like Chuba Hubbard at running back and Tylan Wallace at receiver. The question mark on offense for the Cowboys is quarterback. Mike Gundy has yet to name a starter. All signs have been pointing to transfer Dru Brown being handed the keys to the offense, but Brown hasn’t played since 2017 and he went 3-9 that year.
Teams With a Real Shot
There are two teams that are huge favorites for the Big 12 crown. The Texas Longhorns and the Oklahoma Sooners.
The Longhorns will have both offensive and defensive firepower this season. On offense, Sam Ehlinger returns along with Collin Johnson at wide receiver, and Keaontay Ingram at running back. Pair that trio with the best offensive line in the Big 12, and that’s a recipe for a lot of points per game. Texas also has the best secondary in the conference with cornerback B.J. Foster and safety Caden Sterns, which will give Texas a big advantage in a conference that loves to throw the ball. These factors, in addition to head coach Tom Herman, will definitely make for a team who could win the Big 12 and possibly make a playoff run.
The Oklahoma Sooners are going to have the best offense in the Big 12. Lincoln Riley landed Alabama transfer Jalen Hurts to play quarterback, who is in a quarterback battle with Tanner Mordecai and true freshman Spencer Rattler. Oklahoma returns Trey Sermon and Kennedy Brooks to the backfield, and both are nightmares for the front seven of opposing defenses. CeeDee Lamb, Lee Morris and Charleston Rambo are back to play receiver along with incoming five start recruits in Trejan Bridges and Jadon Hasselwood, and let’s not forget Grant Calcaterra at tight end. The problem on offense for Oklahoma is going to be the fact that they are replacing every offensive lineman except for Creed Humphrey, but I fully except the offense to be fine. It’s going to be hard for the Oklahoma defense to be worse than what they were last year, and the only real bright spot on defense for the Sooners is linebacker Kenneth Murray who is a tackling machine. Let’s just say first year defensive coordinator Alex Grinch is going to have a tough task getting the Sooners defense to be a top 50 defense.
Final Standings Prediction
- Oklahoma State
- Iowa State
- West Virginia
- Kansas State
- Texas Tech
Questions and comments?
Follow Mason Whitlock on Twitter @CCSMasonWhit
Follow Coast to Coast Scouting on Twitter @CCScouting
Main Image Credit: