As the college football season approaches we are going to start diving into some previews for each of the main conferences. Starting off with the Big 12 which the Oklahoma Sooners have dominated for the past couple years. This year just may be different, OU has a brand new quarterback in Spencer Rattler and this could hurt their chances. The Big 12 is more open then it has been in most the previous years, giving everyone life. We may see a tight race coming down the stretch leaving everyone asking who will win. 

Teams with a good chance of winning

1. Oklahoma Sooners

The Sooners have been the number one seed and have won the championship game 3 years in a row. The only difference now is that they have a new quarterback in Spencer Rattler. Rattler isn’t just any quarterback though, he is the number one recruited dual-threat QB. He also plays the game with a chip on his shoulder. OU has to face most of their tests early, with their first five games against Missouri State, Tennesse, at Army, Baylor, and Texas. If OU can get over that hump, there is no reason they can’t keep the momentum going for the rest of the year. Most likely the Sooners end up doing so and make their way back to the Big 12 championship despite having a new QB. 

2. Oklahoma State Cowboys 

The Cowboys finally are looking dangerous again after a few bleak years in Stillwater. Mike Gundy might have all his weapons ready come OSU’s first game. They have a Biletnikoff finalist in Tylan Wallace and a star runner in Chubba Hubbard. Their QB, Spencer Sanders had a decent year last year before he hurt his thumb injuring him for the final games of the year. They need some defensive help, but the 10 \returning starters should definitely help. If Mike can get his team together I can see the Cowboys going very far this year. 

3. Texas Longhorns 

I am by no means saying Texas is back by putting them up here right behind Oklahoma and Oklahoma State. I just can’t commit to them being fully back, but there a lot of things for Longhorn fans to look forward to here. Texas has a senior quarterback in Sam Ellinger, an experienced head coach, and nine returning defensive starters. Not to mention that Coach Tom Herman hired seven new assistants after last year’s rough campaign. Now Texas is going to have a do or die mentality as they don’t have that many excuses left. There are 4 things Texas needs to do in order to give themselves a chance at the Big 12 championship or further. 1. Find new go-to receivers, 2. Shore up their defense with their new DC, 3. Beat LSU on the road, 4. lastly they gotta beat OU. 

Need help to make it 

4. Iowa State Cyclones

Coach Matt Campbell has made it clear he wants to stay at Iowa State and get to a high level with his team, but this may not be the year for them. The Cyclones lost 6 offensive starters last year which means they have a lot of work to do. The first thing Campbell has to work on is that offensive line. If he can get that going the pieces slowly start to move in place for the Cyclones. ON defense they have some problems but they have quite a few defensive starters returning helping stabilize the team. We will see if Campbell can really get this team going or this might be the last we see of him at ISU. 

5. Baylor Bears 

The Bears lost their coach in Matt Rhule, but they still have their starting QB in Charlie Brewer. They return 8 offensive starters although they lost Denzel Mims which was a star receiver for the Bears last year. Only three defensive starters are returning which doesn’t help Baylor at all. They start off the year against Ole Miss which could be a test for the Bears, but they get a break after that likely not playing a top 25 team till October when they play the Sooners. Sprinkle in a few more wins and they could be right in the mix for a championship bid. 

6. TCU Horned Frogs

The Frogs had a surprisingly successful season last year despite not having that much talent on the field. During the offseason, Gary Patterson picked up a 5 star running back who could have a huge impact in the upcoming year. The main problem for the Frogs is they only return 6 offensive starters and 5 defensive starters. With Gary, I have fewer problems with their defense and more with their offense. A team that lost a few close games, they need their offense to step up this year if they want to make a run

Rebuilding

7. Kansas State Wildcats 

The Wildcats have the fewest returning starters in the Big 12 for this upcoming year. We could see KSU go into a full rebuilding phase this year. This is going to be one rocky ride for all of the Wildcat fans and it may be painful to watch. They had a great season last year and I just don’t see that happening again this year considering the circumstances.

8. West Virginia Mountaineers 

The Mountaineers promblem isn’t returning players, they have plenty, it’s just that they are not ready. Their second-year coach Neal Browns is fairly new to this and they finally figured out the QB situation late in the year. The nine returning offensive starters and 8 on the other side is tempting, but just not enough to really show us something. I see Brown and his new QB learning everything this year and coming on strong in the 2021-22 year.

9. Texas Tech Raiders 

Another second-year coach in the Big 12 in Coach Matt Wells in Lubbock. The Red Raiders are definitely in a rebuilding stage especially after Kliff left for the NFL. A similar situation to Neal Brown for Wells and that is why they are not going to be in contention. We will see how the Raiders perform this year but expect a rough year for all fans that wear red and black. 

10. Kansas Jayhawks 

The one team that consistently struggles in the BIg 12 is the Kansas Jayhawks. The hire of Les Miles I thought was really great, but it will take a few years for him to get this team good again. I thought he made significant progress last year, but it will take a whole lot more to bring these guys back. The Jayhawks fans just got to hang out for a little bit longer, cause boy is the payoff is sweet. 

Prediction 

Oklahoma climbs the mountain again beating everyone in the Big 12 making another number one seed. The number one seed is tightly raced all the way to the end, with Texas and Oklahoma State tied up with one game to go in the regular season. Who are the playing, each other. They play each other for a chance at OU and it comes down to the final play where Spencer Sanders wins the game with a TD pass to Chubba Hubbard. Unfortunately, this tires out OSU and they lost to the Sooners in the championship once again. 

WINNER: SOONERS

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