As we move through the major conferences, it is Big 12 day here at Buffalo Wins. If you like lots of points, and no defense, this is clearly the league for you. This conference produces the least amount of NFL talent of all the power 5s. That being said, this year there are some players worth watching, and a conference title game.
- Oklahoma – If Bob Stoops is the coach, Oklahoma is probably the unanimous choice for the conference title. Lincoln Riley is an unproven commodity as a coach. Baker Mayfield is a likely Heisman finalist, and will lead a potent offense. We will find out real quick how good they are when they head to Ohio State in week 2.
- Oklahoma State – I fully expect Oklahoma State to play Oklahoma twice this season. I think Mike Gundy is extremely underrated, and Bills fans may want to watch QB Mason Rudolph as he and WR James Washington score 50 most weeks.
- Texas – There is some talent on this roster finally. There were some fair criticisms to be made of Charlie Strong, but he remade a depleted roster, and I expect Tom Herman to benefit from that talent infusion. Shane Buechele will likely lead an improved offense, but big questions remain on the defensive side. They likely are a year away from Big 12 title competition.
- Kansas State – Bill Snyder is still the most under-rated coach in America. The number of games he has won, with the talent he has, is truly extraordinary. K State always plays sound D, and a drag it out offense. I expect this year’s offense will be more dynamic however as Jesse Ertz is a legit QB.
- TCU – Gary Patterson’s squad had a very uncharacteristic season in 2016, going 6-7. QB Kenny Hill (formerly of Texas A&M) has some talent, but is wildly inconsistent. I just have a hard time believing a Gary Patterson D can be that bad two seasons in a row.
- West Virginia – Florida transfer Will Grier leads an offense that should be extremely potent. They were actually led by their D last season, and they lost a lot from that side of the ball. We will find out how good they are immediately as the open against Virginia Tech.
- Baylor – There is some talent here relative to the bottom feeders of the conference, but Matt Rhule has his work cut out for him. They basically lost 2 years of recruiting due to the Art Briles scandal, and they need to change the culture and public perception of Baylor to move forward.
- Texas Tech – The seat is getting hot for Kliff Kingsbury. Over the last few years, he has proven to be a great offensive mind, but they’ve never even had an average D. Will the O take a step back without first round pick Mahomes? If no, Kingsbury may not survive the season.
- Iowa State – I think Matt Campbell is a really good football coach. I’m still not sure how Iowa State convinced him to come to Ames. They have a great WR in Allen Lazard. I expect this team to be very competitive in most games, and make the jump towards bowl eligibility next season.
- Kansas – Quite possibly the worst team in Power 5 football. Consider the most wins they’ve had in any season after 2009 is 3!
Conference title game – In a rematch of bedlam, I think Oklahoma State is more motivated, and wins the rematch and gets to hang the banner. Why this conference has a title game (hint: $) is beyond me when everyone already plays everyone!