Big XII Conference Top 5 Preseason Predictions
The Big XII Conference going into the 2013 season is one of the most wide open, if not the most wide open race in the country. In looking at the teams, there is not a standout…There is no Ohio State or Alabama, which is inconceivable in a conference with college football powers like Texas and Oklahoma. On the other side of the coin, there are four teams that could all be in the BCS conversation come November, so here is our best guess…The Rundown:
1. University of Texas Longhorns 10-2
On paper, the Longhorns would be the team to beat for us going into 2013, if it wasn’t for a shaky quarterback performance by Ash last year and if it wasn’t for the complete embarrassment that Texas put up against Oklahoma in the Red River Shootout, we might all be talking about how this is the year Mack Brown’s boys are going back to the National Championship Game! Looking back in 2012, The Longhorns weretwo scores away from being 10-2..think about that, a team that returns 17 starters was only 2 touchdowns away from a double digit season. This year looking forward, Texas gets some decent competition early with a road game to BYU and a home game against Ole Miss, this will set them up for their first test against the ageless wonder Bill Snyder and Kansas St. That game will tell us a lot about both teams, we like Texas in that one and look for them to avenge the losses to West Virginia and TCU, oh and also we’re taking them against Oklahoma. The trouble we see is Oklahoma St and Baylor… Texas doesn’t have to be perfect to make the BCS and we like those odds.
2. Oklahoma State Cowboys 10-2
Mike Gundy is one of our favorite coaches in the country, if we had a coaching vacancy here at the RR he would make the short list! Gundy this year isn’t quite locked and loaded with a 2011 team here but he has stocked the selves with enough talent that it could be a plug-n-play type of year in Stillwater. Oklahoma State has enough returners on defense to be good, the problem this year was same as last year with a defense that gave up 30 or more points in every loss. They will have to bring that number down to give this offense a chance to shine. We like the chances for the Cowboys to compete for a Big XII title and we might be putting them in our number one spot it they had Texas at home but the don’t so they fall to number two. Don’t be surprised if they open the season 9-0 and lose two of their last three.
3. Texas Christian University Horned Frogs 9-3
We’ve all heard that “Defense” wins Championships! Well, TCU has a defense returning in 2013 that could be ranked in the top 10 maybe the top 5 in all the country by season’s end. They return 9 starters, filling in one gap with a senior, on a defense that was the best in the conference and finished in the top 20 last year. The questions come on offense, mainly the offensive line, where the Frogs are looking to fill holes in a line that under-preformed last year. Looking at the playmakers on offense, TCU has new life getting back two of their leaders that went down in 2012 to injury, QB Pachall now a senior and RB James. If you take a step back you will see a defense that will keep them close and an offense that now has leadership..we like that combination and give TCU our “Outsiders” shot to win the Big XII.
4. University of Oklahoma Sooners 9-3
We made a statement in the opening that the Big XII race was wide freaking open and this is why. The University of Oklahoma Sooners falls to our number four spot, while we still haven’t talked about K-State, Baylor, and West Virginia all teams that if the cards fall right will break the top four by seasons end, so what does it mean? It means that this conference from top to bottom even with it’s recent losses is still one of the toughest in the country. We see Oklahoma as a 10 win a year program, it’s a winning bet but with what we just said this year they are going to have a tough task at matching last year’s win total. If they get the right bowl match-up look for another 10 wins. Oklahoma on offense has solid returners on the O-line and some playmakers with RB Williams and WR Saunders but without a leader at QB this offense is going to have trouble keeping up with some of the more high-scoring offenses. The other trouble show’s up on defense were a lack of experience mixed with a complete remodel makes us think, Stoop’s year is 2014.
5. Baylor Bears 8-4
2013 is going to be the year were Baylor get the chance to show if it’s an every year top 25 preseason pick or if they will take a couple of years between to rebuild rather then reload. Last year Baylor surprised a lot, including us, showing that after losing RGIII, they could still compete for a shot at the Big XII Title, this year however, we don’t see that happening. In a league where the top programs are out to prove something against the SEC and PAC 12, we look for Baylor to have a successful season, no title but getting ready for the next two season. With that being said, they do have Texas and Oklahoma at home, we like them to have an upset in one of those two.