4 seed: Oklahoma Sooners
At some point, someone other than Oklahoma will win the Big 12 championship again.
It does help that the Sooners aren’t playing in the Big Ten, SEC, or ACC, that doesn’t matter in the CFP world as much as winning the conference championship with a great record.
Not having Baker Mayfield around anyone doesn’t help, but Kyler Murray will come up with a gigantic all-around yardage season as the Sooners turn up the ground game behind another great offensive line.
Defense is usually optional in the Big 12, so the concerns after losing five starters aren’t quite as big as they would be in another league. And fortunately, the offense will be built for shootouts, shootouts and more shootouts.
Why They’ll Get Into The College Football Playoff
The Big 12 is going to be full of very good teams, but there won’t be any one great team other than OU.
There’s no trip to Ohio State this season, with home games against UCLA, Army and Florida Atlantic as the non-conference slate all dangerous in their own way, but manageable.
They have to go to TCU, West Virginia and Iowa State, but Oklahoma State and Kansas State are home games.
Even if they stumble along the way – which they will – they’ll still be the league’s star. They can do exactly what they did last season, go 12-1 and get back in for another shot.
Why They’ll Miss Out On The College Football Playoff
They’ll lose twice.
West Virginia with Will Grier at the helm of that offense will be devastating in the regular season finale in Morgantown, playing at Iowa State will be sneaky-tough again, and going to TCU is a big problem, especially after having to deal with Texas.
In all, OU has to face ten teams that went bowling last season – Baylor and Kansas are the two that didn’t.
And yes, not having Baker Mayfield around anymore will be the different between 10-2 and 11-1.
What’s Really Going To Happen?
The post-Mayfield attitude will kick in big-time.
The offense will come out roaring against FAU, UCLA, and in the revenge game against Iowa State on the way to a 5-0 start. There will be one loss along the way to either Texas, TCU or West Virginia, but the Sooners will take two out of the three to get back to the Big 12 Championship at 11-1.
It’s Oklahoma with the Big 12 title on the line. You know what will happen.