The 2019 Big 12 Preview with the Game of the Year, Players of the Year, top pro prospects, big-time players who deserve a bigger spotlight, and more.
The Big 12 is in an interesting spot.
It’s possible to have two teams other than Oklahoma and Texas rise up and get into the College Football Playoff chase – like TCU and Baylor did in 2014 – but that’s not likely for a few reasons.
First, there don’t appear to be any teams in the Big 12 capable of rising up and being in the chase other than the Sooners and Longhorns. Second, the league has way too much parity – there are too many solid teams and too many landmines – and finally, Oklahoma and Texas are just that good.
So what’s better for the Big 12? Does it want to come down to the two big programs again? Would it be a bigger positive if one of the teams rose up and ripped through the rest of the conference on the way to the four-team tournament?
Or, would it be better if every week became a high-scoring thrillfest like last year with great battle after great battle – but with someone else finally busting through the Oklahoma hex and taking the Big 12 Championship crown?
Oklahoma is still going to be fantastic. Jalen Hurts will be more than fine, the rest of the offensive skill players are amazing, and the defense should be a wee bit better.
Texas is still going to be fantastic. There’s some work to be done on the defensive side to replace some key parts, and offensive consistency is a must, but Tom Herman has his program poised and ready to become a true player in the national championship hunt.
But both big programs can be brought down at any time.
Oklahoma State has quietly reloaded. Once the quarterback situation is settled, it’s going to have the firepower to play with anyone.
TCU appears to have fixed the offensive problems and the defense will still be outstanding, West Virginia will still be dangerous despite the new head coach and starting quarterback, and Baylor will be even scarier now that Matt Rhule has his parts in place.
Kansas State? It’ll be a whole lot better under new head coach Chris Klieman. Kansas? It’ll be a whole lot better under new head coach Les Miles.
Matt Wells might have something interesting at Texas Tech if he can get the quarterback health luck that Kliff Kingsbury didn’t, and Iowa State is once again going to be a big bother with a bit of a curveball compared to the rest of the Big 12 styles.
It’s asking for too much to get amazing game after amazing game like last season, but with so many interesting and good teams … expect amazing game after amazing game.
Big 12 Team That Will Surprise
The Wildcats should’ve been a whole lot better than they were last season. They should’ve been stronger defensively, and the offense should’ve been a whole lot more consistent. They had chances to get to six wins and a bowl game, but they lost late to Iowa State, couldn’t get by a punchless TCU, and closed out the Bill Snyder era with a rough 5-7 campaign.
Enter new head coach Chris Klieman from North Dakota State. His Bison were able to do the things last year’s Kansas State team was supposed to, and now there should be just enough of a tweak to be a bit more effective to start to look the part again. This won’t be a Big 12 championship season, but K-State will be a factor again.
– Kansas State Team Preview
Big 12 Team That Will Disappoint
It’s only because Longhorn fans are hoping the switch has been flipped and the program is about to be College Football Playoff-good. It’s a strong team that should be deep in the hunt for the Big 12 title all season long, but the expectations are set SO high now.
All it takes is two losses to be out of the playoff picture, and with LSU and Oklahoma to deal with along with what looks to be a strong season for the conference, getting to 12-1 might be a bit too much of a reach.
– Texas Team Preview