1. One Honest Thought On Each Big 12 Team
Click on each team for the preview and 5 things to know
It’s not that Baylor is going to be significantly worse than last year without head coach Matt Rhule and with a few of the key parts done, but it’s more about the rest of the Big 12 being a tad stronger. The Bears made a lot of their own breaks, but it’s a far more even conference.
Is Brock Purdy the best quarterback in the Big 12? The pro scouts think so at the moment, but the Cyclones are more than their veteran passer. This is a loaded team full of excellent veterans across the board – this might be Matt Campbell’s best defense.
What can the Jayhawks do right in the second year under Les Miles? They’re significantly worse than the other nine teams in the league – at least that’s how they look going into the season – but as long as they can create an identity to build around for 2021, it’ll be a decent step. (By the way, that’s all a nice way of saying the team has to find anything positive it can get.)
Call this the fall-through-the-cracks team. There might not be anything too amazing about the Wildcats, but they’re rock-solid across the board with a good veteran quarterback in Skylar Thompson and a strong secondary. That’s enough to win with in the Big 12.
Don’t fall for the idea that the Sooners are going to slip just because Spencer Rattler isn’t Baker Mayfield, Kyler Murray or Jalen Hurts quite yet. The lines are the best in the Big 12 by far, and the rest of the skill parts are once again fantastic.
Oh this will be fun. The Cowboys have a decent-looking defensive back seven, but they’re going to be about the firepower from their great group of skill parts. It’s going to take 35 points just to get into the discussion with them.
It’s time to fix the glitches. Gary Patterson’s Horned Frogs don’t have two straight mediocre seasons – until they just did. The 2019 team lost six games by a touchdown or less – it’s time for the defense to be back to the normal form under Patterson.
Texas is allowed to lose to Oklahoma, and that’s it. There’s too much overall talent to have a brain-cramp like last year’s 37-27 loss at TCU. There’s absolutely no excuse – outside of any potential real-world health issues – to finish with five losses again.
Matt Wells got the offense going in his first season, and he’s got the passing game parts to have an even more explosive 2020. The hidden gem, though, might be the special teams that should be right there with Oklahoma’s as the Big 12’s best.
How good will the offensive line be? The defensive front is great and there should be a whole lot more from the passing game and offense as a whole, but it all has to start from the line that’s missing a sure-thing star.