Wednesday, July 3, 2013

0 College Football Preview: Big 12

By Kenny Howell

This is fourth part of my College Football Preview. This time we will look at Big 12.

The Big 12 will have my surprise team of the year: the Texas Longhorns.

I think Texas is poised to have a bounce back year in a big way. I think people will underestimate them because of their poor defensive showing last year, and I think that Mack Brown's back is against the wall. What will save them from both of those things is a team that is stacked. They will have a small freshman class this season, but the previous years, Rivals had them ranked No. 2, No. 3 and No. 3. The Longhorns also return 18 of 24 starters, if you include the kicking specialists. They get Oklahoma on a neutral field, Ole Miss, Texas Tech and Oklahoma State at home. Baylor should still have a solid team, so that will be a tough game on the road to end the season. But they can get through it. Add to that Kansas State and West Virginia should take steps back this year. I honestly think the Longhorns could get through the schedule unscathed and a possible spot in the National Championship. That is my out on a limb pick. I will look like a genius or a giant idiot in a few months. I am used to the idiot, so that is OK.

Their main competition should be rival Oklahoma. The Sooners will have a tough road trip to Notre Dame, and will probably drop their Red River Rivalry game with Texas. They will finish 10-2 and 8-1 in conference.

Oklahoma State is a popular pick to win the conference, but I don't think they have recruited well enough to get into that position. They have been ranked anywhere from 28-32 the past four years in Rivals rankings. They should still have a good year, going 9-3, 6-3 in conference.

Texas Tech should have a good season under new Head Coach Kliff Kingsbury. He is bringing a lot of energy, and they could be looking at a 9-3, 6-3 year as well.

I think in addition to those teams, Baylor, TCU and Kansas State should get to a bowl game.

Big 12

1. Texas (12-0) (9-0)
2. Oklahoma (10-2) (8-1)
3. Oklahoma State (9-3) (6-3)
4. Texas Tech (9-3) (6-3)
5. Baylor (8-4) (5-4)
6. TCU (7-5) (5-4)
7. Kansas State (6-6) (3-6)
8. West Virginia (5-7) (3-6)
9. Iowa State (3-9) (1-8)
10. Kansas (3-9) (0-9)

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