The Big 12 conference is gearing up for an exciting season, with significant changes in its lineup of teams and intense competition on the horizon. After dropping to 10 football teams in 2011, the conference will expand to 14 teams this year, with the additions of BYU, Houston, UCF, and Cincinnati. However, this expansion will be short-lived, as Texas and Oklahoma are scheduled to depart for the SEC next season, taking the Big 12 back to its original 12-team composition.
Notably, the recent changes and the unpredictability of the conference make it all the more thrilling. The 2021 title game participants, Baylor and Oklahoma State, who had an even season at 13-13, are expected to make a strong comeback. And let’s not forget TCU’s impressive start under a new coach or Kansas State’s surprising conference victory. This year promises to be just as unpredictable and dynamic.
Overall, the Big 12 conference is in a fascinating situation, with the impending departure of two key teams, Texas and Oklahoma, adding an element of intrigue to their odds. Texas, with odds of +105, and Oklahoma, with odds of +320, are the clear favorites. Beyond them, a steady increase in odds reflects a potentially tight competition among Kansas State, Texas Tech, and TCU. The mid-field battle appears to be quite competitive. However, as we move towards the end of the spectrum, the odds significantly increase for the likes of Kansas, Oklahoma State, Cincinnati, West Virginia, Houston, and BYU, suggesting they are the perceived underdogs.
Texas’s QB Room Leads The Way..
Texas, leading the pack at +105, is poised to have a remarkable farewell tour. The Longhorns have historically been a force to reckon with in the Big 12, and despite their imminent departure, they intend to fight for the top spot. Their recent recruitment class looks promising and could be the key to their success this season.
Just behind Texas is Oklahoma at +320. The Sooners have a legacy of success in the Big 12, and like Texas, they are looking to bid farewell on a high note. Despite the challenges, they are expected to put up a stiff competition.
The third favorite, Kansas State at +470, demonstrated their prowess last season by clinching the league championship. With their victorious momentum, they are a team to watch this season.
In the discussion…
Next in line are Texas Tech at +800 and TCU at +1100. Both teams have shown potential, and given last season’s results, they could surprise many this year. Texas Tech, in particular, with its wealth of experience, might just be a sleeper hit.
The Intriguing Underdogs
Teams like Baylor at +1800, UCF and Iowa State both at +2500, and Kansas and Oklahoma State both at +4000 fall into the category of dark horses. Both Baylor and UCF have sneaky potential and could disrupt the favorites with their unique combinations of experienced coaching staff and talented players.
The Long Shots
Last but not least, we have Cincinnati at +5000, West Virginia at +4000, Houston at +7500, and BYU at +8000. These teams are long shots, but their odds reflect potential for surprise performances that could shake up the conference rankings.
As spring practices kick off and teams prepare for the upcoming season, fans and pundits alike are anticipating the potential storylines and newcomers that could make a significant impact in the Big 12. With the conference’s unpredictability and the new and outgoing rivalries, this season promises to be a memorable one.
Key Takeaway: Unlike the top-heavy SEC, it looks like the BIG 12 is WIDE OPEN.