The predictions are coming up for the first of our number-challenged conferences…the Big XII (with ten teams). Boomer Sooner, Hook em Horns, and the other eight non-important teams (according to most Oklahoma and Texas fans) battle for conference supremacy and to see which team will be the first to top 90 points in a game (my money is on Baylor).
- Texas Longhorns (8-1 Big XII, 11-1 overall). Everyone seems to be sleeping on the Longhorns. It’s been a while since the Vince Young days of glory and it’s about time Mack Brown got this team back to a BCS bowl (you know, before the BCS dies). In a tight conference with a few contenders, Texas can essentially sneak up the middle and pull out the title.
- Oklahoma State Cowboys (7-2 Big XII, 10-2 overall). Almost all the experts seem to think the Cowboys are the chic pick to win the Big XII and go to the Fiesta Bowl. I don’t think they have the horses to win the whole thing. Plus, I am sure they will slip up and get upset during the season since that seems to be the norm in this crazy conference.
- Oklahoma Sooners (7-2 Big XII, 9-3 overall). BOOMER! SOONER! OK enough of that. I don’t think much of the Bell-dozer at quarterback. Not a bad player mind you but seems a bit Tebow-esque and sideshow-ish to an extent. And I can’t remember the last time a team won much without a pretty good QB. Even then, it’s the loss in Bedlam that will cost this team the #1 (and #2) spot.
- TCU Horned Frogs (7-2 Big XII, 9-3 overall). TCU will finally arrive this year. It’s taken many years but Gary Patterson finally has his boys ready to compete at the top of a BCS conference. This would be a good dark horse pick to win the conference for sure. If they can win two of the three against the teams above them, they may have the conference title in their back pocket.
- Kansas State Wildcats (5-4 Big XII, 8-4 overall). Last year had to have been awesome in Manhattan. Collin Klein was superb in bringing the Wildcats extremely close to a BCS National Championship loss (until they went up against Baylor). Klein is gone so this team, in such a close field, goes from first all the way to fifth, and may fall farther. The worst part is I can’t see them winning less than 6 games yet that might only be enough for 7th or 8th.
- Baylor Bears (4-5 Big XII, 7-5 overall). Waco’s lovable Baylor Bears. These guys play football like I play football (on the Xbox). Offense, offense, offense…wait, I have to stop the other team? They could conceivably have over 40 ppg on both offense and defense this year. Insane. You’d think they were an arena football outfit.
- Texas Tech Red Raiders (4-5 Big XII, 6-6 overall). Favourite son Kliff Kingsbury takes over from Tubs as the head coach of the Raiders this year. That alone may be worth an extra win or two. Knowing this guy, he may try to emulate Art Briles’ video-game like football strategy with his team.
- Iowa State Cyclones (2-7 Big XII, 4-8 overall). Playing NCAA Football 13 the other day and I put Doug Flutie on the Cyclones…for a challenge. My daughter sees their mascot and keeps asking me if that bird is a cyclone. I say no, a cyclone is a tornado except it turns the opposite way. She looks at me like I have four heads (and one is Sloth’s). This has nothing to do with my prediction. However, I too now have to wonder what the people in Ames were thinking with that mascot choice.
- West Virginia Mountaineers (2-7 Big XII, 5-7 overall). Is it just me or does Dana Holgorsen looks like he’s had at least two beers no matter what time of game or even if it’s gameday. He looked so flustered last year with the absolute collapse of this team. They had a dynamite offense but not much else. And it will get slightly worse this year without Smith, Austin, and Bailey.
- Kansas Jayhawks (0-9 Big XII, 1-11 overall). Maybe Charlie Weis should just challenge the other coaches to a cheeseburger eating contest. I feel sorry for Jayhawks’ fans (all 273 of them). This team is a huge disappointment considering just six years ago they were in the national championship picture under an even bigger guy…wait that doesn’t sound right.
No conference championship game for the Big XII…yet. At some point, the powers that be will want to have that conference championship game again (even if DeLoss Dodds has a coronary about it). Until then, expect Texas, Oklahoma, and Oklahoma State to run this conference although watch out for TCU. One year, they will break through and win this conference and that would be such a huge victory to all those smaller conferences who told everyone that you just need to give one of their schools a chance to compete…wait, no it won’t. TCU will turn their backs on the Boise States of the world if that happens (as they take a huge cheque to the bank).