B12 Preview

  • As we have entered the dead zone for athletics here recently I figured I would give the rundown on some of the B12 schools and how I believe the conference will shake out.

    Oklahoma, is the easy choice and has won the conference 5 of the last 7 years. There are some questions on the offensive line as they only return starting center Creed Humphrey. But being able to plug in Jalen Hurts as a grad transfer from Alabama and returning 8 starters on a lackluster defense from a year ago makes me believe they still hold the keys to the conference.

    TCU, I think I’m higher on this TCU club than most. I think Alex Barnes will plug right into the system Patterson has down there and even look better with a stout offensive line and 7 returning starters on that side of the ball. The defense only returns 5 guys but I believe in Patterson on that side of the ball. It seems like he always has a solid year after a mediocre one (7-5 LY).

    Texas, I’m not near as high on Texas as most people seems like every year we hear “Texas is back” early in the season and they falter once they play a decent team (started 6-1 LY). Having QB Sam Ehlinger back should boost Texas offensively but they only return 8 starters as a team. Tons of questions on the front 7 for the defense and an average offensive line that only sees 2 guys back from a year ago.

    ISU, I think this team could be a dark horse for the conference title. I debated with myself putting them ahead of Texas. QB Brock Purdy had a solid freshman season outta nowhere. This team on paper is one of the most experienced in not only the conference but the nation. Campbell seems to fit great up in Ames, I think their schedule falls really well too.

    OSU, I think it gets a little cloudy after the front 4 in this conference. I’m really not sold on Gundy being more than an average coach, he doesn’t win 10 games unless he got cupcakes deluxe in September. But they do have a fair amount of experience back and added a grad transfer at QB in Dru Brown from Hawaii. If a terrible defense from a year ago can improve, they should be able to repeat or improve on LYs 7 win campaign.

    Baylor, Matt Rhule enters his 3rd year in Waco after turning a 1 win team into bowl game winning team in just one season. Charlie Brewer is back under center in an offense that looks to light up the scoreboard. But much like OK State it remains to be seen if a more experienced defense can produce stops when needed.

    Texas Tech, It wouldn’t surprise me if any of these bottom 4 teams take 10th. All have new coaches and plenty of turnover. Matts Wells is in Lubbock now after both playing and coaching at Utah State. I put Tech here because I believe Wells inherited the best team of the bunch. QB Alan Bowman was great last season when healthy and his absence at times killed the red raiders shot at a bowl game. They get a fair share of guys back on both sides of the ball (7 offense, 6 defense) but their defense has let up over 30 points on average per game for nearly a decade.

    KSU, I had a coin flip to decide Tech a head of them. I think KSU has a chance to be a sleeper to finish in the top 5 in this conference. They return QB Skylar Thompson whom Snyder had no confidence to give the keys to a year ago. It will be interesting to see what type of style new coach Chris Klieman implies there. He has won 4 national titles at the FCS level but lends only a few season as an FBS assistant for experience (one oddly enough at KU). A solid defense that returns 8 guys from LY should give them a chance to win games but look for cries for Snyder’s return if they fail to reach a bowl game again (even tho they missed one with him a year ago).

    Kansas, I’m tired of picking us last (sorry WVU). I think there is as much talent on this team since Mark Mangino was on the sidelines. I honestly think if Les Miles was hired before last season a bowl game was possible (lost 3 games by a combined 14 points). That being said losing everyone in the front 7 defensively and questions as always here about the QB position leave me to believe we will have to wait a year or two for that bowl game. I think having a good combination of size and experience up front with a good group of RBs will at least make this team watchable again and maybe even win a game that they have no business doing so.

    WVU, Dana Holgerson in an odd moved jumped ship to Houston during the offseason. Enter new coach Neal Brown from Troy. I think Dana was tired of the pressure of winning at a small market team and left. In doing so he left the cupboard pretty bare IMO. Brown inherits an offense that only sees 3 returning starters. There are questions at QB, WR and on the line. The only position group that looks decent on paper is RB with Kennedy McKoy and Martell Pettaway both returning after averaging better than 5 yards per carry last season. WV does return 6 starters on defense but Holgerson was never known for his defenses and it showed in his time in Morgantown.


  • @JAYHAWKFAN214 Texas is the most overrated CFB program in history, the only team close is ND.

  • Nice analysis. Thanks. I’m really impressed by the rapid progress Iowa State has made. I hope someone on our staff is studying Iowa State’s path to success. IState was first in rush defense, first in scoring defense, and second in total defense in the conference last year. TCU was first in total defense. KU was sixth in total defense, ahead of Baylor, TexTech, OState and last-Oklahoma. But, IState was just average on offense-seventh in scoring offense, while we were eighth.

    Success for KU this year will likely depend on the offense being much, much better, since it appears the Dline and linebacker groups are our weakest areas. I’m hoping the defense surprises me and outplays the prognosticators.

  • Iowa State and West Virginia are tough jobs because I think there is a definite ceiling on how good they can be consistently. Expectations over time make those jobs tough.

    Right now ISU is up and WVU is down, but I wouldn’t be surprised if that flipped in a few years.

    KU should get out of last place this year because I think they can win 3 conference games. Several vulnerable teams out there, and KU should be better on the road due to coaching.

    Snyder left Klienman with very little in Manhattan. He may get it turned around, but KSU wasn’t very good last year, and they have less talent on hand now than they did at the same time last summer. Even KSU fans I have talked to are not feeling good about this season.

  • @justanotherfan agreed, interesting I’ve never met a KSU that wasnt arrogant. I do think KSU will be solid defensively tho.

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