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Conference Preview: The Big 12

crystalballIn an effort to address all the teams and conferences that make the fall so exciting, OTP’s All-Star Editorial staff is putting on their prognosticatin’ hats and taking a stab at each of the conferences and all of the teams in FBS. Alan and Edge are giving you the conference’s order of finish, the records, the superlatives for offense and defense, and the biggest surprise for each conference. At the conclusion of our series, we’ll have the Bowl Projections for all 34 Bowl Games.

OTP Conference Preview: The Big 12

The Big 12 has certainly made its presence known on the national stage as year in and year out, their conference champion is sort of assumed to be playing for the national title. Helping that perception over the last several years has been the epic battles between Texas and Oklahoma, and OU’s appearance in BCS game after BCS game.

After you sort through the top, you find tradition rich programs who may be down recently, but are due certainly for a resurgence. Programs like Nebraska and Texas A&M are on their way back up with new coaches, young players, and a fanbase that is growing restless while national accolades and attention gets focused on the others.

Also trying to grasp that Big 12 brass ring are tradition-light, but recent success-heavy programs such as Missouri, Texas Tech, and Kansas. While none of those programs look like they will have the sort of years they’ve had recently due to players moving on, they are capable of sneaking up on one of the favorites if they are not taken seriously.

The Big 12 continues to impress with talented athletes, successful coaches, passionate fanbases, and programs worthy of it all. Perhaps this is the year when some of the recent demons of major Bowl outings are exorcised.

Last 5 Conference Champions
2008: Oklahoma
2007: Oklahoma
2006: Oklahoma
2005: Texas
2004: Oklahoma

Bowl Tie Ins
The Big 12 has nine bowl tie-ins, eight of which will choose a Big 12 school in any given year.
#1– Bowl Championship Series. The winner of the Big 12 Championship Game receives an automatic berth to a BCS bowl game, preferentially the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl.
#2– The Cotton Bowl receives the second choice of Big 12 teams.
#3– The Holiday Bowl The Holiday Bowl receives the third choice of Big 12 teams.
#4-5– The Gator Bowl, Alamo Bowl and Sun Bowl receive the fourth and fifth selections on a rotating basis. The Gator Bowl gets the first pick between the second Big East team and the fourth Big 12 team. If they choose a Big East team, the Alamo Bowl gets the fourth Big 12 selection and the Sun Bowl gets the fifth Big 12 selection. If the Gator Bowl chooses the fourth Big 12 team, the Alamo Bowl receives the fifth Big 12 selection. The Gator and Sun Bowls also have the option of selecting Notre Dame, as long as Notre Dame is bowl eligible and not playing in a BCS bowl.
#6– The Insight Bowl receives the sixth choice of Big 12 teams.
#7– The Independence Bowl receives the seventh choice of Big 12 teams.
#8– The Texas Bowl receives the eighth choice of Big 12 teams.

Alan’s Big 12 Predictions
Order of Finish:
Nebraska 10-2 (7-1)
Kansas 8-4 (4-4)
Colorado 6-6 (4-4)
Kansas St. 5-7 (3-5)
Missouri 4-8 (2-6)
Iowa St. 4-8 (2-6)

Texas 12-0 (8-0)
Oklahoma 11-1 (7-1)
Oklahoma St. 9-3 (6-2)
Texas Tech 8-4 (4-4)
Baylor 3-9 (1-7)
Texas A&M 3-9 (0-8)

League Champion: Texas beats Nebraska in the Big 12 Championship

League MVP: Colt McCoy, Texas
Offensive MVP: Sam Bradford, Oklahoma
Defensive MVP: Sergio Kindle, Texas

Biggest Surprise This Season: The biggest surprise will be Texas Tech. They will do significantly better than most are giving them credit for after the departure of offensive playmakers.

Edge’s Big 12 Predictions
Order of Finish:
Nebraska 10-2 (6-2)
Kansas 9-3 (5-3)
Missouri 8-4 (4-4)
Colorado 6-6 (2-6)
Kansas State 5-7 (2-6)
Iowa State 3-9 (1-7)

Texas 12-0 (8-0)
Oklahoma 11-1 (7-1)
Oklahoma State 10-2 (6-2)
Texas Tech 8-4 (4-4)
Baylor 6-6 (2-6)
Texas A&M 4-8 (1-7)

League Champion: Texas over Nebraska in the Big 12 Championship

League MVP: Colt McCoy, Texas
Offensive MVP: Sam Bradford, Oklahoma
Defensive MVP: Ndamukong Suh, Nebraska

Biggest Surprise This Season: Nebraska loses a heartbreaker to Kansas but wins the next two to take the Big 12 North. With all the hype going into the Red River Rivalry this year, the game is much less of a showdown than expected. Texas wins by 17.


2 Responses

  1. While I agree with your statement that Texas Tech will do much better than expected due to the loss of their star players, I can tell you that from a Tech fan and follower standpoint, 8-4, 4-4 would be a big surprise…in a negative way. Tech should do better than that and people will be surprised.

  2. The reports of Texas Tech’s demise are greatly exaggerated.

    Tech will not finish 4-4 in the Big 12. Tech will finish 5-3 or 6-2 in the Big 12.

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