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Oklahoma Sooners will have the most wins in the Big 12

Handicapping Big 12 Football

The Baylor Bears are coming off of a Big 12 title from the 2013 college football season, but the question is: Can they defend that title with the likes of the Oklahoma Sooners and Texas Longhorns on their tails?

Oklahoma Sooners

Las Vegas Win Total Over/Under: 10.5
BCS Champion Odds: 10/1
Conference Winning Odds: 2/3
Futures from sportsbook.ag

That question won’t be answered for quite some time, as we’re still a few months away from the start of the 2014 season, but it’s clear that parity will be in full effect at the top of the conference.

Big Ten Overview

The Oklahoma Sooners are coming off of a Sugar Bowl win against the Alabama Crimson Tide – a monumental win, to say the least. Baylor won the Big 12 title last year, but they lost to then-No. 10 UCF in a shootout (52-42) in the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl.

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Texas, while underwhelming a bit in the overall standings (they went 8-5 on the year), is improving and did put together a strong showing in conference by going 7-2 against its familiar foes.

These three are going to challenge each other all season (along with the Kansas State Wildcats and potentially the Oklahoma State Cowboys), but it’s the Sooners who have the best chance to walk away smiling when it’s all said and done.

Why Oklahoma will have the most wins in the Big 12

The first thing to mention here is that Oklahoma has 16 returning starters from last season. Quarterback Trevor Knight should improve upon his freshman season (9 TD, 5 INT), and the defense has nine of those returning starters coming back to potentially make life easier on the young QB.
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Just as important is the fact that the Sooners have the luxury of hosting Baylor (as well as Kansas State) this season. The Bears are, unequivocally, going to be Oklahoma’s biggest competition as it pertains to winning a title, and having home-field advantage is crucial.

As much as you don’t want to look at the past, you can’t ignore what the Sooners did to Alabama in the Sugar Bowl last season.

That was an impressive win against a down-right dominant program, and have 16 players from that team return is crucial when it comes to experience in big-time games.

Defensively, this group is going to be elite, to say the least. In fact, it’s not unrealistic to think it’s going to be the best in the conference and one of the best nationwide.

As already mentioned, that’s going to give a young quarterback room to breathe on most possessions, which is a huge advantage as the team grooms it’s passer of the future.

Prediction: 11-1 Overall

The Oklahoma Sooners have consistently been a great program for many years. The Baylor Bears have become a threat in recent history, but Oklahoma has won at least 10 games in seven out of its past eight seasons.

Chances are, that theme will hold true in 2014. Baylor has to replace key pieces from its 2013 defense, which is something the Sooners aren’t forced to do entering the new year.

Watch both of these programs closely, and in particular, watch them faceoff on Nov. 8. This is going to be a tight race to the finish, but when at the end of the day, it should be Oklahoma walking away as Big 12 champions.

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