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TCU and Oklahoma St. will have the most wins in the Big Twelve

Handicapping Big 12 Football

The Big 12 should offer an exciting conference race this year, the kind that just when you think you know who the winner will be they lose and you have to think about somebody else. There is talent in the league for sure but only one of the ten teams (Texas) is returning their primary starting QB from a year ago.

Win Total Over/Under: TCU 8 Oklahoma State 9.5
BCS Champion Odds: TCU +8000 Oklahoma State +3000
Conference Winning Odds: TCU +360 Oklahoma State +265

Big 12 Conference Overview:

Some of those QB options are tested and some are not which is why it could be so exciting from start to finish and week to week, with many teams streaking toward the finish. There may not be a true BCS contender but the action should be great all season long.

Why TCU and Oklahoma State will have the most wins in the B12

Talent:

TCU – The Horned Frogs were the top defense in the B12 last season and return almost all their key personnel.

They proved in their first year in the conference that they will not be pushed around at this level and that they are able to shut down the conference’s high powered offenses – witness Baylor last year.

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On offense they are getting an experienced QB back in the fold (Casey Pachall) so they can open up their playbook and take advantage of the weapons available which includes a deep stable of running backs and playmakers at receiver that can take over for graduated Josh Boyce. Last year’s rocky entry season developed great depth for this year.

Oklahoma State – The Cowboys are going to have another top shelf offense this season – they always do right?. It looks like they are going with Clint Chelf at QB, a senior who was very sharp last season. They have lost some starters on O from last year but they are replacing them primarily with experienced players who are used to winning.

On defense they are also returning a good portion from last year’s team that was better than expected. The Cowboys have dramatically improved recruiting and are plugging in talented players as needed.

This is a program on the rise. no longer a weak sister to the likes of Texas and Oklahoma.

Schedule:

TCU – They have as challenging an opening game as anybody this season as they will square off against LSU down in the house that Jerry built in Arlington. LSU is good but not great thi season and after the Horned Frogs beat them everyone will be talking TCU. Just remember you read this here first!

The rest of the schedule is challenging including two trips to Oklahoma to face the Sooners and Cowboys. I am bullish on TCU this season and it starts with that season opening win. [soliloquy id=”82219″]

Oklahoma State – The Pokes have an edge here on TCU. They are also opening with an SEC opponent but it is Mississippi State at a neutral site which is a game they will certainly be favoured. Within the B12 they get to host the annual Bedlam game as well as the other contenders save Texas.

I think Baylor could give them some trouble and that TCU just might beat them in Stillwater. Against their schedule it is possible the do undefeated.

Coaching:

TCU – Gary Patterson is an elite coach. Since coming to TCU he has put up a .763 winning percentage and made the program one of the top defenses in the country. His success is what made it possible to move the program to the B12 and to be fair he is doing it with recruits that “other” Texas schools didn’t want.

In 12 seasons he has had just one losing year and in 8 of those years he finished with 10 or more victories. That includes one perfect season back in 2010 when they beat Wisconsin in the Rose Bowl. He is an alum too and not going anywhere

Oklahoma State – Coach Mike Gundy is another alum who is doing really well at his alma mater…though not quite as well as Patterson. People make fun of his “I am a man” rant but I actually liked it and I think players do too because it shows he is willing to defend his players when need be.

Gundy brought the Cowboys to the Fiesta Bowl a couple of seasons ago and has dramatically raised the expectations of the program. There is money behind it too which makes Oklahoma State really second to none in that regard.

Prediction:

TCU: 10-2

Though I think the Horned Frogs will raise some eyebrows by beating LSU but they will not ride that wave to a perfect season.

I see a couple of losses on the schedule, first at Oklahoma and then again in the last two weeks of the season, either at Kansas State or at home against a Baylor team that seems to peak late. The 10 victories puts TCU back where we are used to seeing them and maybe into one of the final BCS bowls representing the league.

Oklahoma State 10-2

The Cowboys are going to rebound from last year. The fact that I am using the word rebound shows just how far this program has really come because 8 wins used to be a very good season.

They will be relatively unchallenged in the nonconference but will drop a couple during B12 play. Depending on how all the tiebreakers play out they could easily find themselves back in the BCS.

Again, another indication of where this program is at that they are potentially returning there for the second time in three season.

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About The Wiesguy

The Wiesguy is a newcomer to the handicapping scene. Hailing from Toronto, Canada he is always sweet on the underdogs and you can often find his thoughts, musings and picks at moneydogs.blogspot.com.


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