Last year, the Big 12 set itself apart by being an offensive power. Of course the defense was lacking for almost every team, but the offenses were really good. But this year is not last year nor is it the year before. This article will discuss the powers that we should expect out of the Big Twelve. Before we get into the analysis we must discuss the shakeup.
Art Briles, probably one of the biggest names out of the conference has been recently let go. Apparently, numerous violations occurred under his tutelage and to top it off, they were often ignored. Baylor also had an Athletic Director and a school president leave their posts. Needless to say a seismic top-down conspiracy was involved and the removal of these parties has occurred. So who will be guiding the team through this tough time? Jim Grobe, former Wake Forest Head Coach and even won the ACC with a Wake Forest team in 2006! So, although he is not a huge and sexy name to take over the team, he may be what’s needed; a coach who can do a lot with less.
Enough Gossip crap, who will be good? Who will be interesting to watch?
1.) Oklahoma – 2015 was a shocker for most people. The Sooners went from a miserable 8-5 season to a more than 10 win team last year. QB Baker Mayfield and the Oklahoma offense scored almost 50 points a game while utilizing their talented WR core. Many of the powerful tools on the offense will return allowing an extremely talented and experienced offense to rock the Big 12. Expect RB’s Perine and Mixon to get more than 1800 combined yards this year on the ground. The defense on the other hand will have to replace a few key game changers with some raw young talent. Bob Stoops is well aware of the changing dynamic, and has some great recruits to fill in the blanks. Oklahoma has a schedule that is manageable but does contain non-conference match-ups against Houston and Ohio State. Oklahoma better beat everyone except Ohio State if it plans to have a chance to get to the Championship.
2.) TCU – The last two years, TCU has decimated the Big 12. Last years losses against both Oklahoma teams was peculiar. Remember TCU lost by just one point against Oklahoma, in its 29-30 loss? I expect this to be a one loss season, and that loss to come against SMU. Just kidding, the loss will probably arrive against Oklahoma at home. But logically if they win that game than they should be the favorites to win the BIG 12. To top that off , they have a very favorable schedule with only one difficult out-of-conference game – against the Razorbacks on September 10th. There are many question marks on the TCU offense. Who will be the QB to lead the team after last year’s departure of Boykin? Will the QB that replaces him be able to handle a high-octane offensive style? Will the QB have enough time to air it out with a depleted offensive line? On the defense, four injured players are returning and experience has been built after last year’s new formula took hold. Expect the defense to bail TCU out next year on a few close games.
Who to watch?
BAYLOR, duhhh. But seriously, think about it…they have a brand new head coach coming online, with a skilled team of trouble makers. What will happen when someone gets in trouble? They will be immediately off the team. No second chances under Grobe. As a head coach he is a no nonsense guy who can strengthen a team caught up in turmoil. If Grobe can handle this team, than I expect a second place Baylor. Games to watch to see how he is handling the Bears ?
- September 24th against Oklahoma State
- October 29th against Texas
If he has a good grasp on the team, Baylor could lead the conference in wins. This is due to the super soft out of conference game play.
Oh and be on the lookout for possible Big 12 expansion talk. ESPN pundits are already hinting at an expanding Big 12 conference.