Big 12 Football Predictions – 2013 Season


For the first time in years, Oklahoma is not the favorite to win the Big 12. The Sooners may still end up on top, but the league is wide open at the top, with 4 teams capable of winning 10+ games. We think the conference will boil down to the two traditional powers and Oklahoma State, but anything could happen in the unpredictable Big 12.

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  • 1. Texas 10-2 (7-2): The Longhorns spend the last few years meddling around in the middle of the conference, but the burnt orange is primed to leap back to the top of the pile this year. The offense is shifting back to a fast-paced, spread style, and the only question mark is if QB David Ash can run the show. Texas is as stacked at the skill positions as any team in the conference, and the line will be a strength. The defense should be among the best in the league, with big-time star potential in DE Jackson Jeffcoat, LB Jordan Hicks and CB Quandre Diggs. This team is a lock to win 8 games, but if Ash can settle in and provide a consistent presence at QB, the Longhorns could find themselves in the BCS picture. The conference could very well come down to Texas vs. Oklahoma State, and we’ll give the nod to the home team.
  • 2. Oklahoma State 10-2 (7-2): Much like in-state rival Oklahoma, the Cowboys must replace an offensive star from last season. For Okie State though, that star is RB Joseph Randle. RB Jeremy Smith has shown flashes of brilliance in the past, and he won’t need to shoulder the whole load on offense. Even with the departure of QB Wes Lunt, the passing game is in good hands with QBs Clint Chelf and J.W. Walsh and WRs Josh Stewart and Charlie Moore, both of whom may end up as all-conference players. The defense was only middle-of-the-road in the Big 12 last season, but we expect slightly better play this season, which should be all the offense needs to outscore most opponents. The schedule has just four conference road games, and only a date with Texas looks like a challenge there, which sets the Cowboys up nicely for a run at the conference crown.
  • 3. Oklahoma 8-4 (6-3): From Jason White to Sam Bradford to Landry Jones, the Sooners have enjoyed a decade of top-tier pocket passers. That may all change this year though, as Blake Bell, affectionately known as the “Belldozer” will have a chance to win the job and add an extra dimension to the passing game. Bell will have plenty of help with an outstanding line, two all-conference caliber backs, a solid group of receivers, and utility player Trey Milliard. The question for the Sooners will be the defense, which struggled at times last season and returns only a few starters this year. Oklahoma must also travel to Notre Dame, Kansas State and Oklahoma State in addition to the annual neutral-site showdown with Texas. The Sooners will still threaten for 10 wins, but they are not the clear-cut favorite in 2013, and the toughest conference schedule of any conference contender may leave the Sooners fighting for 3rd.
  • 4. TCU 8-4 (6-3): The defense, in traditional TCU fashion, should again be outstanding and will likely be tops in the league for the 2nd straight year. The mystery in Fort Worth will surround the offense, which welcomes back troubled QB Casey Pachall and star RB Waymon James. If Pachall and James can pick up where they left off in 2011, the sky is the limit for TCU. Much like Texas, we can see TCU anywhere from about 7-5 to running the table in conference play. Unlike the other Big 12 teams, the Frogs have a big measuring-stick game early with a season-opening contest against LSU. If they topple the Tigers, look out Big 12.
  • 5. Baylor 8-4 (5-4): Gone are QB Nick Florence and WR Terrance Wright, but the Bears have an outstanding pair of RBs in Lache Seastrunk and Glasco Martin, which will help ease QB Bryce Petty into the starting role. Petty will also have WR Tevin Reese, who appears primed to step into a star role and put up a big season. The defense returns a boatload of experience from last season, but that may not be a good thing for a team that gave up over 500 yards per game. Baylor should still be able to compete with every team on its schedule, but they seem just a notch below the top teams in the conference.
  • 6. Kansas State 7-5 (4-5): The Wildcats lose QB Collin Klein and the defense has been gutted. Outside of SS Ty Zimmerman, who is as good as any defender in the conference, there is a lot of uncertainty on the defensive side, which is not a good thing in the high-scoring Big 12. RB John Hubert can carry the load on offense and WRs Taylor Lockett and Tramaine Thompson are good options in the passing game, but K-State just lost too much from last season and the top of the league is too good for the Wildcats to contend in 2013.

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  • 7. Texas Tech 6-6 (3-6): The Red Raiders are breaking in a new quarterback, but if there is one thing Texas Tech can count on, it’s a quarterback capable of putting up silly passing numbers. WR Eric Ward will be the feature player in the passing game, and should end up as an all-conference performer. We won’t even try to predict the defense, which is incredibly welcoming the fifth difference coordinator in the last five years. As always, we expect the Red Raiders to put up big points and upset a favorite along the way, but there is just too big of a talent gap between Tech and the top of the league.
  • 8. West Virginia 5-7 (3-6): WVU crumbled down the stretch last year, and it won’t get any easier this year without QB Geno Smith and WRs Tavon Austin and Stedman Bailey. The running backs are talented and QB Paul Millard looks like the real deal, but it’s hard to be too optimistic after some duds last season (see Texas Tech, Kansas State and Syracuse games) and all the departed talent. The defense got a rough welcome to the Big 12 but should improve this year. But can the defense improve enough to make the Mountaineers contenders for a bowl game? We don’t see it.
  • 9. Iowa State 5-7 (3-6): QB Sam Richardson was solid last season, but can he be a guy that the Cyclones can count on to keep up with the other offenses in the Big 12? He won’t get much help from a green group of receivers. The good news on offense is that the stable of running backs can go five deep with talented players, including James White and dynamic JUCO transfer Aaron Wimberly. The defense will look completely different without stalwart LBs Jake Knott and AJ Klein. MLB Jeremiah George and FS Jacques Washington can be the leaders, but the young defense may be torn apart at times in this conference. Coach Paul Rhoads has turned the Cyclones into a tough out each game, but it will be a re-building year in Ames.
  • 10. Kansas 3-9 (1-8): It was a disastrous first year for coach Charlie Weis, and he is betting on transfers to turn the program around. Former BYU QB Jake Heaps will step in at QB, and his top target will likely be former Oklahoma WR Justin McCay. RB James Sims is a star stuck on a bad team, but may not find the holes he had last year as the line should take a step back. LB Ben Heeney is a rock on defense, but he’ll be surrounded by a lot of question marks. The transfers and newcomers could very well spark the Jayhawks to 5 wins or so, but until we see a reason to not pick Kansas last they will be alone in the cellar of the Big 12.
  • Let’s hear your predictions in the comments!

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