- It’s national championship or bust for Lincoln Riley and the Sooners this season. They bring back the Heisman front runner (+800) in Spencer Rattler, who should put up monster numbers in the Big 12 this year. They bring back 4 of their top 5 receivers, and Kennedy Brooks returns, along with Tennessee transfer Eric Gray in the backfield. 7 starters return from a defense that ranked 3rd in the conference in yards per game (YPG) last year. This will be Oklahoma’s best shot to win the national championship. Can they get the monkey off their back and win a playoff game, or does the heat start to turn up on Lincoln Riley?
- Favorite bet: Oklahoma to win the national championship +800
- Coming off the best season in school history, what will Matt Campbell and the Cyclones do for an encore? They return just about everyone on both sides of the ball (10 offense, 9 defense) including QB Brock Purdy and RB Breece Hall. We know what they are going to do, and that is run the ball down your throat, and make timely big plays in the pass game. Breece Hall should be in New York the second weekend of December. They get an early test at home against Iowa, and could be 10-0 went they go to Norman. The hype is real in Ames, but can Campbell and his stars deliver the first conference championship since 1915?
- Favorite bet: Breece Hall to win the Heisman +4000
- Is the shine starting to wear off of Mike Gundy for Cowboys fan? Only 5 starters are back on offense, but junior QB Spencer Sanders does return. A 1-2 punch of Dezmon Jackson and LD Brown in the backfield should be able to replace the production of Chuba Hubbard, and 3 lineman return. Braydon Johnson is their leading receiver, but only hauled in 20 catches for 248 yards last year. 8 starters return on a defense that was 44th in the country in YPG last year, and should improve on that. Can Gundy and the Pokes finally get over the hump and get to Arlington? It’s going to be tough with Oklahoma and Iowa State in their way.
- Favorite bet: Over 7.5 wins (-113)
- The first two games of the Sark era are going to set the tone. Sun Belt favorite Louisiana heads to Austin to start the season in a top 25 game, then the Longhorns head to Fayetteville to renew an old rivalry with Arkansas. One thing is for sure, Bijan Robinson is going to get the ball early and often. 8 returning starters on offense, but have to replace 4 year starter Sam Ehlinger. Casey Thompson is assumed to step in after the Alamo Bowl, but rumor has it Hudson Card is pulling away in the QB1 battle. 6 players come back on a defense that gave up an average of 475 YPG last year. Will Texas be back?
- Favorite bet: Over 8 wins (-120)
- Will the plethora of transfers hurt the Mountaineers? Jarret Doege is back, along with leading rusher Leddie Brown, and the top 5 pass catchers return as well. The season is going to be defined by if the offense can be more explosive and finish drives with touchdowns. Dante Stills comes back, along with 5 other starters on the 4th best defense in the country last year. They did lose two starters on the backend, including Tykee Smith, to the portal, but bring back plenty of experience. Is year three when the Neal Brown era takes that next step at WVU?
- Favorite bet: Over 6.5 wins (+100)
- This is easily Gary Patterson’s best team since 2015, with Oklahoma transfer Max Duggan back under center. He is also the returning rusher, which is not something you want to see. Zach Evans will have to shoulder the load, and rely on Duggan’s legs in timely situations. This is a Gary Patterson team, so they are going to always be good defensively. 7 starters come back, including the entire defensive line. They will have to set the tone for an inexperienced secondary, as they will have pass-heavy Cal and SMU early in the schedule.
- Favorite bet: Over 7 wins (-125)
- How does Baylor respond after a down year one under Dave Aranda? Charlie Brewer transferred to Utah at the end of the season, leaving behind a QB room with very little experience. The offense could do very little of anything last year. They do return their top 5 pass catchers, but very little production is returning outside of that. 9 starters return on a defense was very middling last year, giving up 29 PPG which ranked 63rd in the country. Dave Aranda is a defense-first coach, and the defense is definitely going to have to carry the load for this team while they try to find an identity on offense. They also have a brutal 7 game stretch that could sink their season.
- Favorite bet: Game total unders (I can’t believe I said that)
- Has the shine worn off on the Chris Kliemann era in Manhattan? You could not have asked for a worse ending to a season than the Wildcats had last year, losing their last 5 of the season including a 69-31 beatdown against Texas to close the season. Deuce Vaughn (fire name) returns as the leading rusher and receiver, and he will be asked to do it all this season for the Wildcats offense. They do return 8 other starters on offense, but they are going to have to find an identity. 5 starters return on a defense that was 97th in YPG last year, so it may come down to the offense to try and win some shootouts, which I am not sure they are capable of doing.
- Favorite bet: Under 5.5 wins
- Matt Wells has to find something in this team to keep his job, as the first two years have not been great in Lubbock. They return 7 starters on offense, including their top 5 rushers and their top receiver. They also bring in Oregon transfer QB Tyler Shough. He is going to be shouldered to turn this offense around. The defense was very bad last year, ranking 108th in PPG, and they bring back 8 starters. Will the growing pains of last year help this defense improve? Matt Wells might be a dead man walking at Texas Tech after this season.
- Favorite bet: Game total overs (that feels better)
- I mean, duh. This team is just all-around bad. Lance Leiopold has a giant mountain to climb after Les Miles left this program in worse condition than he found it, which is saying a lot. The offense, which averaged a measly 15 PPG last year (123rd), returns 6 starters. They do bring back a lot of production, which isn’t saying much. The defense brings back 9 starters, which got absolutely torched all season. They gave up an average of 46 PPG (127th), so there is really nowhere to go but up for this defense. Do the Jayhawks get out of the Big 12 cellar this season (spoiler alert: no).
- Favorite bet: Unver 1.5 wins