Thu 09/07/2015 - 23:47 EDT

Back To School: A Big 12 Conference College Football Preview

Back To School: A Big 12 Conference College Football Preview
Call it the Rodney Dangerfield Conference, because the Big 12's heavy hitters can't seem to get any respect. Will this be the year that TCU or Baylor breaks into the College Playoff picture? Here's our lightning fast Big 12 Conference preview.

What Happened Last Year?

The Big 12's big schools (Oklahoma, Texas) were left in the dust by squads with less brand name polish that scored significant results. Both TCU (12-1) and Baylor (11-2) were snubbed by the College Playoff system, but offered up compelling cases for what might have been. Texas Christian University's 42-3 Peach Bowl clobbering of #9 Ole Miss demonstrated that the Horned Frogs couldn't be written off as just hype. Meanwhile, the Sooners performed well below expectations in 2014. Oklahoma crash landed from a #4 perch onto the rocks of a 5-4 finish alongside Texas and West Virginia. Speaking of records worth noting, Kansas State ended the year with a 7-2 conference record but was a less impressive 2-2 outside of the Big 12.

Who's A Good Bet To Win This Year?

There are those that will peg Oklahoma for a big turnaround in 2015 thanks to the installation of Lincoln Riley at offensive coordinator, but we figure it's really a two team race. TCU (a 10/1 national title shot) and Baylor (a 20/1 wager) will be battling it out for Big 12 supremacy and their showdown on November 27 should be amazing. (Last year's contest featured Baylor scoring a wild 61-58 win.) TCU's good, but Baylor's better. The Bears retain the bulk of their incredible offense (which includes star rusher Shock Linwood terrifying defenses), plus new starting pivot Seth Russell can be trusted guiding the offense and adds increased mobility to the position. If you want to beat Baylor, you'll have to outscore them and that's a herculean feat. The university also has returning talents anchoring the defense. Defensive end Shawn Oakman ranks as one of the best players in college football today and nose tackle Andrew Billings is now slouch either. The secondary at Baylor gets a bit of flak for their play, but they're partially a victim of teams needing to make big plays to keep up with the Waco school. The pass defense will be stronger in 2015 with their returning starters boasting increased experience and younger talents (like cornerback Jordan Tolbert) at the ready. We envision Baylor earning a playoff opportunity this season.

Our Pick: Baylor

A Sleeper Team To Keep Your Eye On

A combination of new blood and returning stars has Oklahoma State (a 66/1 title longshot) sitting pretty as one of college football's sexiest sleeper teams. The Cowboys looked promising in 2014 and were mainly betrayed by an underwhelming offense. That'll change this year with prized junior college tailback Chris Carson joining the mix and QB Mason Rudolph settling into the role of starter. The defense is essentially intact and still formidable with Emmanuel Ogbah and Jimmy Bean anchoring the defensive line. Consider last year a rebuilding season, because Oklahoma State's set to bounce back in 2015.

Our Pick: Oklahoma State

Category : Sports Betting News

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