2017 Big 12 Preview

The Big 12 has been at a disadvantage the last 3 years without a Championship game like the other 4 conferences have had. They have had quality teams that were left out (or barely made it in) because of not having that additional game. Well this year they have that championship game. HOWEVER, We still think the Big 12 will again be the conference left out of the Playoff. This year they just won’t have any contender for it. They have 3 very good teams, however there is little separation between them and not much separation between them and the middle of the pack. Thus it’s not likely you will see a Big 12 team with a 10-2 or better record. Especially with the retirement of Coach Stoops at OU. It will be an exciting year for the Big 12, but one that will end up lacking a team in the Playoffs for the 3rd time in 4 years (Oklahoma 2015 is the lone representative in the Playoffs for the Big 12 as a 4 seed).

 

For each Conference we will have the Simplified Football predictions (record) with the Projected Win-Shares and rating of each team next to it. We will also have Bowl Projections for each conference.

 

Big 12 Predictions:

 

Team – Record (Conf)  /  Win-Shares (Conf)  /  Rating

  1. Oklahoma – 9-3 (7-2)  /  8.44 (6.17)  /  4.54
  2. Texas – 8-4 (6-3)  /  7.84 (5.82)  /  4.43
  3. Oklahoma St – 9-3 (6-3)  /  8.27 (5.95)  /  4.58
  4. Kansas St – 8-4 (6-3)  /  7.09 (4.84)  /  4.15
  5. TCU – 7-5 (5-4)  /  7.29 (5.04)  /  4.30
  6. West Virginia – 7-5 (5-4)  /  6.39 (4.24)  /  4.10
  7. Texas Tech – 5-7 (4-5)  /  4.75 (3.1)  /  3.62
  8. Baylor – 5-7 (3-6)  /  5.87 (3.72)  /  3.78
  9. Iowa St – 5-7 (2-7)  /  6.02 (3.77)  /  3.93
  10. Kansas – 3-9 (1-8)  /  4.52 (2.35)  /  3.3

 

Oklahoma is undisputed first place and gets a spot in the Big 12 championship game. Texas, Oklahoma St, and Kansas St are all tied at 6-3. Kansas St loses to both Texas and Ok St (beats OU) and Texas beats Oklahoma St. Sealing a Red River Shootout rematch in the Championship game.

 

Championship game – OU beats Texas for the 2nd time this year and 3rd straight overall in that series.

 

 

That makes 6 bowl teams for the Big 12

Cotton Bowl – Oklahoma

Alamo Bowl – Texas

Russell Athletic Bowl – Oklahoma St

Liberty Bowl – Kansas St

Texas Bowl – TCU

Cactus Bowl – West Virginia

 

Big 12 Preview and Predictions

For each of the conference Predictions I will put in both the Predicted Finish according to Win-Shares, as well as my own personal predictions (which are largely very similar).

 

Big 12 Win-Shares

 

West Virginia – 8.39 (5.91)

Oklahoma – 7.82 (5.65)

Oklahoma St – 8.01 (5.46)

TCU – 7.72 (5.28)

Baylor – 8.11 (5.26)

Texas – 7.17 (5.17)

Texas Tech – 6.5 (4.33)

Kansas St – 5.25 (3.4)

Iowa St – 4.33 (2.48)

Kansas – 4.14 (2.06)

 

It looks as if there is going to be a muddle up top with the WVU v OU winner crowned as the Champion. Lot of good teams here.

 

Notice a drop by  Baylor with the loss of quite a few key players as well as the coach, Same with TCU.

 

Simplified Football Predictions

 

OU = 10-2 (7-2)

WVU = 9-3 (6-3)

Oklahoma St = 9-3 (6-3)

TCU = 9-3 (6-3)

Baylor = 8-4 (5-4)

Texas = 7-5 (5-4)

Texas Tech = 7-5 (4-5)

Kansas St = 6-6 (4-5)

Iowa St = 3-9 (1-8)

Kansas = 2-10 (0-9)

 

Here SF has OU topping WVU, that is the only change from the predictions. It’s really a tie between 2-4 (WVU, OSU, and TCU). I got a 10-2 OU taking the last playoff Spot and playing Bama in the Peach Bowl.

 

That is 8 bowl teams for the Big 12

 

Peach Bowl – Oklahoma (Playoff)

Sugar Bowl – West Virginia

Alamo Bowl – Ok State

Russell Athletic – TCU

Texas Bowl – Texas (against TAMU)

Liberty Bowl – Baylor

Cactus Bowl – Texas Tech

Armed Forces – Kansas St

Week 8 Match Ups

4-2 again last week. On the season 21-15. Think this is a tricky week.

  1. Cal 34 – UCLA 31
  2. Clemson 28- Miami 24
  3. Oklahoma 42 – Texas Tech 28
  4. Ole Miss 38 – Texas A&M 34
  5. USC 35 – Utah 31

Week 6 Top Match-Ups

2 Weeks ago I was 3-3 which brings me to 13-11 on the season.

This weeks games:

  1. Clemson 24 – Georgia Tech 17: In a defensive battle Clemson is able to run the ball against GT and come out on top in this rivalry game.
  2. Michigan 17 – Northwestern 10: In a game that pits 2 of the better defensive teams, both with little offense, expect a very low scoring game. Michigan continues to impress in this game and comes up victorious.
  3. West Virginia 30 – Oklahoma St 28: In what will be the biggest defensive battle in the Big 12 this year, WVU is able to a tenacious OK St pass rush to win.
  4. Florida 24 – Missouri 17: Florida continues their assent to the top of the SEC East and is able to get a little more offense than Missouri in this game.
  5. Florida State 31 – Miami 21: Florida State is able to control the line of scrimmage and keeps the ball on the ground against Miami. The key will be turnovers. FSU has less turnovers than Miami.
  6. California 28 – Utah 24: Cal upsets Utah on the road, as Utah struggles to stop the Cal passing attack.

Week 2 Top Match-Ups

Last week was a very good start to the season getting all 6 games correct. This week there is only 5 match-ups, and one of them is a stretch to include in this. But there are 3 match-ups including Ranked teams, and 1 match-up of Group of 5 teams that could end up impacting the Playoff race.

 

Notre Dame @ Virginia

  • Notre Dame looked mighty impressive last week dismantling the Texas Longhorns. Virginia looked the opposite against UCLA. I included this game as I think there is a mild chance of an upset here with Virginia likely having a bounce-back game and looking better against Notre Dame than they did against UCLA. However in the end Notre Dame is just much more talented than UVA, and should pull away at the end. I do think Virginia’s defense will have some success against Notre Dame with Folston out for the year.
  • Notre Dame 28 – Virginia 14

Oklahoma @ Tennessee

  • I am a lot more bullish on Tennessee than most, and not sold on Oklahoma. Tennessee is more talented and is playing at home. A win here should solidify them as a top 25 team and people will start to talk about them in SEC East Championship circles. I don’t think this will be quite as high Scoring as many do. I think Tennessee out lasts Oklahoma and blasts Rocky Top all around campus all night long.
  • Tennessee 31 – Oklahoma 24

Oregon @ Michigan State

  • This is the biggest game of the day and the one with the most playoff implications on the line. A loss for either team could see them on the outside looking in, but won’t knock either from contention. Oregon is more talented overall, but Michigan State has quite a bit of talent. Both offenses looked very stellar and this should be a different looking game than last years. The score in this game could potentially get out of hand pretty quickly and perhaps approach 100. Although I think both offenses will be slow to start before gaining traction. Look for a very exciting 2nd half. In the end I think Oregon is just too much for Michigan St.
  • Oregon 42 – Michigan St 38

LSU @ Mississippi State

  • First SEC West match-up of the year. I do not think this one will disappoint. I am very high on LSU this year, and not so much for Mississippi State. However looking at the match-up I think Mississippi State matches up well with LSU and with it being at home (MORE COW BELLS??!!) I think Mississippi St could pull the upset. I think MSU’s front 7 on defense will be able to slow down Fournette and the LSU ground attack, which should severely limit what they do on Offense. In close games I like to go with the better QB. Miss St has the decided advantage in that category.
  • Mississippi St 24 – LSU 21

Boise St  @ BYU

  • Most when they see those 2 names would think you are going to get a lot of offense. However with Boise St having the #1 Defense (S&P) in the nation and BYU without QB Taysom Hill, and with Boise St’s offense looking pretty inept against Washington, I think this is going to be a low scoring affair.  This is a very even match-up with both teams having equal talent (slight advantage to Boise St). Both lines are matched up very evenly. I’m going with Boise St in a nail-biter, luck goes away from the Cougars this time as they fail to convert another Hail Mary (and luck stays with Boise St as they squeak out another win).
  • Boise St 21 – BYU 20

Week 1 Top Match-ups

Last year I finished the season 46-23 on my predictions, that is 67% correct. I will look to improve on that this year. This week there is only 1 match-up between ranked teams, however there are several others that are good match-ups and could figure into the Playoff picture (and several more that do not make the top 6).

 

  1. Washington at Boise St
    • This figures to be one of Boise States most talented teams ever, on the other side Washington has lost a lot of talent over the last few years. Coach Peterson has his work cut out for him there. Despite being a Group of 5 school Boise State is actually the more talented team. Add that to Boise State being at home and I am going with Boise State in this game.
    • Boise State 32 – Washington 24
  2. Louisville vs Auburn
    • Many expect Auburn to have a very explosive offense this season, despite many of their best on offense being gone. They certainly have the talent to reload and not rebuild. Louisville is rebuilding in Coach Petrino’s image and it will be a project. However they do have some talent (some transferred in) on defense and at least in the first half should be able to slow down Auburn’s attack. Auburn’s defense which has been atrocious in the last few years, has one of the top Defensive Coordinators now, and has recruited very well on that side of the ball.  Louisville does not have many play-makers on offense. Auburn will likely give up a few plays on mistakes and I like this game to be close through the first half. Auburn pulls away in the 4th though.
    • Auburn 34 – Louisville 21
  3. Arizona St at Texas A&M
    • Arizona State is a trendy pick to win the Pac 12 and be a playoff team to some experts. I don’t see it. I have them finishing 4th in the Pac 12 South (behind USC, UCLA, and Arizona). Texas A&M I feel could challenge in the SEC if they continue to improve on defense.  Arizona State was torched at times on defense last year, I see that happening again this year and in this game. Expecting a pretty high scoring game in this one. As both offenses out match the defenses. But with the 12th man behind them I have Texas A&M shocking Arizona State.
    • Texas A&M 45 – Arizona State 35
  4. Texas at Notre Dame
    • This Notre Dame team will surprise a lot of people. They are as talented as the squad that took them to the National Championship game a few years ago. Texas is still in the rebuilding process, but they do have a defense that was pretty good last year and should improve even more this year. The difference in this game however will be Texas’ lack of a QB/offense. After this game Notre Dame fans will be clamoring for Everett Golson at QB as Zaire will likely struggle some against a good Texas defense. However being at home, with more weapons and a better QB and more talent gives Notre Dame the advantage still.
    • Notre Dame 28 – Texas 21
  5. Wisconsin vs Alabama
    • Alabama looks as though they are going to have another juggernaut defense and a power running game, however their QB situation is very unsettled and has lots of question marks. Wisconsin is breaking in a new coach, in previous years it has taken them at least half of the season to start to gel and work together with new coaches, although they adjust pretty quickly. The biggest problem in this game is the match-up for Wisconsin. Wisconsin’s strength (it’s power running game) is exactly what Alabama excels at stopping. I don’t expect Wisconsin to have much room to run in this game and relying on Joel Stave to move the ball against Alabama is not a recipe for success. However Alabama’s offense will keep Wisconsin in the game. Look for a lot of running and a low scoring affair.
    • Alabama 28 – Wisconsin 17
  6. Ohio State at Virginia Tech
    • The game Buckeye fans and players alike have been waiting for all summer. REVENGE. Virginia Tech looked like they had derailed Ohio State’s plans at a National Championship run last year, obviously that proved to not be true as they ran the table and won the National Championship. However i’m sure it still stings in Columbus that Tech upset them at home last year. This year they have to travel to Blacksburg to face what is potentially one of the best defenses in the nation. They have a very solid front 7 that uses a lot of blitz packages to keep offenses on their heels, and perhaps the best Cornerback combo in the nation. Many expect Ohio State to run it all over Virginia Tech. We do not think that will happen, especially with some key WR’s out for Ohio State.  On the other side of the ball is where Virginia Tech has been lacking recently, and this year should be no better. They have not been able to find any consistency on offense in several years. The one thing that will be to their advantage is Ohio State is without perhaps the best defensive player in the nation in Joey Bosa for this game. In the end I expect Ohio State to pull this game out as I just don’t think Virginia Tech will be able to put enough points on the board.
    • Ohio State 24 – Virginia Tech 17

Big 12 Win Shares

Here are the Win Shares for the Big 12 conference:

Team Total (Big12)

Baylor 8.83 (6.1)

TCU 8.05 (5.53)

Texas 7.16 (5.23)

Kansas St 7.47 (4.99)

Oklahoma 6.99 (4.8)

West Virginia 7.42 (4.78)

Oklahoma St 7.39 (4.54)

Texas Tech 6.67 (4.54)

Iowa State 5.54 (3.28)

Kansas 3.57 (1.71)

 

Have Baylor as the most likely winner of the Big 12. Of note is that in the individual match-up TCU is favored (home game). So it should be another interesting year in the Big 12 Title race.

Note: This is a pretty strong year for the Big 12 as well, as Texas begins to rebuild and should have their strongest team in the last few years. Oklahoma St should rebound from a mediocre year last year, Oklahoma is on the downward slope and West Virginia should have a year similar to last year, and Kansas St is Kansas St. That is 7 Very solid to Very good teams. Baylor and TCU should battle for a playoff spot again, will be dependent (again) on how the Conference Champions do from the other conferences). 

2014 Big 12 Preview

Last year the Big 12 had an unexpectedly tight race at the top as 4 teams were in the title race.  Baylor surprised everyone with a very good team and won the Big 12.  Texas despite a down year was still in the championship race.  We expect another tight race in the Big 12 this year as again 3 teams should compete for the crown with Oklahoma State bowing out with a very young group.  However look for Oklahoma State to play the spoiler as they will get better throughout the season as they gain experience. There seem to be 3 tiers divided equally in the Big 12 this year. The top tier is Texas, Oklahoma, and Baylor, the 2nd tier is Texas Tech, Oklahoma St, and Kansas St, the third tier is Iowa St, TCU, and West Virginia.  Then you have the ugly…Kansas (They don’t even get a tier).

 

Onward we go to the 2014 Big 12 preview:

 

OKLAHOMA:

Overall Rating – 4.51

Big 12 Win Share – 6.63 (Total of 9.38)

TEXAS:

Overall Rating – 4.39

Big 12 Win Share – 6.04 (Total of 8.17)

BAYLOR:

Overall Rating – 4.28

Big 12 Win Share – 5.78 (Total of 8.48)

OKLAHOMA STATE:

Overall Rating – 3.95

Big 12 Win Share – 4.82 (Total of 6.72)

TEXAS TECH:

Overall Rating – 3.85

Big 12 Win Share – 4.39 (Total of 6.89)

KANSAS STATE:

Overall Rating – 3.81

Big 12 Win Share – 4.08(Total of 6.38)

TCU:

Overall Rating – 3.69

Big 12 Win Share – 3.94 (Total of 6.21)

IOWA STATE:

Overall Rating – 3.68

Big 12 Win Share – 3.73 (Total of 5.56)

WEST VIRGINIA:

Overall Rating – 3.62

Big 12 Win Share – 3.48 (Total of 4.87)

KANSAS:

Overall Rating – 3.22

Big 12 Win Share – 2.11 (Total of 4.03)

 

 

We have Oklahoma winning the Big 12 championship.

 

Top 5 Offenses:

Baylor

Oklahoma

Texas Tech

Kansas State

Iowa State

 

 

Top 5 Defenses:

Texas

TCU

Oklahoma

Kansas State

Kansas (more a statement of how bad the defenses are in this conference than it is about them being good…)

 

 

Storylines to watch for:

  1. Will Baylor’s offense be able to keep up it’s frenetic pace?
  2. Will Charlie Strong be able to transform Texas’ fortunes and capitalize on it’s talent?
  3. Will Kansas finally see Charlie Weis’ decided schematic advantage on offense?
  4. Will Trevor Knight be the QB that we saw in the bowl game, or the rest of the season?
  5. Will the Big 12 champ be able to get into the Playoff with 1 loss?

Big 12 – 2013 SF Power Ratings

Here are the 2013 Simplified Power Ratings for the Big12:

Texas – 5.04
Oklahoma – 4.25
Texas Tech – 3.99
TCU – 3.98
Oklahoma St – 3.95
Baylor – 3.81
Kansas – 3.64
West Virginia – 3.55
Kansas St – 3.23
Iowa St – 3.23

Texas’ rating is higher than that of anyone in the ACC or SEC. They have talent and experience, if they can put it all together on the field and in their coaching ranks. Watch-out.