Went through the Big 12 schedule last night and picked every game to come up with my projected standings for the 2015 season.
Big 12 – Projected Order of Finish
1. Baylor (8-1 conference, 11-1 overall)*
- Oklahoma (8-1, 10-2)
3. TCU (7-2, 10-2)
4. West Virginia (5-4, 8-4)
5. Kansas State (4-5, 7-5)
- Oklahoma State (4-5, 7-5)
- Texas (4-5, 6-6)
- Texas Tech (4-5, 6-6)
9. Iowa State (2-7, 3-9)
10. Kansas (0-9, 1-11)
* - Baylor is the one true champion vis a vis a head-to-head win against OU.
*A strong bowl game win against Ole Miss probably has a lot to do with TCU's popularity this offseason. Frankly, I don't see the Horned Frogs replicating 2014 with their losses on D.
I view Baylor as a solid favorite.
*I picked the Sooners to go 10-2 a few weeks back on the podcast, so I guess I can't back out of that now. While that seems like a best case, OU wasn't that far off from winning 10 games last year.
The schedule has more than its fair share of landmines. Yet, I'm betting OU gets by all but Baylor and Tennessee unscathed.
*As I wrote today in my preview of West Virginia for The Student Section, the Mountaineers strike me as a strong sleeper candidate. The schedule works out favorably for WVU, which will boast one of the top defenses in the Big 12.
A formula of methodical offense and competent defense? Sounds like a Big 12 spoiler.
*I can't buy the hype on OSU. Mike Gundy is a great coach, but his team's solid finish to last season covered over a whole mess of warts. Biggest of all is the lack of an identifiable playmaker on offense.
I'd advise caution on buying into OSU.
*As proud as the Cyclones might be of Paul Rhoads, I can't see them retaining his services if the his team ends the year with less than a bowl bid.
Even farther down the sadness spectrum, Kansas has a shot to be epically bad.
*If both go 6-6, I'd highly recommend Kliff Kinsgbury and Charlie Strong step up their game in 2016.