2014 College Football Preview: Big 12

Big_12_LogoToday’s installment of the 2014 college football preview takes us to the Big 12, the conference without a championship game and one that is not afraid of the Southeastern Conference.

Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops was really feeling himself after his Sooners curb-stomped Alabama in the Sugar Bowl.  Remember when Stoops said that the SEC was not as good as the media made it out to be?  Hell, he went as far as calling the SEC hype “propaganda.”  Well, he had PLENTY to say after his team spanked the Crimson Tide.

Speaking of the Crimson Tide, Stoops did not take kindly to what Nick Saban said.  Check out the bomb that Stoops dropped on Saban and Alabama:

“didn’t look like [Alabama wasn’t motivated] first series. They looked ready to play. Everyone thought they would rout us.”

And here’s more:

“So if I’m not in a national championship game, that means I’ve got a built in excuse”

Stoops added one more haymaker in response to Saban bitching over the up-tempo, no-huddle offenses that he thinks restrict the impact of defensive coaches:

“All those geniuses can adapt to faster pace.”

Freaking Bob Stoops, gotta love him.

At any rate, here is how I see the Big 12 shaping out in 2014…

  1. Oklahoma (8-1 conference, 11-1 overall)
  2. Baylor (7-2, 10-2)
  3. Kansas State (6-3, 8-4)
  4. Texas (6-3, 8-4)
  5. Oklahoma State (5-4, 7-5)
  6. Texas Tech (4-5, 7-5)
  7. TCU (4-5, 7-5)
  8. West Virginia (2-7, 4-8)
  9. Iowa State (2-7, 3-9)
  10. Kansas (0-9, 2-10)

Analysis:  This is clearly a two-team conference.  Both the Sooners and Bears return loaded and ready to build off of last season.  Oklahoma returns 13 starters, and quarterback Trevor Knight is expected to take a step forward in his development after a standout performance in the Sugar Bowl.  Nine returning starters lead a stout defense.  Baylor is loaded on offense, but the defense – a key part of last year’s Big 12 title team – needs to reload with just four returning starters.

What puts the Sooners ahead of the Bears is that they host Baylor in what could be a de facto Big 12 championship game.

Meanwhile, Texas is in the midst of a rebuilding project under new coach Charlie Strong.  The cupboard may not be but so bare, but the Longhorns will at least be looking up at Kansas State for third place in the conference.

As for the rest of the conference, there is nothing more to note other than there is a whole lot of mediocrity and Kansas – namely coach Charlie Weis – sucks.

Big 12 Champion:  Oklahoma Sooners (kinda obvious when you finish first in a conference that doesn’t host a conference championship game)

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