Will The Big 12 Belong To Oklahoma Again?

by Travis Pulver
August 27th 2019, 7:53am

Life has been good for fans of the Oklahoma Sooners for quite some time now. Under former head coach Bob Stoops, they won a national title and ten conference championships.

When he stepped down a couple of seasons ago, did the team fall off the cliff?

No! Lincoln Riley stepped in, and they won two more conference titles and back-to-back Heisman trophies. Their dominance of the Big 12 has gotten so consistent that fans and analysts no longer debate who will win the conference.

Instead, they debate whether anyone can challenge the Sooners for control of the Big 12.

The Odds—Making the Conference Championship Game

According to the odds posted at FanDuel, there are a few schools that could pose a threat. The following are the odds on who will make it to the conference championship game:

As could be expected, the Sooners are heavily favored to take one of the slots. But there could be an exciting battle between Texas, Iowa State, Oklahoma State, Baylor, and TCU. Texas is expected to meet the Sooners in the title game, and after last season’s top ten finish that comes as no surprise.

However, while they have a Heisman candidate at quarterback in Sam Ehlinger and the makings of a potent offense. But their issue is going to be their defense. They only have three returning starters.

If it isn’t Texas, it wouldn’t be shocking if Iowa State were to make it. Brock Purdy is not a superstar quarterback, but he looked very good once he became the starter. He should be even better with his entire offensive line from last year coming back.

But it will be their defensive line that will be the difference-maker for them.

Oklahoma State will have a good offensive line and great receivers, but the Cowboys will need a new quarterback and running back. Until those positions are filled, it is hard to know how great the team could be.   

Charlie Brewer leads a Baylor offense that has eight returning starters and could prove to be a real challenge down the stretch.  TCU has some promising player but may not have enough to turn around last year’s dreadful offense.

As for Texas Tech, Kansas State, West Virginia, and Kansas—don’t waste time thinking twice about them. All four have new head coaches, and while they will have some promising players on their respective rosters, they will not have enough to be truly competitive this season.

The Odds—Big 12 Champion

The odds on who will win the Big 12, according to FanDuel, are as follows:

As good as Oklahoma has been, the Sooners are not in great shape this season. The offense only has three returning starters, but it gains a quarterback that has played in two national title games in Jalen Hurts. If everyone comes together, the offense can be excellent.

But then there is still the matter of their defense (which was not good last year). They have a lot of guys returning, but is that a good thing for a unit that was not strong?

Texas may have the defense needed to stop the Sooners and could very well have an offense that can score enough. However, can we trust that Texas is back this time? For years people have been claiming they are back every season only to be disappointed in the end.

Iowa State will have a good enough defense, but it remains to be seen about their offense. There is a lot of potential in Baylor and Oklahoma State—but enough? We’ll soon find out.

Our Big 12 Betting Tips/Recommendations

Even though they have a lot of holes to fill, Oklahoma is probably a lock for one of the two spots in the conference final (-500). But picking the second spot is a lot tougher. A good case could be made for Iowa State, Oklahoma State, and Baylor.  

The safe bet is Texas (+120) or Iowa State (+220), but don’t overlook Baylor as an option (+450).

As for the champion—don’t bank on Oklahoma. They have a ton of holes to fill this year. Since Lincoln Riley inherited a great squad, we haven’t seen what he can do with a team of his own, yet. Take them if you want to play it safe.

But if you want to win some money, go with Iowa State (don’t bother betting on Texas; they are overrated).