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2023 Big 12 Conference Football Preview

Updated: Aug 13, 2023




Predicted Order of Finish


1. Kansas State- on offense, the reigning Big 12 Champs, return senior QB Will Howard (1,633 yards, 15 TD’s in 7 games) along with all 5 linemen from last year’s 15th ranked ground attack, star RB Deuce Vaughn (1,558 yards) is on to the NFL and on defense 7 starters from 2022 are gone including 1st round pick DE Felix Anudike-Uzomah OVER/UNDER Total Wins 7.5


2. TCU- HC Sonny Dykes has established himself as one of college football’s elite coaches taking the Horned Frogs to the Title Game in his 1st season in Fort Worth, new offensive coordinator Kendal Briles will be without Heisman Trophy runner-up QB Max Duggan, first round WR Quentin Johnson and third round RB Kendre Miller OVER/UNDER Total Wins 7.5


3. Texas- 9 returning offensive starters include sophomore QB Quinn Ewers (2,177 yards and 15 TD’s in 10 games) and top WR Xavier Worthy (760 yards, 9 TD’s), RB Bijan Robinson absence will be felt in the backfield and September road trips to Alabama and Baylor could make or break the Longhorns’ Playoff hopes OVER/UNDER Total Wins 9.5


4. Oklahoma- senior QB Dillon Gabriel (3163 yards, 25 TD’s) is back to lead the offense and a favorable schedule (no K-State, TCU at home) gives the Sooners a legit chance at the Big 12 title, the O-line was hit hard by the transfer portal and Gabriel will be without top target and 1,000-yard WR Marvin Mims OVER/UNDER Total Wins 9.5


5. Texas Tech- when healthy senior QB Tyler Shough has proven he has what it takes to play at this level and the O-line returns 3 starters along with senior Western Kentucky transfer C Rusty Staats, the defense lacked bite last season ranking 107th in yards allowed and lost DE Tyree Wilson to the NFL OVER/UNDER Total Wins 7.5


6. Baylor- the pickup of junior Arkansas WR transfer Ketron Jackson should boost the Bears’ passing attack and on defense top tackler Matt Jones leads a solid linebacker unit, junior QB Blake Shapen threw 10 INT’s in an up and down year in 2022 and the O-line, which allowed only 22 sacks, returns just 1 starter OVER/UNDER Total Wins 7.5


7. Oklahoma State- HC Mike Gundy knows how to win (156-75 career record) and brought in defensive coordinator Bryan Nardo from D2 Gannon University to revive the Cowboys’ defense, projected starting senior QB Alan Bowman hasn’t seen significant action since 2020 and will only have 1 of the top 5 WR’s from last season OVER/UNDER Total Wins 6.5


8. Central Florida- dual threat senior QB John Rhys Plumlee (2,586 yards passing, 862 yards rushing) is back for the Knights offense along with senior LB Jason Johnson, who led the defense in tackles last season with 126, the O-line must replace C Matt Lee (36 careers starts) and the secondary lost 3 starters OVER/UNDER Total Wins 6.5


9. Kansas- 9 starters, led by 1,000-yard rusher junior RB Devin Neal, are back from last year’s offense that ranked 20th in nationally in scoring (35.6), the Jayhawks’ defense allowed 209.2 yards rushing last year and must replace all four starters from the D-line including DE Lonnie Phelps (7 sacks, 11.5 tackles for loss) OVER/UNDER Total Wins 6.5


10. Iowa State- the Cyclones return 16 starters and on paper should once again have one of the Big 12’s top defenses after finishing 4th nationally in yards allowed in 2022, junior QB Hunter Dekkers’ status for 2023 is up in air following recent gambling allegations and backups Rocco Becht and J.J. Kohl lack game experience OVER/UNDER Total Wins 5.5


11. BYU- picking up senior Pitt transfer QB Kedon Slovis takes some sting out losing 2-year starter Jaren Hall and on defense a reshuffled staff should help turn the page on a subpar 2022, the schedule is a big step up in competition with 10 power 5 opponents in total which includes road games at Arkansas, TCU, and Texas OVER/UNDER Total Wins 4.5


12. West Virginia- the O-line has all 5 starters back from last year and the schedule offers a chance at some early momentum with 3 winnable home games in September, the Mountaineers are breaking in a new QB, offensive coordinator, and entirely new receiving corps while on defense the secondary remains a question 5.5


13. Houston- Texas Tech junior transfer QB Donovan Smith threw for 2,693 yards and 19 touchdowns in 2 abbreviated seasons in Lubbock and will have a deep and talented group of receivers to throw to, the Cougars’ backfield lacks a featured RB and the defense, which ranked 111th in scoring (32.2), has plenty of holes to fill OVER/UNDER Total Wins 4.5


14. Cincinnati- returning sophomore DL Dontay Corleone recorded 44 tackles and 3 sacks earning Freshman-All American honors, with a new staff onboard, following the departure of Luke Fickell, and only 5 starters back from last year’s team 2023 looks to be a complete rebuild for the Bearcats in their inaugural Big 12 season OVER/UNDER Total Wins 5.5



Buy- Iowa State- the Cyclones have been too consistent (5 straight bowls from 2017-2021) and return too many starters (16) not to improve from last year’s 4-8 disappointment


Oklahoma- a much improved defense under former OU defensive coordinator now HC Brent Venables puts the Sooners in position to contend for a Big 12 title


West Virginia- a favorable Big 12 slate (sans Kansas State and Texas) helps propel the Mountaineers back into the postseason


Sell- Texas- high expectations for Steve Sarkisian, who has never won more than 8 regular season games in his 8 full seasons as HC


Best Bet- Texas UNDER total wins

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