Howdy folks! It’s time to talk about Big 12 Football! I apologize for that insanely lame joke; I promise it won’t happen again.
Let’s get down to business and see what’s going on in the best defensive conference in the country. HA! Another joke at the Big 12’s expense.
Last year was another banner year in the Big 12 as they failed to get a team in the playoff for the 2nd time in 3 years. They also produced approximately 2 draft picks in the 7 rounds of the NFL Draft. Can we even consider them a power conference at this point?
They’re so desperate to be considered a big boy conference that they’ve added a conference championship, DESPITE the fact that each team in the conference is already guaranteed to play each other. Smart thinking Big 12. I can’t wait to watch Oklahoma vs Oklahoma State two weeks in a row, with each team trading wins (well actually they play the first weekend in November now; IS NOTHING SACRED ANYMORE?).
Speaking of their dumb championship, let’s take a look at the odds for who’s going to win it in 2017:
Oklahoma State +300
Kansas State +600
West Virginia +1600
Texas Tech +5000
Iowa State +10000
WHOAH, +50000? Good gracious Kansas, are you going to be the worst team of all time forever? Anyways, we have yet another conference with a heavy favorite offering not much value. I was shocked to see Oklahoma less than even money to win the conference, but the public loves a big name. Let’s not forget that they have a brand new head coach who’s exactly 14 years old.
Texas is actually a decent value here. I think Charlie Strong built up enough talent there where Tom Herman can take advantage of it. I like West Virginia at that number too. Kansas State will be good, but they won’t be getting any of my preseason love.
We’ll get to the conference champion here in a minute, but first let's take a look at some of the marquee week one games.
Oklahoma State hosts Tulsa on the first Thursday of the season to kick off the Big 12’s slate of games. They’re currently a 17 point favorite, which is a spot I’m definitely looking at Tulsa. The public will be all over Oklahoma State as a team from a power conference on opening night, and it usually takes the Pokes a while to get going to start the season.
Maryland at Texas is the only somewhat decent looking option on Saturday in the Big 12. Again the Big 12 team is a 17 point favorite, and again I’ll probably be on the other side in that one.
Sunday offers us a nice matchup of Virginia Tech and West Virginia. West Virginia is a 5 point underdog in this one, so I might actually be backing a Big 12 week one! Stay tuned!
That’s all I’ve got for week one; here are a few teams that my opinion clearly differs on from Vegas.
West Virginia is a team that Vegas might not be as high on as I am to start the season. They’ve got Will Grier now at QB who actually looked pretty damn good at QB for Florida a few years ago. Imagine what he can do against imaginary defenses instead of real ones! Based on the fact that they have the 6th best odds to win the conference, and that they’re a 5 point dog in week one, there’s reason to believe they can offer some great value early on.
Oklahoma is a team I’m going to be weary of to start the year. I’m not saying Lincoln Riley can’t be a great coach but it might take a few weeks for the ball to get rolling there. They open with UTEP in week one and they’re currently a 45 (!!!!!) point favorite. Holy shit; RUN, don’t walk, to take UTEP in that one. The reason why? They get to go to a little place called Ohio State the week after that. Tell me they aren’t discussing that one a little bit more than UTEP in the locker room.
Baylor Under 7.5 Wins (-130) - Whoa, really? This seems like free money to me. I like Matt Rhule and think he can do some good things for Baylor, but I also think they were the shittiest program in college football for a few years and karma has to come back to bite them in the ass. They went 6-6 last year and lost talent off that team. A bowl will be hard to come by year one in Waco for the Rhule Regime-give me the under here easily.
Texas Over 7.5 Wins (-150) - As I mentioned earlier, I think the talent is there in Austin for Texas to surprise some folks this year. Tom Herman is a hell of a coach and he’ll have the Longhorns ready for success in 2017. I wouldn’t be surprised to see Shane Buechele have a huge year for Texas this year and possibly even be in some Heisman conversations come mid-November. To me, all that equates to at least 8 wins, with 9 or more not being too far fetched.
Texas Tech Under 5.5 Wins (-130) - Unfortunately, I think the end of the road is here for Kliff Kingsbury in 2017. I just don’t trust that Tech has the defense to go bowling this year which would equate to less than 6 wins. If they’re going to get to at least 6 wins they better do it quick because that schedule is brutal for them down the stretch. I think they’ll drop at least one between Arizona State and Houston which could spell doom for mine and everyone else’s wife’s favorite coach.
STONE COLD STEVE AUSTIN LOCK OF THE BIG 12:
We’re sticking with the theme of win totals and taking West Virginia Over 7 Wins (-130). As I mentioned earlier I’m pretty high on the Mountaineers heading into 2017, and I think 7 wins should be pretty attainable for Dana Holgerson and the boys. If they can beat Virginia Tech in week one there’s a real chance we have two undefeateds netting in Morgantown when Oklahoma State comes to town at the end of October. I’d sign up for that. Looking at this schedule, I wouldn’t be blown away if West Virginia ended up with 10 wins this year; let’s go burn some couches my friends!
2017 Big 12 Conference Champion
When it’s all said and done, I think the Big 12 will be won by Oklahoma...State! The Pokes are +300 to win the Big 12 and I think this is the year they get it done. Keep in mind that Mike Gundy is a man - he’s 50 now (yes, we’re all extremely old; that was in fact 10 years ago). Oklahoma can’t possibly win this thing three years in a row, can they? I’m not betting on a first time head coach to come in and win a power conference in his first year on the job; sorry folks. I think Oklahoma State might legit have the best offense in the country this year with Mason Rudolph and James Washington leading the way. It’s going to be offensive porn in Stillwater this season. Make sure you check it out. Also, make sure you take a little value and roll with the Cowboys as the conference champs in 2017.