It’s the fifth week of the college football season, and we already have some first impressions of who will be in the mix for the Big 12 title this year.
The first team on everyone’s minds is Oklahoma. After stunning the Crimson Tide in last year’s Sugar Bowl, the Sooners are one of the favorites to make this year’s college football playoff.
So far this season, there isn’t much evidence to the contrary. The Sooners are 4-0, winning against Tennessee two weeks ago and away at West Virginia last weekend.
The keys to the Sooners’ success this season will hinge on sophomore QB Trevor Knight. Playing defense and running the ball are Oklahoma's biggest strengths, but they’ll need Knight to give them the extra push in games against tougher opponents.
The Baylor Bears are next up. Senior quarterback Bryce Petty is on my short list for Heisman this season and will be a big part in Baylor’s bid to win the Big 12 this year.
The difference maker for the Bears this season will be an away game in Norman. Last year Baylor beat Oklahoma by a score of 41-12. I don’t think that will be the case this season.
Although I like Baylor’s ability to move the ball better than the Sooners, I don’t trust the Bears to win in Norman. The Sooner’s home field advantage and stout defense will be too much to handle for Baylor.
Kansas State and Oklahoma State are both decent this year. I have both finishing in the top four with only two or three losses.
The Wildcats played a close one against the defending SEC champion Auburn Tigers, but couldn’t quite pull it off. It always seems like Bill Snyder is up near the top of the standings, and for good reason, he’s an excellent coach.
This year will take his best efforts. He has to play on the road against Oklahoma and Baylor. The good news is, he’ll have Texas, Oklahoma State and Texas Tech at home.
OSU had a similar misstep, falling short to defending national champion Florida State in the Big 12’s premier non-conference opener.
The Cowboys were poised to put up a fight for the Big 12 until junior QB J.W. Walsh underwent surgery on his right foot after going down in week 2.
Still, I’m not going to count out Mike Gundy and his high scoring Cowboys.
TCU, Texas, and Texas Tech will end up somewhere in the middle with Iowa State, West Virginia, and Kansas bringing up the rear.
Here are twelve Big 12 matchups to look out for this season:
1) Baylor at Oklahoma
2) Oklahoma State at Oklahoma
3) Kansas State at Baylor
4) Baylor at Texas
5) Texas vs. Oklahoma
6) Texas at Texas Tech
7) Oklahoma State at Kansas State
8) Kansas State at Oklahoma
9) Baylor at West Virginia
10) Texas at West Virginia
11) Oklahoma at Texas Tech
12) TCU at Texas