2019 BIG12 Football Boilerplate on the Hourglass - records, projections and more
The only conference in the Power Five with no divisions, a shaky television deal, still has a championship game, yet still has had representation in the College Football Playoff the last two years - raise your hand! That would be the BIG12, and while the BIG12 doesn’t have the top to bottom power of the BIG10 or SEC, the ten that plays as the “12” still plays exciting football and believe it or not has some pretty darn good teams.
Yes it’s true, defensive football is lacking and has been for some time in the wild west league, but you are sure as shootin to see some fun football on Saturday’s in the BIG12 and they have two bonafide College Football Playoff contenders this year in Oklahoma and Texas.
Talent alone, Oklahoma and Texas have the most in the league and both are the only true teams that meet our talent metric standard for a national title type team. Sure people love to throw around a team or two a year in this league as a dark horse national championship type team, but only those two meet the standards we have.
Yes TCU has done a nice job under Gary Patterson on most years, but when we are talking about talent on a national scale, only those two teams check the box.
Oklahoma State, West Virginia and Iowa State can play with almost anyone on a given day, but even Oklahoma State’s brass wants Mike Gundy to recruit better.
The bottom three in Texas Tech, Kansas State and Kansas have a lot of work to do here, but we will see just how high Les Miles can drive the needle in Manhattan.
Speaking of coaching, you have to love Lincoln Riley at Oklahoma - as he is now on his third transfer quarterback in as many years - yet he keeps Oklahoma in the National conversation and has Heisman Trophy winners.
Riley is the class of the conference, but guys like Mike Gundy and Patterson are conference main stays, who have put their stamp on the conference and college football to some degree. Tom Herman seems to be finally finding his groove at Texas, but the question is can he get Texas back in the National picture and if so, when?
Neal Brown takes over for Dana Holgerson at West Virginia and we will see how that team looks post Will Grier, while Matt Wells takes over as the first year head coach at Texas Tech and Chris Klieman at Kansas State. Matt Campbell at Iowa State continues to do more with less and we expect him to climb this coaching ladder this fall.
BIG12 quarterback play:
For the first time in a long while, Texas has a star at the quarterback position in Sam Ehlinger. Ehlinger has that dual threat approach, physical toughness to go with it mentality, really coming on the scene last fall and this year he looks to be one of the best in college football. Alabama transfer Jalen Hurts looks to continue to make Lincoln Riley look smart in his final year as a quarterback and should in Norman, while Charlie Brewer looks to get Baylor bowl eligible in 2019.
Brock Purdy could be a rising star at Iowa State and we will see what Mike Gundy can come up with at Oklahoma State, as he always seems to find the right guy for his system. West Virginia got a gift with Oklahoma transfer Austin Kendall and Gary Patterson needs better quarterback play to rebound this fall.
Scheduling and power rankings:
West Virginia has the toughest schedule by our count in the league, but the league overall sees some pretty good out of conference play to go along with the conference slate in 2019. Texas hosts LSU in week two, while TCU has an early season battle with Purdue. Oklahoma takes on Houston in week one, and West Virginia travels to Missouri.
Based on all our criteria, you can see how we have the conference rated from a power stand point or power index and the final rankings won’t change much.
While the conference has some nice teams that should see postseason play, this year is about two teams from a national perspective. Oklahoma and Texas will battle it out in their annual meeting and meet again for the conference championship, as they did a year ago.
We expect Oklahoma to again get over on Texas and make the College Football Playoff, but if Tom Herman can get a win against LSU in week two, this could get very interesting down the stretch.
Editors Note: all photos courtesy of 247sports.com