2018 Big 12 Preview: Sooners Team To Beat Again

The Oklahoma Sooners captured the Big 12 title and got their ticket punched to the College Football Playoff last season before they fell in double overtime to Georgia in the semifinal matchup. Let’s check out this year’s edition of the Sooners as well as the other Big 12 squads and see what the oddsmakers are dealing as well.

Big 12

Oklahoma Sooners (2017 record: 12-2, Reg Season Wins 10 ½ U-155, Big 12 Title +132, National Championship +2600) – The Sooners have claimed the Big 12 title three years running and this season doesn’t appear as though there will be any shift in the landscape. Yes, Oklahoma suffered a huge loss with the departure of Baker Mayfield as the No. 1 overall pick in the draft as well as the departures of massive tackle Orlando Brown and tight end Mark Andrews. However, the offensive line remains solid, Rodney Anderson is one of the nation’s best running backs and new quarterback Kyler Murray is mobile and effective enough at hitting his targets. This edition of the Sooners may not be as dangerous as the 2017 squad but appears more talented than the rest in the Big 12.

Texas (2017 record: 7-6, Reg Season Wins 8 ½ O-135, Big 12 Title +325, National Championship +5000) – The Longhorns increased their win total by two last season, which included a bowl win over Missouri. This will be head coach Tom Herman’s second season at the helm and expectations are high both for his program and sophomore quarterback Sam Ehlinger. Factor in a boost in the backfield from U of California transfer running back Tre Watson and Texas will be a dangerous opponent for any team coming to Austin.

TCU (2017 record: 11-3, Reg Season Wins 7 ½ O-145, Big 12 Title +725, National Championship +17,500) – The Frogs are loaded up at the skill positions with sophomore Jalen Reagor as the lead dog in the receiving corps after coming off a 2017 campaign that saw him catch eight touchdown passes as a true freshman. Junior Darius Anderson will return to chew up yards and break the plane of the end zone as he did eight times last season. It will be up to new starting signal caller Shawn Robinson to harness his weapons and get the offense to run. We believe he can.

Oklahoma State (2017 record: 10-3, Reg Season Wins 7 ½ O-160, Big 12 Title +730, National Championship +25,000) – A quick check over to our friends at Sportsbook Review, our go-to sports betting site that features, among other things gambling related, up to the minute odds from the best online sportsbooks tells us that the Cowboys are likely to regress from their 10-win season of 2017. Quarterback Mason Rudolph and receiver James Washington were a devastating pass/catch combination last year, but they are now Pittsburgh Steelers and nobody will fill that void on the Oklahoma State roster this season.

West Virginia (2017 record: 7-6, Reg Season Wins 7 ½ U-125, Big 12 Title +825, National Championship +13,000) – Although many accomplished players are champing at the bit for a crack at the NFL, there are some who return for another season to hone their skills and elevate their status at next season’s draft. The Mountaineers have three such athletes returning with quarterback Will Grier, left tackle Yodny Cajuste, and All-American wideout David Sills. However, on the defensive side of the ball, West Virginia has sustained defections with Lamonte McDougle and Adam Shuler on the defensive line while the injury bug has already bitten hard on linebackers Quondarius Qualls and Brendan Ferns, both out with ACL tears. The offense better dazzle because the defense is suspect.

Iowa State (2017 record: 8-5, Reg Season Wins 6 ½ O-120, Big 12 Title +2700, National Championship +75,000) – The Cyclones lost standout wideout Allen Lazard as a tall target for returning quarterback Kyle Kempt but the offense is expected to be solid with David Montgomery and sophomore Kene Nwangwu leading the way in the backfield and a deep bench of receivers for Kempt to target. The defense should at least maintain what was a vast improvement last year over a lackluster 2016 edition. Iowa State could surprise again this season behind rising coach Matt Campbell.

Kansas State (2017 record: 8-5, Reg Season Wins 6 ½ O-120, Big 12 Title +3000, National Championship +40,000) – This is a big transition year for the Wildcats with a pair of new coordinators as well as a mass exodus of starters from last season. The offensive backfield looks talented and deep but the quarterback situation is uncertain and the receiving corps is in flux. The offensive line is a strength, but the defense will have to be revamped. Looks like a bridge season for the Cats.

Texas Tech (2017 record: 6-7, Reg Season Wins 6 ½ U-145, Big 12 Title +4000, National Championship +200,000) – The only thing Texas Tech can count on offense begins and ends on the line. Other than that, this is an offense that will have to fake it ‘til they make it. The defense, on the other hand, returns nine starters which is a huge boost for a team that may have difficulty scoring points.

Baylor (2017 record: 1-11, Reg Season Wins 5 ½ O-145, Big 12 Title +6000, National Championship +200,000) – Sophomore Charlie Brewer will lead the Bears offense on a team that was devastated by injuries last year which led to a dismal 1-11 season. Most will look at Baylor’s record in ‘17 and immediately dismiss them as a punching bag in 2018. But if the walking wounded of last year stay healthy this year then we could see a Cinderella in the making.

Kansas (2017 record: 1-11, Reg Season Wins 3 ½ U-220, Big 12 Title +80,000, National Championship +200,000) – How many days until basketball season?

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