It’s time to take a look at win total predictions for the 2019 season in the Big 12 Conference. Every fan base wants to think their team is going to excel and exceed the numbers that Las Vegas wise guys predict. But unfortunately, that’s not how it ends up happening. So below are my predictions for win totals in the Big 12, with five teams going “over” and five going “under”.
Oklahoma, 10.5 wins: UNDER
It’s not that I think the Sooners are going to come back to the pack. I believe they’re the Big 12 favorites and will be playing for a Big 12 Championship in December. But the rest of the Big 12 is getting better, while OU has a new quarterback, four of five new offensive linemen and a new defensive coordinator trying to figure out his side of the ball. The margin for error for the Sooners is less than it has been in recent seasons. OU will win their share and have a really good season, but I’m looking at a 10-2 team.
Texas, 9.5 wins: UNDER
Everyone says, “Texas is back”, right? I’m not saying they can’t be, but it’s going to be more difficult than some want to admit. Eight new starters on defense, their top receiver gone, plus questions in the backfield. Also note, Texas has to face LSU, which even though it’s home is a very difficult game, and their hardest Big 12 games are not in Austin. Oklahoma is at the typical neutral site in Dallas, and Iowa State, Baylor and TCU are all on the road. That’s a very tough schedule to find ten wins on, so I’m going under.
Iowa State, 8 wins: OVER
This might be the last season to get real value on Matt Campbell and the Cyclones. I think this team will be playing for a Big 12 title in December, so I have to go over, but I have my reasons. First off, if they finally get over the Iowa hump, then this “over” is a lock. Also, they have Oklahoma and Texas in back-to-back weeks, if they can split these two, the “over” is also a done deal. Regardless I love what the Cyclones have going on with the Big 12’s best defensive and its fastest rising star in Brock Purdy.
TCU, 7.5 wins: OVER
TCU is always undervalued in this spot and that’s the case again this season. If they just had decent and consistent quarterback play last season would’ve gone even better. If they can find that this season, along with fewer injuries, this number will go over with relative ease. The Horned Frogs have a very balanced schedule as well. The Iowa State game is preceded by Kansas, Texas by Kansas State and Oklahoma by Texas Tech. Give me Gary Patterson getting this team to the eight-win mark (at least).
Baylor, 7.5 wins: OVER
A big reason I really like the “over” with the Bears is because their non-conference is comical with Stephen F. Austin, UTSA and Rice. That’s 3-0. Then I just need 5-4 in conference play to hit the number, which seems very doable considering the offensive skill players, improving offensive line and best defense under Rhule’s tenure. Plus, Baylor gets Oklahoma and Texas at home and does not have to travel to Morgantown, which is a plus for any Big 12 team.
Oklahoma State, 7 wins: UNDER
Oklahoma State is in a weird place right now. We don’t know what their doing at quarterback and how good said QB (Spencer Sanders or Dru Brown) will be and Jim Knowles had a rough go in his first season as defensive coordinator in Stillwater. The second tier in the Big 12 has continued to improve and I’m not sure that Oklahoma State has. Plus, they play those three teams, Baylor, Iowa State and TCU in a row in late October and early November, which is a really tough stretch that will determine what kind of season the Pokes are going to have. Ultimately, 6-6 feels far more likely to me than 8-4.
Texas Tech, 6 wins: OVER
Texas Tech has a sneaky good roster that isn’t getting enough credit because they fired Kliff Kingsbury and are one of the four programs with a new head coach. But Matt Wells has plenty to work with on both sides of the ball. The schedule is well balanced and if Alan Bowman stays healthy, he can end the season as one of the top quarterbacks in the Big 12 Conference. Heck, if he stayed healthy last season, Kliff Kingsbury might still be at his alma mater and not with the Arizona Cardinals. Go figure.
Kansas State 5.5 wins: OVER
It’s the start of a new era in Manhattan with Chris Klieman and I like the direction of the program and the fresh blood that was needed. Skylar Thompson looks like a different guy as QB1 and while I’m concerned about his lack of weapons on the outside, I think Klieman and his staff will be creative in using an underrated group of running backs in different ways on offense. Meantime, the defensive line is one of the better ones in the Big 12 and K-State has a favorable schedule, not leaving Manhattan for the entire month of October (three home games and a bye week). In fact, they won’t leave the state of Kansas from September 29th (day after Oklahoma State game in Stillwater) until they go to Texas on November 9th. That’s a heck of a stretch. I think this team can get to the six-win mark.
West Virginia, 5 wins: UNDER
I love the potential for Neal Brown in Morgantown. I’ve said many times I think WVU upgraded at head coach, but this season is going to be a tough one. Whoever wins the QB race will be thrown into the fire with little experience. WVU’s schedule starts with a top FCS program in James Madison, then Missouri on the road and NC State at home. I can’t find a path to bowl eligibility for this team this year. It lost too much. They’ll be back, but the Morgantown faithful will have to soldier through this season.
Kansas, 3 wins: UNDER
Kansas might make some strides this season under Les Miles, it also might not, but regardless, find me four wins on this schedule?! I don’t think you can. There’s no way I’m betting on KU to get to the four-win mark instead of the two-win mark. If they win their two non-conference games that are relatively easy (Indiana State, Coastal Carolina) then they need to find two more against Boston College and the rest of the Big 12. I’m not seeing it.
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